LeGuin Stronghold

Description

LeGuin Stronghold is a Stanford Torus closely orbiting its dim red dwarf star, Ross 154. While the origins of “Stanford” have been lost, its ring-like torus shape is evident from every part of the station. The torus itself spins, allowing for gravity, while the central hub, which houses the port, has no gravity of its own. Spokes connect the central hub to the torus, with high-speed shuttles carrying people and cargo from one to the other. This station was built using Consortium technology, though after the Catastrophe, its residents declared themselves independent.

Chronicle text

For a number of reasons, including the need for a decade of cycles wearing gas masks that hid features, among other things, the language of Leguin has evolved in a unique direction. Emphasising both the need to vocalise clear intent as well as avoiding direct phrases that could affect the local belief in ‘Balance above all’, the local dialect is often difficult to grasp. Visitors to the unique, ‘Stanford Torus’ shaped independent facility will agree that it feels very much like the patron station of perfectly balanced balderdash.

Arrival text

Welcome to LeGuin Stronghold, Citizen! Safe journeys from here on.

Statistics

System: Ross 154
Affiliation: Independent
Level: 16
Legal: 9 (High)
Orwellian: 9 (High)

Areas

Bank (Pangala People’s Bank)

Pangala offered its neutral services to LeGuin, selling itself as a perfect option for a small, homey station like this one. Pangala used this opportunity to ingratiate itself with the other stations in the system, forming a strange connection between stations that don’t always get along. While the bank is no longer managed by the Consortium, and the furnishings reflect Pangala’s golden color, some remnants of its previous incarnation remain. Hints of Consortium blue remain in the digital wallpaper and the odd cushion, serving to further enhance Pangala’s splendor.

Brig

The residents of LeGuin don’t enjoy hierarchies or wielding power over others, so any security-related work is carried out by contractors from other security firms. Their presence is still resented within some of the population, but the presence of travelers from nearby stations and their expectations has pressured them into having a peace-keeping force.

NPCs

Employment (Employment Center)

The Employment Center is one of the busiest areas of the station - LeGuin is always in need of workers, thanks to its low population, and a set of specific jobs that locals prefer not to take. Screens and automated systems help direct potential workers to the most suitable areas to inquire further, while small bots whir underfoot, keeping things orderly and clean.

Career Advisory

Few people are allowed to stay in LeGuin for extended periods of time, but certain jobs need filling, and the career advisory caters to these kinds of procedures. A few assistants sit behind neat, empty desks, helping visitors narrow their options. Their digital ID cards assure you that advisors are practiced enough to speak to visitors comfortably, should you wish to interact with them.

Side Jobs

Consortium and Gaule citizens mingle in the relatively small room, relishing in their shared experiences working in LeGuin. The screens covering most of the center’s walls encourage visitors to finance their visit in LeGuin by earning a few extra credits, and getting first-hand experience exploring the station. However, their desperate search for human helpers is evident in the staff’s eager faces.

Name Description Credits Statistic
I, Not Robot Sarananda Xon needs help at the Inn. Apparently some customers are … fussy. 60 3x Social
Insecurity LeGuin natives don't approve of security, so they hire contractors to guard the brig. 55 1x Stamina
1x Intelligence
2x Social
Mirror, Mirror The external mirrors of our station need constant maintenance. Care to lend a hand? 57 2x Agility
2x Intelligence
The Ice Must Flow We always need people to unload the ice bots. 58 5x Agility
2x Intelligence
NPCs

Discreet Work

Sometimes jobs are offered by those who need to be able to deny involvement. Don't ask too many questions; you won't get many answers. And don't be surprised if you wind up in the brig or sickbay.

NPCs

Government Center (LeGuin Organisational Affairs)

Your steps echo through the small building, which is almost entirely empty. Large screens advertise the upcoming Mayoral elections, requesting - almost begging - people to enlist as candidates, as the occasional person picks up their daily rations.

There is someone dressed in a simple white robe in a corner, attempting to explain to travelers what the Balance entails. At the moment they lean on a wall, their eyes sporting a CORETECHS glow. From time to time, they stifle a laugh or smirk, likely browsing the Mesh to while away the time.

NPCs

Info Hub

Holo screens illuminate the area as news sources flow like a river of data from one terminal to the next. Occasionally, some government drone will adjust a particular metric or record another before buzzing about their duties.

Syndicate Services

A number of recruiters, both in physical as well as hologrammatic form, interact with would-be members or peruse applications on the wall of terminals that lines this room.

VIP Lounge

Soft music and soothing lights drift through the atmosphere in the lounge. Robotic waiters clad in shiny (but not too shiny) chrome wheel between Citizens, dispensing smooth looking beverages.

Gym (Dothe Training Hall)

While the training hall looks small and comfortable, the machinery within is state-of-the-art, maintained and repaired by robots. While there are few fitness coaches, there are enough to meet people’s needs. Each machine has a codename, and there is plenty of information on athletic courses that are best suited for different needs - the gray course for aerobic exercise, red for arm strength, blue for legs, yellow for abdominals, and green for balance.

Inn (Visitor's Dwelling)

The Visitor’s Dwelling is a collection of three-floor buildings inspired by log cabins. Large interactive screens, framed in faux-wood, help patrons get their bearings while fitting into the cozy decor. The arrangement of furniture and the ever red light of Ross gives the Inn a feeling of calm, a relaxed eternal sunset where visitors can enjoy a reprieve from the station’s quirks

NPCs

Bar (Faster's Reprieve)

While clearly made by food replicators, the food of LeGuin is focused on comfortable eating experiences. Joint-shaped bio-meat accompanied with yellow grains, chopped mixed ‘vegetables’ in a red sauce, soft breads steamed inside leaves and all manner of warming drinks are on the menu. This is the only drinking establishment in the sparsely populated station, so Balance adherents and visitors alike crowd the halls, often at different tables.

Hotel Rooms (Adept’s Repose)

The arrival desk is automated, with a room selection menu much like a vending machine. All chambers are similar to one another, still sporting pre-Cat names like Birch, Cedar, Pine, Spruce, and Redwood. Small cleaning bots keep things in order, but you are urged to digitally report any issues and you’re assured a person can see to them if needed.

Lounge (Foreteller's Hall)

Clustered around each low table are haphazardly arranged seats. Regular chairs, cushions, mats and large plastic bags filled with beads are all available, and many patrons find the seat which suits them most and drag it to their table. Some locals can be seen trying to chat with visitors, with limited success.

Market (Oak Market)

The market square is decorated as though some sort of regional fair were taking place. Four archways serve as entrances and exits, decorated with leaf shapes that might derive from their namesake oaks. Inside the square, sellers set up stands for all manners of objects and frequently chat or bicker with each other, making it one of the more lively parts of the station. Because of the Torus’ small size and curvature, you can see one end of the market from the other, adding to the feeling that the market has a gravity of its own, pulling everyone inwards.

NPCs

Vendors

The few local shopkeepers idle time away with their CORETECHS whenever they’re not being spoken to. There are few commodities being sold, and most of these are taken by travelers, with a few exceptions. Locals request holo-posters of Mesh celebrities, CORETECHS enhancements, and various well-being supplements as they animatedly browse the stalls.

Public Market (Ansible Exchange)

Travelers are permitted to sell their wares in designated stalls. Locals browse these with interest, but rarely buy anything - it’s common knowledge in LeGuin that the locals make do with the bare necessities… and copious bandwidth for Mesh access. To other visitors, the public market is an oasis of technological normality in a station whose aesthetic is almost entirely ‘cozy and made of wood’.

Storage

A nondescript building just outside the market square houses various storage compartments, from small lockers to room-sized containers. While the odd traveler might complain about paying for storage space, given how much of the station is empty, they are swiftly reminded that this storage area is safely patrolled, and their goods are guaranteed not to go missing.

Port

LeGuin’s port is found in its central hub, a zero-gravity area where ships can dock. Control centers help incoming ships navigate safely, avoiding the spinning torus and its spokes, and help any crew not used to docking in these conditions. Various forms of conveyor belts with straps, handholds and clasps help people and cargo get safely around, while large screens and automated bots remind travelers how to get where they need to go. Intermittently, the screens remind everyone not to eat or drink until they’re back in normal gravity, unless they have leak-proof containers approved by station authorities.

NPCs

Arrivals

A bustling river of humanity with endlessly branching tributaries flows from the shuttles arriving here, through the processing gates, to crash onto the banks of eagerly awaiting locals receiving visitors from near or far flung parts of the galaxy. A number of travelers post the usual glazed looks of those recently harangued by any type of transportation system created and run by the human species. They drift with a mixture of existential confusion and relief through to the station beyond. Always, they are scrutinized by security or some type of subspecies therein.

Shipping Bay

Transfer of items is mostly carried out by robots, with some human assistance when necessary. Everything is organised, clean, and sparse, thanks to the station’s low population and penchant for keeping things simple… Although thanks to the lack of gravity, the occasional package ends up flying overhead.

Docks

While there are few visitors to LeGuin, and their asteroid scavenger robots depart from elsewhere, the docks are usually full, thanks to their small size. The handful of ships and their crew keep the docks busy and loud, compared to the rest of the port. Visitors are urged to keep themselves attached to a surface at all times.

NPCs

Local Shuttles

Many ships visiting from local stations host vacationing neighbors, revisiting LeGuin, attempting to learn more about the Balance or renting an unused house to spend a few tenspans. First-time visitors typically expect more of a ‘holiday’ destination, but frequent guests know that you come to LeGuin for solitude, introspection and time spent away from systems as you know them.

Ruins (Maple Town)

An assortment of facilities clustered together to form a small hub, Maple Town is the deserted cousin of Oak Town, where most of the population relocated to after the Catastrophe. Aside from housing, various facilities were clustered around a central square. Cleaning bots keep things looking pristine, but it only highlights the desolation of the station even more.

The Ruins serves up danger in all sorts of flavors. Scavengers pick through The Wrecks, fighting savagely for overlooked prizes among the debris. Syndicates, under license from station authorities, renew buildings and facilities within the Syndicate Districts. And The Wilds are nothing short of a warzone, where the toughest Syndicate militia battle hardened criminals in an endless struggle for spoils and turf.

The Wrecks (Maple High)

An abandoned school and its associated facilities is the likeliest place to scavenge for supplies. Originally meant to house older children for periods of joint sports and activities, their untimely deaths during the Catastrophe are a harsh reminder for locals, who refuse to step in anymore. The few people staying illegally in LeGuin are known to hide out here.

On any given day the Wrecks pivot between desolate emptiness and sparse population by desperate people avoiding prying eyes, bandits, and merchants looking for some cheap and interesting wares. It can be worth your time to pull on a pair of gloves and dig through the debris in the wrecks in search of something useful, just keep your wits about you during your excavation. You never know who's watching in the wrecks.

The Wilds (Maple Courts)

Wide expanses of sports courts, interspersed with changing rooms, are a frequent site of fighting. The rules of the sports practiced are lost to time, and any remaining nets, poles, or tools have been repurposed. The uneven terrain is known to house live mines, which many Syndicate members have fallen prey to.

Syndicates use these bullet-riddled spaces for insecure storage, and many a bandit has been cut down attempting a bold raid on someone else’s well-guarded cache. Once a benign web of service tunnels; every inch of The Wilds now serves treachery and murder. Deep in the festering darkness, heartless animals track their prey guided by primordial instinct. Only fools come here without first securing a serious weapon and a clone back-up.

Security

While the Security Office is not unusual in being quiet, there’s a quality to the silence here that’s colder than the rest of LeGuin. Staffed by salaried mercenaries, and not entirely approved of by the locals, many people avoid the security office when they can. For their part, those in charge have made themselves comfortable in their offices, chatting loudly and enjoying their slice of the station.

Sick Bay

Unusually, the hospital is staffed by residents of LeGuin in addition to Moemedi personnel in cycle-long residencies. While some locals argue that being responsible for a life is a form of power, dedicating one’s self to helping others appears to balance it out, which is why locals choose to pursue this calling. The building itself is decorated in various shades of green, thanks to its artificial inner light. While the red light of Ross can be comforting, the hospital’s green decor seems more fitting for convalescence.

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