Archive for category CSIHC

Delta City part 3

So last section was a brief history of Delta City. This next part is about the layout of the city itself. If I can make it work well I will drop in the maps I drew oh so long ago so you can get an idea of the elevations and street layouts as well as what the neighborhood/district lines are like. Details on the specific regions in the city and some of the people and places in them will be in the next part published.

Ok so lets start out with the map of the city streets. This covers the major streets in the city. I was using old graph paper to set this up and there was no way by hand I could get down to the level of a super zoom on Google Maps. Considering that I set this up based on memory from an older printed map of the Grays Harbor area you can see that some things are not really to effective scale if you look at the area in Google maps. You can also see that I added a large island to the area that is not in our current reality.

major_streets_map

As you read what follows remember that this was originally written in the late 1990’s and into the early 2000’s. So some of the prices and other things may seem ridiculously cheap. They were intended to be cheap but not so much so that you would have your jaw hit the floor. I am trying to reprice stuff for the current era.

GENERAL NOTES

POPULATION

“The population of Delta City is a model of the length and breadth of humanity in the tradition that the founders of the United States would have given to us all had they the vision to dream that vast.”

Mayor Anna Cross during a speech to celebrate the International District in 1997

            The population in Delta City is not only diverse but it is truly unique as far as anyone can tell. The official breakdown is rather boring but it gives us a place to start.

Per the 2000 Census

Total Population: 523,402 people   

Economic break down:

  •              8% Wealthy
  •              9% Affluent
  •              70% Middle class
  •              11% Struggling
  •              2% In Poverty         

Unemployment: 3.1%         

Racial Breakdown:

  •             White – Non-Hispanic 44%
  •             Hispanic 8%
  •             Asian 8%
  •             African American 8%
  •             Native American 13%
  •             Pacific Islander 6%
  •             Middle Eastern 7%
  •             Other 6%

Gender Breakdown:

  •             Male 48%
  •             Female 50%
  •             Other 2%

Age Breakdown:

  •             Over 65      7%
  •             45-65          21%
  •             30-44         35%
  •             18-29         20%
  •             Under 18  17%

Education:

  •             No Highschool                               3%
  •             Highschool – Some                      12%
  •             Highschool – Graduate               18%
  •             Some College                              11%
  •             AA Degree                                  10%
  •             Bachelors Degree                       7%
  •             Masters Degree                          6%
  •             Doctorate Degree                       1%
  •             Multiple Degrees                        1%
  •             No formal Education noted      13%
  •             Other                                        18% 

Religious Affiliation:

  •             None                                            15%
  •             Catholic (Any Denomination)    19%   
  •             Muslim (Any Denomination)      11%
  •             Jewish (Any Denomination)      10%
  •             Wiccan                                       4%
  •             Native Traditional                     5%
  •             Buddhist                                    3%
  •             Shinto                                        1%
  •             Taoist                                       2%
  •             Hindu                                       2%
  •             Other                                       28%  

 City Size:

  •             Delta City Proper: 48.6 square miles
  •             Delta City Industrial Island: 7.1 square miles           

            Now then all those official numbers do nothing to mention the population in the Underground. In those vast stretches under the city there was an unofficial census that puts the population down there at roughly fifty to one hundred thousand other people. So that would be another ten to twenty percent of the population that lives on the streets above. All undocumented, untracked and for the most part uncared for. Considering that most of them live at or below the poverty level down there it could really skew the numbers if they though to add them into the official record.

            One of the strange things about the official numbers is under the Racial Breakdown, ‘Other’. Think about what that means. You see the same thing in Gender Breakdown, Education, and Religion. Makes you wonder just what there is in this city. Overall age categories seem unusually skewed toward the younger generations while the rest of the nation seems to be getting older.

 

CITY SERVICES / INFRASTRUCTURE / UTILITIES / TRANSIT

PUBLIC TRANSIT

Public transit in Delta City is a bit of a wonder. There are city buses, and on call services for the elderly and disabled. There is a light rail connection to the Olympia hub that runs north all the way to Everett. There are a large number of cycle capable paths around the city, and just as many safe-walking routes. There are also the usual assortment of taxis and vanpool set-ups. All of this makes it very easy for any resident or visitor to get to any part of the city day or night.

The wonder is not that the city has all these things, but that they work, and work very well. Not to mention that even the cabs are reasonably priced.

            One might think that with the world walls being in the condition that they are that you might have to deal with busses vanishing, or transit strikes, or cabbies that eat customers. Well even though these things do happen from time to time it is very rare, and most busses that vanish have a tendency to reappear a few blocks later, having a lot of people on board that want to go home instead of just get away seems to bring them back really fast, if they go at all. The city transit department is very proud of its record of having only one bus disappear forever, and the three that it has gained more than make up for that.

            It is also rare that any cabbie that has a taste for human flesh gets past the department of licensing, the ladies that run that place seem to have a knack for spotting potential troublemakers.

The real wonder is the cost of things. A monthly bus pass that is good all over the city will only cost someone about twenty dollars, and even this can be cut down if you can prove that your low income or unemployed. The two major cab companies got into a price war a few years ago and the public is still reaping the benefit, anywhere in the city in one of those two company’s cars will only cost you five dollars, no matter how many people you stuff into the cab, and a run from Delta City to SeaTac airport will only cost you fifteen.

            So, at that price, is it reliable? In a word, yes. The companies that run these operations are always in the black and seem to have a great desire for repeat business. This leads to the great deals, and making the systems as timely as possible and reliable beyond a shadow of a doubt just reinforces people’s opinion of a system that actually works for their benefit.

MEDICAL & FIRE

(Taken from a guide to new students at the college level. It’s amazing that they have to have this.)

Medical care in Delta City is top notch. There are a couple of large hospitals within the city limits, and a great number of small medical clinics. The clinics are both the general medical and specialist establishments. The two hospitals in Delta City are Delta City General in the south of the northern Business District just off the 105 freeway and on the boarder of the Historic Old Town district and the newer Housing District on the west side of the city, and the second is Wandering Star Memorial Hospital which sits on the boarder of both the International District and Chinatown. Both of these facilities are larger than you would normally expect of a hospital, but that is because they are the only two real hospitals in the city. The majority of other care is handled in all the various smaller offices and clinics that are in every district of the city. Many specialists work both at one of the hospitals and in one of the clinics.

Now then calling the medical care top notch may be a bit of a misnomer. There are the usual assortments of people involved in medicine in Delta City, some good, some bad, some who care, and there are those that only want to make money. The thing that makes Delta City medical care top notch is that there was a city law passed about thirty years ago that made it illegal for any insurance company that operates inside city limits to discriminate against payments for anything but truly experimental procedures. So, if your condition can be cured by an acupuncturist, or an herbal wrap, city laws make sure that your going to be covered by whatever treatment you need to get back into top health.

            The statement of care being top notch also relates to the fact that if you know who to ask and what you’re looking for, you can find doctors that specialize in just about any species that you can imagine. This is great if you’re some kind of alien blob and get a stomachache at three a.m. You don’t have to eat half the city to get relief, just ask a couple questions, and head to the right doctor. Of course, if you’re an alien blob that can get insurance you are going to want to spread that information around.

The only other thing of note is that even though Chinatown seems to be a complete maze to anyone not living in that part of town, the paramedics never seem to have a problem if they are called into the area to get someone.

“Fire response in Delta City is second to none in the nation. The teams train extensively and are constantly on the lookout for new people to enhance their already stellar teams. Do you have what it takes to be a hero like that?”

From a recruiting add in the paper.

             The fire response teams in Delta City are almost on the scale of the garbage men and women, and in fact many of the garbage men and women act as local volunteers in the fire response teams. The fact of the matter is that in a city that anything can happen in, just about anything can burn. So, the people on the fire teams need to have the ability to deal with everything from standard fires, chemical fires and even the occasional mystical conflagration. Being ready for all that all the time is no easy thing. So, the staff are usually on rotating teams, two weeks on, two weeks off, with volunteers and off duty staff on call if needed to make sure that things can be handled safely and quickly. The system seems to work.

 CRIME & POLICE

While not crime free Delta City is one of the safest places on earth to visit. Our police force is well trained to deal with any situations that might conceivably arise in a city this size. And we are proud to report that for the fifth year in a row we are still carving critical seconds off of 911 calls citywide. If anything happens to you in Delta City you can be sure that the police are right there to help you out.

In recent years there has been a slow increase in crime in Delta City, not that the press or the ads to visit here would even mention that. Mostly in the area of industrial espionage, and embezzlement, but this does not lower the slow growth. There are dozens of little gangs and a couple larger ones. There are burglaries, assaults, robberies, rapes, and murders in this town. It is a major city after all. But the public is in no way worried. You see the rates of crime in Delta City are significantly lower than in any other city it’s size or smaller. The percentage of crimes committed is so low that it makes a major piece in the news when one does happen.

            Now this is all taking into account the public face of crime. The subtle crimes and acts taken by those with enough power and or money to make them not have happened, seem to happen far more often in Delta City than just about anywhere else in the world. Also, the no victim crimes like gambling and prostitution are usually ignored in the numbers that are given to the press but not by the police and the people that commit the crimes themselves. There have been rumors in recent years that some of the seedier parts of the city have been slowly falling under the control of certain groups, be they gangs or the mafia. The people involved in these crimes don’t really talk about it, but if you are in the Industrial areas, or the commercial areas then you know it when you see it.

            Due to reports Net 7 is under contract to the police commissioner to deliver, he is aware of this tide of invisible crime, and is out to put a stop to it if he can. Unfortunately, most of those invisible crimes are just that, no evidence, no witness, and sometimes not even a scene. This is not to say that there is some secret band of ninja, making all the crimes in the city vanish. Even if there were ninja you could not be told about them.

             The police in Delta City are just as diverse as its population. Every district in Delta City has its main house for the police and most have at least three outside branches. The District House usually houses most of the department gear and staff for any given district, while the branches are more like outposts that are not always manned but can be staffed at any given time to add presence or support in a part of the district. All of the branch houses are checked in at several times a day if they are not currently occupied by staff, assuring that there is a police presence in all areas of the city.

I am sure that you are thinking that I am going to say that this is all bull and that the cops are not all over the place like this. Well actually for the most part it is true actually. There are only a couple of districts in the city that do not get the full service of the police, and that is not an all bad thing given the way some of those districts operate. Given that in those areas even if the police are all from the district they are still seen as outsiders, it makes it a little easier for the district to police itself in the loosest of terms.

            One of the challenges that the police face is that when it comes time to investigate crimes, they have to be ready to look into just about anything. The next challenge is that they have to ready to arrest anything. The last challenge is that they have to be ready to hold and take to trial anything. Now then just because they have to be ready for anything, does not mean that they really are. There are only a few specialists on the force that have the skills and the power to really take on ‘anything’, and considering that most of the things that they face off with are just average, everyday people, being ready for everything is not all that cost effective. In the end the police have the policy that they will staff one team SSC, Special Situation Control. Sort of like a cross between CSI, SWAT, and ghost busters. They operate out of the City Center, and have a SWAT style van and a custom helicopter at their disposal. No one is really sure how many people are on this team, but so far, they have a very high ratio of closed incidents that makes them look very, very good.

 CITY WATER

The most important resource for any city is the water. Some would say it is the power, but there are a lot of ways around that. Without water a city is in a lot of trouble. Some of the best minds in the city are on the city water board. That is why Delta City is not on any one single resource for their needs.

City water districts handle everything from large production wells, limited water sheds from the rivers, all the way down to desalinization plants along the coast. There are several water treatment and storage facilities outside the city limits and the whole system is redundant so many times over that several different systems can go down and there is no change in water pressure.

This reliability is something that comes up every year in the mayoral elections. Every incumbent tries to make sure that the people know that they are responsible for it being that good, and a great many that try to get into the mayor’s office try to make it seem that it is not enough. As water is not just a survival item, it is also a comfort, and the debates about the safety and security of the water supply are very heated.

As part of its deal with the city for self-sufficiency Chinatown has its own water supply. While this is independent from the main city resources, it is linked to the city just in case either side needs help for a while. No one in the main city departments knows where Chinatown gets its supply from, but the water is pure and almost of filtered and refined quality.

POWER

Power in Delta City is bought in bulk from Puget Sound Energy, and provided to residential customers at the paltry fee of ten dollars a month. This means that if you have a one-bedroom apartment, or a thirty-room mansion you’re only going to pay ten dollars. The industrial and business areas pay the usual kilowatt hour rates that most people would see, but even this is discounted slightly by the way the city raises money to pay for the electricity. The city has a slightly higher sales tax than most other areas in the Pacific North West. Setting at about 10%, the sales tax goes into lowering the cost of electric bills and into public transit to help keep those costs down as well. This makes a great boon to the people who live and work here in the city.

Chinatown (C) in the continuing quest for independence has made its own deal with PSE and has separate cables that come into the community to provide that one community with power.

            While many areas use gas, oil, and electricity to keep everything running and heated, Delta City in the fifties started a program to fade out every kind of power but electric. Trying to be ahead of the times and be more on top of the best energy in town. It took nearly ten years but, in the end, everyone was switched over. Even though the city has been totally electric since the end of the fifties, all the old pipes and lines under the city are still there, and one city planner estimated that it would only take about three months to get them all working again. Due to the mayor’s office these systems are checked every six months to make sure that no repairs are needed. Just in case.

SEWAGE

The Delta City waste system is one of the oldest and most reliable on the west coast. There has never been an undocumented spill and every drop of sewage and wastewater has been accounted for since 1861.

The world under the city. The sewer and water runoff pipes under the city make a massive and tangled network that would make the creator of the Minotaur’s labyrinth stare in awe.

            While some people will look at the industrial areas (Ind1 & STL), and cry out that they are the dark heart of the city, those who have worked in the sewers know better. The people who work and make a living down here are not always the same. There is a thriving culture that exists down under the streets. With their own laws and rules, they have as little to do with the surface as possible. The beings that live down here are the outcasts, misfits, and homeless with no place else to go. To come down to these tunnels is usually an act of final desperation for someone otherwise out of options.

            One of the things that make these tunnels dangerous is that they do not always stay in the same place. They have a tendency to move and shift, taking new paths as the whim strikes. While this makes them dangerous, as no one ever knows if they are going to wake up in the same part of town as they fell asleep in, it can also save lives. The shifting of the pipes has on more than one occasion helped someone fleeing from the police, or being chased by the predators that live in the tunnels. Some enlightened folk have tossed about the theory that the sewers are related to the world walls, but so far, no proof one way or the other has been produced.

            Out of all the people in the city that might know something it comes as no surprise to those that work in the city services that there is someone who seems to know what is going on. In spite of having no viable records or plans to refer to, there is someone in the city dispatch office that is called on any time someone needs to head into the tunnels. Ms. Lucy Carter, a woman who is proud of her eighty-three years on this earth (and if anyone tells her that I know this I am willing to bet that my friendly help will disappear), will gladly tell anyone who asks just where the pipes they need are, and if you’re going to be doing construction she can tell you just how far down they are going to be when you start digging. Then she sends you off with a smile and a ‘god bless’, and if you’re actually in her office her cookies are some of the best in town. Any questions about how she knows what she knows or where you can look that information up just get a little smile and something like ‘Youngster, you never ask a lady’s age or what she knows, it’s just not polite, besides if you need to know anything I will be right here. I am always right here.’ With that she will go back to typing whatever it is that she is working on. (Side note, Lucy is not on any of the payroll books, and quite literally does seem to be there whenever someone needs information, midnight or noon)

            There are a few interesting things about the underground and the most notable of them are as follows.

 The Core

            There are two things referred to by this name and since both are in the same area then it makes sense to put them both in the same entry in this guide. There are rumors that they might be somehow connected, but no one has the stones needed to ask one if it is somehow part of the other.

            The Core – The person known as the Core is a very strange individual. He seems to be a superhuman of some kind, and from the look of him he is either a mutant or from another world. This could explain why he stays underground and hides his face with a mask. It does not however explain his agenda. Several years ago, The Core started trying to find those people with gifts above and beyond the human average. The higher up the scale the better.

            Physically no one can be sure if The Core is male or female, all that can be said for sure is that it stands above eight feet tall, and seems to be built like a titan. The loose clothing that The Core favors and the neutral nature of its voice leave those who have me it wondering just what is under those clothes, and just what is behind the mask.

            The organization The Core is forming is called The Children of the Future. So far members of this group seem to be working around Delta City doing good deeds, there is a catch to what they do though. Every good deed they have done so far is for someone in a position of power, and every time they do something for someone they gain a promise from the person that they will do a favor in return for The Children at some point in the future.

            No one outside of The Core itself knows what the reason behind this is, but there are people who suspect that The Children of the Future are building a very subtle power base that they can expand on at a later date. All members of The Children are required to wear a mask that hides their face from the world, but other than that they are free to dress and act, as they will. When on a mission for The Core or The Children then the mask gets slipped on and they become their other identity. There are those who compare this to the classic superhero comics, but the mask is all they add, it is not a complete costume, and The Core seems to frown on that type of over blown showiness.        

            The Core – The place in Delta City known as the Core is also in the underground. In the area of Historic Old Town, somewhere around 21st and Main, there is something in the dark that the people who try and live in the underground avoid if they can, and the city workers who get sent into the area do their best to get away from as fast as they can.

This place seems to be the only feature of the underground that does not move or shift with the rest of the tunnels. It is always in the same place and always has the same effects on the people and the area around it.

            The Core on first being seen looks like a dark hole about twenty feet across, almost perfectly round, and if you get close enough to look into it, it seems to go down forever. There is a cool air that seems to seep from the hole, mixing with the warmer underground air it makes the area of the underground for about a block or two have a light ground fog year-round.

            What makes this place so fearsome to most is that when someone starts walking through the fog they will feel things that brush across their legs, like there are rats or something in the darkness that make no sound but are bold enough to tease at the legs of whoever is in the area. As someone gets closer to the Core there is a soft whispering that can be heard, and as a person gets closer and closer the whispering never gains in volume, but it does become more and more clear. By the time someone is close enough to see the Core the voices in the whispering are very clear, and to this day no one has reported anything kind, or positive in any way coming from those voices. But all who have heard them will agree that to them the whispering came from voices familiar to them, and that anyone with them did not hear the things that they did.

            No one who has tried to climb down into the Core has come back up sane, and everyone who has just keeps ranting about the faces behind the voices. Other experiments to find out the depth of the Core have met with no success. The plan to drop a line down dropped in a little over three thousand feet of cord and found no bottom to the Core. Sonar and radar have both failed to get a signal back that makes sense, even though the only time they tried a sonar scan the person manning the listening station started crying after about five minutes, and has never worked again.

            The Core has been here since before there was a Delta City, and as far as anyone can tell it will be here after everything else is gone. Any efforts to cover it, or build directly on top of it have failed. The only exception is the roadway above, which does need to be repaved about once a year to keep it stable.

 GARBAGE

There are two companies that do the trash and recycling hauling in Delta City. Both are based outside of the city off the I-105 Industrial loop to the south of the city. This is also where all the local transfer stations are. It should be noted that out of all the services in the city garbage is the most challenging. Even though it is a challenging job for the people who have it the level of service and the fact that the city is as clean, as it is should let everyone know just how well a job these people do for us every day of the year.

The things that add to the challenge include that there are no local landfills, trash has to be hauled at least forty miles before it can be buried or burned. The second thing that adds to the challenge is that the two companies that do this service are not only not on the city payroll (this service was taken off the city lists in the thirties when the first of the companies was started up) and as such there are occasional ‘Trash Wars’, as the companies try to undercut each other’s price, or just cut up each other’s trucks. If things get really heated between the companies there have been times that fights break out between gangs of drivers and servicemen. If all that were not enough then you also have to know that in a place like Delta City, since anything can happen, anything can get tossed out. With that possibility it is not so strange to think about the trucks that the garbage men have at their disposal, or the gear that they store within them, or the fact that there are a lot of ex-military and bio-hazmat certified people on the job.

CABLE T.V.

Cable T.V. and satellite services are an area of heated competition in the Delta City region. There are three primary companies that operate in the city limits. And all three offer services ranging from basic cable, to digital cable, to computer network hookups, and even satellite receivers and decoders. All three of them buy the services in bulk from the major providers and then sell at a local discount.

The competition between companies gets nowhere near as heated as the challenges facing the garbage men, but there are nights when one company or the other has to deal with a spiked signal. This is all done with a good humor and the companies actually seem to get along rather well. In the end the antics of the three companies, the pricing games and the spiked signals and the like all seem to make the heads of the companies look like siblings fighting for their parent’s approval instead of three companies trying to make a living.

 PHONE

Phone service in Delta City is clear and solid. Cell phone connections and satellite service are available city wide, and there is an initiative pending that would make local access to phone services as cheap as power.

With the only showing by local power players, the phone system is rather well wrapped up. The major provider of landlines for Delta City is Qwest Communications. They seem to have a rather solid control over the industry and only every year or two do they have some small upstart company try to take a shot at the title. Most of the time when this happens Qwest just drops their prices for a few months to make sure that no one can compete, and then moves back to normal operations when the up and comer has been bankrupted. The initiative that they are trying to get passed in the city council has been there for years, I really don’t think anyone will ever see it get thru.

            With the advent of cell phones though there is another competition going on. As with every part of the world there are dozens of not hundreds of little companies trying to get all lined up to take your money and put a phone in your hand. The big boys are out in force too, as the cities low hills and access to open water makes it a great area for reception. They found out when putting the service towers in that there was less need than they could have ever thought for them in the area as signals carry clean and clear in every part of the city save for in the sewer tunnels.

ISP

Internet service in Delta City is provided by a collection of different businesses, most of which are actually local, so they will definitely know how to handle your service questions quickly. The rates for most of them are very reasonable, but due to constant competition you are advised to shop around for the best deal for your needs.

            The power of the Internet. In Delta City there are dozens of small service providers that offer everything from basic services to web hosting. Prices are fairly standard to the market. What is interesting about the internet in Delta City is that the phone systems all seem to be up to date enough to handle the better broadband services, even in the older houses out along the coastline. This is thanks to the improvement bill passed by the city council, and ratified by public vote in the early eighties, that any significant upswing in technology would be met with an equally speedy upswing in services provided. This meant that as soon as the major upgrades to the phone system were available that the city could sue Qwest unless the city was immediately upgraded, and not only would the city tote the bill for the lawsuit, but they could name every person in the city as part of a class action suit if things did not go well on the initial suit.

            All in all, this inspires a thriving hacker community. With all the business targets, and rumors of hidden secrets in the city, there is no shortage of people trying to get to the next stage and be the best the city has ever seen. There is also the open challenge by Net 7 that anyone who can hack their database and find the file marked ‘The Truth’, will be immediately hired at an annual salary of seventy-five thousand dollars a year, and if the hacker in question is under the age of eighteen Net 7 will also pay their college tuition for up to six years at a school of their choice as long as they study something in the technology field, and agree to sign on for two years with the company after graduation. So far in the three years that this offer has been offered, no one has made it in to the file in question. But there is no sign that the attempts will stop any time soon. Due to this thriving community in Delta City, the need for talented IT people, coders, programmers, hardware specialists, and all the computer related fields in between is in higher demand here than most any other place on the planet.

EDUCATIONAL STANDARDS

            The schools in Delta City deserve a little extra mention. While there are a large number of public and private schools around the city the elementary and middle schools are very similar. They all offer the usual classes but they all also have the distinction of having advanced classes for exceptional students, mystical classes for children that are so inclined, restricted classes for youngsters with exceptional abilities that may prove hazardous to other students, and direct line communications with all police and fire departments.

            While this may seem like a series of hazards spread all over the city, it was actually put to a vote in the city in 1967 and the population decided that they would rather have their children close at hand instead of bussing them all over the city to get specialized education or protection. Surprisingly to all the people that were opposed to this it seems like this has actually worked quite well, the number of incidents and disasters at the lower numbered grade is so low that it looks more like one or two problems a year for the whole city. All in all, a very good record.

High Schools in Delta City are another story though.

            At the high school level there are a total of eight schools all over the city. Five of the schools are heavily specialized in one field or another. The other three are very general, with outsource classes at other schools that count toward graduation credits. This system was part of the 1967 vote that set the lower grade schools on the path that they are on. Strangely this also seems to have worked well as the older teens seem to get along better with the students that share their fixations and hobbies.

PHS 100 (Public High School 100) – AKA Combat High

This high school is located in the International District. It is renowned throughout the city as being the most advanced combat training institute save for Koji’s Dojo. If you can find a way to integrate fields of study with something combat relevant then this school has done so in a grand scale. The sports teams here are considered to be some of the most disciplined and some of the most dangerous.

PHS 101 (Public High school 101) – AKA Machine High

This high school focuses on mechanical and industrial education. They have auto clubs and design competitions that the entire city will turn out for. It is rumored that this school alone is the reason that Boeing has a R&D branch in Delta City. The school is located in the Industrial District to the south of the city.

PHS 102 (Public High school 102) – AKA Magus High

This high school has a focus on natural history and magical theory that is impressive to everyone. The school is located in the Historic Old Town section of the city. Surprisingly the number of strange incidents in this school is rather low. This is usually accredited to the staff and the teachers being rather good at what they teach and how they teach it. There is an outreach program from this school to Delta City College, where they have advanced classes for some of the really bright students.

PHS 103 (Public High school 103) – AKA Finance High

This high school has its main focus on business, language and management. It is said that if you are looking for a future leader in this or any other community then you need to start looking here. Located in the northern Business District, this school has the reputation of releasing some of the shrewdest graduated onto the college scene that you can imagine.

PHS 000 (Public High school 000) – AKA The Invisible School

While there are only limited rumors of this school on the books there can be no denying that this school is real. Its funding is rather impressive and part of that seems to stem from the fact that the school is never in the same place for more than a week at a time. As you may be able to tell this school has its main focus on teaching the arts of espionage, stealth, and intelligence. While this may seem to be a strange thing to teach at a high school level the kids here have been credited with solving more than a few crimes in the city since the school’s inception. The hardest part of getting classes going in this school is that someone has to find it to register the students.

PHS 104 (Public High school 104) – AKA Nerd base 1

While the nickname of the school is not all that complimentary it is hard to deny the level of education that is offered here. Most of the teachers seem like the people that you would more likely see in a college setting and they tend to treat the students as if they are on that level of education already. What is most unusual is the fact that this high school is located in the Commercial District on the south of the city. One of the most affluent areas in the city.

PHS 105 (Public High school 105) – AKA Delta Rich

This is one of the three general education high schools. With no particular focus of education its nick name comes strictly from its location. It is on the south end of the Old Beach Housing district, fairly close to Delta City College.  The raw money in the area tends to mean that this school has a lot of rather wealthy students in it.

PHS 106 (Public High school 106) – AKA Shoppers Paradise

This is one of the three general education high schools. With no particular focus of education its nick name comes strictly from its location. This school is located just across the street from the Delta City Mall. A favorite school among the ‘gotta have it’ crowd. It is also the school with the greatest problem with kids skipping classes. There have been several attempts to get the school moved but the costs of moving a whole high school are currently thought to be more than the costs to the students who are missing classes.

PHS 107 (Public High school 107) – AKA Between

This is one of the three general education high schools. With no particular focus of education its nick name comes strictly from its location. This school’s location is exactly half way between both Delta City College and Kymen College. This means that this school is the most heavily recruited from school in the city. As both colleges try to outdo each other to get the best from this school in their doors, they usually end up with some rather insulted parents.

There are also a few private schools at all levels of education in Delta City but they usually come from a religious base instead of a raw interest base. The private schools also seem to have a low enough student count that they will have all levels of primary education in them at once.

St. Agrippa SR Education Facility – AKA Holy High

There is no known religion on this earth that seems to have a St. Agrippa, and the education that is offered here would tend to reflect that. While many private schools seem to teach from a single religious bent, this school has equal representation of every religion that they can add. All of the teachers seem to not only be qualified teachers, but also venerated holy beings of one kind or another. Being located in the Artists’ Colony area of the city would seem to have had a beneficial effect on this academy.

RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS

“The diversity of Delta City is second to none in all the world, the only problem that I have with that is all the damned heathens that get into this town.” – Quote from Father Eisien from the Church of the Holy Sprocket

             ‘Delta City has a racial, social, and economic diversity that is only slightly skewed from its religious openness. In a city this large and this diverse it is interesting to note that religion is not only widespread but common. Usually in such large environs you see many people of different cultures mingling and religion gets suppressed as a way to keep people focused on the good that they can do for each other instead of focusing on their differences. Then as the environs evolves over time religion becomes a way to distinguish differences even inside a culture, and a way to hold on to yourself and your culture even if there are a lot of other thoughts and ideas around.

I know that this sounds contradictory but to understand religion in a city environ then you need to look at a picture of the area that takes not just moments, but decades if not centuries.

At the start of a social grouping religion is suppressed for the need of survival, as time goes on religion becomes the central source of self-identification. Once self-identification is seated then starts social isolationism and from that comes conflict. The “I am right you are wrong, bang, bang” effect as I call it. Now then what is unique about Delta City is that as a whole the city seems to have not gone past the point of self-identification. We have Catholics feely mixing with Wiccans, Muslims, Jews, Native Shaman and the others that spring up. Conflicts between the groups are social, not physical, and not to the point of isolating anyone. It is both beautiful and scary at the same time.

Why you ask is it scary? Because when the next step comes along in the evolution of the situation, well that is just going to make the changes bigger, harder, and potentially more violent.

Class dismissed.’ – Recorded at a class in religious diversity at Kymen College.

             So, I am taking it that you get the impression that everyone is going on happy as clams in the city when it comes to religion. While that may be the case on the surface I happen to know that there have been more than a few cases of people getting hired to make sure a certain yogi, priest, or shaman has an accident. This is part of that whole invisible crime wave that is going on in the city. While the actions are rarely successful they do happen more than a few times a year. Strangely the majority of the clergy in the city do try to stress acceptance and tolerance of all the possible faiths in the city. Then behind closed doors they go at each other like mad dogs. From what I got one of them to admit under the influence of a few good drinks, and no I won’t say what group he was from, he told me that the general thought is that the clergy are going to make the sacrifice for all the flock, last man or woman standing gets the hearts and souls of everyone in the city. Now if only we could get them out of the backrooms with this and put them into the park and just have them duke it out, might get more converts that way, and a pay per view event out of it too.

LOCAL WEATHER AND SEASONAL INFORMATION

Being a coastal city in the state of Washington there are a few things that can be taken for granted. Yearly rainfall is rather high, but not like in the Olympic Mountains to the north, winter snowfall is uncommon, the fall storms are heavy with wind and rain, and in the spring most rivers in the area reach or exceed flood level.

During the spring and summer temperatures stay rather mild, not reach over seventy-five degrees most of the time, but there are days on record of temperatures hitting has high as ninety. In the winter and fall temperatures rarely drop below freezing, but on the days that it does icy roads are the rule.

Rainfall in the spring and fall are higher than in winter and summer, but not noticeably so to people from out of town.

Winds are mostly from offshore helping to keep the temperatures moderate, and the air flow helps to keep potential airborne pollution at a minimum.

Now then all that is the official word but everyone who has lived here for any length of time will tell you that there is more to the weather than just the usual coastal phenomena and the Washington State terrain effects on the weather.

            Delta City also gets some of its weather from the World Walls, it is not always beings that slip thru to this world from others, sometimes effects from the weather will slip thru too. It is a good thing that earthquakes do not seem to move thru them too.

 GREENING THE CITY

Now then I know it is mentioned elsewhere in the guide, and most people are so used to it around here that they don’t really notice but I needed to say something again here in this overview part of the guide.

            Delta City, unlike a lot of other major metro areas has taken great care to make sure that the city is not totally overrun by concrete and steel. In addition to the preservation of the Historic Old Town region and the classic buildings in the Old Beach House district, and of course the classic works in Chinatown, the city has a very aggressive stance on building and keeping things green.

            What that aggressive stance means is that the city is a little more spread out than a city of this population would suggest. It means that there are trees, shrubs, and grassy spots all over the city, in most business parks, and even on the top of some of the city’s largest buildings. This does not mean that the city is overrun with foliage, but it is there. Even in the industrial regions there are tracts of trees between buildings. All in all, the green is a great help all over, cutting the pollution by absorption of a percentage of it, soaking up rain and snow run off to cut on flooding, shading buildings naturally and even giving those damnable ninjas a place to hide.

            On the potentially bad side this does mean that there is a large population of rodents, birds, coyotes, and the occasional wolf and deer in the city limits at all times. This is one of the reasons that having the trash under control is so monstrously important. But with the trash companies doing a good job, then comes the work of making sure that they do not spread too far too fast.

            To go along with the other creatures that wander the city from this earth that also means that there may be prey creatures from other worlds all over the city. Feeling the need to escape a predator or a situation they may find enough strength of will to escape here and to try eking out a living in the hidden places like their earthen counterparts.

            Overall it is very, very beautiful. But you will see very few open trash receptacles, and you will only usually see tourists leave the top down on convertibles, because both of them are too easy to get into otherwise. And there is no telling just what might be in that tree above you.

I think I am going to hold off on posting any more about the city in this post… posting in post… in … hmmm… ok redundancy department of redundancy.

Anyway. This should give you a little more flavor for the city circa 1990-2005.

Now gimme the dice, I have to see how hazardous it is to tickle a cat that just ate…

Keep gaming and have a blast out there folks.

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Delta City part 2

Ok so after a week with more sick time in the house and the internet crapping out for a couple of days I am finally back to add more to the whole Delta City post.

Now then I have decided to run what I post on here in the same order that I originally wrote it. And after doing some grammar editing on it last week I found some really interesting tidbits. Like when I created prices for things while detailing out city services I had written everything with an idealistic view of what should be able to be done in 1998 to make things cost effective. Needless to say nearly twenty years later some things are going to sound ridiculous.

Another thing is that I never really made clear is that all of the history and details of the city section should sound like multiple voices. The original document creator and then notes from another person researching the background and details of the city. I think I succeed in making it sound like multiple people, but I cannot be sure how others would read it. If I had a way to really do more styling I would have made all the notes look hand written, in a way that ties them into the hand drawn maps I created.

Ok so first section to publish to the blog is history of the city. Now then in my original documents this is about 30-35 pages of material. I have no idea if the blog host will allow me to publish that much in one go, or if I did publish that much that anyone would bother to read it. So lets experiment shall we…

                        Part 1… The city itself

HISTORY OF DELTA CITY

(As known by a very few)

Let me just start out by saying that I am not a real historian, but with my connections in and around Delta City I have put a few things together and decided to put them down on paper so that I can get a better grip on what I do and don’t know about this place. By taking historical dates and information from the city records and some diaries that I have managed to collect I think I put together a rather solid look at the history of the local area. Then there are the notes that I have added. Investigations and strangeness that I have added to help get a clearer picture of the City history. Hopefully it is not too confusing, but some of it is very stream of thought.

If you are reading this then you should know that the runes you saw on the back of every page will make you read the whole of this document, and then remove what little mind you have, so if anyone other than myself is reading this, I will see you soon, and you are unlikely to ever see anything again. So enjoy learning what you can from this.

Just kidding, I am hoping that this little historical tour and the official tourist guide to the Delta City area that I have modified for the benefit of those new to the city will help you get acclimatized faster than if you’re just a tourist.

Welcome to Delta City. Let the fun begin.

Compiled by David Carter, Delta City Historical Society

CONJECTURE

To get the full history of Delta City going back to the very beginning of time would not be a bad idea. Looking at all the forces that conspired to make reality come together, the energies that were unleashed, and the disagreements that apparently happened between those forces that caused all the divergent realities to spring up next to each other.

But going that far back in time and looking into things so far beyond the scope of mortal minds is a little beyond the skills and abilities of this author, so we will focus instead on the flow of time in the area that would become Delta City, making jumps forward as needed to skip the periods in time that things were mind numbingly mundane.

The area that would one day be the home of Delta City has always been an unusual place. Even in the times of Pangea there were things there that would draw attention to it. The two things most prevalent to the history of that area are that the world walls, the harmonics, the forces of divergent reality, whatever term you choose to apply to the forces that keep all the different possibilities of reality from happening in the same place at the same time, have been weak in this area from the start of all things. And the pit like presence of what is now called the Core has been here just as long. If there is a correlation between the two, this author cannot say, there are others who have suggested that the Core is a pin going through the cosmic all, and since it is so far from our reference we can only see the hole that its existence leaves in this reality. But as was said the comparative discussion of that is beyond the scope of this writing.

In the past the area around Delta City has been a haven for things not of this world. Beings looking for peace, entities looking for change, and many other things for many other reasons. It is thought that a great many creatures that were in the area, including dinosaurs, would have left this world immediately after the crash of the asteroid that lead to the fall of most of the dinosaur population. This would have left the area open for new inhabitants as the world reinvented itself.

Since there is no real need to go back as far as that, in detail anyway, let us instead look at something closer, the last ice age.

Up to that point in time there were visits from other realities had put very few beings into that area for more than a little while at a time. But during the last ice age there is evidence to suggest that two clans of being came through the world walls looking for some new place to call home. One of the clans migrated to the north, and if the historical theory is correct, passed the tribes that crossed into the Americas to become the for-fathers of the Native Americans. This is mostly conjecture due to the lack of records on the Sasquatch and the Yeti. But the storytelling time lines would be appropriate. With the Sasquatch driving deep into the mountains and developing a very naturalist culture while the Yeti moved into their mountains in the Asiatic areas and to all apparent stories let flourish a very philosophical and possibly technological culture. This bridging of worlds, both literally and culturally could help explain the divergence that built up between the Native American cultures, and yet their massive similarities. This author has been assured that this version of history is indeed accurate, and the person who related the tale leaves no room for doubt in mind.

Shortly after the land bridge started to fall came the historical flood that so many cultures remember. With ice melting in years, not centuries, and water levels raised so quickly that even the most advanced human culture on the planet was caught by surprise. The Atlantis culture that had been born during the ice age was falling apart. Survivors from the culture spread all over the world, trying to help other peoples survive something that may well have been the fault of Atlantis. Some will say that they were looking for a way to warm their cities, some have suggested that they were using a weapon or magic that went far beyond their control, some say they challenged the lords of creation and failed. Whatever the reason the culture of Atlantis fell, its people scattered, and some few who knew of the area around Delta City are sure to have come to that place to see if they could find another world to call home instead of staying on this Earth with the memories they had forged.

After the Atlantis survivors that passed the world walls the area was rather quiet for several thousand years. As cultures rose and fell around the world, there were indeed visitations from other worlds. And some of those people and creatures stayed. Some became local legends to the area, some traveled the world, and more than a few left it all together. There are local stories that suggest at some thousand years before Columbus, or even Leif Eriksson crossed the Atlantic that there was another mass exodus that passed the world walls. There are stories of days of light. Stories about arrows or stars that shot from the earth and went into the sky, no evidence was left behind, but it would appear that something from somewhere else was in a great hurry to leave something behind and get as far from it as fast as possible. But this is not something to worry about unless connections are drawn to it and later events.

As time rolled on the Native American tribes in the area came to regard the area that would become Delta City as something mystical, a place of reverence. No hunting or gathering was allowed in the area, for it was hoped that by not disturbing the area things would remain in balance. There are stories in at least one of the local tribes that suggest that the Core was looked into, and that there may have been several people lost to it at more than one time. But no one can be sure just what the truth behind those tales are. Even though they suggest the Core, it may well have been a wave of illness or some other bleakness that befell the people of the area. Instead of lingering on inaccurate translations on non-linear language though let us move forward to the times closer to the present.

The following events are placed in the   years that they happened, as specific dates are a little beyond me for the most part.

REAL DATES + NOTES

1540 +- The man who calls himself Marcus, and is known to the people of the McGregor Sanitarium as John Doe 17, first appeared on this world and started to watch the flow of time at an accelerated rate. No one is known to have ever spotted him until around 2001, but my sources tell me that this is the point that he arrived in this world.

(Note – Try to find Marcus again and get the full version of his view of this place and how he came to be here.)

1774 – Spanish exploration ships begin looking over the northern areas of what would become Oregon and Washington. While they apparently spotted the inlet that would become Grey’s Harbor they did not see fit to explore it.

(Note – This could be one of the first real examples of the ‘Forgetfulness’ about the area that seems to happen if you do not live here. I should talk to some of the Native American elders and see if they have any stories about people not remembering this place, unless it was home.)

1785 – British trade ships start to converge in the area to protest the Spanish control of the area.

(Note – It seems unlikely that after eleven years of trying to build a fur and resource trade with the natives that no Spanish ship would have come into the cove area but according to the records that is just what happened. I am of the opinion that the landmass that would become known as Industrial Island might have given the illusion that there was no harbor here, or just a small inlet, but from the sea today you can easily see the open inlet. I guess someone will have to get a working, time machine for me to know for sure just what they did and did not see.)

 

1789 – British trade captain Grey finally explores the harbor that now bears his name. Even after the exploration of the harbor area it is discounted as a prime harbor but it is noted as a place to put up for shelter as the island in the inlet blocks much of the ocean wind and helps reduce the waves greatly.

(Note – I can only guess that Grey had no intention of making the area home, and the area responded in kind somehow. There are stories that some of the local Native Americans tell that illustrate how the British sailors did not even spend a full day mapping the area. The natives did find their schooner impressive though.)

1796 – Independent British traders establish a trading post on the northeastern corner of the island in Grey’s Harbor. The men who established this location at the time had no connection to any of the major British trade houses, but did their level best to work trades with everyone. The monies that they raised in their endeavor did draw attention to them but not until they had already made the island their home, and shortly thereafter, even the people holding grudges seemed to forget how to get in touch with them.

(Note – While the note under the 1774 entry does seem to imply the forgetfulness that this area inspires this entry states it bluntly. The men working in the area were forgotten by their enemies, very useful to have if you’re playing more than one side against the middle. Second note – Get back to the library and write down the books that this was found in for future reference.)

1801 – Local diaries tell a story about a ship of unknown origin laying anchor just off the island and a crew of very fine-featured people that brought some rather wondrous trade items to the trade post. Apparently, the local Native Americans were not surprised to see this vessel, but the level of trade items that they brought and what they asked for in return shocked the people running the post.

(Note – If I am right about the entries that I am reading in these diaries then it would seem that this was a shipload of elves, assiar, fae, whatever you want to call them, trading things like silks and wines for things like furs and a case of black powder. Overall, I think the post got the better end of the deal, but the lack of surprise by the natives seems to suggest that this kind of trading was not unknown to them.)

Also – The use of steam powered water pumps is initiated in Philadelphia.

1807 – The young United States temporarily bans all foreign trade.

1811 – John Jacob Astor’s Pacific Fur Company begins trading furs in the area.

(Note – From the records I have been able to find it would seem that not only did the Pacific Fur Co. start trading in the area in that year, but they helped set the foundations for Aberdeen with their posts. Strangely enough the records also show that most of the trading being done in the area by Astor’s company was with the trading post established fifteen years earlier on the island by the independent traders. I guess that fifteen years of good business made the locals a little wary of the new company in town.)

1812 – Tobias Alter, his Native American wife (Note – Still trying to find her name anywhere. She seems to be almost a work of fiction, but there are tintypes of the two of them so she must have been real.) and several of their friends from the Aberdeen post, join up with several of the independent traders from the island and lay the foundation for the building of a city in the area. They establish that they wish to keep trade and the city separated just in case there is trouble in the future. So, the construction of Fort Alter is started. Historically it is placed at the crossroads of 7th and Alter.

(Second note – There is no historical evidence that that really was the location of the fort, this is all local hype, or so it seems. There is an archeological dig outside of the city limits much closer to Aberdeen that may be the true location of the fort, but we will not know for sure for a few years.)

1813 – The main ships of the Pacific Fur Company are captured and sold to the North-West Company. This effectively ends the Pacific Fur Company, and allows a great many of the records about Tobias Alter and his associates disappear as well. Trade continues out of the Fort Alter area though and the island is still a point that many of the locals come to for selling furs and other interesting finds in the area. The North-West Company tries to solidify their influence on trade in the area by setting up forts and charting out trade districts. The Fort George District ends on the southern edge of Grey’s Harbor officially. Unofficially the area around Grey’s harbor remains fully in the control of Fort Alter and the independent traders.

(Note – Could the loss of records be part of the effect of the area, I know I have not bothered to file a tax return for the last seven years and no one in the IRS seems to care, could it be the same thing?)

1815 – Transient traders, explorers, and a few of the local Native Americans now permanently reside in Fort Alter. This pushes the local permanent non-native population to over 100, and the local native population residing in the fort at over 30. This is the year that the first grain mill, and wood wright’s open shop. The fort begins to become self-sufficient.

Also – Several ‘fine boned folk’ disembark from a unique trading ship in the harbor and set up residence in the fort.

(Note – This would appear to be a small group of elves, or mayhap just some fine-featured humans, not really sure. I have to admit at this point that the diaries I am using are damned old and trying to read what passes for French and English at the time is a pain in the ass, I could very easily be misinterpreting all of this. Then again, I could be right.)

1816 – A woman named Grace arrives and using money and barter opens up a bar.

(Note – Sorry but I promised not to say anything.)

1817 – Not a historical note but something that I found in the diaries of a few of the people who apparently lived in the fort. The people living in the fort seemed to start to see the effects of the area, and how it makes people outside forget about it. The diary entries seem to have a lot of heartbreak in them about families back east no longer writing, no longer making contact of any kind. If they did not really understand the effect at least they noted it.

1818 – Tobias Alter recognizing that the main trade from goods in the area is with the Chinese makes official policy regarding trade with that nation. The basic policy is that no matter which government body is in control of the area that trade relations through the fort and the island docks will remain open to the Chinese.

(Note – These rules are still on the city books and city charter. Even during the times that the United States had officially severed trade relations with China their ships and business were still welcome in this area. It would appear that you don’t have to live here to know it is an important place, because trade with China has always been good business.)

1821 – The North-West Company merges with the Hudson Bay Company. During this merger all the remaining records of the people in Fort Alter, and their business, is lost. Most people begin to disregard the area around Grey’s Harbor as unsuitable for trade. Even though the people of Fort Alter are still making a good living with trade with the Chinese.

Also – The first dredging project in the harbor begins.

Also – The first seawall is started.

Also – The two docs at the end of the island are expanded, one is ‘modified’.

(Note – Ok that is a lot to happen in one year, and it points heavily to the foresight of the people running the trade and the fort, that they wanted to make sure that the ships coming in would have all the space they needed at the docks and under their ships. What I don’t understand though is that the total population of the area seemed to be only about one hundred fifty people or so, that does not include the natives as they kept their numbers to themselves. That’s one hell of a lot of work to be done by that few people. I have a funny feeling that some of the workers on these projects are beings that stepped thru the world walls around this time. Either that or there is an aquatic race in the harbor that helped out that no one has on the books. I don’t know which idea to look into first.)

 

1823 – Fort Alter burns to the ground in an accident that killed only one person. This is seen as a stroke of luck and rebuilding is begun immediately. The rebuilding though is not as a fort, but the original layout of streets is mapped so that expansion can begin and so can the selling of land. The natives make Alter and his aides aware of the Core and what they know of it so that they can be sure to build around it.

(Note – If the current historical theory is correct this is when the area of the original fort was abandoned and the move a few miles away made for the start of the city to come. Some of the diaries that I have obtained speak of rumors that the fire that burned down the fort was not an accident, but set on purpose. Again, this is something that I would need a working time machine to investigate, as I have found no immortals in the city that know about this time. No not even she will talk about it.)

 

1824 – Alter officially changes the name from the Alter Township, to Delta Township. No one is sure why, but when it is explained that the old Greek letter for change is Delta, most of the town smiles and agrees that it fits.

1825 – Gremlins.

(Note – That’s the only way to describe what happened that year. Things breaking, people vanishing, small fires, and general chaos for over a month, then it just stopped. I have a feeling that something or some things very small or that the locals could not see slipped through the world walls and started causing trouble.)

1827 – Epidemics begin sweeping through the Native American population. The worst of them hits from 1830 – 1833. As malaria epidemic sweeps the region killing between 60 and 90% of each tribe it hits. During this time the Native Americans in the slowly growing Delta Township open their doors to the sick and do their best to help. The traders operating out on the island stop bringing in certain goods and do their best to bring in medicines to try and help. The area around Delta Township has the best survival rates in the northwest because of this.

(Note – I say it was greed. The best trappers and hunters in the northwest were the Native Americans. They could do things that no one else could on the land, and I would lay down a hefty bet that the incoming illnesses were not accidental. Then again, they could have been.)

1830’s (Late) – 1840’s – More and more settlers start moving into the area. The Willamette Valley to the south in what was to become Oregon had the most, but from time to time more and more people were finding their way north into the area of the Delta Township. The population growth from this incoming migration was not as staggering as it was for the areas like what became Portland, but the steady pace made it rather easy for the Township to control growth and do their best to keep it organized.

1830 – Electromagnetic motor invented. It would be a few years before a use was found for this invention though.

(Note – According to the diary of one of the younger people in the city at this time it would appear that the electric motor was already being used in several things in the city. There are descriptions of certain businesses humming. The way the statement was written makes me think not of something doing a lot of business, but that there was a hum coming from the structures.)

1835 – Photography invented.

(Note – Much to the bane of the ninja, I am going to find them here in Delta City, somewhere.)

1836 – The revolver changes the face of gun use.

(Note – For a period of about a month after the revolver started to go on sale in Delta City there are stories of fights, and trades with several beings that landed at the dock that had been ‘modified’. These beings looked human in the dark, but in the sunlight their skin glowed black and their ship hummed with a life its own. These beings apparently claimed that the gun would be the doom of the human race. They wanted to save us from our own self-destructive behavior it would seem. Or did they just want a bunch of guns. Sorry to be so stream of thought in this entry tortured reader, but there are 15 diary entries from this time and they all seem to view these people/beings differently. It’s amazing really)

1837 – Tobias Alter dies at the age of 59. His will states that at the point if his death that control of the Township should be put to a vote, and that he felt that everyone, white, Native American, black, and even the Chinese who had decided to make this place their home should have a say. This caused more than a little disharmony in the city as the standing of Native Americans was very much in question, and the blacks and Chinese technically had no rights in this area, but as was stated very eloquently by Mrs. Alter, ‘If you live here you are a part of this growing town, what right do those outside have to say who lives here and who does not.’ This was the only time she is known to have spoken publicly, and the only time she had the chance to as she left the area to mourn her husband’s death alone in the mountains.

Also – Telegraph invented.

Also – The first power tools are invented.

1841 – Delta City water project starts.

(Note – I found this little tidbit to be rather interesting. It would appear that the new management of Delta City knew even in 1841 that having water for everyone was going to be a key note in the future of the city. The project itself appears to have been a combination of linked wells and working on an underground system based off the structure of roman aqueducts. I think those are some of the oldest structures in the city’s underground, and they still work! From here on out I am going to include estimated Delta City population every few years, it looks like the city grew a lot faster than most in the region, and stabilized later than most. Given the nature of the area, that hardly seems surprising. Estimated population at this time is a little over three thousand permanent residents in the area that would become the city limits, this does not include the staff of the trading post and docks that is on the island. Numbers on that bunch don’t become stable enough to count for another few decades, but I am thinking from the level of trade that is being done in the area that there had to be at least a couple hundred if not more out there.)

1843 – Vulcanized rubber is invented.

1844 – The Oregon Territory outlaws black immigration.

(Note – This pathetic little law was something that stayed on the books for a long time and then vanished. It is interesting to note that when the word of the law reached Delta City, it was not only disregarded, but it was campaigned against.)

1846 – The Oregon Treaty establishes the border between the United States and Canada. This also officially puts the Oregon Territory in the control of the United States government. There is now official law and regulation in the territory.

(Note – It seems a little strange to say that there was official law and regulation. Delta City seems to have long set its own rules and laws on many topics. Sometimes even disregarding federal regulations in favor of what the locals would prefer.)

Also – Sewing machine invented.

1849 – A small group of blacksmiths and other metal workers team up to make a business in the area between them. Forge is the name they give their group effort.

Also – The Land Grant Act offers 320 acres of land to anyone willing to homestead in the western United States.

(Note – When Forge put itself together it looks like one of the reasons all the smiths involved teamed up was to come up with a way to make sure there was not another gremlin problem. It really looked more like a self-defense thing than a profit idea. Looking at Forge today though you cannot say that it was a money losing idea. Local population at this time looks to have jumped to almost six thousand. From what I can see in the local records a great majority of the people coming into the area were not arriving by boat or the Oregon trail, which would suggest that there was a lot of activity in the world walls, this may be another reason behind the Forge alliance, it would not be easy to compete with mystical or fantastical technologies if you are limited to the current technologies.)

1850 – 1855 – During this five-year period there are over twenty treaties with Native Americans that are arranged by the governor of the territory that go to congress for ratification. The only one that makes it through congress is one that was established on the behalf of Delta City residents. This treaty, unlike most of the others, does not try to establish controlled living spaces for the Native Americans, but establish their right to trade their goods and services freely in Delta City. The loose wording of the treaty effectively gives all Native Americans the right to free trade in Delta City, not just the local tribes.

1851 – Chinatown declares itself an independent city.

(Note – This might look like a strange move but if you look at the maps of the time you can see that what is now the City Center and the Historic Old Town regions were expanding in all directions. The Industrial area on the south-east side of the city was staring to build up, with the Forge alliance and other noisy and smelly [visit a leather shop that uses classic techniques if you don’t understand] businesses moving out that far to keep from hindering the growth of trade in the city and on the island.)

1853 – The Washington Territory is established.

Also – Grace’s closes the doors on its second shop. A third opens just a few weeks later, apparently owned by the ‘cousin’ of the first Grace.

1854 – With the continued growth of the city an official sewer project is started. Many end points are considered and then discarded before an underground solution is settled upon. Over the next several decades all the areas that are served by the original city water system have secondary and larger tunnels dug nearby to allow the wastewaters to flow to a point several miles south of the city. Many of these tunnels are still in use today.

(Note – When I first found out about this set up I did my best to track the sewers to the end of the line and find the dumping out ground. At first, I had my suspicions that even though the official record was south of Delta City, that I would find the dumping spot for the sewers at the Core. Strangely enough, even with nearly constant calls to Ms. Carter at the city offices, I was unable to find this endpoint. I did find venting tunnels that lead to the coast south of the Beach House district, but they are set up in such a way that nothing can go up, save for air. I found other points of exit around the waste facilities, but never a dumping ground for the waste. It is impossible for the physics of this dimension to allow something to go on forever, and or go nowhere, so I can only assume that there is a spillway into another world down there somewhere. I hope whoever the city is dumping their crap on never decides to dump back. Also, to look at the layout and the tunnels that I did find it would be safe to say that there was a massive crowd that worked on this project. The fact that is went all over the area, and into places that had no real homes and the like yet would seem to suggest that they had an idea about how the city would develop, if not a plan. Also, some of the tunnels appear not to be made by digging and then laying in massive tubes, but hollowed out of the ground itself. This is an impressive engineering feat for the times and might suggest that there was more to the project that first thought. Note to self – look into the possibility that some of these tunnels were natural and just ‘finished’ by the people making the system.)

1855 – 1858 – Several minor Indian Wars break out all over Washington, Oregon and Idaho. During all of this Delta City is respected as a neutral ground by the Native Americans, so their trade treaty stays in effect.

1855 – 1864 – Minor gold rushes in Idaho, Oregon and Eastern Washington creates and influx of new blood into Delta City. Being a very convenient waypoint for miners heading up from California, and slightly closer to Oregon but not as expensive to equip in as Portland, Delta City sees growth in a great many ways. From people just going through the city to somewhere else, to new small businesses being created to serve the moving people, the change in population is a daily thing.

(Note – Being of a conspiratorial mindset I cannot help but think that these last two sets of dates are interrelated. Yes, most of the conflicts have something to do with trying to move the locals from one place to another, but if you note that the gold was coming out of areas that no longer had natives in them, it would look like someone knew what was going to be found there and moved them out before hand. Then overcrowding and the like leads to a boiling point and the wars happen, well away from the gold mining, but they still happen.)

            1856 – A small group of very short and very large men come through Delta City to head toward the gold rushes. These people are noted due to their return late in the same year with very little gold but a fervent desire to add their skills to the Forge group.

(Note – Dwarves and what? That was the only thing that these beings could be that I can put together. It is the big ones that make me wonder, especially since none of the local graveyards from that time have any names like Flamebeard in it, so I have to wonder if they are still alive in the city or not.)

1857 – Delta City and Chinatown agree to set aside area that Native American families and traders can gather in and still be under the protection of Delta City’s trade treaty. This agreement would last until 1894, when the area is officially incorporated into the expanding Delta City and becomes the groundwork for the International District in later years.

(Note – Another strange yet forward thinking act on the part of the growing Delta City. This idea specifically put aside some area for those not belonging to either of the rapidly growing majority ethnic backgrounds, European and Chinese. Even though the area was later absorbed back into the city itself the freedom that the region would develop in mixing itself together just seems to be a natural. Local population seems to be running at about eleven thousand in Delta City, three thousand in Chinatown, two thousand on the island, and about one thousand in the Native American freehold. Just to make sure it is clear, numbers like this are unusual at this time unless you are a major city like New York or San Francisco. In a great many ways Delta City is just like them. But its seclusion from the rest of the world would seem to make this an anomaly.)

Also – The first passenger elevator is put into use.

1858 – The first electric burglar alarm.

(Note – I included this here because it would appear that in the same year that the Forge Group put some of these items into the foundry that they had established. Interesting to see a first line invention put to use by a company that makes steel items. But then again by this time Forge was starting to gain a reputation for some of the best-made steel items on the west coast. It is no secret that as soon as trains hit the area they started bringing the engines to the Forge yard for reworking and for new pipes to be fit into the boilers. While this may not seem like very technical work to some, it is technical and dangerous, but the money paid by the rail roads made it well worth the time.)

1859 – Darwin’s “Origin of Species”

Also – The first oil well is sunk.

1860 – Logging hits the Northwest. As one of the major long-term businesses of the region it will have very little impact on Delta City as a whole. The main business point for logging in the immediate area is Aberdeen. Delta City does benefit from the logging in Aberdeen though, with the city’s open trade agreement with China, and continued improvements to the mouth of Grey’s Harbor to ensure that the city remains a deep-water port, trade goods needed in the region for loggers, and wood products going out keep adding to the business in Delta City. Footnote – By 1880 Washington was ranked 31st in logging production, by 1890 it was 5th, and by 1905 it was ranked 1st.

(Note – There is actually an official city record of a vote being taken as to if the city would join in the logging industry directly or just work as traders for the lumber coming out of the area. Not only did the people vote to keep logging out of the area but also, they put a conservation act for the city limits on the bill and passed it the next year. The city’s conservation act actually states that for any tree cut down either a new tree must be planted or eight shrubs that have a tendency for high growth will be planted. Not only is this law still on the books but also the city takes it very seriously. This could explain why so many of the neighborhoods and districts have all the trees and green in them.)

Also – The repeating rifle is brought to the field.

1861 – 1865 – The American Civil War

(Note – While this may seem like a small historical note, it is not. Delta City was involved with the Civil War on a great many fronts and several books have been written on the topic already so all I will do is paraphrase what has come before. Underground Railroad, Delta City was an end point for many on that road. North or South, Delta City never officially took a side in the war. Some of the best doctors they had in town at the time headed for the war though in an effort to save lives on both sides. Some ideas for weapons and armor for the war came from the Forge group. Overall Delta City was far enough away from the main conflicts of the war that a position of neutral was maintained. These are just the highlights; there is a lot of history in those five years.)

1863 – Roller skates invented.

(Note – I figured after seeing things like guns and war a little levity was needed in the timeline. That and the fact that even with a lack of paved streets (most were stone or brick) roller skates were a very popular mode of transit in Delta City for several years after they were invented.)

1864 – Michael Stone and David Briar, both geologists from the Boston area back east, meet in Delta City and decide to team up to start a quarry with the interesting rock finds they have made in the hills around Delta City.

(Note – These two and their descendants seem to have such an affinity with the rock of the area that they could find things that normally are not attributed to the North-west. While not a major business at the moment they would see a lot of work come to them in the future. Even though it is ten years after the sewer project started I can only believe that these two helped in the making of the tunnels. As there is no official end date to the sewer project and from what I saw of the tunnels, it may still be going on today.)

1865 – Offset printing is developed.

1867 – Type writer invented.

Also – Delta City’s main newspaper, The Tradesman, is established.

(Note – It is not unusual to see a newspaper that is almost one hundred and fifty years old. Not if you are on the east coast. The archives for this paper though are very, very useful. It looks like the paper started out as a trade journal for the city. Letting everyone know what was trading the best and what the latest strange ships or lights from the sky had offered in exchange for what. It looks like instead of a fat cat paper that wanted only the rich to get richer, The Tradesman started out doing its best to get everyone in Delta City a shot at making it rich.)

1868 – The first official Unites States trade treaty with China is passed.

(Note – While this is the record of the first ‘official’ trade treaty with China, Delta City had been involved in trade with China from the start. Then again so were many of the trade towns that were built up during the early 1800’s. Even though the Delta City area is still just a part of Washington Territory at the time, this means that other areas are now opening themselves to direct trade with China. I have a feeling that if it were not for the options open to Delta City in their trade with other worlds, that Seattle and San Francisco may have taken away the trade relations that kept the area strong. But really, how could Seattle compete with the access to other worlds, even if it was not talked about loudly.)

1870 – The first pneumatic subway is put into use.

Also – A commission is set up to begin regulation of commercial fishing and hatcheries in the United States.

1871 – Delta City and Chinatown officially merge into one city. The initial agreement for Chinatown’s self-sufficiency is struck.

(Note – This was a major turning point in the history of Delta City and the surrounding area. Merging the two growing communities into one city gave them a collection of connections that would make them a trading powerhouse for a while. The local population total is somewhere over thirty thousand by this time and Delta City is starting to import food goods from outside their local area. Trade has become the only way to keep the city alive as there are not enough farms in the area to keep everyone fed.)

1874 – Three ships of unknown origin dock at Delta City for five days.

(Note – The descriptions given of these ships would suggest that not only have the elves returned, but that some other group of beings would like to make trade with the Delta City region. One of the things that apparently came from this visit was that the families of Davis and Smythe either came to town at the same time or came off the boats. There is also a report that some of the people from the ships and some of the people from Forge met and either threw a party or had a major fight. With some of the crowds around here it is sometimes hard to tell the difference.)

Also – The first structural steel bridge is erected.

1875 – The electric dental drill is invented.

Also – The mimeograph, the predecessor of the photocopier is invented.

Also – Just outside of the city limits two large objects engage in a conflict that lasts a little over three hours. Both are described as looking like men towering over twelve feet high, one covered in strange writing, the other made of metal and arcing with electricity.

(Note – I can only think that this was the first of the open conflicts between the Davis and Smythe families. I just hope that the current members of the family don’t decide to pull those things out again or make them bigger, they would do a hell of a lot more damage in this day and age.)

1876 – Early spring has reports of flying lights landing on the island and things that no one can explain trying to open up trade accounts for local food items.

(Note – I really have no idea. Aliens, other dimensional creatures, whatever they were once again the local Native Americans were not surprised, and the traders on the island seemed to get the better of the deal. Strangely though there are a few older families in the area that still have items from those trades that they cannot figure out if they are art or just what. Having looked at a few of these things myself I am sad to say I am just as confused as the people who own them.)

Also – The telephone is invented.

1870’s (Late) – Northern Pacific Rail picks Tacoma as the Puget Sound Terminus for their rail lines. The city planers for Delta City meet with the senior officials of NPR while they are in Tacoma and secure a deal that will insure that any spur of their line that goes into Olympia will also go into Delta City.

(Note – With trade being the lifeblood of this city I can only think that this deal was one of the keys in keeping the city alive. With the expanded access that rail would give them to the rest of the United States there was no way they would run out of supplies, and the items that they could get in trade from Asia and the otherworldly contacts that seemed to be slowly developing could make their way to larger markets back east and into California.)

1877 – Salmon fishing as an industry hits the west coast. Due to the free trade agreements and treaty with the Native Americans, Delta City deals itself a severe trade blow by banning any non-Native American fishing trawlers in their port. This restriction is only on the salmon trade but there are a great many other vessels that turn to Seattle as a friendlier port to the fishing trade. There is an exception to this, whaling. Although the waters around Delta City are protected by mutual agreement, there are many Native American Groups with connections to Chinatown traders that end up making alliances in bringing all things whale into Delta City.

Also – The phonograph is invented.

1879 – The first reports from people working in the underground of two things, shifting tunnels and predatory creatures. With the water and sewer tunnels size the arrival of predators should not have been a surprise, but the fact that the tunnels themselves seemed to have been in places other than where they were set was.

(Note – There are suggestions in the city records that this was not the first time something like this was reported. There are hints that even during initial construction there was an area that had to be tunneled through three times in a week before the tunnel itself stayed in place long enough to be cemented. Most of these are put off as being people out of their skulls or drunk. The fact that there is an official city record of this at this point in time suggests that it had become common enough that they needed to keep a record of it. As for the predators, the occasional wolf or mountain lion I am certain they would not have given much thought to, but ‘a thirty-foot-long serpent’, and ‘something that was all fangs and claws’, both being on record suggest that there was a lot more than wolves going on in there.)

1880 – A young woman named Lucy Carter joins the Delta City staff.

Also – Of the strange ships that dock at the city harbor from time to time this is the first time that one full of immigrants is seen. Almost five hundred people of various races and species disembark and apply for citizenship within a period of a few days. After six days another ship of similar design is seen in the harbor and the first sets sail, only to be sunk in the harbor by hostile fire from the second boat.

(Note – The descriptions of this fight in the local paper and in some of the diaries I have obtained make the fight look like it happened between mages on both boats. There is no record of the second boat leaving, nor is there word if anyone survived, or if there was anything left in the harbor. Might be worth getting a rental on a mini sub and checking out the area for leftovers.)

1881 – McGregor Sanitarium established.

(Note – This is someplace that I have strived to avoid in all my time in Delta City. I have done no personal investigation of the place, and even in my description of the city I just have the tendency to say, ‘yup’ there it is. This place was built gothic and impressive. I have never been sure if it looks like it was meant to keep people in, or keep them out. And that scares me a little.)

1882 – The United States puts an immigration ban on the Chinese. This is in response to the growing fears, outrage, and just plain prejudice that is pouring out of California and other states that have long used the Chinese people as cheap labor, but now that people are settling in greater numbers from the eastern United States, there is a need to enforce the classic ruling class. It should be noted that even with this ban in effect the official numbers for immigration are all that are on record, and unofficially there were many Chinese that entered the United Stated through British Columbia, Mexico, and Delta City. This ban would officially last for ten years, ending in 1892.

Also – The electric fan is invented.

(Note – Population seems to level out for a while, it looks like there were about one hundred ten to one hundred and thirty thousand people in the Delta City area at this time. Making it one of the largest cities west of the Mississippi. That makes for a population growth of four to five times what it was just thirty years before. I cannot imagine that would have been fun to watch. Even though I put this note here, it looks like this growth rate returns again in a few years. I wonder if I could find an accurate list of population growth in the city. I have a funny feeling that it would almost look like a tidal flow chart.)

1885 – Official records show that there were a little over eight hundred miles of rail in Washington. Over ninety of those miles are linking Delta City to Olympia and points beyond.

Also – Rabies vaccine.

1886 – Racial tensions in Seattle between whites and Chinese end up in an evacuation of Seattle by all but a couple thousand of the Chinese residents. Most of the Chinese that leave Seattle permanently go to other cities to establish new lives. Delta City is on the short list of most common places to evacuate to.

1887 – Dawes Act passes in congress. Delta City calls a local election in response to this and holding an open vote repeals the act by a 25 to 1 majority. It should be noted that Delta City was the only city at the time that not only allowed Blacks to vote but Native Americans as well, all you needed was proof of local residence.

Also – The Klondike gold rush begins. Delta City is not in as good a place as Seattle to cater to this new gold rush, but there are those that use Delta City as a launching point instead of Seattle, and a good many of the ones that do end up returning to Delta City after the rush.

(Note – It looks like there were not only people from this earth interested in the gold rush, there are a number of records and pictures of people that just don’t look quite human heading out of the city toward the gold. It would appear that a good portion of the people who came back were not only the unusual ones but the regular humans as well. Best I can tell that means that there are several not humans still out there in the world. It would be interesting to find some of them and see just how they are getting along in a world that really has no idea what they are and probably would not accept them for what they really are if it did know. For those that do not know what the Dawes Act was, and still is, it was the action by congress that gives the president the authority to not only put native populations on reservations, but generally deal with them as they are seen fit by those in power. No wonder the locals voted it down.)

1888 – Candalmas arrives.

Also – The Kodak camera is invented.

(Note – It was not hard to miss Candalmas in the records. It is not often that someone in immigration actually writes down Satyr as the race of someone. In fact, Candalmas is the only one I have seen in the city records. That by no means is to say he is the only one. There are at least two others that I know of which means that there are at least a couple more.)

1889 – Washington becomes a state.

Also – The first dishwasher.

(Note – The day that Washington became a state was met with a few parties in the city and also the first official presentation of a vote to secede from the union. There is a separatist party in the city that to this day is trying to find a way to make Delta City a place that is totally independent from the United States. There has never been enough support to get the city to give it a shot. But it does get closer every year. I would not be surprised if during the next city elections that at least one of the separatists gets into office, which will be something very interesting to watch.)

1890’s – Forrest preservation is taken up in Washington State. When the first conservation and preservation acts are passed in the State senate Delta City celebrates by establishing the two main city parks.

1890 – The Alaska gold rush begins. See notes on the Klondike.

1891 – Eight potential garbage companies start to form as Delta City officially ends its control over that business.

Also – The escalator is invented.

(Note – To those familiar with the current state of affairs between the garbage companies, and think it’s a little out of hand, check your history. It would appear that the eight companies that started out trying for Delta City’s trash were not only more violent, but also more open about it. The next several years would not be a lot of fun, at least as far as trash was concerned. I just want to know which of the companies today has their hands on the “…large glowing blob that seemed to suck everything, even my poor cat Mittzy right off the streets. Sure, it’s clean, but I miss my cat.” That’s a quote from a diary. Makes you wonder, eh?)

1892 – The gas-powered car comes to life.

(Note – There are records in the city about vehicles like the old Model T and even things like trucks and tanks before this. I just thought it was important to note exactly when we are credited on this earth with creating the damn things. Sure, if you look at the city records for 1854 there is something in them about a machine driving into the dock area, loading up stuff and driving off, and everyone on the docks wanting one. It looks like I need to look a little more closely at the whole situation with the busses. I will explain that later.)

             1893 – Great Northern Rail places its Puget Sound terminus in Seattle. Through some rather impressive negotiations Delta City managers establish a deal with GNR that matches the deal made with NPR, there by securing rail services for Delta City solidly.

Also – The zipper is brought to us. It becomes popular but will not really become famous until later.

1894 – University of Washington ground breaking.

Also – A ship of unknown origin is reported to have risen out of the harbor and proceeded to dock at the piers. Trading seemingly impossible metals and milled goods for things like roller skates, yo-yos, candies, and the recipe for Graces homemade beer. Twelve hours later the boat moves away from the docks and apparently sinks. No trace of it was ever found in the harbor though.

(Note – Ok I just have to think that this was the good fucking sub lollypop. Unless of course Peter Pan got a hold of the Nautilus. What the hell is going on with all these strange trades in the history of these boats? Here is a clue. In other times things that are considered luxuries come at a very high price to any who can afford them. Can you imagine coming home from a trade mission with a boat load full of things that while you got them cheaply could be sold for a few thousand times what you paid. And if you are the only ship that has them on board you can even trade them for so much more. The only thing that makes more money than luxuries is a weapon during wartime.)

1895 – Diesel Engine invented

Also – Radio invented.

(Note – The population of Delta City had hit about two hundred thousand at this point. That is a very large city. The diesel engine and radio started changing things even in Delta City though. Communication and power. The first diesel trains would soon follow. Radio stations and radio communication would change the way people could talk. Radio in particular would have an interesting effect on Delta City. More than once Delta City has been investigated by beings that picked up on the radio signals that slipped through the world walls. It is a good thing that more people did not try to use radio around here earlier than they did. But with the stations that we currently have locally I am surprised that anything at all would come to investigate, shut the noise down and make the pain stop I could believe, but not investigate.)

1898 – Treaty of Paris ends the Spanish/American War.

Also – The Filipino/American War starts. This conflict will end in 1903.

Also – The first real submarine.

1899 – Mount Rainer National Park established.

Also – Delta City College ground breaking.

Also – Tides Research established.

(Note – These Tides guys looked like they had something going on back in the day. There were not many people looking into the ocean and the things that it offered the world. But these guys were, and it looked like they found something interesting because in just a few years they went from being a research company to a conservation group, with an army of lawyers on call to make sure that the world was treated right. Whatever they encountered, found, whatever it was, must have been serious to take a company from leading the charge to find ways to exploit the waters of the world, to finding ways to protect it all.)

1901 – Delta City throws the Turn of the Century Party

(Note – If ever there was a party to end all parties, this should have been it. According to city records it took two weeks to clean up, and everyone was welcome. There are pictures from the paper that have shots of men, women, and things, making Mardi Gras look tame. It looks like it was an anything goes kind of time. There are even a couple of pictures from the paper that seem to show people fading in and out of the city. This might be the first and only shots that I know of that seem to show the world walls at work. I really should see if the photographer is still around or any of his kids have some of the old negatives.)

1902 – The Old Man arrives

Also – Crater Lake Park established

Also – Air conditioning invented.

            (Note – Grace told me a story about an old man once. She said the story was a few years old, but it seemed more than a little creepy even for Delta City weird. I need to put a copy of that story in here somewhere, but after she finished telling me that little story she looked me dead in the eyes and told me that he had first came to Delta City on October 11, 1902. The seriousness that she had when she told me that last bit made me think to put it in here.)

1903 – Kymen College groundbreaking.

Also – The Wright Brothers flight at Kittyhawk.

Also – Ford puts the assembly line into place.

(Note – It looks like the rivalry between the Davis and Smythe families was getting subtle. Both families invested heavily in the colleges that were built here. It looked like they did it for the privilege of not only having seats on the collegiate boards, but for the right to teach. Can you think of a better way to get people on your side than by teaching them that you’re right?)

1904 – The Angel Statue dedicated into Angel Park. The Angel Park area of Industrial Island officially declared off limits to further construction and development.

(Note – Nope still can’t talk about it.)

1909 – Phone service is brought to Delta City in a big way.

(Note – Even though it had been over thirty years since the phone was invented Delta City waited this long to officially bring the service into the city. The city council apparently wanted to make sure it was more than a passing technology fad before doing something with it. But when the city acted boy did they act. They offered the territory of Delta City to any company that would agree to certain set conditions and that they would be written into a contract that would include any and all companies that the original passed onto in the future. What is interesting is that there were at first, six companies that agreed to this. By modern times there is only one left, but the contract is still in place and still being enforced.)

1910 – Women gain the right to vote in Washington State. This is an expansion of the rights already gained by women in Delta City as they have held the right to vote since the first mayoral elections when it comes to city issues, now they can also legally vote on state issues.

Also – The groundwork for the F.B.I. is put in place.

(Note – Apparently while the F.B.I. was being formed one of the first field offices to open was in Delta City. The office was operating directly under the jurisdiction of the head of the F.B.I. and, from what I can find was supposed to be investigating the city’s rapid growth of resident aliens. When you think about it on the most mundane terms, it could be a serious problem. But looking at it from being in Delta City for a while, and it almost makes you laugh. Actually, from what I could dig up it did make the director laugh in 1916 when the first major report was made. Made him laugh hard enough that he threatened to close the office down to save tax monies. Well either the director forgot or the agents in the city did something to make him change his mind, because the F.B.I. has one of the largest offices in the downtown area. I have no idea what they are doing with all those people there, but I am going to talk to someone this afternoon that might.)

1914 – The assassination of Arch Duke Ferdinand starts World War 1.

(Note – Did anyone ever figure out who really did the deed? I met a man, looked to be in his twenties, who claimed to be the assassin. Said he worked for the secret chiefs of the United States and did a lot of work like that. They made him age slower than everyone outside the conspiracy, and still called on him from time to time to do what he was best at. Now then normally I would have put him off as being a crackpot. But considering the fact that he told me this after waking me up in the middle of the night, while holding a gun to my head, well it made me think he just might be telling the truth. Sad to say that I could not take his warning to stop looking into the past of Delta City, although I have a tendency to move at least once a month if not more these days, and pay a lot more for custom security. I still have no idea how he got in and out of that old apartment without leaving any trace, maybe he was ninja trained.)

1915 – Rail expansion in Washington State now gives the state over 6000 miles of rail lines.

(Note – Ok so we have established rail was important, what I am not going to be mentioning anymore is the continued appearance of strange ships in the harbor, trains that are not really like anything that you would know as a train, or even the little, and large, balls of light or U.F.O’s that seem to show up at the docks. By now it is so commonplace that people are only mentioning it in their diaries and in the paper if it was really strange. If you want to see what I am talking about go down to the docks and look at docks seven and four, those are the two that are modified to handle whatever comes to town. There is too much more to look into to keep adding notes on this though.)

1917 – The United States officially enters WW1.

1918 – WW1 ends.

(Note – It is a shame really to only have that little listing for all of the First World War. But to be perfectly honest even I don’t believe all the things that I have found out yet about the involvement of people and things from Delta City in the war and will not even go so far as to speculate until I have some hard evidence. Or at least a diary or three on hand that I can quote from.)

1919 – The first licensed flying carpet in Delta City

(Note – this is not to say that they have not been around for a while now but this is the first time that someone actually got a license plate for one. It’s kind of strange given the volume of magical events in Delta City that these things only account for about 0.05% of the transport in Delta City today, that’s right only 5 in every ten thousand LICENSED vehicles in Delta City is a flying carpet . You can find them just about everywhere but most of them run illegally because they are not licensed.)

             1920 – The first radio stations go on the air.

Also – National Prohibition is put into effect.

(Note – Talk about a mood killer, radio stations start popping up all over the United States just as they tell us we can’t have a beer. Ok, so I was not there for it, but to hear grandpa talk about it, it was a time that I can only imagine. I made note of the radio because according to the paperwork the two local radio stations in Delta City were actually started up just as radios were going on sale. There are a couple of radio stations locally that are just rebroadcast points for national radio, and then there are a few dozen ham style radio stations that are totally not legal. Speaking of not legal prohibition, and Delta City, can you say smuggling? I knew you could. Delta City was founded on trade, legal or otherwise. Prohibition suddenly makes a very pricey market for something that they can get cheap from just about everywhere. It’s funny because it looks like the people working on the island were actually getting smart enough not to record the trades for booze from the native craft, but did keep track of the stuff they got from the glowing balls of light, and the occasional schooner of elflike nature. I am meeting with someone tonight who claims to have one of the bottles from that time, going to have to see if the hype is worth it.)

1921 – Garbage collection and disposal is now firmly in the hands of two companies. It remains in the hands of these two up to present day.

(Note – I am not going to get into this, I could write a book on the garbage men, but I think I would fear them more than the damn ninja.)

1926 – Rockets are invented.

(Note – Found evidence of less than gravity rockets launching from outside Delta City in 1925, I am still not sure just what that means but I am going to keep looking into it until I do.)

1927 – Television is invented. It will become very popular but not get a lot of use until pay-per-view cable comes along.

(Note – These days we get channels from all over the world, and if you happen to be in an area that the world walls are thin you can sometimes get channels from other dimensions as well. I am proud to say that I have a full collection of shows that never were on this world, I don’t know why I am proud of that, must have had too much to drink last night.)

1929 – Stock Market crash.

Also – Frozen food.

(Note – As you might have guessed after the stock market crash and the resulting Great Depression really had very little effect on Delta City. Yeah some of the local fat cats got hit and hit hard, but overall the area seems to be much more interested in investing in itself than investing in outside things. While the ‘Dust Bowl’ hit the mid-west hard the northwest was still in pretty good shape, and the few remaining local farms actually managed to boost their income during that crisis. Delta City did see a good influx of people during that time, but surprisingly many did not want to stay. So, the areas growth rate, while still high, was not over the top. I have managed to collect a couple of diaries that were left from that time, and some of what they say is rather interesting. Apparently, there are people outside Delta City that know about the world walls. During the Great Depression word got out about them and some people chased the chance to not only get out of the money trouble, but out of this world all together. I have no idea where they might have ended up but I can only hope wherever they got to, they are ok.)

1931 – The first use of radio astronomy.

(Note – While radio astronomy is an interesting thing, this is also when the city got the records for the 1930 census. The returns say that Delta City had a stable population of about three hundred thousand people. There was still plenty of room to move around, and even the people who were just ‘passing thru’ could have had something if they stayed, but that’s the depression for you.)

1933 – The Grand Coulee Dam is started.

Also – National Prohibition is ended.

(Note – You will note the other dam listing for 1937, and will probably wonder why they are being mentioned at all. Well when you see in the information for the construction of the dams that Stone & Briar was one of the major contractors for the supply of raw native materials then you can tell just what the reason was. Even though it doesn’t show in Delta City itself much these contracts gave Stone & Briar a bit of influence outside the city, and added to the monies flowing into the city. I am lead to believe that the company still has contracts for government consulting, but they keep rather quiet about it, this could be why the owners are not seen much in town.)

1937 – The Bonneville Dam is started.

1939 – World War 2 starts in Europe.

Also – The first digital computer is built. The use of it and research on it will be put on hold, officially, until the end of World War 2.

(Note – Actually the computer idea was only officially put on hold, Touring Machines and the like were going up all over the place for use in code breaking, and a few other uses. The Kymen College science department was actually hard at work making the first computers that were on record, and they were sharing their findings with the government. First directly then under the auspices of the O.S.S., it’s strange to think that Delta City may have had a hand in all the code breaking that went on during the second World War, to get more on that I am going to have to see if anyone in the O.S.S. office will talk, but more on that later.)

1940 – Japan begins its invasions of Indo-China and China outer regions.

(Note – I have it, evidence of the ninja in Delta City! Right here, I can now prove since I have… … … DAMNIT!!! Sneaky little bastards! They got it, while I was writing they got it!!! SHIT!)

1941 – Japan invades China proper.

Also – The Pearl Harbor bombing by Japan enters the United States officially into WW2.

(Note – It was at this time that Forge went thru its major reorganization. They stopped working 24/7 and went to two shifts. They also started to add the trees and shrubs that surround the factory today. I can’t get close enough to the higher ups in Forge to see if they can tell me what’s up, the people working on the floor of the foundry though have heard all the stories, and there is talk, hopefully just rumors that anyone crazy enough to go looking into the stories has a massive need for the medical benefits that the company is so proud of. If they are really going to that much trouble to keep something quiet, it’s worth knowing.)

1942 – The O.S.S. is formed, this is the body that would lay the groundwork for the forming of the C.I.A.

(Note – See notes on C.I.A., it’s worth it, it really is.)

1945 – VE Day.

Also – VJ Day.

(Note – While it is a very sobering thought to know that in the year of 1945 the second World War was put to rest, that the atomic bomb was put to the test, and that there had been death on such a scale that the world hoped that such a thing would never happen again, it’s a sad thing to see the world racing to find an excuse to do it all again it would seem. The bigger thing that I have to mention here is that in the fifteen years of time from the last census it would appear that Delta City grew to a population of just over four hundred thousand. With all the death and devastation from World War Two you would think that the population would have taken a drop. This is the biggest growth spurt in the city’s history, and it makes me wonder if we do all the wars again, will Delta City grow like this again?)

1947 – The C.I.A. becomes an official agency.

(Note – The birth of the supreme intelligence gathering agency in the United States, banned from operation on U.S. soil, but charged with protecting us all, or so it would seem. The C.I.A. was born from the international code breaking teams that made up the O.S.S. during WW2, and some intelligence experts from other areas. It seems strange to think then that the offices for the O.S.S. in Delta City never closed after WW2. The people were never reassigned, and they still recruit, take missions on behalf of the government, and get paid on the government payroll, even though the O.S.S. was shut down to make the C.I.A. Then you have the fact that the C.I.A. in Delta City is working very hard at making something understandable out of Chinatown, and finds the International District to be something they feel they can operate in. Does this confuse the hell out of anyone but me, because when I finally dug up the O.S.S. offices and the C.I.A. offices in town they seemed to think it made perfect sense.)

1948 – King TV opens in Seattle.

Also – The first electric guitar.

(Note – Apparently the first TV signal received in Delta City was from another world that had the invention for quite some time, or at least something like it. TV in Delta City is a hodge-podge of not quite legal UHF signals, two local channels that are network affiliates, cable, and the leakage from other worlds, a lot like radio in the area. I just wish I could figure out where all the cables that people are hooked into go, not all of them connect to the trunk lines, and you have to know that is not the best thing in this area.)

1950 – 1953 – The Korean War

1950 – The United States starts getting involved in Vietnam

(Note – Now you are going to wonder about all the notes in here on the Korean and Vietnam Wars. The reason is simple really, both of these wars had China involved as a player on the team that the United States was up against. From those events the trade relations between the U.S. and China started to break down and at times became downright hostile. Then came trade bans and the like that made it necessary to have trade with R.O.C. Taiwan, instead of China. For those not in the know R.O.C. stands for Republic of China, but that seemed good enough to get past customs in most U.S. ports. I know that in Canada and Delta City though you could still find ships from China with a fair frequency.)

1951 – UNIVAC 1, the first mercury tube computer.

(Note – While UNIVAC 1 was the first to the outside world, some of the tech geeks in the colleges were already working on the basics for microprocessors, don’t ask me how, but I have seen the records, and there is a heck of a lot of information that suggests that Delta City has been playing with tech a little higher up the food chain for a long, long time. I am going to have to look a little deeper into this though because the old college paper that I found celebrating the announcement of UNIVAC 1, seems to have a picture of a young woman, and she looks almost like an elf to me, holding something that looks very much like a memory card for a PC.)

1954 – Boeing launches the first 707.

(Note – This was at the same time that Boeing opened up their local office. Technically it’s an R&D center, but who knows what they are looking into, I don’t, yet.)

1955 – The first nuclear submarine.

1956 – The foundations for the first floor of the Delta City Pavilion are laid.

Also – The U.S. starts training troops in South Vietnam

(Note – To look at the Pavilion today you could almost get the feeling that some massive creature of steel and stone squatted down and relived itself on that site. Not that I go inside often, but I had to when I saw the original drawings for the place. I had to see just what the hell went wrong. Apparently, the place was always designed to be capable of modular expansion, not just to spread further out but also to go up like they have. If you get into the hidden halls of the place you can see where the people building more levels to the place ignored the original steel and stone. The same thing happened with the third level. What is really strange is that I cannot find any city records that tell me just who built the other levels, and when they got the permits to do it.)

1957 – Washington Public Power Supply System established.

Also – The Hunter arrives.

(Note – I think this is when the power deal for Delta City was struck, but I really cannot find any official records of it, I think I will have to dig a little harder in the city records for that one. The Hunter though, that’s something I am trying not to find. When I was looking into the city sewers some of the people living down there told me about it, showed me its tracks, and told me the story of its arrival. Apparently, it is just as smart as people are, and has the raw power of a small tank, I am going to put a little story in here that seemed like a dream to me, but it may have been that the Hunter was telling me how it got here, I really hope it was a dream, because otherwise that means there is more to the Hunter than even the folks in the underground suspect.)

1958 – Candalmas opens the FlipSide.

Also – Mikee arrives.

(Note – It seemed a little appropriate to have these two listed in the same year. For those like me who have membership the FlipSide can be a scary place, and Mikee, Mikee is a scary individual. The FlipSide is something that has to be seen to be believed, and if you are offered a membership I suggest that unless your morals are low and you have a good amount of extra ready cash, you pass. It can be worth it to see though, but understand, once you’re a member, you’re a member. This is one of those groups that you just don’t get out of. Mikee, why is it scary? Why am I saying ‘it’? Well that is just because no one knows what the hell Mikee is. Never the same thing twice, but always the same mind. And running two shops by itself, that seems a little too much even for me. I will find out more, it’s inevitable, but I am not sure I am going to like what I find out. Mikee itself though always seems nice and polite, I really hope that if I find out anything it’s all good, I could use another friend in this town.)

1960 – The start of the “Hippie” movement. This period would run through the early 1970’s and some of the effects of it would be felt even to modern times.

Also – The first basic laser.

(Note – Is it just me or does the idea of hippies and lasers just seem like a really bad idea. Then again I think there were a few movies about that in the 70’s. Anyway, even though the space had always been there and the people using it were home owners and the like, in 1964 several of the more well-off hippies started buying up property in what is now the artists’ colony area of town. Putting up local communes and the like. And then like everything else in Delta City it just seemed to grow into more than it was. The area still has a lot of the feel of the 60’s to it, but the touch of the modern mixed in with the peace generation has not dimmed the area at all. If I could just keep the people following me off my back for a few years I think I could actually settle here. It’s good to know there are still areas that not only talk about the ideals of artistry and peace, but chase them too.)

1961 – Weavers founded.

Also – Hero’s Ltd. founded.

(Note – On the founding of Hero’s Ltd. There was a lot of press coverage over this moment. Apparently, there was a dragon that made its way to Delta City, I still have no idea if it was a native creature to this world, or came through the world walls but damn, it was laying waste to whatever it could, and those that were close to it could swear they heard it calling out form someone, but could never remember the name it was crying. The cops were at a loss, and there seemed to be nothing anyone could do, even the garbage men were keeping well away. Then a woman came on the scene, leading a large group of people that all seemed to have talents and gear that was beyond the norm, even by Delta City standards. The dragon was felled, but the body was never recovered. When the event was over the woman leading the team refused to give names to the press, but told them how to contact her if they needed help again with something like that. It looks like the business name and all was put in place shortly thereafter, and the company’s first contact list was set up just as fast. Makes me wonder if she did not have a hand in getting the dragon here in the first place and this event was just a very costly publicity stunt.)

1962 – Seattle World’s Fair.

Also – The first use of Agent Orange

(Note – I have to say it, it’s more than a little strange but from everything I have seen it looks like by this time in life that the strange is so common in the city that the mundane is starting to seem odd. But then what can you say about a place that when you go to work in the morning the bus driver is an ogre, really, and you get to work and buy espresso from the gremlin at the counter, there is an alien thing that seems to know what you want before you do at the lunch counter, your co-worker is telling you about this hottie with the pointed ears that works in the building across the street, at least three of the taxi’s have the ability to fly but you really never can get them when you need one, when you go shopping you see things in men’s, women’s, and thing’s sizes, every few days there is a ship in the harbor that either is defying time or physics, the local public broadcasts have an ‘I was Abducted Show’ where you can actually talk to the aliens who did it, and all of that is just on Tuesday. Damn I love this town, if it weren’t for all the damn ninja though…)

1963 – Mikee opens the Last Element, the first location in the Artists’ Colony. The second location in Historic Old town opens in 1974.

1964 – Pets Plus opens its doors.

Also – IBM creates OS/360, the first mass computer operating system.

(Note – Pets Plus is another one of those businesses that makes me a little worried. These guys are very good at what they do, almost too good. Once I got a look at the old records they keep it would appear that they did indeed traffic in slaves at first, but that side of the business seemed to fade away, like they just quit writing it down more than it was something that they stopped doing. Can’t prove anything though, which is a pity. I would not mind having a hand in shutting their doors for good, but when you are getting the money that they are for the things they are, they have to have bought some serious local support by now. I will say though that I am looking into the people that they have on file as having standing orders for some of the more exotic predators. That really cannot be a good thing.)

1965 – U.S. troops officially in Vietnam

Also – The First minicomputer.

1967 – The Core arrives.

(Note – This one is for the freak files. If this were any other city in the world I would think he was a work of fiction, but this guy has power, connections, and people in all the right places seem to owe him for something. I just hope that I can find out what he is up to before he does something major.)

            (Second Note – Just got word from a contact in Net7, it looks like I am not the only one looking into this one, and I have been made a very handsome offer to pass on anything I come up with. The only sad bit is that I am not sure that I want money, more information might be a better trade. Then again with the cash I might be able to finally get enough security to keep my nosy ass safe.)

1968 – Shoji opens his dojo to the public.

(Note – I really feel sorry for Shoji some days. He has been looking for something in himself for a long time, and it looks like the opening of his private dojo to the public was his attempt to see if someone might just bring it to him, instead of him searching for it. He is a nice guy, and I really hope he finds what he is looking for, even if he won’t talk about it.)

1969 – The moon landing.

(Note – It looks like the population growth in the city had slowed by this time, as the best estimates I can get put the local population at around four hundred and fifty thousand people at this time.)

1970 – Fiber optic glass is invented.

1972 – Pong.

(Note – Hate to admit it, but this is the only video game that I have ever played. Still fun though.)

1973 – The last U.S. troops pulled out of Vietnam.

1974 – Spokane Worlds Fair

Also – The events of ‘Hero?’ happen.

Also – The Freedom of Information Act is passed. This would have repercussions felt throughout Delta City for a long time to come as trade of goods started to fall and the trade of information became a larger and larger resource.

Also – The first bar code is used.

1976 – Echoes’ opens its doors.

(Note – This place is worth all the hype, the view, the food, it is all some of the best. I just wish I could afford to hit the place more than once in my lifetime.)

1978 – Tanager Meats opens.

(Note – I found out something interesting the other day. Apparently, Tanager is the main supplier for Echoes meat. Considering that Tanager has things on its sell board that I have seen nowhere else I have to wonder if there might be a connection between her and Pets Plus as well. Something to look into another time I think.)

1980 – Mt. St. Helens erupts.

(Note – The biggest BOOM in the Northwest that white man has been around for. The ash, the dark, the end of an era? If you can imagine the strangest place on earth getting stranger for a few days, the prayers to the earth spirits, the invocations, the looks of hope and fear, along with some of the strangest block parties that anyone has ever offered. What can I say but this city is strange.)

1981 – The first launch of the space shuttle.

(Note – You know that there were more people into space at this time than any other save for the moon landing, and there is a reason. Not only were there odds makers taking bets on fly or fall, but also people had hope that man would reach the stars again, and maybe go further than the moon. It would be nice to see that in my lifetime. The interesting thing is that the photos that they sent back to earth, they caught Washington state in some of them and for the life of me, I cannot find the usual city blur that you get from space when you look on a city. I am going to hit a few of the older research sites and space flight photos, but if I am right, I won’t see Delta City on any of them.)

1983 – The PC is introduced to the world.

(Note – Most of the work I am doing is on a custom laptop, I picked it up used from a little shop in the Commercial District near the mall. I know just enough to tear the whole thing down and make sure it all works before I use it, and so I did when I bought this little toy. There are copyright and trademark stamps on some of the components that apparently date as 1968. The thing is that they are better than most of the stuff that is new from the big boys. I don’t know where all the bits came from but I am working on a machine that will not have to be updated for about another six years at the current rate of growth in the industry. They had a few more on the shelf when I bought this one, but by the time I figured out what I had and went back for more, they were sold out. I hope the others are in good hands.)

1984 – The members of the Net7 board arrive. Later that year they open the doors to Net7 Data Controls, usually just called Net7.

(Note – This is a company that needs to be watched, and watched closely. The seven members of the board are all active in information gathering, electronic security, and computer safety. They are also apparently the best there is at what they do. I can find semi-official records of actions that this company has taken since 1984 for companies, individuals, and governments around the world. They have not always succeeded, but their loss rate is less than one half of one percent in the last twenty years. These people have a reputation that is well earned, and you have to respect what they can do. Examples can include the event in 1988 with Hero’s Ltd. Apparently the head of Hero’s was wary of them and sent in a team of about twenty-five to get something from them, from what I can see only three members of the Net7 board were involved in that dust up, and none of them fell. Another example includes the time they threatened to release the names of all of the people still being held in North Vietnam if there was not a compromise that let people in for atomic safety inspections. After a ten-minute meeting with a North Vietnam delegate the United Nations inspectors were allowed in. Overall these guys look like they are flying on the sides of the angels. Something in me says that not everything is as it seems though.)

1985 – The first genetically engendered food is given the go ahead by the USDA.

(Note – Sometimes I wonder if the term eugenics is not a part of the whole genetic engineering lexicon anymore, because technically everything we use these days is genetically engineered. There of course are stories about things like genetic pets and all that just blow even my mind. I hope all the things that I heard about things like that are just stories.)

1989 – Black Dragon Couriers quietly let it be known that they are in business.

(Note – Creepy but cool. I just placed an, ‘If dead’ order with these guys. They have all the access codes to my work, investigations, and theories about what goes on here and around the world. The orders they have are if I am out of touch for more than three days, collect everything and deliver it to Net7, the press, and a few people at the colleges. Not that I fear death, but that guy with the gun found me again, and told me that he did not usually give people a warning, let alone two, but he liked my attitude, and the fact that I was trying to challenge him. Hopefully no one but the Couriers and me know where everything is hidden.)

1995 – The Maddics, Crandon, and Tigue law firm opens.

(Note – My attorneys should anything happen to me. The same day I made the order with the Couriers I put this office on retainer. With that noted I also want to mention population growth. The numbers look like about half a million people at this point in the city. What I found out in the city records recently made me smile. Apparently, all you have to do to be considered a citizen of Delta City is be here for a year or so, then even if you don’t have a green card the city will treat you as if you were a full-on U.S. citizen and give you all the rights and privileges. Interestingly enough that also means that you get included on the census that the city does every five years, so this number is not just the Americans, it’s not even just the humans, it includes everything, and everyone that lives above the streets. It looks like they tried to include the underground in the 1960 census but lost too many people in the tunnels, so they let it drop. Maybe it is that attitude that leaves the C.I.A. and O.S.S. running around this city like they actually have the right to work here. Definitely something to look into.)

1998 – Hillside Couriers forms their alliance and begins working together.

(Note – A collection of more independent and free souls I have not met. Even though the symbol of the alliance seems to be a bike, it is not all that uncommon for some more interesting forms of transportation to be seen in this group, they even have a couple people who just run. If you have anything to get around the city, call them they are in the book.)

1999 – All Things Anime opens its doors.

(Note – Ok this place is just too weird, even for me. I know there are a lot of fans for this stuff, but please, life sized dolls of all the characters is just a little much.)

2000 – The Millennium Scare

(Note – interestingly enough Delta City was not immune to this phenomenon. Just as many strange cult groups and survivalists popped up here as anywhere else, and some of the theories they had were a lot sounder than you would guess. There were a few big fights, and some reports of things that sound like dragons, and other mythic beasts wandering the streets. Strange thing to all this was that it lasted all year in Delta City. People did not calm down until the clocks rolled over onto 2001. Of course, I am now waiting to see what happens in 2005, May 5th. That is supposed to be the date that there is a big planetary alignment, and the date that one of the Mesoamerican cultures put on their calendar as the end of the world, and or their return to power. I can only figure that if anything like that happens it will start here.)

2001 – The Brawl

(Note – That’s the only way to describe what happened. From the city records and my own pictures of the week-long fight it looks like someone got a bunch of students riled up over something, they started protesting, the cops tried to pull them back, Hero’s Ltd. tried to get everyone separated, and then something snapped. I still have no idea what, even though I had a great view from the rooftop I was on, something snapped and the crowd just got angry. If you have never been in a riot there is no way to describe it. After about four days of off and on violence all over the city it was the garbage companies that ended up getting everyone to settle down. They just started bringing trucks to where ever the fights were, and dumping the loads. I am still trying to figure out just what happened to set this all off, because I have the feeling that it was not your standard student protest gone bad.)

2002 – The Delegation is opened.

(Note – An interesting idea that one would think would have happened long ago. Right on the edge of the City Center, a rather large building opened its doors to the public. While there are cultures from a lot of different places in the International District, this place was set up to let people get introduced to all of them and even more that are not in the city, in a smaller area. No matter the race, creed, species, or wattage it looks like just about everything ever living in the area has a small booth or some kind of interactive display to introduce people to the culture in question. I found it very interesting because it suggests that even though all these strange things that happen in Delta City seem localized, that is not really the case. There are places here that talk about the culture of the Amazons, the underwater cities, and I am lead to believe that the Yeti and Sasquatch will soon be opening up booths of their own. It looks like that even though it can all happen in Delta City, we really do live in a strange and wondrous world after all.)

 

Ok so that is the history section. I know it stops in 2002, but that is for a reason. Many of the fiction pieces I wrote go from the early 2000 to about 2010 and I do not want to spoil that section of things.

Next section would be the maps and layout of the city. That may come next week or a little sooner depending.

Now gimme the dice I got another world to roll up.

2 Comments

Delta City part 1

Hey all

So back in the late 90’s I had the inspiration to create a place where all of my friends could write stories, set RPG’s and have fun. Well it never took off really. I could not get folks interested in sharing. But the exercise itself was a lot of fun. I also ended up creating several characters/NPC’s (however you want to view them) that sort of demanded that I block out a series of events in the timeline for the city that was more highlighted fiction than anything else.

At this point in time it has been several years since I have added anything to the timeline for the city, and I have been trying to figure out how to share it again. So I am going to do a series here on the blog that goes into the city, parse out the info and let the rest of the world do with it what it will.

That being said I retain the rights to all the characters and locations that are in the material that is published here for Delta City and the fiction that is posted. If you want to use them in any way shape or form you have to give me credit. That’s it. Other than that feel free to insert it into your fiction, your games, whatever. Simple aint it.

So this first post is going to talk a little about the city, when I post the second part, and those that follow, will be material from my documents. To be honest I have about 300 pages of material between all the different bits of fiction, timelines, maps and so on that I have created over the years.

So what the hell was I building?

Like I said I wanted to build a place that all of my friends could use in some way. That meant that I needed to have a location that could run fantasy, sci-fi, supers, horror, modern fantasy, military, espionage, and a host of other things as games, stories, debates or whatever else came to mind. So to put all that together I needed three things, a location, a reason why all these things were possible, and a way to fit it into the rest of any other world without anyone noticing. The second and third items came together for me really easy. The first one bugged me for a while until I found a place that I could put a major city in the real world that already had a couple of small towns. I am sure that if I get readers in that area they will be annoyed that I removed their towns from history, but hey, that is the way fiction works some times.

The mechanic that I came up with to explain why all these things could come together was the idea of World Walls. Sort of a dividing line between this reality and others. Not only are they very thin in the area of Delta City but there is also a focal point for them that is called the Well of Worlds. Sometimes also called the Core. For some reason the Well of Worlds bent things so that unless you called Delta City ‘home’ then you had a tendency to forget it was even there.

You may notice the use of the past tense there. Well that is because in the fiction I wrote I had a series of events happen that ended up bringing Delta City to the attention of the world. And when that attention was grabbed the whole world ended up not being able to let go and it changed things. I kinda left things there because I had so many ideas about how to take it further I could never sort out what way I wanted to go.

Eventually I moved on to other projects, but Delta City always runs in the back of my mind. The place ended up taking on a life of its own and I just wrote down the stuff I noticed going on in all the hubbub. I have so many bloody notes for where to go next, for other things that had been going on in the background, and for all sorts of one offs that I could likely spend the rest of this life and several others just fleshing out all the little details that came to mind.

Now then if someone else does want to use this as a setting, be it game or fiction, just remember that what I am presenting is my story, my idea. I would expect that for some this might just be inspiration and they build something of their own. Others might want to use it but not take things in the direction I did. Some may want to take it further. All of that is OK. Just like any RPG designer knows, not everyone is going to use the material the way you wrote it, and some folks will just rip out the one or two pieces that they feel they need. And I am good with that, as long as you remember what I said above, just give me credit for what I created.

All righty I am going to leave things there for now. Since I am going to copy stuff out of other documents I may post more than once a week while doing this section and leave Sundays for game reviews and other rants.

So gimme the dice, I need to set up a random encounter table, encounter table.

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World Building 207

Hello Readers

So a bit out of pace for me to be posting early, but with taking a couple days off to do holiday shopping and that sort of thing I thought I might squeeze the time in to do another post.

So where did we last leave off…

  1. The sci-fi style will be pulp sci-fi. So things can get weird.
  2. Humans are trash. So at the very least they will be low class citizens, maybe worse.
  3. Players will not know how big the universe is, and I will sketch out a couple of places in advance but otherwise let the players drive things so the universe will become as big as it needs to be.
  4. Timeline is about 30 years in the future and there are older humans who remember ‘today’ as the good old days.
  5. There are many alien races but humans currently only know five.
  6. There are two “magics”, technology and psychic powers. Psychic powers are used to stratify the over reaching galactic society and technology is used as a tool and extra lever over ‘lesser’ races. And humanity is one of the very lesser races.

So step seven in this mix is to try and find a game engine that really works well for the ideas I am using here. Now I totally understand that some folks may be limited in the game engines that they use. Sometimes you find that one game engine that really works well for you and you just have to run with it. Sometimes you can only really afford to buy into one game engine and have to pray you never run into anything it cant handle. If you are in a situation like that I really suggest you just apply the first six questions and build a background and go for it. There is no stopping you and you will still have a great game if you work to make it work. 🙂

For myself I love to look at all the game engines that are out there. I am sure that I could make my design work in just about any system going. What I want to use for this setting though is the d6 game engine.

Let me tell you why.

Just so you know a bit about it, the game engine is currently published by Nocturnal Media. And if you want to get into the game engine you can go over to Drive Thru RPG and buy a copy of the rules or get the d6 game engine bundle (at the time of this writing the game engine bundle is listed as being free and all you need to do is have an account at Drive Thru and down load it at no cost.) It is a venerable system that has been around since 1987 to the best of my knowledge. Not too complex, easy to mod, but a little rough on vehicles. (Previous post talking about it is here)

So why would I want something that does not work easily with the space ships that can be so important in a sci fi game? That really refers back to another question. Two of them actually. And the answers to those two questions are that Humans are trash (so they have not had the opportunity to get into the wondrous worlds of tech that are in the universe), and that tech is basically one of the magics. So if the game engine itself does not lend itself to making star ships easy to create, and some weapons tech seems a little inconsistent, that will actually reinforce the feeling I want to create for the game. Sure you can make an engineering role to fix something, do you know how you are fixing it, no not really you just read the book or were told to fix it that way. Do you know where you are piloting? No but the computer says to go this way to get where we want to go.

I am not saying that this is a bad game engine. I am not saying that this is a way to frustrate players on purpose. You can still do all the tech balancing and shipbuilding you want to do. It is just a little cookie cutter. All the real customizing and balancing will come mostly in role play. Which to me makes it a stronger choice.

The strength in the mechanics really shines in system for special abilities and powers. It breaks everything into three skills and makes it really well defined for what can be done and what cant be done by any given character.

For me this is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to run. Especially since I can just get a copy downloaded to my computer and play with six sided dice that I stole out of other board games. 🙂 heh

Since I kind of went over the strengths and weaknesses of other systems in the earlier post I linked to earlier in this post, I will just say that in the end you will need to come up with a system that is going to work well for you.

Ok so World Building 208 will have a bit of a write up on this game setting and then we move on with other things.

Hope everyone is staying safe out there.

Now gimme the dice, I need to roll to see if I have anything left to buy more gifts with…

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World Building 206

Hey all, special Black Friday special edition since I want my Sunday to spend relaxing with the wife and chilling. For those readers outside the US or who don’t care about the events in the US that much, Black Friday is the day after the Thanksgiving holiday that supposedly marks the start of Christmas shopping. However from the fact that you can find places putting up Christmas trees after Valentines Day and shops talking about pre-holiday sales so early any more… I don’t see why anyone bothers. But still there are huge sales on Black Friday, there is annual news about mob like behavior at stores and other bull crap going on, so my wife and I keep the same mind set. Find something to do at home and avoid the mess out there.

And now you know part of why I am posting a blog today. And knowing is half the story.

So what do we have in this little world so far?

  • The sci-fi style will be pulp sci-fi. So things can get weird.
  • Humans are trash. So at the very least they will be low class citizens, maybe worse.
  • Players will not know how big the universe is, and I will sketch out a couple of places in advance but otherwise let the players drive things so the universe will become as big as it needs to be.
  • Timeline is about 30 years in the future and there are older humans who remember ‘today’ as the good old days.
  • There are many alien races but humans currently only know five.

And the current question is… What is your worlds “magic”?

Now then just like I posted the first time, you will note the quotes there. “Magic” here means anything you cannot or will not explain with any ease. Usually it is something that just has to be accepted. Be it technology, the Force, psychic powers, actual magic or something else. You can find it in every sci-fi setting. Even hard sci-fi that is taking its queue from modern technology and trying not to go to far ahead. And also in every genre of sci-fi you can find it. Hard sci-fi, pulp, cyberpunk, steam punk, space opera, and on and on. There is always some kind of “magic”.

Now then one of the things that you will find when “magic” comes up is that somewhere in the story you will find someone who tries to explain it. At least a little. And in a game you will always have at least one player who wants to know how it works. The player will usually want to know how it works so they can circumvent it in the game to one degree or another. Now then this does not mean that you need to understand how virtual reality programs can allow one structure to alter another in one way or another to allow your virtual avatar to hack into a storage mainframe. Nor do you need to know how to circumvent the conversion of mass to allow a vessel to move faster than light in three dimensional space to have faster than light travel. You do have to be ready for the questions though. And when they come up there are three ways you can deal with it.

When it comes time to explain or define your “magic” for the players you can

  1. Tell them to shut up and accept it
  2. Research something similar or steal from other sci-fi so you can have talking points
  3. Create a game skill to cover it and just let them roll for it (kinda like shut up and accept it but it gives ya a little more wiggle room)

Technically there is a fourth way and that is to mix and match the other three in a way that works for you. Personally that is how I tend to approach things. If there is something I enjoy or want to play with I research it a bit so I can at least seem like I have half a clue. I also steal liberally from other settings and mix and match that with the things I have researched. Then I add in a couple of skills like ‘Science!’ I actually took that idea from Steve Jackson Games in their IOU GURPS supplement. When I originally read it I had to have it. They also have ‘Magic!’ in the same supplement and over the years I have taken that model and just made these massive overarching skills that allow you to do things like combining other skills together to somehow cover what you are doing in the name of the direction you are trying to run.  And I have to say that in a pulp setting like I have planned things like that really allow for mad scientists and for people who have no idea how something should work to say things like “Yeah I just picked up a little of this over time.”

Now then if your “magic” has some sort of power to it, like the Force or psychic powers you need more than a skill, you need to have people who use it. You might want to have a background for it. And if you are really over the top you could have an ultimate reason for it. I mean if you look into Babylon 5 you can see that they hint at but never clearly say that psychic powers are in many of the races in that setting because one elder race, the Vorlon, wanted to have a weapon against their enemy the Shadows. And so they did genetic tinkering all over the galaxy. A great many game engines support the use of something supernatural or preternatural or however you want to view the power.

Last thing you might want to think about is how many of these things should you mix together. I mean if you look at something like Star Wars, depending on your race, would depend on what you see as “magic”. I hate to use this example but if you take the (shuddering) Ewoks as an example. To them the Force and a lot of the high tech was all “magic”, but to most of the other races only the Force was “magic”. This is a difference in a game setting that can get you a lot of mileage in role playing. If you allow one player into a game with a character from an advanced race, to them everyone ohhing and ahhing over the tech is little more than a bumpkin or a hick. But even to them there is something that is still “magic”. And even in those cases you will find someone who ‘just has a knack for it’ and they really can change the dynamic.

To give you a personal example I was playing in a Star Wars game and as players we were allowed to make our own races. We had one player create a character that was quite strong in the force, but was not a Jedi. Their culture treated it differently and so he was always surprised by people treating the power with reverence and dividing everything into good and evil in response to the Force. Another player made a character that had a natural sense of technology, and even when she was exposed to something new she would just tinker with it for a moment and then make it work better. No formal education, no Force powers, just a natural talent that was really really helpful. While in the same group we had a formal Jedi, and a mechanic droid. It was very fun watching them banter back and forth about what could and could not be done. Each treating their opposite number as some kind of witch or heretic, or just a hick with no real knowledge what so ever who just needed to be educated.

So by now you have to be wondering what I intend to do in this setting.

My plan here is to actually do a mix. I want to have something that will stratify the setting. A reason why humans could be considered trash, that has nothing to do with the fact that humans are behind the rest of the setting in terms of technology. So I plan to use psychic powers. I am trying to see if I can come up with something that will explain the trait across multiple races with no physical similarities, but that one is going to be hard to pull off unless I can put a mutagenic element into multiple species DNA… hmmm, that might just work. Using the “magic to tier the society I can have a setting where if you do not have psychic powers you are not going to be a full citizen, and then if your race has low power levels you will be in the middle class. Judging by race this would allow them to have superior and lesser races, attitudes and all sorts of judgmental bull shit going on. Now we add technology to the mix too. If these racist races have an uplift policy then they might have something in place where taking a lesser race under your care allows you to treat them however you want until they get used to the modern society. And getting used to being a race without psychic powers and no native tech basically makes you slave labor and cannon fodder. Because in a setting like this you can be sure that somewhere out there a society like this has an enemy, and why would they use actual citizens as fighters when they can take entities that they see as little better than uncivilized animals and toss them into the war on their behalf. Ohh wait that sounds like an awesome meta plot.

Ok so lets put this in a brief for review…

  1. The sci-fi style will be pulp sci-fi. So things can get weird.
  2. Humans are trash. So at the very least they will be low class citizens, maybe worse.
  3. Players will not know how big the universe is, and I will sketch out a couple of places in advance but otherwise let the players drive things so the universe will become as big as it needs to be.
  4. Timeline is about 30 years in the future and there are older humans who remember ‘today’ as the good old days.
  5. There are many alien races but humans currently only know five.
  6. There are two “magics”, technology and psychic powers. Psychic powers are used to stratify the over reaching galactic society and technology is used as a tool and extra lever over ‘lesser’ races. And humanity is one of the very lesser races.

Ok so there is only one question left on my list. After that I will do a short write up of the setting I have in mind and you can see where it goes from there if you want to use it yourself or just use the questions to build your own setting.

Hope everyone out there is having fun, enjoying the holiday if you got one, and playing safe if you are in the mix for Black Friday.

Now gimme the dice, I have to make a saving throw against the siren song of left over pie.

2 Comments

World Building 205

Welcome back to scifi world building. So far we have looked at four questions and got the following answers…

  1. The sci-fi style will be pulp sci-fi. So things can get weird.
  2. Humans are trash. So at the very least they will be low class citizens, maybe worse.
  3. Players will not know how big the universe is, and I will sketch out a couple of places in advance but otherwise let the players drive things so the universe will become as big as it needs to be.
  4. Timeline is about 30 years in the future and there are older humans who remember ‘today’ as the good old days.

The fifth question is “Other than humans how many races are present in the setting?”

When I first posted the question in the World Building 200a post I mentioned that there are a ton of options. Everything from no aliens to, well, all the aliens, can work in a setting. So you really need to consider this in the context of your other questions.

For the example I have been building you can see the following setting up.

  • Pulp setting – This is going to mean that just about anything is possible. We can see examples from everything that Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote and that H.P. Lovecraft created. You can get as alien as you want, but there will always be at least one race that ‘seems’ human. In the end they could be something completely different, but they will be able to pass for human most of the time.
  • Humans are Trash – So with this sort of thing you have to consider that there is at least one alien race. And that they have something that makes them seem more powerful than humans at the very least. When I read this though I think a lot about how humans have their own prejudice. How we quickly put certain ethnic groups, religions, sexual preferences, and just about any little reason we can find to stratify our world. Haves and have nots and everything in between based on the models that fit best in our little region of life. So why not have that on a huge scale. It fits the pulp model of taking something humans can relate to and making it writ large on the canvas of your words. (Sounds like poetic bull s#it I know)
  • Players will know a little bit of the universe – Ok so this right here gives me the ok to put whatever I want in the universe. Add new aliens whenever it suits me and just keep running. However I will have to have at least one at the start. I think at least three so players can see the stratification in things, and see that alien can be human like, and can be really really ALIEN.
  • We are only 30 years in the future – So this one does not have much impact on the number of aliens, but it has to do with what the humans will understand of alien tech and cultures. Someone born after the ‘event’ would likely know more culture and language  and be more comfortable with things alien than someone born before. So the impact here is during character creation and not world building.

So stumbling though all that I am thinking that I should actually go with five alien races. And that I should make about three of them playable races at the start of the game.

That decision tells me a few things. First is that I am planning on letting players play non-humans. That there will be other races that are ‘trash’ like humans. And that I have something in mind, even if I dont know what yet, that will allow other races to become playable over time. And now my list looks like this…

  1. The sci-fi style will be pulp sci-fi. So things can get weird.
  2. Humans are trash. So at the very least they will be low class citizens, maybe worse.
  3. Players will not know how big the universe is, and I will sketch out a couple of places in advance but otherwise let the players drive things so the universe will become as big as it needs to be.
  4. Timeline is about 30 years in the future and there are older humans who remember ‘today’ as the good old days.
  5. There are many alien races but humans currently only know five.

So you can really see how answering each question and keeping them all in mind when you answer the next and the one after that and so on, that things build. You dont have to have all the answers at once. I have been asked more than once if worlds spring full into my mind, and to be honest I usually have bits and pieces and then need to do a lot of the Q&A stuff to get to where I can really see the setting that I have been thinking about.

You will notice that I have not been asking questions about the state of the universe, or what is going on out there in the worlds. That is because those elements are the key note of the setting you are creating. I am just trying to help you put a place together that will be a good setting for you to play out whatever stories you want. I do have a specific campaign world planned for the example setting. And I will go over that in the last part of this series. Just to show how I brought all of these things together.

Ok well that should be enough rambling and trying to fill space in the blog for now.

So gimme the dice, I have to see if my reflexes are high enough to get Nerf darts away from cats.

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World Building 204 – Suplimental

So it was pointed out to me that I forgot a really important part about setting up the timeline for the story. It was kind of reflexive for me but might not have been obvious for everyone else.

There is a common trope in sci-fi that if the jump to other worlds or the change to something more technologically advanced happens during the current recorded history, then there will be an Event. This is the day everything changes. Whether it is an invasion by aliens, the invention of a faster than light means of travel, the ascension of AI, or that big meteor that everyone worries about ending the world. There comes a point that everyone remembers as the day everything changed.

Now then the further you go from the event the more it goes from being historical, and then into mythical and eventually will be completely forgotten. In Star Trek it was the first use of a warp engine by humans. In Starship Troopers it was the first encounter with the Bugs. In Robotech/Macross it was the crash of the SDF-1 into Earth. When you look at worlds like Star Wars, and even Fading Suns, the Event is so far back in history that it is at best a historical footnote if it is not completely forgotten.

The big Event (note that I do capitalize it to stress its importance) can be positive, it can be negative, but it is never really seen as neutral. At least not initially. If you get to the point where it is a historical footnote, or a myth, then many will see it as neutral or a parable. But the closer you are, historically, to the Event, the more emotions will be tied to it. You can see examples of that in some of the versions of Star Trek. If you see the original series or Next Generation the creation of the warp drive and the impact of its development is just a historical footnote. But if you look at the series Enterprise you see a lot of people tied to the first engine, the first encounter with an alien race, and the resentment that the alien race will not help bootstrap them to the next level of tech.

So in a setting with a human focus, you need to consider your timeline and your distance from your Event.

I had been thinking about my Event when I decided to make the human race a trash culture. I wanted to know what might cause that, and then I tied it into my timeline so that I could keep emotions high about it. Because it is not just a historical footnote, it is a part of recent history.

Now then the funny thing is you can get away without an Event as well. You just have to be able to describe it. And that can be an Event all its own. Such as why do none of the humans on Earth remember the year 2040 even though it is 2045 and why in their memories of 2039 are there no aliens, but in 2041 we work for them. What the hell happened in 2040, and what could affect billions of people all at once? So now your lack of Event has become not only an Event but a major plot point and gives you a lot of time to sort it out as you begin play. Personally I dont mind single character amnesia but a whole world missing a year, that might be a bit too much for me to have fun with.

So when you are asking question 4 on the list and trying to decide just how far from modern day you are going to have your setting. Make sure you also look into your distance from your Event as well. If it is just a footnote in history or if it is a driving element in how you are pushing things forward. It is a key part of your timeline.

And even though I put out an Event idea dont be afraid to experiment and see if you might want a bunch of smaller events that tie together, or if maybe you just see things as a long term evolution. Or some combination.

And just like I said about myself the Event is not something that is really tied to any one of the questions. It can have an impact on many of them. So dont worry about having it in mind specifically at any given time, just remember the impact it will have in the world you are building. Your timeline will tell you how much emotional impact it has on the characters in the setting.

Ok thats it for today, short post I know…

Now gimme the dice, I have to try to make a saving throw vs emotional blackmail by a cat.

Game on folks 🙂

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World Building 203

Ok so here we come into Question 3.

Just as a refresher we are looking at the following elements in this world I am building.

  1. The sci-fi style will be pulp sci-fi. So things can get weird.
  2. Humans are trash. So at the very least they will be low class citizens, maybe worse.

Question three is “How big is the known universe?”

Taking this from the human perspective we can get an idea of how intimidating things are in known space. We can also play with the idea that no one really knows. The real key is going to be tying the answer to this question into the answers for the previous ones.

Ok so what sort of universe settings are Pulp Sci-Fi known for? Well you have a lot of extremes actually. You have settings like John Carter of Mars where everything takes place on one world. You also have settings like Flash Gordon (yeah I consider it to be pulp sci-fi even with the actual origin of the setting being in a news paper comic strip) where you have multiple worlds that are all in contact with each other. And then if you go all the way back to the original Buck Rodgers it all takes place on Earth. So that really does not narrow it down. But there is one thing they all have in common. The main hero needs to have local allies because they dont really know jack about the technology and cultures around them. So it seems pretty common to have the heroes not really know how big anything is until they get hit in the face with it.

That gives me a great idea to keep the total scope of the universe the players are going to be involved with unknown to them. That way I can take advantage of the opportunity to build a little mystery into the game and give them tons of chances to role-play to find out information, and to figure out who might be taking advantage of them or lying to them outright. There would be things that I need to answer in later questions about the number of races and how humanoid and all that, however at this point I dont really need to worry about that.

Ok so since I have decided that I dont want the players to really know right off the bat how big everything is, I need to decide for myself how big things can be… or do I?

This is where you need to know yourself and how you want to play, and tell a story. I can break down things into really detailed info so that I can drive the players to specific things. I can sketch out a few ideas and give myself a feeling for the overall scope but let the details get built on the fly. OR I could do the whole bloody thing on the fly except for a few specifics, like alien home worlds and the like. But that is still not going to define the scope of the universe. The technique is important, but do I want to have the game and stories focus on just one world, maybe a whole solar system, a part of or even a full galaxy or just say screw it and run with a series of galaxies?

So this may seem a little rambly, but I want to talk about the game Star Frontiers for just a moment here. When the game was first published (Alpha Dawn) the original module/adventure in the game was on a planet that was new to the different powers in the game setting. The next two modules continued the story on that world. Introducing the games main villain race, and giving the players the chance to make first contact with some new sentient species. The following modules brought the players more into the worlds that made up the federation the game was set in. When the second part of the rules was published (Knight Hawks) players got the chance to expand their influence, and not only pilot ships (something that was not really even possible in the base game) but to command fleets. The scale grew as more material was published and the universe expanded. I really liked this way of getting players and GM’s into the game world. Sure you had to keep buying product, or you could come up with your own materials.

So what does all that have to do with the scale of the game environment? Well it tells me that even if I am going to build things out I really don’t need much more than names for some alien worlds, home worlds in particular, and a starting point. I can make things as big as I want, or need to as things go on. I mean something in the game can go completely Lilo and Stitch (yeah I went Disney on ya) and players get dumped into the middle of no where (so to speak in galactic terms) and that is what you get for hitting the candy stripped button (or lever or whatever) not really knowing what you are doing.

Hmmm I am liking this.

Ok so now we have, for my setting anyway –

  1. The sci-fi style will be pulp sci-fi. So things can get weird.
  2. Humans are trash. So at the very least they will be low class citizens, maybe worse.
  3. Players will not know how big the universe is, and I will sketch out a couple of places in advance but otherwise let the players drive things so the universe will become as big as it needs to be.

Now for those that think I am copping out, you have never let a group of players run anything in your lives. You cant predict where they will take things or what they will want to do next. That’s right ERIC… save the freaking dragon… I remember! Sheesh. Its like herding cats. To make this effective I will likely need more notes and stacks of ideas that I can flesh out on the fly than with any other option. It may be some serious work on my part but I think it will make the most playable environment for the players. I can set up some sort of over arching story, but not have to railroad them into it just because that is the only ting I built up in advance.

Ok well thats it for the moment… next post… who knows where I will go with it 🙂

So gimme the dice, I gotta see if I can make the roll for finding lunch.

Play well and play often folks 🙂

 

 

2 Comments

World Building 202

Ok so next week I am planning on giving a basic review for a sci-fi game that I have not played. But for the moment I want to take a look at the next question on my building a sci-fi game setting list.

How Important are Humans?

This is a really serious question. Humans are the most relate-able characters in sci-fi settings. While you may see humanoids (Wookie, Vulcan, and Centauri to name a few) in great numbers, they always have a culture or feature that makes them obviously not human. Then you also have non-humans that will have some small characteristic you can relate to as a human, but by their very nature they become very alien to your natural mind set. The Hive oriented Thranx, the parasitic predators the Brood, the vaguely humanoid Adipose, and the Leviathan Pilots to name just a few. While races that are humanoid dominate fantasy realms and make it fairly easy to find something to relate to, only some sci-fi, well ok a lot of the space opera sci-fi, gives you that relate-able feature.

So how do you create a setting that still gives players an option of playing something they can relate to fairly quickly? Easy. You make humans part of the setting. And you leave yourself free to bring in anything alien that you want to. You can even go completely alien in some of the things you create and you will know that your players will still have a foothold.

So now that we have the why even have humans, we need to look at how important they are. I mean if I have the option to try and play something that is going to relate to humans with confusion because my culture and upbringing make human lifestyle choices seem alien,  I am going to want to play it. Unless there is a compelling reason to play a human. Like if humans are the only playable race in the setting, like in Dark Conspiracy. Or you can make humans the most prolific race and the leaders of empires like in Fading Suns.

Now then if you do not make humans very important, or prolific you end up with settings where you will have people who play everything. Like Rifts, or Star Wars. Not that this is a bad thing. But if you take a look at those settings you will see they fall back on the Fantasy formula of making everything that is not human, human like so you and your players can relate to it. It takes away some of the truly alien feel of the game.

There are very few settings in sci-fi, fiction or gaming in which humans don’t really mean a sodding thing. They are tiny, minuscule, and expendable. I really tried to find a couple of examples to put into this category but I could not find anything that really worked. What I find interesting though in a setting like this is that you and the players get to make humans important. Or you can make them extinct.

Now then as with the overall type of setting you create, the importance of humans is going to be totally up to you. I tend to break this down into three major settings ideas.

  1. Humans in charge
  2. Humans are an equal part of everything
  3. Humans are trash

When I was building this new setting I immediately tossed out humans in charge. I wanted more diversity and I wanted to give the players more of a sense of wonder than entitlement.

Humans being equal. You know there are so many settings that do this today I have a hard time coming up with a way of making something that I think players would find memorable. I also have a hard time figuring out how I could get most players to play humans in something like this, and to be honest I want to encourage players to play human.

Humans are trash. Ok so this is going to be a challenge. I want to get my players to play humans, but I don’t want humans to start out with all the advantages. That means I am going to have to be on top of my game to create a Pulp sci-fi setting where humans don’t really mean anything to the universe at large. But the players can change that. Maybe they need to change it.

Ok, so I think I am seeing more in the whole pulp sci-fi thing here. I mean Flash Gordon had three humans and a lot of humanoids. But by the end of the story it was the human Flash who was the most important person in the stories. John Carter Warlord of Mars was also technically the only human, with several humanoids (I mean the human looking people on Mars laid eggs in that setting, so you cant call them human no mater how the cover artists drew them), and he ended up being the most important person in the story.

All right. Getting some ideas and some flow going.

Pulp sci-fi and humans (at the start at least) are trash. I think I can build on this.

Ok I am going to let you all think about this for a while and I am gonna go do something else…

So gimme the dice, I need to consult my d87 table of random things to do.

Play nice and play often folks.

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World Building 201

So I have decided that in this series of world building I will actually answer the starting questions in order and then present some conclusions at the end. It may make it a little easier for others to follow and to see just what I am building out as I go.

So question 1 – Hard sci-fi, space opera, or pulp sci-fi?

This one actually took the the longest time to answer. I had to look at the concept I was trying to get across with the setting. Do I want science to play a pivotal role in the setting? Do I want the players to be able to grab a physics book or an engineering manual and go “AH HA!”? Do I want to be able to get past the science and drive more of the plot?

Well in thinking about all of this I looked at the hard sci-fi first. I am not the worlds best when it comes to hard science. I love talking about and looking into the theoretical stuff but when it comes to the actual mechanics, I could not tell you why the Bussard ram scoop works without going to wiki and looking it up. I cannot tell you why some radioactive isotopes are more harmful in the radiation they emit than others. I don’t really want to look up the latest innovations in cybernetics and neural computing. It takes time and enthusiasm for hard science that I just don’t have to really run good hard sci-fi. Especially if you are going to have a player or two that could really know their stuff and call you on it when you get it wrong or implement something in a way that science wont support. Closest I would be able to do is something like GDW’s Twilight 2000. And to be honest that is an apocalypse I don’t want to play with.

Ok so hard sci-fi is out. I have to say though that if someone were to run a good hard sci-fi I would want in. There is no telling what I could learn about actual science.

So now we look at space opera. Big, epic, huge. Good space opera seems to take a lot of, well… space. Space opera also seems to leave the science completely behind in favor of the settings and the drama. I mean looking at Star Wars and Star Trek, I can see the hint of technology, and a few mentions of science. But the science has so many work arounds that even things like black holes are not an issue. Or at least much of one. Planet killing doomsday weapons are relatively easy to come by, and it seems like without the heroes the entire setting would go down the toilet. That puts a lot of weight on the players if they know it is them or the universe is doomed, or the solar system or any other area of known space. But it does do a really good job of looking into the unknown and not flinching.

Ok lets back burner space opera for a moment and move on.

Pulp Sci-fi. All right, we still have drama, but the science can be put either on the back burner or brought into the spotlight. You can get a little odd with the science and get into the point of ‘SCIENCE!’ but that does not have to be bad. The situations get almost as out there drama wise as the space opera, but when you look at the overall story you usually know that even if the characters/heroes fail then someone else has a back up play. Things may not work out as well as if the heroes succeed but they will still to some degree work out. You also have a tendency to limit the scope of things a bit more. A solar system or three instead of a galaxy or galaxies. And adding in a little humor if not downright camp is seen with a better light than in either space opera or hard sci-fi. A little humor is actually kind of required because you can go so far over the top with the dram or the SCIENCE!

Ok so I have to say that pulp sci-fi gives me most of what I want to work with. A little science that could be real and I can play with more if I want bu I don’t really need to because I can just SCIENCE! my way out of it if I need to. I can bring drama and character building to the forefront and can even drop in a McGuffin or three to move the plot along. And if I decide a story element is too important to let it slip, like say a victory here or there I can Deus Ex Machina without it seeming like I am steam rolling the players into something or forcing an issue.

I could do a lot of that with space opera as well, but I really enjoy the idea of players having the chance to use an odd skill at an odd time to come up with a really out of the ball park way of pulling something off… like using a cooking skill to negotiate a cease fire arrangement or something equally unusual that if you play in space opera settings you really cant do and keep the flavor of the setting.

Ok so due to the flexibility of the pulp sci-fi style I will be going with that one for the world that I build. Focusing on the drama though more than the SCIENCE!, the humor or the McGuffin/Deus Ex type stuff. Kinda hoping for a Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter of Mars kinda feel I think. The books mind you and not the movie. Or even the tribute stories by Michael Moorcock Kane of Mars. A few exceptional people doing things that others would see as impossible in a place they do not really understand but work their butts off to be successful there… yeah that is what I am looking for.

Ok so gimme the dice I need to roll up a few new ideas while these concepts sink in for the rest of you.

Remember to keep thinking for yourself and enjoy what you game 🙂

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