- "We rejected the false choice of death by fire or stunted life under the earth; we returned to the bosom of the ocean from which all life was born."
- ―Attributed to a city founder.
|Location:||Gold Coast, Florida|
Aquaculture is an underwater bastion built beneath and off the coast of Miami, Florida. It has a carefully engineered culture and government intended to be wholly self-sufficient.
Aquaculture's origins can be traced back to the earliest years of the 21st Century and two unrelated research projects being conducted as a joint venture between various corporations and Miami-based universities: Project Halcyon and the Atlantis Initiative. Project Halcyon was an engineering and architectural program directed towards the development of earthquake and hurricane-proof buildings, using the work of Buckminster Fuller as a foundation on which to start. The Atlantis Initiative was an effort to create underwater habitation and work spaces that could be used for research, oil exploration, and tourism.
In the 2050s, between the manipulations of the Enclave's Project Safehouse and the advent of the resource wars, a cabal of politicians and power mongers unaffiliated with the Enclave begin making preparations for their own survival. This group, more isolationist than the Enclave, decides that human survival trumps any other agenda. They reassemble the teams responsible for Halcyon and Atlantis and offer protection to a few former employees of Vault Tek willing to violate their NDAs. They then assign this team with creating an underwater city capable of surviving nuclear war and sustaining a human population indefinitely.
Construction began in 2051, coinciding neatly with the start of Miami's last great construction boom before the War. Using the construction of a beach side condominium high rise as a cover, extensive facilities were built into the very bedrock underneath Florida and a service and metro tunnel were built to run underneath the ocean floor near the coast. A series of high-yield geodesic domes were made from the strongest available materials and lowered clandestinely at the terminating point of the underground rail, some distance off the Florida coast. To offer additional protection from the environment, concentric rings of artificial reefs were put in place around the perimeter of the city.
Thanks to significant private funding and skillfully misappropriated public money, the city was finished by late-2065. The workers who had built it, already pre-screened with physical and psychological evaluations and examined for congenital defects, moved in with their similarly pre-screened spouses to form the base population of the city, notably none of these couples yet had children. Soon afterward, the engineering, science, and security personnel moved in. The high-powered investors who could not yet vanish from the public eye without arousing suspicion moved to the condominiums built over the metro station, where they would be able to slip away when the sirens started blaring or when they heard through their channels that the bombs were coming.
To the surprise of everyone who saw it from the outside on that fateful day; the condominium built over the secret Aquaculture metro station went into lockdown when the news broke that atomic death was a mere half hour away. All the windows and entrances were shuttered with lead shielded plating as the residents packed their belongings and filed down into the basement levels to be shuttled over to their underwater retreat. Meanwhile the Technical department, with help from Regulation and Utility; erected a metal cage around Aquaculture that provided protection from the possibility of EMP damage from the bombing. Once the VIPs arrived and joined those who had been living in the city for the past twelve years, Technical shut down all non-vital equipment. While Miami burned, the people of Aquaculture huddled in darkness, hoping their gambit would succeed and that their domed city wouldn't simply be destroyed. Their gamble paid off however, between their distance from the mainland, their depth beneath the ocean, and the protective rings of artificial reefs; the city was spared.
The city has served its primary function; the preservation of a cross section of unmutated human, animal, and plant life for over two hundred years. Success is evident in existence; but in their other goals; the advancement of science and culture, the results have been less so. The initial decades after the war were a frenzy of idealistic activity, the residents believed that they were the inheritors of the earth and the remnants of humanity; that the burden of all human achievement lay with them. Invention and art exploded, and advancements came easily. Then, after the first hundred years; the city detected human activity in the ruins of Miami.
The first agent of SPECTRUM was minted to investigate the surface, a member of a generation that had never known the world above. The agent was instructed to learn about the surface world and return with a complete report, he returned fifteen years later with wild stories of the new world and the people within it from Miami to the Capital Wasteland and points further west. Though his report made it clear that the world was a wreck and that most people lived in squalor and ignorance compared to Aquaculture, the people felt at once relieved and disappointed; no longer burdened with the fate of mankind and at the same time, no longer inspired. Without ever making any real contact with the surface world, they passed the torch and resigned themselves to a custodial role; keepers of the past and the shining city that the world might never see.
The people of Aquaculture are highly sociable; every citizen is a member of at least one club or civic group such as a musical ensemble, a chess club, a book club, or a Tragic draft at the very least. The Esprit department assists in club registration and placement and organizes weekly events to encourage friendship and solidarity. Music is also a constant in the city, with low volume broadcasts taking place in all public areas. Unlike the rest of the wasteland which seems to heavily favor standards and country, Aquaculture's public broadcasting plays obscure, down-tempo electronic music intended to relax the populace.
The city is practically a closed system. Though it enjoys abundance and affluence nearly unheard of in the wasteland; nobody gets a free ride. Other than air and water, anything a citizen desires is paid for with labor credits. Identical pay scales are used in every department, with jobs requiring greater levels of education or technical ability earning more. Higher ranks only bestow a small raise in income. The Nu Council also sets rewards for certain tasks, usually to encourage a department to speedily resolve problems. Children can supplement their family's income by taking on chores during their free time.
Aquaculture also discreetly trades potable water to the denizens of Miami in exchange for things they cannot make themselves and especially for cultural and technological artifacts.
The governing council of the city is comprised of the heads of each department of SPECTRUM and an Executive Officer (XO) elected by the populace for a term of five years. The council has the authority to enact new laws, set department goals, assign rewards for solving problems, administrate high justice, and oversee foreign affairs. Just as citizens wear colored uniforms when on duty, the Councilors wear black (AKA Infrared) jumpsuits.
The Nu Council employs a small cadre of special, extra-departmental agents for special assignments on the surface. These agents are drawn from a very small pool of talent; from the 5% of the population that qualifies for positions in every department of SPECTRUM, and from that minority; only those who meet a narrow psychological profile and are able to pass rigorous testing. Agents of SPECTRUM and the Nu Council receive the best the city has to offer in terms of education, equipment, and intelligence in pursuit of their missions. These missions tend to revolve around gathering information regarding groups and communities on the surface or finding particular Pre-War items.
SPECTRUM is an acronym that incorporates the city's departmental castes: Science, Process, Esprit, Cultivation, Technical, Regulation, Utility, and Medicine. Each department oversees a variety of vital functions and have their own uniforms and representation on the Nu Council. Every citizen of Aquaculture has an apprenticeship in every department as part of their education. Placement in a department is based on qualification as determined by rigorous testing. Those who qualify for positions in multiple departments are usually free to choose; but incentives may be offered to join one department over another if the need is great, and in an emergency need trumps choice entirely. Department uniforms are jumpsuits of similar make as Vault-Tec vault suits, colored to match the electromagnetic spectrum.
- Science (Violet): Aquaculture maintains a suite of laboratories dedicated to advances in biology, chemistry, and physics. Aquaculture's scientists are highly ethical and keep extensive records in the hopes of having their work peer reviewed by outside scientists in the future.
- Process (Red): Everything other than food required by the community; ammunition, clothing, medical equipment, weaponry, etc.; is assembled or recycled by the Process department.
- Esprit (Indigo): The Esprit department (or corps, as they call themselves) is a collection of morale officers; entertainers, psychologists, and psychiatrists working together to ensure the social and mental health of Aquaculture. They organize events and parties, offer counseling, and lead other efforts to keep the populace in good spirits.
- Cultivation (Green): The Cultivation department oversees the fisheries, hydroponic farms, desalinization, and purification facilities that provide the city with fresh food and water.
- Technical (Orange): Aquaculture's engineering department is known as Technical, they maintain all computers, machinery, and robots in the city.
- Regulation (Blue): The Regulators handle city security and policing needs and resolve most matters of justice. Regulators are the most likely of Aquaculture citizens to spend time out of the city; primarily at the hidden point of entry in Miami.
- Utility (Yellow): The custodians and menial workers of the city, the Utility department is made up of teenagers who have not yet completed their education and those rare citizens who didn't qualify for anything requiring greater aptitude. A stint in Utility is a common punishment for lesser offenses against Aquaculture law.
- Medicine (White, AKA Ultraviolet): The medicine department handles all issues of bodily health and manage the city's pharmacy. They work closely with Cultivation to ensure proper nutrition and with Esprit regarding medicating mental health.
Aquaculture is a series of armored domes built in a concentric ring around a large, central dome; some 5000 feet below sea level, 50 miles east off the coast of Miami, Florida. The domes are connected by tunnels, though a select few are accessible to submarine or frogman. There is a single metro-rail line connecting the westernmost dome to an underground station in Miami, the Miami-side station is under guard by the Regulation department.
Because of the risk of ricochet or decompression, no traditional guns or energy weapons are kept in the city. Regulation makes due with martial arts, cattle prods, and needler guns; along with a robust system of traps integrated into the city. It's possible to trap someone along nearly any stretch of corridor or within any room; after which Regulation can inundate someone with tranquilizers, tear gas, electric shocks, or more horrifically; lethal, desalination gas. The guards in the Miami metro station aren't so restricted, and make use of robots and automatic gun turrets to mow down intruders.
|This has been written by OvaltinePatrol. Please contact this user before editing this article.|