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This article is a work in progress.
|Location:||Centre of Melbourne, former capital of the state of Victoria, Australia|
The very centre of Melbourne, Victoria is a large impassable pile of rubble several miles across. Formerly the central business district of Melbourne, the Hoddle Grid was the main target of the larger of the few nuclear bombs that struck the city during the war. The city's tall buildings, many built during Melbourne's boom years of the 1880's all collapsed, killing everyone in the city centre at the time. The entire area remains highly radioactive. Today the central business district is inhabited only by scavengers clad in the best radiation suits.
Pre-WarLaid out in 1837 and later extended, the Hoddle Grid (named after its designer Robert Hoddle) was the very centre of pre-war Melbourne.
Land allotments for sale at public auction were to be produced as quickly as possible to deliver to the market. Gipps also insisted that all towns laid out during his term of office should have no public squares included within their boundaries, being convinced that they only encouraged democracy.
The grid was defined largely by the geography of the area. It was planned to span a gently sloping valley between small hills (knolls) (Batman's Hill, Flagstaff Hill and Eastern Hill) and roughly parallel to the course of the Yarra River. Elizabeth Street, Melbourne in the centre of the grid was built over a gully and has therefore been prone to flooding.
The wide main streets were also to accommodate the large number of bullock carts that would ride through the centre of town preventing them from holding up horse-drawn traffic when making right turns.
In the 1860s, surveys extended the district, incorporating the region of similarly laid out streets bounded by Victoria Street, Dudley Street and the Queen Victoria Market.
The Great War
17 nuclear bombs hit the city on October 22nd, 2070, one of which struck Flinders Street Station, the major metropolitan railway station with a 99% death toll in the surrounding area. The few skyscrapers of Melbourne were all within the Hoddle Grid and were destroyed, crushing those within and trapping the rest of those within the inner city as the roads were blocked off.
Access to and from the site was next to impossible and the cost of having so much of Melbourne's infrastructure close together was that with a single bomb the city's hospitals, governmental facilities, police headquarters and Flinders Street Station were all destroyed, crippling the city permanently. The survivors left quickly, the radiation level deadly after only a few hours exposure, leaving an untapped wealth of treasure within.
Those that couldn't make it out either died or became feral ghouls.
After the War
The Hoddle Grid remained a no-go-zone, blocked off by its own wall of skyscraper ruins, the only way through being the Yarra River which travels through the heart of the explosion, forming the Flinders Street Lake. The area was surveyed by Victoria Railways in the 2100's, however, the radiation was too high to rebuild the track to the eastern section of the state.
The only inhabitants since then have been the truly adventurous scavengers in radiation suits, ghoul scavengers or the truly desperate and stupid.