|Location:||Gold Coast, Florida|
|Current status:||Enduring community.|
The Alfred I. du Pont building is the tallest surviving Art Deco skyscraper in downtown Miami. During World War II, the U.S. Navy commandeered it for use as a headquarters and hospital, informally dubbing it the U.S.S. Neversink, now that the ruined city is partially submerged the nickname is more appropriate than ever. It serves as one of the primary hubs of civilization in Miami.
Designed by the firm of Marsh and Saxelbye and built between 1937-1939, the du Pont building was named for the owner of the Florida National Bank and the Florida East Coast Railway, the building's principle tenant. The Alfred I. du Pont Building has important historical associations with the military activity present in south Florida during the Second World War. During the war, the du Pont Building was commissioned by the United States Navy and served as the fleet headquarters for the 7th Naval District until June 30, 1946. The Navy command took over two entire floors of the building and installed a huge map of the Gulf Sea Frontier territory. During its occupation by the United States Navy, the building was dubbed the "U.S.S. Neversink."
At some point the building's ownership fell to the city, who hired a manager to maintain it. The building manager secretly coveted the building and allowed it to fall into a state of neglect to lower its price, using such tactics as using parts from the other elevators to keep one functional. Eventually, the city sought to divest itself of the building as the manager had planned, but he was outbid by a businessman who restored the building and leased out office and commercial spaces. It became a veritable bastion of accountants, lawyers, diamond dealers, and agents (sports and film). It remained downtown's tallest Moderne-style building until the 2050s. Miami's last, great construction boom heavily favored Moderne and other Art Deco derived styles as opposed to the Mimo style that had dominated previous decades. The du Pont building was soon in the shadow of several taller structures.
The du Pont building was mostly shielded by its larger neighbors, all of whom had been designed with the latest advances in hurricane-proof engineering. While it did not save its neighbors from atomic devastation, the extra effort created a safe cubby-hole for the older, smaller building. A number of people on the premises took shelter in the building's utility area, which contained large generators that ran interdependently of the city's grid. The survivors sealed the doors after it became clear that those who had survived outside the building had gone mad and were rioting and looting. Their immediate survival needs were met by the contents of the various tenant shops and restaurants. Because of the great destruction and chaos, the people in the tower remained banded together for mutual protection.
Years later, the people who had taken shelter in Neversink were still together; scavenging for supplies from the ruins and fending off marauders and ghouls. They noticed the water level creeping higher and higher with each passing year, so they set about sealing the openings into the ground level and making an alternate entrance higher up using scrap and debris. After another few years they had to raise the seals higher to keep up before the water level more or less settled. With the city partially submerged, scavenging became far more difficult as the Neversinkers didn't have anything by the way of boats, so they took to looting higher ground or making risky underwater dives.
They eventually made contact with the nascent Rafters, who in turn brought to their attention the similar communities based in Freedom Tower and the surviving stretch of A1A towers. Later contact with a different set of Rafters, the Water Merchants, nearly ensured them a source of water as long as they could meet the merchants' strange needs. A limited exchange of goods and people took place over the course of the centuries, ensuring the genetic viability of Neversink and the other towns.
The tower's residents are largely the descendants of Jewish and Cuban-Americans, so Neversink is multilingual despite its small population; when not dealing with outsiders the people speak a patois of English and Spanish with sprinkles of Hebrew and Yiddish. The people are hoarders, but only because their supply of drinking water depends on the behavior. The primary diversions of the people (besides swimming and water-based sports and games) are music and dancing. Neversinkers have pioneered a sort of Latin-infused Klezmer music.
Earlier in its history as a community, the residents went through great lengths to purify and desalinize their own water, but once their population hit a certain threshold it simply wasn't possible to provide enough water to everyone. Its existence was in peril until Rafters started appearing with large quantities of fresh water they traded in exchange for the seemingly worthless, Pre-War bric-à-brac and detritus they had accumulated in their scavenging. Scavenging for, and repairing or restoring, antiques the water merchant Rafters desire is Neversink's principle economic activity. They also rent out rooms to lodgers and space in the two vaults as storage for Rafters. The building's Mezzanine-level safe deposit vault is iconic of the community and incredibly sturdy. The cash vault is smaller and less iconic, but similarly safe. Neversink is also closely linked to Freedom Tower, the other main community in the ruins of Downtown.
The people of Neversink are largely communal, but defer all dealings with outsiders and matters of justice or crisis to the descendants of the building's owners. This "first family," takes a meritocratic approach to things, the most competent and interested among them handling affairs or appointing someone better suited to do the same.
Neversink proper is contained entirely within and upon the Alfred I du Pont building. The tower is 260' tall, split among some 21 floors. Several of the bottom floors have had all exterior access sealed off to prevent flooding inside the building. There are bits of scaffolding on the exterior, where residents have expanded or prepared docks for Rafters or bridges to other, shorter buildings. It's just a few miles south of Freedom Tower; convention and convenience dictate that one will go from Neversink to Freedom Tower on their way to the ruins of Miami Beach
- Aquaculture: Though the people of Neversink don't know it, Aquaculture is the source of the fresh water brought by the occasional Rafter merchant (actually an agent of SPECTRUM). The so-called water merchant is highly popular as he wants seemingly worthless or near-worthless junk in exchange for the precious water. Each new water merchant throughout the years has successfully communicated with veiled threats that any harm visited upon their person would result in no fresh water deliveries.
- Freedom Tower: Freedom Tower is the closest friendly community, it has such close ties to Neversink it is a defacto extension of the more populous skyscraper.
- Orange Bowl: The pirates constitute the single most persistent threat to the people of Neversink. They despise the pirates and curse their inability to take decisive action against them.
|This has been written by OvaltinePatrol. Please contact this user before editing this article.|