|Notable Individuals:||Seth Huchinson, Ernesto Salsa, Vance Stratton, Edna Boganne|
|Factions:||Park Lane Safety Patrol|
|Current status:||Active community|
- "Park Lane welcomes caps and the people who bring them"
- ―Unofficial Slogan
While not directly attacked during the war, the area around the Detroit Downtown definitely felt its effects. In the immediate aftermath, the city fell into chaos as authority broke down, with an every man for himself attitude pervading. The fallout from the destruction of nearby Windsor did not help any, as the nuclear storms that blew in from across the river only served to fuel the chaos by adding nuclear fallout to the mixture of fear, hunger and desperation. The harsh nuclear winter of 2077-2078 served to quell the chaos after a fashion by simply forcing those left within the city to either flee or hunker down and consolidate whatever they could.
As a result, the Detroit Downtown lay largely abandoned for the next fifty years as simple subsistence became the principal form of human activity. It wasn’t until the climate began to warm again that people began to move back into the city and claim territories for themselves. Park Lane was one such location. Originally a single hotel located on the outskirts of the downtown district (itself regarded as being too dangerous to settle), the building and those nearby to it had survived the war and the subsequent chaos and abandonment relatively intact.
A group of refugees (themselves driven back into the city by harsh conditions in the surrounding country and a lack of food) settled in the Park Lane hotel in mid-2125 (accurate record and date keeping was not a priority at that point) seeking shelter from the elements while also looking for a defensible location. Initially, the community sought to simply fortify the one building, taking refuge in its upper floors. The community managed to survive, and began to slowly grow as others joined it. A second building, the nearby Hotel Edmund, was also taken over, with makeshift fortifications constructed to link the two and protect form wild animals or feral Ghouls. As conditions over the next few years stabilised (including a string of mild winters) the community began to slowly transform itself into something more permanent.
Park Lane was not the only such community to form during this time. The decade from 2130 to 2140 saw more humans return to the Detroit area, using the improving conditions as an opportunity to transition from nomadic scavengers into something more permanent. Not all of these communities were successful; many fell victim to attacks by wild animals or raiders, or disease and starvation. However, those that did managed to begin building better (or at least, less uncomfortable) lives for themselves. As more of these communities appeared, they began to trade with each other for scavenged good and supplies. Due to its position, Park Lane rose to prominence as a hub for traders to pass through on their way between communities.
This trade allowed Park Lane to prosper (by the admittedly limited standards of the time) and saw it grow further. Expanding outwards, it came to encompass a pair of city blocks and the remaining buildings within them. More businesses emerged, as the community transformed itself form a simple refuge to a more functional society. The town’s economy grew, driven by trade and scavengers picking over the ruins of the city. And while the growth did attract transients, drifters and the like, they were seen as an acceptable side-effect of the community’s prosperity.
However, this growth did attract other less desirable elements. As the population of the Detroit Wasteland grew, more raider gangs emerged. Park Lane and the trade caravans operating out of it were seen as prime targets for attack, which initially cost the community heavily. After a particularly costly and bloody attack in the spring of 2163, Park Lane formed a volunteer security force dedicated to protecting the community and its people.
Park Lane was directly in the sights of the Army of Revolution during the Revolutionary War. The community was attacked numerous times, with the Safety Patrol and hired mercenaries both suffering substantial losses at their hands. While the Army were never able to take the community, they did damage it and massively disrupted its activities. The disruption of trade caravans caused by the conflict severely cut into the community’s economy, while also depriving it of supplies. As the Army of Revolution advanced and communities fell to their offensive, many chose to fee Park Lane for more remote areas that they hoped would not be in the line of fire. Knowing that they would be unable to fight off the revolutionaries on their own, the mayor of Park Lane was forced to hire mercenaries to bolster their defence, which further drained their coffers. This was especially true of the deal made with Black Skull company, which then-mayor Alan Stack described as “blackmail.”
Escaping the war physically unharmed but economically drained, Park Lane has spent the last two year slowly clawing its way back. The community’s population has begun to grow again as many who fled during the war have tricked back in. Likewise, the economy has slowly begun to rebound as trade has re-established itself. This growth has been held back, however, due to the increased activity by raiders and even Super Mutants around the community, filling the void left in the AoR’s wake.
The post-war good times came to a sudden, crashing halt in March of 2287. The combination of a lull in raider attacks (the 2286-2287 winter had been unusually quiet), warming relations with Grand Central and no immediate threats meant that the Safety Patrol had become somewhat lax and less than fully diligent in their activities, with a sense of complacency setting in. Even then, few could have predicted what happened next.
A lone mercenary managed to infiltrate the council chambers and plant a bomb there, set to detonate during the next council meeting. The result was an effective decapitation of the city’s leadership, with Mayor Huchinson and several other members of the city council killed outright. Realising that the city was vulnerable, Chief Ernesto Salsa took control of the city “for the duration of the emergency”, making himself the de facto mayor. Few opposed him, fearful of what might happen to the community otherwise.
While Salsa begin doing his best to uncover who was behind the bombings (and creating a lengthy suspect list) other threats seized his attention. Park Lane’s mercenary community were up in arms at his actions due to his previous open hostility towards them. Many were fearful that he would now use his newfound powers to turf them out of the city, or declare them suspects in the attack. It was only due to reassurances by the surviving members of the city council and local businessmen (Plus a few hefty bribes) that they were persuaded to stay. Others opted to do such for protection, given reports of mercenaries being deliberately targeted.
Park Lane is built around two city blocks, located east of Detroit’s downtown district. The area has been fenced off with barricades built from scrap metal and other debris, with access limited to a single gate. Guard posts on the wall help protect the community and allow the security patrol to monitor who enters. Immediately behind the gate is a large, open square, the single biggest open space inside the city. The rest of it is a warren of narrow streets and laneways, often choked with debris or temporary housing.
The community is dominated by the two hotels that formed its core, the Park Lane and the Edmund. Both buildings survived the war intact, and have been kept reasonably well maintained ever since. Other, smaller buildings clutter the town, many of which are in poor condition or are either partially uninhabitable. While portions of several buildings are user for official housing, in practice a substantial portion of the population sleep wherever they can, including in the otherwise abandoned parts of town or makeshift structures on the street.
Officially, the population of Park Lane is a thousand, but that is based more on guesses and estimations then actual fact. The transitional nature of its population means that keeping an accurate headcount is difficult at best, especially given the number of transients and homeless that are found within the city’s walls. The population is believed to be eighty-five percent human, with the rest (sentient) ghouls. While there is no bias against ghouls within the community, Ferals are still killed on sight due to the risk they represent.
The community has access to a small number of ancient Protectron and Mister Handy robots that were recovered from its buildings. These robots serve to help keep vital services running and aid in maintenance jobs, but themselves are rather worn. As such, the community relies on trade to provide parts to keep them running.
Park Lane is run by a city council, made up of a number of prominent business leaders from the community as well as a few other key members such as the chief of the security patrol. They, in turn, appoint a mayor to serve as their head and spokesman. How much actual authority the mayor wields has varied both by the individual and the strength of the council at the time. The current mayor, Seth Huchinson, is seen as being little more than an ineffectual figurehead who simply approves whatever the council wants. However, as he has also presided over two years of growth, he remains relatively popular.
The community is protected by the Park Lane Security Patrol, first formed in 2163 as a response to raider attacks. An entirely volunteer force, the PLSP often draws from the ranks of transients or the unemployed, but it does have a few more skilled soldiers within its ranks. Often the PLSP will make offers to down on their luck mercenaries, offering them a degree of security, shelter and a fixed income in exchange for a term of service and acting as trainers for the rest of the force. Many of these opt to stay and become senior officers.
Supplies for the PLSP are based more on whatever the community has at hand, with the concept of ‘standard issue’ being a more abstract concept than reality. A typical officer will wear security armour over whatever clothes they have at hand, clearly marked with a PLSP badge. They are usually armed with submachine guns or 10mm pistols, and have access to a small stash of heavier weapons for emergencies.
As with many post-war communities, Park Lane has little in the way of an actual criminal justice system. Crimes are usually dealt with on the spot through fines or detaining the offender overnight in the lock-up. More severe offences can lead to ejection from Park Lane and a permanent ban on entering.
Points of interest
The Park Lane Hotel
The original core of the settlement, the Park Lane is a sixteen-storey tall brick building built in the early 20th century. While still physically intact, it is rather worn and run down in places, giving it an air of faded grandeur. Rather then a more normal hotel layout, the building has an unusual branching design which gives it a somewhat maze-like interior that can be hard to navigate. Most of the building has been converted into residential space, with each room turned into an apartment. Some of the larger suites have been sub-divided to allow for greater occupancy.
Partner to the Park Lane, the smaller Edmund has a more conventional layout than its counterpart. Like the Park Lane, it has been converted into residential spaces, but a portion of it still serves as a hotel for wealthier travellers. Its inhabitants are generally poorer or have less options, although the Edmund is still seen as being better than living on the street or in a derelict building. More run down then the Park Lane, the Edmund is prone to leaking, drafts and losing power in places.
City Hall/Patrol Headquarters
Formerly a theatre, this ornately decorated building has been divided up and serves as both the city’s seat of power and the headquarters for the security patrol. The former stage now serves as the council chambers, as well as being used as an auditorium for large gatherings. The upper seating has been removed, and converted into the mayor’s office and apartment.
The lower levels of the building are the headquarters for the Security Patrol. Aside from administrative offices, they also include weapons and equipment storage as well as a lock-up.
Stratton’s Trading Post
Built into a pre-war storefront, Stratton’s Trading Post is the largest trader in Park Lane. Stratton’s deals directly with both the trade caravans and scavengers, and as such, has a surprisingly large range of goods and is well-supplied. While the store’s range can go all the way from obvious junk to good condition pre-war items, Stratton’s suppliers have proven adept at acquiring rare or specialty items on demand to those who are willing to pay for them.
Only the ground floor of the building is used for the store. The upper levels are reserved for offices and the homes of the staff.
The Kill Zone
Park Lane’s only weapons store, the Kill Zone is built into a small storefront. The store sells all manner of weapons, from simple knives and blades to automatic firearms. While its stock comes from salvaged pre-war weapons, the store does its best to ensure that they are in good working condition or, at the very least, not liable to kill their operator. The store also offers weapon repair and maintenance facilities for a nominal fee.
Due to its role, the Kill Zone serves as a hub for the mercenary trade in Park Lane, and offers such services as a noticeboard and ‘wanted’ ads. This also means that the Security Patrol has a highly visible presence around the store.
The Hole in the Ground
The only bar in Park Lane, the Hole in the Ground is a very literal basement bar, in that it occupies the converted basement of an otherwise gutted and partially collapsed building on the fringes of the community. Best described as a sleazy dive, the Hole in the Ground serves as a discrete meeting spot for those wishing to conduct business away from the ears of the Security Patrol. As such, it’s a favorite meeting spot for mercenaries and would-be employers.
The rest of the building is officially empty. In practice, it’s used by the homeless and drifters for shelter. The staff of the bar turn a blind eye to this as long as they do not interfere with their business.
Park Lane Power and Light
Built into another gutted building, Park Lane Power and Light supplies the community with electricity. This is done through a collection of salvaged generators that have been wired together in an only marginally safe way to feed power to the buildings in the rest of the community. Oft derided as a ‘fire-trap’ and ‘an accident waiting to happen’, the community is none the less dependant on its continued operation and certainly does not have any alternatives. In order to ensure its continued operation (and not bursting into flames) the facility’s human staff are supplemented by at least one Protectron and Mister Handy at all times.
The current mayor of Park Lane, Seth Huchinson is widely seen as being a figurehead who does little but accommodate the interests of the city council. Certainly, he does little to discourage this image. A heavy drinker to the point of being a borderline alcoholic, Huchinson is rarely seen fully sober. He is also rumoured to have had a string of affairs with different women (and possibly men) since taking office. Finally, he appears to be pouring his income into acquiring pre-war comic books while showing very little interest in actual city policy. None the less, he is strangely popular with the people. This could be because of the community’s two years of growth since his taking office, or it could simply be because he’s so open about his bad habits.
Commander of the PLSP, Ernesto Salsa has been a life-long career officer. Joining as a raw recruit, he worked his way up the ranks while showing a degree of dedication, honesty and drive that was incredibly rarer within the organisation. A stern and humourless man, Salsa prides himself on knowing everything that is going on within the town. He has very little tolerance for Mercenaries, and makes no effort to hide his distaste for them. However, he also understands how important they are to the town’s economy and accepts it, even if he doesn’t like it. In the last five years, he has put on a fair amount of weight, leading to the nickname ‘chunky’, one he detests.
The owner of Stratton’s Trading Post and a member of the city council, Vance Stratton is the richest and most influential person in Park Lane. A ruthless businessman, he has done his utmost to ensure that his store remains at the forefront of the town’s business community. He has long-standing deals with a number of merchant caravans that gives him first pick of any goods that arrive in the town. He also has connections with scavengers and smugglers to ensure that they can get what he cannot acquire legitimately. Dark rumours also suggest that he has contacts with several raider bands that he uses to sabotage his competition, but those remain unproven.
A ghoul, Edna Boganne is the current manager of the Edmund. While unproven, she claims to have been born before the war, and enjoys spinning (fanciful) tales of her past. Aside from her taste for elaborate wigs, she also has amassed a collection of pre-war movie memorabilia to keep her memories (or at least, the illusion). Boganne is well aware of how the Edmund is seen, but cares little as long as the caps keep coming in. It is also believed that she turns a blind eye towards some of the business that goes on within the hotel such as chem dealing or prostitution in exchange for a cut of the take.
A male prostitute who works out of Park Lane, "Pretty Pete" is a surprisingly well-liked and well-regarded member of the community, despite the openness about what he does. Much of this comes from his amiable nature and pleasant demeanour, along with the amount of caps he's put into the local economy, one way or another. Pete has a long list of male and female 'regulars', both from among the community and those outside it.
|This has been written by KayEmm. Please contact this user before editing this article.|