|Location:||Brick City, New Jersey|
Terminal City is a technologically advanced settlement in the ruins of the former Newark Airport.
Built on top of reclaimed land along the Passaic River between the cities of Elizabeth and Newark in northern New Jersey, Newark Metropolitan Airport opened in October 1928. Located across the Hudson from New York City and roughly sixty miles northeast of Philadelphia, the airport immediately became a major regional hub in the northeast.
Starting in the 1970s on, the airport underwent numerous improvements. Owing to the numerous international flights that arrived and departed, the airport was renamed Newark International Airport. New terminals were built to keep up with the air traffic the airport received. The airport received a monorail system, connecting the three different terminals with each other, parking garages, and outside rail stations.
In the first half of the twenty-first century, a spate of close-calls and actual aviation disasters prompted the faceless executives operating the airport to reach out to the federal government for assistance. Their solution came in the form of a ZAX supercomputer, which was delivered to the airport and installed by Vault-Tec in 2062. The computer, called N.A.T.A.S.H.A. (Newark Airport Transportation And Safety Heuristic Analysis), was given the task of coordinating the thousands of flights arriving at and departing from the airport and the millions of passengers embarking and disembarking annually.
In 2077, the Great War erupted, devastated the world. Newark Airport was on the list of Chinese targets, as its destruction would have crippled the American northeast, but no hellfire rained down on the airport that day. Utilizing specialized laser turrets with varying uses from nudging airplanes back into their proper lanes to destroying them outright to prevent skyjackings, N.A.T.A.S.H.A. was able to nudge the missile headed towards the airport into Newark Bay. While the airport wasn’t outright destroyed by nuclear hellfire, it did sustain major damage from the destruction of society.
In the ensuing chaos of the breakdown of society, N.A.T.A.S.H.A. was the primary reason those who chose to stay in the airport survived, and eventually thrived. Why the computer did this is unknown, as it should have continued scanning and charting the rapidly dwindling airspace above the airport and gone into dormancy until objects were sensed, but whatever the reason, its involvement is the main reason the people in the airport lived through the initial disaster and thrived afterwards.
After revealing itself to the hundreds of survivors in the airport, the supercomputer did what it did best and began charting probabilities and outcomes. It organized the defenses of the airport when the throngs of suffering humanity attempted to gain access to the site. Utilizing information it had in its files containing flight manifest data and flight path data, N.A.T.A.S.H.A. was able to organize salvaging parties to recover food, arms, armor, medical equipment, generators, purifiers, industrial equipment, and other highly valuable items.
The computer has acted as an advisor and consultant to the survivors of Newark Airport- Terminal City- ever since. Using the massive amount of processing power at its disposal, N.A.T.A.S.H.A. helps determine the best course of action by charting the probabilities of different actions and determining which outcomes would be most beneficial. One such recommendation to the leaders of Terminal City was to isolate themselves from the rest of the world. The people of the settlement did just that, and blocked themselves off from the world around them for centuries.
In the mid-2100s, a small group left Terminal City to explore the ruins of the Port Newark–Elizabeth Marine Terminal facility to the east. Such an occurrence was not out of the ordinary, as the facility was regularly scoured for scrap, junk and other Pre-War items, but what was ordinary is the fact that this group decided to settle there permanently. Led by a shrewd negotiator, John Galloway, these salvagers were able to work out a deal with Terminal City granting them semi-independence, giving birth to Junkport.
Decades later, in the 2010s, Terminal City was approached by an emissary of Pope Thomas II, head of the East Coast Catholic Church. The pope proposed a formal alliance between Basilica, Terminal City, and a handful of other settlements in the ruins of Newark. Like all major decisions, the Council of Professionals- the governing body of the city- consulted N.A.T.A.S.H.A, and the supercomputer determined that taking the pope up on his offer would be the best course of action for Terminal City. While powerful, other settlements in the New York/New Jersey region were coming into their own, and Terminal City would be best served by agreeing into mutually beneficial trade and defense pacts. In 2219, Terminal City became one of the original signees of the Newark Covenant.
Among the biggest change the Newark Covenant brought was the “opening” of the city. The haughty and self-important residents of Terminal City took the move in stride, opening the city in all but name only. The three main terminals of the city, the primary residential and commercial zones of the settlement, remained blocked off to most visitors. Instead, all visitors to the city were allowed in one area of the settlement, where all commerce between outsiders and residents was to be conducted.
Terminal City has a very strong economy, due in large part because of its sophisticated and advanced technology and its high security. The city possesses cutting edge medical technology, high tech arms and armaments, and sophisticated devices that give residents a much higher quality of living than most in the Jersey Wasteland. Crops are farmed and water is purified on premises, minimizing the need to obtain food and drink from the outside.
When necessary, such things are sold for caps or traded for services and/or goods. All trade between residents and outsiders takes place in a specially designated area, the ruins of a former hotel that once stood on the grounds of the airport. Traders doing business in the city are issued passes and have their goods inspected by Terminal City Security, to ensure that contraband is not brought in nor banned items taken from the settlement.
Terminal City is a gerontocracy, governed by a council of select elders, known as the Council of Professionals. These men and women handle the day-to-day affairs of running the city. There is no set number of members, and joining it is by appointment only. Generally speaking, invitations are offered to older residents who have set themselves apart from the rest of the population somehow, be it through service to Terminal City, military experience, invention, and ingenuity, or some other action.
Outside of the Council of Professionals, Terminal City Security (TCS) is the most prestigious position a resident can have. TCS maintains a high presence in the city and their day-to-day functions ensure that the settlement remains safe. Terminal City Security wields a great deal of power and political clout in the city, and not only because they have a monopoly on weaponry, as citizens weapons are not technically allowed to be in personal possession of firearms.
Terminal City lies in the ruins of the former airport, utilizing its architecture. The city consists of four large buildings arranged roughly in a loop. Three terminals, named Terminal A, Terminal B, and Terminal C, are shaped roughly like crowns- rectangular buildings with three circular extensions- while the ruins of a former hotel is a square, squat building.
The rest of the acreage that made up the airport is under the control of Terminal City. Much of it has been ripped up and converted into farmland, but most of it is still paved and in good condition. The three runways have been converted into rivers, from which the city draws drinking water and, through waterwheels, act as emergency power sources. Terminal City Security regularly patrols the area, and security details are posted all over.
Most residents of Terminal City are not necessarily hostile towards outsiders, but are generally apathetic. Their standard of living is much higher than the average wastelanders, they live in relative peace and security, and most simply do not cross paths with outsiders on any kind of regular basis. In short, the average Terminal City resident has very few reasons to care about the plight of outsiders.
An original signatory of the “Newark Covenant” of Brick City, Terminal City has a shared political bond with all of the Brick City settlements. They are closest to Junkport, both in terms of physical location and shared history; the original settlers of the small community to the east were former residents of Terminal City.