|Location:||Corpse Coast, Texas|
|Factions:||Mississippi Traders Union, Rafters, Salt Clan|
|Current status:||Serving as the premier marketplace in the Corpse Coast.|
The rusting, creaking wreckage of the USS Lexington betrays not only the centuries of weathering without, but the decades of depravity within. The odor of salt, sweat, and blood hangs like a veil over the Corpse's biggest neutral marketplace.
The USS Lexington CV-16 was an Essex-class aircraft carrier built during World War II that saw action in the Pacific theater. It was briefly decommissioned after the war, but was reactivated after being updated. It was finally decommissioned for good in 1991; and became a museum ship in Corpus Christi, Texas.
The Lexington was buffeted by shock-wave created waves and damaged by raining debris. The various aircraft serving as museum pieces on the flight deck were all ruined, many of them swept into the ocean or into the city. Though the carrier buckled and bent, it survived.
The remains of the ship proved equally popular to scavengers and creatures who favored dark, wet lairs. Various attempts to squat within by humans and ghouls met with failure as they were killed or driven out. When the Corpse became a hotbed of gang and mercenary violence, the Lexington was viewed by different groups as a decent place for a base of operations or arms cache of some kind and there were numerous skirmishes to take possession of it. Eventually, a few of the more farsighted thugs realized that their indeterminate dueling would render the vessel completely uninhabitable and an alliance was formed to clear out the dangerous vermin and protect it from the more trigger-happy brutes.
In the course of all the work they put into taking and controlling the Lexington, the consortium of mercs wound up with a number of prisoners and trapped creatures; the transition from mercenaries to slavers came naturally. Once the Lexington became a market rather than a fortress, the fights over its possession stopped for the most part. The mercs in The Corpse frequently had need of labor to haul materiel and create fortifications, every proper merc that was doing one of those things typically didn't have a gun in hand and couldn't fight, so slaves were the solution. However the upkeep of slaves proved troublesome and escape attempts were frequent as slaves would typically be killed when they weren't needed; the advent of the market in the Lexington also helped with this issue. Now slaves frequently rotated in and out of service, taken back to the Lexington when they weren't needed. It also had a transformative effect on the politics of the warring gangs, making the capture of rivals more preferable to their deaths. The sudden flux of slaves drastically reduced their value for mere labor, and the slavers of the Lexington had to diversify; heralding their further evolution into panderers.
With its new focus on sex and debauchery came the re-branding of the ship as the Lexxx by its keepers, who wanted there to be no misunderstanding as to what business was about.
The Lexxx's only permanent inhabitants are the slavers who act as both guards and salesmen; the population is otherwise highly transient; split unevenly between the teeming masses of slaves and the Corpse mercs who come to buy, sell, or use them. This has created a culture of anonymity, slaves rarely know their fellows long enough to develop any kind of relationship and the only people visitors will likely know are people they bring with them. Names, status, and reputation mean nothing; child-killers, bounty-heads, and other people who might be (in)famous rub shoulders with the chaff and neither are ever the wiser. Some people embrace this, becoming absolutely different people between the time they get on the Lexxx and get off.
The Lexxx is also a peculiarity in the sordid world of slaving as it actually keeps extensive ledgers regarding who they've bought and sold and their condition, a necessity given the frequent repurchasing and reselling endemic to the Corpse.
The Lexxx is a 24-hour a day, multi-venue marketplace with a heavy emphasis on slave trading, prostitution, and munitions; in that order. All transactions must take place through the resident slavers, who take a small cut when directing different parties to each other. The slavers are well appraised as to the ebb and flow of the Corpse; what's being accepted as currency, the value of lives and commodities, etc.
The resident slavers have very little structure; they tend to band together in groups on their own initiative to do whatever needs doing aboard the Lexxx. They don't step in to deal with any of the scuffles that take place between visitors, nor do they promise any kind of protection from petty theft. They will take steps to prevent brawls or riots however; and protect unpurchased slaves from harm.
The Lexington is a ruined example of an Essex class aircraft carrier; around 820 feet long from one end to another. It sits in the waters just off the old neighborhood of North Beach in the Corpse, connected to the land by a series of ramps and scaffolds. The ship's depths; the Bilge, is where the most obstinate and ornery slaves are kept, deprived of sunlight, a dry place to rest, or even fresh air in order to break them. The flight deck is known as the Flesh Fair, the primary marketplace where wares can be examined by the light of day.
- Big Spring: The Arceneaux Twins have frequent need of slaves, the Lexxx is just another source for them.
- Gardendale: The battles that ravage the "heart" of the Corpse Coast stay away from the Lexxx which is recognized as neutral ground.
- Midessa Compact: The Midessans, especially the Salt Clan do quite well dealing ammunition at the Lexxx. They have nothing to do with the rampant slaving however.
- Mississippi Traders Union: The Corpse and the Lexxx are outside of the MTU's traditional territory and are considered unsafe, but the promise of profit draws some business regardless.
- The Big Easy: Far-ranging Rafters stop by to trade with great frequency. They also transport a number of people to and from the Corpse, using the Lexxx as a neutral place to deposit them.
|This has been written by OvaltinePatrol. Please contact this user before editing this article.|