o Levels eleven through twenty and 30 through 39 are the main habitation levels for the city. Think of pretty nice hotels that stretch on for miles and miles. Each of the hab units is like a decent sized studio apartment with power, water, recycling and a tap for food base. Oh, if I haven’t mentioned it before; foodbase is the standard food source of the citizens who actually live within the city. It is totally nutritious with all the calories, vitamins and minerals a human (or Sime) needs. It is usually dispensed in plugs that are the shape and size of a can of beans. The foodbase itself has the texture of oatmeal mixed with tuna fish — it tastes nothing like either one of those — and at leas two of you might be thinking of Soylent Green … well SG would be a step up from foodbase. The bulk of foodbase comes from plants that are grown in hydroponic gardens on the park levels (levels 40 to 50.)
Back to the hab units, the Ethereals didn’t give any furnishings so that much is totally different from hab to hab, but if you live on the hab levels you have the exact same room layout and dimension as everyone else.
These levels can look like standard “hotel” corridors or there can be large open air galleries with each “floor” of rooms having connecting balconies . These galleries often become mini parks or recreation centers for a neighborhood. They are also the locations of guerrilla markets that spring up that can sell everything from food to weapons to slaves. Slavery is illegal in most neighborhoods but that doesn’t stop some of the less scrupulous from trying to make a little profit. That reminds me I am going to have to talk about the economy at some point, but not this second. The markets most often leave when the the sales or the inventory drops off but some with decent connections to supply are semi permanent.
There are sections of each level where people haven’t lived for centuries. Because of the more or less sealed nature of the hab levels animals and vermin are not a big problems (except for Carrion Crabs – more about them later) but these uninhabited areas are places where Nightmares often spawn and dwell. A psychic creature can stay in an area for decades after humans have left feeding off the psychic residues left behind. Sometimes if a Nightmare or a Desire manifests in a habituated area sometimes the people will leave rather than try and fight it. The market levels are not as plagued by Nightmares and Desires as much as the hab levels because there are more dojos, fencing schools and martial academies on those levels, and that means there are more adventurous types who would be willing to hunt them down.
since basic needs are met by the hab units, most people don’t have to work for anything, but they try and find jobs just so they have something do do. There is no tv and no internet so the people are desperately bored most of the time. there are lots and lots of hobby craftsmen and musicians and actors, artists, scholars, philosophers, and warriors. There are breweries and pharmaceuticals and (ahem) horizontal dancers…. Most people are very serious about their jobs but there is no peasant class or working classes. Some neighborhoods have an upper class, a nobility that is based on military power verses wealth. Some neighborhoods are governed around a corporate or trade union guild structure, some are communistic and some are totally democratic with public elections.
Real sources of power come from control of vital goods, medical help, transport access points (like the elevators or the transway stops) or military power. the heads of fighting schools are often powerful people and if the fighting school is close to a transway stop they can be very powerful, or at least influential in deciding who gets where or who gets what resources.
o Oh, another big big source of power is control of the Terminals and the UCs. there are Terminals all over the city in various places that let someone talk to the Ethereals and to command some of the trillions and trillions of nanites that help maintain the city. With a Terminal someone can have buildings built or torn down. Terminals can also control the army of Ottos that help maintain the city. The Ethereals don’t really like it when someone takes over the Ottos for extended periods but they ignore when someone uses them to tote and haul goods for a day or two. The UC is a Universal Constructor – they use raw materials, nanites and three D printing tech to make just about anything that anyone wants. Raw materials can be obtained (with the use of the Terminal) from on the the thousands of RT Fusion reactors that the Ethereals use to power the city. the RT is for Room Temperature- using these and sufficient raw materials the RTF can make boatloads of energy and turn the fuel in to a new denser material. With the Terminal and the UC an operator can create anything in the Ethereal database – withe the exception of some of the weirder UNITY tech – that requires the reality bending power of the group mind.