(c. early 21st century)
Sometime early in the 21st century an unmanned space exploration probe called Phobos 1 was sent to one of the Martian moons, its mission was to land, take samples from beneath the moons surface, and then return with these samples to earth.
Among the samples brought back was a small blue crystal which was soon to be the cause of great change back here on earth.
It was found that the Crystal, now called Numasol, when processed in the right way, could be used to generate high levels of nuclear energy.
No government could afford to let this opportunity to tap into what might be a huge source of future power pass by.
So an open challenge was set by the Government to any company that could come up with a mining program and the technology needed to implement that program on a hostile planet. This would include the space technology need to get miners to the planet and get the Crystals back. . The winning company would get the first contract for mining the Martian moon.
This caused a gold rush style race by many companies and it had the side effect that in a few short years space technology advanced extremely rapidly. Soon many small space stations were set up in orbit around the earth as “off world” launch pads for the proposed mining expeditions. Trips into orbit soon became as common as terrestrial air flights and not long after this the first off world colonies were set up on huge space stations with built in Eco systems. But we are getting ahead of the story somewhat.
One of the first Corporations to gain a Government contract to send miners to the Martian moon was Metro-Tek Industries. After several extremely lucrative successful mining missions, they were given permission set up a permanent base from which to run the whole off world mining industry here on Earth.
A small desert town called Little Rock was chosen to be transformed into this base for operations. It was to be re named NOMOS, a name chosen by the managing director of Metro-Tek’s 6 year old granddaughter.
The company began by building themselves a huge pyramid structure as their headquarters. This building they surrounded with a great concrete wall in an attempt to hold back the ever shifting desert sands. Next they set about building temporary accommodation for the many miners that were now needed to work the mines.
Very early on it had been found that long uninterrupted periods on the Martian moon had bad effects on the health of the miners, so to lessen these effects, they would work one month on the moon then take one months rest back on earth, so Nomos was to become a huge R and R camp for the mostly young male miners back on earth.
It was decided early on in project not to spread the building of the miner’s accommodation out into the desert, but instead to build them on top of the already existing buildings of the old town.
And so the dark metal Metro Blocks began to spread upwards, over hanging the old town and blocking out increasingly more and more light, until a kind of twilight world of shadows was created down in the streets and alleys amongst the struts and cables needed to support and feed power to the apartments high above.
Not that there was anyone complaining. Most of the old residents of the town were long gone, offered one way tickets to the off world colonies, the new mega space stations like New Eden, that float like giant ocean liners in orbit around the earth. A new home in the stars, well, that’s what the adverts say anyway.
These old residents had now been replaced by a new breed of city dwellers, those that preyed upon the excesses of the well paid miners, who spent most of their time and money while back in the city in the many clubs and bars that now filled the streets of Nomos.
Soon all manner of other waifs and strays appeared in the city, wanderers out of the desert, or rejects from the “better worlds” being set up in space. Somehow all of societies’ rejects seemed to gravitate naturally to the streets and bars of Nomos.
To combat the inevitable corruption and disorder that followed in the wake of this sudden influx of organized crime and delinquency, Metro-Tek set up their own private police force. This section of the company was called Metro-Pol.
To back up the human officers a force of droids were developed. These Bot Cops as they were called were stationed in the streets to watch over sensitive areas, and I identify and apprehend known criminals.
To cope with over crowded cells in the city the Newgate Space Station was set up as a high security jail. All class A criminals were taken there for rehabilitation. Out of sight, out of mind.
They also funded and organized Health care in the city and formed Medi-Tek, the medical branch of the company.
To cope with the many mental illnesses that the miners seemed to acquire off world they provided mental care aboard the SS Bedlam, a kind of off world asylum. In space no one can hear you scream, so goes the protest video against the treating meantal patients off world.
In the early days of mining the Corporation were also responsible for experimentation into new ways to harness the power of the Numasol crystals. So the Power generation branch of the company was born, Metro-Gen.
It appears that the city still suffers from the fallout from some of the less successful of those early experiments with the crystals. One of the very early tests had caused vast amounts of invisible gas to hang in the atmosphere around the city. This gas was extremely corrosive and explains why the city now seems bathed in a coat of rust and metal decay.
However, most of these crystal experiments have stopped now and the Metro-Gen plant is deserted, apart from the crystal core which still provides power to the city.
It is reported that Metro-Tek has of late been concentrating all their energies on Genetics.
As more and more miners fall ill from various space sicknesses the company have been delving into the possibilities of genetically engineered humans called replicants that can replace the human workers. It seems that all the old moral arguments against genetics have been waved as the need for more and more Martian crystals becomes necessary to fuel the ever expanding space program. In fact, it is rumored that there are already many genetically engineered replicants working and living among the miners. This is quite possible as there is almost no physical difference between the engineered and the real.
It is also rumored on the street that experiments were carried out to produce what was referred to as a pleasure model, entertainment for the miners in space and back here on earth in the city, and some say that such creatures are at this very time working the streets of the city. Street life, the local news paper recently reported on the growth in the illegal trading of Replicants along side other more common household dometic droids. And an even more disturbing development, the practice called “Rigging” was discovered. According to the story, ordinary citizens are being kidnapped and then by means of an electronic neck band, developed for the control of mentally ill patients, their minds are being â€œre programmedâ€. They are then put up for sale in the illegal Replicant auctions, being passed off as the real thing.
Gangs of Nomos
There are now reportedly so many gangs on the streets in Nomos that even the miners have taken to joining them just to keep safe.
Metro-Pol have identified most of these gangs and there is a recent public report that can be read naming the main ones and their know territories in the city. It seems that much of the gang activity takes place high on the roof tops of the metro blocks where the police tend not to venture as often as they should.
The word on the street is that the corporation no longer runs Nomos, the gangs do.
And Metropol has itslef become little more than an organized gang as it has become more and more corrupt.
Recent trends and New Eden
Mining production has of late dropped off due to the health hazards involved, and there are less and less miners to be found in Nomos. Recently the New Eden colony opened off world and those who could afford to do so have sold up and re located there, leaving cities such as Nomos in the hands of those who cannot afford the dream ticket and those who like it best when those who care most about the fate of the planet are far away in the stars.
Last modified: June 2, 2011