One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.” -Hunter S. Thompson

Monday, March 26, 2012

Prospero’s Underhive: Hell’s Attic

Despite the fact that the entire of Planet Prospero is covered by one large city, living space here is at a premium. Prospero’s Mega-City is divided into sectors based on many of the original municipal boundaries of the cities that were first built during Prospero’s colonization period. The average citizen works for the government, or is a cog one of the massive corporations that bases their central headquarters on the planet. This means that the mid-to-high middleclass citizen on Prospero tends to live in one of the many spartan arcology complexes located throughout the city.

Citizens of Prospero’s privileged wealthy and elite class however, get to bask in the luxurious and spacious, penthouses and condominiums that scrap the city’s skyline. These veritable palaces tend towards the ostentatious, are lavishly decorated, and often sport large swimming pools and lush indoor gardens full of exotic plants gathered from the far reaches of the Galaxy.

But for many even the luxury of a basic arcology apartment is far beyond their means. For those unlucky enough to have to make a choice between food and shelter, the Underhive City of New Kowloon are all they can ever afford to live in. But even these desperate people consider themselves lucky. When the average impoverished citizen of New Kowloon considers the desperate lost souls who find themselves forced to live in the proverbial belly of the beast, they consider themselves wealthy indeed. Located deep in the bowels of Prospero there are forgotten sewers and service tunnels. Here can be found the worst of Prospero’s hive-like ghettos, and one of the most notorious of these abyssal hellholes is Hell’s Attic.

Hell’s Attic
If for some unexplainable reason you wanted to visit Hell’s Attic, the easiest way to get there would be to descend into the dark dregs of the Liberty Trench that divides central New Kowloon east and west. This dark and scary place echoes with strange sounds, reeks of garbage, and other unidentifiable smells. Junkies and other sub species of humanity wander aimlessly around in the shadow. Once here you might think that you have reached the "Attic". This would be a mistake. Your journey is just beginning and it takes you even deeper into the stinking bowels of the planet. Here you must navigate through a labyrinth of zigzagging tunnels, cross-shaky catwalks that threaten tumble fall into chasms. Then finally after what seems like an eternity of following ancient power cables and pipes encrusted with flaking mold and paint and avoiding the putrid fluids that drip from them, that you will eventually find yourself in the infamous ghetto known as Hell’s Attic.

It the "Attic" one finds an odd juxtaposition of people and places. Looking to your left you are quick to discover prostitutes soliciting their carnal services. While directly opposite of them a priest gives an impassioned sermon to a motley congregation of the desperate and hopeless. Squatting inside the burnt out shell of an ancient vehicle a young mother breast-feeds her newborn child, while she waits for her drug addicted boyfriend getting high in the flophouse across the street. Making your way deeper into these warrens of sin and flashing neon lights you can see an armed team of aid workers from the surface. Quickly and quietly they unload much needed medical supplies into the only clinic for miles around. A long line of sick and malnourished "Hivers" squat along the front wall of the clinic hoping for a small measure of food or medical aid. Across from the clinic, the thunderous bass of heavy metal rock music blazes from a gang’s clubhouse. Young hotheaded gang members can be seen inside roughhousing and drinking toxic homemade booze. On a balcony above scrawny dirty children play video games in a cheap arcade. By night the children will be kicked out and Arcade will undergo a subtle transformation into a combinations strip club and brothel. In short Hell’s Attic is a very strange complex place and difficult to generalize about. It’s a place that’s both extremely frightening and yet also a place where people continue to lead normal lives.


  1. I am not looking for swimming pool supplies, but congratulations on getting back in the blogging game! I'm totally digging the P.A.L.A.D.I.N notes; it sounds like this game and my potential Assholes in Space game could exist in the same universe.