On Sirian’s slightly smaller moon, Ardiel, an abandoned Zuxian habitat dug into the surface of the moon has been rediscovered by Belham Republic intel and brought under the fold of the Treatise Body Administration
A massive installation, the interior is largely intact despite years of abandonment thanks to Ardiel’s lack of atmosphere and tectonic plates. Regular impact to the moon has caused some minor shifting, but was largely accounted for during the installation’s design. Most interior damage appears to be due other factors.
While it’s believed much of the installation has yet to be explored, mapped and reclaimed, the areas that have been discovered already boast capacity for over a million residents, which is a promising prospect for the refugees fleeing the increasingly dangerous planet.
Power for the installation is provided by a mix of geothermal plants and shielded solar cells on the surface, though most of the latter are no longer in working order. Reclamation efforts have focused on restoring the infrastructure and exploring the many barred corridors leaving away from the established sector.
The housing area in the established sector is packed with uniform apartments stacked vertically in suite arrangements, accessible by elevator or stairs. Each apartment has waste recycling, fold-up bedding and a newly-installed small remixer for the necessities.
Part of the life support system within the installation is a man-made ‘river’ that helps both define and connect separate areas within the sector. Due to the low-gravity nature of Ardiel, the river is contained in a clear tube and not readily accessible except through regular maintenance hatches. The same sealed nature also avoid unnecessary evaporation.
A second large, clear tube runs along the ceiling of the sector, backlit to provide an artificial sense of weather or passing clouds in the subterranean habitat.
At ground level near the water system are several rooms clearly carved out for dining and entertainment.
The Starlight District
A high-society haven claiming the upper levels of the Waterfront, the Starlight District is a playground for the rich and influential. Home to many of the wealthy citizens from both Rohearn and Jahond, the Starlight District is flush with lavish luxuries, all brought in by the residents themselves.
Residency in the Starlight district was original gained by influencing the initial housing committee members when habitation of the section began. Since then, new arrivals to the district typically either need to buy out a current resident (no small task) or wait for someone to fall behind on the dues the district requires of its residents to keep its public spaces lush and entice the best businesses and performers.
To many performers, being invited to play at one of the many intimate venues in the Starlight District is a sign that you’ve ‘made it’ as an artist. Security generally keeps anyone who isn’t a resident, a personal guest of a resident, an employee of a resident, or an invited performer, from even entering the district.
Using the same technology as exists on the Fleet vessels, the holographic theaters in the Ardiel Installation are much larger in scope. While the technology suffers the same limitations otherwise, the sheer scale of simulations that can be easily created in Ardiel’s holorooms is far larger than those on either the Fleet vessels or Station Prime
Domed arenas of various sizes are dotted about the reclaimed sector, some particularly large and capable of seating tens of thousands of fans. The fields suggest the Zuxian enjoyed sports spurned by the low-gravity environment involving impressive jumps, careful balance and aerial acrobatics. Exactly what they played is still uncertain, but the arenas themselves are broadly usable for planetary sports in some shape or form.
The hydroponic systems of the Zuxian were left running when the Ardiel installation was abandoned, powered by geothermal systems and largely designed to be self-sustaining. Centuries without maintenance caused them to overgrow their original containers and spread throughout a portion of the sector, effectively converting it into a subterranean forest.
Plant and fungal life are all that currently reside in the ‘forest,’ although it’s large enough to make a decent home for at least some planetary fauna, if the refugees were able to rescue any.
Corridors leading away from the discovered sector are often sealed or blocked by wreckage. Signs of damage that seem to suggest precision explosives mark more than a few tunnels leading away from the reclaimed areas.
Other tunnels are open but unpowered, but damage in the known areas has made the Treatise Body cautious about exploring the remaining compound. While there is no restriction barring others from venturing down the unmonitored tunnels, there is a general warning given that no one should venture down them unprepared.
A secret ‘club’ not far down one of the ‘dark’ tunnels marked off as leading nowhere useful, where a criminal element can meet safely without prying eyes. All kinds of illegal goods and information can be bought and sold here, from drugs to military hardware to government secrets and illegal intrusion or spoofing software.
The market is also home to illegal events, from the pornographic to the pugilistic. No-rules fighting is a common event, with guns and explosives being the only thing outlawed. Exotic dancing, prostitution and illegal porn also call the market home. It’s also a great place to get forged paperwork, electronic or otherwise, or to purchase a whole new identity.
Oddly discovered last, the Ardiel installation also contains a massive transit depot and hangar for space-faring vessels headed for the planet, the stations, or other ports on the same Ardiel installation. The depot was suspiciously empty of Zuxian craft when the first reclaimers arrived, suggesting that the Zuxian who abandoned the installation had time to scramble all spacecraft to evacuate the residents.