Pamela Foland's Refuge

Refuge

            Refuge is basically Sanctuary version 2.0. It was built to replace Sanctuary when it became clear that The Dark would finally succeed in their repeated attempts to destroy Sanctuary. Fortunately they had a lot of warning and time to prepare their new safer home, and it shows.

The move to Refuge was a hurried and chaotic but not rushed affair. Careful planning on the part of Annette Peterson, the factor in charge of Refuge=s design and construction, made it a precise if not smooth operation. The move from Sanctuary was complicated by the simultaneous intake of refugees from a doomed Earth parallel. As a consequence the initial population of Refuge was twice that of the final population of Sanctuary. Fortunately Annette planned ahead for growth in population far into Refuge=s future and there was ample space to absorb the newcomers without even making a dent the housing Annette had prepared.

            Just the main level of Refuge is over one hundred times the size of all of Sanctuary (not including the preservation zones). That is just in terms of the excavated area of the cave. It is more than 10,000 times the volume. Instead of merely hollowed out corridors, Refuge=s main level is one huge cave over a mile high, the simulated sky clings to within a meter of the top of the cavern. Even residents capable of flight don=t tend to notice it is only fake.

            The main level offers expanded housing choices beyond the strictly urban settings offered by Sanctuary. Costal, rural, and marine housing are available as well as banks of crashpads, which act as temporary housing for the constantly growing population of refugees which arrive semi-indigent.

            The main level of Refuge focuses around Hub, the administrative and urban living center. Hub offers housing more like that found in Sanctuary with the living grids stacked to form skyscrapers.  

Beneath Hub, Crashtown was originally designed as temporary quarters for homeless refugees as they arrived in Refuge. Each individual accommodation for one, a crashpad, consists of a twin bed nook, under bed drawers and a two by two closet at the foot of the bed all opening out into a common hallway. In the wall at the foot of the bed is a smallish media screen. A rolling metal door comes down from the ceiling to close off the crashpad when not in use or when privacy is wanted. Crashpads offer a bare minimum of private personal space. They don’t even qualify as rooms. Any individual within Refuge is entitled to the use of a crashpad, a minimal clothing allotment, and three meals per day out of the standard processor located in each crashpad hall; though no one has any trouble earning additional housing, clothing or food allotments if they choose.

            Intended as temporary homes by the founders of Refuge, the lower levels of Crashtown are semi-permanently inhabited by the lowest class in Refuge. Former transients, homeless, mentally ill people refusing treatment, runaways, even the rare criminals take advantage of the guaranteed anonymity of a crashpad.

            Crashpads were issued anonymously, biometrically locked by palmprint, DNA and quantum signature. The only records kept were in a secure crashpad database for the purpose of ensuring that no one individual had more than the allotted one crashpad at any given time. They were free to move nightly or hourly whenever where ever within the million crashpads of

            Adjacent to Hub is Grand Central Station, another city in itself. Grand Central is dominated by the factors. It is the zone for arrivals and departures from Refuge and also the main access point for reaching Refuge=s other levels and environments. Main factor headquarters is located at the top of the Grand Central complex, with training areas and trainee dorms located beneath and in the cliffs adjacent to it.

Tunnels arrayed from Grand Central lead to Refuge=s four major and many minor preservation and training environs. Each is larger than Sanctuary=s equivalent zone, with room for permanent settlements of peoples indigenous and quasi-indigenous to those environments.

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