Appendix

A PROFILE ON THE CITY OF LUCICRESCENS

History

Lucicrescens’ history is almost synonymous with that of the rest of New Jersey. Discovered by Sir Henry Hudson in 1609, it was later claimed and colonised by the Dutch about five years later. During this time Main Island was a rough swampy terrain, consisting of mostly marsh and wetlands, and inhabited by the primitive Numache tribes, who had been discovered by French explorer Devon de Sangterre earlier in the 17th century. Under the command of Carlos Vallostra, a Spanish mercenary once hired by the Dutch explorer Cornelius Jacobsen Mey, the Numache tribes were massacred then forced to convert to Christianity. The colony of Cape Johansson was established soon after.

Firefly Coast

Like the rest of the state, Cape Johansson went into British hands some time around 1664. After Colonel Richard Nicolls seized the other colonies, Cape Johansson’s population began to wane when many settlers moved away to other colonies, as the swampy environment made for very uncomfortable living conditions. At this time, a doctor-turned-cult leader named Sir Edmond Troy, who had once been a Bishop before his medical practice, saw this as an opportunity to build a new frontier for his ever expanding following. Edmond Troy had grown disillusioned with organised religion and believed that the reserved culture of the settlers was non-progressive. Planning to build a new society devoted to humanism, hedonism, sexual liberation, and free will, he saw Cape Johansson as the perfect place to start. With his followers and a vast amount of acquired wealth and resources, he wished to “rekindle the ashes of Sodom and Gomorra”. Now under British rule, Cape Johansson was renamed as Firefly Coast because of an eerie glow that could sometimes be seen emanating from the marshes at night, which was actually due to naturally occurring phosphors in the soil. It’s said that Edmond Troy coined the name himself when he was sailing across the Atlantic Straight on his first mission to Main Island.

Troy’s cult was a failure. Many of his followers died from various sexually transmitted diseases, while others simply lost interest and moved on. Nevertheless, he did succeed in creating a thriving young city, as he helped build schools and hospitals throughout the settlement. By the late 17th century, Firefly Coast was boasting the highest life expectancy rate in the Thirteen Colonies, which may have been credited to Sir Edmond Troy’s work. Despite all this, the failure of his religious enterprises brought him to a severe depression, forcing him to find solace in rum and opium. Not much is known about Edmond Troy during this stage of his life, however, his last journal entry may shine some light on his mental state.

“The stars were bright that night out in the marshlands. And I thought the Moon was the Sun. There, I communed with spirits of another kind: remnants of the long extinct  Numache tribes. How remarkable a creature the Great Horned Owl is.”

– December 12, 1695

It isn’t clear what Edmond Troy was describing here, but soon after this entry was made he was barely seen in public. Historical records indicate that he began to exhibit strange behaviour. He claimed that he could hear the ripples in a dewdrop a mile away, know the precise number of firewood in a cart without looking at it, understand the language of the slaves, and see an individual’s soul in plain sight. The events surrounding his death are even more mysterious. What is known, however, is that one night Edmond demonstrated something that terribly horrified his wife, who unbeknownst to him had converted back to Christianity, and she immediately fled to her sister’s.

On June 18th 1696, a fearful mob of townsfolk seized Edmond from his home in the middle of the night and burned him at the stake in the centre of the town square, claiming him a witch.

American Revolution to the Civil War

The state of New Jersey played a critical role during the American Revolution. As a result, Main Island and its colonies were valued assets for both the Americans and the Loyalists. On September 4, 1776, Lieutenant Richard Hamilton and a Continental infantry comprised of 500 men seized Main Island from British forces in the Battle of the Marsh. The colony was taken from the western shore and from the east as Continental troops had set up a post on overlooked Gellen Island and attacked from there. This tactic would prove to cut off the British from reinforcements, closing them in, and by September 7, 1776 they had surrendered Firefly Coast to the Continental Army. Soon after, Firefly Coast was renamed as Lucicrescens.

No significant battles were fought on Main Island during the American Civil War. However, from 1820 to roughly 1845, many escaped slaves found their way to Lucicrescens via the Underground Railroad. The city became a refuge of sorts, secretly offering a safe haven to slaves and providing a safe rout further north and into Canada. The city’s humanist roots still influenced some of the residents’ ways of thinking, allowing free African Americans to establish an earnable living and be treated with some degree of racial tolerance. For the most part, however, the majority of the town’s white population remained quite prejudice towards the influx of blacks, forcing most of the Negro population to settle near the southern regions of the town. This led to the first black community in the city, its construction being spearheaded by 21-year-old Benjamin Foxx, a freed slave of Jamaican and Haitian decent. Impressed by Foxx’s architectural expertise, the mayor would later enlist him to help design East Lucicrescens.

Prohibition to the Great Depression

Lucicrescens saw a flicker of prosperity during the 1920s. The Roaring Twenties brought with it new industry, new music, bright lights and fashion trends, and a significant population boom. Now that people had spare change and disposable income, entertainment became a new facet of daily life, and the city saw entire streets lined with theatres, clubs, and fancy restaurants. Action Square become the Mecca of night life, while the city’s three pairs of bridges, the Iron Wings, the Blue Ways, and the Star Passes, were just nearing completion. This time also saw a ban on alcoholic beverages throughout the country, and Lucicrescens went through the dry period of prohibition.

It was during this time that a mobster named Vincent Apollo emerged, who was secretly smuggling and distributing illegal alcohol into the city. Vincent Apollo, a Sicilian immigrant, had already made a name for himself. Years prior, his associates and him were running legitimate contracting businesses, while at the same time pouring their earnings into the various brothels which they also owned and operated. It was not long before he caught the police’s attention, who were aware of his racketeering connections. The police offered to not prosecute him for his criminal activities in exchange that he provide them (including supreme court judges and government officials) with a steady supply of liquor and women. Agreeing to these terms, Vincent managed to continue his smuggling operations without being touched by law enforcement or rival gangs, and by the mid 1920s, the Apollo Crime Family had quickly ascended the criminal underworld. Vincent also introduced many to the alcohol alternatives of opium, supplied by his contacts within the growing Chinese community of Lucicrescens.

By the end of the decade the city’s glory was nearly obliterated by the market crash of 1929. Fortunes were lost and dreams were shattered as many people were thrust back into poverty. As desperation tore its way through the streets, riots broke out as many shops and stores were looted. Struggling to preserve the few scraps of order left in the city, the police were utterly overwhelmed (although urban legend maintains that they were simply still too drunk off of Vincent Apollo‘s booze). For an entire week, the sound of windows smashing could be heard against the hellish lights of the burning buildings. This series of fires and assaults became known as the Riots of Lucicrescens. Much of the city was destroyed in the wake of the events which followed the Depression, including South Lucicrescens, the downtown district, and the neighbourhood of Angels’ Cross was all but lost.

As the economy began to regain its strength in the mid 1930s, efforts were set in motion to rebuild. Vincent Apollo offered to extend his resources and funds to the city, believing that he was once again returning to the city’s aid. Apollo helped rebuild much of the city’s foundation, installing new sewer lines and demolishing the older ones and reconstructing them into what would become the Sub-floor, offering a shelter for displaced residents who were hit hardest by the depression, particularly those from Angels’ Cross. As parts of the city were below sea level, the new sewers would serve to pump out rain water, which had a tendency of collecting on certain streets, and channelling towards the harbour, providing more dry and stable grounds that would allow further construction.

World War II

In a sense, Lucicrescens underwent a second industrial revolution when America became involved in WWII. By 1941 Vincent Apollo died from a heart condition at the age of fifty-eight. Having no male heir, he left his business in the hands of his daughter Linda, who soon severed links with her father’s criminal enterprises and allowed his former associates to take them over. She held on to his contracting company, however, and used her family’s fortunes to develop it even further. At the same time, the war effort was steaming forward and there was a new market for military contractors. As Vincent had already forged himself a robust relationship with politicians at various government levels, Linda Apollo used these connections to take the family business to a whole new level. Apollo & Associates then became a weapons manufacturer, becoming a major supplier to the US government. As the demand for Apollo & Associates’ weapons increased along with their funds, northeast Lucicrescens was transformed into a heavily industrialized region strewn with factories. Their improved arms, vehicles, and munitions, which were rather advanced for their time, proved to be an advantage for the Allies. Soon after Apollo & Associates become fully employed by the US government, Linda Apollo left the company to be run by her cousin Jonathan Apollo, who changed its name to Apollo Endeavours and carried it on from there.

The Layers of Lucicrescens

During the 1960s there was another population boom, and since the island lacked a sufficient amount of useable land, the city began to build upwards. The skyscrapers in Lucicrescens may reach hundreds of stories high. To keep these buildings stable, they have been retrofitted with either reinforced concrete or steel alloys to prevent collapse in the event of an earthquake, while most are equipped with tuned mass dampers. Also, many buildings are wider at the base and narrower at the top, giving them a rectangular ziggurat appearance, similar to the Sears Tower of Chicago. This shape gives the buildings a sturdy base and allows the foundation to support more weight, which also creates the appearance that smaller buildings are stacked atop larger ones, although in actuality they are all part of the same structure. Support bridges are placed between the buildings, which also serve as walkways for pedestrians as they commute throughout the city. Some of these bridges, called skywalks, are built between the three main city levels creating semi-levels. Escalators and elevators connect one level to the next, and spiralling off ramps such as the ones used for highways are used to allow cars and other vehicles to ascend or descend to another level. Therefore, there are many roads and sidewalks in Lucicrescens that are suspended above other streets. You might say that the downtown area is rather like an outdoor mega-mall.

Lucicrescens spans 1,260 km2, has an average elevation of -35 m, and is situated on an island off the cost of New Jersey called Main Island, which is 5,678 km2, roughly the size of Prince Edward Island. This metropolis is a labyrinth of streets and skyscrapers and is known for its multi-leveled downtown core. As the buildings ascend, so do the streets. There are about three main levels. The Floor comprises the below sea level streets. This is where government subsidised and low-income housing is located. Clubbers often flock here to satisfy their hunger at late night fast food joints where the fries are as greasy as a socket wrench and the colas are watered down. Drug dealers and prostitutes can also be found here for those looking to either score weight or a good time respectively. The crime on this level is at its peek. Here the police patrol frequently, but they give little defense. No one in the right mind should travel these back alleys at night without some form of protection. There are also basketball courts and many corner shops and pubs on this level, as well as theatres. The busiest area on the Floor is China Town. Because of the immense skyscrapers that tower over the city, sunlight barely gets through to this level.

About twelve stories up is the second level called the Under Story (the Lower Canopy) and is at true sea level. Here could be found malls, cinemas, businesses, highways, banks, and hospitals. Schools and other places of study are also built on this level. Police coverage is moderate, and dense residential neighbourhoods are present here. Parks and other recreational facilities can be found here as well. Unlike the Floor, the Lower Canopy is well lit by sunlight, sometimes undergoing a solar phenomenon at sunset similar to the Manhattan Solstice.

Finally, about eleven stories above the Under Story, is the third city level called the Upper Canopy or just the Canopy for short. Here the city is fully exposed by sunlight, brilliantly displaying Lucicrescens’ skyline. This is where many of the condominiums, head offices, banks, luxury hotels, and fancy restaurants are located, and there are many parks grown atop the roofs of the buildings below. Le Jardin de Montre is a popular restaurant that is located here. Its huge windows and patios give dining onlookers a beautiful view of the city and give a romantic essence to the evening.

The outskirts of Lucicrescens are mainly light residential with some industry. Like many cities, as you travel closer to the central business district, the neighbourhoods become more dominated by apartment buildings and commercial establishments before entering the Under Story. Continue towards the downtown area and the land will begin to embank downwards to the Floor. Remaining on major streets or a highway will take you to the Under Story and the Canopy level streets will soon appear above. A fine mist usually forms around the city Floor. During certain times of the year, onlookers peering down towards the Floor from a higher level may see nothing but a ghostly fog blanketing the lower streets. Due to this, the Floor is often damp or humid during the summer. Naturally, the downtown district is mostly business, financial, and entertainment driven.

Beneath the Floor is the Sub-floor City. This underground network of tunnels and concourses spans for miles. It is comprised of stores and businesses, markets, subway stations, apartments, shady law firms, and unlicensed medical clinics for crooked practitioners. Stolen or bootlegged merchandise can be purchased here. Like the Floor, crime is frequent here and rapes and muggings are not uncommon. Property is often vandalized, and the Sub-floor has become a breeding ground for the homeless and drug addicts who try to escape the hardships of the Floor above.

The Districts

The man-made Focus Island lies between Main Island and the rest of New Jersey, and has an area of about 600 ha. Created in the 1920s to serve primarily as a port between the two land masses and as a shelter for the city harbour, it also provided a connection point for the six bridges that link the city to the mainland, acting as an extension bridge focal point. Eventually it became another ward of the city, complete with its own schools, hospitals, and even a small theme park.

Lucicrescens itself is divided into many districts and boroughs. Firefly River, called the River Styx by the locals, splits the city in half, creating East and West Lucicrescens, which are further divided into smaller regions. West Lucicrescens, or the Westside, is the more prominent region with its tourist attractions such as the Metrodon Aquarium, as well as both the business and entertainment districts. City hall is also located here along with LPD (Lucicrescens Police Department) headquarters.

One of the most interesting areas of West Lucicrescens is Little Atlantis. Extended from the shore and over water, Little Atlantis is located off the harbour of the downtown district. Similar to Viennese, there are no roads in Little Atlantis except sidewalks, canals, and waterways. The platforms are supported by stilts built into the seabed. Little Atlantis is a popular spot for tourists, eating out, live performances, and shopping.

At the very heart of the downtown district is the maelstrom of lights, energy, music, and life that is Action Square. Serving like a city hub, the square is where the Floor, Under Story, and Canopy converge to form one massive outdoor atrium. Sitting roughly two blocks by two blocks, it’s a junction of eighteen streets: six streets on each level. From the Floor, the main streets are Pape, Howard, and Warrington, which all run north to south, and Marvel, Parliament, and Manchester, which run east to west. In the centre of the square is a spectacular fountain display with varying patterns on an hourly basis, produced by powerful jets of water. At night the fountains are lit and come to life with vibrant colours. The area is entirely commercial where people can eat, shop, or simply enjoy the city life to their hearts content. There’s never a day where nothing’s happening at the Square. Concerts and other events are held here regularly, including annual traditions such as the Santa Clause parade. For over half a century Action Square has also hosted the city’s famous New Years Eve bash.

Two boroughs stretch from the north and south tips of West Lucicrescens like wings. North Woodbine sits atop Lucicrescens and spans almost the entire distance to Columbus’s Range at the northern shore of Main Island. North Woodbine’s quiet, suburban neighbourhoods, clean streets, and impressively large houses paints a stark contrast to downtown’s cramped, hectic, and polluted environment. Hanging below the city is South Woodbine, which is now called South Lucicrescens. About twice the length of North Woodbine, South Lucicrescens is surrounded by industry and filled with municipal housing complexes, including high-rise apartment buildings and townhouses. However, like the rest of the city, this region celebrates its own history, not only with African Americans, but with various immigrants and refugees as well. By the Industrial Revolution, South Lucicrescens was one of the most diverse places in the country. Nevertheless, this town is no stranger to misfortune. The Crack Epidemic of the 1980s had a severe impact on South Lucicrescens and on the city as a whole. For years it was stifled with crime and many of its residents became all too familiar with the harsh reality of substance abuse. To this day, South Lucicrescens is mostly known for its history of gang violence.

After the Riots of Lucicrescens, an effort was put forth to restore Angels’ Cross. Funded mostly by shady contractors, reconstruction either was never fully completed or was simply rushed, leaving it and residents in urban squalor and dilapidation. With much of its funds focusing on improving other parts of Lucicrescens, City Hall’s hands were tied with other matters that required its attention. Located ten blocks beyond the light of Action Square, this once pristine neighbourhood was often forgotten and overlooked, becoming a proverbial no man’s land of the city. The ever present criminal element of the city soon took notice of these slums and saw it as the perfect opportunity to cash in on its people’s misfortune. With its streets and alleys littered with drugs, weapons, and homlessness, Angels’ Cross remains an open sore within the city.

Firefly River runs into Fort Lake, which sits between the two boroughs. Fort Lake earned its name from the revolutionary war when it served as a camp for the British forces. By the late 1990’s it was a polluted cesspool of filth and city runoff. However, with the city’s new green initiatives at the turn of the new millennium, serious efforts have been made to clean it.

Beyond the River Styx is East Lucicrescens. Not quite as rambunctious or, for that matter, as interesting as downtown, more people call this place home than a place to work or party. The suburbs of Forest Hill are located here in the northeast corner, a patch of green in the midst of concrete. Further south is Rosa Park. One of the last few oases of nature in the city, the park is a nice place to visit or walk hand-in-hand with that special someone. That is to say before sunset. After dark, the park becomes not so family friendly.

Witch Haven is a dense residential area in the southern part of East Lucicrescens. It consists mainly of apartment buildings that normally don‘t raise above the Under Story, with various markets woven within the neighbourhood. Architecture is quite old and European in some respects, harkening back to the city’s British and Dutch roots. Witch Haven is in fact one of the oldest parts of Lucicrescens. It is widely believed that it was established in the late 1600s by a group of women seeking autonomy from patriarchy and wished to pursue their own progressive arts and sciences without being persecuted as witches. Today, it relishes in an atmosphere of New Age culture and medicines, occult and eastern traditions, a large gay community, and a revival movement of Sir Edmond Troy’s philosophies and teachings.

Gelen Island is a ward the lies just off the northeast shore of Main Island and is accessible either by ferry or the Frankford Tunnel. It has an area of about 302 ha, which is mostly covered with thick deciduous forests. Since the earliest days of the island’s history, it has been an escape of sorts for the city’s most elite class, complete with extremely opulent estates and Victorian style mansions. This community is often regarded with disdain from the rest of the city, as many people view them as pompous, rich snobs who believe they’re too good to live near the city.

Transit

Public transportation is the life blood of Lucicrescens. Without it, the city simply won’t function. Subways and buses are widely used in Lucicrescens as well as taxis. Nevertheless, the most essential mode of public transportation is the maglev. A speedy system of monorails suspended above the city streets, half of the city’s population rely on maglevs to carry them to and from the city and within it. There is an extensive, intricate network of maglevs on each of the city levels. Like subways, these monorails are remarkably rapid and don’t have to deal with traffic.

The Inner City highway runs right through the city from north to south and snakes its way around South Lucicrescens to connect with the Blue Way East Bridge. As the highway runs deeper into the city, it slowly ascends to the Upper Canopy and then slowly descends as it leads back to the outskirts. The highway also goes through a man-made, concrete canyon that snakes through a small, industrialised district of the city Floor in East Lucicrescens. In the middle of this gorge runs two maglev lines, and the walls are lined with hundreds of pipe openings that stretch across the entire trench. From these pipes flow water that falls into a narrow river and rushes out into the harbour. This is called the Misty Canyon, named for the mist that blankets it.

Demography

Lucicrescens is one of the most diverse and densely populated cities in the world. Beginning with no more than a few hundred people, its population exploded to roughly 7.8 million people and is still climbing.

Present statistics are prone to change*

Previous Chapter

%d bloggers like this: