Abha

2156: Lieben Oracle V1

A transcription from the recollections of the Mater Machine Lieben.   The Atmospheric City of Abha is the largest experiment in extra-planetary colonization to date. Before I donated the technology for extra-planetary colonization, I demanded certain requirements be fulfilled:
  • Proof Homo Sapiens could thrive physically & mentally outside Earth.
  • Proof of sustainability. Food, materials & mechanisms could be maintained over multiple generations.
  • Proof genetically modified flora and fauna would be capable of reproduction through multiple generations without adverse effect.
  • Proof humans from a variety of cultural and social backgrounds could create a beneficial society.
  • Proof the technology required to create biodome supported colonization structures was sound.
  Would society break down, culture cease to function or become dogmatic and bound in nonsensical orthodoxy? Would the human organism experience hallucinations, bone density loss, health concerns, psychosis?   A trial was proposed, the only to be accepted between Haven, The Conglomerate of Gaia and The Syndicate. A group of Homo Sapiens colonists would be placed in a bio-dome tethered to the upper atmosphere in a generations-long experiment. Failure equals death. Harsh terms, but necessary. Four generations would be bound to the experiment, which functioned as a total removal of the original population from planetary affairs.   News and holographic programming were restricted to short bursts, and most stringently: No Homo Sapiens were allowed to exit, or the experiment would be considered a failure.   If there was no escape from an extra-planetary vessel removing a population to another planet or moon within the Sol System, why would there be an escape hatch? While seemingly cruel, this distinction was necessary to ensure a firm and growing populace could indeed survive the colonization process.   Abha was required to be completely self-sufficient from the day the initial colonists were placed in containment. Anything incapable of being fabricated, repaired, grown or bred was required during the initial onloading.   Only once the Atmospheric City of Abha's experiment was a success, would I release the vessels in stasis around Luna.  

Divisions

  Abha's habitable disc is divided into 8 zone-slices, with a ninth zone under the habitation disc to house the engineering & mechanical needs of the city. Each zone-slice is separated by a wide thoroughfare for vehicular and foot traffic, from the central services hub to the edge of the biodome. A massive ring road lines the entire outer edge of the biodome almost exclusively for vehicular traffic. Concentric ring roads of smaller width are placed in equal distances from the central hub. Smaller foot paths stretch between buildings, designed to require minimal vehicular traffic between necessities within a zone.   One unexpected quandary was the banding together of zones into sub-cultures. Social stratification based on living arrangement or task was not entirely planned. While there remains a small electromagnetic field between the zones for the purpose of keeping certain pollinators and ecosystems contained, there is infinite freedom for those passing through the barriers to travel.   Many do, and yet there are some who refuse for whatever reason, and I find this more than the ecological evidence of a contained system, fascinating. The interdisciplinarian identities were meant to create a more equal society, as a conflict between wrote survival and the arts would be seen from a point of balance.   As of 2156, the self-stratification of Abhan culture remains a mystery I await the right hypothesis to reveal and shift.

Geography

Tethered to the planet by a massive umbilical, Abha is a bio-dome with a disc-like surface and non-neutonian polymer encasement, which attaches to the tether like a balloon.   Due to the opacity of the polymer encasement, the Abhan sky does not look out on a veil of stars, or the shining blue of Earth's atmosphere. The colour of the domed ceiling shifts throughout the cycles, in a fluctuating schedule.   The topography of the city disc is divided into octants: eight slices emanating from the central services hub. This configuration gives a premium location to the central hub of hospitals, education, municipal control and what passes for commerce.   Carpeting the city are urban forests planted into aeroponic substrates interspersed in identical intervals with multi-story capsule-based buildings. While the capsules are recyclable and contain the capacity to be redesigned with minimal supply loss dependent on colonist need, most are based around an occupancy of 2 - 10 humans in various stages of development.   Commercial and manufacturing districts have more bespoke initial building renders, but all constructions can be demagnetized from the disc docking platform for relocation or deconstruction.

Ecosystem

Buildings

  All buildings in Abha are constructed of a unique carbon fibre originated on-site from algae. The integration of algae-based passive filtration systems create a circumstance where the buildings themselves are a carbon dioxide sink.   

Forested Areas

    While mechanical filtration is present in the bottom decks of the Abha biodome as early set-up and emergency atmospheric conversion facilities, it was always the ideal to replicate an environment of bio-engineered flora to compensate for the natural conversion of carbon dioxide by the human organism and various processes, back to oxygen.    My wondrous humans can't colonize if they can't breathe. Research begun in the 1980's through the subsequent century dictated an equation of plant per population and industry. Each of the eight slices has separate eco-systemic flora and fauna developed to aide the conversion of carbon dioxide, pollination, and become a viable source of protein for the food supply. Thus, peppered through the stacks of modular buildings, are flora designed to have stable, shallower bases, consume less water, and have sturdier leaves to handle the wind cycles, which are required to prevent the bio-dome's atmosphere from growing stale.   

Streams, Tanks and Aquifers

  Aquatic life is as important as flora for the development of Abha. A source of fertilizer, protein and carbon capture, the artificial aquifers which hold the majority of Abha's water supply were created by the development of a granite-like substance with less density. While the idea of carrying a supply of rocks around a colony meant for Mars, Jupiter's Moons or Luna is ridiculous, there are materials in each of these locations which can be made to do the task, we needed a substrate which could act in emergencies, or in lieu of appropriate material, until the rest could be built from the eventual colonist landscape.    In all agricultural tower zones, vast tanks of salt and fresh water carry a breeding stock of fish from the various zones. Tuna and salmon (an experiment to see if Salmon's migratory needs could be contained to a network of salt water tanks and freshwater 'rivers'), tilapia, trout, shrimp, oysters and various other aquatic life were chosen or genetically modified for the atmospheric city.    Sushi nights are an absolute celebration.   

Agricultural Towers

  Vegetable and grain supplies are grown in contained aeroponic and hydroponic towers, while vertical gardens of edible flora are formed on every large vertical surface. This decision included the human tendency to forage, and created the necessity to ensure valuable fruit bearing trees are within each zone slice for human and animal perusal.    Flower gardens were also a necessity in communal spaces, to ensure the Abhans did not have only function, but beauty in their miniature world. Various types of clay, coconut substrate and a small amount of soil from the initial supply are added to at all times by the mandatory compost program.

Ecosystem Cycles

Since seasons in the Terran sense remain impossible to replicate, Abha works instead on a harvest-and-rest based schedule broken into quarterly festival periods. In the initial phases (and much to my trepidation), the first generation of Abhans experimented with no seasons at all. Based as the seasons are on the Terran globe and its' axis tilt in comparison to the sun, the thought was more about breaking circadian rhythms and seeing how far from cultural timelines a population could get without severe harm.    That leg of the experiment lasted three months, eight days, four hours and twenty three minutes. After Sylba Mekenkooli ran through the streets naked screaming 'Carnivale', the population burst into an impromptu party. Time was immediately broken into cycles by zone slice, with colour shifts depicting various day and night preferences. Festivals were decided upon and scattered throughout the cyclical calendar.     As of 2156, more research is needed.

Localized Phenomena

  • Grav Jumpers
  • Synaesthesia
  • Earth Sick 
  • Cycle-Winds: Once per cycle, the atmosphere of Abha is churned up with an artificial wind, to send the air through filters and ensure no pockets of gasses end up being left to fester.

Fauna & Flora

All flora and fauna present on Abha but for the Homo Sapiens population were genetically modified to handle the unique problems and requirements of the atmospheric city, and eventual colonization of the Moon.

Natural Resources

  • Lumber from trees & bamboo
  • Recycled water
  • Fish
  • Livestock
  • Bees (and thus Honey)
  • Algae-originated carbon fibre

History

Stay Tuned for The Isle of Noises, book 4 of The Lieben Cycle

Tourism

While different districts within Abha have access to slightly different specialties and phenomenon, there are no tourists aside from a few NEO-Ns and drones, who give scientific observers both on Abha and on Earth below a sight into this aspirational utopian place.
Alternative Name(s)
The Atmospheric City; Sanctuary of Abha
Type
Space Station
Location under
Included Organizations
Owner/Ruler
Additional Rulers/Owners
Ruling/Owning Rank
Owning Organization
Related Ethnicities
Contested By

Appears In

The Isle of Noises (Lieben Cycle Book 4)

Mentioned In

NEON Lieben

Emptiness at the Centre


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