Though called Gate Town, the settlement around the Main Gate would more accurately described as a metropolis, encompassing a ring of approximately 20km width around the 30km gate entrance. Due to its rapid growth and its nature as a transit hub, the population has proven hard to count accurately but there are estimated to be over 6 million permanent residents and potentially as many temporary visitors at any given time.
Gate Town does not possess a real government, instead it is a haphazard aggregate of zones owned by various corporations and governments, along with some lawless areas. A semblance of peace is kept by a contract between the largest forces along with the ease of strict entry controls granted by a city constructed in vacuum from disparate sections. The largest zone is operated by Intrepid Interstellar Trading Corporation together with their parent company Offworld Hydrocarbons. It encompasses around 25% of the total area of gate town and has approximately 1.5 million permanent residents. Another 15% is controlled by the Unified Deep Space Administration, which also has close affiliations with most zones owned by planetary governments encompassing another 15%, making the total influence area of the UDSA comparable to that of Offworld. However, the extended UDSA zone is less coherent. About 5% of the total area of Gate Town is made up of areas abandoned but never officially relinquished by their original owners. These regions are occupied by various types of lawless and unsavory groups, but also poor and desperate people, unable to find passage out of Gate Town.
Industry & Trade
Gate Town has the primary purpose of supporting the exploration of the Megastructure. As such, the only major industries are maintenance of spaceships and construction for supporting the city’s continued rapid growth, however to a limited extent hydroponic agriculture and other industries are also present. Some corporations and government institutes also operate R&D operations in Gate Town to take advantage of new findings as quickly as possible, such as the Archaeoxenotechnology Research Center. Trade on the other hand is very dominant, with a large market for artifacts recovered from the Megastructure.
Gate Town is constructed using a variety of techniques and styles depending on zones. Wealthy corporations and governments make extensive use of pressurized transparent alloy domes featuring artificial biospheres and day-night cycle synchronization to their home planet. A particularly outstanding architectural achievement is the Intrepid Dome, measuring close to 5km in diameter. On the other hand, some areas are built using archaic techniques and consist mostly of claustrophobic pressurized tunnels. Due to the low gravity, most areas of Gate Town at least partially use artificial gravity to make the environment more comfortable for their inhabitants. This can lead to wide variations in gravity when traveling between different zones, called Zoning by inhabitants used to traveling around Gate Town, and a phenomenon called Zone Shock in those not used to gravity changes.
Characters in Location
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