Dead... and Back is a survival horror Role Playing Game. The Anarchy Zones is its official setting - aliens, reanimates, and the ruins of 2055 America.

Friday, February 18, 2011

NEST Formation

They tried to standardize these thing, they really tried. And they did get at least some parts communality in supply and internal redistricting. But, the fact is - none of them are alike. When your dealing with megastructures large enough to hold the Sears tower eight or ten times over - you're going to need to make concessions to the local terrain and supply chain. There's hydrological engineers for pumping everything, geologists for determining bedrock stress, union contractions, architects, gemologists, social planners.

Yes, I said Gemologists. Diamonds are imported - literally by the ton -  to be crushed into pure carbon, and mixed with the concrete and sprayed epoxy. Then nano-tech added rebuilds them into strands as its poured. These are not glass and steel like a twentieth century skyscraper - but diamond-fiberglass composite and combined with bulletproof plastics that act as both windows and secondary structural members. In parts thousands of diamond strands weave through cement in just the right way to provide translucent concrete to add to the internal illumination.

Its kind of humbling to think that since they don't contain steal or iron reinforcement - which rusts and expands over time, knocking off the outer material - these things will probably still be standing when the sun burns out.

On the other hand, its this ability to use super-strong materials and transparent yet load bearing ones - that make these structures look like nothing else. They learned from the budget housing complexes built under Khrushchev and Daley and others and tried to make them a lot more people friendly. Apartments may be kind of small, but there are lots of gardens, and two or three story tall spaces scattered through full of mirrors, sun tubes, and good lights - it really is possible to forget you're on the one-hundred fifth story of a building that cost more than an Apollo moonshot.

Yes, I'm off topic again. But I helped build these things! A roman would boast they created an aqueduct, stonemasons take pride in their cathedrals. I sprayed epoxy, laid down floors, put up walls and hung more doors than the Winchester house. Nano can fight viruses mano-a-mano or create super catalyst batteries but it can't do big things like this - you still need people like me.

The pair I worked on were numbers two and six. Number one wasn't all that creative - more a matter of expedience and proof of concept. Its more of several large buildings built in parallel and connected by sky ways.Not bad for what it is, but personally, it seems more like a dozen corn silos made of glass with smaller buildings hanging from the spiderwebs that run between them.

NEST Two - that is a piece of artwork. Showing off exactly what this tech can do. The base is in fact, one solid building with about three times the footprint of a large baseball stadium. After the first ten stories it splits - Each of the four corners continues to go up like its own building, while the center falls away to form a step pediod affair, contracting a bit every - fifteen - no ten, ten I think for about seven terraces. Then it starts to go straight up, but at this point, the corner towers bend in to meet the central pillar for the mothers of all flying buttresses, and it actually expands a bit again before terminating on this giant geodesic dome. It rather reminds me of the settings of a really fancy diamond ring.

Well, between people feeling a little put off by the seemingly unsupported nature of this, and sheer expense, they didn't go so far out for art after that. All of them do have areas with holes going right through the building to help relive wind stresses - but none quite to that same extent.

Except for that one out West. Actually went in reverse, and mostly hollowed out a big hill to make it. Had a contest to name it after some scientists. The final vote was between Wright brothers, Einstein, and Tesla, though I don't remember who won.

Six was haunted. No two ways about it. Probably still is. For all the thousands and thousands of people working on these projects, there were surprisingly few injuries. We actually build the hospitals inside the buildings first and then began everywhere else because in a group that large, just bad luck means a bunch of people are going to be hurt or killed. In one and two, I don't recall any fatalities actually. The others - sad but true.

Six. Carbon fiber elevator cables snapped. Fires broke out. Some guy flipped out and attacked his buddies with a nail gun. There were at least two people thrown through windows - which are made of three inch thick composite that can stop rifle bullets for crying out loud! How do you through someone through that?

From the outside, its a bit like number one, though its thirteen buildings in kind of a star pattern, so their individually smaller and built in parallel but... Haven't seen it from above, but as I say that, I've got to feel like the architect must have been some weird cultist trying to recreate R'lyeh.

But we were professional, and finished it. I didn't take the option granted to workers for first dibs on apartments, but I'm still happy with what I did there. Can you say the same about your pre-event job?

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