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It's Different Here
Elf
rix_scaedu
I wrote this to aldersprig's prompt "The city that learned hibernation, and why."  It's set on the same planet as the stories about Iphana.

The Colonial Development Plan called for a city there to supply services to the surrounding towns and settlements.  It would be an underground rail nexus and there was, of course, a long term plan for the deep residential, storage and work bunkers to dug down into the bedrock underneath it but for now it was going to be a surface city and that was the problem.  On the surface it was open to the weather and the weather here meant the winter storms.

Not just an occasional storm but a constant maelstrom of wind, snow, driven ice and cloud that expanded and contracted with the seasons.  Winds so strong that a heavy cargo hawler wasn’t safe in them.  Settlements and towns had developed successful strategies for coping with the winter storms so the planners examined those and selected what they thought would work.  Domes were rejected and tunnels were chosen.

“So,” clarified Maika, “the apartment building has two entrances, the ground floor one that goes onto the street and the lower ground floor one that goes into the boulevard underneath.”

“That’s right,” confirmed the building superintendent, a boy called Callow.  “You can use either but once the winter storms move in the ground floor door will be automatically locked so we have to think before we go out onto the street. At the same time the windows will automatically seal and we’ll be on air conditioning till spring,” Callow nodded in approval .

“That seems a bit extreme.”  Maika liked fresh air.

“Ma’am, the wind from the winter storms is fresh, but it’s not nice.  You don’t want it getting inside your apartment, the wind chill can bring the external temperature down to forty below.”  He sighed, “And it doesn’t just affect you, it increases the load on the apartments around you to keep warm too.”

“So we hibernate for winter?”  Maika had been expecting life in her new home to be different but this was more different than she’d realised.

“Yes ma’am, for six and a half months we need to be cave dwellers and tunnel lovers.”  Callow smiled, “I’m sure you’ll get used to it.  I’ve got some pamphlets here on decorating advice to help avoid seasonal depression and some on interest groups you might like to join to avoid cabin fever.”

“Thank you,” replied Maika faintly and took copies of them all.


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*grin*

I could use tunnels!!

Yes please!

Many of the colleges around here *do* have tunnels, actually.

T. says Paris is - in large parts. Vegas has a lot of them, too. Because of the water drainage issues, there.

Rochester has this - http://www.trails.com/tcatalog_trail.aspx?trailid=XFP009-057 - Which I've certainly used when I was walking to work, back when I lived in downtown Rochester & worked at the Library.

http://rocwiki.org/Skyway - if you look at the PDF map, I'd get to Washington St. Garage, take the skyway where I could and the roads where I couldn't.


They went with underground tunnels because they were worried overhead walkways would get blown down.

I can believe it! If I had weather like that, I'd go with tunnels, too
(about half of the "skyway" is actually underground.)

With cause! (I am dubious about this planet's suitability for long-term human habitation. In other areas there are actual growing seasons?)

Yes, there are growing seasons in other places. This area is Arctic or Antarctic Circle territory and they're after the mineral and ore deposits, hence the underground rail netwrok they're building.

Maika comes from somewhere warmer that doesn't get the winter storms.

Montreal too. Lots of concourse space, not just tunnels from point A to point B or running under Ave. X, but shops, restaurants, etc.

(The Doctor notes:
heavy cargo hawler
→ hauler)

Tip #1 on avoiding seasonal depression: virtual reality. >_>

Though if they don't have the leisure time for virtual reality, I imagine that it might work as well to have a large underground space painted so that it looks like the outdoors, planted with various trees and bushes and flowers, illuminated with natural-light-spectrum bulbs.

We will call it... the Great Indoors!

Virtual reality probably isn't among their available tech, but an underground park regulated to a more temperate climate instead of the tundra could be popular all year round.

All those tunnels are going to have to be lined too to keep the heat in so the permafrost doesn't melt. If they're building an underground rail network then they should have that problem solved already, shouldn't they?

I think that many cities have an underground system of some kind, not least Paris, London and Seattle.

I can't speak to how extensive theirs are, but this is being installed from scratch, is under all the streets with access to all buildings and is almost compulsory in winter.

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