SIREN'S PORT: IN-DEPTH INFORMATION
This post contains some of the more nitpicky in-depth details about Siren's Port as a world. Though you can easily play in the game without reading all this information in detail, it might give you a nice idea of the bigger world you're living in and how it works. If you have any questions whatsoever about details of anything outlined here, or ideas for other things that you'd like more detail on, just leave a comment and we'll add the information to the post.
Garbage and Landfill
Jobs: In Depth
Bounty Hunters and Hunting
Subways and Buses
The Underground/Underground Mall
Discrimination in Siren's Port (Racism/Sexism/Classism)
Schools and Colleges
Department of Motor Vehicles
Religion in Siren's Port
Imports and Exports
In-Depth World Information
As stated in the basic world info, when you first arrive you find yourself at an old, run down baseball diamond, an old style one with tagging and a generally run down look to it. You either find your way, or a Greeter will help find your way to the apartments designated for newcomers to Siren's Port.
The Tower Apartments is a large apartment complex. It has two 'tower' like structures with one shorter section connecting the two. The towers have 13 stories of apartment space, mostly comprised of one bedroom apartments. The center section has 7 stories of two bedroom apartment spaces. Most newcomers will be assigned a one bedroom apartment to start with, though they can request, at any time during the first month, to be moved to a two bedroom apartment if they wish to move in with someone.
Floor plans: One Bedroom, Two Bedroom
When your character arrives, he or she will talk to the landlord or the Greeter who led the character to the apartments, and will be given a room key and a word of advice - be out in a month. The landlord, in particular, really means it when he says it. You are granted this apartment for ONE month rent free, though you're welcome to move out sooner. A gift from AGI and SERO, because you are so new. After that month, the landlord gets grumpy and demands rent. After all, they have to make room for new arrivals.
The apartments tend to be a little run down, but they are livable, and, more importantly, safe at night. The floors tend to creak, and the water groans as it runs up pipes, the heater is always set low and it's never cool enough in the summer, but despite being a little run down, the apartments are definitely livable. The apartments are partially furnished - generally, there is one bed to a room, and most places have the standard couch and chair, maybe a table or lamp. What ever was left around or trucked in from surplus. If you need more for your place, ask the landlord to open up the storage, and he might let you take a chair or desk in from there and haul it up steps.
Oh, that's right. There is no working elevator in this complex. There is one elevator in each tower, but both have been shut down for ages, plastered with beat up 'out of order' signs. Residents have to hoof it up however many flights of steps to make it to their room. Just remember...it's free. After you find a source of income and the time to get a new place, you can set out to find better accommodations anyhow!
The farmlands are in the Sector 7 section, complete with both aboveground and underground farming. Through the years, advances in farming have really helped the farming process in Siren's Port. With cloning sheep, cows, chicken and other animal food staples, the price of meat has never been truly high. Imported meats devoid of the scientific tampering that happens in the City, on the other hand, sky rocket on the black market.
Every night, before the evening siren, all cattle is herded to underground facilities where they are guarded and kept safe for the night, then released during the day to graze and roam the fenced off areas.
There are fields of grains, potatoes, and other agricultural staples all over the farmlands, as well as underground hydroponic rooms that grow other vegetables, fruits, and in some cases flowers, herbs, and other simple plants. All of the food grown on these farms is packed up and shipped to warehouses for processing, then sent off to market for consumers to buy. Some farms will take a bunch of the freshest foods to farmer's markets that are spread throughout the city, to try and make a bit of extra money.
Jobs can be found out in the fields, underground hydro rooms for harvesting and supervising plant growth, or out on the range to round up cattle or tend crops. Guards are always welcome on the farms to help keep the Darkness from attacking the cattle or destroying too many crops. Pay is negotiable but is generally average for these hardworking men and women. Most farms are Government owned and produce food for the markets of the island through government funding. Others are linked to AGI or SERO, so loyalists from either side, or neutral characters can still find work on one farm or another. It is commonly known that food is something everyone needs and something the two groups do not tamper with often.
Garbage and Landfill
All your trash, recyclables, and unloved junk get taken to the landfill, which is found halfway between the farmlands and the City proper. Garbage is picked up throughout the week with rotating schedules depending on where in the City you live, taken to the dump, and sorted. Natural material is moved to compost that will be used later for the farm lands, recyclable goods go to be processed and reused, and what's left is compacted and shipped off to a boat bimonthly, taken off the island as far out as they can go and dumped.
Jobs found at the landfill aren't the best, and smell very bad, but pay pretty well. After all, it's a shitty job but someone has to do it. Government supported, workers at the Siren's Port Landfill will be considered fairly neutral when it comes to affiliation, but to get a job here takes a LOT. It's a highly coveted job for the locals that have been here much longer and have ways of making some spare money off the garbage of the City, so there aren't many unfilled positions. On rare occasion a spot might be open, but it's mostly to shuffle and sort through heaps of crap. After all, they need someone to sort through to make sure no one's body was dumped out there.
Located at various places in a grid across the Island are large hubs that store and distribute the power generated in the City. Underground power lines also support buildings and other structures with needed power. The main source of this power is a little uncertain, but it's theorized that it may be supplied by the Core. There is also a power plant out in the farthest sector to the north.
The power distribution system is run by the government and pipes power from the stations to homes, apartments, and businesses in the City. Those who live in the starter apartments won't need to worry about power bills, since SERO and AGI cooperate to pay all of the utility bills for those apartments. However, once you get out into the City on your own, you will get a power bill once a month. Just like in real life, the more power you use, the higher your bill is.
If your character has some means of supplying their own power, that's perfectly fine - if you can do it, go for it, it just means your bill will be smaller. If you can't pay your bill after a month, the power company can and will shut the power off, so having a job is really useful for paying those bills.
Like power, the Island has to get fresh water from somewhere. Siren Waterworks is stationed near the power stations, hidden away underground, processing seawater and transforming it into fresh water, running the fresh water through storage vats and pumps to provide water to homes, apartments, offices, and so on. Siren Waterworks is one of the fully automated systems on the island and has very few employees. It was originally set up by and runs on government funding.
On issue with the Siren Waterworks system that has yet to be corrected is the Darkness. The water lines and pipes of the city all tend to corrode and break down when the evening siren goes off, piping unusable rusty water across the City at night. Because of this, any water that comes through the taps at night is very unsafe to drink.
Citizens of Siren's Port do not have to pay for water, as the government tries to keep the system running through tax dollars, but some areas (like the slums) are without water altogether, with the poorer areas lacking a good water system. The richer areas, however, have a secondary filtration system that ships better, more pure water to their homes.
Again, to make it clear, after the sirens go off and Darkness comes, 85% of homes will have issues with clean water. Because of this, lots of locals save jugs from milk or water bottles, fill them once a day from the sink, and store them for overnight use. It might be good for your characters to follow this trend.
Jobs: In Depth
Just like in real life, getting a job of some sort would be most useful for any newcomer, if they'd like to make it in the City. This isn't to say you can't take other routes to getting what you need. Stealing, breaking and entering, being a generally mean person, kicking old ladies for their rent checks, it's all good in this game. Well...that is to say it's good if your character would do that sort of thing. But a real job might be better if you want to stay out of trouble.
Lots of places are looking to hire in Siren's Port, but not all of them are good places to work. Do your research! Look at locations or general information on these places, because lots of them state whether you can find a job there or not. Some jobs will pay better then others, and others might treat you like shit - it all depends on what you end up choosing. There are any number of job openings needed throughout the city. Burger flippers, chefs, secretaries and answering service employees, garbage men, truck drivers, mail workers and package delivery, supermarket staff, and shop cashiers. There's also the nightlife to think about - bouncers and security, love hotel cleaning staff (ew), DJs at a local club, play for a band somewhere or start your own. Are you into sports? Look into joining one of the many sports teams on the island. Researcher? Test subject? Slave...okay, well that's not really a good job, but it could happen, so be careful. Librarian, library assistant, lawyer's assistant, book store nerd, computer repair specialist, tech support, barista, weapons repair - you name it, there has to be a job out there. On the other side of the law, there are also jobs like bounty hunter, drug smuggler, drug dealer, or slave handler and seller or trader.
Here's the trick: Choose the job best suited for your enjoyment and your character's unique talents! How would the character look for a job? Would they find a good one or a bad one? Do you WANT them to have a good or bad one? Do you want them to have issues with customers, bad tippers, or that really nag ass boss that no one likes? Or would their skills merit them an easy job that pays well? All of the above are fine, and all we ask is that, for the sake of reference, you leave a small note here, and let us and your fellow players know where your character is working. These lists can be changed as often as they need to be. In the end, it's just nice to see what others are doing, or have done.
Bounty Hunters and Hunting
Among the dangers of the island are the countless bounty hunters. When a hit list is released with the weekly newsfeed, bounty hunters may take part in looking over the list and choosing their next hit, or job. Once the bounty hunter has successfully killed or captured the bounty, they will be paid. Some restrictions might be listed, such as that the bounty must be returned alive, or dead with little damage, but some are fine dead or alive. As long as the conditions are met, when the bounty is brought in, the hunter will be paid in full by that person.
The bounty hunters are under the direct coordination of St. Matthew, who runs a center for bounty hunters, where they may return bounties or pick up new jobs. Every bounty hunter in the City, no matter how powerful or legendary, owes some small shred of respect to St. Matthew, since she didn't come by her job easily.
More information on working as a bounty hunter or requesting a bounty to be put on a player character or NPC, as well as the current bounty list, can be found HERE.
There are a few legendary bounty hunters that are whispered about among the residents of the City, or passed down as a scary story to keep unruly children in check. These hunters have been doing this job for so long that even the most inexperienced hunter will have heard of them from someone or somewhere. It will be rare to see any of them, unless a very large or very difficult bounty has shown up on the weekly list. Information on some of those legendary hunters can be found below, and can be mentioned or discussed in in-character posts if any player desires.
NON (Nameless of Nowhere): A large, thick, green-skinned Congo Troll, who has long electric blue hair, wears a white mask that fits over his tusks, and is rumored to have been alive since long before men showed up. He dresses in loose-fitting clothing, rumored to be stained in the blood of those he has killed, and trench coats with light leather armor - never anything restricting. He nearly single-handedly hunted out the fabled 'Bird' or 'Angel' race long ago, due to a grudge, and holds interest in taking down anything with wings. Non is widely known for his skill in never losing the hunt. If Non chooses the bounty on your head, you will be caught. He is simply known as Non and his true name is unknown, simply meaning he is Nameless of Nowhere. He was so well known by his people and the people of the City that he simply didn't require a name anymore.
Tigrin: Tigrin is a mocha-skinned young man with a mostly human appearance - the one exception is his unnaturally pale green eyes and silver-blue hair. Being very attractive, Tigrin tends to take in his bounties by charm and charisma. He'll show up in a bar or club wearing a fashionable half-mask, charm the pants off of his target, and then take them in through the clever use of drugs and anesthetics before the target even realizes what's hit them. Rumor has it that Tigrin has taken up work for SERO recently, rather than being strictly neutral, and also that he will occasionally take in people who didn't even have a bounty on their heads, providing the price they'd bring from SERO is high enough...
(If you wish to plot with either of the legendary hunters mentioned here, please feel free to contact a mod at any time.)
Subways and Buses
Siren's Port has a very good bus system that tends to run from just after the morning siren until one hour before the nighttime siren. The buses cross most major streets and will go down quite a few residential roads as well. There are over 300 bus routes in the City proper, numbered accordingly. Better quality buses can be found in the main areas of the City, whereas the poorer areas have the older, more beat up and graffiti-laden buses.
The central subway system in Siren's Port runs on two separate programs. The Day Track which is supported by SERO, and the Night Track which is supported by AGI. It all runs on the same 31 stop train track, with the major differences being added security and more heavily armored subway trains during Darkness. During business hours, the security and law enforcement will have a heavier presence, ensuring those going to work will get there safely and return home safely. The rest of the day time hours have sporadic supervision. Since night time brings more danger and requires more heavily armored cars and heightened security, tickets for the Night Track are more expensive than the Day Track.
The Subway starts from the border of the farmlands and the 5th sector. It winds through the major sectors of the City, and works its way up to the residential areas, coming to the 31st stop at the end of the tracks, just past the power plant. The Subway and bus shop is there to keep it all in working order, or to change cars for mechanical work, cleaning, or switching the cars out for Night or Day Track.
More information on transit fares, bus pass options, and generalized information can be found HERE.
More information on the subway line and stops, including a map, can be found HERE.
The Underground/Underground Mall
There are several air pockets or caves underground, though most of them are either hard to access or can only be reached from the unpopulated areas of the Island. The subway runs underground, as well as sewer systems, power hubs and power lines, and water lines. Like any city, the underground is a huge labyrinth of tunnels and blocked off routes. The Darkness at night love the underground just as much as they love anywhere else and it's no safer than being aboveground, so it's a good idea to be careful underground.
There are a few very highly secured areas underground. The Underground Mall is the most secure large structure at night that is open and operating. All tunnels, power, water, and sewer lines to the underground mall are extremely secure and not easily broken through, to ensure optimum security in the mall at night.
There is a small lake underground, just on the outside of the mall. It is heavily secured, and safe to swim in and explore day or night with several caves and spaces to check out.
More information on the Underground mall, locations inside, and a map can be found HERE.
The subway system is fairly well secure, but not fully impenetrable. It has guards and security taking care of intruding Darkness, as well as heavily armored cars, thus the cost of a night pass being double that of a day pass.
Being located in the vicinity of Canada and the USA, the common language in Siren's Port is English. Every character who is imported to the City from another dimension, ie. player characters, is given the ability to communicate in English as if they'd been speaking it their whole life. This fluency is stacked on top of any languages your character might already know, rather than replacing their own mother tongue. However, though they may retain their own familiar language, it will seem more natural to them to use English once they arrive in the City.
Basically, this is to make the game less complex from a language standpoint, giving everyone a common language in which to communicate. Other forms of language can be used if so desired, but please follow the language structure of the game so everyone can enjoy it. Not everyone can speak Japanese or German and so on, even if your character does. If your character wants to communicate in a language other than English, please try to keep it as infrequently as possible, and make an out of character note that the entry or comment is in another language. Conversely, if you'd really like to test out your language skills and want to attempt an entry or comment written or spoken in another language, please be sure to let us know which language it is, and provide an out of character translation at the end of your entry or comment.
Discrimination in Siren's Port (Racism/Sexism/Classism)
As with any world, there are issues with racists and sexists in the City. The majority of discriminatory comments you will find flung around by the resident racists of the City would be the terms 'Norms' or 'Outsiders,' which refer to the people on the outside of the Island that have no superhuman powers. A lot of residents of the island blame them for the existence of the City itself - which is partly true, since the island was made to protect the normal non-powered beings from being scared or harmed.
There are also your normal racists around who dislike people of a different normal race (people from other countries), but the City has the added ones who throw racist comments at people with creature and alien appearances. However, since nearly everybody who lives in the City has something seriously 'different' and, in most cases, completely unique about them, whether in appearance or ability, actual racism tends to be less of a focus, and more frequently spoken out against.
Sexism is also present in the City, though it isn't quite as widespread as it is outside the City. Some people still believe that man is the better of the two genders; others are just as outspoken about woman being better. However, the City has the added complication of also having people who say that dual genders are the best, and others that say those with no gender are the best. Needless to say, there is always someone somewhere to prove that wrong.
Government laws are very lax and open on some things, one of them is gender. Though marriage is generally viewed in the City as a mostly-dead institution and a throwback to an older age, the laws surrounding marriage that exist in the City make no discrimination about the genders involved in the marriage. Homosexual, heterosexual, or any other type of relationship is recognized as a legal marriage with all the benefits and drawbacks of any other marriage. This includes people who wish to marry multiple spouses, though this kind of arrangement is very heavily frowned upon by society and the government, and there's been talk of rescinding the privilege.
The one issue that dwarfs both racism and sexism in the City is the issue of classism. The most obvious divide between citizens of Siren's Port is the quality of living and the amount of money they make. More often than racist or sexist remarks, you will hear diatribes and discrimination against people of a higher or lower social class. The rich socialites look down on the poorer folk as filthy plebes, the poorer folk look at the rich socialites and celebrities as stuck up and shallow. It goes each way and applies to every level of society, and is generally much less looked down on than racism or sexism.
Wait, what? Is there really a government here? YES! There is, though the system is a MESS and it's never been run very well. Governor Richard Redgrave is the local lead of the City and surrounding territory, voted in 12 years ago and retaining his position through the sheer lack of anyone bothering to vote or run against him, since 99% of the power in the City belongs to SERO and AGI. The government, all told, seems a bit smaller then the two major factions, both in manpower and ability to change things, and really the Government has very little say in anything - mostly because it's paid off by both SERO and AGI.
The Government's main function is to take tax money and use it to fix public things that everyone uses, regardless of affiliation. It makes sure roads are paved properly, street lights fixed, or an assassin shut down for bad attempts. They print the cash that ends up in the citizens' hands - but just because they make it doesn't mean it's always shared. Some money is hoarded away to pay off blackmailers, or get the latest extra comfy office chair in from the Outside, in a form of embezzlement.
Another service provided by Siren's Port's government is the offer to newcomers (player characters) of an integration grant. This is a package available only to newcomers, helping them integrate into society by giving them the funds necessary to cover books and tuition only at one of the City's schools. Money for everyday survival would still need to be made via a part-time job, but the Government will provide funds to cover books and tuition.
The Government is also the entity that runs the welfare system, but that's not something you really need to worry about, since you have to have been a resident and official citizen of Siren's Port for no less than two years before you can even think of drawing from welfare. Thankfully, there are a few shelters and food banks that are either run independently or through government funding for newcomers to use.
Aside from these few programs and general City maintenance - the Government really does very little, and holds very little power when it comes to changing anything.
Siren's Port is full of scandal and bad morals! It's also very lax on it's underage laws. There ARE laws mind you! You have to be 17 or older to get cigarettes and alcohol...but that guy at the counter? Yeah, he never asks for your ID. Half the people out there don't even have ID. And what does he care if you smoke? More money for his business!
You want to walk into a bar? Just pretend you're old enough and it's likely no one will care. But remember, if they decide they don't want you there, no matter how many others your young age are in there, they will use it as an excuse to bounce you.
In general, for the game, the underage thing shouldn't be too big an issue. Just assume the normal laws are in effect, but lack of adult supervision allows them to be more than a little lax. No one's going to jump you for playing your 16 year old at a club with a drink...at least not OOCly. IC is another subject now isn't it?
Schools and Colleges
Schools in Siren's Port are arranged pretty much as they are in Canada and the USA. Elementary, junior high and high schools are arranged into a total of 12 grades of education. Classes are always during the day, and the gates of the schools are locked down after classes are out. Schools range from seedy little no fund schools to upper class private schools. Those who show up through the Pull and find themselves underage on Sirens port are NOT forced to take part in school, though NPC characters are likely to look at that school-age child askance, and might call the truancy officers. ALL schools are optional and up to the character (and player), but feel free to work in being pestered by truancy officers if you're playing a school-age character.
There are three colleges in the City, each with the normal classes available at any college, and each with its own specialty courses. Each college tends to run like a normal college would on the outside. Those who are taken from other worlds and brought here through the Pull will be given an 'Integration Grant' that will cover exactly the costs of courses and books only. The government, as lax and laughed at as it is, has attempted to help integrate those who are not well-adjusted to the world of Siren's Port, and what better to help them integrate with society than providing higher education?
Hawthorne University (HU)
Students loyal to Afterglow, Inc. often find themselves going to HU to get top of the line degrees in business, law, the arts, and other studies of choice. A wide range of courses can be chosen from here. The student body is made up of many people, but those who are loyal to AGI or those whose parents are loyal tend to get a tuition break. Students are encouraged to dress in a style more formal than street wear, and are frowned upon if they choose not to.
University of Hillsdale (UoH)
Students loyal to SERO often find themselves receiving an excellent education at UoH, taking studies in medical fields, computer sciences, and languages. Other courses can be found here as well. The student body is made up of mostly SERO loyalists, and every SERO loyalist gets a tuition break for it. Students are encouraged to come dressed appropriately and not too casually.
Siren's Port University (SPU)
The oldest and poorest of the three colleges. Those who either can't afford the higher education or are not aligned with either faction find their way here. It's cheaper, but the learning environment is also a little bit lower-class. It still cranks out a good education, teaching a wide range of courses from medical and business, computer sciences, and art. In fact, the creators of the WIReD originally came from SPU. Tuition is a little cheaper than the other schools. SPU has a much more lax form of education, letting students come dressed as they please.
Department of Motor Vehicles
Also known simply as DMV. The DMV is located in Sector 4 (Middle Class), and will take care of all vehicle transportation needs, both private and public. In Siren's Port, one does NOT need a license to drive or operate a vehicle, but it is wise to have one. Registering your car, bike, or other vehicle of transportation IS required, though. Please do so at the DMV to ensure proper driver's rights. If your vehicle is stolen or in an accident, the DMV can assist you; but if they have no record of your vehicle, they won't touch it.
You can register your character's vehicle by posting a comment HERE.
City law enforcement will also ticket citizens for several typical drivers' offenses such as driving without registration, driving while intoxicated, or speeding. If you receive a ticket, you must go to the DMV and handle all expenses there, or else your vehicle can and will be impounded. Records will be kept on the DMV page OOCly for references, so just drop a note there if your character has a vehicle impounded.
The DMV is also known for taking care of Bus and Subway fines one might receive for misbehaving while riding the local transit system, or riding without a proper pass. If you receive a ticket, the DMV will deal with it. If you don't deal with it, and you receive another fine, you may end up spending a day or two in jail to teach you a lesson. If you're a frequent user of the transit system, the best way to avoid a fine (and nearly halve the amount spent on bus tickets!) is to get a monthly pass for the small fee of $175.
All traffic and transit tickets or fines are open ended plot devices for players to use at their own discretion. They are not mandatory and aren't meant to be something mods keep track of or anything. It's up to you if you want your character to have these kinds of issues, to get a ticket, get two, get arrested, go pay for tickets, gripe about it in journal entries, or any other use.
Religion in Siren's Port
The City includes all sorts of people with all kinds of religions. Temples and churches for nearly any religion observed commonly in modern-day earth can be found in the City, from Buddhism to Catholicism to Wicca to Hare Krishna. Churches in the City, just like in normal cities, range from small warehouse style places of worship to lush and complex churches. The more fancy churches tend to be found in the upper class areas of the City.
Two notable organized religions unique to the City are the Cathedral of Jonova, and the Unitology Fellowship. These two faiths are unique to the City, and very different from each other.
The Cathedral of Jonova was founded by Priest Englewood, a man who found faith and tried to bring it to the masses. Followers of Priest Englewood are easy to notice, since they usually dress in red, orange, and black hooded robes. They tend to be calm, soft-spoken people who preach the word of Jonova. Most of his followers were 'saved' by the priest, either through being healed, helped in a time of need, or by simply by witnessing his glory. Jonova is viewed as the god of all gods, having created a place for salvation to any who wished to reach out and take it. The church takes donations often to support their expansion, teachers, and places of worship. Priest Engelwood can be found among the people more than at the head of them, preaching, praising, or helping those wounded or in need. He shuns the Darkness and preaches about the end of this world.
The Unitology Fellowship, on the other hand, does not teach that there is a god, nor do they believe there is an end to all the Darkness. Instead, they gather together and form groups to fight the Darkness, to beat it back, and to unite together as one. Those who are Unitologist tend to dress simply in casual wear, but all carry the mark of the Union tattooed on their necks. To become a Unitologist, you must part with your worldly possessions (given to the Union to dispose of), unless it will be of use in the fight against the Darkness. Once you have been cleansed of material attachments, you can start a new and fresh life in the Union, going to meetings, helping the locals, and taking down those who stand in the way of the Union. This group is considered a religion because of the extremes it goes to and the strong belief system that followers hold dear, though some people outside the Union might consider it a terrorist group or cult. They believe that no action they take is purely done for the sake of violence, but is only done to better the world. The founder and leader of the Unitology Fellowship is a complete unknown.
Imports and Exports
It might not seem like the Island has many imports or exports, but it actually does, though they're kept very much on the down low. Most technology that was discovered in the 'normal' world was originally exported from the City in secret to the highest bidders on the outside. Needless to say, most things that are exported are done so through governmental routes, ties through AGI or SERO, or most notably over the black market. No one is exactly sure how they go about exporting items and information but it leaks out nonetheless. Most people speculate that there's some kind of connection through 'norms' on the other side to help filter the goods from one side to the other.
On the subject of importing, some of the most top-of-the-line items from the outside world have somehow been imported into the City. New films freshly released to the public come in three or four days to the City's theatres, new TV shows are stolen and routed in to be aired on the City's television network, likely through AGI ties to the outside world. Also imported are huge amounts of cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, and fresh supplies of lab equipment that wasn't manufactured in the City itself. Again, no one is 100% sure how these things make it in or out, but they do.
The WIReD originated as a virtual reality game of the MMORPG style, created by three technopaths in the 1970s. It started out as a somewhat crude device that took images and transmitted them directly to the user's body through a set of virtual reality goggles, with computerized gloves used to control movement. After some time it slowly evolved to more advanced 'games' where the person in the VR unit could fight and grow through levels in the game, and slowly incorporating minor stimulations to a person's physical body.
As the technology grew and the needs of gamers and internet geeks grew, the powers that be expanded the WIReD and opened it up to more than just gameplay. Virtual worlds and holo chat rooms were formed. Avatars were developed, allowing you to be anything you wanted to be inside the WIReD. Chat rooms, email, texting, and VR conferences can all take place in the WIReD as if they were every day events. Friends and family from other sides of the map can meet in just a moment's activation.
More recently, technology for accessing the WIReD has advanced significantly. Though the older style glasses and gloves combinations are still widely available, there is also the option of getting an implant installed in the back of the neck or down the spine that allows hardcore WIReD gamers to access the WIReD more easily and immerse themselves more deeply. These surgical implants are highly costly and not removable, a type of life-long investment, and they generally cause intense pain for weeks after installation. Generally, these more extreme methods are reserved for those who spend 90% of their time in the WIReD. The average user can get glasses, user suits or boots, and other more simple tools to enter and move about, to interact. Smaller, cheaper experiences on the WIReD can be found in specialty shops.
At the moment, the full extent of the WIReD is inaccessible to newcomers. It will become available later, so look for more information.
The City has twelve different sports teams - three baseball, three basketball, three football, and three hockey. Because of lack of larger leagues with many different teams for each sport, there is no regularly set schedule for games or tournaments. They decide when they want to play a game, they give the news a few days' notice to sell tickets, and then they play it.
This year, the age-old rivalry between AGI & SERO's teams have recently been joined by the Neutral Portside "Home" team, which is sponsored by a recent outsider arrival from America, billionaire and sports fanatic William Herms.
All professional teams play at the Grant Stadium and Sports Center. This revolutionary sporting center has a 'transforming' floor that enables it to rearrange itself mechanically for each event, enabling the stadium to set itself up with the court and other accessories needed to play nearly any sport. It is able to hold a very large amount of people at one time.
More information on Grant Stadium can be found HERE.
These games are played much like the normal game, though there have been some changes to the rules used in the City. This is to make it more challenging and more fun for spectators to watch, since most players have superhuman abilities that aid in play. Back in 1998 a new law passed that most games, unless otherwise noted in contract before the game date, were to be played with powers in effect. There are some laws in recruiting seasons to keep things from getting too out of control, but in general, recruiting seasons tend to be wild, trying to grab the fastest or strongest powered player at the time. Because of this, some players are paid more then other. Male, female, and all other genders, as well as all races, are permitted to play in all games.
Details on each sport, special rules, teams and playing styles, and mascots can be found below.
Though not as popular as it was once long ago, this sport is still played, generally with an open dome on the sports center and mostly in the mornings, just in case the game goes into overtime.
Both teams are always looking for new recruits that will bring excitement back into the game and draw a crowd once again. A well paid job as a player can be yours if you are exceptional at the sport or have a flashy, useful ability.
Nothing about this sport has changed other then the playing field; the diamond itself is much larger, forcing players to run farther to reach a base. Tricks cannot be used when pitching the ball nor hitting it, however throwing it after it's been hit, or trying to speed it to another player is acceptable.
The GrimSocks - A hard-playing group that are backed by AGI. They play a little dirtier than the other team does. Currently top of the game with a nine match winning streak as of the first of January.
Mascot: No live or costumed mascot, but the logo is of a set of gray socks with teeth, snarling.
The Knight Flyers - Currently backed by SERO, the Knights tend to have more justice minded players on it, willing to win the game for charity. Sadly as of the end of this year they have had a 9 game losing streak. The coach of the Knights has a long-running grudge with the coach of the rival team.
Mascot: A black knight in armor with a set of large wings. Generally they get a guy with real wings to be the mascot, though sometimes they are fake.
The Portside Aces - The new neutral Portside team, sponsored jointly between Herms & Sparks Casino. The team logo is an ace of spades, and does many promos in conjunction with the casino. Their roster is still being built, and they will be premiering next spring.
Mascot: The Aces have no official mascot, but what they do have is an iconic full kickline of Vegas-style showgirls who pose and dance on top of the Portside dugout every game.
With a larger running court, a bigger distance between the three points or free throw line and the basket, and a few extra feet of height on the basket, players have to work harder to get to their end of the court and make a shot. On top of that, the basket is on a randomized pivoting swivel stand, making it swivel slowly back and forth - not fast enough to be impossible, but increasing the difficulty of making any one shot.
Players are always in need, as the game seems to have a high turnover rate. Recruiters look for the perfect powers that can be used for better play, especially in the areas of aim, speed, height, and power. Pay for a basketball player is good but not as high as the football teams.
The Hardcourt Ripjaws - AGI-supported and crowd approved, this team is a fan favorite right now. The team is known for it's large players and over powered defences. Though a bit slower then he other team, the Ripjaws play with force, and because of this, basketball games tend to be dangerous and eventful lately.
Mascot: A man dressed up as a zombie, with bloody grey-green skin and its jaw ripped entirely off its face. This zombie (not a real zombie), stumbles around the court in the team's uniform.
The North Side Freelancers - SERO-supported, the Freelancers seem to be more tactically oriented, and get faster players on their rosters. Even with the faster players, the brute force needed to get the ball through the strong defenses of the other team seem to lacking lately. So far they have a 12-game losing streak, and are overhauling their roster come the start of the year.
Mascot: Farmer John is the name of their mascot. He's dressed in sports coverall (that is, it looks like the uniform, but is shaped like coveralls) with a pitch fork in hand. Most people seem to think he's pretty scary-looking.
The Portside Howlers - Neutrally sponsored, this new team is still making a name and reputation for itself. It is rumored that the roster is composed entirely of werewolves, and their playing style seems to change in cycle with the moon. Towards a new moon, they will play a hard tactical defensive line, and go all out offensive during a full moon. Their rowdy fans, naturally, fill the stadium with howls.
Mascot: Forget the fur-suit costumes. Their mascot is a highly sentient, enormous Alpha Timberwolf.
The sport is played the same with the same rules, but the field done a bit differently. It is still done in 10 yard increments, but center field is at the 100 yard mark, not 50. With a thinner field as well, players have a much longer way to run from goal to goal and less space to do it in. Powers can be used for every aspect of the game, leaving this as one of the more deadly sports in the city.
Football players are not as highly paid as other sports, but it's much easier to get onto a team if you have a desire and a good ability. Training will be done to teach you the rules and play of the game, as long as you have a winning spirit and a power they can utilize to win the next round. Powers like speed enhancements, strength, and size are all coveted, as well as elemental powers.
AfterGlow Panthers - One of the first sports teams in the city so long ago, now owned by AGI and promoted heavily. Last year, they suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of SERO's cyborg squad. Known for their flashy and explosive game play, the Panthers are a crowd favorite.
Mascot: A panther suit. The panther has a helmet they put on it once in a while, but generally it's a black cat that runs around the field, roaring.
SERO Savage Seahawks - SERO's pet team, the Seahawks, play a hard game using lots of tactical work, including technical equations about perfect placement, to crash through the other teams defenses. Lacking in defensive lines right now, they have their big players on the scoring lines. They were undefeated last year, but since new regulations have come into play, banning titanium laced boning and built in cybernetic hivemind devices, they've had to rebuild their roster from scratch.
Mascot: Sero the Seahawk! A large bird man suit of a sea hawk in football pants.
The Portside Lumberjacks - The first "home" team to make its debut, the Lumberjacks are all brute force and old fashioned tackling paired with one incredible Placekicker who hasn't yet missed a field goal opportunity without scoring. The Lumberjacks uniforms are a lurid plaid print, criticized by many, and wearing button-down plaid flannel seems to be a growing fan trend.
Mascot: Leroy the Lumberjack. Dressed in sturdy jeans and suspenders, with an enormous mustache, Leroy carries an axe, but is known for flipping a stack of free pancakes into the first tier of the Portside stands before every quarter. These are provided by a one of the team's sponsors, a neutrally-owned diner near the stadium, which slides at least fifty pancakes hot off the griddle for every game.
Equally violent and equally popular to football, hockey is set on the ice and played with similar rules to the normal world, but with a few variations. The brutality of hockey as normally played is nothing compared to how it tends to go in the City. Teams are formed, like most sports teams, with powered players who are permitted to use their powers on the ice. Additionally, the game has been slightly modified so that the rink used is about 2/3 of the size of a normal ice rink, causing a lot more collisions and crowding among the teams, especially when powers are being used.
The hockey teams were set up along with football as the first sports teams in the City. Hockey players are paid slightly more than football players, mainly because of the addition of dangerous blades to the feet, and the skill it takes to skate while playing. Like football, it is a mostly anything-goes sport in the City.
The Industrial Destroyers - Supported by AGI, the Destroyers originated from a small group of hard labor workers in the industrial sector, starting to play for the fun of it in winter on frozen warehouse floors. They will recruit from anywhere but generally their players are big, strong, and hard workers. As they go into the new year, the Destroyers have a 5-game winning streak going.
Mascot: A metal and iron works shark with hinged jaw that hovers around the side of the rink.
The Sector Six Saints - Supported by SERO, the Saints are the elite and rich class preppy sports enthusiasts, with the team being comprised of mostly rich players with an occasional goon to support them. They pay big bucks to try to make sure that they win and believe that dirty tricks are all part of the fun of the sport. They pick only the best for their teams and prefer that their members are at least a bit refined.
Mascot: An angel in white robes, generally someone who can hover, levitate, or actually fly. The mascot has a halo and hands clasped together, looking high class, expensive, and most importantly...always looking down on the other team.
The Portside Puckaneers - This team will make it's formal debut in November, but the Team Captain is a powered speedster on the ice who runs a very tight ship. They have been drilling in intensive all-night practice sessions to prepare to take on the more seasoned corporate teams.
Mascot: A very silly pirate, complete with peg leg, eye patch, and a stuffed shoulder parrot. One of the sports announcers, obviously favoring the new team, has taken to 'speaking' for the Parrot between plays, crowing mocking catcalls at the opposing side.
Like most cities, Siren's Port has its share of crappily-funded law enforcement and emergency services. To contact any of the departments you simply dial (how surprising) 911. As generic as the number is, you will only contact the City's dispatch office and will not gain access to 911 services from the outside world. When you reach the dispatch office, they will ask you what the emergency is and determine which emergency service needs to be sent out to help. The fire department and their offshoot of ambulances can only be contacted through 911. Law Enforcement departments have their own non-emergency phone lines that can be looked up through your NV or a phone book, but they can be reached through 911 dispatchers in case of emergency.
Police Department (SPPD) - The police force is one of the least-funded and sorry-looking departments in the City. It's also full corrupt police officers, easily paid off - if they get the right officer, a shop or a gang can pay for silence with ease. After all, cops here are paid very little considering what their job is, so anything extra is helpful.
There are a few bleeding hearts in the department, and once in a while a true fighter for justice can be found on the force, but at the moment, and for the past 40 or more years now, the police department has been corrupt and dysfunctional.
There are five departments on the island, each small and rundown. One in each of the first four sectors, each at a good distance away from each other, and one on the border of the 6th sector, which is also the main headquarters and tends to be the most heavily funded and well-kept, since it's close to the richest part of the City. Nonetheless, it too can be corrupt, especially where the less-than-legal dealings of rich businessmen are concerned.
Be aware, however, that if you are not willing to pay up, can’t pay enough, or do get one of the less corrupt you are likely to be taken in and the system from there can be hard to get out of. They are poorly funded, and horribly corrupt, but they do have a quota to meet, after all. It is pretty universally acknowledged they are harder on non-affiliated crimes in the city, though this has never been officially proven and the party line is that it is denied.
Note: It is rumored that criminals with certain skills have been given jobs on the force in lieu of community service or serving time. And though it has been brought up many times, no cases of this have been proven.
*Jobs can be found through the department. No academy time is needed, provided that you can pass an endurance test as well as a company test on the rather lacking laws of the City. The more useful your powers or the more natural talent you have, the easier it is to get a job. Those who come into the world with experience on the force are almost always granted an easy time in landing a job with the SPPD, not that it pays well.
Fire Department (SPFD) - Surprisingly enough there was good funding put into the fire department. After an out-of-control pyromancer took a rampage through the city back in 1973, more care was put into the need for fire control. Now there is at least one fire house in every sector (minus the slums, which has no services at all) of the City, and no more than three at the same time, making around 20 departments in the City, each with one to two trucks each, as well as support vehicles and ambulances.
Firefighters generally have to go through a short training course, as well as a few aptitude tests, and if they are good enough they will be placed in the low ranks of the departments. Unlike the outside world, firefighting is a DAY job only. They do not fund the department to handle nighttime services. There is ONE small department left open during the Darkness, and that department is in a small station in the underground. Firefighters can stay at the station for the night or go home, because no calls will go out at the nighttime.
*Jobs for firefighters are always in demand and pay pretty well. As long as you can handle the one month training camp and pass the tests, you are in. Please be able to handle the physical aspects of the department as well.
Ambulances and Emergency Care - Since the emergency care service is affiliated with the fire department, each station has one, sometimes two ambulances under its roof, normally going out on calls when the trucks do. Sometimes they will be called out on emergency on their own. They relay wounded patients to the local hospitals only. Ambulance drivers and medics do not have to take the same fire fighter camp and tests to be approved - anyone with clear skills in medicine and a working knowledge of the equipment who cam pass the medical exams may be hired as driver and assistant. Special consideration is given to anyone with an ability related to healing.
*Jobs can be found here through the fire department, though you will have to pass an exam through the local medical facilities as well as the demands the fire chief may make of you. Those with life-saving and healing abilities are highly sought after, but you must be able to drive a vehicle fast.
Every city needs its medical staff. Thankfully Siren's Port is full of technologically advanced beings and equipment, and City doctors rank as some of the best in the world - some doctors have a healing touch, or regeneration abilities, and other such powers to help. Some are simple humans with the talent and knowledge to help others. Nurses, doctors and orderlies are all talented or at least helpful. Not all friendly of course, but they get the job done.
There are three very large and well-funded hospitals in the City, along with several smaller ones scattered here and there. Walk-in clinics are also open around the City in smaller government-funded buildings, to take care of the folks who can't find a regular family doctor. While two of these hospitals are for typical use, one of them also contains the City's biggest laboratories and is run by SERO.
All Siren's Port residents are automatically eligible for medical coverage. People with very low incomes, such as most people working minimum wage will not have to pay a monthly premium to the government, whereas people with higher paying jobs may need to pay a minimal monthly fee. Because of this, regardless of income, everyone is free to walk into a clinic for care, or find themselves at a real hospital to be seen. Not all procedures are free though, so your bills might not be that cheap.
Siren's Port General Hospital - Anyone and everyone can walk into this hospital for treatment. Since SPGH is located in sector 3, if you're injured while in the first three major sectors, you might end up here, and all underground accidents will be routed to SPGH. It's also common practice for more 'important' or high-income people to be sent to SPGH. This hospital is also known to have the best rehab program in the City, and is open at all times, including during the Darkness.
Skye Medical Center - Found in sector 4, Skye Medical Center is the second-largest hospital in the City, and the one most open to taking anyone, everyone and anything for treatment, and people of any class from slum kids to nobility can walk in here and be seen. Because of this, though, it does seem to take longer to be seen and treated, but the founder of the hospital so long ago has always had a complete open door policy. This center also has the top of the line pediatrics center in it, as well as a high class maternity ward. Most middle and lower class people will be taken here by ambulance instead of other places. Skye Medical Center is also open at all times, including during the Darkness.
SERO Hospital and Labs - Obviously, this is a hospital and lab facility funded by and run by SERO. The building seems relatively low-profile on the outside, but underground, one can find a sprawling world of secret labs and chambers for testing. Aboveground, there are normal hospital facilities, available at no charge and all carried out professionally and with skill. It's a training facility, so patients generally come here at their own risk and must sign a waiver form. If you have a unique health problem or injury and come here to let them work on you, there is a slight chance that you will be paid for your time in their medical procedures. However, not every person will have a good time here, since it's said that subjects are brought here to be tested, their powers, mutations, or abilities analyzed. Occasionally, a walk-in patient may simply disappear without a trace. SERO Labs is also open at all times, including during the Darkness.
Walk-In Clinics - There are several of these spread out through the City, small buildings open for about 10 hours during the daytime. These are run by one or two doctors in a single practice, each with a few nurses or assistants to help. They are general clinics and only deal with small things like shots, flu, colds, broken bones, diagnosing other sicknesses, or referrals. They do not do surgeries or any large medical procedures. No appointment is required and no payment is necessary to visit these Walk-In Clinics, but because of this, the wait time may be more significant than at the hospitals.
Dental Offices - There are several small dental practices here and there in the City, but no one large organization for it. They are not covered by the government's medical system, and so a visit to the dentist can sometimes be more expensive than a visit to a traditional doctor, depending on what you need done - a cleaning might be $40, but more than that and the price goes up steeply. Private offices all have different features that vary from office to office. An alternative can be found at the SERO Hospital, where they offer a significantly cheaper dental program, so long as patients are willing to submit to some minor testing on the teeth.
Vision - Need glasses? Eye issues? Like dental offices there are some vision care facilities here and there in the City. Since vision care is not funded by the medical program, these clinics are run by all types of people with knowledge of optometry. Visits to the optometrist may be slightly more costly than other services, but is still generally cheaper than dental work.
Veterinary - Even pets need help sometimes and there are several vets around the City for this reason exactly. Just like the other non-government-sponsored clinics, they are small private practices scattered here and there open during the daytime for the help of birds, cats, rats, dogs, and other domestic creatures. Some of these even specialize in the more exotic lizards, dragons, small fluffy goblin balls, and other weird oddities that can be found in the City. As an interesting alternative, there is a small section of the Skye Medical center that offers veterinary services, mostly staffed by volunteers from the regular hospital staff who have additional veterinary training or healing abilities that would work on animals.
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