Terminus doesn’t just have great characters, but memorable settings too. Here’s our first introduction to Terminus’ adopted planet of Skyfire.
Wealth was denoted in Alpha Gropolis by how much space citizens had around them. On cramped Level Ten the destitute scraped together an existence for themselves in the slums. Overcrowded and disease-ridden, not only did Level Ten’s sprawl suffer the full brunt of the sun (as there were no levels above to protect it) but it also had the least amount of living space per citizen. Another factor to its poverty was the lack of drinking water, power, and waste disposal. The main trunk served all the levels, taking processed water from the sea to all the levels via pipes running up its body. Level Ten was the last to receive any water and its pipes received the least maintenance. Children from the top level often scurried through the pipes to the lower levels to beg. Levels Nine and Eight were also poverty-stricken but the increased standards of living were noticeable, especially in the rimward districts. From Level Seven downwards, civilization came into its own in a high-tech urban environment possessing transport systems and recreation zones. Travel between levels was a frequent occurrence between these civilized levels, using elaborate lift systems between floors. However, few citizens from the upper levels spent very long in the closely guarded, elitist level at the mega-city’s spacious ground level. Level One was where the elite of Skyfire flourished in luxury; the scilitos, the politicos and the filthy rich.
The harsh light of the Skyfirean sun, the scourge of the unshielded upper levels, was collected by the sunlight utility corporations and beamed through mirrors to the lowest levels where it was purchased and consumed by the rich.
When Terminus had first seen it from a distance, the gropolis had reminded him of a huge child’s toy, the levels bolted together to make this curious cone out of flat pieces of metal.
The second book of the Skyfire Chronicles, Unauthorized Contact, will be launched at Fantasycon 2012