X Town

On the outskirts of Lagos, the teeming commercial centre of Africa's most populace state, the ghetto known as X-town is home to the majority of Earth's offworld visitors. It is a mess of eclectic architecture from a dozen different cultures; the sturdy hexagonal domes of the garhdassa; jeco'en organo-structural groves; the airy pavilions of the sarn; and human brick, corrugated iron and adobe structures. The sun beats down bright and warm, nourishing the various home gardens and small plots of land set aside for growing crops, whether native or harvested from the horticultural pods of the Menagerie. It is irregular in outline, and surrounded by a substantial concrete wall, up to five feet thick and twenty high, supported by steel buttresses and featuring guardposts at every entrance. As the alien refugees are no long confined 'for their own safety', the guardposts stand empty more often than not, and the barrier has begun to crumble, the walls daubed with graffiti and street art. Where X-town actually borders Lagos, the wall has been torn down, allowing freer access, though hardly diminishing the discrimination directed at the visitors.

Originally home to all 5000 or so suvivors of the Menagerie crash, there are now around 3500 alien inhabitants (including some second generation, those born on Earth), plus 2200 or so humans. Some of those humans are support staff for the alien population, others tradespeople offering their wares permanently in the district or simply impoverished Lagosans forced to live in what is unfairly considered the city's worst slum.

Sites of Interest

Visitors Consulate

The de facto government centre of X-town, the consulate building is a rather unremarkable structure amidst so many alien architectures, being a simple, blocky concrete construction with an arched glass tower rising from it. It is home the the Visitors Council, the semi-formal meeting of the various species inhabiting X-town to discuss any matters of mutual concern. Sarn and Merez form the most vocal groups on the Council, by dint of natural disposition towards diplomacy, and there is a shaky alliance between them which gives them strong influence on the running of the district. Representatives to the Council are chosen by whatever means each species feels appropriate, from the hereditary chieftain of the harmabhik, to the gerontocracy of the hecorax to the communal elections of the sarn. A group of three speakers from the Council communicates with the UN High Commission on Nonhuman Refugees and the Ministry of Extraplanetary Affairs regarding significant matters.

The principle source of division in the Visitor's Council is between the Integrationist and Preserver factions. The Integrationists, which includes many of the younger generation, as well as those aliens born on board the Menagerie spacecraft and thus with no memory of their species' homeworlds, wish to accept the new home mankind has offered them, and try to fit in. The Preservers intend to maintain their cultures and traditions on this new planet, and are more wary of adopting human customs.

Ogokari Centre for Xenomedicine

X-town provides a unique environment for epidemiologists: the interaction of so many unrelated populations and diseases creates an extremely dynamic pathosphere. However, it also constitutes a great threat: any of the viruses passing around between human, harmabhik, merez and jeco'en physiologies could suddenly become a lethal mutant strain. The Ogokari centre is a cutting edge interspecies virology and community health facility, at once servicing the daily needs of the multiple varieties of lifeforms in the area and researching possible threats arising from the conditions and even potential medical breakthroughs to be gained. In addition to such core work as the Xenome Projects, mapping the genetic structures of the aliens, Ogokari operates a number of groups working on special opportunities for advancement, such as creating new medical imaging technologies based on the harmabhik 'bio-etheric' sense organs, or adapting hecorax life-suspension techniques to other species. The centre's director, the Turkish surgeon Idam Kamahl, faces pressures from the Visitor's Council and the Ministry of Extraplanetary Technology to make progress both on the community medicine and advanced research fronts.

Honnarh And Thraan Who Make Things

One of the most notable success stories of visitor commerce is this light manufacturing company, which displays typical gahrdassa directness in nomenclature. While most gahrdassa are content to hire themselves out for construction work, mining, and other basic labour, lifepartners Honnarh and Thraan were inspired to turn that work ethic towards smaller, more profitable projects. They now own two factories near X-town that make items from consumer electronics to light vehicles, and employ a significant number of humans as well as others of their species.

Suuhnish's Comestibles
A popular restaurant owned and operated by the merez chef Suuhnish, adventurous diners can find food simulating recipes from a dozen different solar systems here. They can sample dishes prepared with polymorphic spices, salads made with extraterrestrial vegetables, and wash it down with another world's wine. It has acquired a reputation as a meeting place for diplomats, spies and international connoisseurs.

AurAquil Security
Many members of the displaced CCCXLIII Terran Golden Eagle Legion of the Interstellar Roman Empire were captured during the first battles of the Gateway Wars, and spent the next few years in prisoner of war camps across the world. When the conflict ended, they were given the choice to renounce their allegiance to the alternate reality emperor they served, and those that agreed were set free. With no hope of returning home, with all the portals sealed shut, many legionnaires gave into despondency, drinking their lives away in any Roman-themed bars they could find that reminded them, even a little, of their own dimension. One man who refused to give up so easily, however, was Centurion Aurelius Liung Wu. He gathered all of his men that had survived the war and beat them back into a disciplined fighting force. This so-called Lost Legion became a premier mercenary outfit, using their own high-tech weapons and adapted local technology. Eventually, Wu elected to settle, and chose X-town, reasoning that it was full of people just as lost as he. The Lost Legion became AurAquilSecurity, an international firm hiring out guards and specialists for corporate sites or as neutral peacekeepers in trouble spots.

The Warclan
The largest and most dangerous gang in X-town, the mainly harmabhik and human Warclan is a violent, territorial group which runs protection rackets and burglary rings throughout Lagos. It is lead by an atavistic harmabhik named Khtall Aruk, who displays an unusually high degree of control over his bio-etheric field.

Africa The Pact
Nigeria The Ministry of Extraplanetary Technology
Asia Ubyezhich
Germany Free City of Hamburg
North America
United States Kingdom City
Pacific Ocean Pacifica Prison
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