Michael’s Addendum: I’m repeating this from SA II with some added notes to represent how I feel things could be by 2132.
(essay by Mandy Samunaptra, grade 8 student at IOT Academy for the Gifted)
Angelus in 2123 is composed of 48.9 million souls (according to the official census). Angelus is a mega-city, encompassing 13 sectors each as large as or larger than many other global metropolitan areas. Angelus spans over 20,000 square miles and is borne aloft over the ocean swells by means of cold-fusion powered countergravity units colloquially known as "hydrolizers."
Michael’s Addendum: We’re going to need to rethink the size of Angelus. 20,000 square miles is almost twice the size of Maryland (including the Chesapeake Bay) and that’s simply far to big for the time scale provided. It also makes my reality check bounce into orbit. 49 million people is more than twice the size of the present-day New York Megacity (which is roughly 20 million as of 2013). For the record, NYC uses 40,000 NYPD officers to patrol a city of 7 million (that’s 1 officer per 175 people). In Angelus that would result in 280,000 police officers (basically the size of a small army). I don’t really have an answer for the questions of ‘how big’ and ‘how many people’, but am willing to stick with 5k and 50k XSWAT and APD officers in the interest dramatic tension.
Fog and rain are constant meteorological events due to shifts in weather patterns from the cataclysm of 2032. Angelus is predominantly Anglo-Saxon with a significant population of ethnic Japanese and Chinese. Clades are present in record numbers, though most Clades remain isolated within Rohr sector rather than mixing with the population at large.
Michael’s Addendum: With the completion of the space elevator, Angelus is going to be down on the equator. While overcast days aren’t as prevalent, daily rain showers probably are. Also, the edges of the city tend to be foggy and misty more than the center. This is due to the effect of the hydrolyzers kicking up sea spray. Based on a friend’s weather report for Hawaii, the daily weather report for Angelus is as follows: partly cloudy and breezy with sporadic rain showers expected. Temperatures ranging from 80-90 with little to no humidity.
Angelus law prohibits megacorporate interests from extraterritoriality, insisting on full responsibility under local regulations. In protest over this ruling, many megacorporations reduced operations or pulled out altogether from Angelus over the last decade. Factories have closed, research facilities shut down or reduced, and unemployment is at an all-time high. This is not to say that megacorporations do not do business in Angelus—not at all. The city is simply too large, too significant to completely ignore. However, the impact of Angelus' decision choked the bottom line for many industries, and there has been an upswell among corporate groups of irritation.
New businesses struggle to compete with the big boys. There is a form of social Darwinism at work in Angelus's financial scheme. Franchising has become increasingly popular and there is a gradual disappearance of owner-founded firms.
Michael’s Addendum: Ross specifically stated that the PCs victory in SA II made the world a better place. I’d like to think that one aspect of this is a turnaround in the economic situation of Angelus. When coupled with the completed space elevator, Angelus sees a lot of multinationals and megacorporations return. In many cases, their desire is to use the elevator for shipping goods to and from orbit. In addition, Angelus sees an increase in the sort of infrastructure you’d expect from an expanded corporate presence and personnel.
The megacorporate attitude towards Angelus has had a disastrous effect on the city's economy. Rampant layoffs and closings led to a sharp decline in the standard of living for most of the citizens of Angelus, and quite a few properties dropped in value considerably. The average citizen in Angelus lives just above the poverty line. Pre-fabricated goods ranging from meals to homes are offered for sale at low prices. Most jobs pay only slightly above the minimum wage. Misdemeanor crimes have grown drastically in recent years—petty theft, shoplifting, muggings.
The downturn in the economy has also affected the city government. All public works have had budgets slashed to the bone and many outreach programs and benefits have been cut altogether. Agencies struggle with skeleton crews or shoestring allocations to meet demands.
Epsilon, Iota, and Psi sectors are all considered high-poverty areas. Epsilon nearly escaped being labeled a ghetto region back in 2112 but since then has become increasingly dangerous. Beta is the only true middle-class district in the city. Omicron sector is fast becoming more of a ghost town than a true corporate center. Many buildings in Omicron are entirely abandoned or condemned, and some of the empty floors have been taken over by vagrants and criminals. The "Steam Tunnels" below Angelus thrive against all odds and becomes an illicit haven for smuggling.
Michael’s Addendum: Since 2122, Angelus has seen a massive turnaround economically. Much of the city can be considered middle class, only Alpha and Sigma sectors really contain upper class housing and living standards. Rho/Rhor/Roar Sector is still the poorest Sector.
After the twin disasters of an armed invasion and mass entity encroachment in 2112, Angelus had a great deal of real estate damaged or destroyed. A state of emergency was declared for 4 months into 2113 until the worst of the debris had been cleared. Efforts to rebuild were underway by the end of the year and were declared complete in 2114. Nevertheless, some large stretches of the city bear scars from these events, both physical and social.
Reconstruction as an idea continues—old buildings are torn down to make way for the new, while roadways and flight paths are continually being upgraded or expanded to accommodate the shifting needs of Angelus' citizenry. Construction companies make up a hefty percentage of those businesses that are flourishing in the wake of the other upheavals the city has witnessed over the last decade.
Michael’s Addendum: Even twenty years later one can still find damage from the Entity attack of 2112. It’s possible some buildings have been left in a destroyed state as a memorial. Sort of like the Hiroshima Peace Memorial.
Few places in Angelus represent that drive to rebuild than the monument built to honor those who fought for the city. Memorial Park was built over the site where the Class 5 Entity Gurzorath was defeated and destroyed. Statues and plaques list the names of the dead and tell the story of the courageous stand by the city's defenders at Rutger Bridge. Less happily, the Park is also at the center of many urban legends and rumors regarding paranormal activity.
Michael’s Addendum: Ghosts are a common report from Memorial Park. Taking Angie Winterfox there might not be a good idea.
Rho sector was signed over to the Free Clade Republic in 2113. Since then, the semi-autonomous region has become both a hotbed of political and civil unrest and a safe, pleasant environment for Clade-kind. Recognized as full citizens in 2113, Clades have drifted into Angelus from all over the world seeking asylum and a place to call their own. Unfortunately, the treatment of Clades in other parts of the globe has led to racist incidents on both sides of the issue. The FCR government does their best to contain the riots but often has to call for assistance from the beleaguered Angelus Police Force.
The media regularly accuses the FCR of running an illegal "underground railroad" through Angelus' steam tunnel region, emancipating Clade runaways wherever they can. The FCR, naturally, refutes these allegations. Meanwhile, Rohr sector remains one of the city's most destitute areas and suffers heavily from gang violence. The residents of Rho sector provide most of Angelus' underprivileged work force, mostly performing menial labor in return for minimum wage.
Michael’s Addendum: No real change. Economically, the FCR is somewhat better off, if only because the city is somewhat better off. The need for unskilled and semi-skilled workers at the elevator has provided some employment opportunities for Clades. For example, cargo handlers who can lift several hundred pounds. XSWAT is always there, and based on the efforts of people like Chrysine, Tyger, and others, relations between XSWAT and the FCR are fairly good (this was one of Jama’s priorities, IIRC). Relations with the APD are mixed. While the APD is supposed to support the FRC, it’s a well-known fact that the APD is far more lenient about racism in the ranks than XSWAT.
Based on Ross’s overview, Hawkin’s Alley has probably become an all-purpose open-air market, and one of the few places in Rho where Clades and non-Clades mix freely. Elsewhere in the sector, especially near the city’s edge where the Sector is the widest, humans are less tolerated and anti-human violence can and does happen. Gangs are common in these areas, their make-up often determined by the animal DNA used in the Clade’s reaction (i.e. all canine, all feline, all wolf, all tiger, and so on). Very few humans can walk un-escorted through all of Rho Sector. Not even Angie Winterfox, has lived there since she was 8, feels perfectly safe there.