Beyond the Caelo

 

            While Caelo is the focus of much of Haven life, there are many outlying communities that contribute to the well-being of Haven society. Many of these are located along the coast and are noted for their tourist traffic. Coral Beach, on North Island, is a prime example of one such community. The town boasts a small year-round population, but at regular intervals throughout the year – particularly during school summer vacations, the number of residents swells to several thousand. Coral Beach is particularly renowned for the ostentatious beach houses of the rich and famous, and for the long boardwalk that parallels the white sand beaches.

            During peak tourist times there is an active nightlife and bar scene. It is no wonder, then, that the community has become somewhat notorious for its loud parties and the antics of the many holidaying students who gather there.

            Point Pleasant is another popular destination for city dwellers wishing to escape the hustle and bustle of Caelo. This community is more family-oriented and appeals to those with young children. The wide beaches and the many amusements situated close by are ideal for entertaining kids of all ages.

            Farther south, on South Island, Easthaven offers quiet relaxation for the older set. Day fishing trips out to sea launch regularly from the small coastal community. In recent years the town has become a magnet for retirees. Its major claim to fame is the nearby residence of Philip Hawthorne, the author of the controversial No Haven for Darkness, a bestselling novel in Haven but banned in the Third Reich and, at the time of its publication back in the ‘70s, the source of considerable diplomatic tension between Berlin and the Haven administration. Hawthorne lives some distance from the town in a fortress-like home on the coast. He is reputed to be a recluse and has seldom been seen in public since the publication of his one and only book.

            Other coastal towns, like Point Barrow, Lapeche, Sharindar, Pau'launni, and Peele, are less frequented by tourists. Peele is largely a military town and is linked directly by road to Carmichael Naval Base, Haven's largest military facility and home to much of the republic's deep water fleet.

            Both South Island and North Island are relatively flat and feature much good farming land. Sugar cane is one of the primary crops of North Island, along with corn, beets, sisal, pineapple, etc. On South Island crops range from potatoes, peas, grapes, wheat, soy, etc. Central island is renowned for its Blue Mountain coffee, as well as being home to sheep, goats, and small herds of cattle. There are also a number of large orchards on the island, providing a wide variety of fruits.

            North and Central islands are joined by Union Bridge, which crosses the Narrows, an impassable stretch of water at the western extreme of the Morrison Strait. Only a few hundred meters wide, the Narrows divides the southernmost tip of North Island from the northernmost tip of Central. Electrics pass over the bridge constantly, with motorcars on the lower level and trains on the upper.

            Central and South islands are linked by the ferry that runs out of Dunington  on Central and crosses the Goddard Strait to Esterhaze on South. The Central Island Train Line terminates in Dunington but continues again at Esterhaze and fans out across South Island to Easthaven, Point Barrow, Point Pleasant, and the military base known as Southern Approaches.

            Off the west coast of South Island is the small island known simply as the Western Battery. A small military base is maintained here, with the duty to observe and protect the less populated western coast of the islands. Its airfield services the Republic Number Ten squadron of P-51s and Zeros that regularly patrol the skies off the coast.

 

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