Caelo

 

            In the early days of Haven, settlement activity was largely confined to the area around the site of the first landing. The natural harbor formed by what is now known as Resolute Bay proved a perfect refuge for the first armada of ships from North America. The beginnings of the city of Caelo can be seen in the foundries and factories that still exist along the edge of the bay not far from where the Skelty River empties into the sea. It was here the first wave of refugees established the beginnings of what is now known as the Republic of Haven.

            Erected to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the founding of Haven, the Statue of Salvation and Hope stands in the waters of the bay some five hundred yards from the docks. The statue features two stylized nude figures, one male and one female, standing with their backs to one another, heads turned slightly heavenward, each with an arm outstretched toward the sky and the fingers of their other hands entwined. The statue was commissioned by the government of Haven and paid for by subscription. It was designed by the artist L. Howard and cast in bronze sections that were later assembled to form a whole standing fifty feet high (not including the hundred foot high stone block pedestal on which it stands). At the base of the pedestal are inscribed the words: "If we be but two, it shall be enough."

            The oldest sections of Caelo are located in the docks and the republic's heavy industry sector, as well as the residential community of Old Caelo. Much of Haven's earliest infrastructure and many of its buildings were constructed from the very ships that brought the surviving Immunes to the islands. Most of Victoria Station, for example, is composed of recycled scrap metal taken from the ocean liner Queen Mary – a great deal of it still in its original form, as can be noted in the support stanchions and steel joists of the station's roof. Several warehouses were erected from pieces of the Aquitania; and if one looks carefully, it is possible to find the ship's name on the side of one such edifice.

           Throughout the capital evidence abounds as to the nautical origins of the city. The Grand Ballroom of the Parliament once graced the Queen Elizabeth. Parts of Haeden University were constructed from the Mauretania and the Empress of Australia. The elevators in the Margolliean Camera – Haeden University's esteemed library – come from the Ile de France. The dome of St.Paul's is fabricated from the ribbing of the SS America. Many lamp standards that grace the major arteries of the city are fashioned from parts of these ships and others. It is often said that the ships that brought the refugees to Haven were as important to the survival of humanity as the human population itself.

          Along the shoreline and throughout the city it is possible to see the gun emplacements established for the early defence of the city. Most of these weapons were removed from the decommissioned warships HMS King George V and USS Iowa, both of which were severely damaged in the last great sea battle of the war in the South China Sea. The largest of the guns – fourteen and sixteen inch cannons – are located on Russet Hill, south of the industrial sector, directly across the bay from Cliffside.

          In the decades since it was first founded, Caelo has grown substantially. The population is now over one million, with the remainder of Haven's citizens spread throughout the rest of the islands. Most of the city's residents live in the three largest boroughs – East, West, and North – and in the downtown core surrounding Piccadilly Circle. South of the city, along the western shore of Resolute Bay and opposite much of West Borough, lies Cliffside, home to the richest families in Haven. At the most northern extent of this exclusive area is the Third Reich Embassy, situated on a promontory overlooking the bay and well removed from the prying eyes of the curious.

         North of the city the Blue Mountains rise sharply into warm Pacific skies. The lower slopes of these mountains are ideal growing grounds for coffee, a favorite delicacy of Havenites – though needless to say its scarcity means that it is among those rationed goods that are strictly monitored. The mountains also contain camping grounds and hiking trails that are enjoyed throughout the year by city residents and other islanders.

         The city has an extensive electric streetcar network that runs along the major arteries, such as Harvard Street, Republic Avenue, King Street, King Fisher Avenue, Queen Street, University Avenue, Wellington Boulevard, and numerous others. There is also some bus service within the boroughs and the districts north and south of the downtown core.

         The Central Island Train Line runs straight through the southern part of the city, close to Resolute Bay. The "Central," as it is most commonly known, connects the three islands with a speedy electric train service. The electrics run on a relatively regular schedule throughout the week, with added service on the weekend to accommodate the tourist runs to the popular coastal communities of Coral Beach, Point Pleasant, Dunington, and Easthaven. It is common practice for citizens of Caelo to use the Central as intercity transport between the western and eastern halves of the city, and special accommodations are made for this by Island Transnational Shipping, the corporation responsible for the operations of the major electrics that serve Haven.

         Kensington Aerodrome is Caelo's main airfield and services both inter-island traffic and the regular Lufthansa zeppelin operations between Haven and the Third Reich city of New York. Flights between the islands generally employ Air Haven's well-maintained fleet of DC-3's and Lockheed Electras. The presidential zeppelin is also housed at Kensington, in one of the three large hangars especially built for the airship trade.

         Caelo is home to many newspapers, including The Haven Chronicle, The Caelo Times, and The Haven Herald, as well as the popular weekly magazine Haven Today. There are also two radio stations – Radio Haven and TIBS (Three Islands Broadcast Service) – covering all the islands and a single television station – Island TV – which operates daily from 6 PM to 10 PM (excluding special live events) using imported Telefunken equipment.

         Although there are few fulltime professional actors in Haven, there remains an active live-theater community in the city, with performances all year round in the two major theaters, the Odeon and the Republic. There are also several cinemas that show a mix of salvaged pre-war films, census-cleared vamp productions, and the few home-grown efforts that are sponsored by the government. For those who cannot afford the luxury of a television, the newsreel theaters located in each of the boroughs offer an inexpensive way to keep up with the news and see the latest developments on the islands.

         Caelo's major commercial district is located in Piccadilly Circle and features a wide variety of shops offering everything from clothing and shoes to radios and televisions. Here you will find the latest in fashion and consumer appliances, including the new 19 inch six valve Telefunken television consoles from Germany, Braun radios (also from Germany) featuring the exciting new transistor technology, as well as products like kerosene refrigerators, electric cooktops and ovens, wringer-washers, and vacuum cleaners.

         Off Piccadilly is the Bytown Market where fresh produce trucked in from outlying regions is sold daily. The market is colorful and picturesque and always busy. For those in the know, it is here that much of the black market trade is conducted. There also are kiosks and small shops at the southern end of the market that are noted for dealing in salvage. Much of this comes from the crews of trawlers who routinely venture beyond the fishing zones prescribed by the Third Reich government and seek out the long abandoned coastal towns and cities of the Pacific Rim countries. Although officially frowned upon, the work of these crews has done much to supply Haven with goods and materials currently impractical to manufacture. It is said that there is probably not a single household in Haven that does not have something that was reclaimed and brought to the islands and sold by scavies (those who salvage and resell pre-war items to the public). Films, books, magazines, furniture, machinery, and many other pre-war items are common acquisitions of the scavies and are always popular with Haven residents.

         The city has many restaurants, ranging from expensive fine-dining establishments like the renowned Castelano's to cafes and bistros such as The Calypso in Piccadilly Circle. The Casbah, located down in the Washington Square area of the dockland district of the city, offers some of the best seafood dining on the islands. The restaurants are among the few places where citizens can escape RB restrictions, as the government has exempted these businesses from the usual rationing standards. There has long been controversy over this, with some arguing it favors the wealthy, who are more able to indulge in regular nights out than would be the case for most citizens of the islands. To mitigate this somewhat, the government has set upper price limits on all menu items and required that at least 30 percent of the menu constitute affordable meals easily within the financial reach of the average citizen.

         Sailing is a popular pastime among citizens of the city, and within the shelter of Resolute Bay it is common to see craft of all sizes criss-crossing the waters. The annual Bay Regatta, held in June, culminates in an around-the-islands yacht race that begins and ends at the Statue of Salvation and Hope.

         The downtown streets of Caelo are often busy with traffic, but relatively free of the pollution for which Berlin, New York, and other vamp cities are infamous. This is largely because the importation of gasoline-powered vehicles from the Third Reich is severely limited due to government rationing of petroleum products. Most BMW and Mercedes automobiles and trucks are in government service, for use by such agencies as the Presidential Security Service (which operates and maintains the presidential limousine). Generally the automotive trade in Haven is controlled by two competing firms: Stormway Motorcars and Universal Electric Automobiles. Both companies annually produce a limited number of electric-powered vehicles of a half-dozen or so models, with the Stormways aimed at the lower end market and the Universals intended for a slightly more affluent clientele.

         A particularly popular Stormway model is the Athena, which has been in production since the founding of the company in 1953. The Athena is an inexpensive, basic electric with a top speed of about 70 mph. It is a favorite due largely to its low cost, its ease of use, and the compact simplicity of its design.

         The city is dotted with air raid shelters, many in the basements and sub-levels of large buildings. Air raid sirens are placed strategically throughout the city and across the islands. These are tested on a regular basis, and all citizens are required to be acquainted with the whereabouts of the nearest shelters in relation to their place of residence or work. To ensure familiarity with procedures in the event of an attack from the air, the government has mandated that once a year the general population must participate in a full-dress drill.

        There are three main hospitals in Caelo: the Mercy General, the Grace, and the Haven Center for Medical Advancement. Mercy is considered the primary care facility on the islands and is designed to accommodate patients from areas outside of the city. The Grace specializes in geriatric needs, while the HCMA is largely a teaching and research facility. All three are operated as non-profit organizations fully funded by the federal government, providing free medical care to all citizens of the islands.

         Caelo is home to many schools, including the prestigious Humberton Academy. The academy is well known as a popular teaching establishment for the scions of the wealthy, but by government mandate its doors are open to all. Many students attend under government scholarships, offered to those who require financial assistance and are deemed in the upper levels of academic achievement. Humberton graduates generally go on to Haeden University.

         Like all schools in Haven, uniforms are standard at Humberton. Girls attending the school wear knee-length pleated green tartan skirts, white cotton blouses, emerald green ties, white knee-high socks, and black Marie-Janes. A green blazer supplements the ensemble and is mandatory wear during assemblies and official school functions. Any alterations to the standard school dress are frowned upon and may be punishable, depending on the severity of the transgression.

         Haeden University is Haven's primary post-secondary education institute. It boasts a fulltime and part-time student population of several thousand. The government subsidizes most costs and encourages the acquisition of bachelor degrees – especially those in the sciences and engineering. Those pursuing a medical degree have all expenses paid, but are obliged to fulfill government placement requirements. This allows the government to ensure that outlying rural areas of the islands have adequate medical care. The minimum service term in these cases is five years.

         The Margolliean Camera is Haeden University's primary reference library and archive. It is named after the second president of Haven, Julian Margolliean, who sought as part of his mandate to improve the standard of education on the islands. The Margolliean houses a large collection of pre-war books, including many titles banned in the Third Reich (in particular works by Jewish scholars and scientists, most of whom died in the purges before and after the Fall).

         The Margolliean is built in the style of post-war traditional and features a domed skylight as one of its chief architectural elements. It is known to have many salvaged decorative and functional components from the Ile de France, which was scrapped in the years following the arrival of the first settlers.

         Caelo's hydro (electrical power) comes from many sources, including windmill generators that have been set up across the islands. The original power station along the Skelty, using the river's swift moving currents to turn a stepped array of turbines, still provides at least fifty percent of the city's needs. The station was constructed using parts from the engines of some of the ocean liners that brought Immunes to the islands. Over the years its capacity to sustain the city's power requirements has dwindled as the population of Caelo has increased.

         The government has long been funding the development of a nuclear power station on Brute Island, but this project has been ongoing for more than two decades and has thus far produced no power. Should this new source of electricity come on line, it will vastly improve the quality of life in Haven (particularly within Caelo), reducing the power outages that have grown more frequent in recent years.

         Many homes in the outlying regions of the city have their own small windmills, capable of providing a household with basic electrical needs. As well, conservation is encouraged throughout the city.

        Curfew for under-seventeen year old males and females in Caelo is generally set at eleven PM, except for those accompanied by an adult and on occasions such as Founders Day and Halloween. "Legal" or "Street legal" is often used to refer to young people – especially young women – who have reached the age of majority (seventeen), at which point the curfew no longer applies. Legal young men and women are eligible to participate in all adult activities, including the consumption of alcohol, voting in elections, conjugal relations, marriage, etc.

        Outside of Caelo the government of Haven has permitted some smaller communities to amend certain aspects of the "legal" age issue to suit matters of culture and religion where numbers warrant. This does not include fundamental liberties such as the freedom to vote, however.

         One of the biggest celebrations in Caelo is Founders Day, commemorating the arrival of the first ships in Resolute Bay. The festivities are noted for their fireworks and the thousands of Japanese lanterns that are strung up throughout the city. At midnight floating lanterns are sent out into the bay and set aloft to fill the sky, symbolizing the billions of humans lost to the virus and the war.

         New Years Eve is also important in Caelo, marked by many community and private parties, and culminating in a spectacular fireworks display held at the Parliament Buildings. The following day, the first of the year, is observed throughout the islands as Constitution Day. In 1951, after more than a year of intense debate, the People's Forum finally concluded the details of Haven's Constitution. On the first of January, 1952, a specially convened session of Parliament passed a bill formalizing the adoption of the Constitution, and inaugurating the first president of the islands under the new legislation.

 

 

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