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Helium City

Helium City street scene featuring a steamcar, steambike and autocrat-type automaton

With a population of nearly 50'000 (although unofficial estimates put it at nearly twice that), Helium City is the largest non-NeoVictorian city in North America, perhaps the world.

Built in and around the ruins of Amarillo, Helium City is named for its extensive helium production facilities. Strategically important to the Skyfolk for whom helium is a vitally important resource that their skylofts and airships depend upon, it was only a matter of time before the Empire turned its attention toward the city. At the beginning of the 22nd Century, the Emperor Victor II assembled a vast army and set out to destroy the city. Unprepared for the horrors of the wilderness and without air cover to defend against skyfolk raids, the army was in no state to mount any sort of attack.

The Empire's Great Folly ended in a truce proclaiming the city neutral ground between the Free Peoples and The Empire.That was fifty years ago and the city has continued to grow ever since, fuelled by both trade between the Skyfolk and NeoBedouin and the goods flowing in from the Change Cage Cities in exchange for supplies of helium. The Tripartite Agreement has made the city an economic hub capable and its currency is accepted in ports across North America (with the exception of Imperial ports of course)

Today Helium City is a sprawling city ringed by electric fences and guard towers. Not to keep enemy forces at bay, but to protect its citizens from wandering Uberbeasts. The outskirts of the city are dotted with airfields and mooring towers for airships. City ordinances state that no airship larger than a Guppy not registered to the city government can overfly the city. But this doesn't stop the airspace above Helium City being full of microlights, Portnoy's, autogyro's and other small aircraft.

The north of the city is dominated by the helium production facilities and their importance is accented by the gun emplacements and road blocks that guard both the aerial and ground approaches to the complex. In the south west, a small NeoVictorian quarter has developed to serve the needs of the IAN and is the port of call for all NeoVictorian ships who refuse to dock at any other mooring posts. The railyards and canal docks are also located near this area. The east of the city is largely open terrain and parkland. During the summer, the area is a temporary camping ground for NeoBedouin tribes that visit the city for the Great Gathering in mid-july when all the tribes of North America come together for a two week festival of trade, music, dance, marriage and just plain hedonism.

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