Kem's Robot Worldbuilding Yellhole Apparently

Discussion in 'Your Bijou Blogette' started by Kemmasandi, Sep 5, 2019.

  1. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    I've started a new unit in my geography class today and it's been inspiring. Let's talk about Iacon today. :D

    Hive cities as a whole tend to be kinda... messy. Most of them have numbered city levels, but dividing the city up unto these level systems is often pretty arbitrary. For example, in the Twin Cities (Tesarus and Border City), Levels 12, 13, and 15 in different parts of the joint city have nearly the same elevation. Levels 12 and 13 belong to Tesarus, where the city planners start counting at standard ground level, which in Tesarus is slightly higher than actual ground level; the difference in level numbers is down to an extra level squeezed into part of the city that was an extensive public market a very long time ago. Level 15 belongs to Border City, where the city planners start counting at the local basement level, which is the lowest practical level of the city.

    Iacon, particularly its upper levels, look comparatively neat from the outside. the city superstructure was designed around a now-obscured portion of the Solar Observatory, which now acts as a heavily-engineered central pillar holding up the weight of Upper Iacon. As a result, Upper Iacon looks like a singular large tower in profile, with the topmost fourteen city levels covering only a small portion of the hive city's overall footprint. Beneath this, the hive rapidly spreads out, diversifies, and gets Very Messy.

    Iacon has 47 numbered city levels in total, plus the Stellar Galleries which don't get a number because the extremely rich and important folks who live there like the veneer of exclusivity the lack of number gives their addresses. This is about twice as many numbered city levels as any other flatlands hive city -- Tyrest and Helex, both of which have a larger population than Iacon, have 21 and 16 official city levels. There are three factors giving Iacon its extreme height: first, the presence of the Solar Observatory, which gives Upper Iacon something to hang its weight on; second, Iacon counts quite a few 'mezzanine levels' among its total that might have been designated ancillary structures in other cities, like its' six 'transit levels'; and third... Iacon is just stupid rich, and can afford this sort of vanity building for height on a city-wide scale thanks to being the seat of the even more stupid rich Imperial government. There are six structures on Cybertron that are more than a league tall (2km or so), and they're all in Iacon. Level 47 as a whole sits at an elevation of about 2.1km above the surrounding Polar Depression, and the Alpha Preserve on top of the Solar Observatory is about 1.5km elevation.

    On a somewhat related note, Iacon does not have one city-wide weather shield because it's so fucking big and awkwardly shaped. There's one over the Citadel on Level 47, and most Towers estates have their own. Everyone else gets absolutely blasted with some of the shittiest weather on Cybertron. Yay capitalism!

    Iacon's 47 levels are divided into seven 'strata' by six more or less evenly spaced 'transit levels', which are dedicated to public transport, especially express rail and road networks. They serve as concentrated arterial routes, which takes the burden of mass traffic off the local traffic networks in other levels. You could go from one side of Iacon to the other on a normal city level, but taking the transit level is probably going to be a lot quicker. They also serve as sky lobbies for passenger elevators, and contain a lot of infrastructure like drainage systems, atmospheric scrubbing stations (smog can be a real issue in the lower levels), and electricity networks.

    The highest of these transit levels is Level 45, dividing High Iacon from Upper Iacon. These strata get mixed up and mentioned together all the time because honestly there's not a whole lot of difference between them. As a rule, High Iacon is dedicated to government and related services, plus Alpha Preserve and the Stellar Galleries, while Upper Iacon is where the vast majority of business happens. In High Iacon, Level 47 is built around the Citadel, the Imperial Government complex, and the Via Theophania, a wide ceremonial avenue that leads from the Palace of the Primes and Iacon Sanctuary to the High Council Pavilions. Level 46 is comprised of the Iacon Trade District (primarily made up of the flagship offices of various enormous business conglomerates and trade organizations), a few residential enclaves for the super-rich, retail clusters here and there, and the Forums. The Forum of Enlightenment is a cluster of educational organizations, government research enterprises, independent think-tanks of various political alignments, and related services like the Hall of Records. The Forum of Virtue is mostly religious institutions, law firms, and the parent body of the global Magisterium system. The Oratory Forum is the smallest, with a collection of independent media businesses and regulatory bodies clustered around the parent organization of the global Emporium system, and the media and communication hub of the Imperial Government. Each of the Forums has their own border security checkpoints, as does the Trade District and the Citadel.

    Upper Iacon's district borders aren't so defined. The Decagon is an entertainment district that occupies large, mostly contiguous chunks of the northern side of the city from Level 41 to 44; it has border checkpoints that are often heavily policed due to the amount of drunk revellers trying to get into and out of the district, but the rest of Upper Iacon tends to be a free-for-all of mecha trying to get the best deal on business and residential premises. Addresses here can be a mess. Level 40 is the lowest level of Upper Iacon; it's more of a mezzanine stuffed into what used to be some free space around the mountain that the hive city swallowed. As a result, it's smaller and darker than the rest of Upper Iacon, and has significantly cheaper 'land' prices, so it's full of Upper Iacon's low-caste workers.

    Level 39 is another transit level, dividing Upper Iacon from... Upper Central Iacon. (They're not particularly imaginative names.) At Transit Level 32, Upper Central Iacon gives way to Central Iacon, and at Transit Level 24, you pass into Lower Central Iacon. Below Transit Level 15, Lower Iacon begins, and below Transit Level 6, the Iacon Undercity begins. Due to the Polar Depression, the planetary standard ground level is at about City Level 5, while the actual local ground level varies from City Level 4 beneath the Solar Observatory to City Level 1 in parts of Iacon South.

    I really need to draw myself a local map lmao.
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  2. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    3E11AF0A-1159-4F6F-A9F8-378B778849B2.jpeg 727B0BF4-BFAC-49AA-90A2-33FB6A15B7D1.jpeg

    Attempted a sort of diagram lmao. Not to scale because I ran out of paper but hopefully it’s illustrative.
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  3. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows


    More doodling, this time of the Hall of Records. I don't know if this'll be its final form, I might tweak the gateway library to something more like the glimpse of the Hall that we get in TFP, but I really like the rest of it. XD

    A few notes:
    • The front half, more or less, is the public part of the complex. Past about the admin block you need a Hall ID to get anywhere, or an appointment with someone whose office is back there, and a friendly Archivist to show you the way.
    • A good chunk of this is open to the sky -- the Hall of Records and Scholarship Plaza are right on the edge of Level 46. A lot of these buildings have various connections to each other from skywalks to some of them sharing a roof structure, so you can usually find a dry way to get from one building to another if you have to, but in general the complex is open to the polar weather. Fortunately Iacon City generates a lot of heat, so the snow doesn't tend to stick around too long. :v
    • I don't know what the unlabeled buildings do yet. I'll figure out a name eventually lmao.
    • The Pre-Imperial History department is located in the basement of the Imperial Library, near the Records Hall. The Imperial Library is five storeys tall, if you don't count the basement. Nobody does, the basement is really not impressive. (The best basement in the Hall of Records belongs to the Engineering Library, where, it is rumoured, there is a hot oil tub.)
    • Orion lives in the front Residency Hall, with a window that's just placed right to be able to see across to the Library of the Arts. Behind that, the roof of the Scientific Archives is just visible, and behind that, there's a large apartment block that houses a lot of students of the local universities. On top of that apartment block is the edge of Level 47, and, according to the city maps, a kitchen and energon store used to keep the bigwigs in the Citadel well-fueled.
    • He used to live in the Junior Dormitory, which is used to house Junior Archivists. You're a Junior Archivist if you have less than a thousand vorn work experience. Junior Archivists get shuffled around the Hall a lot for the sake of training in many different areas, and if they show a particular aptitude for one field of work then they'll be given a specialization when they're promoted to regular Archivist. The Iacon Hall always has a lot more Juniors than one might expect, because they provide training not only to their own Juniors but those from other state Halls of Records as well. If you're a Junior Archivist in, say, Kaon, and your Seniors realise that you're doing really well with your work, they can send you to Iacon to get some more more rigorous training. When you hit the thousand vorn mark and 'graduate', you go back to your home Hall and, in theory, excel at your work.
    • The Gateway Hall of Records is an actual library; it's where the Archivists keep a lot of their high-demand stuff, and things that don't really fit in the other libraries. There's a museum section for some really old and famous hardcopy files, a gallery that tells the history of Cybertron from Dynasty to Empire, and a quiet room where copies of all the official Books of History are free to browse. It also has a cafe, but Orion prefers the cafe in the Arts Library because there's usually fewer people around.
    • The Sentinel Zeta Research Library is called that because both Primes personally funded it; Zeta provided the initial investment and Sentinel threw some more money at it to add the circular bit (it's a tower) because he'd had a scandal and his PR people told him it would look good if he paid for something cool to be built. The construction costs blew out because the first construction company undercut in a major way to win the contract and then couldn't deliver on their promises, so Sentinel told them to fuck off and hired someone else. The Archivists were all like "Can't we just fix the leaking gutters first?" except no-one actually said that because who's gonna tell a Prime his vanity project isn't appreciated?
    • The Hall of Records Sanctuary (a church, basically) and Theological Records live in the same building. Most of the stuff in Theological Records is related to the formation of the Ordo Imperium broadstream (which was deliberately created along with the caste system at the founding of the Empire to foster a sense of global unity) rather than actual religious works (which are kept in the Imperial Library, next to the Imperial History section).
    • The Grid Cores building should probably be bigger tbh, it's the biggest in the complex. The outer parts are mostly maintenance access and admin; the three circles are the actual core rooms and they're fuckin huge. They're the reason the Hall of Records was built in a part of the city exposed to the air -- the Cores building uses a shit ton of cold air to keep the servers from combusting and it's a lot more energy-efficient if they don't have to make that air cold themselves.
    • The Hardcopy Storage Building is the one with the leaky gutters and the waterfall. The inside of the building is extremely climate-controlled because if you let hardcopy get damp it flakes and starts to decay in rapid, smelly fashion. The outside of the building is not given such consideration. The Restoration Building is attached because it's mostly hardcopy that they're restoring.
    And now I have to go and change a bunch of building names in the chapters I've already edited shdgjhg
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  4. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    My friend, who I love and appreciate but also have been lowkey using as inspiration for Megatron's more fighty bastard moments in Rise:

    look, I'm pretty sure Lemon has a more reasoned perspective because my hobby during COVID-19 is leaving meticulously cited comments on any facebook post even vaguely pro-trump

    if they make me really mad I leave each citation in a separate comment so they get overwhelmed and I destroy their notifications

    I swear to Primus I'm gonna find a way to work this into fic, although on second thought I think this is more an Orion Pax thing to do lmfao
    • Agree x 2
  5. TheOwlet

    TheOwlet A feathered pillow filled with salt and science

    Please tell your friend that i greatly admire them and their tenacity as well.

    truly the hero we need
    • Like x 1
  6. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    Will absolutely pass that on! XD

    Tonight was supposed to be a writing night but then I found a new earworm. I think I’ve done nothing but listen to this for like two hours.

    My brain has been quietly chanting starscream song at me the whole time and im just about ready to give in lmao
    • Winner x 1
  7. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows


    Spent basically the whole day wrestling with a geology lab task that ought to have only taken a couple hours and then got online like half an hour ago to find someone's left a very nitpicky comment on Rise about how 'a vorn isn't a year, it's 83 years'. If I take the age of the account at face value the commenter is possibly a kid, so I tried not to bite their head off, but god today was a dangerous day to leave a comment like that.

    I do like being able to drag out the citations though. Primus bless TFWiki. They offered 'stellar cycle' as an alternative... which has three competing definitions in three different continuities, which is the reason I decided not to use it at all in my personal units of time. They also mentioned 'solar cycle', but that's never been used to mean a year. (TBH I just dislike 'X cycle' nomenclature in general, which is why I've been gradually phasing out 'lunar cycle' in favor of 'lune' in my fic. Vorn, lune, chord, orn, joor... they kinda feel like they ought to go together. Quartex is the odd one out, but my quartexes divide lunes into four so I guess the latinesque is meaningful XD)
  8. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    Ranting about the above comment on discord and got abruptly yanked sideways into something that’s bothered me for a while but in a different way lmao

    I don’t use a heck of a lot of canon terminology outside of a few places where canon explained itself well, but I have used a fair few fanon terms. Thing is, I’m not totally sure which ones, or where a lot of them came from. XD; Like... take dexter, as in a frametype... I don’t know if I made that up or if I got it from someone else. I do know I’ve had it from the the start, 2012 ish... but is it mine, or is it the fandom’s? I pick on that one cause it’s one I have seen other people using more recently, but did they get it from me, or is there a different originator out there? Is there someone I oughta be crediting, or do I get to be proud that something of mine has sorta very minimally caught on?? XDD

    I do know that at least one of my other more obscure frametype labels came from a fic I read once — there was an offhand mention of ‘throttlebots’ which made me think ‘ooh, throttle is a nice mechanical-sounding word, why don’t I use that?’ I don’t think my actual use of the term matches the fic I was reading, but I have no idea how to check because the author took their fic down years ago sdfgh. But on the other hand, some of my other type labels are definitely mine, so... it could go either way.

    None of this matters in the long run, probably, so it hopefully won’t matter if I never get any answers... buuut god I’m so curious xD
  9. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    FUCK YEEAAAA NO NEW 'RONA CASES IN AOTEAROA TODAY!!!! Here's to more of that shit lmao.
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    • Witnessed x 1
  10. Kemmasandi

    Kemmasandi Optimus Prime's disapproving eyebrows

    I always thought I didn't like Instagram and in some ways that's still true, but between dA shitting the bed and all my friends moving to IG, I've found myself using it more often than not lately. XD So far my account is pretty much all BnHA OC art, and most of it sketches, but I do find the ability to collect more than one image into a single post quite useful, and I'm loving the story function now that I actually know how to use it lmao.

    Under the cut, a couple of fake sketch profiles like the ones Horikoshi did for the canon characters. I'm having fun with these! 8D

    shirabe sketch profile.png

    karamea sketch profile.png

    touma sketch profile.png
    • Winner x 1
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