Where the Wild Things Roam
Desolation and Urban Decay: The Sights and Sounds of Coscarla
Coscarla has the feel of a buried and abandoned city, shrouded in darkness beneath a steel sky. It is a cold and empty place, where whole tenements and hab-stacks are blacked by fire, or stare silently with a hundred vacant smashed-window eyes, while ancient and seemingly purposeless columns and arches of black granite soar high into the darkness.
The power supply is poor and the streetlamps along the main thoroughfares flicker and cast a pale twilight, while refuse and debris clogs the alleyways where shapeless and half-hidden forms of dregs (and perhaps worse) haunt. The skyline near the southern portion of the district is criss-crossed by the overhead rail lines of Sibellus’s mass transit network, which clatters and sparks intermittently through the cycles. Far above, in the high shadowed skies, the periodic exhalations and clamour of the hive’s vast air processing network is muted into distant thunder, the action of which materialises later at ground level as squalls of sudden chill wind, and even the occasional curtain of dirty rain lasts too briefly to wash the grime from the streets.
There are people living in Coscarla, thousands of them in fact, but they are so swallowed up by the vast and darkened spaces around them that they seem very few, nor do they linger outdoors, rushing silently to their destinations with their collars turned up and their heads firmly down. They are dishevelled, threadbare and have the look of frightened men and women, determined to get on with life the best they can.
As the night cycle comes on, the whole district takes on a truly nightmarish aspect as the power fades, the light-level falls and the inhabitants scurry to place bolted doors between themselves and the night. Now the darkness becomes total and oppressive, the hab-stacks stand like cyclopean tombstones in some immense graveyard. Such light that remains comes from patches of luminous mould growing in the cracks of the rockcrete buildings, radiating a faint and eerie glow, and the few harsh pools of illumination found around locales such as the Workers’ Union and the transit railhead, seem like mere faltering islands of light amid an abyssal sea.