Whilst the Freeborn have little use for the term ‘City Planning’, the Boromites might go a step further and have little use for actual cities as we might understand them. They may well build them for other societies in Antarian space, but with a culture who busy themselves moving from job to job, ‘home’ is very much a loose term: ‘workers towns’ might be closer to the mark. These would vary in size, depending on the scale of the job at hand. Plus, they would be a rotation of inhabitants as some parts of the job finished and new skills were required later. So the footprint of such a worker’s camp might be in constant flux over the period of the build.
Maybe the best way to view the ‘city’ would be to follow the course of the job at hand. The first to arrive would be the ‘planners’ and ‘ground breakers.’ These would be brought in by passenger, merchant or cargo ships, most likely operated by the Freeborn, either contracted by those who commissioned the work, or paid for by the Boromite Guilds themselves.
One might expect the first ‘units’ to appear would be a ‘site office’ complex. By ‘units’ we would foresee multi-purpose buildings acting both as site offices and homes for their workers. With compactor technology, transforming the functions and furnishings of a room would be made easy, plus the Boromite units would be designed to be easily broken down and reassembled, not unlike a travelling fair, or circus.
With the ‘site office’ established at its heart, then comes the ground breakers and work gangs to form form the core of the living sections. These maybe made up one or several Boromite Guilds, depending on the size of the job. Each Guild would be allotted their own section, made up of one or more units and these, in turn, would be integrated into the larger camp via temporary roads, pressure sealed walkways, or even underground tunnels, depending on the environment in which they are working.
This first wave may well be made up entirely of male workers, especially if the job is seen as taking only a short period of time. Whole family units would only join them if the timescale is longer.
Once the workers and families are on site, provision has to be made to feed them. Again this might be a task fulfilled by one or more guilds or most likely subcontracted to the Freeborn. One might see Haulers converted into Boromite Burger Vans, bars and hardware stores would appear overnight. With bars, comes trouble. A site manager would have to organize the guilds to manage their gangs closely with their own gang masters to keep order in the camp city. Such a peace contingent is most likely staffed by the Boromites themselves, few others in Antarean space able to cope with their physical size and strength.
For the most part the guilds would rarely interact outside of the work place, but along with the bars there may well be other distractions which might cause tensions. With Boromites come their animals, if the environment allows. Kennels and stables might well be erected throughout the camp, either close to the guild habitats, or on the fringes of the site. We know the Boromites take great pride in their pets and will want to show them off. So temporary race tracks, or even lavamite pits might be built to provide entertainment and maybe even the odd wager might be placed on the winner of such events.
But of course work will always come first in the Boromite mind. Transport routes to and from the ‘coal face’ would be swiftly laid. If the work consisted of mining then lift shafts would appear. The Boromite worker may well prefer a more traditional lift to a transmat in places where the local geology might interfere with the transmat technology, fearful they might end up encased in solid rock if a roof collapsed. In such environments, underground haulers would travel down subterranean tunnels to the rock face. In ideal conditions, however, industrial transmats would speed the removal of ore to the surface for processing and from there to the orbiting ore ships.
These tunnels may well be exploited if the work takes place on an asteroid or moon and would be an integral part of the town, with little surface evidence of what might be underground. This would be particularly useful if the work been carried out is more clandestine in nature. Where the Boromites are working in an asteroid field, there might be connecting structures between objects, perhaps even bridges or sealed walkways.
All Boromite townships would have landing pads and communication towers, possibly part of the site office, to handle supply shuttles, and major transmat sites near compactor warehouses are common.
Once the work is completed then the guilds would either move on to the next job, or return to a ‘winter home’ which would be kept by a skeleton crew while the guild were away. This is a base of operations from where the Guild Mother rules. These would be smaller than the camp towns and well hidden. Instead of bars, the Boromite settlement would have the Guild Mother’s own living quarters at its heart. This might well include a grand hall for social functions, business meetings or use as a war room should the need arise. But even this home could be broken down and abandoned should the worse happen: anything that couldn’t be carried with them would be left behind.
Some of the guilds who could boast lines stretching back to Borom itself may be lucky enough to have possession of ancient guild ships, effectively home ships, though on a much smaller scale than the Freeborn and orbital facilities of the great Isorian and Concord IMTel.
As for defence, all Boromites know their tools double as weapons, and so too do their transports, ships and even their homes, which may well be one and the same thing. Perhaps the greatest threat to a camp city is if two rival guilds arrive at the same time expecting to do the same job. Or worse, if when payday comes one gets paid more than another.
If so expect a riot.
By Wayne Clayton