Location: Mars (Equitorial region)
Permanent Population: Around eight million
Transient Population: 500,000 to 750,000 mostly to accommodate work crews for the Valles Marineris project
Imports: Food, medical supplies, entertainment
Exports: Manufactured goods of all kinds from small appliances through toys and sub-components for larger systems such as starships and their supporting systems.
One of the major Martian cities, Achilles is located near the western edge of the Valles Marineris, a three-thousand mile long, mile deep trench that hugs the planet’s equator. Near the eastern edge of the same fissure lies the sister city of Hector . The two cities are now in the process of enclosing the vast expanse of trench between them, nearly eighteen hundred miles, and terra-forming the floor of the trench into a rain forest. Achilles is the manufacturing capitol of Mars. Most of the planet’s research and development happens here, funded by the solar system’s major corporations. The city is designed around a central shaft that sinks eight thousand feet into the Martian bedrock with residential and commercial facilities at the top of the shaft, closer to the dome that covers the shaft and permits sunlight to enter. The bottom half of the shaft is all manufacturing facilities, factories, and laboratories.
Achilles is the primary manufacturing city on Mars. It is one of the great wonders of human engineering in the Sol system. The entire city is built around a single central shaft that is dug down more than eight-thousand feet into the surface of the planet. This shaft is capped off with a large dome to allow as much sunlight as possible into the city, but by the time it filters down to the bottom of the shaft there is not much left of it.
Around the central shaft are two tracks that each support a high-speed mass-transit vehicle that quickly and efficiently moves people up and down the spiraling platform that rings the shaft.
The top level is where most of the housing is located, sprawling out around the central shaft on three sides like a mostly vertical suburbia. The fourth side of the shaft is where the spaceport is located.
As one gets deeper into the shaft, the light becomes much harsher, and more artificial. By the time one reaches the bottom, the sunlight is nothing more than a spot and all usable light is issued from artificial sources. The bottom of the shaft is littered with tons of garbage and discarded refuse from all of the higher levels of the city.
Features/Places of Note
Achilles is operated by a counsil of officers from all of the locally operating corporations. This counsil debates policy in an open forum to decide policy which is then ratified into action by majority vote by those in attendance. This body defers to the Conglomerate and can be overridden by their wishes, although this never happens publicly. Because of its importance as a manufacturing resource, the Conglomerate often guides Achilles governmental affairs with a not too subtle hand, ensuring that the city will be able to provide for the needs of the solar system.
In ‘The First Key of Kalijor’ a major scene takes place in Achilles, during which, Riana defeats the control collar that Xavier placed on her. She and Willhelmina then make a harrowing escape from the bowels of the city on a motorcycle while under fire from several flying vehicles.