Episode 5 ~The Old City~

Aries grabs a harness and clips in, then walks over to a deck that extends out past the edge of the roof. He looks down. Over a hundred and fifty meters to the ground. A wave of discomfort washes over him causing his feet and palms to sweat.

Damn crazy people, he thinks to himself. Who was in charge of the transportation design of this city? They obviously were adrenaline junkies… He tries to focus his attention on the landing strip at the end of the zip line. It’s out of sight, but he knows exactly where he’ll touch down. He’s taken this Zip-line hundreds of times and every time arrives safely in the Access Centre. He takes a deep breath.

“Ok,” he says out loud and pushes off before his mind can collect any more irrational fear.

Wind rushes past as he speeds over Oldvan. A city redesigned years ago to accommodate a world of thrill seekers. It’s early and not many people are out yet, but Aries notices a small group. Perhaps a young family or some friends climbing up one of the neighboring skyscrapers. Even this early in the morning it’s common to see people using the climbing gear attached to some the tallest structures in the city.

Seeing this inspires Aries to think of all the people that spend their whole lives traveling the world and experiencing its thrills. People from all around the planet come to experience what Oldvan has to offer. There are rock climbing walls up skyscrapers. Some are even connected with transparent bridges and have bungee jumping platforms on them.

Oldvan is also one of the most popular museum cities. Even though there is only a small fraction of the original city left to explore, through the help of virtual reality people can experience a time lapse of Oldvan throughout its development. It starts from a time before colonization, when the whole area was old growth forest and brings people through the major congestions that came around the early 21st century… Through the simulator, people can even experience what it felt like to be stuck in traffic. Aries remembers the day he tried it out…

-An experience any sane person would only do once-

was the statement he left in his review.

The simulation even covers the transition that came during the end of them monetary age in great detail. It allows people to see the deconstruction of the greater Vancouver area as it’s older and hazardous buildings were mined for their resources. During this time a large majority of the paved roads and overpasses were torn up and used in new construction methods. The simulation shares exactly how everything was done and it was done in a very thought out and efficient manner.

Aries speeds over and under a network of zip lines and above the countless kilometers of trails converted from the roads and highways. The old city is crisscrossed with Zip-lines. Towers act as part of the transportation system usually having 3 to 5 directions to head via Zip-Line. Some people use them for quick and efficient transportation, others for fun and excitement. Using zip-lines save the city from having to create excess power for transpiration as zip-lines only need gravity to function. The city is loaded with thrills, events, and trails. Life blossoms everywhere. On the roofs, green vegetation grows vibrantly. Mostly food plants and others that are useful in some way.

Aries snaps out of his deep thought when he spots a small school of kids on a large garden roof. One starts to wave at Aries as he races by, the others soon join in. Aries gives them a little nod, salute and then assumes a heroic flying pose. He knows them. They’re a group of young kids that are very interested in growing food. They are being taught the old ways of growing food in soil. The group is led by a couple passionate elders that once helped Aries to understand the amazing function of seeds and the interconnectedness that humanity shares with the natural environment. They have come by Vertical Roots a couple times and Aries had the opportunity to show them around.

Vertical roots is just one of a number of vertical farm installations in the city. Together they grow and produce a large portion of the food required to feed the cities population of around 3 million. The rest of the food is grown with the help of countless smaller operations and the large outdoor farming operations in the valley.

Oldvan like most other cities creates the majority of its power locally. Solar panels line skyscrapers and being a coastal city Oldvan implements the use of tidal forces to meet a large portion of its energy needs. Altho Oldvan offers a lot of interesting activities and attracts millions of travelers it does fall short on manufacturing and educational opportunities. Oldvan is a city built to thrill and excite people more than anything else. That’s its focus and that’s what it does best. But, Aries is a creative type and he finds himself wondering why he has spent so much time here.

Coming close to the end of the line Aries can see the Access Centre now. It’s a marvels structure constructed with new methods. Perched on a hill with multiple zip lines coming into and around it. Trails leaving in all directions from it.

Aries glides into a large opening and is gently slowed by the automatic system. Once stopped the automation plucks him off the cable and places him standing on the floor. It then unclips him from the harness and takes it away for others to use when needed.

To be Continued