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"The sky above the city is the colour of a television tuned to a dead channel..."
- - Opening of National Geographic's award winning documentary 'Life in the Sprawls'
The Sprawl is the main way that the Mediterranean Syndicate operates as a corporation. Basically a corporate city, the Syndicate crams as much industry, commerce, and illegalities into an area it has, keeping all the workers inside the Sprawl's limits to maintain their dependency on the corporation. As semi-extraterritorial enclaves, the Syndicate is free to run it how they wish it.
To best understand the Sprawl, one should study how it's created. The Syndicate orders the stages into four of construction, and one if the Sprawl should fail. They are named after paintings in the Nathan Cole series The Course of the Empire, supposedly one of Romulus's favourites.
The Savage StateEdit
A sprawl is usually chosen from a very poor area. The inherent value of a Sprawl is what the Syndicate makes of it, so buying valuable land is just a waste of money. The favourite Sprawl locations are run down, decayed urban areas. Many cities in the first world have areas that died with the rise of suburban areas, with only poor immigrants and elderly holdouts. Other cities in poorer countries were never rich to begin with. In any case, the remaining residents are either bribed or coerced out of their residences, and the Syndicate or a shell company can buy the whole area for a small amount. The advantage of this is that pre-remaining buildings can house the workers, executives, and less savoury types while the mini-arcologies and sprawling high rises are built, possibly voiding the Arcadian State stage altogether.
The other, more common option is to build the Sprawl from the ground up. This only happens if land is very cheap, as constructing a Sprawl is an expensive project. Sometimes the Syndicate can get a deal with closing military bases, or areas written off as a loss due to a disaster or similar circumstances. Cleanup priority is considered minimal. Other times, a grateful warlord who just conquered a nation the Syndicate wasn't fond of will shear off a sizable area for the Syndicate to use. Wars have been started for this reason alone. The most important thing for the Syndicate to consider is the usefulness of the Sprawl. A Sprawl in the middle of the Saharan doesn't do anyone any good. At the very least, a Sprawl has to be a port if no other resources are available. In any case, The Syndicate then fences off the entire area and begins construction of the second stage.
The ability to gain land for a Sprawl varies widely with the nation. In a wealthy democracy, any politician who is "convinced" to go the Syndicate's way has a tendency to be voted out. A communist nation will right out forbid any Syndicate activity, and won't hesitate to take a sizable chunk of flesh from any executive trying to negotiate. The megacorporation to the Soviet Union and other nations is an example of why Capitalism is so corrupt to begin with. The best place is either a poor third world country without the strength to fight against the Syndicate, or any nation heavily in debt to the Syndicate (or, indeed, in Italy itself.)
The Arcadian StateEdit
The first phase of building the new sprawl is the construction of cheap buildings. This is to hold the workforce needed to build the sprawl, while Syndicate executives are kept in specialized temporary buildings, from mobile offices to trailer private suites. Even with all the technology in the world, it's still cheaper to use unskilled worker. Why pay for advanced AURA driven machines, when a dose of narcotics will buy a man for a day? Construction is quick and crude, with minimal safety concerns. If concrete is too expensive, sheet metal, wood, or any manner of temporary construction material is used. As long as the workers are housed, then the Arcadian State can begin.
The temporary houses are more or less plopped at random in the area. As the next step is the lying down of roads and infrastructure, this will dictate how the Sprawl will shape up in the end. Confusing, twisting alleys are a bonus to the Syndicate; all the better to confuse invaders and provide places for outcasts to hide. In any case, asphalt is laid, sewers are dug, and power lines constructed. Throughout the site, small power generators are built, which produce power through whatever is most convenient, usually natural gas or oil. The foundations for a dome are always dug and set; even if the Sprawl doesn't get one, they're given the ability to.
Also at this moment, Legionnaires are shipped to the Sprawl site and keep the area under tight control. Any disobedient workers are punished, usually by fining money or drugs. This also serves to warn a Sprawl's home nation to not attempt to retake the site. By now, the Sprawl resembles a rough collection of crude buildings over most of the Sprawl area.
The Consummation of EmpireEdit
"Consumption. This is the new national pastime. People spending money they don't have on things they don't need . . . So they can max out their credit cards and spend the rest of their lives paying 18 percent interest on something that cost $12.50. And they didn't like it when they got it home anyway. Not too bright, folks, not too fuckin' bright."
- - George Carlin
As soon as the road network is complete, the bidding process for the land begins for all the Syndicate subsidiaries. Lot sizes are not set; all that matters is how much is brought to the Sprawl's parent company. This can be money, favours, or the effects of blackmail and corporate sabotage. The only parts not for sale (officially) are the pre-existing buildings and infrastructure. Once a corporation has a lot, it can do anything it wants on it, though many corporations keep and sell it when demand is greater.
There is no planning commission for a Sprawl, so the buildings are built for maximum profit instead of any unifying vision. Buildings are made as tall as the corporations want it to be, and they're often right at the edge of a lot, and sometimes over a neighbouring lot. More streets and further infrastructure can be built at will, leaving the city network of roads and power lines even more tangled. Bridges over streets are common; a housing corporation might agree to link its tenants with their jobs in return of a fee from the employer. These bridges can be a walkway for pedestrians, asphalt for vehicles, or even an entire plaza with smaller buildings! Even decorative architecture suffers; some buildings are in a Retro-Classical structure, while others are of the Brutalist design, with others everything in between. It's not uncommon for a free running Satyr to jump off a Gothic gargoyle into a Modernist glass skyscraper and drag his unfortunate victim to a top of a Doric column.
Some common designs are enforced to prevent the Sprawl from being completely out of the Syndicate's control. All buildings are to be connected to the same AURA system; there can be no on-site only systems. This is of course a preventive measure from the Board of Classics in case any corporation needs to be punished, not any attempt to make the common Sprawl dwellers life easier. Neon is common; normal signs often can't be seen past the smog and darkness of a Sprawl, though advertisements are seen as more important that Stop Signs in this regard. Video monitors (or multiple monitors acting as one) are as common in the Sprawl as posters in a normal city; any company can rent them for whatever purpose they want. And to add the final touch, the Syndicate itself adds Classical touches to the city. Whether it's a bronze replica of the Capitoline Wolf or Latin phrases spelled in neon, they serve the same purpose: to remind everyone who's truly in charge.
The Destruction of EmpireEdit
"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws."
- - Ayn Rand
At this point the city is filthy, crowded, and ugly, but more or less lawful. The Syndicate learned early on that this does not maximize profit, so it amorally strips away the thin veneer of civilization of the Sprawl by the simple act of withdrawing its free Legionnaire security. This action is not announced, and comes suddenly. Almost at once, the corporations who were suddenly so friendly turn on each other, while the common people seek to plunder the shops and factories around them. Gun shops show a sudden spike in sales as the people arm themselves for either protection or for nefarious deeds.
In the meantime, the subsidiaries suddenly find themselves billed for the time they were protected, requiring massive cost cutting measures in all of them. Layoffs and budget cuts are common, and not all corporations make it. Those that do often resort to corporate sabotage and outright warfare to secure contracts from the Board of Classics to make any sort of money. Those that can afford it soon purchase Legionnaire security.
The normal people are soon shooting each other over trivial things thanks to the environment around them. Many are unemployed and desperate, so they form gangs of like minded people. These range in size from a few brothers making trouble to almost the size of an army. Often, these gangs are hired by poorer corporations to provide security and destroy their rivals; after all, it can't be proven in court that the gang was hired when they've spent all their hard-earned money on drugs.
After a while of hell a status quo is established. The gangs are still there and the corporations are still desperate for contracts, so it's now a true Sprawl in all definitions. Normally this leads to stable, highly efficient production and export of goods. Sometimes, however, it doesn't go so smoothly.
It's not unknown for Sprawls to eventually die. The most common way is for the Destruction of Empire phase to not stop. Called "Laissez-Faire", gang warfare becomes so rampant that too many people are being killed, too much capital destroyed, and too little work being done to support the Sprawl. Like a twisted nightmare of a person worried about a city being cut off from the outside world, food and drugs are cut off, and Sprawl dwellers start killing each other for reasons trivial even by earlier standards, until a handful of people are left amongst the bullet-scarred and ruined buildings. The Syndicate has to restart again, which severely cuts into profits.
There are other ways for a Sprawl to die. Pollution can become so bad humans cannot live there anymore, the city can be destroyed by outside forces, the profits of the Sprawl become so low the Syndicate doesn't want to keep it, or countries nationalize the land. However, the Syndicate will usually rebuild a Sprawl instead of building a new one. Some of the older Sprawls have been rebuilt several times, on top of the rubble of the last. This is the case when one sees a shining new building next to a years old half-ruined flat. Such a sight is symbolic of the Syndicate, perhaps above anything else.
List of SprawlsEdit
|Sprawl Name||Rome MegaSprawl|
|Official Name||Urbe Eternus|
The largest Sprawl in the world and beating heart of the Syndicate, Rome is home of the Palatine Arcology, the headquarters of the Syndicate, and a large portion of its factories. Unlike most Sprawls, the Rome MegaSprawl compasses most of the city. The unorganized road pattern and cramped conditions set the model for the Sprawl even before the Syndicate.
It's a common misconception that Rome entirely belongs to the Syndicate, however. A small section of Rome still belongs to Italy, known as the Old District. The Colosseum is here, as is the various Italian government centres. The Vatican City is also free from Syndicate rule, as any attempt to hurt the Holy Pope would anger the world's largest religion, especially damaging as most of the Syndicate's members are still Catholic. On one occasion, a task force sent to establish a presence in the Vatican was found, with several battlesuits melted and over a hundred Auxiliaries burnt to a crisp.
During World War III, the Soviet Union occupied the Old District, much to the Syndicate's apathy. That attitude changed when Soviet general Zubarov hit a few Sprawl buildings during the fight with the Allies. The Syndicate was not pleased and wanted from the Soviets some kind of reparation. Surprisingly, Zubarov didn't let the Syndicate dictate the policy of the Soviet Union. Some of the officials of the Syndicates wanted Zubarov's head on a silver platter (literally), but others were impressed with Zubarov's boldness and let him go, and in any case they wouldn't risk an open war with the already anti-capitalistic Soviets if one of their most respected generals was suspiciously killed.
|Sprawl Name||Venus Sprawl|
|Official Name||Urbe Vas|
|Logo||Canal between two buildings|
Due to the unique setting of the Venus Sprawl, its name suggested by a Centurion with a thing for wordplays, its uses are somewhat limited; the Syndicate mainly decided to obtain it for the image. Much of the millennia-old city has been demolished by the Syndicate so newer, more efficient buildings can be put on top of the rubble, also decreasing the number of tourists to Venice by 97% in the process. A famous company based in the Venus Sprawl is Synthgenics Inc., responsible for the War Wolf.
A web of monorails has been installed throughout the Sprawl, as the canals are extremely polluted from unchecked industrial output. Venice's clinics are full of burn victims who were given the common dare to drop a match onto the waters. The old gondolas are gone, the only people insane enough to take to the canals are the more crazed gangs, who chase, circle, and board each other in customized motorboats. Despite travel in the Sprawl being made more difficult, the canals also serve as a defence against a potential invasion of the city, and are therefore not drained as suggested by several officials.
|Sprawl Name||Demeter Sprawl|
|Official Name||Urbe Ecclesia|
One of the central Sprawls, the Demeter Sprawl is one of the largest and richest in the world. However, the Arno River flooding in 1966 severely damaged the Sprawl. Outside priceless art was destroyed and the old city was damaged, but the Sprawl was worst hit due to the lacklustre building codes, with many arcologies collapsing in on itself, prompting the largest movement of emergency aid in Syndicate history (which was still half of the smallest Allied effort) to save the people of the Sprawl. While enough of the important people were evacuated to save the Sprawl, the buildings themselves were in rubble.
Instead of rebuilding from there, the Syndicate cut their losses, paved over the former Sprawl, and rebuilt another one on top of it! As a result, the Demeter Sprawl is taller than the area surrounding it, which is quite intimidating to the people of Tuscany. Beyond the normal Sprawl buildings, the Florence Cathedral was also moved, brick by brick, to the new Sprawl, though no one can see it due to the buildings around it and its height. The Demeter Sprawl has fully rebuilt itself and continues to be one of the Syndicate's main centres of commerce, though the poorer and more desperate people of the Sprawl often flee beneath the streets to live and survive in the ruins below.
|Sprawl Name||Mercury Sprawl|
|Official Name||Urbe Libertus|
|Logo||Statue of philosopher|
|Sprawl Name||Neptune Sprawl|
|Official Name||Urbe Nuata|
The Genoa Sprawl is the main outlet for Syndicate products. It was chosen early on as an alternative to Romulus's proposed Ostia port, which was one of the very few times Romulus was dissuaded from something by his underlings. The Sprawl itself is mostly the old port of Genoa, with the rest of the city now blocked off from the sea. It is directly linked by high speed railroad to all the other Sprawls. Gangs are often hired by rival shipping companies to ruin another's contract, making this a very violent Sprawl.
|Sprawl Name||Vulcan Sprawl|
|Official Name||Urbe Mons|
Naples is a Sprawl in ruins. The populace was almost completely wiped out in the first few "Bacchanalias" until the Syndicate spread the Satyrs to all the Sprawls. With few civil services left, buildings are falling apart and bodies are left in the street. The Syndicate sees no need to change this, as the few people who remain work harder to avoid downsizings. Most notable are the geothermal plants tapping Mount Vesuvius, which provide power to much of Italy and is one of the Syndicate's main income sources. Ironically, it has a crime on par with Las Vegas sprawl due to low population.
|Sprawl Name||Pluto Sprawl|
|Official Name||Urbe Familia|
|Logo||Scales of justice|
Palermo was once the centre of Cosa Nostra activity in Italy. When the Cosa Nostra was obliterated, the Syndicate moved in and took over all their activities. As many Cosa Nostra soldati had skills in thievery and intimidation, the Syndicate made them a deal they couldn't refuse (enough drugs to last a lifetime) in order to conscript them. Palermo's excellent position means criminals have free access to the entire Mediterranean Basin. Rumours are that many of Sprawl gangs in Palermo are Cosa Nostra families trying to muscle their way back to the top.
|Sprawl Name||Acropolis Sprawl|
|Official Name||Urbe Sapiens|
After World War 2, Greece was in ruins. Though the Allied Nations gave as much aid as they could, money and material became tight when the United States withdrew all but humanitarian support to the Allies. In desperation the Greek government turned to the Mediterranean Syndicate. The Syndicate did indeed rebuild Greece's infrastructure, but it put the nation deep in debt to the megacorporation. Greece is effectively controlled by the Syndicate as they demand more and more concessions as payment. to make sure the Greek government pays them, in the centre of Athens sits the Acropolis Sprawl, one of the largest in the world. It is centred on the Acropolis hill, the ruins themselves destroyed in World War 2 in an act of cultural desecration.
|Sprawl Name||Arcadia Sprawl|
|Official Name||Urbe Paradisus|
|Logo||Sun shining on golden hills|
To show off the wonders of the Mediterranean Syndicate, a Sprawl was purpose built in the Phocis Valley near Delphi. Its construction is appropriately different from others; instead of a random road grid, it is neat and orderly, with ample park space and distance between buildings. There is no dome over it, and weather control makes sure it is always sunny and clear in the sky. People from across the world are handpicked for their placidness, and to keep a healthy mix of races. Everyone is always happy in Arcadia (mostly because the drinking water is spiked with tiny amounts of Smilex) for the sake of visitors. Any crime is dealt with Praetorian Battlesuits equipped with nonlethal weapons (once again for the sake of visitors).
|Sprawl Name||Yoshiwara Sprawl|
|Official Name||Urbe Sanctimonia|
|Logo||Silhouette of female figure|
Very little is known about this Sprawl, other than its existence. Bits of information and hearsay suggest it's a vacation town for Syndicate members alone (Las Vegas is mainly for foreign tourists.) It is rumoured that people, mostly young women, are abducted from Sprawls around the world and sent here, as well as a large portion of drugs produced. Also hinted at is this Sprawl attracts Satyrs like a moth to a flame, yet they aren't distinct from the crowd. It's whispered on the streets that the infamous "snuff" films, which every power destroys quickly as soon as they find them, come from here and fund much of the Sprawl's functions. These rumours, and the knowledge that the Syndicate doesn't want the world to know its intent, is enough to put anyone at ill ease when considering what goes on underneath Yoshiwara's concrete dome.
|Sprawl Name||Satellite City Sprawl|
|Location||Belfast, United Kingdom|
|Official Name||Urbe Celestia|
|Logo||Dove in space|
Satellite City was built in an area blasted apart during the Troubles, and bought by a shell company for tuppence. The home of Helios Security, the Satellite City Sprawl has no dome, and for good reason. The entire city is run from orbit by Straylight One, an enormous satellite in geosynchronous orbit above the city, acting as a single relay for a massive supercomputer. Unfortunately, said satellite is almost always either on the verge of falling out of orbit or drifting off into space due to its huge mass. This tends to happen at the worse possible times, resulting in traffic accidents, or power outages in emergencies.
However, the Syndicate has been somewhat successful in ending the Troubles, largely through the use of brute force and assassinations. This has led both IRA and Protestant militia members to travel to the United States, where they eventually joined the Freedom Guard in protest against the Allies' tolerance of what has happened to Belfast (Colonel Krause has done his best to keep the two groups on opposite sides of the continent when possible).
Satellite City has lately become a hub of "private" (in other words, Syndicate-backed) space enterprises. The VentureStar tower in Satellite City is in fact larger than their headquarters in Rome, and multiple Valkyries launch from the "privately-owned" facilities just outside the city on a regular basis.
|Sprawl Name||Silicon Valley Sprawl|
|Location||Sunnyvale, United States|
|Official Name||Urbe Machina|
In 1933, Air Base Sunnyvale, California, was commissioned by the Allied Nations for use as an American Air Station. The station was renamed NAS Moffett Field, and between 1933 and 1947, American experimental blimps were based here. A number of technology firms had set up shop in the area around Moffett to serve the airship housing. When the world gave up its airship ambitions and America moved most of its West Coast industry to Southern California, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, a Syndicate company, bought Moffett for pennies per acre for aeronautics research. Many of the original companies stayed, while new ones moved in. The immediate area was soon filled with computer firms, and when the Mediterranean Syndicate subsequently bought the area directly, it was dubbed Silicon Valley. It was in Silicon Valley that the silicon-based integrated circuit, the microprocessor, the microcomputer, and other key technologies were developed, and has been the site of electronic innovation for over two decades, sustained by about a quarter of a million information technology workers. Silicon Valley was formed as a milieu of innovations by the convergence on one site of new technological knowledge; a large pool of skilled engineers and scientists from major universities in the area; generous funding from an assured market with the Security Forces; the development of an efficient network of venture capital firms; and, in the very early stage, the institutional leadership of Romulus himself. Given the location, gang violence is suppressed (by Sprawl standards) to prevent any action by the Peacekeepers in San Francisco.
|Sprawl Name||Las Vegas Sprawl|
|Location||Las Vegas, United States|
|Official Name||Urbe Cupiditas|
Las Vegas was established in 1835 after a group of settlers received a land grant from the Mexican government. The arrival of the railroad on July 4, 1879 brought with it businesses and people both respectable and dubious. Murderers, robbers, thieves, gamblers, gunmen, swindlers, vagrants, and tramps poured in, transforming the eastern side of the settlement into a virtually lawless brawl. Organized crime figures such as New York's Jack Dempsey took interest in the growing gaming centre leading to other resorts such as the Flamingo, which opened in 1946, and the Desert Inn, which opened in 1950. On June 20, 1946, Jack formed the Nevada Project Corporation of California, naming himself president. He was also the largest principal stockholder in the operation, and on the take from the Syndicate, Las Vegas was now a Sprawl.
In stark contrast to other sprawls, Las Vegas is clean, orderly, and liberally wealthy, for the main industry of Las Vegas is tourism for non-Syndicate people from around the world. It's so clean, in fact, that the Syndicate didn't rename the city when they took it over. Helios Security agents patrol the entire Sprawl, and gang violence is unheard of except away from tourists.
|Sprawl Name||La Canela Sprawl|
|Location||File:ElSalvadorthumb.gif Acajutla, El Salvador|
|Official Name||Urbe Victoria|
|Logo||Wall blocking wave|
Initially bought very cheaply from the impotent El Salvadorian government, the port of La Canela was built at a cost of 25 million colones. The wave breaker of 338 meters inaugurated its operations in August 1961, and is managed by the Executive Commission of Autonomic Port. La Canela's deepwater harbour is the principal port of El Salvador, and is notorious for its varied types of shipping. Its port cargo loading facilities allow the marine shipment of a large portion of its major exports of herbs, sugar, and balsam. The city itself is the smallest Sprawl in landmass but takes modern building techniques and build to the skies. The town is also the site of a petroleum refinery, a fertilizer plant, and seafood-processing plants. The beaches there attract tourists to a growing beach-resort industry, since people are now paid to clear the sand of bullet casings, used drug paraphernalia, and corpses before the morning.
|Sprawl Name||El Dorado Sprawl|
|Official Name||Urbe Praelium|
The El Dorado Sprawl is Latin America's most important economic centre. Its GDP of MS$31 billion, almost a third of Colombia's total, is the highest among cities in South America. Most Syndicate corporations in South America have their headquarters in El Dorado. Other important industries include financial services, especially banking. El Dorado is a centre of the private telecommunications network and has the biggest industrial facilities in the country. Its host city, Bogotá, houses the central governmental institutions (dwarfed by the Syndicate Prime headquarters across the street) and the world’s largest private military headquarters, which represent another major component of the city's economy. With its many universities and libraries, Bogotá has become known as "The Athens of South America", assuming the old philosophers taught capitalist dogma. It stands as the largest base of the Security Forces operations in the world, not only to pacify South America, but as a stern warning to the Colombian government of its place.
|Sprawl Name||Paititi Sprawl|
|Official Name||Urbe Diligentia|
|Logo||Monolith in jungle|
Lima is the capital and largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, on a coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It forms a contiguous urban area with the seaport of Callao. The Paititi Sprawl, meanwhile, is the industrial and financial centre of Peru, home to many Syndicate companies. It accounts for more than two thirds of Peru's industrial production and most of its tertiary sector. The Metropolitan area, with around 7000 factories, spearheads the industrial development of the country (meaning the Syndicate), thanks to the quantity and quality of the available workforce, cheap infrastructure and the mostly developed routes and highways in the city. There has been a noticeable increase in light industries, services and high technologies in recent years. What plans the Syndicate has for the Sprawl is unknown.
|Sprawl Name||Barbary Sprawl|
|Location||La Goulette, Tunisia|
|Official Name||Urbe Vandalia|
Located near the site of Carthage itself, the Barbary Sprawl is a Sprawl built on trade, much like its ancient counterpart. Rivalled only by the Neptune Sprawl, the city trades with every major port in the Mediterranean, and its harbour sees commodities of every description. While Neptune exports manufactured goods produced in the Italian industrial heartlands, the Barbary Sprawl keeps the Italian Sprawls fed with a constant stream of raw materials, food and labour.
As a major conduit through which the wealth of Africa flows to Italy, the Barbary Sprawl is constantly visited by trains and Medusas, carrying goods from across Africa. More darkly, the city is also believed to be heavily involved in the slave trade and other illicit smuggling activities. The Sprawl contains a massive harbour, which is home to a substantial portion of the Syndicate's Mediterranean trade fleet. The city is also the most "Italian" Sprawl outside of Europe, with a large population of Italians calling the Sprawl home.
Despite the rumours regarding its name, the Barbary Sprawl is not home to any pirates; the strong Allied presence in the Mediterranean makes it piracy unprofitable.
|Sprawl Name||Uhlanga Sprawl|
|Location||File:Congothumb.gif Boma, The Congo|
|Official Name||Urbe Pax|
The former capital of the Congo Free State (later the Republic of the Congo), the place formerly known as Boma has since become a Syndicate Sprawl. The Uhlanga Sprawl is is located along the country's only outlet into the Atlantic, making it well placed to handle the export of the Congo's vast mineral wealth to rest of the world, as well as the import of Legion Security mercenaries to help maintain some semblance of order and stability. The Uhlanga Sprawl is also the location of the regional headquarters for Legion Security, which is in charge of Legion Security operations for the southern half of Africa.
|Sprawl Name||Zerzura Sprawl|
|Location||File:Sudanthumb.gif Kaduqli, Sudan|
|Official Name||Urbe Candidus|
A Sprawl dedicated to agriculture, Zerzura's primary export consists of crops and farm animals. The land surrounding the Sprawl has been converted into massive corporate plantations, worked over by thousands of labourers. Extensive inputs of water, fertiliser and pesticides, combined with the use of genetically modified crops result in bountiful yields, making the Sprawl one of the more important breadbaskets for the Syndicate. The Sprawl proper is home to an extensive food processing industry, which takes the produce of the farms and turns it into canned food, snacks, microwave meals, and more. While smaller in population compared to many other Sprawls, crime and gang warfare or no less present than in other Sprawls; on the contrary, farms have to be guarded by barbed wire and sentries to prevent hired thugs from poisoning the fields or killing off animals. Zerzura is also home to many warehouses and silos, allowing it to serve as a transport and storage hub.
|Sprawl Name||Roanapur Sprawl|
|Official Name||Urbe Lacus|
Building outward instead of upward, Roanapur Sprawl is a massive, if low density, sprawl that has more or less taken over as the economic and political centre of Thailand. A test project of two Syndicate construction firms, Roanapur was literally thrown up from nothing during the 1940s and created an overnight economy that attracted workers from all over south-east Asia. It also attracted many vicious gangs, and is ruled by a fractured criminal underworld consisting almost entirely of foreigners. Roanapur's low density and local makes it a popular vacation spot for the middle and upper class of Sprawl dwellers, and it's said to run some of the most active tourism and smuggling businesses off the same boats.
|Sprawl Name||Xanadu Sprawl|
|Official Name||Urbe Venenum|
|Logo||A stately pleasure-dome|
The site of some of the largest drug processing facilities and pharmaceutical companies in the world, the Xanadu Sprawl's establishment and subsequent expansion is militarily contested by the GLA, who launch raids from the nearby mountains.
|Sprawl Name||Atlantis Sprawl|
|Official Name||Urbe Atlantis|
|Logo||Classical temple amidst waves|
The shipping midpoint for the Atlantic Ocean, any ship willing to pay the customs fees is free to anchor here. Many captains avoid doing so, because gang warfare between rival dock crews often spills onto foreign ships, despite the best efforts of Legionnaires. Atlantis is one of the largest floating objects in the world, a platform on the ocean tethered by deep sea cables and dozens of turbines dotting the bottom of the Sprawl itself. Fuel, food, and entertainment are available to any visitors, for a price.
|Sprawl Name||Aztlan Sprawl|
|Official Name||Urbe Oleum|
|Logo||Tepoztopilli piercing ocean and bringing oil up|
A large oil terminal off the coast of Venezuela, the Aztlan Sprawl is a collection of oil platforms, living quarters, and refineries connected by catwalks and pipelines. Eventually, the Syndicate simply added additional platforms for further services and offices and called it a Sprawl. The Aztlan Sprawl processes most of the crude oil coming from Venezuela, and is a major source of income for the Syndicate. It is therefore a target that anyone that doesn't like the Syndicate (meaning most people) could target, so the Sprawl is well guarded by constantly patrolling naval forces, including the MSS Wolfbane.
|Sprawl Name||Mu Sprawl|
|Official Name||Urbe Mu|
|Logo||Mesoamerican pyramid amongst waves|
Mu is a similar design to Atlantis, but only in the Pacific. Due to the Empire's dominance of the ocean, traffic is lighter than any of the other floating Sprawls, though well liked as an alternative to the beautiful but Imperial island of Hawaii. Mu was mistaken for the Black Tortoise during World War III, and was bombed by a flight of Swan Seaplanes. The Mediterranean Syndicate fined the Allied Nations for the damage in money and men, and used the settlement to fund drug dealers operating in the Allied Nations.
|Sprawl Name||Lemuria Sprawl|
|Official Name||Urbe Lemuria|
|Logo||Ziggaraut amongst waves|
Lemuria was only recently constructed, and now serves the commercial traffic in the Indian Ocean. Lemuria is larger than the other two, as it's designed to also have some industry on it. Lemuria is one of the least polluted Sprawls, since they just dump any waste overboard. Sailors claim there is no living thing for a few nautical miles from Lemuria.
|Sprawl Name||Kowloon Sprawl|
|Location||Kowloon Walled City, Hong Kong|
|Official Name||Urbe Obscuras|
A small patch of land that technically belonged to China when the area was handed to the British Government, and even through the Chinese Civil War, the Kowloon Sprawl was a haven for criminals, illegal immigrants, and entrepreneurs not wishing to deal with annoying labour and safety laws before the fiery conclusion of the civil war. The Syndicate found a washed up aristocrat to cement its claims when it bought the whole area from the British government. The Syndicate's usual methods of construction decreased the squalor and crowding of Kowloon. However, after the devastating atomic fire, the Kowloon Sprawl was completely depopulated from nuclear fallout. It was written off as a loss since the Syndicate couldn't claim something that wasn't technically theirs in the first place, and the threat of the very, very dangerous Atomic Kingdom of China has convinced potential investors to stay away from the former Sprawl’s ruins.
|Sprawl Name||Lanka Sprawl|
|Location||Arayampathy, Sri Lanka|
|Official Name||Urbe Mars|
Lanka was named in honour of Ravana, seen as the equivalent of Mars by nostalgic Syndicate executives. It was a relatively minor sprawl, dedicated mostly to factories using cheap labour, and as a waystation for Syndicate ships in the Indian Ocean. The Lanka Sprawl did gain notoriety in being chosen to host the testing for one of the Syndicate's biggest projects in decades. However, a freak typhoon effectively destroyed the sprawl before this could happen.
|Sprawl Name||Asamando Sprawl|
|Official Name||Urbe Mortuus|
A Sprawl dedicated to heavy industry and chemical production, Asamando became too polluted for the population to live. All its inhabitants died years ago due to cancer, respiratory problems, and other diseases caused by the massive amount of pollution in the air and water, leading to the Syndicate withdrawing from the region with its main base of operations gone. The only survivors were battlesuits, who have built-in life support systems, though their transmissions make less sense by the day. The Allied Nations have dammed the Black Volta, which Asamando borders, in order to prevent it from contaminating the rest of the Volta and the Gulf of Guinea, though the dams are starting to corrode. The amount of water remaining in and around the city still results in the area being a confined, toxic, barren wetland. No one, Syndicate, African, or Allied, dares to enter the city itself.
|Sprawl Name||Ragusa Sprawl|
|Location||Župa Dubrovačka, Yugoslavia|
|Official Name||Urbe Canis|
|Logo||Flags of the Balkans in a circle|
Župa Dubrovačka and its citizens were given to the Syndicate in exchange for Legionnaire help in pacifying the nation of its endless ethnic wars. Later in its life, an American stockbroker (now hiding) emigrated to it and used his previous money to buy out most of the Sprawl's corporations, only to sell them to outside interests for a quick return of his investment. The Ragusa Sprawl was quickly reduced to an honest, open place out of the Syndicate's control, and is now Yugoslavia's main port. The skilled workers and outside money being poured back into Yugoslavia has boomed its economy, which has done more to solve any problems than the Syndicate ever did. Ragusa is a hot spot for engineers and scientists who want to reverse engineer Syndicate's technology and Syndicate businessmen trying to regain their monopoly. However, in Syndicate circle, the "R-word" has become synonymous with being beaten at your own game and the situation is regarded with a mix of rage and cynicism.