The Lusus neighborhood is the world’s only arcology superstructure and most densely populated region in the Shire. Construction was started in 1990 by the TechnoCore. Its aim is to allow humans to live in a highly efficient and organized environment and to negate their impact on the environment. These arcologies, or “hives” as they’re known locally, are experiments in utopian living. Communities are organized on a per-floor level and seek to employ all or most of its own available resources for a comfortable life: power, climate control, food production, air and water conservation and purification, sewage treatment, etc. The TechnoCore provides a primitive replicator technology to produce a basic amino acid-carb-vitamin slush for daily meals. Most Lusians opt to import their meals from the surface, however. Lusus was built in collaboration with over 1,000 scientists and engineers from all over the Shire. It lies in a natural stone and quartz cavern beneath Oranjestad’s Summit and Homestead neighborhoods.
As of 2018, Lusus remains the most dense residential housing complex and social experiment ever built.
The Lusus cavern was first discovered in 1871 by Edward Darco. It’s rich sources of quartz and metals and ease of access made it a prime mining location. From 1880 to 1962, the cavern was mined so effectively that the load-bearing walls began to gleam a polished white from being mined so closely. In 1973, the mine was shut down after all available resources that could be stripped away without endangering the city above.
In 1980, the TechnoCore purchased the cavern for an undisclosed sum. Prep work began almost immediately with TechnoCore wall-crawling drones polishing and rounding edges of the cavern walls. By 1989, the cavern had been transformed into the polished hollow cavern that exists today.
Technically, Lusus is a privately held neighborhood, operated entirely by the TechnoCore. However, the area is completely open to the general public, and many of the surrounding shops rely on Lusus patrons to stay in operation.
Construction of the Hyperion Hive began in 1990 and was completed in 2001. The Saturn Arcology Complex began construction in 2004 and was completed in early 2015. The final complex, Radamanth Arcology, was completed in 2017. Several other smaller complexes also exist in the Lusus community: Pinot Noir Living Pods, Saban-Smith Family Hive, White Cyclosa Apartments, Credentium Lane, Troggo Cavern, Dick Hollerann Mega-Complex, and Empire Hive. In all, about 50,000 residents call Lusus home.
Lusus has three rail connections to the surface, two of which are Hyperloop stops. The other is a station on the high-speed, intercity Juris Line. The area is also directly linked with the Submerciful Undermarket and the Grand Narthex, making access to most parts of the city quick and easy.
Several new bridges, ramps, and tunnels to the surface are currently in development.
Behind the Scenes
Lusus, Hyperion, and the TechnoCore are all references to the book series Hyperion. Lusus is a high gravity planet where people live in large underground ‘hives’ with extremely high density.
The TechnoCore in the Hyperion novels is an independent force of AI computers that provides technology to mankind, often with mysterious or nefarious intentions.
The area now called Lusus was originally just a hollowed out cylinder of stone, with the intent that it would eventually house the various machines that keep the city above running; water sanitation, sewage, desalinization, pollution control, etc.