World Creation 8: Hither and Thither We Go
One important concern I have to address is transportation within the Great Machine.
First, let’s look at transportation between cities, or over long distances.
It is already well established that airships are used for the transportation or resources. They are well-suited to this purpose: they’re fuel efficient, outside the range of prospective bandits, and their low speed isn’t a significant factor in routine transportation. However, intercity travel that is time-sensitive, such as political traveling or the transportation of perishable goods, must be conducted much quicker.
To this end, the Great Machine has implemented a network of trains. Steam trains would plausibly emerge from the global system as it stands, can fulfill several story roles (providing backdrops for robberies or disasters), and can provide a certain classical visual aesthetic, with the speeding, hissing, smoke-belching beast lurching through canyons or across plains.
Trains, being run by the Great Machine, would not require a fare be paid by passengers. This allows migration to areas of work or simply by travelers.
Businessmen that transport their goods often rent space on airships or trains, all of which are owned and run by the government to reduce the threat of piracy or black-market dealings. However, there do exist some back-alley transporters who fly airships (illegally, falsely) under the flag of the Great Machine, sneaking past authorities and undercutting government transport rates.
As far as civilian transport goes, bicycles are common within the cities. Perhaps a network of inter-city, tram-like steam cars would serve in the larger cities to move passengers with speed and efficiency throughout the city.
Rangers, who patrol the wastes in the search of resources, tribes, or (in some cases) fugitives/dangerous animals often use a sort of steampunk mountain bike to move cross-country quickly.
That’s it for today’s (rather short) post. Next week, I’ll be looking at the denizens of the wasteland…and I’m not just talking about the humans.
This post is kinda short–I ended up with more work than I thought I would the night of. If I missed anything glaring or significant related to transportation, point it out here and I’d be glad to rectify my omission.
Hmm, i just don’t see the Great Machine not charging a fee. I guess I can’t wrap my head around the idea of the world spanning government not being evil bastards at every opportunity.
Well, as it stands, the government doesn’t really need much money. They have to pay for employees and such, but they control all resources–if they need coal or lumber, they just dip into their stash.
Thanks, thinking about it like that makes a lot more sense.