Helix City is a Cyberpunk role play region with a bit of a difference. It’s not on a futuristic Earth, Earth is dying, it’s on Mars.
At first glance it appears to have taken inspiration from the likes of Blade Runner. However on reading the information/rules notecard at the arrival area, they insist most adamantly it’s not the case:
This is not Blade Runner, nor is it The Fifth Element, nor The Expanse. This is Helix, and the story is yours to write.
They do have their own lore (read it here) and want to keep to it that way, which I think is great. The ethos of “the story is yours to write” sums up role play in SL for me. So robots, cyborgs, appropriately dressed humanoids all welcome. However they’re quite clear about other Canon appearances, so don’t turn up in a Starfleet or similar uniform. I think it boils down to them wanting you to make an effort to make your own story, not copy a movie or series you liked.
I had already put together an outfit that I’d assembled from purchases at Fantasy Faire and recently from the Cyberpunk event. After finishing reading the rules, I added a combat utility belt and a leg holder gun!
Police intervention is rare, but swift and relentless. Muggings, brawls, and prostitution are some people’s forms of employment. Carry a weapon and keep your cash stashed.
So once I was ready, it was time to explore. Straight through the entrance portal takes you into a car park and taxi ranks like you would find coming out of an airport or transit hub, but we are not on Earth, this is Mars.
The general atmosphere is dark and foreboding punctuated by neon lights. You do get the feeling you’re in the set for one of the movies they claim not to be like, but I guess dark sci-fi can only have so many variations, it’s the storyline behind it that’s different.
Ava stepped out of the carpark onto the street and sees signs for various establishments, some in English others not.
She turns off the main street immediately, that’s a place you’ll be seen and that can be dangerous for a new arrival. She walked through an open courtyard area promptly not wanting to be in the open too long until familiar with the area.
She hears a sound behind her and steps quickly into the shadows out of the neon glare and finds herself hidden by a tree of all things. Briefly wondering how it could survive without much sunlight while she waits to see if her would-be pursuer passes by.
A young blonde woman walks past heading the way Ava has been going. Judging by her appearance she wouldn’t be stalking anyone, more likely to be stalked. She wore just shorts and a light top, definitely not the attire of a sane person around here.
Ava proceeded on her way towards what appeared to be a bar or club by the name of “Kink”. Possibly disreputable but probably a good place to get information if there were any patrons at this hour. Unfortunately the place was empty except a bored looking pole dancer.
As she pondered where she might head to next, the blonde approached Ava looking somewhat lost.
Ava took a seat at the bar, keeping an eye on the room in the reflection in the glass behind the bar. She asks the stranger if she’s alright, since she doesn’t look it.
There then followed a discussion between them that reveals the girl is a stereotypical “daddy’s little rich girl” who’s had her allowance cut off. She’d thought she might go for a jog while the ship she arrived on was refueling. That explained the attire but not the lack of sense that made her think it was a good idea. However she was now wandering the streets because the ships captain had left without her. We RPed for a little while before she had to go, possibly the beginnings of a good storyline here.
Ava left the woman in the bar with a suggestion that maybe she take up pole dancing to raise cash. Heading warily through the streets she sees evidence of various Earth cultures and some she isn’t sure about.
She steps into the alcove of one and sees writing on the door suggesting the place is definitely not open for business. Whatever Spice might be.
Further exploration has Ava a little turned around, while she tries to retrace her steps, she doesn’t notice a hover bike approach.
Ava steps off the gangway she had been crossing back onto solid ground. While the rider doesn’t at first glance mean her harm Ava remains wary.
The female rider asks if she is new in town and needs somewhere to stay, mentioning she knew of a half-way house. Ava thinks of the blonde she left at the bar and answers “I’m fine for now myself. However I met someone earlier that could definitely use that kind of help.” She continues as she puts a little distance between them, “I’ll go find them again and send them your way, or maybe bring them so they make it safely.”
I definitely like Helix City and will be back to RP when time allows. I must admit while I was exploring the region, having just read the summary of their lore, the advertisements in one of the films on their not list was on a loop in my head. “The off-world colonies, a chance to begin again.”
However once I read the extended lore on their website while writing this, its a film that isn’t on their list that came to mind. A film in which it was ancient aliens that built the tech to make the Martian environment breathable, not Earth corporations. I like the Helix version of the scenario better though.
But I digress, I’ll be back there again to followup on those RP leads and I’d recommend people check the place out too. Just remember to grab the rules notecard and read it before entering.
I decided I wanted a new steampunk look too, but the Faire wasn’t the ideal place to shop for that. While there are lots of excellence shops at the Faire I couldn’t find quite what I was looking for, so I went to The Engine Room event. I picked up a few things that I didn’t realise I was missing until I saw them, like this neck corset by Silvery K, hat by Insomnia Angel and new hair to go under it.
Corset: SteamPunk Corset with Watch (own creation from Full Perm items, ask for details)
Alara had heard the trembling and vibrations in the ground as she slept during the daylight hours. They got stronger the closer she got to the mountains and home.
She had seen machinery on a large scale sometimes pass nearby as she traveled at night. What were the surface-dwellers doing?
Rather than taking the cave entrance into the centuries old subterranean city her people called home, she decided to investigate what was going on. She climbed the slope in darkness, to a position where she could look down on the surface settlement and froze with shock.
They had always mined the rock miles above her home, but never had she seen a drill of that size! She looked down into the crater trying to visualize the layout of the city below. If they dug much further they would start to uncover old entrance tunnels!
She descended the slope away th settlement towards the nearest entrance, she must warn her people. No doubt some would already be scared by the inevitable increased noise, but she suspected the Elders would be dismissing it as just more mining if they had no idea what was above them. Stopped for now, but inevitably that drill will start again.
There were several Meet & Greet sessions at Fantasy Faire for NeoVictoria, the one I was able to attend was on 29th April and it was pretty busy! Quite a few of the existing members were able to attend, so the varied collection of interested players were able to get plenty of answers to any questions they had. I believe we may well have gained a few new players for our community!
Visitors may think that the large serpentine statutes around Cassiopeia are just that, statute. They would be wrong.
The statues are meant to be a warning reminder of the planets largest natural predator. Although they have not been seen for a long time and have almost become myth. Yet the evolutionary evidence of the humanoid population cannot be denied, having dark patterned skin that would allow them to blend into natural terrain like a chameleon.
Evidently the humanoid population did not evolve from apes.
Custom dictates bright coloured clothing only be worn in private, going against this is frowned upon particularly by older generations. They say all stories are based on a grain of truth and the same can be said for customs originating from necessity. In this case it was survival.
A question that remains unanswered though is why each serpent statute is accompanied by what those of Earth would call an Angel? Do they represent an alien race? Perhaps a visiting race that destroyed the serpents, to allow the humanoids to thrive. Were they guardians against the serpents, or their keepers? The answers are no doubt long lost.