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.
Helix City arrival point: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Helix/37/235/41
Outfit credits added HERE