Gigerant Travelling City

Gigerant Travelling City
Image from Steve Bowers
The front edge of the city is constantly under construction, while the rear is dismantled and the materials efficiently reused. Gigerant includes several different types of architecture, such as Translucent Zamyatin, Akilaspek Forest and Clockscape.

Constructed in 9721 AT, Gigerant Travelling city is a Caravansari settlement in the Kyoshi C component. Formed by the union of 300,000 family omnicraft that had been journeying as a community for a generation, Gigerant was intended to express the Vagabond way in a manner that could bridge the cultural gap with the Oasi.

Physically Gigerant consists of 12,000km2 of utility sand foundations upon which grows the polymorphic infrastructure of the city proper. Arranged in a snaking strip of varying length (600 by 20km on average) the settlement appears stationary from a distance but in actually is constantly moving at 1.22km/h. Its primary form of locomotion operates by pumping u-sand from the trailing edge and extruding it on the leading side. Dwellings, streets and other infrastructure on the rear wards are reabsorbed and the material recycled to construct new urban areas atop the extruded foundations. Thus whilst individual buildings are stationary the city as a whole transits across the land, typically taking three weeks to traverse its own length.

In keeping with the Vagabond Way not only does the city move but care is taken that newly formed districts are distinct from those that have come before. The life span of regions aesthetically, demographically and even technologically is little more than a few weeks. Once an area is dismantled to bring forth the trailing edge it is rarely restored as-is, at least not for some time. This constant renewal and motion has earned the Gigerant the nickname of "The City that's never Static".

Notable Residents and Communities

The Hundred Mayors: The political system of Gigerant is based upon an off-the-shelf MPA constitution. It provides a liberal post-scarcity legal and economic framework which ensures high sophont rights and equitable access to common industry mediated by the angelnet. The system Archai act as mediators of last resort and alterations to the constitution are possible only through the passing of a referendum by supermajority (itself only hosted by the angelnet after submission of a petition gaining signatures of 5% of the population over the course of a full-city traversal). The only unique quirk of this constitution (otherwise indistinguishable from that used on a million habs) is the Mayoral group. Under this rule the city is divided up into one hundred continuous "wards" that vary in size by no more than 2:1 from the largest to smallest. New wards are created at the leading edge simultaneously with the disbanding of a ward from the trailing edge. Upon creation of a ward a random resident of the city is chosen by lottery to become the Mayor for the duration of the ward's life or until they voluntary delegate it to someone else. Mayors have a variety of powers to affect local customs within their ward; typically these manifest through the regulation of ward aesthetics and cultural theme. Great emphasis is placed on mayors working to create a unique and pleasant experience for their residents in according to the city's take on the Vagabond way. With a population of thirty million mayoralship is highly coveted and is the number one export of the city, new mayors are frequently inundated with lucrative offers to sell their appointment. Aside from the control over a ward the much sought after title confers the right to select a direction for the city. The course Gigerant takes is always an average of the mayoral vectors.

Restorians: For the first two decades of its life Gigerant dealt with the ecological damage caused by its passing (which would frequently devastate habitats) through the use of automated systems. Swarms would set out ahead of the city and prepare the environment as best as possible (most often this would involve a quick relocation of key habitats) and behind the city similar robotic workforces would repair the damage to the land. The use of automated systems by the angelnet has been dropped to less than 1% of the needed supply. In its place a healthy community of volunteers known as the Restorians has cropped up. This group has persisted near constantly throughout the city's history and performs much the same role as the swarms it replaced but with the added bonus of granting joy and fulfillment to Gigerant's bioist residents.

Permanent Carnivale: According to urban legend the Permanent Carnivale was started by three wealthy friends visiting the city in 9944a.t. The trio of travellers had come to the city for a reunion; having not seen each other in some time they intended to spend their trip in hedonistic excess. Purportedly they were consuming vast quantities of narcotics in a park on the trailing edge and ignored the warnings that it was about to be decommissioned. Presently finding themselves expelled onto the flattened land behind the city they nearly called an end to the celebrations until one of the group persuaded the others to continue the festivities until "Gigerant shits us out again". Moving to the leading edge they purchased a mayoralship and turned their ward into one of constant partying. Privacy filters installed throughout the cities history have made this account difficult to verify, but in spite of this it is a fact that since 9944a.t. there has always been at least one ward fully dedicated to lively hedonistic pursuits for its duration. This Permanent Carnivale has become such a staple of local culture that in 10,444a.t. the city decided by referendum that all wards should celebrate Carnivale for one whole transit. Curiously the records from this time are as vague as that of the original trio, though all surviving accounts confirm it was a "hell of a time".

The Kyoshi Phenodynamists: A relatively new group in the city's history the Phenodynamists are nevertheless an important one as they represent the largest ideo/religious faction. Over two and a half million residents follow the teachings of Ladian NcDance, adapted to the Vagabond way by former Mayor Tillowyn in 10,221a.t. Tillowyn was inspired by a visiting Shog during her rule and ordered the infrastructure of her ward to change on a constant basis so that its residents could enjoy a fresh home every day. Whilst not popular as a Mayor Tillowyn was attracted to the idea of bringing constant change to one's life. Learning of Phenodynamism she quickly embraced it and acquired the necessary medisystem to follow NcDance in uncontrollable phenotypic augmentation. However Tillowyn was a Gigerantian through-and-through and made one important change to her system; rather than being truly random it would effect radical change on the same cycle as whatever ward she was currently occupying. A movement grew around her, attracted to the idea of bringing in body what they felt in mind and culture. Wherever one travels in Gigerant one is likely to see many Kyoshi Phenodynamists, a common site in the trailing wards is to witness communal Radical changes as the practitioners are modified by their medisystems in time with the ward disbanding.

The Outriders: Whilst not classed as residents of the city the Outriders are Caravansari that visit frequently enough to be factored into the angelnets economic calculations. The Outrider population consists of some five million sophonts that have not completely abandoned omnicraft life and instead travel within the vicinity of Gigerant, visiting locations that the city is unlikely to pass through (or at least wont pass through for some time). The group is a varied one and enjoys a friendly rivalry both with those in the city and wider Kiyoshi society. It is a frequent source of humour for "pure" Caravansari to try and lure Outriders away from Gigerant and for the residents of the city to convince them to take up permanent residence. This cultural quirk has resulted in the development of distinct Outrider traditions, most notably the practice of "never owing anyone". A common game amongst wider Caravansari and Gigerantians is to give lavish gifts and do unsolicited favours for the Outriders. In turn the Outriders try to covertly repay both. An Outrider can earn a great reputation for receiving a wealth of gifts during a city visit, only to sneak away unseen after performing some grand gesture that balances the scales.

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Development Notes
Text by Ryan B
Initially published on 22 February 2017.