Ashoka

Ashoka’s built into the ground, descending below the permafrost of the chaotic plain on which it lies into tens of meters to bedrock. The town’s got influence all out of proportion with its size. It’s a center of the Barsoomian Movement, a spa retreat for the rich, and an important ops center for the Tharsis Terraforming Office. Ashoka’s where city, town, and desert come together.

Instead of being a huge, domed megacity, Ashoka is built into a sixty-meter deep, kilometer-wide cylindrical pit with a transparent, lens-shaped cover over the top. Surface buildings, including a few high-rise housing blocks and hotels, rise at the rim of the pit, their foundations and entryways opening through the pit wall at its bottom. There’s a bazaar, a park, and a Hindu temple, among other landmarks.

Nearby is the Viking Historical Park, a big area that includes the landing sites of the Viking spacecraft and Sojourner rover. Some brain-damaged corp flack hit on the idea of installing AIs in them when they found them, so now both are talking parts of the exhibit. Effin’ dumb if you want my opinion, but the tourists love it.

Culture and Demographics

You won’t see many synths here. This is a town of rusters, although the ten thousand or so tourists swelling the population at any given time will be in a variety of morphs. Common languages you’ll hear are Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Arabic, and English.

Barsoomian Presence

Ashoka is strongly with the Movement. The Governor General, Manjit Savekar, is a former terraforming line engineer. Most of the local League functionaries are also friendly to the Movement. This makes Ashoka the stage for a lot of cloak and dagger work. Consortium Oversight people work this town all the time, trying to keep tabs on what they call “hostile elements.” The locals don’t like Oversight at all and rarely help them.

Ashoka

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