Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Character Study: Doc's Living Space

Doc lives only in the train. The train has three cars, all connected. The first car is the engine, generator, and artillery. This is also where the driver sits.

The second cart is a compact living space for the crew. It features a common area with padded seats facing inward, large windows that can be opened for ventilation, and electric lamps. These windows are also shaded by a thick UV protective outer layer. It is dark enough that they cannot see well through the glass at night even with a full moon. The space is fairly squat, lending just enough room for people of average height to walk without hitting their head. Rocket has to duck under the metal construction beams.

At the back of the car is a water closet. Users here have access to a faucet at about mid height and a faucet above their heads. The floor is porcelain with a large drain in the center. Users pee standing up here. If you gotta take a dump, take it outside. The WC usually smells putrid so more often than not the crew will go outside to relieve themselves.

Below the common space is the storage area, extremely compact with supplies. Aim often handles the supplies due to her small size and can enter the cabin without too much difficulty.

Above the common space are several cabins for crew to sleep in. It is cramped, with only enough room for a thin cot and space to sit up. There are windows here too on either side so that air can flow through, circular in shape.

The last car is the captain’s car where Doc lives. This area has a storage space too where his personal supplies and the crew's water is held, but the living space is larger because there is no upper bunk. Doc has his own WC, electric lamps, and even a space for cooking that often goes unused. He has a bunk-like bed, enough room for only himself but comfortable. He has a desk that he sits at and sometimes drinks and writes there. He always says he’s working on his memoirs.

There are windows here too that are also UV shaded (all windows on the train are.) Every inch of the room is loaded with wartime memorabilia including his general’s swords which are hanging up above his bed. The train, despite all of its ventilation, is often stuffy, but is significantly cooler than the desert in the afternoon and significantly warmer at night. The train is made from metal, but it is beetle metal which is extremely strong, resistant against sand, and porous like concrete (the water tank is obviously not made of this material.) Doc’s clothing is kept in a dresser that is bolted to the wall. (everything here is bolted to something to resist damage from the jostling that occurs when a beetle is hooked.) His room smells faintly of a desert flower, thanks to a small sack of potpourri that once belonged to his wife.

Doc’s favorite place is his car when he’s parked the train by the irrigated fields beside the city. He doesn’t go into the city, but it’s close enough to get supplies without having to interact with too many people, the police included. The irrigated land is surprisingly green and fresh looking. Beetle pipes carry water from the underground stream to a higher level that the plant roots can access. There are several kinds of cacti used for eating and building, there are more delicate but scraggly green herbs used for trade, and the desert mammals used as livestock are able to graze on what goes unused by humans. The air here is slightly moist by comparison to the rest of the desert, but that’s not saying much. Despite that, Doc claims that he can smell the difference. On the horizon to the east, there are mountains.

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