Gears of Frisco

    Flying over Frisco is unbelievable.  Just the sight of it still amazes me, and I've seen it hundreds of times.  If you've ever looked at the insides of one of those ancient pocket watches they used centuries ago, that's what it reminds me of.  Layer upon layer of intricate gears, wheels and dials, all interlocking and working together.  The striking difference is that the gears and wheels in Frisco are dozens of kilometers in diameter.  The largest disk, the residential fly-wheel, is nearly 150 kilometers in diameter.  It's also the closest to the ground.  It's about 300 meters above the surface of the land, and it takes close to two years to make a complete revolution around the central hub.

    Above that are smaller sets of gears and disks that turn faster on hubs set into the spokes of larger wheels.  Most businesses are built on disks that mesh along the residential gear and make about one revolution per week.  Other's revolve bi-weekly.  This reduces transportation needs drastically.  A grocery store may be near your neighborhood every two weeks, while clothing stores only come around every four weeks.  Most restaurants try and time themselves to be available every two or three days, but there are lots of them.  Of course if you need to get around, there are plenty of fast-moving transportation gears of different sizes that spin hourly and daily.  Delivery gears swing by retail gears, and oscillate up and down between supplier wheels and transfer armatures.  The economy is stable because it is built into the machinery of the clockworks.  Most government employees work on slow monthly gears up high, and near the hub.  They may live on the outer rim, but by simply stepping up onto faster moving gear platforms that pass within walking distance of any residential neighborhood disk, a person can easily reach any other location or gear in the city machine.  It's simply a matter of learning the gear reduction ratios.

    The only people not intimately familiar with the gear math are the farmers.  Farms are built on seven massive floating islands that are attached to the city machine by huge carbon armatures.  These floating islands rise and fall with the tides, and give mechanical motion to the clockworks of the city.  There are people living in small towns on those farm islands that have never even been to the city.  They think that dweller's in Frisco are crazy for spending their lives spinning around endlessly.

    San Francisco, as they used to call it, was the first city to go mechanical in a big way.  Back when it was still part of the original United States, they had experimented with using huge tide floats to power the city, but they were just for electrical power generation.  At that time, no one even considered using the tidal energy directly, to literally run the city, and the idea of modeling social structure into the actual design of a machine hadn't even been considered yet.  By the time downtown was devastated for the third time by a massive seismic event, it was becoming evident that it was impossible to build surface structures that could withstand those types of forces.  So, they cleared the land; let it go back to nature.  The entire bay area land surface is a now huge wildlife refuge.  Even with the city spinning above it, enough sunshine gets down through the spokes of the massive round wheels above to keep the forests vibrant and alive.  People go down there to hike and camp now on their vacations.  Standing down there on the ground looking up at the city, it looks like a massively huge, yet complex and delicate spinning piece of art.  It spans as far as you can see across the sky.

The End

2 comments about this story Feed