Monday, April 03, 2006

Medicia (Blind Atlas)

Founded by the Medici family, originally as a private ‘memento mori’ on a palatial scale, the city of Medicia has grown from the twin Domiciles of the Skull, and the Heart, as its population of medical students, anatomists, surgeons, and latterly animal rights activists has increased over the centuries.

From the Napeneck hills (artificial and gently sloping) the city's spinal tramlines carry commuters up and down the vertebrae stations, each carved from the great bones of prehistoric animals and cunning contrived to resemble those of a gargantuan human. From the great expanses of the twin Lung Parks, to the Womb Scholariums, to the bordellos of the Groin Triangle, , and beyond, the smaller branch lines and the interlocking waterways, portray almost to scale (for humanity is alas too large to navigate all the innards even in a body a good three miles in length), the nerves, veins and arteries of the female frame. In the food districts of the Stomach the great restaurants can be found, while the town houses of the master chefs can be found in Palate Row, and Tongue Street – each Mansion a delicately carved representation of a taste-bud.

Everyone in Medicia feels they have a part to play, but it is the philosophers of the Lobes - the twin debating chambers of the Skull Parliament, that make the wildest claims – that in eternity when all is made perfect the citizens of Medica will share a single afterlife as an entity as much beyond a single human soul, as a person is beyond a bacterium. Not all agree: even in Medicia there is a criminal element, the so-called Cancer Gangs, the timber-sellers who steal wood from Lung Park at night, the parasites who demand that the city supply them with a living. A citizen’s militia, the Antibodies, harries these malcontents, but it to is prone to run out of control – victimising harmless passersby, reacting too strongly and too adversely to odd or outre visitors. As the city’s thoroughfares, age and twist, as stalls and marketplaces narrow its once broad streets and restrict trade, as petitions to the Heart are blocked, and those to the Skull go progressively astray – the city grows more, or less like a person, and who knows what the lifespan of a city is?

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