Locations in The Ascent features the different areas that players can discover and explore. The Ascent takes place within an arcology in a futuristic dystopian world known as Veles, controlled by a powerful megacorporation called "The Ascent Group". Players assume control of a worker enslaved by the company. After the mysterious collapse of The Ascent Group, the arcology descends into a chaotic free-for-all pitting districts, syndicates and rival corporations against each other for control. The player's role is to stop other factions from seizing control and uncover the mystery behind the demise of The Ascent Group. This page covers a list of all the locations featured in The Ascent.
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The Ascent All Locations
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Black Lake, or B-stack, was never properly finished before catastrophe struck. Built in the same vein as A-stack, B-stack was zoned as a residential and partly commercial area but when the external contracting firm hired to do the work ended up in a bitter financial dispute with the Ascent Group, construction was temporarily put on hold. In the meantime, hapless indents, vagrants, lesser gangs and other undesirables quickly took up residence in the partly finished had units inter-gait rivalry resulted in constant fighting and corpSec, having no financial interests in maintaining order in the area, stayed away.
The financial dispute ended with the sudden assimilation and dissolution of the construction firm by the Ascent Group, but B-stack remained unfinished and infested with crime. A drastic solution was suggested, and enacted - to flood the entire area to flush out the squatters and clean out the filth. It is unclear what went wrong, but some suspect a virus created by the construction firm SI before it was shut down. Regardless, the flooding failed, allowing pools to form, and putting several levels of B-stack underwater.
By now the cost projections risen immensely, and instead of trying to drain and finish B-stack, the Ascent Group discarded it as a loss. It has been officially abandoned ever since.
Cluster 13 has sprung up around the administrative offices of Stack Cluster 13 - the collective name for the many habStacks in this sector where indents of all kinds live out their lives.
The Admin offices themselves are drab and functional, housing the Cluster SI, and the myriad of workers tasked with keeping the the cluster running and assigning different jobs to the indents registered there.
There is also an Ascender Club in the area. Ascenders come here to interact. relax or participate in any of the Ascender activities on offer, such as corporate rallies and similar. Registered activity with the Ascenders can be beneficial when the Annual Performance Evaluation (the feared APE) comes around...
Cluster 13 also holds a few select shops and eateries - the most conspicuous of which is the Serenity Plus - a multifusion restaurant popular with the more affluent lohabbers. Stackboss Poone has made the Serenity his actual office, and he is rarely seen elsewhere (much to the consternation of the restaurant owners, as Poone expects free service).
The deepStink constitutes the vast subsurface levels of the arcology. Few habbers ever come here, and those who do would rather be elsewhere. Vast pipe networks, feats of macro-engineering disappear into the dark abyss below the arcology. Ancient malfunctioning security systems unreliably keep the ferals trapped in their breeding grounds where they feed on what falls down from above. Everything is haphazardly maintained by the "Supes" - a large network of interconnected service bots.
There is a musty and ever prevalent stench of wastage, mold, decay and offal in this location, hence its nickname, "The deepStink".
When the Arcology was first built there was much enthusiasm surrounding this enormous undertaking, Architects from across the Common Flocked to Veles, eager to make their mark on this latest gigaStructure.
The Ascent Group held architectural contests to encourage participation and minimize prospecting costs. The Gemii Stacks are the result of one such contest.
Many Rojin inhabit the Gemini Stacks and the area has a reputation for affluence and mained corpses.
Gratitude is a Hortean temple of sorts, and this is where they come to express their never-ending, heartfelt appreciation to the cosmos for having allowed them to exist. Here they also meet to exchange near-death experiences and marvel at having survived yet another cycle.
Other indents have less respect for the area and many throw their trash here. But this doesn’t become the Horteans, as they consider anything thrown at them which doesn’t kill them a gift.
While Stimtown is frequented by all sorts of habbers, only those involved in truly shady business would ever risk entering the Grinder. Here, life is cheaper than a candy bar, and a glance the wrong way could see you flatlined in a blink. The entire area is drenched in shadows due to perpetual problems with the power supply, and the lack of proper lighting only reinforces the shady aura of the place. Needless to say, corpSec only enter if they absolutely have to, and often not even then. They’d rather falsify a patrol report than risk their lives.
Some have set up permanent residences here, and several gangs constantly vie for dominance of the bulk trade in contraband - much of which later finds its way to Stimtown for The Node.
Part of the Grinder was once intended to be an atrium for the lohabbers and it was originally named Tranquility Park, A discerning eye might still spot the remains of a rotting plant or two in some murky corner, but the gangs claimed the area long ago and made it their own. Adjacent to the atrium a gallery of sorts was erected, intended to showcase corporate art and reinforce the company spirit. This gallery has since become the abode of the local drug lord.
Known by the habbers as “highStreet”, this is the primary corporate, commercial and shipping center in the arcology. Here the local, but vastly influential Rojin Association holds sway and their garishly clad enforcers can be found prowling wherever the neon lights don’t fully reach.
Squeezed as it is smack in the middle of the Arcology, highStreet does suffer from a bit of an identity crisis. The indents there rarely refers to themselves as such, so as not to get confused with the lohab scum below, but at the same time they enjoy few, if any, of the benefits of those lucky individuals making their abode on the higher levels. Many hide behind thick layers of snobbery and arrogance, but in reality they are as much beholden to their contracts as their lower and level brethren.
Nitroad is found on the arcology outskirts and the area is dominated by two large production facilities run by EightCo and BioChoice Pharma. In between these gigantic factories can be found a variety of small markets and back-alley clubs, as well as dark backstreet and rough areas where regular habbers don't venture.
A capsule hotel serves those habless still on contract, and the few business travelers unfortunate enough to visit the area.
No Man's land has been a dangerous area, situated as it is between the Turbo Vipers and Liquid Quiks. It served as an unofficial boundary between their turfs and was rarely entered, except to settle duels or to conduct sneak attacks.
With the Turbo Vipers now in escalated conflict with the Liquid Quiks, the Vipers have managed to claim the area and the zone has seen a marked rise in activity.
Once a customer-facing HydroCat facility, this interesting structure now houses the local headquarters of Onyx Void. A few unwary habbers made jokes about the chosen location when OV first set up shop, but jokes soon died after they all lost their vocal organs in strange and violent accidents. In the surrounding neighborhood the expression "Cat got your tongue?" has since acquired a whole new meaning...
Somewhat of a desolate route mostly used by the surrounding habStakcs to get to Cluster 13, this area serves mostly as a stop on the road for vehicles. There's a large parking depot for the Blossom Hills residents and even a landing pads and a Meganeura Fuel Depot where inter and intra-arcology transports gather to refuel and share stories.
The space serves just as well for covert meetings, shady dealings and the occasional stabbing.
These walkways crisscross the habStack rooftops to connect Cluster 13 with Stimtown and Gratitude. Though an effective shortcut, some habbers shy away form moving about here after the end of their shift. A recently completed bridge (and then unfortunately, retroactively and accidentally uncompleted) was meant to greatly speed up the commuting.
One of the most popular eateries in Cluster 13, Serenity Plus offers a fusion menu, though few remember what exactly has been fusioned these days. Many habbers find it a bit on the pricey side, which suit the regulars just fine as that helps to provide them with an air of superiority for affording to hang out there. This restaurant is also the de facto office of stackBoss Poone, the Cluster 13 strongman, and from here he manages his extensive network of underlings, hirelings and tenants.
The sublevel maintenance areas are epic in scale, large enough to host entire settlements hiding away in the dark chasms of the arcology. CorpSec rarely come here, and so the area is a good refuge for those wanting to avoid entanglements with the authorities.
Massive structural girders, vast pipe networks, and gigantic reservoir caverns are some defining features. These forbidding areas are primarily inhabited by ferals and the ancient but functional Supes.
Tham's Gate, named after CEO Tham of the Ascent Group board, is the legal and intended route to and from the arcology Cosmodrome. Filled with waiting areas, inspections and corporate customs officials - the area provides the facilities needed to handle the constant influx of more people arriving from off world. Disliked by smugglers, but heavily controlled, they are always looking for new ways to dock but not take the obvious path to market with their goods.
The passenger reception facilities have suffered since the collapse, and baggage handling has completely imploded much to the dismay of the travelers still arriving.
The arcology CosmoDrome is defined by enormous lattice griders, ship service systems, fuel depots docking bay sockets, goods handling machinery and offices for the harbor master, maintenance subsidiaries and company customs officials.
The traffic is often intense with cargo and maintenance mechs moving about everywhere, and the autonomous cranes loading and unloading cargo of all types, while wary, recently thawed passengers make their way from the orbital shuttles to the processing stations where they will confirm their indentured contracts.
The "Glut" has become the common name for an area in the arcology with few defining features. Mostly functioning as a traversal zone, few habbers ever linger here, or if they do, they're often up to no good. Any commercial ventures trying their luck here are usually short-lived, either due to a lack of customers, or lack of enough protection to hold up against repeated robbery attempts, sometimes within the same cycle. CorpSec could maybe patrol the area if they cared which they don't. Nobody cares about the Glut.
If it has a price, you can find it in the Node. When the Ascent Group arcology was first constructed this area was zoned as a commodities auction exchange due to its close proximity to one of the major transportation hubs. A massive data exchange - the nodeTree - was constructed, to which prospective buyers and sellers could jack in (to ensure 100% secure transactions). The tree quickly grew in size, and sprouted many branches and subbranches, as the arcology itself grew more and more busy.
It wasn't long before other services and smaller shops began popping up around the nodeTree, and as time went by and the tree itself fell into decline the area round it grew to become a busy hive of relentless commerce. Regular mega-brand outlets now stand wall to wall with micro pop-up stores, protein noodles stalls, licensed (and unlicensed) grafters, Nug "junk" shops and anything else one might imagine that might be sold for uCreds. Everyone is trying to outdo one-another with signage, to the point that corpSec has been forced to set energy consumption limits in relation to stall size, or the local fusion plant would likely overload.
The Node is also a place for any kind of non-corporate deal-making - non-corporate in the sense that it's unofficial, Plenty of corporations have reps roaming the Node, looking for the latest and greatest in fashion and technology, and sometimes dealing with less savory organizations such as Onyx Void, away form the prying eyes of the competition.
The Warrens make up the lowest officially inhabited levels of the arcology. Warm, smoggy and humid down here where clusters of densely packed habStacks merged and attached themselves to the arcology in an almost organic fashion.
The Warrens are found on one of the lowest levels before the actual deepStink, and it's not uncommon for a whiff of the nether regions to make its way into the air recyclers above. But the habbers here are used to the stench, the humidity and the never-ending, barely policed violence. Some indents look up to the mid- and top levels and yearn for better lives, but most have the sense to limit their dreams to the realm of the possible.
It's better not to consider too deeply what the massive pipes on this sublevel contain. Connecting to all tiers and levels of the Arcology above, the Waste Recycling Network gathers unfathomable quantities of well, waste, and transport it here, where an SI is tasked with sorting and recycling that which can be recycled. The rest is dumped further down into the deepStink sublevels where its gathered in large pools for later disposal. Some of it is sold to other arcologies, some of it is used as fuel, and some of it is just left to rot - often becoming fertile breeding ground for ferals of all sizes.
It should be noted that not everything flowing through these rusty pipes consists of garbage or excrement. Some of it is the actual recvcled remains of those indents who have opted out of their post-mortem preservation contract (which many do due to the high subscription fees it commands).
This long bridge connects the Shaft with rezDev and corpZone. When it was first constructed there were plans for moving walkways to help shorten the transition time across, but these were cut for budgetary reasons before the bridge was finalized.
The Edge marks where the Malhorst-Gelb corporation has moved in to set up a bridgehead. From here they conduct various CGT operations aimed at securing vital parts of the Ascent Group Arcology. Already a busy part of entry for the arcology, traffic here has increased further since Malhorst-Gelb moved in.
Stimtown is where the denizens of the Warrens (and adjacent zones) go to blow off steam. Here you'll find every whim catered to, every seedy desire satisfied - and at a reasonable price compared to the posher upper levels, where few Stimtown carousers would be allowed anyway.
What started as the local automated food dispensary and general socializing area when the stacks were first erected soon became a go-to place for those seeking intoxication, depravity or just to hang out with friends. As the place gained in notoriety, corpSec would occasionally come to shut the whole thing down, but this ended up causing such massive riots in the Warrens that the local corpSec commander decided to let the Stimtown be for the foreseeable future. The fact that he since enjoys gratis services at all the establishments probably aided his decision.
RezDev (Research & Development) is in essence a continuation of the corpZone, but with lower and even more anonymous buildings. These house all sorts of advanced research and development labs and even smaller manufacturers of precise instruments and the like.
Another distinguishing factor compared to corpZone is the overall lack of logos, as most of these labs belong to the Ascent Group itself. The secretive work done here is covered by so many NDAs that to even say you work in rezDev could get you fired or worse.
This area also houses the main hospital for those working in CorpZone, where they can get health care if needed (with costs deducted from their salaries, of course).
The dNexus is the digital hearts and guts of the arcology (with the arcology AGI being the brain). All Ascent Group data traffic is routed through this vast network of servers, hubs and storage units. This sector also includes the Data Vaults where the Ascent Groups stores all its operational data under multiple layers of lethal ICE.
Other, smaller corporations also rent vault space within the dNexus and with the Ascent Group collapse many of these are sending retrieval teams to the Vaults to pluck out their data before a competitor gets there.
The dNexus was not primarily designed for biologicals, and large sections of it are sealed off in a cold vacuum accessible only by bots. Other areas, especially the massive processing clusters, rest in extreme cold.
Most of the dNexus is a maze of hard silicon and glittering circuitry. Massive data cables and cooling pipes help around out the other-worldly architecture, with all of it resting in a perpetual cooling fog.
For many loHabbers the corpZone is all they will ever see of the true nature of the arcology and the Ascent Group - i.e. that the entire gigantic structure is in essence a huge corporate HQ. Behind the dark glossy facades of the corpZone office stacks, thousands of mid-level employs work grueling hours at their screens, generating, filtering and trying to make sense of endless amounts of (sometimes pointless) data. This is the rank and file of the relentless corporate machine, far removed from the posh upper-tier offices, and perpetually stuck in a rat race to nowhere.
Here many other corporations maintain subsidiary offices for their ongoing dealings with the Ascent Group, and many stacks are adorned with corporate logos. The larger criminal organizations also maintain offices here and there is rampant corporate espionage ongoing between the many buildings.
This is an area deep inside the sub-levels of the Arcology set aside for Project MenShen - a stupendously expensive, top secret portal gate project initiated by the Ascent Group long ago. The zone is heavily protected and warded off to avoid corporate espionage and other prying eyes, but the state of the art security installations have suffered since the collapse of the Ascent Group.
MenShen demands unfathomable amounts of energy to operate, and the testing procedures has caused fluctuations and cascading system errors with nearby reactors - among them the ancient tokamak servicing Cluster 13.
The massive workshops sector, popularly called Scrapland, is where ships come to heal or die. Their remains can be found all over the sector, in various states of disrepair and decay, often next to ships being repaired or modified. The smell of welding is ever-prevalent, as is the rain of sparks generated by the myriad of chopBots cutting discarded ships to pieces.
Some outcasts and loHabbers have taken up residence in the area, some of them surviving as DIY mechanics and engineers, and the rest just surviving. Common to them all is that they reject the corporate lifestyle in favor of what they consider free living, though it could be argued that nobody is really free who has to live inside a derelict planet hopper with no running water.
Marking the end of on-going clustered construction within the Arcology, the Outskirts looks out over the endless Squat outside. Though it can rarely be seen due to the heavy smog perpetually drifting across Veles's surface. Few Habbers ever go to this desolate area, as looking out from it only serves as a stark reminder of their utter insignificance.
The Ascent Group headquarters is the beating heart and throbbing brain of the gigantic conglomerate. Here can be found the primary AGI access facilities as well as the Ascent Group boardroom, where decisions affecting billions of beings are made every cycle.
Ever since the collapse, the boardroom area has been under complete lockdown, and the Ascent Group board has gone off grid. Many believe they are in there trying to pin blame on one another for the catastrophe, but until they reemerge all bets are off.
The vast majority of all habbers in the arcology never see "The Pinnacle". To them it remains a distant impossibility, something only seen in the holo dramas or through the virtual eyes of elite influencers. The area is severely restricted and only the genteel live and work on these levels. The Ascent Group board members all have large residences here, and this is also where the Ascent Group AGI has its primary access systems installed (though its vast innards stretch throughout the entire arcology). The top levels reach above the perpetual cloud layer of Veles and the very select few calling the Pinnacle their home get a taste of actual, non-artificial sunlight every cycle.
Once every standard the Ascenders select a group of overperforming indents who are rewarded with a guided tour of the Pinnacle levels. They return with tall tales of affluence beyond imagining - further adding to the legends surrounding the area. To them, having gotten a glimpse of what life is like up there is akin to having stolen a peek into paradise.
The Satori is where loHabbers aspire to go, and where the upper level genteels go to slum.
This exclusive and yet seedy casino run by the Rojin (and doubling as their HQ) offers every possible kind of gambling known and unknown in the Common. Here, prospective high rollers can bet on everything from antique card games to gladiatorial fights between mutant graftFreaks.
The uCred flow is constant and the Ascent Group rakes in a healthy percentage of the total revenue, ensuring that The Satori remains unmolested by corpSec. The security systems are top of the line and the Satori takes a special pride in the fact that it has never been robbed.
Blossom Hills, or "A-stack", like its many siblings is a large habitation stack with a multitude of apartments of various sizes (by far the most common one being the folding-bed "studio" type). When A-stack was first built a large mural of a hill covered with bright flowers was commissioned in order to inspire worker morale, but the budget only allowed for two thirds of the mural to be finished, and the once-bright flowers have long since lost their luster.
Like the other stacks in the cluster A-stack also suffers from gang warfare - and the current top ferals in the stack are known as the Liquid Quiks.
The RBM-5 tokamak was one of the first fusion reactors to be installed in the arcology, and it has been upgrade and augmented many times since its inception. The torus type plasma containment chamber forms the reactor core, to which numerous systems have been added and/or jury rigged over time.
The reactor has been slated for a complete replacement for at least sixty-nine standard cycles, but it seems to constantly slip down the prioritization schedule. The denizens of the deepStink are happy with this as it allows them to siphon off power from the chaotic grid surrounding the reaction.