Mendell City is the capital of the Republic of Biesel. This megacity stretches over forty thousand square kilometers; and houses a total of 32 million people. It is situated on the south-western coast of the planet’s northernmost continent. The city has historically been a tax haven for large megacorporations, many of which have branches in the city that date back to before NanoTrasen’s stranglehold on the system’s economy. The city itself contains a mix of structures, ranging from kilometer high skyscrapers covering a dozen city blocks to almost serene suburbs, all wrapped into the city’s urban sprawl.
Mendell City is the hub of trade throughout the Republic, with trillions of credits flowing through the electronic stock markets in the business sector - whether in private transactions, or on the trade floor itself. Though Mendell City is relatively well-developed; it, like many other cities, has its poorer districts, with significantly higher crime rates than the more affluent areas. Though Mendell City's well funded police force is able to restrict much of the illegal activity to these areas; they are hard-pressed to prevent sporadic outbreaks of gang-related crime in specific areas - most recently demonstrated by the riots in district six, which required the intervention of the Tau Ceti Foreign Legion to restore order. Mendell City is divided into fifteen districts, five of which are considered to be slums:
- 'Zhèngfǔ District' - The absolute middle of the city, this district holds a small residential area, as well as many city departments as well as City Hall. Many corporate buildings are located here, due to it being the center of government both now and during the colonial era. NanoTrasen's Headquarters - a truly massive skyscraper compound stretching well over a hundred stories into the air - sits opposite of city hall on Phoenix Street, where the original touchdown on Biesel was made.
- 'Phoenix Park' - One of the most wealthy and affluent areas in Mendell City, Phoenix Park is a large commercial district, with various retail, department and niche stores, surrounding a massive park reserve in the north-west of the city.
- 'Xinghua Prefecture' - A small district that makes extremely efficient use of its space, this district is almost solely populated by large apartment and condominium complexes with only sparse space dedicated to the offices that define district one. Many corporations have employee housing in this district, due to the inexpensive cost of maintaining an apartment building in this district. Xinghua is - as of the Republic's most recent census in 2460 - the most populous area of Mendell City. Anybody can be found here, though the vast majority of the population is human.
- 'Abaster Fields' - A suburb to the west of the city, largely home to various estate properties and mansions of the affluent. Due to exorbitant costs associated with moving into Abaster Fields the district isn't heavily populated, but remains - arguably - the most influential district due to its wealth. The inhabitants of Abaster Fields are often hated and reviled by those of the "real" Mendell City. Many high-ranking corporate and diplomatic officials can be found here, often living in expensive mansions designed to show off their wealth to the Republic's citizenry.
- 'Homewood' - A large residential district designated a suburb on the eastern side of the city, with an artificial river built coming in from Severson's Rift. Home to the medium-upper and upper class families, this district is considered to be "almost as good as" Abaster Fields by its residents. Those with the wealth to live in Abaster Fields do not share the same opinion. Homewood's residents are often the middle echelon of corporate facilities: typically the leaders of a department that are rich enough to move out of the city itself, but not rich enough to move into Abaster Fields.
- 'Imperial Plaza' aka 'Little Adhomai' - A shady district with various dives, bars and restaurants, as well as a high rate of crime. Domestic disturbances and break ins are frequent, as are scrumptious burgers. Although not an outright slum, it is not widely trafficked by those who reside outside of the district. In recent years the district has taken on the moniker "Little Adhomai" after the large number of Tajaran residents who dwell there. This district is the birth place of "Little Tajaran Electro swing", a Biesel based variant of the classic Tajaran Electro swing known for its stronger focus on electronic dance music and Tau Ceti Basic lyrics.
- 'Vega de Rosa' - Often referred to as "Mendell City's Sin City," Vega de Rosa is home to all sorts of casinos, clubs, bars, and other forms of entertainment that Mendell City has come to love. In the middle of the district are its best, most expensive, and most elite clubs - with the Eridanian-operated Sa Majesté Musa regarded as the peak of Vega de Rosa. Quality decreases as one heads out from the center, with the lowest-quality venues barely scraping by on the outskirts of Vega de Rose. This district shares a border with district Six, and the Vega de Rose side of this border zone features a significant amount of tajaran-run casinos known for their quality and low cost.
- 'Lekan District' / 'Starlight Zone' - A mostly industrial center housing the bulk of the utilities that provide drinking water and power to the city with its multiple fusion power plants and water treatment plants. This district is located on the shores of Severson's Rift with multiple ports being operated out of the city. The district also houses massive recycling centers that neatly and efficiently sort through the hundreds of tons of trash generated by the city. This district was named after the City Commissioner Lekan Mugabe, who commissioned the development of the district. However, the district now finds themselves at the middle of the Skrell refugee crisis with the majority of it's ports being overtaken by the Starlight Zone.
- 'Flagsdale' - Overpopulated by unemployed vaurcae that have found they have little to no purpose or reason to be here, and are just trying to wait and survive long enough for the remainder of their hive to come to human space. Tensions in this district have risen as numerous riots and violence directed at the new species have boiled up in the recent months, providing a new issue for the City Council to tackle. The district is a designated slum where disease and violence are quarantined by the Mendell City Police Department.
- 'Republic's Landing' - A large commercial district taking advantage of the multiple civilian shuttleports in the area. It has two amusement parks, ports for orbital cruise ships, various museums and other tourist attractions, and the world's largest hotel, the Crimson Heights. It has a direct maglev link to Districts five and three. A significant amount of Republic's Landing is zoned for residential development, with those that can afford or (or need the convenience) living here to avoid most of the commute to its shuttleports.
- 'Eleven' - The result of urban sprawl and low-income housing, this district is regarded as the worst district in Mendell aside from districts nine. Along with district six, "Eleven" claims the dubious honor of possessing one of Mendell City's highest rates of violent crime. Gangs and criminal enterprise rule the abandoned streets, and many of the buildings are derelict structures. Attempts to revitalize this forgotten district have fallen flat, with legislation dedicated to revitalization and those dedicated to reforming the district itself both not lasting long in Mendell City's municipal government. NanoTrasen often recruits entry-level staff from this district and houses them on the Odin in a mutually beneficial move: the new employee is "rescued" by their corporate benefactors, and NanoTrasen gets a fanatically loyal employee. A large community of Dionae live within district 11, alongside the Eternal Temple.
- 'Xavier District' - District 12 is one of the largest gathering of intellectual properties in human space. This single district has over twenty-five universities, fifteen colleges, thirty high schools, four training centers, and three NanoTrasen research facilities, as well as other corporate research laboratories. Xavier District is officially classed as a residential district, a measure proposed by NanoTrasen's liaison on City Council. Some suspect the lower property taxes in residential zones was perhaps the reason behind this. Formerly known as the Think Tank, this district was renamed in remembrance of Xavier Trasen shortly after the corporation established its economic stranglehold over the system.
- 'Bullard Avenue' - Although this northern district much larger than the single avenue for which its moniker is derived, Bullard Avenue itself is the economic center of Mendell City. This district home to large banking centers, the Mendell City Stock market, and other finance institutions that help drive the commerce of one of the Orion Spur's wealthiest systems. Although the majority of the district is designated commercial properties, there are some residential complexes to be found here that are typically rented to those who work within the district. Many of the apartment buildings here are populated by Idris Incorporated employees and the IPCs that follow them everywhere, with service-model shells being a common sight.
- 'New Detroit' aka 'The Scrapheap' - An industrial district that houses a large portion of the automated factories. Due to the recent embargo by the Sol Alliance, the district has fallen on hard times as material shortages have reduced industrial output as the City attempts to stimulate growth through subsidizing domestic material production of plasteel through Nanotrasen to replace the other materials. The area has a large IPC community within it which is heavily discriminated against. The Trinary Perfection, a synthetic-centric religion, has a major presence here.
- 'Jie District' - The district where the majority of the city's low-income housing is located, this district is located on the outskirts of Mendell City but is not designated a suburb like D4 or D5. Before it was turned into subsidized housing, this area of the city was a location where displaced refugees of the First Interstellar War resided. This district was formerly known as the Suo District, named after the Sol Alliance admiral Wen Suo, however, this district was renamed after the Republic Navy Admiral Zheng Jie who grew up in this district following independence. Despite its patriotic name pro-Solarian sentiment is high the Jie District, which often feels abandoned by the Republic of Biesel in general.
Mendell City Metro
The Mendell City Metro runs beneath the city’s fifteen districts, capable of carrying hundreds of thousands of people a day. It is a well-known avenue of public transportation, and it is the most utilized out of the other possibilities hosted within Mendell City. Hephaestus Industries and NanoTrasen have an ongoing deal with the Republic of Biesel regarding subsidized ticket fees for their employees and the sizes of both megacorporations mean the Mendell City Metro is one of the more congested public transportation options as well. Vagrants within the city often host themselves within the discontinued tunnels of the Mendell City Metro, some even referring to them as underground shanty towns due to the sheer size of some of the communities.
Shuttleports are a necessary part of life on Biesel, especially Mendell City. Megacorporations have dozens of facilities hosted within the clutches of the void, resulting in many of their employees having to utilize shuttles in order to attend to their careers. Shuttleports are incredibly large and operate similar to what an airport would - including separate wings for arrivals and departures, with round-the-clock displays of their expected times. Leisure tickets for shuttles aren’t cheap, and multiple rides can come at quite a cost. However, shuttles used exclusively to attend to places of employment are often heavily subsidized, and can even be said to be affordable for janitors.
The Interdistrict Highway was a project implemented by President Joseph Dorn early on in his presidential term and was introduced to decrease congestion building upon the smaller roads across the fifteen districts. It wraps around a significant portion of Mendell City and allows for smooth travelling for those with their own personal vehicles - with a small fee at tollbooths. Those without a personal vehicle can ride the Interdistrict Route, the cheapest public transportation option available to those living in Mendell City, that utilizes several hundred buses to ferry their passengers across the districts.
The Severson’s Ferry is a vestige of what was previously an interconnected system throughout Mendell City, using districts with harbours as pick-up points - sometimes even transporting passengers across the rift to Phoenixport. The availability of other means of public transport almost rendered it defunct, but the revival of Phoenixport - and the flooding of refugees into Mendell City - has seen it rise to popularity once again. Despite the rivalry between Einstein Engines’ Phoenixport and the Stellar Corporate Conglomerate’s Mendell City, the industry is busy as of late, with tourism continuing to climb.