Pavonis Mons in Tharsis is home to not one but several interconnected, quasi-subterranean communities that operate under the banner of the Pavonis Arcology, centralized under the City-State of Sheffield and the City-State of New Port. Both cities and several accompanying facilities were built and are still supported and partly managed by the NERV Foundation. They are each a part of the multi-phase plan, Project Red Earth, which is the main focus of the foundation’s Natural Environment Recreation Venture.
Using Binford’s super-hardy construction material vulcanocrete – a ceramic material made up of the lava rock of Pavonis herself mixed with ground-up quartz and something else (generic plaster mixed with pure handwavium; basic formula open domain as of 2017) – the NERV Foundation successfully carved several Martian settlements into the extinct volcano.
While originally rather bare of settlers who didn’t directly work for NERV members, the arcology had a boom in population once construction on Red Earth Phase Four started in February 2013 when the Elies, at least for the foreseeable future, threw their lot in with Pavonis. It also saw a slight increase during the Boskone War of Belters, but the majority who went to Mars instead of cislunar space went to Port Lowell and Helium, instead. The biggest population boom to date was shortly after the opening ceremony for New Port City when a surprising number of Japanese nationals immigrated to the arcology.
In 2025, the two city-states of the Pavonis Arcology joined together with the City-State of Sanq on Asteroid Station MO-I to form a new political entity, the Most Serene Republic of Pavonis.
- Phase One – NERV Headquarters (No First Ancestral Race Lifeforms were Harmed During Construction…)
- Started in 2010, the western quarter of the Big Peacock houses the primary production lines, offices, and labs of the NERV Foundation. Declared fully operational in January 2012, though expansion continues.
- Phase Two – Hollow Fields Plantation (…or any Mad Scientist Students…)
- More multi-sectioned, enormous greenhouses than plantation, these sources of fresh foodstuffs are run by NERV Section One’s Agro Division and were constructed at the same time as NERV HQ to provide local perishables and a source of export revenue. Also like NERV HQ, while operational the moment the first greenhouse was finished in 2011, improvements and expansion continue – facilities for livestock, for example, started being added in 2017.
- Phase Three – H.G. Wells Spaceport (…and Neither were any Tripod-Driving Natives)
- Located in the southern portion of Pavonis Mons’ cone, it was completed in November 2013; again, expansions continue. Facilities include both slips for ships of various sizes, several large joint hangars, as well as cheaply rentable three to five room apartment flats called The Peacock Arms and simple but comfortable temporary rooms at Hotel California. It was constructed at the same time as and followed closely in completion by…
- Phase Four – The City-State of Sheffield (“For the last time Kazuo – NO SPACE ELEVATOR!”)
- Completed in December 2013, just in time for a Christmas Completion Party, Sheffield is built in an ancient (at least 2.2 billion years old), secondary, vertical lava tube of Pavonis that was covered by its latter and more obvious one. It was discovered and excavated during the spaceport’s construction. The ‘ceiling’ was retained and day/night cycles are maintained using waved artificial lighting, which never seems to be bright enough. The precious stones excavated filled the foundation’s coffer quite nicely. The resulting settlement proved amusingly funnel-shaped and earned it the nickname of Mithril Hall amongst D&Ders.
- Sheffield Town Hall is located in Sheffield’s Cedar District. Backed against the outer wall of the city and surrounded by Oak, Ash, and Birch Streets, it is a modified replica of the RPD building from Resident Evil 2 & 3 and houses the main Sheffield PAPD precinct in its several city blocks size interior.
- Phase Five – The City-State of New Port (“Yes, I know the city plan is out of NGE, but using the original name just doesn’t fit.”)
- After the caldera’s vulcanocrete lining and Genesis-made, pitch black pressure dome were completed in June 2016, construction on Phase Five was carried out in as secret an environment as possible using T-Series non-sapient robots as laborers and with non-disclosure enforced supervision. After a certain fellow with the initials “K.S.” was granted reluctant admission to assure the more paranoid that nothing untoward was happening and agreeing to secrecy so long as this was true (Katz actually seems to get a kick out of just grinning whenever someone asks him what he learned), nothing but wild rumors managed to leak out until CorusCon, when the Seele Council decided that something positive needed to occur at the Convention for morale’s sake following the Pan Terrorist Attack.
- When first opened following CorusCon the few parts of the city completed were Gakuen-cho (aka, Academytown; modeled after the Mahora Academy campus and its environs) and Wilson Heights (four city blocks of cheap but comfortable apartments and a few small shops). Also complete was Victory Lake with the accompanying Victory Park along the west bank, offering a spectacular view to those paying to stay at the ritzy Hanaukyo Grand Hotel.
- Shortly after that came other districts. First was Rockfort Island (working home of the Seele Council; a hybrid of the mansion from the first Resident Evil and the island facility from Code: Veronica). Following this, such places as Coolsville (an entertainment locale; main street Electric Avenue), Raccoon (with a number of businesses modeled after those in the game city of same name), Caliban Cove (a lakeside community district), and Umineko (a sizable suburban-type area adjacent to Victory Lake with a central park; contains the Hinata-sou) also opened.
- Phase Six – The Geofront (“’How did it get hollow?’ Oh, come on – where do you think all the raw material for the vulcanocrete used in Phase Five came from?!”)
- An attempt by the NERV Foundation to create a self-sustaining ecosystem, the information gained during its development will hopefully provide useful data to the Mars Terraforming Project. As of 2018, it consists of a lake, some lichens, moss, and simple grasses, and a promising bloom of plankton. The first simple plants and slow-breeding insects were introduced in 2022.
- Rumors that the Geofront serves as the base of operations for a secret organization within the NERV Foundation are, of course, complete hogwash.
The Sightings: In the countless manmade tunnels and caverns of Pavonis, sometimes the mind plays tricks on you – or does it? Rumors of sightings of a mysterious teenage Japanese boy wearing a bandana and carrying a backpack and umbrella wandering the tunnels lost are told in bars across the Red Planet. Similar tales of the spirit of a mid-1800s American prospector – the Miner 49er – lead people to wonder if ghosts haven’t followed people to space (or maybe if someone’s working on a local flavor version of “Carmen Miranda’s Ghost”). And that isn’t all…the street one can only seem to find when one needs the goods or services of one of the shops along its green flame gas lamp-laden cobblestones in New Port City… the disappearing shop in Sheffield with its bathrobe-cloaked attendant who always knows his customer’s name… the legends seem boundless for a settlement barely more than a decade old in 2022…
No description of the Pavonis Arcology can really be given without including a mention of the basics about a group that joined in on the grand experiment.
This would be the Elysium Cooperative. Slayers Fen, Sword World Fen, Zero no Tsukaima Fen, GURPS and Palladium Fantasy Fen… a gaggle of the fantasy-minded decided to band together to claim a homeland for themselves on the Red Planet. Or, at least, to prepare for a future claiming of said homeland. The “Elies” have decided that when the time comes once the Mars Terraforming Project reaches that point, the Continent of Elysium and her islands in the Sea of Utopia shall be their Promised Land.
Until then, though, the Elies have hunkered down in Pavonis, some commuting daily to the future sites of their individual or collective settlements to do what work they already can – the (temporarily!) pressure-domed, pan-fandom city of Seiluun and her various white-walled city districts seems to be coming right along – while still others work for NERV or independent Pavonis employers to meet ends meat and save up funds for their own special projects.
Until what became known as the Red Earth Opening Ceremony at CorusCon, the only educational facilities available were those classes available at the Sheffield Community Centre. Once Akamatsu-sensei (who requested the Hinata-sou built as a private home for himself in return) and other copyright holders secretly signed off on it, however, Mahora Academy, with classes from elementary to graduate (and later post-graduate) curriculums was ready to open shortly following New Port City’s big reveal. Its divisions are: Airi Ikuhara Elementary School, Crest View Middle School, Smart Brain High School, and Acme University.
Following the release of the redacted portions of the Whole Fenspace Catalog, the NERV Foundation provided part of the funding for the establishment of the Mahora Academy Centre for the Study of the Arcane. Jokingly called the Marduk Institute by NGE fans, it absorbed the functions of the foundation’s Project Longinus Lance in deciphering magic’s mysteries. The main MACSA facilities are in the Baker’s Hollow district of New Port City, on the opposite side of the Pavonis caldera from the main district for safety’s sake.
Reflecting the American and Japanese roots of its founders, religious needs can be met in several locations. In H.G. Wells, the Travelers Chapel is a nondenominational replica of Saint Michael’s from Resident Evil 3. The Roman Catholic Church operates the Saint Thomas Aquinas Church (patron saint of students, teachers, and academics; a replica of Saint Mary’s of the Angels in Chicago; Father John MacKenzie resident) on the Mahora campus as well as a small chapel dedicated to Saint Aspren (patron saint invoked against migraines) in Sheffield.
Several alternatives not sponsored by the foundation also exist. The first was a synagogue in Victory Lake. Another was a small mosque in Baker’s Hollow which opened shortly after the MACSA did (the imam is surprisingly supportive of its efforts, but has respectfully requested that any attempts at summoning djinn be condemned by the Centre).
While nowhere near the totality of Pavonis’ entertainment options, some of them include: various activities at the Sheffield Community Centre and the same community’s four-screen Majestic Theatre. New Port City features various clubs and the sixteen screen Peacock Megaplex on Electric Avenue. Starting in 2023, the fantastic Kaleido Stage made its grand opening.
For media entertainment, Altimit offers a digital cable package starting in 2015. The Raccoon Times newspaper with its Weekly Editorial and Cityside sections started running in 2019.
Starting in 2014, the Mishima-sponsored Annual M1911 Competition and Gun Convention attracted firearm enthusiasts from both space and daneside to Sheffield and the STARS practice ranges every June 25-31.
Food and Business
In addition to several common American and Japanese chain and franchise stores, Pavonis also features, as of 2022, in Sheffield: Cheers (American-style bar based on the one in the television show of the same name), Bar Jack (combination Japanese-style bar and Korean BBQ; across from the town hall; off-duty police hangout), The Swedish Chef (Cedar District; Scandinavian food), Stan’s Polish Restaurant (Polish food), and The Ministry of Silly Walks (English pub).
In New Port City they include: The Italian Job (Wilson Heights; Italian food, obviously), My Big Fat Greek Restaurant (Wilson Heights; Greek cuisine, again obviously), Café D-Lite (Gakuen-cho; Japanese maid café), Café Hina (Umineko; small café/snack bar at base of Hinata-sou entrance steps), O’Kelly’s (Bybee Street, Raccoon District; Irish pub), Grill 13 (Raccoon District; diner; waved food), Emmy’s Diner (Powell Street, Raccoon District; American diner food), and The French Connection (Victory Park; French obviously).
As of November 2016, NERV Headquarters features the NERV Cafeteria. It is open six days a week from 6am to 11pm and is about as good as a Golden Corral in quality and selection choice, but with Japanese as well as American staples. It is located adjacent to the NERV HQ main internal entrance and is open to the public. Foundation employees receive a 25% discount from 6am-8am and 6pm-8pm. Thursday nights are Mexican nights and proudly feature “Guaranteed Non-Waved Guacamole,” though someone inevitably attempts spiking it.
Businesses with branches/facilities in Pavonis include: the Jupiter Mining Corporation, who rent-to-own three slips and accompanying offices at H.G. Wells; StellOil, who rent a slip at H.G. Wells and have an office in Sheffield; and numerous others. The Kendo Gun Ship opened in Sheffield’s Cedar District in late 2014.
Due to a bit of secretly purposeful micro-managing by several Seele Council members, Toyota and Ford each opened shops on the same day at the same time on 24 May 2019 on Copperhead Road in New Port City across from the Rubber Duck Trucking Company – they each claim right of “first car dealership off of Earth.”
The arcology’s main imports are metals, specialty foodstuffs, specialty medicines, raw organic material, wood and paper products, plastic products, and petroleum. Its main exports are the products of the NERV Foundation, a smaller amount of non-foundation affiliated products, and basic foodstuffs.
Note that all stats are circa 2022.
- R. Euphemia li Britannia (T-777 Sapient Gynoid) – Mahora Academy, Acme University – Education Major
- Doing her best to be a source of familial comfort for her brother, Euphie also now plans to teach English and Japanese once she graduates.
- R. Shirley Fenette (T-777 Sapient Gynoid) – Mahora Academy, Acme University – Business Major
- If there is one thing one can say about Shirley, it is that she keeps her promises. The moment she was informed that Lelouch had been ‘revived’ she stuck herself to his side and hasn’t left since. Her father has her enrolled in the university’s business department so that she can eventually succeed him as CEO of WilPharma.
- R. Hanmyo (T-777 Sapient Gynoid) – Mahora Academy, Smart Brain High School – Student
- A former pirate who now hopes to teach magic… once she figures out how it operates differently here from ‘back home’…
- R. Robert Kendo (T-777 Sapient Android) – Kendo Gun Shop – Owner and Proprietor