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The Sugarhouse Mountain Fortress

Sunday, Mar 10, 2019
⚠️ This article is archived, and should be considered non-canon.

A hundred years ago, the fortress existed as a spectre of the neighbouring villages; a beast of suffering and woe with fingers deep into the mountains around Montre. In the waning days of the military junta, the beast’s creators, the Sugarhouse Fort served as a strategic command centre for Vekllei’s nuclear arsenal and a blacksite to disappear the most prolific and dangerous agitators.

The Fort was not finished when the bombs fell, and it sat abandoned for a half-century as the scorched fragments of Vekllei society were preoccupied with their total devastation. It was not until Vekllei’s reemergence as a great power, and one that was convinced of an imminent nuclear war, that the Fort was reoccupied as one of the largest buried forts in the world, rivalled only by the Moscow Metro complex and Cheyenne Mountain’s extensions in the late 2080s.

The Fort is no longer a spectre of the nearby villages — in fact, commute between them is so regular that a special railway has been installed into the heart of the fort, where many thousands of locals work as labourers, switchboard operators, engineers, administrators and research scientists. The fort houses Vekllei’s international telephone exchange, her largest geothermal research outfit attached to Montre University, Vekllei’s nuclear command buried deep in the ganglia of the fort, the auxiliary national railway control, Vekllei’s fourth-largest nuclear shelter system, and many other bureaus of national importance that have been relocated away from the capital city in fear of their destruction there.

The high-frequency telephonics and radar suck so much power that they would cause blackouts in nearby towns if they were both activated at the same time. As a modern all-electric fort with complex electrified munitions transport systems and pumps, her power plants are modern and overhauled every decade or so.

Two supercritical hydrothermic geothermal power plants at opposite ends of the fort operate as primary sources of power. In other countries they would be prohibitively expensive – high-temperature geothermal sources have a high failure rate and require extraordinarily complex infrastructure to construct. These two plants (Suzie East and Ame West) have wells nearly five kilometres deep (just over 16,100ft), and capitalise on the plate margins of the European and American tectonic plates, which Vekllei straddles.

The fort is inherently outdated in an age of thermonuclear weaponry (although her shelters deep below the Earth are estimated to be impenetrable even to several direct strikes), but Vekllei is not a large country and the viability of mobilised command for civilian bureaus, like that found U.S. and the Soviet Union, is limited. The country has an affection for infrastructure, a fact of no surprise to anyone who has been there, and it is the size of the fort, and its decentralised network of tunnels throughout much of the Montre-Sugarhouse mountain range, that serve as primary defences in the face of a second nuclear war.

This image here is a ‘pocket’ telegram signed with love. The fort is one of the largest construction projects of the last two centuries, and is a point of pride among the people of the North. In all their agrarian and peaceful living, Sugarhouse Fort has no equal in anything in the industrious South of the country.


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