Beyond the Black
Located between Janks-Yao and Deshengmen (about 30 minutes from the Knox Building or an hour if using public transportation), HLS is the center of Vice in Olympus. Here the Shui Fong and the Big Circle Gang battle each other for control of the Olympus Underworld.
Physically, HLS is six domes linked together by walkways. Permanent storefronts line the edges
of the domes and walkways while more transient enterprises crowd the centers. There is no vehicle
access here: the walkways are much too cluttered with shops and foot traffic to get anything through at more than a snails pace. During the day the domes let in some weak sunlight, but at
night orange-red streetlights bounce off the red facades of the storefronts and combine with the
omnipresent red neon signs to create a diffuse red glow.
HLS is named because it is a souk located on a shortcut between a black (hei se) line train station and a blue (lan se) line station. People figured out that if you got off at one station and hiked to the other you could save about an half an hour in transit time and a couple of credits in transfer fees. Why they didn’t connect the two lines when they were building them is one of life’s many unanswerable questions. The large amount of foot traffic attracted business and HLS was born.
Many of the business here are owned by legitimate branches of the triads, but those looking for less than legal entertainment need to check out the places that seem to have no connection
to organized crime. The legitimate branches are called ‘legitimate’ for a reason.
People don’t like their vices exposed to the public (well most people don’t like their vices exposed), and so there is very little surveillance spime coverage in HLS. This no surveillance policy is enforced by a fleet of stealthed bughunter drones that randomly sweep through the streets. No one knows who actually owns the drones though some suspect Datacide or even the Triads. As one bughunter can destroy tens of thousands worth of surveillance spimes in a couple of hours, and there are at least fifty of the buggers loose in the district, everyone has pretty much given up replacing the destroyed spimes: it simply isn’t economical.