Concept: Branch (external)

Here’s an odd addition to my concept work: the outside of the titular ‘Branch’ space station, the setting for my story.

I say it’s odd because this is an uncommon viewpoint, likely to only occur maybe once or twice in the narrative while the rest of the action takes place within – as you may recall I uploaded a concept of the internal cityscape some time ago – all the same, I still felt compelled to draw the outside in order to create a stronger sense of the space within and firmly acknowledge the orbital setting.

Much like the buildings inside it’s intended to be a poorly maintained ramshackle structure; an installation which started life as a shipyard before the original owners were crushed under debt and forced to appropriate it as improvised real estate. Much like the cyborgs who populate it, the setting  is an uncomfortable hybrid of old and new that was repurposed out of necessity rather than some shining conviction. An unglamorous stop-gap that’s acquired a population it can’t shake; part corporate venture, part ghetto and part prison.

While the general shape and design of the structure are more or less as I initially envisioned I will admit that I scaled it down considerably to meet both artistic and practical considerations. Originally I had written that Branch would have a diameter of three kilometers by over a dozen in length, but as you may guess looking at the internal view for comparison it ended up as less than half of that. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it enhances the atmosphere of claustrophobia and tension while still providing a sizable setting to work with – that, and it gives me much less to draw :p

Being serious though, I tried to be sensible with the design to give the impression of a rugged but ultimately sturdy structure which could sustain itself to some degree. The enormous solar panels wrap around the hull on either side ensuring the maximum amount of sunlight is caught for power, while the multiple docking arms allow arrivals and departures to be handled en mass. It’s not the most attractive design in some respects, but then I couldn’t imagine such a structure realistically would be.

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2 Responses to Concept: Branch (external)

  1. demontales says:

    Interesting to see the outside of the structure as well.

    You might have said it earlier(and sorry if you did), but do the people living Branch are concerned/worried about where they live. Or are they used to it, are to busy with their own concerns?

    • Ozy says:

      @demontales: Good question – I’ve consciously been withholding specifics up till now, but at this stage I think some explanation is warranted.

      The driving idea behind the setting is that while technology might have reached a point where complex cyborgs are feasible, humanity at large remains understandably reluctant to accept such a change.

      Similar to refugees the people who initially opted for cyborg enhancements, wished to acquire them or grew up on board taking the procedures as a matter of course are confined to Branch as exiles.

      To answer your original question: Most are probably used to the situation at this point. It’s been thirty years since the mass exile and majority of the population will have become more concerned with problems on station. Of course, with organic visitors able to come and go as they please I wouldn’t say there are no tensions regarding their confinement…

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