Safe to say, nobody was expecting a city to pop up between Rochester and Syracuse.
And I don’t mean, “pop up” like one of the small towns there along 5-and-20 got delusions of grandeur, called themselves a city, and got businesses to move in. I mean, right there, just north of the Thruway, bam, in the middle of the morning commute, there was a city.
This caused three accidents and a good deal of confusion, mass drug testing in several factories, and then a state-wide (or at least the important parts of the state, up by the lake) holiday as we all tried to figure out what was going on.
It wasn’t a small city, not by any means, but unlike the ones that had grown up naturally around here, this one was contained. It had a shell, if you will, a tall wall, nearly as high as the buildings, and arching in as it went up, so that it really seemed like most of an egg, with just a couple towers poking out of the jagged top. One gate sat slightly ajar, off if giant hinges. No more inviting than a broken window in an abandoned house, but that will call to some people, I suppose.
The brains from the colleges went in first, and then a few farmers who knew the area, instruments ready, cameras and note pads and that curiosity that makes us human. Some were already muttering about aliens – that sort of thing didn’t just appear, you know, and the architecture looked strange, the lines and the materials nothing we were used to, at least not on first glance.
I’m a stonecutter, though, and I know my blocks. I went in with the second batch – for not other justification than that it was my family’s land the city had settled on, or at least a corner of it – and ran my hands over the pink-and-brown patterns, felt the weather in her joints and the places where decay had set in. She wasn’t a young city, not by far. But we could refurbish her. We could make her live again.
Routes 5-and-20 parallel the NYS Thruway a short distance south of said hiway, both running parallel to Lake Ontario’s coastline across the widest part of the state. The area between cities on these routs is primarily rural/agricultural.
See also this map
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