Thunderstorms & Meteors

Just another day in Marble Cliffs.

This is the second part of a two-part series. Read the first part in Welcome to Marble Cliffs.

From the Mayor’s Journal:

It’s been a while since we last talked. Nothing has actually happened, even though months have gone by. Somehow life in Marble Cliffs seems to sometimes come to a halt, even though time itself progresses. It’s a mystery, but our best scientists only have elementary school education, so our hope of solving it is slim.

But I digress.

Today our fair city of Marble Cliffs woke to life again, and I took this rare opportunity to continue the work of turning the city into a small paradise on Earth.

May 2021

The main intersection into our city was a mess, and we’ve spent some time fixing it. To do it properly, we had to hire a traffic management consultant. Thankfully, they work for free, which is aligns very well with the city’s budget.

Our industry district is growing nicely. Right now, it’s pretty much just dirty, dirty factories spewing out its dirty, dirty pollution - a permanent tire fire probably would have been less of a health hazard - but it brings in both tax money, and people who want to work in the factories. These people bring in even more tax money, and last time I checked, having money to spend is essential to building a nice city.

Even though the money is pouring in, we’ve certainly found ways to spend it. When the Committee To Make Sure We Educated Our Citizens wanted to build a new high school, they accidentally told the contractor to build a new elementary school instead. Not once, but twice. Now we don’t have any money left to build the actual high school.

The plot we prepared looks nice, though.

The plot where we plan to build the new high school when we have the money
The plot where the new high school will (eventually) be built.

July 2021

We raised enough money to build the high school, and construction has finished. The city’s bank account currently shows a balance of ₡332, and we’ve had to cut back on most of our monthly expenses.

To find a fitting name for our new high school, we formed The Committee For Finding Good Names For Our High Schools. It has been in session for days, but the members have not been able to agree on anything. The best they’ve come up with so far is High School. So that’s were we stand right now.

The demand for new residential areas is still high, so I’ve decided to expand the district around High School. In the process, I’m experiencing with curved roads. It looks messy.

August 2021

We might have an itty-bitty problem with buildings catching fire and burning to the ground. A thorough investigation revealed the cause of the issue: We don’t have a fire brigade yet. So far, it hasn’t been a major headache (or “mayor headache” if you will), because the burned down buildings have quickly been replaced by new and fresh ones.

But earlier this month Ready to Wear Limited in Sterling Park - our industrial district - caught fire. With the amount of toxic fumes in the air down there, the risk of the fire spreading like a burning plague prompted the construction of a nearby fire house. We only had half the money necessary to pay the construction team, but a quick phone call to the bank solved that problem. Hello, life-long debt!

The need for jobs is quite high at the moment, and we’ve overseen the construction of a second harbor used by Hook, Line and Sinker Fishing Inc. It won’t quite cover the need for jobs, though. Expanding Sterling Park to add even more polluting fire hazards is not an option, so I think I might try to get a farm going instead.

Ready to Wear Limited on fire.
Ready to Wear Limited is on fire (an no one seems to care).

October 2021

We’re officially a boom town! 2,400 mindless drones intelligent and fragrant citizens have found their way to Marble Cliffs. The boom town status gave us a nice financial boost, which we used to pay back the loan we had to take out to build the fire house.

I spent the good part of a month trying to figure out exactly how to build a farm. And when I finally figured that out, it turned out farms have to be built on fertile land, and not just plopped down at random. You’d think my advisors would tell me that before I started writing checks, but no.

That was a good waste of tax money if I ever saw one.

December 2021

After a bit of proper research, we’ve discovered that we have access to a nice, large patch of fertile land across the river. The bad news is that we have make a bridge across said river, which is expensive. The good news is that in the hunt for fertile land, we also discovered a pretty large forest not too far from Sterling Park. The forest will probably die soon from the toxic fumes blowing from Sterling Park, so I think we’ll make the best of it and chop it down while it’s still alive.

So instead of a farm to cover the city’s need for jobs, we’re trying our luck with a little forestry. Since we spent most all of our money on building (and eventually demolishing) the farm area, getting the forest industry buildings up will take some time.

January 2022

Not much has happened while we’ve been waiting for the city coffers to fill up with enough money to start construction of the forestry.

But some old person died over at Butler Square, and since the smell of death has a really bad influence on the property prices, we had to spend some of our earmarked forestry money to build a cemetary instead.

Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans, amirite?

April 2022

We’ve finally managed to get our forestry going! The Forestry Naming Committee has decided to name it Morning Wood Production. It’s easy to remember, but people can’t stop giggling, which is annoying.

Having more jobs in our city has increased the residential demand, and we’ve expanded Butler Square. We’re still experiencing blackouts, though, and we only had the money to build a single wind turbine, which barely puts the city on top of its electricity need.

Morning Wood Productions.
Morning Wood Productions.

June 2024

It’s been a while since I last updated my journal. Instead, I’ve been focusing on getting the city in better shape. The economy is now doing OK, and most of the vital city services are up and running. Earlier this year, we built an expensive furniture factory, and the investment is beginning to pay off.

We’re using some of the money to expand across the river and laid the foundation for a farm. The plan is to remove all the dirty industry, and then eventually move to high tech jobs. The city is seeing a very high demand for residential areas, but instead of expanding too fast, we’ll concentrate on moving our industrial focus from factories to more forestry and farming.

A farm.
Our new farm area.

January 2025

I think it might be about time to plan some public transportation, but I’m not sure if I want to go totally crazy and build some tram lines, or just go with buses.

Aaaaaand we’re getting reports that a thunder storm is coming in! This will be interesting, since we have one measly fire house in our city.

In the massive thunderstorm, three of Morning Wood’s forest plots catches fire, followed by quite a few houses around the city, some factories in Sterling Plaza, the forestry main building, one of the coal power station, and Stone Rock Elementary School for Average Children. With 15 month’s worth of stored coal and our historical elementary school on fire, I have no choice but to quickly build a second fire house. It was long overdue anyway.

Thanks to the effort of the boys and girls in the Marble Cliffs fire brigade, all the buildings except the forestry main building were saved.

Fires across the city.
Marble Cliffs on fire.

July 2025

2025 was not a good year for Marble Cliffs. Just as we were getting back on our feet after the thunder storm, reports are coming in that a meteor is heading right for us! Do we have emergency shelters for our citizens? No. Have I learned anything from my previous cities? Apparently not. Let’s hope it doesn’t hit something important. Or someone important. Like me. I should probably get myself a bunker. Come to think of it, I don’t even have a proper mayor’s house, which doesn’t seem fitting.

The huge meteor hit us right in between Morning Wood, and our money press, also known as the furniture factory. It didn’t hit anything directly, but the shockwave was still devastating. A lot of roads had to be fixed to allow emergency services to respond to Morning Wood, where most of the buildings had been destroyed.

In good news, we’ve emptied both our land fills, so thumbs up for that, at least.

The meteor crater, and some fires around it.
The infamous meteor crater, and Morning Wood on fire (again).

September 2025

The destruction of Morning Wood was a disastrous blow the city’s economy. Current balance? ₡828. We planned to build a bus line to connect to the tram line this year, but that is postponed while we slowly rebuild our forest industry.

We’re considering what to do with the crater left by the meteor strike. Leave it, fill it with soil, use it as a natural lake, or perhaps create the world’s largest land fill and aim for a spot in the Guinness’ World of Records. The options are many, but the money to do anything is nowhere to be found.

April 2026

The economy is stable again after the meteor, and we’ve built a bakery to use the goods produced at the farm. Like the furniture factory, I’m hoping it will bring in even more of that much needed money. “It’s all about the Benjamins” as a great poet ones wrote.

We’ve now de-zoned all the industry, moved the oil power plant, thus cleared large areas for residential use. Next, we’ll close down Hook, Line and Sinker Fishing Inc. to make room for a commercial district. We’ll revisit the fishing industry later, when we expand our city limits towards to sea.

And this is where I’ll leave you for now. Marble Cliffs is not quite the dream town I hoped it would be, but it’s in better shape than it was a few years ago.


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