Pittsburgh Community in Southtown
Located in the heart of Southtown, this is a community that epitomizes the struggle normal metahumans face in Southtown. The community used to be based around a couple of businesses, a trailer manufacturer and a paper mill. The latter business pretty much made life miserable for all near it. Even historic the Adair Park comunity was smothered by its stench as the paper was processed. Of course historic in Southtown has a habit of just becoming old. Turn of the century improvements in the area all failed to materialize. The once good looking homes in the area fell into disrepair. Now Adair Park Villas is a crumbling set of apartments barely fit to be called classified as fit for those who live a low lifestyle. A nearby abandoned school provides a place for squatters who pay their dues to sleep off whatever drug or BTL induced state that caused them to be there in the first place. The gang Los Sueños (The Southerners), made up mostly of latino and black orks, humans, and trolls, control the corner openly. As long as they stay on their corner of the street, most of the residents seem okay to let them be. Many of the more affluent members of the gang live in Adair Park.
The thriving center of this community is the Stuffer Shack and it's subsidiary, Friendly Bob's Diner. About thirty years ago Stuffer Shack bought out Huddle House and used a smiling dwarf as their spokesperson for the brand relaunch. Friendly Bob became a instant sensation, and soon even well to do folks were flocking to the diners. Well in other parts of the city anyway. Here it's one of two resturants where you're going to find economical (cheap) eats that probably won't give you too much heartburn or bathroom trouble. The other is further south on MetroAtlanta Parkway.
Like any Stuffer Shack, this one gets its fill of gangers trying to rob the place. Lone Star pretty much only shows up when called by Stuffer Shack or Aztech Security. Atlanta PD never shows up. When Lone Star comes, its in armored response vans with enough armor and guns to take down comparable military units. Gangers and malcontents stupid enough to be around when they show up often end up "resisting arrest" and have deadly force used on them. Therefore most of the time, gangers and junkies will come in, trash the place and swipe some merch and run off to consume it. If they make it to the buildings controlled by Los Sueños, they generally are considered to have gotten away with the crime. Lone Star cleans out the abandoned buildings two or three times a year, mostly when there are a series of robberies of the Stuffer Shack. Once they are gone, however, things return back to normal.
Across the street from the Stuff Shack is J-Rock's Jerk House, a Jamaican style local eatery. Most of the time they use chickens and pigs for their meat, but they openly advertise jackalope (rabbits with antlers - yes they exist in SR), rabbit, rat, and devil rat. J-Rock, the owner, will jerk anything someone brings in. Occasionally someone will go out of Southtown and bring back a few deer or wild boar, and J-Rock will help host a block party, offering the meat up to the community at a very reduced price. Partially this is because he has limited freezer space when the power works at all, and it must be butchered and eaten quickly before the meat goes bad.
Behind Stuffer Shack is the Austrafarm Food Processing Plant. It is largely automated, with a few skilled workers overseeing the process. Occasionally they will hire day laborers to help load and unload trucks, but every temporary worker is strictly monitored and strip searched before leaving. Food and some nuyen are offered for this, though the food is often stale or out of date. Still, it's hard to have a bad honeybun, no matter how out of date it is. Despite the fact that there is a Stuffer Shack feet from it's outer walls, the security that keeps the plant safe is rarely used to help them. Bug turrets loaded with both lethal and non-lethal ammunition are mounted very 100 feet, and an army of sensors help decide whether a person gets fired upon or not. The sidewalk is technically Aztechnology Corporate territory, and this is posted often. AR displays nearly shout it out in English, Spanish, Orzet, and Nuevo Nahuatl. You'd have to be blind, deaf, dumb, and stupid to not see the postings. Still every year, some idiot ganger manages to get himself killed trying to scale the wall, and Aztech Security makes a show of not cleaning up the body until the next morning. Most of the time the family will come drag the body away and bury them, but those too poor or lacking family that cares about them will be hauled away by Aztech clean up crews. The assumption is they are cremated, but wild theories abound.
Madam Thelma's Tea Room is an oddity. When the troll mystic arrived in the 2050s, she hired some locals to help her rebuild a falling apart house under a massive tree. The roof had fallen in and the house was a wreck. They leveled it and using magic, she cleared away the foundation. Once it was clear, she had them put up some makeshift walls, and for three days, she did some ritual on the place. After she was done, and all trace of her ritual cleared away, she then had the locals build her a nice shack. She uses a salvaged solar power panel to provide power for the Christmas and rope lights that cover every edge and frame the doors in front and back. The shop always smells of incense and other herbs, and she sells teas, talisma, and herbal remedies. She has a wood-walled backyard where she grows herbs and charms. When Los Sueños started coming by the area, they started giving her trouble, though none of it to her face. She was perhaps not strong for a troll, but she was plenty stronger than the average tough, and knew how to use it. More importantly, anyone who marked her walls, or messed with her shop in any way fell ill to some sickness only she could cure. And she never cured it before at least a week of the most terrible boughts of diarrhea and vomiting. After that week, she would find the poor soul suffering, cure him with a single drink of tea, and then make him fix the damage. It only took 6 months for the toughs to figure out not to mess with her. They will sometimes egg on some new kid to mess with her place, but never one that is a part of their gang.
The Pittsburg Extended stay is a classic no-tell. In addition to about five rooms that could be considered livable, they also have a battery of coffins, stacked three deep and filling one of the buildings. The locks on the coffins are exceptional, however, so they are actually safe places to sleep. The proximity to the Stuffer Shack and J-Rocks is also a good selling point. The Extended-Stay is also made safer by virtue of the domesticated hellhounds that patrol the property. Anyone with a room key is safe and will not be harassed. Anyone else gets one warning growl, one warning jet of flame at their feet, and then get savagely ripped apart. Retreating slowly will be allowed, but not to the street. They will herd any interlopers to the office, where Doc seems to always be at. Mos of the time folks will get a new key, after paying a lost key fee (almost half the fee of a night's stay). Idiots without a room are sent on their way. Repeat offenders are shot on the spot.
Doc is fair man and also the local medic, fixing up the gang-bangers and those in the shadows, as well as helping sick families as he can. He keeps a AK in full view on the wall, and is always armed with some gun or another. Like Madam Thelma, the gang doesn't mess with him, or an of his patrons. He does, however, send them business when he is asked by his residents about the kind of therapy they provide. Curiously, the hellhounds love Madam Thelma, as well as the motel's owner, Doc. Most assume they have a relationship going. Both are in their 50s and enjoy each other's company. When asked about their relationship, the asker gets a polite, though terse response. "Bless your heart boy, but that ain't nun of yoor business, yoor hear. Dat's all I got to say on dat."
Most residents have picked up on the uniquely southern meaning of "Bless Your Heart" and end their questioning there. Questions about his past will elicit the same.