Nerri Ceras, Pallad City Post

(Continued from Section 2A)

Volkan Island bears little resemblance to most artificial islands due to its impressive size and geography. Created by the Datura Corporation eleven years ago using a radical and, at the time, experimental land reclamation process known as geoformation, Volkan Island may very well be the only one of its kind in existence.

Known for their weather modification technology and innovative attempts at geological restructuring, the Datura Corporation maintained that their goal with Volkan Island was to use it as a test site for researching and developing new methods to combat the rising threat of man-made pollution. Through geoformation, Volkan Island was erected in a remote area of the Dering Sea. The “reclaimed” land was endowed with a sprawling beach, dense forest woodland, and—most impressively—extensive mountainous terrain, while a host of exotic flora and diverse wildlife had been brought in to populate the island.

For five years the island would remain cut off from all human contact, allowing nature to exist in a vacuum without outside interference. By the sixth year, Datura Corporation reported that the island was thriving and that their first phase of testing would begin only months later (the nature of these tests was never revealed to the public). However, before they could begin, Datura filed for bankruptcy and sold Volkan Island to Nex Coast, a privately funded research institute operated by renowned marine biologist Dr. Hevick Kalei.

A veil of secrecy has since been associated with the island, leading to numerous rumors and urban legends about what Nex Coast’s intentions are with Volkan. A research facility was built on the island six years ago, but the institute has since remained tight lipped on the subject, aside from offering brief snippets of information describing their mission as one of preserving the “future welfare of marine life.” This has done little to dispel public gossip. If one goes on the Net and uses SatMap, they can find up-to-the-minute aerial satellite imagery of nearly any location around Pallad City and, yet, it’s impossible to get a clear view of Volkan Island. Instead, SatMap will display a blurred image, raising the question if low-orbit satellite scrambling technology is being used by Nex Coast—a practice which is illegal under the Berko Act. However, it appears that no formal investigation has yet been made.

Recently, the Soran Group made it publicly known that they wished to purchase the island, in hopes of turning it into a resort for wealthy vacationers. Despite their generous offers, Nex Coast has turned down the proposal and continues to operate on the island.

In one their few public statements, Nex Coast has stressed that Volkan Island is private property and that the general public is not welcome on the island. They assert that any trespassers will be punished to the full extent of the law. And with the island falling into city limits, it is within the Pallad City Police Department’s right to detain trespassers—however, it’ll take around an hour for any officers to reach the island, weather permitting.

Despite the isolated slice of private paradise that Volkan Island may offer, most Palladians will still be on the hunt for a location in the city where they can get some peace and quiet. Perhaps creating a few more islands are in order? So long as their corporate owners open them to the public, of course.

Danger Zone One. Story by Midnight. Art by Salaiix.