Friday, 2 October 2015

The Small-on-sea community

Small-on-sea is a small community on the opposite side of Searbay island from Carlyle. It is a wildly different place to Carlyle in a number of respects.

The community here is not built of mice that all share the commune-vision of mousedom. The mice of Small-on-sea are those that find they can't fit into a tight knit community. They include both mice invited to the island but who disposition can't cope with too many mice, and those born on the island who find it difficult to fit in.

The buildings of Small-on-sea are smaller, with many dug into the soil and widely spread with wide gaps between them. Few mice live within the notional borders of the town, instead they tend to live in more natural family groups spread throughout the nearby woods.

The mice that opt to live in or near Small-on-sea tend to be more solitary and self reliant, gruff to strangers and even occasionally aggressive towards strangers. There are families too of rugged mice that prefer the less crowded life. The fact that the town exists shows that as a group they see the benefits of some level of community cooperation but just prefer to spend most of their time away from crowds.

The town does have a contingent of Carlyle Cops that are regularly changed. All of the Cops are given strict hands-off instructions before setting out for Small-on-sea. For new recruits this can sometimes be a challenge as the social norms and attitudes in the town differ so widely from those they are used to in Carlyle.

There are warehouses and stores within the town and the surrounding families often contribute to the community so that in times of need they will have something to fall back on. To most though the town is a place that's necessary, just get goods now and then, but a place they'd rather avoid.

The town is on one of the standard patrol routes of the Mecha Corp and they tend to pass through the town or along the beach in front of it every couple of days. The local Cop contingent are expected to alert the patrol if there are any problems they need to deal with. By tradition, this has become a formal report-process that is mostly carried out for the sake of form and honour. On a number of occasions this has led to real problems when the Cops decided they could handle a problem better suited to the Corp.

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