Humanity learned to live within a world it had forsaken. No longer did the ponderous city-states belch death into the air and water. Instead they learned to harness the energies of nature, to recycle air and water, and turn waste material into rich compost. Without the intellectual drains of war, bureaucracy, and artificially imposed competition, the hard sciences made astounding gains in the arenas of medical, building, telecommunications and personal technology. With no extraterrestrial aspirations and no practical need for mass-produced overland transports, it leaves the known world with astonishingly advanced technological capacity combined with an incredibly narrow focus.
Efficiency of form, elegance of function, and conservation of energy are the prime motivators of progress in this world. It is said that sufficiently advanced technology should be indistinguishable from magic and the old adage proves quite true within the cities. It is a sad fact of life that the majority do not care how something works, only that it does. As such, no single individual could be deemed a master of technology, and most could not be called a master of even a single, useful device.
Computer technology is highly advanced, based on super-, rather than semi-, conductor architecture. So-called “room temperature superconductors” lie at the heart of even the simplest childrens’ toys as well as enormous installations housed deep in the heart of every modern city forming the mind and, if you will, soul of each sky-flung metropolis. These central computers see to every infinitesimal detail of the daily maintenance of the cities, their mining programs, and manufacturing facilities. As each city exists as an isolated, self-reliant and sealed system, every one produces all of its own wants and needs internally. Data is freely exchanged by tachyon burst transmission, but teleportation remains solely in the realm of creative expression.
Entertainment is a highly valued asset in the cities for, now matter how massive its towers nor how varied the inhabitants, every citizen is essentially a prisoner. Immersive holographic projection featuring three-dimensional positional audio and interactivity ranging from almost non-existent to full is a preferred form of pleasant distraction. A great deal of the creative story-telling within the cities is primarily concerned with the lands outside them.