I got caught up today looking at the Island of Sodor (I’m not diving into the rabbit hole of Thomas The Tank Engine fandom, which seems to have some very creepy things happen, very fast…), and now…I want to make an island.
I’ve had this idea for a long time, it’s an island-British territory and still technically owned by the Crown (and trying to untangle that particular knot of ownership would probably be a trigger to a new English Civil War), at the right location off the coast of Africa that you get Hawaii-like weather on a regular basis.
Still don’t have a name for the island yet, but it’s big. Probably three times as large as Madagascar, split between an Eastern/Northern and Western/Southern lobe due to a very large and (hopefully) dead volcano. It was pretty much two separate islands for the longest time (until the late ’60s when they built an underground freeway/railway around the mountain), but the two ferry lines still run to places on the island.
It’s one of the most heavily armed areas of the Commonwealth (once again, that charter from the Crown requires them to “maintain a sufficiency of militia to defend Her/His Majesty’s territory” and the courts have ruled that means you can buy guns not rely upon the British Army), where you get near-American levels of gun ownership.
You have the statue of the founder on top of one of the bays and to his right stretches the Seven Virtues (seven forts named after Christian Virtues) and the Seven Sins (seven forts with…history…named after the Seven Deadly Sins), but they aren’t and can’t be manned by the British Army, only the Royal Marines. Also, there’s an RAF base and a Royal Navy base, but not a British Army base (that charter again…). There’s also a US Navy base on one of the bigger outlying island (a legacy of Lend-Lease), a USAF base on another (with a landing strip big enough to handle B-52s), and regular ferry runs that means you have the classic American soldier issues (“Overpaid, oversexed, and over here“) in British territory.
You have the Grand Lane, which is 260 kilometers of the single longest stretch of freeway without a single turn or curve, which has been raced on by the mad lads from Top Gear and The Grand Tour multiple times. The capital city has a Japanese expat community and area that is large enough that you could spend a weekend there and not hear English if you were careful (it also has some of the best collection of love hotels outside of Tokyo). And a forty-five minute ride on the Tube can put you firmly in territory that is more English than London.
There’s crime, of course. Organized crime, even-a delicate dance between classic British “firms,” the Yakuza, Chinese tongs and triads, and the Unofficial Rules that keeps them out of trouble with the Metropolitan Police. And how the Russian mayfia, Central African krews, and Mexican/Central American cartels are moving in and don’t give a damn about the Unofficial Rules. And the Metropolitain Police Flying Squads have no problem with very unofficial punishments of rule-breakers.
There’s oil and coal, one of the biggest nuclear plants outside of the UK, and some of the best fishing in the world.
There’s a lot of stories to be told on this island.
And if people ask me enough times, I might do more with it.