Excerpt from a testimony found inside the back cover of a book misfiled in the Rodcorporate library:
My home is a living pod that's embedded, for the moment, in a frame in a tube in one of the masts that support and move the hull of the city.
The city moves slowly enough that there is little noticeable lateral movement in the masts, but they are often pitched at an angle for long periods of time whilst the other masts move in turn. And they often telescope quite quickly to span a mountain range or find anchor in a valley, which makes some visitors ill. We're proud to be able to live and work in these conditions - the simps in the passencore could never manage it - though if we're honest we look forward to joining them and retiring to the wide-open of the bridge levels.
These days, most walker masts have gyroscopic decks that self-level, but ours doesn't - it's one of the eaters - so we often work and live on a pronounced slope. (We have stories that in premobile times men would traverse the seas in vessels pushed across the surface of the water by the wind - these ancestors also lived for weeks at a similar angle, the wind making the vessel lean over.)
The eater masts support the city, like the many walker masts, but also grab the rock and organic material that help supply the city. My work is to keep the eaters' tubes (which convey the material up to the city, processing and rendering it on the way) and the gastropod (the parts that do the eating) clean and in good working order. We grow new chitin plates for the gastro's radulae; we fit guards and cutting filaments around the gastro so it won't get fouled in the rock, marsh, forest and other Belowmatter. I have been very close to the Below. Most people can't stand its look, smell and stillness - but you get used to it. After a while I could see that the Below is not so different: it changes like the city moves, just slower.
When I'm not working, I go outside and rope-climb the wall in the wind on the cratered weather side, or in the mosses and aquaface of the leeward side. Or I climb the tube to the hull and walk through the city's districts. Barbaropolis and Velicity are settled and stratified but they're always changing as new parts are replaced - even the plug-in frameworks themselves. However, out beyond them, some areas of the city have many old streets and districts: Times Square, the Bab al-Luq, Westworld, Cruzeiro... They were parts of the premobile urban settlements that were absorbed into the city when it was first built, and are falling apart because even though they were originally designed to be temporary they aren't pluggable. You can't get feeds or change things, so people avoid them - they're mostly deserted now.
Often I imagine what it would be like to live in one place that doesn't move. To pick a point - "this is the place" - on the Below and fix my pod there, to look out from my porthole every day at the same view, and to move only when I moved myself. You would need to take your pod apart to move across the Below, or even leave it behind! I can't explain why I like the idea. I know there are others that feel the same way, but we don't discuss it. It is of course forbidden: the city must never stop moving.