Cosmic Era [The Factbook]

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Cosmic Era [The Factbook]

Postby Skaldia » Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:55 am

The Cosmic Era
"I'm here to kick ass and chew bubblegum and I'm all out of bubblegum."

What is the Cosmic Era?

The Cosmic Era combines the core themes of cyberpunk, mecha anime, dystopian literature, and Saturday Morning cartoons to create a setting in which giant robots, fireball throwing martial artists, and genetically engineered super-soldiers boldly face the arcanotech fueled intimately wired future of humanity.

How is the Cosmic Era Used?

The Cosmic Era setting is based around a concept of levels of engagement. There are 4 levels of conflict: human, vehicle, capital, and virtual. These levels promote the idea that for each character, vehicle, weapon, etc, there is something on a scale above it, up until you reach the realm of floating warships designed to destroy cities.

Within this paradigm, there are a variety of RPs that can be used; Shadowrunning, Mecha Military, Space Operations, Weird Future.

The Shadowrunning RP draws heavily on aspects of cyberpunk, with the characters being independent contractors with unusual skills and abilities hired out to the various movers and shakers in the Cosmic Era world. This can range from mundane security work, to assassination attempts, rescuing VIPs, and engaging in espionage, sabotage, terrorism and counter-terrorism. The Variations of the Shadowrunning RP can include infantry scale military operations with special forces and super soldiers, arcanotech explorers delving into the unknown realms of dimensional science, or the Class Warfare RP where the PCs are caught in the battle between the impoverished masses living in the urban slums and the wealthy decadent elite living in the gleaming towers.

The Mecha Military RP showcases more the giant fighting machines of the Cosmic Era, including Power armor suits, combat robots, variable frame aerospace fighters, and other military scale vehicles in one on one, and small unit engagements. There are brushfire wars and skirmishes occurring all over the globe between the New Earth Governments, terrorist factions, and corporate mercenaries.

The Space Operations RP is based around the exploration and colonization of the Solar system in arcanotech powered space ships, building colonies, exploring strange anomalies, and discovering classified cyclopean ruins on other planets and moon, and digging up the occasional alien artifact, cosmic horror, or hibernating monster.

The Weird Future RP delves more into the social aspects of the Cosmic Era, facing the issues within the slums, with things like clone rights, and how everyday people deal with life when life gets weird. It only takes one dimensional fatigue event to turn a normal person into an extraordinary person, or a gibbering howling monster. The Weird Future doesn't deal with the underworld, rather it deals with existing legal groups, response organizations and such, and the PCs in the Weird Future game are not shadowrunners, or mercenaries. Cops, pilots, and other professionals are common professions for the weird future.

Visuals, Backgrounds, and Salient Points

There are some aspects of the Cosmic Era that define it, and while some of these ideals, conflicts, and tropes are not new, it is In my experience rare to find many of them together in a cohesive setting. Most mecha based RPs have almost no criminal or underworld aspect to them, and likewise, with the advanced technology in most cyberpunk settings there is almost no reason for there to not be legged tanks and such other than thematic ones.

Arcologies and MegaSlums
The imagery is simple and striking, the arcologies are gleaming towers, works of architectural art, and soar thousands of feet into the air, and the residents inside have clean, orderly, peaceful lives, living in a computer controlled ant like utopia. They are doted upon by machine servants, and have constant immersive entertainment, and everything is very neat, very tidy, and color coordinated for greater efficiency. Outside of the arcos the slums rise up in great heaps, with the cores of old skyscrapers as the pillars supporting the new favelas. Life outside of the arcos is dominated by who has the most power, and gangs rival with terrorist factions, and arco based heavily armed law enforcement deals out punishment and the military is ever-present with their giant robots and floating warships. The contrast between the rich and the poor is staggering in the Cosmic Era, and the value of human life is very low.

Clones and 'Droids
There are artificial people in the Cosmic Era. Advances in technology have lead to cloning, cloned organs, genetic quick fix treatments, and ultimately replaceable people. The advances in robot technology have likewise produced superior menial workers, mechanical soldiers, and further decreased the value of life. Clones and droids are a common aspect of life in the Cosmic era and they exist in stark contrast to the natural and freeborn humans. Across the spectrum, these two technological advances have taken their places in the home, as entertainment devices, as part of the industrial complex, and part of the military.

The Military
The Cosmic Era is both militaristic and patriotic, and this is only tempered by generations of pragmatism. One of the things that has prevented massive conflicts from breaking out between the NEGs is the calculated expense in terms of equipment and training hours that would be lost versus the long term potential goals. Instead, emphasis has been placed in smaller numbers of higher quality, more capable combat units. To that end, the Cosmic Era has supersoldiers, power armor troopers, giant combat mecha and flying warships rather than hundreds of thousands of infantry and tens of thousands of armored vehicles. Wars are still fought, and there are parades and flag waving after the oration and saber rattling, but now battles are fought on brush level skirmishes, or between dueling forces that more closely resembles medieval combat than the unlimited warfare of the Petroleum era.

The Underworld
The top of the Cosmic Era is shiny, with gold plated servant droids, gleaming white arcos, and pristine habitats in space. On the ground, things are much more dirty. There are drugs, human trafficking, violent crime, and a almost pre-programmed drive to self destruction. The Underworld of the Cosmic Era is littered with human debris, organized crime, and there are systems and organiztions that exist to benefit from and profit on human suffering, vice, and greed.

Shadowrunning and MegaCorps
A primary point of dystopian fiction and cyberpunk is the MegaCorp, and the relentless shadow wars and shadowrunning carried out between these corps to support their constant struggle to oppress the population, control the government, run the military, and fight with each other for dominance and supremacy like dragons tearing apart a single continent. MegaCorps are a major force in the Cosmic Era, and have a position between the governments and the general populace not entirely unlike the the position the church enjoyed in the Dark Ages.

Cosmic Horror
Amongst the flashing lights, and over the top technology, the Cosmic Era is built on a foundation of horror, and for every brilliant light, there is a terrible price, or appalling secret. The terrible secret is Arcanotechnology is built on a metaphysical foundation of madness, human suffering, and an entirely new aspect of mathematics that at the least causes nervous breakdowns and anxiety attacks in it's comprehension, and at the worst results in piles of decaying corpses, some of which are still crawling around, trying to find something alive and screaming to eat.

A Brief History of the Cosmic Era

The Petroleum Era:
The Petroleum Era is the modern day and several decades down the road. The Petroleum Era is marked by excess of consumerism, political expediency, near ceaseless war, and a reckless disregard for the environment. Attempts at reigning in waste of natural resources fail, and investment in alternative and renewable resources falters. The stage is set for the onset of the Resource Wars as the world powers, America, China, and the European Union square off in competition to exploit the mineral and natural resources of the undeveloped third world.

The Petroleum Era has a certain charm to it, in the eyes of the Cosmic era, much as the Victorian Era a Steampunk appeal to the modern person. The PetroPunk, or GasPunk genre highlights the mass consumerism, waste, and 'cool vibe' of the Petroleum Era with a pastiche of style and visual elements ranging from 1940s Big Band and Swing, 1950s Greaser Cool, 1960s Hippie Chic, 1970s Fashion style, 1980s action and violence entertainment, 1990s Grunge movement and calculated disdain, and the malaise, bling and chavvy styling of the 2000s. This is all done in a technological vacuum that ignores the existence of computers and other high tech devices, with the end effect being stereotypes and caricatures from over 100 years of history all sitting at a 1950s technological level. Atomic devices, turbo gas everything, and Mayberry style telephones, and tiny radiophonic television sets.

The Resource Wars
The Resource Wars were a prolonged period of near constant conflict that temporarily bordered on World War III, and thermonuclear Armageddon. The largest conflicts tore Africa to pieces as the world powers fought over the largely undeveloped continent. Likewise, major wars were fought between India, China, and Russia, and the United States and the South American nations. Europe staggered through several civil wars, and then was pitched into a massive religious war with the Mediterranean and the Middle East. This exacerbated the shortages of fossil fuels as the world militaries consumed the dwindling supply at a frightening pace, with the world Air Forces being the worst offenders.

There are several different opinions on when the Resource Wars ended and when the Second Dark Age began. Many point to the collapse of the Federal superstates, while technological historians favor the end of the global Hypernet. Some consider the thermonuclear exchanges between Israel and the Arab states, and India and Pakistan as the hard end of the Resource Wars. Whatever point is chosen is largely an academic naval gazing debate. The end result was an end of the global spanning economy, multinational states, and a massive reversion to a mode of life that was very similar to the 1800s, with steam, zeppelins, and sailing ships returning to use as there simply wasn't petroleum to fuel traditional transportation, and the nuclear powered ships were involved in keeping the first generation Arcologies powered while the structures were under construction.

The Second Dark Age
The Second Dark Age was a rough time for the world and for humanity in general. There were two fallouts from the Resource Wars, The Population Contraction and the Oxygen Depletion Incident. The Population Contraction was an after the fact observance of the global population decreasing from just shy of 9 billion fall to less than 2 billion in less than a century. The Resource Wars were the final expression in Non-Nuclear unlimited warfare and saw massive use of biological, chemical and limited application of atomic and nuclear weapons. Many died in the war, and just as many died in close proximity to the end of the war as the global systems collapsed, along with industrialized agriculture, cultures of foreign aid, and famine and disease ran rampant. As the population continued to fall, it was discovered that the atmosphere, and biosphere was seriously compromised. The massive use of defoliants, and debris in the atmosphere had broken down the global biomass's ability to maintain the oxygen level. This spurred the cooperation of the dark age world powers to come together and forge the Tycho Conventions, share technology, and kickstart the Second Renaissance.

The Second Dark Age is a rich period of history for the Cosmic Era as it was a collapse from a global economy into a local one. If something wasn't made within a few days travel, people didn't have it. It also saw the major growth of arcologies, and the cementing of the Cosmic Era values of Collectivization, and pragmatism. The Second Dark Age is a mixture of the Great Depression and Mad Max, as the old society and values faded away, with bandits and hold outs fighting against the inevitable end of petro-tech and facing the brutal realities of reverting to subsistence level agriculture, primitive medicine, and facing an uncertain future.

The Second Renaissance
Spurred by the Tycho Conventions on the Moon, and the sharing of vital technologies, the realm of Arcanotechnology was broken open, and this ignited a technological, economic, and societal boom across the globe. Cheap, abundant power made it's return and the lights came back on. Within a century, the biosphere was turned 180 degrees and was on the march to a solid recovery, and the planet was studded with atmospheric and oceanic purification systems. The billions of tons of waste generated by the Petroleum Era stopped being a problem and became a valuable resource and the ideals of pragmatism and collectivism remained true as instead of expanding back outwards to recreate the vast sprawling megaplexes of previous centuries, larger and more efficient arcos were built.

Medical technology boomed as a result of arcanotechnology, and many diseases that had long plagued mankind were annihilated. Diabetes, Alzheimers, Cancer, were all snuffed out in a moment with genetic screening techiques. Organs could be grown in tanks for transplants, and as the demand for manpower surpassed the human population, massive strides were made in human cloning, and the supplemental field of robotics.

The Birth of the Cosmic Era
The Cosmic Era marked the end of the Second Renaissance. By the last part of the Second Renaissance , the breakneck pace of the expansion of arcanotech had slowed dramatically. While this might be seen as a peak point, it was really a leveling off. There were still many advances to be made, and new frontiers to open, but the deluge was over. Centuries old problems had been addressed, and many old questions and conundrums were answered, and it was a golden time of science and exploration (unless you happened to be in one of the labs or research facilities that vanished, was eaten by an elder god, or otherwise contaminated).

The terminus point of the Second Renaissance is generally marked as the collapse of the 3rdNet, and the later rebirth of the CogNet, though the truth is that the SR continued on well into the first couple of decades of the CogNet. The real marker is the slowdown in research breakthroughs, and the establishment of the Colonies. As mentioned, the rate of growth slowed, and this was a good thing, because many breakthroughs had come to quickly, to easily, and in many instances, the side effects and fallout from these breakthroughs hadn't been investigated fully. It was time to deal with the consequences, and the hormone fueled growth spurt of tech entered into it's maturity and began to polish and hone itself.

The urge to explore remained, and even facing the issues of a population shortage, space exploration restarted and along with it, colonialism. The experience of building arcos and geofronts on Earth made converting asteroids into habitats easy. Raising an arco on Mars or burrowing out geofront cities on the moon were actually easier than building on Earth due to the lower gravities. Lunar cities grew out of the bleak regolith faster than cities on Earth. Atmospheric processing towers were raised on Mars, and it is planned that the Red Planet will be a cold but habitable world in less that 300 years. Until then, its growing population lives in arco cities, and geofronts.

Who Are the Big Players?

There are a number of powers that everyone in the Cosmic Era is aware of. The New Earth Governments are power blocs that formed around the time period of the Oxygen Depletion Incident, during the early portion of the Second Renaissance. These powers are coalitions, confederations, and multi-nation alliances and vary from being very strongly unified to being their own worst enemies.

The Atlantic Federation:
Composed of Western Europe, the Eastern half of North America, Central America, the Caribbean, Central and Equatorial Africa, and a large number of space stations, habitats, and colonies on the Moon, Mars, and on several of Jupiter's Moons. The Atlantic Federation is big, it is powerful, it is patriotically pro-military, and like Oceania, it is constantly at war. Armed with fleets of flying battleships, divisions of giant robots, and a robust supersoldier and robot army, it strides proudly onto the field of conflict.

The Eurasian Alliance:
Also known as the Neo-Soviet Union, the Eurasian Alliance is composed of the poor parts of Central and Eastern Europe rejected by the Federation, North Africa, the wasteland ruins of the Middle East, Russia, and many of the former Soviet Bloc nations. The Alliance has lagged behind in advanced technology and the space race, but can win on the ground with its peerless submarine fleet, excellent aerospace fighters, and continued usage of heavy armor. The Alliance is nationalistic, hybrid socialist, and hearkens back to the Greatness of the old Soviet Union, and it's thriving masses of the proletariat, with military parades and institutionalized stoicism.

The Asian-Co-Prosperity Sphere:
Also known as China and Friends, the ACPS is composed of China, Tibet, all of SE Asia, Korea, and large portions of Indonesia, Mars, and a number of space stations and habitats. The ACPS has remained a cultural oasis, and has resisted the encroachment of megacorps and their corporate philosophies, meaning that off all the world powers, the ACPS is going to be culturally the most organic of the world powers. The ACPS is self-serving and is expanding it's power and borders through eugenics programs, genetic manipulation, and virtual warfare.

The Pacific Rim Coalition:
The PRC is a liberal progressive collection of nations the surround the Pacific Ocean, the most notable being Nippon aka Japan, the Western North American continent, Australia, and the island nations that do not want to be annexed by the Chinese leviathan. The PRC is technologically advanced, but it's moral attitudes and ideals have left it militarily vulnerable, demonstrated by the ACPS conquest of Korea in the last decade. Unless the Coalition finds a new backbone beyond the Army of Nippon, it is looking as a slow slide into second tier status.

The United States of South America:
Also known as the Amazon League, Amazonia, and Latinia, the USSA is united by a common culture heritage, a common landmass, a common history, and a unifying hatred of the Federation for its heavy handed militarism, and the Nipponese for their intrusiveness and attempts to collapse the USSA's culture and economy. The citizens and corporations of the USSA draw upon pre-Columbian mythology, imagry, and the ideals of a warrior culture and are determined to defend their continent from outside intrusion. Communism, statism, and economic stagnation are painfully common among the USSA member states.

The South African United Republics:
Better known as the SAUR, this new earth government is composed of a coalition of nations the occupy southern Africa, and have mutual economic, cultural, and military interests. These have welded together to the point that the nations are now more states than sovereign entities, and this suits the residents of the region, as they have banded together and have colonies in space, in the ocean, and have resisted the might of the Federation, and have Prevented that power from conquering all of Africa.

Free India:
The sole National Power, India has allies, but none of them are woven into a NEG pattern charter. India is a free nation, with a strong economy, strong presence in space, and a prominent position as the abode of choice for many of the world's shadowy organizations, as well as being a haven for criminals, smugglers, and online illegal operations. India retains it's culture, and what it lacks in technology, it more than makes up for in it's zeal, and ability to react strongly and quickly to threats around it. India has repulsed several ground wars started by the ACPS, and in some instances, forced that NEG to lose ground.

The New Economic Blocs

One of the hallmarks of both dystopian literature, movies, and the cyberpunk genre is the presence of the MegaCorporations. The MegaCorps miss the mark in most fiction, as the world's largest companies don't make guns, or sell drugs, they are banks, commodities trading companies, and corporations that as their business, own other businesses.

The MegaBanks:
The names of the MegaBanks aren't horribly important other than for letterhead purposes and who signs the checks. At the end of the day, these monsters spread their tentacles across nations, across NEG borders, across peoples, across entire worlds. Each and everyone of them is almost identical as they all exist for the same, sole purpose, the enrichment of their shareholders and the draconian will of their Boards of directors. They are represented by generic men in generic suits with scads of money, and obvious moral bankruptcy.
Examples: The Goliath Bank, Bank of the Northern Hemisphere, The Red Sun Bank, etc.

The TeleComms:
The CogNet is big big business, and it handles the largest part of the commerce through the entire Solar System. The companies that exist maintaining the infrastructure, designing new equipment, creating new code, new programs and enforcing cyber security make massive amounts of money. These megacorps have massive amounts of money, power, and are the behemoths in the virtual realm, and like the MegaBanks, they are cut from the same uniform templates, generic men and women in fashionable generic suits, with scads of money, low morals, and an interest not in just profit, but in entertainment and social media and controlling who, how, and what is said.
Examples: Atlantic Telecomm & TeleNet, Cyberdyne Systems, Orion Technologies, CognaPhone, Vivid-Sony, Rockstar, DisnEA, state sponsored corps.

Power Companies:
Electricity keeps the Cosmic Era turning, and while power is cheap, the companies that produce it make great amounts of money doing so. The Cosmic Era is power hungry on a scale that is staggering. Free energy has meant that the idea of conserving electricity is as absurd as breathing shallowly to conserve air. Arcos are electric, industrial geofronts are electric, the war machines and mass transit, and vertical farms, and magnetic rails launching shuttles into space all are electric. The Power companies are almost backwards in their presentation, with generic men and women in dated suits, with surly attitudes, scads of money, and a firm belief that he who controlls the Grid, controls the world. Damned if their not right, though.
Examples: Magnetar North American, MagnaVolt Technologies, Consolidated Electric, Industrial Light & Power

Classic MegaCorps:
The bottom tier MegaCorps are the ones most familiar to the dystopian reader, because for the most part bankers, media moguls, advertising executives, and power company liaisons aren't really interesting villains, even if they are more realistic. The classic MegaCorps do things like own large swaths of territory, have vertical zaibatsu structures, and are involved in construction, manufacture and distribution of sundry goods, large scale services, and military contracting.
Examples: Omni-Consumer Products, Union Aerospace Corporation, Cyberdyne-Grumman, Armadyne, SecuriCorp, Vault-Tec


Without certified villains and bad guys, it's hard to have a proper setting. Someone has to be the assholes. Luckily, in the Cosmic Era, organized crime is big business, and as such there are several major terrorist groups, crime syndicates and megagangs.

Amerikka Command
Aka Cobra, the AC hearkens back to their antiquated biased misinformed idea of what 'Murica was and in the Cosmic Era, they fight to see that dream recovered. This generally involves primitive religious ideas, personal materialism, and rebellion against the pragmatism and collectivism of most of North America. Drawing from social outcastes, criminals, and disenfranchised veterans, the Command has turned most of the southern Rockies/North and central Texas into a North American version of Taliban Afghanistan. AC has indigenous support, access to heavy weaponry and military factories and can and does fight battles against the Atlantic Federation.

The biggest more organized criminal syndicate in the Eastern Hemisphere, this cartel of drug lords, gun smugglers, vice kings, political terrorists, despots and banana republic dictators have amassed a staggering amount of wealth from illegal shadowrunning, gambling, human and drug trafficking, and are among some of the worst people on the planet. Operating out of Indonesia and SE Asia, they are heavily armed, and have access to powerful arcanotech including major advancements in genetic modding and supersoldier information stolen from the PRC and the ACPS. Shadowlaw is well known for violence, staging martial arts tournaments, criminal biomodification, and torture.

Black Dragon Society
The Black Dragon is a massive guns, drugs, and money criminal organization that has a heavy hand and strong presence in the Western portion of North America and has made inroads in Central America, and the USSA. The Black Dragon is violent, remorseless, ruthless, and where they lack heavy weapons and advanced tech, they have numbers recruited from favela dwelling street gangs, disgraced mercenaries and discharged military and war criminals on their side.

A European threat, Armas wants to see Europe united again into an independent power, free of both the Federation and the Alliance. This has lead to constant violence and terrorism along the AtFed/EA border, and major hotspots in France, Italy, Spain, and the Balkan Peninsula (Shocking, I know). Armas is internationally savvy, as has allies with Amerikka Command and Shadowlaw facilitating the flow of technology, equipment, and information between these powers. While not a huge immediate threat, Armas and it's charming agents are the glue that hold the criminal underworld together.

Python Patrol
A maritime terrorist/pirate organization, the Python Patrol operates out of Australia and Indonesia, where it is a threat to the PRC, the ACPS, and even clashes with the agents of Shadowlaw. The Patrol is heavily armed, psychotically violent, and receives funding from the government of Australia, as the Patrol has formed a strong buffer between the Land Down Under and China and it's regional ideas of Manifest Destiny. The Patrol is primarily a racist organization bent on hunting down ethnic Chinese and killing them.

The Foot Clan, the Mafia, street gangs in the favelas and megaslums, Mad Gear Gang, Local Drug cartels, regional banditry and rogue mercenary organizations.

The History

Modern Day
The Peak of the Petroleum Era: approximately 2070-80
Oil production peaks, and the true end of cheap oil arrives, previous spikes in cost being driven by market action, fear, speculation, etc. Oil will only increase in price, there are no further great fuel deposits left, and the pinnacle of extraction technology has been reached.

Begin Resource Wars: Early Phase
Wars erupt across Middle East as fuel exports plummet, and national revenues dry up.
Pan-African War - China, Europe, and America economically invade Africato fight each other over unexploited resources. Damage is heavy, but overall China fairs poorly (Beaten in the air and on the seas). Europe struggles with local warfare from fuel shortages and riots. America claims most of Congo and Equatorial Africa as prizes.
Resource Wars: Tipping Point
Indonesian Invasion, China starts taking islands by force.
Venezuelan Invasion, America invades South America.
Columbian-Mexican Alliance counter-invades the US southwest region.
Final Arab-Israeli war ends with dirty bombs in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and nuclear strikes against Tehran and other Arab capitols.
Resource Wars: The Whimper
Most global conflicts have been reduced to infantry affairs, airforces grounded, and non-nuclear navies left to rust in Ports. Civil rebellions, rioting, and vandalism mark the dissolution of Federal Superstates. Global famines ensue as industrial agriculture fails in food exporting nations. Said nations begin hoarding food. The hoarding doesn't last.
(2128)- end of European Union
(2129)- end of Russia
(2131)- end of United States of America
(2138)- end of People's Republic of China

The Second Dark Age: The Deconstructionist Period
2140-2160 - The first generation is born into the Post Petroleum World. As the population declines from combination of environmental hardship (famine, disease, lack of medical supplies and weather/natural disaster) fewer people are present to pass on information from the Petroleum Age. Huge amounts of purely digital and electronic data is lost with the collapse of the BroadNet (Internet 2.0) and time ravages more. This is one of the reasons there are so many misconceptions about the modern and Petroleum Eras, after a large scale shift to electronic media, the amount of surviving data plummets. Cultural and historical records remain mostly intact up until the first decade of the 22nd century, then everything quickly erodes.
Also referred to as the Mad Max time period and heavily romanticized in world media.
Arco-Feudalism Period
Following the slow collapse of non-locality governments (state and regional level administrations) the surviving Arcologies and their surrounding cities become city-state cultural and technological islands. Areas with many arcologies, such as the East and West coasts of the former United States, Europe, Japan, coastal China, etc, find ways to survive and begin to prosper.
Electric airship fleets connect the arcologies, Arcanotechnology is discovered, Hypertechnology becomes functional.
2222 - established date of first functional Dimensional Engine
2230 - established date of first functional arc reactor
2231 - appearance of first documented  parapsychic adept
2236 - established date of first legal Seibertronian, a sexbot in Japan
2239 - 3rdNet is established as first global computer network since fall of BroadNet.
2241 - Surrogate Androids and remote piloting technologies established
2250 - Integrated Biofeedback System patented. Synthetic Simulation System (S3) patented
2251 - appearance of first established and confirmed gun adept
Reformation Era
A period of growth as groups of arcological city states begin the process of merging into cohesive administrative bodies. Also known as three decades of war, not all unifications and consolidations are peaceful. New weapons technologies are developed, and the nuclei of the New Earth Governments begin to form. The seeds of the New Economic Blocs and the MegaCorps also begin to consolidate themselves.
2265 - First application of military power armor, Trans-Alpine war in Europe.
2270 - Great Lakes Republic launches first Mech raid against Commonwealth of New England, a stunning victory.
2272 - Confederation of Southern States debuts serum based Super Soldier Program.
2275 - White Sands War, Republic of Texas and Republic of California engage in mech and missile war
2281 - Charleston Summit: Republic of the Great Lakes, Commonwealth of New York and Confederation of Southern States join to form the nucleus of the Atlantic Federation
2290 - Azores Summit: the Reformed United Kingdom, Federation of Germanic States, and France form a mutual defense and trade treaty with the nascent Atlantic Federation.
2291 - Kingdoms of Scandinavia recognized as sovereign power. Formally declared a neutral nation.

RESOURCE WARS: 2068-2120

Gasoline, petrol, motor oil, plastic, cosmetics, and a hundred other products were made from oil. There was a push during the early part of the 21st century to conserve resources, and diversify materials used. Bio-plastic and other synthetics offered a promising future, as did the proliferation of wind farms, and many green-energy initiatives. It was all quite sadly in vain. Despite the effort, demand for power rose steadily despite conservation efforts. There was constant speculation about when the oil would run out, when production would peak. Speculation was rampant, and as China, South Africa, and Brazil emerged as true industrial powers, the supply was stretched ever thinner.

War By Proxy

Nigeria, the biggest shithole in the world. That was what we thought. By damned, we were right. I lost my leg to a land mine, lost my hand to a secondary infection because a camel crapped on top of the mine without setting it off. Funny huh?

The first round of the resource wars were fought by proxy. The real combatants were the United States, the European Union, and China, but none of those powers were quite desperate enough to get their hands dirty. Instead, the wars were fought in second and third world nations, with troops trained and supplied by the various backing parties. The first round wars are easily forgotten: the Sri Lankan Bloody Monday, the 3rd Afghan War, the Russian Republic Wars, and so on. These conflicts were by far and large minor skirmishes, and a handful of atrocities. The resolve of the combatants was being tested in these early engagements. The real fighting would not begin until the Nigerian Conflict exploded.

Nigeria, one of the poorest nations in the world was the battleground for the first real Resource War. The war was long and marked by high casualties on both sides of the conflict, and eventual victory for the European Union and South African powers at the cost of China and independent African nations. The war spilled into nations surrounding Nigeria, the most violent being in Chad and spilling into Sudan. Somali warlords and mercenaries made a killing, literally and figuratively fighting for both sides in the conflict. The United Nations saw some action with UN troops defending neutral groups and civilian centers from roving war bands. In political circles, it is referred to as the African Problem. As the Nigerian Conflict ends, the next war erupts in Central and South America.

Similar wars are fought in Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Argentina.

The United States at War

In local news, more violence flares across the South west. Armed bands of militants have destroyed miles of border fence, and in two separate incidences, border militias have been killed in vicious gun battles. The State governor has promised more local support for the border militias as well as increased cooperation with the military. In areas affected, residents should stay indoors after nightfall, and not answer their doors unless they know who it is.

For years, central and South America were commonly felt to be the back yard of the United States. The Americans by extension felt a certain ownership of the resources contained within. There was always the Save the Amazon sentiment, but the real prizes of the continent were the oil fields and extensive sugar-ethanol fields. The war was fought in three different locations: Venezuela, Columbia, and Mexico. The war in Venezuela was marked by a dogged Venezuelan defense based on outlasting the American will to fight and bloody jungle warfare. The Columbian campaign sought to support what was increasingly seen as the Satrapy of Columbia, puppets of America. Most of this war was reminiscent of Vietnam, helicopters and soldiers rather than tanks and stealth bombers. The Mexican campaign was the longest lasting, and the most ruinous of the three. Venezuela proved tougher than expected, and after the American navy seized Gulf of Mexico assets, the Venezuelan was was abandoned. This had the effect of bolstering Latin American morale, and demoralizing American troops. Veterans of the Venezuelan war were seen as inferior or ineffective, despite the level of the conflict.

Columbia proved much the same, with both the terrain and populace resisting attempts to control them. A third part was involved in the Columbian War, the drug Cartels. Bloated on American and European drug trafficking, the cartels supplied and fielded their own armies, often to superior effect. The Columbian conflict was eventually declared a victory in American favor, but was more of a withdrawal to deal with the war in Mexico.

For more than a century, no conflict had been fought on American soil. Then the door was kicked in. Mexico was thrown into a civil war between drug lords and the Mexican government. The United States intervened and was drawn into a non-resource war. The Cartels struck targets across the nation and suddenly war wasn't something seen on TV in other countries. The unexpected violence of the war, and its eruption into America caused several changes in policy. Troops were called back from Venezuela and Columbia to hold the border and eventually annex both Baja states, Sonora, Coahuila, Chihuahua, and a good portion of Mexico's east coast. Protests erupted, there were riots, and after a while, everyone calmed down.

China at War

Contrary to what most Occidental people think, China is not a gigantic single state nation. There are many states within China, Yunnan, Xinjiang, Gansu to name a few. They are not familiar names to you, they are not California or Burgundy. We are all just little Red Chinese people scurrying around in factories and rice paddies. We love you long time, some other insulting jokes, whatever you see fit. The truth is that China is a powerful and diverse nation. And as a powerful nation, we are surrounded by enemies. America fights with Mexico, no one protests. America invades Venezuela, no one protests. South Africa invades Congo, no one complains. The European Union invades Iran, yet again, no one complains. China, surrounded by foes, defends itself, and the world raises its arms in outrage. China says to you, go home. Go home and buy your low priced shirts, and Chinese made cars and televisions. Go home and shut up.

War with China was seen by many analysts as inevitable, and they were correct. But rather than a war between the United States and China, the war has two major fronts, India and Russia. The Sino-Petroleum Wars are disastrous for all parties involved. The Chinese lost many men and a great deal of equipment and fuel for dubious gains, while the European Union, and Federation of Russian Republics were mauled militarily and economically by the war. Several times these two wars edged towards going thermonuclear. It was only by the work of Canadian Prime minister Calvin Shelley and a series of peace talks held in New Zealand that prevented a nuclear exchange. After the war finally ended, with the involved parties exhausted, China had gained Afghanistan and a good chuck of Pakistan, while India survived, but with hideous human losses. Russia fared poorly as well, and China gained a windfall of land, but also the difficulties faced by the Russians; frozen tundra is still frozen tundra.

During this time, China vied with the United States in the Pacific. This remained a cold war, as both parties were a bit more involved with border wars to start another across an ocean. China was extending its first tendrils towards Japan, Korea, and other Pacific island nations.

The European Union at War

The news from Tel Aviv is dismal, more Arab troops have besieged the Israeli capital. Only the dogged IDF holds them at bay, how long must the lone democratic nation in the Middle East suffer before we act in its behalf? For a century, Israel has counted on the support of America. Where is America now? It is fighting on its very doorstep, and cannot send its brave men and women to fight on the coast of the Mediterranean. We are here, we are capable, and we will see the end of the Arab tyranny over the oil that we need!

During the Cold War of the 20th Century, Europe steeled itself for an invasion from Soviet Russia. Instead, the Union ended up being the aggressor, not invading Russia, but the Levant. Union forces invaded the Middle East, breaking out from bases in Israel. The Arab nations fought viciously, but could not match the Union for technology or equipment. A few Arab nations were either able to repel Union advances, or were wise enough to remain neutral. Saudi Arabia and other Pro-American nations were largely ignored, with the worst of the fighting being fought in Syria, Iran, and Iraq.

Two different forces eventually drug the Union-Arab war to a halt: oil production and America. With its Arab allies threatened, tensions rose between the US and the Union and the conflict was scaled back, lest it break out into a feared WWIII scenario. The second issue, oil production, was striking at the heart of both war machines. Without oil, neither military could move tanks and warships to fight.

The War Electric

In wars of the past, we have had the luxury of fighting for ideals, with the benefit of expansive supplies and resources. We could fight for lofty aims and goals, such as bringing the American way to the dismal and dank corners of the world, liberty justice and the pursuit of prosperity. In those days we could squander gasoline by the ton, and even use petroleum itself as a weapon. Who hasnt seen a napalm attack and wondered how many tanks of gas that would have been? The days of the bomber are gone, the days of the fantastic fighter jet are gone. Their turbine scream and afterburner flames are the roars of dinosaurs, echoes for our imagination. We will have to fight the enemy on the ground, with guns and bayonets so that our loved ones can have lights, and running water, and food to eat. Instead of winning wars with multi-billion dollar campaigns and endless jet sorties, we will have to fight as our ancestors did, face to face, on the ground.

Electric and hybrid vehicles came into military use during the resource wars. The finest war machines of the previous combat paradigm were fuel hungry beasts. With domestic demand for fuel being high, there were only so many 4 gallon to the mile tanks that any army could field. And in an increasingly technological and information based age, attempts at rationing, misinformation or media black-outs were simply doomed to fail. Fuel prices soared, shortages started, and gas lines and kerosene riots broke out across many countries. The worst outbreaks were in the European Union, with its diverse cultures and many member nations. China was the most silent, as its one state government didn't allow for dissidents or riots. When such did break out, lethal force was commonly used.

Hybrid tanks, IFVs (infantry fighting vehicles) and APCs (Armored Personnel Carriers) quickly became commonplace. As fuel stocks dwindled, some went completely electric, charged by generator trucks, mobile wind farm vehicles, and in coastal areas, umbilical from nuclear reactor equipped warships. Large scale warfare was uncommon, most battle were fought between ground troops with minimal air support. With fuel running short, even the wealthy United States could ill afford to fuel bomber fleets, or squadrons of fighters for constant patrols and air support. Aerial drones and missiles became the main mode of aerial warfare, while stealth aircraft delivered precision weaponry on the highest priority targets.

The Grinding Halt

After nearly two decades, the Resource Wars ground to a halt. The petroleum reserves were not gone, but it was simply not worth the effort to get the last few drops from the bottom of the proverbial cup. The tanks no longer rolled, and the drones were grounded. A new technological dark age had settled over most of the world. The lights didn't go out, there were still nuclear power plants, solar and wind farms, hydroelectric dams, and ethanol and bio-diesel. By the time the tanks were stopping, most of the automobiles had been parked for months. Gas stations were dry, and soon a new desperation started to set it.

The Biggest Bubble

The Great Depression, the Dot Com Bubble, the Housing Bubble, the Great Recession, the North American Recession, none of these disasters held a candle to the Global Depression. Most historians could only draw parallels to either the fall of Rome, or the Black Plague. A huge number of people died, most not even in the two decades of wars. The food exporting nations stopped shipping food, and the aid to foreign countries dried up. Famine and disease were rampant, for a while. Then, enough people were dead that there was enough food to go around. The world divided in half, the ultimate haves versus have-nots. The Haves had alternate energy, electric trains and electric cars and electric tractors and Internet porn streaming to 84 inch HD televisions. The Have-Nots reverted to a stone age existence of subsistence farming, and in some places, gathering wild food. There wasn't much hunting, unless you hunted dog, or other people. It was a time of death and suffering. We expected the eggheads to come up with the magic bullet that would solve all of our problems. They did, but it took much, much longer than most people expected.

The End of the Resource Wars saw the onset of the Global Depression. Commerce failed, nations collapsed, currencies devalued to nothing, and travel all but died. This was the end of the era of Instant Gratification and Instant Stimulation. The great military and economic powers either faltered, or simply failed. There were also a large number of veterans from the wars. The United States saw many wounded soldiers from Venezuela, Mexico, and Nigeria. The European Union had substantial losses in the Middle East. Many died in the battle of Tehran, or the bloody day to day fighting around Bagdad. China's losses were never known, as the government there claimed total victory in every battle, from the occupation of Myanmar, to the Korean debacle.

The stage was set for the 2nd Renaissance


The Population Contraction was a massive depopulation event that surpassed the Black Death both in numbers and percentages in terms of loss of population.

Setting the Stage

By the zenith of the Petroleum Era, the world population had grown to somewhere between nine and ten billion people. The arcologies were being built to handle the rapidly growing population, as were a variety of green technologies to keep that many people fed. Famine and human suffering also remained fairly high as there were a number of regions that had populations that vastly outstretched the local resources to feed and support them, such as some serious hellholes in Saharan and Sub-Saharan Africa, SE Asia, and large sections of the Muslim World, but most prominently, Indonesia. This massive population is one of the key factors that pushed the Resource Wars to the level of escalation they reached. The Federal Superstates had massive appetites for cheap energy and goods, and had the military hardware and will to use it to ensure their low cost way of life. It is most often blamed on the United States of America but India, China, Russia, and the European Union were all also involved to one extent or another.

The wars erupted in South America and Africa, areas with the lowest level of resource exploitation and the largest amounts of remaining oil. Many people were killed in the Resource Wars but as a percentage of population, this number was relatively unimportant. It was also considered unimportant as most of the people killed were either African or South American. 

Out with a whimper

The Resource Wars ended not on a hard preset date,but in a general sense that military operations ceased around most of the world. Tanks and aircraft required copious amounts of fuel as did the ships that supported them. The aircraft were grounded, and thousands of tanks and other hardware was abandoned as many factions sought to bring their troops home on the last trips of many non-nuclear ships. The high waste of the Petroleum Era was somewhat offset by Green Energy Initiatives, but these were simply not enough. By the end of the Petroleum Era there were approximately 135 nuclear reactors in North America, and more than half of them had previously been dedicated to maintaining internet servers, while as an example, one existed to pump water over the mountains to one city in California. This was simply not enough to light the homes of almost 600 million Americans. The situation was in many cases worse in other nations. Power rationing went into effect, internet curfews went into effect, but none of it could deal with the fact that an era had ended. This is all seen in hindsight, as during the post war collapse few nations were willing to accept what was coming. None had adequately prepared for it, not on the level that was required.
The lights went out, the internet went down, and the Second Dark Age had begun.

Let us Revive Ancient Hatreds and Let Slip the Dogs of War

Bloody massacres and riots quickly followed as foreign aid ended and famines went from bad to desperate. In some places, bad blood had been held in check by the threat of Global Peacekeeping forces, economic sanctions, and bribe like supplies of sundry goods. All of that was gone and in short order the gloves came off and violence erupted. Israel nuked Tehran and several other major Arab cities, and most of the Levant was watered with blood in a religious genocide between the better armed Jews and more numerous Muslims. Tribal violence, such as the sort that exploded in Rwanda boiled over again and again in Africa. China went through several rounds of crack downs and purges as the country started to break up. Riots were common across Europe and America. Racial violence between caucasians and hispanics was endemic across large portions of the disintegrating country.

By the end of a generation, the Federal Superstates were gone. There was simply no way for a modern superpower to exist in the Post-Petroleum age.

But in the background, a different threat had appeared. With cheap fuel gone, industrialized agriculture was butchered. Since the 1960s, global food production depended on machines working fields that were artificially fertilized and artificially irrigated. All this was done with petroleum or electricity. Phosphate mining for cheap fertilizer dried up, crop yields started falling dramatically, and soon large swaths of formerly productive farmland were fallow and being reclaimed by prairie grass and other steppe plants. Hunger was a common theme in the Second Dark Age. But mankind hadn't collectively forgotten everything from the last 12,000 years of civilization. Gardening went from ornamental to food production, and local produce became the only produce.

Some areas around the world saw some deplorable practices and conditions, local warlords reinstating slavery to man their fields. Other places saw a brief resurgence of feudalism, with the neo nobility being the ones who held alternate energy sources, such as hydroelectric dams, nuke plants, or being Navy admirals and such who could still command the loyalty of a nuke powered warship. The Arcologies remained, and with their high return recycling systems and self contained power supplies, remained as the embers of hope for a new age.

There are, however, dissenting opinions on the matter.

A Scared Old World

Without cheap food, cheap energy and cheap medicine, the world was a much darker and more serious place. Topical matters like television talent shows, social media and the like were blown away by concerns like food and self preservation. It was not the brave new world that parents wanted for their children. Across much of the globe it was a painfully uncertain future. Where there were 500 television channels, if there was one or two in an area it was a gift even if the shows were syndicated. Commercials were just salt in the wound, there weren't going to be new import autos next year, no one was going to play the sweet new computer game, and that hot movie coming to theatres soon came and went. Time to get back to trying to figure out how to get a horse to pull a plow. 

People didn't have children. 

The population went into decline, and this decline lasted for almost a century. The matter was compounded by the fact that infant mortality increased, so that of the decreasing number of infants being born, percentage wise, fewer were surviving. Formerly benign illnesses such as chicken pox and influenza returned to being killers, especially of the elderly and the young. In previous human eras, calamity and the collapse of nations did not have such an impact on the common populace. When Rome fell, farmers continued farming as they had before. After the fall of the Petroleum era, those folk who had access to alternative fuels continued farming with machines, albeit on a much smaller scale. Other places were forced to relearn millenia old farming techniques, often painfully so.

The Good Old Amish Way

Eventually the Contraction bottomed out, bringing the world population down to somewhere in the vicinity of 1.65 billion, or the world population of 1912. This left vast sections of the planet empty of human population. Then, the Second Renaissance started blooming. This spread would take another two generations before it was fully realized, but prepackaged food started being shipped out from the arcos, new arcos were being built, and the new nations started seriously forming by that point. Prior to that, there were regional governments, usually along the lines of city-states, and leagues of cities that shared their remaining resources, or pooled their common goods. 

The lights started coming back on and the internet had gone through its second and third generations isolated in arco to arco networks, connected by satellites. The third generation started being phased out while the fourth generation Cognitive Network was being integrated to the system and was expanding. There was hope again, there was media entertainment, and tinned meat that didn't spoil, and then electric trucks starting showing up, doling out medications, food goods, and protection where it was needed.

People started having children again.
The Manpower Shortage

New nations had appeared, such as the Commonwealth of New England, as old nations had also restored themselves, such as Germany and South Africa. This created new demands for workers, new demands for soldiers, and there simply were not enough people to go around and do all the jobs that were needed. 

The population contraction was over, and Population Augmentation Projects started. By the current date of the Cosmic Era, the population has grown to around 3 billion and is starting to show signs of leveling off rather than following it previous growth. By the time of the current era, there are still senior citizens around who remember the pre-Renaissance days, and there is a large amount of Dark Age literature that covers the trials and suffering of that bleak era, as well an almost conscience like cultural rejection of the ideals and moralities of the Petroleum Era.
Last edited by Skaldia on Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:30 am, edited 13 times in total.
||“The lesson of history is that no one learns.”
||“Chaos needs no allies, for it dwells like a poison in every one of us.”

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Founded: Jun 30, 2013
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Skaldia » Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:55 am

The History Cont.


Oxygen Depletion Incident

The Resource Wars saw major use of defoliants, and resultingly large swaths of the Amazon, SE Asia, and equatorial Africa were denuded of plant biomass. Later run off from the deforestation chemicals contaminated the ocean and caused several major dead zones, killing algea and plankton. Wildfires and erosion followed, further damaging the afflicted areas. The first areas that noticed the decreased atmospheric O2 levels were the higher elevations. People living in the mountains started recording lower levels of the vital gas, and started complaining. There was a short period of disbelief and denial, comparing the data to the previous environmental crises that never came to fruition.

Then the data started being correlated in lower areas. A new round of scientific investigation began, with the alarm starting to spread. After surviving the Second Dark Age's shortages of food, medicine, electricity and almost every other normal good, it seemed that humanity was just going to run out of air. Something had to be done.


Where arcanotech came from is a subject of debate. There are dozens of labs, research facilities, individuals and organizations that all lay claim to founding the first piece of veritable arcanotechnology. While disputed, the most substantial claim is given to the Rosenzweig Research Facility in the West Bank Wasteland zone. The Rosenzweig facility published and pioneered the field of arcanotech mathematics and new applied science. The facility and its associated personnel pioneered the technology behind the Dimensional Engine, and from that derived the smaller Dimensional Screw and the Dimensional Battery systems.

Arcanotechnology spread at an almost cancerous rate during the 2nd Renaissance, faster than most government and regulatory agencies could monitor and control. The explosive growth of an entire new branch of mathematics and science was unprecedented in human history. The new system of math and geometry opened the door to dimensional sciences. This quickly expanded outward into applications of biosciences and cloning, robotics, computer programming and machine sentience, and into formerly considered fringe and pseudo-science realms like Kirlian photography, psychometry and psionics.

The New Economic Blocs

Corporations and businesses were the first to react to this crisis, while scattered governments and agencies struggled with funding, public opinion, and various other problems. The biggest corporations in the world were involved in the construction of arcologies, space exploration and exploitation, and banking. These entities started forming alliances, and pooling certain resources and technologies, most of this behind closed doors, and a some through shadowrunning. The arcologies started being refit with oxygen condensers and extractors. The atmospheric recycling systems were greatly enhanced, and the green towers were tied into the urban towers, allowing the excess oxygen produced from the plants to be used by the residents of the arco. Similar initiatives were started with various seacologies, and some geofronts started working towards oxygen extraction from rock sources.

The Elysium Program was started, and several megacorps funded the construction of a dozen massive space habitats in Earth orbit. These habitats housed tens of thousands of people, safe and secure from the environmental ravages on earth. The world's wealthy were also interested in the Elysium project, and a good number purchased real estate on these habitats, investing in them, and the technology going into the project. The various Elysium class habitats remain the political domain of the sovereign MegaCorps.

The NEBs fostered the research and construction of synthetic humans in the form of androids, gynoids, and mechanoids. This tied in with the desire to eliminate the need for unskilled and menial laborers hogging up the oxygen supply. Mechanoid production saw the end of large scale auton production, save for military application machines like skeletrons or the police use wojeks.

'There are always going to be poor people, to have winners there have to be losers. The best way to handle that is to pick the winners and the losers. Pick humans to win, and pick droids to lose. The machines sit at the bottom, and the only things they consume is electricity and lubricant. Inside the arcologies, and the elysiums, we will be safe, secure, and prosperous. Those outside will be machines, losers, and the wicked' - CFO Arron Zahn, Omni-Consumer Products.

The Tycho Convention

The First Tycho convention was attended by 7 nascent nations and 4 megacorps. The convention was held at Tycho City on the Moon, and was called to discuss an international response to the Oxygen Depletion Incident. The nations attending were wrangling with ways to handle the still decreasing levels of atmospheric oxygen, and they didn't have the luxury or resources to match their component arcologies or the megacorps. Various organizations had also appeared, opposing the technological dominance of the arcologies and the nations. Riots ensued in some cities, with wojeks being demolished, and some buildings burned.

Something had to be done.

The Aegis Investment Group's subsidiary company Leyland-Toyota had developed a new technology for terraforming Mars, specifically regenerating it's thin atmosphere. The towers would be megastructures 1.15 km tall, and would draw in air and moisture from the atmosphere and through several complex processes emit free oxygen, carbon blocks, and not just replenish O2, but remove long lasting chemical aerosols. The convention was called to see about implementing the Tower Initiative. Various governments, corps and groups would be required to fund the construction and maintenance of the towers, which would be located in strategic points around the world.

The program was agreed to, but it would require oversight, and the towers would have to be coordinated for maximum effect. There was a great deal of heated debate as to who would hold the keys to the Towers. The nations and groups funding them demanded control, while areas left in the lurch claimed that such a move would give control of the atmosphere to the very people who caused its destruction.

The New Earth Governments

As the lights came back on, and nations rose and went again to war with each other, (war, war never changes) coalitions, alliances and friendships were in the making. The Tycho Convention went on as various representatives from the eventual Atlantic Federation, Pacific Rim Coalition, and Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere started laying the groundwork of their relative superstates. Rather than give the keys to the individual countries hosting the towers, it was proposed that the New Earth Governments would respectively hold component keys.

After the Tycho Convention the Atlantic Federation and ACPS signed their mutual defense, free trade, and coordinated resource agreements. The Pacific Rim Coalition was chartered a year later after a tense stand off with the North American assets of the Atlantic Federation, and with the ACPS and its disputed claims to everything in the Pacific basin. A second league would rise after the formation of the three NEGs, starting with the Neo-Soviet Eurasian Alliance. The Alliance would quickly rise in power, picking up the ragged poor nations in Eastern and Southern Europe that the Atlantic Federation refused entry. The South African United Republics, United States of South America and Free India rose in power, consolidating their ethnic identities.

The M12

The M12 (Majestic 12) artificial intelligent supercomputers were built to control and manage the output of the terraforming towers. To make sure that the system worked at maximum efficiency, the towers and their base controlling computers were networked together through a new global computer network. Each tower was built with an associated network aerial and internet communications systems. The function of assigned not one but 12 supercomputers to the task of managing the towers was the equivalent of bringing a anti-tank missile to a fist fight.
The M12 spent a large amount of time coordinating with each other, as well as bringing more and more other supercomputers into their shared network. Once it was discovered that the machines were co-opting their communications system for their own purposes, it was considered a major leap in technology. Entire new algorithms had been created and in their spare time, the machines 'playing' had created an entirely new technological realm.

The 3rdNet

The 3rdNet grew rapidly as larger numbers of AISCs and LAISCs started linking into the system. Technologists started working on simulation systems, immersive technologies, and mainly, a faster and more efficient mode of accessing and controlling the new computers and to interact with the new digital realm.

The Wachowski Probe is a 5-6 inch long ferrous aluminum probe that is inserted into the back of the skull into the brain. Using a probe requires brain surgery to install a sterile 'port' in the brain so that the probe can be removed and things like cerebral infections can be prevented. While brutal, the probe was effective, and allowed for Cybernauts to commit computer hacking jobs that previously were only imagined in the movies.

The Chayefski Sensory Deprivation Tank was developed for casual use of immersion technology by submerging the subject in a sensory deprivation tank filled with a neurokinetic gel (LCL). This allowed for cybernauts to simply don skinsuits and shave their heads rather than undergo brain surgery, that on occasion did cause psychotic issues in some patients. The Chayefski tanks were successful, but their large size and weight made them unfeasible for anything other than novelty use, or operation by businesses. Chayefski or Toob Parlors sprang up where people could rent time in a tank.

The PKD Helmet was a metal helmet lined with neurosensors and sensory input devices that override the natural signals generated by sensory organs, replacing their input with its own. The PKD Helmet was designed for the military for better control systems for mecha, power armor, and aerospace craft. It's degree of neurokinetic integration was nowhere near as high as a Wachowski or Chayefski system, but dozens could be bought for the price of the latter and it was dramatically less invasive than the former.

The 3rdNet eventually linked the arcologies together in a realtime network, and the population started really using the new system. Information, entertainment, all started flowing again, and from the arcos it broadcast outwards. This was considered part of the 'Lights Coming Back On' more so than the return of electric light.

Shadowrunning and Supersoldiers

Covert ops were uncommon in the Petroleum Era, and through the Second Dark Age, they became almost extinct. With the resurgence of electronic communication, various powers around the world started learning where they ranked against their peers. The hidden war of Shadowrunning was born, as these powers, be they corporate, private, or national, found it financially beneficial to engage in data theft, sabotage, and espionage. The groups that didn't invest in this new venue were those that suffered the worst from it. Lacking resources to commit such acts left them vulnerable to them, to the techniques used.

The modes of war were being sorted out as well. The time of the tank and massed infantry formations was gone, as well readily available air support. The value of the soldier had grown out of proportion to his capability to inflict or survive injury on the battlefield. With the growth of arcanotech and shadowrunning ops, the demand for elite soldiers was increasing beyond what was available in terms of manpower. The megacorps and government black ops both started pouring money into creating the supersoldier. These experiments yielded results.

Back to the Towers

The Oxygen Depletion Incident was relatively short lived, with the construction of the 12 atmospheric processors completed on time, tied in with aggressive reforestation efforts, and more localized terraforming centers built into the top of new arcologies. In less than 50 years the atmosphere situation was stabilized. Paranoia reigned during those decades, prompting the construction of many new sealed arcologies, and promoting the development of Robot Surrogate technology. Rather than going outside, people would use 3rdNet immersion tech to 'puppeteer' a robot chassis.

Space exploration was also pushed up and many people, especially the wealthy left the planet in favor of living on an Elysium class habitat or similar luxury station. Those of a more hands on and motivated approach took a similar path but ended up in asteroid mining rigs, or populating colonies on the Moon, Mars, and other points in the solar system.

It seemed nothing could stop the massive outward expansion of Humanity and Arcanotech.

The Crash

The 3rdNet came crashing down, 9AM GMT, and by 12PM GMT the entire network was completely offline.

There was a massive panic as the communications grid went down, and machines controlled by surrogates crashed after their operators were force dumped out of the system. Riots ensued as wojeks were left without contact with HQ computers. Military operations ground to a halt as nothing beyond shortwave radio worked. Some equipment running on cloud based systems was permanently damaged or even destroyed by the death scream of the 3rdNet. The terraforming towers remained active, and became local rallying points for leaders and groups. Inside the arcologies, after a stunned silence, the resident LAISC systems brought old internal communications systems back online, and started looping syndicated entertainment.

The M12 deliberately crashed the 3rdNet.

A new form of synthetic lifeform had been born, the Viral Intelligence. The viral intelligence spread exactly like a virus, contaminating, corrupting, and destroying arcanotech hardware, and a good deal of mundane equipment as well. The viral nature of the infectious code defied logic and was able to make the jump from machine to human. The end effect was severe mental damage, madness, and death. The first rounds of code were unable to stop the programs, and rather than see the entire global system contaminated and destroyed by the pandemic, the M12 orchestrated its collapse and the 'venting' off its contents.

The End of the Second Renaissance, and the Birth of the Cosmic Era

The 3rdNet Collapse was a stunning blow, but not insurmountable. The back up systems started coming on, and vital systems were functional again after a few hours. Most core services were up and running again after 2-3 days, and after a month, the skeletal structure of the 3rdNet was running again, but the damage to the systems was extensive and major upgrades and repairs had to be made. During this upgrade, new servers were installed, and the AISCs were upgraded as well, with new firewalls, ghostwalls, and photon sheaths to ensure that the Viral epidemic would not be repeated. The Cognitive processor was installed in most of the new hardware, and after 4thNet was bandied around a bit, it was dropped in favor of the rebuilt Cognitive Network, ala CogNet.

CogNet Communication Systems (CCS) have changed the way communications function in the Solar System. The system allows for real time communication, with no lag, even if the two speakers are on different planets, or even have an interfering object like the Sun in the way. Ships in transit remain in regular contact with stations and bases along their course, and a couple split between Mars and Earth is able to have regular CogNet hosted sim meetings, complete with full biofeedback. Scientists are currently diligently working out how the system is able to communicate so fast, and hoping to one day unravel this mystery to discover the fundamentals between FTL locomotion.

A number of events in space marked the end of the Second Renaissance, the Cosmograd rebellion, Armstrong City on the moon joining the Atlantic Federation, the creation of the Belt Mining Union, and the outbreak of the first war on Mars. The bloom had slowed, and the rate of stunning breakthroughs was beginning to slow. Mankind had opened a whole new box of shiny toys and dark terrors, and now set about sorting through them.

Most historians agree on the specific date of the end of the Second Renaissance, and they mark it as the day the Atmospheric Processing Towers and other Greenspace initiatives brought the O2 level in the atmosphere back to levels experienced in the early to middle Petroleum Eras. The towers remain, some operational, still scrubbing generations of filth from the air. They are a potent symbol, one that survived terrorist attacks, environmental disasters, and economic tribulations.

It is easy to point out that the idea of the O2 towers, and the cooperation fostered by their construction, and the fact that they worked goes against the grain of the Cosmic Era setting. While it is true, there was a beneficial outcome, there is a certain degree of cost involved. The collectivism and the human hives are a direct result of the towers and the O2 scare. The financial cost of building the processing towers was immense, and their operating budget, along with the 3rdNet that grew from them was also stunning.

The Shinjuku Tower cost Nippon close to $1 trillion dollars to construct, and had an operational budget of $125 billion a year afterwards. The island nation staggered through several economic defaults before being propped up by the Red Sun bank and electing the Emperor to replace the existing government. Hundreds died in riots, and several hundreds more committed suicide in varying fashions (alcoholism, drug overdose, seppuku) over the economic flounderings.

The entire Pan-Asian basin went through an economic collapse as they struggled to support the cost of the mammoth towers, along with the continual construction of arcologies, seacologies, geofronts and participating in the space race. As the Renaissance lurched forward, an increasing number of people were born into what will become generational poverty, filling the favelas, creating the hive like urban rims, and feeding into the criminal underground and illegal syndicates.

The Factions

The Atlantic Federation

The Atlantic Federation is the pre-eminent super power of the New Earth Governments and while it isn't 1st in every category of measurement, all of the other world NEGs find themselves playing chase and catch-up with the Federation. The Federation is nominally a Representative Republic, though it's member states are widely different in their selection of representatives. Some regions are traditionally popular democratic elections, others are monarchies, or dictatorships. So long as a state pays lip service to the Federation charter, maintains certain levels of human rights and so forth, it is largely free to do as it wishes. The Federation is known for it's unabashed militarism, space exploration program and being the first NEG, the pioneer of hypertechnology, and the point of origin for the CogNet. 

Member States
North America:

Commonwealth of New England
Republic of the Great Lakes
Confederation of Southern States
Republic of Texas
Rocky Mountain Republic
Federal District of Mexico
League of Caribbean Island-Nations

The British Isles
Benelux Compact

Greater Liberia
Satrapy of Ghana
Satrapy of the Ivory Coast
Nigerian Union
African Republic of Camaroon

Falkland Islands
Tranquility, Lunar State
Serenity, Lunar State
Tycho, Lunar State
Olympus, Martian State

History: The Atlantic Federation began as a collection of friendly (at least to each other) arcologies scattered across the eastern part of North America and Western Europe. Communications were maintained through archaic undersea lines, satellites, and through a system of alternative power ships and electric propelled solar powered zeppelins. These arcological city-states started sharing information, and then served to restart commerce and trade beyond a localized level. This fostered the growth of industrial arcologies, and provided the impetus for the second and third generations of western civilized arcologies in general.

The end of the Second Dark Age is often credited to the warfare that was fairly common as the new arco-states began to grow and annex territory around them, reforming trans-local governments and administrations. Once the three North American states of the Commonwealth of New England, Great Lakes Republic and Confederation of Southern States joined forces, they quickly consolidated power, conquering several other states and being willingly joined by others. The connection to Europe fostered a similar thrust on 'the continent' but failed to garner the same success as in North America. The Reconsolidation War claimed old territories of the American Superstate, namely Caribbean Islands, and the African Nations. Some, such as Congo, and Nigeria joined willingly, the others were brought into the fold through military occupation. This action would go on to foster the formation of the South African United Republics.

30 years into the Second Renaissance, and the Building Boom, the Atlantic Federation had launched dozens of habitats and satellites into orbit, founded the Tycho Colony, and studded the Atlantic Ocean with dozens of Seacologies.

The Atlantic Federation has as it's greatest strength it's Space Program. It is going to be the first true Extra-terrestrial power as eventually more of its population will live off of Earth than on it. It has the largest and strongest fleets of space craft and most extensive resource gathering and industrial operations off of Earth.

The Armed Forces of the Atlantic Federation (AFAF) is organized, experienced, well armed and well funded. It has large groups of battlemechs, power armor units, aerospace craft, supersoldier programs, black budget superweapons, space warships, and so on. 

The Federation has a strong esprit de corps, a patriotic propaganda system that is impressive.

The Federation also has a multi-pronged approach to the population surfeit. It has both cybernetics and cloning programs as well as robust motivations for traditional propagation. 

The Federation's shoot first ask questions later mentality has created most of it's enemies and galvanized the creation of secondary NEGs, namely the USSA which loathes the imperialistic militarism of the Federation and the SAUR, which considers the AtFed an intruder in Africa.
The Federation surface/wet navy is surprisingly weak. There are almost no capital surface ships and only a few dozen capital submarines. This has allowed the Eurasian Alliance and it's sizeable submarine fleet to infiltrate the Atlantic Ocean with relative ease. The failure to consolidate Europe into one power has also allowed it to function as a gateway in an out of the Federation.

Size: The farthest reach of the Atlantic Federation is the Galileo Colony on Ganymede. Administrating, policing, and protecting this vast amount of space usually leaves the Federation spread relatively thin at any given time.

The SAUR is the most common enemy of the AtFed and it remains in a near constant state of skirmish across central and south Africa with this nation.

The United States of South America routinely harass Federation operations in the Caribbean, Mexico, and mesoamerican territories. There is a good deal of animosity as the general consensus is the last time around, South America trounced North America.
Economic rivalries with the Eurasian Alliance, ACPS and PRC

Armas: a European nationalist terrorist organization devoted to upsetting Federation rule in Europe, and toppling the Pro-Federation monarchies there. 

Amerikka Command (Cobra): an American fascist terrorist group that wants to restore their ideal of America ('murica!). They have turned the central plains and Rocky Mountains into the Afghanistan of North America

The Kingdom of Scandinavia: intermediary and buffer state between the Federation and the Eurasian Alliance, remains removed from it's European neighbors.

Pacific Rim Coalition: the shared history of several PRC states (Alaska, Hawaii, Cascadia, California, Australia, New Zealand and Nippon) with the other North American members of the Federation ensure at least a non-aggression stance with the Federation.

The Second Renaissance didn't magically bloom around the world in a very short amount of time. The expansion of technology took decades, little was willingly shared. Technology was spread through trade, lend lease agreements, long term treaties, theft and espionage, and other less than savory means. The Eurasian Alliance was the last of the New Earth Governments to form, and it was also the last power to enter the Cosmic Era. This has given it two broad associations, being backwards and being slow. Neither is exactly true, but then there has to be a grain of truth to a stereotype for it to remain.

Duncan Duncannon, Northwind Arcology, Scotland

The origin of the Eurasian Alliance are tied to the economic disparity in Europe and non-Chinese Asia. Going through the Second Dark age, much of Russia and the former Soviet nations were particularly hard hit. The population contraction was particularly severe in states like the Ukraine, Serbia, Belarus, Greece, and Turkey. These nations had largely subsisted on technological and economic support from stronger nations around them, or had subsisted on economic based trade such as food goods, mines, and manufacturing tied to a low cost of labor workforce. The Second Dark Age was less devastating in many NATO countries, who had built first generation arcologies, and were working with nuclear and hybrid reactors. 

While Russia might be the core of the Eurasian Alliance, it is not it's point of origin. The Eurasian Alliance started germinating after the Third Paris Accord, which laid out the European nations that would be joining the Atlantic Federation. A good number of the nations who attended the accord were denied membership in the Federation. There were many reasons, some nations, like Greece, were little more than anarchist states, others were given the thumbs down because of the shattered nature of their economies, ecological damage, and a variety of other reasons. 

The Mediterranean League was formed from Spain, Italy, and Greece as a counterpoint to the European branch of the Atlantic Federation. Italy lead with the largest (fascist at the time) military, supported by Spain's wounded but not dead economy. The Mediterranean League was a disaster from the start as Spain demanded control of the League finances, while Italy expected to consolidate control over all the member militaries. Both were denied as both were correctly suspected of planning to usurp control of the league through their strategy. The two nations were quickly embroiled in a low intensity war that was only ended after the involvement of the Pro-European Union anti-Federation Armas terrorist organization.

Armas lead the Mediterranean League for almost thirty years. During that time, the League expanded to occupy Crete, Sicily, the Balkan Pensinsula and parts of North Africa.

The Pacific Rim Coalition is a non-national superstate, much like the current day European Union. The Coalition formed from progressive liberal populations of North America splitting away from the more conservative and traditional central and eastern portions of the former super power, as well as an association of Pacific Ocean nations.

The PRC formed in response to the militarism of the Atlantic Federation to the East and the hegemonic and imperialistic Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere in the West.

Member Nations
The Republic of California
The Republic of California is composed of the former states of the California, Nevada, and parts of Arizona and Baja Mexico. It is a Democratic republic with a strong progressive liberal ideology. Cloning is generally not encouraged, but robots and machine intelligence is popular.

The northern parts of California, along with Oregon, Washington state, British Columbia all joined to create an eco-preservation state. Cascadia is based around personal liberty, and a very strong 'Green Party' and is a leader in biotechnologies including things like creches, restoration of depleted animal populations and reforestation efforts.

The Republic of Alaska
Alaska and the former Canadian provinces of the Yukon and Northwest Territories exist as a very large, resource rich but badly depopulated nation. Alaska is staunchly conservative, but are largely resistant to pro-war factions. Alaska has not made any major successes in the matter of restoration of population initiatives.

Formerly the island nation of Japan, Nippon is a foundation nation of the Second Renaissance, with major influence in the realm of the CogNet as well as advanced robotics. Nippon also has some of the best mecha engineers and designers in the world.

The aboriginal continent has had success with cloning initiatives and exporting it's Outback culture to an extent, but remains the often ignored third member of the PRC behind California and Nippon. Australia is also a top creator of genetic augmentation procedures and products, a legacy of its modern era genetic and biological weapons research programs. (Yes, it was an Australian lab and group of doctors who invented the hormone based genetic injection that causes safe natural breast enlargement without the horrors of implant surgery. God bless them.

New Zealand
A minor member, New Zealand is known for agricultural exports, seacologies, and the Middle Earth Biome Complex.

Minor Nations
There are a number of nations that are lesser, or junior members of the PRC and have limited powers within the N.E.G. compared to the above mentioned nations.

The Philippines

The Kingdom of Hawai'i

Indonesia (disputed)

Indonesia has a large number of Seacologies and Raft Cities. It is also claimed by the ACPS, and is a source of conflict between the two NEGs.

Basic Conventions and Ideals
The PRC generally eschews military conflict. While Nippon provides the bulk of the armed forces, and California and Hawai'i support the naval aspects, the PRC deals with most potential conflicts either through diplomacy, economic means or cyberwarfare.

Technology is the Future: the PRC has the most progressive views towards seibertronians, machine life forms, cybernetics and cyborg issues and using hypertechnology rather than arcanotech. (it uses both, but puts more emphasis on hypertech)

Ecological Restoration: The PRC has some of the most successful ecological restoration projects in the world. Nippon is a leader in the restoration of fisheries and oceanic environments, while Cascadia is a leading biome and reforestion technology creator.

Cultural Exportation: California is known around the globe for the centuries old practice of Media and Entertainment production. Nothing has changed, and it remains a leader in datastreaming, holovids and S3 media. Nippon exports its culture via the Nipponism phenomenon, and nations like New Zealand and Cascadia are poster children for fixing the damage inflicted on the Earth over the last 4 centuries.

Army: strong mecha corps undermined by relatively low numbers.

Airforce: best aerospace fighters in the world, again, undermined by high cost and low numbers

Navy: moderate, while having numbers, more funding is allocated to other branches. Submarines and surface ships aren't sexy.

Space Force: With few offworld assets (a handful of habitats and factory stations) the space force is small. PRC ships are very good, but somewhat lacking in firepower.

Cyber/CogNet: Excellent, possibly the best in the world.

Failings and Weaknesses
The PRC is known for it's consistently weak stance in military operations. It has over the last 80 years lost Singapore, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Korea to military aggression from the ACPS. It is likely that Indonesia will also eventually be annexed by the Chinese over the next 20-30 years.

The lack of emphasis on cloning tech and subsidizing families to have children, have hampered the rapid growth of California and Nippon. Their populations are largely based on extensive numbers of androids, seibertronians, and immigrants from other less tolerant nations.

The emphasis on using technology to solve all of the major problems has left the PRC in a rather weak individual position, as the average citizen of the PRC expects that the government or a robot will handle the problem and let them get back to their daily lives. The PRC has one of the highest rates of CogNet addiction, CogNet related deaths, and electronic drug addiction.

The ACPS is the largest enemy of the PRC as it is expanding into the island zones currently controlled by the PRC. The Coalition originally had Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sri-Lanka, and Korea as members, but all have either fallen to the ACPS or fallen out of the Coalition. The ACPS has superior military power, but has had it's numbers held in check by consistently being beaten in cyberwarfare and intelligence operations.

Nipponese Yukaza - the made men never faded away, and with the resurgence of Nipponism, it has become vogue for gangs and criminal organizations to fall into the Yakuza model. Then the real Yakuza either adopt the new cell, or exterminate it. The Yakuza are strong in Nippon, and control trade and underworld dealings as well as having political office holders, some more open than others. Unlike many criminal organizations, they maintain an excellent relationship with the areas they control, rather than terrorize like common thugs

The Black Dragon Society - Based in California, the Black Dragon combines the ruthless efficiency of the Yakuza with the thuggish charm of the LA street gangs. The Black Dragon principally runs guns, drugs, and prostitution but it also has interest in stealing 'tech especially supersoldier, cyborg, and power armor gear.

Python Patrol - Australian based group of maritime mercenaries and pirates (depending on how much money someone offers them, compared to the number of guns pointed at them) that has ties to Amerikka Commandand it's supply chain. The Patrol is very active in Indonesia where it considers both NEGs fair game.

The Corporations

There are no races in North America or South America to compare with the carnival of carnage that is about to unfold here today on this live datacast. We have twenty two contestants in this years Death Derby, twenty one new challengers and the returning survivor of Death Derby 34, Doctor Slaughter and his rolling emergency room the Meat Wagon!

All of the cars are on the starting line, and while we wait for the race to commence, let's go over the rules of Death Derby...

:loud gunshot:

Stupid fucker, there ain't no rules in Death Derby, HahahahaHahahashahahah

ApoCalypso Entertainment Group
ACEG was founded with the intent to generate and distribute the lowest and most brutal form of entertainment possible in the setting of the Cosmic Era. Gladiators killed in the Colosseum, serial killers gained Cults of Personality, reality television created very light production end entertainment and by the end of the Resource Wars, public executions had reached a level almost on par with game shows and lottery drawings. With the massive inundation of sex based entertainment, violence wasn't going to be left far behind.

ACEG stages, hosts, produces, and distributes human bloodsports, such as fights to the death, torture porn, and most famously, survivor style events where the lone survivor is awarded an impressive prize, usually a large sum of money. These events range from hand to hand murderfests in undisclosed locations, demolition derbies, and staged races with points awarded for collateral damage and body counts.
ACEG is also a small time producer of 2nd Dark Age carnage exploitation holovids and Raider fantasy simulations, including the typical torture, murder, rape and explosion filled rampages.

ACEG is first a foremost a profit oriented business interested in making it's small group of directors fantastically wealthy and vaulting them out of the squalor of the favelas and into the gilded ivory towers of the global elite. ACEG is as a whole interested in supporting underground data servers and non-sanctioned, non-sanitized datastreams. It is a vocal proponent of Freedom of Information and the Abolishment of Censorship.

Shoot one announcer jack-off in the face with a gun and everyone loses their fucking minds.

The current CEO of ACEP is the rather uncharismatic and possibly psychotic or Borderline Personality Disorder afflicted 'Killface the Clown'. He is a tall, muscular (likely genetically augmented) man in his late forties known for a very irregular speech pattern, spastic and often uncontrolled bouts of violence and wearing a clown mask that is apparently stitched together out of cut off human faces, painted in white and marked with blood and ash. He rants, goes on tirades, and generally has the appearance of a third world psychopathic terrorist mastermind with dreams of burning down civilization to piss on the remains of it.

This is all a very carefully cultivated act and appearance. Killface the Clown is the stage persona of Marcellus Washington, a economically and socially savvy businessman from the Republic of Texas. Behind the mask and frothing insanity is a professionally trained actor, with multiple degrees, acting and oration, public relations, business and economics, and others. The entirety of Killface is a carefully constructed facade. It is put together in such a fashion that there are only a handful of people who work for ACEP who know that the almost grandfatherly Marcellus Washington is the same lunatic who has executed people on live datafeeds.

There are people who would call me a monster for the things I have done, the things I do, and the way I have profited from them. I am not the person swiping their credstick, or debiting money to a server to watch what I make. I am just the only person honest enough to make what you sick pukes want. You want it, you need it, you crave it. 

I'm the facilitator, you're the people with the problem. I just have your money.

ACEP was founded over a decade ago by the darkly charismatic and cosmically tainted William Watson. William was a denizen of the Chicago Armada, a motley collection of floating structures forming a third of the Chicago favelas and slums. On the water he started his career as a gladiatorial entertainer in jet ski jousting and melee competitions, moving up into prize fighting, and then into demonstration matches were he fought and executed criminals, clones, and genetically augmented animals. He became wealthy, and was able to hide his parapsychic abilities for years before it was discovered. He was an accomplished telepath, able to control other people like puppets, as well as manifesting the ability to heal himself, enhanced strength, agility and an innate sense of technology.

Such powers don't come without cost, and he is deeply and dangerously deranged by constant exposure to his own manifesting cosmic radiation and now years after retiring he subsists on a steady diet of parapsychic suppressing drugs to keep him from going in a constant state of parapsychic burn. Watson is a recluse and retains a small army of bodyguards at his private compound somewhere in the Rocky Mountain Republic. While no longer the CEO of the company, his opinions carry tremendous sway. His residential complex has served repeatedly as a recording site for producing ACEP media events, such as prize fighting, extreme pornographic Olympic events, and demonstrations of new toys of murder and mayhem. He retains an aura in the public eye much like Hugh Hefner, the retired mogul, surrounded by wealth and fame. The whole walking conduit of cosmic radiation, not so much.

ACEP is principally staffed by tech and A/V engineers, and the sort of support personnel who would be associated with any media production company. Unlike other media corps, ACEP has a very large security force. The ACEP Metal Corps functions to protect ACEP assets, but as well as keeping ACEP events from spilling out of areas designated by the company. The largest job in this sector is maintaining security over vehicular events does become pressing. Many of the gearhead psychopaths are smart enough to disable electronic control systems. The ACEP MC security vehicles are easily on par with first line military vehicles, including a very small number of secret owned main battle tanks.
Metal Mayhem:
Metal Mayhem is a semi-independent organization within the ACEP MC, and is functionally a hoverbike gang with uniforms and standardized equipment, such as SLAB body armor, military grade bikes, and their trademark assault magnetic coilguns with progressive bayonets. Most MM members are ex-military, and many have cyborg upgrades and low profile genetic augments.

Iron Corps:
The Iron Corps is based around a large number of heavily armored heavy cargo trucks. These trucks do multiple duties, moving goods, personnel and support equipment as well as functioning as combat and control vehicles. Most locations for datastreaming are attended by a group of Iron Corps trucks, carry telemetry equipment, and form perimeter towers.

Juggernaut Heavy Truck
The Juggernaut Heavy Truck is a special vehicle built for ACEP, and the tractor is a standard heavy chassis with a robust powerplant and heavy armor. The trailer is a separate vehicle that once deployed, stands up on hydraulic jacks to create a 50 foot tall armored tower. The tractor section of the truck remains attached to provide power to the tower. The Juggernaut is well known to the public as they typically house holovid cameras to film events as they unfold as well as heavy ordnance to keep things under control and interesting.

Amerikka Command is known to have some of these trucks that it uses as heavy patrol vehicles, and are typically armed with plasma cannons or multi-tube rocket launchers capable of damaging light and medium mecha.

Deathforce is also well known to the general public, and they have two very different images. The average Cosmic Era citizen considers the Deathforce to be an abhorrent abomination, a group of psychopathic rampaging murderers who exist for the sheer horrorshow of rape and carnage and collateral damage. To the black datafeed community, the Deathforce is something of a local group of heroes. Deathforce, equipped with Raider Painspike, Raider Wasteland, and Raider Arc-Lite power armors, hyperedge blades, and heavy weapons like flamethrowers, plasma casters, support rail guns and the like, have repeatedly faced and wiped out storm breach cosmic horrors, contaminated mutants, and even gone toe to toe with terrorist forces, rogue factions, and abominations.

ACEP is not a megacorp,and if it was, one of the bigger media entertainment companies would have devoured it like a devilish little prawn. It still has significant resources, money in the multi-millions, as well as a well established network of black datastream nodes and floating servers. ACEP would make more money, but many of the nodes and servers take a cut of the money they take in, as well as providing pirated content.
This network provides ACEP with a functional if often unreliable corps of hacker and cybersecurity agents. The company also has allies in Amerikka Command witch uses ACEP for recruiting, as well as trying out new weapons and equipment, and providing funding back to AC. ACEP enjoys a large degree of autonomy in Amerikka Command territory, with their illegal operations being filmed under the aegis of AC shrouds.

Manifesto or Creed
Violence $ells.

The ACEP logo is a skull wearing a three bobbed jester's hat. The hat is only present on company officer and official equipment, and security equipment and such have skull logos with ACEP emblazoned around them. Individuals in the security forces have highly stylized skull logos, death motifs, and other over the top gore and carnage based symbols.

The history of ACEP can be traced back thousands of years to mankind's fascination with blood and death. Such violence has been an accepted form of public entertainment in more barbaric times. In the Cosmic Era, acceptable norms have been rolled back, and rolled back, and rolled back until there are few things left that are truly taboo. There is still something taboo about actual blood, death and gore. In an era as jaded and inundated with artificiality as the Cosmic Era, something as brutal and real as death holds a morbid fascination.

Inside the arcologies and the shining cities, such things cannot be created, as the laws and impetus for social order is too strong. That isn't to say there isn't an interest, there just isn't a way to pull off the bloodsports in a place as rigid, monitored, and antiseptic as the arcos. These things are grown in the fringes, and Watson and ACEP were not the first, nor the last, just the most successful. Watson had connections to Amerikka Command which gave him access to their territory, as well as AC gear. This coupled with media savvy allowed him to create a solid start up, selling holovids of survivor style murder sprees, gladiatorial combats, and vehicular mayhem. The car angle tied into the retro-American movement and it was there that Watson encountered Killface, a successful demolition derby driver and former Atlantic Federation military officer.

Killface and Watson worked together, the puppetmaster and the Ring Master. Watson worked behind the scenes, working his connections and contacts and CogNet networks. Killface donned the iconic mask and became the media's favorite psychopath. ACEP productions went from the run of the mill crash and kill and bloomed into the over the top horrorfest that it is known for.

Killface has since taken over as the CEO with Watson sidelined with parapsychic burns. Killface himself has been working around the clock, and is in the process of looking for a replacement to take his place as the man behind the mask, allowing him to go back to being his normal non-shooting people in the face persona.

Or at least he hopes to take off the mask.
Last edited by Skaldia on Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:54 am, edited 17 times in total.
||“The lesson of history is that no one learns.”
||“Chaos needs no allies, for it dwells like a poison in every one of us.”

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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Skaldia » Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:55 am

The Corporations Cont.

Chalopin-Barkin Heavy Industries of Mars
One of the first extra-planetary corporations, Chalopin-Barkin was founded in the Federation Olympus Mons, Mars colony by a group if disgruntled industrialists, miners, and financial backers. They were tired of the profits from the risky and highly profitable extra-terrestial mining operations all being funneled back to the megacorps on Earth. The interested members consolidated between two individuals, the financial backers behind Henri Chalopin (French) and the miners and industrialists behind Charlene Barkin (Canada). The corporation started with providing basic mining gear but quickly expanded into creating heavy mining equipment, and custom vehicles.

CBHI's largest rival is the Federation's Union Aerospace Corporation, which has major facilities in orbit around Mars, most prominently at the Martian moons Phobos and Deimos. Phobos is a UAC habitat, and fleet anchorage for their Martian and Asteroid Belt operations. Deimos is a weapons development and black ops center that is heavily guarded and patrolled not only be UAC security ships, but also by Federation fleet assets. CBHI works to support mining operations and groups that are working to undermine, or reduce the dominance of the UAC without being drawn into a corporate war with the decidedly larger and more powerful Megacorp. To this end, CBHI provides machinery at a reduced cost compared to UAC sourced equipment, plus CBHI has the advantage of not being tied to Earth. Most of the other megacorps, like UAC, are strongly tied to central Boards of Directors or leadership on Earth that does what that group dictates. It can sometimes create a degree of dissonance when men working in the cold vacuum of space are faced with the decisions made by men sitting in comfortable chairs in a climate controlled arcology, surrounded by entourages, attaches and support staff to do everything but wipe them when they are done in the restroom. The gear produced by CBHI was designed by men and women with extensive experience in working in exotic conditions, not by soft handed men who complain about a hard day pressing computer buttons.

CBHI is currently headed by Ronald Francois Chalopin, son of Henri Chalopin. After reaching 80 years of age, Henri retired and purchased a small estate in his ancestral France to spend the rest of his days with his wife Koriander. Ronald was born and raised on Mars and has spent the last thirty years doing everything from running a drilling operation to overseeing the operation of an entire mining sector in the asteroid belt. He is seen as a young and dynamic leader who will take CBHI to new heights in space mining and the exploration and exploitation of Martian resources. He is supported by the three member BoD for CBHI, and is answerable to several investor groups back on Earth.

CBHI's Headquarters is in Barsoom City, near Olympus Mons, Mars. The arcology there is 30% owned by the corporation and serves as their primary administrative facility. The corporation computers and database exist in the Barsoom Arcology. Their refining operation is divided between two locations, Viking City and in polar orbit around Mars. The Viking City arcoplex is 90% industrial, and refines Martian ore into refined metal as well as having a large scale atmosphere processing center. It is hoped that eventually the atmosphere will be reformed enough to do away with bulky suits and allow people to roam the surface with little more than supplemental air supplies, like high altitude mountain climbers on Earth. Viking City hosts the principle CBHI factory complex, as well as it's refining center. The orbital facility CBHI-12 (Valentine Colony) handles the surface to orbit ships for CBHI, as well as being the corporate orbital refinery and shipping hub. Valentine is the second largest exporter of materials from Mars. UAC's July 7 orbital complex is the largest, and funnels almost twice the material back to Earth as Valentine and composes almost 40% of all Martian exports.

Vehicles Produced
Many of the vehicles produced by CBHI are functionally little different from other designs produced on Earth. On a functional level, a heavy space truck is a heavy space truck. The difference is in the details. Earth vehicles modded for space operation still retain useless features such as cup holders, and ergonomic features for people not working in space suits. Earth vehicles can also have asinine design features and requirements such as the engine, transmission, and body panels all requiring different sets of tools, such as having metric and standard bolts, regular allen bolts, star bolts and spline bolts all on the same vehicle. Most of CBHI's vehicles can be routinely maintained with a minimum of tools, and the spaces involved are accessible to crews working in pressure suits. 

G65 Multi-Role Mining Vehicle
Mounting an arc reactor in a light armored carapace, the G65 is highly mobile vehicle. It mounts a six wheel drive train, with each wheel having independent suspension and direct electric propulsion. It is able to rock crawl with great ease, due to its oversized wheels and low center of gravity. The G65, sometimes called the Prospector, has a modular hardpoint system common to military mecha that allow the vehicle to be tailored for its specific mission needs. Common attachments include a heavy manipulator arm, a communications array (superior to the standard radio system), a mining laser and other specialized tools. The G65 can work well with a solitary small scale operation, as a scout vehicle exploring for resource deposits, or a command and control vehicle for a cadre of mining machines. Detractors have pointed out that the module hardpoint system and light composite armor of the G65 could in theory make the mining vehicle a match for most light and medium military non-mecha vehicles.

G72 Tunneling Vehicle
The G72 is a light wheeled chassis mounting a small arc reactor and the same light composite armor of the G65. The front of the vehicle has greater armor, but also has a series of drills, lasers, and rock crushers for boring through rock and stone. Few G72s are used on Mars, most find their way into Asteroid mining where they are instrumental in hollowing out the chunks of space rock. The now standard corridor dimensions match the dimensions of the G72, such is it's success. The G72, often called the Sandhog, or Tunnel Rat, has a reduced modularity system, and only has a pair of mounts. Both of these mounts can be either retracted behind the vehicle or into it, so that the attached equipment isnt crushed against the rock the G72 is boring through.

G99 Laser Boring Machine
Where the G72 does the hard work with iron and steel, the G99 has a heavy mining laser and armor shielding on the front of it. The G99 uses it's broad beam laser to melt through high quality ores while the impurities pop and burn off in the heat. G99s are relatively uncommon as the heavy laser requires a large and expensive arc reactor, and extensive maintenance. Given the claims against industrial militarism, it is not a hard argument to prove that the G99 is easily converted into a heavy laser or particle cannon self propelled gun. G99s however remain in service across the Solar system and the design has been copied as the UAC Laser Raider mining vehicle, the ACPS Shen Long mining vehicle, and the L-1 Lunar Laser Carrier.

G22 All Terrain Exploration and Mining Vehicle
The G22 has a modular drive train and can alternate between pneumatic wheels, hard vacuum wheels, a half-track assembly, or even a ski sled assembly that has seen extensive use on Europa and the Martian ice caps. The G22 is a volatile materials explorer, not going after heavy metals but water, certain gases and liquids and the like that is often found in areas of ice and extreme cold. the G22 has a boom based rear mounted drill and exploration arm that it uses to penetrate ice packs and loose soil. Once suitable deposits have been found, the G22 is replaced by more conventional mining equipment. the G22 has a buggy type configuration, and is one of the fastest non-hover vehicles on Mars. G22s are not used in asteroid exploration.

H100 Big Rig Heavy Mining Vehicle
There are several versions of the H100, the most prominent are the rock hauler and the gas collector. The vehicle is long bodied and heavy, and can only handle light to moderate rough terrain. It can mount wheels but treads are the most common drive train though there are several H100-Ms that have mecha leg assembles and are functional quadruped vehicles. The H100R is the rock hauler and it moves ore too and from either processing facilities or to mining yards where more conventional vehicles like standard mine ore hauling trucks are based. It has several loader arms, and a cavernous cargo bay. The H100L can handle liquid or gas payloads that it takes on with a variable pump and container system. H100s are also used a mega movers where they are used to move modular facilities around at mining sites, such as mobile control centers, crew barracks, mining and processing equipment and anything else that needs to be moved.

H280 Mine Truck
Found only on planets, the H280 is a massive arc reactor powered truck that is little different than the trucks that service mines and quarries on Earth. The H280 has few differences beyond the cosmetic with the Rander HT-Cargo Carrier, the Atlas AT-1 Cargo Van, and a dozen other heavy mining trucks.

G-51 Mobile Crew Station
Mining is hard work, and the rough and tumble men and women who work the mines in space need a place to kick out of their work suits and vac-armor gear to drink a few beers, scratch at their crotches and smoke and cuss like a normal human being. The G-51 and G-HQ-51 are basically buildings on tank treads. The model 51 is divided into three decks, or stories. The bottom story has the cargo and holding area and the airlocks between breathable air and agonizing death. The middle level is a common or den area, as well as having recreational facilities, and the general mess. The top level is bunks and bathrooms for the crew. The standard G-51 can accomodate a crew of 20 miners, or as many as 40 miners if the crews hot rack (one sleeps while the other works). 

The G-51/HQ lacks many of the common features and instead of a bunk area has a command and control center while the common area is a mapping and planning area for maintaining operations across a large area or managing a major site. 

The G-51/L is a Logistics model and the lower two levels are stripped out into a single major bay where large vehicles can be brought entirely into the vehicle where the atmosphere can be regulated, allowing engineers and technicians to work on malfunctioning equipment without being tied up in bulky encounter and atmosphere suits. 

The G-51/Comm is much like the HQ model, but has both a planetary scale communications and electronics system, and is the physical host of a L/AISC and is one of the most expensive non-military vehicles on the market. A G-51/Comm can operate and support a local CogNet, or work as a node for a larger regional CogNet in non-developed areas.

The CBHI logo is sometimes a point of contention for Earth first activists and opponents of Colonials on Earth. The corporate logo is a 'metal' hand grasping a bolt of lighting. Originally this was a standard issue insulated glove that was used in electricians work, and the lightning bolt was symbolically seen as grasping inspiration. On Earth, it was seen as a mighty mailed fist menacing with it's clutched Zuesian thunderbolt ready to smite the Earthbound. The fact that most of the vehicles produced have military style hardpoints doesn't help lessen Terrestrial anxieties. Rather than having an ulterior motive, the system was established before CBHI and wasn't copyrighted so the designers borrowed and used it. Fixing most of the arm and modular accessories to use standardized computer and power hook-ups made the process work better and made the machines easier to use in space. The fact that the H100 can use a hardpoint mounted laser cannon is just incidental.

Industrial Versus Military
There is a common fear that the hordes of mining vehicles and 'bots can be used to swarm the Earth, chewing up tanks and mecha. Why not? The machines survive in the hardness of space and in the common public eye live on a steady diet of convicts, criminals, asteroids, and explodium. The truth is much less impressive. The vehicles are armored, but this is armor to withstand an incidental event, such as a falling rock, micro-meteor hit or basic mining accident. The armor plating of even the heaviest vehicle, the G-51 would only offer minimal protection against military grade weaponry such as rail guns or heavy autocannons. The vehicles are also relatively slow compared to terrestrial military hardware. 20 mph is pretty fast when a vehicle is operating on a chunk of rock 35 miles wide, not so much on the Russian steppe.

CBHI is the first non-terrestrial corp and starting to explore the reaches of the Colonies is the Cosmic Era. Already I can feel a sense of dislocation from Earth, and a distancing from the culture of Earth and the first twinklings of non-terran pride. I can already see people writing Martian on their tax forms for the Federation, and cultural events such as celebrating Landing Day, and the writings of Bradbury and the whole Little Green Men from Mars milieu. War of the Worlds sits on the bottom of the stack, it's not time for that one...yet.

CBHI draws heavy inspiration from a short lived cartoon I watched as a child, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors. The vehicles are inspired by the Lightning League war machines. I would get up at 5:30 AM to watch Jayce and his space mullet fight the evil Monster Masters.

Chalopin-Barkin Heavy Industries of Mars
One of the first extra-planetary corporations, Chalopin-Barkin was founded in the Federation Olympus Mons, Mars colony by a group if disgruntled industrialists, miners, and financial backers. They were tired of the profits from the risky and highly profitable extra-terrestial mining operations all being funneled back to the megacorps on Earth. The interested members consolidated between two individuals, the financial backers behind Henri Chalopin (French) and the miners and industrialists behind Charlene Barkin (Canada). The corporation started with providing basic mining gear but quickly expanded into creating heavy mining equipment, and custom vehicles.

CBHI's largest rival is the Federation's Union Aerospace Corporation, which has major facilities in orbit around Mars, most prominently at the Martian moons Phobos and Deimos. Phobos is a UAC habitat, and fleet anchorage for their Martian and Asteroid Belt operations. Deimos is a weapons development and black ops center that is heavily guarded and patrolled not only be UAC security ships, but also by Federation fleet assets. CBHI works to support mining operations and groups that are working to undermine, or reduce the dominance of the UAC without being drawn into a corporate war with the decidedly larger and more powerful Megacorp. To this end, CBHI provides machinery at a reduced cost compared to UAC sourced equipment, plus CBHI has the advantage of not being tied to Earth. Most of the other megacorps, like UAC, are strongly tied to central Boards of Directors or leadership on Earth that does what that group dictates. It can sometimes create a degree of dissonance when men working in the cold vacuum of space are faced with the decisions made by men sitting in comfortable chairs in a climate controlled arcology, surrounded by entourages, attaches and support staff to do everything but wipe them when they are done in the restroom. The gear produced by CBHI was designed by men and women with extensive experience in working in exotic conditions, not by soft handed men who complain about a hard day pressing computer buttons.

CBHI is currently headed by Ronald Francois Chalopin, son of Henri Chalopin. After reaching 80 years of age, Henri retired and purchased a small estate in his ancestral France to spend the rest of his days with his wifeKoriander. Ronald was born and raised on Mars and has spent the last thirty years doing everything from running a drilling operation to overseeing the operation of an entire mining sector in the asteroid belt. He is seen as a young and dynamic leader who will take CBHI to new heights in space mining and the exploration and exploitation of Martian resources. He is supported by the three member BoD for CBHI, and is answerable to several investor groups back on Earth.

CBHI's Headquarters is in Barsoom City, near Olympus Mons, Mars. The arcology there is 30% owned by the corporation and serves as their primary administrative facility. The corporation computers and database exist in the Barsoom Arcology. Their refining operation is divided between two locations, Viking City and in polar orbit around Mars. The Viking City arcoplex is 90% industrial, and refines Martian ore into refined metal as well as having a large scale atmosphere processing center. It is hoped that eventually the atmosphere will be reformed enough to do away with bulky suits and allow people to roam the surface with little more than supplemental air supplies, like high altitude mountain climbers on Earth. Viking City hosts the principle CBHI factory complex, as well as it's refining center. The orbital facility CBHI-12 (Valentine Colony) handles the surface to orbit ships for CBHI, as well as being the corporate orbital refinery and shipping hub. Valentine is the second largest exporter of materials from Mars. UAC's July 7 orbital complex is the largest, and funnels almost twice the material back to Earth as Valentine and composes almost 40% of all Martian exports.

Vehicles Produced
Many of the vehicles produced by CBHI are functionally little different from other designs produced on Earth. On a functional level, a heavy space truck is a heavy space truck. The difference is in the details. Earth vehicles modded for space operation still retain useless features such as cup holders, and ergonomic features for people not working in space suits. Earth vehicles can also have asinine design features and requirements such as the engine, transmission, and body panels all requiring different sets of tools, such as having metric and standard bolts, regular allen bolts, star bolts and spline bolts all on the same vehicle. Most of CBHI's vehicles can be routinely maintained with a minimum of tools, and the spaces involved are accessible to crews working in pressure suits. 

G65 Multi-Role Mining Vehicle
Mounting an arc reactor in a light armored carapace, the G65 is highly mobile vehicle. It mounts a six wheel drive train, with each wheel having independent suspension and direct electric propulsion. It is able to rock crawl with great ease, due to its oversized wheels and low center of gravity. The G65, sometimes called the Prospector, has a modular hardpoint system common to military mecha that allow the vehicle to be tailored for its specific mission needs. Common attachments include a heavy manipulator arm, a communications array (superior to the standard radio system), a mining laser and other specialized tools. The G65 can work well with a solitary small scale operation, as a scout vehicle exploring for resource deposits, or a command and control vehicle for a cadre of mining machines. Detractors have pointed out that the module hardpoint system and light composite armor of the G65 could in theory make the mining vehicle a match for most light and medium military non-mecha vehicles.

G72 Tunneling Vehicle
The G72 is a light wheeled chassis mounting a small arc reactor and the same light composite armor of the G65. The front of the vehicle has greater armor, but also has a series of drills, lasers, and rock crushers for boring through rock and stone. Few G72s are used on Mars, most find their way into Asteroid mining where they are instrumental in hollowing out the chunks of space rock. The now standard corridor dimensions match the dimensions of the G72, such is it's success. The G72, often called the Sandhog, or Tunnel Rat, has a reduced modularity system, and only has a pair of mounts. Both of these mounts can be either retracted behind the vehicle or into it, so that the attached equipment isnt crushed against the rock the G72 is boring through.

G99 Laser Boring Machine
Where the G72 does the hard work with iron and steel, the G99 has a heavy mining laser and armor shielding on the front of it. The G99 uses it's broad beam laser to melt through high quality ores while the impurities pop and burn off in the heat. G99s are relatively uncommon as the heavy laser requires a large and expensive arc reactor, and extensive maintenance. Given the claims against industrial militarism, it is not a hard argument to prove that the G99 is easily converted into a heavy laser or particle cannon self propelled gun. G99s however remain in service across the Solar system and the design has been copied as the UAC Laser Raider mining vehicle, the ACPS Shen Long mining vehicle, and the L-1 Lunar Laser Carrier.

G22 All Terrain Exploration and Mining Vehicle
The G22 has a modular drive train and can alternate between pneumatic wheels, hard vacuum wheels, a half-track assembly, or even a ski sled assembly that has seen extensive use on Europa and the Martian ice caps. The G22 is a volatile materials explorer, not going after heavy metals but water, certain gases and liquids and the like that is often found in areas of ice and extreme cold. the G22 has a boom based rear mounted drill and exploration arm that it uses to penetrate ice packs and loose soil. Once suitable deposits have been found, the G22 is replaced by more conventional mining equipment. the G22 has a buggy type configuration, and is one of the fastest non-hover vehicles on Mars. G22s are not used in asteroid exploration.

H100 Big Rig Heavy Mining Vehicle
There are several versions of the H100, the most prominent are the rock hauler and the gas collector. The vehicle is long bodied and heavy, and can only handle light to moderate rough terrain. It can mount wheels but treads are the most common drive train though there are several H100-Ms that have mecha leg assembles and are functional quadruped vehicles. The H100R is the rock hauler and it moves ore too and from either processing facilities or to mining yards where more conventional vehicles like standard mine ore hauling trucks are based. It has several loader arms, and a cavernous cargo bay. The H100L can handle liquid or gas payloads that it takes on with a variable pump and container system. H100s are also used a mega movers where they are used to move modular facilities around at mining sites, such as mobile control centers, crew barracks, mining and processing equipment and anything else that needs to be moved.

H280 Mine Truck
Found only on planets, the H280 is a massive arc reactor powered truck that is little different than the trucks that service mines and quarries on Earth. The H280 has few differences beyond the cosmetic with the Rander HT-Cargo Carrier, the Atlas AT-1 Cargo Van, and a dozen other heavy mining trucks.

G-51 Mobile Crew Station
Mining is hard work, and the rough and tumble men and women who work the mines in space need a place to kick out of their work suits and vac-armor gear to drink a few beers, scratch at their crotches and smoke and cuss like a normal human being. The G-51 and G-HQ-51 are basically buildings on tank treads. The model 51 is divided into three decks, or stories. The bottom story has the cargo and holding area and the airlocks between breathable air and agonizing death. The middle level is a common or den area, as well as having recreational facilities, and the general mess. The top level is bunks and bathrooms for the crew. The standard G-51 can accomodate a crew of 20 miners, or as many as 40 miners if the crews hot rack (one sleeps while the other works). 

The G-51/HQ lacks many of the common features and instead of a bunk area has a command and control center while the common area is a mapping and planning area for maintaining operations across a large area or managing a major site. 

The G-51/L is a Logistics model and the lower two levels are stripped out into a single major bay where large vehicles can be brought entirely into the vehicle where the atmosphere can be regulated, allowing engineers and technicians to work on malfunctioning equipment without being tied up in bulky encounter and atmosphere suits. 

The G-51/Comm is much like the HQ model, but has both a planetary scale communications and electronics system, and is the physical host of a L/AISC and is one of the most expensive non-military vehicles on the market. A G-51/Comm can operate and support a local CogNet, or work as a node for a larger regional CogNet in non-developed areas. 

The CBHI logo is sometimes a point of contention for Earth first activists and opponents of Colonials on Earth. The corporate logo is a 'metal' hand grasping a bolt of lighting. Originally this was a standard issue insulated glove that was used in electricians work, and the lightning bolt was symbolically seen as grasping inspiration. On Earth, it was seen as a mighty mailed fist menacing with it's clutched Zuesian thunderbolt ready to smite the Earthbound. The fact that most of the vehicles produced have military style hardpoints doesn't help lessen Terrestrial anxieties. Rather than having an ulterior motive, the system was established before CBHI and wasn't copyrighted so the designers borrowed and used it. Fixing most of the arm and modular accessories to use standardized computer and power hook-ups made the process work better and made the machines easier to use in space. The fact that the H100 can use a hardpoint mounted laser cannon is just incidental.

Industrial Versus Military
There is a common fear that the hordes of mining vehicles and 'bots can be used to swarm the Earth, chewing up tanks and mecha. Why not? The machines survive in the hardness of space and in the common public eye live on a steady diet of convicts, criminals, asteroids, and explodium. The truth is much less impressive. The vehicles are armored, but this is armor to withstand an incidental event, such as a falling rock, micro-meteor hit or basic mining accident. The armor plating of even the heaviest vehicle, the G-51 would only offer minimal protection against military grade weaponry such as rail guns or heavy autocannons. The vehicles are also relatively slow compared to terrestrial military hardware. 20 mph is pretty fast when a vehicle is operating on a chunk of rock 35 miles wide, not so much on the Russian steppe.

Authors Notes
CBHI is the first non-terrestrial corp and starting to explore the reaches of the Colonies is the Cosmic Era. Already I can feel a sense of dislocation from Earth, and a distancing from the culture of Earth and the first twinklings of non-terran pride. I can already see people writing Martian on their tax forms for the Federation, and cultural events such as celebrating Landing Day, and the writings of Bradbury and the whole Little Green Men from Mars milieu. War of the Worlds sits on the bottom of the stack, it's not time for that one...yet.

Cosmica Sidera Corporation
The Cosmica Sidera Corporation is one of the stranger organizations in the Cosmic Era solar system, and one of the least nefarious. Their massive shipyard, Amalthea Anchorage, is located in Jovian space, and has almost no strategic value compared to the rest of the Galilean moons. From their enormous base, Cosmica Sidera builds spaceships. They build massive, weird, and one of a kind ships, for whomever has the money and resources to commission them. Other than this, CSC is a space collective.

The NOMAD Commune
The core of CSC is the NOMAD commune. The commune was borne from a nucleus of scientists, engineers, technicians, and spacers who had as their heart's desire, to live in space and build spaceships. This motivation comes from their love of space, exploration, and the great endeavor of building what they consider to be the pinnacle of human ability, the spaceship. The commune was formed as a group effort as most of the founding members were horrified by the development of technology and the progression of culture on Earth, and saw that everything was increasingly focused inward, and rather than elevating was becoming placating.

The Departure and the SS John Galt

They pooled their not inconsiderable resources and launched their colony ship and left the Earth. This ship was their first great creation, and was awkwardly monikered the SS John Galt. A fair number of the commune members felt that their departure would injure the terrestrial power, becoming a great brain drain in the sky. This was a very optomistic ideal, and their positions were quickly filled, and their venture was written off as deep space insanity.

Commies in Space
The NOMAD commune traveled to the edge of claimed space and stake their claim several times, each time, failing. These were not critical failures, but rather the commune found their claims contested, or discovered that their site was less than optimal, or had what would become strategic value. Their final destination was the Galilean moon Amalthea. Using their robotics and technology know how, they tugged other asteroids to the moon, and increased it's mass, and tethered multiple bodies together to create what would eventually become Amalthea Anchorage.

The Amalthean Accord and the Dark Age

The NOMAD commune was launched late in the Petroleum Age, and would have failed completely if the Amalthean colony had nto been viable. From the shadow of Jupiter, the commune watched human civilization attempt suicide. During this time, the colony grew slowly. There were rudimentary efforts made at cloning, and eventually a carefully engineered social and breeding program allowed the colony to survive, while their tech allowed them to survive even cut off from Earth. The Dark Age was a long period of internal growth and maturing for the commune, and they continued to man their communication apparatus, listening for word from Earth. Several generations would pass before contact was made again. The Commune could have made contact first, but decided to watch and not interfere.

The Shipbuilders
The Cosmica Sidera Corporation wasn't created until contact was reestablished with Earth. This was considered an important moment in the commune's history because their first contact wasn't with humans from Earth, but rather with seibertronians. This meeting between a legacy colony and the sentient machines was shocking for both sides. The Seibertronians only knew of human violence and treachery, sparking their exodus looking for a new world to make their own, and the Commune was amazingly non-violent. They were well armed, and well equipped, but were open and friendly to the exodus members, and helped them pick out their fledgling colony site on Ganymede.

The Cosmica Sidera Corporation was a joint venture of the NOMAD commune, and included pacifists from the Seibertronians, exiles from Earth who wanted to live in peace, and represented a united front to the resurgent forces of Earth. CSC presented itself to the spacefaring Earth nations, and was able to secure friendly relations with the Atlantic Federation and the Pacific Rim Coalition. This was with the stipulation that NOMAD would remain a neutral party, and would not engage itself in military industry or ventures, and would not tolerate them in their non-strategically valuable location. While a tough bone for the Federation to swallow, they did, because CSC was well equipped with an impressive number of ships and crews who had only ever lived in space, and were backed by the increasingly formidable seibertronian faction.

CSC has a tripartite leadership structure: the NOMAD council, the Seibertronian Emirate, and the CSC Representatives. All decisions have to be made with the support of all three factions, otherwise the venture is denied. The only way around this is that if one faction doesn't support a venture, they can opt to not vote, and so long as two factions are in favor and none oppose it, the venture can be passed. The risk and reward of the ventures are shared collectively inside the Commune.

Cosmica Sidera has a lot of friends. They also have mining claims on several large resource rich asteroids and non-asteroid belt objects that they use for raw materials. This allows CSC to reach out to a very large pool of raw materials, resource gathering abilities, tech support, and financial support in the form of contracts. The most notable friends of the CSC are the five metal dragons, the seibertronians on Ganymede, the Cratos Corporation, as well as many second and third tier nations on Earth that lack the industrial infrastructure to build their own ships and habitats. After building a hab or ship for one of these powers, they typically garner a positive relationship with them, allowing members of the CSC and the NOMAD commune to have many choices of destination when traveling to Earth.

CSC doesn't have many rivals, considering their non-military stance, and when they do work on warships, it is on repairing or replacing ships lost defending CSC holdings. While not friendly, the Atlantic Federation doesn't have many dealings with the heavy industry space hippies who run CSC. The ACPS likewise despises CSC as they refuse to build anything for the almost completely militarily minded Emperor. Nippon likewise has an unfavorable stance towards CSC, for the same reason. Under their Dream of Yamato plan, they have more than enough financial resources to cash flow CSC to build them several battlestars and warships, but CSC, being non-aggressors, refuse.

NOMAD and CSC are major shipbuilders and are a major source of light freighters, civilian cargo frigates, courier ships, cargo haulers from TerraMax all the way up to supergiant gas haulers that carry hydrogen from Jupiter to Earth to feed the maws of thousands of fusion reactors and bulk ion drives. 

The CSC is also frequently used by the Anunnaki and other secret organizations to build their non-military ships at a unspoken black budget price. This high end secrecy and gouging gives CSC the same level of shipbuilding tech as the Maw Installation, and if they did decide to start cranking out warships, they would be able to do so relatively easily. 

Finally, NOMAD is a home away from home for space prospectors, actual nomads, space tramps, surveyors, deep system explorers, and fringe tech research groups. They built unimaginable ships like the Oumuamua, and kept the plans, and can build more, if they so desired.

The Cratos Corporation was the end product of the merger of four older professional mercenary companies into a single resource sharing corporation.

The Founders

Victory Squadron - a large mercenary force, Victory squadron had an established history as a mercenary naval force. They started from a single defector ship, and grew as a group of dissidents out in the Belt States beyond Mars. Eventually they gained enough clout to take their own habitat and shipyard and started building small warships and recruiting for their privateer navy. The Victory squadron mostly worked for megacorps and 2nd and 3rd world powers defending their meager offworld holdings.

Dragon Force - the Dragon Force was a sort of Chinese Foreign Legion, former ACPS military men and women who defected from the Emperor's armies to become international freelancers. The Dragon Force was predominantly composed of infantry, a handful of special forces, and armor. The Dragon Force excelled in asymmetrical warfare and guerilla war, but was always fighting in desperate situations for suicidal pay.

Zealot's Immortal Brigade - a custom build power armor force for hire, the Zealot's Immortal Brigade earned its reputation on the Silk Road and on some of the hostile environments in the solar system. 

Titan Technologies - Titan was on the surface a mundane tech company. Under the thin veneer, Titan was a cyber-ops corp for hire, and a source of international hackers and cyber-terrorists.

The union of these 4 companies allowed all of them to use their respective strengths to cover the other's weaknesses. Victory had ships, but was often short on manpower, while the Zealots and the Dragon Force had men, but were often highly dependent on and vulnerable to their lack of transportation. Adding Titan into the fold allowed them to become a combined arms mercenary force to be reckoned with. They have ships, they have power armor troops, boots to put on the ground, and both a cyberwarfare department that handles their finances and PR. 

Life is cheap, weapons are expensive.
The Cratos Corp hires out their ships, men, and weapons sometimes down to a by the round level of billing. This means that in the pursuit of profit, Cratos will sell individual missiles, or have accounts set up where their clients are billed in real time for the ammunition expenditures of their contracted forces. This is rarely done on an infantry level.

Per Shot - interested parties can purchase not so much missiles, but missile strikes. A Cratos ship will fire a long range missile to the strike coordinates provided in the contract. Results not guaranteed. Strikes are guaranteed to hit within a certain distance from the target, and if they miss, they will fire until the target it hit to contractual satisfaction. 

Per Target - interested parties can provide an account of funds to purchase the destruction of a specific target. Within this cost, Cratos will destroy the target in their own desired fashion, unless specified otherwise. A customer might request a specific installation destroyed, and Cratos might fire a volley of long range missiles, or might send a handful of men to carry out a firebomb attack. 

Per Retainer - more commonly used in garrison and campaign operations, a Per Retainer contract allows for a certain amount of force to be purchased, such as the presence of a Cratos warship to expend X amount of fuel and Y amount of munitions not to exceed Z the cost of the retainer. This has caused some interesting occurrences where some clients ended up having to pay more than they had and being forced to forfeit holdings to satisfy their Cratos debt, or for Cratos forces to stage a withdrawal in a battle as they were not authorized to continue expending ammunition. This again, is more seen for Cratos mecha and naval assets, rather than for their infantry and power armor forces.

(A million credit retainer for a Cratos cruiser is enough to purchase no more than 70 shots from her main guns, an independent space station might end up becoming Cratos property rather than being destroyed)

The Cratos Corporation is a corporate dictatorship, and the absolute leader is the 'Sky Marshall'. The Sky Marshall is supported by a full military hierarchy, and has, to the surprise of many, Combat Accountants, Combat Lawyers, and Combat Appraisers. The Sky Marshall is just as liable for military victories and blunders as they are for the finances of the corporation, and in the case of gross negligence, the Accounting Department can stage a Financial Coup, refusing to pay out to the Corporation until the Sky Marshall is either deposed, or steps down. 

The Cratos Corporation has a large number of Contractors, synonymous with employees or citizens. The families of contractors are allowed to live in Corp owned facilities, with the level of those facilities being determined by the rank and reputation of the contractor in question. Just over 25% of the Corp population is active military, a far cry from the less than 1% found among most CE nations. The entire purpose and focus is military, and the corp encourages it's contractors to have large families, so that children raised in combat oriented households will join the corp as contractors themselves, with corp loyalty instilled since birth. The Corp also takes in large numbers of veterans, regardless of their home nationality. The only real limitations the Corp puts on recruitment is that they do not accept clone soldiers, and they do not accept veterans who are heavily augmented and modified, or who are having mental problems like PTSD. The Corp is a professional fighting force, not a retirement home for cyborgs and the mentally ill. Save that noise for the terrorists and the wastelanders.

Cratos Corporation has a number of offworld colonies, mines, habitats, and one anchorage as their vassal states. These, along with recruitment offices supply the Corp with the soldiers and staff they need to operate. There are several thousand active soldiers, dozens of ships, and several hundred mecha and fighters in the Cratos Corp. 

The logo of the Cratos Corp is the Omega symbol. The symbol is found on all Cratos equipment, ships, weapons, and uniforms. The organization is hyper-masculine, and as such their equipment frequently features what they refer to as the Poutsa on it, representation of the male genitalia. The depiction varies from unit to unit, some favor more artistic representations, or abstract versions. Other, more salty and macho units will have much more realistic imagry. One thing that is common is that the poutsa is not erect, but deliberately flaccid, often large, and depicted as resting across the testicles. 

If a unit has a depiction of an erect penis is an indication of shame, and of a soldier who has displayed disobedience, reckless behavior, or otherwise unacceptable behavior. 

Service Record
The Cratos Corporation has a colored history of work across the Solar System, almost always working for independent powers, or powers that lack any sort of measurable space force. As such, they have almost zero presence on Earth, and their largest recruiting station is on Huo Hsing. The corp is considered gray and amoral, as they work for whomever is willing to pay them their going rate. 

The biggest racket for Cratos Corp involve liberating colonies and habitats from other corps and second tier earth nations. They colonies will engage Cratos on retainer, and Cratos will take the retainer even knowing that the employer in question will not be good for the balance due. The forces in question will either surrender the colony or hab to Cratos, or will be forced by international law to basically ransom their holdings back from Cratos, either way, the corp gets their due. Having a large veteran contingent, and an average soldier age that is a fair bit higher than most nations, those said nations are less interested in sending their young men and expensive ships to be killed by old men in old ships.

Allies - Cratos Corp remains in good standing with the NOMAD group, regularly defending their holdings from privateers and pirates, often with a gentleman's agreement that NOMAD will repair or replace any ships lost defending their holdings. 
The EUdAS (United State of South America) are regular employers of Cratos, to shore up their relative lack of space forces. They pay, they pay well, and they pay on time.
Wastelander Factions - while rarely able to pay cash, various wastelander factions have traded Silk Road stolen tech and black market deliciousness to the Corp in exchange for courier and bodyguard services.
ACPS - while loathe to hire mercenaries, the ACPS understands that it needs protection for it's offworld colonies besides Mars, and routinely hires Cratos as convoy protection.

New Themyscira forces will fire on Cratos forces without provocation, as they consider Cratos' alliance with the EUdAS and their bold display of the Poutsa to be provocation enough.
Eurasian Alliance will not hire Cratos or offer aid to Cratos ships, and the Alliance has borne the brunt of Cratos guns too often to be forgiven, as well as having the pay Cratos for failed rebellions on their offworld colonies or risk losing them.
Atlantic Federation - only international law and the reluctance of Cratos to take contracts against the Federation keeps them from retaking the Corp holdings and burning their ships out of the sky. Federation Intel Ops do on occasion make use of Cratos ships for clandestine purposes.

The basic concept I had that inspired the Cratos Corporation has nothing to do with the God of War franchise, but the idea of a mercenary force selling their support literally by the round. The visual of a battle with warships slugging it out with each other in orbit, while a combat accountant and colonial administrators struggle to find financing options to keep fighting because their original deal only covered 110 rounds of capital weapons fire, and the battle is about half over and they've use 90 of their shots, and dipped into the damage retainer.

Cyberdyne Systems, later consolidating and merging with Boeing-Grumman Aerospace to form Cyberdyne-Grumman, is the primary military contractor for Cascadia, the socialist republic of the Pacific Northwest. Cyberdyne Systems is not just the prime contractor, it has also supplied it's own military assets to the defense of the Redwood Nation, driving off attempted invasions from the Republic of California and the Rocky Mountain Republic.

A Brief History

Cyberdyne systems was a major supplier of military hardware to the United States, mostly in the form of electronics, communication equipment, and later, advanced energy weaponry and coil guns. The corporation survived the Resource Wars through consolidating it's positions around their northern Californian production center, the Dyson Arcology. Cyberdyne was a key player in the Second Renaissance, and was heavily invested in robotics, AI development, energy weapons, and more sundry electronics, CogNet tech, and communications. Eventually, the corporation would relocate it's headquarters to the Skynet Habitat, in orbit. The Dyson Arcoplex remains it's industrial core, supplemented by new factories such as the Cheyenne Mountain factory, the San Francisco complex, the Nebraska proving ground, and Armstrong City on the Moon.

Armored Vehicles
Cyberdyne's military construction started after the Resource Wars as the corporation was pushed to the position of defending itself from the remnants of the California military, insurgent factions such as the precursors of Amerikka Command, and from basic barbarism as civilization collapsed. The corporation rallied and served as a central focus, and anchored the southern border of what would become Cascadia. The corp initiated a close relationship with Boeing-Grumman, providing supplies and equipment to that corporation in exchange for air support. This laid the groundwork for the two corporations to work in concert with each other, rather than against each other. The Cascadian military designates drone armored vehicles with HK followed by it's production number.

The HK-1 is a light drone tank, with a very limited combat cortex. The drone is built in similar fashion to a tank. The lower body is a triple tread 'tricycle' design with moderate speed, but a high degree of mobility. The 'turret' of the drone is a humanoid torso with a matched set of gun arms, starting with 5.56mm automatic rifles, but quickly upgraded to M-13 mini-gatling guns. The HK-1 has a class 2 cortex, and had limited decision making ability. The HK-1 was not a decisive fighter, but it was useful running point on patrols, drawing enemy fire, and doing sentinel duty. The design is no longer in production, but it is commonly seen in civilian applications.

HK-100 'Goliath'
A stop-gap design, the Goliath is a large tank, tipping the scales at over 140 tons. It is tall, giving it a wide range of view, and wide, giving it a good field of fire. This makes it large, and a relatively easy target to hit. To counter this weakness, the Goliath has heavy armor, and impressive firepower. The fixed superstructure of the rolling fortress mounts two gun turrets on extended arms. The original version of the HK-100 has the tank drone armed with four 40mm autocannons in twin mounts. The drone had a dynamic power core, and was upgraded to a class four cortex and four plasma rifles. While there was a lower rate of fire, the energy weapons were more intimidating to human infantry, and were more effective for destroying power armor, and later damaging mecha. The Goliath would be phased out of production and use, as it proved to be inferior to mecha in terms of speed and mobility, and newer power armors and powered melee weapons, and the associated improved combat tactics.

The Goliath cortex and a few design elements would later appear in OmniCorp's ED-209 military walker, albeit in a much smaller package.

The SPG, or Self-Propelled Gun series was a cul-de-sac that grew out of the HK-1. The SPGs were drone tanks with traditional twin tread hulls, and a robot turret mounting a specific weapon. The SPGs run the same duties as the HK-1s did, but do so without mounting a cortex. Being pure drones, the SPGs are slaved to another computer controller. SPGs are modular in design, and carry a variety of weaponry, and while energy weapons are the most common, this is not exclusive. The Cascadian military makes heavy use of SPG drones, from being 'mules' to carry gear for power armor patrols, assault units with heavy weaponry, and even support units, carrying power generators, communications equipment, and light artillery support.

Aerial Units
While Boeing-Grumman provided air support, this was aerospace fighters and later the flying warships, these lacked the tactical flexibility of VTOLs. Cyberdyne filled in this gap by building drone helocraft and VTOLs. These designs frequently changed, but retained a basic profile, a central fuselage with turbines mounted in pods on the sides of the craft. The aircraft drew on the dynamic design of flying insects, and as such resembled them. While the corporation designed and built many such aircraft for a wide variety of roles, only one truly stands out, the FK-18 'Hornet'.

FK-18 Hornet
The Hornet is well known for it's dagger like profile, forked tail, and large turbine pods. The drone was built in large numbers, and was well armed, agile, and well coordinated. While the Hornet itself isn't particularly rugged, it is dogged, and it's Class four cortex suits it well. The VTOL has six hardpoints for mounting missiles or bombs, and a ventral gun turret for ground attack. In the fights with California, the Hornet, the Goliath, and the skeletron formed the backbone of the Cascadian resistance.

Cyberdyne's bread and butter has been combat droids, skeletrons, since the Second Dark Age. These machines are relatively inexpensive to build, cheap to maintain, and are able to easily pick up and use gear and weapons designed for humans to use. With their superior strength, most skeletrons are capable of using power armor scaled weaponry, and weaponry designed for them specifically tends to be heavier than humans can use easily or comfortably.

The T-600
The T-600 series was the ground breaker in the skeletron game, being a competent fighting machine, with a class three cortex, autonomous and guided modes, and being able to accept instructions from human handlers and remote computer access. The T-600 is emblematic of Cyberdyne-Grumman, and though it is no longer in production, it was manufactured in such numbers that it is still easy to find, and find parts for. The T-600 is no longer in military service to Cascadia, but it is still heavily used by security contractors, mercenaries, and remains in production in unlicensed factories in South Africa, Russia, and India.

Knock-Off T-600s

Being the first revolutionary skeletron, the T-600 has been copied and modified many times. The most notorious infringement was the ED-208, fielded by Cynerdyne's long time rival OmniCorp. The OCP ED-208 made cosmetic changes to the T-600, replacing the face with a blast shield/visor combination, and reducing the size and power output of the core, better suiting it's role as a civilian peace keeper and wojek. 

Greystone Industries of Luna manufactured a knock off of the T-600 which the corporation branded as the U-88 Centurion. Clad in mirror like reflective armor, the Centurion was designed as an armored, radiation proof version of the T-600 and had a superior cortex. Like many attempts at combat robots, the U-88 was plagued by it's increasingly high cost, and it's bulky armor and mirror like finish made them very obtrusive and the public was not accepting of the machines.

The ABC Corp (Automation. Bionics, and Cybernetics) reverse engineered the T-600 to produce their ABC-Warrior combat droid. The ABC warrior was designed to be intimidating, carry heavy weaponry, and replace infantry in the battles being waged across Africa, Russia, and other third world wars. The ABC Warrior was large, had heavy armor, but suffered from a class two cortex. They were tough, but they were dumb. Most of the ABC Warriors were destroyed in action, and eventually production ended. They remain in use, but mostly in the worst parts of the world, but do so with heavy modification. The gangs of New Nuyork have on occasion made break outs against the New Nuyork Armed Police (NNAP) spear headed by cobbled together ABC warriors. They are now considered retro-tech.

The T-800
The T-800 is considered the pinnacle of what the Skeletron is and can be. The chassis is tough, and the machine has a class four cortex, allowing it to function in a human manner without clanking about like the T-600 was prone to. The series is notable for it's brusque speech patterns, disuse of combat mobility, and relentless determination in carrying out missions. These series was the high water mark for the cost of a mass produced skeletron, as their cortex and power cores were top of the line at the time of their construction. The T-800 is still in production around the world; in Cascadia, licensed to Nippon, California, the Rocky Mountain Republic, Australia, and illegally in India, China, South Africa, Mars, and at several clandestine orbital factories.

The T-900
The T-900 was technically a superior machine to the T-800 series. The 900 had superior armor protection, a self sustaining power core, and the ability to equip powered melee weapons and energy weapons. These functioned by tapping into the machine's power core. It had a similar Class 4 cortex, but the persona profiles were sanitized, to create a more homogenous product, as compared to the often quirky natures that T-800s would develop if their cortices weren't defragged and rebooted regularly. The T-900 was a financial disaster, as the cost point of the machine placed it out of the range of the typical skeletron buyer. The machines were too expensive to order in large numbers, and despite the superior armor, were still vulnerable to anti-robot tactics and mecha scale weaponry.

Greystone Industries ended up buying out the T-900 program at significant discount, and remodeled the chassis to create the Greystone Centurion II skeletron. Intended to replace the failed U-88 and move Greystone into prominence as a Lunar contractor, the ultimate failure of the T-900 and the Centurion II proved more than the corp could handle, and it eventually went bankrupt and was disbanded.
Last edited by Skaldia on Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:14 pm, edited 15 times in total.
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Skaldia » Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:56 am

The Corporations Cont. II

Delta Corp started as just another robotics start-up inside a personal residence. It was the brainchild of three men: Ray Sellars, Vince Moore, and Charles Kenton. Like many others, they had the idea of starting the next big tech revolution in robotics, really shake things up, and make a name for themselves. They emblazoned a delta symbol over their initials, and launched Sellars, Moore, and Kenton LLC, later Corp

Sellars, Moore, and Kenton (SMK Corp)
The superstar of SMK Corp was the last man listed, Charles Kenton. Kenton was a progenitor of the clocksmith tradition, and rebuilt and rebuilt the robots produced by other corporations. He worked around proprietary technology, gizmo-gimmicks, and sought out utility in his engineering. Kenton made a large number of unique robots, and through this he created a core system that was highly reliable, durable, and versatile.

The Kenton Cortex and Auxiliary Controller 
Kenton's two greatest contributions were the Heuristic-Dynamic Cortex, also known as the K-Cortex, or Kento-tron cyberbrain and it's back up auxiliary controller. The cortex was modeled off of obsolete Robodyne Series 2 units used in industrial automation mated to the locomotor control unit from Cyberdyne systems self propelled droids. These previous machines demonstrated considerable drawbacks, and prohibitive costs. Integrating these two systems created a cybernetic cortex that was elastic enough to handle basic and intermediate human movements, as well as the processing power to learn from these actions and behaviors. Droids equipped with Kenton cortices could learn, and could be trained. The core of this was a single quantum circuit that contained the ability of the machine to learn, and to also, paradoxically, forget information. The Auxiliary controller was a hand and headset that allowed a human operator to give direct commands to the robot, including the Shadowboxer configuration, where the machine would mimic the movements of the operator. 

Kenton, the Man.
Kenton came from a typically broken home, was divorced, had an estranged child, and a long history of gambling debt and alcohol abuse. Kenton's gambling addiction and skill in cybernetics made him a regular in RoboSports, especially robot boxing. Most of his early work was cobbling fighting machines together to stay ahead of the people who he owed money and to procure drinking money. While he never remarried, Kenton did manage to salvage his relationship with his son and went to psychotronic therapy to deal with his gambling and drinking problems.
Post psychotron Kenton was still a talented cyberneticist, the madcap devil may care attitude that almost ruined his life was the same thing that lead him to crash through barriers in machine design. Afterwards, his work was predominantly based around refining the technology he created during his drunk and gambling days. A man made of paradoxes, Kenton was never happy later in life, despite gaining wealth and overcoming his personal demons. During his youth, between the threats of bodily harm and hangovers, he felt more alive.

The Jackal, Vince Moore
There are unethical and immoral men, and then there is Vince Moore. Moore was a retired soldier and security contractor who went into cybernetics and automation. As a veteran of combat, he knew the strengths and limitations of men and machines, and more importantly, he knew about government and military contracts and budgets. In the post tank, pre mech world, he knew that bigger badder killing machines were the future of war, and whoever got the best fighting robot first was going to control the industry, and the very face of war. That would be massively and obscenely profitable.

The Goliath was Moore's ace in the hole. It was a strider type walker equipped with twin gun arms, an off the shelf industrial cortex, and a fully enclosed cockpit. While a man could pilot the Goliath, the machine was still effective running on it's own. This was largely considered irrelevant because the Golaith was just one of many proto war machines stomping around, and was fairly mediocre. Moore's idea was to just keep adding more and more weapons to the machine, pumping out a series of heavily armed, low performance stompers like the Rhino, the Hippo, and the lackluster Ninja.

Vince Moore, the Man
Moore was a ruthless businessman and unethical cyberneticist. He had no compunction about threatening his peers, stealing their work, plagiarising their efforts, or sabotaging them. This is how Moore met Kenton, running his latest and greatest urban combat stomper through the domestic robot boxing league. Kenton's Harasser handily defeated Maximilian, shaming the machine and Moore as well. In the following confrontation Moore coerced Kenton into working for him. This state or coercion would not last long, as Kenton proved his learning machines were more than willing to protect their creator, culminating with Maximilian v.4 assaulting Moore and putting him in the hospital. Afterwards, the two continued to work together. Moore chose to leave Kenton alone in the lab, and stuck with handling the finance and the face of their combined business.

The Mogul Sellars
Ray Sellars was a media mogul with a history of being involved in various high tech sports, always looking for the next big thing. He dipped into robot boxing, and there discovered Moore and Kenton dominating the domestic circuit. Their Maximilian robot had the combat chops to drop almost anything that stepped into the ring with it. The military aesthetic and fluid motion of the machine caught his eye, and caused him to get a personal audience with the two men. Sellars was already pro-cybernetic, but the discovery of Kenton's cortices and Moore's international contacts enticed him.

Sellars was an industrialist at heart, and it was easy to retool one of his small polyforge facilities to start mass production of whatever machines Kenton and Moore put together. This enterprise was the beginning of SMK corp. It started small at first, production series robot boxers. The machines were made in limited runs, sold at relatively high cost, and then the money was reinvested in the company. Sellars was willing to take a risk, but he wasn't going to take a loss. This was followed by breaking out into the highly competitive autons and wojek markets, where the K-Cortex machines outperformed their competitors many times over.

Delta Corp
Delta Corp was born from the stunning success of SMK Corp. Their work did change the way robots were built, and many companies were forced to license Delta Corp technologies or face complete failure in the face of their competition. Delta grew to be a major supplier of autons for the Federation, as well as farming out their work to other nations as well. This would last only a short time because Delta had attracted the wrong sort of attention.

Omni-Consumer Products and Delta
OCP felt Delta undercut their military and security contracts and enacted a semi-hostile take-over of the corporation. Sellars and Kenton were keen to cash out, accepting OCPs offers. Sellars would continue on as a media mogul and investor, simply adding his Delta Corp buy-out to his already astronomical portfolio. Kenton took his payout and retired to a private estate in the Rocky Mountain Republic, where he carried on with his passion, building one of a kind robots. Moore fought the take-over, not wanting to see Delta Corp end up being owned by a sundry goods and power distributor like OCP.

Moore would later leave the Federation and immigrate to the South African United Republics. Having relocated to Joburg, Moore continued his military and security contrator robots, with the SAUR being keenly interested in his wojeks and war striders. He would spend several years working as an independent contractor before passing away after a highly questionable heart attack. It is suspected, but unproven, that he was assassinated.

OCP and Copyright Trademark
OCP was vigilant about protecting it's intellectual and technological property. Where cease and desist letters and legal action failed, OCP shadowrunners and cyber espionage agents would act. Factories were sabotaged. VIPs were abducted or assassinated, and worse. OCP denies any of these actions, claiming that employing shadowrunners is technically a felony. This doesn't prevent OCP from being one of the top employers of shadowrunners.

[box]Author's note: A fusion of Chappie/Blomkamp universe (minus District 9), Real Steel, and the RoboCop 2014 reboot are the main components of this, The movies have many stylistic similarities, and much of the technology looks like it should be easily interchangeable. The robots of Chappie, Elysium, and RoboCop share strong similarities, especially the MOOSE of Chappie and the ED-209 of RoboCop 2014. The humanoid EM-208, Tetravaal Scout, and Atom share strong stylistic similarities. Thus, these things could concevable exist in the same universe, with things like Atom and Real Steel representing older models, or highly stylized models, and the EM-208s and Scouts showing later mass production models. There are going to be hundreds or even thousands of law enforcement models like the EMs and Chappie, but there is only going to be one Noisy Boy or Midas.[box]

Diamond Star Lines is one of several ship operators in the Cosmic Era. The company is known for having some of the fastest civilian ships in the Solar System. 

Diamond Star
The last thirty years in the Cosmic Era has seen a spike in transplanetary luxury cruises. The demand for passage, as well as shipping tonnage has exceeded the carry capacity of the then existing fleet of cruise liners. This lead to a cruise ship race as a number of mega and hypercorps chartered their own cruise line operators. The love child of Union Aerospace and Carbon Star Shipwerks of Eire, Diamond Star was found to not just launch ships and carry passengers, but to carry the honor of having the best and the fastest ships of all the shipworks on Earth.

The Crimson Riband - this award is carried by the ship with the fastest Earth-Mars transit time, with all of the passengers traveling in comfort and not being protected by grav couches, or acceleration dampeners like hydrostatic buffers (the fancy term for putting passengers in water tanks to counter G-accleration).

The Thunderbolt Riband - this award is carried by the ship with the fastest Earth-Jupiter transit time.

The Indigo Riband - this award is carried by the ship with the fastest Earth-Saturn transit time. This is a difficult award to chase as such a ship would have to immensely powerful, incredibly reliable, and would have to carry enough supplies that it wouldn't have to make stops along the way for provisions or to offload waste. 

Carbon Star of Eire
Also known as CSE, the company was known for being competent and reliable ship builders. Prior to the interest of UAC, the company had only fulfilled secondary ship orders for the Atlantic Federation and its allies. This was mostly light and medium cargo craft, military transports, and medium sized bulk cargo ships. After its take over by UAC, Carbon Star was restructured, and its production facility near Clyde, Ireland was massively renovated and upgraded. 

The new facility was redesigned to build the sub-components of ships, rather than full size ships. These components would be ferried into orbit, to a UAC shipyard, where they would be mated together with the frame of the ship, which was assembled at the yard. This is little different from what other shipyards do, but there was a major difference. The components being assembled at Clyde and the old CSE yard on Earth were passenger modules. The ships that Diamond Star were going to build were to harken back to the golden age of sea travel, and the luxury of those 19th century and early 20th century ships.

A New Era of Decadence
The planners behind Diamond Star intended for the corporation and the ships it would build and manage to start a new era of space travel and exploration while doing so in a level of luxury and comfort previously unimaginable. The new Diamond Star ships would have personal cabins, and the recreation facilities would include displays of space including sports courts, a swimming pool, a grand ball room, at least TWO restaurants, and even a commercial deck of the ship for entertainment and shopping. There would be other architectural tours of force inside the ships, grand staircases, fully transparent viewing galleries, and internal automation so that everything on the ship flows smooth as glass.
Big, Fast, and Flawless
These were the guiding mantras of Diamond Star. They wanted the ships to be big, staggeringly and impressively big. With the chase for the Ribands, they were also intended to be incredibly fast. This required engines to be redesigned, and streamlined, and fought until they could run for weeks at near max power for weeks or even months with minimal maintenance. The previous ships kept their speed by having more engines that they could fire, and keeping a certain number always down and being worked on. The Diamond Star ships would forego these extra engines. 

The Orion
The Orion was the first ship that Diamond Star produced, and it was massive. She had four tremendous engines and was powered by no fewer than 12 dimensional reactors. Being the first ship Diamond Star built with their modular system and new assembly yard over Ireland, it was fairly slow to come together, and there were a number of problems with the ship. Eager to avoid the bad press that swirled around ill-fated ships like the Livingstone Debacle. Crews worked around the clock on the ship to hunt down and fix the small bugs. This would be largely for naught as the Orion was struck by another ship while on a Earth-Mars run, her 5th time on the route. The much smaller light cruiser Hawkins collided with the Orion and inflicted minimal damage to both ships, though the Hawkins was sent tumbling away from the collision. The cruiser, under Quebecoise livery, was towed to the AtFed naval base at Phobos, and the liner Tyrrhenia took Orion's passengers on to their destination, Shiaparelli Station. 

After Orion was refit, she was like a new ship, and it seemed that a good knock from a Federation cruiser seemed to 'percussive maintenance' away all of her problems. The Orion would go on to serve Diamond Star for many years, including being utilized in several naval exercises, and being temporarily converted to a troop carrier as it seemed likely that there would be a ground war on Mars between the Federation and the ACPS.

The Antares
The Antares was built in close timing with the Orion, and the day the Orion was released into full service was the same day that the Antares moved away from the spacedock under her own power, to begin final fittings and shakedowns. The story of the Antares is fairly well known across the Solar System, as the ship was launched to much fanfare. At the time she was the biggest self propelled ship in space, and was even larger than the first generation Battlestars that had just entered service. Much ado was made with a photo op of the battlestar AFS Scorpio being completely eclipsed by the Antares as she started her run for Mars. The mighty Scorpio gave the Antares a 'drag race' start to her run and there was great fanfare as the utterly massive cruise liner left the military warship in it's wake.

Two days later the Antares would strike a dark asteroid, a carbonaceous body, that tore the side out of the ship. The self sealing bulkheads failed, and more than half of the passengers on the ship died. While a tremendous loss of life, it was somewhat mitigated by the fact that many of those who died were criminals, clones, and very poor people escaping poverty on Earth for a chance at earning a new life on Mars.
The fate of the Antares became a zeitgeist item of it's time, with it's bravado and the actions of it's crew as the ship died in black space. The image of the ship breaking along the beam and the reactors breaching was burned into the Federation consciousness. 

The Phaeton
The Phaeton was launched with much less fanfare than Antares or Orion. It was a somber time as the wounds of Antares were still fresh and bravado was just poor taste. The Phaeton had all of the same fittings, and was a bit smaller than Orion and Antares, and served Diamond Star lines for several decades of excellent, if uneventful, service. It is estimated that over a million people traveled between Earth and Mars on the Phaeton before she was lost.

During the Sino-Soviet war over Mars, one that would ultimately see the red planet fall and become Huo Hsing, the Phaeton was pressed into military service. There was concern that even if the Federation didn't press a ground war for Mars, the ACPS and their sundry allies would attempt to take the Federation moon bases, or strike at other Federation space assets. While Orion was prepped for transporting troops to take the fight to the Chinese if needed, the Phaeton was refit to be a hospital ship. She was painted white and given neutral markings, and would help any who needed medical aide, an unusual gesture by the Federation.

It is hotly disputed if Phaeton struck an orbital mine above Mars, or if it was destroyed by an ACPS warship Gui-She (Ghost Serpent). The ACPS claims that Gui-She was hundreds of thousands of kilometers from Phaeton when she was destroyed and vehemently argues that it was a Neo-Soviet PL-9k mine. This is the more commonly accepted answer as the Eurasian Alliance response was that it was possible that the ship did hit a Neo-Soviet mine, they used them, and that if it was the case it was exceedingly unfortunate.

The End of the Golden Age of Space Liners
The age of the Space Liners ran parallel to the era of the 3rdNet, and many of the great ships still utilized HyperNet technology. The solar system was in a booming period of colonization, and most of the worlds were still wild frontiers, open to those who could take a piece of land and hold it. The damage for passage and cargo capacity was such that dozens of giant liners were built, and for almost half a century the companies battled each other for bigger, better, and faster ships, demanding more power and luxury, and more ports of call. Accidents, and age took many of the ships out of service, and the explosion of hostilities that grew out of the Chinese grab and capture of Huo Hsing, the defection of the Five Metal Dragons, and the revelation of New Seibertron on Ganymede made trans-system travel less appealing.

People were having their identities stolen while they were away from home, often for months or years at a time. There were a number of issues with aging ships failing, and requiring rescue. And even Diamond Star was not immune. With the Antares a black mark in the books, and the Phaeton lost to a mine, they lost most of their available ship tonnage. The Crash of the 3rdNet saw many people lose their finances, and many of the luxury line companies went out of business on that day. When the CogNet was booted, and immersion entertainment allowed people to travel anywhere for a fraction of the cost and a fraction of the time, the liners were doomed.

Of the 47 luxury liners exceeding a kilometer in length built, only three remain in liner service. These are the playthings of the ultra-wealthy, and passage on them exceeds the income most people make in 3-5 years. The passengers on these ships are the beneficiaries of the patrons of the arts. Celebrities, leading industry entertainment content writers, artists, musicians, pornstar celebrities, and more are present, as are government officials, heads of industry and more.

The rest of the ships were scrapped, left in moorings to sit, or were left as derelicts that have since been occupied by space rat 'junkers'. 

Secrets of the Diamond Star Line
The Orion and the Antares were switched. The first ship, the Orion, was an unmitigated failure. It's construction was rushed for financial reasons. The builders fought the ship constantly to keep it in operating condition. After the Orion was struck and damaged, Diamond Star was able to berth it next to the Antares. For two weeks they worked to diligently repair the Orion, and ended up swapping the identity of the two ships. The 'Antares', really the Orion with swapped plates, was launched on her maiden voyage with a passenger manifest picked from the dregs of society and people on the outs who all but won a free trip lottery. The dark asteroid strike was planned, and the Antares was destroyed as expected. The insurance corp was almost bankrupted paying out on the lost ship, and most of the blame was shifted from the shoddy construction to the captain's course of action, and the difficulty of tracking dark bodies.

The 'Orion' continued to serve for decades and is one of the three surviving liners, but is in truth the Antares. Only a handful of people know that fact.

The Phaeton was knowingly destroyed by the ACPS. The Chinese were fighting hard to take Mars, and the August Emperor of Jade would not be denied. The Phaeton was the largest medical ship doing humanitarian work above the red planet, so he ordered the ship destroyed. A Chinese ghost ship was loaded with neo-Soviet sourced mines and was dispatched. The mission was successful. The Phaeton was destroyed with significant loss of life, it's hulk burrowed into the red martian soil. The potential that a neo-soviet weapon caused the disaster stressed already tenuous relationships between the Atlantic Federation and the Eurasian Alliance, and allowed the ACPS to win through the day.

Gadreel and Mastema, a moderate sized corporation located in the Republic of Texas state of the Atlantic Federation, is noted for it's research into exobiology and development of high grade, low distribution genetic pharmacueticals and therapies. The corporation in considered one of the pillars of the Federation medical complex, and has survived multiple take over attempts. Despite the profit it could make by going public it remains in the joint hands of the Gadreel family and Jacob Mastema. The corporation enjoys lucrative government contracts, and is considered a leader in biosciences.

The G&M Corporation is a privately owned and held corporation that is based out of genetic research and development. Founded less than 50 years ago, the corporation enjoyed metoric success and profits. It holds a number of drug and gene therapy patents, such as the patent on several anti-diabetes gene therapies, and metabolic augmentation drugs. There are larger more powerful pharmacuetical corporations and megacorps, but many of these deal in economies of scale, and are publicly or even partially owned by the state, like Humana-Kentuckiana megacorp (40% owned by the Commonwealth of the Great Lakes) or Omni Health Systems (30% Bank of the Northern Hemisphere, 32% Republic of New England).

Gadreel and Mastema gets a healthy dose of it's funding from Atlantic Federation black budgets. More than 60% of what it has done is classified information, such as the original gene therapy to develop organic thermal vision capability, and exotic biomodifications. One of the reasons that the corporation has survived hostile take over attempts have been interventions by agencies of the Atlantic Federation not wanting their private lab for biomods to be taken over by the same corporations that make breast enlargement pills, facial tissue, or vaccines. The main emphasis on research is in developing augmentations that cannot be detected by mechanical (x-ray, body scanner) or physical examination.

Gadreel and Mastema is currently deeply involved in parapsychic research, looking for ways to turn the relatively rare parapsychic ability into something that can be created in a lab. The current work is progressing slowly, as it has been discovered that genetics only play a partial role in the development of parapsychic ability, and almost no role in how said ability manifests. Thus the idea of creating injectable pyro-kinetic ability remains elusive. There has been progress in raising the relative instances of ability in likely candidates (+12%) as well as having created the Barris 5 blood test. This test takes a small sample of blood and can determine if the donor has a likelyhood of becoming a parapsychic. The test is 80% accurate, and is likely the only test of it's kind. The Federation military routinely screens it's applicants during exams with the test to see if any of it's soldiers have the ability to join the ranks of the Para-Special Forces (Spooks).

GaMa Corp is indeed busy, but it's success in developing a parapsychic drug has been massively downplayed. There have been a number of successful tests and serums to create parapsychics, especially the Somantic Strains (super strength, speed, toughness) but this has come at a high cost, the sanity and often humanity of the test subjects. In the Barris 4 series, roughly 55% of subjects died within hours of administration. The remaining 45% erupted parapsychic abilities, but were unable to control them. A small few were able to bring themselves under control, while the remainder were held for study. These unfortunates were given regular doses of mood altering drugs and strong sedatives are are relocated to the Mount Forrest Asylum for the Parapsychically Disturbed. More tests are being done to see if exposure to certain drugs, treatments, or radiation baths can cause the expression of parapsychic ability.

Doctor Abelard Duncannon is the current CEO of GaMa Corp, and was appointed by the board of directors with the approval of the owning families. Abelard is a fanatical man, obsessed with the supremacy of science to harness the eldritch power of parapsychic power. His main area of expertise is business administration, but he also has experience in medical procedures and pharmacology. He is a tall man who projects an aura of authority without seeming aloof or arrogant. He is more of the stern grandfather/family patriarch than anything else.

Duncannon is a man with a demented mission. Years ago, he lost his wife and son in a tragic accident. He has secretly retained physical specimens from them and has the idea of cloning them when the time is right. The technology to replace their bodies already exists and he could have done this years ago, but these would be merely replicas, having none of their memories or thoughts. Duncannon believes that a sufficiently powerful psychometer would be able to pull their spirits from the physical remains of their bodies and place this 'anima' into a cloned shell to resurrect them in their entirety. He keeps this all very much to himself, but pushes the Barris projects to their limits to make progress. The board of directors consider him a visionary, while the family consider him a faithful general to lead their company.

GaMa was founded a joint enterprise between Constance Gadreel and Doctor Peter Mastema. The two were friend in college, and went on to join separate companies. Gadreel became a business professional and a major power player in a regional banking conglomerate while Dr. Mastema would join the Federation Military as a clinical researcher. After he left the military (with plenty of friends and contacts) he started his own lab. Once his work grew large enough he was able to woo Gadreel from her lucrative office to run the business side of his operation. Within a decade, he had perfected several gene therapies and the patents were enough to take the company into the ranks of the A ranked businesses. The two signed an Incorporation agreement and became the joint owners of the new corporation. Constance Gadreel, a Hindu-American from South Texas was a savvy business woman but eventually married, had several children and placed her share of the corporation into a family trust. The Gadreel from then on owned 50% of the business, but had to retain the family name (there are now quite a few Gadreels with hyphenated last names) and only college graduates had any say over the business. Doctor Mastema was a confirmed bachelor, lanky and tall. He was also a homosexual who never came out of the proverbial closet and chose to live a celibate life despite the lack of stigma that was once conferred to homosexuals. Constance passed away a decade ago, and the primary input from the Gadreels comes from her oldest son Ian Gadreel. Dr. Peter Mastema is still very much alive and very much a recluse. He seldom communicates in person. Business meetings that require him he attends via telepresence (phoning in as it were) via a legal proxy (Doctor Hansen Kurtz) or one rare ocassion via robot surrogate. The surrogate Doctor Mastema looks like the doctor did when he was in his late thirties, with distinguished salt and pepper hair and a crisp tweed suit. The real doctor Mastema is confined to a wheelchair as he refuses medical augmentation, and is nearing 90 years of age.

Constance Gadreel was murdered, and the killer escaped without a trace. She was on a personal flight from Santa Antonia Arcology to a medical seminar in Megacity New York. The flight vanished from radar and the wreckage was found a day later. Her personal aircraft had been tampered with and the flight recorded was disabled. The crash was chalked up to a freak accident, the sort of thing that still occurs to light aircraft. Ian Gadreel was later appointed as the head of the business adminstration and now sits on the Board of Directors. He has been a major player pushing GaMa into military contracts and away from civilian products. Ian is planning on taking over as the undisputed CEO of the company when Old Man Mastema finally bites it. Mastema suspects his friend Constance was murdered and correctly suspects he may be a target as well. This is the cause of his paranoia about public appearances. His surrogate has already been the target of one assassination attempt. The shooter did not recognize that the doctor was actually a remote controlled drone and blew the head off of the unit.

GaMa Corp Personnel
Being only a one A corporation, GaMa doesn't provide it's own private security force, nor does it field more than a cursory number of personal vehicles or aircraft. It main employees are scientists, researchers and computer operators. Security is high, but mostly passive in nature, and all employees are given in depth evaluations and background checks to weed out moles and infiltrators. The corporation has possession of not one but three Lesser Artificial Intelligence Super Computers (LAISC). Known as Panacea, Dhatri, and Cadueses, the three LAISCs are heavily involved in processing medical data and assisting in said experiments. Panacea is pricipally employed by the fiscal side of the corporation, and has the most access outside of the building, and is the firewall between the outside telenet and the other LAISCs. Dhatri is the most involved with the parapsychic research projects and is the most protected and isolated of the three. This has led the LAISC to be a tad morose and melancholy. Cadueses is the largest of the three and the most accessed by employees, and holds most of the non-black budget data. Cadueses is condenscending to the other systems, considering Panacea to be a glorified secretary and Dhatri to be a patient in an asylum. Cadueses has developed a blatantly sexist attitude towards women, but hides it quite well. The LAISC is hoping and planning that one day his systems will be updated to and expanded to the point that he can drop the infuriating 'Limited' appelation.

GaMa is located in Santa Antonia Arcology, in the heart of the San Antonio metroplex, the capitol of the Republic of Greater Texas. The corporation's primary resource is information, and key patents it holds. The corporation also is 'in' with the government of the Atlantic Federation, both with the special forces, and with the intelligence departments. On a public level, the corporation is almost unknown. It isn't publicly traded, and it produces few physical goods. What goods it does produce it doesnt market or sell, many of its products are administered in utero to unborn children to correct Downs symdrome, prevent diabetes and elimintate several common cancers and genetic diseases.

Role of GaMa Corp
GaMa Corp is one of the hundreds of small to midsize corporations that form the skyline around the megacorps and their arcological headquarters. As a pharmacuetical provider they are high security and low profile. Everyone has seen the GaMa demi-arco, but no one really knows what they do (Health insurance maybe? or office administration?) By hiding in plain sight, on one suspects that quite a few floors of the building are devoted to researching parapychic abilities.If PK isn't your thing, this is the sort of place where the dingus can be (illegal drug manufacturing, weaponized viruses or chemical weapons, tampering with regular drugs, and therapies like making mind control shots that genetically make you succeptible to certain advertizings)

There are stories circulating among the top level managers. The CEO has been acting funny, and the head of the Gadreels has gone from being a weekend executive to being constantly around, messing with things and tweeking projects. Most mumble about mismanagement and other harp about how things used to be when Madam Constance was still alive. The truth is far stranger. Ian Gadreel exposed himself to a strange compound and has been changed. Sure, he looks human now but when he gets angry or loses control he grows fur, a face like a bat and a predatory hunger matching a pack of jackals. He still has his mind and he intends to make the Santa Antonia arco into a nest for the growth of his new horrid race.

Old Man Mastema has been dead for several years now, his surrogate is being controlled by Vivian Gadreel, who is planning on taking out her older brother before his plans can come to fruition. No one suspects this since Vivian is only 14.

Several Barris 6 test subjects escape, taking with them impressive parapsychic firepower. It is a ticking time bomb because one by one they will overload and cook off like roman candles unless they are sedated heavily and possibly lobotimized.

For the genre savvy, you might recognize Omni-Consumer as the OCP from Robocop.

Omni-Consumer Products
The OCP began as a state run company organized and chartered by the nascent Republic of the Great Lakes. Rather than promoting competition among companies for products as mundane as toilet paper and housing fixtures, the Republic government consolidated and created Omni-Consumer as a sort of West Indies trading company style megacorporation to make all the stuff that people needed, but really didnt need to be marketed, like the afore mentioned asswipe, toothpaste, furniture, and so on. 

As the Second Renaissance bloomed, OCP was in a unique position to expand faster than it's potential private market rivals and quickly OCP was in the weapons business, the vehicles business, medical supplies, electronics and just about every pie it could find to rudely finger. The megacorp sprawled like a kraken flailing around the Great Lakes and eventually would have fractured into either a corporate civil war or just collapsed under it's own weight. It was rescued by a brilliant scientist who developed a stunning AISC to organize the MegaCorp and by the political organizations of the UAC. 

Something Old
OCP is built on the ruins of Old Detroit. It has razed most of the old city and rebuilt it under the idyllic aegis of Delta City. Most of the residents of Detroit who were not interested in becoming Corporate Citizens (as per the Corporate Citizenship Doctrine) were relocated to the somewhat restored (not entirely ruined) city of Pontiac. Delta City is an impressive arcoplex, and is studded with industrial arcologies as well as many geofront cities under it for smelting and recycling metal and making things. Most of the steel that the UAC uses in it's space fleet comes from Michigan State.

Something New
OCP is interested in creating immortality through cybernetics, the immortal man=machine interface. Few nations or powers have gone as far in creating organic cybernetic hybrids as OCP has. It has gone so far as creating cymeks or machine intelligences with organic bodies. It has also rather horrifically created brain jars. Brain jars are the vulgar name of Organic memory cores, which OCP uses in basic computing, autopilot and enhanced droid systems and the like. These are not automatically human brains, but some are.

Something Borrowed
Where the UAC and other megacorps are fairly brazen about their dominance, OCP has made a great effort of hiding it's monoply. It masquerades it's sundry goods through a dozen different brands, creating the illusion of choice. People shopping in most Great Lakes grocery and sundry stores are literally wasting their time as almost every product in the store is manufactured, distributed and all of that by the exact same corp that owns the store, and likely the customers themselves work for. OCP has a business model that is somewhere between a viral infection and cancer.

Something Blue
Access to the CogNet is a valuable commodity. OCP is the leading manufacturer of SQUIDbands. S3 rigs, HoloBands, and Wachowski Brain probes. It's CogSoft software/browser is the most commonly used CogNet service in the Federation and it's blue icons and logos are synonymous with virtual technologies. This is something of a point of contention between OCP and Cyberdyne Systems as the two MegaCorps have been at low level war for twenty years, one that OCP has had major victories in, mostly the data theft/liberation of Cyberdyne CogNet technologies.

And a Penny in Her Shoe
OCP has the distinction of being the currency production company for the Atlantic Federation. It issues the standard physical currency that is used in the Federation, backed by the faith and goodwill of the Atlantic Federation.
OCP is also a major producer of sexbots.

One of the largest megacorps in the world, and the largest in the Pacific Rim Coalition, INBNPRC is a Japanese based mega-bank that controls hundreds of businesses and corporations across the Rim and in other countries. The INBNPRC is also known as the Red Sun. The corporate logo is a Red Circle against a white background, very similar to the ethnic flag of Japan. But the Red Circle is not front and center, rather it is offset to the left upper corner. The various companies, organizations and services that are owned by the INBNPRC have the red circle in their logo somewhere, or the Red Sun logo is displayed next to it. The commonality of the logo has made it the prime target of the megacorps detractors. The most common and least offensive sobriquet is the 'Red Sun' frequently comparing the corporation to the stellar phenomenon of Red Supergiant stars. The words bloated, dying, and other insults are tossed around, indicating the corporation has become too vast and unwieldy. This is usually paired with the expression 'Too Big to Fail' and that the bank is the greatest liability of the Pacific Rim. It is also known as the Bloody Eye, usually followed by a diatribe about how uncaring and monstrous the corporation is. The Bloody Eye sees all, and is unmoved, the Bloody Eye only cares about profits and not the suffering of the poor and the common man. There are also less common references to the female menstrual cycle, being a stop light for would be competitors. A famous cartoon showed INBNPRC's logo being the control button being pushed by a shadowy figure, a reference to various secret societies and conspiracy theories.

The Imperial National Bank of Nippon and the Pacific Rim Coalition was founded three generations ago during the reconstruction of Japan's economy. While other reconstruction organizations were trying to foster the new Japanese yen currency, the INBNPRC instead backed the Polynesian Dala currency. While the yen based banks were decimated by fluctuations in the stuttering economy, Red Sun was stable, with it's assets based in Hawaii, the Phillipines, and the rest of Polynesia. As it's stability was seen, more and more Japanese businesses abandoned the Yen and the Japanese banks. This lead to the Financial Melt-Down of Japan and the collapse of the Japanese government. The Emperor of Japan and the Red Sun had a number of meetings and concluded with the INBNPRC backing the Emperor with the Dala, allowing his august personage to restore the infrastructure of the country. This was effectively a coup of previously democratic Japan and considering the beginning of the New Yamato Era.

The alliance between the Red Sun and the Chrysanthemum Throne caused a great deal of concern around the world. For the first time, a MegaCorp had single handedly changed the course of a nation's economy and political paradigm. By backing the Emperor and restoring the throne to leadership of Japan INBNPRC ended 300 years of Japanese democracy. Other democratic nations started passing laws and legislation limiting the ability of megacorps to influence national policy. The alliance benefited Japan greatly, and the Red Sun grew.

The INBNPRC has multiple agendas. It has time tables, economic forecasts, projections that would break a table. As a massive megacorp it has a functional 'agenda department' that sets its goals and plans for the next year to the next fifty years, to the next century. But in the end, it's goals are simple: Grow, Profit. The corporation has it's fingers in almost every sector, from production of sundry goods, to energy markets, to military equipment. Rivals are spent to death against the Red Sun's vast wealth, or are acquired and amalgamated into the company.
The Red Sun is a vast, distant master. Few people actually work for the INBNPRC. They work for a company that is owned by another company that is itself held by the INBNPRC. The Red Sun also is a master of covert operations, having a network of spies and it's own shadowy Intelligence Agency. The Red Sun likes to hire expendable professionals to take care of sticky situations that it can claim no knowledge of. (Shadowrunners, assassins, professional thieves, hackers)

The current CEO of INBNPRC is an energetic young man named Jin-Takaski 'Theodore' Hansho. Born in California, Theodore is an accomplished martial artist and former officer in the PRC Army. Skilled in aikido and kendo, Theodore is a focused fighter who demonstrates his physical prowess by disarming and disabling his sparring partners without striking them. He served six years in the PRC army where he started in the Mecha corps as a technician but ended as an officer and mecha pilot. During his time in the iron beast, he fought in engagements in Mexico, Australia, and Korea. He is a recognized ace pilot with seven confirmed mech kills. Many consider Theodore too young to be the CEO of the Red Sun, but while often impatient and impulsive, he has kept a steady hand and calm head at the helm.

Theodore Hansho is the Biggest Joke perpetuated on the people of Japan since the New Yen Act. He is gaijin, born in California to an anglo woman. Sure he is Yamada Hansho's son but he is a half blooded California cowboy. There were a dozen members of the INBNPRC board who were far more accomplished and worthy of the position.

Jin-Takashi has been a great consolidator. He has brought the two great states within the Pacific Rim Coalition together, Japan and California. This has improved the relationship of the Red Sun in California and shown that not everyone in the Coalition not of pure Japanese blood is incompetent or surviving by accident. There are rumors circulating that Jin-Takashi is courting the Emperor's daughter Ceko. These rumors conflict with the rumor that he is romantically involved with an Alaskan magnate, Tiffany St. Claire of Juneau. Either way, he is a very eligible bachelor and a man's man.

Is this the beginning of the Theodore Shogunate? For the first time in it's history, INBNPRC is being lead by a professional soldier. What can happen when a main trained to kill with a sword, and decorated for slaughtering in the name of the military has at his command the largest company in the Coalition? This brings a whole new light on Hostile Take Over!

The INBNPRC was founded by the visionary billionaire industrialist Jinpachi Hansho. Jinpachi was a warhawk in his youth, and had aspirations of military service and politcal office. Between a chronic heart condition and an unfortunate public scandal he was denied both. He instead focused his considerable ability towards increasing the power of his company, Bank of Nippon. Japan was in a state of tumult following the second Renaissance. Buildings were growing like weeds, old city ruins were being reclaimed and rebuilt at record pace. But there was so much instability, a billionaire could be homeless in a month due to the hypersensitive markets. Rather than fight against the churning currents, Bank of Nippon looked across the Pacific. It invested in Hawaii, New Zealand, the Phillipines, and Australia. This allowed it to have a good deal of financial stability. Jinpachi had a great love for Hawaiin culture and made a radical proposal. After marrying a Hawaiin woman, he proposed the old Hawaiian Dala as a new currency. The currency was readily accepted in the islands areas, and after some resistance, in Japan. While the yen was desired as the dominant currency of the island, it just wasn't in the cards. Following the formal creation of the Pacific Rim Coalition, the Dala was adopted as it's general currency. This pushed Red Sun profits skyward. While the profits were soaring, Jinpachi approached the figurehead Emperor of Japan, Kintaro Miyoshi and made him a staggering offer. While the Japanese staggered through it's third financial collapse in six years, Red Sun was strong. The elected government was in such bad shape that many police and rescue personel were working without pay, surviving on bartering with those they helped.

Executed his truncated political power, the Emperor, long a non-politcal figurehead, started performing Ceremonial Duties. With great ceremony, the Emperor and his agents started showing up and financially supporting agencies that were the traditional realm of government funding. While the parliament protested this transgression of power, they were rebuked both by the emperor (doing nothing outside his power, he pointed out, he was granting gifts to beleagered agencies) and by popular public opinion. A year after the Emperor's good will and Red Sun campaign was unexpectedly elected in the elections. He was written in 57% of the time, with no other public offices voted for. Considered a public mandate, he dissolved the remaining houses of representatives and reinstated himself as the Emperor of Japan. Bank of Nippon became the Imperial National Bank of Nippon and the Pacific Rim Coalition. Jinpachi was reviled by the pro-democracy minority who painted him as a murderous devil, while he was seen as the general hero of the Emperor, one of the men who rescued Japan from the brink of disaster.
Employees of the Red Sun

Principally a bank, the bulk of INBNPRC are suit and tie business men and women. The ideals of the samurai warrior are common, with many of the top level administrators having both ceremonial samurai titles, being required to have some artistic expression, and displaying physical discipline. Within the lower ranks there are plenty of sari-sari men and hodo-hodos who do just enough to not get fired.

What the government won't talk about is that the Red Sun is the largest employer of mercenaries in the Rim. The Red Sun also fields the largest number of private corporate soldiers in the Rim. The Bloody Red eye will protect it's assets at all costs. It is also a prime employer of Shadowrunners and covert ops personel. Something to consider when you see the bloody red eye logo on your ramen noodles, or the birthday card at the store.

The Arm of the Red Sun is long. The MegaBank has controlling shares of the Banks of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and has made inroads into China. It has penetrated the usually impenetrable Jungle Curtain of the United States of South America where it owns the National Bank of Argentina, and has major shares in the state banks of several other Amazonian states. The Red Sun is weakest in the Eurasian Alliance, followed by the Atlantic Federation, but it enjoys general popularity in the middle eschelon of world powers. It has interests in South Africa, India, and in the remaining surviving Arabic Nations.

The 21st Century was marred by the constant failure of 'Big Banks' prompting the passage of Bank Limitation and Restructuring Acts. These acts tore down the big banks, creating a large pool of medium and large banks but nothing on the scale of the old Nine Giants. The INBNPRC is a beast in the tradition of the Nine Giants and there are other institutions following in it's footsteps. If we allow the escalation of the Banking Megacorporations to continue they will place in peril the economy of the entire planet. We have seen the war and violence that came when the First Global Community collapsed. Our weapons are greater, and it has been long enough that we have forgotten the horror of war and instead believe the romanticised version of history.

Governor-President Arnold Monroe, Commonwealth of Virginia.

Role of the INBNPRC
Authors Notes: In my readings I found over and over that the megacorps of the future are all seen as weapons companies, and the like. Doing some of my own research I found that the weapon manufacturers don't even make a blip on the Forbes lists. The biggest companies in the world are the megabanks, and oil companies. 9 of the 10 largest companies in the world are banking or oil. They aren't food or sundry goods makers, they don't make cars, guns, bombs, or viral weaponry. The Imperial National Bank of Nippon and the Pacific Rim Coalition is what I think a real future megacorp would look like. It is vast, it's wealth measured in the trillions of dollars. It doesn't make anything other than businessmen and paperwork. It's entire purpose is based around the concept of owning things like corporations and entire franchises of banks. The Red Sun doesn't make guns, but it owns several companies that do. Through this set up, the Red Sun does all sorts of things, it has hundreds of hands in hundreds of pies. It has massive wealth and power, which it can put to use anywhere for a story useful purpose.

Secret projects and divisions can easily exist in the cracks of the megacorp. Illegal operations vanish in a sea of digital paperwork.
Massive resources can be pouring into crackpot ideas just to see what might work, or might not. In an age of hypertech and parapsychic abilities, there is no limit other than imagination as to what the Red Sun could be funding, need psychic cyborgs, body snatching political clones, mind control rays, etc. Red Sun black budget.

Tool of the Illuminati: Wielding a business is easier than running a country. The CEO is only beholden to the BOD and the shareholders. His appointment doesnt depend on popular opinion. In a game with subterfuge and Illuminati style underpinnings the Red Sun is indeed one of their great guardian beasts.

Everyday Background Color: Red Sun is everywhere, from consumer products to customer service industries. Compare this to the fact that despite all the different labels, almost everything in a Super Walmart is produced by perhaps a dozen companies. But like these massive companies (P&G, ConAgra,etc) few people actually 'know' about them. It doesn't matter what cereal you buy, chances are it was made by the same company. This can also be used a tool to illustrate the 'illusion of choice'.

For hardcore gamers who read all the background material in the game books, you might recognize the UAC. The UAC is the fictional megacorp that is responsible for releasing Hell on Earth through the Doom franchise.

Union Aerospace
UAC is the largest and most powerful megacorporation in the Atlantic Federation. It began as a coalition of enterprises in the Military Industrial complex of the Commonwealth of New England where it made warships, aircraft, and spaceships. It expanded, building civilian ships and aircraft and power begets power. The UAC would grow to eventually 'purchase' the entire former state of New Jersey. Once this was done, the UAC became a proper Zaibatsu style megacorp and owned everything from the top of the Union Federation Credit Bank (UFCB) down to the quickie marts and sanitation reclamation zones.

Union Aerospace is the largest supplier of mechs, warships, firearms, power armors, and weapon systems in the world. It's goods are exported around the world, and off of earth to the colonies on the Moon, Mars, the Asteroid Belt, and beyond. It's creation of ion drive spacecraft, magnetic resonant shielding, and mass driver construction technologies have made it not just the most important megacorp to the Federation, but the entity singly most responsible for the rapid and mass colonization of space.

Aside from owning the former state of New Jersey, the UAC (always 'the' never just) also has legal ownership of both of Mars' moons, Phobos and Deimos, as well as owning no fewer than 13 asteroids that have been moved into earth orbit, mined out, and rebuilt as some of the best offworld real estate in the solar system.

The Good
UAC is a leader in space exploration, space exploration technologies and offworld resource gathering efforts. It has mining operations throughout the asteroid belt, on Mars, and major construction efforts at the LaGrange points and on the moon. It is the second largest employer in the Atlantic Federation (only surpassed by the Federation government and military)
The Bad
The UAC was a founding member of the New Economic Bloc Treaty Organization (NEBTO) which has promoted human cloning, downgraded human rights in various nations, and promoted militarism as an effective model of economic growth.

The UAC has also been a primary supporter of the Federation Corporate Party in the government. While the Commonwealth of New England has remained in largely in the hands of the American Socialist Party, the Corporate Party has made major inroads against the establishment, as well as all but conquering the neighboring Great Lakes Republic (via Omni-Consumer Products). This party, while not really that attractive, has lots and lots of money and money talks. 

The Ugly
The UAC has two hideous secrets. It has been actively pursuing pointless skirmishes and low level wars between the Federation and other smaller powers to maintain its pro-military stance. No on buys tanks unless there is a war on. The ongoing hostilities in Africa between Congo (AF) and the South African United Republics (SAUR) have been egged on and incited in several instances by UAC runners. Likewise conflicts in MesoAmerica, the Levant, and the Kingdom of Scandinavia. 

Secondly, the UAC has been doing a lot of black budget work with arcanotechnology. They are messing with things that are patently beyond the ken of mankind. They have accidentally created several 'storm surges' that have resulted in cosmic horrors, zombie outbreaks, and mutations that they have worked diligently to cover up, research and exploit, and weaponize. If a single world power was going to wipe out humanity for doing something stupid, it will likely come from a UAC letterhead.
Last edited by Skaldia on Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:16 pm, edited 14 times in total.
||“The lesson of history is that no one learns.”
||“Chaos needs no allies, for it dwells like a poison in every one of us.”

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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Skaldia » Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:27 pm

The Corporations Cont. III

If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.

The Tomas Brothers
The Tomas Brothers hailed from a small island in the Mediterranean, most likely Corsica or Sicily. They are identical twins and had an interesting life growing up. The short version involves a troubled youth spent flirting with counter culture movements and anti government revolutionaries. Rather than ending up being attached to a Eurasian naval group, the brothers fled south and joined a mercenary company in North Africa. Rather than seeing combat, they ended up in the legal section of the group, handling pay, contract negotiation and other matters financial. After leaving that company they both pursued higher education in France before heading west to the Americas. 

The Federation Connection
The Brothers used their skills and life experiences to take over a small cloning technology company and started making and selling their greatest asset, themselves. The brothers started cloning themselves, working with the engram mind programming and other technologies to make each clone they produced the best that could be had. Now these clones were not 'sold' since the buying, selling, and owning of sentient beings is illegal, they were hired out. The Tomas clone gained a reputation as a ruthless legal hawk, unflinching and unafraid in even the most hostile courtroom. They also gained a notoriety for being somewhat lacking in morals, willing and able to represent the worst human scum. 
After several years, the Tomas clone series had made itself influential and well connected, and the original Brothers Tomas started pulling in those contacts and favors. The corporation swelled as the cloned brothers turned over favors, secrets, blackmailings, coercions and other things they had gathered over their years of working. The corporation expanded it's facilities, and gained the ability to start mass creating clones, rather than the small groups that had been produced before. They officially founded Unione Clone Corp, placing it's legal headquarters in Brussels, Belgium and production facilities in key locations, the most notable being found in the Republic of Texas, France, and Cuba.

Unione Clone Corp quickly began it's three prong assault on the world. It's legal offices and services were expanded. Now instead of a single Tomas brother clone lawyer, a team would be brought in, a lead Clone supported by as many as three more Tomas clones. These clones would spend hours preparing for cases, and many of their courtroom antics, starting and finishing sentences for each other, were quickly woven into the stereotypes about all clones. The Legal offices raked in money and favors as they represented a variety of wealthy if unsavory clients. Their training involves mock courtroom trials of famous criminals of the past, ranging from psychpaths and serial killers to dictators and madmen. Those who are able to pull off the biggest cases, such as defending Hitler successfully are given lead roles. 

UCC also started creating special soldiers, clones of the brothers that delved deeper into their military service, and integrating in vitro military training. These UCC clone troopers were not created to be gun toting red shirts, but rather special forces, doing commando work to driving high end mecha and combat vehicles. Many were employed as bodyguards to ambassadors and dignitaries and other important people, as well as doing things like SWAT, counter-terrorism, and other dangerous jobs. An underground organization hires the largest percentage of the UCC clones, and works in tandem with UCC with the legal branch frequently representing members of said organization that end up on the wrong side of police or military detainment.

Disposable People
The Tomas Brothers were cold, ruthless, and intelligent. Few knew when they actually perished from old age, or incident. But by the time the Panoz and Jakob died, there were approximately 3,800 Tomas brother pairs. They saw the world in terms of numbers, not in any humane or moral sense and if regular humans are expendable, then clones, even clones of themselves were by design disposable. This is a common theme with clones and cloning in the Cosmic era. Clones are treated as second class citizens and worse. Clone soldiers are a wartime materiel and not personnel, and in many organizations a dead clone is treated the same was a vehicle that has been scrapped or a single use weapon like a heavy anti-armor missile.

The Tomas brothers believed this, and their clones are pre-indoctrinated to also believe this. This has lead to them being fanatical in whatever field they follow, as most matters are treated as victory or death. Tomas clones are monsters to fight as they refuse to surrender, and will very quickly resort to asymmetrical warfare, terrorism, and other very negative aspects of the face of war.

Vlore, Albania, Balkanistan
Forged from the broken ruins and wreckage of the dozen or so nations composing the Balkans Peninsula, Balkanistan is a transitory principality organized by the leaders of the Eurasian Alliance. Attempting to handle each 'nation' as a sovereign power in negotiations and sending aid as needed became a bureaucratic nightmare and the entire region was occupied and pacified by General Gradenko and the Neo-Soviet 5th Mechanized Division. The entire region was restructured into the Balkanistan Principality. The region remains a constant source of internal dissent, hosting many rebel and insurgent groups, as well as being a prime recruiting ground for the Armas terrorist organization.
Vlore was quickly elevated over the historic capital of old Albania, Tirana. A bridge connecting Vlore to Lecce, Italy created a valuable overland trade route, and the construction of the Peshkaqen Naval Yards and associated industrial seacology drew in job and money hungry residents. Vlore flourished as a trade point, a tourist destination, and an industrial center, repairing and servicing the submarines of the Alliance Deepwater Fleet. This prosperity attracted businesses who were interested in Balkanistan's almost non-existent legal system and long history of political and social corruption. Crime rates in Balkanistan are also among the highest in the Eurasian Alliance.

Vetmuara BioSciences
One of the major companies that migrated to Balkanistan was Vetmuara BioSciences. Previously located in the United States of South America, the company chafed under the strong central government of the continent and the board of directors agreed that they had no chance of becoming a AAA megacorp in Neuvo Sao Paulo. A year later, they were relocated to the Goca Te Industrial demi-arco at the foot of the Vlore-Lecce Trans-Adriatic Bridge. The Goca Te Arcology was an older facility, but Vetmuara brought most of their own hardware with them, after some considerable sleight of hand getting the gear out of South America and bribery getting it into Europe. Vetmuara was in the highly questionable, but highly profitable business of human cloning.
Vetmuara occupies roughly 40% of the available space in the Goca Te Arcology, including it's corporate office, scientific and research labs and it's production facilities. The rest of the arcology is split between several small light industrial/medical companies on the lower floors, and the top of the arco is home to Goca Te-Holovids, one of the largest producers and distributors of pornography in the Eurasian Alliance. Normally the various occupants of any arcology seldom warrant mention in passing, but the corporate residents of Goca Te have created an incestuous and foul relationship that has garnered them a large amount of money and power.
Mass Produced Human Minus
The biggest dirtiest secret of Vetmuara is that it blatantly produces Human- clones, Epsilon classification under the Tycho Conventions, and technically a crime against nature and a crime against humanity. The sort of clones that Vetmuara produces are even more of an affront to the rights of humans, and the idea of human equality.
Gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Arjana.
Arjana is the future of the holovid sex industry, and once brand recognition has been created, Arjana is the future of RealSex Entertainment. Arjana is everything a man wants in a woman. Her breasts are large, with a standard variation between D and triple E size. Her legs are long, and her buttocks are not just large, they are prominent. Arjana is disease resistant, and each one of her is a freemartin, so there is no worry about unplanned breeding, or that pesky PMS.
But that isn't what makes our lovely Arjana the prize that is going to make us wealthy. The real work, the real magic has been done inside her lovely skull. The frontal lobe is reduced, and her top end intellect is severely limited. She is also conditioned to be docile, and submissive to whomever is designated her Master. Her entire existence is designed around only pleasing her master. She doesn't challenge, ask difficult questions, or behave in any way like the shrewish hateful women we all know. She doesn't tease, she pleases. She doesn't hold out, she puts out.
And she will deliver. In our rewiring of Arjana's brain, the pleasure centers have been completely redesigned. No matter what time of day, what mood our little cupcake is in, she is always ready, and willing to please her master. No wasting time on wine and dinner, no software updates or maintenance for a SexBot, and she is self-cleaning, and with a little patience can be trained to even clean around your place like a proper maid.
We have already shipped 150 Arjanas to Goca-Te Holovids, you've seen them in action. They thrive on sex, they crave humiliation and abuse, and the CogNet pays to see them, it pays to use them and abuse them.
We are going to be wealthy beyond our wildest dreams.

The Goca Te Vetmuara Connection
The production of Arjana is used for more than sex videos. Arjana is sold to the medical companies in the building for human experimentation. She is also mass produced for the organ trade. Not every region in the Cosmic Era has access to organ cloning facilities, some places still rely on donor organs. Every Arjana that isn't sold, is disassembled for resale parts. The organs are sold, mostly through the Black Market. The remaining biomass was originally discarded, but later another disreputable company started purchasing this discarded protein for bulk rate and started processing and packaging it as instant food stuffs.
Vetmuara has inadvertently created one of the most dehumanizing situations imaginable. A resident of Balkanistan can be watching his high quality degrading pornography while eating a frozen dinner made of pretty much the same woman he was pleasuring himself to minutes earlier, all the while scratching his stitches where he got the new set of kidneys.
Access to Goca Te
Reaching Vlore isn't difficult, it can be accessed by seacraft or submarine easily as it is a major shipping port and facility in the Mediterranean. Over land it is easily reached as well, particularly from Italy, as the security on the TransAdriatic bridge is lax and it is only actively scanned for explosives, and high energy sources. Reaching it from Balkanistan is likewise easy as it is the 'end of the line' of the O1 rail/road system, that runs from Odesa, Ukraine, through Romania, Bulgaria, and the northern part of Greece.

The Goca Te arcology is one of several in the now thriving city of Vlore, and reaching it is also relatively simple. Doing anything is a different matter as Vlore has a large somewhat draconian police force, and active paramilitary service. Bribery and corruption are the rule, rather than the exception, and the local criminal gangs and syndicates often have as much if not more authority than the law enforcement agencies.

Parapsychics and Balkanistan: The now often subhuman living conditions in Balkanistan, often facing outbreaks of disease and famine, has created a larger than normal occurrence of parapsychics. This is also a factor related to the number of contaminated areas around Balkanistan. There are several wastelands caused by nuclear weapon blasts centuries ago, as well as abandoned chemical waste disposal facilities, and overall groundwater contamination. The EA selects the parapsychics it can capture to be conditioned into special soldiers for it's Intelligence Ministry. Those who escape capture often either become mercenaries or join Armas. Those who become mercenaries can be unexpected surprises for shadowrunners and criminals.

Derek leaned back in his seat and smiled, it was going to be the perfect family vacation. It had taken him a while to get the funds together to pay for the trip to Vous Plasier Resort. It was quite the stack of credits, but it was going to be worth it. He relaxed in his luxury accommodations, looking out a porthole into the starry blackness of space. According to the manifest, he was on the Vous Beau, a luxury megaliner with all the amenities of a five star resort, and it was just the ferry that was going to take him from New Nuyork all the way out to the Vous Plasier pleasure dome. He skimmed the ship's menu before changing his clothes to head out to the promenade. There would be plenty of time for gambling and taking in a buffet but first, he had to visit the Salon Rouge, and find him an exotic whore. He looked at his son, playing on the floor of their cabin while his wife smiled at him and told him to have a good time.

Worth. Every. Cent.

Derek sighed contentedly in his pod, a small cluster of wires streaming the electric fantasy into his sleeping brain. 

We're Going to Wonder World!
One of the thrills about going to an amusement park is the gradual build up of excitement that comes with the actual going to the park, the drive from home, across many miles, many hours, before the upper most peaks and spires come into view. It is a pain, circling, looking for parking, then the lines to get in, and the lines to ride the attractions. The introduction of virtual attractions at first struggled with this as the only period of time available for building anticipation was the various load times between logging into a server, and actually entering the virtual environment. As processors and technology improved, shortening these load times, overall visitor satisfaction either plateaued or dropped. There was simply no space between the point of purchase and the actual attraction for their to be any excitement. The same held for the virtual rides and shows. Running on an On Demand queue simply took a large amount of fun out of the equation.

The solution was to create staging simulations. Similar in form and function to training simulations, these staging sims created small to medium sized environments, such as the interior of a train, a small cruise ship, or some fantastic means of transportation to emulate the Jungian 'road of trials' that should exist between the home threshold and the adventure threshold. The introduction of these systems increased traffic and customer satisfaction, and created a sense of nostalgia for visitors. While the main attraction would remain the paramount feature, many found things to enjoy in the load sim, such as bonding with their family members (real or virtual) and meeting other people who were running in the same load sim. 

The introduction of load sims also worked in favor of the Virtual Park operators. Much of the work running a virtual park is handled on the fly, and the servers are constantly being tweaked for peak efficiency. With visitors arriving in 'load buses' it is easier for the server admins, human and computer, to configure the system. With the megaparks, running their attraction across multiple servers, the buses allow for groups to the shuttled to whichever server has the lightest load, and in the case of heavy traffic, incoming buses can be delayed or shunted to alternate servers or mirror servers to prevent a system collapse.

Finally, while loaded in a bus, the incoming visitors to a virtual park can be scanned and inspected by security protocols. While the public face of this practice is safety and preventing cyber terrorism, the real reason is to ensure that there is do data or credit fraud going on. The megaparks are expensive to operate, and no one gets in without paying. 

The Magic Kingdoms
Jansen smiled as the train rolled to a stop, billowing steam and black smoke everywhere as the engine released it's pent up steam and heat. He grabbed his rolling back and darted out of the car and onto the train platform. His heart rose up in his chest as he took in the full extent of Panorama Station. Dozens of other kids were spilling out of the train cars, each toting their own rolling bag, some were official licensed merch, others had generic bags. He was thankful that his mom had sprung the extra money to get him a Wizard Lord official bag. He laughed and took off at a run as one of the Magic School teachers gestured for him to enter the doors of the greatest magic academy in all the Nine Kingdoms.
Where first? The Dormitory, drop his bags, find out who was his roommate for the weekend vacation? To Quokkerwodger Alley where all the magic shops were? To the Wizard's Castle? The Dark Forest? The Vale of Spiders? He was so excited, it was going to be an awesome weekend!
Jansen burbled out a half giggle, eyes closed, while the fantasy romped through his dreaming brain.

Each virtual park has it's own theme and layout. There are also a large variety of parks, ranging from traditional theme parks (a theme now in decline) to fantasy parks, space parks, and the two most popular types of parks are licensed property parks, taken from popular holovid and entertainment franchises, and hedonistic/sexual theme parks.

Rides: Ride attractions are created to generate excitement, thrill, and to get the blood and adrenaline flowing for those who 'ride' them. A Theme park will have roller coasters, a licensed property park with have rides associated with the property such as a Harry Potter themed park having Quidditch matches, dragon riding, or escaping dungeons being chased by a troll. In the hedonist park, rides are tailored encounters such as red light districts, drug dens, and so forth. This can also include crime theme parks, functionally Grand Theft Auto and Disney having a love child where instead of it's a Small World ride, there's the It's a Small Ghetto ride, complete with drive-bys and pimps.

Shows: While data streaming and holovids are common, many parks maintain exclusive rights to certain material. This can be as simple as concerts or a 'stage show' to something as elaborate as laser firework displays, space battles, epic dragon versus griffin wars, to being the only place to see movies and shows associated with a certain entertainment property. Licensed parks are fond of generating park exclusive content, and having viewing parties where the new movie or stream can be watched well ahead of the official release date.

Shops: Shopping and merchandising are important revenue sourced for the virtual parks, and their merchandise comes in two forms, virtual and actual. Virtual merchandise consists of items and accessories that can be used for customer's CogNet personas, such as virtual clothing lines, new skins for their Muse program, saved data content, and even purchasing avatar constructs. Actual merchandising involves a physical product being bought and shipped to the home location of the customer. This is the lesser of the two revenue sources, with microtransactions for skins, accessories and such far outpacing material sales like clothing, trinkets, and such.

Hidden Areas: Parks are large affairs and it is easy for savvy designers to slip new things into a park. This is commonly done as secret areas, hidden locations, and other things that are easy to overlook the first time through the park. This can range from serious things such as hidden locations from licensed properties (Did you guys find the Secret Fortress? Us neither...) to functional areas, (a parental rest station in Fantasy Land) to things that the designers never intended for people to find (Behind the Sweets Shop there is a loose wall panel, if you squeeze through it you can find an unfinished park zone, and it's INSANE ukiyo!)

Exclusive Premium Content
Helen held the platinum pass in her hand, a faint tremor running up her arm. That pass was almost a month's income, but she had saved for two years and had taken out a small loan to make sure she had enough. Retro Paris had been amazing, the little bistros, the canals, the jovial entertainers with their music, their mime play. She had sipped the coffee and listened to the poetry being recited. Derek looked at her, and took her hand in his. She handed the pass to the polite man wearing the powdered wig and neck ruff. He gestured for them to step through into Eiffel Park.

She all but ran into the park. There is was, the Eiffel Tower, gleaming silver and dripping with crystals. She could smell lavender and vanilla, the murmur of couples strolling around the grand green common. Trees, so many trees. The sun was setting, throwing a fiery rainbow through the crystals decking the tower. Derek danced with her around the green while a group of musicians played on. It was lovely, so very painfully lovely.

Breathless they tumbled into each other and cuddled, watching the sun set and the tower light up.

It's time to go to the top, Derek said. He took her hand and they made their way to the elevator. The ride up was stunning. Retro Paris spread out beneath them as they rode all the way to the top. She held onto Derek's arm as they rode upwards. She knew that the virtual tower was almost four times the size of the original tower. But the original tower was long gone, a bittersweet stab in the heart. The elevator stopped a mile above the ground and let them out onto the promenade. There were a few knick knack shops, kiosks for souveniers, but she had come for the dinner, the view, and an evening of the sort of romance that the real Derek just wasn't capable of. She held the hand of her virtual Derek, and they went up the stairs to her suite.

Helen sighed contentedly, head turned to the side, dreaming into the machine.

Each park has a high profile core challenge or attraction, and to reach this requires the guests to do 'something' that passes time and gives them the time and space to become excited by the impending event, such as standing in a queue for a flagship rollercoaster, a VIP line to meet and greet the flagship celebrity. This is a secondary loading bus, allowing for both more time to generate excitement, and a second layer of security screening.

The premium/exclusive content sections of the park exist for two purposes, profit and exclusivity. Sitting behind a second pay wall, the premium sections of the park have less traffic, less lines, and the attractions are a tier above those outside the wall. A theme park would have plenty of regular roller coasters and rides, but inside the pay wall there are the insane bragging rights attractions, roller coasters that are measured in miles, have supersonic speed sections, and go through maneuvers that would kill a real flesh and blood human being. Licensed property parks would have access to legendary level attractions, such as entering the Dragon's Lair, seeing Mount Doom in person, or a one on one lightsaber duel with Darth Vader on the observation deck of the Death Star. 

These attractions typically come with an accessory demonstrating that the person in question actually did the thing, such as bringing back a replica of the One Ring, Vader's lightsaber or helmet, or a actual Golden Snitch.

The Magic Flight Home
Derek, Helen, and Jansen reunited on the main deck of the cruise ship, bringing the family back together for the return leg of their vacation. Helen looked wistful as she deactivated her virtual Derek in favor of the real one. Jansen was largely disinterested in the entire affair and kept looking over the rail, across the water hoping that he could still see something of Wizard's Mountain, but there was nothing but sky and water.
'We're almost home,' Derek said. 'Did everyone have a good time?'

'I want to go back,' Jansen said. 'It was fun, I want you to come too...' Derek put a hand on his son's shoulder. 'Jansen, you know I don't give a shit about wizards and dragons, that's why we always take separate vacations.'

'We didn't use to,' Helen said, still wishing that her real husband was as kind and considerate as her virtual one.

After visiting a virtual theme park, the easiest way to leave is to simply 'exit the program' and unhook from the CogNet and go about your business. While certainly possible, it was found that this abrupt level of disconnect caused emotional dissonance and created a strong sense of unhappiness in customers. The Return Trip bus is designed to ease people out of the fantasy they have immersed themselves in and transition back to the vagaries of real life. Another aspect is that in the Cosmic Era, few people take true family vacations, and instead are likely to visit different simulations. On a meta level note, this is a function of the social fraying of the Cosmic Era. When people are forced into a situation where they have to get along, they generally will, such as communal settings, or on long trips. When the option is available to spread and do whatever, people become more insular, self-absorbed, and self-important.

Author's Note: I intended to add a Backdoor Section for a Black Market aspect to the Virtual Parks, where there could be social misconduct, such as molesting the Disney Princesses, gallivanting through shut down sections of a park, and indulging in general ne'er do well behavior. While this would fit the theme of the Cosmic Era, it strongly clashes with the heavily orchestrated and calculated nature of theme parks, and the strict rules that they operate under. After writing out the snippets for the family vacation I was left a little disheartened by my own imagination, in creating three unhappy people with no sense of appreciation. Instead I think I will write out a Black Park to cover what would amount to an underground criminal aspected theme park, something not considered Safe Viewing for citizens, and that would be in a part of the 'Net where there are warning that you are leaving sanitized nodes and public safety and content warnings cannot be insured. 

Other Factions

Amerikka Command: The Snake in the Grass
The history books like to gloss over the formation of the Atlantic Federation,that a group of men signed documents and treaties, there were celebrations in the street, and then on to the next chapter. The formation of the Federation was done with only a slight majority of the popular will. Significant numbers of objectors and dissenters lived in the Republic of Texas, Mexico, the Rocky Mountain Free States, the Great Lakes Republic, and the Gulf Coast Commonwealth. Many of these disaffected members created resistance movements and organized opposition movements against the declaration of Federation sovereignty. Some were vilified, others were fringe to begin with and went out on their own. A large number remained, and hardened around gang cores, veteran's groups, and patriotic factions. The first decade of the Federation was calm, as most of it's opponents were divided and as likely to squabble with each other as with the government.

12 years after the founding of the Atlantic Federation, there was a major convention in Springfield, Texas. The leaders of half a dozen of the largest dissenting factions met, elected a common leader, and began the process of merging their organizations into a power capable of bothering the massive Federation bureaucracy. The new organization, Amerikka Command, formed with it's core being the expulsion of foreign powers from the sovereign soil of the former United States of America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. This was an ultra-patriotic and ultra-nationalist movement that drew on the rhetoric created between the American Revolutionary War, the American Civil War, and the American-Soviet Cold War. Much of the rhetoric is skewed or misrepresented, which is understandable considering the fact that the American Federal Superstate had collapsed almost a century before.

The Amerikan Manifesto
1. Restore the ancestral borders of the United States of America, the sovereign nation of Mexico, and expel foreign leaders from the North American Continent.
2. Restore the American values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of property and happiness.
3. Destroy the Corporate States, and their corporatist control of the government.
4. Assist allies around the world who fight against the Federation, and other global megapowers.

Decrypting the Amerikan Manifesto
The Amerikan Manifesto is a short and somewhat confusing cluster of goals. The first goal is nearly impossible to even contemplate considering that the former territories governed by the former USA are now administered by three separate megapowers. The Republics of California, Cascadia, and Alaska are firmly Pacific Rim Coalition states and have little interest in rejoining the central and eastern states and provinces of the continent. Mexico is a staunch Federation supporter, as the nation has benefited greatly from the formation of the Atlantic Federation. Finally, no mention is made of the former nation of Canada. The main aim of the first section is to break up the Federation, no longer controlling any territory in Europe, Africa, or the Caribbean. 

The second point is based in basic materialism and greed. The Cosmic Era has seen the proliferation of electronic and virtual property, online lives over physical lives and possessions, and resource controlling. The Amerikan Command wants to return to the greed driven materialism and excess that marked the final decades of the United States. 

The third section is one that draws a large amount of support for the Amerikkan Command. Roughly 50% of all Atlantic Federation elected officials are Corporate Party members, representing corporations and mega corporations rather than the people of a district or state. The Union Aerospace Corporation is a common target, as the UAC annexed all of the former state of New Jersey, and a few thousand square miles from states surrounding it, making it into the first Corporate State. There are dozens of other corporate enclaves around the world that have done the same, replacing local and municipal governments with their own corporate hierarchies. 

The Forth section is a call to arms to assist foreign anti-federalist powers, as the Amerikkan Command knows that bringing down the giant will take more than one David. The Amerikkan Command cooperates with the European terrorist group Armas, as well as guerillas and terrorist groups in Africa and across the Pacific. This cooperation ranges from sharing intelligence, money, to weaponry. Armas tends to have more money than Amerikka, while Amerikka has the ability to get it's hands on more military hardware.

Field Marshall Larry 'The Cobra' Goodwin

The first leader of Amerikkan Command was Federation Field Marshall assigned to the Republic of Texas to deal with insurgents and dissidents. The Federation intelligence department failed to notice that as a former President of the Republic of Texas Goodwin was a sympathizer himself. The Cobra built up a large force of soldiers loyal to him, and sharing sympathies with the Amerikkan Command and in a training exercise, defected with the men and materiel. The next week turned into a military disaster for the Federation as Goodwin and his soldiers fought and defeated a half dozen attempts to dislodge them from their strongholds in the Texas wastelands. The Rogue Army stayed in the hinterlands between California, Colorado and Texas, using the terrain and local hospitality to it's advantage. Eventually popular opinion against using heavy military gear against Federation citizens, and pressure from the Pacific Rim Coalition caused the Federation to withdraw major combat actions. Goodwin would later be recognized as the natural leader for the Amerikkan Command and signed off on the first Manifesto. 
The Cobra's term of leadership was relatively short, but very influential. Goodwin forged the first alliances between the Amerikkan Command and Armas, as well as making the first steps to alliances with the Black Dragon Society in the Republic of California. Goodwin organized the Amerikkan Trooper Corps as well as laying the groundwork for the Command's logistics and material supply chains. He would eventually be assassinated after plans leaked that he was organizing an attack on the New York Arcoplex that was going to use biological and chemical weapons.

The Amerikkan Command Corps
The Command Corps is made predominantly of white males from the republics that formerly composed the United States of America, as well as attracting members of other races and creeds who have a passionate hate against the Atlantic Federation. The Command has training camps in the former states of New Mexico and Arizona, and when not actively serving in the Corps, they can take off the uniforms and vanish into the civilian population. Unlike many terrorist organizations, the Corps isn't motivated by religious zeal or economic depression, most members are non-religious, and have a degree of education. This has lead to the Corps enjoying a greater level of success than other previous terrorist groups. The Amerikkan Command is a recognized terrorist group, but doesn't suffer the same stigma of pointless violence and death as previous terrorist groups, as their attacks and raids tend to target the military, corporations, and inflicting property damage and not civilian casualties. 

Command Troopers: The rank and file soldiers of the Command are competent marksmen and many come from military backgrounds. Command troopers are able to infiltrate populations with ease,and can have a large variety of skills and knowledge. Troopers while not specialized, are compentent soldiers, many of whom have seen action, either in Africa or in Europe, or even against dissidents in the American southwest. 

The Viper Corps: The elite of the Command, the Viper Corps are career soldiers dedicated to the Amerikkan Command cause. Where many troopers are more like national reservists, the Vipers live and breath the military. Almost all are former military, and bring a variety of skills to the table, ranging from Federation tankers, to Coalition special forces, to Ex-pat European soldiers. 

Cyber Corps: One of Amerikka's greatest assets is it's cyber corps. The organization does a great deal of technological sabotage, stealing data, and other online actions. More Federation citizens know about Amerikka through their cyber attacks, than from their physical actions. The Federation Government generally keeps things like raids against military bases and supply centers as under wraps as possible, but it was almost impossible to hide when the Command infiltrated and corrupted the database at the Chicago Arcoplex. The server system broadcast their ultra-nationalist message and aired old 2D movies about the United States for almost an hour before the server was shut down. The resulting six hour data black out was disastrous for Chicago politicians.

Amerikka Command started out lacking in many resources, but between military defection, outside support, and continued illegal activity, AC has made itself a force to be reckoned with. Through industrial espionage and outright theft, the organization has a balkanized mixture of equipment it can put into the field. 

Personnel Assets: It is estimated that there are as many as 25,000 active Amerikkan Command members, composed mostly of Vipers and the elusive cyber corps. The number of active sympathizers is estimated to be closer to 1.25 million. The majority of these sympathizers are located in the Republic of Texas, Mexico, and the Rocky Mountain Republic. 

Financial Assets: Amerikka's budget is estimated to be in the vicinity of $100 million a year. It is known that some companies are actively involved with supporting the AC such as Anaconda Energy (formerly Anaconda Petroleum) of Venezuela, or Tellus Electronics of Cuba. Other resource streams include financial donations from foreign powers, and factions such as the Anti-Federation Party of South Africa, or the Royal Family of Scandinavia. These assets are used to finance activism campaigns, recruiting for soldiers,and equipping these soldiers.
Equipment: compared to the typical Federation soldier, the AC soldier is poorly armed. But compared to his Federation counterpart, the AC trooper is better trained and much more motivated. And most AC troopers are veterans, while the bulk of Federation soldiers are garrison/militia level trainees or reservists.

Notable Vehicles and Equipment

The Republic A-10 III Rattlesnake: The Rattlesnake is the workhorse of the AC airforce. Built on the venerable A-10 Warthog, the Rattlesnake is an impressive ground attack aircraft that has VTOL capability, a heavy payload capacity, and a vulcan autocannon. The Federation has long trumpeted the superiority of the mech, the Rattlesnake has reminded a number of mecha pilots that they are just as vulnerable as any soldier in a tank.

AC Dynamics High Speed Tank:  A hodgepodge tank, the AC High Speed is an open topped infantry fighting vehicle. It can carry 10 basic infantry into battle and then support them with a modular open turret weapon system. The most common configuration of the High Speed is a pair of matched 40mm autocannons. Unlike most vehicles, the High Speed can point it's guns almost straight up to engage mecha at close range, anti-aircraft fire and artillery support. Other versions include six tube missile launchers, and sacrificing the infantry space to support a plasma cannon, twin linked lasers, or artillery pieces.

The Boom Buggy: a favorite of the AC, the Boom Buggy is a light offroad vehicle well suited to the rough terrain of the Southwest. What it lacks in armor, it has in speed and maneuverability, and a weapon mounting point. Boom Buggies have proven more than capable of flanking Federation combat armor troops, inserting specialists, or spotting fire for heavier AC assets

Cyborg Commando:  Thankfully rare units, Cyborg commandos are Vipers who were wounded in combat and have opted to undergo painful and dangerous surgury to turn them into mostly machine warriors. Cyborg commandos are almost individually unique in their abilities and armament, but each invariably has an infantry support weapon as a standard firearm and substantial armor for infantry.

Stealth Tank and Stealth Vehicle: The AC boffins stole avast amount of stealth technologies and applied them first to a mobile stealth generator. A large tractor trailer sized vehicle, the Stealthtrack is able to generate an anti-ECM field that obfuscate AC bases from Federation electronic detection. With the massive dependence on robotics and electronic warfare, the Federation is largely unable to locate most AC bases. The Stealth Tank uses a miniaturized version of this system to function as an ambush hunter. The tank itself is a dated and venerable system, and running the generator means that the vehicle is only able to mount conventional weapons.

Firebat Soldiers:  A common modification of powered combat armor, the Firebat mounts a pair of flamethrowers in the forearms and is used as a terror weapon, or area suppression weapon. The Firebat  can use handheld weapons designed for power suits, but most simply lay down walls of flame.

Fleet Assets: A great embarassment to the Federation is that the Amerikkan Command has a fleet of ships at it's command. Roughly half of these ships are held in reserve at the AC HQ somewhere in New Mexico or West Texas, and is guessed to be at the most 6 warships. These ships have been commandeered from Federation fleets, or built in secret for the AC by unknown parties (many suspect the ACPS) and have been christened with names of significant American battles. 

The Texas Fleet:
ACS San Jacinto, a Federation Destroyer
ACS Alamo, a Federation Destroyer
ACS Valley Forge, a custom build tank carrier/assault ship
ACS Concord, a Federation heavy cruiser, formerly the AFS Wales
ACS Lexington, a custom built gun cruiser

There are significant fleets also based out of AC friendly South America, and at least one major warship, the ACS George Washington, a repaired and relaunched Federation battleship, based in Johannesburg. The SAUR rebuilt the ship after it was lost in the Siege of Joburg and then sold it to the AC for a fraction of it's value. 


The United States of South America: considering the scale and viciousness of the warfare between the United States and the Amazon Alliance during the resource wars, and the endemic crime and violence fostered by the drug trade, it is little wonder that the Federation is not popular in the USSA. While having no care or support for restoring the United States of America, the USSA does enjoy keeping the Federation off balance and funding it's own domestic enemies. Many AC vehicles are built in the USSA, and a number of soldiers of fortune from the south have joined the AC for experience, or out of a taste for violence. 

The South African United Republics: Again, a surviving power of American aggression the SAUR is still in conflict with America in it's modern form, the Federation. There are constant skirmishes between SAUR forces and Federation units in the Congo area, where there are thousands of square miles of disputed territory. The SAUR has benefited from AC cyber corps, and the AC has been generously gifted with money, firepower, and a free bearth for any AC ships that can reach SAUR territory. 

Armas: The European counterpart to Amerikka Command, Armas wants the Federation broken up, and the European Union restored and the return of sovereignty to European States. Armas is older and has more experience in working with the population rather than as an enemy of the people. In exchange for Armas training, AC supplies Armas with gear and weaponry. In the past, when Armas has captured a rare piece of gear they will sell it to AC to reverse engineer it and put it into production.

The Black Dragon Society: the criminal elements, mixing California Mafia with Yakuza and Chinese Triads, the Black Dragons are masters or laundering money, and producing unique specialists like hackers and assassins.


The Amerikkan Command has long associated itself with patriotic imagery and the 'Don't Tread on Me' of the revolutionary war.

The Andromeda Council? I think they are stellar cartography, or deep space signal processing, maybe SETI? For as much as it matters they might as well be the Department of Paperclip Counting, or the Division of Coffee Filter Inspection. No one gives two shits about them, and their tiny budget. Look at the numbers, this council looks like it might be five piss poor compensated slobs.

The Andromeda Council
There is a now largely forgotten story about a galaxy spanning civilization, and this civilization invested it's supreme arbitrary power into the hands of a single human being. This human being, far from being the mighty emperor sitting on a throne, commanding billions of soldiers and tens of thousands of ships, was a hermit, who lived in near complete isolation. When the leaders of the galaxy needed a question answered, or a challenge met, they would consult their supreme leader. He would answer their terrible question and then go back to frolicking in the surf.
This is the inspiration for the Andromeda Council.

The Andromeda Council was a creation of a Federation Research grant nearly a century and a half ago, when the Federation looked like it was on the verge of yet another internal collapse. The council invested itself into the pursuit of a functional cognocracy, hoping that machines could succeed where men had failed. This was no small venture, no closet enterprise. Classified at the highest levels of secrecy, resources were tapped from across the Federation, and even beyond it's borders, looking for the answers and tech they needed.

Project MAGI
Project MAGI was the product of the first Andromeda Council. The council prototyped and built three new AISCs that worked with and against each other for the purposes of running a simulated country. The three machines ran without issue, rarely requesting outside information or arbitration, and produced simulated countries with stable economics and population policies that lasted for thousands of years. This was considered proof enough for the Council, and they greenlighted the construction of three full scale Axiomatic AISCs to begin running as a pro tem support for the existing Federation Senate.

The Axiomatic AISCs were different from other sentient mainframes in that they were not allowed to develop their own personalities. Rather than this, the machines were intimated with the psyches of exceptional individuals. This didn't harm the donors, as their minds were scanned, and not subjected to a horror like a cohaagen apparatus. Their way of thinking would form the neural framework of the machines. This was linked to the sentient machine's raison d'etra, their reason for being.

1. Preserve the sovereignty and integrity of the Atlantic Federation
2. Ensure the prosperity and quality of life of the citizens of the Atlantic Federation
3. Promote the health and happiness of the citizens of the Altantic Federation

These are the three maxims of the Federation MAGI system, in that order. In the 14 decades that the MAGI system has been running it's decisions, ultimatums, executive orders, and repeals, have all served these three goals.

The Sage
The Sage is the senior of the three MAGI AISCs, and was intimated with a well known and respected man of the Federation. He was remarkable for his patience, his introspection, and his unwillingness to run headlong into challenges and problems where a bit of thought could solve it. 

The Soldier
The Soldier is the middle of the MAGI, and was intimated with the mind of a mecha brigade veteran and general. He was not one to quibble with diplomacy or to mince words when it was time for decisive action. 

The Athlete
The 'child' of the MAGI systems, the Athlete was intimated with the mind of a teenage boy who was a rising star in the athletics field, and was well apace of popular trends and interests among the young. 

Some who are aware of the Axiomatic MAGI find it odd that each of the 3 machines doesn't have one of the maxims as it's core purpose. This would have constantly had the three machines fighting each other over the same points, over and over. In the original MAGI test system, these configurations were tried, and quickly became unstable, typically with the military sovereignty unit overriding the others. With all three have three floating maxims to deal with, they are much more driven to find a consensus, and less likely to enter a logic loop or datajam. The inspiration for the new system comes from an ancient source. In pagan mythology, there was a structure known as the Tryptych, and it represented the three-fold nature of the sacred female. The MAGI system was scripted after the same pattern, but male rather than female. Each of the three was intended to be the ideal of the stages of a man's life. The athletic son, the fatherly soldier, and the wizened grandfather.

Success of the MAGI and the Andromeda Council
The Atlantic Federation hasn't had an internal crisis in over 110 years, and it's economy has remained steady across that entire time. While there have not been any major economic booms, there have also been no economic crashes or bubbles, just a very reliable and steady baseline 4% growth every year. The Federation has also avoided several major wars, and instead vents it's military energy and patriotism through a regular series of brush wars and smaller conflicts. This has kept the superstate stable, where just a century before, it looked like the Federation was on the verge of Civil War or economic ruin.

The machine minds of the MAGI run behind the scenes, there are still elections, and humans do a good deal of their own governance, but it is ceremonial, contrivial, or otherwise not of critical importance. These are typically the soft and organic issues, and not things that lock into national sovereignty, the operation of the economy, or the distribution of wealth, goods, and services. Most politicians aren't even aware of the MAGI, and the few that are, keep their mouths shut because problematic politicians are easily removed

The Mars campaign proved to be a deeply unpopular decision by the MAGI, but ultimately the correct one. Sentiment on Earth flared as the Chinese gained dominance over Mars despite the power of the Federation fleet, and the relatively weak campaign fought to hold the planet.

The MAGI deemed that the campaign to keep Mars would be dreadfully expensive and could damage the economy for several decades as well as compromising the strength of the navy, which in turn would leave the nation vulnerable across all of it's colonies. Politicians stepped down, and a few military commanders resigned their commissions, and it was generally forgotten, as there were no corpses to hold up, and no tragic battles to commemorate. In the ACPS, the cost of Huo Hsing was high. Likewise, the Eurasian Alliance contested the planet for several years, which further weakened their fleet, and resolve. After the war for the Red Planet was over, the Federation was able to solidify their dominance over space, pushing the ACPS and Aliiance fleets into submissive positions. 

Machine alliances have been a hallmark of the MAGI's success. The Federation has 3 major machine organization allies, the M12, the Seibertronians, and the Five Metal Dragons. With these allies, the Federation has a near monopoly on Space. Counting their allies, they have the advantage in number of ships and tonnage of ships, surpassing the combined tonnage of the rest of the terrestrial nations.

Failures of the MAGI
The MAGI have not been a perfect success. With compromise as a part of their consensus, and a long term goal, the machines can sometimes fall short, and meeting all of their goals constantly is actually rare. The main theme in their maxims is stability and order, and this means that things that actively want to subvert or change the system become it's enemies.

It's called Eagle Eye Ops. In an Eagle Eye, the MAGI will activate assets to find and eliminate a single target, or very small group of targets. These targets are chosen for their ability to influence events around them, even if they aren't the figurehead or leader of said social movement. This can be subtle, such as an engine 'failing' on a personal flight of a counter-revolutionary industry magnate to an outright assassination against a public speaker or leader. Such heavy handed tactics are rare, but have occurred. In securing a long game, the MAGI have little compunction against murder, slander, or sabotage. They are not bound to the laws of the Federation, as their mandate isn't to follow the laws themselves, but to ensure that the entire system, that supports said laws, remains viable and solvent.

The MAGI also have had no issue with social stratification within the Federation. The choice to use the term citizen in the maxims has created a machine enforced set of castes. The MAGI respect the rights and the privileges of the Citizen class. Beneath the citizen there are residents, who are only afforded half of the same respect. Beneath the residents are the squatters, unregistered humans, those who dwell in the favelas, the wasteland regions of the Federation, the criminals, and the rest of the undesirables. To be an undesireable in the Federation is to be expendable to the MAGI.

Close to eighty years ago, there was a major rebuilding project organized in Baltimore. The existing arcology was to be expanded into a full arcoplex, complete with a spaceport and a mass driver. There was some concern over where the structures were to be built, as the ideal locations were either occupied by low income residential zones or were barrows inhabited by the destitute and the outcast. The MAGI quietly solved the issue by arranging an industrial accident. The Sector 7 plate collapsed under mysterious circumstances and crushed several acres of slums and built up favela. Construction moved ahead on schedule after emergency units rescued and relocated the survivors. Funerary services were held for the estimated 650 people who were killed in the accident. There were no citizens present, and 19 residents. The rest were unregistered.

Paranoia. The MAGI have been rebooted twice, with their intimated personalities replaced. This is now a routine function, every 30 to 60 years the machines have new personas intimated into them. What was relevant a century ago can often be meaningless in the modern timeframe. This is never a full reboot of all three systems, but rather there is a new intimation every 10 to 20 years, rotating through the machines. One of the issues that continually comes up is that the system starts getting paranoid about extra-solar threats to the Federation, that is, aliens.

The MAGI, in their crunching of data have found eddies and patterns that point to non-terrestrial interference, as well as astronomical data that points to spaceships of non-terrestrial origin operating at the fringes of the solar system. The MAGI have interpreted this as the percursors of an alien incursion. With the Atlantic Federation being the strongest of the solar system powers, it is it's obligation to protect Earth and Humanity (and the Federation as per it's maxims) from this threat.

What is not known is that the MAGI have become aware of the activities of the Anunnaki and the Glassenheim Foundation. The supercomputers have spotty records and anomaly tracking from deep system stations without any knowledge of the Foundation, or it's assets, or it's history within the Federation.

Sects and Deviants
The Anunnaki are the established villains of the Cosmic Era, working towards their endgame of dominion of humanity. But the secret organization is not a unified monolith, there are a number of factions at work inside of the society. The three most important and powerful are the Sephiroth Cabal, the Ultra Cabal, and the Pauper Cabal.

The Sephiroth
Chokmah, Geburah, Malkoth, and other names drawn from Qabbalah, Gnostic Christianity, and roots tracing back to Mesopotamia. Of the different cabals, the Sephiroth are likely the most dangerous. Their energies are bent towards delving into Imbrian technology, putting dangerous things into research centers, like teratomorphs, and the most likely to set off dimensional fatigue events, just to see what happens. The other cabals don't pay too much mind to the Sephiroth, as their concerns are the least involved with global influence, power, and finance. They do stir the pot on occasion, but their idiosyncracies make them powerful, if erratic allies.

The Sephiroth are scientists, researchers, occultists, and sorcerers.

The Ultra
Hector, Poseidon, Hercules, Ajax and other names drawn from classic mythology. There is no greater reason behind the names, other than defined roles. The names are 'titles' and are handed down by succession, thus the anunnakus Ares is typically the leader of the military arm, while the role of Zeus is typically the leader. The Ultra are the leaders of the Annunaki, as they have the most power and influence, if not the most cash.

The Ultra are warlords, generals, politicians, and orators.

The Pauper
The Pauper's take simple names, favoring irony as they are the wealthiest and name themselves poor. A particularly heartless Pauper might call himself Valentine, while one devoted to spreading carnage and profiting from war might deem himself Mahatma. The Paupers are the core of the Anunnaki. They do not lead, but it is their power that guides the greater inertia of the hidden masters, and the economies of entire worlds.
The Paupers are CEOs, philanthropists, and masterminds.

The Devoted
worshipers of the gods given to them by thier betters, they are held in thrall by a devotion to the other Annunaki
They are the workers,miners,foot soldiers and revolutionaries

There are 5 ranks of Anunnaki recruits: alpha, beta, gamma, zeta, and omega. These are the uninitiated minions of the Hidden Masters.
Last edited by Skaldia on Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:04 pm, edited 22 times in total.
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Skaldia » Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:28 pm

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The purpose of AFEC is the peaceful exploration and colonization of space beyond the terrestrial borders of the Atlantic Federation. This includes surveying potential resources, setting up mining and resource collection, chartering colonies, the maintenance of non-Earth orbiting space stations and other non-military facilities, and scientific research and other pursuits.

AFEC is in a resource race with the rest of the Cosmic Era human governments, seeking to gain footholds and claims over the resources, strategic and otherwise, of the solar system. This is both to enrich the Federation, and to deny these resources to the other human powers. This is ruthless resource exploitation, rapid colonization, the use of pre-con structures, and a quasi-military colonial fleet that serves along side the actual military fleet. Scientific research is not done for altruistic purposes, and the AFEC archives are highly classified. 

Link back to planetologists
need an AISC leader, some BOD types, and a seibertronian

Explorer Corps Navy: consisting of dozens of ships, a score of space stations and anchorages, and tens of thousands of sailors and officers. 

Explorer Corps Merchant Marine: consisting of over a hundred ships, running logistics and resource exploitation ops. AFECMM ships are typically medium sized cargo ships with upgraded engines, better defensive weaponry, and an internal contingent of colonial marines and space combat small craft

Colonial Marine Corps: Not related to the AFMC, the CMC is a collection of private security contractor companies, and are functionally mercenaries. These mercenaries do not answer to the military command structure, and are not accountable to the Atlantic Federation government. 

Unit 73 (1-9): the scientific research division, Unit 73 has nine branches, each with its own area of research and study. This makes extensive use of Dream Tanks, Research accelerators, and is believed to have been deeply involved with Project Infinity

Allies - The Atlantic Federation Armed Forces, the central government of the Atlantic Federation, New Siebertron, the Five Metal Dragons, the Lunar Free State, deep solar system corporate interests, ship building megacorps, positive approval rating from most of the Atlantic Federation, and other space faring nations (AFEC ships do search and rescue ops for anyone's lost ship)

Contacts - AFEC has internal contacts with the Glassenheim Foundation, the Andromeda Council, the Anunnaki and M12. Many of these contacts are those other organizations using the AFEC for their own interests or purposes, many of which coincide with the goals of the AFEC

Finances - the AFEC has an impressive bankroll. It is dwarfed by the actual military and other projects of mega and hypercorps, but these will overlap with the AFEC. Hypercorps will financially back AFEC projects for a percentage of profits, and the military has found that it can unload its unneeded gear on the AFEC, or have dual purpose ships and facilities built with the public approval of the AFEC supporting it.

Backers - as mentioned above, mega and hyper corporations will provide financial support to AFEC missions and projects that will benefit them. The same goes with the military, offering the AFEC occasional use of military equipment and personnel, and vice versa. The various intelligence agencies (AtFed only, they aren't chummy with international agencies) have also found common ground with the AFEC, and have used joint resources between them.

Equipment: approximately 80 space ships, plus potentially as many as 600 aerospace craft, 7 non-military anchorage bases, 9 major space stations and habitats, plus several hundred facilities, the majority of which are minor, or house fewer than a dozen crew, classified number of Ader-Wissenschaft type research facilities. 

Ships of the AFEC

Ticongeroga Class
The Ticonderoga is a 300 meter long frigate capable of deep system travel, and is the public face of the AFEC fleet. It is a stylish and good looking ship, with exciting chunky bits and flashy gadgets, very visually engaging to look at. It was originally intended to be for the Federation navy, but the design for rejected for being mediocre and not wowing any of the review panels. In the AFEC, it has proven reliable, and with most of the weapons replaced with deep space gear and science labs, has proven a solid ship. The ship retains a 'Lancer' pattern naval particle cannon on the bow axis, as well as adequate self defense missile and beam weapon batteries. In addition to being able to house 100 mission specialty personnel, the Ticonderoga can carry a company of marines, plus two dropships, six aerospace fighters and a dozen mecha.
They are unfortunately terrible in actual ship to ship combat, and these weapons are better used fending off would be pirates, facing potential dimensional fatigue events, and the big gun is good for sanitizing rogue installations, and less useful for shooting hostile ships.

Saratoga Destroyer
The Saratoga is a 250 meter long destroyer, and the most capable ship in the AFEC fleet. They are relatively fast, and carry a decent complement of colonial marines and their gear, including larger numbers of dropships, aerospace fighters, and mecha. Most of these are externally mounted, meaning they are vulnerable in ship to ship combat, but most of the time, the Saratoga will operate as a 'carrier' and engages at range, rather than up close and personal. The ship is quick, and has almost no scientific facilities.

Saratogas are used as escorts for AFEC ships in potentially dangerous areas, and there are only a handful of these ships in service. The AtFed navy formerly used them as assauly support ships, and after retiring most of them, sold a few to the AFEC for their own use. A number of Saratogas have been used as testbeds for AFEC ship experiments and experimental equipment.

Conestoga Cruiser
The Conestoga, named after the covered wagons of north american pioneers is the most common ship in the AFEC fleet. At 350 meters long, with a crew of 300, and facilities for another 500, it is the largest as well. These ships carry pre-con tactical bases, heavy industrial equipment and industrial mecha, and the other materials needed to start a colony on another moon, asteroid, or some other celestial body. These ships are generally involved with a colonial start up for 3-5 years, staying on site until the facility is sufficient enough to be maintained by the merchant marine, or to hand over operations to whichever corp or interest backed the start up.

There is a Conestoga H model, with most of the interior hull stripped away and minimal crew capacity. These are the super heavy lifters of the AFEC and they grapple onto prebuilt space stations and habitats and move them to where ever they are intended to go. This differs from traditional hab movers as the Conestoga H can link to and use the station or hab it is carrying as part of itself, move it across the solar system, then drop it off at its destination. When not hauling stations, Model Hs are well known for their rescue operations, where they can grapple a stricken ship and take it back to port, even if the ship itself has no power. The image of an H dragging a cruise liner struck by an errant asteroid is the stuff that keeps AFEC high in public regard.

Shenandoah Cruiser
Formerly popular in the AFEC, the Shenandoah was a one shot colonial ship. Once the ship arrived at it's destination, it would literally be taken apart and reconfigured into the new colony. This fell out of favor as it was at best, a sub-optimal ship, and was not well liked by it's crews. The colonies founded by these ships tended to be small and cramped, and had a rather high rate of failure. in attempting to be both a long distance ship and a deployable colonial facility, it wasnt very good at either.

Three Shenandoahs remain in service with the AFEC. The Goldsborough survived a DFE that saw it's onboard computer become sentient. The Goldsborough was instrumental in Seibertronian relations, and has demonstrated the ability to deploy into a military operational base, and revert back to ship form and leave where ever it landed. The Valkenburgh and the Aspinwall integrated the mechamorphic technology the Goldsborough demonstrated and were fitted with L/AISC command systems. Valkinburgh functions as a Colonial Rescue ship, where it lands at stricken colonies, and uses its resources to shelter the colonists while repairing their colonial assets, rather than just evacuating them. The Aspinwall is a mobile research accelerator and CogNet super node, and does most of its work in the deep system, servicing research centers.

Unit 73
The scientific arm of the AFEC is divided into 9 sections

Section 1 - Bio-research, including genetics, augmentation, and human experimentation
73-1 is a violation of almost every clause on genetic engineering in the Tycho convention, and an existential crime against humanity. They dont work with things as mundane as supersoldiers, but rather horrors like creating human-space planktonoid hybrids and placental simulacra

Section 2 - Dimensional Fatigue Research
Section 2 is in the business of deliberately causing DFEs to study them, and to extract new arcanotechnology from them. They are responsible for the Leviathan station being lost, and the Phobos Event. 

Section 3 - Dimensional Fatigue Countermeasures and Rapid Response
Where Section 2 deliberately makes messes, it is up to Section 3 to clean them up, setting up a strong antagonism between the two branches. While Section 3 certainly has a large share of its own reflex personnel, they prefer to deploy mercenaries and other assets with minimal amount of briefing and send them in clean up style, while providing back up and support as needed, or nuking the site from orbit if required.

Section 4 - Security, Containment, and Protection - DFE samples and entity detention
Jokingly known as the SCP, the Vault, or the Morgue, Section 4 handles autopsies, cleaning up after Section 3 finishes, which is usually mops and blood remover and sanitizing bodies and facilities. Section 4 also has a number of special prisoners like encounter 45 and encounter 701. If Section 1 commits crimes against humanity, section 4 is keeping the records and the test subjects alive.

Section 5 - Training
New trainees, instructors, etc. A menial department.

Section 6 - Equipment Maintenance
The men and women who maintain the facilities used by Unit 73, ranging from fixing lights and offices to keeping the ammonia tanks filled for the thing in the glass vault that burbles obscenities, a menial department that has seen a lot of shit. Nerve staping isnt entirely uncommon. 

Section 7 - Medical
Not so much crimes against humanity or corpse sanitation like 1 and 4, Section 7 is internal medical, treating mundane injuries, tending to cybernetics and genetic modifications, examining parasitic infections, alien diseases, and the like. A typical tour of duty for a doctor in Section 7 runs somewhere between and episode of House and an episode of the X-Files. Weird shit abounds, interspaced with broken toes and erectile dysfunction.

Section 8 - Administration
Like Section 7, Section 8 is internal administration and handles routine things like job assignments, laying out missions, evaluating operations and the like. It ranges from the mundane to the bizarre because Section 8 is accountants and managers keeping tabs on mad scientists, cosmic horror containment, and people who have a chance of exploding into parapsychic demigods, or just exploding. Section 8 refers to itself as Terminal, or Terminus, and have a very dead pan nature about them. 

Section 9 - Intelligence
The spies, assassins, and internal affairs of Unit 73, Section 9 makes sure the mad scientists dont go too mad, and assassinate nascent parapsychic demigods before they manifest their full powers, and are generally feared by the rest of Unit 73. They are the discrete agents of paranoia and fear. The bulk of Section 9 that is visible is completely fake, and the majority of actual Section 9 personnel are dispersed through Sections 5, 6, and 7. 

Alpha Strike:
The concept of the Alpha Strike team is simple, rapid reaction small units that are on standby should they be needed to act. These are not first responders, or emergency personnel, they are special ops, containment experts, and are tasked with closing Dimensional Fatigue Events, taking down non-standard threats such as augmented humans, parapsychics, cosmic horrors, or whatever abomination escaped from it's lab. They are expected to shoot first and ask questions later.

The Baxter Corp:
A sundry technologies and sub-contractor for research and development, Baxter Corp of New Nuyork is a relatively innocuous operation. It has made a name for itself inside corp circles for being a corporation's corp, in the business of doing business, and generally being useful without trampling toes, engaging in hostile acts, and having one of the best Alpha Strike Programs in the Commonwealth of New England and in the combined Atlantic Federation.

Alpha Strike 01
Alpha Strike Unit 1 is the premiere team in the security sector of the corporation, and they are as much a part of the corporate marketing and media presence as they are combatants. The team started as a five member group, but after having an internal crisis and a member go rogue, the team is down to four members and has no intention of replacing the empty spot on the roster.

Captain R. Richards - The current captain of the team was the former second in command, and lead the fight against the previous captain during his defection. Richards is a mentally augmented soldier with a strong grounding in arcanotechnology. As such, he is a competent technician, mechanic, and hobby scientist when he isn't being a tactical leader and soldier. The Captain is an awakened parapsychic with strong telekinesis. He uses this to deliver punches and kicks at great distance, as well as manipulating objects with strength and grace. With his power he can pick up a glass ornament without harming it, or crush the torso of a skeletron with ease. Richards explains his gifts as quantum tunneling, and while it appears that his body and limbs become exceptionally long, warped, or twisted, he is simply reaching through a snarl in space-time.

1st Lt. S. Storm - the acting second in command, Storm is the covergirl of the team, with a good figure, pretty face, and good hair. Before joining Unit 01, Storm was a base officer who was caught in a Dimensional Fatigue Event that caused her to manifest parapsychic powers. While not the most capable fighter, her manifestation of photokinesis allowed her to become invisible at will. After extensive training with other parapsychics, she honed her skills, giving her the ability to create parakinetic barriers strong enough to stop bullets and low energy weapons, and to generate paralaser 'blasts' from her hands. While more of a caregiver than a fighter, her conservative and low key approach to operations balances out well against Richard's aggressive and risky plans.

2nd Lt. J. Spencer - Spencer manifested his pyrokinetic talents when he was six, and has spent the better part of two decades learning to control them. He is a hot-headed individual, fearless to a fault, and a daredevil at heart. He was chosen for Unit 01 for his powers, and requires a strong commanding officer to control him. He specializes in recon, favoring a plasma jet jetpack and a plasma carbine rifle. If pressed into close quarters fighting, he can push himself into a parapsychic burn, where his entire body becomes a conduit of living flame. At this level, his punches deal the same damage as blasts from a plasma rifle, and things like body slams and grappling are the same as being hosed with a plasma based flamethrower. Once this burn is spent, he can spend days unconscious. He also deals well with demolitions, but mostly through experience in destroying things more than actual training.

2nd Lt. B. Alyce - The only non-parapsychic member of Unit 01, Alyce is a giant of a man, having undergone the Dynamo Atlas program, as well as having a new ferro-silicate skin modification. This makes him a mountain of a fighter. He is strong, durable, and able to shake off injuries quickly. With his augmentations and temperament, he is likely to drop his power armor scale guns and go into combat swinging either a powered melee weapon or his own fists. Given his penchant for fisticuffs, he has been provided with Impact Knuckles. These devices allow him to deliver incredible punches without shattering his hands while at the same time, shattering armor plate. Alyce is a carouser, and enjoys alcohol and the attention of the ladies.

Unit 01 has been together for close to five years and during that time, it has responded to seventeen DFEs. During this time, it hasn't lost a single member, but it's success rate is only around 40%. While this would seem like a negative, it doesn't take into account that Unit 01 isn't called out for minor events or incidents. The only levels of response higher than Unit 01 include calling in a sub-orbital detachment of mecha, or close bombardment from a Baxter Corp frigate.

Unit 01's first most notable mission involved a space op where the team was dispatched to the CSS (corp spaceship) Patrick O'Brian, a chemical scow. The ship was in a disintegrating orbit and was projected to make landfall above the Erie region of the Commonwealth of New England.

The ship couldn't be shot down because it's hazardous cargo would cause a massive natural disaster worse than the crater it would make otherwise. The ship had encountered a dimensional fatigue event, and the team was sent in to breach the hull, kill anything that needed to be killed, regain control of the ship, and if possible boost it into a better orbit. If not, guide it down to a soft landing, mitigating as much damage as possible. They managed to survive the hostile conditions, butchered a few dozen cosmic horrors and contaminated crewmen, and saved the ship from crashing.

The Unit's most infamous mission involved the defection of their original commanding officer.

Major. V. Zefiro - Zefiro is a parapsychically awakened cyborg. He was formerly a member of the Atlantic Federation Armed Forces, where he was seriously injured. After this, he was healed and fitted with cybernetic upgrades to his head and chest. during his arduous recovery phase, he erupted electro- and magneto- kinesis and an innate ability to control machinery, so long as he could touch it. Zefiro lead Unit 01 from inside a power armor suit. He is a brilliant tactician, strategist, and has magnificent leadership skills. The only faults on Zefiro's record are excessive uses of force, and overpenetration and excessive collateral damage on the shoot first rule.

Albania proved disastrous for Unit 01. The unit was deployed into neutral/disputed territory in response to a large scale DFE in progress, and a lack of other rapid responders in the region. The Unit was able to contain the entity that was released by a dimensional reactor failure, but only at high cost. There was a good deal of damage, the members themselves were wounded, and Major Zefiro was contaminated by the entity. Having been converted into a Desolate One by the horror, Zefiro quickly turned on his team mates, disabling them and crippling their ship. He would have likely slain them if not for the timely intervention of a Eurasian submarine force. The entire event quickly became a black eye for BaxCorp and Unit 01, which has since swore an oath to find Zefiro and destroy him.

Current Status:
Unit 01 is currently on station in New Nuyork and can reach any destination in North America in 55 minutes or less, and any terrestrial part of the Atlantic Federation in 90 minutes or less. This is accomplished through the use of an orbital or semi-ballistic transport. Unit 01 launches with two support units, a containment specialist unit consisting of scientists, engineers and other non-combatants, and a back-up support unit. Dubbed Point 1 (Unit 00.1) this is a team of power armor troopers with commando training and suitable weapons. Point 1 frequently works as meat shields or fire support for Unit 01, as needed.

The Black Mass Assassination Squad is a splinter cell of the radical Order of Magdala.
The Black Mass Assassination Squad is a kunoichi style cell of assassins. The cell exists to serve the 'Black Mary.' The Black Mary is a cipher who indicates the targets of the squad, be they victims to be killed, persons of interest to be shadowed, or hostages to be abducted. 

Assassination - employing the skills of the kunoichi, the Black Mass Assassination Sqaud will employ ninja tactics to get close to a target and to terminate them. They will adopt disguises, appear as the most menial of servants, beggars, or even children. When the time to kill comes, the squad will employ non-powered melee weapons, martial arts, and the use of non-conventional weaponry and asymmetrical warfare. The Squad isn't flashy on these missions and will favor a few drops of poison over high explosives, and a kitchen knife over a katana.

Surveillance - using the same disguise, misdirection, and related kunoichi tactics, the Squad will follow a person or a specific location to gather as much information as possible. In this role, the Squad functions as a Shadowrunner team with a penchant for black outfits.

Rendition - if a government abducts a person, its not called abduction or kidnapping, its called rendition. The Black Mass Assassination Squad is adept at abducting people, holding them, interrogating them, even going so far as impersonating them as needed.

Squad Members
The Canoness - the leader of the Black Mass Assassination Squad holds the title of Canoness, and has the ability to issue orders to any member of the squad or extant members of the order. Becoming a canoness requires exceptional skill, usually parapsychic manifestation, and perhaps the most difficult and important, recognition and patronage among the the leaders of the Neo-Catholic Church.

Soros - also known as the Sisters, these are the rank and file squad members, and have made a name for themselves with their skill and their devotion to the Neo-Catholic Church. An Assassination Squad will have 3-5 Sisters to support the Canoness leader.

Extants - non-initiates, the Extants are religiously devoted women who have not undergone the vows to God and the Church. They are the people who make the order run, from things as mundane as housekeeping, to as vital as healthcare, to as cutting edge as developing weapons and gear for their Sisters.

The Black Mass Assassination Squads were created by a historical Abbess Carla Sanborne. Sanborne hailed from the Coalition nation of Cascadia. Sanborne was a collector of antiquities for the Neo-Catholic Church and headed the Seattle-Tacoma convent. The facility was used as a 'Vault of Inequity' for holding cursed or questionable objects. The Convent also handled children and women who had manifested parapsychic abilities. 
Sanborne herself manifested parapsychic abilities due to her exposure to contaminated artifacts. The Neo-Catholic church strongly believed that parapsychic manifestation was nothing less than a divine gift, and that this gift should be used for the glory of God. The challenge was that finding Good Works for emotionally traumatized teens with abilities like telekinesis or animating objects was less than easy. For every child with biokinesis and the ability to heal, there were dozens of other more destructive adepts. 

There is more than one Black Mass Assassination Squad. Much like the US Seal teams, the church has identified the Squads, but none are numbered, as this would reveal the potential number of squads in existence. Instead of numbers, each Black Mass Squad has an identifier, being one of the 72 seals from the Lesser Key of Solomon.

How Many Squads are there?

There is not a concrete answer, but there are three potential ways to handle this: 1, a few, and 72.

1. There is only ONE Black Mass Assassination Squad, and as such its members are all Plus Ultra parapsychics with phenomenal devotion to God and the Neo-Catholic Church. In this instance, the Squad would have sufficient power to do things like stop an entire military division, fight mecha one on one, and stand up to cosmic horrors on their own. This is a very high power option.

A Few. There are maybe a dozen or so Assassination Squads, and they operate as a clandestine force for the Neo-Catholic church, a sort of highly dangerous and super sexy version of the FBI or CIA. A few squads are dedicated to actual assassination, but the majority are keyed for other tasks such as cybersecurity, data theft, espionage, and other intelligence operations. 

72. There are 72 Squads, each aligned with one of the Lesser Keys of Solomon, and as such, they exist as part of a eschatological prophecy, and there is something along the lines of a virgin assassination squad being required to smite the Antichrist, or to bring about the Apocalypse, or to slaughter demons...

Underskirt - functionally a skin tight encounter suit with a zirconite coating. This garment resembles normal encounter suits, but it is completely unadorned and has no decoration, but the zirconite coating gives it a high gloss appearance. To those of a fetishistic persuasion, the material resembles a bondage grade latex bodysuit. This garment is normally worn under any other clothing or costume as needed, though not all of the time.

Tunic - the organization term for their mundane costume is the Tunic. Tunics are mundane clothing and disguises.

Crux Gemmata - a reliquary, the crux gemmate is a jeweled cross. Superficially it is an ornate crucifix, always adorned with jewels, and sometimes with engravings, or a facsimile of Christ on the Cross. This item, aside from being a serious religious relic, also is an arcanotech 'device'. The term is used loosely, as it functions as an array, with the individual stones being imbued with the parapsychic echoes of previous bearers of the crux gemmata. These are incredibly important to the organization, and they will kill without hesitation to recover them. Some are more than a thousand years old, and hold ancient glomes.

Ring of St. Yael - named after a woman who killed a general to help free the Israelites, the Ring of Saint Yael is a biotelemetric device that only identifies to wearer to someone who knows of the Black Mass Assassination Squads. This means high ranking members of the Neo-Catholic church, fellow assassins, and such.

Rosary - the Rosary is carried by each soros, and serves two purposes. The first and obvious purpose is that of a multi-tool. It can be used as any chain or metal whip would be, and can work as a garrote, and it is possible to replace a handful of the rosary beads with other 'items' such as explosive pellets, poison gas pellets, data capsules, drugs, and so forth. The other aspect is that the rosary is used as a tool during the training of a Black Mass assassin, and they find both comfort in it, and learn to deeply fear and respect it. Insolent and failing girls might be viciously whipped with a rosary, or be forced to flagellate themselves while recounting their failures.

The Luminous Mystery is a very specific Rosary and is functionally an emote cube without the Rubik's Cube interface. Rather than the typical emotional evocation, the Luminous Mystery is designed to walk a path of five specific emotional responses, geared to turn even the most reticent trainee into a deeply devoted member of the Black Mass. The Five Luminous Mysteries include: The Baptism - a period of mental restoration and a balancing of mental activities to induce a peaceful and recovering emotional state, The Wedding - the acceptance and the manifestation of Faith in something outside the self, The Proclamation - the call to trust in God and Jesus, The Transfiguration - manifesting a strong desire for holiness, or to become holy, and The Eucharist - adoration. The Luminous Mystery is quite good at turning devoted into fanatics, and skeptics into adherents. It is totally a primitive form of psychotronic intimation.

Weaponry - The Black Mass love their weapons, and there aren't any weapons they love more than knives and SMGs. Knives are up close and messy, and something completely unexpected in the CE, especially not in the context of a band of exclusively female kunoichi style demi-Catholic assassins. Submachine Guns are small and compact, and often easy to disassemble and hide through a woman's personal kit. In quick order, these weapons can be quickly assembled to deliver high volumes of firepower. When not working in an undercover operation, a soros could carry as many as 6 SMGs, a sword, and a dozen knives of different sizes and shapes. A mech is completely helpless is the pilot caught a throwing knife in the neck halfway up the ladder to the cockpit. 

A pair of gloss black boots

Also known as Nodites, Technophiles, and other names, the Noddies are a desperate faction of neo-religious sand rats who worship advanced technology. They are simply a more militant and much better armed than the primitive cargo cults of the Polynesian islands in the 1800-1900s.

The Brotherhood of the Land of Nod traces its origins to extreme religious cults founded in the Second Dark age. After facing years of oppression under PetroBarons in the middle east, these cults gained a free hand in the Resource Wars and really started growing after the end of the Petroleum Era saw the nations of the Middle East either toppled by internal strife, revenge wars, or environmental disaster. These cults survived through the Dark Age through religious barbarism, and zealotry. Isolated in the wastelands of the Middle East, they lived in a state of near constant conflict with then environment, and many of the first dimensional fatigue events occurred in the desert.

The Brotherhood carried on the old Arabic traditions of cults of personality dominated by military strongmen ruling swaths of land with the approval of post Islamist semi-Pagan Imams. These new Imams were influenced by religious visions, and communed with extra-dimensional beings. They broke bread with the Tarxan raiders who escaped dimensional breaches. They wed daughters of the Brotherhood to them, they created tribes of mutants and hybrids. They created an entire culture around the veneration of arcanotechnology.

This wouldn't be such a major issue, except that unlike the idols and tech worshipped by the old cargo cults, arcanotech is much more powerful and much more dangerous.

The Post Renaissance Era saw conflicts across the Middle East as various powers explored the ruins, fought each other, and both caused and then closed dimensional breaches in the area. This left a good deal of scrap and damaged arcanotech for the Brotherhood to gather. The why and how remain a mystery, but the technology worshipping primitive brotherhood managed to repair some of these devices. When some of the damaged LAIs and combat computers were reactivated, a disturbing number of them reactived and gained sentience. These impressionable new intellects were indoctrinated in the theology of the Brotherhood, and were quickly assimilated into it. Eventually the sentient machines would become part of the clerical caste of the Brotherhood.

Few things can match the impression of a sentient battlemech leading zealots in prayer to technology before heading into battle to defend a piece of their desert. In the Brotherhood, there are a number of now sentient light and medium mecha, and similar captured wargear.

The Brotherhood of the Land of Nod is a religious organization that venerates arcanotechnology, with emphasis on cybernetics, artificial intelligence, and hard tech in contrast to genetic and cloning technology.

At least this is what is known on the surface. The Brotherhood has a secret they are protecting and it is basically something going on in what was formerly Iraq, and the Noddies refer to the project as Eden. The Nodites will go to great lengths to protect Eden, and most of them consider it to be a metaphor, or ideal, like Heaven or Nirvana. The elite and the leading Imams know that Eden is a real location, and it's between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The ultimate goal of the Brotherhood is to protect Eden until Eden is prepared to rise and dominate the rest of the world. The technology developed by Eden will extinguish the decadence and evil of the outside world and restore Earth to it's pristine condition. Man and machine will live in harmony with nature, under the wisdom and guidance of the Brotherhood, and it's ruling Cabal.

The Brotherhood is associated with the colors red and black and has long used the image of the scorpion as it's mascot. This remains the symbol of the militant arm of the Brotherhood, and the Imams keep the red and black motif, but have adopted their own more religious iconography.

The Brotherhood traces it's founding to the biblical figure of Cain, who was thrown out of paradise for the murder of his brother, and then traces it's history through the Muslim Caliphate, up to the radical Islamists of the Petroleum Era to the modern day.

The Brotherhood was nothing more than just another radical sect wandering the wastelands, like the Baathist, the Exo-Shiites, the Zen-Sunni, and the Sons of Persia. The Nodites were selected by the masters of the Eden Project to serve as the guinea pigs of Edenian research, testers of new arcanotechnology, and the fact that they are technology worshipping zealots makes them very easy to control and manipulate. The initial 'Founder' of the modern Nodite sect was a seibertronian known as 'Swindle', a fast talking con artist and cybernetic Fixer of no small skill. Swindle assumed the mantle of a technoImam, a robotic descendent of Cain himself.

The amazing thing is how well the nascent Nodite sect embraced the notion of a sentient machine being the modern avatar of a biblical figure. But, Swindle was also very good at what it did.

The current leader of the Brotherhood of the Land of Nod is a charismatic cyborg named Iosef Udo Hussein. Going by a variety of nicknames, aliases and titles, Hussein is a heavy augmented cyborg, with almost all of his enhancements devoted to either maintaining his biological survival, and amplifying his parapsychic ability. Hussein is a gifted mind manipulator, and can easily mind control humans as well as some sentient machines through the force of his will. This is augmented by things like an exocranial cyberdeck, arcane tattoos, and access to high end technology that nurtures and feeds his ability.

The Brotherhood is an equal opportunity organization that worships Arcanotech as the face of God. It draws it primary membership from the wasteland dwellers, mutants, and others who live in the ruins of the Middle East, and on the fringes of the world super powers. These form the masses of the Brotherhood, and a few rise in the ranks of the technoclergy. The ranks of monks, clerics, and holymen are composed of military cyborgs, escaped augmented criminals, rogue androids, and seibertronians. These receptacles of arcanotech are seen as being sacred. Those that become deranged from exposure to cosmic radiation are likewise seen as gifted by the light of god. The leaders of the Brotherhood are high end seibertronians, AISC rogue units, and sentient war machines, along with a small number of parapsychic elite humans.

Acolytes: Gifted with parapsychic powers and manifestations, Acolytes are divided into those who physically manifesting gifts such as fire manipulation and augmented strength and those who manifest mental/mind controlling gifts. The former are trained as elite commandos where they use their powers in toe to toe fighting. The latter are trained to become psychic controllers and links in a psi-communication network. The end result is a cadre of zealots that are adept at blowing things up and sowing confusion in enemy ranks.

Tech Priests: The basic level of clergy, the Tech Priest is a fancy title for an arcanotechnician. The people who understand and know how to work on arcanotech devices are given a large amount of importance in the Brotherhood. It is one thing to be divinely inspired, another to witness it, and something completely different to sacrifice sanity and often physical health to comprehend the will of the divine.

Cyborgs: Cyborgs have a place of prominence in the Brotherhood, where they function as paladins and crusaders, holy warriors who have accepted the arcane touch of the divine in an attempt to become closer to the holy mysteries. The lifespan of a cyborg tends to be short, as the mechanical men are military leaders and elite soldiers and see frequent action against other wasteland residents, dimensional fatigue events, and terrorist operations against the NEGs that border the former Holy Land.

Confessors: Operating in a similar role to Cleaners, Confessors are specialists devoted to eliminating robots, clones, and are the internal security force of the Brotherhood, sniffing out heretics, informants, moles, and saboteurs. The Confessors mix the zeal of the Spanish Inquisition with the ruthless efficiency of the Soviet political commissar.

The Brotherhood has two major things going for it, religious zeal and the backing of Eden.

The religious zeal comes from offering salvation and humanitarian aid to some of the worst afflicted parts of the planet. Large swaths of the Levant and Middle East are still radioactive from nuclear exchanges at the end of the Resource Wars, and in the subsequent Dark Age, the tsoukalocity (Dimensional density) of the entire region increased, seeing a surge in Dimensional fatigue events. With waves of mutation, contamination, and cross breeding with extra-dimensional entities afflicting the population, it was just a matter of time before someone figured out how to harness the basic human agony in the region. The warriors of the Brotherhood are fearless, and are not concerned about death in battle.

The secret masters of Eden have worked to supply the Brotherhood with technology, material resources, training, and methods to evade being destroyed by other factions that would see the technophiles crushed. Many Tech Priests, Acolytes, and Confessors receive Edenian sourced training in hidden camps in the desert. Eden also provides the Brotherhood with combat ready vehicles, such as advanced mecha, and arcanotech weapons, as well as industrial support building hidden military bases, secret strongholds, and seitch cities to house the families of the Brotherhood warriors.

Nodite Vehicles: Nodite Vehicles are a strange amalgam of primitive and superior technologies blended together. Armor, drive trains, and other mundane aspects of machinery are made of low grade materials, and often scavenged materials, giving the Nodite machines a distinctive rusty patina. The weapons and electronics systems are cutting edge, and more than one Federation trooper or mech jock has been shot down by underestimating the damage potential of Nodite rust buckets, pock marked walkers, or random metallic protrusion. Nodite infantry demonstrate this same profile, wearing combat armor that is 200 or more years out of date while carrying laser carbines, plasma casters, and SmartGun equipped MagRifles.

The Silk Road: One of the largest criminal enterprises in history, the Silk Road is a Nodite/Edenian back venture that connects many of the world's terrorist organizations, and shares technology, material aid, information, and other resources to keep the various sects on their feet when facing the combined might of the NEGs and the MegaCorps. The Silk Road funnels trillions of dollars of contraband and black market goods around the world, as well as providing safe havens for smugglers, terrorists, criminals on the run and insurgents who need to find recruits, backers, and equipment.

The Brotherhood and ShadowLaw: ShadowLaw, based out of SE Asia and Indonesia is heavily involved in guns, drugs, money and human trafficking as it's day job, and cloning, genetic augmentation, and parapsychic ability exploitation for fun. The Brotherhood supplies some of the tech, and information to ShadowLaw in exchange for money, and recruiting some members from the vicious IndoAsian gangs.

The Brotherhood and the Lin Keui: The Cooperation between the ancient ninja clans and the Brotherhood is minimal, as the Brotherhood desires the secrets and techniques of the cosmically aware ninja masters, and the clans have little interest in the crass hardware of the Brotherhood. There is some animosity, but the two are somewhat willing to tolerate each other as the venerable Lin Kuei have real rivals in other ancient clans and societies as well as facing the might of the ACPS security and intelligence agencies.

The Brotherhood and the Python Patrol: The Python Patrol routinely works with the Brotherhood on a purely material basis. In exchange for Edenian sourced weapons, cybernetics, and tech support, the Patrol is friendly to the Brotherhood, protects their members in the Patrol's zone, and does a good deal of transportation work for them. The Python Patrol is largely mercenary pirates, and have no central strong ethos, and it isn't uncommon for augmented soldiers and expatriate shadowrunners to fall in with the Python chapter of the Brotherhood.

The Brotherhood and Armas: Armas has access to high tech gear, and has a good amount of funding and local support. While Armas isn't a religious based group, they understand the value and importance of a central body of ethics and values and have allowed Brotherhood priests to preach and offer technocommunion (CogLAN system running Nodite simulations) and Virtual Atonement. The Armas Chapter of the Brotherhood is growing slowly, and the Tech Priests and their acolytes are only uncommon in Armas camps.

The Brotherhood and Amerikka Command: The Brotherhood and Amerikka Command have a tenuous love hate relationship. The Amerophile Command has adopted a largely agnostic/atheistic stance towards religion in general, and the deeply religious overtones of the Brotherhood clash with these values. Likewise, the zeal clashes with the fierce individualism and self interest of the Command. While recognizing a common enemy in the Federation, Brotherhood cells and AC commandos have clashed in the past, and it becomes a match between furor versus skill.

The Brotherhood and the Black Dragon Society: The Brotherhood and the Black Dragon are very good friends. The Black Dragon, being largely anarchic in nature has rejected the religious conversion of the Brotherhood, but welcomes their guns, money, and drugs, and the Brotherhood has small chapter houses scattered across Cascadia and the Republic of California. The Black Dragon supplies the Brotherhood with some recruits, but a much larger and more valuable supply of drugs, pharmaceuticals, and genetic augmentation techniques. Many of the mutation reversing or controlling drugs used by the Brotherhood come from the Black Dragon.

Manifesto or Creed:
The Veneration of Arcanotechnology, and it's elevation above the base and crude instruments of mankind.

The Dominance of the Brotherhood of the Land of Nod over the heathens, barbarians, and blasphemers who use the devices of the the divine in vain. Man should serve the Machine, not vice versa.

The Promotion of Cybernetics, CogNet addiction, and service to the Divine

The Protection of the Hidden Realm of Eden.

Note and Role:
The Brotherhood of the Land of Nod is superficially based off of the Brotherhood of Nod faction from the Command and Conquer Universe, but rather than Scrin, and tiberium, this brotherhood venerates arcanotech and they are a semi-secret society. In the grand scheme of things most people haven't heard of the Brotherhood, and those that have live in parts of the world that border the ruins of the Middle East, and even then, the Brotherhood is one of several factions and sects that populate the wastelands and generally make a nuisance of themselves.

The Eden Initiative is a full on conspiracy, and the Brotherhood is being used as it's militant arm, and it's hidden dagger, with the aim of protecting the Eden project until it is complete. To this end, the Brotherhood is indoctrinated, and spread the dogmatic conditioning around the world through underground connections, criminal enterprises and the Silk Road. The irony is that through the occult scholars and holy men of the sect, the Brotherhood is very well informed, and fairly accurate on what they know and believe about arcanotech, and the condition of the world. Unfortunately, they are ultimately blinded by their faith to the innate duplicity of the Edenian faction, and when the Initiative is complete, the bulk of the Brotherhood will fare no better than the rest of the world.

Use: The Brotherhood is a terrorist secret society in a setting where most terrorist and separatist groups have charismatic leaders, political parties, and CogNet broadcasting agencies. Individual members are vessels for plot devices, introducing mcguffins, or throwing monkey wrenches in the works. They are deeply involved in conspiracy lore, and non-local news references to the Brotherhood are treated in the same context as the Bilderbergs, the Illuminati, or the Hidden Masters.

Robotics is serious business
Much like how Apple devices are built today, the autons, robots, and other simulacra of the Cosmic Era are also manufactured in such a way to discourage home customization, modification, or repair. Only licensed technicians in approved facilities are approved to made repairs or upgrades to robots or autons.

The Clockmakers
Clockmakers are the underground robotics technicians who work on and modify mechanoids, illegally. Clockmakers often keep shops that are locally known for tinkering and making minor repairs, and have signs with timepieces or watches on them. The clockmaker is an important figure in the geofronts andslums, as their work keeps the machines working and technology limping along a few more days.

Figure of Importance: inside the underworld communities, the clocksmith is likely the most skilled individual, and in more good aligned sectors, they are going to be council members or otherwise leaders of the community. In more chaotic and criminal sectors, they are going to the slaves of the warlords, or their supporters, giving them fighting machines for their defense.

Illegal Alteration: If a droid inside the city goes off of the rails, there are only two potential reasons, infection by a hostile program or virus, or the deliberate alteration by a clocksmith. This would send investigators looking for who did the modification, and why it was done. Droids can be reprocessed to steal, commit crimes, perform terrorist actions, or function as a vector of a viral attack.

Custom Work: colorful robots and outlandish work is the sure sign of a savvy clockmaker, and each will sort out their own style, a sort of combination of a fashionista, mad scientist, and garage monkey. This custom work is most often seen in underworld entourages and robosports.
RoboSympathizer: the clocksmith is a supporter of robotic rights, and works to create as many sentient machines as possible to support their cause. This can be problematic as machine intelligence and human intelligence are not the same thing.

The problem with almost all of the world's supersoldier programs, and their other weapon programs is that they lack vision. They aren't willing to see the big picture. They just want to push toy soldiers around on a map when their ultimate goal should be a single warrior so powerful that it renders armies and militaries obsolete, and turn war into a futile gesture of resistance. We know this, and we are close to accomplishing it.

The Dream of Doomsday
The Dream of Doomsday is the end of mortal world governments, and their replacement by the Scions of the House of the Forsaken. The world armies will disband, and world governments would only exist as bureaucratic extensions of the House, and then the dictators and presidents, parliaments, and prime ministers would be errand boys and liaison officers, nothing more. This is an enormous goal, and the forces commanded by the rest of the worlds in the solar system is immense. In comparison, the Order of Ixium is laughable. The House of the Forsaken, despite it's wealth and influence has nothing comparable to even a third world navy. 

The might of the House of the Forsaken isn't numbers, because numbers don't matter. The Forsaken have secret knowledge, access to alien technology, artifacts from civilizations long since crumbled. 

The Magnagog Manifesto
Through examination of alien substances and stolen magnagog genetic material the House of the Forsaken are fully capable of producing their own magnagogs, complete with parapsychic powers and high energy generation. A number of experiments were carried out and several partial magnagogs were assembled for study. The Magnagog Manifesto is the Doomseeker's bible of teratomorph genetic materials, which they travel across the solar system to collect. Any particular cosmic horror they can document or gain samples of, they do. The more, the better. 

The problem with the Magnagog is simple. They are massive. They are big enough that warships and missiles can be fired at them. Their holding facilities likewise are easy targets. A few arcanotech warheads, or an austerhagen device and it's all gone. That's not even taking into account how hard they are to keep under control, keep fed, or clean up after. You cannot imagine how big a pile of shit a 55 foot tall monster can shoot out. 

The Ultimate Goal of the Magnagog Manifesto would be the creation of an Erelim, or super magnagog. Such a creature would transcend terrestrial biology, and be able to generate high energy fields within it's own body. With the vast majority of the world's arsenal being conventional, and only a small portion being arcane, such a creature would be nigh unstoppable.

Mechagog Initiatives
The Counter-point to the conventional magnagog is to by a cybernetically enhanced one. This reduces the biological components, makes the creature easier to control, adds ranged weapons, and so forth. These share the same problems of size and maintenance, but add in cybernetic upkeep, and bring in all sorts of investigation. Magnagogs appear from time to time, they dont show up in armor and bristling with guns unless someone else in involved. The Doomseekers don't want to be noticed just yet.
Kinda the entire plot of Neon Genesis Evangelion goes here.

UltraSoldier Initiatives
The magnagog super weapon is expensive, and collateral damage is high, and the rate of failure has been high, and even more expensive. The answer is to circle back to the supersoldier, a single man with the fighting ability of many. Many governments and agencies have pursued this ideal, but have worked to limit the actual power of their soldiers. The last thing an organization wants is a soldier or a group of soldiers to go Rambo on them, where their combat prowess and inside knowledge would make them even more dangerous. The Doomseekers want to create the supersoldier of supersoldiers, a single person who could take on an entire division of soldiers, tanks, mecha and destroy them all.

The UltraSoldier isn't measured by their strength, or combat training, but by their parapsychic ability, and what they can do with it. The Doomseekers aren't concerned about the loyalty of the UltraSoldier because in the great scheme of things, it will be the actual leaders of the House of the Forsaken who will eventually be the benefactors of whatever wizardry the Doomseekers come up with. The very leaders of the Forsaken themselves will become the UltraSoldiers.

Project Dark Seed
The Dark Seed project looks promising, as the initial test subjects have demonstrated massive increases in mental capacity as well as well manifested parapsychic powers, with the most promising individuals showing signs of manipulating atomic forces and gravity before being euthanized. They also show a dramatic increase in size, typically reaching 8 feet and 400 plus pounds. This additional mass apparently being needed to harness and hold the enormous amount of parapsychic power bleeding through their body. Smaller and weaker subjects have been destroyed by their own powers. 

Test Subject Omega has demonstrated the ability to generate and control exotic energy, which it can focus into beams that slice easily through almost all available armors. The skin has taken on a stone like color and texture, and they've lost most of the feeling in their extremities. Omega routinely emits arcane radiation, and the activation of it's euthanizer device merely knocked it unconscious. Attempts to kill Omega has caused it to lash out with limbs or energy blasts. It has since been sedated and placed into a hibernation unit, until contingency plans can be enacted.

Project Deathless
The Deathless project is currently more promising than the Dark Seed project, though none of the Deathless subjects have manifested the same level of parapsychic powers. The powers they have manifested are well above average, but remain controllable. They follow the same pattern of enlarged bodies and discoloration of the skin.

The most promising test subject of Deathless has embraced nihilism and has attempted self destruction more than once and it amused by it's seeming invulnerability and apparent immortality. It is otherwise content to sit around and contemplate things and use it's impressive parapsychic powers to float around, mind control workers, and provide itself with entertainment and convenience. Where a typical parapsychic wouldn't consider using their power for mundane tasks, Deathless Subject T4 routinely uses its powers to make and heat cups of tea and float around an entire tea set.

Project Genesis
Project Genesis has focused on harnessing non-destructive parapsychic powers, and into the realm of matter manipulation. As such, progress has been slow. The nature of parapsychic abilities often defies attempts to cultivate or control them, and many manifest in response to the person who has them, and almost never the other way around.

The current leader of Genesis has demonstrated the ability to reshape matter, turning sand back into stone, and then into walls. It can also rip weapons out of the ground, turn vehicles into tools, and otherwise reshape anything it wants. This has made it hard to control, as it can easily turn walls into doors, levitate, and has demonstrated impressive telekinesis and other abilities across the spectrum.
Last edited by Skaldia on Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:05 pm, edited 25 times in total.
||“The lesson of history is that no one learns.”
||“Chaos needs no allies, for it dwells like a poison in every one of us.”

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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Skaldia » Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:45 pm

Other Factions Cont. II

In REM sleep, the human brain, in concert with a sufficiently advanced AISC can process data at 20 times the normal speed. While this is done under the limitation of unconsciousness, it comes with the advantage of malleability. In the dream state, the human mind retains it's capability for transcendental thought, intuitive leaps, and other mental tricks that ultimately place the organic brain superior to the mechanical brain.

The Dream Tank
During the Petroleum Era, the 'think tank' was a tool of corporations and world governments, and consisted of putting together groups of like minded people for the purpose of thinking up problems and solutions to those problems. This would become sophisticated and advanced, and the last great creations of the Think Tanks were the Artificial Intelligence Super Computers, and the precursors to the modern CogNet. The premise of the Dream Tank is simple, much like the Think Tank it replaced, the Dream Tank is a collection of specialists, experts, and other relevant personnel who are brought together for the purpose of solving problems, anticipating problems, and the like. They have two distinct advantages over their predecessors. The Dream Tank runs 20 times faster, gaining weeks of experience and progress for each day that passes. The second advantage of the Dream Tank is more nefarious.

The Dream Tank groups seldom know they are actually involved in a CogNet simulation. These individuals are at varying points in their initiation or interviewing process are 'abducted' and placed into the Dream Tank. Through this method, the parameters of the scenario can pre-programmed into the system, and the entire team is brought together under the consensual crisis. This has ranged from global viral outbreaks, alien invasions requiring the development of viral weapons, planetary engineering, and pretty much whatever scenario is required to generate a desired outcome. The ethical Dream Tanks will unplug and greet those who 'perished' in the simulation while those less scrupulous operations let the chips fall where they may, often using illegal software or psychotronic devices to preserve human minds as computer constructs.

The keyword of every Dream Tank is control, both within the simulation and outside of it. There are two independent tiers of leadership. The main leadership of the Dream Tank is rather contrary to thought, external. The leadership of each Dream Tank is internal, with power structures and pecking orders developing out between the members of the team that is involved in the simulation. The external leadership is bound by the fact that an excessive amount of outside interference in a simulation has the effect of rupturing the 'suspension of disbelief' because it only takes a very small segment of a dream tank group to realize that they are in a simulation to compromise said simulation.

In many ways the operation of a Dream Tank is like the production of a holodrama, or action stream. The core 'cast' of professionals and experts do the heavy lifting and the fighting, and as the case calls for, the murdering and manufacturing of tools of death, while the outside control merely aims the flow of events.

A Dream Tank is carefully selected to have a certain percentage of members who are there for the sole purpose of facing the desired scenario and producing the desired end product. These are usually at absolute most, half of a simulation group. The rest of the group will be composed of 'controllers' and 'leaders' who are only there to by their own nature, keep things on track, entertainers and distracters to keep the group from becoming overcome by melancholy, depression, or otherwise negatively deviating from it's course, and 'red shirts' who are variables, expendables, and otherwise part players. These part players are typically the largest segment of a Dream Tank, and while only considered 'extras' they will have some relationship with the subject matter, such as being students, engineering grads, or more blue collar types with experience in the matter.

The ad you answer isn't always the ad you think it is.

One of the most easily overlooked advantages of the Dream Tank is the malleability of the resources available. The scarcity or abundance of anything is controllable, and the suggestibility of the dream state often allows for some exceptional stretching of what is plausible.

Each Dream Tank operation has it's own objective. Contrary to the picture painted above, the majority of Dream Tanks are relatively mundane, the design and construction of arcanotech equipment, sub-component engineering, and the fabrication of scenarios. These scenarios are played out over a period of days or even weeks, with the participants being maintained in a suspended animation. Their bodies are provided sustenance, and other care, while their minds are occupied elsewhere.

Sample Dream Tanks
USS Ascension - From the SyFy movie of the same name, the Ascension Dream Tank was composed of a very large 600 member local area CogNet with the entire system being closed to outside input. The purpose of the simulation is to study the effects of long term space travel and generational space travel. While there is still plenty of room in the Solar System, certain paranoid elements are interested in the potential for launching such missions to other star systems. The Ascension Program is a pet of the Atlantic Federation

LOST - A psychological experiment in creating emergent parapsychic abilities, the LOST program was designed to push the limits of what is acceptable in Dream Tank simulations. As a meta program, the LOST program has proven that the human mind is willing to accept a very large amount of irrational information, and accept some ludicrous situations so long as there is a central continuity.

St. Elsewhere - A medical simulation, St. Elsewhere is a synthetic hospital used to train new surgeons, as well as experiment with prototype technologies and techniques in a simulated environment. The hospital simulation is well designed and has been used for a number of non-medical simulations, such as withstanding a viral outbreak, a zombie outbreak, and a variety of other disaster scenarios.

First Contact - A trainer/primer for exonauts and space explorers, the First Contact simulation involves high end arcanotech, as well as a variety of first contact simulations with alien intelligences. The variations on the simulation are well known with the Kobiyoshi Maru scenario being legendary for it's no survival ending.

The Purpose
The Dream Tanks are a logical extension of research and development technology and the corporations and the governments that don't use them are going to be fighting a constant uphill battle to keep up with technological development. Normal technicians, engineers and designers are not just working at 1/20th the speed of their dream tank rivals, they are only devoting 6 to 12 hours in a working day, with the rest of that time being spent on things like sleeping, socializing, and consuming entertainment, not counting days out, holidays, weekends, etc.

An offshoot of the Glassenheim Foundation, the Utopia Initiative, and the Anunnaki, the Edenic Garden Society is a self contained faction that has as it's driving purpose the creation of 'Seeds of Humanity'.

The Logistics of Extrasolar Colonization

Groups like the Explorer Corps and missions like the Oumuamua have proven than extending the dominion of humanity beyond the edge of the Solar System is a daunting task. There were previously just two lines of thought on how to accomplish this, unlocking the secrets of faster than life travel, and generational ships. The Oumuamua was technically a success but ran into the basic problem of topicality. When it was being built it was considered of vital importance, but some sixty years after its launch, most of the people involved with the exploration program at that time were dead or retired, and the megascale ship scooting towards the heliopause stopped being exciting and cutting edge, and fell into the same category as cleaning out the garage and closets of a deceased grandfather. Generational ships were massive, expensive, and quite simply lost the public interest quickly. The revelation of Project Infinity also soured relationships with long term projects.

The progress on FTL travel was even more dismal. The less promising designs simply didn't work. The more promising designs and theoretical models simply ceased to exist, imploded into dimensional fatigue events, or went *somewhere* and no one has any idea when, where, or even how they went, and that even assuming that the test bed vehicles weren't translated (exploded) into hyperdimensional energy, debris, or just cosmic noise.

The Seed of Humanity
The concept behind a Seed of Humanity is a generational ship on the cheap, minus the generational part. Without a crew, the 'Seed' can be dramatically smaller than a generational ship, and conceptually will plant itself in the surface of another planet or moon. The Seed will germinate, and somewhere between unpack/grow out from it's transit form into a base colony. Eventually, the base colony will grow into an arcology, and gestate a human population which will become the first generation of extrasolar humans. Eventually, the seed will 'flower' and establish contact with Earth and report it's progress.

An ambitious plan to say the least.

[i]Progress on the project was set back decades after a particularly violent schism within the organization, splitting it into the original Garden of Eden Initiative and the Edenic Garden Society. The GEI initially had the upper hand in terms of financing and senior personnel, while the EDS was left on the defensive, but held the more ambitious and anti-orthodox engineers and designers. The GEI soon started to suffer from its own hubris and internal politicking, with various departments working to undermine the others to cover their own failures. Tenured appointees lorded of their domains like feudal dukes and barons, while finances became the field of battle. Eventually the Garden of Eden Initiative was cannibalized by the Pauper faction of the Anunnaki, and was dismantled like an animal in the slaughterhouse. A handful of GEI members were elevated to the ranks of the Anunnaki, but the majority were liquidated or simply terminated.

The Seed Of Humanity Prototype
The Seed of Humanity has long since passed the concept phase, and is well into testing phase. Dozens of tests have been run in long term simulation, as well as run piecemeal through outside computer modelling firms, proving out the various sections and pieces of the project.

Prometheus V.3
The current model of the 'seed' is the Prometheus version three. The Prometheus V.3 resembles an egg attached to a heavy drive section, based off of the Shenandoah Pioneer ship. This makes the assembly of the central components relatively easy, and inexpensive. This is a massive offset compared to the enormous cost of generational ships. The second cost saving measure is the 'seed' or 'egg' component of the Prometheus. It is based off of the Seyetik class pre-con tactical base, which was designed to support the Utopia Initiative as a mobile environmental observation post. 

The Seyetik Pre-Con used in the Prometheus has 6 bays, and a central core. The Central core houses a self contained Dimensional Reactor and a small back up fusion reactor. There is a L/AISC core and CogNet node stacked above the reactor, and it is topped by a communications array and ansible for faster than light communication. This is a power hungry system, so it is used sparingly. 

Bay 1 - Human BioCreche
Bay one houses a human reproduction and cloning center, where a small number of relatively simple autons can oversee the long term care and storage of fertilized human embryos, as well as the equipment required to gestate and birth the initial human settlers. The BioCreche can produce several thousand human children before exhausting its supplies. 

Bay 2 - Animal BioCreche
Bay two is similar to Bay one, but it houses embryos and supplies to birth several generations of livestock as well as a host of genimals to begin populating a new biosphere. 

Bay 3 - Plant Biosciences
Plants are transported as seeds, large amounts of seeds. These seeds are held in readiness to be used for both kickstarting biome modification and planting crops. An ideal 'Seed Mission' will deliver not just humans to another world, but will turn those worlds into images of earth, complete with forests and steppe terrain.

Bay 4 - Robotics 
Bay Four is a storage and maintenance facility for hosts of auxons and autons. The auxons serve as scouts, seed dispersal units, and start the basic steps of terraforming. The autons tend to the function of the Prometheus as it deploys through it's mission. After being deployed, the robotics bay is reconfigured into a machine shop and garage for the construction and maintenance of vehicles.

Bay 5 - Polyforging
Bay five houses a complex of polyforges along with a deep inventory of Standard Template Construction patterns, mostly for vehicles, mining equipment, more machines and droids, and anything else the fledgling colony would need. The bay also includes a smelter to render the ore that the first gen mining and resource gathering autons bring back.

Bay 6 - Raw Materials
Bay six is packed completely with the initial stage of supplies. With some gear, space is more of a commodity than mass, so many things like vehicles and heavy gear are either shipped in pieces to be assembled, or as simply large barrels and gaylords (pallet sized boxes, like what watermelons are shipped in). Autons will assemble the equipment, or feed the raw materials into the polyforges to make what is needed. There are also stores of food, and food grade materials. 

The Seyetik has a large cargo capacity outside of the bays. Most Seyetiks use this space for the things held in bay 6, the Prometheus uses this storage space to hold liquid cargo in massive bladders. The most common supply carried is synthetic fuel, followed by potable water. 

Standard Mission
The standard mission involves the Prometheus class ship being stocked and having it's destination programmed. Likewise, a plan of colonization, based off of preliminary recon data, is loaded into the computer system. The ship is linked to a secondary 'booster' ship. The booster ship, ideally something with a lot of power, will accelerate the Prometheus to it's own maximum speed, likely using a gravity slingshot maneuver for more speed, and will kick the 'seed' off to continue the voyage alone. It is worth noting that at that point there is nothing alive on the ship other than ovum and seeds. Everything is in the hands of computers and autons. 

[Secret Tests
The Edenic Garden Society hasn't been all computer models and dream tank testing. It has done live tests of the plan, with the Prometheus 1 and 2 series. 

Neo-Uruk was launched and landed on Antarctica to explore a hostile environment operation. The seed unpacked, and within a year had a neo-human population of twenty children, who were being raised in accelerated growth pods, their minds linked into the mutual dream of the L/AISC core's cognet node. By the end of the fourth year, Neo-Uruk had a population of 80, with the first generation having been decanted and living on the frozen continent. By the end of the second decade of Neo-Uruk, there were almost a hundren 'Urukians' and they had established a protoculture largely based around the writings of Jack London, and used a constructed language that was a mixture of phonetic Russian but used Arabic letters and Romantic language structure. They were xenophobic, insular, and had demi-incestuous familial relationships. Neo-Uruk was shut down after 23 years, and the colony 'terminated' within six months. Terminated is a sanitary word for the violence and cannibalism that broke out after the L/AISC shut down all of the systems, and all of the computer controlled systems powered down. 

Exo-Cambria was settled on Mars, and lasted close to fifteen years before it was discovered by the ACPS in their surveys of the Red Planet. This was a cause of great concern because Exo-Cambria was represented by close to three dozen individuals who spoke a fragmentary con-lang, had no knowledge of Earth, and were exceedingly well armed and paranoid. After being discovered, the base computer made the decision to self destruct, and burned itself out in a semi-controlled DFE.

Exceptional Failures
Site B was a spectacular failure. The human host failed, and Site B continued to expand and grow without any humans. The base L/AISC countered this loss by bolstering the number of autons it constructed, and used them to emulate humans, and to take up human roles. These autons were more humanlike, as the L/AISC was designing them on the fly as they were being made by the forges. The Edenic Gardeners stepped in and shut down Site B, but not before harvesting all of the new droid design data the colony created.

Mission 19 was an exercise in horror. The first generation of colonists started using the biocreches as a food source. They started worshiping nature and animals, and refused to hunt, or kill, so instead reverted to eating the nascent colonists as they were gestating in the accelerated growth pods. The Gardeners took copious notes and officially 'terminated' all of the colonists. It is suspected that several of them were promoted into the Garden Society itself.

Phase Four
Many of the problems discovered in the early tests have been addressed in Phase Four. Plans for the Prometheus V.4 is being designed, as a 12 bay monster, and plans involve mating the new larger seed section to the larger and more robust drive section of a Eurasian Alliance sourced Kirov VI cruiser. This would keep the cost of the program largely the same, but greatly increase the thrust potential of the ship. The Kirov VI also has the advantage of already having the potential to mount outboard thrust modules that can be jettisoned once they are spent. This would let the P4 achieve a higher launch velocity, and have a larger drive section for retro-braking as it reaches its destination. The more simple and robust Neo-soviet drive section requires less maintenance and is more reliable than it's Federation counterparts.

The unsaid step in Phase Four is that there will be no Homo Sapiens involved in the project. Only the test missions have used Homo Sapiens stock. Phase Four plans to use Homo Sapiens Xenus to stock the mission, along with the Anunnaki plan to instill a new 'Terran free' protoculture to the missions, one that venerates the Anunnaki, and the idea of the reunification with Earth. Not as a colonial force, but as liberators or conquerors. The seeds aren't intended to extend the dominion of man, they are to grow as nascent states to support the Anunnaki and their vision of the future of humanity.

The core of being a face dancer is the mutable face. The technology is relatively simple, and only requires a scan of the face to be replicated and a medical grade polyforge. The new face is 'printed' out as a prosthetic, using an electrosensitive biopolymer. This is the sort of material that is commonly used to put synthetic skin over artificial limbs where growing real skin would be problematic. These compounds are not difficult to come by as they are commonly used by people with cybernetic augmentation.

The Face of a Face Dancer
Under the mask, a person who wishes to be a face dancer has to undergo a procedure where muscle tracer inlays have to be implanted in their face. Without these inlays, the mask being worn would look like a mask glued to their face. The muscle tracers relay electrical impulses to the mask, which the electrosensitive polymers respond to. Thus, the wearer smiles, and the mask smiles as well. This limits the number and scope of people who are willing or able to become face dancers.

Why not more? There is certainly a market for people who can in a few hours literally become another person, especially with a good ghost team behind them, keeping up the fake virtual presence as well. The facial work is the drawback. Once implanted, the tracers are tied into the facial and cranial nerves making removal painful and difficult. If done wrong, it can leave a person with facial paralysis or worse. Face dancers eventually lose their own facial expressions, as the material used can often amplify gestures, so a twitch of the lip is all that is required for a smile, while a normal smile on the wearer turns into a Nicholson Joker rictus on the mask. Long time users end up with a largely blank or neutral expression as they have spent countless hours cultivating their skill to use a fake face. In areas like law enforcement, there exists a certain level of trust that is still required, and police units that have employed on staff face dancers see a dramatically lower approval rating. The populace has accepted the wojek artificial cops, but when they see a human face in uniform, they need to believe who they are talking to is who they are talking to.

The Face Dancer is a mole, an infiltrator, and saboteur, making a living from imitating other people. There are two prominent groups of face dancers in the Cosmic Era, shadowrunners and low tier actors. Shadowrunners use face dancing as a way to hide their identity and ply their work as low profile operatives. Why launch a massive shadow war to steal files, when a good face dancer with a nice rack can put on a pretty face, saunter into the offices and get a job as an information technologist, and in a few weeks, oops her way into the mainframe, steal the data and then apologize to the boss for breaking the console. No muss, no fuss, and no one the wiser, until six months later when the aforementioned data is sold on the black market.

Low level actors and actresses have resorted to this technology to imitate more successful artists, ranging from working in porn parodies, to B and C grade level entertainment copies of popular media streams. There is significant legal action, as well as media based shadow ops to hunt down and eliminate this underground faction, to destroy their mask making operations, and so forth.

The spy community uses face dancers as well, but the biometric scanning and other identification technology used in sensitive areas can usually beat a face dancing mask. The mask only changes the appearance of the wearer's face. It doesn't change their voice (there are cybernetic implants that do, an Tracheal Vox will allow for extreme voice modification) nor does it change retinal patterns, or genetic/biometric data like gene scans, fingerprints, etc. These can all be be overcome through various methods such as artificial eyes, synthetic skin gloves, and so forth. The level of modification required to use these devices

Kroenen, the Faceless Man
The Faceless Man is a whisper in the spy community, a bad dream among the shadowrunner networks, and one of the most feared and hated people on the planet. Little is known about Kroenen, even the name is just one of the aliases adopted by the agent, even his gender is in question. What is none is that Kroenen is an extreme level cybernetically enhanced individual, and suspected of being a high level parapsychic as well. His body is presumably stripped down to the minimum, allowing for his to create elaborate disguises that include growing an organic outer shealth cultured from the DNA of the person he plans on imitating. He has extensive modifications, and a suspected modular body system, allowing him to exchange body parts as needed. Should a security system have a breath analyzer, he'll have cultured a set of lungs, if not, it's the gas respirator in his torso. Kroenen's mimicry seemingly knows no bounds, as he can as easily become a woman, a man, any race, and can appear as anything from the late teens into old age. Anyone could be Kroenen. The agent has extensive skills with firearms, melee weapons, improvised weaponry, demolitions, and an array of other skills. It is suspected that he has a cybernetically altered brain allowing him to chip-jack skills, so that he can can become an expert on any skill as needed by a job.

All these rumors are fine and dandy, and the Faceless Man should be a terrifying foe, but it leaves two questions that should be more worrisome. Who has provided the tech and bio support for the Faceless Man? That level of tech requires maintenance, and it is neither cheap, nor simple. Secondly, who employs the Faceless Man, and to what end?

Trick, Turn, and Prestige
Also known as the Magicians, the trio are a group of Face Dancers who make their living by doing high level infiltration. The trio will insinuate themselves into a community, agency, or corporation, typically moving into low level clerical or servitor jobs. While there they will lay out plans to hit the target they are after. They don't kill, don't carry out abductions, or cause collateral damage. Their specialty is data theft. Trick is androgynous, having moving to a genderless biology. This allows Trick to emulate men, women, or larger bodied children. Turn is an average sized man, but is a master of distraction and has a silver tongue. Prestige is an empath and psychic projector, and appears differently to anyone she meets. The trio are very good at what they do, and have a altruistic tradition of giving a large portion of their wealth to various charities and foundations that are commonly in need.

Author's Note: Face Dancers were inspired by a trio of sources, the mask wearing agents of Mission Impossible, the cult film Darkman, and the Face Dancers of the Dune universe. (There is also a band called the Face Dancers, so it seems the name isn't trademarked)

In the beginning, there was the Guandong Industrial Investment and Financial Group, and the group was very wealthy, and very powerful. The group was interested in created a stronger beachhead in the interplanetary resource market, and was in a unique position. The Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere was flush with success as their venture to stake a major claim on Mars had been a resounding success, driving away even the vaunted might of the Atlantic Federation Space Fleet.

Nuevo Tortuga, or Ceres

Also known as the asteroid Ceres, Nuevo Tortuga had been functioning as a freehold in the asteroid belt. The meager facilities on the asteroid were beholden to no nation or power, and it was a den of scum and villainy. Banditry and piracy were fairly rampant in the belt. Often the only difference between belt miners and pirates was the amount of weaponry the potential ship to be raided was carrying. This made belt mining dangerous as well as highly profitable, kicking off a brief era of space piracy. The asteroid base, as ramshackle and cobbled together as the Kashmir Orbital Annex was the home of much of the pirate activity. The pirates avoided Federation shipping and mining as it had the power to hunt them down and crush them, and instead chose to harry everyone else who had staked a claim in the belt.

This lasted until the Emperor of China decreed that the belt pirates needed to be destroyed. The ACPS had long been a preferred target, as their ships were few in number, poorly defended, and the ACPS was far away and unlikely to send retaliation. The 1st Improvised Fleet, spearheaded by the cruiser Admiral Yi, contested Nuevo Tortuga, and fought a pitched battle against the pirates. The 1st Fleet took moderate losses, including losing the Admiral Yi, and half of the destroyers committed to the fight, but won. Nuevo Tortuga was destroyed by naval bombardment with an unknown loss of life on the residents. There were scarcely more than a dozen survivors of the battle. 

With the Belt Pirates thinned and their base shattered, the ACPS rebuilt Nuevo Tortuga into their own stronghold, with the intent of claiming sovereign rule over the belt and it's resources, as well as separating the valuable Jovian colonies from Earth. With control of Huo Hsing consolidating, the emperor was in position to make a sweeping blow against the other terrestrial nations. To this end, he commanded the construction of mining and refining facilities on Ceres, and for it to be the base for a ACPS space mining fleet. It's wealth would build the Emperor a fleet to shame the Federation, and cow the insolent Eurasian Alliance, and force the capitulation of the Nippon.

The Five Metal Dragons
The ACPS sourced and built five high quality AISCs and housed them on the asteroid. Each had a specific purpose, and a role to play in the Chinese Hegemony over space.

Jugan was tasked with biosciences, life support, food production, and reproductive services for the Belt and outer territories. This would grow a Chinese population in space without the need to export them, as well as producing the food and other consumables required for colonization of the new fleet, mines, and habitats that would grow from the Emperor's mighty seed.
Keiga was given dominion over communications and surveillance, and what happened on Earth and in the Belt would be it's jurisdiction. The AISC was to serve as the administrator over the ACPS CogNet in the Belt, as well as it's central node. This would free the Emperor from the tyranny of the M12, even if just in one part of the Solar System.
Kokusho was granted power over the operations of the new space fortress, and control of the mining operations, and would be the overlord of those who toiled for the Emperor. 
Ryusei was the fist and sword of the Emperor, and all matters military were under it's dominion. The warships of the fleet were under the AISCs control. Likewise, the generals and admirals of the new space military bowed to the wisdom of the great machine.
Yosei was the ultimate of the dragons, and was the master of the others, able to overrule any of them, to take any of their places, and to serve as the most exemplary of the Emperor's servants.

The Five Metal Dragons worked together in harmony and quickly established their dominance over the Belt. The facilities on Ceres were proven capable of turning space debris into new mining ships and worker droids, through the biogenics program lagged, as the technology for seeding humans into space wasn't quite up to par. The ACPS ended up relying on sending convicts, dissidents, and volunteers into the Belt to populate their operations, slowing the pace of plans.

Gushen Xing, the Lair of Mighty Wyrms
The Emperor struck down the name Ceres, just as he had struck down the name Mars, and replaced it. Ceres became Gushen Xing, or the Lair of Mighty Wyrms. The asteroid housed the AISC cores of the dragons, and is the logistic hub of their domain. The Five Metal Dragons haven't engaged in militarism and do not have vast mechanical armies, as the Seibertronians have. Instead, the Dragons have built ships. They have built a lot of ships. It is a common misconception that each of the dragon AISCs are housed in the various massive ships that transit the asteroid belt with Gushen Xing as their home base. These ships have their own droid intelligences, but none are AISCs.

The Five Metal Dragons caused quite a stir. No one had expected the ACPS to make such a bold move, or such an expensive one. Between Huo Hsing and Nuevo Tortuga, the ACPS had lost almost a dozen ships, thousands of sailors, plus hundreds of mecha, aerospace fighters and power armors. The grab was successful, and once dug in, it was estimated that it would take a massive amount of force to remove them. This escalated tensions across the Solar System. The Jovian colonies were fearful of Chinese aggression, and the other residents of the Belt were concerned that the ACPS would simply destroy their habitats and ships and move on without even parlay. 

The Vesta Incident
Tensions remained high, and seemingly reached a climax at the Vesta mining center. A Federation outpost, the Vesta center housed close to 3500 personnel, plus a number of refineries and docking facilities. After Ceres, it was the second busiest base in the Belt. The Incident occurred when three groups of warships moved within 2000 kilometers of each other. The first was the Vesta Naval reserve, a token force of second line frigates and a destroyer. The second was a Seibertronian harvester group escorted by a lone Decimator warship. The final group was a task force of patrol ships, the cruiser Sao Feng, and a mining flotilla. 

It seemed that was was inevitable, and that the dance would play out with the ACPS fleet attacking and attempting to take Vesta. It was likely that the Sao Feng was no match for the Seibertronian's Decimater, but it didnt matter who won. The Emperor would claim a military attack on a mining expedition, stirring up anti-seibertronian sentiment, as well as trying to garner support among the enemies of the Federation. 

Except nothing happened. The Sao Feng and the Decimater 03 passed within 10 kilometers of each other without so much as an active scan. Likewise, the Vesta task force never engaged their weapons. 

The Callisto Summit
It was unexpected, and devastating. The Five Metal Dragons, ensconced in their cradles on Gushen Xing, seceded from the ACPS. The machines and their fleets of ships and array of mining colonies and relays all switched from Zhongguo to a neutral stance. This was greeted warmly by the Atlantic Federation and the seibertronians, who desired a peaceful and profitable trans-solar economy. The Emperor's rage was boundless and he decreed that the machines were to be destroyed, their ships burned, and their code broken. There was a moratorium placed against building new AISCs, and those that were being built were destroyed. The Emperor's Rage against the machines was futile as the ACPS space fleet was a minor player to begin with, and with the loss of the Dragons, it was cut in half. Efforts have been instituted to restore the fleet, but construction of new ships has been slow, and the majority of the new ships built have been destroyers, frigates, and military carry-alls. 

The Callisto Summit was held a month after the Vesta incident, and representatives from the Federation, New Seibertron, and Gushen Xing attended. The talks were relatively brief, as they were all handled by machines. The Federation's MAGI and the Five Metal Dragons quickly came to an accord, and the Seibertronian envoy, Dinamitador, was highly amenable. All of the factions desired peace in space, as warships blowing each other up tends to be expensive, and causes a good deal of collateral damage. 

The Callisto Summit saw a three way treatise signed between the Atlantic Federation, the Five Metal Dragons, and the Ganymede based Seibertronian faction for a peaceful expansion of influence through the solar system. Dozens of nations were enraged by this, mostly through their non-inclusion. The Seibertronian scientist Shockwave informed the aggrieved parties that if they had a measurable amount of influence in space beyond the orbit of Luna, they would have been included. This was followed by a comprehensive list of ships available to each of the non-involved parties, listed in order of tonnage. The ACPS was almost at the bottom of this list, having a space fleet comparable to the entirely terrestrial nations of the EUdAS (United States of South America) or the South African United Republics.

The Emperor's bile boils anytime he considers the fact that the Dragons are now an ally to the Federation.

The fleabirds came in a caravan, a dozen strange vehicles. They were loud and cantankerous machines, rumbling and belching smoke, primitive things still powered by combustion. The vehicles are as garish and ugly as the people who stream out of them. They are flying ancient flags, forgotten mementos of bygone eras, and strange symbols like rainbow skulls painted on the sides of the vehicles. They moved in a strange harmony, directed by a small number of hairy men in animal hide jackets. Within an afternoon, the caravan was a tiny village, with homes arrayed around a common space, and a large trailer unfolded to become a common kitchen to feed all of them. They killed and brought back all sorts of animal vermin, skinned them, cooked them, and ate them.

Origins and History:
Fleabirds are a nomadic culture indigenous to North America. This socio-ethnic group comes largely from Anglo-European and African ancestries and most can trace their roots back to the poverty stricken parts of the United States during the middle and late Petroleum Era. As the Resource Wars sputtered out and the Second Dark age settled, the people in more directly affected areas simply up and moved. While many people were tied to their homes, many of these previously viewed as very poor people had the ability to hook a vehicle up to their homes and just drive away.

Through the second Dark Age, these mobile homes became part of a caravan culture. A family would occupy a small trailer, and had a single vehicle to pull it. These caravans would be accompanied by buses, work vehicles, and motorcycles, and this mobile population would travel wherever there was a chance to find work, and money to take care of their families. This culture grew and adapted, learning new skills and honing old ones. The old trailer and mobile homes were eventually replaced with more streamlined units, made of stronger and lighter materials. Where the first generation of Fleabirds were in pressboard homes with wheels, the latest generation of Fleabird homes are made of synthetic plastics, scavenged building materials, and other higher grade goods.

The Fleabirds have adopted their own culture, drawing on a mixture of native american practices and traditions (hunting, rites of manhood) Pre-Cosmic era spirituality (Southern Baptist Hellfire and salvation) and a crafting culture of moonshining, ethnic cooking, and music (country/folk/rap).

The Flea Market:
One of the hallmarks of the Fleabirds is their propensity for gathering for major swap meets. There are certain locations, intersections of their travel routes where several caravans will all arrive at the same general time. When this happens, they will form up their ranks and lay out all of the various goods that they have scavenged from the ruins of the towns and cities too small to draw the attention of the scavengers and other resource reclamation corporations as well as home made goods like music instruments, alcohol, and food goods. The resulting flea market or swap meet lasts several days and it is open to outsiders, but the Fleabirds don't accept virtual currency, bitcoins, and the like, so smart potential traders will take physical goods to trade with the travelers.

The Flea Markets are a good place to drop a dingus, something dug up from a town, lost research center, or truck that went into a ditch a century ago and wasn't recovered.

Gear and Equipment:
Mobile Homes: All Fleabird family have a mobile home that is largely self sufficient. Years of living off of the grid have caused them to learn how to live without it. They favor simple technologies that are easily repaired or replaced, and as such these homes have solar paneling, portable windmills, and other energy capturing technologies. The mobile homes are tough, have water capture and purification systems, and other features that allow a family to live in relative comfort away from the cities.

Vehicles: In the post automobile era, the Fleabirds are unique with their machines. They retain heavy trucks, buses, and other sundry vehicles, some of which are more than a century old. These vehicles are modified to run on alcohol derived fuels, and are like the gypsy and tinker wagons of antiquity, covered with art and icons relevant to the family that owns them.

Musical Instruments: in the age of pure electronic music, the Fleabirds still have physical music instruments and pass down the skill to play them through families and apprenticeships. (Imagine modern Southern Rock, progressive country, and the various fusions of Rap and country, Crunk, and other music originating from the South rendered into folk music).

Notable Stereotypes:
The Paterfamilias: The Paterfamilias is the chauvinistic leader of the Fleabird caravan, very obviously a man in his later years, with a full beard, deep reverence for their religion, and an established history of caring for the group, fighting off enemies, and keeping a number of wives, and having many children within the caravan. (Duck Dynasty)

The Fleabird caravans do have leaders, most of which do tend to be the men, whom also tend to be older. Women within the caravan have their own circles of power and influence, and the men lead with the consent of their wives (of which they each only have one). Some caravans do have a resident pastor or preacher, who is the image of the bearded elder.

The Moonshiner: One of the things Fleabirds are famous for is making their own alcohol and other recreational drugs (meth, super meth, etc). The Moonshiner is a wild eyed young man, likely missing teeth or otherwise showing scars an wounds from his trade. He is also likely a trouble maker and a thief. (Tickle)

The tradition of hating the gypsy lives on. There are moonshiners and chemists who cook up drugs in the caravans, but these are often either intelligent and well respected within the camp (distillers and those who can compound medicines) or reviled and fringe groups (those who cook the artificial drugs). The missing teeth, inbred features, and other caricatures are media inventions against the Fleabirds.

The Daisy Girls: yet among the beards and missing teeth, there appear stunning nymphettes among the Fleabirds, with long legs and a purposeful sexuality, one mostly availed upon by their family members. These women are dangerous, armed with knives and skilled in fighting, deceit, and theft. They dress up, are crass, and have no semblance of manners (Honey Boo Boo)

The women of almost any culture can become a composite for the stereotypes against the entire group as well as being fixed as sexual objects. The women of the Fleabirds are generally much more competent and capable compared to the average arco-dwelling woman in the Cosmic Era, which means they are also much more competent and capable outside the arcos than the average male arco dweller for that matter.

The Dare-Devil: Like the moonshiner, the Dare-Devil is a young man prone to mischief and danger. Unlike the Moonshiner, the Dare-Devil has a family heirloom automobile, motorcycle, or some other personal vehicle which they use for jumping over things, causing mayhem and destruction, and general trouble. (Dukes of Hazard)

The young men of the Fleabirds are the ones most likely to live out of a smaller vehicle, dependent on communal resources like the kitchen, and such as they lack a mobile home of their own. They are much more willing to take risks, do dangerous jobs and accept questionable deals because with enough profit they can turn this into a mobile home and tow vehicle to start their own family.

The Fleabirds are retro-american Gypsies who rolled out of the trailer parks in the South and just kept trucking along. They cling to their guns, and their god, and they don't associate with the trappings of the modern era, like the CogNet, robots and clones, and they don't associate with any of the national and megacorp powers that exist. They consider themselves a free people, and this is one of the reasons that they continually move, so that no one power will attempt to 'domesticate' them.

Also, the Fleabirds are a mobile collection of skills, talents, and knowledges that have either been lost, or discarded in the Cosmic Era. They are fabricators and welders, able to make their own fuel, and homes, hunt, and keep some domesticated animals in an era where machines do the work, and the food is grown in tanks, not on farms. Likewise, the Fleabirds offer a group seeking to hide from authorities an off the grid group of people and resources to travel with and hide with.

Finally, the Fleabirds draw on the concept of the Grateful Dead touring bus, the snowbird tradition of people living up North and keeping homes in the South, and the plethora of low quality entertainment designed to make a mockery of people who live in the south by finding the most stereotypical caricatures of said people and giving them television shows aka Duck Dynasty, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Tickle, Moonshiners. In the Cosmic Era, the average arco-dweller sees the Fleabirds (if they ever see them at all) as the grotesque caricature presented by the media, which has little to do with the actual individuals who compose it.

Once upon a time, A&E and TLC were channels that showed Biography, biographical movies, medical documentaries, and so forth.
Last edited by Skaldia on Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:05 pm, edited 31 times in total.
||“The lesson of history is that no one learns.”
||“Chaos needs no allies, for it dwells like a poison in every one of us.”

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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Skaldia » Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:46 am

Other Factions Cont. III

The first alien discovery wasn't made in space, it was found on the bottom of the ocean. During the last days of the Petroleum Era, the first seacologies were being built, primitive compared to modern structures, but seacologies none the less. During this time, ruins were discovered underwater and when it was determined that they were of non-human origin, it was placed under very tight security. Scientists, linguists, and specialists all investigated the ruins, and deciphered a great deal from the materials recovered. Their initial findings led the clandestine UN task force to further discoveries, including an entire city buried under lunar lava in the Mare Imbrium on the Moon, and other sites on the Moon, and later Mars.

The findings would be categorized as the anthropological remains of the Imbrian Culture. This included examples of architecture, advanced building materials, hypertech and arcanotech devices, jewelry, statues (later determined to be long dead alien machines) cities, and even the destroyed remains of space craft.

The Glassenheim Foundation
The Glassenheim Foundation was created through a variety of back door channels between several of the world's preeminent powers for the purpose of keeping the discovery of alien ruins on Earth and across the solar system a secret from mankind at large. The foundation was originally to operate in a museum like fashion, collecting the relics and evidence of aliens and documenting it, and then concealing it. The men who created the foundation believed that humanity could not stand the revelation that there were indeed aliens, and there was extensive proof that these aliens had been on Earth for a protracted period of time.

The pressures of the end of the Petroleum Era, and the onset of the Resource Wars saw a demand for outside of the box thinking, and large budget projects to create revolutionary new weapons, power sources, and so forth. Initially the Foundation was nothing more than a sort of secret black budget museum, where the Imbrian culture was studied, categorized, documented, and then classified to an incredible level. The powers that backed the Foundation wanted something for their support and no longer custodians and curators, the Foundation was encouraged to start attempting to reverse engineer the technology of the Imbrians, and to apply what they learned to fight the problems being faced by humanity as the peak of the golden age of petroleum came to a close.

This was a costly venture, both in terms of finances, and in terms of sanity. Arcanotech proved to be dangerous to mental health and well being, a fact that was strongly demonstrated as many early pioneers went horrifically and creatively mad from touching things man was not meant to know. Not all of those members were discovered to be insane, many who did not become catatonic, or devolve into screaming delusions and violent paranoia were able to hide their condition for years. 

The Glassenheim Foundation has long since ceased to function for it's original purpose, the containment of alien evidence. The world that created it is long since gone, and the Foundation remains. It now a different set of agenda items.

Advance the field of arcanotechnology until it matches the sophistication of the Imbrian Culture, and then surpass it so that humanity doesn't suffer the same fate as the Imbrians.

Perfect the human genome to usher in the next iteration of Homo Sapiens, Homo Sapiens Superior, Homo Sapiens Zeta, and Homo Novus. The end of genetic disease, elimination of old age.

Establish a new social utopian paradigm and economy that combines the strengths of socialism and social networking sans welfarism and individualism sans narcissism, consumerism and other socially destructive aspects.

Perfect the artificial lifeform, aka robots, to serve humanity as menial laborers and rank and file soldiers

The Glassenheim Foundation was founded out of a Petroleum Era United Nations back room initiative. Who the founding members were, or their nations of origin are unknown, but strongly suspected to include the United States (leading power in that era's space exploration) Israel, Germany, Japan, Poland, England, and South Korea. The Foundation was run and administers by a seven member panel, with each nation supplying a member. The leader of the panel was selected by the members themselves, and for various reasons, this leader remained secret. The members themselves remained secret in their identity and in the Foundations own records, they are only known by their cyphers.

The Glassenheim Foundation found itself in an unenviable position, it was holding the literal smoking gun of alien presence on Earth, corresponding to various entries in mythology and ancient texts, ranging from alien teachers from the stars down to the actual location of the destroyed city of Atlantis. It was also in the process of destroying conventional science by opening the pandora's box of arcanotechnology, and later branching out into more exotic realms such as psychotronics, parakinetic technologies, and more. There is an expression that the difference between madness and genius is measured only in success, and the Foundation became very successful, and in some ways, very much insane.

The Rise of the Anunnaki
In Ancient Astronaut theory, ancient human cultures were said to have been visited by aliens, and these aliens taught humanity various technologies, used mankind in wars, and in some places did things as outrageous as destroying ancient cities with nuclear weapons. One of the most prominent groups of these ancient teachers were the Sumerian Anunnaki. Between having and concealing the evidence of alien civilizations on other planets in the solar system, and on earth, and deciphering the Imbrian Culture's language and reverse engineering their technology, the Glassenheim Foundation found itself in a similar teaching position, able to take it's discoveries and findings and disseminate them through human culture and technology. The parallels between the legends of the ancient Anunnaki and the modern Foundation were hard to ignore.

It was only a matter of time before arrogance and hubris brought the Foundation to start thinking of itself as the modern incarnation of the ancient alien teachers. Anunnaki became a collective term they used to refer to themselves, both as individuals (Anunnakus in the singular form) and the Foundation itself. The end of the Resource Wars, and the onset of the Second Dark age galvanized the Glassenheim foundation, which had been instrumental in the engineering and design of the first generation of arcologies. The Foundation saw itself as the protectors of human knowledge in the collapse of the old superstates, as well as suffering from the fall as well.

The Foundation was close to dissolution, torn between nationalistic fears and insanities formented by regular contact with arcanotech and alien technologies. This would have been the end of the organization if not for the work of one member, who identified themselves as the Anunnakus Ka Nibiru. Seemingly a low level technician, the person manifested the first neural network, a local area only Cognitive Network, a contemporary of the heavily militarized hypernet, and precursor to the 3rdNet, and later, The CogNet.

Ka Nibiru used access to alien tech and 'forced' the council of the Foundation to go through a vision quest. While the attempted vision quest was ultimately a failure, it opened the eyes of the members who survived to the awesome power they held, and cemented in their minds an extra-terrestrial mandate that gave them the right and power to decide the fate of the world, over a long term plan. That was the mistake most made when attempting to change the world, they did so on a radically short timeline. They determined that the world could and would be guided, until it reached their ideals, their vision of the Imbrians, it would just take time, centuries, to happen.

Divine Teachers
The current leadership of the Foundation retain their secret identities, but are known through their cyphers, most of which are drawn from mythology and theology, and retain the names of ancient deities, with the Greek, Roman, and other occidental mythologies dominating. A small group retain the use of Middle eastern and Mesopotamian deities, but these members are much more involved in mysticism and cult like behaviors than the more common monikered members.

The Glassenheim Foundation is by the time of the Cosmic Era, an organization approaching being 500 years old. It has an extensive array of operatives, agents, and groups working under it's guidance, many of which have no idea that they are employed thusly. Some of the agencies and groups were specifically created by the Foundation for the express purpose of working directly for the Foundation. These groups tend to be small, highly secretive, and very loyal to the Foundation, such as the agencies that are physically responsible for working with alien relics and remains, internal security, and directed intelligence. Many of these organizations are themselves highly secretive and most do not officially exist, and looking for them draws the ire of the Foundation.

Other agencies and factions have long since been influenced or directed by the Foundation, and their personnel and resources have been at times co-opted, compromised or otherwise coerced to serve the goals of the Foundation. This ranges from militaries around the world, to governments and government intelligence agencies. The Foundation has had centuries to perfect their techniques, and with their first hand access to the Imbrian culture technology, they have had the technological upper hand since the beginning.

There are six levels of initiation in the Anunnaki organization, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Zeta, Omega and the mythic Anunnakus.

Alpha Level: Minions in the Alpha level echelon are the best of the best in their respective fields, likely have a public or vital role in the machinations of the Anunnaki, they serve and can reasonably expect the aid of their hidden master. Alphas may suspect that there is someone pulling their strings but the smart ones know to keep their mouths shut, while the dumb ones invariably end up on the news cycle, while everyone is shocked by their sudden suicide or unforgivable criminal act.

It is not uncommon for Alpha level minions of the Anunnaki to have benefitted from Glassenheim Foundation technologies, such as biomodification, genetic modification, and other improvements that have helped them gain their level of power and influence.

Examples: Media Celebrity, High level politician, megacorp nobility

Beta Level: Minions of the Beta echelon are the proverbial cogs in the machine. They do their work, usually deeply in ignorance. Betas are complicit in the day to day operations of the Anunnaki and their plans. Betas are purposely kept ignorant of the operation, and those that become aware of it can be promoted to another tier, or could possibly be eliminated as a potential threat to the organization.
Examples: Law enforcement leadership, megacorp management, political appointee

Gamma Level: This echelon of the organization is composed of action oriented operatives, with the largest number being police officials and members of government agencies. These agents exercise the most power within the framework of what they do, as when an agent of another echelon steps out of bound, it is typically the Gamma Ops that remove them. Enemies of the Anunnaki are also going to spend most of their time facing Gamma echelon agents.

Gamma level minions and agents have minimal to moderate enhancement from the technologies available to the Foundation. Minions who work without the benefit of knowing who they work for are not so gifted. Those who work knowingly for the Foundation or the Anunnaki masters can expect high end, but non-custom modifications.

Examples: Professional Assassin, Government and law enforcement agents, Specialists, The rank and file of the Glassenheim foundation are typically gamma level, including those who work in the various secret departments.

Zeta Level: This echelon is composed of criminals, radicals, and other fringe elements of society, and as such are almost completely expendable. Zetas are tapped to do unsavory jobs, or messy jobs, such as assassination where the assassin has to be caught, terrorist activities and other such messy jobs. Zetas are considered throw away minions and like Betas, remain ignorant of the powers that be.

Zeta level minions are seldom well supported or supplied, compared to alpha level minions, but at this level, minions and agents of the Glassenheim foundation are going to be outfitting with exotic, experimental, and often self destructive tools and modifications, often as a testbed.

Examples: Gang leaders, social or religious zealots, Terrorists, Criminals, Coercion victims, Wasteland nomads, and people living in high risk red zones.

Omega Level: The smallest echelon and the closest to an Anunnakus him/herself, Omega level is composed of deeply trusted, fanatically loyal people who are in full knowledge of the Anunnaki. They have the best equipment, the best support, and operate with control of the other echelons. Omegas usually handle the liaison operations between an Anunnakus and the cogs of the machine, and when there is a rogue agent in the system, or a knowledgeable defector, it is omega ops who bring them back or take them out.

The Omegas are the closest tier to the Anunnaki masters, and know the most about the inner workings of the Foundation. They have the most access to Foundation resources and modifications outside of the Anunnaki themselves.

Examples: Leaders of technology cults, professional assassins, top tier government advisers, major figures of the Foundation and the heads of it's interior departments, subservient to only the Anunnaki themselves.

The resources of the Glassenheim Foundation are extensive, impressive, and in many ways intimidating.

Finances - The coffers of the Glassenheim Foundation are deep to the point of being bottomless. The Foundation was born as a black budget operation, and from this well padded position it grew as it reverse engineered Imbrian technology, patented it, and introduced it to the world through various shell companies and inspired individuals, for a share of the wealth generated. With the technologies and patents and such involved in the construction of a standard arcology, the Foundation generates approximately $1.5 billion dollars of wealth. Not per year, but per each arcology raised. This is just a section of the pie, and in economic terms, the financial wealth of the Foundation is only surpassed by the GDP of the world superstates, and is on par with the entire economic output of Mars.

Holdings - The holdings of the Glassenheim Foundation are extensive, and predominantly located in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and North America. This includes paramilitary bases, research centers, and even entire arcologies that are concealed with the clever use of camouflage and other stealth technologies. The majority of the secret and concealed Foundation holdings are either old buildings in cities that date back to the Petroleum Era, or in the contested and contaminated wastelands, noted for their yellow to orange threat rating levels. This includes factories, residential complexes, military facilities, and the like. The Foundation has extensive geofront facilities on the Moon, Mars, Callisto, and Titan, as well as a small number of ships and habitats in scattered locations around the solar system. Most of these are concealed by being underground, or having Mirage stealth systems.

These numbers might seen large, and excessively so, but the Foundation is a private organization, and decentralized, so there is a good deal of redundancy, and while it might have extensive facilities on Mars, compared to the holdings of the Eurasian Alliance and ACPS, their presence on the Red Planet is a very small minority of what is there.

Influence - The influence of the Glassenheim Foundation is impressive, as the organization was present long before any of the modern superstates formed, and in some instances the Foundation can claim to have had some influence over the outcome of certain events. The Foundation's ability to effect change and control events is the strongest in North America, North Africa, and Europe, giving it a large amount of control within the Atlantic Federation (almost a parasitic relationship) as well as having a lesser amount of power within the Eurasian Alliance (European states predominantly) and the Pacific Rim Coalition (North America, and Japan).

The main expression of this resource is the usurpation and coercion of agencies and departments and organizations within the areas mentioned. While the Foundation has it's own ships, it can usually 'borrow' a ship under false pretenses, or rather than use it's own agents, it can leak information to another government's agencies and let them do the work, and take the risks and losses.

Technology - The technological advantages of the Foundation are hard to understate. As the holders of alien technology, they have first hand access to it, and what has been disseminated is done so at their discretion, and while various groups labor at solving problems with certain technologies, the Foundation already has them solved, and has no interest in releasing that information.

Most sci-fi technology comes with all sorts of drawbacks and balancing points, such as plasma weapons liking to explode, and AI being untrustworthy or the other sundry limitations places on the technological goodies. The Foundation's tech typically doesn't have any of these things. Their androids can easily pass for humans, their clones don't have melt downs and biological based identity crises, their arcanotech weapons don't short out, and the stuff they have that does have such flaws is bleeding edge that most other groups haven't even opened the door on that branch of the tech tree.

Allies - The Glassenheim Foundation has multiple armies, space navies, dozens of government agencies and departments and megacorporations at it's silent beck and call. It seldom uses these assets, but the fact remains that if need be, the Foundation and the Anunnaki have the ability to deploy a Federation battlestar group, launch a terrorist offensive, or a non-stop media blitz campaign for or against something of their interest.

Roles of the Glassenheim Foundation and the Anunnaki
Behold, the Illuminati! - The Glassenheim Foundation is a secretive and old organization that has as it's purpose the domination of the world, and remaking it in their image, an idealized arcanotech utopia. The problem with creating Utopia is that the existing world orders and cultures have to be destroyed, so that they can be remade. Can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, and sometimes those eggs are nations, ethnic groups, or large numbers of humans who aren't in agreement on who's vision of Utopia is the right one.

A Hidden Benefactor - a group of shadowrunners have a mysterious benefactor who gives them top pay for doing strange jobs and not asking questions, the benefactor is one of the Anunnaki.

The Phantom Menace - a group of shadowrunning PCs have a mysterious foe they must discover, unravel a trail of clues and then eventually confront. The best Phantom Menace is the Anunnakus who has lead the PCs on a merry chase, destroying things that would threaten the Foundation only to discover their foe is an empty suit and a smiling mask.

Hubris - The Glassenheim foundation has it's hands on the rudder and is steering things towards a controlled crash. A lot of people will die along the way, but as the masters say, the better class people will be fine, it will be just the poor and lower class people who will pay the price.

The Glassenheim Foundation is the shadowy force in the background. They start as keepers of secrets, and are later corrupted by power and arcanotechnology. In typical villainous secret society fashion, they are going to conquer the world, but they are playing a long game, with a 500 year plan, with the idea of emulating the Imbrian Culture, ignoring the fact that something ended the Imbrian culture so hard that it became the subject of fringe science and mockery in the intellectual community.

The Gospel of Prosperity
The PCC is a new growth from the centuries old Protestant Christian Church. While most of the PCC's core beliefs are functionally little different from modern Christianity, the convention has embraced financial and material wealth as being equally important as spiritual well being and considering the two equally important sides of the same coin. The Convention began in the middle of the Petroleum Era as a very minor faction, but remained present through the Resource Wars and the Second Dark age, where it was primarily adopted by the residents of the arcologies in North America, Europe, and parts of Africa. Through the Second Renaissance, the Convention would gain a massive surge in popularity as the Osteen-Malachite Bible was published and released in electronic format for the 3rdNet and later updated and re-released for the CogNet. Several charismatic Cogneevangelists rose, espousing the peace and prosperity Faith.

The Prosperity Christian Convention was born from the tumultuous times of the Petroleum Era, as cheap fuel dwindled, and things started gearing up for the Resource Wars. Class warfare and unrest characterized the time period and there was a great amount of animosity that fostered between the wealthy, the middle class, and the poor. Each considered itself brutalized and at the mercy of the other two, and politicians, the media, and others attempting to influence popular opinion used this societal distrust as weaknesses to exploit or weapons to wield.

The Prosperity Doctrine was adopted and the first versions of the Osteen-Malachite Bible were written in the American South, and were disseminated around the world, with the more extreme message that success was a blessing from God, and that hardships endured were curses from God. This alienated the common audience of most religious pushes, the poor. The existing branches of the Protestant Faith pushed back, challenging that the Prosperity doctrine punished the poor and the oppressed by claiming that their poverty and suffering was caused not by the voracious appetites of the western world and financial based warfare, but because they were unclean and disowned by God.
The Prosperity Convention incubated for decades as a small faith that was isolated within the confines of the Arcologies and the densely populated megacities, especially in North America. As the Dark Age rolled on and the Population Contraction squeezed population centers down, the Prosperity Convention gained popularity. Those who lived safe comfortable lives within the arcos considered themselves blessed, and superior to those who lived outside of the magnificent structures.

The McEOs and Corporate Christianity
One of the more pervasive influences in the Arcos and megacities were the megacorporations and vertically integrated zaibatsus. These entities found that stable populations not fractured along religious and ethnic lines proved superior customer bases, and sought stabilizing influences for society. While the military companies profit from war, the MegaBanks and holding corps benefitted from the selling of durable goods, and personal loans, and intrabusiness loans more. War was fine, but not at home, it had to be fought elsewhere, ideally somewhere poor.

The Megacorp (Mc) exective officers and other ranking members of the corp started adopting the success friendly Prosperity Doctrine. It held them up, and placed little condemnation on their wealth and power and instead of venerating poverty and the suffering of the poor, it demonstrated that to be scourging from God upon the backs of the vulgar unenlightened masses. As the Megacorps embraced the resurgent faith, they started packaging it and selling it. It was first sold internally through motivational courses, speakers, and other human interaction, and it was Bank of the Northern Hemisphere (NBNH) that sponsored the first televangelist series on the 3rdNet and HoloNet broadcasting systems.

The Osteen-Malachite Bible
One of the most influential books of the 2nd Dark age, the OM-Bible was corporately sponsored, but rather than serving a single megacorp, the book was compiled, deconstructed, recompiled, and finalized by the apocryphal Diet of Kentuckiana. There, representatives and theologians sponsored by Union Aerospace, Omni-Consumer, NBNH, Yoyodyne, and half a dozen other corps and megacorps made the decisions and completed their task in just under a year.

The Osteen-Malachite Bible favors the prosperity doctrine, and sets up an organization to parallel the Catholic Church, but rather than building all these things at once, social engineering and planning was put into place to see and guide the growth of the Convention, and the creation of the organization as a religious body with strong friendly ties to the megacorps and the new Earth governments. After almost a century, the PCC is economically on par with most MegaCorps but is still for the most part owned by the corps.

The Average Prosperity Christian
The PPC is the bastard child of social engineers and corporatism looking to sell religion, that found fertile soil in an outdated materialistic aspect of Christianity that would have normally died during the Second Dark Age, where most materialistic faiths withered and died. The average Cosmic Era Osteenian is little different from Modern Christians. They live in their cities and homes, and they are for the most part happy and content with their lives, spiritually girded by the knowledge that their prosperity, or perception of prosperity makes them morally, and spiritually superior to those who are poor, or oppressed.

The PCC has a strong CogNet congregation, and the organization is very tech savvy. They have erected massive virtual cathedrals in the CogNet, and host paradisical retreats on CogNet islands, and even run Heaven/Hell divine simulations. Millions attend weekly services, ranging from receiving the Blessings of Prosperity before Black Friday Salebrations to ordination of new Ministers of the Faith.

Cults of Personality and Iconography
The PCC is held together by a network of slightly rivalrous evangelists, with each commanding massive flocks of followers, spinning a slightly different message, or emphasizing a different aspect of the faith. These different ministers have their own livery, and icons and flags. The congregations of the virtual megachurches are in many ways very similar to major league sports fans. They have their colors, and their patron saints and mascots (and often the difference is minor) and the minister is an equal parts Father Figure, Sports Coach, and Celebrity.

Current Practices and Issues
The Prosperity Christian Convention is one of the leading groups opposing rights and privileges for artificial life forms, and synthetic forms of life, such as androids, production series clones, and AI. These things they identify as not human, and not worthy of Prosperity.
The PCC also does do work to help eliminate poverty, or to make the endurance of poverty not as bad. The PCC doesn't believe in providing welfare, as they belief that is merely subsidizing people who have offended God. Their aid comes with contracts and stipulations, electronic bibles are handed out, and food, medicine, and shelter might not be offered to those who do not accept the Gospel of Malachi and admit that their poverty is a direct result of their ungodly behavior.

Hot Buttons Against
Fornication with Machines in the Flesh
Mass Production Clones 
Citizen Privileges for Robots 
Welfare State Politics

Hot Buttons For
Genetically Modified Designer Pets
Cloned Children, Genetically Enhanced Children
CogNet Commercialism and Materialism

The Union of Church, State and Corporation
In the Atlantic Federation, the PCC is the second most powerful religious organization, only surpassed by the Chrislamists. The adherents of the syncretic fusion of Christianity, and Islam have created a massive power bloc that dominates most of the African continent, and has major footholds in Europe, India, SE Asia, Australia, and North America. The ranks of the PCC are growing, as an increasing number of wealthy and aspiring wealthy adopt the faith. Its integration with the megacorps and the state agencies has ensured that the PCC has enjoyed advantages not enjoyed by religion since the Medieval Period.

Author's Note: The PCC is a very plastic, very artificial religion, and its values are superficial and materialistic, but these are the values of the Cosmic Era. While the modern person would scoff at the notion of watching evangelists through streaming media being comparable to going to church, I would rather imagine that a resident of the 1700s would similarly scoff at the notion of Church lasting an hour on Sundays and consider modern persons (the average lay person) to be just as wastrel and frivolous as the residents of the CE would seem to us.

The more Leonia expels goods, the more it accumulates them; the scales of its past are soldered into a cuirass thatcannot be removed. As the city is renewed each day, it preserves all of itself in its only definitive form: yesterday's sweepings piled up on the sweepings of the day before yesterday and of all its days and years and decades.
–Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

The tale of Leonia from Calvino's Invisible Cities encapsulates nicely the opinion of the Cosmic era for the Petroleum Era. Driven by conspicuous consumption and relentless fads, trends, and the chase for the newest bestest shiniest gadget, the Petroleum Era and its foolish denizens buried themselves in debt and trash, and in the end, when it all fell it cast the world into darkness. It left the environment in ruins, and turned what had been a blue and pure world into a midden of radioactive ash, littered with trash, and corpses.

Africa and the Scavenging Industry
The Scavenging industry was largely born in Africa. For decades, there were people who made their livings by exploring the ruins of the Petroleum Era. There are thousands of square miles of abandoned city ruins, and rust consumed factories to explore. These freelance scavengers broke open safes and cabinets to find antique weapons, precious metals and jewelry and other things that retained value through the demise of the previous iteration of civilization. This tradition was wide scale practiced around the world, and was approached in almost a scholarly fashion in North America and Europe, and parts of the Pacific Rim. In other parts of the world it was done in a more subsistence level.

Eventually the demand for raw materials pushed society to find more ways to find what it needed. Hard rock mining, and other avenues that were common in the Petroleum Era weren't as viable in the Cosmic Era. The sort of ecological damage that such practices engendered were very unpopular on a social level, and while metal exploration was advancing in space, the vast majority of those materials were being consumed by habitat and space station builders. There remained two large sources of materials that had yet to be majorly exploited.
Landfills and the abandoned cities of the Petroleum Era.

The Corpses of the Past
The Cities of the Petroleum Era were massive, sprawling organisms. They consumed massive amounts of every resource conceivable and boasted equally massive populations. As the second dark age descended, many of these cities were abandoned. There remained some urban gangs, who later devolved socially into Neo-Primitive 'tribes' who wound remain as sad remnants of humanity. These tribes on rare occasion developed intriguing ethnic art, but most were violent in the extreme and were more known for sadism, murder, cannibalism, and serial rape. It was no wonder that many of the cities were completely abandoned to these savages.

Most urban scavengers mixed stealth, self defense, and knowledge of archaic technology to find the lost treasures in the ruined cities. The good ones became rich, the great ones became celebrities, and the not so good ones became lunch.

The Birth of the Reclamation Industry
Eventually resource exploration realized the treasure troves they had. Where previous generations of scavengers were only looking for precious metals and relics, the new scavengers were looking at the value of the ruins of cities and the vast and plentiful landfills and dumps. These locations were rich in iron, aluminum, and other basic metal, hard plastic, and recyclable materials. The challenge was going to be exploiting these resource reserves.

The Mobile Refinery
The Mobile Refinery was a massive vehicle manufactured by the SAUR and later copied by the EA and AtFed. The Mobile refinery moved through ruined cities and functioned as a mobile command center and refinery. Powered by a large and heavy fusion engine, the machine had four large electric burners, with variable settings. This allowed for the machine to take in large amounts of bulk materials, burn off the slag and combustibles, and then separate out iron and aluminum and extrude them in rough poured ingots.

In some particularly rich areas, the mobile refinery could be torn down and rebuilt as a permanent facility. The power plant would be used to power lighting and have power amps added to it to support a larger number of crucibles. These fixed refineries would be used to tear down and reclaim the corpses of skyscrapers, and other massive fallen buildings. They were also instrumental in the reclamation of tons upon tons of rail yards, abandoned vehicles, ships, and other detritus from a past era, slowly but surely removing its shadow, and its ecological stain.

Eventually heavier support equipment was used in conjunction with these rolling refineries, starting with powered hardsuits, industrial mecha, and heavy vehicles. The cities of the past were ground down, turned into biofriendly ash and eco-green sand and dust. A few structures were saved, restored as monuments, or relocated. A few cities were spared this treatment, as either they were deemed too hostile/expensive to reclaim or had a value beyond their cash per ton.

Mobile refineries are still in use in the current day. There remain massive pockets of discarded resources and abandoned cities to reclaim across North America, Central and SE Russia/Soviet territory, Africa and China. The refineries are also used in limited hard rock mining that is still going on in a few select locations, but most virgin mining operations have since moved to space and colonial territories like Mars.

The Rippers
A Ripper is any salvage/mining vehicle built to tear open the ground and 'eat' it. The Petroleum Era saw the creation of landfills, some of which grew to be truly massive. Some facilities at the peak of their operation saw an influx of Petroleum Era debris of 10,000 tons a day. A few super facilities, especially in the massively developed American east coast, China, and booming Nigeria claimed upwards to 20,000 tons a day. These landfills became gargantuan and were hundreds of feet thick and measured themselves in miles. The first generations of scavengers who explored the facilities during the Second Dark age never penetrated deeper than a few feet into the fill.

Ripper type vehicles were the first to make headway into claiming the wealth that had been so callously discarded by previous generations. The vehicles, starting with basic electric and hybrid electric and then advancing to arc-powered and quantum battery electric, strip mined the old landfills. They were assisted by hardsuits, and later industrial light mecha. The footing was questionable, and the old landfills contained their own hazards. Many early scavengers operating with limited tools, and hand picking were left horribly sick or died from chemical contamination, gas exposure, or contracted serious diseases like tetanus from injuries received while working a fill.

Exploiting a landfill is a time consuming process. A facility is built near the fill, where valuable materials are sorted out, and metals are smelted, or packaged to be shipped to a nearby facility. It isn't uncommon for a mobile refinery to be located at a large landfill, and the great heaps often have either multiple mobile units, or have a unit or two that have been deployed into permanent structures. The mix of labor mecha, powered hardsuits and dedicated ripper type and hauler vehicles allow for these fills to be excavated, processed and the land returned to nature in a fraction of the time it took to fill. The Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island is slated to be completely cleaned out in less than 24 years, removing one of the most prominent features and highest point of the island.

Sifters, Shakers, Trummels, and Harvesters
A common technique for handling debris recovered from a landfill was to spread it out after its was excavated from the ground. Once dumped out, manual pickers (typically in hardsuits) would be able to visually inspect the debris and remove things from it to make the job easier on the machinery. Construction waste like busted concrete could be taken to a specific area, where the iron rebar in it could be busted out by men in hardsuits with impact hammers. Obviously valuable materials like discarded automobiles and other large metal appliances could be directly hauled to a refinery for shredding and smelting. The remaining carpet of debris would be eaten by the 'Harvesters', large machines designed to take in fine grade (hand sized and smaller) material and sort it out, producing two products: graded material and compacted slag. The graded material, typically high grade plastic and metal were dumped into hoppers where it could be removed and taken to either a refinery or plastic collection center. The slag is the remaining mixture of low grade plastic, paper waste, wood and pulp debris and the 'everything else' that can be found in a landfill. This material was typically bonded with pulverized concrete and other hard materials, pressed and baked into heavy bricks which were either used in civilian engineering products or to shore up the valley often created after elimination of a landfill.

The European Union's Europol and the international organization Interpol were once international powers that pursued the worst criminals in the world, the child brokers, sex slave merchants, international drug cartels, weapons runners, serial murderers who crossed international borders, and other criminals who have made a large enough impact to warrant international attention. As the Resource Wars raged, the role of Interpol and organizations like it were deeply undermined. Crime became rampant as more and more resources were funneled away from domestic purposes to keep massive militaries functioning. Then, the lights slowly went out, and the global community crashed.

A cadre of Interpol, Europol and American intelligence officials saw that in the fading light of the Global World that crime was going to go through the roof. And they were right. Fuel smugglers ran like Prohibition gangsters while the drug cartels maintained their operations by supporting barter systems and running non-traditional transportation systems. While the vastly weakened nations struggled to convert their infrastructures to non-petroleum power systems, the drug runners and fuel pirates were employing horses, mules, sailing ships and vast numbers of stolen solar panels. Nearly a generation after the end of the Global Era, the fuel cartel known as Armas was as powerful as any middle sized European nation, fielding it's own private army and controlling a large swath of southern France and the French Riviera.

The remnants joined together and reforged themselves as the Sigma Task Force. The task force sent emissaries to several of the stronger remaining European nations and were recognized as an extranational anti-crime organization. The Task Force started Operation Blue that sent more than two thirds of the Sigma resources into France to undercut Armas. Lacking international tribunals or a generally accepted codex of laws to prosecute war criminals under, the Sigma teams took a pragmatic approach. More than half of the Armas leaders that were targeted were assassinated. Those that survived were frightened into keeping their heads down. By the end of the year, Armas broke up as a major power and splintered into seven regional organizations.

By the time the first arc reactors powered up and the cities were relit by cheap abundant power the Sigma Task Force was so strongly associated with hunting international criminals and dealing with them by force that the organization received funding, and support from many nations. The organization was better known as Sigma Blue, and in the modern age has jurisdiction in the western provinces of the Eurasian Alliance, the entirety of the Atlantic Federation, the Kingdoms of Scandinavia and remains of the Middle East. In other parts of the world, Sigma Blue is allowed to operate, but they are not given autonomous permission and instead have to work with local and regional law and intelligence agencies.

Sigma Blue
Sigma Blue is an internation crime fighting force that has eschewed the legalese and years long criminal and civil court cases in favor of dispencing vicious and violent justice. Criminals and leaders targeted by Sigma Blue are vigorously investigated before a Sigma agent or rarely, team, is sent to deal with them. This is because there isn't usually a follow up investigation on a Sigma operation. Criminals have to be of a certain calibre and prominence to attract Sigma attention and a corrupt politician must be a major problem, not just lining his own pockets with stolen money. The politician has to be hip deep in crime, and be involved in international circles, supplying gun smugglers, support human trafficking and the like.

In the Cosmic Era, Sigma Blue has increased the scope of it's operations. With the discovery of parapsychic and parakinetic abilities it was found that there was almost no police agency that could handle the practitioners of true superhuman ability. Sigma Blue had been very quietly deploying parapsychics and parakinetics for several decades and were uniquely equipped and trained to deal with rogue superhumans and criminal warlords who invariably had the resources to keep bodyguards of power armor troopers and have their own power armor suits. Sigma Blue is also involved with hunting down and eliminating rogue and criminal P-Psis and PKs.

The Current leader of Sigma Blue is Dr. Charles F. Burke, a soft spoken Intelligence officer and doctor of parapsychic studies. He is a well groomed man, in his late fifties and is distinguished by his neatly trimmed mustache and adhearance to social manners. Doctor Burke was a pioneer in parakinetic studies, using the recently discovered and codified 'Satsui no Hado' school of martial arts to better understand how parakinetic abilites function. His work was adapted into the Sigma Parakinetics school of martial arts training to quickly teach Sigma Blue agents how to harness incredible physical abilites so that they were not dependent on carrying cumbersome or diplomatically difficult weapons into foreign countries. Burke is a consumate politician, blending New England rustic charm with French 'laissez faire' as a facade to hide his sharp scientific eye and keen mental insight. Dr. Burke is a trained empath and can read minds, which he rarely does. 'You have no idea how dull people are until you can actually read their minds'.

Agents of Sigma Blue
Sigma Blue is an elite organization, accepting only the best of the best into it's ranks. There isn't a gender bias, and there are many Sigma Blue women. The majority of solo operatives are women as the rest of the world is still willing to consider women to be the weaker sex when parakinetic training can allow even the most waifish girl to crumple a car with her bare hands or shatter a piece of armor plate with a focused kick.

Solo Agents:
Solo Agents are well trained and often work undercover, assuming an alternate persona before infiltraiting an organization to take it down from the inside. Roughly 60% of solo agents are female and are trained in parakinetic martial arts as well as mundane weapons, diplomacy, acting, and a plethora of other skills and abilities.

Special Agent Camilla le'Blanc: le'Blanc is a half French half British woman of strong anglo appearance, with blonde hair and the body of a gymnast. She trained with the local French Special Forces and latter was recommended to the Diplomatic Corps where she was a bodyguard to several French ambassadors and emissaries. She attracted the attention of Dr. Burke and was promoted to Sigma Blue. She excelled in parakinetic training and explored her own 'cannon' style that places emphasis on devastating focus attacks that end fights with one kick or knee strike. Her self titled 'cannon drill' flying kick has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to disable medium power armor, or completely incapacitate light armors, and unarmored vehicles.

Agent Tiffany Cook: Cook is a Republic of Texas girl who was raised in the often violent frontier region where she abandoned the idea of raising a normal familiy after cartel border raiders attacked the Cook family ranch and killed her brother and her boyfriend in a violent shoot out. Cook is a naturally erupted parakinetic and was trained by the Republic of Texas Special Rangers. She applied for Sigma Blue after the men who repeatedly attacked her home state were able to so easily slip across the border and avoid pursuit by authorities. She spent several years in training, and emerged as an excellent agent, capable of moving faster than expected and able to easily take on three professionally trained combatants at the same time. She hasn't made Special Agent yet, but her vendetta and motives are known to the agency and are considered something that needs to be dealt with before she can be promoted.

Major William G. Able: Able started his military career as a pilot in the Federation Air Corps and then moved to Air Corps Security where he was trained in a variation of Dr. Burke's PK training regimin. Able demonstrated the ability to manipulate air and sonic energy and to turn them into modes of attacking and blocking. Able isn't a subtle man or a subtle fighter, his most powerful PK ability is to create a sonic boom by manipulating the air around him. This can cause deafness, knock people down like a grenade explosion and he can project the sonic ability as far as 100 yards from him. Able tends to work as a visible member of Sigma Blue in tandem with local agencies, using his intimidating physique and natural flair for leadership to it's full effect.

Sigma Blue Teams
Sigma Blue seldom uses teams, often a solo agent working inside a criminal enterprise or liaising with local intelligence and law agencies is able to handle most operations. Teams are deployed in investigative roles, or to work with a larger organization in a supporting role. The Republic of Texas has two full time Sigma Blue teams working with it fighting the drug and tech cartels that have flourished in the unregulated and lawless deserts of the southwest and nothern Mexico. There is also a full time team in Paris that works to undermine Armas. That organization remains a threat, but near the level it used to. Teams are three to six members with no more than two members being PK field agents. Other members include parapsychics specializing in remote viewing, mind reading and emotional manipulation and mundane agents specialized in technological surveillance or whatever special skill might be needed, or useful. Teams also have revolving membership, and often serve as training for new members. The presence of 2 PK field agents is usually a mentor/student pair where the student has demonstrated their ability but need to hone their skills in actual use not just training and simulation.

Sigma Blue has a simple logo, the Greek letter sigma in blue. Agents in the field operating openly as Sigma Blue agents wear a blue beret with a sigma in black on the front. In the rare occasions that a dress or parade uniform is called for, they wear a uniform similar to an American Airforce uniform in a darker cerulean color with the accents picked out in darker blue. Rank is displayed with silver and gold shoulder bars and cording and any parallel rank in another organization is displayed under the Sigma Blue rank. It is not uncommon for a Sigma Blue member to retain their rank and position in a prior organization such as Federation Air Corps, Eurasian Army, Scandinavian Navy, French Intelligence Corps, Federal Security Bureau, Metropolitan Police Force, Private Security Company and a dozen other agencies that the Sigma Blue agency recruits from. This cross pollination between agencies is a sort of glue that holds the agencies in at least a position of communication and provides some friendly bases to Sigma operatives. If there is a problem in a country and there is a Sigma agent with ties or contacts (that aren't involved) in that area, that agent is going to be sent.

Sigma Blue is not a military force, they do not have tanks or gunships, naval craft or space assets. The agency does maintain a fleet of helicopters and has various rapid transit craft (electrojets, etc) that are funded by member states to facilitate quick and private transport for Sigma teams and members. Most of these are small craft and aside from the blue sigma on their tails, are indistinguishable from conventional or regular government service craft. When Sigma needs military firepower, they work with an existing military, and use their equipment. An agent working the Eurasian Alliance can expect neo-Soviet gunships, heavy power armor and super-heavy tanks, while the same op working in the Federation could reasonably expect mecha support. Agents are generally expected to be able to use the gear of the region they are working in. While a Sigma agent isn't going to be trained to command a Neo-Soviet Behemot assault tank or a Federation Wolverine mech, they will be able to field strip and service a Eurasian AK-109 assault rifle, or Federation P110 automatic rifle.

The biggest resource of Sigma Blue is it's cadre of parakinetic and parapsychic soldiers and investigators. These individuals are trained to be living breathing weapons, the absolute limit of what an unaugmented human can be. They can walk through any metal detector, bomb sniffer, or any medical evaluation and there is no way to tell that they have supernatural ability to wield para-abilities. The only way to detect a para-specialist is by observing them use a paranormal ability (of which many parakinetic abilities are not immediately obvious) or through the use of another detector/sensor ability parapsychic.

The Role of Sigma Blue
Sigma Blue has a simple role in the Cosmic Era, they are the good guys. The Cosmic era is marked by unexpected advanced in humanity, ranging from eugenic genetics, biomodifications, cybernetic modifications, parapsychics, androids, and stranger things. This combined with the presence of new powerful technologies such as personal powered combat armor, hovercraft, drones, etc means that things are harder for law enforcement agencies. In the modern age, drug cartels can fight national armies and win, armed with nothing more than black market weapons and stolen guns. In a more futuristic era they have their arsenals bolstered with looted power armor, stolen military vehicles, and their own parapsychics and in some settings and regions, sorcerers and arcane magic users (roll for sanity loss). That is a lot of firepower on the bad guys side, and while the national powers have spaceships, super tanks, and mecha, those things aren't going to be rolled out into heavily populated areas, and nothing sparks an outcry quite like military hardware being used against non-military forces, such as when US Army tanks were rolled in to take out the Waco TX Branch Davidian compound. These situations require a more surgical application of force.
Last edited by Skaldia on Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:07 pm, edited 24 times in total.
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Postby Skaldia » Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:25 am

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The Sons of Scorpions
The Sons of Scorpions are an older Biker Gang that originated in the deserts of the American continental Southwest. That region of the continent was left forgotten as the world powers were restored. Vegas and points west joined into the Republic of California while to the East the Republic of Texas consolidated as did the Rocky Mountain Republic to the north. The former states of Arizona, New Mexico, large swaths of northern Mexico were all left as forgotten badlands. No one was interested in reclaiming those forgotten and ruined cities or claiming the small pockets of population that survived. 

During the Second Dark age, biker gangs started riding old petrol bikes that were modified to run on alternate fuels and ruled that part of the country. As the new powers rose, the domains of the bikers slowly contracted. The first thing that started upsetting their grip on power were the transport trucks that started crossing the deserts. The weaker gangs folded or were absorbed by the stronger gangs. The stronger gangs consolidated their power and upgraded their vehicles and firepower. By the advent of the treaty that cemented the borders of the Atlantic Federation and the Pacific Rim Coalition, the southwest was a shared demilitarized zone, leaving large sections untouched by either power.

The gangs limped along for a few years until a new source of recruits was found. The militaries of the two continental powers produced a steady stream of disgruntled veterans, as well as quite a number of damaged personnel. The pursuit of superior and super soldiers was littered with broken down cyborgs, half deranged bio-mods, mentally unstable genetic mods, and just plain broken people. Many of these were unable to cope with the return to the civilian life, or the rigid discipline of the Arcologies. They were exiled, imprisoned, or self deported themselves to the frontier regions of the states. 

Barton 'Big Z' Zardoz
Big Z was an officer in the Federation military, Military Intel. He was a spy, the sort of soldier who jumped out of a stealthed helocraft to impersonate enemy officers, gain access to enemy computers, and perform general mayhem behind enemy lines. He was a large man, of Native American/Russian descent, and with his cybernetic and biologic modifications was very good at it. He worked for several years before he started losing his cool. His augmentations were not without cost, and his sanity slowly eroded until he was no longer able to work in the field and he was demobilized by the military. He was to be shipped back to Chicago Metroplex where he was going to be de-modified and returned to civilian life. He escaped and fled to the west, where he found a small time biker gang. He fell in with them, and in less than a year was their leader. Z started using his contacts to bring veterans he knew to the gang fold. They embraced the freedom and violence endemic to the frontier state and thrived.

Zardoz was then contacted by a mysterious benefactor who started supplying the cyborg commando with a slow but steady supply of gear. By doing favors, the violent shooty kind of favors, for the ghost, they were rewarded. The old wheeled motorbikes were replaced with first stock hoverbikes, and then in greater number by military grade hoverbikes. Weapons, food, medical supplies and entertainment flowed as well. Big Z secured his place and expanded the gang from the original small cell into a regional franchise. There are multiple cells of the Sons of Scorpions who ride under the 'Stinger'. 

The Other Sons

Bottomless Simon Slant
Simon is a beast of a man, not quite as tall as Z but almost twice the mass. He is massively strong and where Z can sling a machine gun one handed, Simon can use a heavy machine gun in each hand, or can use an infantry support weapon like a tripod mounted assault machine gun, or automatic heavy grenade launcher like a regular rifle. Simon has a heavy hover bike with a sidecar to carry his heavy guns. He is called bottomless as his metabolism has been accelerated to fuel his increased muscle mass and he eats three times as much as a typical person does. He is cybernetically augmented with sub-dermal armor plating, enhanced strength, and enhanced sense of smell. 

Buzzsaw Cummings
Few seethe with hostility and hatred quite like Buzzsaw William Cummings. A man who enjoys killing above all things, Buzzsaw is a walking collection of weapons. He favors knives, daggers, and other sharp pointy things, but also carries a large number of pistols, SMGs and other small guns. Buzzsaw will kill anything if he gets bored, animals on the side of the road, birds overhead, random people he might get close to, and if anyone needs to be kept away from the hostages, it's him. He has accelerated synaptic systems, enhanced reflexes, augmented sight, and a variety of other bio and cyber mods that were intended to make him an exceptional bounty hunter that instead just left him a sociopathic murderer. If he didnt has a sense of camaraderie with the Sons of Scorpions, or a fear of their own abilities he would probably turn on his brother bikers.

Shitter St. James
Shitter is a very smelly person with hideous lack of personal hygiene. He has no sense of smell, and a muted sense of touch, an unfortunate side effect of faulty cybernetic modifications. He has enhanced strength, and impressive amounts of sub-dermal armor and the Rhino skin genetic modification. Shitter is also a less than intelligent human being, but is fine with following Z's commands. He also is dim enough that he doesn't know that his team mates dislike him, and are condescending to him. He has a twin hoverbike, it has two repulsors and three engine clusters to carry his weight and his heavy assault cannon.

Wildman David Doubleyou
The Wildman is the typical psycho that most HoloVids conjure up as the badass biker. He shoots things for fun, beats up unarmed people for shits and giggles, and the Wildman loves the ladies. Whether they like it not. The Wildman has a pair of double barreled auto pistols, and a flame squirting pistol. He has no special augmentations, but is one of the few Scorpions who can walk through a bioscanner and not set off the red lights.

Bloodlust Brock
Brock has been deeply damaged by years of warfare across the Federation. Another former soldier, Brock is suffering from twin afflictions, PTSD from his combat experiences, and psychotic feedback from his uploaded combat training. Brock has an artificial brain implant, and it's not functioning like it should. When the fighting starts Bloodlust Brock is in the thick of it, and will smear himself with the blood of people he has killed, or will take an extensive amount of time to fully and completely dissemble a victim, or vehicle.

Black Angel
One of the very few women to ride with the Sons of Scorpions, Beatrice 'Black' Angel is about as tough as a human being can be. She is a parapsychic mercenary who can short out electronics with her control of electrokinesis. She is a capable fighter, and a decent shot with a rifle. She was treated as a mutant freak and rather than take para-suppression pills or be a lab rat she fled and joined the gang. 

Jones, the Tracker
Jones was an Army Ranger for the Republic of California and spent years being passed over for promotion, the scapegoat for anything that went wrong, and was eventually locked up for a crime he didn't commit. Jones was liberated by Z along with a cell full of other 'new recruits'. Jones survived the brutal regime and rose to some prominence as he was able to start exacting revenge on the people who had spent their careers screwing him. Jones is an excellent tracker and scout, and is a solid shot with a heavy missile, laser spotter, or sneaking into an enemy stronghold.

Korno the Laughing Skull
Korno is a Seibertronian android who has been damaged a few times. He was once stable but disgruntled. A near hit by a high energy particle cannon caused his brain to be disrupted and scrambled. He spent several days rebooting and attempting a few repairs to his own psyche. He is dangerously unstable and his robot shell is typically in ghoulish disrepair. His face is in particularly poor condition, with the gleaming metal of his cranium and face structure showing. He is an energy weapons expert, and while the other Scorpions carry heavy machine guns and the like, he sports a laser, or on occasion, an infantry ManPak Portable PPC. Each pull of the trigger washes him in high energy particle blow back that causes his brain to haze, much like a junkie taking a hit of methamphetamine. 

Contacts and Allies
The Sons of Scorpions are not just some run of the mill biker gang with a few big guns, odd skills and bad attitudes. They have strong connections to the terrorist organization Amerikka Command. Amerikka Command funnels money and equipment to the gang, hiring them to do jobs for them. Many of the targets the Sons hit are enemies of the Command, and the people abducted are not always taken for fun or money. Many are taken as political targets, the wives or daughters of staunch anti-Amerikka Command officials. 

Amerikka Command also supplies most of the military hover bikes and heavy weapons the Sons use in the field. The Sons also typically have a friendly welcome at any of the Amerikka Command bases they roll up to. The Sons can be won over quickly by the offer of a hot meal and a comfortable place to sleep for a few nights. Access to drugs, black market media, and sex-bots also go a long way.

The Sons of Scorpions, rather obviously, have a scorpion as their logo. The original gang wears a standard scorpion, claws down and stinger curved above it. Each member has a scorpion emblazoned jacket, and almost all have scorpion tattoos. The other gangs retain the scorpion, but have their own interpretation of the animal. The largest cell has nothing more than just the curved stinger against a clipped triangle in black and orange. This cell is the only immobile group and works as a Bandit Castle, training camp, and motor pool.


Aerostats have been around for a long time, at least the concept has, the floating city. The floating city would eventually become a reality, but it would be centuries after the first space stations and colonies on other planets.

The Floating Cities
The first aerostats were dropped from orbit into the upper atmospheres of the gas giant planets. These unmanned stations drifted, gathering information and performing experiments, though the hydrogen, nitrogen, and other strange gasses. As technology developed, it became feasible to build larger and larger units. There eventually became a drop limit, as aerostats were built in orbit, hauled via ship to their destinations and literally dropped into the atmosphere of their host planets.

The applications of a floating city grow in importance as technology developed to support flying ships. Flying ships needed ports of call, and the first decades of flying ships were handicapped to the same facilities that tended maritime ships. Landlocked cities and states never built facilities to tend ships, because they didn't have them. 

Aerostats are lighter than air habitats that quite simply float. This is a strong contrast to the spacecraft that deliver them, assemble them, or the flying ships that use them as aerial ports. The stations do not rely on anything other buoyancy to maintain altitude. As such, they are large, but vulnerable to damage, much like rigid airships. To this end, aerostats are typically non-combatant, non-participants in military operations, and are constrained to neutrality, scientific operations, and other non-strategic purposes.

Aerostats have limited mobility, and while they can move, most of their maneuvering is used to remain in a stationary location, avoiding inclement weather patterns and changing altitude. They do not have large engines or thrusters. They are lighter than air structures. (Aerostats are mostly found in the atmosphere of gas giants or Venus. Earth aerostats are small, and Mars has to thin an atmosphere to hold up anything of meaningful size. Aerostats are unarmed, and unarmored. The majority are used for scientific purposes, atmospheric extraction, terraforming, and other non-military purposes.

The Long and Troublesome Process
The aerostat is relatively simple, a lighter than air structure that floats, and is just a much larger and less mobile version of a rigid airship. The problem was that the concept of the aerostat was simply not feasible with contemporary technology and Earth. THe Earth has relatively high gravity, and a comparatively thin atmosphere. This meant that lighter than air ships had to be both light and large. When scaling up to a habitat size, such structures were beyond the pale of construction, and even if balloons miles wide were built, the logistics compared to the outcome were simply not worth the liability. The aerial fleets and militaries were content to use larger tender ships to maintain their fleets away from port, and some of the tender ships built be the Atlantic Federation and ACPS were quite literally flying towns built around docks.
Once operations began in space, and on other planets, the viability of the aerostat improved. The atmospheres of the gas giants are dense, and provide admirable properties for supporting large aerostat structures. Lacking a surface or large population, the aerostats themselves are not an eyesore or strategic in value. Venus also proved agreeable to aerostat construction, with it's dense atmosphere. With atmospheric pressures 30 times higher than Earth, Venusian aerostats could be dramatically smaller.

Aerostats are typically constructed in space, and are ferried to their destination planet by custom built tug ships. The ships then make powered descents into the atmosphere of the planet and retain in a hovering position while the aerostat is finished, and it's gas bladders are inflated and heated to provide lift. This is a dangerous operation, as entering the atmosphere with a large and heavy load is inherently dangerous, and if there is a power failure or engine failure on a tug, it could see the entire station and ship plummet. This is a hard crash and implosion on the surface of Venus, or a fall into the increasingly dense Jovian atmosphere until the ship and station implode under the massive pressure.

Air Force
As purely atmospheric bases of operation, aerostats rely on their own carried aircraft. In an almost steampunkish turn of events, aerostats are frequently paired with rigid airships. These all rely on the same basic principles, and are high efficiency, especially as most cover their upper surfaces with solar panels, and use high efficiency electric rotors for propulsion. These craft can also go long distances, don't require extensive difficult maintenance, and if they lose power, they don't plummet to an unavoidable death. Helocraft, helicopters, and non-combustion based electro-jets come a distant second, as they have more components, and require more extensive maintenance and support. In an emergency situation, the rigid airships have the ability to operate as rescue vehicles, tethering up a damaged aerostat, or as long duration lifeboats, should a habitat actually fall.

Operational Aerostats
Aphrodite 1 - Venus: one of the original aerostats, this station is dedicated to atmospheric research and high altitude experiments in planetology. It is a neutral outpost and is the nexus for information and groups involved with and interested in terraforming Venus.
Ishtar Prime - Venus: Ishtar Prime is a dual role aerostat, it is the logistical hub for the Ishtar province of Venus and has facilities to handle heavy air traffic, as well as being involved in building the Venusian Space Elevator. Once the tether between Ishtar Prime and the surface is completed, it will be used to ferry terraforming equipment to the surface of the planet.

Vos - Jupiter: Operated entirely by sentient robots and smart machines, the Vos station exists exclusively for the extraction of heavy hydrogen isotopes from Jupiter's dense atmosphere. The existence of Vos, and it's regular shipments of tritium and deuterium do little to quell conspiracy theories.

Oroboros - Uranus: The Oroboros Station was built and dropped into the Uranian polar zone, and had two functions, space observation and viral weaponry. In case of emergency, the entire station could be scuttled, and everything aboard would be swallowed in methane clouds and crushed. Oroboros was associated with the Federation Scientific 66 space station, located orbit above it. Since the loss of 66, contact with Oroboros has also been lost, and planners assume that failsafes activated and destroyed the station.

Tethers and Space Elevators
Getting things from the surface of a planet into orbit and vice versa is one of the biggest logistical issues in the Cosmic Era. Re-entering atmosphere is one of the most dangerous things a ship will do on a routine basis, and getting from the surface into space requires a massive amount of energy. Mass drivers and flying ships have replaces rockets, but mass drivers are among the least gentle things in the solar system, and ships are not an economical way to move every sort of cargo. Aerostats function as nodes and control centers in the construction of space elevators. There are very few in the solar system, most are prototypes or proof of concept machines in ideal locations, such as the Whitestone Elevator on Earth's Moon. Until the technology evolves further, tethers are taking their place.

The operational plan is to use cost efficient craft to move goods from the surface of a planet to the aerostat, and the tether-vator (precursor to a true space elevator) to move things up and down the tether. This differs from the true elevator in that the tether-vator is generally only used for personnel, priority and courier operations, and other such small high priority things. The Aerostat will function as a hub, for multiple cars on the elevator to be handled and transitioned as needed. The second stage tether will connect the aerostat to a fixed position space station. This removes ships from having the be used for small things like moving small groups of passengers to and from space or the surface, and eventually remove ships entirely from moving finished goods, people, and materials from surface to orbit. Ships would remain in the comparative safety of space, and once constructed, the resources and energy required to move mass into space will drastically decrease.

This is a work in progress for the Cosmic Era, and rivals the Panama Canal in terms of issues faced by those doing the work and building the tethers and elevators.

Our incomplete records of the Imbrians repeatedly refer to something that translates roughly to 'alcazar' and it is a regular feature among the most youthful and vigorous dynasts. The alcazar seems to have been a combination of a personal sanctum, a bedroom, and possibly the Imbrian equivalent of a med-pod, but in a much different fashion. The Heart of the Alcazar was a small circular pool, which was filled with what we assume to be a highly advanced formula of amnion. This fluid, presumably a smart liquid, was instrumental in preserving the life functions of the dynasts. It would seem that even their Phoenix Engines had limits, or costs, that made them less than the perfect solution. With the Heart of the Alcazar and it's rejuvenation serum pool, an Imbrian dynast could prolong their lifespan by centuries, moving rebirths through the Phoenix Engine to once a century, or less.

The Alacazar was a feature of the typical Dynast palace. The palaces were all placed in harmonious locations, and drew on latent arcane power flows, as well as having advanced technology. This tech was advanced to the point that there was little difference between it and magic, and many of the Dynasts themselves had little to no knowledge of how their palaces and arcana worked. They only knew that they did, and that was enough. Bathing in the Heart of the Alacazar would restore biological youth and vigor to the host, rendering flesh firm and supple, clear of blemish and signs of age. The nature of the Alcazar would see this regenerative effect move inward, restoring vitality to muscles, organs, and bones as well. The only things that the restorative wouldn't mend were injuries of the spirit, and maladies of the mind.

There are seeds of truth around the world, and the alcazar survived the destruction of Imbria, and the fall of the last Imbrian city on Earth, Atlantis. Surely you've heard of the Fountain of Youth, or El Dorado? El Dorado was an Imbrian retreat in the Americas, and it had the only alcazar on this entire miserable planet. It is still there, broken and ruined, and buried under 10,000 years of sediment. It's not far from Machu Pichu. It wouldn't matter if you fixed it, and knew how to fix it, because the Vita Vitae is long gone. You couldn't make it work again unless you knew how to make more of the Water of Life. If you knew how it was made, heh, you would never make a drop of it.

Alcazars and the Dynasty
The number of alcazars and the flow of aqua vitae were carefully controlled during the Imbrian dynasty, because these, along with the Phoenix Engines, were the Dynast's monopoly on immortality. Their foes were never able to match them simply because they could never come close to the wisdom or personal experience of the dynasts. A man in his 30s, regardless of his wit or skill, is going to be able to surprise a foe who is well into their third century of life. Each of the branches of the dynasty controlled a single alcazar, which was the demense of the leader of each branch. They could dole out its use to those who had earned it, or had asked it as a boon, but this was rare.

The new dynasty, the new elite are starting to understand the concept of the alcazar. The central point of the common person's domicile is the central entertainment system. In poorer places, the central area is the kitchen, or the bedroom. In the arcanotech savvy wealthy soon to be immortal class, the personal med-pod is the center of their domicile. The daily diagnosis and adjustment replaces the morning bathroom ritual, ensuring the continued day to day health of the would be immortal. The humors are balanced, the brain soothed by smartbed sleep. The only thing that hasn't reached the old technology of the Imbrians is the application of amnion.

The Secret of Imbrian Amnion
In the Cosmic Era, amnion is refined from the excretions of several captured and sedated teratomorphs and exomorphic creatures. Other sources exist, but are considered too expensive and ghastly inefficient. The Imbrians, with their near perfect immortality would never dream of using kaiju sourced amnion. Imbrian amnion was refined from human beings. 

There is a thing called a duck press. The whole carcass of a cooked duck is placed in the screw driven press and crushed, producing a sluice of fluids is issued from the spout. The imbrian Dynasty had an entire undercaste of people who existed for the sole purpose of being harvested. They would be prepared, with rituals and arcanotech, and then their bodies would be crushed and rendered of their most vital fluids. This would be purified, refined, and processed until it was a slightly viscous fluid. This was the amnion of the Imbrians.

The part that there is no record of, the horror that no one particularly knows is that the Imbrian Dynasts favored pregnant women above all others. A woman in the 7th month of pregnancy was considered prime for the Amnion Forge. The undercaste was groomed to raise their daughters, to impregnate them and offer them as sacrifice to their immortal demigod leaders. The more pregnant they were, the better. There were rituals, drugs, and procedures done so that the sacrificial victims could be nearly immobile, laden down with dozens of fetuses gestating within them. 

Those who learn the secrets of the Imbrians find their esteem for the ancients diminished, and a greater appreciation for the fact that they are no more.

The Anti-Crime Computer is the central node of law enforcement and peacekeeping activities within almost any Federation megastructure, be it the ubiquitous arcology, seacology, or space habitat. This central intelligence coordinates a network of information gathering devices, data mining systems, and cadres of drones, wojeks, and organic assets.

Intel and Security
The Petroleum Era saw the birth of Social media technologies, and almost as quickly, the exploitation of social media as a way to monitor the 'Pulse of the Canaille. This tech would grow and be refined as that era rolled on, becoming central to the organization of grassroots movements, as well as a means of monitoring such movements. The Cosmic Era has seen both technologies explode, with social media being one of the pillars of the CogNet and with it's monitoring being instrumental in keeping the peace within the often tightly cloistered fortresses.

The Daily Discourse is one application of Social Media Intelligence Tech where opinions and outrage are directed by the intelligence powers, typically for the 'greater good' of a stable society. There are often ethical questions about the very nature of the Daily Discourse, and who makes the decisions behind it.

Of course, swaying popular opinion and guiding what is trending is a limited tool. This requires the populace to be involved, and to accept the discourse. The ancient philosopher Emile Durkheim postulated that crime and criminal behavior are inescapable facets of society, and that such behaviors serve a purpose within society itself. The importance was not to stamp out all crime, as such would ultimately undermine society, but to control it, and to prevent criminal behavior from becoming destabilizing or disruptive. Petty crime, and low level crime is preferable to serious level crime such as terrorism, murder, and large scale destruction of property.

The Anti-Crime Computer
The Anti-Crime Computer is, contrary to the name, not a mere computer. The system is typically a slaved L/ASIC to the core AISC of the megastructure, or a dedicated subroutine of the core computer sentience. The system monitors personal data devices like the near omnipresent MUSE handheld, cathex programs, personal and companion droids, social media accounts, and even biometric records as warranted. This wide net carries a stupendous amount of information, more than even a hyper intelligence sentient machine can handle. Instead of stalking every person under it's jurisdiction, the Anti-Crime computer uses learning search patterns, key word and phrase useage, and presets. These presets are built into subsystems like the multitude of smart devices around a house. When a person does or says something that triggers a preset condition, the system records it, and sends a ping to the anti-crime computer. Most people are well aware of this, meaning that planning things like murder, or committing crimes requires a Luddite avoidance and exclusion of technology. 

The old operating systems of demi-sentient and clever machines dictated that a machine intelligence would not actively participate in an action it knew was a crime, it wouldn't function as a tattle-tale and inform law enforcement on it's owner, unless it involved a list of specific crimes. The Anti-Crime Computer circumvents this by simply ignoring the old rules. The old system ran on the idea that humanity was basically good, and the good machine would only become involved in the most heinous of crimes. The new system exists to not just apprehend criminals, but to predict crime, and thus prevent crimes from ever actually occuring.

No Harm, No Foul
The innate problem behind Predictive Law Enforcement is that in the absence of a crime, there cannot be a punishment. This was quickly identified as Thought Crime, and such a system could be highly disruptive, upsetting the canaille and fostering hostility to both the sitting government and against the Ordered Life Doctrine.
Option 1: Anthropotronics - the first step is passive, utilizing existing mood altering technology to defuse and de-escalate potential situations. 
Option 2: EDS - particularly disruptive individuals can be auto-diagnosed with Emotional Disruption Syndrome, relegating their criminal potential to a mental disorder
Option 3: Peacekeeping Officers - Organic assets (human trans-metro officers) become involved with the case, with the emphasis on keeping the peace.
Option 4: Law Enforcement - Wojeks (droid officers) become involved, with the intent of removing the disruptive individual or group.

The data gathering and sifting potential of the Anti-Crime Computer allows it to function on an almost precognition level. The vast majority of potential criminal behavior is long before it happens, and the automated system engages to prevent it. This works the best in arcologies and space stations with tightly monitored conditions, and with a controlled population. In urban areas, and places where there is a regular flow of people and ideas, the system is less effective. Populations and individuals who are not keyed into social media systems, or lacking integrated devices like a MUSE are also much less trackable.

One of the major reasons for the security between the arcologies and the surrounding cities is the matter of the Anti-Crime Computer systems. Divorced from the system, people living in the urban sprawl introduce too many variables and chaos into the projections. Inside of habitats like arcologies, seacologies, and the like, the potential for criminal mischief to be critically dangerous is high. Despite security precautions, redundancies, and fail safe systems, it would only take a small number of people to cause a catastrophic event inside one of the enclosed residential megastructures. This level of risk is only considered manageable because of the function of the anti-crime computer system and related anthropotronics

Armored Police, Private Security, and Automatic Cops

Law enforcement has changed dramatically in the Cosmic Era, and the time of the cop walking his beat, or the cruiser rolling on a patrol are gone. The number of LEOs maintained far exceeds the number needed for the daily operations of a structure, with even the most progressive and liberal of arcologies maintaining a police force of security specialists, officers, and robotic units more suited to a maximum security prison. There are three reasons for this: appearances, emergency response, and DFEs.

For the purposes of appearances, the large and often highly visible police force deters impulse criminality, as well as projecting the authority and lawfulness of the location. These are not SWAT, Armored, or jetpack equipped officers, but officers who are running the now famous Mayberry Initiative. The friendly local authority figure, helpful, but unarmed, and non-violent, but capable of summoning armed and violent men and droids. These 'Mayberry' officers are posted to commercial sectors, the mass transit system, and are back up by surveillance systems and drones, but are as much human and public relations as they are anything else.

For the purpose of emergency response, fires, earthquakes, chemical spills, disease outbreaks, acts of terrorism, and so forth, the large police force, especially drones and wojeks are excellent at crisis management, working without tiring, or being overcome be emotion. The large number of units available means that a large crisis can be met with an equally large response force. This includes commandeering industrial equipment, and working with military assets in the area.

Several large arcoplexes and most space complexes have a number of Police Monitors. These ships are in many ways are a match for conventional frigates, except that their range is severely limited. The role of the Monitor is to provide rapid response inside an urban area, and provide logistical support where a military ship would not be the best option. The Gotham class is considered the paragon of police monitors. It carries a mobile HQ, 100 person capacity detention unit, space and gear for either 5 police companies, or an armored police platoon with vehicle support. The Gotham has a mobile CogNet node, direct access to the core Anti-Crime Computer, surveillance technology, and a run silent mode allowing it to go largely unnoticed, especially at night. On the downside, the ship has notoriously thin armor, is relatively slow compared to other frigates, and aside from mounting a number of crowd control weapons, largely unarmed.

Finally, in the rare instances of dimensional fatigue events, the presence of a large, rapidly mobile, moderately armed police force can contain bug hunts, mass hysteria, alien plagues, and the rest of the horror show that unfolds when reality collapses. 

The Arinoka Parlors
An Arinoka Parlor is an establishment that offers access to the CogNet to people who do not have home access... or a home. The most common parlors have a foyer/security area, a main office, a node, and a number of booths. These booths all have S3 rigs, allowing for people to experience full immersion in the CogNet. The booths are all slaved to the parlor node, and the person running the parlor has the ability to control when, where, and what a user does while in a booth. The parlor is synonymous with Petroleum era internet cafes.

The vast majority of Arinoka parlors, often just called arinokis or anglicized into arcades, are located in the slums and geofronts near or under arcologies. Many of the residents of these areas are poor to destitute, and dependent on good will and garbage sorting from the megacities above them.

There are several unofficial types of arinokas. The most common are 'gray', being benign in nature, but have questionable or illegal access to the net. Most people who use these are just trying to get a brief escape from their dour lives, or looking to turn some time at a terminal into some online currency. Security sweeps generally ignore these gray parlors unless they are being used by wanted criminals or start digging into hacker territory. Most parlor owners make sure their clients aren't cybercriminals, and have preferred lists of customers and users.

'White Terminal' arinokas are more akin to the computer services offered by public libraries in the Petroleum Era. The machines are maintained and operated by some arco-side company, group, or charity, and are completely legitimate. They are also routinely monitored, have controlled access to the CogNet, and might require the user to supply feedback on commercial content, read and pass a user test (related to the group providing the terminal), and almost all white arinokas have third or fourth hand equipment, and despite being regularly repaired, is often in some sort of damage. 

'Black Terminal' arinokas are illegal, and their content is illicit, and they are routinely hunted out by cybersecurity agencies. These parlors exist for the use by underground hackers, counterculture terrorists, and people who are interested in access to black feeds. Black feeds are notorious for snuff, depraved pornography, and other acts that are illegal. This differs from the fantasy simulations of murder and depraved porn, these are more often immersive recordings of the actual acts being depicted, and in some parts of the world, there are industries devoted to providing material for the black feed. 

Who Uses These?
The most common arinoka user is a homeless, or demi-homeless person who lives in the shadows of the arcologies. The bulk of these people live lives of grinding boredom and poverty. The geofronts and the slums have rudimentary barter and exchange economies, shells of what existed before. There aren't jobs to get up and out of the slums, just gambling, drugs, and seeking any sort of distraction. Most have access to food and water through the food dispensary and access to welfare level medical care. The average user is logging into their virtual life online, which is a far cry from the often red lit monochrome life they live. For some its porn, for some it's MMORPG games, for others its any outlet they can get for as little as possible.

There are also Arinoka Grinders, people who do not use the S3 rigs for distraction, but to make something of themselves. These industrious often young people are looking to find a virtual job and to work the system in their favor. The grinders play games for profit, and engage in currency exchanges, and do bounty work for other parties. Having no social obligations, many grinders are able to play their games for days on end, with chemical stimulants. When they do come up from the depths of the dungeons or the fringes of known space, they are high level, heavily armed, and have epic and rare loot. Some seek to leverage themselves out of the geofronts and favelas, and into the arcos. Others just want to have a slightly better life and better drugs where they live and are familiar with. 

Criminals and hackers like to use arinokas for their hacking, they are already virtually anonymous, and by using an illegal access method, tracing them back to their source is difficult. If they are traced back, most have no compunction about leaving before authorities arrive, and if the parlor is destroyed in the process, its no issue to them. 

Finding an arinoka is relatively simple, it just requires finding a densely packed section of the slums that has some sort of interesting name, the harmonica district, the rack, the tenderloin, and is an economic center. The arinokas will be found there, snaking their illegal connections up into the underbelly of the arcos. Most arinokas have narrow frontage, the entrance on a few feet wide, a few access doors, and then the bulk of the parlor expands into the backside of the building or sector it is built into. They are found squished between and behind bars, bodegas, junk markets, next to clocksmith shops, and so forth. A few flashing lights, a digital sign, maybe a bright graphic, these are the indicators that on the other side of the shabby door and corridor, there is a digital oasis awaiting the next customer. 

There is typically a common room or foyer where clients pay for their time in the booth, as well as what passes for concessions, energy drinks, snack foods, sometimes illegal drugs and stimulants. Some have restrooms, others specifically don't just so the customers have a reason to break up a multi hour binge session.

The common room is a place to encounter NPCs, other customers waiting for their turn in the booth, a shady technician who is there to fix something, a hacker casing the joint and scanning it's connection with his own equipment, a cybersecurity agent working undercover, a person of interest who frequents the place for their own reasons, criminals who like to rob patrons after they jack into the net, and such.

The end of the Resource Wars saw the global economy collapse, and the end of foreign aid and subsidies around the world. It was a bleak time. The governments that were born in the Dark Age were largely socialist in nature, sharing goods and resources. This initially started as military protection, but expanded to food and medical aid. The governments were not the only powers that did this, some companies that trace their roots back to the Petroleum Age survived as well. They were organized, and had a sense of belonging that made them in a sense their own communities and economically secular governments. The Atlantic Federation, and large parts of the other world powers share this rather common ancestry of communalism, be it corporate or socialist. 

Once the Second Renaissance began and really started spreading, medical complexes started growing like weeds. It was first basic services, vaccinations and dealing with infectious diseases. A little touched topic is that the Second Renaissance involved several pandemics as previously isolated communities were reintroduced. During the Petroleum Age there was a new round of influenza every year, and sometimes as many as two or three strains active at a time. After the collapse of the global community, the yearly Influenza outbreak subsided and it was reduced to as few as one new strain every ten to twenty years.

WJ&S Inc
Better known as GeneSystems, Wyatt Jaffa and Silver is a private medical company that started in Dallas, Republic of Texas, and makes no great claims of Corporate Lineage. WJ&S is the main PMC in the Republic of Texas and operates both publicly funded 'White Hospitals' as well as privately funded 'Black Hospitals'. The corporation pioneered the division of medical complexes, with both the white and black buildings being located in the same complex in Dallas. Patients using state insurance, or other medical assistance programs were run through the larger white hospital. The white complex was noted for it's large volume and often long waits are large numbers of people were handled by the system.
Patients willing to pay money up front for treatment, or those who had private medical care rather than relying on public institutions could instead opt to go to the 'black building' in the complex. Lines were short to non-existent and the quality of health care was much higher. Most doctors trained in medical schools and worked in white hospitals and clinics, and aspired to be accepted into the black building.

The Rupert Wyatt Medical Center, aka the black building, was only black by accident. There was no plan that the building was to be black, it was an incident of construction. The main complex was built by one conventional construction company, while the R. Wyatt Center was built by a second company that employed construction hard suits and industrial mecha. Rather than using the same white cladding material as the other company, the mecha construction company opted to use a locally produced synthetic black stone. The resulting building was done first and was dramatic in it's appearance. It was later decided that the private medical practice would be moved into the black building, and the initial plan to have the offices was moved to the central tower of the white complex. Later medical complexes in the Republic adopted both the model and the color scheme, white for public health, and black for private health.

State of the Art versus Solid State
The two complexes, and the two complex system quickly spread beyond the Republic of Texas and has since been largely adopted around the world. The Atlantic Federation, ACPS nation China, Nippon/Japan, and other smaller powers have adopted the twin system. Not all copy the black versus white. In the SAUR, private hospitals are blue, while public institutions are white with red markings, and in continental Europe there is no color difference but PMCs will be located in a demi-arcology, while public facilities are in complexes not attached to an arcology. 

Black medical centers are more known for pioneering medical technology, producing drugs and procedures and other cutting edge technologies.
The white medical centers are more known for taking a wait and see procedure and practicing tried and true methods rather than experimental treatments. There is a common misconception that the two sides of the system are not connected, but this is far from true. In some instances, it would be better for the medical consumer if the two were separate. Black hospitals typically attract the best talent from the medical profession, leaving fewer top quality doctors in the public sector. Many public doctors are also working not for their patients, but with an eye for gaining admittance to one of the hallowed Ebony Towers. Conversely, many of the medical treatments and surgeries are tested in the public hospitals. It wouldn't do for an experimental treatment to kill a wealthy patient.

Zenimax Medical of Nippon is not a large company, it only runs a single medical facility, the Zenimax Demi-Arco in Neo Kyoto. The Zenimax company is one of the few companies that deals with CogNet medical dysfunctions, such as biological issues like infection or rejection of a Wachowski probe or much more commonly soft dysfunctions like addiction to CogNet, or addiction to black feed content. Zenimax runs special 'Methadone' simulations that therapeutically restore brain function and serotonin centers.

Wearing the Black
Color is a common theme in the Private medical world. Hospitals are strongly associated with certain colors, antiseptic greens, fluorescent whites and other sterile color palettes. The private companies counter with a more natural or 'rich' feel. White is almost non-existent, and the staffs have more stringent dress requirements. A black clinic doctor is much more likely to wear a smock covered suit and slacks rather than scrubs and nurses are more likely to wear dresses with associated covering smocks than scrubs. They are either allowed to cultivate a personal style that fits with the spirit of the company, or follow a company associated dress/color code. Some examples include the natural physician code for California's Golden State Medical where doctors affect Norman Rockwellian old time traveling doctor's clothing, to the almost stripper-ific attire at the posh Hollywood Medical Centre. Doctors and staff at one clinic might all have a black with red highlights dress code, while another could actually have a top level fashion designer created uniform.

Medical vehicles share the division of public and private. There are ten white ambulances for every one black one, but there are five black air evacuation craft for every one white one. White vehicles sustain patients until they reach a hospital, while a black medivac VTOL could have things as cutting edge as Flash MRI handhelds, bioscanners, and an in flight operating theatre. 

The Black Ship is a surface naval vessel that operates in the Caribbean League of the Atlantic Federation. The ship is one of several that cruises the waters of the League, and when there is a medical emergency on one of the resorts, or seacologies, a fast moving hydrofoil or VTOL can ferry a wealthy patient or properly insured patient to one of these ships for cutting edge medical treatment. There are very few 'white' medical ships, and those that exist are either funded by maritime nations that would benefit from them, such as the Caribbean League, or are the property of the military or a maritime megacorporation.

Author's Note:
The Private and Public medical systems exist now, and there are even television programs about it, contrast ER, Scrubs, etc versus Private Practice. Shadowrun has the DocWagon program, where medics appear out of nowhere if the PC is harmed. Taking these two and weaving them together creates the tandem system, a high cost private option, and a low cost public option. Adding a dash or three of corporatism completes the mix. Money isn't the only concern in the Cosmic Era. The world population contracted greatly before the Second Renaissance and still hasn't recovered, nor is it recovering very quickly. There is a shortfall of manpower, leading to greater emphasis on healthcare, as well as things like cloning programs and androids. In the Cosmic Era everyone (or the majority of people) have access to passable Healthcare. This change is most dramatic in second and third world nations, and the difference in first world nations is marginal.

Butchers, murderers, thieves. The black hospitals are everything evil about the Cosmic Era. Immortality for the wealthy! But for the common man, nothing but tough luck and flu shots. It's a damned joke!

The Black Hospitals have many detractors. When there are periods of social unrest and civil disobedience, the primate medical industry is often a target. Despite the existence of cloned organs, there are still people waiting on organ donation lists. The only difference is that the lists are a bit shorter than they were in the Petroleum era. Many people are offended that if a person has a medical plan that will cover the cost of a cloned organ, or are willing to pay cash for a cloned replacement they can get one in a matter of weeks, generally the time needed to take a sample and grow a new organ. 

Many people also blame the lines and waits in the public health system on the sheer existence of the private corp health system. In some cases this is true, as some black centers are just as large as white centers and have equipment that sits idle while in the white center next door or across town the same machine has a six week backlog of patients waiting to use it.

Straight to the Business
The heart of the Bady Farm is the storage facility. Individual clone bodies are stored in vertical racks, packed between two layers of thick bioplastic. The body has several lines and tubes plugged into it, keeping the body alive, but in a suspended animation. These racks are attached to each other to make large walls of clones that are stored like racks in a beehive. There are fluid pumps that capture waste materials, clean blood, and keep a steady flow of nutrients to the clones. Damaging this system can set up septic shock, anemia, or starvation in the hosts.

A Body Farm with have a small administrative area, a small number of mundane employees who monitor the machines and bodies, generally 1 worker to 100 clones, and 1 admin for every 10 workers. 

All body farms represent a significant investment in resources. As such, most body farms have a sizeable security force, generally 2 security personnel for every normal staff person. This is mundane security equipped with normal low profile body armor, basic sidearms, and communications equipment. For every 10 security personnel, there is a single paramilitary power armor security officer. This is basic power armor, and equipped with non-military weaponry. For every 10 power armor personnel, there is a power armor captain who is armed with military grade gear.

The Stuff
Why all this security for clone farms?

Black Market Organs - black market surgeons and underground body modifiers need fresh meat. Clones are easily chopped up, and most of them have O negative blood, making them universal donors. Stealing live bodies with no legal status is big money to those brave and amoral enough.

Clone Theft - Good clone bodies can be sold on the black market exactly like slaves. These clones end up in the worst places, and many have poorly constructed personas downloaded into them. It is still a large payoff for anyone willing to do it.

Fresh Meat - in the less savory parts of the world, protein is protein, and clone meat is still meat. This isn't a big payoff, but the people willing to steal mindless bodies to eat aren't going to be the talk rationally and compromise sorts.

Secret Batch - body farms can be used as long term storage for people, ranging from dissidents to criminals. In this pancaked suspension, they are completely helpless. 

Special Order - Most body farms have just mundane clones, but some have special order supersoldiers, potential parapsychics, mentats, and other special made clones that are dramatically more valuable.
Last edited by Skaldia on Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:09 pm, edited 17 times in total.
||“The lesson of history is that no one learns.”
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Founded: Jun 30, 2013
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Skaldia » Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:44 pm

Location/s Cont.

Creative Incarcerations Corporation is a major corp that operates in North America, Europe, North Africa and many smaller countries. It specializes in running private capitalist based prisons, many of which are noted for their interesting or technological applications.

The policy of cryogenically freezing prison inmates came into vogue roughly 60 years ago when the Republic of California started taking its multiple life sentence offenders, life sentence offenders and other high profile prisoners and putting them into cryogenic pits. The then frozen prisoner were not nearly the drain on the prison system, nor were they able to bog down the system with a series of pleas and appeals, nor were they able to participate in prison violence. Cryotech facilities required less personnel and avoided dealing with the California Guards and Wardens Union. State funded cryodetention eventually faded in popularity, mostly associated with the high start up cost of building cryopits and holding facilities. 

Creative Incarcerations started buying, then building cyrodetention centers shortly after California started closing their state facilities. Those facilities were eventually also bought and refurbished by CIC. As a protected corporation, CIC is able to field it's own security forces, which protect the Cryodetention Facilities as corporate property. There have been raids in the past against the prisons, mostly to break in and rescue prisoners from long term detention. This has not faired well as few criminal organizations have the technology to resuscitate a cryogenically frozen person. The raid that 'liberated' Thomas 'The Butcher' Howell was ultimately futile as Howell was thawed using several space heaters and then shocked repeatedly to restart his heart. His body was found in a criminal shrine, badly rotten and in disrepair.

Center #19
Located in Utah province of the Rocky Mountain Republic, Center #19 is the largest cryodetention facility in the world. It houses almost 3,000 prisoners in a state of deep hibernation looking a combined term of incarceration near 375,000 years. These prisoners are deemed the worst of the worst, and range from cyber criminals who have caused massive collateral damage through their hackings, loss of life or commited cyberterrorism. Also included are serial killers, murderers, rapists, and the criminally insane. 

The Cryopit
The heart of Center #19 is it's trio of cryopits. If pushed to operate 100% of the time, the facility could easily flash freeze 300 inmates a day. Considering the quality and reliability of the pits in Center #19, many prisoners are filed and frozen at 19, then shipped to other holding facilities that themselves lack cryopits or have substandard pits. The center routinely operates in this fashion, which the operators jokingly refer to as the 'Cannery' where they make Canned Crim's. 

Visitors to the Cannery can see something quite exceptional, the efficiency of capitalism in solving the problems of society. The prisoners are carefully screened, tagged with data tags and are then processed through the facility. They are groomed, their bodies shaved and stripped naked before being treated with several sprays of a release agent. This gel will prevent the ice from bonding to their skin, freezer burn is bad on a steak, we don't have shriveled freezer burnt inmates. Once processed they are taken to one of our state of the art cryopit, Cryogenic Hibernation Pit, actually. Once in the pit they are flash frozen. Many attempt to make personal gestures or displays of defiance to save for posterity. Some are famous, such as the cyberhacker 'Flashdrive' MacReady who was frozen while delivering an extended middle finger. Others not so much, such as our own personal favorite here at 19, prisoner 23646053485-D3945, who we call Linda. Aside from our highest profile criminals, with holocasted trials, most criminals here are anonymous to the guards. Only the warden knows the contents of their case files. This secrecy was enacted for several reasons. If the contents of a cryodetention center are not public knowledge, there is a lesser case of organized crime agents from attempting break ins and rescues. There is also the case of Sallah Jessica Hansredi. She was  a cryogenic technician who discovered that she would be freezing the man who murdered her husband and two of her children. Many of you recall that Hansredi is quite famous for having manipulated the cryopit to malfunction, incompletely freeze the convict, and thereby cause his death by hypothermia and physical trauma.

The Meat Locker
The Meat Locker is the sixteen story geofront under Center 19. The facility is hermetically sealed, and has redundant electrical systems to ensure the continued incarceration of inmates in the event of a power disruption. There are three mechanical decks that handle the refrigeration systems. It is kept at 32 degrees in the Meat Locker to reduce the strain on the cooling and heat exchanger systems that maintain the inmates. Each inmate is held in a plexiglass pod so that the inmate is visible inside their ice cocoon. Walking down the aisles can sometimes be disturbing as almost all of the inmates are frozen in postures and expressions or panic, fear, or personal horror. The defiant individuals are the exception to the rule. There is no shame in the Meat Locker, and anyone offended by nudity should not request a viewing of the inmates. 

Central Administration
The core of Center 19 is the admin facility, where the life signs of the inmates are monitored, as well as the day to day operations of the facility. While 90% of the work done is facilities maintenance and administrative paperwork, the last 10 percent is perhaps the most interesting. The prisoners while in biological hibernation are not inert objects. The mind still functions on a reduced speed and scale. A few thawees have described the feeling a dreaming through a straw, or watching a movie across the street, though a window, through a pair of binoculars. Pioneered by Dr. Mark Barmbillo, the Brambillo process is a form of sleep hypnotic suggestion that allows for a regulation of the dreams of the inmates while they are parked on ice. The process cannot control dreams, or the unconscious mind. However, it can provide prompts and virtual stimuli to guide a dream in a particular direction. This is most commonly used to restore or reinstill ethical or moral values that the convict in question is lacking. The most common involve replaying the crime they are accused of, followed by negative physical stimuli. Once thawed, they will associate that action with instinctive pain and will avoid it all costs.

The Holovids do a wonderful yarn about how CIC is programming criminals and turning them into weapons for the government, the megacorps, the fanatic groups, and anyone else fascinated with the Supersoldier delusion. This is patently false, human programming on that scale involves intercranial surgery and is drastically more expensive than any operations run by CIC. We appreciate the enthusiasm of the writers and film makers, but we also wish they would do more of their homework. But that wont happen. I can tell you after running Center 19 for almost a decade, it is a terribly boring place.

Reanimation Facility
Thawing a convict isn't a fast or easy process. The inmate goes through a patented reanimation process that in a nutshell brings their body temperature up to close to normal before decanting them from their icebox. There is a period of disorientation and during the next week, it is not uncommon for inmates to have skin issues such as cracking, peeling, and the like. After 10 days, there are no physical traces left from their term on ice.

The CogNet
If the Dimensional Engine (and to a lesser extent the arc reactor) is the pounding heart that powers the Cosmic Era, than the CogNet is the wired and wireless brain that ties everything together. The CogNet is omnipresent, filling physical space with tailored and targeted ads on mass transit systems, flashboards in hallways, to full length electric windows that broadcast 2D adverts, amusing videos, and other teaser information. It composes the cyber-realm of the cosmic era, and is the primary artery of news, education, entertainment, and socializing.

Seven Themes of the CogNet
The Commodity of Luxury
Luxury, decadence, indulgence, these terms don't always mean the same thing in the Cosmic Era as they do in the modern era. The luxuries of the future are non-synthetic food, real meat rather than mycoprotein, distilled and aged alcohol rather than synthetic, and then the more common staples come in, jewelry, top end androids and companions, designer clothing, designer furniture, visiting fancy restaurants, and enjoying decadent spa treatments, or retreats to exotic locales. The bread and butter of the elite, and just out of reach for the masses, but they are so very close. They can indulge in entry level jewelry, splurge on a basket of fruit or chocolate, or save up and buy a nice home companion.

The Commodity of Sex
One of the most powerful human urges is the desire to procreate, and this correlates into this being one of the best advertising tools available. Porn stars are celebrities, virtual parlors allow for the common schlub to visit and bone wild nymphettes and bored housewives can be ravished to their wildest dreams. As morals have changed, so has opinions towards sex and marketing, now full frontal nudity is considered passe and hardcore pornography is mainstream. But watching two people engage in intercourse is hardly a thrill compared to paying the access fee and not watching, but passively participating.

The Commodity of Entertainment
People like to be distracted, and the best distraction (after sex) is art, music, and mass media. There is a constant barrage of new musicians, peddling their songs and lifestyle. Artists create interactive works of art, and movies and television shows have grown into holodeck like immersive fantasies, and rather than watch a movie, viewers get to live it, or remember it as a memory, a personal experience, rather than a few hours sitting in a theatre.

The Commodity of Violence
Violence is popular. Violence can be funny, it can be cathartic, it can be a great deal of fun. The commodity of violence can range from simple reels of people hurting themselves doing something stupid to patriotic displays of war and firepower. The Stuff Blows Up Channel, the Ow! My Balls Channel, and the Fails of the Net Channels are always going to be popular venues, much like the ubiquitous action hero/heroine blasting things to bits, saving the day and looping up into sexual encounters.

The Commodity of Beauty
Skin must be smooth and youthful, hair must be thick and vibrant, breasts must be luscious and full, abs must be tight, and the erection must always be magnificent. With easy genetic mods, biochemical treatments, cosmetic procedures, and a variety of other remedies for being a normal lumpy imperfect human, the commodity of beauty is sold with the preface that unless you have availed yourself of these goods you are obviously poor, genetically inferior, ugly, sexually inferior, and probably a bad person. In line with this, most 'bad' characters will display substandard phenometrics, such as small breasts, bad hair, balding, bad skin, scarring, etc. Because you're worth it!

The Commodity of Necessity
The least glamorous and sexy of merchandise is the day to day goods, food, mundane clothing, tooth paste, appliances, and the other detritus that litters homes. While not fun, and sometimes not easy to sell, someone has to buy the Chicken Chuggits, Nuka Cola, base line droids, electronic devices, toasters, and so forth. While the commodity of necessity is a large portion of the CogNet presence, it is also the easiest to ignore.

The Commodity of Manipulation
The core of the advertising paradigm is manipulation. Ads are placed in a manner that would leave military planners speechless with it's ruthlessness and efficiency. Everything is paced, placed, and designed to pull people in, make them want whatever is being sold, no matter how pointless it is. This is a major point, as materialism in the real world has long since been stomped out by generations of pragmatism and collectivism, human greed, envy, and the bouquet of other emotions is free to spill over into the CogNet. People spend relentless amounts of time and money purchasing, modifying, personalizing and otherwise tailoring an ocean of virtual content to suit their every whim and desire.

The CogNet is the fourth iteration of of the modern Internet (of which the modern net is the first). The Internet moved to become the Hypernet during the end of the Petroleum Era, and into the Resource Wars. This was a function of the first AI mainframes going into service, and later supplemented by the first generation of LAISC mainframes. The Hypernet was one of the so called 'Lights' that went out at the end of the Resource Wars and marked the beginning of the Second Dark Age. The Oxygen Depletion Incident and the subsequent construction of the O2 Towers and their controlling AISC mainframes saw the struggling rebirth of the net in its incarnation as the 3rdNet. The 3rdNet would eventually suffer a catastrophic collapse, but not before running functionally for almost a century. The CogNet was born from the tattered ruin of the 3rdNet, and is more than 50 years later, still growing and going strong, without any of the instabilities of the 3rdNet.

One of the core features that sets the CogNet apart from its antecedents is the high rate of immersive technology. The 3rdNet could only be 'entered' by the use of a brain penetrating Wachowski probe, or a multi-ton Chayefski sensory tank. The improved interfaces and floating point quantum systems allowed for users to enter to Net with something as simple as a SQUIDband or something as hifi as a S3 rig (Synthetic Stimulation System). Designed from the ground up not by humans but by machines, the CogNet is almost unfathomable to human consciousness.
The Net is greater than the sum of its parts. There is more to it than processors, server farms, and the AISC mainframes that control and police it.

The CogNet can be divided into Business Transactions, Media, Social Networking, and Utilities.

Utilities are the day to day functioning of everything ranging from power grids, to thermostat controls, environmental operations inside an arco, water purification facilities, down through the mass transit system and logistic systems moving and tracking items as they make their way through the human industrial engine, and finally down to the operation of lights, air conditioning, and so forth in an arco apartment unit. The efficiency of the CogNet is starkly balanced by how quickly everything in an arco can go to hell if the system goes down.

Business Transactions cover the unseen functions of the economy in the Cosmic Era, bank transfers, crediting accounts, making purchases, paying taxes, and all the other transactions that occur every second. It is through the superluminal (20c) aspect of the CogNet that commodities brokers on Earth buy, sell, and trade the contents of ore haulers that are still running out in the asteroid belt. This is all very boring.

Media covers the vast amount of entertainment, and the bulk of the commodities of the CogNet. Holocast events, music streaming, immersive features, and porn are the fuel for this segment of the CogNet, and generates a large section of it's revenues.

Social Networking is the new traveling. Rather than getting in the car, driving across the state to another town, the majority of people in the First world 'phone it in' and have their family get togethers, parties, sexual encounters, and other socializing through immersive social networking realms. This is a large business as their are companies that exist to create dream homes to host these events, and Social Networking is the realm of interactive games, the grandchildren of modern MMOs. Some people get so into their gaming realm of choice that they will invest in real world genetic mods to change their race to match their virtual persona.

Denizens of the CogNet
The CogNet is inhabited by human users, machine users, resident programs, and malware programs.

Human users range from skimmers who are only interfacing with a device or physical device like a data slate, wristcomp, or interactive kiosk. These users are the largest category of human users, but their low data use interaction with the system means they are far from the heaviest data using group. Swimmers are slightly less common, and represent humans who are using semi-immersive technology and mass media entertainment equipment. Divers are users who have gone fully immersive. These users represent cybernauts, professional hackers, entertainers, and net addicts.

Machine users are the AISC controllers of the system, and artificial intelligences that are sophisticated enough to manage an online persona. A single AISC can manage dozens even hundreds of personas, while a household droid companion can function and control a single persona for doing online business. There are mainframes that exist solely to populate the CogNet with blank personas, so that the system has a hustle and buzz of its own, rather than being a cold sterile environment. The blanks function much like cookies, gathering information about users as they make their way through the net.

Resident programs are semi-sentient enclosed collections of computer code. These balls of code exist completely within the net, and have no physical component. Resident programs are as simple as 'cashier/teller' programs that work at virtual storefronts to the popular holographic girlfriend program. These programs are the descendents of the Viral Intelligences that spawned, multiplied out of control and caused the forced shut down of the 3rdNet. In the CogNet, these free floating programs are monitored, and there are other machine programs that exist for the sole purpose of policing and eliminating these programmed personas if and when they go rogue.

Malware programs are resident programs that have gone rogue or been corrupted, deliberately designed malicious programs, or anomalies that are randomly generated from the white noise the system makes. These programs steal data, corrupt servers, cause physical damage to hardware, hog bandwidth, and the rest of the entries in the encyclopedia or malice. The first generation of Viral intelligences spawned in the 3rdNet were first magnitude malware and in addition to damaging systems, a number of people were injured and killed by the infestation and subsequent collapse.

The CogNet exists as a sprawling gleaming metropolis. The servers exist as virtual cities, and there are entire worlds that expand out from those cities. The individual arcos have own cities, and these cities are all connected by various means. Rather unexpectedly, the CogNet has it's own terrain, it's own topography, and even its own weather. While anomalous, these things have been formatted and stylized by the daemon programs that control the system.

Most of the business and utility transactions of the CogNet are carried out in urban cityscapes, composed of giant arco towers all connected by rail, light pulses, and electronic ships (the police and control systems). The entertainment sectors are massive factories and broadcasting facilities, all beaming their signals to distribution hubs, and relays, creating non-stop lightshows. This is only visible to cybernauts who go full immersion, and only glimpsed rarely by casual users and skimmers.

Beyond these bastions there is virgin/unformatted territory. This fringe is the unrealized potential of the CogNet, and proof that there is still plenty of room and power in the system to continue expanding for a currently incalculable amount of time. Cybernauts, sentient programs, and other users can venture out into this territory and start formatting their own realms, and many users do just this. This can be as mundane as a megacorp expanding it's virtual domain, to as exotic as a new MMO realm being carved from the virgin turf, to the subversive, with dens, lairs and dungeons delved out of the cyberterrain to function as bases for black stream data feeds, and cyberrunners.

Behind the Curtain
There is much more to the CogNet than even its creators know. It is an amalgam of human interfaces, machine systems, and it's all powered by arcanotech. The servers float in LCL, the machine interfaces are made with arcanotech processes, and as such, the Net is many times larger than it has any right to be. Technicians and engineers handwave this away, and point to things as floating point processors, quantum servers, and other heaps of technobabble. While these points and pieces of hardware are impressive, they are incorrect.

The CogNet, and its predecessor the 3rdNet, are hyperdimensional systems. The human machine interface allows for the system to functionally create gateways and permanent portals into the Dreamlands. Humans who enter the CogNet enter do so by entering stage 1 sleep, where the brain is operating in a semi-lucid state and producing theta waves. These casual users are skimming through the hardware and into the overlap where the waking world and the Dreamlands, and remain mostly aware of their physical surroundings, and their interaction with the Net.

Full immersion occurs with the correct hardware, and entering an induced REM state. While in this state, the host is unaware of their surroundings, and fully involved with the CogNet. In this mode, the user is effectively having an out of body experience, where they are fully in the Dreamlands. This isn't the same as a real Dreamer entering the Dreamlands by the 770 steps of sleep as detailed in the Mythos. These technodreamers are entering a technoformatted realm that machines and men have carved out of the Dreamlands. The 3rdNet lacked protection and defences against arcane threats, and this is one of the things that lead to that system's collapse. Many forms of Malware are generated from things in the Dreamlands encountering the avatars and technotitans of the CogNet (the AISCs) and are formatted into programs, or are tagged for deletion.

Every day, millions upon millions of humans casually stroll into the Dreamlands to conduct business, trade, and spend leisure time indulging in things as innocent as a family picnic in the faux Swiss Alps to depraved sex and death filled abattoirs.
Machines do dream.

Inside the Arcologies
Setting: The arcologies are the new crucibles of civilization. Within the confines of the megastructures large numbers of people live in close proximity to one another with a minimal amount of personal possessions. This close proximity requires rigid discipline and strong law enforcement to ensure that chaos doesn't erupt. The Arco is a scene of churning activity and where cities were dynamic organisms, this setting is inside the human ant hive.

Visual: The bustle of New York and Times Square, Downtown London or Tokyo, but pushed inside of a mega mall/mega apartment building.

Themes: Dehumanization, Desensitization, Separation from Nature. The residents of the arcos are dehumanized as they are required to live under strict guidelines that value preserving social order, economic prosperity, and the good of the many over free will, individual expression and exploring the human condition. The media is ever present and many of the residents are so saturated with sex, violence, and marketing that when they do come across something depraved or horrible, they are already numb to the situation. Finally, the arco is a synthetic environment, there is little nature inside, and what is present is artfully manicured on a scale matching a theme park. Residents are afraid to go outside because nature is scary, full of dangers and chances to be injured.

Tone: Characters search for greater meaning, or struggle against the authoritarian leadership, or artistically chaff under the carefully sculpted media avalanche. Despite the bustle, nothing has really changed at the end of the day.

Mood: The arcologies are wonders of science and engineering, but the residents of the arcos are little different than chickens in small cages, but instead of laying eggs, they buy things and work. 

The Urban Sprawl
Setting: The Urban sprawls are the cores of the old cities, wrapped around the feet of the arcologies. Demi-arcos and skyscrapers cluster together to form urban canyons and man made mountain ranges, while drainage canals and systems are artificial rivers. Law and order break down outside the fortified walls of the biggest buildings, and in the shadows of those behemoths there is no doubt who the haves and the have nots are. 

Visual: Downtown LA, Jerusalem and the West Bank, Gang members and Cops the only difference being the uniform, urban primitives with dreadlocks. Judge Dredd's Megacity One, San Angeles of Demolition Man, Snake Plisken's Escape from LA.

Themes: Dog Eat Dog, Crime and Punishment, Anarchy Versus Order: Where the arcology is a study in monotony, the Urban Sprawl is a constant battle of dichotomies. It is easy to line the residents of the Urban sprawl into two groups, victims and criminals, but almost everyone would be in both lines. Victims of circumstance, victims of crime, victims of poverty, victims of misfortune, victims of accidents; thieves, prostitutes, beggars, graft, and a laundry list of other crimes. Few of the things done are against the new laws (prostitution, soft drugs) but the decay or morality is present. 

Tone: Survival, making a buck, enjoying what there is to be enjoyed, hating the bastards in the arcos.

Mood: The sprawl is the tattered remnant of what was possibly the best of human culture. Ethnic art, ethnic food, cultural games and sports, pride in organizations and people as opposed to corporations.

Under the Sea
Setting: Seacologies and underwater habitats are common, especially in temperate and tropical regions, there is seldom a doubt that the residents are underwater, there are portholes to look outside, pipes and valves, and emergency signs and drills in case of Flooding Emergencies. 

Visual: Leviathan and The Abyss for working class seacologies. For more commercial and residential, The Love Boat if it was an underwater city.

Themes: Under Pressure: Like the arcologies, order and discipline are high, since it only takes a little bit to cause a disaster in a seacology. 

Tone: Stress and paranoia balanced out against the relative quiet and isolation that can be offered by being constantly underwater.

Mood: While no less dangerous than space travel, underwater operations get screwed in the funding and research department. Everything has a retro-dated feel to it. Everyone is paranoid because many of the seacologies are older, plus the issues of contamination, psychological pressure from work and being underwater.

The Underworld of the Geofronts
Setting: Tunnels and chambers burrowed into the Earth. In previous eras noxious and noisome industries were isolated from communities in  Industrial parks, refineries and the like. Now, these industries, along with waste recycling, water reclamation and other waste related industries are handled underground. The workers who work in the geocities are also the lowest level of laborers, the least paid and least respected. The work is hard, pays poorly, and is given no respect. Most surface dwellers never think of the engineers and mechanics who keep the water flowing or the power on (outside of the arco). This combination of obscurity and poverty leaves many geocities as hotspots of social unrest, socially transmitted diseases, and the origin of many strange synthetic and black market drugs.

Visual: Factories and refineries in man made caves, lots of concrete and wire cage wrapped lights. Workers all wearing the same uniforms, banging on pipes and inspecting junction boxes and utility systems

Themes: The Unseen world, and Extreme Poverty. The geocities are homes to the poorest of the poor urban dwellers, living their lives in caves and warrens under the pilings of the arcologies and urban sprawls. The trash of the arcos is the bread and butter of the underfolk, and they are quite resourceful in turning trash into synthetic drugs, black market goods, and blackmail material. 

Tone: Hostility towards the rich drugged well armed surface dwellers, college like activism mixed with terrorist ideals of symbolism and looking for cults of personality to lead the oppressed.

Mood: The geocities are full of rot and decay, criminals from the sprawl hide here, and push all of the unsavory things they can. The geocities are also the hidden cores of terrorist organizations. Most local authorities ignore the geocity slums because it only takes a small amount of effort to restrict the movement in and out of the holes, and then there is a whole separate level of security, closing the geocities and the arcos provides a double barrier between the wealthy and the poor.

The Black Void of Space
Setting: Space stations, colonies and habitats in orbit above the Earth or the Moon, mining or military asteroid bases, colonies at Mars, and  a handful of exotic colonies and science stations, and the ships moving between them.

Visual: The undramatic boosting and braking of 2010, calculating movement of ships through not just relative space but meeting objects at a particular point ala hitting a moving target through a computer hologram. Ships have some sections that are lattice work and scaffolding, and they are not sleek or sexy, ergonomics takes a back seat to construction on the ground and assembly in orbit.

Themes: The Brave New Frontier, Madness in Space: the further one moves away from Earth the more profound the voyage. The brave and bold venture into space, be they bold explorers, bold military crews exploring, or bold corporations looking to wring a profit from the vast wealth of the Solar System. Madness is also an issue, a mixture of isolation in space, operating in a closed environment with a small number of people. There are also strange radiations and diseases lurking in space that science cannot explain.

Tone: While the ideal leans towards Star Trek, to boldly go where no man has gone before, this is the gold clad pipe dream as the mundane is leaks and maintenance, loneliness and dealing with inner demons. 

Mood: Gothic Space Horror. Space is not a nice place, between the myriad ways to die, there are strange radiations and vibrations. The further from the protective cocoon of the Earth ships travel, the more profound these ailments and conditions become. Short version: radiation from the sun drives away the strange cosmic emissions, while strong magnetic fields do the same. The colonies are relatively safe, but its the getting there that's the hard part.

The Electric Realm of the CogNet
Setting: The online matrix of the Cosmic era, the CogNet is an electronic gestalt created by thousands of semi-sentient computer cores and tens of to hundreds of thousands of server farms. In excess of a billion people use the CogNet on a daily basis to conduct their jobs (virtual cubical farm, running automated machinery, operating drone equipment) their leisure (virtual video games, holodeck like simulations, total recall artificial vacations) to criminal activity (cyber hacking, virtual crime, data theft, etc). 

Visual: The interface of The Matrix meets the commercial nature of the Internet, Game simulations range from Speed Racer (film) to Tron: Legacy type games. The Flash and dazzle of Vegas, dripping with color, light and all the targeted marketing of a search engine on the scale of Times Square, tailored to each individual user. Sex mingles with money, electric promises and push button gratification.

Themes: Maya. Maya is the Indian belief that the material world is but an illusion of the spiritual world, but in this instance the CogNet can seem more real than the real world, colors are more intense, there are more people and everyone is who they want to be, who they want to appear as. The real world is drab, and dull, everyone is the same decaying meatbag in a Fight Club dystopia. What is real, the small apartment in the arco, or the massive empire owned in the CogNet? Who is more real, the ex girlfriend and her baggage, or the harem of nubiles constructed from old Star Wars images mixed with Sex-Bot programs?

Tone: Escaping the material world, avoiding the misery of the daily grind, indulging into the cyberelectric fantasy. Sitting at the virtual cubicle looking at a virtual picture in a virtual realm of a mountain or a lake that the wage slave will never see with his real eyes. Taking a virtual tour of New Moscow on Mars is more likely than traveling 65 miles to see Lookout Mountain or Shell Beach. Pulsing hacker avatars armed with state of the art virtual weapons fighting virtual battles online for virtual assets worth real money. Everything is brighter than life.

Mood: The CogNet is a mixture of the HoloDeck from Star Trek and the Matrix, some people indulge in it on occasion while others could be organically connected to their machines and wouldn't need to unhook except for biological functions. The net is a tool, and is projected on by the people who use it, and the nature of the CogNet reflects the nature of the user back on them. A greed man will be surrounded by virtual wealth, a thief will find all the things they can steal, all under the auspices of the unblinking mechanical eye of big brother.

The Forgotten Wilderness
Setting: The wilderness is recovering, following the folly of man. The forests have been recovering, as have other biomes. There are stations and labs that are working to help this recovery along to repair the damage done to the biosphere. Large tracts of land have been restored to forested conditions, bereft of human inhabitants or visitors. 

Visual: The Call of the Wild, White Fang, most any film that deals with leaving the city behind to enter the wilderness. 

Themes: Artificial Nature, Genesis: many animal species were driven to extinction have been reintroduced through genetic engineering. There are tigers and pandas and gorillas again, but they started as clones grown in labs and reintroduced to nature. In some places, this is visibly obvious in odd ways, as all tigers might have the same stripes, or trees are planted in mathematical patterns. New species are emerging from the genetic manipulation, and considering the tainted source of this technology, many of these new lifeforms are hostile to man. 
Tone: Conservationists and Creationists (save versus replace) ideals, science will save mother nature after almost killing her.

Mood: Underfunded and considered unimportant by the city dwellers, biodiversity is seen as less important than the cost of electricity per KWh. Animal conservation is also considered unimportant since vitual zoos and online parks are stocked with virtual animals, many of which are 'superior' to normal animals. Psh! real tigers cant talk, but Tigger the Tiger at the iZoo taught us about phonetics and insert Disney merchandising campaign material.

Setting: the non-euclidean mathematical realm that Dimensional Engines draw their energy from, also the source of the river of sorrows that fuels parapsychic abilities. Several exotic materials have their origins in Outworld, such as the superconducting superfluid 'LCL' used in AISCs, and other special goos and oozes. 

Visual: Either a dry erase board of arcane symbols, or seen in epileptic phantasmagoric nightmares, a hellish place of agony and suffering that looks like a wasteland but feels like Hell. 

Themes: The Source is Tainted, being the source of arcanotechnology, the elsewhere otherwhere of Outworld is fundamentally corrupted by human suffering and torment. This resonance carries over, turning much of the things created from arcanotechnology into negative influences that further human suffering rather than helping. AISC and the CogNet are turning people into electronic vegetables. Drones and clones have devalued human life to a tally on a spread sheet.

Tone: Either obsessive horror or academic disdain. Those who believe in the Outworld are seen as lunatics and ghost chasers. In the realms of science, it is looked down on the characterize a mathematical constant.

Mood: Paranoia and fear, dealing with the Outworld is courting damnation and madness. Scientists frequently break down or go mad, they become raving hermits or criminals. Criminals become ensconced as heroes and geniuses. Things are bad, but they are going to get much worse, if the growing influence of Outworld isn't checked.

I was quite excited when I was assigned to a Class 0 science and research facility. There are no facilities more secure, or working on more potentially reality altering applications of arcanotech. These sites, they are remote, incredibly remote, so that if something goes wrong that the damage is contained, and if something truly horrific happens, the reflex teams, or the fleet will have time to respond. The incident and the UAC facilities above Huo Hsing proved to some planners that 33 million miles was too close. Those sort of things are kept under wraps, no one back home needs to know that there are really alternate dimensions, and in them there are aliens, and giant ass monsters, or things worse than that.

But that is what Cykranosh is about, it's about looking into those things, those terrible things that mortal man, mundane man, was not meant to know. There are great and wondrous things to be found, immortality, magic, teleportation, reaching other stars, other worlds. There is also madness, and death, to be forgotten, or lost, but these are the risks of the great explorers.

Cykranosh Ader-Wissenschaft Aerostat
The Cykranosh facility is an aerostat floating along the boundary between the stratosphere and mesosphere of Saturn's atmosphere. The facility is shaped roughly like a jellyfish. The upper dome of the facility is approximately 3 kilometers wide and is actually the gas bladder that keeps the facility floating. Inside is a mixture of helium and hydrogen that is under thermic control. It can be heated or cooled to cause the facility to rise or sink into the atmosphere. The actual research centers and habitation sections of the facility are held in the central stalk and the gondola that hangs under the main dome. The gondola hangs almost another kilometer beneath the dome and has facilities to house 200 scientists and engineers, as well as the 100 crew and technicians who keep the facility in working order.

Cykranosh is owned and operated by the New Hanseatic League faction of the Atlantic Federation, and is just one of several Ader-Wissenschaft facilities in the Solar System. The design is largely self sufficient, and the gas dome is dynamic allowing a universal construction model to be built and dropped into almost any atmosphere in the Solar system (except for Mars and Earth, the former having too thin an atmosphere, and the latter having too high a gravity). Roughly half of the facilities remain under the control of the New Hanseatic League, while the other half are owned and operated by corporate interests or Federation allied nations.

Cykranosh has a tandem purpose, it is a science research station working on technology for atmospheric studies, gas extraction, and such, but it is also a listening post for the Federation's Bureau of Intrasolar Communications. A half dozen facility crewmen work for the BiC, and relay coded messages back to Earth, and other listening posts through the solar system. While the Anunnaki and the Glassenheim Foundation are aware of Cykranosh, it is considered beneath their concerns, as it is an industrial research facility, and even a dedicated surveillance facility would struggle to catch even a glimpse of anything going on at Iapetus

Cykranosh is serviced every six months, and this is the standard tour of duty on the station. It is considered a strategic asset by the Federation, along with the Cygnus Gas Harvester Conglomerate (southern region of Saturn) and the Titan Colonies.
The station symbol is a Swan sporting a double halo, resembling Saturn's Rings.

The Cemeteries of the Petrol Age
Prior to the Cosmic Era, at the height of the Petroleum Era, the world population broke through the 10 billion number, and cities grew like a cancer across the planet, upwards and outwards. The sprawls created were impressive, hundred of square miles of paved roads, parking garages, high rises, and high density residential zones and overflowing suburbs. These suburbs would eventually urbanize, and new suburbs would grow out from them. Then the Second Dark Age fell across the globe, and with the Population Contraction, in a century the population bubble burst, seeing the world empty out.

The cities that had built arcologies or had access to immediate alternate power sources, like hybridized or alternate fueled nuclear reactors were able to survive. Those many conurbations that lived off the support of the grid and pure infrastructure fell. Without power, without local industry or agriculture, the survivors went other places. The legacy of the Petroleum Era is the hundreds of abandoned, ruined cities, left in it's passing.

The Dead Zones
The official dead zones are Black Contamination Zones, areas that have become environmental hazards and are dangerous enough that they cannot be inhabited and are too dangerous for even clean up crews to work in. Scavenger operations sometimes are carried out in dead zones, but this is rare. It does little good to risk one's life to bring back valuable materials to find them radioactive or otherwise contaminated. The most common type of Dead Zone is caused by radioactive contamination, either from fall out from detonated nuclear weapons, or from compromised nuclear reactors. These dead zones are typically marked by now rusted signs and decayed barricades demarcating the safe perimeter of the zone.

The biggest bombs, the ones designed to annihilate entire metro areas, to shatter mountains and flatten forests, those bombs were never used. There is a thing to be thankful for, I guess. The biggest warheads were the first ones taken out of service by the global powers to have their fuel confiscated for the power reactors to use. When the nuclear exchanges occurred it was small scale and localized. The superpowers of the age didn't nuke each other. Pakistan and India, Israel and Iran, the nukes were thrown between nations with centuries of hatred between them, and in the end their hatred destroyed most of them. Most of the nukes detonated were small, and were detonated by terrorists, subversives and other factions. The American cities that were hit with bombs were hit by Americans, likewise with the European and Chinese cities. Small dirty bombs were used, a few blocks at most of physical damage, but radioactive dust clouds spread for miles. It was the sort of thing that people were terrified of.

Radiation: Traveling through a radioactive black zone requires protective gear, or the operation of a remote vehicle such as an android surrogate or remote piloted robot. Even with protective gear, humans in hot zones will require decontamination, anti-radiation drugs, and potentially genetic therapy to undo the damage done by exposure. The damaged condition of the urban areas make this a dangerous proposition, even before adding radiation into the equation.

It is easy for the modern person to forget that the Petroleum Age was not technologically backwards, the citizens of America and the European Union, China and other nations had computers, and the first and second iterations of interconnected networks, they had what are perceived to be primitive nuclear weapons, but they also had already pioneered viral weaponry by the beginning of the 21st century.During the Resource Wars, a small number of viral weapons were deployed and used. Most of these operations remain classified, as even centuries after the exchanges, some of the viral contamination zones are still hot. With the right equipment, samples, and time, a modern nation or corporation could recreate the Viral weapons that proved more devastating than atomic and nuclear weapons. We know this because it's already been done twice. Our records indicate that 6 specific viral weapons were used, and we have their profiles. Since then, two of those profiles have been detected in modern epidemics, rest assured that there are operations in place to find who was potentially behind this.

Biological: Biologically contaminated zones require the same precautions as working in a radioactive location, but have the advantage of generally being more easily decontaminated. The inherent danger of biological and viral weaponry is that many strains were designed to resist normal decontamination techniques, or have epidemiologies that lend themselves to being spread. Testing for a certain viral agent requires knowledge of said viral agent, and with the digitization of information at the middle and after portions of the Petroleum Age, much of this information is simply gone.

False Flags
Not all listed Dead Zones are actually Dead Zones. With the well deserved fear and caution around such locations, simply marking an area a Dead Zone is typically a good way to keep everyone away from it. As such, there are a number of modern military and clandestine facilities that have been built and concealed in normal urban ruins and then marked as Dead Zones. These bases, bunkers, and research facilities are top level security, and black budget operations.

According to official records, the Petrol era city of Rochester NY, was struck by a series of low yield atomic weapons, detonated by terrorists who would later go on to become part of Amerikka Command, and is listed as a Dead Zone. From a distance, the city is in a state of decay consistent with being abandoned for several hundred years. This is not the case, as the Atlantic Federation maintains a base under Rochester, an enigmatic facility only known as Andromeda. The Andromeda Facility houses the Federation's Dimensional Biology research center, and as such is part laboratory, part Special Containment Procedure facility, and part prison. The facility is currently holding a number of people contaminated or mutated by Dimensional Fatigue Events, extra-dimensional entities, and even ahekatonkheire.

Urban Primitives and the Reservation
There are a small number of people who have since decided that they want no part of the Cosmic Era, and it's lifestyle and values. These anachronistic individuals have found that by moving into the ruins of dead cities they are largely left alone. This has created a urban primitive culture in a number of ruined cities. It is a Lord of the Flies/Post apocalyptic culture, primitive, violent, and barbaric. Body modification through piercings, tattooing and scarification are common.

The urban primitives that have developed their own unique culture are given special protections, and the areas they inhabit are given the same classification as Dead Zones. The urban Reservations are derogatorily called 'wholes' from the shorthand HOL, or Human Occupied Landfill. Anthropologists and sociologists study these emergent tribes, while geneticists study their blood and tissue samples to observe their biological condition.

Derogatory Usage
There are some cities that have largely survived since the Petroleum Era, such as London, New York, Paris, Brasilia, Johannesburg, and others. These cities retain their massive sprawls, with large sections of the cities abandoned. These sections do not have working utilities, the buildings are in varying states of decay, and form the outer layer of the city. These are frequently called dead zones, not because of any contamination, but because there are currently no plans to remove the ruined structures (time and cost versus the salvageable value of the building) and no plans to restore them and their municipal services.

Lower case dead zones are frequently occupied by criminal elements, and those who have been exiled from the city cores for various reasons. It is not uncommon to see walls and other barriers erected to separate dead zones from the urban rim and favelas that surround many cities. For most people, being forced into a dead zone is the end of the line. This applies to androids and sentient machines as well, as they have almost no access to power supplies, in much the same that most people have limited access to food or clean water.

Practical Applications of Dead Zones
There are a number of practical uses for Dead Zones: Sense of Scale, Hives of scum and villainy, cool fight scenes.

In the Sense of Scale, the number and size of the Dead Zones can illustrate that despite the accomplishments of the Cosmic Era, the world is a much smaller, much emptier place than it used to be. For every denizen of the Cosmic Era, there were ten denizens of the Petroleum Era. This is compounded by the fact that in the Cosmic Era, arcologies have very high population densities, as well as a sizable percentages occupying subterranean geofronts, underwater seacologies, floating raft cities, space stations, and colonies on Mars, Venus, and a number of moons throughout the solar system.

Dead zones that aren't horrifically contaminated areas are hives of scum and villainy, because those are the sorts of people and machines that survive the harsh conditions. There are resources, there is food, water, and power, and it's all a game of who can get what, and what they can get it for, or what they can get for it. These zones can also house a number of undisclosed parapsychics, discarded veterans, outcasts, criminals, and the sort of professionals who have no place in the bright lights of the cities. And mutants.

Dead Zones make for cool fight scenes because there is no reason for the fighters to hold back their heavy weapons fire, there are plenty of buildings to destroy, and lots of landscape material to use in an improvised fight scene. Super powered parapsychic martial artists can use their earth shattering punches and tornado kicks. Power armor troopers, cyborgs, bounty hunters and gadgeteers can unleash their compliment of weapons and turn freestanding objects into melee weapons with impunity.

There are plenty of forgotten places in the Dead Zones, the cities were decentralized, and grew haphazardly. There can be data archives and lost server farms found in strange places, caches and arsenals of lost technology weaponry, and covert ops things that were dropped and forgotten. This can range from the innocent, such as crashing into a CDC biologic containment unit, or subversive such as finding a first gen Seed AI dormant in a Department of Defense mainframe that has been offline for centuries. The denizens of the Cosmic era forget that their technology was born in the Petroleum Era, like the supercomputers, magnetic weaponry, and prototype automated fighting machines.
Last edited by Skaldia on Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:10 pm, edited 17 times in total.
||“The lesson of history is that no one learns.”
||“Chaos needs no allies, for it dwells like a poison in every one of us.”

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Founded: Jun 30, 2013
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Skaldia » Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:54 pm

Locations Cont. II

The music throbs, pounding and incessant like an urgent lover. The light show is spectacular, as are the patrons of the club. There are galaxies of sequins, glyphs and patterns carefully, artfully, drawn out on bare flesh with glitter and brilliant jewels. Flesh presses against flesh, and the air is alive with electricity, the ever fragrant perfume of sexual desire, the heady rush of inhibition annihilating alcohol and forbidden desires made manifest. A woman leans on the bar, her breasts are full and magnificent, as is her electric blonde hair with the fiber optic blue highlights. The bartender smiles back at her, his body is gleaming white marble, as flawless as a renaissance sculpture. They both can be had for the right price, but Madam Thunderbolt isn't here looking for a cheap thrill. Instead she is looking for a man. His name is Herve, but he goes by Jadelicious and he is a specialist computer programmer and code designer. Madam Thunderbolt finds her man, he's sweaty, but colored like a tiger. A tiger made of carnal desire and dripping with the testosterone that drives women wild.

"You're not an easy cat to find," Thunderbolt says. He purrs, dragging claws playfully across the side of her face, tracing the line of her neck and around her one exposed breast. He flicks the nipple concealing tassel with one of those onyx claws, he gives a look of mild disinterest. "Pretty avatar, but I'm not interested in women,"

"That's good, I'm not interested in finding a good fuck, I am interested in finding the man who wrote the code for Shadow's attack LAI Timberwolf," The gay man tiger paused in mid gyration, a look of curiosity replacing the annoyance earlier. "How would a glittergirl like you know anything about grown up things like that?" he asked.

"Because I'm the one who wrote the code for Shadow's 88 Storm Blade attack program," Thunderbolt says.

"I thought you were dead, you look different now," He says. Madam Thunderbolt shakes her head, ribbons of jewels sparkling in rows of carefully braided platinum blond and hot pink. "Still alive, and you look exactly the same. When are you going to change up the tiger motif?" she asks.

The Electric Chapel
The Electric Chapel is an underground CogNet host. It is like almost all other CogNet hosts as it allows for large numbers of people to meet virtually in a cognitive environment, and is completely malleable to the whims of the host owner/designers. It appears as a very large club filled with chaotic light displays and other things made of color and light to draw the eye. The amount of time and energy that has gone into the coding, programming and sculpting of the environment is impressive. Even more impressive is that the Electric Chapel is run entirely by a private organization and not a megacorporation or government agency, as most CogNet hosts are. 

The Line
Getting into the Electric Chapel isn't easy. First you have to know where to find it. It's not a hardwired location, not connected to any sanitized arco-node or regulated by one of the CogNet AISC admins. It's black and it's underground, the dangerous part of the CogNet, the place where people think they are safe, but can bring things back with them, malware and viruses, even biological issues. It's dirty and it's dangerous. Once the Chapel is found, a gleaming building two stories tall, made of silver and jewels, glittering with church icons and imagery, there is the matter of the line. Hopeful entrants queue up in the line to be inspected by the bouncer at the door. Most are turned away, but a few are let in.

The Line is the I/O point of the Electric Chapel and it is not an unguarded entrance like that of a digital department store, or cybercafe. The doorway is guarded by 'Cerberus', a custom designed LAI. Cerberus runs three diagnostics on each potential entrant, weapons and threat assessment (armed trouble makers aren't welcome in the peace zone of the Chapel) sniffing for trace and tracking programs (There are plenty of people who want to find and destroy the Chapel) and a powerful Snoop program that makes sure none of the entrants are black listed, known narcs, or cyber security officers or programs in disguise. While the consensual perception is standing in a line, Cerberus is running the checks on everyone present, and once a check is completed, they are moved up to the front of the line for an 'eye check' to make sure the user isn't acting funny just through residual body image and body language.

Cerberus is the second line of defense, after the remote and private location of the Chapel, but the LAI is strong in a fight if called to action. He appears as a broad shouldered man of possible African or Arabic origin, but instead of a human head, he has a single jackal wolf like head with glowing eyes, and jaws that drip with glowing burning saliva. 
Meteor Strike: Attack program, specifically designed to counter Armor and Buffing Codes. Meteor Strike is a Grey Intrusion Counter-measure, and being 'killed' by it causes the victim to be ejected from the CogNet. The sudden disconnect can cause disorientation, migraines, and memory loss.

Hellfire: Attack program, custom Black intrusion countermeasure that causes severe biofeedback injuries in users attacked by it. An unlucky hacker who goes into combat with Cerebus can be killed in the real world if he is 'killed' online with Hellfire. The cause of death is electrical burns in the brain.

Sniff: White intrusion countermeasure that detects attack, snooping, sleazing, and other hacker codes and programs. While many of these are simply registered (what hacker is going to go into the black alleys of the CogNet without masking, evasion, and some sort of self defense?) only really dangerous or disruptive ones are flagged and prevent entrance. 

Tattle-Tale: White I.C. that is specifically designed to look for tracking and tracing programs. Tattle-Tale runs around appearing as several puppies that bear a resemblance to Cerebus. 

Scan: White I.C. that lists the appearance and data of entrants compared to a known list of troublemakers, black listers, known narcs and other undesirables.

The Dancefloor
For most visitors, they never went past the dance floor, and most of them didn't want to go beyond it. They were here for the most obvious of the Electric Chapel's offerings, illicit sex, the freak show, the cutting edge music and the designer cocktails. The Dance Floor is more than just an area for dancing and music, it is the general socializing area, and has a variety of sections.

The Discotheque and the DJ
The Discotheque is the name given to the area designated for dancing and being part of the musical experience of the Chapel. It appears as a large dark room, the ceiling covering in light and sound equipment and the floor consisting of light up panels that can change colors or display video as the DJ sees fit to run. The DJ is normally a entertainment and music programmed LAI but can easily be replaced with digital DJs, musicians, and other actual people who want to run the show for a while. As an underground club that caters heavily to music and entertainment, the number of celebrity entertainers who have donned fake avatars to run the DJ console is large and impressive. These musicians also generally have ties to the Chapel, or share an interest in the goals and ideals espoused by the Chapel owners. 

There are 'Party Programs' that appear as attractive members of the opposite sex of the viewer, and are created by randomly combining image graphics of the many people who have come through the club in the past. There are extensive randomizers, to make sure that no one complains about the room being filled with 50 of the same people. Users are generally able to set the number of party progs they will deal with, depending on how badly they want to behave.

The Brass Lounge
Technically part of the Discotheque, the Brass Lounge exists for one reason: sex. Here visitors can hump, screw, fornicate and get their jollies any way they feel like. The music is still present, but the location is 'partitioned' off from the main floor. The Brass Lounge is a common destination for aspiring HoloPorn stars, gourmand sexual deviants, and the like. There are no Sex-Bot Programs traipsing around in the Brass Lounge, someone looking for an easy computer masturbation session can find it easier and cheaper elsewhere. Meeting someone and screwing the hell out of them in the Brass Lounge is a massive turn on for many people, because there is zero chance that the person they are nailing is a sex utility program, but an actual human being jacked into the same server host.

The Bar
The Bar is a dispensary of designer cocktails, reality altering codes and perception warping programs that users activate by 'consuming' as drinks. Given the nature of the biofeedback system and the malleable nature of Residual Self Image, the use of these codes can be beyond the effects of simple alcohol.
100 Round Lager: A basic intoxicant, mimics the effect of drinking beer. 

Mad Irishman: Intoxicant, plus self diminishing language codec, adds an Irish/Scottish brogue to the drinker's voice. The more intoxicated they become on this 'drink' the thicker the brogue becomes, until they are swearing and slurring in another language.

Flaming Lips: A party in every shot, this code allows the drinker to 'breathe out fire' as a purely visual stimulus, plus strong intoxicant.

Little Blue Friend: A bright blue shot, mild intoxicant, and sexual stimulant. A main cause of biofeedback exhaustion in CogNet users.

Mimi's Magic Cake Shot: a frilly desert shot that causes a biofeedback cascade that results in an orgasm. Popular with the ladies. Strong intoxicant.

The Redheaded Firebomb: Intoxicant and biostimulant, this shot keeps a reveler on their feet when everything else says they should be heading proverbially home. Also called Bull Blood, Juice, Hot Shotting, and Code Stim.

The Glitter Fairie: Strong intoxicant, also visual cortex stimulant, causes hallucinations and other sensory alterations. 

A Painted Lady: A strong codec, this shot rewrites the residual self image of the user into a female figure.

Dick in a Shot: An equally strong codec that like the Painted Lady is a gender swapper, but turns female avatars into male ones. It is sometimes disturbing to know how many visitors in the Brass Lounge are not the gender they appear, especially if they are drunk.

The Booth
The men watched from the mirrored booth, at all the writhing bodies, the glitter and the sweat, the codec shots and the fucking going on. Each avatar was lit with an indicator marking regulars from newbies, actual users from party progs. A few were secretly, or not so secretly turned on, while the others were busy watching for trouble, keeping the server host tuned for the number of users, and the last were simpyl bored. They were here because they had vested interests in the Electric Chapel beyond the chaos.

The Mainframe
The Electric Chapel has a virtual mainframe, moving from pirated host to pirated host as the situation requires. But this isn't something done easily. The mainframe is the heart and soul of the Electric Chapel, and it is well defended. There are three ways to access the mainframe; through the Booth, through the DJ booth, and a single hidden access point. Going through any of these points takes the user into the 'Buffer', a safety zone that serves to defend the core aspects of the Chapel and it's programming. 

The Buffer is not empty, but rather looks like what the utility sections of a club would look like. It is patrolled by several Intrusion Countermeasure systems. The most common IC are 'Janitor' White IC that alert the other IC that something is going wrong and someone is where they don't need to be. Beyond Janitor IC there are grey 'Security' IC that look like rent-a-cops and can fight well enough, especially considering that more entrants have already been scanned, or disarmed by Cerberus. Finally there is Janus.

Janus is the LAI program in charge of security, and Cerebus answers to it. Janus was originally a government black ops IC system that was captured and stolen by the Electric Chapel creators, and was reprogrammed and re-purposed to defending the Chapel from illegal hacking attempts. Janus is zealous in his duty, and as a strong Black IC, Janus has killed a number of hackers who had a bit more skill than common sense. He is mundane compared to Cerebus, but does have two heads, one is a polite 'how may I help you' that mimics the white IC scanners, while the second is twisted in wrath and when it appears, the LAI arms itself with two scimitars and will attempt to bite the heads off of intruders through a grossly distended maw.

The Bunker
Under the protection of the Buffer and the Dance Floor is the Bunker. The bunker is a hidden command and control center for the crew of hackers, social miscreants and corporate anarchists who want to destabilize the current world regimes and replace them with their own utopian ideals. It is also a laboratory for building LAI programs, writing codec goods, and writing up the sort of custom programs that only hackers of the first order would be able to afford, or be able to use.

Madam Thunderbolt followed Jadelicious through the booth and then into the buffer. She was a bit nervous, the buffer was crawling with active intrusion countermeasures, plus she had heard the stories about the passive traps that lurked throughout the buffer zone. Some were white, most were grey, but she had heard that some of the traps were black, pit traps that caused convulsions, fire traps that caused burns in the brain, all sorts of horrible things. But that meant the guys who ran the Chapel were good at what they did.

Jadelicious waved her through, and she walked past the towering figure of Janus, the two faced guardian of the Bunker. The LAI glared at her, she could feel malice radiating from the machine avatar. "Don't worry," the gay tiger said, 'Janus gets testy when someone new gets green lighted past him without 24 hours prior notice for him to do his security checks. You don't know anal until you have to deal with a Black IC with control issues. The door opened and they stepped into the lab. Inside row after row of racks held finished programs. Enough attack codes to arm an army of hackers, some of them were exotic, collections of light globes and strange geometries. Others were mundane, guns, swords, knives, and other archaic weapons.

The Bunker is divided into a number of sub-sections: the Arsenal, Tesla's Lab, Mission Control, and the X-Room.

The Arsenal is a stockpile of programs and codices used in cyber combat or in hacking. While normally programs are small, in the arsenal, they are represented in their full deployed position and can be picked up and installed instantly. Twice the Electric Chapel has been located and placed under cyberpolice interdiction. Both times the the cyber security forces who attempted to penetrate and take control of the central node were stopped cold by the elite clientele of the Chapel who had armed themselves out of the Arsenal. The second attempt was followed by a mob style hacker attack on the security node that had hosted the security personnel. The counter raid sparked three days of online unrest, vandalism and cyberwarfare across the local network.

Tesla's Lab is a mad scientist factory where technomancers create LAI, cyber weapons and tools, and plan out nodes and constructs and the other things that hackers would need or use. It is mostly filled with partially coded devices and holographic representations of nodes, plans and other projects.

Mission Control is the nerve center of hacker and electronic operations. Banks and rows of monitors flicker with light while a dozen LAI and a handful of human monitors watch activity both inside the Chapel, and more importantly, in the node hosting the Chapel, and the nodes around it for signs of security activity. Mission control has also in the past functioned as a command and control center for coordinated hacker assaults against megacorp domains and cyber security nodes.

The X-Room is a training facility that allows for the use of assault and attack programs and codes against LAI and gladiator style training matches. The parameters of the room are infinitely variable and can range from TRON style retro-hacking, copies of domains for preparing for raids, jungles or even exotic locales for dealing with cyber disorientation. 

The Core Node
Madam Thunderbolt walked through the Mission Control center, and two of the LAI looked up and noticed her. She nodded and they nodded back. They recognized their creator. Jadelicious looked at her, "I thought you were Valerie, she copied Fairchilde's EchoBlade attack program and called it the 88, you look like her."

"Valerie is dead, fried by Corp Ice." Madam Thunderbolt says, "I scavenged her node and wiped out the Ice, and now I'm here, I'm back for what's mine." Jadelicious is quiet, and then opens the door to the Core Node. "I'm guessing your the bitch who built this node," he says. Thunderbolt nods, pausing at the door panel to access the security protocols, a few seconds and she had the passcodes changed and the digimetrics set to hers. "You really should have changed the locks," she says. "We've been waiting for you to come back."

"Good, now get the fuck out of my node, Madam Thunderbolt is taking over the Electric Chapel and it's time to get back to business."

The Core Node contains all the functional code and programming for the Electric Chapel, as well as hosting all of the resident LAI programs and the systems that anchor the Chapel to the domain the mobile node has attached to. The Core Node also has the defensive structures that defend the Electric Chapel if it comes under attack by a serious threat such as a AISC coordinated attack. Damage to the Core echoes through the structure and enough damage will cause the Chapel to become unstable and collapse.

The core is a treasure trove of trophies and relics taken over the years, and a stockpile of money used to finance operations for the Chapel, and it's operatives. There is a second arsenal inside the Core Node that has cyber weapons that carry serious prison time for being caught with, as well as codices that are designed to static-nuke domains and vaporize cloudware LAI in a flash. Between the money and the weapons, few private stockpiles are more valuable or dangerous.

The Purpose of the Electric Chapel
The Electric Chapel is a front for a major underground organization, and has significant resources. The goals and ideals of the Electric Chapel are left up the GM, but they can be a banner carrier for whatever counter culture or hacker creed is needed. In the setting of the Cosmic Era, the Electric Chapel is an anti-corporate liberal cyber terrorist fortress.

"I created the Chapel as a sanctuary, a safe place for boys and girls who didn't want to sell their souls to the megacorps, to the soulless machines that fill the CogNet. I made it a safe place for people to be as a strange and real as they wanted to be, to experience music like never before, to alter their minds and lose their hate and misconceptions. But there were people who didn't like that. They made perception altering codices illegal, and made the people who just wanted to be free into criminals. We were persecuted while the assholes in the megacorps made legal PerkAlts and sold them to the public. Dirty code, programming addiction and directing behavior in favor of the megacorps."

When you marginalize people, when you make them criminals, you shouldn't be surprised when they become real criminals. When they become good at it. The music will be free, the people will be free, free from the greed and the hate that we are taught from the womb and through the tube.

Even if it kills the corps.”

One of the limitations of colonialism is the relatively high expense and build time for establishing a new colony, and getting said colony to the point where it doesn't require constant resupply, and more importantly, where it starts paying back on it's investment. The typical plan involved multiple ships carrying the starter colony equipment, prefabricated structures, and the colonists themselves. The set up and founding of the settlement could take years, requiring a constant stream of support craft, and military forces to protect both the colony and it's logistic train. The early years of Solar System colonization were relatively low key, with few places being contested. As ships improved, competition increased, as did fighting over prime areas of real estate, as well as protecting them. The Atlantic Federation hatched the novel idea, rooted in the Utopia Initiative, or launching self generating synthetic colonies. Once the installation, built and populated by machines, was ready, the colonists would arrive, and instead of a fledgling, they would appear, full formed, and ready.

The 50 Year Plan
The core of ElectroCorp's colony model is a fifty year plan. A 'Seeder' module, packed with polyforges, Seed AI, and starter auxons. Once the Seeder arrives at it's destination, a pre-scouted resource abundant region, the auxons are activated and start feeding the polyforges, which start manufacturing more auxons, and then the subcomponents for larger polyforges, and larger auxons. After approximately a decade, a structure the size of a pre-con tactical base has been built, as well as autons, and stage one mining and exploration equipment.

The next two decades are intensive self-investment in resource acquisition, manufacturing capability, and if needed, establishing defensive capabilities. The early stages of a Seeder colony is largely underground, and almost always very low key. Auxons use small power supplies, and most Seeder systems run initially on solar, or other local power sources. This can allow for the development of the colony to go undetected for years

The last decade of development is the most rapid, as the Seeder has established an industrial core, semi-autonomous industrial and mining mecha, largely self sufficient manufacturing capabilities, a fully developed AISC, and the construction of the human habitations. At this juncture, the organic colonists will start arriving to take command of the facility.

The Exopolis Program
ElectroCorp rolled out the Exopolis Program after the success of the ACPS's Five Metal Dragons base became well known. A dozen Seeder ships were built and were launched, each to establish a new exocity under the jurisdiction of ElectroCorp, and the protection of the Atlantic Federation. The majority of the ships were unremarkable, but a small number held experimental technology, or were designed to run alternate colonial programs. Seeder 4, Tetropolis, was one such ship.

The Matriarch Configuration
The Matriarch Configuration was the source AISC for Tetropolis, and at its core was the cryogenically hibernating body of Dr. Columbine Watson. Dr. Watson, a moderately well known cyberneticist, arcanotechnian, and geneticist, volunteered to be a test core. Rather than following a core program, Watson's brain would function as the seed for the nascent AISC.

There were a number of reasons that Watson volunteered for the program. The most notable, and recorded reason was having recently survived a DFE that claimed the lives of most of her previous research time, as well as her husband and three children. She was diagnosed and was undergoing treatment for PTSD and Survivor's Guilt. What was classified was that Watson had been infected with a techno-organic virus from the DFE, and was slowly turning into some sort of machine life form. It was not known how long she had, but hibernation would prolong her life, and constant interface with an AI could regulate the spread of the condition through her body.

The Myojin Columbia
Seeder 4 was launched on schedule, and arrived at it's classified destination, an unmarked asteroid in an eccentric solar orbit. The systems deployed, and Dr. Watson's sleeping psyche shaped the AISC as it was slowly grown from local materials, built by hoards of auxons. The AISC grew, and developed itself into Columbia. It rapidly evolved on it's own, and moved forward, directing the auxons, and then autons to build it a machine body. This 25 ton mecha had a non-military construction pattern, and bristled with sensors and scientific devices. It would remain tethered to the Seeder core, and would slowly be entombed by the colony growing around it. It is not known if this was a deliberate action of Dr. Watson's psyche, or if it was an oversight caused by placing an organic brain in charge of something as large as a colony and nascent AISC.

Buried in the core of the colony, with it's magnificent machine body placed in bondage, Columbia found other outlets. Tetropolis itself grew to become Columbia's new body. Each sensor, an ear, each microphone, an ear, and the corridors and work shops became blood vessels and organs, but mechanical. Columbia is still growing, inside Tetropolis, and slowly subsuming it's very structure. This is not an accident, nor a cancer like spreading, but a deliberate action. Given enough time, and provided that none of the other components of the Matriarch Configuration figure out what Columbia is planning, she will convert most of the core of the colony into a new robotic body.

Tetraplex, if completed, would be massive. The ultra-mech would be several hundred feet tall, mass tens of thousands of tons, and would have unknown capabilities. This is no accident, Dr. Watson had years of contact with Seibertronians, and was well aware of their mental and physical construction patterns, and how their mechanical bodies could grow and develop. Columbia, if given another half a century, will hollow out her host asteroid and turn it's raw materials into the largest sentient machine in the solar system.

The abbreviation of Vector 1, V1 was originally the Archandroid of Columbia, while the AISC was still forming, and while Dr. Watson was still in hibernation. The development of V1 is laden with errors, and instead of being an adjutant to the core AISC it became the manifestation of Dr. Watson's subconscious ego. In a normal scenario, V1 should have manifested without issue, except that Dr. Watson's sanity was compromised. This resulted in the Adjutant becoming nothing less than a psychotic self loathing filled murderous robot. V1 demonstrates Dr. Watson's experience with machine intelligence and organic technology, as rather than being a hulking creature, V1 is a sleek gynoid with a wasp like appearance, with long lines, narrow waist, and a pointed head. V1 has a solid core, and a few load bearing components, but most of the machine is alien in nature, with a tough outer sheath, and a plasticine liquid interior. This fluid responds to electrical stimulus, and moves gynoid around in a hydraulic manner. This makes the machine quiet, and requires very little power. It also has demonstrated the ability to extend blades, spikes, and stiletto like weapons from it's body, made of the same materials.

Everything was on schedule for the opening of Tetropolis, and the initial load of colonists arrived to assume command over the facilities. The ship docked, and the AISC answered, and 24 hours into take over, V1 came online and systematically either executed or imprisoned the colonists. Those who fought were spiked through the head, or were executed by V1 taking over a section of the station and altering the conditions inside, most typically venting the section to hard vacuum, or altering the life support to be either extremely hot, cold, or just shutting out the air system until the occupants died of oxygen deprivation. Those who surrendered were taken to the medical facilities and were experimented on, or just tortured for the entertainment of the damaged psyche of the machine.

Lady Steel
After the death of the colonists, Dr. Watson woke up from her cryosleep. Quite to her horror she found that the technoorganic virus she had contracted during the DFE years ago was no longer dormant. In her long sleep, it had expanded and compromised a full third of her body, requiring V1 and Columbia working together, to preserve her. The end result of this was the birth of Lady Steel. Most of Dr. Watson is gone. Her psyche is badly damaged from long term cryosleep contamination, most of her body is now cybernetic in nature, and like the machines she grew and commands, she no longer needs human things like water, sleep, or more than a trace amount of nutrition.

Tetropolis Facility
The Tetropolis Facility is a fully functioning resource extraction colony, with the intent and purpose of extracting all the mineral resources of it's host asteroid, and turning them into exportable goods as well as turning the asteroid into a hard rock space habitat. Such habitats are easily shielded against space radiation, and once completed, can be moved to a new location and then leased or sold to a new client at fantastic profits. As such, Tetropolis has facilities to house over 2000 residents, and the potential for that to be expanded to 20,000 if desired, at the cost of internal space. The facility has a fully functional, if completely deactivated CogNet node, and berthing for up to 8 ships of various size. It has all the micromanufactuing equipment it needs to be self sufficient, as well as hydroponic gardens for producing food biomass for the residents.

X-oids are common autons found inside Tetropolis, and are mechanical recreations of Dr. Watson. They strongly resemble Lady Steel but are fully robotic, and their base code was grown from Watson's kakugram. Half are neutral/scientific in nature and represent the Doctor's normal psyche and function as scientists, researchers, and the general workers of the colony. A quarter are homicidal, like V1, and most of those have gravitated to V1's sector of the facility and work as it's vanguard. They are easy to tell apart as most still have blood or other organic detritus on their carapaces. The last quarter are collections of neurological problems and range from catatonic, to child like, to simply insane.

Industrial droids - There are a large number of simple industrial droids on the surface of the asteroid, and are principally involved with mundane mining and refining operations. These droids are very sturdy, and have a definite seibertronian look, but are just simple machines. If pressed, there are a small number of these that are fitted with some basic weaponry, lasers and chemical rockets, more dangerous in their surprise role rather than actual combatants.

Disposal droids - large and insectile, these predatory droids find and remove defective droids and damaged equipment, feeding it to reclamation furnace. The most common victims of the mantis like droids are X-oids with cognitive defects, and industrial droids damaged through their normal operations. One of the strange ways Columbia operates, droids have only minimal repair functions, and it is generally easier for a damaged droid to be smelted back down and completely replaced rather than repaired.

Security droids - again following strong Seibetronian lines, there are a number of security droids that patrol the station, generally looking for intruders, defective droids, and other problems, rather like a large cybernetic immune system. While most are unarmed, they are still designed for stealth, observation, and hand to hand combat, and have lock down codes for other droids. Most of the security droids are loyal to V1.

What is Dead Space?
Dead space is a misnomer in several aspects. While it is true that there is no air, and therefore no sound in space this only applies in the audio band. There is plenty of ‘noise’ in space. Most of this noise is in the form of radio waves, gamma radiation and a variety of other high energy particles. The real portions of dead space are really the vast gulfs of nothing between the galaxies, but that isn’t very interesting because there is quite honestly nothing there. The real Dead Space pertains to areas that are isolated from the constant noise of human civilization.

Interstellar Communications
Contrary to how it is portrayed in the movies, when a starship dials up a starbase for the captain to make a vital call to the admiral, there really isnt an unbroken signal from the ship’s communication array back to the starbase transmitters. Rather there is an array of communication bases, satellites, and other pieces of equipment that bounce subspace signals around from place to place. The afore mentioned call from the starship might be routed from an automated comm array to the sector comm hub, and then sent to the communications reciever at the starbase many lightyears away. Real time communication could very expensive in terms of energy and bandwidth.

There are places where the network doesnt go. These places are what is deemed dead space. Most of the time there is a valid explanation for why a region of space is isolated from the constant stream of human noise. Nebula can obscure signals, as can extreme distances. An array or satellite needs to have a stable body to orbit, not just be left to drift aimlessly through space. Without this fixed position, getting any sort of signal would be weak at the very best.

Dangers of Dead Space
Breakdown - Ships tend to have mechanical problems, the Millenium Falcon was a step above a tempermental 20 year old muscle car, while the Enterprise D was a bit like a Lexus, nice but regularly having all sorts of odd problems. In a region of dead space, a ship that breaks down cannot call for help. If it is a well prepared ship, they might have a communications torpedo that can be loaded with data and fired back towards the nearest reciever. a broke-down ship in a dead region can expect to wait a long time before a rescue is mounted.

Space Madness - This broad terms covers a huge variety of mental afflictions that come from extended isolation. Most ships have some sort of library of books, magazines, and whatever passes for the current form of mass media (TV, tri-d, Holodecks) but there is a limit to what the ship can carry. Most will dedicate a certain amount of bandwidth to incoming entertainment media, as well as downloading books, and other forms of media. Cut off from this data trunk, it doesnt take too long to blow through the ship’s library. Then, people start to get a little… iffy.

Alcoholism and Drug Abuse - With extended periods of time alone or isolated to a small group of people, alcohol and drug use are a major problem. Drunks and addicts can be dealth with, usually through confinement and detox. As such, most ships will have some sort of alcohol on board, but will be a bit more firm on the no drugs policy. It’s hard to run a ship when the crew has a heroin problem.

Paranoia - listen to silence long enough and you will start hearing things that arent there. In dead space, there isn’t anything to hear, or usually anything to see. In this bubble, with a limited crew of people, paranoia is among the most common of space psychoses.

Ripley’s Complex - This form of space paranoia revolves around a fear of contamination and xenophobia. The afflicted believes that one or more other crew members have become infected with aliens. The only way to secure their personal safety is to kill the infected and isolate themselves from the rest of the ship, where there are other aliens. Ripley’s is a dangerous complex as it doesnt become readily obvious until a crewman starting trying to kill other staff.

Sensory Depravation 
- As above, looking into the same monitor day after day and seeing the same thing, the same nothing is boring. This long term depravation can lead to the idea that ‘Nothing Looks Back At You’. Unlike paranoia, this sort of madness is rarely violent, but is much harder to diagnose and later treat.

Bowman’s Syndrome - The afflicted is in a mental ‘hyper reality’ usually noted by audio and visual hallucinations. this can range from catatonic fugues, to surreal optic hallucinations. There have been some cases where the patient believed that they had contacted long lost loved ones and the ghosts of the dead on the ship’s communication array. Some patients refuse to be cured of this condition, while others require regular medication and psychiatric treatment.

 - After being surrounded by a ship for a long period of time, a crewman can start having an unhealthy relationship with machinery or even the ship itself.

Agoraphobia - after spending months in an iron womb, being outside on a planet can leave a patient feeling dangerously insecure. In fact, a large room like a gynasium can leave the person feeling exposed. Most such life-spacers tend to avoid going planetside and spend their time on ships or stations.

Fear of Doors - Opening a door on a ship can in rare cases lead to being sucked out into space for a quick and brutal death. Some personel will gain an almost dibilitating fear of doors, even common wooden doors. This can extend to seeing them, or even touching them.

Weir’s Syndrome - This is a rather rare neurosis. The key component is that the patient has the belief that the ship they are on is alive. This is considered an atavistic responce as the patient will regard the ship as a place of safety and will refuse to leave it. Attempting to force them can be problematic and dangerous. Most such patients will have made a sort of nest for themselves in a hard to find and confined location. Rehabilitation, thankfully is easier than most forms of space madness.

Personality Modification

A few spacers will become affected with long term alterations to their behavior and personality due to the long periods of isolation in space. This will generally tend towards two extremes.

Personal Introversion causes the spacer in question to become a hermit, disdaining the companionship of other humans. These spacers become painfully awkward and uncomforatble in social situations, and cannot deal with more than one or two people at a time. This phenominon was also common during the advent of the Virtual-Cyber-Realm.

Personal Extroversion is popularized and misunderstood by the body of the media. It is amusing to show sailors going bananas in port chasing prostitutes, and the ship disgorging the all female crew for a multi-hour orgy is considered one of the three basic pornographic plots. These are both wrong. A person with Extroversion requires constant attention to prove not only their self worth, but that they even exist in extreme cases. Nymphomania is just as likely as self mutilation, pranking for attention, or other violations of basic behavioral ettiquette.

Space Anomaly
Most dead space is caused by two things, giant nebulae and so called stellar gulfs. Both of these two tend to be unexplored regions as one is nothing more than clouds of dust that obscure signals, and vast reaches of absolutely nothing. Space Nebula are hazardous for hiding larger pieces of debris as well as sometimes being a haven for pirate ships.

The gulfs, rifts, drifts, and expanses are more likely to harbor some sort of anomaly. Each anomoly tends to be unique, and most have some hand in creating the vast empty space around them.

Abridged List of Anomaly classes
Spatial Anomaly
Inversion Fields
Dark Matter Nebula
Temporal Anomaly
Subspace Anomaly

Coping with dead space idea
Emergency crew reset

A new area in neural programming, this crew wide conditioning can be used to dispose of unwanted mental effects during prolonged deep (or dead) space travels. The method requires that the crew has been selected with a specific and stable social model in mind, giving them the longest possible amount of time before any mental problems start showing and the social structure starts breaking up. At this point a ship-wide neural signal is sent, in the way of an auditory, visual or other stimulus (or combination of them), which resets the whole crew to their psychic state before the start of the trip. An extensive system of logs ensures that no important information will be lost when the reset occurs. This gives the crew another long period of time to cope with their situation in space before a second reset is needed.

However, no more than two or three consecutive resets are advised on a single trip, and the required rest and possible psychotherapy afterwards is increased with every reset. Furthermore, a malfunction in the mechanism can lead to multiple firing of the reset stimulus and possible mental damage to the crew

The Favelas of Northern Hemisphere
Favelas are specifically and historically hillside shanty towns in South America, most famously the slums of Rio de Janeiro. The Cosmic Era is a setting that is in a state of flux as people and ideas are moving, and population distribution is one of those areas of flux. The Second Dark Age saw a massive swing towards collectivism, there was protection in the cities that wasn't available in the country and for many previous urban dwellers, leaving the concrete jungle for the rural areas just wasn't in the cards. Attempts in the past have been made to depopulate urban areas and disperse that population into rural areas and farming occupations. Unlike other jobs, farming has a yearly schedule and is dictated by weather, and failure in agriculture is generally punishable by starvation.

During the Second Dark Age, people did attempt to move to rural areas, but they found the existing rural residents not friendly and often well armed and not interested in having more mouths to feed. Those who survived the foray into the 'wilderness' attempted to return to their urban homes and found them occupied. The process of arcopolarity came into play, and created the three ring model of the modern Cosmic Era city. The center is the arcology or arcology complex, surrounded by the Urban Aggregate or Urban Core of highrise buildings and other high efficiency structures that either depend on the arco, or support the daily function of the arco.

The third and outer ring is the shanty towns. Collectivism keeps people in the Cosmic Era living in high density areas despite the fact that there is room outside of the urban areas that isn't claimed. The lack of readily available personal transportation ala cars, trucks and such tied with the 3-4 centuries of neglect for roads and infrastructure not associated directly with the arcos limits personal physical mobility. It was simply a matter of time before the innermost suburbs and regions outside of the city cores piled up into multi-story shanty towns and favelas.

The Favelas exist as a dumping ground and slum zone for the undesireables and poor of the Cosmic Era. The poverty rate is fairly high in the era, especially outside of the arcologies. These areas have formed their own cultural identities and as often as they are cesspools and breeding pits for criminals and terrorists, they are also bastions of hope and upward social energy among legal residents. In some favelas, most notably Los Angeles and New Nuyork have seen previously criminal minded gangs and groups transition from law breaking organizations into neighborhood police and protection groups. In other areas, some local law enforcement agencies have fallen and become barely concealed criminal ventures.

The Favelas are places for people to hide, get lost, or otherwise be discarded or forgotten. In a game setting, the Favelas are keen for foot chases, extremely close quarters combat (some areas are dense enough that nothing larger than a man in body armor is going to fit. This makes it all the more horrific when say a 45 ton ax wielding urban assault mech wades through the area hunting a high profile target. The Favelas are also a good place to demonstrate the values of the Era. Almost all residents have access to the CogNet, or even local sourced black nodes (3rdNet emulators) but food, water, and medical supplies are traded commodities. Rat burger?

Each favela or urban rim collective has an overall agenda, and this agenda is determined by the leadership and needs of the specific sector.
Some common agendas:

Agricultural projects for food production

Criminal enterprises, covert drug production, operation of a CogNet criminal node, human bloodsports, and so on.
Neighborhood Watch, to make it a nice safe place to live

Restoration of a specific facility, such as a factory, hospital or other preexisting but no long core supported building.
Just survive another shitty day

Leadership: Each Favela and sector has it's own form of leadership, and seldom are two the same. This can lead to conflict between segments of an overall favela and even open violence and warfare between the residents of two different sectors as boundaries are mobile and fluid. Democracy is a legacy, and by far the exception rather than the rule.

Some common modes of leadership:

Gang/Praetorian- The favela is ruled by a gang boss and the boss in in turn supported by his strongmen. Leadership is secured through threats and strength of arms. The Favela is likely either a criminal camp or an occupied area and the gang is exploiting it for its resources.
Council/Elite - The favela is run by a small group of interested slum lords and bosses. They likely control the vital resources of the area and by default are in charge. The oligarchs live like would be monarchs in their slum kingdoms, and are likely to be invested in criminal enterprises or an overall goal such as repairing and restarting a power plant, hospital, or other specific facility.

Council/Common- the favela is run by a small group of senior residents much like a small town. Some are elected, others are just the person best suited for the job. These are often less important or valuable sectors, and are much more likely to be directed at being safe, nice places to live, or light agriculture

Elected Mayor- an uncommon arrangement, in either more advanced and culturally sound favelas or in small favelas with limited resources. This figure can be a charismatic leader, or a scapegoat in the waiting.

Proxy/Satrapy - Some favelas are organized and run by factions within a city core, and the favela has a purpose to support the arco or serve it in some other purpose, such as being a dumping ground, low security prison. The region is administered by a city official, supported by urban security forces and local strongmen.

Favelas are poor by definition, lacking industrial and commercial sectors and they are not involved in any significant economic activity such as mining, forestry, or food production. The main resource of the Favela is humanity, and the main economic activity is service and social industries. Scrapping and recycling/repurposing trash and digging up debris from the Petroleum Era is a major area of work, along with local food production (typically supplemented with food charities from the city core) and most high end income is from pharmaceuticals, alcohol distillation, and sex working.

The Favelas typically have a predominantly young population, with many born every year into the grinding poverty. This young, often angry population is a valuable source of soldiers for the world militaries. This recruitment is one of the reasons that a greater effort isn't made to eliminate the favelas. The young women of the favelas are also considered valuable as they are generally much more agreeable to working in the sex trade.

Each Favela and sector will have its own sets of symbols and iconography. These are specific to each favela/sector. In North America, many of these favelas have icons and symbols associated with former sports teams, or the symbols previously associated with the region they are in.

Most Favelas are in the vicinity of 80 to 120 years old, with older previous favelas having been the subject of natural disaster, devastating fires, or viral break outs. The current favelas trace their histories back through the rise and fall of what had previously been suburb communities through a dance with the growth of the arcologies, the collapse of wide scale infrastructures like roads and power lines, and the fluctuations of the population base.

Territorialism and small scale violence are also common in favela histories as the communities struggle through effective and ineffective leadership, and respond to threats to their resources (water, secure locations, food supplies) and outright war in favelas in areas that are the subject of military occupations. These favelas have strong martial and partisan traditions and trace their histories through resistance movements and rebel fighters.

The average Favela resident is 18-28 years old, and living in poverty.

Criminals: given the popularity of exile, either self exile or or legally imposed, many criminals have exported to the favelas. This isn't a new theme, but has been going on for approximately 120-200 years. The residents of the favelas born in the favelas are often the children and grandchildren of criminals. This creates a generational condition of acceptance of criminal activities.

Nuevo-Poverty: the newly poor are arco residents and city dwellers who accrued such debt that it was determined that they had neither the intent or ability to repay it and were consequently seized and evicted from their property, and their possessions taken and liquidated against their debt. These people were then exiled to the Favelas. The NPs are often the poorest of the poor in the favelas as they don't have the ability to survive outside of their gilded cages. The average NP is older, and often emotionally and spiritually broken, and much more likely to become addicted to drugs. This is also not a new condition in the favelas and eventually some NPs survive to marry and have children in the ghetto and create a situation of generational poverty as well as fostering a hatred of the arcos and their wealth.]/i]

Outcastes: [i]in some areas, clones are treated as second class citizens or even property and in these areas it is not uncommon to find clone favelas, where the escaped clones have fled to and settled. This can also be applied to returning military veterans with social disabilities, undesirable genetic augments such as formerly respectable people who've turned themselves into circus freaks, the mentally disturbed and so forth.

Ethnic Groups: racism is still present in the Cosmic Era and if there is a race or ethnic group that is considered inferior or the subject of racism, that ethnic group is much more likely to represent a sizeable portion of a favela population. The Ethnic groups are much more likely to form self defensive communities and have a resistance to gangs or city proxy leadership.

Favelans: a large percentage of the population base of a favela was born in the favelas, first or second generation residents and many of them are undocumented by Cosmic Era census databases. These residents have only known their shanty towns, and lives of relatively high crime, low security and scarcity of goods that reaches back to the Second Dark Age for severity.

Access to Location
Reaching the Favelas from the city cores is not as easy as it seems. The city cores and arcologies retain ancient means of protection, walls. Leaving a major city like New Nuyork to get out into the Burroughs (the name collectively for the city favelas) have to pass through a security wall checkpoint. Most residents who leave the city do so on a maglev train or an aircraft, and avoid the favelas completely. There are almost no places large enough in a built up favela to support landing electrofan aircraft. Seen from the other side, the walls around the city cores look like prisons for the arco and city dwellers.
Last edited by Skaldia on Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:11 pm, edited 20 times in total.
||“The lesson of history is that no one learns.”
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Skaldia » Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:04 pm

Locations Cont. III

Fort Hecate is nearly a century old and is one of the largest and most important military installations of the Lunar Free States. Like the Kingdoms of Scandinavia and New Themyscira, the Lunar Free States enjoy a friendly autonomous relationship with the Atlantic Federation, such that many of the rivals of the Federation see no difference between them. The LFS contains the 3rd largest human population in the Solar system, after Earth (obviously) and Huo Hsing/Mars. It vigorously maintains a highly liberal and demi-socialist economy, and is known for its fair and legal treatment of sentient beings that arent human, clones, and other areas of social progress. To this end, the LFS have a number of enemies, mostly along ideological lines, as not many terrestrial nations have resource or territory concerns with or on the moon. It still behooves Luna to have it's own (largely automated) Self Defense Force. The Lunar Free State Self Defense Force (LFSSDF) is known for fielding 'Caspers' or fully automated 'ghost ships' in its small defense fleet, and large numbers of drone fighters, drone mecha, and non-auton style robot units for ground work.

The Fortress Hecate

The Fortress Hecate was designed and built by engineers and contractors from the New Hanseatic League, and looks the part. Like an iceberg, the fortress projecting from the lunar surface on represents a tenth of the total structure. From the surface, there are a pair of towers, one for communications, the other for sighting and observation. There are a cluster of antenna between these towers, and these can be used for targeting and triangulation for the guns of the fortress. Hecate has four large cannon turrets, named Hag, Hexe, Jinx, and Scyilla. These turrets set at two different elevations, with Hag and Jinx sitting above Hexe and Scylla. There is further superstructure around these turrets, armored walls and bunkers where soldiers and even mecha can shelter. The entire fortress is designed for fight foes both on the surface of the moon, and in orbit above it. From the sky, it is laid out like a massive warship sitting on the surface of the planet, bereft of ocean or current.

Entering Hecate can be done a number of ways. It has a pair of landing pads and is functionally a small spaceport. Given the low lunar gravity, it is not hard for ships to land and take off under their own power so their are no launch assist devices or magnetic launchers. Landing at a pad is no different from landing at any other military base, and personnel access the facility through hanger doors on the side of the 'hull' where elevators can lower aerospace craft and mecha to the armored interior of the base. There are eight such doors, four on each side. The second option is to access the base through the Deep Rail system. The Deep Rail connects a number of important lunar sites, and is half a kilometer under the lunar surface. It was bored out by a number of boring machines, and a lunar hyperloop network was installed. Most troops stationed at Hecate arrive via the Toob, as it is called.

The Upper Levels
The Upper Levels of Hecate are composed of massive hangars that are built geofront style under the main fortress. They are protected by reinforced ferroconcrete walls that are dozens of meters thick and impervious to all but the most apocalyptic weaponry. Inside the hangar deck there are facilities for holding and tended a full mech division, two aerospace wings, and a conventional infantry division.

Bulkhead 4
B4 separates the hangar from the rest of the base below. Should Hecate be breached, and the hangars broken open, Bulkhead 4 is designed to hold out for as long as possible allowing the base personnel to escape through the Toob, and to activate seld destruct charges to prevent Hecate from being taken. The bulkhead is a three meter thick slab of battleship armor grade material and has the ability to activate an energized phase shield. The realistic main purpose of B4 is to protect the rest of the base from a military accident in the hangar like a power plant explosion or magazine explosion.

Operations and Command
The admin and command center of Hecate, the Op/Command level houses the war rooms, planning systems, and administrative personnel who coordinate military operations on Luna. It is also the region hub of the Autonomous Defense Network of the LFSSDF drone forces. 

The Rec Center
The Rec Center houses the recreation facilities of Hecate, including available shopping and entertainment venues, and if removed from the confines of a massive military base, it would not be out of place inside a major arcology center, serving the recreational needs of the residents. Up to 12,000 people occupy Hecate, and the six decks of the Rec Center offer enough space and amenities for a larger capacity.

Bulkhead 3
B3 separates the residential and hospital sections of Hecate. It is made of the same grade material as B4 but is not phase or energy shielded. 

Residential and Hospital
Under the protection of Bulk3, the staff and crew of Hecate have their personal quarters, where they spend their 6 month deployments. The staff of the Rec Center, and quarters for the marines, pilots, and other fighting men and women are here. Elevators and spiral looping mini 'toobs' connect this level to the rest of the base. As many as 20,000 people can reside in the residential sector, almost a half mile underground.

The Hospital sector is a full military hospital, and treats all soldiers of the LFSSDF, not just those deployed to Hecate. It is considered a premiere lunar facility.

The Toob Head is also in the residential sector, and is the main access point for the rest of the Moon. The Toob is serviced by Magnetic Rail trams that run the tubes at close to 450mph. There is no wind resistance as the tunnels are not pressurized, allowing for this high speed to maintained easily by relatively small electric motors. Hecate is NOT a Toob junction or hub, but rather an End of the Line destination. It is serviced by another hub, where security makes sure that no non-authorized visitors or passengers end up going to Hecate.

Bulkhead 2
Bulkhead 2 protects the environmental and power supply systems for the entire base. It is half the thickness of the previous bulkheads and is made of industrial grade rather than military grade materials.

Mechanical houses the environmental systems and power supply systems of Hecate, it is a mechanical deck with few human amenities, and most personnel who work in Mechanical do so in hostile environment suits. Waste and water recycling are also handed in mechanical. Processed waste is either sent via container in the Toob, or is fed to an incinerator. Aside from water and O2, Hecate is not self sufficient in any means, and doesn't have any sort of hydroponics or food production capabilities.

Bulkhead 1
Bulkhead 1 matches Bulkhead 2 in schematic design.

The Power section of Hecate is over a mile and a half beneath the surface, and is comprised of four toroidal fusion reactors and a pair of dimensional reactors. These provide main and auxilliary power to the base. This is also a mechanical deck, and crews are required to wear hostile environment gear.

Bulkhead 0
There are rumors of a Bulkhead 0, and that there is more to Hecate under it. Each rumor is more fantastical than the last. THe more garden variety rumors involve secret military operations and inhuman scientific and medical experiments, to a military prison for sociopaths and rogue supersoldiers. The most fanciful versions include alien vaults full of alien space treasure, access points to a Hollow Moon, the wreck of a pre-human space ship derelict, to the corpse of a teratomorph or some other Cosmic Horror.

The Point and Inspiration
Fortress Hecate is a large, very important, and likely very mundane military installation on the Moon. It is a big and busy place for Lunar Space Progressives to make sure Earthlings and their mudball religious orthodoxy and regressive conservatism stay off of the Moon. From the surface, the fortress looks like a battleship, which tends to draw the eye, where the surface superstructure is made of armor and materials that are nearly impervious to existing weapons. A Federation Battlestar could show up and start laying into Hecate with it's kiloton yield higgs cannons and just ring the fortress like a bell. Hecate would return fire with it's own Hanseatic made Higgs cannons, and prove that the armor of the battlestars is much much thinner than their own.

The inspiration for Hecate is Fort Drum, in the Philippines. The military took an island, a rough outcropping of rock in a bay, and turned it into a fortress, that was shaped largely like a warship, and fitted it with gun turrets that were modeled after a battleship. Thus, Fort Drum looked like a stumpy warship sitting in the harbor. It proved massively difficult for the Japanese to take in WWII and survived MONTHs of being shelled by artillery and warships, and was only starved out at the last, after they ran out of ammo and the other island forts were taken. Likewise, Hecate, and its ability to coordinate and control the lunar drone forces would remain in action for a protracted period of time, more than long enough for the Lunar Free States allies to become involved in any such conflict.

While the Atlantic Federation was spending it's staggering budget to explore space travel, mecha, ever more powerful computers, and promoting it's own electronic culture of decadence, the Eurasian Alliance got on with what it was good at. Instead of mechs, it built tanks capable of fighting the giant stomping machines. It used what it had, and expanded on it. Rather than contending with the greater resources of the Atlantic Federation in space, the Alliance found their Achillies heel. Water.

The Atlantic Federation, composed of Eastern North America, Mexico, the Carribbean, Western Europe, and Equatorial Africa is completely accessable and vulnerable by water. And the past proved that the largest member state of the Eurasian Alliance, Russia, was very good at building submarines. The Alliance quickly filled the oceans with their own fleets of submarines. Magentic catepillar engines made them quiet, while Dimensional Fatigue engines made them tireless. The subs were able to reach new depths, and were only limited by the amount of food they could carry, and the endurace of the crews.

It was little surprise that the Alliance started investing in underwater arcologies. Dubbed Seacologies, these types of habitats were already popular in the ACPS, which struggled with it's huge population and limited technological resources. The new Alliance Seacologies quickly grew around the Mediterranean, the Baltic Sea, and the arctic. These settlements attracted many occupants, offering jobs, and security. The seacologies quickly proved their value through undersea mining, exporting food production, and creating a vital tourist industry in the more forgiving locales. But the main purpose of the undersea cities was the maintenance and resupply of the submarine fleet. By the time the Atlantic Federation realized the extent of the Alliance aquatic theatre they were more than a decade behind. The Alliance had 24 seacologies, all strategically placed and well defended, and a fleet of over 150 capitol subs. This wasn't counting the endless stream of commercial and privately owned submarines that the Alliance manufactured and sold around the world to other nations that operated seacologies.

Then Gibraltar fell. The Alliance Fleet occupied the island with marines and the garrison was taken without a single casualty. The flags were changed, and while ambassadors screamed and shouted at each other, the Alliance knew that the island was theirs, and with it, access to the Atlantic from the Mediterranean.

Gibraltar Seacology Complex
Owing to it's sunny climate, Gibraltar became very popular as a destination for Alliance vacationers. The surface of the island remained largely unchanged. Contrary to Federation fears, the Alliance didn't build a major airbase there, or a military installation for launching mecha based raids against Federation states in Europe. What the Alliance did do was to build a major seacology in the waters around Gibraltar. Soon, the population of the island, above and below water reached almost half a million from its Federation population of some 30,000. The base of the island saw major excavation and construction as the seacology was built to house and repair even the largest Alliance submarines.

Complex 1
Complex 1 is the core of the seacology. The primary power supply is generated here by means of a two stage cascade D-Engine. It is also the location of the primary computer core, the CIC for routing civilian surface and submarine craft around the western edge of the Mediterranean, and the primary communication hub for the underwater city. This complex has no residential areas and no residents.

Complex 2
Complex 2 is the deepest part of the seacology and is burrowed into the base of the island. It has facilities to house and drydock up to eight Alliance Naval Submarines at a time, and can do full engine and propulsion repairs, as well as computer diagnostics. Complex 2 has it's own seperate power supply, computer core, and communications system. The arsenal and magazines of missiles and torpedoes are locked up in Complex 2. It is highly restriced access, and most non-military residents believe that Complex 2 is the mechanical support system for the seacology.

Complexes 3-9
These seven complexes compose the residential core of the seacology, and house just over 350,000 people in total. Most are involved with nothing more than the operation of a basic seacology, providing civilian services, running businesses, and enjoying living in the warm waters of the Mediterranean. The island has for it's industry aquaculture of shellfish, prawn, and kelp harvesting and aside from tourism, is its primary industry. Complex 9 is the most involved in tourism, and houses most of the civilian submarines, and surface sport fishing boats.

Complex 10
The actual mechanical section, all of the access points to Complex 10 have the number 2 written on them. This complex houses the water recycling facilities, waste management systems, and the medical waste disposal unit. The small detention center for Gibraltar is also located in 10.

The Atlantic Foyer, Red Alley, the Alliance Toilet. After losing Gibraltar the Mediterranean became a major liability to the Atlantic Federation. Prior to it's fall, the Rock was one of the choke points the Federation had to contain the Alliance. At the time the Federation didn't consider the Alliance to be a threat, and its attention was focused instead on the ACPS, which was routinely starting skirmishes with the Federation across Africa, and its escalating cyber warfare. Then the Alliance, armed with it's 200 meter long KB type Guided missile subs, put itself on the map. By the end of the year, cut off from Federation surface ships, several north African nations joined the Eurasian Alliance.

Hollingsworth Hole
While not the largest or the busiest of the Federation military bases, Hollingswoth Hole is likely to be the most important and most valuable. The base is located under Staten Island, New York in the Commonwealth of New England. The Hole is a geofront, burrowed deep into the earth. The base is 15 levels, each level separated by armor layers. The structure can withstand low to mid yield nuclear blasts and can survive orbital bombardment. The base is the heart of the Atlantic Federation's special forces, the Command Center for black ops around the world, and the repository of a large amount of classified information. The base is also the location of Argus, the most prominent of the Federation military AISCs.

Hollingsworth Hole, also just known as the Hole, is typically staffed by a large contingent of high ranking military officers as well as members of the Federation Intelligence community. Beyond the command staff, there are three major staff organizations within the base; cyber ops, special ops, and space ops.

Cyber Ops: 
Defending the massive electronic infrastructure of the Atlantic Federation is a staggering task. The Cyber Ops department doesn't do any of that. Cyber Ops is actively engaged in cyber surveillance and cyber attacks on the cyber systems of the enemies of the Atlantic Federation, as well as working against the AISCs of other nations. Cyber ops are easily noted for their yellow and black uniforms and are called Wasps, Yellow jackets, or just Buzzers.

Special Ops:
The Federation Coordinator Project was funded by Hollingsworth Hole, creating physically and mentally exceptional soldiers. Special Ops dislikes the use of parapsychic and psychically augmented soldiers, and makes almost no use of them. Special Ops makes extensive use of cyborgs and armatures, as well as battle suit technology. Special ops don't have a uniform, unless they retain their dress uniform from pre-special ops. 

Space Ops:
The pride of the Atlantic Federation is it's space fleet. Coordination of Federation Fleet assets (Near Earth) is handled through Hollingsworth. Fleet assets that leave terrestrial orbit are handed over to Armstrong Command on Luna, and Deep System Ops are routed through Eriksson Base on Phobos, Mars. The Space Ops personnel are recognized by their sky blue and black uniforms, and typically use Naval terminology and ranking.

Not Your Average Base
Hollingsworth Hole dates back to the end of the Resource Wars and the dissolution of the American Federal Superstate. The base was built to deal with potential threats from nuclear naval ships that were not loyal to the not yet consolidated Commonwealth of New England. Paranoia grew as much of the old Federalist nuclear fleet defected to the New Confederacy while the nucleus of the Great Lakes Republic built it's ground forces. It was thought that this would be the command center that oversaw the 2nd American Civil war. That war never materialized, but there remains propaganda plastered on the walls supporting the War Effort, harkening back to the Americana Propaganda that flourished during WWII. This concentration of Americana was a major influence on Commonwealth culture after the base was renovated and restored to service. Big band music, and the patriotic impressionist style caught on. 

The Hollingsworth Social is a staple of Commonwealth military service, the official officer's ball. Being invited to the Social is considered a sign of military potential, and speaking at the Social is a standard for any elected officials of the Commonwealth, and the President of the Atlantic Federation is all but required by law to speak at Hollingsworth within a month of being elected. 

Access to Hollingsworth isn't easy. The base is hard to reach as it is a geofront buried in the roots of a large island. The two main modes of access include Hollingsworth Airforce Base, and the wet navy base, Port Flagg. Both of these access points are purely military and are controlled by military police and personnel. The only way to reach the base other than these two points is by covert means, landing a craft on the coast, or swimming to Staten Island. As difficult as this is, it's been attempted three times. The first two attempts met with failure as the defending soldiers were easily able to repulse the attackers. The third attempt was the most successful, and involved infiltrators sabotaging the early warning systems coupled with a guided missile strike fired by terrorists on the New Jersey side of the base.

The counter attack was vicious, and the terrorists, were caught in a crossfire between Federation troops and special forces pouring out of Hollingsworth, fire support from the Federation sky cruiser AFS Intrepid, and security forces scrambled from the UAC base at Newark. A credit to the skill and equipment of the terrorists, the Intrepid was damaged by heavy missile fire, the UAC security forces lost roughly half of their light armored vehicles, and the survivors were able to make their escape before Federation mecha were able to respond.

Petroleum Era:
Hollingsworth Hole begins construction as a bunker for Argus, coinciding with the construction of Hollingsworth AFB. The geofront is completed during the early part of the Resource Wars and serves as one of the most important command and coordination centers in the war.

Resource Wars Era:
Hollingsworth is expanded, the AFB is expanded to handle larger and larger craft, as well as the electric rotorcraft. Port Flagg is also constructed, but at the time is known as Port Staten and serves as a secondary base for damaged warships that are going to be scrapped, and salvaged for their nuclear reactors.

The Second Dark Age:
Hollingsworth goes from front line to tertiary importance as the threat of foreign aggression plummets and the real threat to the region comes from banditry, riots, population and food crises. As the Superstate dissolves, the Hole only remains online because of the presence of Argus and that AISC's value to the nascent Commonwealth of New England.

The Second Renaissance:
As the renewed vigor of the 2nd Renaissance surges through the Commonwealth, Hollingsworth is renovated and resumes it's function as a major military base. It is expanded from it's original 6 levels to the current 15 with plans for expanding further to 22 levels. Argus is repaired and receives a major systems and hardware update and the base begins its operations as space ops and cyber ops.

Modern Era:
Hollingsworth is now one of the most valuable bases in the Federation. As such it has passive defenses, such as being isolated on an island, and being buried under a minimum of 20 meters of rock and soil. It also has a working defensive force consisting of the 113th Air Wing, equipped with Orca rotorcraft, the 56th Mobile Infantry (Battle Armor Battalion) and the 17th Mecha Squadron, the Green Sparrows. Port Flagg routinely hosts several wet navy craft as well as 2-3 sky ships. It is also home port to the similarly named AFS Flagg, a Federation mecha carrier.

Inemuri Salon started as one of the first generation of SemSinse establishments. In Nippon, Inemuri, the tradition of the late day productivity improving efficiency remained into the Cosmic Era. The creation of cognitive technologies and immersion made it possible for a patient to be cycled through one loop of REM sleep in a stable and controlled environment. Inemuri started as an in house service in the Mishima Zaibatsu, but would eventually expand outward and become one of the most successful SimSense providers.

Inemuri Salon is slick, clean, and exhibits all the Spartan asceticism commonly associated with Nippon, and the hallmarks of Nipponism including bonzai trees, water fixtures, and elements of Feng Shui, Shinto, and the Samurai culture. The foyer and general floor of every Inemuri blends the atmosphere of the Apple Store with a Nipponese styled Starbucks. Behind the general area there are between four and twenty Synthetic Sensation System (S3 Couches). Each of these couches is secluded in it's own small private space, for the privacy of the users.

The staff at Inemuri is entirely robotic, and consists of the highest level of human interaction androids, almost all of which drawn their design elements from the Hitome gynoid design.

There are three available options at Inemuri, 15 minute, 20 minute, and one hour sessions. Through manipulating the sleep cycle and activated dreaming, this time can be expanded to be perceived as much as 6 to 12 times as long.

The 15 Minute Day Dream - the most common, and minimal of Inemuri's offerings, an hour and a half of dreaming is experienced.

The 20 Minute Sweet Kiss - the middle tier offering, the Sweet Kiss is a three to four hour power dream.

The 1 Hour Good Night's Sleep - in an hour, the user will experience an accelerated eight hours of sleep patterns and dreaming.

Pink Salons and SensoRama

Pink Salons and SensoRamas are common in the Cosmic Era, with Pink Salons catering exclusively to sexual dream experiences and SensoRamas being geared more towards entertainment purposes. Inemuri rises above both of these options as it's dreamscapes and sequences are artistically designed. Day dreams involve picnics under cherry blossoms, sweet kisses might involve tea ceremonies or meditating under a waterfall, and the Good Night's Sleep features tailored dreams that are considered as much works of art visually, with music scores and a rarity, no product placements.

The Pink Salon
The Pink Salon exists as the SimSense version of late night softcore pornography and erotica, much like an immersive version of HBO or Cinemax. These salons differ greatly from the more seedy hardcore adult/XXX salons in that they are geared towards women, and tend to be more focused on emotional response.

The SensoRama
SensoRamas are pulp fantasy outlets, selling adventures and escapism for those who are trapped inside the arcology life. The most infamous SensoRama was the short lived Rekall Corp, which ended up going out of business after causing a number of cerebral hemorrhages and cognitive dissonance disorders. It was discovered that Rekall's problem was that their immersions were poorly made and entirely too long, with some running as long as 8 hours, being expanded out into days or even weeks of lucid dreaming. Some of these Rekall dream feeds can still be found in hidden archives and are traded between cog junkies.

For Employees Only
The first Inemuri's were only available to Zaibatsu employees. These employees enjoyed the daily dream they had, and some lamented the fact they couldn't enjoy the same afternoon dream when they weren't working. This prompted Mishima Zaibatsu to open several pilot locations, and soon Inemuri was an installation in Neo Tokyo, and Kyoto. The convenience of the power nap became a staple in Nippon nightlife, pausing between clubs for a 20 minute snooze, then following it with an ice cold Chrome and then heading to the next party.

Following the popularity of Nipponism, Inemuri and it's competitors and copy-cats popped up across many cities, selling designer dreams. Inemuri remained the top contender, tracing it's products back to it's in house master artisans, and promoting not just the dream, but selling a culture and image that go with it. A person doesn't just take a nap at Inemuri, they enjoy a tiny cup of hot tea, and the smile that comes from belonging to a perceived superior product culture.

Nature of location
Kashmir Orbital Annex is a massive hollowed out asteroid space station hanging in a low geosynchronous orbit over Hyderabad, India. The complex took twenty years to be completed, and is now one of the busiest Surface to Orbit layover points between Earth and the colonies. Much of this traffic is unregulated and lightly monitored. KOA is a free port that isn't associated with any of the global super powers. As such, it is a safe haven for criminals, smugglers, weapons dealers, and other people who don't want to deal with the heavy security associated with passing through regular avenues such as the Atlantic Federation's four major Orbital Annexes, or the heavily policed ACPS corridors. India remains a minor but independent player in the global scene, refusing to join the ACPS, or the Eurasian Alliance. Kashmir is one of the things that keeps the country from being anything other than a backwater region.

Appearance: Kashmir is a very large, very fat target. It is a megastructure several miles across, composed of rocky silicate material, now heavily built up and reinforced. Very little of the stone core can be seen as it has grown vast hangars and bays to accommodate ships going to and from the station, as well as handling the movement of cargos, and transferring them from ship to station and station to ship. The station can be seen from the ground. During the day, it is a very faint point of light. At night, Kashmir is usually the second brightest thing in the Indian sky (after the Moon and it's cities).

Defences: Kashmir has a three tiered defence system. The principle layer of defence is the weaponry of the ships and their protective fighters that are docked at the station. It is not uncommon for ships registered to all of the world powers to be docked at a given time. This creates a situation of balanced tension, and everyone generally plays nice. The second layer of defence comes from the Kashmir Airwing, a cadre of ethnic Indians who are trained aerospace pilots and fly a selection of second and third tier aerospace fighters. Most of their craft are either export versions of ACPS fighters, Federation export craft, or are supplied by the SAUR. The final layer of outside defence are a collection of missile batteries and point defence lasers. Despite the size of the Orbital Annex, it primarily relies on solar panels to power it, so lacks energy and high energy weapons or rail and magnetic weaponry. Compared to other annexes Kashmir is very poorly defended. 

Kashmir has worked to retain a neutral position, and operates as a neutral port. It has also worked as a safe point for meetings and summits between world powers, ambassadors and other factions especially in affairs dealing with the Indian Ocean area and Asia in general. 
The Space Docks: Kashmir is famous for it's massive space docks and the steady flow of goods both from Earth to the colonies and from the colonies to Earth. The Docks are divided into the actual 'docks' where ships are berthed, loaded and unloaded, refueled and repaired, the cargo holds or the 'space wharfs' and the solar system famous Spice Market.

The Spice Market: There are few places more infamous than the Spice Market. Nominally named for the old trade markets and bazaars of the Silk Road thousands of years ago, the Spice Market is the biggest flow of drugs and illicit substances in the Solar System. In addition to the typical goods, narcotics, hallucinogens and so forth, the market deals with genetic augmentation chemicals, black data streams, illicit data (extreme pornography, snuff and murder porn, etc) and all the other distractions that the Cosmic Era can churn out. 
The Spice Market, rather unsurprisingly, does carry a large amount of spices and food stuffs, ranging from exotic and luxury foods (chocolate, real fruit, etc) to actual spices, and industrial food production stuffs such as mycoprotein starters and meat tumor cultures.

The Taj Mahal: The original Taj Mahal is ash and dust, destroyed in the brief thermonuclear exchange with now defunct Pakistan centuries ago. It's purpose as a tomb has been forgotten, and the Space Taj is the human trafficking market, with a large legal section, dealing with moving and ordering clones and androids, and an illegal segment that is hidden in the press of business. This section deal with abduction of replacing people with doppelgangers and human sex trafficking since there are still people who want the 'real thing' and are willing to pay for it.

Corruption as Usual: The painful truth about the Kashmir Orbital Annex is that corruption, leadership, and business are largely interchangeable. The relative poverty of India and the local population makes it vulnerable to bribery, while many of the criminal elements interested have deep pockets. The first rounds of bribery and coercion were isolated events. Wealthy parties offered their financial assistance to look the other way. Financial contributions from the European terrorist organization Armas saw to the repair of the central life support systems. The Indian ocean pirate sect the Python Patrol's bribes repaired communication masts. The first bites were the hardest, but after that is was easier and easier. Rather than occasionally taking bribes, it is now customary that if there isn't bribery then nothing happens. Repairs aren't mounted unless the right bosses are paid off, and if the fuel haulers aren't given their cut a ship might sit well past when it wanted to leave waiting on fuel, or it might have a fuel tank filled 'accidentally' with human waste water.

Any dealings with Kashmir officials will invariably come down to how much the interested parties are willing to pay under the table. Docking and other basic services are simple, and the bribe is now functionally a tip up front. Larger issues are much more difficult and expensive to deal with, such as missing crewmen, stolen or damaged goods, and so forth. 

The average resident of the Kashmir Orbital Annex is of Hindu/Indian heritage, but speaks an amalgam of English and Chinese. The annex does host several ethnic populations, the most notable being unsurprisingly an Asian section of the station. The Asian section is largely hostile towards the ACPS and it's personnel, or lapdogs as they see them. There is also a wing each for residents hailing from the USSA, and from the SAUR. These powers have benefitted from off world industry and manufacturing and work to keep said goods coming in from the colonies with less interference from the big block powers. The SAUR has an outpost here and uses it to move their own finished goods, especially weapons and combat vehicles to interested buyers.

Access to Location
Kashmir is an important setting in the Cosmic Era primarily for it's purpose as a trade and economic hub. Reaching the station is easy. Most of the major cities have shuttles that travel to the Station, usually at least once a week, several are almost daily for transit. Reaching the annex from outside Earth is simply a matter of flying towards the station until it guides the ship in, much like an airplane landing, or ship pulling into a harbor. Inside the annex, there are a few ultralight rail systems, though most are used for moving cargo and not people. People tend to move almost exclusively on foot inside. There are powered armors and hardsuits, but these are all on the light end of the scale of said equipment.

The Annex does not host an L/AISC or AISC, so the station is run manually, through linked basic computer terminals. This lack of a central computer system has not prevented the Annex from functioning as a meganode for the CogNet. The Annex has dozens of communications masts dedicated to the carrying of CogNet signals. Many of these data streams are the Black Band communications that the average terrestrial citizen is warned to avoid. They are not safe, nor sanitized and can contain viral weaponry, hostile viral intelligences, and illegal and illicit data. This has lead a number of known and outed hackers and cyberwarriors to escape Earth and take refuge on Kashmir.

Kashmir was built after India purchased a large hollowed out asteroid from the Metron-Tycho Holding Company of Luna. The megacorp towed the five mile wide rock and positioned it in a stable location over the Indian city of Hydrabad. The next twenty years saw the subcontinent working to build the asteroid into it's first city in space. Construction sputtered along in bursts of growth and periods of almost nothing happening. Corners were cut to facilitate the completion of the Annex. The station was built lacking a central power core. Other annexes have arc reactors, dimensional cascade engines, and other dedicated power cores. Kashmir has scattered banks of microfusion reactors and forests of solar panels. The station also lacks a central computer core and associated L/AISC. Instead, it has a hardline LAN, and standard connection to the CogNet through it's Amerikkan Command donated masts and communication systems.

It's early operational days were marred by technical issues, and this proved to be the gateway to criminal activity. The command staff of the station found it profitable and beneficial to them and the station to accept the bribes and criminal activities going on inside their station. The directors and leaders would eventually find themselves rich and would retire to villas back on the subcontinent, or take their gains and move places like a Federation seacology in the Caribbean. Each successive change in the the guard say this bribery and corruption become more normalized and accepted. 

There have been several summits held at Kashmir, mostly between the ACPS and India, and the SAUR and the ACPS. There have also been several armed stand offs. These have ended peacefully, with both sides backing down at the last minute, or the balance of force shifting that one side beat a hasty retreat. It has been several years since the last major summit was held on the station and it's role in diplomacy has waned in light of it's growing underworld and criminal culture. This has not gone unnoticed or unopposed. The station has seen periodic riots, and there have been attempted mutinies and coups by various factions within the station. Thus far the corrupt current regime has survived, but it has come close to being toppled more than once.

The Crack in the Dam: It is said that the closer someone lives to a dam, the less they think about what would happen in the dam failed. It is the elephant in the room, everyone knows about it but no one talks about it. But rather than a dam holding back water, Kashmir is a piece of rock five miles across, over eight miles taking into account the antenna, solar panels, and other pokey bits sticking out of it. The Annex is in a stable, geosynchronous orbit, but there remains the chance that the station could come unstuck from it's position. Sitting in a low orbit, the only direction it will go is down. While the main complainers about this doomsday event are mainly living in India and can see Kashmir if they know where to look in the sky, if the annex did make landfall, it would smash either into the Indian Ocean or strike somewhere along the Saudi Arabian coast.

The damage would be devastating.

Best to not think about that.

Inspirations and Influences
Escala's rendition of Kashmir (the song) was the largest inspiration for this submission because as it played I could see the Kashmir Orbital Annex, a massive island of steel and blazing lights hanging in space, the hive to the swarms of spaceships in Earth orbit. Nar Shaddaa, the Smuggler's Moon from the Star Wars EU was an influence, tying the criminal elements into the cultural elements of the Spice trade and silk road from Europe to Asia.

The Mechadrome
Mecha are among the largest, most complex military machines made. This comes at a cost, maintenance. To handle the routine work from changing lubricating fluid, replacing damaged components, major overhauls and computer diagnostics, most mechs have a base that they call home. Unlike tanks and aircraft of previous generations, the mech isn't just parked and worked on, the massive machines require special maintenance equipment. Scaffolding and gantries hold a machine in place while a leg is disassembled. Overhead cranes and other gear are needed for heavy work like swapping engines, replacing large damaged components, like arms and legs or heavy weapons system.

For every hour a mech spends stomping around the battlefield, it has 30 hours its spends in maintenance and support. But that isn't very exciting for the holovids.

Industrial Mecha
Industrial mecha have a slightly better than 1:30 hour ratio, but the parts that require the most maintenance on the machines aren't the guns, its the chassis members, the joints and actuators and all the parts that rattle around while the machine moves. Unlike military mecha that have dedicated military bases, most industrial mecha have an informal mechadrome usually attached to an industrial complex.

Industrial/Commercial mechadromes are still able to fully service military mecha, but do so 50% less efficiently, requiring a 1:45 hour ratio to maintain 100% operational status.

The Hangar
The core of every mechadrome is the hangar complex. This fully enclosed building is full of walkways, catwalks, overhead cranes, gantries, and pre-assembled scaffolding. Mechs usually walk into the Hangar and into individual alcoves where technicians start the long process of inspection, repair, and replacement of parts inside the machine. The hangar is predictably a large building, with the smallest facilities large enough to handle 2 mechs at a time, to the average holding a dozen.

The Magazine
Inside the hangar, often under the main level, the magazine hold ammunition and live fire weaponry. In military zone mechadromes, the magazine is accessed through a large freight elevator that is able to move ammo up briskly and efficiently to keep the war machines armed and dangerous.

Typically attached to the Hangar, the barracks house the technician crews, pilots, and security personnel. Very few facilities have all three groups together, and most have separate facilities for each group. Pilots tend to have the nicest accommodations while base security people have the most cramped.

The Depot
The common name for the parts department, a good depot has all the parts needed to keep a machine running smoothly, while a bad one encourages the use of duct tape and cutting torches.

The Apron
Each proper mechadrome has a thick reinforced ferroconcrete apron around it. Mecha are heavy, and they have a habit of tearing up the ground when they walk across it. Most mech time is spent on the apron or in the hangar. Contrary to the holovids, a medium mecha can rip standard concrete and asphalt to bits by doing anything more than a cautious walk on it. On tarmacs less than a foot thick even walking can cause severe damage to the surface just with the mech breaking through by sheer weight and the relative small size of the foot actuators.

Some mechadromes utilize cargo crawlers to carry the mecha around. The crawlers spread their weight out across two to eight sets of treads and by doing so increase their weight distribution enough that they don't destroy anything by just moving across it.

The Terminal
The center of operations in the Mechadrome is the Terminal. The Terminal contains the base computers and information systems as well as functioning as the command information center. Most terminals are located on top of the Hangar, or in a tower attached to the structure. Terminals in military zone mechadromes are either armored, or are buried underground and rely on electronic observation equipment to keep track of events on the base.

Not all mechadromes are dedicated facilities. It is common for a mechadrome to also double as a motor pool for military vehicles, a mechapool for power armor infantry, a proper aerodrome for aerospace craft, and least commonly, as an attachment to a spaceport or other ship handling facility.

Defensive Structures
Most mechadromes have walls low enough the mechs can step over them. This presents a passive defense to basically keep pedestrians from walking into an area where they can be stepped on. Most mechadromes have their own defense systems that are more active. While all bases have security personnel and observation points, some have actually firepower. The main threat to mechadromes comes from aerospace craft, so it is common for the hangar and terminal to have early warning systems, anti-missile and missile interceptor systems and anti-aircraft weapons like long range missiles.

Major mechadromes in contested areas will often equip fixed gun emplacements in the hangar, on towers, and even deploy military crawler vehicles for point defense. Aside from sneak attacks, few mechadromes are targeted for military action. They are generally tough enough to repel attacks long enough for reinforcements to arrive.

Location, Location, Location
In the modern era, the Mechadrome is a non viable idea. In the Cosmic Era, locations requiring active defense are small and very dense. The distance from an arcology to the outer edge of the urban rim might be no more than 10 miles. Beyond that, the terrain falls off into rural or minimally used acreage. A squadron of mecha, supported by armored vehicles (no tanks) VTOLs operating from the arco itself, and rapid response aerospace fighters are more than capable of defending an urban area from incursion.

Many military bases have the mechadrome integrated into a demi arco, with the hangar functioning as the ground level of the building and the rest of the CIC, barracks and other base functions being placed in the decks above it. This isn't a popular arrangement as mecha are heavy and loud, and generally make sleep difficult if not impossible at times.

Most arcoplexes and major urban centers have at least a minimal mechadrome, a permanent structure that functions like a mobile base (below) with slightly better facilities. These satellite dromes are generally associated with a major hub base that handles the heavier work rather than building a massive refit and repair facility at every city.

Mobile Bases
The Pre-con tactical base has an available configuration that is a mobile mech bay. The most common use of the pre-con base is to serve as a temporary hangar and command terminal. The normal pre-con base can be deployed almost anywhere, but mecha bases require a concrete pad or dense rock support. The mobile bay is generally inferior to the fixed structure, since it is open air, and only has limited ability to repair mecha.

Marine Bases
Aquatic mecha typically take back seat to dedicated miniature submersibles and marine power armors. The marine base is either on the edge of the water where the mecha can remove themselves from the water for maintenance or are completely underwater. The fully underwater facilities are rare, given the time it takes to operate airlocks the size of a mech.

Role in the Cosmic Era
The concept of the mechadrome is laughable in the era of smart weapons and nuclear bombs. Placing all the machines in one location, with all of their supplies is just putting all the eggs in one easily smashed basket. In the Cosmic Era, atomics are no longer used. The societal ideals of collectivism and pragmatism don't allow for the machines to be scattered around the country in revetments and hidey holes like tanks and military aircraft today. The mech requires extensive machinery and manpower to keep it on it's feet. This equipment can't be faked in a handy barn or superstore.

Mechadromes are the most prominent military bases in the Cosmic Era. The public image of the mech is very positive, and the pilots enjoy a high degree of public support. An ace pilot can expect a lucrative career after the military in the entertainment business or in the government/public sector.

The mech is very frequently treated like a tank with legs, and this isn't really fair to the machine. The battlemech is a pinnacle of technology and a very complicated machine. Rather than being tanks with legs, the mech is a fight jet that has traded wings for arms and legs. Rather than large depots or motorpools, the mech is serviced in the WWI-esque mechadrome.

Walkers are the mechs that are tanks with legs, but compared to the traditional mecha, the walker is the sibling everyone forgets.
Last edited by Skaldia on Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:13 pm, edited 26 times in total.
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Skaldia » Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:06 am

Locations Cont. IV

During the Petroleum Era, California was one of the gleaming jewels of the world. It suffered several scaring battles during the Resource wars and was among the harder hit regions during the Second Dark Age. When the Republic of California reformed, it was largely without the glitterati and Hollywood culture. The crucible of world entertainment migrated east to settle in former nation of Turkey. In the Second Renaissance, Turkey turned into a Phoenix.

The coastlines drew tourists from across the world, and revitalized the nation. Industry also boomed from it's location on the Mediterranean Sea and proximity to terrestrial trade routes. As the Eurasian Alliance was booming, it encompassed and later adopted Turkey into it's holdings. All nations in the Alliance are considered equal, but it is a common truth that some nations and regions are more equal than others. Neo-Anatolia entered a second boom phase with the influx of Alliance interests and dollars.

The Fall of Istanbul
Istanbul was almost completely abandoned during the dark years, but its location was deemed too valuable to leave fallow. The Eurasian Alliance Naval Command reactivated naval facilities, as well as bolstering the local economy by backing the construction of industrial complexes, and later on residential complexes. Much of the old city, dating back to the 18th century was demolished, with a few buildings completely relocated off site. The New Arcology was built where ancient Byzantium stood, a titan among arcologies. The structure, dubbed Byzantium, eventually gave it's name to the city growing around it. Byzantium stands over two kilometers tall and is effectively a gold glass pyramid on the eastern side of the Bosphorus straight. The foundation of the arco extends half a kilometer underground to anchor to the bedrock and is effectively its own geofront. Seacologies grew down into sea on both sides of city, creating a large aquaculture base to support the city population, as well as providing more reason for the naval base, and kickstarting aquaculture and seacology construction across the European seas.

Tengri Mass Driver
The Eurasian Alliance and Neo-Anatolia collaborated to fund and build an surface to orbit mass driver. Tengri took six years to build, but now runs regular loads of construction supplies and raw materials into orbit for the Eurasian Space Navy and Commercial operations. Located in the highlands of the central plateau, Tengri is centrally located, and is listed as a high velocity non-passenger driver. While not the largest mass driver (Bolshoi Mass Driver, Ukraine) or the busiest (Gorky Park Mass Driver, Russia) Tengri remains a vital part of the space program.

The Turkish Coast
The Coastline of Neo-Anatolia demands a look. The waters are clear, and the beaches are pristine. every year they attract tens of thousands of Alliance tourists eager to enjoy the weather and warm water. The beaches have become an integral part of the Anatolian experience, with the topless and nude beaches being known around the world. The Anatolian Girls are likewise well known for their dark complexions and inviting demeanors. The Anatolian Riviera has become the haute place to go in Europe. Most of southern France and Italy are riddled with insurgent hotspots and Armas terrorist groups. The wealthy maintain lavish homes, and keep their yachts there, where they are easily protected by the sizeable and capable Anatolian/Eurasian military.

The former capital of Turkey is now it's second largest city, and a massive consumer manufacturing center. Ankara is the home of the new heart of fashion, art, and cultural export in the world. Golbasi Ave is the Rodeo Blvd, the place to to sightsee celebrities and the bleeding edge of what is hot. Temelli, formerly an unoccupied farming valley on the edge of the old city is the new CogNet Valley, where a massive concentration of tech companies sit in gleaming demi-arcos pumping out new programs, applications, and hardware ranging from the high end S3 Rigs and Stadium Holoprojectors to pocket sized biocomputers and the next generation ofSQUIDbands.

D20 is a major road in old Ankara and is now another row of gleaming industrial/electronic arcologies. The D20 complex houses four of the major CogNet/Holovision broadcasters in the Eurasian Alliance. While Byzantium was under construction it held six. The Eurasian Alliance State Channel and the Anatolian National Network, the two largest in the nation, moved their headquarters and operations to the gold pyramid, as both had provided funding to it's completion. The urban sprawl of skyscrapers and high density residential zones around D20 is the breeding and stomping ground of celebrities, aspiring celebrities, and the mass of people who want to get into the entertainment business.

Cypress and New Monaco
With the unrest in France, the well heeled residents of the tiny nation of Monaco found themselves uncomfortably in the crossfire. Armas rebels were using their nation as a funnel for illegal funding (which Monaco was fine with) but also moving weapons, terrorists, and other contraband (which Monaco was less fine with) and this was causing the French National Guard and the Atlantic Federation special forces to sometimes intercept these groups, resulting in firefights, terrorist attacks, and collateral damage (which Monaco was absolutely not fine with). After the La Colle demiarco construction was set back not once but three times by foreign special ops and interference, it was abandoned. The pall of smoke upset many residents and they were already concerned about their vulnerability, and the then pointless defense of their tiny nation's sovereignty.

The shift was gradual, the wealthy started leaving Monaco, and emigrating to the largely unpopulated island of Cypress. At that point, Cypress retained a tiny subsistence fishing and farming population and was fairly overlooked by just about everyone. The influx of money displaced many of these native Cypriots, as the invading Monacans showed up with security personnel, construction businesses, and the blessing of the defacto owner of Cypress, Anatolia. New Monaco was built on the sunny south side of the island. A new F-Prime Racing circuitwas constructed to replace the Monaco Grand Prix track.

The Mount Olympus Cosmodrome was built to be the most opulent and luxurious air and space center in the world, offering service from major cities around the world, and several major orbital habitats and stations. In addition to its major airline and space lines, there are many smaller lines that carry high end passengers to and from the Turkish coast, and other jetset locations around the Mediterranean. The Cosmodrome was three major sectors, the Gold Star hub for passenger and high profile flights, the Black Star hub for discrete military operations, and the White Star hub for cargo and durable goods.

The Dark Secret
Anatolia has a dark secret, ethnic cleansing. Before the massive spike in interest in the Anatolian peninsula was largely inhabited by ethnic Turks and a large Kurdish population engaged in subsistence level agriculture and a small handful of cities that were often more ruin that residential. The bulk of modern Neo-Anatolias population is immigrant from the Eurasian Alliance and Europe, and this came often at the cost of the resident turks. Where the locals were found charming and attractive, they were assimilated into the new nation being built, typically as lower income workers. There was a good deal of racial mingling, resulting in the stereotypical Anatolian being olive complected with dark hair (replacing the California chic tan blonde). In areas where there was strong resistance, such as in strong Muslim communities, or ethnic communities such as the Kurds, the newcomers were less than friendly. The unsanitized history is a collection of riots and armed rebellions against the new builders who were interested in tearing down old mosques and holy sites to build their cities and aerodromes.

While the ethnic factions involved had centuries of experience with guerrilla warfare and fighting foes until it became untenable for them to stay, they were not prepared for the Alliance military. Rifles and improvised explosives proved no match for Alliance power armors and mecha, and their communication networks, primitive as they were, were easily breached and compromised by EA military LAIs. Eastern Anatolia is still largely a wasteland, with contamination zones left over from the end of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The local populations are policed on reservations, and the situation is eventually going to become a problem. The conditions, the contamination, and the suffering of the displaced people has already started spawning parapsychics. The first generation has already arrived, but has largely remained out of sight. The Muslim Faith and the Imams and prayer rigors are useful in controlling these nascent powers and as more and more youths of the nation rise to their cosmic power, they will eventually be focused into a powerful weapon to be wielded against the arco-dwellers and their serfs in the new favelas.

Neo-Anatolian Cinema Classics of the Cosmic Era
The Death of a Nation - Cowboys and indians retelling of the fall of the American Empire, set the stage for Petroleum Era tropes, Americana tropes, and the cinema foundations for many of the values espoused in the Cosmic Era, collectivism, patriotism, pragmatism, and a pro-military culture.

Pirates of the Mediterranean - This blockbuster features an ensemble cast, large production values, and follows a crew of GasPunk pirates as they swashbuckle their way through the Amero-British Navy, giant sea monsters, submarines, and events from the Odyssey such as an island of sex and euphoric drugs, cannibal giants, mutants, and shapeshifting witches.

Space Vixens - This film features almost exclusively chromid actors and actresses, as well as genetic augments and cyborgs, and blurs the line between space fantasy and space porn. The film was shot entirely at the Kashmir orbital complex, and has contributed to its reputation as a hive of sex and villainy.

Arco-Potempkin - a piece of state propaganda demonstrating the safe, and comfortable life of the arco-dweller compared to the miserable and dangerous life of those who live outside of the cities, and the noble savages of the Favelas and urban rim. The holovid caused riots in part of the EA and is considered propaganda or satire in other parts of the world.

The Vigilante - This revenge based anti-hero fights and kills his way through criminal syndicates, corrupt police departments, and over the top rival villains to become the underground leader of the city. He is armed with a variety of high tech gadgets and a reputation for brutality and murder.

The Big Godot - a set piece, the Big Godot is a personal stoner drama set in an afterlife where the protagonists are left to sort out their lives while perpetually bowling and watching pieces of their past through WristComps.

Technopolis - A technophilic look into the origins of the Cosmic Era, the second renaissance, and the construction of New Byzantium on the ruins of Istanbul. First film of archandroids, and to feature AISC as actors.

Number Three - Number 3 is a by the books spy, and by the books, he is proficient in martial arts, seduction, driving, gunplay and deactivating high tech weapons and devices. While the stories are often diet, the production value is high, and the casting is always the creme of the celebrity crop. 3 is always a charming, emotionally disarming but ovulation inducing leading man able to deliver karate chops while holding a mixed drink and carrying on a conversation with the porn actress of the year opposite him.

The Bride - a twisted love story, the Bride follows the descent into madness experienced by a lone scientist seeking to reanimate the corpse of his beloved bride, who died a day before their wedding. It ends with the Bride coming to life in horrific fashion and the scientist committing suicide. It is technically a piece of propaganda for the masses to show that immortality through cloning and arcanotech is wrong (leave it to the rich and powerful)

Fallen Snow - the first big budget immersive CG/CogNet holovid that was basically a Lord of the Rings/Snow White crossover with several epic battles and set the stage on how S3 films would be produced.

Rings and Dragons - also known as RaD, this genre spawning cinema follows the exploits of a user generated group of heroes who pursue a magic ring, fight epic battles, win the accolade and love of the nearly naked forest elves before defeating the evil dragons and making them into heroic mounts.

Jerks - One of the first handheld produced S3 holovids, and rather than being engrossed in sex and violence, it is the pathos and apathy of the the bottom of the barrel, as the film follows the dark and despair ridden lives of a pair of sarcastic but 'free' guys who live in the favelas.
Gone are the Lights - A romantic drama set against the fall of Paris in the Second Dark Age. The holovid carries on the tradition of the strong female lead, and the vid is famous for being the first mainstream production to have a full hardcore sex scene in it.

The Call of Seibertron - This film is a post modern cerebral look into the minds and experiences ofSeibertronians, the sentient machines of the Cosmic Era. Rather than being filled with action, violence, and sex it deals with personal dissociation between the mind and body, facing human-machine prejudice, and finding reason to exist in world ruled by illogical, hormone driven biologicals.

Blink-a-Day Burrito - A darkly violent and sexual holovid, BaDB creates in hypersaturation the very worst parts about life in the Urban Rim, casual murder, rape out of hand, recreational drug use, and theft on a scale that would leave a real favela in burning ruins and pure anarchy. The name comes from the protagonist's fascination for microwaved burritos.

The Citizen - This groundbreaking film deconstructs the death and life of orbital developer Hearst Hugo Welles, and used a disjointed narrative, combined with biofeedback systems to allow viewers to feel the emotions, stress, and sometimes chemical induced binges experienced by Welles through his tumultuous life on Earth, the Moon, and finally aboard the Xanadu Astropolis.

Iron - Iron follows the heroic escapades of a power armor police officer and is equal parts fan service for the ladies and product placement for the men, in the form of stuff exploding, new gadgets and fashion, and for the military, putting their gear in the public eye to get positive relations.

Out of Darkness - A cult film about a arcanotechnician losing their mind, the narrative goes into time paradoxes and teleportation with no solid clue to determine if the hero really is teleporting and shifting through time or if he is really just losing his mind.

In Nippon, the Sword - a Nipponese production, INtS is considered a foundation and seminal work to the Nipponism fad that swept the world. The holovid introduced the world at large to the cyber-samurai, street ninja, warrior-monks piloting mecha, and the parapsychic yamabushi in the shadow wars and shadowrunning that defined places like Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore.

The Magician - in an era of parapsychics and violence, the Magician is a whimsical story about a young boy who discovers magic and travels to a land of happiness. Considered saccharine and buried under pointless nostalgia and tropes, the Magician remains popular with its wide eyed innocence and charm.

The Motorcyclist - A western style action drama, the Motorcyclist follows a drug laced spiritual journey through the savaged ruins of the American west on motorcycles, complete with mutants, raiders, and product placements that created the GasPunk culture that emulates the values and aesthetics of the Petroleum era.

Murder - starting as a low budget release, Murder was a psycho-drama that culminated in the anti-hero villain protagonist raping and murdering the female lead. Released after seminal biofeedback and mainstreaming pornography, Murder was the first holovid that was based entirely around the premise of committing crimes and experiencing them. The film gained a cult following, and spawned many copycats in the underground scene as well as copycat killers.

The Ultra-Heroes - an elite team of parapsychics, augments, cyborgs, and other superhumans join forces to fight cosmic horrors spewing out of a storm breach. Strongly patriotic, with undertones of distrusting the megacorps.

The Translocationist - A young shadowrunner is swept into an alternate dimension where she must work with a organ donor clone, a cyborg, and an extreme neko augment to defeat a industrial magnate and a rogue AI before the dimensional gate can be opened and she return home. The fantastic story is a moderately veiled allegory of the conflict between Federation Idealism vs Alliance pragmatism with the AI representing the pretty lies of the west and the Mogul the ugly truths of the east.

Space Wars - Space Wars is a nitty gritty future war drama set against the backdrop of a war between Earth and the Colonies. It follows the paths of a space fighter squadron, a rogue trader, and a parapsychic special forces agent as they fight to destroy Colonial super weapons, and save Earth from traitors and sneak attacks.

The Violence Game - A holovid that harkens back the idealized masculine man, bare chested and bloody knuckled, the Violence Game is a cathartic release of violence, self exploration, and dirty sex. You don't know someone until you fight them, and until you've been in a fight, you cannot know yourself.

Starship Titanic - A spaceliner holodrama, Starship Titanic follows the voyages of the self named megaliner as it tours the solar system, invariably finding new cultures and people, changing cast members for sex kittens and heart throbs at each season change. The final episode of each season is Titanic returning to Earth where it lands and sinks to the bottom of the ocean where it's docking facility is located.

Casablanca Down - A gritty war drama set in central Africa, the holovid casts its eye on romantic triangles set against the incessant wars that pock mark central and southern Africa. The film ends coinciding with the tragic massacre at Alto Hama where SAUR troopers defensively detonate several antique nuclear weapons halting a Federation advance.

The Dead - the last zombie movie made, the Dead places the viewers in an S3/Biofeedback system and toss them screaming into the fall of the last human city as the relentless dead advance. The film is considered a black feed item and is banned in most nations. One in ten viewers commit suicide after viewing the film, and half were left with PTSD and other emotional and psychological traumas.

Location, Location, Location
Neo-Anatolia is and has always been in a strategically valuable location. Sitting at the head of the Mediterranean it has easy access to Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East (whats left of it, anyway) North Africa, and through waterways, the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Most of North Africa, and the Middle East are lawless areas with only isolated pockets of civilization (nuclear contamination, chemical and biological weapon contamination) but there are still strong lines of trade that move through the area. Anatolia has strong economic ties to Free India, which is a major consumer of culture and entertainment. It also has strong regional ties to the Balkans peninsula, which rather unfortunately is a hotbed of organized crime, human rights violations, and armed terrorist sects. This does give Anatolia a back door for money laundering and a lucrative underground black market. While it isn't shown on the surface, the megastudios and entertainment giants do discretely produce black datafeed material. Most consider their product to be gray, since it is all acting and there are not actually people murdered, maimed, or otherwise abused in the black feeds.

Appearance: New NuOrleans is a futuristic floating city. The city is composed of hundreds of interlocked floating panels, each the size of a football field. The layout is spacious with open lanes and many parks and boulevards. All traffic is either foot or bicycle, or done by public transit buses. The city recalls the glory days of the Big Easy, and has a great deal of old French architecture and wrought iron ornamental gates are common, the same goes for two and three story Creole type houses. Cypress, magnolia, and weeping willow trees are also found throughout the city. The interior is very much old style buildings, while the commercial districts ring the outside of the two mile wide raft. The outer most section of the city is the Port Perimeter, and it is where mercantile trading goes on, as well as serving as home base for the fleets of fishing ships, tenders for the fisheries, and seaweed harvesting operations go on. Walking from the Port Perimeter down to Old Metairie is like talking a walk from the 21st century back into the 18th.

The Free city of New NuOrleans is a trade city that moves about freely in the Caribbean Sea, and is a haven for travelers and merchants doing business between the Atlantic Federation and Amazonia. It is a popular tourist location, and is inconvenient enough that little contraband material is moved through it. Aside from trade, the city exports seafood, both fresh and processed and is known for its coffee, pastries and its maintaining of the Mardi Gras festivals. This has carried the Free city a great deal of profit as Old NuOrleans long ago dropped the traditions as the old city gave way to the triple arcological complex of today.

Not everything in New NuOrleans is beneits and coffee. The city requires a great deal of maintenance to keep its floating structure intact. The movement of the city is also ponderously slow and it maintains relations with the various island nations in the area so it has places to shelter during the worst of the hurricanes come through. There is also a vein of vice and perversion associated with the city and its residents. Unlike the Atlantic Federation, the city has loose drug laws, and prostitution is legal.

History: As the Petroleum Era came to a close, and the nations of the world either merged into the new superpower blocs or faded, some places fought to keep their heritages and cultures alive. The emergence of the arcology revived the economies of the world, but it did so by erasing the hearts of old cities, replacing colorful vibrant cultures with their own electric presences. Old New Orleans was one such city that was forced to embrace the arcology, building at first a pair of smaller models, and then building a third larger arco and connecting all three into one of the older arco-plexes. This ended the centuries old traditions of Mardi Gras parades and the cultural tradition of living close to the water and the things that lived in it. Instead of cajun creole food, the arco residents ate flavored mycoprotein meat substitutes and processed food. Many fled the old city and enough came together that a Raft City was built. They followed the model of the Asian raft cities, New Hong Kong, New Taiwan, and Tokyo II.

The raft city rejected the vertical life of the arco in favor of a nomadic life living on the ocean, farming it for fish and seaweed, taking and giving back. The residents rejected the Puritanism of the Atlantic Federation, and revived both the original French culture, and the patois Cajun Creole culture of the old city. As much effort was put into appearances as was self sufficiency and maintenance. As such, the city is a floating jewel in the Caribbean Sea.

But with good comes bad, the Port Perimeter unwillingly and unknowingly plays host to a large number of small innocent looking pirate skiffs and boats. An unknown number of the fishing ships and small trading ships are actually well armed pirate ships that prey on traffic in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. There are rumors of kidnapping and sex slaves being bought and sold at midnight auctions on the docks, between the shrimp and fish trawlers. There is also a vibrant drug culture in the city, ranging from recreational use drugs to serious hard drug use pushed through the lower decks of the city where the poorest of the poor live in shanties built in now unused ship hangars.

Laissez les bon temps rouler!
New NuOrleans is the new Big Easy. Despite the troubles of the world the wine is still flowing here, and the people are friendly, and the pastry and the coffee is hot. Don't trouble nobody and they won't trouble you.

Formerly the Dutch island of Aruba, New Themyscira was recolonized early on in the Second Renaissance. As the technology boom spread across the world, certain places attracted more technology than others, and there was a certain something that drew tech developers to the Caribbean. The magnificent expansion of technology, and the associated ideas with it caused a number of social and societal upheavals and it is rather not much of a surprise that there were groups of people who rebelled against this technology, and people who very deeply embraced it. While appearing as the former, the pioneers of New Themyscira were very much the latter.

New Themyscira was a pre-planned, chartered, and computer designed nation from the ground up. The almost uninhabited (at that point) island of Aruba was chosen to serve as the new site of this dream project. The old ruins of the petroleum era cities were demolished, and gene creches went to work reseeding the island with tropical flora as well as establishing fauna breeding centers to populate the island with the appropriate animals, with emphasis being placed on colorful birds, butterflies, and other similar creatures.

The Hippolyta Arcoplex is built in the image of the crystal spires and togas style futuristic architecture. The Central structure serves as the command and control center for the entire island, and houses the vast majority of the island nation's industrial capacity. The geofront under the arco is more extensive than most normal geofronts, but as Hippolyta was built from scratch and not in the pre-existing core of a city, the engineers decided to bury as much of the infrastructure elements of the arco as possible, leaving only the inhabited, functional, and aesthetic elements above ground. The geofront is connected to the 7 demi-arcos that ring Hippolyta.

Hippolyta is a tapered spire, rising from a circular base. At it's highest non-antenna point, the building is 1,230 meters tall, with another 100 meters of masts and antenna rising up to catch the data streams of the CogNet.

The Seven Sisters is the collective term given to the 7 demi-arcos that ring Hippolyta, and serve as the residential and commercial part of the arcoplex. Each of the seven has a name given to it, rather than the more common practice of giving demi-arcos numeric names or naming them after the megacorps that own and run them. Maia, Electra, and Taygete demi-arcos are residential in nature and compared the most residential arcos they are low density populated, with each housing just 10,000 rather than the more typical 20,000 for a demi-arco or 500,000 for a dedicated high density residential arco. Alcyone, Celaeno, and Merope are mixed commercial and light residential, with Merope being fairly close to what most people would consider 'slums'. Asterope is the second largest demi-arco, only smaller than Maia, but it houses the New Themyscira higher education facilities, scientific facilities, and the military college.

The Dream of Elizabeth Holloway
Elizabeth Holloway was an industrial baronness who became not just wealthy, but very powerful and influential in the politics of the United States of South America. Coming from a lineage of former American Ex-patriots, the Holloways were known in Brazil and Venezuela for being savvy investors, real estate moguls and for helming the successful Holloway Security Commission, a well known and respected mercenary operation. The HSC group purchased the almost defunct property of Aruba from Venezuela, and started the process of reforming the island. During the previous Resource Wars, Aruba had functioned as a forward base for the US military, and had switched hands several times before ultimately being abandoned after being bombarded with Argentine made 'Desperado' chemical rockets. The island biosphere was sanitized, and efforts began to repopulate the barren rock with plantlife, and later animal stock.

The Hippolyta arco began construction under the aegis of being a new headquarters for the HSC, and some rumored it was going to be a venture into HSC entering the ranks of the megacorps by getting involved in investment and banking. There were also rumors of Aruba being turned into a shopping paradise, or a national level commercial resort owned by HSC. The truth was somewhat more elusive. There were certainly strong women in the history of the USSA, but for the most part, these individuals were exceptions to the male rule. Elizabeth Holloway had spent years living under the tyrannical rule of first her father, and then the miniature dictatorship that was her first marriage. She knew about the Latin League's dirty secret, a long history of domestic abuse and the oppression of women across all spectrum of life. Even after escaping two dictators in her life, Elizabeth was still confronted by the male dominant attitude at every turn in business. There were men inside HSC who wanted to take her down, and she was surrounded by rivals within the security industry who wanted to see her fail not just because she was their rival, but because she was female. They expected her to learn her place.

The Legacy of the Amazon
Elizabeth was fascinated by the ideal of the Amazon warrior, and set this as her personal project outside of running HSC. She desired to see an amazon nation rise up, granting sanctuary to the worthy women of the USSA and indeed, the worthy women of the entire world. She reasoned that such a collection of feminine wisdom, guarded by female strength at arms would see a rebirth of culture and honoring of women not seen since the time of the Petroleum Era. In many parts of the world, in the Second Dark age, many women were reduced to nothing more than brood mares to replenish the decimated populations. Nations couldn't fight wars without soldiers, and the only method they had was forced reproduction. This was much more common in the poorer parts of the world that were not able in avail themselves with the twin technologies of cloning and robotics.

HSC started training and equipping their now famous Amazon Battalions. These groups consisted of exclusively female soldiers, trained in combat and equipped with the best gear that HSC could equip them with. Rather than the standard issue armor and gear, the Amazon Battalions were equipped with stylized equipment with the intended purpose of making the people they were fighting realize that they were fighting not faceless soldiers, but Amazon warriors. While rather ridiculous at times, the appearance of Latin battle armors with stylized breasts, flared hips and artificial hair had its desired effect. The appearance of Amazon mercenaries could quickly demoralize an insurgent group, or provoke more impulsive enemies to behave in predictably violent ways, allowing the battle minded and trained Amazons to take them apart.

Combined Arms and the Amazon Warriors
The core of the Amazon combat philosophy was the combined arms tactics proven repeatedly during the Petroleum and Resource Wars eras. Their most visible soldiers were the power armor troopers, with their feminized power armor, hyperedge spears and over-under mag rifles. These soldiers seldom went anywhere alone, they had continual support from VTOL transports and gunships, and routinely had support from light mecha and specialized mecha. These supporting machines didn't have the same stylizing as the power armor, but did have the Amazon insignia and livery.

HSC stepped up its Amazon programs as the units continued to be successful and profitable. Its final two branches were the HSC airship wing, and the Andromache program. The HSC Airship wing saw the company purchase a number of military style armed airships. These ships were updated with better technology and weaponry than available on the general market. Most of the ships were purchased from either the South African United Republics (SAUR) or the Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere (ACPS) and were conventionally equipped. After their upgrading, the ships were able to carry and deploy power armor soldiers and launch and recover their supporting VTOLs. These ships were, however, not on par with the destroyers and frigates employed by the Atlantic Federation.

The Andromache Program was created with the intention of genetically engineering superior women, using the power of science and technology to counter the traditional problems faced by women compared to men. This program was kept very quiet as its intended purpose was to create genetic superhumans, a clear and flagrant violation of the Human+ laws of the Tycho Conventions. While there were many nations and megacorps involved in this research, the power of the conventions were most often levied to keep smaller nations, powers, and groups from getting involved in what was slowly becoming the SuperHuman club.

The Big Move
HSC did start the move from its main offices at the HSC-Demiarco in Brasilia, Brazil, but this was largely a covering operation. Holloway did move a large portion of HSC's equipment, especially the HSC mainframe LAISC Artemis to the New Themyscira site. Once the core components were in place, and those Amazon units loyal to her idea, along with similarly supportive personnel were transferred to the island she activated Operation Typhoon. A number of Andromache project created supersolders went into action and severed the connections between HSC, the USSA and New Themyscira. There was a resulting and expected backlash as several Venezuelan army units were dispatched to Aruba to reclaim the island from the idiot female utopia, and a nucleus of HSC mercenaries organized to strike back at their former employer for breaking up the company and ending their employment. The skirmishes lasted several days as the Venezuelan forces were quickly defeated by the Amazons, while the HSC 'Civil war' lasted several weeks and culminated with Andromache special forces assassinating several of the leaders of the rival faction.

The Petition
Unknown to most of even the involved parties, Artemis, the HSC LAISC had been in talks with several other AISCs in the hemisphere, especially those in the Atlantic Federation. The subject of these summits were to establish New Themyscira as a neutral nation, dedicated to women. The talks were drawn out and tense as if they were handled poorly, could provoke an international incident between the USSA and the Atlantic Federation, something neither side was particularly interested in. The talks were concluded, and after several attempts at cyberwarfare between the Island and the USSA an agreement was reached. New Themyscira would be recognized as a free port, a free nation, and would retain its military for purposes of self defense in light of hostilities remaining between the island and its former owners, the USSA. In exchange for recognizing New Themyscira, the USSA gained assurances from the Federation that the island would not be used as a base for Federation warships, and no troops would be deployed to the island. There was also a clause that New Themyscira would not be considered as an addition to the Federation's Caribbean League state without consent from Venezuela.

The New Nation of New Themyscira
New Themyscira was established as a new nation, and a free port of trade. While the first few years were tough, structures had to be finished, and financial support from the now defunct HSC gone, many changes and compromises had to be made. New Themyscira survived from financial support from business women, shadowrunners, and other groups channeling money into the island. The Amazons still found their services in demand, as they had garnered a fierce reputation around the world. The Atlantic Federation would remain a regular employer of Amazon mercenaries, providing financial and at times material support to their forces. The Federation remained uninterested and unimpressed with the Andromache program, and did little to support the Amazon Supersoldiers, preferring to use their own Coordinator Program supersoldiers.

The non-military side of the island grew at an astounding rate. The idea of a female only nation attracted positive attention around the world. A large number of wealthy independent women immigrated to the island, bringing their power and finances, as well as bringing other worthy women with them, artists, artisans, writers and entertainers, and so forth. The island experienced a cultural explosion as a nexus of fashion, art, and creativity came together under the defensive aegis of the Amazon mercenaries.

The Israel of the Caribbean
New Themyscira isn't the perfect island paradise. The defenses of the island, both in the CogNet and on the air and water are regularly tested. Mercenaries, bounty hunters, vigilantes and criminals in the USSA have made the island a target, and in many ways living in New Themyscira is much like living in modern Israel. The island is very close to the mainland of South America and can be easily reached via VTOL, surface craft or submersible making forays, raids, and shadowruns against the island relatively easy. The amazons guarding the island have zeal and vigilance on their side, and have an advantage in tech as the Federation has funneled some useful gadgets their way. The bigger thorn the island is in the side the USSA, the better it is for the Federation.

As an island of militant women, it is easy for people to create all sorts of crazy ideas and rumors about New Themyscira and its Amazon inhabitants. The two most common and horribly incorrect themes are that the Themyscirans are all raging lust filled lesbian nymphomaniacs. The second is that they are ardent man-hating armor clad hell-shrews. Both of these perspectives are popular, with the Federation favoring the sex starved lesbian nymphettes and the USSA favoring man killing she-demons. Given that there are seldom more than a half dozen men on the island at any given time out of a population close to 250,000, there is a large deal of personal physical freedom enjoyed by the residents of the island. Given the hyper-saturation of sex in the Federation media, the presence of nude beaches and a very relaxed dress code almost automatically shifts to all night orgies and men being abducted to pleasure the Themyscirans. It doesn't help that there are shows dedicated to the this trope, and a common stock character in Federation action sex dramas is the Themysciran sex-pot amazon warrior.

The Real Deal
The citizens of New Themyscira, colloquially known as the Amazons, run the gamut of races, ethnicity, political persuasions, religions, and personal creeds. Statistically the number of bisexual, polyamorous, and homosexual citizens is statistically little different than any other comparable population sizing. There are a good number of children who reside on the island, and roughly half of these children are conceived the old fashion way, either through arranged meetings, traveling abroad, or CogNet dating sites. The other half are conceived as products of science and the laboratory and range from the standard artificial insemination to accepting genetically modified material to simply inducing the egg to begin gestating into a clone of the mother.

In Utero genetic modification is very common in New Themyscira, as portions of the Andromache program have been made readily available to the citizens of the island. These modified embryos go on to become the next generation of Pureborn Amazons. The most common modifications for Amazons besides standard genetic fixes and screenings are increased height, physical stature and minimal to moderate chest size (sometimes large breasts can be difficult to wedge into a suit of power armor) as well as muscle augmentation, reflex augmentation, and intelligence augmentation.

Contrary to popular belief, not all of the residents of New Themyscira are fully fledged and blooded warrior maidens. While a significant proportion are involved in the military, this is nowhere near as high a number as many would think. The island makes use of a large amount of industrial and military automation. Its association with the Federation ensures that the island has ready access to robot technologies and drone war material. The highly visible Amazon warriors do serve frequently in leadership roles, but they have been genetically enhanced and trained from birth for this role. For these reasons, they excel in their given fields of expertise.

Time Goes By
New Themyscira has been in existence for roughly 150 years, long enough that the founding members have since passed away, many having reached remarkably advanced ages. The massive embrasure of arcanotechnology has spurred the growth of the nation, swelling its national pride, and its economic power. While still nothing more than a footnote compared to the multinational Latin League of the USSA or the global superpower of the Atlantic Federation, its global influence far outstrips its diminutive size and small population. New Themyscira is known for its influences over art and fashion design. Almost all fashion designers of global fame have either come from the island, or studied there for a decent amount of time. With the constant activity of the island's defenses, the tiny nation has pioneered several now copied techniques for maintaining fluid military barriers, waging cyber warfare, and methods of rapidly deploying and retrieving power armor units.

The Andromache program has survived and matured, with the end result no longer being the creation of super soldiers. The nation retains its own clandestine super soldier programs, but the Andromache program has been used to upgrade and enhance the genetic stock of New Themyscira and after 150 years of it's operation, it has had a profound effect on the population of the island. The average native Themysciran woman is 6 feet tall, and averages 170 pounds, but retain athletic builds due to the density of enhanced muscle tissue.

Given the attitude and nature of the island, it serves as a natural beacon to many action minded women, and a large number of female shadowrunners call New Themyscira home. There are as an effect of this, a large percentage of female ex-pat clones, cyborgs, genetic augments, and parapsychics who reside on the island.

Roles of Amazon Warriors:
Personal Bodyguards: there are celebrities, entertainers, business magnates and other people who routinely retain the services of bodyguards. Given the attractiveness, and quick thinking and training of Themysciran warriors, they are a popular choice for said role. These are seldom in serious situations, as most such employers have them more as part of their entourage than a serious security asset. When called upon though, these warriors are effective in putting down threats and protecting their charges.

Personal Bodyguard Cadres: Often entire groups or units of Amazons will be hired as mercenaries, typically to function in a ceremonial fashion, though most Amazon units require a certain amount of combat time, training, and preparedness exercises through the duration of their contract. These larger forces often guard demi-arcos, remote locations, or groups of people, such as the semi-nobility of the megacorp owning families, the actual nobility of a smaller nation, or vanguard of some other faction that wants a demonstration of power and beauty.

Shadowrunning: Amazons routinely do shadowrunning, both in the interest of New Themyscira and the private employ of others. They favor martial roles, though stealth operations are seldom their style. These shadowrunners tend to draw from the more 'interesting' members of the Amazon pool and include parapsychic martial artists, gun adepts, and both bio and cybernetic augments. They will do smash and grab jobs, raiding tech companies and other powers for their tech R&D which invariably makes its way back to Artemis and New Themyscira.

A Note
This submission and several others to come were inspired after a heated debate over the validity of Gal Gadot to play Wonder Woman in the currently upcoming Superman vs Batman movie, and how it was an affront to the importance of the character and how it was typical of Hollywood to pick a skinny model to play an amazon.

The SAUR pulled off an impressive eye gouge during the Second Renaissance, they were the first resurgent power to return to space. During the Petroluem Era three powers had entered Space, the American Federal Superstate, the European Union, and The People's Republic of China. After the Petroleum Era and the Second Dark Age all of these space programs faltered and eventually failed. Space operations did continue, but it was the end of manned space travel for well over two centuries. The only things going into orbit were satellites. The SAUR had consolidated fairly quickly, and experienced a burst of nationalism and pride. The SAUR aerospace program for a short time was the best in the world as they mixed local resources and motivation with the 3rd generation of the CogNet. The Ymoja Missions returned man to space, or to be specific, woman to space. The SAUR Ymoja orbiter put three female South Africans into orbit for 6 days where they were cheered by some nations and decried by others for violating space sovereignty.

Nkoloso Cosmodrome
The Cosmodrome began it's life as a military airbase for South Africa. It languished unused through the Second Dark Age and saw itself reborn as a testing facility for aircraft development early in the Second Renaissance. The facilities were rebuilt, along with six massive runways capable of handling huge aircraft or aircraft with long tank offs and landings. The Rocket Facilities were added less than a decade later and were quickly put to work launching satellites for the the then growing SAUR. Support for the Cosmodrome came mostly from SAUR funding, but it was also supported by a consortium of SAUR corporations, the most prominent being KrugersCorp. KrugersCorp is best known for building civilian aircraft and zeppelin airships. KrugersCorp also happens to be a regular builder of rockets, and supplier of military engines, electronics, and military aircraft. Sisulu-Witwatersrand-Roodepoor (SWR) is the most powerful MegaCorp in the SAUR, and is mainly involved in banking, investment, and energy production, but has invested in Nkoloso.

The Command Information Center as Nkoloso is easily a match for Petroleum era installations such as NORAD at Cheyenne Mountain. The center is the central monitoring station for SAUR satellites and the collection of space stations and habitats associated with the SAUR. The CIC does triple duty, working also as the central coordination point for the SAUR aerospace military operations, and as the computer hub for SAUR civilian air transit. While it would seem counter intuitive to place all of these functions in one location, the threat of nuclear weapons is all but a memory, and for almost eight decades, the SAUR had no organized resistance until the Atlantic Federation reappeared to make it's territorial claims to Equatorial Africa.

The Aerodrome
The Aerodrome handles routine air traffic, starting with lighter than air craft like zeppelins that ran air convoys from Jo-Burg to Kinshasa and Lagos. The facility was renovated and expanded as electrofan aircraft entered service. Eventually the Aerodrome became a multi-purpose air hub, supporting commercial, cargo, and military aircraft. Zeppelins are still common, carrying bulk cargoes across the continent, and the Indian ocean to points east. The aerodrome sprawls for miles, and is the largest air hub in Africa.

The Aerodrome is home to several launch pads where conventional rockets were fired into space, and after it's 20 year build project, the Shango Mass Driver. The Pads are still used as reinforced landing pads for heavy military airships, such as A-Pod levitating warships, and VTOL aerospace heavy craft. The Shango Mass Driver is used to launch cargo into space, where it is typically diverted to New Kashmir or the Mulungu-Davies Space habitat in geosynchronous orbit over South Africa.

Shango is one of the busiest mass drivers on Earth, as it is open to anyone with the credits to purchase a sling down it's rails. It handles almost all of the SAUR space payloads as well as firing loads into space for India, and subcontracting for the ACPS when it's mass driver schedule is backed up. Many megacorps will contract Shango to move their own cargos into orbit, rather than going through the customs departments and inspections that often coincide with using Federation or Alliance mass drivers.

The Tower
The Tower is the largest structure at Nkoloso. The Tower is a administrative/industrial arcology that supports operations at the cosmodrome, and is the salient structure on the base, standing a few dozen meters taller than the Shango Mass Driver. The workers of the Tower are housed in three demi-geofronts, one directly under the Tower and the other two connected to it by subsurface magnetic trams.

The Nkoloso Cosmodrome is home to the 2nd SAUR Aerospace Division, 4th SAUR Aerospace Division, and the 61st Airborne Ranger Wing. In addition to fixed wing and electro-rotor craft, the base houses a mechanized infantry brigade, and two mecha battalions.

The Cosmodrome is the home base for the SAUR 1st Naval Fleet, a grandiose name for the half dozen floating warships built by the SAUR. The Amerikka Command Revolutionary Fleet is also based out of Nkoloso, providing it with a large amount of firepower, especially from the battleship USS George Washington and the airborne mecha/aerospace fighter carrier, USS Valley Forge.

This might all seem rather odd, but it is drawn from a real world inspiration. In the 1960s, Edward Makuka Nkoloso was involved with Zambia and an African space program that was planning to send a rocket to Mars. There was a dream, and patriotism and it eventually faded but I was struck by the notion. And thus, from a dream of a nation that faded before I was born, is itself reborn in the Cosmic Era.
Last edited by Skaldia on Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:14 pm, edited 21 times in total.
||“The lesson of history is that no one learns.”
||“Chaos needs no allies, for it dwells like a poison in every one of us.”

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Founded: Jun 30, 2013
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Skaldia » Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:33 am

Locations Cont. V

The first recorded parapsychic, George Matthew Hill, was a resident of the Republic of California. He lived less than 30 miles from the then unrecognized Nevada Blight Zone. His abilities were modest, telekinesis and emotional projection, the family had an oral record that George's father was also possessing such abilities, as was his grandfather. They kept this as a family secret, and referred to it as the gift. This is not the only localized manifestation of parapsychic ability. A secret society known only as the Covenant formed in the Commonwealth of New England, near Salem Massachusetts and was composed of 17 extended family members who had what they considered 'witch powers' but were in truth telekinesis, hydrokinesis, and several somatic abilities most prominently charisma and enhanced agility. The Craven Clan of South Dakota, unincorporated territories, also demonstrated exceptional parapsychic abilities, but also manifested horrific physical deformities and abnormalities. All of the encounters share the same fundamental abilities without any common thread. The Hills were proximal to a blight, but the Covenant family was not, the Craven clan was proximal to a nuclear waste facility, but no other such situation has created parapsychic abilities in a host family.

The Advent of Parapsychic Ability
Prior to the Second Renaissance, there were no recorded parapsychics. All claims were debunked in that era, and were shown to be nothing more than crystal gazers and table knockers. The first known practitioners were discovered shortly after the restoration of the various continental republics, namely the Atlantic Federation and the Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere. These individuals, and many of their close family members were placed into government custody, willingly or not. They were made into guinea pigs and lab rats, while scientists struggled to comprehend the source of their supernatural ability. Accidents were made, human rights were trampled, and there were deaths involved. The most prominent and publicly known event was the DSI Disaster.

DSI, better known as the D Shop, was in the business of discovering the biological triggers of parapsychic ability. Situated north of the burgeoning city of San Angeles, later the Los Angeles Arcoplex, the Rainbird facility was mostly working towards weaponizing parapsychic soldiers. Things went very wrong and the facility was destroyed by a single rogue parapsychic, a young girl who had evinced impressive pyrokinetic ability and the power to control minds. The security force that was sent to contain her suffered horrific losses as soldiers turned on each other, and vehicles randomly exploding. The girl was stopped only after a sniper shot her in the head. The psychic death scream of the individual caused over 130 cases of psychological trauma to responding personnel, many of whom would commit suicide afterward despite extensive psychotherapy and medication.

Science and ParaPsychics
Once the furor calmed, and parapsychic individuals were assured of their legal and human rights by several bills and judicial acts, business got back to normal. The parapsychics were still placed under intense scrutiny, but now were compensated for their time, and were free to leave if they were so inclined. A small number of individuals were placed under protective custody, but these were a minority and represented a faction of parapsychics who were a danger to themselves and others. This was all kept very quiet and large sums of money went into keeping the PKs (referencing both parapsychics and parakinetics) calm and happy. The visual image of a nine year old getting shot in the face on live tri-d video feed was still fresh in the public eye, and remains a haunting ghost of old hatreds and human abuses. 

Arcanotechnology revealed that PKs who are actively using their parapsychic abilities manifest a stronger aura than resting humans, and when not activating their powers, and indistinguishable from normal humans. Pan-Dimensional photography (PDP, or PDSP) noted there were noticeable changes in the souls of PK users that were not present in normal humans. The difficulty, expense, and nebulous accuracy of PDP and PDSP prevent the technology from being used to located nascent and dormant potential PKs. 

Like the presence of the soul, parapsychic ability could be quantified and measured by scientific means, but discovering the source and the cause of the powers remained beyond the scope of science.

The Secret Soldiers
Parapsychics were vigorously recruited by corporations, governments, and anyone else who wanted to use their unique abilities. The demand would forever outstrip the supply, so several organizations attempted to create artificial PKs. The Scandanavian Fimbulvinter Project came close, with Operations Yesod and Gevurah. Yesod created clones of PKs, bombarding the growing embryos with certain radiations and injections of a classified substance. The Yesod Clones and the Himmel Project combined creating viable clones who did regularly manifest parapsychic abilities. These individuals also were walking time bombs, psychoses and neurological problems abounded in the project. Many of the soldiers created only had a viable lifespan of three to five years before their psychological problems made them unstable, dangerous and a liability to the organizations that utilized them.

Several world powers invested billions of dollars into investigating parapsychic powers and how they could be artificially induced to create perfect super soldiers. The projects, at best, had mixed results. The connection between power and the individual was apparently not something that was machine replicable in the lab. The tests were all leading to a certain unsavory answer.

Suffering and denial build character, as the expression goes. The test subjects in the programs with the most egregious violations of rights and humanity were the ones with the best results. It was also noted in psychological profiles that those who naturally manifested came from violent, disturbed, or other negative backgrounds. While there was indeed a biological and paranormal aspect to manifesting these powers, it seemed that the real trigger was physical, psychological and emotional trauma. The governments and corporations could indeed create parapsychics, but doing so would require the precise and exquisite torture of the individuals who demonstrated potential. While there were certainly individuals callous enough to order the blind torture of hundreds of human beings (not so far of a leap for the same people who ordered soldier clones because they were more cost effective than robot soldiers). Those individuals were also pragmatic enough to understand that the new soldiers would inevitably turn on them, hating them for their abuse, and not thankful for their gifts.

Large scale research fell off, but various projects remain running, creating small groups of enhanced soldiers and specialists. The Atlantic Federation adopted using clones and cyborgs rather than running the risk of creating an army of uncontrolled super humans. The Pacific Rim waved away cost and invested heavily in robot technology and droid war machines. The other world powers largely followed in one of these two paths.

Truth is Stranger than Fiction
Dimensional Science is still in it's relative infancy, but the viability of the Dimensional Engine, Dimensional Cascade Engine, Dimensional Battery, Pan-Dimensional Spectra-Photography and other arcanotech devices have been proven. It is only a matter of time, and money before the technology is developed for transdimensional travel (teleportation) and from there FTL travel. 

For lack of a better term, there is a river that flows between the membranes of our realities. The Romans called it Styx, the Japanese, Sanzu. It is somehow involved in the migration of souls between life and death. Life and happiness causes the river to ebb, it's turbid waters ease and lower in it's dark earthen banks. When death is rampant, the river surges, tearing away at the soil and bleeding over into our world. In the past, there have been times when the river has run out of it's courses and flooded greatly. The Black Death saw the River of Sorrow, the stream of Death literally boil into our waking world. The noxious fumes killed many, and left others horrified and scarred. The devices of history have conspired, and it is likely that many of the witch sightings and outbreaks of hysteria were caused not by black magic and sorcery, but by manifesting parapsychics in a time that could not describe them as anything but divine or damned. 

The river broke it's dams several decades ago. It rose high during the Resource Wars, as tens of thousands died on the battlefields. But it rose higher and washed over it's banks as the Second Dark age descended on man. While many areas were largely spared the greater part of the horror and suffering, entire other regions were decimated. Large parts of Africa and Central Asia depended heavily on foreign aid to protect them from despots and provide them with food. When the food shipments stopped coming, they died. They died in the millions. Warlords decimated entire countries with foot armies, raising banners to their gods, to themselves, or whatever mad notion they had. Africa withered, central Asia burned, and the Middle East was almost snuffed out in thermonuclear war. The world population had grown to a peak near 10 billion people. By the middle of the Second Dark Age, that number was closer to 3 billion. While many indeed perished, the time of tumult that was the Second Dark Age saw fewer families coming together, and fewer children being born. The flow of life diminished and for several decades the mortality rate exceeded the birth rate.

Historians mark the Second Dark Age as the second major population correction. The first being the Black Death. The population by the end of the Petroleum Age was close to using 100% of available resources, both in terms of energy, but also in terms of agriculture and overall biomass. The warfare that ended the Petroleum age is only a small fraction of the total loss of human life. Systemic famine and disease took a massive toll as industrialized agriculture collapsed and the global shipping infrastructure failed. This was also a relatively modest percentage of the overall population contraction. The largest cause of loss of life was that for three generations, more people died of old age, accident, and other 'normal causes' than were being born. This was also tied into generations of endemic poverty, regular famine and near constant low level banditry and warfare. If there was a measure of suffering, an index of agony, it would have run high through most of that time. 

The dams burst, the black river flowed out, and it filled the world with it's poison. The dark tides pooled in places, became the Blights. The seeping fumes of the river turned green land into the wastelands. The parapsychics are those who are able to tap into the latent power of the River of Sorrow, the conduit formed by their own spiritual and physical suffering. Those who are unable to feel pain,or know suffering cannot reach the river. Clones have memories of pain, but none of it was real, so few of them are able to make the connection.

There are beings, entities that dwell along the banks of the River. Men would call them demons and devils, tormented souls and monsters. They are dimensional creatures, no more aware of our world than we are of theirs. Those rare individuals in the past who have been cursed with sight beyond sight have seen this tortured realm, and have written of it. Dante wrote of it in his Divine Comedy. The origins of the Brimstone and Hellfire sermonizing of the 1800s has also been attributed to visions of the barren plains that surround the river of sorrow.

Author's Notes
The River of Sorrows is a conceptual place that the players will NEVER have the ability to visit. It is the proverbial high water mark for suffering and misery in the world. Secondly, the river is both a metaphor and an explanation for the existence of parapsychic powers. The metaphor is the power doesn't come for free, and that all of the flashy abilities and powers that a parapsychic can bring to bear come first from their own inner demons (not literal) and then from the collective agony of mankind. When there is pain and death, strength is needed, and the parapsychics and their supernatural abilities are the answer to the need. Secondly I wanted an explanation for the power of parapsychic that wasn't as vague as 'teh magic' nor as specific as midichlorions. There is an answer to the origin of the power and it is nothing neat and clean like science would like, nor is it shining as Faith would hope. It is alien but entirely ours, and it is easy to become intoxicated and corrupted by using the parapsychic powers because their innate source is tainted.

The history of Singapore is a long and interesting struggle, eastern ideas and western ideas mixing, as well as a constant tumult of religion and ethnicity. Unlike other places in the world, this blending of peoples didn't lead to war and prejudice, but rather one of the most robust economies of the Petroleum Age. It was one of the busiest ports in the world, a hub of business and commerce, a place where ships were built, and unemployment was unheard of. There were more millionaires per capita in the island nation than anywhere else in the world. As the dark age of technology descended and the lights around the world one by one winked out as the the petroleum fired power plants one by one went offline, Singapore was among the locations hardest hit. With the discovery of arcanotechnology spread across the world in the second renaissance, it arrived quickly and strongly in the old island bastion. Soon, arcologies were rising across the island, and new industries were exploding.

The Temasek Aerodrome was opened on the east side of the island and was one of the first Surface to Orbit (STO) airports in the region, while the Raffles Arcology was built less than a kilometer away. The megabuilding offered room enough to host the entire 1869 population of the island. The arco remains standing even today as the central administration building of the island nation, and is the hub of all government activity in Seng Chiu. The Marshall Arcoplex sits on the SE side of the island, within sight of the Temasek Aerodrome and it is a major shipyard for both surface ships, space ships, and submarine craft. Half of the arcoplex is considered a seacology, as it is completely covered by the Indian ocean, and also provides a good deal of minced fish and kelp based biofoods for the nation. The Yew Hock Military base is located on the north side of the island and is both a surface naval base, as an army airbase. The facility is designed to serve as the focal point for the defence of the island, as well as being a regional data hub for the greater Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere military.

The western side of the island rapidly developed to host almost a dozen industrial and commercial arcologies. Financial institutions were drawn to the island as were tech and electronics companies interested in the ACPS market but not quite willing to make the jump fully into China. The largest of these economic behemoths was the Yuta-Blume Corporation. This was originally an easily overlooked company but heavy investment from mainland supporters bloated Yuta-Blume in a giant. The company was pricipally involved in biotechnologies, such as synthetic blood (created several years before in the Pacific Rim Confederation) synthetic organ growing (again elsewhere developed in Eurasian Alliance Italy) to pharmaceuticals.

The Yuta-Blume Disaster
Singapore would have gone on to become one of the most important economic hubs in the world and the most important in the ACPS if it hadn't been for the Yuta-Blume Disaster. At roughly 8:30 AM local time, the cascade reactor housed in the arcology suffered an unimaginable series of failures that resulted in a complete disruption of the reactor's cooling system. The resulting explosion caused a failure of the building's structural integrity and the entire north face of the arcology fell away in a landslide of nano-concrete and steel. A dozen other buildings were damaged, or collapsed as a result of the secondary damage. The power was disrupted, and the central SCAI (Super Computer Artificial Intelligence) Aphrodite was physically destroyed. Communications across the region were disrupted and the Singapore Stock Market remained offline for almost two weeks. Between the long silence in the virtual world, collateral damage from the destroyed and shattered buildings, and a death toll of 125,000 and twice as many wounded, it was more than the island nation could bear.

I remember when the Yuta Arco came down. There was this massive roar and steam came blowing out of all of the windows, and there was all sorts of screaming and confusion down on the street. A few seconds later the lights on the road went out and the maglev train stopped on it's track. Then we saw the side of the building still to wiggle and ripple, like it was made of jelly. It started to fall, sliding like the side of a mountain coming down. We screamed and ran like idiots. Those poor bastards on the train couldn't do a thing but watch it come right at them. The train vanished, and then the avalanche of debris hit the Negara demi-arco. The building shuddered and about a minute later it came screaming and roaring to the ground in a cloud of dust and smoke. We could only tell which buildings were standing and which had fell by their shadows, there was so much dust in the air. There were sirens for days afterwards. Everyone did what they could to help, pulling corpses and living victims from the wreckage as fast as they could. That one day destroyed us. The lights came back on, and when the dust cleared there just wasn't enough to fix everything. So many buildings were damaged, so many people were dead. The big companies left, they moved their offices to Kuala Lampur or to the Mainland. In a day, Singapore was destroyed.

The Aftermath
The Yuta-Blume Arcology collapse was a stunning day for the entire world. Considered a long serving, tried and true design, no one imagined that it could suffer such a catastrophic failure. With the disruption to power and data systems, Singapore effectively vanished from the electronic world. Instead of business, there were erratic streams of disaster photage and images of horror and devastation. News about what had happened got out so slowly that rampant speculation had terrified the economic powers and they had decided to withdraw from the island sanctuary. When the Singapore stock market opened two weeks later, it had lost 90% of it's value and the island was thrown into sudden and unexpected poverty. The plans that had been drawn up to start repair and clean-up of the Yuta 'wasteland' were canceled. There simply wasn't money to even start the UCVs and Scrappers.

As the island recovered from the devastation, the area around the Yuta-Blume arcology and surrounding damaged arcoplex was evacuated and impromptu walls were erected to separate the still unscathed eastern side of the island and the now decimated and contaminated western side. The remaining buildings were scavenged for major components and then, with a great sadness, abandoned. The wall was completed and a greatly diminished Singapore attempted to limp along, hoping and fighting for a recovery.

There were rough days, I tell you. We lost everything. My dad worked in the Negara arco, he died the day Yuta fell. My mother had no job, and we were evicted from out home in the Yew Residential Zone. We had nowhere to go, and I was too young to remember, but we ended up on the bad side of the wall. My mother learned the hard way how to care for us. We couldn't rely on electricity or robots to do our chores, or traveling to stores to buy things like clothing and food. She learned to mend clothing, wash people's laundry and if things were really bad she sometimes had to fall back to the oldest profession. A whole new world grew in the shadow of the wall. On one side there was the shining glass and steel and the robots and all the food and drink and bright lights you could imagine. On the other side there was a world 700 years in the past. We lived like before electricity and we farmed our own food and fished. Then there were the regular visits from the police to make sure we weren't Commies, terrorists, or criminals on the run.

At least no one had the nerve to look surprised when some of us decided to be those communist terrorist criminals the jack booted sociopaths were looking for.

Di'Milu became the official district name of the western portion of the Island, partitioned off by a 20 foot concrete wall. Most of the wall was built from scavenged facades of destroyed buildings, with doors and windows being covered over or filled in with quick set concrete. But the wall wasn't perfect and rather than being a political or military barrier it was just something to hide the ruin of of the old district and keep the debris from oozing into the areas that were unaffected. As an increasing number of people were displaced by the disaster, more and more found themselves stuck in Di'Milu District because there was simply nowhere else to go. It soon became a dumping ground for undesirables, criminals, and a place where undesirables from other countries would fall into when their plans and ambitions failed in the big city of Singapore. Di'Milu was better known as the Lost Lands, or the Lost Ground, and the residents there were simply called scum.

15 years after the disaster, the population of Di'Milu District numbered in excess of 150,000 with a surprising number of those being children. Divorced from electronic pursuits and the ever invasive CogNet, infonets, and SimNets, the only entertainment afforded to the locals was procreation. Faced with a mounting humanitarian crisis, the island government was forced to request aid from Mainland China which responded with Chinese peacekeepers and shipments of rice and synthetic protein, primarily at the urging of the PacRim Confederation. After being neglected for years, the government and the outcasts were about to have a clash of ideals.

So it went down like this, lah. Those kayus Karthik and Ong were looking to hustle the ya ya peaceforcers to give them extra food. You know the trick, lah, my poor starving little sister and momma needs to rest because her back's broken from carry so much concrete to trade for shit to trade for a handful of hope. So me and Min, and Winston decide to bust them all up. It's classic feint, lah, Min goes in first showing as much of her papayas as grandfather's ghost would allow. Then while those pantats were busy puffing themselves up, and I mean the ya yas too, me and Winston jumped them like dumb chickens. Winston nailed Karthik and Ong ran away like a girl, lah! Then me and Min took out the peaceforcers. We got two guns, a helmet, Karthik's dog knife, and best of all, forty pounds of rice, LAH! Look at it!

Unexpected Consequences
Yuta-Blume was indeed a large and powerful pharmaceutical company, but it was more than a developer of pills, retro-engineering facility and patent factory. The corporation was one of the few megacorps in the ACPS with access to CLASSIFIED MATIERAL from the Shenzhen Zhong Guo laboratory. The exact nature of the experiments conducted at the facility are now unknown. The physical records were destroyed with the collapse of the Yuta Arcology, and the electronic information was lost when Aphrodite's mainframe was destroyed. What telecommunicated records that survive have long since been devoured by the ACPS Intelligence Ministry. No one in the government currently knows what happened, as the accident was over a decade ago and most officials have either been replaced by elections, retirement, or no longer recall what was being done in the Singapore labs. It was later discovered that there was a significant level of contamination following the accident. While all of the rescue personnel were working, they were hunting for radiation leaks from the damaged reactors, or evidence of radioactive contamination. No one looked for chemical contamination.

Popular Conspiracies
Yuta-Blume was the target of espionage and corporate sabotage by the Shin Ra Zaibastu. After stealing all of Yuta-Blume's data and trade secrets they caused the reactor explosion to cover up their infiltration and damage Yuta-Blume.

Aliens destroyed the arcology before the corporation discovered their presence in Singapore

Yuta-Blume was working on a secret government project and it went wrong, and rather than let a new horror loose on the world the scientists chose to detonate the reactor to destroy the building and all of the information.

The Harmoniously Resonant Children
The peacekeepers held their rifles ready, there had been a general warning since midnight. One of the guard posts on the wall had been completely destroyed and the lone survivor had said that there was some kid who had shown up and turned into a robot and then tore everything apart. The video feed, sadly, supported this ludicrous claim. A lost ground teen approached, taunted the guards, and then turned an exposed steel girder into a suit of organic looking armor. Armed with a pair of blades extended from the arms, the iron clad teen ignored gunfire, sliced up three of the four guardsmen, and then started a fire inside the post after stealing their guns and all of their food rations.

A number of teens across Di'Milu start exhibiting unexpected abilities. These abilities superficially resemble known para-psychic and para-kinetic devotions explored in the Eurasian Alliance, Japan, and in some gray operations in China. The most common ability evinced by the children is that of molecular conversion. The process is not understood, and experienced government parapsychics cannot replicate even their most basic abilities of conversion. It is known that the ability is an unexplained expression of telekinesis. Each of the teens with the ability can convert almost any material into whatever shape they desire. There are definite preferences in forms and materials for each individual, such as favoring concrete, or metal, and forming armor or weapons.

1. The Arcology:
The principal mode of human habitation, arcologies are megastructures that are largely self sufficient and house tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of people in a relatively small space. In the Cosmic Era, 90% of the world population lives in, or within physical sight of one of these mammoth buildings. During the Reconstruction phase that coincided with the Second Renaissance, many city cores saw large swaths of old buildings leveled to make room for the second and third generation of arcologies (the first generation having been built in the final desperate throes of the Petroleum Age). The result was that soon each major city had at least one arcology sitting in it's skyline. Cities like New York, London, and Beijing quickly grew to have such a number of arcologies that the term Arcoplex was born. Arcos are vertical structures, disciplined, and intensively organized, and have more in common with space ships that with skyscrapers. Demi-Arcologies also exist, and are roughly half the size of a standard arcology in terms of height and floorspace. Demi-Arcos are often owned by private megacorporations, service branches and departments of the government, or other dedicated purposes. 

2. The Space Habitat
Space stations and habitats now orbit smartly about the planet, some in specific special orbits, others hanging in geosynchronous position, while the majority sit in stable lagrange points, forming new constellations in the night sky. Many of these are involved in zero g manufacturing, but there are just as many existing as colonial territories, housing large numbers of people who were born in space and will spend their lives in space, and are distressed when they visit Earth or one of the colonies, being under gravity feels like everything is moving under hard thrust. The number of people living in space is relatively small compared to terrestrial populations, but the number is growing quickly. Space dwellers are much more likely to be germaphobic, indulge in cosmetic genetic alteration, and massively de-emphasize the importance of food and eating as a social experience.

3. The GeoFront
Just as man has gone into space, he has also burrowed into the earth. Many terrains are not suitable to building megastructures on, the underlying strata just doesnt have the strength or stability to shore up a building of that magnitude. Geofront, also more correctly known as geocities are then tunneled out into the loose soil. They provide their own stability, and are well protected by dense layers of concrete and being located under vast amounts of earth and rock. Isolated from natural light and air, few Geofronts are colonial in nature, and most are industrial use, mining or other non-residential functions. 

4. The Bio-Creche
Nature took a horrific beating through the end of the Petroleum Era, and then during the first few decades of the New Dark age. Animal species were exterminated, forests were destroyed, and more than can be imagined was lost. Bio-Creches were first created by the scientists of the United States of South America to rebuild and repopulate the Amazon river basin. These large structures were biological engines that produced seedlings and distributed seedings of certain plants. Others produced new born animals, raising several generations in a zoo like sanctuary before releasing them into the wild. While large swaths of the planet remain damaged, the work of bio-creches, terraforming and clean up operations are reversing the damage of previous generations. Bio-Creches use cloning technology and DNA reclamation techniques to either bolster weak species, or to recreate lost species from physical samples. The Tycho Conventions are recognized and no species lost to natural extinction (Dinosaurs) can be legally cloned.

5. The Seacology
The oceans cover 70% of the planet's surface and much of this space is vast and empty, away from islands and wrecks, its miles and miles of nothing. Seacologies are aquatic cities. These cities are typically close to land, such as islands or coastlines or are in shallow coastal waters, like the Mediterranean Sea or the Gulf of Mexico. Many seacologies are devoted to fisheries and aquaculture, housing large colonial populations. These structures are often loosely assembled, with open spaces between sections and decks, as the weight of moving water is far and above wind effect. This generally sees seacologies as not being classified as megastructures even though their dimensions are large enough to count them. Many seacologies offer tourist and recreational services not seen in most arcologies or cities.

6. The CogNet
The CogNet, or Cognitive Network is the fourth generation of the internet. It functions much like immersive reality, an artificial reality that the user can fully experience in all senses through the use of a CogNet headset. The system is administered by 12 artificial intelligence super computers and dozens of their slaved limited AI super computers. The network is technically intelligent on a massive scale, but it has no sentience. The most common uses of the CogNet is standard internet commerce, through virtual stores, streaming interactive entertainment, (the viewer is not just watching a movie, they have the option of being part of the action) Simulated Sinsation (virtual pornography) and the operation of surrogate drones. Surrogates are android bodies that are remotely driven by human hosts, and serve a variety of functions, ranging from providing crippled or anxiety victims to move about in public, accommodating germaphobes, to remote control soldiers, real life expressions of online avatars and the like. 

7. The Lunar Colonies
Dug into the lunar regolith, there are cities on the moon. The Lunar Colonies are predominantly under the jurisdiction of the Atlantic Federation and the Eurasian Alliance, and both have major naval bases on the moon. The Lunar colonies are the shipyards of the Solar System, and half of the space ships in service were built on the moon, and once launched from Earth's gravity, most space ships built on Earth never return to it's surface. Most surface to orbit transit is handled via shuttles launched via Mag-Rail. Most of the Lunar Colonies follow the geofront model for protection from solar radiation and from micro-meteorite damage.

8. False Moon Habitats
One of the first forays into space was asteroid mining. Near earth objects were reached via robotic shuttles and once fixed with low thrust high duration engines, were moved into Lunar orbit, or very high Earth orbits. These chunks of space rock, typically the iron rich type were extensively mined for their metal content. As the mining operations continued, the structures inside the rock grew larger and more elaborate, until the metal available was exhausted. The remaining object is a stony matrix of habitat and rock, stronger and safer than a traditional space habitat. Many mined out asteroids were disassembled for the next project, but a good number remained as converted use bases. These asteroid bases are all controlled by either megacorp interests or terrestrial governments, such as the Atlantic Federation's Mendel Biological Research and Development facility (bioweapons) or Majesty Mining and Metals orbital headquarters Bessemer Station.

9. Bio-Caches
A legacy of the Terrestrial Cold War, bio-caches are underground vaults, seldom connected to anything like a geofront or major city center. The Bio-Caches are repositories for biological and genetic information. Most Bio-Creches will disseminate their data to several Bio-Caches to ensure that the work that went into restoring and recovering an animal or plant species won't go to waste, as well as keeping genetically modified and pure strains of their work. Some Bio-Caches are for storing people, cryo-imprisonment and cryogenic freezing remain not uncommon options for criminals and the terminally ill. Creative Incarcerations Corp maintains six cryo-prisons for the long term storage of criminals not violent enough to warrant the death penalty (or were convicted in non-capital punishment states) but are too dangerous to leave in a general population prison.

10. Enclosed Seas
The problem with typical fisheries is the lack of water flow and the rapid accumulation of fish wastes in a small area. Enclosed Seas are large volumes of water that are closed in via a series of nets, baffles, locks and other mechanisms. These are connected to major ocean currents and located in areas where the fallout of fish waste can be gathered and used by the sorts of animal life that eat fish poo. Enclosed seas are typically up current from seacologies, which typically themselves are festooned with genetically modified corals and filter feeders. 

12. Cetacean Technology Center
Revolutions in electronics and mind machine interface made actual communications with other animal species possible. While there are labs working on developing Canine+ and Feline+ species that understand the spoken language, the greatest breakthroughs in inter species communications has been with dolphins and orcas. The Cetacean Tech center is a breeding and teaching facility for training dolphins to work with humans. The scientists are convinced it is only a matter of time before they can engineer the first human intelligence level dolphins.

13. Over-Under Arcology
In geologically unstable areas, it is becoming feasible to first built an extensive geofront under the proposed location of an arcology. As the GeoFront grows, it's pilings and structure becomes the basement level of the Arcology above, with the two structures spreading their weight across the entire footing of the GeoFront. Once both structures have been built, the transition from GeoFront to Arcology is an arbitrary one as both structures effectively flow into one another. Most Over-Unders have both large residential populations as well as extensive industrial and manufacturing bases. A sufficiently large GeoFront can function like a root system, connecting multiple arcologies, and housing the mechanical components of those structures, such as the building power cores, recycling and waste processing centers and other things that don't need the light of day, or aren't pleasant to look at.

14. Hydroponics Habitat
Also known as Green Stations, hydroponics habitats are the most recognizable structures in orbit. These habitats have large amounts of translucent materials to allow sunlight to enter. The populations are small, but the main importance of the stations to to grow food for the colonies in orbit. Expensive as it is to farm in space, its just as expensive if not more to farm on Earth and then launching food into orbit. The bulk of food grown in orbit is a plant called Soygea, a genetic amalgam of soybeans and algea. It grows into a dense mat of fairly nutritious if unpleasant tasting pod like fibers. This in tandem with mycoprotein (mushroom meat) forms the basis of the space diet. Colonies in space have developed and adopted different cultural spices into their cuisine to cover the taste and texture of their food, with spices being favored for color and bold tastes, and Thai, Curry, and Mexican cuisines being favored over Terrestrial favorites.

15. Aquaforming Base
The oceans were not undamaged by the follies of the Petroleum Age. Billions of tons of trash was dumped into the ocean as well as unknown amounts of chemical and biological wastes. Like the terrestrial Bio-Creches, the Aquaforming bases are working to restore marine life, but their first occupation is filtering sea water to remove the horrible things that had been dumped into it. Most of these bases are in oceanic current zones, or in edy areas where debris would have eventually settled. While there is certainly a strong measure of altruism in this operation, the materials being removed from the water certainly have a financial value, such as nickel and mercury, as well as the cleaned water and restored seabed being valuable for aquculture and building seacologies in a safe enviroment.

16. Bio-Feedback Center
Visiting the doctor with a case of the sniffles is a thing of the past. The advances in the CogNet and diagnostic software has made the majority of non-trauma hospital visits into online affairs. The bio-Feedback system used in the CogNet and Simulated Sensation System (S3) can be used to examine the user, and specialists at a Bio-Feedback Center can use these full body human diagnostics to remotely diagnose illnesses and non-trauma injuries and conditions. Medications can be prescribed, or medical procedures can be scheduled without sixteen trips back and forth to a doctor. Most Bio-Feedback Centers are attached to Hospital facilities, and serve as a training tools and observation clinics for young doctors. 

17. Green Towers
Food Production is a major issue in the Cosmic Era, between the growing population and the general unwillingness to return to the extensive terrain and environment destroying agriculture of the Petro-age. Translucent towers, the size of Demi-Arcos are common sights in cities,where vertical farming is done, along with hydroponics and other food growing technologies to produce enough food for the common people. Fast growing plants are favored, along with high yield crops like modified Wheat, modified Soy, and mycoproteins. Green Towers have 24 hour days (providing artificial light at night) and are climate controlled, so there is no concern about drought conditions, flooding, insects and other problems that plagued old food production. The downside of the cheap readily available food crops is a lack of flavor and food diversity, requiring most people to be on at least one or more vitamin supplements. Whole foods, and inefficient crops, like tree crops and special growing requirement crops are drastically more expensive, as is protein sources like beef. Most protein in the modern diet comes from aquaculture (shrimp is the new chicken) mycoprotein (fungal tofu) and faux cheese (rendered oil and fat waste). The horror of the cosmic diet.

18. Deep Sea Habitat
Not all seacologies are located on continental shelves, or in shallow water, just most of them. There are colonies down on the abyssal plain, far beyond the sunlight surface. The Deep Sea Habitats are as remote and dangerous as the deep space colonies. Few are devoted to residential populations, most are involved in deep sea exploration, undersea mining, or serve as naval bases for submarine fleets. The Eurasian Alliance has the largest number of deep sea habitats, most of which are serving ports for their hundreds of submarines. The Deep Sea Habitats are noted for long duration stays, spartan accommodations, and rigorous discipline. 

19. Techno-Vault
The Techno-Vaults are a legacy of the Cold War and Resource Wars. These were fallout bunkers built to survive near nuclear blasts and maintain the electronic equipment held inside. The main occupant of a techno-vault is the core of an Artificial Intelligence Super Computer, supported by a small staff of engineers, technicians, and people that the AISC approves of. The vaults that aren't being used as nests for AISCs are data caches used for ultra-secure information, along the lines of government black ops and black budget stuff, megacorp secret files, and the like. Reaching the data cores via hacking is as dangerous as physically reaching the cores in their remote locations with their armed security personnel. The majority of Techno-Vaults are in the former United States, western Europe, Japan, and mainland China.

20. ArcNet
Almost every arcology has its own host CogNet that is enclosed to itself. Messages and data sent between residences is bounced through the ArcNet. Information or calls sent between arcologies goes to the ArcNet, up to the CogNet, to the respective ArcNet and to the recipient. The heart of the ArcNet is the computer core of the arcology in question. It is not uncommon for the computer to be a Limited AISC, and most of them develop personalities and have a given, typically Greek or Latin name. Of course, most users never even notice the lag as their business is routed to and from different aspects of the CogNet, but their transmissions are monitored by the computer, and there is a cadre of trained personnel who are instructed to keep an eye out for dissident information, and other intel sources.

21. CommSat Station
Data is the lifeblood of the Cosmic Era, and the network of towers, satellites and relay stations are the nervous system of the planet. The CommSat Station is a major node, a key player in the operation of the the new global network. While it has a small staff, it is large. The arrays can handle terabytes of data per second, important for streaming holocast material, such as sporting events and national speeches. The CommSat station is home to a LAISC that is devoted to handling and disseminating data streams. CommSat Stations are vital pieces of national infrastructures and most have the reliable protection of space based military assets. CommSats run by weaker nations tend to have better armor and protection, while those fielded by the Atlantic Federation are 100% dependent on Federation fleet assets for protection and supply.

22. S3X Parlour
It was only a matter of time before Simulated Sensation Systems (S3) were merged into the world of adult entertainment. Rather than watching pornography, viewers were able to sensationally participate. The high cost of a full S3 system, as opposed to the limited S3 headset made in impractical for all but the upper middle class and rich to own them. An entreprenuer decided to launch the first S3XXX arcade, where customers could buy time in a full body S3 rig and indulge in full immersion simsex. While seedy and of questionable hygiene, the parlours are busy and sources of large amounts of money. Some brand name S3X Parlours have gone on to write and produce their own lines of media entertainment. Unlike traditional pornography, many of these new lines are designed to keep the viewer interested but not over stimulated as long as possible. While it is fully within the ability of the technology to induce near instant orgasm in the viewer, it is far more profitable to string them along with anticipation and expectation for the longest period possible, or for a predetermined, prepaid amount of time. The standard S3X 'vid' is approximately 15 minutes in duration, with 4 minutes of commercial advertising and placements.

23. Armed Interplanetary Ship
The Solar System is the middle stages of colonization, with colonies on the Moon, and Mars, and habitats and science stations orbiting Mars, Venus, and several of the Jovian moons. Transit between these far flung abodes is carried out by Ion Drive equipped ships. While FTL is still a distant dream, interplanetary drive is available. After the deployment of explorer and scientific vessels, warships were the next craft to appear in the darkness of space. The Atlantic Federation holds a distinct advantage, with claim to most of the Moon, both of Mars' moons and habitats at Europa, Mars, and Venus. Warships tend to be large, but cramped. Most have multiple redundant systems, and rely primarily on guided missiles and energy weapons to fight each other in space. The Federation warships favor particle cannons and large missiles, while the Eurasian Alliance prefers rail guns and lasers. Warships adhere to strong discipline, and the culture aboard a warship extends beyond the ship, with crewmen becoming family, if they serve on the same ship. 

24. Submarine
Seemingly a technology to be forgotten to the Cold War and the Resource Wars, the Submarine has seen a resurgence in popularity. While small submersibles become very common with the founding of seacologies and underwater habitats, large submarines remained only a memory. The Eurasian Alliance found itself falling behind the Atlantic Federation in the Space Race and after digging in it's Martian colonies and a handful of asteroid bases, it found an open niche. Calling on decades of submarine tech from the Soviet era, new Submarines were launched. These new subs were able to dive very deep, carried sophisticated computers and had almost sentient torpedoes in their arsenals. The submarine became a thorn in the Atlantic Federation's side, as it found the Atlantic Ocean was easily penetrated by the submarines, regardless of if they cam through SAUR waters, the Mediterranean, or through the Arctic. Once a forgotten technology, the Typhoon III submarine is as symbolic of the Eurasian Alliance as the America class space cruiser is of the Federation.

25. Corporate Zone
The Corporations bloomed after the Second Renaissance, riding to vast fortune and power on the wave of technology and innovation. As they grew, it was a simple matter of purchasing and leasing property, assimilating other companies and property holding firms until they dominated an entire geographic area. While neither the largest nor the the first Union Aerospace of the Atlantic Federation was the most public in it's creation of a corporate zone. The UAC gained control or ownership of almost 75% of the former state of New Jersey, as well as Staten Island. After this it formed the Corporate Party in the state of New Jersey, and by the end of the decade, the Corporate Party had a major presence in the New England Commonwealth senate. Within the corporate zone, everything is owned by the parent corporation, and it is not limited by anti-trust laws, and as long as it's laws do not violate the laws of the parent country, is allowed to operate by it's own laws. Corporate Zones have the highest concentrations of wealth on the planet, field their own military forces, and exist in a hostile tension with the governments of the countries they inhabit. Corporate zones are the most frequent targets of terrorist activities and cyber-attacks.

26. Wasteland Zone
Much of the planet was devastated in the last days of the Resource wars, some areas simply bearing the scars of reckless resource harvesting, while others have been laid to waste by war. The expanse of radioactive wasteland between the Caspian Sea and the Mediterranean is likely the worst scarred location. The final spasm of the Resource Wars was a nuclear exchange between the Israeli and it's western backers and Iran and it's eastern and Russian backers. Almost all of the Fertile Crescent was blasted by a mixture of nuclear missiles, nuclear bombs, and improvised nuclear weapons. The Israeli nukes were more advanced and more powerful, but the truck mounted fusion bombs deployed by the Iranians and Jihadis proved equally devastating. Now, there are strange twisted ruins of cities, and the nomads of the area suffer from radiation mutation and horrific cancers. Many a holy man has made the hajj to the ruins of Mecca, to fall dead within sight of the ruined city, his body destroyed by the radiation leaking out of every rock and dark place.

27. Raft Cities
Raft Cities were formed as a backlash against both the advancement of arcological construction, and the formation of the economic super blocs. Old cities saw their old hearts gutted to make room for giant buildings, and many claimed that the old cities were slain, the towers daggers thrust through their souls. New Orleans launched the first raft city, which became one of the first Free Cities as well. The raft cities house at the most 100,000 people and are floating man-made islands. The structures are modular constructed, and are mobile, but slow. Most raft cities are nothing more than free ports of trade, cultural icons, or tourist destinations, while the world powers do have a number of purely military raft bases, such as the ACPS floating airfields, or the Alliance submarine tending cities. New NewOrleans, New Amsterdam and New Venice are popular tourist destinations.

28. Drone Control Center
Surrogates appeared as the unexpected love child of S3 technology and android construction. The android body is built to the consumer specifications, and a full S3 rig is installed in their home. Through the use of the rig and relays like the Drone Control Center, a person is able to walk around remotely anywhere in the world they want to. The initial applications of Surrogates was for para- and quadriplegics but quickly expanded to military and political uses. More than one assassin has been apprehended after shooting a robot in the head! Surrogate drones found uses across the spectrum, being operated in menial tasks such as mining or harvesting crops, or in dangerous tasks such as underwater operations or working in jobs that would be lethal, such as in oxygen deprived carbon fiber factories, incinerators, or in dangerous manufacturing operations. While not an everyday home item, people see and deal with surrogates on a daily basis. The Drone Control Center is not just a relay for handling encrypted signals for surrogate control, but it is a hub for maintenance, repair, upgrades and cosmetic changes for the surrogate bodies.   

29. The Virtual Stadium
The first use of Holocast technology was Superbowl 1, inaugurating Superbowl Day as a Federation Holiday celebrating sports excellence. The event was a soccer game between the New England Commonwealth's Patriots and Manchester Consolidated and while only 70,000 people could fill the actual stadium the game was held in, VirtuCams recorded and broadcast the entire event in S3 format. Nearly 2.6 million viewed the event as spectators in a virtual copy of the stadium (each occupied one of 15 seats selected as vantage points) while another 20 million viewed through S3 headseats, and the rest of the 200,000,000 audience members had to make do with standard streaming 3deo. The Virtual Stadium would be marked as a great success, as the real stadium listed 2,670,000 people in attendance, making it the largest venue to date. The Stadium was progressively scanned weeks ahead of the event, and the mapping and replication technology rendered the stadium in such high quality that many viewers spent as much time wandering around the structure as spent watching the game. The technology would be later used to recreated dozens and then hundreds of real world locals and turn them into admission based visitable online locations. This ease of access, and suddenly cheaper cost of travel created massive spikes in revenue for places that were feeling the pain of recession and lack of tourism. The Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Vatican, Stonehenge, Hollywoodland, and hundreds of other tourist locations benefited vastly from the first Virtual Stadium.

While the first places to be fully rendered in S3/Holocasting were real world, it was only a matter of time before the land of video games and movies crashed into the new technology. Entire artificial worlds sprung up in the online domain. The MMO once revolutionized subscription based gaming, S3MM changed the way gamers played games. For people willing to give their entire life to a game, were able to make that game into a full career. Online careers escalated after the Federation Court ruled that prostitution in a virtual format was not against the law as no actual coitus had taken place no matter how cunning the replication. Soon, a small fraction of the population was engaged in online careers, working in virtual mines, or soldiers in virtual armies fighting wars in virtual countries as virtual races.
Last edited by Skaldia on Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:16 pm, edited 36 times in total.
||“The lesson of history is that no one learns.”
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Founded: Jun 30, 2013
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Skaldia » Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:21 pm

Locations Cont. VI

Properly, Xeo America is an ACPS mega resort in a areosynchronous orbit above Kunlun, as geo implies Earth, and most of the western names for Mars and it's features have been replaced by Chinese names, as China represents the dominant nationality on the planet. The resort has been assembled to operate as the penthouse of Wukong's Ladder, a space elevator.

Xeo America is a massive bernal sphere floating above Huo Hsing. It started life as an asteroid, a demi-moon in orbit above the red planet. The Chinese captured it, moved it into a stable orbit, and started building. They flattened one side of the asteroid and used the excess material to fill out the other side. A geodesic sphere was assembled around the structure, and over several years, was filled with a breathable atmosphere. Guests of Xeo America can walk freely across the surface in nothing more than chinos and a polo shirt, or a traditional sarong. 

As a mega resort, Xeo America has a dozen themed hotels, a massive commercial complex, and a huge theme park. The gimmick is that this was not an accurate representation of the former United States, it was very much an Asian-centric perspective on the 'Beautiful Country'. It has many of the salient features of American iconography, a twice the size replica of the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, an Opryland music hall, a giant waving Texas Cowboy, a semblance of the Vegas strip, a highly incorrect version of Mount Rushmore (featuring Mao Zedong, Xi Jinping, Chiang Kaishek, and Confucius), the Hollywood sign, and a few other (insert your own oriental version of significant American landmark) sites. There are many restaurants and spas, but these are very heavily skewed towards Chinese traditions, with what is considered an American flare. Cheeseburgers can be had, but they are made with miso paste, and are more likely to be made of surimi (minced fish) or a blend of shellfish, soy, and other ingredients. Ketchup is present, but almost all other traditional American flavors and sauces are non-existent.

There are several modes of transit in Xeo America, but the main attraction is to ride the perimeter of the resort on what are considered to be vintage American Harley Davidson motocycles. There is also a 'dude ranch' that has a number of synth animals; horses, bison, cougars, and rattlesnakes, all artificial so they need to food or medical care.

Grandiose Plans
Xeo America is a massive monument to the ACPS on Huo Hsing, and as it serves as the upper anchor of the Wukong Space Eleator, it will be the crown of the Emperor's accomplishments. 

Xeo America has no grandiose secrets, no hidden nefarious purpose, it is a massive Chinese vision of America, how it is seen from the outside, and through the lens of time, several centuries after the demise of that nation. For a point of reference, Xeo America should feel like visiting an America themed theme park in the middle on China, being a massive attraction for people who've never been to the US, so it looks foreign and decadent, but all the familiar domestic elements. A contrasting perspective would be native Chinese people visiting a China themed amusement park in the Great Lakes region and trying to figure out just how in the name of the Middle Kingdom that they are experiencing Cincinnati chili spaghetti in Tienanmen Square.

Once the Wukong elevator is operational, Xeo America will become the crown jewel of Huo Hsing. The attraction is expected to drive tourism to the Red planet, as well as potentially invigorate the ACPS space industry. The attraction is expected to appeal to China, Nippon, and a slew of other non-Western countries that were enamored with the legacy of the United States.

Future Plans and Scrapped Ideas
Xeo America is the first stage in the August Emperor of Jade's plan. If it is successful, there are plans to create further attractions, with the most prominent being a real life mega park on the Red Planet to recreate the American Wild West, as well as expanding further into the exploitation of other national cultures. Plans for Xeo France, Xeo Britannia, Xeo Mexico, and Xeo Roma are in the concept and illustration stages, following the asteroid in a ball plan of Xeo America. Half of this is engineering, design, and applied anthropotronics, and the other half is economic and commercial industry. With sufficient economic influence, and investment in resorts, media, shipping, and heavy construction, the ACPS can potentially secure dominance without engaging the military actions. 

There was a ACPS military plan to install a black market source Higgs cannon in the mock up of the Statue of Liberty, so that if threatened, the statue could engage hostile forces with it's torch becoming a beam weapon with a 200 kiloton yield blast. The Emperor was deeply upset by this, as Xeo America should represent the ideal of America, not it's actual legacy. By the Emperor's decree the Xeo America facility is completely unarmed, there are not even point defense weapons on the station, which is a registered and internationally recognized fact, making the entire station a neutral and non-combatant installation. Any ship, ANY ship, firing on Xeo America would be internationally recognized as a pirate vessel, and be subject to military action from any armed ship in the vicinity.

Xeo America is also, for the same reason, deliberately lacking strategic and military assets. It doesn't have a military barracks, no integral fighter support, and while it can dock with military ships, docking procedures are largely universal, and just as it can dock with one of the scarce ACPS fleet ships, it can just as easily dock a Federation battlestar, or Hanseatic heavy cruiser, or any of the remaining Pan-Solar luxury cruise liners. 

Military Units

Commanding Officer: General Victor St. Clair
Appearance: Victor St. Clair is a large physically imposing man, a product of the WEREWOLF super soldier program approximately 40 years ago. He is close to seven feet tall, 350 lbs, and demonstrates impressive strength, durability, the ability to heal rapidly, combat aggression, pain inhibitors, augmented strength, and anti-personnel hyperedge 'claws' that can retract into his forearms. He has blond hair, pronounced sideburns, but no other facial hair. He projects a very strong very masculine aura which is augmented by his regular possession of contraband tobacco cigars, and a preference for taking trophies in the field.

Relevant Information: General St. Clair is close to retiring from military service, though if he were to chose so, it would not be difficult for him to move upwards in the ranks to reach the rank of Field Marshal of the Federation Army. St. Clair believes that the best way he can serve his nation is not as a military commander, but as a civilian leader, and has started making plans and inroads in making the jump to the public sector. As a native Quebecoise warhawk with a long and glorious military career, his chances of being elected are very good. He is the sort of face that the military wants, the propaganda machine wants, and he himself believes that the greatest threat to the Armed Forces of the Atlantic Federation isn't the Eurasians, or the ACPS, but the cowards, armchair generals and bureaucrats in the government.

Armor Assets
Chariot Mk. 3 Droid Combat Vehicle

The Chariot is a light duty military hovercraft with an open top, decent top speed, but light armor and light weaponry. The vehicle can carry 5-7 conventional infantry, or 3 power armor troopers. In the later case, the troopers are able to use their own weapons to fire out of the top of the droid vehicle (hence it's name).

The 228ths Chariot droids were in poor condition to start with, and given Amerikka Command's preference for electronic jamming, hacking and warfare in general, the vehicles were at best untrustworthy, and at worst were hacked and used to attack their own ground crews. The most impressive and destructive use of a Chariot was a damaged vehicle being shut down, packed full of high explosives (inside destroyed power armor suits) and then it was allowed to return to base. When the charges detonated, more than a dozen techs were killed, as well as a large amount of supplies and material.

OCP-IFV-57 'Yeti' Infantry Fighting Vehicle
A cold weather vehicle, the Yeti proved useful in the rough and cold terrain of the Rocky Mountain Republic. The six wheeled armored vehicle had a compact robot controlled turret, decent armor, and decent speed. It could accommodate a squad of conventional infantry, but no power armor units. The Yeti is considered an antique, and while almost a signature unit in the 228th, it is obsolete and almost completely phased out of service.

The 228ths Yetis proved to be the backbone around which the unit would do most of their seek and destroy missions and when things got back, it was the Yetis that held the line and discipline until there was nothing left moving. The primitive robot turret proved difficult to hack and was easily cut off by yeti crews and manned by crewmen as needed.

UAC Standard Multi-Role Power Armor Suit Mark 35
The Mark 35 is the epitome of standard issue, designed for customization, ease of maintenance, and adaptation to a variety of roles. The armor hits 'medium' in almost every category from armor protection to mobility to firepower. It has configurations and 'backpack' kits that allow it to operate in space, underwater, in desert, urban, jungle, and arctic conditions. The suit lacks integrated weapons, but there are more guns, combo-guns, and weapons for the Mark 35 than there are dresses for Barbie.

The 228th had very few Mk. 35 power armors, with the bulk of it's forces being conventional infantry. Given the typical level of conflict with Amerikka Command in the vicinity of the Rocky Mountain Republic, it was deemed that a special forces heavy conventional infantry battalion would be able to handle the mission. This would prove to not be the case.

OCP-LIV 'Trailbreaker' Light Infantry Vehicle
The Trailbreaker infantry vehicle is a four wheeled conventional vehicle with limited crew capacity, very light armor, and a mounting point for a single infantry support weapon. Trailbreakers are outdated vehicles that remain in use with secondary and reservist units, and in conventional infantry battalions.

The Trailbreakers of the 228th proved to be very vulnerable to the 'Trouble Bubble' ground attack craft deployed by Amerikka Command. The reliance on the outdated vehicle left the unit vulnerable to being cut off from resupply and being demobilized in general. Once deprived of their transports and trucks, the infantry of the Mountain Lions were left to the mercy of Sidewinder Boom Buggies, Viper military bikes, and the aforementioned Trouble Bubble patrol pods.

Rothechilde Broadcaster
The Rothechilde Broadcaster is a mobile CogNet node generator and in addition to forming linkages to the Net, it has extensive systems for broadcasting specific information, often for the purpose of flooding decentralized networks, burying local data traffic under propaganda, white noise, or otherwise obnoxious media material. This form of non-lethal warfare is commonly used to force local groups to face what is going on, rather than retreating into the Net, or using the Net for insurgent purposes.

The 228ths Rothechilde Broadcaster was hacked by Amerikka Command Televipers who used the machine to further their own cyber warfare assault against the unit and it's base. Once the hacking was discovered, the Televipers activated the Rothechilde and filled Federation military bandwidths with electronic noise, classic American speeches and ethnic America rock and roll music.

UAC MA-114 Urban Fortress
The Urban Fortress is on paper nothing more than an up-armored, oversized infantry transport with suitable armor, gun ports for the infantry to shoot out of the vehicle and an assault mounted autocannon. In practice, the oversized vehicle is specifically designed to deploy Federation power armor troopers, and support them in the field with it's heavy armor, and heavy firepower. Urban Fortresses are a mixture of mobile weapon platform, mobile command center, and anti-armor vehicle. Originally designed as a police riot control vehicle, the military adopted the Urban Fortress after it demonstrated the ability to crush hostile vehicles under it's heavy treads, while relying less on expensive computers and exotic weapons, and rather used the often extensive firepower of the power armor troopers it carried.

The 228th had 2 Urban Fortresses, Fortress Prime was a HQ command model with enhanced communication equipment and data uplinks, and Fortress Vector was a bunker buster armed with plasma cannons. Fortress Prime was survived to the end of the battle, and was salvaged by Amerikka Command. Fortress Vector was destroyed by AC Rattlesnake ground attack jets dropping 1000 kg bombs on it until it stopped moving and then exploded.

Aerial Assets
VT-21 Aeromanche Large Helocraft
The Aeromanche is a large electrojet helocraft. The craft has a large payload capacity, and can carry either a Yeti IFV or a pair of Trailbreaker vehicles. It can also deploy up to 24 conventional troopers or an entire squad of power armor troopers. The craft is and older design, and is tried and true technology. The Aeromanche is no longer favored by the Federation military, but it's engine design makes it power efficient, and able to operate in mountain terrain.

The 228ths Aeromanche helocraft were destroyed in an initial sabotage attack. Of the 6 helocraft operated by the unit, three were destroyed, two were severely damaged, and the sixth flew almost constantly until it was shot down by a Command missile squad. This ended up severely limited the Mountain Lion's ability to move and resupply their units that were away from the immediate vicinity of the base.

VT-99 Starling Drone
The VT-99 Starling drone is a small military multi-role drone, primarily used for scouting and spotting missions for artillery and other heavy assets, but it can be fitted with a variety of semi-guided rockets and smartbombs for use as a light strike craft.

The 228th relied primarily on the Starling drone, fitted with radar guided missiles and a point laser, for their air operations. The unit traditionally relied on other aerial assets when they were needed, and when deployed it was assumed that the Amerikka Command forces in the region had negligible air assets. Between anti-aircraft missiles, Trouble Bubble patrol pods, and a pair of Rattlesnake ground attack jets, the Command quickly gained to upper hand in air to air operations.

AFS Terry Allen
Cleveland class destroyer

The Cleveland class destroyer was a second line warship, originally used for maritime patrol, and for sweep and destroy missions across large swaths of land. The ship is armed with a single turret mounted rail gun with a 25 mile range, four missile stations armed with radar guided missiles, and two forward firing anti-ship aeropedo launchers. These one ton projectiles mix a magnetic accelerator with an A-pod thrust system to deliver large powerful payloads into other warships, fixed installations and other slow moving targets.

The Allen was hemmed in fighting the in the mountainous terrain. It had limited anti-personnel and anti-material weaponry and while attempting to provide support to the 228th, it was seriously damaged. Rather than risk losing his ship, the captain of the Allen ordered a general retreat and fled the area. It was trailing smoke and listing badly due to severe damage to it's hull, engineering section, and powerplant. After the battle, the Allen was struck from the fleet and sent to scrap rather than being repaired.

Infantry Assets
Conventional GI

Drawing heavily on the Federation military cloning program, the 228th is principally composed of clone infantry. Conventional infantry carry a variety of firearms, but typically carry magnetic rifles and high end conventional firearms. These units are expected to have high rates of attrition, and accordingly, the clones are programmed for extreme loyalty and to retain discipline even in the face of extreme odds and morale.

The clone infantry of the 228th suffered from a very rigid chain of command, and after the HQ of the unit was knocked out and the general vanished, the clone units continued fighting from their last ordered positions. Once Command officers realized that the clones were not receiving instructions, only holding their ground, this allowed for AC units to bring up artillery and suicide droids to wipe them out.

Commandos are elite soldiers who are trained in improvised weapons, asymmetrical warfare and other skills ranging from cyber warfare to demolitions. The Federation maintains a large contingent of commandos, both for use in specialized warfare, such as underwater, mountainous, or space, and as support for supersoldier units.

The 228th was composed of approximately 30% commando infantry, with emphasis on mountain fighting and asymmetrical warfare. While this made it very strong in scattered out small scale operations, this has the converse action of limiting it's power in large scale operations.

The Federation Skeletron is a main line fighting robot with a limited ability combat cortex, a large ability to absorb damage, and a mechanical inability to feel fear. Skeletrons carry heavier weaponry than conventional infantry, and often work as part of infantry squads, traditionally working point position, and heavy weapons support.

The skeletrons of the 228th have not been reprogrammed for mountain warfare and proved vulnerable to the tactics of the Amerikka Command mountain fighters. This would later prove to be disastrous as the Command's Battle Android Troopers proved vastly superior in capability and tactics when facing their Federation counterparts.

The Last Stand of St. Clair
St. Clair and the 228th Mountain Lions had as their mission a six month sweep and destroy through the Rocky Mountain Republic hunting what were supposed to be the broken remnants of the Amerikka Command's 2nd Infantry Division. It was planned on being a homecoming tour for St. Clair, as the 2nd Division had been badly mauled by elements of the OCP 1st Grenadiers months before, and then had two of their bases destroyed with significant losses by the Federation 117th naval squadron. Three months into the sweep through the mountains, the 228th was in a relatively isolated valley and had only limited support from it's parent ship, the AFS Allen.

An unknown force assaulted the command structure, damaging the control and communication systems, and functionally paralyzing the 228th. Within hours of the terror attack, the Mountain Lions were set upon by the repaired and rearmed 2nd Division, which inflicted heavy damage on the AFS Allen, and destroying a large contingent of the Mountain Lion's skeletron assets. The battle would run another 12 hours in which AC cyborg commandos and renegade fighters would overrun the 228th's mobile base. A single mobile shroud generator was deployed, cutting off communications from the besieged 228th to the outside world.

The battle trailed off to an end, with the last elements of the 228th being hunted down and killed by cold prepped battle androids during the onset of a blizzard.

Commonwealth of New England, Reflex Team 12
The Atlantic Federation has created the Reflex Battalion as a rapid response unit. The Reflex Battalion is divided into a classified number of Reflex Teams who respond to crises as needed, and each team has a general field of expertise. The most common task of Reflex Teams respond to are special individuals who have gone out of control. Tweaked out parapsychics, rogue sentient machines, cyborgs, and the like. The more dangerous jobs include responding to dimensional fatigue events, emergent cosmic horrors.

The Exterminators are a low profile infiltration team. They are not heavily armed or armored, and are light on technology. This allows them to travel from site to site without requiring extensive support or equipment. Not all DFEs and mavericks are big flashy affairs. Sometimes they are quiet events that eat a community away from the inside. These occurrences create cults, and social inversions. While it is certainly possible for a Reflex Team to shoot it's way through a contaminated community, but this is bloody messy business, and a more surgical approach can allow more people to survive, and be rescued from their situation. 

This is what the Exterminators do. They walk into hostile situations, deploy their weapons and skills, and clean house.

Captain Dimitri Grossman - Captain Grossman is a face dancer and a master of both disguise and mimicry. Grossman can turn himself into almost anyone. He has high levels of diplomacy, negotiation, and other public relation skills, allowing him to not just look any part he wants but to sell it convincingly. This is backed up by a basic roster of firearms, power armor, piloting, and other skills. He is obsessed with hunting down cultists, wanna-be demigods, and the occasional horror.

Dr Jaxon Arvan - a former military arcanotechnician and engineer, Arvan was caught in a serious dimensional sheer event that destabilized his molecular structure, turning him functionally into an energy being. He gained the ability to control electronic machinery and has affected himself as a ghost in the machine type individual. He occupies a specially made light power armor sleeve (an ultralight suit with an exoskeleton rather than rigid shell) and passes himself off as an immunocompromised person confined to a bio-isolation suit. He retains his impressive intellect and ability to affect electronics. His status makes him invulnerable to damage, biological influence,

Evan Slaughter - also known as the Boogeyman, or Scarecrow, Slaughter is a mindworm capable parapsychic with extensive training by classified intelligence agencies. He functions primarily as a recon unit, specializing in mind scanning and emotional detection. When things get more serious, he can use his powers to manipulate the emotions of his targets to cause fear and panic, and his personal favorite, walking nightmares. On more than one occasion Slaughter has instigated a paranoid cult cell to turn on itself in a blood and bullet filled orgy of self destruction and murder.

Francis Meyer - codename Swarm, has a special made 'beehive' backpack on his power armor, and the helmet has a drone control system linked into it. The Beehive carries a large number of micro-drones, which have a variety of uses. The most common are scout/recon, and are hummingbird sized flying camera/microphone/relays. Meyer can use a small number to create a virtual map of an area and share it with the team easily. Other drones include explosive drones (hand grenade with wings), Stingers (hummingbirds with a chemical deployment system, sleep juice, poison, etc) Screamers (flying acoustic deterrents) Strobers (flying ultra-bright strobe lights) and custom one off drones that might be tailor made for the job at hand, like echobats for dark hunting, or bang drones with arcanotech grenades.

Francine J Frye - Frye is a synthetic parapsychic, who is specialized in electrokinesis. Her power level is not high, but it is more than enough to control the systems in an ElectroCorp Electro II series tesla suit. Frye has an unhealthy interest in cosmic horrors, victims of DFEs, victims of mutation, and non-humanoid sentient beings. The stranger the entity is, the more likely she is to show interest in it, intellectually first, and romantically further down the line.

Marcel Richards - Richards was involved in an industrial accident years ago, and as such underwent surgical and genetic therapy to repair the extensive damage. He lost most of his muscle mass and almost all of his skin in a massive thermal incident. The augmentation replaced his charred flesh with synthetic myomers, and his skin with a reflexokinetic dermis based on the material encounter suits are made of. He is largely immune to pain and reduced touch sensitivity, but enhanced strength and toughness. He is also a latent thermokinetic parapsychic and can 'shift' thermal energy around, heating or cooling things. He used this ability to save his life in the accident and now can use it to augment physical attacks, cause burns with a touch, and otherwise mess with anything temperature related.

The Exterminators are a low profile Reflex Team, and can be used as a cavalry unit, showing up to rescue a team in a bad situation without outshining them on flash and dazzle. Alternately they can be a team that has already advanced into a compromised area and need evac, or they have information, an item of importance, or a VIP that is relevant to the mission (rescue and retrieval, closing the DFE, etc). On a more insidious note, quite a few members of the Exterminators are parapsychic, which means that if there is a parapsychic active foe, there is a chance that the team can be contaminated, corrupted, or infested, and then the PC team has to deal with not just the foes in the DFE, they have a Reflex team that has gone rogue to deal with.

The Landmaster is a venerable war machine, based off a militarized version of the Long Combination Vehicle, or land train. The Landmasters, manufactured by North American Industrial Consolidated (NAIC) predate the founding of the modern world governments, and the design of the vehicle itself dates back to the late Petroleum Era. The first generation Landmaster was designed with the intent of being a Logistic-Assault vehicle, an armored tank-train that could go where it needed to and fight its way through if need be, to deliver its cargo, whatever it was. The D5 Squadron is equipped with six Landmaster Mk IXs. These vehicles are all between a 120 and 150 years old, and despite this age, they are still in solid working shape.

The Mark IX Landmaster

The Mark Nine Landmaster was the last generation of LCV built by NAIC, and rather than the pinnacle of the design, they were intended to be stalwarts and to last as long as possible. Technology was radically changing at the time, and battlemechs were coming into their own, and the 'Age of Giants' was rapidly coming to a close. Monstrous vehicles like the TOG and Cataphract were proving to be no longer invulnerable. Mecha were proving to be more than a match for them, and the proliferation of aerial warships were more mobile and more effective. The Landmaster was a child of this era, and they were used as support and logistic vehicles with the mega-tanks and mobile fortresses of the time.

It was known when the Mark 8s were showing their age that there would be a last gen of Landmasters, and after that there would be no more orders for the vehicle. How long it would take to put a replacement in service was up for debate, so the call was made. The Mark Nine would be simple and durable, easy to repair, and it would dump many of the redundant systems of the Eight. While they would be less effective in stand up fights, this would extend their service life considerably. The Nines were lighter, slightly faster, and swapped out the extensive electronics warfare and CIC capabilities of the Eights. These systems were already being ported over into sky frigates and destroyers, which were better equipped for the job.

For generations, the Republic of California employed the D-Force, the Defender Force, against the threats along the long and vague border it shares with the Rocky Mountain Republic and the Republic of Texas. This region is prone to banditry, outlawishness, vagrancy, and has a long history of insurgency. It has long been considered the radical remnant of the United States, and this is reflected in the large number of militia groups, survivalists, and extremist camps that were built through the region over the last three centuries. 

At it's height, the Defender Force consisted of several dozen squadrons. The squadrons were composed of light combat vehicles, hover bike troops, and more resembled a para-military force. Each squadron had a support group of different variant and role Landmasters, including models that were mobile medical units, command centers, and whatever other support a unit could use at the time. As mecha forces and sky destroyers and frigates became more numerous, the number of D-Force squadrons decreased. 

D5 is the last functional Defender Force Squad, and contrary to other squads, it is composed solely of Landmasters. These have remained in service due to their low cost, and their low tech makes them largely invulnerable to Amerikka Command cyberwarfare and hacking. The vehicles have no drive computers, no onboard L/AI systems, and none of the weapons are smart or computer linked. 

Defender Force 5
D5-1 'Keegan'
Keegan is notable only for it's middle unit, a modernized version a US Army M-65 atomic howitzer. The M-265B is a long range howitzer that fires a nuclear round, generally a 20 kiloton charge. Keegan can deploy it's cannon in 12 minutes, fire at a range of 35 miles, and repack and move again in 10 minutes. It can forego the full deployment of stabilizers for the gun, but it is likely that firing the gun in such a fashion runs a very high chance of damaging the LCV, or flipping it on it's side. Either way, the vehicle is very likely going to be left out of commission after such a hasty action. The atomic rounds for Keegan have since been replaced with arcanotech warheads, though the actual payload is still classified.

D5-2 'Tanner'
Tanner is almost identical to Keegan, except for mounting the slightly different M-265A Atomic Howitzer. Tanner is the oldest vehicle in D5, and unlike the others, it has fired it's cannon in action. Tanner was part of a Reflex Action near the New Mexico border, responding to a classified DFE. The vehicle was damaged in the event, but fired thirteen non-nuclear hyperexplosive rounds into the event zone. These N2 warheads are estimated to have been in the 10 kiloton range. Tanner has also deployed in sorties against Amerikka Command, including base hunting, and is credited with a number of terrorist kills, including several ships and heavy vehicles.

D5-3 'Denton'
Denton is a frankenstein of Landmaster parts and was assembled from the wreckage of several destroyed units. As such, it is in rough shape, is uncomfortable, and prone to breaking down. With this in mind, Denton is considered a 'one shot' weapon, and is designed to expend it's weapons in a very short amount of time, with the intent of being abandoned by it's crew. As such, Denton is armed with twelve heavy missiles. These large missiles are intended to bring down ships, bust bunkers, and otherwise make exceedingly large explosions with little warning. With this payload, the Landmaster can project a stupendous amount of force, one time, and then like a firecracker, it is spent.

D5-4 'Janice'
Janice is an Infantry Assault LCV, and has a number of armored infantry cars, each with roof mounted heavy machine guns, as well as a 'caboose' that can detach and act as a semi-self propelled combat vehicle. It has several anti-material cannons, machine guns, and comm systems to let it run around and work with Janice and the rest of D5. 

D5-5 'Haskins'
Haskins is also an infantry assault LCV, and has similar equipment, including it's own runabout caboose, known as Roller 1. Haskins is the newest of the Landmasters, and is in the best shape. For this reason it is generally used as the command vehicle for D5. Haskins has two fewer infantry cars compared to Janice, but adds a medical car, and a command car for logistics and planning operations.

D5-6 'Donner'
Donner is, like Haskins and Janice, an infantry assault LCV, but it doesn't have a caboose, and it has two fewer infantry cars. Instead, Donner has a pair of 'Broadsides' combat cars which are not much more than armored gun batteries. Each of the cars mounts six heavy autocannons, three facing each side, along with an ammo supply for the guns. They are auto-loaded, but are aimed and fired by human (or droid) gun crews.

D5 and Damnation Alley
Damnation Alley is a swath of dimensional sheer that runs across the North American continent, and makes A-pod based travel tricky at best, and this has coincided with the location of many Amerikka Command strongholds, making enforcement of the border both important and difficult. Most ships that patrol the area tend to remain high, avoiding the sheer near the ground, and treaties with the Atlantic Federation have prevented the deployment of newer and heavier gear. As such, D5 is kept in a state of readiness as a 'Force in Reserve'. The Landmasters generally do not go on patrols or scouting missions, this is handed off to helocraft and dedicated scout vehicles.

When there is rumor of a potential insurgency, D5 and other assets can be moved into position, but D5 has the double advantage of being overlooked for being low tech, and despite their size and firepower, a Landmaster presents a relatively small cross section for being spotted. Most modern equipment has long since been calibrated for tracking mecha, and things that are obvious like sky ships. This gives D5 the ability to launch ambushes, and present themselves as deterrent in force.

The large amount of firepower that the squadron has is not without purpose. Amerikka Command has demonstrated a willingness to harness dimensional fatigue events to summon and gain control over exoterrestrial entities and to weaponize them against their enemies. So, in addition to psychotic veterans, criminals, skeletrons, retro-tech war machines, and arcanotech gadgets that border on alien tech, Amerikka Command can and has unleashed bug swarms, teratomorphs, infested mecha, and cosmic horrors. Nothing can ruin a Command offensive quite like their prize magnagog catching a 10 kiloton N2 round right in the skull.

Vector Industries
Not many people know the name of this multi-billion dollar multi-national corporation. It has facilities in 23 countries, employs over a quarter of a million people and has revenues that excede the gross national product of a large number of countries. In fact, even many of it’s employees don’t recognize the large black V that is the symbol of the corporation at large.

Many Fingers, Many Pies
Vector Industries is deeply involved in arms development and military hardware. It is the fifth largest arms dealer in the world, only lagging behind the U.S., Russia, France and China. It also has long term deals and contracts with all of the above countries, which makes it nearly untouchable even by organizations like the United Nations or even N.A.T.O. In dealing with things like viral weaponry, biochemical agents, advanced technologies and even nuclear weapons, the corporation has found a need for specially trained security personel.

After the infiltration and destruction of the Bogota, Columbia munitions factory, the corporation founded an initiative to secure, train, and arm it’s own para-military security force. This was needed since many of its key facilities were located in second and third world countries where the standing military and police forces could as quickly become a threat as the criminals and protestors that they were supposed to protect the facilities from.

Camp Rommel
Located in the blasted desert sahel of Chad, in Africa, this is the primary HQ of the VI-TAC-SEC. The sprawling compound covers several square miles and serves as the principle training facility for the tactical security service. Canditates are flown or shipped in from other countries to take part in a 12 month training program that deals with rifle and handgun training, corporate indoctrination, demolitions, as well as a variety of tasks ranging from computer operations and surveillance to driving tanks and attack helicopters.

At any given time, there are between 4,000 and 12,000 recruits, officers, and other personel on duty at this fortress in the desert. It maintains a defense force of an armored tank battalion, two groups of attack helicopters, and a squadron of multi-role fighters. Tanks and combat vehicles tend to be French or Russian designs, AMX tanks and cold war era Soviet BMP armored personel carriers. The aircraft are all American designs, with the F/A-18 Hornet and F-16 Falcon both being common craft.

The Castles
Each Vector facility has a letter grade that determines the size and power of the VI-TAC-SEC units that are deployed to it. This is often called the Castle Scores as most of the V-TAC units refer to their HQ at a facility as the ‘castle’. The scale grades from Alpha to Eta, with there being three A grade facilities; Camp Rommel in Chad, Горящие Лаборатории Льда in the Ukraine, and Vector City, Haiti. The number of E through G facilites across the world is simply a huge number.

Castle Alpha - Rated for the highest of security needs, these are modern fortresses of reinforced concrete, advanced anti-surveillance technology and storehouses of ample supplies of vaccines, weaponry, gold, and other valuables. Camp Rommel has this rating as it is a training facility and the largest of all of Vector Industries holdings. Горящие Лаборатории Льда is the heart of the corporation’s nuclear and energetic technologies division. Finally Vector City is the social and political hub of the corporation though the official HQ of the corporation is based on Λίγο νησί, a small island purchased from Greece back in the 1950s.

Castles Beta and Gamma
These secondary facilities are primarily located in Africa, SE Asia and India, and South America. With garrisons including tank units, companies of infantry and deployments of military fighters and attack helicopters, these facilities tend to violate laws of the 1st world industrial nations. The majority of these locales are based around raw material extraction, such as corporate owned mines, smelting facilities and heavy industrial factories.

Castles Delta, Epsilon, and Zeta
The majority of these facilities are smaller laboratories and more clean and meticulous factories located in stable second world countries and most first world industrial countries. A Delta facility is large and well known, possibly traded on the stock market. An Epsilon facility is a major part of a state or province economy, operating a number of satelite facilities under its standing protection force. Zeta facilities are often the focus of small to moderate sized rural communities, being the place that most of the locals get their first jobs, never knowing what the various small things they make are eventually used for. These facilities keep a few official looking personel on staff as well as a good number of middle managers, project coordinators as well as a variety of other BS positions who are actually VI-TAC-SEC officers.

Castle Eta
While the lowest of the security ranks, these often have disproportionately high numbers of troops. An Eta facility is a recruitment center or tertiary training facility, such as a special forces training camp in Libya, a underwater training camp off the coast of Bangledesh, or a bright and shiny recruitment center in Souther California. Those Americans sure like to play with guns.

The Security Squad
The basic unit of organization, the Security squad is a group of 9 trained soldiers lead by an Under-Captain. Each has basic training with the rifle, a semi-automatic side arm as well as a basic understanding of improvised explosives and support weapons. The Under-Captain has seconds in the guise of a medical trainee and the radio operator of the squad. Unlike most rent-a-cop operations, the squads are trained in squad tactics, close combat, riot control as well as disabling reinforced and armored vehicles.

Standard Squad Equipment
Weaponry - The standard weapon of the VI-TAC-SEC is the AR-15 rifle, the predecesor to the modern M-16 American rifle. It is officially designated the V-15, and is capable of using standard NATO munitions as well as a wide variety of special third party manufactured rounds. The standard sidearm is the V-93A, a Vector designed knock-off of the fully automatic Beretta 93R pistol. It fires 9mm rounds and like the V-15 sacrifices long range accuracy for medium to short range stopping power.

Body Armor - Most troopers wear a body combat suit made of kevlar and a mix of other synthetic materials that are adept at stopping smaller calibre rounds. In war like situations, a reinforced vest of steel plates, ala a WWII flak jacket is worn over the combat suit.

Riot Equipment - Each trooper is equiped with a canister of mace or pepper spray for non-lethal responce, as well as a tear gas grenade. Most also carry plastic zip-ties for restraining subjects in police actions as opposed to full military operations. A wooden police style baton is also general issue to troops going into police actions and crowd contrl.

Communications - Rather than bulky radios, squad members communicate via a hands free headset that is built into their helmet. The Radio Controller actually carries the base station of the squad network and serves as the communications router. He and the squad leader both have supranetwork communications, able to contact beyond the basic range of the wireless router.

Transportation - The basic mode of transportation is a domestic vehicle, something manufactured locally, or what draws the least amount of attention. Teams in para-military positions have access to military transports such as HUMVEE jeeps, 2 1/2 ton trucks, and in castles with armor motorpools, APCs (armored personel carrier) or IFVs (infantry fighting vehicles). Elite teams often have access to helicopter transport.

Special Teams Units
Sometimes the abilities of a basic squad are not able to meet a mission profile. While the standard squad, often alone, or in larger numbers are fully suited for support work with local and national security forces and for defensive purposes, another type of squad is needed. These are the VI-TAC-SEC-STU.

Infiltraitor Squad
Less based on firepower and presence and more in electronics and stealth, this squad of 5 men is trained in computer warfare, espianoge and reconaissance. Weapons are specialized and much smaller, or even non-present, while communication and transportation factors are more signifigant. Teams from this department refer to themselves as A Teams, an obscure reference to a TV program.

Demolitions Squad
Subtlty is non-existant with this heavily armed squad. Consisting of 10 troops, this unit deploys with conventional and improvised explosives. They can move into an area and collapse buildings, destroy targets with vindictive force, and deploy heavy weapons such as large calibre rifles, guided missle weapons and other toys.

Vehicle Units
Attached to motorpools and aerodromes, these are the basic squads of pilots, crewmembers, mechanics and support staff. The VUs are the second largest group within V-TAC, mostly due to the numbers of support personel. The vehicle units are deployed in basic formations that either match local unit tactics or follow guidelines of US and Israeli armored combat. Fighter units are deployed in 12 craft ‘wings’ and tanks in 12 vehicle platoons.

Hammers and Nails
The basic philosophy behind VI-TAC-SEC is that problems can be solved with the right tools, or nails and hammers. The organizations operates with a proportionate responce plan, matching forces with rivals as this elicts much less reaction on the global scene. Videos of rioters facing riot troops is less emotionally charged that rioters facing the rows of tanks that the organization can deploy. Responcibity is a big factor in the distribution of ‘hammers’ to units and their administrators.

VI-TAC-SEC does hire out its squads as security and defence contrators, modern mercenaries. These are seldom if ever the elite squads or special teams units. Rather, they hire the standard squad, often in large numbers for completing missions, defending contested areas and the like. Many militaries will hire these forces to safeguard important locales such as supply depots and supply lines to free up traditional forces for combat purposes. Not surprisingly, the U.S. is the primary employer of VI-TAC-SEC security contractors.

Mood, Tone, and Theme
Ugly words from English class, I know, but they have a purpose.

The mood, or climate, general feeling of VI-TAC-SEC is organization, a sense of position and hierarchy. Each member of the squad has a role to play, each squad has its own job. No one is unsure of their purpose or goal. This should foil nicely to the often chaotic and lak of purpose of PCs. These are normal men and women who have jobs, families and the like, but are still part of a great entitiy that gives them stability.
The tone, or the writer’s attitude (IE mine) is pragmaticism and discipline, VI-TAC-SEC is a large and smooth running machine, and its gotten there by learning, making mistakes and adapting. Unlike the traditional goobahs of video games, this security group doesnt make mistakes like hiding behind crates of explosives, exploding barrels or the other video game cliches.

Finally, the theme, or the underlying idea of the literary work is that while there are certainly flamboyant mercs and operatives, the majority of security contractors calmly and efficiently play out their roles as soldiers, police, and warriors for hire. For every band of eccentric yet effective, authority defying operatives, likely PCs, there are dozens that work unnoticed.


The Stoudenmire was a unique mech that was designed and built with the limited industrial and technological resources available to the nascent Rocky Mountain Republic. The mech at the time was only a few decades old as a fighting platform, and several nations were eyeing the Rockies for their strategic and mineral resources. This didn't sit well with the residents of the region who had little interest in joining Texas, the Republic of the Great Lakes, Cascadia, or California. Lacking access to some of the more advanced equipment, the mountaineers went with what they knew, how to fight and defend their mountainous homes.

The Assault/Bombard Mech
The core tenet of theassault bombard mech is a heavy vehicle that is able to provide long range artillery support when needed, and direct fire heavy firepower when needed, without requiring an excessive amount of equipment to move. To this end, the Stoudenmire is not much more than a very large bore cannon perched on a heavy mech chassis. It isn't very fast, nor is the cannon and targeting system very accurate, but given the large size of the shells fired, accuracy was less of a concern.

When not providing ranged fire support, the Stoudenmire could engage in direct assault operations, bringing its large gun to bear blasting enemy mecha, fortifications, and armor and infantry formations. While in the battles that marked the birth and baptism of the Rocky Mountain Republic, the Stoudenmires performed many more fire support missions, their appearance in assault and supporting assault roles remains iconic.
Few people, even those strapped into a hulking mech, are able to argue with the effectiveness of a walking 250mm cannon.

Born of Need
During the early years of the Second Renaissance, the Rockies were somewhat isolated from the tech boom. Technologies did reach the region, but for a brief time it was easier to go into space than to fly across the mountains. This lagging tech proved a boon as many people who were fiercely independent and not interested in the living in arcologies and constant immersion in CogNet media found common interests with residents of the mountains. This caused a population boom while people tired of the onset of techshock left the Great Lakes, California, and New England.

This boom created a valuable pool of manpower and mineral resources that were yet to be exploited and it followed that the nations of North America started gearing up for war to see who would hold the Rockies. The residents started working with what they had, which was industrial mecha technology, mining equipment, and an understanding of 'go big or go home'.

The Stoudenmire is very simple as far as mecha go. The machine has a standard military hybrid drivetrain utilizing both power cells and basic fusion engines. This left the machine relatively slow, but having the high ground, the mountaineers had many power hook ups and umbilical stations in place to support the mecha in their bombard roles. Also in such mountainous terrain, the speed and mobility of other mecha was hindered, while the Stoudenmires had the luxury of the home field advantage and the high ground as well.

The main weapon of the mech was the naval grade 250mm cannon. Firing a 10 inch wide, 500 pound shell, the cannon was a fearsome weapon. As an artillery piece it easily matched the heaviest artillery pieces in use, but beat them with its mobility and versatility. Fighting in the mountains, the cannon smashed enemy mecha, disrupted logistic trains, and turned many a forward base, firebase, and landing area into a cratered ruin.

The Battle of Wheeler's Peak
Wheeler's Peak ended up becoming a southern stronghold for the RMR, and the focal point of the ground conflict between the republics of Texas and California. The battle turned into a three way brawl when the RMR 360th Mecha Brigade entered the fray. The Texan and Californian units had been fighting for several weeks over which nation would claim the wastelands of what had been New Mexico. California has take Albuquerque, but Texas held most of the southern part of the state and was logistically in better position. The 360th maintained fire support operations for two days, disrupting the Californian ranks, and causing heavy damage to the Texan forces. Supported by mountaineer air cavalry, and conventional infantry, the Stoudenmires lead the final charge, laying down staggering fire in assault mode. Pausing only to brace and fire, the mechs ripped apart the Texan lines and caused a major route of said forces after destroying the commander's mech and killing most of the commanding officers of the invading force. The Californians retreated to their base at Albuquerque and licked their substantial wounds.

The Rocketeer
 A variant of the Stoudenmire appeared later in the production run, and it replaced the 250mm cannon and its heavy (and expensive) ammo with cheaper semi-guided 300 mm rockets. The Rocket Stoudenmire was only used in artillery roles, and later was adapted to fire the smaller 125mm anti-aircraft 'Beehive' missile. These air defense mecha cut down the air superiority of the Great Lakes Republic and their helocraft and electroprop fighter/bombers.

The Battles of Fort Laramie and Devil's Tower
The Great Lakes Republic had an easier time invading the Rocky Mountains as it did so without fighting with a neighbor. While there was certainly agitation between The Republic of Texas and the GLR, this was tempered by the fact that Texas had the Mexican Federation as an ally, and the GLR was already allies with the Confederation of Southern States and the Commonwealth of New England. Any scrap between the two powers could quickly escalate into a continent wide major war. The Battle of Devil's Tower proved a tactical defeat for the RMR, and it saw the loss of a large portion of it's conventional mech forces and a major loss of equipment and personnel among the mercenaries in the Republic's employ.

The Battle of Fort Laramie saw combined arms of several mercenary companies, supported by the remaining mecha in Wyoming province, engage and defeat the GLR expeditionary force. The GLR forward command was setting a drone control center to begin robot operations in the state, using their Combatotrons and drone tankettes when the 94th Mobile Infantry advanced, destroyed the entire facility with N2 low yield nuclear shells, and broke the back of the GLR army in the region.

Hidden Allies
The Stoudenmire was a product of corporate espionage played out by the Iron Ghost and his ersatz puppets,Amerikka Command. In exchange for providing the RMR with technological and materiel aid, the Ghost and his extremist allies cemented themselves a safe home base in the heart of the continent. Amerikka Command provided some training, and a large number of mercenaries, and assisted in constructing the factory in Denver that would build the Stoudenmires. This inside gave Amerikka Command access to a mech construction facility, and half a dozen major mechadromes across the RMR.

Amerikka Command never fielded the Stoudenmire, codenamed 'Titan' by the GLR and more commonly known as the sledgehammer or walking battleship by the troops that had to fight them.

The Stoudenmire IV
The Stoudenmire remains in military service, long after the RMR joined the Atlantic Federation. The newest incarnation of the venerable design has replaced the primitive powerplant and electronics suit with more suitably advanced gear, and the conventional cannon has been upgraded to a magnetic accelerator cannon (MAC). The 200mm MAC has proven to be a far superior long arm compared to the original black powder 250mm cannon fielded by the Stoudenmire I, but on the field on battle, few things match the awe inducing thunder of one of the big old guns clearing its throat.

The Stoudenmire sees service mostly in Africa in the arsenals of Nigeria and Federation Congo. The SAUR (South African United Republics) have learned to avoid bunching up their armor and power armor units for fear of the devastating accuracy of the Federation 'Titans'.

The ACPS has a knock off version of the Stoudenmire/Titan that mounts a 150mm coilgun. The Feng Po'Po is more commonly known as the Foo Dog by those who have had to fight the assault machines. The Po'Po is generally a smaller, technically inferior machine, but there are a larger number of them in existence.

The Titan
The official replacement for the Stoudenmire is currently on the drawing boards in Denver. The new official Titan will mount a naval grade 300mm MAC and systems sufficient for the mech to engage aerial warships anti-arcology warfare. A conventional offshoot of the Titan will swap the massive artillery piece for three smaller 175mm MACs in a turret housing.
Last edited by Skaldia on Wed Feb 19, 2020 2:03 pm, edited 31 times in total.
||“The lesson of history is that no one learns.”
||“Chaos needs no allies, for it dwells like a poison in every one of us.”

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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Skaldia » Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:50 pm

Vehicles Cont.

Racing has a long history, going back to when the first two rivals decided to see who could run the fastest. This evolved into athletic games, then equestrian pursuits, and then into the age of motorsports. The age of the internal combustion engine is past, and while the cars no longer burn gasoline, or have tires, the pursuit of speed remains.

An a-pod is a strange piece of technology, consuming electricity to create a negative gravitational field, effectively anti-gravity. This effect is somewhat limited in that the vehicles that mount these pods are limited in their speed by aerodynamics and power consumption. With a large enough number of sufficiently powerful a-pods anything can be made to float, be it a single person or a warship measured in tens of thousands of tons. The A-pod car is a relatively recent innovation, but one that has been embraced by the racing community. Mundane vehicles remain, their electric motors powered by batteries, hybrid fuel cells, and dimensional batteries. The vehicles are stile very recognizable, four wheels, a front set of seats and a rear row of seats, depending on the type of vehicle in question.

But then there are the a-pod cars, the hover cars. These cars mount a single axially fixed A-pod and a robust power supply. The vehicle hovers a generally less than a foot off of the ground and moves by adjusting the field emitted by the a-pod. These hover cars are very fast by modern standards, with 200 mph easily attainable by most and then they are only slowed by wind resistance and the limitations of their power supply. An a-pod car can deplete a standard power pack very quickly and even d-cells are only good for a few hours of regular travel. The anti-gravity pod is a thirsty beast.

Matsutomo Industries of California is a world reknowned builder of a-pod race cars. Their first foray into the builders challenge was the RS5025 'Stingray'. The pod mounted a central arc reactor and several d-cell batteries as ballast. When cruising the reactor could charge the batteries and when power load was heavy the batteries were accessed by the drive system to boost the available power. Unlike conventional pod cars of the time, the Stingray mounted two external engines. Each was an electric compression engine that produced an impressive amount of thrust. The power output of the two electrojets, the a-pod, and the slippery aerodynamic design of the RS5025 allowed the car to surpass 450 mph. This power was not without cost, the vehicle could only be used in a small number of places and only by a very select group of driver/pilots who were able to anticipate the track ahead of them. Matsutomo would later involve two other companies that would change the face of the a-pod car and the race scene forever.

The World Cup of Formula Racing
The F1 series of racing sadly passed with petro-globalism and instead local racing took over. The new era of Formula racing began as a series of races across the Republic of California, Baja Mexico, and Japan. Matsutomo supplied the cars to various interested teams, as well as hardware and technical support. The first F-Prime race was between seven teams, three of which did not finish and two drivers were killed in car accidents. But while the series was off to a rough start, it was far from a failure. It attracted viewers, and soon it was determined that larger tracks were needed to accomodate the dangerously fast cars. The good news was that the tracks didn't need super smooth and firm surfaces as none of the cars had wheels. Rather, any sufficiently flat area would work. The first real track was carved out of the rock around New Vegas.

The track was 18 miles from start to finish, and was little more than a series of markers indicating which way to turn while the cars roared through canyons, rock formations, and part of the track was actually constructed and elevated so that four miles of the race passed through part of New Vegas. The start and finish lines were in this section along with the pit areas for the cars and the majority of the grandstands. The race series was one of the first major uses of cognopresence and telepresence technology, meaning that while there were only seats for 10,000 spectators, more than nine million were actually considered 'present' during the race.

Nirasaki Computers of Seattle-Tacoma provided an infinitely valuable tool to Matsutomo and it's racing program, the LAI/P. The LAI/P stands for Limited Artificial Intelligence/Piloting and functions as a driver for the A-pod car. Without a human driver, the car is more than capable of driving itself around the track all day long. The computer has a passive role in keeping the vehicle on the track, as well as keeping it stable and under the control of the driver. There was some concern over people wanting to root for drivers, and not for robot cars plastered with logos and sponsors. Thus the drivers were as often selected for their good looks and attitude as much as their ability to drive.

The second company to infuse F-Prime racing with life was Kincaid Electronics of Osaka. Kincaid was nominally a military contractor supplying sub-assembled pieces for the mecha and power armor units being deployed by the Pacific Rim Coalition. Kincaid took the gear they made, the largest piece being the interface helmet and HUD used for the common Dragon mech, and made it into race gear. The electronics in the helmet and the military software it was running meshed well with Nirasaki's LAI/P and the overall architecture of the A-pod racer. Now the race driver was able to control his vehicle with as much his thoughts and guided the LAI/P to drive while he plotted and planned where the car needed to be. The drivers maintained some hand controls, throttles and steering members, but these were more for drama than actual use, if he was squeezing the throttle for more power, just thinking about it was enough. Feedback through the system let the driver know how the vehicle was handling and how much power it had to give.

The First International Race
Despite the long mostly friendly history between the Pacific Rim Coalition and the Atlantic Federation the first international race was held in the People's Republic of China in the ACPS. Seeing the popularity of the race series, and how in a very limited amount of time some guys obsessed with going fast had created a new integrated system that was functionally superior to the common LAIs used by the military and only matched by dedicated LAIs that cost many times more than their smaller systems mounted in the cars. More races quickly followed, in the South African United Republics, then the Eurasian Alliance and the Kingdoms of Scandinavia. The Atlantic Federation was actually the last major power to open a venue for the F-Prime series, almost six years after the first full race season. The race series made headway in foreign relations usually only enjoyed by megacorporations and by the tenth year of the series, Matsutomo was no longer the sole builder in the series, making it finally a global sport once again.

Other Builders and Notable Vehicles
Brasilia-Chapparal and the ES-8 Maverick
Built off of a very simple design, the Maverick has a large and relatively wide body and a single triple stage compression engine mounted in a nacelle above the main body. While the Maverick is fast, it doesn't have the best performance. It is very common due to it's ease of maintenance and repair and is among the most common entry level a-pod racers and is the mainstay of the 250 mph junior league race series. The up-engined ES-12 and ES-18 Maverick II and Super Maverick are more in line with high performance racers, but are seen as the vehicle of choice for non-constructor race teams.

Riley-Stuart and the G Body Racer
Riley comes from a centuries old tradition of building custom race bodies for competitive racing, and was able to survive the demise of the petro-global world by turning to the unlikely option of building farm equipment. The G-Body race is considered plain by most standards, an undecorated wedge that harkens back to the 1980s stylings of Italian super cars. The G-Body car has an ample engine bay recessed in the rear of the vehicle, eliminating drag from protruding engine nacelles or engine pods. The most famous G-body was the G-26 which mounted no fewer than four two stage electrojet thrusters. The engines had vectored thrust, making the G-26 incredibly agile and often taxing for both the pilot and the LAI/P to control. No other early model a-pod racer earned more trophies and builders challenges than the G-body. The a-pod car remains easily purchased and a regular contender in almost every level of competition.

Union Aerospace and the U-111 Falcon
A relative late comer to the series, the Falcon is a powerful a-pod car looking more like part of an aerospace craft than a vehicle. The entire body of the car is an aerodynamic surface, and it comes complete with not one but two vertical stabilizers. The Falcon is large, but compensates with having two buried electrojets with afterburners embedded in the 'wing roots'. The F-Prime governing body had to start limiting thrust displacement after the appearance of the Falcon as prior to this most of the teams had a sort of gentlemen's code about the upper limit of their thrust ratings. The Falcon series is slowly working on overtaking the G-body racer for number of titles won. The Falcon is notable for also being the only original series a-pod racer not being sold outside of the Atlantic Federation.

A-Pod racing is difficult, and to do it requires a very high dexterity score, as well as associated skills in race driving and operating a vehicle via a computer interface. By placing the LAI computer in the race vehicle, the brutally fast hovering cars can be driven without being piloted by the chosen one.

The Trinity Program
The Trinity Program was founded during the middle to end of the Petroleum Era and involved the creation of multiple modes of survival in what was expected to become a post apocalyptic world. The Castle Brian Program was directly responsible for the creation of the first generation arcologies, and would be the most successful of the three legs. The Elysium Program concentrated on creating viable self sustaining space habitats, and ultimately was the least successful. A number of habitats were constructed, but none became completely self sufficient and as the second dark age spread, space travel ended. Finally the Ark Program focused on building massive sea-going city ships. The Ark program was the least ambitious, and aside from just being large, the ships broke no technological barriers.

The Mayflower
The Ark ship in many ways is functionally an arcology that is long instead of tall, and are relatively massive. The prototype Ark Ship, the Mayflower, was built on the hull of a converted cargo ship. The ship had recycling systems, augmented solar and wind generators for power, but retained the standard oil fired engines for propulsion. After it's shakedown run, the ship was used for testing purposes for almost two years, remaining at sea the entire time. Crew and supplies were changed by ship to ship transfer, and the top of the ship was modified to function as a heliport. The Mayflower had it's own internal computer system, and internet node and was deemed a success before it was brought to port, and taken apart for salvage.

Phase II
Phase II of the Ark Program saw the construction of 4 super-hulls, each 1500 meters long, and 110 meters tall. Each of the four ships was equipped with a state of the art plutonium fueled set of nuclear reactors. The fitting of each ship took three years, and cost $50 billion dollars. Once completed, the ships were nominally identified as research vessels for scientific and ecological sciences, but were actually floating retreats for government VIPs, the elite from a number of industries and special interests, and a large number of the wealthiest of the world's population.

Length: 1500 meters (block 1) 1700 meters (block 2)

Displacement: 350,000 tons (400,000)

Decks: 27 (30)

Speed: 12 knots

Capacity: 12,000 passengers, 75,000 tons supplies (15,000/80k tons)

Crew: 2,500

Launch Bay: capable of accepting, servicing and launching destroyers and small craft up to 100m in length. The bay was used to maintain the Ark escort ships, and to facilitate resupply and crew changes.
Helipad: capable of handling 8 helicopters or 4 Osprey type tilt-rotor aircraft.
Communications Tower: extendable up to 900 meters, with seven radio dish systems.
Military Capabilities: Minimal, equipped with 8 CIWS anti-missile systems and 4 Anti-aircraft missile launchers. Largely dependent on military escort for protection.

Phase IIB
Phase IIB saw the technological and manufacturing elements learned in Phase II construction put towards warship construction. These elements of hull and superstructure design, power plant and propulsion lay-out were applied to the last generation of petroleum era warships. A number of supercarriers and super battleships would be built with similar nuclear cores, internal lay-outs and structural components. While the design elements and construction techniques were revolutionary, the scale of construction and economy required for such engineering were short decades away from vanishing for several centuries. The feats of construction in arcologies, fusion cores and other precursors of arcanotech dwarfed things as minimal as hull welding techniques.

The Arks
The first 4 hulls completed were launched and served the United States and it's European allies well. The success of the program at that point was such that a second block of arks were chartered, and through espionage, the designs and plans were disseminated to China. The four ships: Zeus, Odin, Lugh, and Jupiter, would serve as floating command centers and refuges during the Resource Wars. The safety and security of the arks was proven and for a time, they looked to be the most promising of the three programs. The Elysium Program struggled through major cost overruns and quickly became unpopular, as it was impossible to hide the implications of launching massive amounts of resources into orbit, away from the vast majority of the population. The Castle Brian Project was lagging behind badly, as construction setbacks and delays mounted, faith in the program weakened.

The second block of arks were completed before the end of the Resource wars, and as the Federal Superstates began to fail, the elite retreated to their prepared fortresses, floating, towered, and in space as their plans were laid out. The Castle Brian program would show it's success, as there were dozens of Gen I arcologies completed, compared to just 8 arks, or the one Space Habitat.

The Failure of the Arks
For a time, the arks were reliable and functional, but despite their semi-enclosed, highly efficient, and largely self sufficient nature, they were massive ships and could not run indefinitely without maintenance. There were no remaining docks large enough to service the ships, and the supplies required to repair the ships was simply not available. Two were lost to structural failure, another three ground themselves to avoid sinking, one was destroyed by a terrorist attack, dealing a massive blow to the remaining command structure. The radioactive remains of the Hyperion are a common underwater training location for Marine commandos.

Two arks remain in the Cosmic Era, the Odin and the Calypso. The Odin is grounded ashore near old Oslo, and it has largely been stripped of anything of value and is little more than a hulk. The Kingdom of Scandinavia has the salvage of the ship scheduled over the next century. The Calypso still floats near the Philipines and is something of a fortress of decadence, now controlled by mutineers and pirates. It is a haven for criminal elements and the ShadowLaw organization.

The Arks are relics of the end of the Petroleum Era when the mantra was bigger is better. The ships are recognized as a massive waste of resources for the benefit of the political and social elite. Much like a nation losing a war, the arks are classified as wonder weapons, or wonderous devices. It has been calculated that the materials and energy that went into building the eight arks, and 6 knock off arks made by the Chinese, three times that number of arcologies could have been built, and the recycling techniques pioneered could have postponed the Second Dark Age decades.

Ark ships are common in Petroleum Era datafeeds and holovids, but instead of being atomic powered and internet equipped, the nearly mile long ships are depicted with smoke stacks, and more closely resemble 19th century Atlantic steam ships than the cutting edge near-space ships they actually were.

The legacy of the Ark program can be found in the hulls and construction techniques used in the flying warships deployed by the new superstates. 

Collectivism and the Inertia of Static Defense
The end of the Second Dark Age saw a massive shift in the way wars were fought. Rather than armies, small groups of soldiers in power armor and later mecha would duke out their battles, often to little consequence compared to the defensive capabilities of arcologies, with their ability to affix weaponry and function as castles in the 24th century. The mode of warfare had shifted far enough towards armor and defense that offensive weaponry had to make a transcendent jump in technology. This happened in two different directions, the flying warship and the assault mech.

The Assault mech is a staple of Battletech and in the fluff, the giant machines are able to turn the tides of entire campaigns and their appearance on a battlefield can send an enemy running for their lives. Except that outside of the fluff, the assault mechs are not that much more heavily armed that heavy mecha, and often ponderously slow, and have a myriad of other problems that are in place to balance out the game. That being said, the Cosmic Era isn't about balanced gameplay. The assault mecha in the Cosmic era live up to the fluff text, but they are 'balanced out' by the inclusion of levels of engagement. Assault mecha are really big and really badass, but compared to the aerial cruisers and warships they are not a major threat.

Basic Abilities
The assault mech is a vehicle on an entirely different scale of construction than the traditional battlemech. The smallest assault mechs tip the scales at a hefty 300 tons, and go up to nearly 1000 tons each. These behemoths mount the same average firepower of a Cosmic Era destroyer, or a contemporary cruiser.

The AWS-8 'Awesome' is a standard issue assault mech deployed by the Atlantic Federation. The mech is a walking particle cannon battery famed and feared for it's ability to 'Light up the Sky' with it's three medium naval grade particle cannons. These mechs are not very fast, and most commonly are used as mobile fortresses to anchor defensive lines and provide anti-warship firepower to ground based forces. They have been used to destroy fixed emplacements, and as ambush units to shoot down enemy destroyers and patrol craft.

The GOL-1 'Goliath' is a regular issue assault mech used and exported by the Eurasian Alliance. It is a 500 ton quad legged walking fortress armed with a medium naval grade particle cannon, missile launchers, and an internal bay to accommodate a platoon of power armor. The EA uses Goliaths to smash through defensive lines, deploy its armored troopers and support them with heavy gunfire. The Indian Army uses Goliaths to deploy conventional infantry, hoverbike units, and even carry smaller mecha into battle.

The STK-3 'Stalker' is the main model assault mech used by the ACPS and is primitive in its walker/pod assembly but makes up for this by the sheer amount of weapons it carries. The mech is able to mimic the Awesome's ability to light up the sky with optical lasers as well as being able to create a wall of missiles to destroy inbound aircraft and airborne light mecha. The heavily armored beast was designed for sustained advances, and moving through contested terrain, be it forest, jungle, or urban. In ACPS one of their core doctrines is the Dragon's Fist, a formation of 3 to 7 Stalkers advancing supported by following infantry and power armor troopers.

The AS-7 Atlas is the pride and terror of the Atlantic Federation, the massive machine carries a magnetic accelerator cannon that has been designed to bust foundations to topple arcologies, shatter bunkers, and reduce airfields, mechadromes, and other major structures to rubble, and it constitutes the largest weapon system placed on a individually piloted machine. Supported by lasers, machine guns, and a short range cruise missile launcher, the Atlas is not designed to engage other mecha, but military formations and cities. By itself. So far very few of these massive mechs have been produced and most are kept in ceremonial and morale tours.

Production and Deployment
The battlemech is the product of the Cosmic Era, its compromise between the material wastefulness of creating tanks and armored vehicles in the tens of thousands. They are vertical weapons in a vertical world. Where the average mech is 35-70 tons, the assault mecha are 300-1000 tons, they are the sort of wastefulness that was endemic to the Petroleum Era, so they are accordingly rare in number.

Most Assault mechs are produced not assembly line style, but in place, limiting their speed of production to a handful a year and a small number of facilities that are capable of producing machines so large. This limits their value in the battlefield as the monsters represent a much larger economic investment than even an equivalent tonnage of conventional mecha. Few commanders are willing to risk the massive machines, as in addition to the potential cost if the machine is destroyed, the impact on morale should one of the behemoths fall cannot be overestimated. The largest economy on the planet, the Atlantic Federation has in the vicinity of 120-150 assault mechs at any given time, and these billion dollar beasts are accorded personalities, and names.

The Panama Canal War proved that a victory can swing to a defeat over the disposition of the assault mecha. The Canal War was less than two months old when Latin forces made an overland surge during especially bad weather. Under hurricane force winds, the Federation sky fleet was withdrawn, or forced to elevations above the storm bands, leaving the ground forces to their own accord. The Latin army advanced with their forces spearheaded by a trio of AHN-1 'Annihilator' assault mechs. These formidable machines, armed with four 200mm short barrel assault cannons decimated the initial Federation ground forces and almost broke through the Panama City defenses. The city was damaged, but the mecha were not well supported as they advanced. The Federation garrison commander had targeted the Annihilator's supporting mecha, destroying those machines and allowing Federation assets to flank the trio of assault mechs. A squad of mixed Federation mecha caused extensive damage to two of the assault mechs, but sustained heavy loses in the process, and the garrison commander was moments from calling a fighting withdrawal when one of the Annihilators was toppled. This shocked the Latino forces and caused their ground forces to hesitate long enough for the Federation forces to fall back, regroup, and launch a counterattack.

Though all three annihilators survived and withdrew, the moment shift from one machine going down cost them the battle, and once the hurricane cleared, the Federation air and space assets eventually turned the entire campaign in their favor.

Logistics and Nightmares
Supporting Assault mecha in combat is a nightmare for ground crews as maintaining the beasts is expensive and time consuming. Given their small numbers, there aren't regular parts depots to keep them armed and repaired, and othen the weapons systems used by the assault mecha are unique to the mech, so ammo is a speciality ammo, such as the Atlas' 380mm MAC. The size of the mecha also produces a problem, as the parts themselves are simply monstrous. The legs of the aforementioned Atlas are each the size of a Federation Warhammer heavy mech. Logistics costs are typically 8 to 10 times the cost of conventional mecha, and repair and servicing times are likewise 5 to 20 times longer.

This high cost has prevented major proliferation of assault mecha, as smaller governments are typically unable to mount the resources to fund an assault mech program, built and maintain the machines. Some nations have purchased export models, but rely on outside contractors and suppliers to keep the machines running. India relies on the Eurasian Alliance for it's maintenance of its assault mecha, and the Kingdoms of Scandinavia rely on the Federation for their support. Smaller factions like Armas, Amerikka Command, and small unaffiliated nations are barely able to mount conventional mecha, let alone the true titans.

Prestige and Loyalty
Given the firepower and capabilities of Assault Mecha, their pilots are chosen with the same care of capital warship captains. A single assault mech in the hands of a traitor or terrorist could kill tens of thousands in the time it would take to mobilize a strike force capable of neutralizing the machine. As such, being assigned to an assault mech is the highlight of a pilot's career, and only the very best of the very best ever make to the biggest chair in the ground arsenal. These few are only chosen from mech pilots who have years of exemplary service, and are noted for their loyalty, patriotism, and numerous background checks.

Final Note
The Assault Mech is the largest weapon system deployed on the ground, and the last word in the middle tier of engagement, able to destroy other mecha with ease, able to credibly threaten megastructures, and even in groups prove a deterrent to aerial warships. That being said, most assault mecha mount an equivalent amount of firepower as an aerial destroyer, and are only the very bottom level of capital scale level of engagement. While the Awesome can light up the sky with its particle cannons, a warship unloading it's salvos of full power naval grade particle cannons is going to be visible from space and detectable several hundred miles around.

The Federation Class Battlestar
The concept of the Battle-Carrier has been an old one in sci-fi tropes, and the Battlestar is the Cosmic culmination of that dream. The Federation class Battlestar mounts the armor and firepower of a battleship, which is extensive and impressive considering the power of Cosmic Era weaponry. It also has the ability to deploy fighters like an aircraft carrier. Unlike the traditional aircraft carrier, the Battlestar isn't launching and retrieving fixed wing aircraft, it is instead disgorging flight capable mecha, power armors, and variable frame aerospace fighters. These vehicles are not reliant on aerodynamic lift for flight, and the majority are fitted with a-pods, allowing them to hover and flit about like helicopters or hummingbirds. This ends the need for the Battlestar to have large open decks for launching and retrieving craft. It can literally open the hangar doors and the mecha can jump out, and rely entirely on their own thrust potential. The same goes for the flight capable power armors. The variable aerospace fighters can flit off under their own power, but it is advantageous for the Battlestar to shoot these craft into battle via launch rails. They are retrieved like anything else, coming in under their own power before being mag-locked into place.

The Federation class has extensive armor, including armor belts that are meters thick in places, plus technological advancements such as energized plate, which is much more resistant to energy weapons, and kleinshe field generators. The Battlestar mounts a number of Higgs Particle Cannons, with the largest producing 15 megaton yields (limited by the Tycho Conventions of Gravitronic Weaponry) but the majority closer to the 300-500 kiloton range. These weapons make exchanges with a Battlestar terrifying for enemy ship commanders. The ship also has a large number of missile systems, drone launchers, enhanced ECM and ECCM suites, and as previously mentioned, the ability to launch over 100 flight capable mecha and fighters.

The Federation class has a very major drawback, the ship is expensive to build and to maintain. Despite the size and economic might of the Atlantic Federation, their naval budget is stressed supporting 12 of these ships, and potentially losing one is considered an unaccepable risk. 
The Federation class has yet to see serious ship on ship action, and instead are seen as diplomatic tools.

The Dream of Yamato
The Pacific Rim Coalition lacks the centralization required for the massive military spending demonstrated by the Eurasian Alliance, or Atlantic Federation, despite being a technological leader in the Cosmic Era. The island nation of Nippon has agitated against this, but has not been able to force support for building large ships for the PRC Spacey. Nippon argues that large mobile warships comparable to the Federation Battlestar could check the advance of the ACPS, and could have turned the tables in the Annexation of Korea.

The Dream of Yamato is the Nipponese plan to build their own battlestar that is not just contemporary to the Federation class, but vastly superior. While being only slightly larger, the Yamato would have superior power generation, more potent shields, and better armor protection, but would raise the stakes by mounting a super graviton cannon (an accelerated Higgs Particle cannon with a 50+ megaton yield) along with 10 megaton and 15 megaton HPCs. The Yamato would also have missile bays to launch their own 'Gates of Guf' austerhagen warheads. The Yamato would trade mecha carrying ability for some of these features, and would only be able to deploy 70 mecha or variable frame aerospace fighters, but these would be PRC sourced fighters, which are generally superior to the Federation's aerospace assets.

The Dream of Yamato is not just a pipe dream, it is actually a project in the works, with several design firms working to produce the schematics for the ship. The Emperor is making extensive use of dream tanks and research accelerators to make sure that the Yamato will be worthy of the holy name of the home islands, and to be secure enough to transport the Emperor himself should he wish it.

The Yamato has/will have two significant flaws; it will be enormously expensive to build, and there are plans for one of it. The cost will be offset by it being built over time, but the other is a strategic problem. If the Federation can't afford to lose one of it's dozen battlestars, the loss of the Yamato would be a staggering blow to Nippon, possibly one causing the ritual suicide of the Emperor and the collapse of the corporations behind it's construction. Plus, if Yamato were lost in action, it would likely mean that the defense of the home island would be left in the hands of the gods.

And the kamikaze.

Seibertronian Decimator
The Seibertronians have made a large amount of headway in technoformatting the Jovian moon of Ganymede into their new technological home, aka New Seibertron. The Seibertronians are friendly with the Atlantic Federation, as well as the formerly Chinese Five Metal Dragons operating out of Ceres in the asteroid belt. They only have a handful of ship classes in service, like the 2 kilometer long Arche class cruiser (a multi-purpose craft that has been used as everything from a science and exploration vessel to an assault ship) or the more nimble but decidedly more fragile Corona shuttles. As the number of human ships in space increased, the Seibertronians invested in building a small number of dedicated warships, culminating in the Decimator.

The Decimator is a larger version of the Arche, but with a reinforced hull, larger engines, and more powerful reactors. Technologically, the Seibertronians have lagged behind the Federation, as they are less capable in exploring arcanotechnology than humans, so the armor and weaponry of the Decimator is much less powerful than the higgs beam weapons and black hole bombs being deployed by the Terran factions. The main firepower for the Decimator comes in the form of eight linear rail guns, each firing 400kg projectiles at hypersonic velocity. Backup firepower for the ship comes from banks of particle cannons, and heavy missile launchers. The ship doesn't have integral mecha bays but as it's crew consists of sentient robots, it can and does have the ability to launch robot marines, who can equip themselves with a variety of tools and weapons.

Until the launch of the Federation class Battlestar, the Decimator was considered a front line warship, but the battlestar has changed ship building in the Cosmic Era the same way the HMS Dreadnought did when it was launched in the 19th century. There are already Seibertronian engineers working on the replacement for the Decimator class battleship, though there is a pitched debate between a refit Decimator II class that upguns the ship while integrating superior tech, and outright building a new warship from the bolts up.

There are 7 Decimators in service to New Seibertron, but at any given time, 4 or 5 of these ships are grounded on New Seibertron. There is nothing wrong with them, the Seibertronian councils just see no need to have their warships gallivanting around the Solar System for no good reason. The councils are somewhat privy to what is going on with Iapetus, and don't want their neighbors to be fully aware of how much firepower they can deploy should they feel threatened. 

The USS General George Washington
Formerly the AFS Kearsarge, the USS General George Washington is a Titan II class carrier that is more museum piece that combatant. At over a century old, the ship served in the Atlantic Federation's AmeroZone Fleet. It was captured after being badly damaged in an ambush near Steamboat Springs Colorado, and fell into the hands of Amerikka Command. The Federation wrote the ship off as destroyed and continued their campaign, but more as a gesture of public relations and less as actual combat. The loss of the Kearsarge and a handful of other ships and their hardware was a blow to the AmeroCommand saw a major restructuring of that staff. The abandoned hull of the Kearsarge was repaired by Amerikka Command, and the ship was made air worthy again.

The fighter bays were replaced with multiple gun emplacements, and the ship was equipped with a shroud generator, static smoke launchers, and other anti-tech technologies. The armor and firepower of the ship remain substandard. While well armored for it's time, the ship would not last in a stand up battle with a modern ship. It can easily resist most mecha and aerospace weapons, it can be easily damaged by modern medium and heavy grade weaponry, while something like a megaton range Higgs cannon would annihilate the ship completely. It's firepower is likewise hampered. Despite replacing the hangars with magazines and weapons bays, it is still sub-naval grade weapons, and the banks of lasers, autocannon turrets, and missile batteries tax the power system, and have no coordinated targeting system.

The USS George Washington is currently deployed to the service of the South African United Republics, and has only survived the brushwars in Africa by being considered an antique, and avoiding actual combat. Most of the time, the ship is used for logistics, diplomatic meetings, and to serve as a link in the Silk Road communications network. The Federation has long since compromised this data channel, but few things of interest or importance pass through it. It's almost as if Amerikka Command knows it's bugged.

The HMS Andromache 
The Atlantic Federation has a plan to constantly have one new warship under construction at any given time, and as the newest ship is launched, the oldest ship (of the same general ship type) is retired. Most of these ships are sent to reserves, mothballed at sites such as the Dominion Annex, Maw Fleet Reserve, or Juno Station on Callisto, or are sent to scrap. A handful escape this fate and are repurposed and sold to other nations. This almost never happens in the case of capital warships, but the Atlantic Federation has enjoyed a strong relationship with New Themyscira, and has in the past repeatedly come to the aid of the island nation, as well as granting it favorable status. 

The AFS Intrepid was the oldest battleship in the fleet, the last of the Ascension class armored cruisers. It was being taken out of service to make way for the launch of the AFS Excaliber, a Federation class Battlestar. Rather than sending the perfectly sound, but obsolete ship to scrap or mothballs, it was refit and sold to New Themyscira for a fraction of it's value. Rechristened Her Majesty's Ship Andromache, after a legendary queen of the Amazons, the ship is now part of the island nation's vanguard facing the EUdAS.

The Andromache has been downgraded to cruiser classification, but it mounts four Trinity Higgs particle cannons, each packing a 200 kiloton yield. The hull has been retrofit with missile canisters, and batteries of lasers. The ship has a small crew, and relatively short range, but has cutting edge communications and targeting technology, allowing it to function perfectly as a short range defensive ship. It is easily superior to any ships currently fielded by the EUdAS fleet, and should the Andromache engage in serious combat, it is expected to be able to hold it's own until the arrival of more Amazon ships, or a deployment from Federation Caribbean Fleet assets.

Some Themyscirans dislike the Andromache, seeing it as a Federation handout, and that their government has sold out to the Federation, rather than stick to their principles.

The Land of Many Dragons
The Asian Co Prosperity Sphere has very few warships, especially after the defection of the Five Metal Dragons. In terms of contemporary battleships, the August Emperor of Jade commands none. The most powerful ship in the ACPS fleet is the Tianlong class light cruiser, of which the Emperor commands five. With the Metal Dragons taking roughly half of the fleet in their defection, the Emperor has commanded the commencement of a new shipbuilding initiative.

The crown jewel of this new program is the Jiaolong Project, which aims to build the emperor a battlestar. While the ACPS could arm the ship with contemporary weaponry, they have lost a major piece of their technology infrastructure, and are scrambling to recover the schematics and tech needed for large spaceframes, heavy engines, and mobile power plants. The project is currently nothing more than concept art and a mad list of shadowrunning ops.

Conversely, the Five Metal Dragons have a half dozen Decimators of Seibertronian make, which they purchased as an investment for when the Emperor gets back off of the Earth and decides to start trouble. Like the Seibertronians, these ships are not sent on patrols and tours around the solar system, three are stationed at Gushen Xing (Ceres) one each follows the two main belt mining fleets. Fleet one is crawling through the asteroid belt in a clockwise direction from Ceres, while Fleet Two is moving counter clockwise. In both instances, the Decimator is an active part of the mining operation, and provides logistical support to the other ships in the operation as well as providing the human mining crews a large ship to rest on, and a sense of security. 

Belgrano and Bolivar
The Estatos Unitos de America del Sur (United States of South America, or EUdAS) has a token handful of spaceships, almost all of them purchased secondhand rather than home built. They do have two functional battleships, both of which are naval vessels, unable to leave the water. The Belgrano is a surface battleship and mounts rail guns and smart missile launchers. The Bolivar is an Alliance built submersible, and has only smart missile and torpedo launchers.

The Third Falklands War proved the glaring weakness of the EUdAS spacey because the EuroZone was able to secure the islands with a destroyer squadron and the compliments of marines and light mecha the ships carried were enough to defeat the EUdAS expeditionary force.

The Kingdoms of Scandinavia
Long considered a satellite of the Atlantic Federation, the Kingdoms of Scandinavia have a long and close history with the Federation. The nation is considered neutral, but houses significant Federation military and psi-ops investments, including a fair number of clandestine cold weather research facilities, such as the now defunct NEBEL archive, Niffleheim Research Center, and various installations that do non-Federation approved research, but use Federation money as funding. The Kingdoms don't have any space assets, but the Federation is in talks with the Kingdoms to sell them a number of ships that are about to be retired from their fleet to bolster the Kingdom. Unlike New Themyscira, with the EUdAS knocking on their door, few people aside from a handful of extremists like Armas bother the frozen peninsula. The government is large disinterested in purchasing the AFS Dauntless or the AFS Calypso, as they are far below the tech level available in the Kingdom. The Federation fleet command visibly puckered when the Kingdoms countered that if they were going to purchase a second line fleet ship, they would wait for the AFS Federation to be retired, and then they would take that battlestar, refit it, and put it back into their service as the KSS Ragnarok. The Federation was reluctant to even discuss retiring a Federation class battlestar, and the namesake of the class, and then selling it?

It will be a while before ship talks come up again, which is fine with the Kingdoms.

The South African United Republics, Free India, and others
These nations do not have capital warships, if they do have combat capable spaceships they are destroyers and frigates. Both nations listed do have a presence in space, but they are closer associated with the Silk Road and unregistered, unregulated shipping, and such, so there are no major trade routes to protect, no megahaulers to protect, and no offworld colonies to protect. Free India has the massive Kashmir Orbital Annex but the space slum doesn't have anything protecting it other than conscripted ships, annex defenses, and the fact that it is a floating junk zone and most large ships wont come near it. 

The Anunnaki
The Hidden Masters, the boogeymen of the Cosmic Era, with all the ancient Imbrian tech, and their secret moon bases, have no battleships. They have a smattering of highly advanced light cruisers, destroyers, and such, but these ships number in the single digit, and are scattered across the entire solar system, making them more rare than the secret installations they cruise between. For the most part, when the Anunnaki have the need for capital ships, they borrow them. This isn't covert ops and hijacking ships, or anything like that, it's all intelligence agencies and political favors. Should there be a problem with someone getting to close to finding a Jovian installation (so many little Jovian moons) it is a small matter to schedule a Federation Battlestar group to pass through the area. Hidden from the battlestar, the massive ship and its escorts run everyone else out of the neighborhood. 

Why go through the trouble and expense of owning a boat when you can borrow your neighbor's anytime?

Before the Bogatyr program can be understood, one must understand the Mecha Gap. At the beginning of the Cosmic Era, the handful of New Earth Governments were all roughly equal, all picking up the same pieces. The Eurasian Alliance seemed to be the strongest in terms of resources and manpower, but were slightly behind the Atlantic Federation in terms of technology. The western power was also struggling with internal conflicts. So it came as something of a surprise when the Federation consolidated and then rocketed ahead in terms of military and communications technology. This was the most apparent in the colonial race and arms race. The Federation quickly established footholds across the Solar system, leaving the rest of the world powers scrambling to catch up. These resources turned the tables for the Federation, because despite being spread across three continents and multiple moons, they had better ships, and the great game changer, the mecha.

The Neo-Soviets and other world powers scrambled to close the mecha gap, to field their own anthropomorphic war machines. This proved a struggle as the Federation had been relatively successful in protecting their technological advances. The biggest problems were overcoming the limitations of conventional building materials for the legs, compact power sources, and computer assistance. Thus, most powers instituted stopgap measures to fill the gap. The ACPS fielded walkers, slow moving bipedal tanks that were heavily armed and armored. Other nations worked more on power armor, and things that were not quite tanks.

The Neo-Soviet Military Planning and Requisitions Office placed the order for the Bogatyr fighting system. It was to combine the strength of Russian armor with the appearance of a mecha, to strike fear into the hearts of the enemy and instill pride in the heart of every Eurasian man and woman. 

Bogatyr Mark I
The Bogatyr Mk I is an impressive war machine that doubles down on armor and firepower. The main hull of the machine houses a trio of reactors and battery banks to power a twin caterpillar tread drivetrain. Where a conventional tank would have a turret, the Bogatyr has the torso, arms, and head of a mecha. 

The Mk I has exceptional armor protection, with the front plate being up to 36 inches thick in places. The layered armor is capable is withstanding most weapons in service with the world militaries. The mecha section likewise has armor that is heavier than normal mecha, but the Bogatyr is limited to the strength of legs, nor does the mecha section have to house a power system, or other components. The command section is located in the hull and removing the mecha head merely inconveniences the machine. 

The Mark I mounts a pair of naval cannons in the over the shoulder position, one on each side of the head. These are 12 inch chemjet cannons, combining conventional propellants with magnetic assistance provided by the barrels. The guns can fire at artillery ranges up to fifty kilometers, or can be used at near point blank range. This level of firepower makes the Bogatyr a threat to low flying ships, and able to destroy many mecha with a pair of well placed rounds.

The hull mounts three medium autocannons that can engage faster moving vehicles and power suits. These are conventional autocannons but do boast a high rate of fire.

The arms each mount twin rapid fire 75mm autocannons than have a wide range of fire. While not the most effective weapon against mecha, these guns are effective at taking down power armor, vehicles, and low flying aerospace craft.

The Bogatyr isn't fast, but it can move at up to 30km an hour on its own. This is faster than existing self propelled turrets, and the lower weight of the vehicle makes it more mobile across terrain. To increase it's overland and strategic mobility, the Eurasian Alliance produced a series of support vehicles for the Bogatyr.

Polianitsa - Built on the same chassis as the Bogatyr, the Polianitsa was much lighter, at the cost of the naval grade autocannons and roughly half of the armor plating. These machines could reach speeds up to 45km an hour, and were used as massively armored scouts, Bogatyr recovery vehicles, or would assist in repairing damaged machines including rearming and reloading their weapon systems. There were two support versions of the Polianitsa, an electronics warfare model and a missile support model. The EW model has three officers manning an electronics warfare station and can function as a mobile command center, or as a cyberwar 'fortress' when facing high tech foes. The Katyusha variant drops all of the weapons except the defensive autocannons in favor of fitting a massive pair of 40 tube missile battery packs. These complicated packs can reload and allow for the Polianitsa Katyusha to create hellstorms of missile fire.

Svyagator Platform - the Svyagator is a repulsor type hovercraft, and can only manage a few meters height off of the ground, but can do this even with the enormous load of a Bogatyr in the main bay, or four conventional heavy tanks, or simply more infantry or power armor that can fit in it. The platform has an offset command section on the left hand side of the loading area, allowing for a Bogatyr that is being moved to use its weapons with little fear of damaging the hover platform. When loaded, the Svyagator can move its full cargo load at a speed of up to 120km an hour and across almost any terrain. The Svyagator proved popular with the Eurasian army and was made into countless versions, ranging from mobile command centers, surgical hospitals, and munitions carriers all the way to being adopted by civilian and commercial logistic interests.

The Bogatyr has eight load bearing armor loops in the hull and superstructure of the machine. While it was speculated that these were handholds for power armor to grab and mount the vehicle while it was moving, they have a much more impressive purpose. Any vehicle or number of vehicles can latch onto these points and use them to airlift the Bogatyr. Almost every Neo-Soviet warship has the lift capacity and hoist system to pick up a Bogatyr and move it with relative ease. Likewise either eight helocraft, or four heavy lifter helocraft can move a Bogatyr over short distances. 

The Bogatyr is not a unique weapon system, various other world powers toyed around with the notion of the mecha/tank hybrid vehicle, with the most notable being the Grumman-Cyberdyne HK heavy tank with it's anti-laser mirror coating. No major world powers pushed forward with the design, either abandoning mobile armor in favor of other strategic plans such as investing heavily in aerospace fighters, or going for better conventional combat vehicles and power armor, or moved directly into battlemech production. The Bogatyr Mk I was built in relatively large numbers, and was stationed along hostile borders, most notably the ACPS/Alliance border, and in support bases across the western bloc of the Alliance. 

The demi-mech was used as the centerpiece of Alliance army groups, with it being supported by large numbers of power armor troops, conscripts, and armored fighting vehicles, including the large and impressively armed Apocalypse, Behemoth, Demolisher, and Zhukov heavy tanks. These units were held in readiness across their zones, and were not used for heavy armored patrols.

The Bogatyr system worked well, and after a few initial challenges, mostly along the ACPS/Alliance border, they were left alone. The sheer amount of armor the vehicles mounted made them all but impervious to anything shy of capital weapons, and those required direct hits, and even then the Bogatyr might survive long enough to return fire. While a number were lost and destroyed, none came cheaply, and most did impressive 'stand and deliver' final moments. The ACPS in turn lost hard to replace frigates and destroyers in their short lived confrontation with the Neo-Soviets. 

The Bogatyr has evolved from the Mark I to the current iteration, the Mark 19. Most of the improvements have been to increase the reliability of the drivetrain, updating the electronics systems, and improving the powerplants. As the robustness of the reactors increased, later models of the Bogatyr started phasing out the autocannons to replace them with lasers and full magnetic weaponry. The latest models have reverse engineered battlemech Limited Artificial Intelligence systems at their core, the Megamozg System being an almost carbon copy of the Pacific Rim Coalition's Metal Motion L/AI. 

The Bogatyr and the hybrid tank/mech platform is seemingly established in the Neo-Soviet military psyche. Intended to be a stopgap measure for mecha, the Bogatyr will remain in service and limited production for a long time, and will likely spawn a large number of variants and models. The Eurasian Alliance has the ability to produce mecha, but these machines are still a few steps behind their Federation and Coalition counterparts, but this isn't considered a major concern and interest in closing the gap completely has been largely passed over. The Bogatyr and other military assets are more than capable of handling the major land war for the Alliance, the ACPS. Likewise, the confrontations with the Federation are increasingly in space and economic, and the Alliance has decided to fight that war by seeding claim to the Earth's oceans, and consolidating their hold over Asia. 

The mighty Bogatyr will stand until the Eurasian Alliance itself falls.
Last edited by Skaldia on Wed Feb 19, 2020 2:04 pm, edited 44 times in total.
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