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Rebuilding From the Collapse (Open RP, PMT) IC Thread

Where nations come together and discuss matters of varying degrees of importance. [In character]
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Maineiacs
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Rebuilding From the Collapse (Open RP, PMT) IC Thread

Postby Maineiacs » Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:20 pm

OK, here's the IC thread. After this post, let's keep it just that -- IC. Any OOC comments belong on the OOC thread.

To re-iterate the plot...

From A Survey of World History:
Part 10: The Collapse and its aftermath.

The seeds of what has become known as the Collapse were sown in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The unsound economic policies of many nations led to a series of small scale crises for a number of years (Japan 1986; U.S. 1987, 2001, 2008 & 2010; Finland 1991; Mexico 1994; UK 1997 & 2016; Thailand 1997; Russia 1998; Turkey 2000; Argentina 2001 & 2014; Greece 2010, 2013 & 2015; Spain 2013; China 2015, 2016 & 2020). Many of the "remedies" sought for these crises were mere stop-gap measures at best and did little to nothing to address the underlying causes. It was in 2022, however, that the world was forced to face up to what it had wrought. The austerity measures ("budget sequesters") pursued by the U.S. Government in its budgets for FY 2014 to 2022 did not address such issues as crumbling infrastructure and income inequality, nor did it address the practices of the financial community that had led to the previous crises. Instead, "blame" was laid at the feet of the poorer levels of society. Eliminate the dependency of "freeloaders", it was said, and prosperity would eventually come to all. This notion was shattered on “Black Monday”; July 11, 2022. Spurred by rumors of a default by the U.S. government on its foreign debt for the third time in little more than a decade combined with the nervousness already present due to several years of extreme volatility in Chinese markets, a panic in financial circles sent the Wall Street Exchange plummeting to unprecedented losses. The free fall continued for weeks, despite measures taken in the late 1980s to ensure that catastrophic one-day losses did not recur. By summer's end the Dow Jones Industrial Index (a grouping of supposedly "sound" companies used as the main economic barometer) had fallen 95%. The reverberations were immediate, and global. In quick succession, U.K., Japan, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, and then all other markets collapsed completely.

The crisis destroyed a European Union already weakened by the departure of the United Kingdom in the years preceding the Collapse (until its rebirth as a more straightforward governmental body two generations later), destroyed OPEC as member nations cut off the quickly dwindling supply of oil in a fit of protectionism ostensibly to minimize the impact of the Panic of '22, and sent nation after nation to the brink of civil war. Martial law was declared in the U.S. in late 2022 in response to food riots in several major cities, and many other nations followed suit. By the end of 2023, however, the U.S. government had ceased to function at all, as transportation, trade, and money flow either slowed or ceased completely. Most other countries faced similar dilemmas. The states were left to fill the void, and were to a one unprepared to do so. Mankind was on the verge of falling back to the tribal stage as local warlords sprang up in many areas, attempting to fill the power vacuum.

Society cannot not long last without some sort of centralized co-ordination, so eventually new countries were forged from the ashes of the old. The route taken toward this consolidation varied from region to region. In North America, the remnants of the governments of most of the eastern U.S. states and Canadian provinces began to coalesce in to a new centralized government based in what was once known as New York City beginning in 2070. Eventually, Greenland (left on its own after the Danish government collapsed) and the island nations of the Caribbean joined this new nation. The one small mercy of the Collapse had been that, due to the very fact that every nation on earth had been economically ravaged by the Collapse, no country had the infrastructure nor the economic means and were too filled with internal strife to attack its neighbors, so fears of a global nuclear exchange never came to fruition (except the Israeli-Iranian War of 2025 which tragically resulted in the destruction of both Jerusalem and Tehran). This fortunate circumstance meant that technology was still useful, once the local populace was stable enough to begin to rebuild. Computer networks could be rebuilt, as could more mundane things like roads and ports. Medical treatments would be once again possible, and the dramatic shortening of human life spans from otherwise preventable diseases that occurred during the Dark Years could begin to be reversed.

This new Eastern North American nation needed a name. Someone jokingly suggested an old derogatory name for citizens from the American state of Maine, and the name "Maineiacs" stuck (in much the same way that 18th century British soldiers referred to American rebels as "Yankee" or "Yankee Doodle" in derision, and the American Colonists took the name, adopted it as their own, and wore it as a badge of honor), while New York City was renamed Maineiacs City. The Constitution of Maineiacs, based partly on American and partly on Canadian law, took effect in 2076 (ironically the 300th anniversary of the formation of the U.S.), and the nation's first elections were held. There were many changes made in the way this new nation would conduct itself. Numerous restrictions on corporate greed were put in place. The once "dirty word" of Socialism now became the modus operandi of the new nation, and a mixed capitalist-socialist economy began to flourish. While some complained of high tax burdens, most saw this as the surest way to rebuild quickly; the Austrian school of economics having fallen decidedly out of favor and supplanted by a more Keynesian approach. The idea worked, and for FY 2105 Maineiacs boasted a per capita GDP of 20,197.95 Energy Credits ($35,340.97 US pre-Collapse); nearly the same level that New Zealand had held before the Collapse; so, although per capita production was not yet at The United States' pre-Collapse levels, average income was 134,434ECr ($235,232.61 US pre-Collapse) far higher than any pre-Collapse nation, with very little income disparity; meaning poverty was all but non-existent in a very short period of time following the nation's founding. The revenue intake has helped pay for a modernized infrastructure, technological breakthroughs in areas such as communications (holo-phones), medicine (AIDS vaccine, organ cloning), transport (improved fuel cell cars, hypersonic air travel), and computerization (research into virtual intelligence), and also an extensive social safety net, and has resulted in 20 straight years of budget surpluses. The government began a program of returning the surpluses to its citizens in the form of tax refunds beginning in 2101.

A discussion of how other regions handled rebuilding will be discussed in the following subsection, followed by a more in-depth look at the formation of the Maineiacs Government and its more recent move away from the isolationist policy it had pursued for the first 30 years of its existence...
Last edited by Maineiacs on Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Wasted Genius
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Pacifica: History, Part 1

Postby Wasted Genius » Mon Feb 17, 2020 4:44 pm



This is how it all fell apart...

(Recommended listening: Frank Zappa,“Filthy Habits”)

“A system of governance is not decided upon by whim or good argument. Forms of government are biological expressions.”

Most governments that plan to be around for any length of time tend to try to keep all their citizens in some way on the same page, ideologically speaking. A simple example of this is when leaders use words like “we” and “us” instead of “me” and “they”. And it’s a common principle of political science that a divided nation is a short-lived nation. But sometimes entire governments get careless or power crazed, or corrupt beyond belief, or all the above. Especially when those governments were designed to reward greed, ambition and ruthless competition.

As 22nd century historians look back at the 40 years between 1980 to 2020, they often have the same feeling as someone watching a horror movie has when the camera shot is slowly closing in on the back of the vulnerable next victim. “He’s right behind you! Can’t you hear his labored breathing? Do something!” And then you know how the rest goes, utter mayhem and somebody needs to call in the Foley artist - and tell him to bring along the cabbages and jelly.

In this same manner, the USA and most of the rest of the western world went on about its career-ladder climbing and shopping and vacationing and buying bigger cars and bigger houses with more garage space to fit the bigger cars and all of the stuff that they put into them. But just like in the movies, economic reality was creeping up behind them over the years with its absurdly sharp garden implement held high, ready to strike. The danger signs were everywhere, but someone had also thrown up more and bigger signs saying, “Everything Is Perfectly Fine” and “Do Your Patriotic Duty: Buy Something at Least As Good As Or Better Than Your Neighbor Has.”

It baffles our modern historians that when it all started to visibly fall apart how little reaction there was and how whatever the reaction was, it was almost always aimed at the wrong people or causes. And just like a corollary to Murphy’s law says: "Things will go really wrong right when you’d expect them to start getting better."

It was just a bubble, the thought leaders said. Sure, there had been cyclic economic downturns many times, and to make the idea all more relatable they began instead to call them “bubbles.” Because a bubble sounds a lot more harmless than a “systemic asset-market collapse” or a “global liquidity crisis.” Bubbles are a natural part of our great system, they said, and they eventually pop and then everything gets back to normal. In one attempt to assure everyone things would turn around again, a well-known over-the-top TV financial pundit declared the economy was like a self-cleaning oven. Which is fine if you’re not the one trapped in the oven at the time it’s on its self-cleaning cycle.

What really sent modern civilization down the drain was that along with the bubbles bursting throughout the first world there was political discord everywhere. Sides were taken and alliances were betrayed. Political strategists with no legitimate role in government concocted a religious, racial and class war to “end-all-wars” (yes *sigh* again, just like World War I). What happened was not a big, hot war (well, except the surface-of-the-sun hot war in the Middle East), but a lot of unyielding international, regional and tribal arguments, like your mom and dad used to have behind closed doors in the bedroom before the divorce.

This was the end of The Modern Age and the beginning of the era of A Lot of Different and Messed Up Ways of Doing Things. And the normal guardrails weren’t there to keep everything together. And nobody was really in the mood to rush to anyone else’s aid.
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Pacifica History Part 2: This Is What the Collapse Felt Like

Postby Wasted Genius » Wed Feb 19, 2020 12:25 am

(Recommended listening: The Brian Jonestown Massacre: "Panic in Babylon")

People who never had to worry about where their next meal was coming from *freaked out* when their favorite flame broiled chicken bowl wasn’t available. So instead, they went to the grocery store to stock up on frozen food and *freaked out* when there were only small bags of flour, beans and rice. They *freaked out* when gasoline shot up overnight to $24 a gallon. They *freaked out* when rolling blackouts hit their neighborhoods for several days at a time.

Of course social media was on fire. People were outraged and they had no problem expressing their 140 character-limited sentiment from behind an avatar of them holding a puppy up to the sun. It was all hashtag-this-soundbite and hashtag-that-villain. Their fury trended on record likes and their rage was channelled into superficially clever and impressively produced memes. They took to the streets in civil protests that had been arranged online and were carefully shepherded by hundreds of cops in light-duty riot gear. It was the power of the people. The drone footage was spectacular.

Then there was that day they had a protest in the tight streets downtown and the cops didn’t show up. Antifa did and the Proud Boys did though, and this time they weren't playing. George Soros was nowhere to be found, probably because George and Elon and Jeff and Mark and all the others like them were on their islands or yachts out at sea or chilling at enclaves in New Zealand that they had bought into years earlier.

The riots lasted for days and then weeks. Downtown (downtown everywhere) was on fire on Friday night and then it was a smoldering, abandoned ruins on Monday morning. Oddly, in the USA, the 2nd Amendment people didn’t really show up in very big numbers. Turns out it’s much smarter to sit on a cache of guns and ammo than to actually use it. Besides the complication of it being pretty hard to tell apart the good guys from the bad guys in all of that identical internet-procured urban warfare gear. But to hear them tell it they were “hunkered down” because that was the “correct war-fighting posture” (anyone who had been in The Suck *sniffs* would know this) (most of these people had never been in The Suck).

The West Coast called out to the East Coast for help, only to have the East Coast reply that they could really use some help themselves. And nobody came. Nobody. Not the federal, state or local government (all of those people got on military helicopters and evacuated to somewhere). Not the Army (they were hunkered down on their bases in the correct war-fighting posture waiting for orders that would never come). Not FEMA. Not the Red Cross. Not the Auto Club. You were on your own, no flame broiled chicken bowl, no gas in the car, no lights anywhere most nights. No job. No money. And the neighbor’s baby is crying all of the time. And it looks like someone might be looting the house down the street right now, and it's probably one of your other neighbor's who's doing the looting.

On a positive note, this could be a perfect environment for everyone to begin to join together to work out their problems because that’s sometimes what civilizations do when faced with oblivion. And the kind-of good news is that it turns out the whole thing *did* behave like a self-cleaning oven. A giant, continent sized self-cleaning oven. There would however, be long standing resentments.

Edit: Changed recommended listening.
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Pacifica History Part 3: That weird feeling when...

Postby Wasted Genius » Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:16 pm

...you’re actually relieved to see the tanks rolling down your street

Mike Eminescu had immigrated to California from Romania in his late twenties. As a child he had seen the refugees pouring across the border from Yugoslavia and had heard his parents strained discussions about what if this happened or what if that happened. How would they know when to go? At the end of these daily discussions, his father would invariably end up throwing his hands in the air and exclaiming, “Cineva treb uie să rezolve asta!” (“Someone needs to fix this!”) This did nothing to comfort Mike, in fact it terrified him in a way that would shape his future and the future of a nation far away in time and place.

Mike, now in his fifties, was California’s recently elected lieutenant governor. And when everyone else in Sacramento was bailing out (including the governor), Mike decided to stay and fix things. Because things needed to be fixed and he was the somebody to fix it.

It was a sight no one ever would expect to see in the streets of Southern California or in any of the other megalopolises’ up the Pacific Coast. Military green trucks, loaded with relief supplies and (mostly) unarmed soldiers burst forth from their enormous bases in great caravans. Someone had finally given the orders that were required for the desperately needed humanitarian and peacekeeping mission. But something was a little different.

Jerry joined the large crowd that was forming along Newport Blvd. He hadn’t eaten in three days and it seemed cruelly ironic that he ended up standing in front of a burnt-out Flamebroiler, one of his daily haunts only a short time ago. He could hear cheering down the line but couldn’t see what was coming. The cheering grew closer in a swell like a thundering ocean wave. The first thing he saw was plumes of diesel smoke. It reminded him of the kind of anticipation he would feel at a 4th of July parade when he was a kid.

And then they were there. Led by a couple of Strykers, a column of at least 100 trucks ranging from flatbed semis to Navistar 6-bys, all carrying the food and other necessities no one had seen for weeks. The day was saved. And on each of the trucks, stenciled in large white letters, one word no one had seen before:

PACIFICA

(Recommended listening: Frank Zappa, “WPLJ” Warning: Lots of hilarious profanity in Spanish at the end)
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Maineiacs
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Postby Maineiacs » Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:33 am

"We have liftoff."

The latest generation rocket, the Ares VI, lifted off from the launchpad on Cape Canaveral, arcing skyward. On board was the first step toward Maineiacs making the much anticipated, long delayed manned voyage to Mars. The rocket carried the ISPP (In-situ Propellant Plant) that would combine a supply of H2 with CO2 in the Martian atmosphere to produce fuel for later missions manned and unmanned and the ERV (Earth Return Vehicle) that would return to earth and would serve, in phase 2, as living quarters for a crew in the first manned mission, about two years hence. The hope of Maineiacs Space Agency is that further advances during the next two years would alleviate such problems radiation exposure the astronauts would face during the 18-month mission. A separate project had been and would continue to work on developing an ion propulsion drive with enough power and thrust to take a crew straight to Mars such that it might make the current plan obsolete. Preliminary results from MSA engineers looked promising, but were far from ready.

Pres. Anderson McDermott had championed this program and gotten it through the Senate in a narrow vote against tough opposition. The President's own Social Democrat Party had been unanimously in favor of the plan, joined by just enough members of the SD's allied Socialist Party and a handful of breakaway New Democrats in districts with connection to the space industry to push it through. The ND's were wary about the cost, and suggested that the money was better spent elsewhere, but were divided on exactly here it should be spent, their allies, the right-wing Reform party didn't want tot spend it at all, and most Socialists wanted an even greater expansion of the social safety net, already overseen by a warren-like tangle of bureaucracy. They warned of cutting into the usual budget surplus that the government had managed to maintain for a generation, which in turn could cut into citizens' refund checks -- a definite third-rail issue in Maineiacs, where people had tacitly agreed to high tax rates in exchange for programs that lessened social tension and income inequality.
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Wasted Genius
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Pacifica History Part 4: Choices

Postby Wasted Genius » Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:20 pm

… get a lot simpler when you haven’t eaten for a few days

The first rule of politics is that a good politician is first and foremost occupied with the business of gaining and remaining in power. That’s not to say politicians don’t have genuine, noble and patriotic concerns for their constituents, but the difference between a simply concerned citizen and a politician is and always will be who holds real power.

The second rule of politics is that a crisis is always an opportunity to consolidate power. Any politician who fails to take advantage of a crisis is leaving the door open for someone else to do it.

Historians will never know if Mike Eminescu thought about these things as he set to cobbling together the broken pieces of government. His actions certainly were swift, intentional and effective. Even as the Governor and his staff helicoptered off to somewhere else, Eminescu was connecting with whatever nearby state governments, military bases, public utilities and industry captains he could get a hold of. The federal government had collapsed and for all intents and purposes was gone. But that’s a rabbit hole to be explored another time.

While the former USA struggled with starvation and a crumbling social contract, Eminescu forged a broad temporary alliance across the western part of the continent, promising to return to whatever constitution was democratically agreed upon once the situation stabilized.

This was a lie. Maybe not a purely bold-faced one, but Eminescu had no intention of returning to a system of government that could yield such widespread misery among the people. “His people,” he said to himself. And that was the moment Pacifica was born.

He had the cooperation of what remained of the power elites, now all he had to do was sell it to His People. Which would prove to be fairly easy to do, given most of them were in shock and starving.

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Wasted Genius
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Pacifica History Part 5: A Brand New Way

Postby Wasted Genius » Thu Feb 20, 2020 10:59 pm

…to rule with an iron fist.

“…A guarantee that you and your family will never go hungry again. Do you need a job? We’ve got a job for you – all of you. And you’ll never lose your home because you can’t pay your medical bills. Pacifica stands not only for a return to your familiar way of life, but a brand new way… full of hope for you and prosperity for your children. Now is the time to rebuild and build anew! Join us, join Pacifica, and let’s start building together today!”

Michael (previously "Mike") Eminescu’s speech rang from every TV set and every mobile device and across all of the newly restored social media sites (the new part included content restrictions). It was analyzed by the newly restored media (same restrictions), by podcasters and in favorable op-ed pieces. There was some dissent allowed, but actually, that was set up as a strawman to be torn apart by popular opinion. And that popular opinion was seeded and ready to go (with memes) mere seconds after the dissent appeared. Certainly, these were dirty tricks being played on a vulnerable population. But, Michael reasoned, it was a necessary evil to provide a much better benefit to people who were terrified of the situation they found themselves in. He in fact began to see them as an enormous herd, much like the refugees who streamed over his homeland’s border decades ago.

(Recommended listening: Calibro 35 "Thrust Force")
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Pacifica History Part 6: Out of Chaos

Postby Wasted Genius » Mon Feb 24, 2020 12:22 am

…grows complexity, lots and lots of complexity.

(Recommended listening: The Black Angels, “Snake in the Grass”)

Two decades had passed since Michael Eminescu brought the beleaguered fragments of the western half of the USA together into a supposedly temporary alliance, provisionally named Pacifica. The name persisted even though the understanding of what Pacifica meant in national terms, its identity, was changing all the time.

Every country has an identity, like “the land of the free (conditions apply)”, or “the sun never sets on us” or even “our land for us” (that last one seems a bit recursive, but in fact apparently has a deeper meaning – looking at you Russia). Pacifica, up to this point could be best summed up as “Borne of the Wreckage of Democracy.”

To Eminescu’s credit, he did a remarkable job of getting everything working. He was an inspirational leader, a fiscally conservative administrator and a progressive legislator. The problem was, he was all of those things and when his health began to fail it begged the question of who would succeed him. Eminescu was privately against democracy and resisted the idea of open elections. In his opinion, democracy had destroyed a perfectly good country and given time, it would destroy everything he had worked for in Pacifica.

It was decided that Pacifica would become a bureaucratic distributed autocracy (the precise meaning of this term is lost to history). After Eminescu, there would be no single leader, there would be no king in president’s clothes, no endless haggling of power between us-versus-them political parties. At the head of the state, there would be a Board of Directors ("the BoD") chosen by department heads of the multitude of agencies that made up the sprawling government. And to keep it all honest and above board, The Office of the Inspectors General would scrutinize every action. More about this later, but for now it is important to note that The OIG made up about a third of the headcount of the government, which numbered into the millions.
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Pacifica History Part 7: Space

Postby Wasted Genius » Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:23 am

…whoever said space is the final frontier has never been to Adelanto.

(Recommended listening: Elaine Radigue, “Islas Resonantes”)

It’s hot as hell in Adelanto in August. As a matter of survival the enormous hangar and all of the service buildings were climate controlled and no one ventured out onto the tarmac unless they were in some kind of air conditioned vehicle. In a way it was a little like being on another planet.

This afternoon the base was bustling with activity as countless system checks, crosschecks and final fueling prepared the colossal black craft for its first operational flight. The Skylon Pacifica looked like it was already flying even as it sat waiting to be rolled out into the night. The flight engineers were already seated behind banks of screens preparing for the flight that would involve several low earth orbits, the release of the payload and return to the same runway it had departed from.

Tonight’s flight would mark the beginning of the Pacifica Space Agency regular presence in space, though it would be at least two more years until astronauts would ride as passengers on a Skylon like this one to the lunar vehicle that would eventually be built in space by tonight’s passengers – a crew of twenty robots.

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The Imperium Americae
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The Worker's Legionary Authority Part 1: Revolution

Postby The Imperium Americae » Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:50 am

Hubris and Complacency are truly the most destructive human vices

"It's that bastard Macron!" "Get Him!" - Railway Worker, upon seeing ousted French President Emmanuel Macron attempting to flee Paris.

"Who are you, what is happ..." - last words of Emmanuel Macron as he was surrounded by a mob of disgruntled railway workers

It's a common fact that any leader that fuels their people's destitution sows the seeds for the both the destruction of themselves and those that they lead. Such was the case in France. Like most younger leaders in the decades leading up to the collapse, Emmanuel Macron had a certain vapid charm that lead to his election in the 2017 French Elections. However, just like every other vapid pseudo-maverick, he quickly revealed himself to be a corrupt and craven leader willing to sell his citizen's rights in name of international kleptocracy. However, the French people would not tolerate this, and would become the first in the world to take a stand against international kleptocracy via the Yellow Vest movement. While the movement had energy, it's momentum could not last forever. Then the Collapse occurred.

During the Collapse, the French People rose up just as they had in 1789. The corrupt Kleptocrats of the French Government, including President Macron, and their myopic thugs were dragged into the streets to face the wrath of the masses they had so callously tried to starve. With the Kleptocrats dead, France and all of Europe fell into years of chaos until one warrior from a foreign land would reunite France and Europe under the banner of the workers.

Disclaimer: I don't support violence against RL public figures! This was just an in-character RP to set the tone for my nation. I made France the main star of the show since the whole Yellow Vest fiasco made it a perfect origin for the Worker' Legionary Authority.
Last edited by The Imperium Americae on Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:27 am, edited 2 times in total.
Nationalist Socdem Romaboo Monarchy in a timeline where superhumans suddenly appeared after WWI and caused all kinds of fuckery. Anno Domini Solīs 2005, the Imperium is embroiled in a War on Terror against Buddhist Militants.

Ave America! Ave Imperator! Ave Liberatas!

Influences: Fallout, BioShock, Batman, Code Geass, Kaiserriech, Red Flood, X Men, Infamous

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The Imperium Americae
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The Worker's Legionary Authority Part II: Lé Maréchal Étrang

Postby The Imperium Americae » Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:06 pm

'Hail Chairman-Marshal Roberts! Whose blood is foreign but whose heart is French!'

- Colonel-Premier Jacques Bacqué of the Worker's Senate, introducing the Foreign Marshal after his reunification of France.

Mathew Roberts was born on August 5, 2001 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA (present-day Mainieiacs). A Francophile since childhood, He entered the Légion Étranger shortly after his high school graduation in 2019. At the time France was in turmoil due to the unpopular presidency of Emmanuel Macron and the Refugee Crisis. The Yellow Vests movement was exploding due to the pension reforms of Macron, which were considered simply a ploy to sell French Workers down the river for the benefit of Big Business. Witnessing this is where Roberts' syndicalist views first manifested as he was sympathetic to the protesters and critical of President Macron.

He remained quiet on the issue until 2022 when the Collapse occured. Sergent Roberts refused the government's orders and joined in the rebellion. Roberts spent the Dark Years building an army and using it to keep order where he could. His army would enforce mass unionization. He stumbled upon the work of Daniel De Leon and merged it with with his experience with the Légion Étranger to form a sort of stratocratic socialism. By 2030 Roberts had reunited France under his rule and proclaimed the French Legionary Worker's Republic. Coming to view himself as a "Red Bonaparte", he spent the next 15 years slowly bringing Europe under his rule via revolutionary agitation, intrigue, and outright military force. When Europe was unified under the FLWR's rule, Roberts proclaimed the Worker's Legionary Authority, a European superstate stretching from London to Yeravan.
Nationalist Socdem Romaboo Monarchy in a timeline where superhumans suddenly appeared after WWI and caused all kinds of fuckery. Anno Domini Solīs 2005, the Imperium is embroiled in a War on Terror against Buddhist Militants.

Ave America! Ave Imperator! Ave Liberatas!

Influences: Fallout, BioShock, Batman, Code Geass, Kaiserriech, Red Flood, X Men, Infamous

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Wasted Genius
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Pacifica History Part 8: Before You Fly

Postby Wasted Genius » Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:43 pm

…you must organize a committee to plan the whole thing.

(Recommended listening: Love and Rockets, "The Game")

As Pacifica grew into a large nation, its government grew into a large bureaucracy. This wasn’t necessarily seen as a bad thing by the population because along with the bureaucracy came millions of stable, well-paid jobs. The downside of a bureaucratic government is the requirement for documentation: charters, plans, project timelines with milestones and pro-forma budgets. Objectives. Goals. Strategies. This applied to every venture, regardless of size or lifecycle. The Pacifica Space Agency, committed to one of the most ambitious and adventurous missions imaginable, nonetheless was a creature of the bureaucracy. So then, no history of the space program would be complete without the documentation.

As defined in the Pacifica Space Agency’s 2050 Operational Charter and Long-term Plan, the PSA intended to colonize the Moon in a five-stage project:

Stage 1: Build a fleet of reusable, single-stage-to-orbit delivery vehicles based on the Skylon spaceplane architecture

Stage 2: Build a Low Earth Orbit spaceport that would be the staging point for translunar missions

Stage 3: Build a Lunar Orbital Spaceport that would act as the lunar terminal for translunar missions and have the potential to expand to become a terminal for Mars transports

Stage 4: Build a Moon base to mine materials that would be used to expand the Lunar Spaceport, build Mars transport vehicles and provision other nations space operations

Stage 5: Build a Moon based fabrication facility to build a Mars transport fleet that would provide services for PSA missions and the missions of other nations.

The target date to complete this first-generation plan was 2090.
Last edited by Wasted Genius on Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Maineiacs
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Postby Maineiacs » Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:59 pm

From Maineiacs Weather Service (MWS) --

Winter Storm Warnings have been issued for several provinces for Thursday, Feb. 27, 2110. A deepening low pressure area west of Hudson Bay began moving south Monday. Churchill, Ontario woke up to a low temperature of -29C, and by Wednesday temperatures were -20C as far south and east as Matagami, Québec. Although temperatures moderated over Ohio and Allegheny Provinces, snowfall is expected to be significant, especially in lee of Lakes Erie and Ontario. Totals of 30 to 60cm are predicted over most of Allegheny, Plymouth, and Aroostook Provinces, as well as parts of southeastern Ohio, southern Québec and western Acadia, with the usual snowbelts potentially seeing twice that. Snow will at times be accompanied by winds 65-80 km/hr, with higher gusts. Visibility may at times be reduced to 40 meters or less. The warning area does include the entire Maineiacs City metropolitan area. Stay tuned for further updates.
Last edited by Maineiacs on Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:46 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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The Imperium Americae
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The Worker's Legionary Authority Part III: Bread and Iron

Postby The Imperium Americae » Wed Feb 26, 2020 6:57 pm

We were serfs once..... Now we are Knights of Labor! Every Man a Knight of Socialism, but no one is a Lord!

The alarm clock on the smart device rang until the snooze button was hit. Like most things in Red Europa, what it lacked in flashiness and sophistication it made up for in practicality and reliability. The Chairman-Marshal of the Worker's Legionary Authority was already wide awake as He had been waking up at 4:00 AM for the past thirty years. Every the soldier, the Marshal had a contingency plan for even the most minute aspects of his life. After a Shower and shave Chairman-Marshal Mathew Roberts dressed himself in his khaki military uniform and walked down the halls of the Élysée Palace where he would receive his daily briefing. He was a tall, wiry man in his late 50s with hazel eyes and sandy blond hair that had gone gray. Perhaps the most interesting trait about him that he was born and raised in America despite leading a European superstate. He had been a soldier of the Foreign Legion during the Collapse and made lemonades when he found himself trapped in France.and didn't dwell much on his homeland or even his family. By this point he was French and European in all but blood.

He walked to his office where a large touch screen adorned with apps and files hung on the wall. He was greeted by his secretary, a Breton woman half his age named Lucille 'Bonjour, Comrade Maréchal!'. 'Bonjour, Lucille.' Marshal Roberts replied "Have you organized the industrial reports?' 'Ouí,' The reports are organized by region.' 'Merci Lucille, I can count on you.' Matthew said as he opened the first file, labeled "Mediterranean"

Mathew looked at the reports with satisfaction. The Industrial capacity of the south, which had always lagged behind the rest of Europe even long before the WLA, was now on par with the rest of the WLA. The final file, which summed up the industrial capacity of the entire WLA, stated that the WLA's industrial capacity and standard of living had been restored to pre-Collapse levels, It also reported that sustainable nuclear plants built in Galicia and Lombardy were stable and were capable of providing power to 55% of the WLA with just four facilities. The report ended with a salute to the Chairman-Marshal and condemnation of the Kleptocrats Merkel, Johnson, Orbán, Erdogan, and Macron. Roberts smirked, He made sure all those bastard were condemned to high hell.

The next reports were on the strength of the military and the status of rebel groups. With a state as large and diverse as the WLA, rebels were an inevitability. Here Marshal Roberts found less satisfaction. While the military was larger than those of Pacifica and Manieacs, it lagged behind technologically and would not be able to hold off a determined invasion. Mathew frowned. While the WLA currently had neutral relations with the two superpowers across the Atlantic, thanks in no small part due to Friedman Capitalism being discredited by collapse of the 2020s, they still had radically different philosophies and unfortunately some hostility had to be expected as a result.

The rebel reports were also bleak. Bombings and Kidnappings were on the rise across the WLA, but especially troublesome in Eastern Europe and Turkey. Those nations, having bad memories of Soviet hegemony and strong Eurosceptic traditions, still refused to accept WLA rule. Two groups; the Turkish-based Warriors for the New Caliphate and the Serbian-based National Resistances Front, were listed as the two gravest threats to the security of the WLA. Mathew groaned 'those Slavs and Turks are always bad sports, aren't they?' He summoned his aid-de-camp, Colonel Pierre Adnet. 'Yes, Maréchal?' Colonel Adnet asked after a hasty salute
'Increase counterintelligence efforts and revolutionary reeducation efforts in these regions' He brought up a map of the WLA, Eastern Europe and Turkey highlighted. 'The usual suspects, Maréchel?' 'Ouí', Colonel, make sure those smelly rabble rousers get the message that their backwardness will not be tolerated.'. After Adnet left Roberts muttered to himself. He had worked too long and hard bringing progress and stability to Europe just to let some reprobates and charlatan clergymen screw it up. It they tried to stop him and the Red Rebirth of Europe, they would die, he vowed to himself.
Nationalist Socdem Romaboo Monarchy in a timeline where superhumans suddenly appeared after WWI and caused all kinds of fuckery. Anno Domini Solīs 2005, the Imperium is embroiled in a War on Terror against Buddhist Militants.

Ave America! Ave Imperator! Ave Liberatas!

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Postby Maineiacs » Fri Feb 28, 2020 6:23 am

From MBCNews--

Pres. McDermott and his administration faced a tense session of the Senate today. Opposition New Democrats and Reformists grilled the President once again over Projects Ares and I.P.S. (Ion Propulsion Systems). Senators spent 3 hours looking for answers as to why it was necessary to spend so many Energy Credits on developing an ion drive rocket engine when there was already a probe headed to Mars as part of Mars Direct. The President defended the dual expenditure by noting that researching improved ion drive systems would potentially cut transit time to the Red Planet in half, Maineiacs needed to establish a Martian presence ASAP, as both Pacifica and WLA were believed to be working on their own Martian expeditions. Sen. Franklin Buchanan (RP -- Potomac) accused the President of stroking his own ego with these projects. "McDermott just wants to get his name in the history books," he said in an interview with MBC. "if he's not careful, he'll be in the history books as the worst president this nation has ever had. The President's [Social Democrat] Party has always been too fond of spend our citizens' Energy Credits on vanity projects. My Party and any New Democrats with the sense to join us will do everything in our power to make sure the money will be spent on worthwhile projects at home; or better yet, returned to our citizens."
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Wasted Genius
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Space Eggs

Postby Wasted Genius » Fri Feb 28, 2020 11:58 pm

Space Eggs: For when it absolutely, positively does NOT have to be there overnight.

(Recommended listening: Frank Zappa, "Watermelon in Easter Hay")

Director of Pacifica Space Agency, Ken Watanabe, paced in his office. He had been reviewing the performance metrics for several of the agency’s newest programs and was troubled by what the forecast indicated. The good news was that the projects had been completed on time and the capital expenditure was well within expectations. The bad news was that utilization was low. This wasn’t particularly surprising because it always takes awhile to get clients onboard for new ventures. But the Board of Directors would only have so much patience before they started to look at defunding the program. The BoD was fine with spending money, but ruthless when it came to inefficiency.

Director Watanabe called his deputy. “Alexis, please come to my office when you have a moment. I’d like to work together on the Mars Transfer Program’s utilization problem.”

“Sure thing” she replied, “I’ll be there in 20 minutes.”

Alexis Brandt, Deputy Director of PSA, was broadly experienced, well-educated and highly qualified for her position. She was an excellent brainstorming partner mainly because she was candid with her opinion. This had earned her a reputation for being formidable, but that was only because she had no capacity to suffer fools.

When Alexis arrived at Ken’s office, they got right down to business. Ken began, “We’re looking at a real lag in utilization next year and I’d be okay with that if we had some more inter-agency contracts in the works. But of the opportunities we’re working on, too few are close enough to acceptance for my comfort level. We’ve got a tested vehicle and proven logistics handling capacity but that doesn’t seem to be attracting clients.

Alexis replied, “Yes, I think that’s because none of the other agencies have much use for the transfer line between the Lunar Gateway and Mars. Pacifica in general has been so focused on getting the Lunar Fabrication Facility going, no one has shifted gears toward thinking about Mars. It could be two years before the BoD decides there’s any utility in a Mars project, and then another five-year plan after that to actually see domestic demand for regular service. Besides, we both know the transfer line has a drawback –

“Yes, yes, the speed thing. But think about the volume throughput. This program was designed to be a virtual conveyor belt between the Moon and Mars. Our value-add is that we can get an enormous number of 30-ton packets to Mars at a third of the cost of those direct-to-Mars commercial outfits.

“You’re talking about Elan?”

“And B-Wing.” Ken added, then paused for a moment. “Sure, we can’t beat them to Mars, that was never the intention. But we can certainly beat them in bang-for-buck to Mars.”

Alexis looked out the window and said, “You know, I heard a rumor that Maineiacs was having a political issue with their ion propulsion research. Worst case scenario is that it threatens to derail their whole Mars colonization program.

“Sounds like we have similar problems for different reasons.

“Exactly. But maybe we can solve both problems by collaborating.

“How so?

“Well, Maineiacs is in the exploration phase on Mars. And we’re way behind them on that. But exploration has two parts, the human component and all the stuff it takes to support humans.

“I think I see where you’re headed…you’re talking about comparitive advantage.

“That’s right. We can move large quantities of stuff relatively slowly AND cheaply. They need to get humans to Mars quickly. But with a little coordinated planning we can save them a lot of money that they can use to work on their ion propulsion project.

“Fantastic thinking! Can you set up a backchannel communication with Maineiacs? No need to alert Elan or B-Wing about this…

“Sure, how should I summarize this whole thing?

“Tell them: ‘We’ve got Space Eggs - for when it absolutely, positively does NOT have to be there overnight.’”
Last edited by Wasted Genius on Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Wasted Genius
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Pacifica History Part 9: A: We Are Devo!

Postby Wasted Genius » Sat Feb 29, 2020 4:15 pm

Q: Are We Not Pacifica? A: We Are Devolved!

(Recommended listening: Devo, “Freedom of Choice”)

In the aftermath of The Collapse, the beginnings of Pacifica started first in the large cities of the former state of California and then rapidly spread north and eastward, bringing relief supplies and civil order to the western region of the now-defunct USA. These states willingly agreed to the “temporary” terms and conditions, because despite their divisions they shared the common bond of being Americans. And at the end of the day, who could be bothered by a little “temporary” martial law when it came along with food, gasoline and law enforcement?

There were other North Americans though, and their governments were rapidly heading toward failure in the wake of the USA’s demise. Borders that had once been zealously defended by fiery rhetoric, flimsy fences and poorly paid officers in Smokey-The-Bear hats became meaningless. It was hard to say which government approached which, but in quick succession and for purely selfish reasons (except Canada, they were neighborly about the whole thing from the get-go), everyone signed a treaty and the tsunami wave that was Pacifica rolled over the entirety of the western half of the continent.

This was all good for a while, but when temporary martial law gradually became permanent Pacifica law, the new partners began to grumble. This shouldn’t surprise anyone and especially not Michael Eminescu, Executive of Pacifica. In his early childhood he had experienced how Soviet-imposed rules had chafed (oppressed) his homeland of Romania. The 1989 Revolution and Ceausescu’s end (not pretty) were strong lessons in how imposing values from outside a culture can go horribly wrong for a leader.

When the regions started to make scraping noises about leaving Pacifica, Eminescu was quick to offer devolution. The regions would be allowed to mostly govern themselves, as long as their governments ultimately stayed primarily allied with Pacifica and accepted the set of Basic Uniform Codified Law. By the way, when Texas saw this, they raised their hand. The answer was a blunt “no”. This would become a slow burning problem that would play itself out decades after Eminescu left office.

The arrangement worked well and allowed for more natural migration patterns and commercial market expansion. Not surprising (to many, but not all) there was no flood of poor people into wealthier (“nice”) areas. This paranoia turned out to be just so much capitalist pearl-clutching and never materialized.

So Pacifica moved into the future, one nation made of many cultures.
Last edited by Wasted Genius on Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:00 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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The Imperium Americae
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Worker's Legionary Authority Part IV: New Vitality

Postby The Imperium Americae » Sat Feb 29, 2020 10:16 pm

Science is the exercise of Mankind's vitality

De Leon Nuclear Power Plant, Pyrenees Mountains

The General-Director of the People's Legionary Space Force Marion Beauvau stood at the top of the platform of the Fusion Test Facility inside the De Leon Nuclear Power Plant. The Scientist leading project, a stout German fellow named Erich Müller fiddled with some computers and a large spherical device. "Alright, I think were ready to test this" Müller said to Beauvau. "Alright, Comrade Professor, proceed" Beauvau ordered coldly. Müller ran to a safe room designed to protect him from any malfunctions. The platform Beauvau stood on was at a safe enough distance to where she didn't need to dwell on that. The Spherical Device lit up with a loud blare. A large jumbotron connected to the device turned on with a "No Signal" pop-up. "It Works!" Professor Müller shouted ecstatically.

"That's all well and good, Comrade Professor, but I don't think that jumbotron is gonna land us on Mars" Beauvau chimed in. "Oh Yes, Madame General-Director, but we finally have a working fusion reactor, which is certainly a milestone towards that goal". "How long, till until this technology is advanced enough to where we can apply it to spacecraft"? Beauvau asked. "Quite a long time, I'm afraid "the Professor replied matter-of-factly "this breakthrough will lead to improvements in how we power our cities, but it currently isn't suited to military or space travel uses" "To answer your question Comrade General-Director, It might take at least a Decade before Fusion can be optimized for space travel. "Very Well" Beauvau replied hiding her disappointment "I'll notify the Marshal-Secretary of your breakthrough, He'll be pleased to know we're making progress on this front, Auf Weidersehen, Herr Professor" Beauvau waved halfheartedly as she left the facility. "All inventions have inglorious beginnings" she thought.
Nationalist Socdem Romaboo Monarchy in a timeline where superhumans suddenly appeared after WWI and caused all kinds of fuckery. Anno Domini Solīs 2005, the Imperium is embroiled in a War on Terror against Buddhist Militants.

Ave America! Ave Imperator! Ave Liberatas!

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Wasted Genius
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Corrupt Dictatorship

Pacifica and the Eyes of Argos

Postby Wasted Genius » Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:35 am

"If you're not doing something wrong today, you'll probably be up to no good tomorrow." ~ Archie Panapoulis

(Recommended listening: Frank Zappa, “The Central Scrutinizer”)

Soon after The Collapse, laymen and academics alike began to wonder (or hypothesize, because academics don’t wonder) as to the causes of the whole big mess. And everyone, from plumber to Ph.D. (and plumbers with Ph.D.’s), could agree that corruption was the main factor. No one particularly agreed on where the corruption was worst or even what form it took. The Blues said they were clean, it was the Reds that were dirty and of course the Reds believed in their hearts precisely the opposite. It was an epic game of “No, you!” and everyone was right, and everyone was wrong, but no one won and everyone lost.

Then there was the history of California’s Franchise Tax Board. It was the only state taxing authority to have offices in all 50 states and several foreign countries. If you earned money in California, no matter where you absconded to after that, the FTB would track you down and you’d pay what you owed. The FTB was very successful at this and over the years built an army of auditors that rivaled the world’s best intelligence agencies.

So when Pacifica emerged from the wreckage of The Collapse, Michael Eminescu, former Lt. Governor of California, now Executive of Pacifica, turned to the FTB to root out corruption in all government offices throughout the Pacifica Operational Area. The California FTB Auditors Office became Pacifica’s Office of Inspectors General. And the “General” part meant that pretty much without fetter, they inspected, audited, probed, scrutinized and investigated anything and everything that hinted at being corrupt or even a bit askew, now or in the future. Over the decades the OIG expanded its role into national security and intelligence gathering. Pacifica was not a police state, it was a surveillance state. And nobody particularly minded, because if you kept your nose clean and didn’t look up at the cameras on the poles, you’d never notice.

The history of the OIG crossed with a gigantic figure in the name of one Argos Panapoulis. Argos (“Archie” to those who were acquainted with him) was what they used to call in the early days of psychiatry a high-functioning paranoid schizophrenic. And he was perfect for the job of Chief Inspector of the Office of Inspectors General.

Today, Archie was stewing over the first watch’s intelligence briefing. There seemed to be an unusual heat bloom in a nuclear facility on the French-Spanish border. The report was inconclusive, stating that it was probably a safety test that got out of hand and was later recovered, but that it could also be a nuclear fusion reaction “first light.” True to his paranoid form, the prospect of a nuclear fission accident was of no interest to Archie compared to the possibility that the WLA had a working fusion reactor. There wasn’t nearly enough evidence to warrant ground investigation, but even as he tucked this information away next to the rumors that Maineiacs was believed to be close to turning on their fusion reactor, it began to brew that special Archie brew of suspicion and agita.

Edit: Changed the character name from Ardie to Archie. Also fixed a couple grammar errors.
Last edited by Wasted Genius on Sun Mar 01, 2020 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Maineiacs
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Postby Maineiacs » Sun Mar 01, 2020 1:11 am

Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Maineiacs Fusion Test Facility --

The engineer flipped the switch, and the accelerator whirred to life. Dr. Elizabeth Turner and her team kept their eyes on the instrument panel.

"Inject plasma stream."

The noise increased, the lowered. A red panel light went on.

".03 seconds. Hell, they could have done that 100 years ago." said Turner. "What was the yield?"

"Not enough. We're still not breaking even on output." said Tim Stevens, her assistant.

"We need better containment. We always need better containment. More time and more deuterium wasted. OK, everyone. let's go back and check the magnets."

After a careful examination of the tokamak, it was found to be in working order. That was something, as far as it went. But they were still unable to maintain containment long enough to get any useful energy output. The same problem physicists had been running into for 150 years. What was the answer? They needed better results, and soon. Some in the Senate were already questioning the viability of the project.
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Wasted Genius
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It’s pronounced EATER

Postby Wasted Genius » Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:59 pm

(Recommended viewing: Friends – WENUS, YouTube: https://youtu.be/o91oclUZr9g )

Ben and the Energy Agency’s Budget Controller were reviewing the quarterly projected cash disbursement report. Ben, a young nuclear physics Ph.D., was the subject matter expert who helped the controller wade through screens of data that referred to requirements, expenditures and inventories related to things the controller could never understand. Ben was assigned after the controller had transferred 9,247 metric tons of yellowcake to the Agricultural Agency thinking it was an erroneously ordered bulk supply of ready-made cake mix.

Today, as was the standard procedure, they scrolled through the budget line items until The Bob (as Ben called him behind his back), came across something he had questions about.

“Wait, OK, this expense for ITER” (The Bob pronounced it ‘eye-tur’) “What’s that for?”

“Uh, it’s pronounced EATER

“Huh, well it looks like 'eye-tur' to me. What is it?

“The French pronounce their i’s like we pronounce our e’s and it started as a French research facility in the early 21st century. It was a developmental sustained thermonuclear fusion laboratory. It’s a tokamak, at one time the largest in the world.

“Well why are we funding eeeeeter… (he stretched and bent the first syllable to make a passive-aggressive point)

The Bob started again, “Why are we funding ‘eater’ to the tune of $65 million per year?

“It’s cheaper for us than building our own tokamak and we were supposed to be able to share in the technology breakthroughs if we funded it, helped to build it and participated in the science.

“So how’s that working out?

“I’m not sure. The program was suspended during The Collapse and the international science team was sent home. I guess Pacifica kept its commitment as far as the funding part goes. I heard the WLA restarted the program, but no Pacificans are involved as far as I know.

“Is this tomahawk thing working yet?

“Tokamak. And not that I know of, but the WLA and Maineiacs are close. They just need to get the magnetic containment field dynamics sorted.

“Sounds like science fiction. What’s the total cost of this thing?

“Originally it was going to cost $5 billion, then the timeline was extended and the projected cost was $20 billion, but I’d guess they’re up to 80 or 100 billion by now.

“One. Hundred. Billion?” The Bob exclaimed, “No wonder they call it The Eater!”

“Well when they get it working, it will produce all the cheap, clean energy the world will ever need…

The Bob harrumphed, “Thorium and uranium can already do that.” And then he began repeatedly mashing away at the strikethrough key.

“Okay, next. What’s this Super Commie-Candy thing?

A puzzled look came over Ben's face. Then he figured out what The Bob was trying to say.

"Oh, you mean Super Kamiokande..."
Last edited by Wasted Genius on Tue Mar 31, 2020 9:09 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Wasted Genius
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Pacifica: The Newsies, 2110, Somewhere in Portland

Postby Wasted Genius » Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:01 am

(Recommended listening: Baccara, "Yes Sir I Can Boogie" https://youtu.be/VSQjx79dR8s)

Jerry entered the tiny coffee shop in downtown Portland over by Burnside and 5th. It was a nothing special little hole in the wall like the other hundreds of coffee shops in town and it was populated with just a few wooden stools facing a large plate glass window looking out at the street and the front of another building with a large For Rent sign as its only indication that it wasn’t condemned. The coffee shop was nothing special, but Ray and Jerry had been meeting there most mid-mornings for the better part of four years.

Today, Jerry was the first one there and he was alternating between defending a stool for Ray’s eminent arrival and looking out the window at a lady who was dancing on the sidewalk in the misty drizzle that couldn’t quite be classified as rain. She was fascinating. Carefree, dressed in fuzzy tie-dye pajamas, a dirty pink coat and a dingy white knit hat with cat ears fashioned into it. And she was as high as a kite. Or nuts. Or high as a kite and nuts. But at any rate she was a lot happier than Jerry, of this he was sure.

Ray arrived and carefully shrugged off his jacket so the accumulated condensate wouldn’t get on Jerry. He noticed the lady but didn’t comment. This kind of performance wasn’t that unusual in this part of town.

“Hey man, what’s new,” Jerry offered as a repeated, daily inside joke. (Jerry and Ray worked for rival news channels.)

“Not much, we’re covering the Maineiacs Mars probe mission.” (Ray would never give up any of his real scoops and this was a long standing tacit bro-code agreement between the two.)

“Oh, yeah? We’re working up a series on the Lunar Factory that just opened up.”

“Mmm, right. It makes basalt something-or-other?”

“Something like that, ‘structural fibers’ I’m told.”

“Yeah.

“Uh-huh. Cheaper than Earth based when you factor in delta-v.

There were sips of coffee and silent watching of the floor show on the sidewalk. The dancer shouted a string of obscenities at the sky. Either the drugs were kicking in or wearing off, it was hard to tell.

“Y’know, I’m thinking about doing an investigative piece on the Portland office of the PSA. Have you seen their budget and headcount figures? I mean what do they even have to do with space in Portland? The nearest Space Ops Center is in Southern California.” Jerry would often toss out 100% pure BS-grade ideas just to bait the conversation.

“Good luck getting that past your editor, Ray replied, “I tried 500 words that turns out could have been construed as critical of the South Waterfront Development Council and it got bounced back as “anti-government, anti-progress and source-forged. That was based on one line where I said an anonymous person reported some audit anomalies in materials purchasing. Which was true.

Jerry agreed, “Yeah, my editor, for a local Portland news channel mind you, is in San Francisco. I’ve never even met the guy… or gal… I couldn’t tell you. I get an ‘anti-government flag’ pretty much every time I mention an agency and don’t follow it immediately with something about how much they’ve accomplished in the last quarter.

The dancer had taken off her coat to reveal exquisitely tattooed arm sleeves that floated effortlessly but gracelessly around her as she wobbled and whirled into the street. It wouldn’t be long until someone came along to collect her.

“I’m beginning to think my editor is a bot,” Ray offered in a moment of uncharacteristic candor.

“I’m more than beginning to think that,” Jerry agreed “I’m thinking the whole San Francisco headquarters is an AI data center, and only the accountants are real people.”

Just then, the dancer shrieked at the heavens, loud enough to be heard through the plate glass, “THEY’RE ALL MACHINES AND THEY’RE ALL TRYING TO GET IN OUR HEADS!”

Jerry smirked, “Wow, would you look at that. She’s a real Oracle of Delphi.

Edits: See the Rebuilding From the Collapse OOC thread for details: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=481043&p=36809108#p36809108
Last edited by Wasted Genius on Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Maineiacs
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Maineiacs » Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:05 am

From MBCNews --

"Thrusters off. We have touch down. All systems go."

*a cheer goes up in the control room*

"And with that, Phase one of the Ares mission is underway. The ISPP has landed safely on the Red Planet. Mission Control sent instructions to the probe to begin the processing of CO2 in the Martian atmosphere combined with the stock of H2 brought along to create CH4 (methane) and water in a 200+ -year-old method called the Sabatier reaction. The methane will provide fuel for the return of the ERV, while the water can be hydrolyzed and used to continue the reaction, or stored for use by the manned part of the Ares mission. A spokesperson for MSA [Maineiacs Space Agency] said that if all goes well, the ERV would return to earth in the spring of 2112. with the second phase launching later that year.

Harry Jenkins, MBCNews, MSA Mission Control Center, Huntsville."
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Wasted Genius
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 64
Founded: May 15, 2005
Corrupt Dictatorship

Pacifica: Get Your Astronaut to Mars, Part 1

Postby Wasted Genius » Mon Mar 09, 2020 6:41 pm

Archie’s not happy – a normal day in the Office of the Inspectors General

(Recommended listening: Moondog, “Fantasia” https://youtu.be/UAvRrWPSbP8 )

Archie Panopoulis scowled at the monitor. This time it wasn’t the morning’s intelligence briefing that troubled him, it was the news headlines. And it wasn’t so much the actual headlines, it was that it was in the news before it was in his briefing.

The headlines that triggered him were: “Maineiacs Space Agency Pulls Ahead in the Race to Mars”, “MSA Opens First ‘Gas’ Station on Mars” and “MSA - 1, PSA - 0 on Mars”. The articles, which Archie wouldn’t bother to read, summarized "this historic achievement in the Maineiacs Mars program" and then immediately pounced on the “enormous gap” in Pacifica Space Agency’s Mars Plan that was “as wide as the Valles Marineris” when it came to putting “Pacifican space boots on the Martian surface.”

Archie sensed that there must be incompetence, inefficiency or (most likely), nascent corruption to blame. He would have to get to the bottom of this immediately, because if there were any of these things involved, he wanted to be the prosecutor, not the defender. The Board of Directors was ruthless, and defending a position, especially a weak one, was usually a career-ending venture. The trouble was you could never quite anticipate where the BoD would be coming from in a situation like this.

So Archie’s first call would be to Ken Watanabe, Director of the PSA. Ken would take his call, because, well, everyone takes an Archie Panopoulis call. No one ever wants to mess with the head of the Office of Inspectors General. That too is often a career ending venture.
Last edited by Wasted Genius on Mon Mar 16, 2020 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Wasted Genius
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 64
Founded: May 15, 2005
Corrupt Dictatorship

Pacifica: Get Your Astronaut to Mars: Part 2

Postby Wasted Genius » Tue Mar 10, 2020 4:42 pm

Archie, the social bull in the diplomatic china shop

(Recommended listening: Laurie Spiegel, “Drums”)

Archie Panopoulis (head of the Office of Inspectors General): “Hello Ken, thank you for taking my call.”

Ken Watanabe (Director of Pacifica Space Agency): *rustling noises* “No problem Archie” *silence and more rustling* “You know I always enjoy talking with you.”

Archie: “Yeah sure. Hey look, did you see the news this morning?”

Ken: *sounds of a child wailing in the background* “Uh, I’m guessing you’re talking about the MSA Sabatier Generator on Mars.” (Ken is trying to sound like he's on top of the situation. He is not.)

Archie: “Did I catch you at a bad time?”

Ken: “No, I’m just on babysitting duty, it's the wife’s social night.”

Archie: *grunts disapprovingly* “I’ll get right to the point. PSA is looking like the 5th place runner in a four-person race. I need to know what’s going on. Especially concerning you and your department, why aren’t you on Mars yet?”

Ken started in about authorized projects and agreed upon five-year plans, project milestones and technology roadmaps. This seemed like a good, fact-based approach to Ken, but it was exactly the wrong thing to say to Archie. To him, it reeked of incompetence and corruption, even though every word was the truth.

Archie: *frustrated at the perceived barrage of baffling BS* “Okay, right, its complicated. But if I, and by that I mean you, bring that mess of a defense to the Board of Directors, you, and by that I mean we, will be packing our offices by Friday. And I like my office, so that’s not how it’s going to go. Take your time and get me something to work with by tomorrow at 10 AM. Otherwise, I might just have to start auditing your 'project plans' and 'technology roadmaps' and draw my own conclusions. Say hello to your wife for me and get that kid a pacifier. Goodnight.”
Last edited by Wasted Genius on Mon Mar 16, 2020 11:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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