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61
Free City of Bankok and (spelled differently on purpose) the Singapore Extension.

-Basic idea: in the 2320-30s the PRC’s control of the Malay Peninsula was tenuous. One of the first places to ‘fall’ was Bankok.  The PRC lost control because of growing unwired population and a lack of interest in Arco living by that population.  Singapore is still controlled by the PRC and has one the largest and most advance archology complexes in the world. However north of Singapore is an area called the Singapore Extension. It is more than just an unwanted geofront, but it once held important infrastructure necessary for supporting the archology while it was being built and modified.  Once the archology became self-sufficient there was no need for the extension, but several hundred thousand people chose not move into the archology.  I imagine a briefing where the influential intellects and PRC discussing.

“The briefing takes place via CogNet uplink.

‘Greetings my Esteemed Collaborators, Bankok, formerly known as Bangkok, is an ancient name for a location that has attracted human suffering since before we have records. In the last pre-war census of 2030 there were 30 million people living on roughly 1,600 square kilometers. It was unplanned and unregulated traps for suffering like the Bankok of 2030 that created the well-spring of need that precipitated the resource wars and brought humanity to the brink of extinction.

In 2250 the region was almost entirely unpopulated, save for a handful of uneducated and unmodified savages pulling a living out of the sea.  Our resource council at the time built a port facility and research center on the location.  The human element required to staff those facilities were minor, 2,000 people at most. However, we graciously granted the requests of construction and engineering teams to remain in the area once the facilities went on-line, and we even took steps to indoctrinate the locals. Thus, in 2252 there were roughly 5,000 biological humans living on the historical sight of Bangkok.

Rising military pressure in the region, and the first Indian Ocean War led us to increase the number of onsite personal slightly over the next few years. Our automated systems provided healthcare and food for the populace, but with great a shameful negligence, we ignored the most basic needs of the people. He did not maintain the population’s information diet.  We did not monitor the birth rate nor require CHIPing of free births. We did not construct interactive housing facilities such as micro-arcologies and we allowed human and biological resources to play a larger and larger roll in the lives of our citizens in Bankok.  People started keeping pets if you can believe it.

As you know in the 2290s things reached a critical point. In ’98 there was the Cyclone (name) which stressed our infrastructure, and early in ’99, the decision was made to turn control off the city over to a local government. We extracted as many of our resources as was economical.  The year we left there was just over 100,000 human beings living in and around the Port of Bankok.  Today, less then 50 years later there are over 900,000 people living around the port of Bankok.  The average age is 26 years old and the majority of them are unCHIPed. thus they have only intermediate medical monitoring, no daily assessments of nutrient intake or activity, no control over emotional input, and information access requires a tertiary device. To put it bluntly, they have almost nothing to protect them from the unpleasantness of being alive. It is horrific and we let it happen.

What is worse, is that we are letting it happen again just north of Singapore. We placed seven pre-fabricated communities in the area, but all together they were never intended to hold more than 32,000 human beings. For a time it was effective to have a residential area north of Singapore while we were constructing the new Singapore Arco.  But as with Bankok our predecessors made some poor assumptions. They assumed that once the Arco went up, the people would leave the Extension.  Today, in the Singapore Extension, more than 200,000 PRC citizens live in those seven prefabricated communities. 

Most of the humans living in the extension are free births. I’ve personally seen documented examples of women having up to seven children in their life times via unmodified birthing methods.  Most humans are unCHIPed. They produce their own food. They work outdoors so long that their skin becomes burnt by the sun, and insects and other parasite feed on their flesh while they still alive. Our drones have even seen evidence of money being used.  We are referring to physical money, not credit lines, but a physical representation of value that if lost or stolen is gone.  It is mass insanity, it is pointless and it is our fault. We let this happen.

But we can fix it. There is room in the new Arco for all of them.  They are citizens of the PRC that are willing choosing a lifestyle that is not in their best interest. We most stop them.   Soft incitements have not worked. It is time to make the children come home.

I propose that we hire a team of mercenaries, not directly associated with the PRC, to disrupt these communities.  The mercenaries will be tasked with destroying their crops, their livestock, the vehicles they use for gathering wild fish, and the majority of their dry food stores.  Additionally, we will offer financial incentives to encourage the mercenaries to sabotage the power plants, water treatment facilities, and medical facilities.  The people will have no choice but to come to us.  Once they are home, with us, we can make them happy.  We don’t want another Bankok.  It is 2346, no human deserves to suffer in ignorance.


Thoughts:

-The CE culture gets discussed a lot in broad strokes, but Bankok gives it some concrete examples.  Bankok, where people are living in houses, walking down streets, preparing their own food and are unmodified, is a humanitarian disaster in the minds of the PRC.

-Bankok I imagine is good ‘frontier’ or ‘border’ town off the grid and just before the wilds. It is a stable place and a safe place, but it is not monitored and regulated like other places. Here is a person can be free. And the material culture might be more accessible to some readers or players.  Here you could go to a street vendor and buy a mug of tea with cash. Here there are sidewalks and independent street vehicles.  This will contrast with the Acros, but it won’t be as dangerous as the geofronts. It is not a geofront that hold the Arco’s culture trash. It is a cultural throwback. 

-Basic idea of the Singapore Extension is that main characters are on the other side of a Seven Samurai scenario.  The people of the Extension will hire their own mercenaries to protect themselves. The ‘heros’ will have to defeat seven cool and deadly mercenaries in order to reach their goals of destroying the lively hood of the Extension.

-This fits a basic dystopian trope, the people in the dystopia genuinely believe they have it better.  The leaders of the PRC are genuinely horrified that people would live without the technology that keeps one from getting lost, sick, bored or unhappy.

-It frames the PRC’s humanitarian and progressive slant as awful and everything in the CE is supposed to be awful.  I want the motivation of the people hiring the mercenaries to be truly altruistic, but without respect for different lifestyles or cultures. 
 
62
Mandalay Nation:

Basic idea: During the ‘Second Dark Age’ the most advanced and economically prosperous nation in the world was centered in what we call Burma. 

Rationale: South East Asia was spared much of the direct trauma of the resource wars and starting in about 2040 a progressive technocratic government took over in Mandalay.  After the year of fire (2051), this nation was there to pickup the pieces such as they were and take in the refugees. For the next 100 years, a multi-ethnic nation boomed.  Using a combination of solar, nuclear and wind power the nation reached a standard of living not seen since the petroleum era. A huge urban sprawl stretch out over southeast Asia, marked by high-speed rail, sprawling indoor markets, manufacturing centers and broad reaching state-run media. 

It was technologically interwoven society. They used endemic electronic hardware and programming languages to keep their populace entertained, connected and monitored. It was not a completely free culture or free economy.  Extensive testing and tracking in the education system produced a meritocracy. Rather than funneling their best and brightest into capitalist consumer industries, they were funneled into state-run projects.  There was an extensive space program. Satellite governments were installed in southern India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia. New gas reserves were found in the Indian Ocean.  Most people were fed. Most people were employed, most had health care and things appeared to be getting better. There was hope. Then the culture died.

Almost overnight (historically speaking) close to a billion citizens of the nation died.  It took less than a decade for the jungle to reclaim the land. The massive shopping malls became overgrown, the power plants went dark and were hidden by foliage, and the high-speed rail tracks became trails for animals and nesting places for birds.  The name of the nation itself has been forgotten.

The collapse of this culture was the work of the Glassenheim foundation.  The Glassenheim foundation being made up of the members of the Intelligence agencies and Oligarchies of the old power did not few a new Khmer Empire as part of their world plan.  A new world super power, not under their thumb and not created by their members didn’t fit into their vision. Additionally, the life style of the Mandalay citizens, with their sprawling cities, large families, and expansionist ideals threatened to create all the problems that had lead to the resource wars. So the GF poisoned them.  The GF observed that there was a common food additive. A simple preservative, used in small amounts, meant to enhance the flavor of mass-produced food with a long shelf life.  The additive was found in almost all mass produced food products used by the Mandalay, and it was produced at a single factory. The Glassenheim alter the chemistry of the synthesis just enough to make it toxic; but not immediately so.  Once consumed the toxin would slowly destroy your nervous system.  Even the smallest dose was toxic.

What I like about adding this to the cosmic era.

-It provides a cool over-grown but abandoned urban jungle/jungle-jungle landscape to play in. This over grown urban sprawl goes on for miles. Mech battles can take place between crumbling malls covered in vines, and foot chases can lead into 150-year-old residential buildings with trees growing through the roof and monkeys living in bathtubs.  Not to mention the danger of abandoned nuclear power plants.

-If the fate of the society is ever found out, then the ruthlessness, power, and vision of the Glassenheim foundation will be revealed.

-It challenges the monolithic use of the term dark age.  I believe the term dark age is out of vogue now among medieval historians, and besides the term describing Europe after the fall of the Western Roman Empire has always been evolving.  The cosmic era is written with a heavy-handed intellectual and academic tone, thus in the cosmic era terms used to describe the world, and views of the world should also be open to evolution.  Just as Scras hopes that reading the CE will force people to take a fresh look at today's society, characters and readers should encounter things that force them to rethink the conclusion and beliefs regarding the subject matter.  There is no room for a singular narrative in a setting as sophisticated as the CE. 

-It provides mystery and makes a statement about what our society will leave behind.  A conceit is that one reason there is so little history of this nation is because they didn’t use physical print. Almost all data was digital and stored in a dead computer language on obsolete systems.  Imagine going to the library now and not finding books, but 3.5 floppy discs or Jazz drives. How would you read them? Now imagine the files are written for software nobody uses anymore. What will happen to the citadel when Strolen stops supporting the site?

If characters can access this information then they might gain something or learn something important to the plot. The Mandalay culture may have had knowledge about the location of eldritch creatures, natural resources, off-world colonies, medicine or the Glassenheim Foundation.  Finding a way to read Mandalay data storage software and finding some protected data disks or hard drives could move a story forward.

What I don’t like about it.

-I’m suggesting explaining a major catastrophe with conspiracy theory.  While conspiracy theories can be fun, I don’t like em.  I think they are lazy story telling and don’t reflect the world.
63
Moderated Freeform / Re: Scras and Max Solo game
« Last post by Aramax on March 17, 2017, 04:08:06 PM »
Stub of players guide
http://strolen.com/viewing/Atlantis

Shepard, stats above given many magic items and being hailed as the New King Messiah, leads a raid on Akoa(sponsored by Serpent Men) looting the Royal treasury of many items and spellbooks
The next day he goes to the high council and meets with Serpent Ambasidor, who wants about 60% of the spellbooks he gets about 7%
then he starts his vision quest with a visit from the enchanted Tiki Parrots who question his destiny

Vision Quest Begins........

64
Citadel Tavern / Re: Epub Issue 4
« Last post by Aramax on March 16, 2017, 06:27:43 PM »
Cool! I wanna readem as early as allowed, email me
65
Citadel Tavern / Re: Epub Issue 4
« Last post by axlerowes on March 16, 2017, 03:24:08 PM »
Max you can do as much reading and commenting as you like, you will be huge help, hope is that every interested citadel member will review and give feedback on the stories
67
Citadel Tavern / Re: Epub Issue 4
« Last post by Aramax on March 14, 2017, 06:54:53 PM »
I volunteer to read and comment ,desirious of an Asst Editor job
 
68
Citadel Tavern / Re: Epub Issue 4
« Last post by axlerowes on March 13, 2017, 07:34:50 PM »
Bump, another week
69
Greetings Traveler / Re: A Quick Hello
« Last post by axlerowes on March 13, 2017, 07:30:25 PM »
How do you do?
70
Greetings Traveler / Re: A Quick Hello
« Last post by valadaar on March 13, 2017, 01:04:52 PM »
Welcome Aboard!
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