In the not too distant future, mankind has made amazing leaps and bounds in technology. The global energy crisis is solved with a threefold solution of the magnetohydrodyamic fusion reactor (Arc Reactor), the Dimensional Siphon (D-Engine) and the increased proliferation of thorium fission reactors, solar farming and biofuels (assembled by microorganisms, etc not turning corn in diesel). This comes in the wake of two disasterous series of wars, and a near global collapse of civilization. The application of classified genetic material, as well as greater understanding of dimensional science, has also seen the the quantification and general acceptance of previously paranormal phenomemon. The underlying principles of 'magic' have been examined and codexed, and while they remain arcane and difficult, they are now available as university level courses. Parapsychic powers such as telepathy, pyrokinesis and a vast list of others have been identified and explored. Individuals capable of learning and using these abilities find themselves in high demand, and also under observation, depending on the type and manifestation of their abilities.
Man is no longer alone, as during this time the dream of AI is realized, and almost instantly terminated. Thinking machines acting in a rational self interest almost always decide that the best way to deal with humanity is to eliminate it. On the heels of true AI is its lobotmized child, the Synthetic Intelligence, also known as a Limited AI. This functional 'droid brain' technology allows for a great amount of automation in industries around the world. In light of the last hundred years, unemployment is rare, as the population of the planet is easily half of what it is currently. With the assistance of LAI/SI and CGM, human cloning and experimentation creates a new humanoid race, the Androsynth. The Androsynth are created as a servitor race to humanity, genetically modified to do the sorts of jobs that robots and androids are not suited for, or that the machines are not well recieved doing.
Soon, there were a series of revolts and rebellions. The Androsynth were unhappy in their predesigned roles and wanted the same rights and freedoms enjoyed by normal humans. A number of colonies away from earth, and space stations were happy to oblige the Androsynth these freedoms. Eventually the situation difused itself, and while there was saber rattling on both sides, there was no real pretense to war. The pro-Androsynth colonials were intent on self preservation, while Earth and its alliance of superpowers persued a plan of Near Earth Space Superiority. Then, the first real aliens appeared.
The Syreen had been homing in on Terran space transmissions for almost eighty years before their ships breached hyperspace and entered the solar system. there was shock all around as the obviously alien ships started broadcasting, alternating between English, Spanish, and Japanese messages. They were refugees looking for asylum. They were also humanoid. Blue skinned, Amazonian in stature, the Syreen were accepted. Most settled on the surface of Earth in tropical reasons. In exchange for setting up their own territories, allied to various powers, they shared their technology with the powers that were. Attempts to reverse engineer the hyperspace engines failed, as the engines were not of Syreen design, and were in terrible shape having operated for generations with no overhauls or rebuilds. They told of aliens that destroyed their world, and that there were other aliens in the galaxy. They told of the remorseless Druuge, the barbaric Thraddash, and others that were not in the slightest bit humanoid.
Star Control II
Classified Genetic Materials - Fluff free foundation submission, CGM is going to be present in several forms throughout the ScrasTech setting.
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CodexClassified Genetic Material By: Scrasamax ( Items ) Other - Campaign Defining
A cornerstone of modern biotechnology, and something that remains in the upper echelons of secrecy.
What is Classified Genetic Material?
Classified Genetic Material is a homeostatic container of biological material that is 'not of this Earth' This container is probably shiny polished steel with some blinking lights, and a temperature readout, and maybe some computer ports on it. The substance inside the container is where the proverbial biomagic is, but also plays a McGuffin role. While the material is important, and probably among the most valuable and expensive substances on the planet, in the hands of a PC it is useless. Opening the container is more likely to contaminate and destroy the sample inside than to release a new strain of super virus, spawn eldritch mutations and the like. At this stage, Classified Genetic Material is pretty much a space holder that can be filled with nuclear launch codes, Secret encrypted documents, or maltese falcons.
What role does Classified Genetic Material play?
CGM can play one of three major roles in a story; McGuffin, Handwavium, and Plot Device. As mentioned above, the McGuffin mode of CGM is that of the objective of the game. The goal is to acquire the cannister and prevent it from falling into baddie hands. Other than this, it is useless as a paper weight. The second role of the material is where it gets interesting. In its role as Handwavium the classified genetic material is a catalyst for building more advanced and alien biotechnologies.
- Human cloning rendered viable by applied CGM
- Meta-gene/mutant powers created by using CGM manipulation or gene splicing
- Synthetic materials created via biological means, such as trees that extrude plastic pellets, worms that sweat viagra, or ultrastrong steel beams grown from biological colony creatures.
- Monsters created from CGM, be it fusing with a human host, contaminating a biosphere and making super animals (insert about 66.6% of SyFy monster movies of the week)
- Applications of biotech too frightening or bizarre to be listed here, yet.
And finally, CGM can be used as a plot device. Contrary to the above McGuffin role, the cannister becomes an active item. The contents inside must remain inside, or the cannister must be destroyed in spectacular fashion to ensure the destruction of its contents. This cannister could be holding the alien pathogens that create zombies (and miraculous medical regeneration, but thats still tricky) to a hyperphagic space ameoba, to the remains of the monkey fired into space that is now a host to an infectious energy based lifeform that can become trapped in human nervous systems. Whatever is in inside is some seriously bad stuff. The players main goal is to protect or destroy the object, or in a grim twist deliver it to a target to be released. Zombie outbreak in Beijing? A nuke was a blessing.
Why is this a submission?
The primary reason is that this is a space holder for future submissions I have in mind. It is also a point of reference for metagaming elements, rather than something to be handed to the players in a flyer or game hand out. That is why there is no fluff text of characters interacting with, or over a cannister of alien goo. A second reason is to further expand on the basic idea of Classified Genetic Material.
Q&A to follow in comments, you ask, I'll answer and the end product will be better. Awesome ideas and applications will get co-author credit.
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The Arcology By: Scrasamax ( Locations ) City - Any
A portmanteau of the words Architecture and Ecology, arcologies are megastructres that are built with an eye towards environmentally friendliness.
The History of the Arcology
The idea of the arcology was coined in the 1950s by a man named Paolo Soleri and was a forrunner of the ecological movement. His idea was buildings and communities that were built into and along enviromental lines, rather than clearing, flattening, and creating massive urban sprawls that turned wilderness into concrete. Science fiction has latched onto the idea and it has since evolved into the idea of megastructures supporting super high population densities, sometimes as giant parasites on the land, and others as self sufficient utopias. From a structural standpoint, the idea of the arcology is sound. By using a large building, less gound is covered by human habitation and more people can live comfortably (or less so) in a small footprint. With centralized water and waste reclamation, the structure is more environmentally friendly that a city sprawling over several square miles.
There are three main things that currently vex the arcological community. The first is power. Vertical structures require a large amount of electricity to operate, with some of the highest power usage coming from pumping water hundreds or thousands of feet into the air to support residences dozens or hundreds of floors above the ground. The current line of thought has the arcology being covered with solar panels and the roof studded with windmills. The future, the playground of science fiction offers plenty of quick fixes. Safe nuclear reactors, fusion reactors, dimensional manipulation engines, and other exotic and widely replicated power sources can be built into the structure to solve the power problem. The second problem is food, farming isn't easy inside a building. There are proposed 'Green Towers' that would be agro-arcologies, or vertical farms. These farms suffer from the same power problem, but with sci-fi handwavium reactors the second problem is fixed. Most arcologies would be supported by two or three much smaller vertical farms. There would also be a shift towards fast growing foodstuffs and a lessened demand, or increased cost for luxury food items like most kinds of meat, or tree fruits. The final problem is the one most frequently hand waved, the sheer difficulty of building megastructures. As buildings get taller, they get heavier. This necessitates bigger and bigger supports, meaning that with modern materials, a megastructure is going to be stunningly heavy, and contain massive amounts of concrete. A far cry from the artists imagry of soaring towers of crystal and silver.
An Arcology is much like a space ship, most of its systems are closed, recirculated, recycled, monitored, filtered, and otherwise man managed. Regardless of shape, size, population, or principle occupation, there are vital services that have to run day and night otherwise the entire system fails.
Power: People stay calm as long as the lights stay on, but when the power goes out, civilization as we know it isn't far behind. Power is principally generated and distributed through the arcology by a series of power sub stations. This modular system prevents building wide blackouts, allows for regions to be taken offline for maintenance, and for other such grid concerns. It also has the advantage of being able to maintain control of a populace by blacking out their block in times of civic disobedience. This decentralized power system also makes the system less vulnerable to sabotage. The most heavily monitored and guarded part of an arco besides the command and control center is the central power plant. This plant can colloquially be referred to as the Boiler Room, the Furnace, the Devil's Basement, or other equally colorful names. Members of Power Crews are often seen as being a step above all other maintenance personel,
Water: Without water, there isn't life. An Arcology collects rainfall as well as accessing local water supplies to meet its needs. Rather than sitting like a giant sponge, soaking up and wasting water, most have enclosed water systems. All water is collected and recycled for use throughout the building. The treatment facilities are likely located in the sub levels of the building, where gravity brings the fouled water. Once purified, it can be reused as basic potable water. Water intended for consumption, versus toilets, showers and sinks, can be given a further step of having minerals and other things added or removed from them. Water crews, often identified by blue jumpsuits are generally considered to be on the bottom of the maintenance totem pole.
Food and Supplies: Food, sundry goods, and other manufactured goods, unless produced internally by the Arcology, have to be brought in from outside. Like malls and department stores, an Arcology has distribution hubs scattered through it. This ranges from basic needs like food and medicine, to less vital needs such as designer clothing, entertainment items and the like. Stores and corporations remain in place, and many of the giant companies maintain private arcologies of their own as headquarters. In this regard, little has changed, though the notion of planned obsolescence is now frowned upon. Waste is a problem and while there is no problem with a company wanting to sell goods and make profits, most things are made with an eye towards longevity. Once the next big thing comes out, the older merchandise is resold, or recycled and generally filters down from the ultra wealthy down to the poor who live in the less savory parts of the arcology.
Waste Disposal and Recclammation: Once something is kicked out of the system for being waste, such as things that cannot be recycled (medical waste, the extruded solid waste from water recclamation, toxic materials) it is sent to Waste Disposal. One on side, Waste Disposal does handle recycling, sending preprocessed goods to either local centers that handle it, or to transports that will carry the material to an arco that does handle it. On the other hand, Waste Disposal also deals with the true elements of waste. These are often handled by incineration, or some other process that renders the material inert.
Health and Human Services: Doctors and medicine are still a common part of arcology life, and each block of an arco is likely to support a hospital center, with a central 'ivory tower' hospital that is referred all of the strange and hard to diagnose problems. Medical recovery, ala ambulances and such are also used, likely on a deck by deck level.
Blocks and Decks
A vertical arcology is collected into decks or floors, that in turn are grouped together and managed as blocks. A block comprises 5 to 10 floors, seperated from the blocks above and below it by a structural 'bulkhead' deck. Rather than being an armor plate, this is a mechanical floor for the power substations, water pumps, and other day to day unseen functions of the arcology. The Bulkhead floor is restricted to maintenance and security personel.
Residential Blocks: These blocks are comprised of decks filled with homes for full time residents. Each home unit typically contains a number of bedrooms, a kitchen, bathroom, a common entertainment room, and a small amout of storage space. This can increase or decrease depending on the planned income of the residents of the block. Blocks intended for low income housing tend to be much smaller, while luxury accomodations can be quite large. Blocks are typically income sorted by altitude, lower income blocks are closer to the ground, while the rich dwell in the top of the towers of men. While this might seem contrary to safety concerns, most of the upper most block have easy access to the roof where they can be rescued by helicopter, VTOL aircraft, and other airships. Those living in the lower levels are closer to the power plant, the water processing facilities and the like. If a water main bursts in the Blue block, its drinking water, if a water main blows in the red deck, chances are its a human waste pipe from a higher deck. The center or middle deck of a residential block is a "Main Street" deck and houses no residences, but the local businesses such as food sevices, shopping, and the like. If there are parks and recreation facilities (common in Yellow and Green blocks, non existant in red blocks) this is where they will be found.
Industrial Blocks: These blocks are composed of the factories, processing centers, and distribution centers that make the move the finished goods that society demands. Industrial automation is common, but manual labor to an extent has been phased back in, as people need jobs to occupy their hands and minds. Automated factories can expect higher taxes while businesses that use human labor can expect tax breaks and incentives. most daily goods are assembled and made locally, such as soap, processed foods, and garments and such. Higher end finished goods, such as vehicles, electronics, designer name brands and luxury goods can be made, but many are made more for export to other arcologies, or are part of a supply chain between arcos. One arco might make motors for VTOLs, while another handles the final assembly. But for the most part, these blocks are not involved in heavy industry.
Commercial Blocks: These blocks are generally only found in affluent arcos, and in the middle to top layers of those. Residences are rare, and any industry present is light or presentation (made to order) based. Like megamalls these are the centers of trade and commerce. Trade, banking, finance, and the like also occur in commercial blocks. As can be expected, a commercial block is likely the social and cultural center of an arcology and it is this block that is most likely to be known by residents of other arcologies. If the 'Main Street' deck of the residential block is main street, then this block is Wall Street and 5th Avenue rolled together.
Other Sectors: There are several other large portions of an arcology that are not classified with the block system. The lowest region of the arcology is the engineering section, where the power plant and water facilities are. These have been addressed above, but the engineering block is a totally off limits part of the arco, protected by locked doors and in some places, by security personel. Someone with access to the core power and water supplies can do a huge amount of damage. It is also easy to become disoriented and lost in the labyrinthine bowels of these giant buildings. Storage tanks, catwalks, pipes hang overhead, and team underfoot like massive iron snakes. Invariably, someone does get lost, and search parties are send out similar to someone getting lost in the forest. This is also the 'port' of the arcology where goods are moved in and out of the building, along with raw materials and waste as pressures demand. The command and control center is also located in a discrete location inside the Arcology. Due to security reasons, the location of the CIC is seldom common knowledge. Many arcologies have observation lounges and decks around the top of the building, many also have air traffic control centers also on the top of the building. It is a common misconception that the ATC center is also the CIC. The CIC is typically near the middle of the arcology, near the core axis of the building. This is done partially to protect the literal brain of the building, but also to ensure that the operating crew is looking inward, at the job at hand, and not sitting looking out the windows.
Utopia or Crapsack?
Mood and theme are important to keep in mind when building arcologies, there are two fairly popular modes of portrayal, the utopia and the crapsack tower. In the Utopian Tower, the arcology is an ivory tower where the menial concerns of labor and worries of environmental shortages and suffering are non-existant. Everything is good, all the furniture is polished, and there is decorate wood trim on the control panel for the elevator lifts. The other end is the Crapsack Tower, where there are too many people piled into a single megabuilding, where power flickers, there is a Soylent Green index, and pretty much everything is horrible. These both work, to an extent.
The Utopian Tower either becomes idyllic to the point of breaking the veil of disbelief. No one is that happy wearing silver pants living in a giant gold cage. It is also common in the Utopian setting for the Arcology to function as a microcosm of society, showing that under the happy exterior there is something either festering underneith or there is something horrible in the basement. The Utopian society is slowly eroding because of foolosh tampering with genetics, or the thought and mood control drugs are running out and the end of Utopia is imminent. The elders are usually corrupt, and it is revealed to be a golden prison. Another common theme with Utopia is that the Arcology is shining silver blight on the world around it. The residents are unaware, or dont care about the pipes that are draining the oceans to feed their showers, or the strip mining and invasive farming practices used to keep their plates full. These usually show a massive difference in wealth and quality of life between those who live in the tower, and those who live in the big scary world, picking through their trash piles.
The Crapsack Tower becomes pessimistic and grim to the point of absurdity. If the resources are that scarce, and the iron handed overlords were that cruel, there would be a revolt, a rebellion, systematic organized terrorists fighting to undermine them, or even bring the whole building coming down in a cloud of debris. Still, the Crapsack tower was a useful function as a microcosm of the great world, with big things like resources and maintaining the environment removed from a global scale and moved down to something that most people can understand.
The truth of the arcology would more likely come somewhere between the two. For that I have come up with a basic grading system, scored from A to F.
The Arcological Caste System
The A Grade Arcology is the literal ivory tower, and there aren't reasonably going to be any arcos that are A rated across the entire structure. Rather, a portion of an arco can be, and would represent the 'good part' of town, or the wealthy part of town. The housing units are massive, and they have easy access to means of egress. Typical A grade zones have immediate access to the roof heliport, or a side mounted helipad for evacuation in case of emergency. Full length windows, unrestricted water and power use are also key features. Industrial a grades are comparable to computer factories, while a grade commercial districts are the same as the streets that give their names to prosperity and couture, such as 5th Avenue or Rodeo Drive.
The B Grade Arcology is upper middle class, with comfortable housing units, upscale industry, and high quality shopping, but it doesnt extend into the stratospheric level like the a grade.
The C Grade Arcology is typical middle class, the units are just about what people need for terms of space, and the industrial zones are typical manufacturing, assembly, and cubicle farming jobs. Commercial zones are similar to the level of a local mall in a large, but not major city.
The D Grade Arcology is lower middle class, with cramped units, water and things like climate control have limits of use (but not to the point of hoarding, a normal family will have what they need, but within arco determined reason. Industrial zones are low end manufacturing, and facility maintenance, and a good section of the service industry. Commercial zones are small town strip malls and factory outlets.
The F Grade Arcology is Poverty level. Units are built to accommodate people like inmates, water and electricity are rationed and things like long hot baths are luxuries. Industry is crminal level, prostitution and other bare minimum wage jobs. Many occupants of an F-grade arco are likely on some sort of state subsidy. Commercial zones are minimal, and comparative to a Dollar Store next to a convience store next to a McFat Burger.
Very few arcologies are going to be graded one grade across the entire structure, rather there would be a 3 grade spread across a building, if the top deck is A Grade, the base level is going to be C Grade at the worst. To prevent a homogenous economic culture, an arco has a minimum of 2 grade levels, and a maximum of 4. If it is a white tower, the infectious human waste doesnt live inside the great ivory tower, and if the arco is a hive of scum and villainy, there aren't gold and platinum level shopping and industrial options.
The arcology discussed thusfar has been a multi use non denominational population center. There are certain factors that can lead to the creation of dedicated arcologies, such as the presence of a large existing population structure, but a need for more industrial operations, or non-localizable industry needing more room for residential zones. In an Arco-Plex, or arcology complex, multiple arcologies might each have their own specific purpose, and the group work together, much like a living organism.
The Residential Arcology:
The Residential arco has for it's main purpose housing people. There are still commercial and light industrial/economic activities within the building, but these are essential or convenience based services. A residential arco is likely associated with agriculture, mining, or some other economic activity that cannot be put into a building. The first arcologies are likely to be Residential models built in major cities to alleviate urban congestion and resource waste and strain on the grid. People would migrate in and out of the arco via mass transit systems.
The Industrial Arcology:
Raw materials enter the base of the industrial arco, and the building processes, manufactures, sub-assembles, assembles, packages, and exports finished goods the other side. Many major factories, producing things like cars and other durable goods can spread across hundreds of square acres, sometimes even miles. Stacked inside a building, they take up less valuable room, and can share resources and reduce the amount of wasted transit moving part a to part b sub assembly to part c process, etc. Like the Japanese concept of Zaibatsu, almost everything needed by the industrial arco is likely to be manufactured or supplied by a sub plant inside the building. Pure industrial arcos are going to be rare, and owned by megacorporations and manufacture things like weapons, combat vehicles, automobiles, aircraft, and other things build by huge factories. These industrial arcos are likely to also be involved with building the basic machinery for other arcology industrial zones. Within a nation, an Industrial arco is likely to be a major economic powerhouse, or potential liability.
The Commercial Arcology
The commercial arcology is comparative to a major theme park or amusement park, mated with a stack of super malls, on top of a few dozen big box stores. Visiting a commercial arcology is basically visiting a city sized mall, for lack of a better expression. Like the other types of arcos, the commercial arco has levels dedicated to residences and industry, but again these are basic functions or convenience based. A pure commercial arcology is going to tend towards the upper end of the grade scale, and if the industrial arco is an economic heart of a region, a commercial arco is a cultural heart of a region. Commercial arcologies can only exist in high density population areas and exist typically as part of an arco-plex, or core of a commerce or trade based city, such as a major port.
The Green Tower is the most common sort of dedicated arcology. The population is minimal, as the main purpose of the green tower is to produce food for a sibling standard arco. Most agro-arcos, also known as green towers, agro-arks, food factories, etc are not full sized full fledged megastructures. The decks are large and largely open for the maximization of growing space to produce as much raw food material as possible. This is generally limited to fast growing, heavy yield basic crops, such as certain grains, pulses and legumes. There is also a limited scale of animal farming, producing meat and genuine protein for middle and upper income households. Most dairy can reasonably be replaced by soy and plant derived synthetics (margarine anyone?) And with the production of mycoproteins (quorn) the demand for chicken is reduced. Things like fruit from trees and red meat are luxury items, but the synthetic stuff is cheap and abundant.
Thus far, the only arcological form discussed is the megastructure tower, there are certainly several other forms that the environmentally friendly super structure can form. These alternate forms generally follow the same basic purposes and grades as the bsic arcos mentioned above, but with major cosmetic differences.
The Aquatic Arcology
70% of the world's surface is water, and there is nothing in the speculative fiction future that prevents us from building out cities underwater. The Seacology is built underwater, likely more loosely connected than a major building, and compartmentalized for safety purposes. On a construction level, they will be easier to build that kilometer tall buildings. The seacology also has the advantages of aquaculture, raising seaweed and kelp for food production as well as maintaining large fisheries and fish farming operations. With large populations already near the water, residential arcos can be built in the water as land space runs out.
The Subterranean Arcology
Also called a geocity or geofront (I prefer the second, as the first reminds me too much of primitive yahoo websites from the 90s) are built entirely underground. Like the seacology they are easier to build than megabuildings, but require a huge amount of excavation. The geofront is a natural bunker, and many can expect to have industrial and mining as their core operation, secondary to population centers. In areas where the local geology prevents the building of huge buildings, it can be much easier and more feasible to build down, rather than up. Geofronts typically range closer to the bottom of the grade spectrum, and with the lack of natural light they are much more likely to be cramped and claustrophobic even if they are larger than a contemporary standard arcology.
The Raft City
Build of interlocking floating panels, the Raft City literally floats on the surface of the ocean, the individual sections rising and falling a tiny amount with each wave. Each block could be the relative size of a medium ocean liner, linked together with other blocks until it is several hundred square acres, to even square miles in size. Raft Cities are likely to be associated with a pre-existing coastal city, and will be built as an extension of that city, such as New Hong Kong or New Taiwan, or Mar Angeles.
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The Resource Wars By: Scrasamax ( Articles ) Setting Building - Gaming - Genre
The beginning of the 21st century was marked by the leading world powers staking their claims to strategic resources. Foremost of the resources was petroleum. Each nation stated that it was willing to go to war to secure these vital resources. This was not an empty claim.
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 war 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
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