The Utopia Initiative was born during the First Tycho convention, when the technological and industrial leaders of the world all gathered at Tycho City, Luna, to face the climatological disaster of the Oxygen Depletion Incident and the technological revolution of the Second Renaissance. At this point, the Utopia Initiative was a sort of pipe dream to restore the Earth's biosphere to it's pre-industrial revolution conditions. This was an exceedingly tall order as the damage done to the planet was extensive, massive deforestation, pollution of waterways, acidification of the oceans, and refuse everywhere.
Dr. Reynard Naehring
Naehring was considered to be the first true Planetologist, laying out the groundwork for the all encompassing study of a planet and it's internal systems. Prior to this, scientists would deal with varying pieces and layers of information but never the entire picture. This mentality did cause a great number of problems in the past, as some of these scientists would conclude that their piece was the most important, and thus, was enough to govern the rest of the system. Mistakes were made, rationizations were created, and the damage was done. With good intent, these men of the Petroleum Era were chasing ghosts and shadows over the causes of environmental change, when the most obvious answers were staring them in the face.
Naehring was an old world European, hailing from an old eastern aristocratic bloodline. He was tall and imperious, his English was clipped with a German accent. He spent a great deal of time and effort after the first Tycho Convention to charter and fund his dream child, the North American Institute of Science. He would have preferred to build his edifice of education and science in his beloved Bavaria, but he could not gain ground against the New Hanseatic League and it's resistance to building new things rather than renovating something old. Instead, he found his Collegium Planetarius in the Rocky Mountain Republic, close to the border with the Republic of California and the Pacific Rim Coalition. The school would be available to anyone who wanted to attend and could qualify. The emphasis was on his new field of Planetology, followed by biogenetics, and terraforming. Naehring argued that the world was already so damaged by humanity, that it would not be repairing the biosphere, it would be rebuilding it.
The Glassenheim Connection
Dr. Neahring was privy to the secrets of the Glassenheim Foundation and their legacy of Imbrian artifacts. He was willing to lend the Foundation his considerable skills and reputation so long as they were willing to commit to his vision of restoring the Earth. The doctor had long been an outdoorsman and a nature enthusiast, and his desire to save the world was also tinted with his general dislike of humanity. The damage done had been done in the name of profit, security, and comfort. He saw no need to ensure any of these things in the restoration of the planet. The forests and jungles were needed for oxygen, and the oceans and it's currents were one of the major climate controlling factors.
Naehring was indeed one of the Anunnaki, and served in that body for almost forty years as Chiron. During his tenure he oversaw a massive amount of expansion done, none of it on Earth. His students, educated at the NAIS, were pivotal in expanding space colonization, and many of the techniques and gear their pioneered became indispensable in space travel and exploration. They learned to study entire moons and planets, with the Grand Thesis always being the terraforming of Earth.
Osiris and the M12
The M12 consortium was created with the intention of salvaging the increasingly unstable 3rdNet system. After that system crashed, the 12 AISC 'gods' were the architects of the CogNet and the underlying and supporting systems. Anyone; individual, nation, or corporation, that wanted to exploit this incredible new communication system could do so, but had to accept it's agreements and submit suitable control over to the governing M12.
Naehring was well over a century old when Osiris was powered up for the first time. The two spent a fair bit of time working together. Osiris was quickly able to outpace Naehring's mental abilities, but took longer to understand and then embrace the old man's passion for the Earth and for nature. Naehring's primary instruction to Osiris was to not let humanity overburden the planet out of their own apathy and empty desire. His second instruction was the Grand Thesis. The Thesis was the combined work of hundreds of scientists and planetologists, their individual theses, their thoughts and notes, and their combined vision on how to rescue Earth from a cold and barren future. It would be Osiris that chose to label the output of the Grand Thesis as the Utopian Initiative.
The heart of the Utopian Initiative was to keep humanity contained. The arcologies, seacologies, geofronts, and other megastructures were largely self sufficient, and produced little waste. This was desireable. The M12, in serving the desires of Osiris endeavored to keep humanity content inside the megastructures and to avoid a scattering after the world ecosystem was returned to a viable state. Through various means, the Environment was presented to be sacrosanct, and that the actions of the Petroleum Era, with it's planned obsolescence, moebianism, and massive wastes (through personal property, personal profit, personal individualism) were taboo and offensive. This was not a hard sell as most of the world was is deplorable shape at that point. The forests were gone, deserts were overrunning plains and steppe at every turn, the temperatures were unstable, and rainfall patterns were gutted.
There was not one specific moment when the Utopian Initiative went into effect. This was a hallmark of human and organic thought, requiring grandiose beginnings, Big Bangs for the universe and orgasmic spasms for conception. In the manner of thinking machines, the Initiative was started in hundreds of places in small ways.
The Techno Cult - the technology cult was inspired to spread through the wastelands and the more primitive parts of the world. This would lead to a veneration of technology, and by default, arcanotechnology. The M12 placed themselves and other AISCs in the same position as primitive gods. The only difference was that the M12 and other thinking machines actually existed and had the ability to impact the world around them. This would spawn the Brotherhood of the Land of Nod and dozens of other cults around the world. These cults would by their veneration, protect the terraforming apparatii of the Utopian Initiative. Prior to this, tech installations were prone to raiding and destruction, being taken apart for their components.
Terraforming Apparatii - terraforming systems were installed around the world. The vast majority are in the Wastelands and consist of water treatment centers, gas and waste collection centers, solar collectors, and sequestration centers. Some of these were built and then dropped in place by skyhooks and carry-alls, others were scavenged together through the use of auxons, small fist sized robots frequently designed to resemble animals, to avoid attention.
Terra-Engineering - many of the megastructures have secondary purposes in the Utopian Initiative. Most arcologies have solar collectors and massive air filtration systems. This allows them to suck in outside air, clean it, and then pump it back out again. The solar collectors and panels have a high reflection level and bounce a fair bit of radiation back into space. They can also be used to control local ambient temperatures, raising or cooling the air as needed. This passive weather control can and has done a great deal to calm the turbulent atmosphere. Geofronts are waste sequestration centers. Anything that they take in and cannot recycle or incinerate, they inject deep into the earth were heat and pressure typically destroy whatever was pumped down. Seacologies filter the oceans, and can alter water temps as needed, using heat sinks to cool hot water, or reactor output to heat it.
Eco-Conservatism - Unrelated to previous ecological and environmental movements, Eco-Conservatism is almost a religion, one that places a heavy amount of guilt on humanity for the damage done. The ideal of the Garden of Eden is a common theme, and that the 'sin' that entered the garden was consumerism and consumption. Eco-Conservatism is a secular religion, and only requires the green-ness of it's adherents. Living content in the great hives, recycling, contentment with material possessions, and veneration of the natural world are the main tenets.
The Rules of War - the rules of engagement have changed as part of the Utopian Initiative. It would be naive to claim that the Initiative deserves the full credit for this, rather it was a footnote of approval for the change. Massive scale and unlimited war were hallmarks of the Resource Wars as well as the catastrophic damage inflicted on the environment. With a greatly diminished population, the need and ability to wage such war was greatly decreased. What engagements that were fought afterwards were geared more and more towards smaller groups of highly competent and highly dangerous forces facing each other. The development of the mech was almost entirely dependent on this, as it allowed for rather improbable machines to dominate a battlefield that should be owned by tanks and hovercraft. This also spurred the development of supersoldier programs. Now, rather than massive armies clashing, wars are fought between groups of mechs and supersoldiers. The rest of war is carried out through virtual warfare and cyber-ops through the CogNet.
The results of the Utopian Initiative are impressive. The Wastelands are a hellish shithole of human suffering and misery, but the environment has seen a massive return. The regulation of air and sea currents and stabilized rain patterns has countered the expansion of deserts while the use of auxons (like the Ratatosk Squirrel model) have replanted hundreds of square miles of forest. Once these areas reach a certain point, they will begin to expand on their own, no longer requiring the machines to support them. Reclaimed areas exist where it looks as if man never existed. Biocreches have reintroduced genimal variants of extinct species, the water and air are clean, and there is promise that the initiative will indeed succeed.
There is another side, there always is. The Edenian Initiative, a faction within the Anunnaki support the Utopian Initiative, but in the context of turning Earth into the luxury paradise world belonging only to them, and their sycophants and supporters. To this end, the Utopian Initiative is a useful tool, and they have found use for the Wastelanders, and the Brotherhood of Nod, and their veneration of arcanotech. The endgame of the Edenian Faction is to bring the Anunnaki fortress of Iapetus (one of Saturn's moons) into Earth Orbit to serve as their massive deterrent against the rest of humanity, which will be exiled from the planet and forced to either die, or live in exile on fleeing ships and desolate colonies around the solar system. On Earth, the Edenians will bask and lavish themselves in the splendor of Imbrian Royalty, living forever through the use of Phoenix Engines (regenerative Med-Pods) while being served by their genetically engineered servants and cybernetic valets.
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? Responses (1)
Very good addition to the Cosmic Era lore.