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Setting timeline and information, Earth, 1940-2015. (Alternate history.) Feedback welcome.


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#1 JustinS   Members   -  Reputation: 209

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 07:07 AM

This is the alternate history timeline for my near future setting, running all the way from 1940 to 2015.

1940:
Aerospace engineer Benjamin Caige, military analyst Friedrich Hofstadter, arms manufacturer Abraham Hobbes, oil baron John Williams and politician Calvin Winthrop* (all also philosophers) meet together in a conference in Massachusetts related to the second world war and the US's involvement (or lack thereof). Abraham Hobbes quickly befriends the more charismatic John Williams and the two reach a consensus on the appropriate course of action, and Williams convinces the others to go along with them. Hofstadter is uncertain and makes this clear, but he goes along with them anyway. Benjamin Caige takes the most convincing, but does eventually agree. The five begin to channel their collective resources into forcing the US's hand, but Pearl Harbor comes before they can act.

1942:
The United States finally becomes involved in the second world war, and although they are only engaged in the Pacific theatre they begin to lay plans for Europe. This initially pleases the five. However, they soon begin to notice a massive, rapid shift in American culture. Racism moves from being a major background issue to the dominating force of American life, and propaganda dominates the media. Japanese-Americans (and other Asian-Americans, because America can't tell them apart) are rounded into concentration camps, beaten in the streets and many are shot. The populace appears to believe not only that genocide is an appropriate course of action in the pacific theatre, but that it is the only course of action.** The five are immensely displeased by this turn of events, and withdraw all support from the US's war effort in the pacific. Caige and Friedrich urge the others to take more direct action and free the prisoners in the concentration camps, but they weren't willing to invest resources on it since the US hadn't started executing prisoners en masse. Europe was deemed "more important."

1944:
The United States becomes directly involved in the European theatre of the second world war. The five are now once again directly supporting them in that campaign, but Hofstadter becomes aware of the US's nuclear weapons development. He brings this to the attention of the others, and after Hobbes approves, claiming it to be a big enough stick to keep the world in line, he gets into a heated argument with Hofstadter which comes to fisticuffs. The others attempt to separate the fight and after a prolonged struggle succeed, but not before Hobbes is grievously wounded. Hofstadter storms out and is never seen again, Hobbes is taken to a nearby hospital where he is pronounced dead on arrival. Hobbes' son Hagar takes over for his father. Caige spits on Hobbes' coffin during the funeral and defaces the man's tombstone with a pistol before shooting his remaining associates and leaving. Neither Williams nor Winthrop is killed, but the message got through nonetheless.

1945:
The United States begins its genocide, dropping its first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. For a brief moment, all the patriotism and bravado the Americans hid under was blown away, and they understood what they had wrought. Unfortunately, this only lasted a moment as they quickly started repressing their humanity once again. However, unlike in the real world they never had time to fully repress their consciences as upon landing their entire airfield was completely erased and in a rare moment soldiers died knowing they had done wrong. Their remaining warheads had been sabotaged and detonated in storage. Within a week and with only one exception, (Douglas MacArthur, they didn't get him until 1962) every person even remotely involved in the bombing had been assassinated, and all with fire. All information related to nuclear weapons development is destroyed along with it, setting the US back twenty years in the new nuclear arms race. Williams and Winthrop suspected Hofstadter, but no confirmation ever came.

1950:
Hagar Hobbes, John Williams and Calvin Winthrop continue to plan, although Hagar has little influence on the elder two's ideals. As the Cold War begins to take shape and all the world's powers are focused on the developed nations, Hagar comments that the third world is left wide open and unguarded. This thought intrigues John, who recommends a covert takeover of the middle east. He recommends that he take it from the west under the guise of securing fuel for the US war effort, and Hobbes do the same from the other direction under the guise of supporting the Soviet war effort. When they met in the middle, they'd ensure it stayed that way. They begin to invest their companies into doing exactly that. In the mean time, the US becomes invested in Korea.

1955:
The USSR becomes directly involved in the Korean War (a direct departure from reality) and pushes the USA out completely in less than a month. This is followed by Russian high-altitude bombers delivering primitive nuclear warheads to the US Navy as it attempts to regroup. Of the six bombs dropped, two failed to function entirely, two fizzled with less than a ton of yield, one detonated improperly with a pithy 300t yield over an hour after it was supposed to and the last functioned as intended, resulting in a 3kt explosion that sank half a carrier group and killed 8,000 sailors. The US withdrew from Korea while the Soviet Union continued to flex its muscles. Meanwhile, in the middle east, the two corporate conquistadors meet in the middle and intentionally lock themselves in a holding pattern.

1960:
The US finally develops usable nuclear weapons again, and begins to look around for something to do with them with no thought for what happened last time. (Memory of a pot-smoking goldfish, I swear.) They look upon France's conflict in Indochina (the start of the Vietnam War) and decide to cast their stones there. Finally, they look to be able to beat the USSR in a conflict, if only indirectly. However, they overestimated the USSR's involvement in the conflict and end up covering up the shocking lack of Russians in Vietnam to maintain morale. Meanwhile, the three (now four, as Hagar's brother Isaac is now involved) begin to come under their "masters" scrutiny. The holding pattern clearly cannot be maintained for long.

1970:
The US is still in Vietnam. The populace is starting to grow tired of it, but unlike in the real world the protests were done by very small groups and were silenced quickly. The Hobbes forces (with Soviet resources powering them onward and Soviet officers breathing down their necks) "push" the Williams forces back into Africa. The Hobbes forces stop at the red sea, and the Williams forces spread across the African coastline.

1980:
The US is STILL in Vietnam. (If you thought this was a prolonged, bloody slog in real life, I assure you it was worse here.) The USSR is getting annoyed with the US's presence and gets directly involved in the conflict.

1982:
The USA is forced back out of Vietnam. Western Europe is now gravely concerned about the USA's ability to keep the USSR from steamrollering them. Williams' forces continue their expanse across Africa, now controlling the entire northern coastline and the western coastline all the way down to Kenya.

1984:
In April, the USSR comes barrelling through the Fulda Gap with "more tanks than god." They take Germany in under a month and are in France tearing down the Normandy memorial by December. The USA barely has time to react, and by the time they arrive on scene there's nothing they can do for the mainland. They do, however, keep the USSR out of the British Isles. Williams is now down to the southern tip of Africa, thus assuring a certain issue (Apartheid) will never come to pass.

1985:
The USA struggles to keep the USSR out of Britain, and fruitlessly attempts to counterattack. It deploys cobalt bombs in the English Channel and along the shore of France to deny them a major launching point, and begins work on alternative soldiering methods to help combat the "Red Menace." Russia drops two nuclear bombs into the sea, one on the northeast side of the British Isles from the western tip of France and one on the southwest side of the British Isles from the Norse Isles. The warning is quite clear, but nobody listens to it. This is likely because the USSR is becoming massively unstable on a social level and is suffering from multiple rebellions.

1990:
The USA finally goes seriously nuclear on Europe, targeting everything from military installations to industrial sites and civilian cities. It uses cobalt bombs followed by thermonuclear bombs to irradiate the majority of Europe, and then follows up with surgical airstrikes, carpet bombing and finally a massive rush of 15,000,000 ground troops to push the weakened USSR back to the Berlin wall. Europe is ruined, but not as much so as the reputation of the United States. The USSR finally begins to disintegrate, as all of its old Satellites split off from it. Soon, the USSR is no more, but Russia does not abandon communism like it did in the real world. Before it dies, the Soviet Union fires off all of its ballistic missiles, but the technology doesn't do much to America as most of the missiles are destroyed by counter-missiles before they can reach US soil. Europe, on the other hand, is hit pretty hard. Not as hard as when the US bombed it, but still pretty hard. The only surviving countries in Europe are the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and the Ukraine. Williams is now in control of ~40% of Africa.

1992:
The USA is charged by the UN with more war crimes than anybody cared to count for its nuclear bombardment of Europe. Unfortunately, the UN lacks the power to do a damned thing about it. Japan, however, does. Unlike the real world, Japan became THE economic power (aside from "the four") in the world in the past 50 years and was the holder of the majority of the US's debt. Further, the US still has most of its troops in Europe and Japan (which remained a major naval power) has most of its troops sitting in the pacific. Just for show, they blockade Hawaii and set up a greater presence in Alaska than the US ever had. They then set up for the west coast, threatening to invade for real if the USA doesn't take measures to repair the damage they did in Europe. Caught with its pants down, the US obliges. Japan withdraws from the US, leaving only a token force behind to make sure things go right. Williams is now in control of ~70% of Africa. Winthrop, who had previously gone covert, now reveals to the others that he has seized economic and cultural control of Central America and all of South America save Brazil.

1995:
The US has made serious progress and has cleaned up ~25% of the fallout in Europe. Russia, knowing what's good for it, has been helping them do so the entire time. The US's culture is permanently altered by the events of the last several years, now beginning to become more progressive. The shattering of its cold-war patriotism didn't kill its ego, however, and it searches for a new enemy to focus on. The east coast, far removed from what actually happened on the west but involved heavily in the forced clean up, chooses Japan. This doesn't fly with the west coast, which was aware of how alarmingly gentle Japan had been in its treatment but unaware of how hellish the clean up job was. This creates an east/west schism in the US that will never die. Williams is now in control of all of Africa, and is now aiding Winthrop is his slow takeover of Brazil. Meanwhile, Hagar reveals that his brother Isaac has been spearheading an economic takeover of old Soviet Satellites in the ruined sections of Europe and that he has been involved in Asia.

2000:
The US is coming to a boil. The clean up has slowed immensely and they are now 8 years in with only 40% progress. The new popular estimate on completion time has shifted from "by 2010" to "coincident with the rapture." Japan is no longer breathing down their necks about it, and has now not only fully restored its strong trade relationship with the US but actually strengthened it. Nipponophilia runs rampant on the west coast, but Nipponophobia is still the norm on the east coast. The schism grows so strong you can mark the divide on the map. Meanwhile, Brazil now belongs to Williams and Winthrop. The four stop expanding their economic influence and start working on drastically altering the countries they are in.

2002:
The four are now a credible military power and a threat to any nation on Earth, but nobody realises they are a single force rather than simple allies. The countries contained now practice their religion, which teaches that Abraham Hobbes was a prophet. His son, Hagar, objects to his father being worshipped, but the older men ignore his objections. He is soon expelled from the nations when he makes his "heresy" public. He is never heard from again.

2004:
The clean up is ~50% done, and slowing. The east coast is now more willing to go to war with Japan than continue to work, but the west coast is threatening civil war over it. Russia, on the other hand, continues to power merrily onward with the clean up duty, having found a way to use it to both strengthen their culture and their economy. Their duty of fixing Europe has made their own people see them as the "good guys" once again and the production and exporting of fallout cleaning kits and radiation meds has made them a strong economic power. They are once again stronger than the US in every way and damned proud of it. Meanwhile, Isaac is publicly assassinated in order to martyrize him, which is the final push for securing their religious takeover of ~1/3 of the world's population.

2006:
The US is cracking. Chicago is suffering from daily riots and the two sides are effectively at war on the city's streets. It goes so far as to have police shooting each other on occasion, "accidentally" of course, for supporting the wrong side. Meanwhile, the culture of the western half begins to shift. A new company called "Terratech" has arisen and is now powering the economy of the western half, and only the western half. Both sides are quite aware of the implications of this.

2008:
The US goes to war... against itself. The western half has a quick and nearly bloodless revolution lead by Terratech and its' subsidiary, the "Economic Conglomerate of the United States' Security Force." The western half now calls itself the "American Republic" and between its greater military might and the economic support of Japan it is quickly overrunning the divide. In the southern US, it is unsuccessful, but in the northern US it pushes straight onward to New England with relative ease. Unfortunately, a new force arises in the south while nobody is looking, calling itself "Moon White." They quickly take over their home state of Oklahoma and its neighbour Louisiana.

2009:
Losing the war quite badly, the US gets desperate and begins using it's tried and true scare tactic of slaughtering civilians in occupied cities. This comes to a head when the US pushes up from Texas into Chicago and manages to cut the New England section of the AR off from the west. The AR quickly kicks them out of Chicago. Then they take it back. Then the AR takes it again. And the US takes it back. Basically, they play hot potato with the windy city for six months before the US says "fuck it" and salts Chicago with cobalt bombs. Then gases Chicago with sarin. Then seeds it with Anthrax and nukes the city with 20kt warheads for good measure.*** They then mowed down refugees from the city, and started to sweep into the AR killing the populace and scorching the Earth in an attempt to make the AR withdraw. These tactics did not scare the AR. Instead, they pissed it off. The AR went ballistic in a very literal sense and started using nuclear explosives on military installations across the divide. They then pushed in hard and the enraged, well motivated AR military proved unstoppable. Meanwhile, "Moon White" has taken Mississippi, Kentucky and Arkansas. They name their new nation the "Holy States of America," reinstate slavery and begin "cleansing" the area of "Heathens, Heretics and Blasphemers." Within two months of their occupation, the HSA has an awful lot in common with the US circa 1800.****

2010:
The AR takes new England once again and the US surrenders unconditionally. And since the surrender was "unconditional", the AR decided to milk the word "unconditional" for all it was worth. They never actually took the US over, but they did collect and publicly execute every member of the US government, military and police force and make them get new ones. Hell, a little intervention from the leader of Terratech, a young engineer named Justin Caige, and the free elections actually managed to be free. He prevented any sort of public advertising or corporate endorsement of any candidate, so it was entirely based on their party and policy. It didn't remove the bias, but it was a damn good start. The count of states at this point is AR 30, USA 15 and HSA 5. (If you want me to list the exact states, ask. I'm not doing it if nobody wants it.)

2012:
The issues in the US are being echoed across the globe. In some nations (such as France and Germany) revolutions start and completely take over the country. These nations ally with the AR, just as Japan has done. Some nations the revolutions never happen, (Russia, China, Korea) so nothing changes. In a few others they are put down (UK, Canada) and the nations ally with the US. Others end up being taken over by third parties during their fighting. (Mexico by the four, Ukraine, Poland and the Philippines by a local company that originated in Japan but had its stocks frozen there in 1960) The Four now consolidate their powers into one formal power called the "Third World Union" and the rest of the nations of the world collectively shit bricks.

2013:
The Third World Union (3WU) becomes a major force in the world. To combat its presence, the other alliances give themselves fancy titles that don't really fill any purpose outside of ego. Russia, Korea and China are already the "Communist Bloc" so no change is needed, France and Germany consolidate into a single nation called Europa and name their alliance with the AR and Japan the "Reformed Nations." The name is shit by everyone's standards, but they roll with it. The US, UK and Canada are what's left of the "United Nations" and retain the old name. The others don't get a name yet, even though they are consolidated, so they just get nicknamed "The X Empire" or "The Empire of X" or "X Empire of Y" depending on who you ask. Meanwhile, the AR and US tentatively put aside their differences and stamp the HSA out of existence in two months flat. Final count: AR 32, USA 18, HSA 0.

2014:
The AR and USA do an official inquiry into the HSA's actions and find they keep records like Nazis. And the records were very much like with the Nazis, only much worse. In this setting, The Holocaust took 5 million lives. The HSA's genocide took 15 million. Meanwhile, the 3WU begins to have border conflicts with the USA, specifically in the Gulf as the 3WU controls Cuba and Mexico. The border conflicts include subjects like illegal immigration, national boundaries and mineral rights in the gulf. As oil as almost completely run dry due to the long series of wars and the clean up (which is at 60%, by the way) and what little is left belongs to the 3WU, the USA is quite decidedly desperate for the oil in the gulf and the 3WU doesn't want to let them have it because it wants to maintain its monopoly. Soon, this goes to war. The USA, flying in the face of irony, contacts the Communist Bloc for aid and is refused. The Communist Bloc instead starts taking over the areas it is cleaning in Europe much more overtly than before, and forces the RN to engage it in order to not lose ground.

2015:
The clean up comes to a screeching halt as war comes to the ruined wastes of Europe. The RN and CB are not willing to give up any ground on the matter, and although the war is brief it is quick and bloody. The entire year is constant war for them and it's clear neither of the starving nations can fight much longer. Meanwhile, the UN gives the 3WU its all but runs out of gas (literally) in October and withdraws to find an alternative source of power for its military. The 3WU tries to invade them, but finds on US soil the UN still has the advantage and the 3WU's fuel supply isn't stellar either with how much the last seventy five years has cost it. The two come to a treaty that appears to mean "Let's never do this again, it's stupid." but really amounts to "Coffee break, be back in 5." Reluctantly, the RN and CB do the same.

And that's the timeline as far as I want to cover in detail, as the near-future game idea starts just a couple years after that. Please, give me feedback and see if you can spot any of my references that I have embedded within this backstory.

*Other than Benjamin Caige (a name I pulled straight out of my ass) the rest are each named after two historical figures they have at least one common feature with. Imaginary cookie to the first who can name them all.

**I AM NOT MAKING THIS PART UP.

***I swear, I don't have any problem with Chicago. I don't know why I chose it to suffer in this setting.

****In case you couldn't figure it out, these are supposed to be the bad guys. No, not the bad guys, the BAD guys. So bad, no force in the setting wouldn't like to give them a quick stomping. So don't give me shit about including racist, redneck, slave driving, fascist religious zealots in the backstory.

Setting information coming in a new post in this thread sometime today.

EDIT:
Also, since his name doesn't make it obvious and his behaviour here doesn't make it clear, Benjamin Caige is based on Howard Hughes. The two have different physical features and fates, but they are both brilliant, reclusive, eccentric billionaire business magnates and aerospace engineers with grand dreams of technology-based utopias. They even dress the same, up until Benjamin's freak out and disappearance. They also coexisted in this setting and competed against one another in everything from business to air races and personal records. Beyond this, Caige is also slightly messianic in nature. He is naturally brilliant and perceptive with charisma and resolve coming out his ears. Physically, he was in almost ideal shape, and if he wasn't just ever so slightly unstable he'd be perfect mentally as well. This carries through in the (notably dominant) "Caige genes" that his descendent carry. And no, they aren't Mary/Gary Sue characters. Despite their blatant superiority to the rest of humanity they are heavily flawed. Their instability is just one issue, they're also cold, smug, haughty and condescending. Every Caige to date has been a misanthrope, which they refer to as "the cost of being sane." Worse yet, they are so good at everything most can't handle failure anymore. Any time they are unsuccessful they get stressed out very quickly, becoming cranky and psychotic as they fixate blindly upon the object of their failure until it is a failure no more. They have a very, very hard time letting their failures go and as a result, tend to either get blindsided while they're in tunnel vision or keep on throwing time and effort at a lost cause like a monkey humping a football until something manages to break its hold on them or they simply can't fight it any more.

 

EDIT2:

I am quite aware that there is quite a bit of Texas between Oklahoma and Louisiana. Didn't stop Moon White.


No man is an island,

Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; 
It tolls for thee.

 

-John Donne


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#2 Prinz Eugn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3680

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 02:35 PM

Interesting, very detailed (I can't read the whole thing all the through, at work). Here are my nit-picks:

  • Japan invades the US? You should explain Japan's different trajectory a little more, since that's pretty implausible unless something big changed within Japan after WWII. In general, I think you need to give a little more story justification for Japan playing such a big role in post-war events.
  • Where is China during all of this? Seems like they're a pretty force you're kind of leaving out
  • I think you need to give a little more justification for the intensified anti-Japan racism thing throughout. In real WWII, the US was pretty racist, but not that racist.
  • The US nuclear program dying in a week is a little implausible, there were thousands upon thousands involved at different locations. I think sabotage, like blowing up Los Alamos before the bombs were actually deployed, would delay nuclear development more realistically. Plus you could always focus the evil-ness of the US on the conventional bombing, which did more damage to Japan anyway.

I'm also kind of fuzzy on what your character's power is, or rather, how it manifests itself. You talk of them taking over areas of the globe, but don't really detail if it's through civil corporations, military power, combinations thereof, etc.


-Mark the Artist

Digital Art and Technical Design
Developer Journal


#3 JustinS   Members   -  Reputation: 209

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 09:41 PM

Interesting, very detailed (I can't read the whole thing all the through, at work). Here are my nit-picks:

  • Japan invades the US? You should explain Japan's different trajectory a little more, since that's pretty implausible unless something big changed within Japan after WWII. In general, I think you need to give a little more story justification for Japan playing such a big role in post-war events.

Well, the destruction of so much of the US fleet in the sabotage allowed them to make their surrender (which was going to happen anyway) a bit more conditional. The atomic bombing still changed their public consciousness and culture, but they managed to retain their military might and avoid US occupation. Between these two things, they managed to rebuild their economy much faster and restore their naval power. Add on the massive shock of 160,000 lives taken in one day, and Japan was now morally conscious with a good reason to be angry. So after give decades of cooling off what we have is a morally conscious naval power that has been nuked in the past and hates the bomb with a flaming passion. Not much of a stretch that they'd take action when the US subjects Europe to nuclear bombardment and tried to leave without fixing any of it.

  • Where is China during all of this? Seems like they're a pretty force you're kind of leaving out

1940:

Getting its ass handed to it by Japan.

 

1950:

Still not getting any oceanic trade, out of fear of Japan. The rest of its trade is limited due to China's natural barriers.

 

1960:

Finally stops being scared by a country that's been leaving it alone for 15 years. However, at this point it is allied with the USSR and is acting as its mule to get things down to the Indochina peninsula without trying to sneak it past Japan.

 

1970:

Starting to get irritated and refuses to carry goods for the USSR's supply effort. Still allows the USSR to do it their own damn selves, though. At this point, China establishes trade with Japan... and gets the short end of the stick. (There's your answer, really.)

 

1980:

China opens up to allow other countries to outsource work to it, but as China is still "red" and the cold war is still blazing onwards the US doesn't bite. (There's the second half of it.) Instead, the US turns to the pacific islands. Japan has more presence there than they do, but this is only apparent after the fact when it turns out that some 25% of local taxes are going to Japan. Once this becomes apparent the US... doesn't care. Really, they don't care. Why would they? Japan is still their ally, and it's not a big enough deal to comment and risk an incident.

 

1990:

China is now acting as the main component of the industrial base for the USSR, rather than a credible military force. The reason for this is every time they launch a naval vessel, Japan sails a couple bigger ones by it and gives them a fireworks display. (I mean that literally. It's still an implied threat.) When the US pushes the USSR out of Europe and they dissolve, China remains an ally of the USSR and keeps making arms for them.

 

2000:

China is still making arms, but its military power is limited. By the time the US is having its schism, China is taking advantage of Japan's lack of attention to restore its navy and establish a few better trade routes.

 

2005:

Japan takes notice and lets out a laugh. (Publicly. Privately, they're running analysis and getting enough naval power ready to prevent China from doing anything if it gets hostile.)

 

2010:

China realises Japan is a step ahead of it, but does not change its plans.

 

2015:

China moves to support Russia when the RN goes to war with the CB, while also trying to defend itself against Japan's still vastly superior naval power.

 

That answer your question?

 

  • I think you need to give a little more justification for the intensified anti-Japan racism thing throughout. In real WWII, the US was pretty racist, but not that racist.

The testimony of the truly ancient individuals I know who were actually present says otherwise. That the US really did appropriate a "Kill 'em all" attitude during this time.

  • The US nuclear program dying in a week is a little implausible, there were thousands upon thousands involved at different locations. I think sabotage, like blowing up Los Alamos before the bombs were actually deployed, would delay nuclear development more realistically.

How a military analyst could do it is a bit further off. I'm keeping this part of the backstory secret for a reason.

  • Plus you could always focus the evil-ness of the US on the conventional bombing, which did more damage to Japan anyway.

I'm aware. Also, I'm not sure incendiary weapons count as "conventional." The issue is it doesn't grab an audience properly, and it wouldn't grab the interest of Hofstadter the way nuclear weapon development did.

I'm also kind of fuzzy on what your character's power is, or rather, how it manifests itself. You talk of them taking over areas of the globe, but don't really detail if it's through civil corporations, military power, combinations thereof, etc.

Depends on which. Benjamin Caige is an aerospace engineer and a business magnate. He's comparable to Howard Hughes in power, and his role had always been in the development and manufacture of aircraft. He bailed before anything big happened, though. Hofstadter was mostly intel for them, but he was also wealthy and military connections that knew how to keep their mouth shut. Abraham (later Hagar and Isaac) Hobbes are owners of a military-contracted arms manufacturing plant. This is also a major manufacturer of machine parts as it bought out Caige Mechanics and Aviation when Benjamin vanished. Mostly, it just handled exporting weapons and machinery to their locations. Williams is an oil baron, he had a lot of fuel and capitol which he generously provided. Winthrop, as a politician, set up their public face and their appeals to the people. He also advised them on what services they should provide to win over the people, and which would be insulting or a waste of time. Most of their takeover was economic and amounted to grabbing and holding resources with the military power the Hobbes provided, with the rest being social as they set up public services such as hospitals and markets with advertising campaigns designed by Winthrop. Williams, of course, provided the fuel, created their power plants and tanked the oil around.

 

That explain it?


Edited by Jeremy Williams, 02 May 2013 - 09:41 PM.

No man is an island,

Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; 
It tolls for thee.

 

-John Donne


#4 Prinz Eugn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3680

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 10:53 PM

Well, the destruction of so much of the US fleet in the sabotage allowed them to make their surrender (which was going to happen anyway) a bit more conditional. The atomic bombing still changed their public consciousness and culture, but they managed to retain their military might and avoid US occupation. Between these two things, they managed to rebuild their economy much faster and restore their naval power. Add on the massive shock of 160,000 lives taken in one day, and Japan was now morally conscious with a good reason to be angry. So after give decades of cooling off what we have is a morally conscious naval power that has been nuked in the past and hates the bomb with a flaming passion. Not much of a stretch that they'd take action when the US subjects Europe to nuclear bombardment and tried to leave without fixing any of it.

 

I think it's kind of a stretch to be morally conscious and a military power descended directly from Imperial Japan, I think you need a coup or some other change to get rid of the pseudo-bushido mindset. That Japan is a bigger power and the US maintains its anti-Japanese sentiment makes more sense. In your initial writeup it wasn't very clear how wartime and post-war Japan's trajectory was different other than strategic bombing from Tinian stopped (because it exploded). With that in place, it makes more sense.

 

I think for your characters to really be powerhouses, you need to elaborate a little more on how they got so powerful, since in real life owning just one aircraft company or arms factory, or even oil company, wasn't that big of deal. Hughes was competing with Lockheed, North American, Grumman, Douglas, Northrop, etc in the aircraft market, for example. I think some mention of their secret takeovers of their competition or something like that would be good.


-Mark the Artist

Digital Art and Technical Design
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#5 JustinS   Members   -  Reputation: 209

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Posted 02 May 2013 - 11:02 PM

Well, the destruction of so much of the US fleet in the sabotage allowed them to make their surrender (which was going to happen anyway) a bit more conditional. The atomic bombing still changed their public consciousness and culture, but they managed to retain their military might and avoid US occupation. Between these two things, they managed to rebuild their economy much faster and restore their naval power. Add on the massive shock of 160,000 lives taken in one day, and Japan was now morally conscious with a good reason to be angry. So after give decades of cooling off what we have is a morally conscious naval power that has been nuked in the past and hates the bomb with a flaming passion. Not much of a stretch that they'd take action when the US subjects Europe to nuclear bombardment and tried to leave without fixing any of it.

 

I think it's kind of a stretch to be morally conscious and a military power descended directly from Imperial Japan, I think you need a coup or some other change to get rid of the pseudo-bushido mindset. That Japan is a bigger power and the US maintains its anti-Japanese sentiment makes more sense. In your initial writeup it wasn't very clear how wartime and post-war Japan's trajectory was different other than strategic bombing from Tinian stopped (because it exploded). With that in place, it makes more sense.

It's a public cultural shift, not a military cultural shift. (At least, not at first.) The old, stubborn jackasses lose their influence over the younger generation and eventually step down or die. Now you have people who are younger, less stubborn, and impacted by a nuclear bombing who fancy themselves as holding the US's leash. The military is much as it was, but politically the nation is more progressive and is making a large number of "moral" changes and socially it's completely different.

I think for your characters to really be powerhouses, you need to elaborate a little more on how they got so powerful, since in real life owning just one aircraft company or arms factory, or even oil company, wasn't that big of deal. Hughes was competing with Lockheed, North American, Grumman, Douglas, Northrop, etc in the aircraft market, for example. I think some mention of their secret takeovers of their competition or something like that would be good.

None of them really were. They just were large enough and smart enough that in tandem they managed to pull a fast one on the US while it was distracted by the USSR. It didn't require as much in this setting, just a bit of ingenuity and being the first ones to act on something others hadn't noticed yet.

 

EDIT:

I'm also writing setting info as we speak. Might take a couple hours.


No man is an island,

Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; 
It tolls for thee.

 

-John Donne


#6 JustinS   Members   -  Reputation: 209

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 04:28 AM

Setting information:

I promised it "today" but by the time I'm done typing this it may well be "tomorrow."

Nations:

American Republic:
Also known as "The Republic" or the "AR" the American Republic consists of 30-32 states of the old US, ranging from Alaska and Hawaii to Maine and Arkansas. The American Republic is a large nation whose primary values are equality, freedom and personal power. In that order. They are largely considered moral degenerates in the US. They are known for a high standard of living, a relatively small class divide and great support for the lower classes, but also for a lack of special laws for children. In the AR, children are treated roughly the same as adults by law, and even when in the care of their parents are considered roughly equivalent to adult dependents in other countries. There are laws against sexual relations between adults and children, but that's about it. Children can leave their parents at any time, can work legally at any age and can join the military. (Recruitment has a lot of tests they'd have to pass, but that's the only barrier.) For the most part these things don't happen and children stay with their parents and attend public schooling, (in the AR this goes all the way up to university level) but the simple fact remains that it can and ever so often does. A large part of this is because of the AR's young population, with an average age of ~25. In addition to these things, no drug is illegal for personal use (distribution with licence only) and prostitution is legal. (In registered locations.) Wears the colours black, gold and red.

United States of America:
Also known as "'Murica" or the "US" the United States consists of 15-18 states of the old US from Texas to Florida to Massachusetts. The US is a large but not quite so large nation whose primary values are wealth, patriotism, conformity and more wealth. It's a poor place to live for the most part, and it's openly acknowledged by their allies (although not by them) that the AR is stronger socially, economically and militarily, but they claim moral superiority Whether that is actually true or not depends on your point of view. The US's largest issue is an aging population, with an average age of ~50. As a result of this, too little of their nation is young and healthy, forcing the retirement age up, increasing medical costs and ruining the entire nation's economy. (Real-world Japan has the same issue, by the way.) This change came suddenly and increased rapidly, forcing the US to outlaw contraception in an attempt to increase the number of youths in the nation. By 2015, there is talk of forced breeding programs floating around, but nothing has actually happened yet. Wears the colours blue, white and red.

Holy States of America:
Also known as "Moon Nation," 'White Nation" or the "HSA" the Holy States consisted of 5 states, which were Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Kentucky. (Don't ask how they got Kentucky without getting Tennessee, it's complicated and the short hand is "The US pushed them back out before they could finish.") A small section of the old US intent on repeating history, the HSA was started by a white supremacist religious group (based largely on the WBC) and conquered five states before it ran out of steam and switched to committing the largest genocide since the early US slaughtered the natives. (Possibly the largest ever, actually.) This took the form of concentration camps and systemic execution for the most part, but there were more military-led massacres in their brief reign than in the entire military history of the united states. They had a tendency to start shooting civilians faster than you can say "Wounded Knee." They were quickly stamped out by the AR and US for humanitarian reasons, which was the first time in its history the US actually did anything for humanitarian reasons. It's only because of their coordinated response to this much greater evil that the AR and US were able to establish trade relations and a shaky alliance in the future. Wore the colours white, blue and red.

Europa:
The ruined messes left behind by Germany, France and Spain (forgot Spain in the OP) joined into one. This nation is largely invested in acquiring medicine that can aid individuals suffering from radiation-related diseases and is doing quite well from the (relatively) clean cities in southern Spain. It's also the primary manufacturer of hazmat suits and its soldiers are all equipped with armour that provides at least minimal protection to NBC threats. It has a good healthcare system, because it has no choice in the matter, and is at the forefront of medical science. However, from an economic standpoint they're pretty mediocre and from a military standpoint they're the weakest nation listed here. Wears the colours black, green and grey.

Japan:
Touched by nuclear war but left largely intact, Japan has a strong hatred of the bomb and the power to do something about it. Japan is the strongest naval power in the world, bar none, with more naval power than any two other nations put together. Its runners up and the AR and Russia, and the comparison is shocking. The AR has 320 ships, 120,000 naval personnel and spends ~20 billion ARD (~100 billion USD) annually on its Navy. Russia has 280 ships, 100,000 naval personnel and spends ~150 billion RUB (Not quite like the real currency, ~60 billion USD) annually on its Navy. Japan has 720 ships, 420,000 naval personnel and spends ~25 trillion JPY (much like the real currency, ~250 billion USD) annually on its massive behemoth of a Navy. Having well over twice as many ships and almost four times as much manpower with just under three times the spending of its nearest rival makes Japan's navy not only impressive, but damn near invincible. Being strongly allied with its closest rival makes this even more disparaging for anybody who wants to go to war at sea and isn't on Japan's friends list. Meanwhile, while Japan's military is busy making it a hyper-power, Japan's culture is busy getting weirder and weirder (there's a reason "only in Japan" is a thing, and I didn't change that) and Japan itself is busy being the natural beauty it always has been. It's also probably the greatest nation on earth if you're looking for religious tolerance, as most of the populace practices a mixture of religions and absolute focus on one religion is not common to them. (I'm not making this up.) Wears the colours white, red and gold.

The United Kingdom:
Also known as "Britannia," the "British Isles" and the "UK." After half a century of being "two weeks" from capture, first by the Third Reich and then by the USSR, the UK has never abandoned its wartime culture. It always feels like it's under siege or about to be under siege, and recently it's combating the fallout from the bombing of Europe. It's a steadfast ally of the US because the US backed it up for so long, but it's still terrified of Europa and has banned all travel to and from it because of the fallout and diseases present there. (Largely an irrational fear.) The big one in 2015 is "radpox" a mutant chickenpox, which in children has a fatality rate of only ~0.01%, but in adults has a fatality rate of ~10%. It's also been known to leave ~0.04% of the children infected with it permanently sterile, which isn't much, but it sterilizes ~80% of the infected adults. Unlike regular chickenpox, however, it has not been shown to cause shingles. The 10% fatality rate is actually pretty goddamn high for an airborne disease, and it sterilizing so many infected scares Britannia shitless. Fortunately, you can only get it once and most children are routinely infected as it is nearly harmless for them and makes them immune for life. However, there is no vaccine in adults and medical care can only reduce it to a 5% fatality rate and a 70% sterility rate. (With children, 0.00% and 0.01%) Even those who are not killed or sterilized are known to have issues with fertility after infection, although these decrease over time and infected children usually don't notice any issues by the time they become adults. If I have to explain why this disease is terrifying on a national scale, you clearly aren't thinking this through. Wears the colours white, red and blue.

Canada:
Canada, feeling it was too far removed from Europa to worry about it, was ravaged by radpox in 2005. ~7% of its adult population died, and ~78% are sterile. Canada is now suffering from a rapidly aging population and is struggling to find a way to avoid the economic collapse that's due to them in the next twenty years. As a result, it has banned contraception and mandated fertility checks and forced breeding programs to try and rectify the situation, and has poured money into restoring the fertility of those sterilized by radpox. Unfortunately, the only solution they have only works for those sterilized before puberty, and that's a tiny portion of the population that isn't capable of reproduction anyway. Canada is also trying to find ways to attract fertile immigrants, which involves everything from advertising their forced breeding program to foreigners as "free, easy sex" to offering currency, estate and employment (as a breeder, of course) to anybody coming into the country under the age of 30 who proves to be fertile. They are, as a result, partially responsible for the US's aging population. Canada's military is currently infertile-only, and is conscripted. This means nobody living in the pox-ravaged nation is really happy with their conditions, but everybody understands that there's no real choice if Canada is to survive the 21st century. (Of course, the US and AR took better precautions, right down to mandating immunization through infection in hospitals by the age of 4, where there's no risk of death and little risk of sterilization. It's only Canada that let it happen.) Wears the colours green, blue and white.

Russia:
Russia, having nipped the radpox issue in the bud and set the model for the other nations, is still quite healthy despite working in Europe for so long. Not only this, but it's used the work there to spin itself as the good guy to its citizens and maintain morale, not to mention rebuild its economy and strengthen its military. Combined with it still carrying its Soviet flag, anthem and socioeconomic model, and Russia is pretty much the Soviet Union, but smaller. Strangely, it's actually a better friend to the UN than the RN is as it maintains massive trade relations with Britannia, Canada and the US. This isn't apparent most of the time, except that Russian is Canada's second language (like Spanish in the real-world US) Britannia uses a lot of Russian cars and the US imports vodka and caviar by the shipload. Wears the colours brown, red and gold.

China:
China is a major economic power in the world, but not a major military threat to anybody but India. (They try to sneak warships past Japan, and are always sent home with a Japanese boot lodged firmly in their colon.) Along side this, in the few times they actually went to open war, Japan absolutely ruined their littoral regions and was only unable to penetrate beyond the range of their artillery. (Which is quite long, I assure you.) As a result, China mostly sticks to supplying Russia and Korea and invading India rather than tangle with Japan's navy. They wear the colours red, brown and gold.

Korea:
Korea is the weakest power in the communist block, but an important one because of its position. It's the only land-based location close enough to use cruise and theatre ballistic missiles on Japan and Alaska. Russia can only hit Alaska and China can't hit either. (It used to be able to hit Japan, but it lost its missile bases close enough to do the job when Japan invaded it.) As a result, Korea is a small, but well defended stronghold with a great deal of Russian and Chinese support and a great deal of missiles. Wears brown, gold and red.

India:
The location of the border conflicts between the 3WU and the Communist Bloc, otherwise unimportant. Wears the colours brown, white and green.

Third World Union:
The Third World Union or "3WU" is all the nations of the Middle East, Africa, South and Central America, a big chunk of Asia and a smaller but still meaningful chunk of Eastern Europe. The nation was formed under the premise of ridding these parts of the world of slaughter, poverty, disease and famine. To this extent, they were successful. The 3WU has only one religion and is a cohesive whole, so there's no more religious warfare like that which ravages these nations in the real world. The 3WU has the money of the middle east and a large amount of newfound industry, bringing in enough foreign revenue to give it a decent standard of living, providing enough food and medical care to save the countless lives that would have otherwise been lost. Unfortunately, beyond this the nation begins to lose its shine. It accomplished these things by stamping out all other religious practices in the area, it litigates almost every action its people engage in and carries on many of the religious practices present in the Middle East and Africa to avoid rebellion from racial segregation to the open oppression of women and the legality of child abuse. The nation is still much better than the third world was, but it's a long way from a good place to live and ways short of the RN, UN and even the CB in standard of living and quality of life. That said, they are working on it and are slowly moving away from the more unsavoury practices of Sharia and towards a more progressive, modern culture. Unfortunately, when I say "slowly" I mean it. It'll be at least fifty years at their current rate before they're even decent (as opposed to their current "horrible, but not as horrible as before") and at least one hundred before they've caught up with the rest of the world from a social standpoint. Wears black, red and white.

The X Empire:
Not really important. Not much is known, but they're a weak influence of the rest of the world socially, militarily and economically. With an isolationist policy on top of that, nobody gives two shits about them. All that is known is that they're quite decidedly fascist and their entire existence is a crime against humanity, with some 80% of their funding going towards indoctrination of youth and brainwashing or zombification of dissenters. (The common term for their people is "dog.") Wears black, white and grey.

People:

Justin Caige:
The great grandson of Benjamin Caige, founder of Terratech and man most responsible for the formation of the American Republic as it is today. A distinctive public figure who, no longer in control of his country, has been shown to join into and even lead protests against the government he helped build. Even before that, he was distinctive and considered the "Howard Hughes" of his time, as an eccentric business magnate and a man of sport. The defining image in the AR of the end of the revolution is of Justin leading the march to the White House following the US's surrender, while the defining image in the US is Justin driving his sword through the heart of the secretary of state in front of the ruined structure. Other associated images include him bringing out the body of the president, who was dead of cyanide poisoning and a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, and him decapitating the vice president. ~200cm, ~90kg, blonde hair and blue eyes, born September 18th, 1992. Broad shoulders and a body that is a bit slimmer and noticeably more muscular than most.

Kira Kira:
The lover of Justin Caige and the mother of his three children, although they were never legally married. Kira is from a family that, like the Caige family, carries dominant superior genes. The two were attracted to one another because of this, as both of them sought relationships with people of their own level. Kira is a software designer and developer, creating everything from video games and simulations to military targeting software and electronic warfare programs. She works closely with Justin, as the two coordinate the features of the aircraft their company produces. Justin handles the hardware, Kira the software. It also provides them a good excuse to be alone together for extended periods without interruption. ~200cm, ~85kg, red hair and green eyes, born November 21st, 1992. Thin and lithe, but of Amazonian height with DD-cup breasts and a noticeable epicanthic fold. Name to the contrary, she does not shine.

Kira Akachii:
The elder daughter of Justin Caige and Kira Kira. Her name was initially a nickname, but when her parents couldn't come up with a real name for her within a month they stuck with it. She ran away from home during the revolutions and joined the ECUSSF under an assumed name, where she ended up leading a special forces squad before the war was over. Her parents had assumed her dead before she returned, and her relationship with them has been estranged ever since. She has, nonetheless, joined Terratech and now works as a weapons engineer. She was responsible for the development of Terratech's smaller-calibre firearms, such as the T17 carbine and T22 rifle. She's also come up with a feed system that uses a pan magazine and avoids the jamming issues inherent with using rimmed ammunition in automatic weapons. ~160cm, ~56kg, red hair and green eyes, born August 12th, 2004. Not as thin as her mother, but still very tall for her age, with C-cup breasts and a noticeable epicanthic fold.

Benjamin Caige the 2nd:
The son of Justin Caige and Kira Kira, named after his great, great grandfather. He is a brilliant military tactician and a member of the ARAF. He hasn't been in the military long, but he's already in command of a squadron of air superiority fighters. He needed special adjustments to his cockpit to be able to fly his fighter, but according to the test officials "shows G-resistance on a level we've never seen before." He's also quite a ladies man (well, boy) and has only very rarely been seen apart from a similarly-aged member of the opposite sex. However, it has been suggested that he's bisexual, to which his response is "I don't know, probably." ~120cm, ~35kg, platinum blonde hair and green eyes, born March 13, 2008. Somewhat taller than normal for his age, and very muscular for a child.

Kira Aoi:
The younger daughter of Justin Caige and Kira Kira. Mostly just a baby, but during the fourth world war she pulled the same stunt as her sister. This time, however, her parents handled her return much better. During her tour, she was in a marine reconnaissance team deployed in Europa. She was notably close to the only other member of her squad in her age group and was strongly attached to an older girl she took as a sister figure who was later killed. Upon returning home, she joined her actual sister at Terratech and after a short period working with her moved to developing ammunition. Any "special" Terratech-manufactured round you use in-game was developed by her. ~100cm, ~24kg, red hair and blue eyes, born February 26th, 2011. Much taller than normal for her age, but otherwise actually looks roughly a year younger than she is.

George Winthrop:
The son of Calvin Winthrop, George is the public leader of the 3WU, the highest ranking member of the country's elected government. He is not, however, its real leader. The 3WU is actually lead by a counsel of non-elected officials, and he's really just a figurehead. (Like a US president, in a way.) ~180cm, ~85kg, black hair and brown eyes, born February 2nd, 1965. Fairly normal stature, but well-maintained appearance.

President John Edgar:
The 46th president of the United States. He's a member of the republican party, and is often considered "the most useless, brain dead, mentally bankrupt politician since W." Unfortunately, he also has quick reflexes, a good secret service and one hell of a cardiovascular system because there have been six assassination attempts since he was elected in 2013 and he's still alive and functioning at more or less full capacity with shrapnel injuries, laser blast trauma and thirteen gunshot wounds. ~180cm, ~85kg, blonde hair (well, it's grey now) and hazel eyes, born July 4th, (or so his press agents say) 1982. Very normal stature, very well-maintained appearance.

Dmitri Alliluyeva:*
The last son of Joseph Stalin, Dmitri is the current leader of Russia and is both kinder to his people and better at foreign relations than his nut-job sire. He's also apparently made of iron because he has endured wounds that would have killed J. Edgar. These have included 15 gunshot wounds, gasoline burns, shrapnel injuries and a sword through the liver. He is considering stepping down due to age, but has not yet chosen a successor. ~160cm, ~70kg, black hair (when he had hair) and brown eyes, born June 23rd, 1925. Short, but very muscular. His appearance has faltered due to the loss of his hair and noticeable jaundice suggests his health is seriously failing.

Yamamoto Takumi:
Marshal Admiral of the Japanese navy since 1975, Takumi, his younger sister Maiko and his niece Masa are Japan's defacto rulers. (Although Masa is an elected official, there's no term limit and she's been elected for 12 years in a row.) Takumi presently leads the Japanese Navy and spends most of his time managing conflicts with China and Korea. He has been called a "logistical genius" by leaders of every other naval force on the planet. ~160cm, ~60kg, black hair and green eyes, born January 24th, 1945. He was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of 5, which was attributed to fallout from Hiroshima**, and has been fighting it for sixty five years.

Yamamoto Maiko:
Grand Marshal of the Japanese army since 1985, Maiko is the primary leader of the Japanese army and has coordinated with her brother on the "invasion" of Alaska and the more recent invasion of China. She's an excellent strategist, but beyond the range of their navy's artillery her army just lacks the manpower to really get anything done. Unlike her brother, she is perfectly healthy and although she is the grand marshal now, she started in the special forces. (Specifically, she was an airborne commando.) ~150cm, ~60kg, black hair and green eyes, born January 2nd, 1960. Short and fit, with c-cup breasts and a muscular physique.

Yamamoto Masa:
Prime Minister of Japan since 2003, Masa is the daughter of Maiko and an unknown father. There are rumours that her father is Takumi, but this is highly unlikely because not only are Takumi and Maiko siblings they don't get along personally. (He's the firstborn and the favourite, despite being sick. She's the middle child and the unfavourite, despite being healthy. Doesn't take a mind reader.) Regardless of these rumours, she's the country's beloved prime minister and has been for twelve years. ~150cm, ~60kg, black hair and green eyes, born January 13th, 1985. Petite with b-cup breasts, yaeba and a very girlish appearance that hasn't changed a bit since her first election. (Hey! I think I figured out why she's so popular!)

Creatures:

Zombies:***
Zombies within this setting have much more in common with the traditional voodoo variety than the modern variety. They're infected with a harmless parasite that connects to the spinal cord, and extends down to the liver and further to the bladder. This parasite normally does nothing but feed off the fat deposits in the liver and deposit eggs into the user's urine (the parasite is waterborne, it's a good way to get the eggs out) and in the case of a pregnant host, her umbilical cord. Depending on country, 75-90% of the population is harmlessly infected. However, if the host's brain is sufficiently damaged the parasite changes its role to ensure the survival of its host and extends upwards to replace the destroyed body part. This spawns a different condition for each part removed, but the most distinctive is zombification from the replacement of the frontal lobe. When the parasite (really more of a symbiote, if you think about it) takes over for a destroyed frontal lobe, it adopts a new set of behaviour. The first thing is to identify the host's "master" or failing that the highest authority figure and glue their lips to his or her ass. The parasite in this role is extremely dim-witted and not quite sapient, acting much like a dog in many respects. (Hence them finding the alpha and enslaving themselves.) In children, they're a bit different, seeking their parents for help on how to function within their "pack." Most countries have largely negative views of zombies, as they recognize they are no longer people and often feel like this creature is somehow insulting the host's memory by keeping their body alive and functional. Zombies can be dangerous, but only in the same manner as dogs and are not a major threat to anybody. Further, zombies can be idiotic, uncoordinated, unperceptive and clumsy to the point of being a danger to themselves more than anybody else (Just don't try and teach them to operate a vehicle.) with all the charm of a lobotomite making them experts at receiving abuse.

Zombies have been used militarily but are generally ineffective. Even more advanced mutations (like those that control the entire brain) that tend to develop altered physical characteristics are terrible combatants. Studies into the parasite replacing other parts of the brain for the purpose of creating soldiers with human intelligence but other zombie characteristics are also failures. In civilian life, they're basically pets but have a tendency to be sexually exploited or used as slaves, although in neither case do the zombies mind. As some zombie children do not develop or develop at a greatly slowed rate, many people adopt zombie children specifically because they'll never grow up. (They don't have most of the benefits of an actual child, like a child's intelligence and learning ability, but those people really just want a pet anyway and it's better they don't get a real child.)

Troglodytes:
Troglodytes are mentally regressed humans found in Europa. The fallout has caused them a considerable amount of frontal lobe damage, and whether they have the parasite or not they'll behave about the same. They are cast out from society and can be found in Europa out and around the wastes looking for food, fighting and mating. They're defensive, but they are neither territorial nor aggressive and prefer to avoid humans. However, they are a major threat to scavengers because they are easily startled and react violently if surprised in close quarters. Troglodytes have short lifespans due to the cancer and radiation sickness they tend to pick up, but they do appear to be considerably more resistant than regular humans and in recent years they have actually speciated. The speciated troglodyte is somewhat smaller, but has a more ape-like gait and more hair, with noticeably fewer tumours and skin lesions. They are also noticeably tougher, with thickly calloused skin and fewer blood vessels in their extremities and close to the surface of their body. They do seem to have a considerable weakness for heavy metal and especially metal salt poisoning, though, as it makes them much sicker and does so much faster. To a troglodyte, a heavy metal salt might as well be arsenic. The noticeable exception is lead poisoning, which they appear to have built up an immunity to the acute effects of as a result of so much of it being in the water after the bombings. That said, lead and copper salt (not to mention the cobalt-60) in the water are likely responsible for a lot of their health issues anyway.

Zombant:
An American portmanteau of "zombie" and "mutant," zombants are full-brain zombies with advanced physical mutations. These range from the standard loss of feeling in their body and retraction of blood vessels from their extremities and the surface of their skin to massive jaundice as a result of the mutated parasite taking over for organs other than the brain as they fail and doing a shitty job. Within a year or two, they're still distinctly humanoid but no longer look human due to their complete hair loss, yellow skin, long nails, lost teeth, bulging eyes, skin lesions and tumours. They also tend to have considerable deformations in their joints, giving them a strange gait. They tend to be thrown out by society and form packs out in the wilderness. They avoid humans, and scuffle frequently with troglodytes. They tend to win, as zombants are smarter than normal zombies and tend to use weapons. Zombants have been recorded eating deceased humans, but only rarely kill a human and are most likely just scavenging off of corpses when these pictures are taken. As the zombant parasite is insectoid and largely immune to radiation, the zombant is impacted much less than an actual human. Despite their lack of aggression towards humans, humans have a tendency to kill them on sight. Zombants are sapient, but are severely schizophrenic, suffer sudden convulsions when inactive and show symptoms similar to Tourette's syndrome. They also all follow a single religion featuring a deity they worship named Yboim-fyk and an opposing deity they despise named Kufgs-fyk. This religion's practices vary, but the scripture is the same universally, even for zombants raised apart from Europe who should have no exposure to or knowledge of this religion.

Zombie/Zombant animals:
Zombies and zombants are found for every species of mammal, from humans to dogs to bears, bats, rodents and wild cats. They display largely the same traits as human zombies and zombants.

Leucocyte cat:
Leucocytes are wild cats, whose size varies from smaller than a domestic dog to larger than a bear. They roam Europe in packs, killing everything that moves and isn't one of them. Strangely, these cats originate outside of Europe. They migrated into the festering, fallout-infested ruins on their own, and since their arrival they have done nothing but kill. They are fast and powerful, as is expected of a cat. They are white with black stripes, like a white Bengal tiger. They have a white haze over their eyes and their blood has flecks of white in it that cause it to appear pink. (The white flecks are clumps of white blood vessels, which the leucocyte cat gets its name from.) Their origin is still not fully understood. Predators going into an area like this doesn't seem strange since most of the local life is easy prey, but the random mutation (which oddly does not appear to be radiation-induced) their near-immunity to the conditions of Europe and their senseless violence not only don't make sense they appear to be in direct violation of a number of natural laws. Why would a predator needlessly deplete its food supply? Why would a predator attack creatures that it must know are a serious threat to it? Why would a predator attack the strongest members of a pack, rather than the weakest? Why would a predator fail to eat its kill? Why would a predator proceed to kill more prey when it already has killed more than it could possibly eat? This is not predatory behaviour, there's must be something else going on here.

Other Leucocytes:
There are more leucocyte animals than just the cats, even if the cats are the most famous. These include wolves, bears and predatory birds on land, and in the water there are sharks and other predatory sea creatures. Like the cats, they are migrating into the mutated areas, developing bleach-white colourations, leucocyte clusters and white eyes, becoming rapidly immune to the local conditions and turning into senseless killing machines that don't even eat the majority of their kills. The only thing they don't appear to kill on sight is other leucocytes.

Technology:
More or less the same as the real world, except for the development of weaponised lasers. There are also new guns (including a wide variety using the blowback shifted pulse mechanism) and vehicles ranging from new cars to tanks. As there is a distinctive lack of petrol available, alternative lubricants and fuel sources are used. These range from biodiesel to electric and hydrogen vehicles. There are a few new metals out as well, most of them are as strong as modern mid-high end materials but lighter and/or cheaper to produce. Other than that, no major changes.

Psychological phenomena:

Berserkergang:
The berserker phenomenon or "berserkergang" is a stress-induced adrenal reaction. It requires two of three major factors: large amounts of long-term stress, massive acute psychological trauma and/or emotional overload. The effect is targeted, as the individual decides that something's destruction is more important than their own life and that thing is immediately available for assault. Their self-preservation instincts remain active only as far as they make the subject more capable of eliminating their target. They stop reacting to pain, lose all fear, remove the mental limit to their physical strength as adrenalin pumps through their body, their metabolic system goes into overdrive and their heart starts beating a mile a minute. The result is an individual who does not feel pain, is five times as strong as they are normally, responds little to hypovolemic shock, shows minimal response to fatigue and who has no self-preservation instincts and exactly one thing on their mind: the complete and total annihilation of a person, place or thing. This phenomenon first gained public attention during the revolutions, when a 12-year old boy in Chicago went berserk after the death of his parents, charged a squad of armed US soldiers, dive-tackled their officer before they could react and stabbed the entire squad to death with the officer's severed jaw before succumbing to the 16 gunshot wounds he received in the process. His real name was never confirmed, but the press nicknamed him "Sampson."

Signs that an individual is berserk (besides covering one hundred metres in a couple seconds and completely overpowering groups of people) include paleness, bloodshot eyes and almost complete silence, sometimes with tears or dilated pupils. Signs that individual is about to go berserk include crying, jittering, shakes, repetitive motions and wailing, always followed by an unusually long, loud and high-pitched scream before several seconds of complete silence and stillness as the individual briefly goes comatose in preparation for the berserk state.

Addictive Haemophilia:****
Addictive haemophilia is a set of psychological disorders with physiological effects. An individual with addictive haemophilia is not only strongly haemophilic, they shows signs of physical addiction to the consumption of warm blood with withdrawal symptoms ranging from massive migraines to shakes, weakness, lethargy and trouble speaking. However, the blood acts to them as a stimulant with symptoms similar to tropane alkaloids like cocaine and an analgesic similar to opiates like morphine and a powerful aphrodisiac. Further, the haemophiliac is (to a varying degree) sexually aroused by the sight of blood. Addictive haemophilia may be inherited as a genetic disorder, and when it is, the blood high is much stronger but also comes with photosensitivity and sensitivity to sensory stimulation, particularly bright light and loud sounds.

Symptoms of a blood high include increased heart rate, dilated pupils, quickened speech, sexual arousal, erratic behaviour, mood swings and hyper-focus. This syndrome is common globally, but is most common in Europa. Around the world, ~0.1% of people have addictive haemophilia whereas in Europa it's ~1%. This condition is normally scorned and many haemophiliacs hide their condition and share it carefully and only as much as needed to get blood and avoid withdrawal. Usually, their confidants are family members, as this syndrome runs in families.

*Entirely fictional, but his name comes from Joseph Stalin's actual second wife. Stalin did have a child with her, but it was a girl. Dmitri would be her fictional elder brother.

**It's possible it came from another source, but it does seem likely it was the bombing given the proximity of his birthplace.

***I put these in because I am sick to death of modern "zombie apocalypse" fiction and wanted a setting in which it is entirely unreasonable that it would ever exist. Real zombies, not infectious, no zombie apocalypse bullshit.

****See above footnote. I hate modern vampire fiction, (fuck you very much, Stephanie Meyer, for killing a genre I used to love... no wait, make that TWO genres now that Host is out) so I made a setting where there is a good reason for it to not exist.

No man is an island,

Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; 
It tolls for thee.

 

-John Donne


#7 JustinS   Members   -  Reputation: 209

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 12:06 AM

Well, nobody managed to figure it out, so here are the namesakes:

 

Spoiler

No man is an island,

Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; 
It tolls for thee.

 

-John Donne





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