A World of Survival in the Frozen Tundras of Earth and through the Harsh Mistress of Space
- This is a universe where Global Warming takes a turn for the ‘Day after Tomorrow’ and ‘Frostpunk’.
- The Calendar switched from AD/CE to ‘Post-Cataclysm’ -or PC for short- in 2070.
- To put things into perspective, the year 0225 PC is the year 2295 AD/CE.
- The average temperature outside the citadel city-arcologies is -60 degrees Celsius with severe storms able to make it drop down to -100 and it is considered extremely warm at -40.
- These temperatures is part 'Earth going Snowball', part 'high-powered nukes have been used far too many times', and part 'extreme eco-terrorists deciding that humanity must die'.
- There are three primary factions in this world and they consist of:
The American Dominion
A (in pre-Cataclysm standards) semi-benevolent AI Dictatorship made up of much of the former US and Canada. What is considered basic rights in the pre-Cataclysm days are now heavily monitored and restricted.
Aesthetically, it’s a mix between Earth 21X0’s United Civilized States, Battlefield 2142’s EU, Deus Ex: Human Revolution/Mankind Divided, and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.
- From a government standpoint, it’s basically Earth 21X0’s UCS after the events of Earth 2150, where the AI basically took over.
- The reason for this is that initially the American Dominion started out as an AI augmented Cyber Democracy, but that failed as democratic leaders kept killing off segments of the population and tribalism sprang up. The AI pulled a coup against the democratic government with the military and thus the current government. Far better than what was done previously. AIs run pretty much every aspect of governance.
- A monarchy where the Monarch is spliced with an AI. Made up of northern Germany and Northern Poland. While rights are not as restrictive as the American Dominion, they are still pretty restricted.
- Aesthetically, it’s a mix between Front Mission’s EU, a Teutonicized/Prussianified version of Earth 21X0’s Eurasian Dynasty, Satellite Reign, and Syndicate (reboot).
- From a government standpoint, it’s an odd mixture of ‘Cybernetic Republic’ (where only those with cybernetic implants can vote or take office) and ‘Cybernetic Monarchy’ with a hefty dose of AI-driven bureaucracy.
- The People’s Republic of China
- The continuation of the pre-Cataclysm government with a few caveats. Mostly nestled in the Himalayas in a grand underground arcology and a smattering of major and minor surface cities.
- Aesthetically, it’s a mix between Battlefield 2142’s PAC, Cyberpunk 2077, and Generals China.
- From a government standpoint, it’s a ‘Cybernetic Dictatorship’ and police state.
- Each of the main factions have an orbital elevator, each with shipyards, material processing facilities, low-level orbital research and development facilities, habitats, and power generation facilities. These also serve as the gateway to the various interplanetary holdings that the three main factions have.
- There are numerous minor factions on Earth, but the only reason they still exist is due to cost being too much to be worth conquering. If push came to shove, however, they’ll get crushed if a major faction decides it’s worth it.
- The total human population in 0225 PC is barely 1.56 billion across Earth and the space colonies barely add .44 billion to that number… or barely 2 billion in total.
- Technologically, mankind is more advanced than pre-Cataclysm Earth in many ways, particularly in the fields of AI and robotics, automation, cybernetics, genetic engineering (although extremely limited after the lead up to the Cataclysm, and much of the wildlife that now inhabits the surface of Earth is because of various groups trying to wipe out mankind), hydroponics/vertical farming, space travel, energy, nano-tech, among others.
- In the case of the American Dominion, they have perfected quantum entanglement communication technology to the point where compressed messages (which can be in the Terabytes when uncompressed) can go through with ease. This is mostly used to keep the various AI mayors connected to the overall polity. They’re not that compact though, so this is only used for spaceships, habitats, stations, space colonies, cities, and military outposts.
- Fusion and/or fission energy is the primary power source of all remnants of humanity with natural gas being a close second.
- The Cataclysm is simply a reference to a series of atomic conflicts, global warming disasters, epidemics (both natural and artificial), resource wars (over arable land and drinkable water as well as vital resources like oil and metal), and eco-terrorism.
- The Cataclysm is also responsible for killing about 7.3 billion people (out of a population barely over 8.2 billion) over a period of three decades thanks to a combination of wars (both conventional and nuclear), global warming side-effects (including famine), disease (both natural and synthetic), and eco-terrorism (be conventional, biological, nuclear, or exotic).
- This is partially the reason why the various remnants of humanity -be the major factions or the minor ones- are extremely authoritarian compared to the governments of the Pre-Cataclysm era. When the technology exists where one can create an unnatural monster from whole cloth or make horrific synthetic diseases with a handful of common equipment and a little know-how on the biotech end or create black goo weapons with a nano-fab and a little know-how on the technological end, the moral calculus shifts well into the authoritarian direction.
- Another reason for the high amounts of authoritarian rule is due to the fact that any act of sabotage or willing destruction of equipment can kill an entire city-arcology during the early years.
- This has led to aspects of an omnipresent omni-surveillance state in practically every remnant of humanity. This isn’t because every remnant wanted to go with ‘1984 as a guide book’ -as pre-Catacylsm people would think- but due to survival and sadly practicality.
Thanks in part to the Cataclysm, not a whole lot of animals and plants made it. The few that did were only done because of their ability to provide food.
- A lot of culture had been destroyed in the Cataclysm as well. While history does remember culture from the pre-Cataclysm era and a tiny sample of it does exist, it is a far cry of what came before.
- What little fiction that remains tends to be sadly bleak in outlook with most of them with no end in the bleakness in sight of the characters, a character a few generations down the line might find the metaphorical ‘light at the end of the tunnel’.
- Franchises that were remade in the Post-Cataclysm Era (like Mass Effect) tend to be very bleak with a very ‘fight the bleakness’ undertone overall.
- Military forces in the Post-Cataclysm world are incredibly small when compared to their Pre-Cataclysm counterparts in terms of genuine human manpower. This has been true for much of the Post Cataclysm Era, and only recently (i.e. the last two decades) that practical autonomous combat androids and cybernetically augmented clones have become commonplace.
This is exacerbated by the fact that people only live until the age of 60 on average for the last two centuries, with the average only going up in the last decade.
- A good portion of the problem is due to what is known as the Age Plague that was released by eco-terrorists during the Cataclysm. It is only recently that -after starting practically from scratch- this plague has been cured.
- Due to the conditions on Earth -and later across the solar system- walkers in the vein of Battlemechs, Wanzers, and Palabors exist. While always part of a combined arms formation, they’re incredibly effective in the Post-Cataclysm World.
- In order to stay outside in the unpredictable conditions outside the citadel city-arcologies, one must wear what is essentially a powered space suit (i.e. a space suit mated with a powered exoskeleton) when they go outside.
- Infantry utilize a heavily armored version of these suits known as Battlesuits which range from 'make the wearer slightly bigger' to 'proto-mecha' in size.
- Space travel is fairly standard fare, as ships tend to look like they’re straight from the pre-Angelwing portion of Nexus: The Jupiter Incident, starships and dropships from Battletech, and the Earth Alliance ships in Babylon 5. Like the Earth Alliance ships, they also have inertia dampeners to minimize problems from the lack of counter-rotating grav-blocks and the shear mass that many ships have or haul around.
- Space combat is similar to Nexus: The Jupiter Incident in that they batter each other until the ship’s structural integrity is too fragile to allow it to keep going, which then the crew evacuate or surrender depending on the situation.
- The average spaceship that all major powers can accelerate to is 3 Gs, with anything resembling a fuel economy. For the most part ships tend to accelerate at the starting quarter, coast for half, and decelerate at the remaining quarter.
- All spaceships -regardless of manufacturer- have retro-thrusters as standard. The type of retro-thrusters might vary, but all ships have them as standard. This is mostly to minimize the need to simply flip and decelerate that way.
It should be noted that artificial gravity does exist, but it is currently extremely power hungry and only available to colonies on planets and planetoids like Mars, Luna, and elsewhere, i.e. where volume isn't as much of a problem.
- Strikecraft (aka ‘fighters’) play a supporting role in most combat scenarios. They are usually used as part of a defensive screen to eliminate things like missiles and ‘torpedoes’ (basically missiles with a genuine ship drive attached to them). If there are no missiles in play, then they can damage lightly armored components like sensor arrays, armament, among other systems.
- Most strikecraft have horrific -compared to their parent vessels- drive range, forcing them to stay within a battlefield (which can range from 10 megameters (Mm, 1 Mm equals 1,000 km) to 100 Mm depending on the conditions) to ensure they don’t get left behind or vanish into the black.
- Most of humanity living off-world lives in either domed cities that are partially underground or in O’Neil Island 3 habitats. All dangerous facilities -usually RnD labs in fields that are fuck-off dangerous- utilize a less resource-intensive Stanford Torus.
- Any habitat or space-borne facility utilizes autonomous weapon platforms for defense, which are incredibly dangerous to fight without a plan to eliminate them from play. Without a plan to eliminate them from play.
I'll admit that this setting is heavily influenced by the Earth 21X0 series, which has the best leader overall being an AI.