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A New World, a World of Conflict and Sorrow

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Author
Alright people, I want you to check over some events and their consequences for me.

Right now, I have the EU go for a 'hard putative Brexit' in mid 2020... which has the following effects:

  • All commerce and trade between Britain and the EU states is no longer between EU states but between an EU state and a non-EU state
    • In addition to this, there is a decade of trade and commerce restrictions on all British transactions with the EU
  • All companies based in the EU are forced to withdraw themselves from Britain or be faced with immense company-breaking fines
  • Britain is no longer able to procure any weapons from any EU state or EU-based weapons manufacturer
  • Borders between Britain and EU countries will be hardened, no exceptions
Politicians in various countries -particularly those of the 'EU at all costs' folks- didn't account for the ripple effects that this would cause, causing the EU to transform to the German-dominated European Federation...
 
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Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Author
Another thing that should be mentioned here is that due to a combination of factors (including the various gene-mods that most of humanity have as standard increasing the caloric intake immensely), vastly improved versions of 'traditional farming' are utilized as the primary source of food instead of 'vat-grown meat' and 'urban farming'. This is partially due to simple efficiency.

Urban farming was quickly discovered during the second half of the 21st century as inefficient compared to 'modernized' traditional farming, especially in the grand scales needed to keep the billions of humans (and millions of various uplifts) fed. Vat-grown meat -once heralded as a new beginning to food production- turned out to be only useful for chicken as any other meat produced would taste off -a sort of 'taste uncanny valley' effect- enough to be useless as a foodstuff... and not to mention that in order to produce industrial quantities of meat through the vat-grow process meant that the required proteins, bio-catalysts, and water are immense. To put things into perspective: for one ton of vat-chicken you'll need two tons of proteins, ten tons of bio-catalysts, and twenty tons of water. To produce the needed vat-chicken for a week, you'll have to multiply that by a factor of fourteen as you'll need two tons of vat-chicken per day to help feed a good-sized town. That doesn't include the physical (which runs in the tens of thousands of meters) and carbon (it turns out, industrializing vat-grown meat on a grand scale isn't as carbon free as it was touted to have) footprints!

This ties into another thing about the setting, practically all the factions have 'equalized' the population and economies of their constituents when possible. The centralization of population and economic power in a handful of mega-cities cause untold problems. One such problem is militarily as even going near a mega-city is an invitation for war crimes a plenty. Another such problem is the Ruralist Revolts that plagued much of the world during the second half of the 21st century and the New World Era's first century thanks to the large Rural/Urban divide. These revolts included outright terrorism, forced starvation, and some cases outright insurrection. This forced a policy of economic and population equalization, forcing the breakup of the mega-cities and creating a system of smaller cities and large towns to maximize efficiency while keeping areas economically viable...
 

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Author
Another thing that has come up is India and Pakistan, and well, let's just say their story didn't end happily and had long-term repercussions in the setting.

During the Upheavals, India and Pakistan fought each other over Kashmir (again) and it quickly spiraled out of control, ending in the final phase of the conflict going nuclear. Pakistan lost a confirmed six (with many more unconfrimed due to Pakistan's nuclear policy) nuclear warheads of strategic yield during the 24 hour nuclear bombardment, three of them went into Europe and detonated (one in Sarajevo, one in Hamburg, and one in Paris) with the other half being intercepted in Sri Lanka (whose government collapsed some time beforehand) by a joint Japanese/US/SK black ops team before they went to their targets (Tokyo, Seoul, and New York City). While no one claimed responsibility, it forced even the most liberal nations to veer very hard towards being authoritarian in some way or fashion.

This, in conjunction with the ability to produce horrific synthetic plagues (leading to the nationalization of biotech by the FedCons and SolForce by NWE 0050) being lowered to the individual/small group level, has created a world where there is only electronic panopticons in the factions that survive...
 

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Author
Now, another thing that has come up is vaccinations and a black/white ops group within SolForce.

Now a common law of all factions in the setting is that Vaccinations are MANDATORY unless you've got a VERIFIABLE -as in 'by verified medical professionals' verified- MEDICAL CONDITION that would cause horrible reactions to said vaccination. This is partially due to synth-plagues using various diseases as a baseline to ensure quick and easy deployment, and anti-Vaxx being such a problem that entire towns got wiped out due to too many holes in the town's herd immunity, as the holes allowed the plague to bypass older vaccines via mutation.

Now, this law is strictly enforced by all factions, be meg-corp, FedCon, SolForce, and even terrorist organizations... and trying to break this law is dire for the parents. If the parents refuse to vaccinate, then they'll get forcibly implanted with birth control implants and have their children taken away at the minimum. Given that having holes in a town's/city's/island's herd immunity is a certain death sentence in setting, this is sadly necessary.
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Then there is SolForce's Special Actions Division (aka 'SAD'). SAD is a powerful division within SolForce's 'Black Section' (aka all the external intelligence services put under one roof) that is responsible for enforcing several international laws enforced by the Treaty of Luna. They number in a dozen or so divisions in terms of operative strength. There are various levels of operators and only a division of the best operatives have the ability to turn entire islands and US State sized areas into ash at their discretion. Each operative is a post-human warrior that can swap bodies as necessary and are overseen by a techno-organic AI that is implanted through a process called 'Twining'. This AI is constantly looking over the shoulder of the operative every moment of their life. By being (functionally) immortal, they have a enormous wealth of knowledge, experience, and training to carry out their duties.

In addition, SAD agents are constantly watched by Internal Affairs, which is similar to pre-Travis's ONI Internal Affairs division (aka 'scary motherfuckers that scare even the worst of ONI operatives') which are helped by the AI.

If a SAD operative tries to defect, tries to go rogue, among other things, then the AI can (and will if necessary) activate a kill switch that turns the cybernetics into white hot slag, killing the operative and AI and leaving nothing salvageable behind.
 
Introduction to Memetic Weapons

Aaron Fox

SB's Minor Junker Descendant and Hunter of Nazis
Author
In setting, of something like this shows up, shit is going to go down:

Why do you ask? Because memetic weapons/hazards are a thing and the various factions have entire departments dedicated to searching and destroying memetic ordinance every day. Memetic warfare is quite similar to other forms of warfare in that there are plays and counter-plays, measures and countermeasures. Modern memetic weapons are required to be 'tuned' to their targets, the faction they're being deployed in, and whatever countermeasures they will face. This has predictably caused several generations of weapons and countermeasures to come into being and evolve. However, this hasn't stopped these weapons from becoming problematic, period. It also didn't help to improve the current state of affairs either, and the current state of affairs is thanks to the deployment of the first genuine weaponized memes thanks to Russia. Due to the variety of memetic weapons and how they evolved, memetic weapons are classified by their medium of transfer, if it targets the consciousness or subconsciousness, and 'generation'. This has allowed the civilian population to properly react to their deployment if there is a breach (usually by the use of things like mind-altering drugs/substances to 'muddle' the memetic in question).

The Generations are:
  • Generation 1 (Gen1): The crudest and most basic memetic weapon in human history. They were originally developed by Russia during the Putin regime in the 2010s and first revealed to the world in the 2016 Brexit vote and the US 2016 Presidential Elections as part of a wide-scale world destabilization operation only known as 'Operation Deep Fifty', an operation whose description is essentially 'soak the world in gasoline and then lite it on fire'. This generation is known to simply 'convince' the consciousness of the target(s) to do whatever the memetic wants them to believe... and oddly enough the easiest to counter and neutralize due to the heavy reliance on frames of reference and mentality proximity for its effectiveness.
  • Generation 2 (Gen2): The second generation of memetic weaponry and -surprisingly- vastly more sophisticated. While the majority of the afflicted tend to be simply 'convinced' to do whatever the memetic wants them to do or believe in, this starts to show the mind control esque properties of memetics in general as a tiny (<2%) of the afflicted effectively have no free will. Despite these improvements, it shared the same problems as it's predecessor in terms of effectiveness, and thus was the second to be rendered neutralized. This was created by the successor of Vladimir Putin, one Grigor Ilyanich Stoyanov, and his administration is directly linked to the infamous 1st Ruralist Insurrections -which killed hundreds of millions of people worldwide- and other conflicts that were created to ensure that no one would be able to attack Russia -later ZAFTRA- before it was ready.
  • Generation 3 (Gen3): The second generation introduced memetic's ability to take away people's free will to small populations, but Gen3 memetic weapons managed to up this to give one about a 30% chance of the afflicted to have their free will taken away. First introduced by various warlords and maniacs in the various developing Lawless Zones across the planet in the latter half of the 1st Century NWE, the Gen3 memetics was a genuine surprise to memetic weapon experts at the time. This generation of memetic weapons is particularly infamous as it was partially the cause for the 2nd Ruralist Insurrections, which killed millions of people worldwide. At the time of NWE 0340, Gen3 memetic weapons are only partially neutralized, and the current cure for those who have their free will taken from them is simply to, effectively, put them out of their misery...
  • Generation 4 (Gen4): The fourth generation of memetic weapons is a frightening one when it was first introduced during the late 2nd Century NWE, and for good reason. It is infamous as it is well known to have the ability to effectively take free will entirely. Despite much research, at the time of introduction, the only 'cure' for those afflicted is to simply kill the afflicted. Like the previous generation, there is no one group or person that is responsible for its development, but there were signs that a transhuman that went by the name of Caulder Stolos had a hand in a few of these...
  • Generation 5 (Gen5): Currently the ultimate memetic weapon in existence bar none. Designed by one Caulder Stolos as an anti-civilization weapon, it is essentially designed to eliminate free will completely to those that are afflicted and has been called 'the closest thing to Warhammer 40k Chaos Bullshit without the space magic' by various anti-memetic groups, which isn't far from the truth, as it targets not only the consciousness but also the subconsciousness. However, to do this, Gen5 weapons abandon any and all sense of subtlety when being unleashed and thus able to be quarantined. A few thousand have to be killed due to being afflicted, but that's better than having millions be killed off in a 'ten innocents will die so we can get the afflicted' style rule.

The current state of memetic warfare is one where attacks come and go in nanoseconds, requiring augmented individuals and AGIs with in-built anti-memetic systems to 'man the walls' so to speak... and the current situation of these 'memetic warfare divisions' and the various memetic weapon creators/users in the various Lawless Zones across the planet is best described as a 'stalemate'. Before Gen5 memetics came into the field, anti-memetic capabilities were slowly but surely ensuring that the only place you can learn about these is in the history books, but that changed when a transhuman named Caulder Stolos introduced to the world the first Gen 5 memetic weapon and caused several mutual genocides in the process in several Lawless Zones. Whenever he arrives in a populated location, he generally leaves only bodies in his wake for his goal of removing civilization entirely...
 
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