Title: Factions, Groups, and Gangs
Zyu - September 24, 2011 06:30 AM (GMT)
They are the most numerous and dominant species of today characterized by their adaptability, their willingness to form communities with each other, and their stubbornness in the face of opposition, even overwhelming odds. Although some species (Synthoids, Axions) may or may not be physically stronger and tougher than humans, the ability of humans to adapt to diverse environments has given them an edge over many other species. For example, humans can survive in an EMP saturated environment that would render even the most advanced Synthoid inert and useless.
The Homo sapien race has their origins shrouded in mystery. Humans are one of the races that dwell within the walls of the Megacity, their overall population according to the last citywide census some six-hundred million.
By the end of the fourth world war, humanity had brought itself to the very edge of self-annihilation, over 93 percent of the world wiped out from the global nuclear downpour. Combined with an irreparably devastated ozone and ecosystem which turned the planet into little more than barren ‘nuclear’ deserts, the fate of the Human race was in doubt. The remnants of the world’s governments convened, and seeing this crisis as one that far outweighed the war [which neither superpower stood any real chance of winning], a global cease-fire was issued, and the construction of the world’s first ‘Megacity’ was commissioned in the hopes that humanities last survivors would not perish and the human race be extinct.
Zyu - September 25, 2011 06:10 AM (GMT)
Though they make for the [greater] minority within the Megacity's population, their numbers are estimated to be in the upper millions, however due to most of Axionkind living their lives in secret, a precise calculation of this particular group is unlikely to ever be recorded. Axions and the abilities they wield owe their existence to the nearly worldwide nuclear bombardment endured during the firestorms at the start World War Four, which saw the use of [then] experimental bioagents that, along with the radioactive fallout of sustained worldwide nuclear war, irrevocably altered the Human genome. This variation within the human gene pool would go unnoticed for the next two centuries following the global cease-fire that was issued, drawing the genocidal conflict to a close after nearly half a century. Gradually, a new, more highly evolved subspecies of Homo sapiens were born, which the then newly created Megacity and its governing bodies (still reeling from the economic and ecological scars of WWIV) perceived as a possible threat to the Human race.
The War Council responded citing Axions as ‘possible sentient weapons of mass destruction’, the city Council in the form of the High Marshal and War Council sought to control the emerging Axion variable and prevent any future disasters from occurring, and as such gave birth to the first piece of legislation that attempted to govern Axions, the Axion Suppression and Control Act, which commanded all Axions reveal their identities [voluntarily] to the government (but not the public) as well as the nature of whatever unnatural abilities they may possess, furthermore that an Axion must submit to routine examinations and tests in order to better control and gauge exactly how powerful they are [and can become] and to devise an agreeable fail-safe should said Axion ever go rogue for the duration of their natural lives. Any unregistered Axions encountered by law enforcement could face a mandatory sentence in the Law Factory until as such time as they submit to registration.
Registered Axions would have undergone basic testing and/or training and only once having satisfied certain standards would they be allowed to return to organized society and their lives. Government employment is was not an option. Registration also guaranteed an Axion the same rights and privileges as a human citizen of the Megacity; unregistered Axions had no rights at all, and were in effect the ‘property’ of the city, to be treated as such powers wished. This act, however, failed to account for the larger portion of Axion society that wished to remain free or even the sociopathic tendencies some displayed towards authority figures and society in general. A much stricter law then came into play; the Genetic Manifesto.
According to the Genetic Manifesto, Megacity officials effectively outlawed the existence of, employment eligibility, and/or societal fraternizing with/of superhumans and normal human beings. In short, it was illegal to simply be an Axion in the Megacity. Scores of previously ‘registered’ Axions were detained in a concentration camp-like style of justice, which lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Axion men, women and children of all ages. The Genetic Manifesto also stripped Axions of the right to hold office or enlist [with the exception of ‘Lambs’], own land or real estate, marry, conceive or bear children, or be represented legally during civil proceedings.
The Genetic Manifesto are the most current set of legislative dogma that governs Axions and Axion-related policies active on the Megacity’s judicial records. In the nearly eighty-seven years it has been employed, the War Council and High Marshal have voted for its continued practice unanimously at each convening of the city council, and it is highly unlikely they will ever remove it from the official accords.
Zyu - September 25, 2011 06:11 AM (GMT)
Synthoids (an amalgamation of “Synthetic” and “Humanoid”) were once a newly emerging race within the Megacity struggling to attain a foothold within the world, but have since carved a niche for themselves within society with their durability, reliability, prowess, and ability to withstand environments too hazardous for humans (or simply deemed to unsafe to risk human lives in), which allows them to perform their tasks unaffected by the inhospitable conditions of whatever area they were dispatched too. Synthoids were originally designed as ‘Work-bots', performing menial tasks in place of a human worker, though their role in society has evolved a great deal since their inception almost a century ago. Currently Synthoids can be found in a number of fields ranging from providing a tireless workforce for manual labor jobs, to security/law enforcement, research and scientific fields, and even in the lesser publicized “Human Entertainment” genres. Indeed, it seems as technology grows, so does the Synthoid race’s usefulness to the world.
Current census data states that the Synthoid population [that being any and all Synthoids online and functioning actively and properly] at 500,000, though these figures don’t include offline, malfunctioning or otherwise inactive Synthoids. Most Synthoids are of the “basic” variety having limited intellect and cognitive capabilities and perform one [or more] basic functions per whatever the parameters of their programming might allow, with little room [or reason] to be upgraded to a more complicated set of command protocols and functions. The overwhelming majority of Synthoidkind [about 3-470,000] falls into this label, with a few ‘specialized’ Synthoids being produced to facilitate some higher social function or purpose [such as Law Enforcement, or Anti-Axion incursions]. Those that are designed for combat are generally not produced in Synthoid Production plants [as those facilities lack the technical apparatus required for such an undertaking] but rather in specialized facilities where the newly fashioned Synthoid’s development can be monitored and controlled.
To date, Synthoids have become a staple feature of society, which while has indeed brought many benefits with it, had also created the severe drawback of almost entirely eliminating the need for a human workforce, and as such, the greater majority of the Megacity’s human population is irrevocably unemployed [discounting those employed by Dethtek, BLOOD Inc, STaRK or workers of the few production plants scattered throughout the Megaopolis, which accounts for an uninspiring 37 perfect of the total population], a fact that has also helped inspire petty crime and minor riots in the city’s ghettos. For the Megacity and all its inhabitants, Synthoids can be seen as a blessing, or a curse, depending which side of the table one asks.
Zyu - September 25, 2011 06:12 AM (GMT)
Special Tactical axion Resistance Knights
STaRK officers act as police, judge, and jury administering justice on-the-spot. Once appointed STaRK officers patrol the city, arresting and detaining offenders of the law as well as hearing civil cases and resigning judgment in those situations. This system has been utilized in the Megacity for centuries; as such this political model has become the norm. STaRK’s officers are the product of many years' of mental, physical and psychological conditioning which takes place in the Law College. Generally, STaRK inductees are able-bodied adults, but has been known to accept children as young as eight into the fold [typically, these are the immediate offspring of actively serving officers]. Officers under eighteen years of age will not be allowed active duty until such time as they become legally of age.
STaRK officers are not above the law – a violation that would earn a citizen a few months in an stasis pod would get a STaRK officer a sentence almost three times as long.
While the majority of STaRK personnel are non-powered humans, they have employed Synthoid and even Axions as agents [though Axion personnel are mostly inmates who opted to work for STaRK as opposed to facing sentencing and summary execution, and wear Limiters for the duration of their career].
STaRK is led by a High Marshal and a War Council, a council of eight representatives which act to balance the powers and rights granted to a High Marshal. The office of High Marshal is the highest rank in the STaRK’s justice department, though this office is no more than the head of an elite police force whose members had powers to summarily convict and sentence criminals. However, in the law-making sense the High Marshal wields immense power.
He can preside over the Council's meetings and could veto any decision with which he disagreed. He can also appoint and dismiss councilors at will. He can elect or appoint a deputy Marshal, who would automatically succeed to the highest office in the event of the death of the High Marshal. If there is no deputy at the time of a High Marshal’s death, then the remaining members of the Council elect a new High Marshal from among themselves. The High Marshal can also petition for the inclusion of new laws into the city’s constitution, or to have current laws repealed or amended, though the War Council must agree by a majority vote.
The High Marshal can be removed from office if necessary by the members of the War Council (although the council will need Good Cause, evidence, and a unanimous verdict to do so). The High Marshal chairs meetings of the Council. The appointment of a successor to the office of Marshal must have the consent of the Council. This system exists to create a method of balancing the two powers together, ensuring neither becomes too independent of the other, that neither should have their authority doubted, while at the same time rendering both offices accountable in the exercising of that authority.
High Marshals are appointed to office by members of the War Council, who in turn are appointed by the currently serving High Marshal. The office of High Marshal can only be held by those who first fulfill a select criteria: be a natural born citizen of the Megacity [and fully and completely be human, and can withstand a battery of tests to that effect], be no younger than thirty-eight years of age, have served the Special Tactical axion Resistance Knights for a duration no less than fourteen years, and possess above all else an entirely spotless criminal record and background.
STaRK is divided into several branches, each pertaining to a different area of law enforcement: Academy of Law (tutors at the law college), Psionic Division (mostly psionic 'Lambs', or human agents equipped with anti-psionic tech), Judicial Affairs (internal affairs bereau), Science Division, (research and development, civilian members of STaRK), Cybercrimes, Homicide, Undercover Division, Anti-Gang Division, and the Axion Counterstrike Division (Otherwise known as the Shepard Corps,' Lambs' or Axions who've had their senteces suspended in exchange for serving STaRK in pursuing and arresting other Axions and Shepards, STaRK personnel in charge of monitoring the actions of the Lambs under their jurisdiction).
Zyu - September 25, 2011 06:15 AM (GMT)
A city will need those that can provide for them, its food, shelters, facilities, and vital resources like technology and medicine. These dueling corporations fulfill that niche, despite both vying daily to achieve some level of financial dominance over the other. Monopoly's are illegal in the Megacity, thus either heads of the rival companies are aware they will never enjoy a position of true supremacy over the other, though it's only natural for two competent companies in the same field to find themselves pitted against the other.
Workers of Le Fey's Dethtek Entreprises know their employer to be a cold calculating and humorless woman who is comfortable with the power she wields over her employees. She maintains a rigid professional distance from her underlings, typically addressing them by their surnames, and rarely holds dialogs with them in anything other than strict business matters [unless she's insulting them for their follies]. It wouldn't be farfetched to say she regularly belittles and condesends her workers and henchmen. Le Fey uses an illegal cloning process to give her an 'assembly line' of hired guns.
BLOOD Incorporated's President Vaclav [as do his workers] views himself as a type of 'father' figure to those under his employ; an aloof, demeaning father who is aware of the inherent flaws of those who work for him and understands them to lack a special 'guidance' only he can provide. Convinced they are lost, simple-minded children, he tends to treat his workers as little more than adult 'children', addressing them in a soft, patronizing tone. His staff undergo a secret mental conditioning [this takes place during the course of their days via subliminal messages broadcast throughout any BLOOD affiliated buildings] that reenforces this ideal, making them his loyal 'children'.
Neither company is above launching shady endeavors to outdo the other, and have lifelong contracts to design and build weapon systems for STaRK. To that end they may invoke coporate espionage, sabotage, hiring known criminals [and/or Axions] or any other method they can keep from STaRK's notice.
Zyu - September 25, 2011 06:19 AM (GMT)
Lesser groups exist within the Megacity, most either the small-time criminal sort, or a gang or minor faction.
Splicers - Cloning was outlawed almost a century ago by the War Council and High Marshal as an unstable, unsavory element within their city, however, the distribution of the genetic matrixes of long extinct creatures [since the end of WWIV] is a rapidly growing entreprise, one that flourishes in the city's underground markets. Splicers, dubbed such for their habit of infusing choice strands of animal DNA into their own, which endows them with animal-like traits for a short duration of time. Despite the extreme health risks associated with Splicing, many of the city's disenchanted youth engage in the practice. Splicing, being not only extraordinarily addictive, erodes the addicts genetic matrix causing them to decay which can lead to mental instability, dementia, psychotic episodes and ultimately death [via mutagenic decay]. Splicing has long been confirmed to carry great mutagenic capabilities.
Speeders - The Skygates speed limit is four-hundred miles per hour, yet that is not fast enough for this group. Speeders got their name from their tendency to hold impromptu drag races on active Skygate lanes amid local traffic. Speeding is highly illegal, STaRK created a special division devoted to pursuing and apprehending Speeders [those that survive]. Speeders cause nearly two hundred thousand vehicular accidents a year.
Gangs - Gangs usually occupy the slum areas as they reside in a region where STaRK's concerns seem to fall just short of. The total amount of gangs in the city is unknown, though their is no shortage of gang activity. Gangs can come in all sorts of varieties from humans only, to Axions to a mixture of both.
Cyborgs – Though STaRK was disallowed from mandating the remodifying of a significant portion of its work force into cybernetic beings, the study and application of Bio-Technics for civilian application is quite legal; the City Council outlawed merely the institution of forcing a human being to undergo Bio-Technic Reformatting, save in the case of an injured [or deceased] STaRK Operative, or by willful submission. As all STaRK personnel, whether military or within the civilian divisions, have agreed to the relinquishing of their physical remains upon the time of death [per the nature of the terms for registration at the Academy of Law], it is not an infraction of city law to utilize the corpses of the deceased in scientific or any enterprise STaRK may [legally] be obliged to pursue. Since the science of cloning-whether human or animal DNA-had been outlawed several decades ago, the field of Human Regenerative Pharmaceuticals had come to a screeching halt, however in its place arose a new field of study: Bio-Technics. Even with the automated simplicity of Megacity life, accidents do happen, and when such tragedies lead to the loss of a limb or damage to a vital organ, doctors can use cybernetic implants to replace those injured/lost limbs. Not at all intended for combat in any conventional sense of the word, civilian model cybernetic implants pale in comparison to those of soldiers and living war machines, but can possess a mild degree of attribute enhancing potential by the very nature of what they are, though by and large, they are designed to perform a simple function or emulate the capabilities of the limb it imitates. In laymen's term, civilian make cybernetic implants could be considered the 'floor model'. As such overexertion is extremely unwise. To date the ‘cyborg’ [ i.e. any living human being with any form of cybernetic/technological enhancements which sustains their life, or emulates a vital or life-sustaining process(es)] population of the Megacity is less than one percent of one percent.