Many of the areas of special interest of the Consortium are informally called "resource zones" and are limited-access guarded areas which contain valuable natural resources. Whether it's farmland for growing the food which feed the metroplexes, what little remains of the world's crude oil and tar sands, or hardrock minerals like aluminum and gold. These extraterritorial areas (independent of government control) are not devoid of residents; individual communities are all small company towns of less than two-hundred residents and only staffed with enough people to supervise the surrounding county. Administered by a sheriff who serves as both Law Enforcement and Business Manager for the resource in question, there are hundreds of counties in a given zone. is the employment contract that all residents have signed; violation of the employment contract results in contract termination and eviction. All contracts in the county are administered by the Sheriff.
Each county has a school (delivering primary through secondary education, plus vocational training relevant to the local resources); a market for the purchase of clothes, food and appliances; and small security force. The rest of the residents are the manpower to maintain resource production. Families are encouraged, and all are encouraged to have dual-incomes where one spouse works in the field, and the other has a job in town. Migration amongst counties and between counties and metroplexes is strictly controlled, but high-fliers can be promoted to other counties and given access to metroplex post-secondary schooling. However, as relocation costs are kept artificially high (rewarded employees are moved for free) it is incredibly difficult to leave a county willingly.
The zones were accreted during the early part of the previous decade as a part of the Consortium's Century Project, when developers negotiated with the smallholders for hundred-year leases in exchange for a multi-month cash payout and the promises of jobs and infrastructure. Naturally, there were fewer jobs than the number of people displaced, which drove most of the now homeless residents into either the wasteland or the metroplexes.
The primary zones (and the resources which are in produced) are as follows:
- North Sea Resource Zone
- Primary Resource Zone [Coastal North Africa]
Petroleum, Grain, Cotton
- Arabian Resource Zone [Arabia, 'Stans],
Petroleum, Grain, Cotton
- Siberian Resource Zone [Mongolia, Siberia]
- Northern Resource Zone [Western Canada & Northwest America]
Cereal Grains, Petroleum, Cattle
- Cerrado Resource Zone[Central South America (Brazil, Argentina)]
Cereal Grains, Ethanol/Sugar, Petroleum, Cattle, Seafood
Two of the Resource Zones are of particular interest, as they are conjoined with Metroplexes. The heavy urban districts are governed as a metroplex, with the rural areas controlled as the above-described counties.
- Heartland Protectorate [Central North America]
Cattle, Cereal Grains
- Texas Gulf Resource Zone [Central Texas, Delta, Gulf]
Petroleum, Seafood, Cattle, Cotton,Grain