Teaser: Sudamérica Part 1 [Trinity Continuum: Æon]
Welcome back! It’s been a few weeks since our last round of teasers for the core Trinity Continuum rulebook, so I asked Æon developer John Snead for a few tidbits for sharing. He gave me… well, he gave me a lot. Two teasers, but they’re each pretty big, so I’m splitting them each into two.
Here’s the first part of our first teaser, for Sudamérica. I figured we should start off with some familiar territory, which should give a decent overview of many of the nations which make up the continent, as well as give some hints as to the new direction we’re taking with some of the history and the Psi Orders (the Norça in particular).
Conflict has been the cornerstone of Sudamérica for centuries. A thousand forces continually pull at its social fabric, but fail to fully transform it. Instead, Sudamérica continues pushing forward. The continent is not a single, unified entity, but a collection of nations vying fiercely with each other for dominance. Their governments can be openly antagonistic, their economic policies downright predatory, but beneath that competition, a shared culture and identity has allowed Sudaméricans to face the challenges of past and present and take the reins of their own destiny.
The Nova Age pushed the nations of South America from the Third World into the First. Aided by their new heroes, South Americans began exploiting their natural resources at an unprecedented rate, leveraging their natural wealth against the needs of the rest of the planet. Without an advanced military to threaten them, Aberrants mostly left South America alone and only attacked targets of strategic importance to the United States and Europe, as well as factories established by foreign investment. These attacks were as rare as they were brutal. Aberrants transformed half of Venezuela into a living nightmare and pulverized much of Argentina’s infrastructure.
The Nova Age also gave birth to hundreds of small, remote settlements, which existed to extract local resources. Their only link to the rest of the world consisted of limited wireless connections. Isolation and spotty bandwidth spared much of the South American population from the Possession Crisis and the turmoil of the OpNet’s destruction. Here, the Urban Schism came early.
Rather than closing their borders after the Chinese Ultimatum, South American countries joined in a short-lived alliance, the Conferencia Sudaméricana de Reconstrucción y Comercio, or South American Conference for Reconstruction and Commerce was founded in 2068. Under this alliance, the members undertook an aggressive campaign to dominate their niches in the international market, and secure industrial selfsufficiency via expropriation and nationalization of local companies. This campaign prompted the change of “South America” into “Sudamérica” in common parlance, even if the Conference itself dissolved in 2076. Today, the Mayan League of Central America and the Andean Federation of Sudamérica’s western countries are the heirs of this alliance.
Able to meet the growing global demand by falling back on traditional ways of doing things, South America accelerated production and exploitation of natural resources. A growing number of people raised alarms about the potential risks for the environment, but most local governments ignored their concerns.
Governments continued to disregard the growing discontent about environmental destruction until a grassroots movement called Our Green Power, or Nossa Força Verde, began committing acts of virtual vandalism on the augmented reality landscapes of harvesting settlements across the Amazon. This campaign then swiftly spread to all of the Sudamérican cities.
“Nature is us,” “we are everywhere, we are everyone,” “the land is alive, and it watches.” These are but a few of the slogans that blocked digital adverts and corporate OpNet sites. All of these were signed by the Nossa Força Verde movement. The movement soon started leaking documents exposing dirty corporate deals and corrupt government officials, and then stories of lone activists sabotaging operations that were later proven to be abusing the local populace. Within two months, Nossa Força Verde had become a household name. Then the real ecoterrorism began.
Please Like and Share
Check this vid! It shows the governor of Quindio being bribed by a Lagos Metal rep! Did you hear they were letting them build a private cargo airport that would end up polluting the entire department? The people of Quindio and Colombia are against this! Spread it around to your contacts and help us stop this! Nature is us!
— Viral OpNet message, Nossa Força Verde, December 18, 2081.
The active hacktivism and sabotage inflicted by Nossa Força Verde was joined by actions by the common populace: sit-ins, blockades, and demonstrations. At the same time, small uprisings in remote settlements plagued every Sudamérican nation, often for reasons unrelated to environmentalism. The people demanded change.
In 2084, change arrived. The Mapuche Nation, formerly Chile, signed a new law granting proprietary rights to the genetic wealth of their land’s biodiversity to the indigenous people and the small settlements born from the Urban Schism. Over the next four years, the rest of Sudamérica followed suit.
With thousands of small holders who had grown up valuing the land around them, Sudamérica’s idea of progress shifted from a trickle-down structure to a grassroots-driven system. The Nossa Força Verde movement faded into a footnote of history, but its anonymous activists did not. They would resurface years later, this time as the Nova Força Nacional, or Psi Order Norça.
Sudamérica at a Glance
Sudamérica is thriving, buzzing with opportunities and enthusiasm. After long decades of struggling to maintain growth while averting ecological disaster, Sudaméricans can now feel proud of their achievements. Sudamérican competitiveness often leads to exchanges of blows at the personal level and outright sabotage between corporations and governments. Sudaméricans, however, have the strange ability to become best friends and allies after such clashes.
Sudamérica is a land of deep contrasts. The most advanced arcology projects cast their shadows upon the most destitute urban sprawls, and while poverty does not reach the depths found in the FSA and parts of Europe, inequality is an issue that most countries struggle with.
Sudamérica is at the forefront of scientific, social, and cultural progress; manufacturers churn out better apps every year and design the most advanced biotechnology outside Orgotek, ideas are freely discussed, and often put into motion, and millions dance at the beat of new and old Sudamérican bands. Augmented reality in Sudamérican arcologies and cities is an explosion of visuals and performance art, and a new generation adopts self-alteration not only as a form of personal expression, but also as an exploration of the self.
The Norça are media darlings in Sudamérica, and their open display of Biokinesis is pushing into the mainstream the notion that bodies are but tools of the soul. Permanent or transient body alteration is as much part of Sudamérican youth culture as clothing; it’s not strange to find people with odd skin color patterns walking openly with nobody even noticing, or sporting nonhuman traits like horns, cartilage formations or even extra limbs. Purists from other lands comment that Sudamérican arcologies often feel like alien planets from bad scifi vids.
Oceania’s Phibs and Selkies have terrestrial counterparts in Brazil; people with prehensile tails, second eyelids, cilium-covered hands or other alterations undertaken to work better under extreme conditions. The physical definition of what constitutes humanity is stretching thin in Sudamérica.
One of the southernmost nations of Sudamérica is struggling to find a place among its peers. Trying to participate in the Aberrant War cost Argentina half of its infrastructure and a series of inept governments squandered many opportunities and sunk the country in anarchy. General Ernesto Santander staged a coup and brought order through an iron fist. His dictatorship has softened as he grows older, but the country is still a haven for mercenaries and bandits, which the General has secretly co-opted, and made into Argentina’s main export.
The Andean Federation
Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru and the Mapuche Nation joined forces under the Federacion Andina de Comercio (FAC) to present a united front. Ecuador is the link between Sudamérica and space thanks to the Chimborazo Orbital Elevator finished in 2102, while Bolivia manages the Condor Patrols that keep safe the shared wildlands in the Andes and the Amazon; Peru is a media giant and secretly the home of elite spies of the Yana Llanthu. The Mapuche Nation connects its partners to the South Pole and provides a deterrent for Argentina.
There are only two arcology complexes in the FAC nations. The first is the sea and spaceport trade complex of Guayaquil, Ecuador, but the most important is the jointly built Tahuantinsuyo Arcology on the shores of Lake Titicaca, in Bolivia, which hosts the Federation’s joint administrative and political powers.
Today the Andean Federation is booming. Their economic and technological progress is mirrored by a spirit of social experimentation. Previously oppressed native groups like the Quechua, Aymara, and Mapuche are rising back into prominence, demolishing old prejudices and creating the largest population of mestizos in the continent.
What do you think of the new Sudamérica? The new Norça? What the heck is the Possession Crisis? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or on our forums.
Next week: Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, and more!