ghosttownapproach: (downcast)
Halloween Jack ([personal profile] ghosttownapproach) wrote2013-12-20 09:43 am

On Martian History [WIP]

Mars is shitwrecked. Basically. Let's preface with that.

There's certainly not even a hundred thousand of them left, and maybe not even fifty thousand. The surface is a horrible sun-baked ozone-layer-less hellscape that will blind you and sear your skin off if you go outside while the sun is up, and freeze you solid if you're out for too very long at night. The only water they have left is what they recycle from their bodily functions and what they can mine out of deep underground aquifers. They all know they're living on borrowed time. They all know they aren't going to last more than another generation or two. (And the whole time, they're receiving transmissions from another world just bursting with life, music and video... like it's taunting them, practically)

Pretty much all knowledge of their previous way of life was destroyed during the long wars (and we are talking centuries long), or afterward, when Prayer took over.

Prayer... the survivors of the long wars constructed him, in the hopes that he would save them from themselves, and fix all the damage they'd done to their world. This went... well. I can just link you for the general idea.

Some Martians fled his control -- fled from the Capitol (the only city really remaining) to the tunnels outside city limits. Basically trying to scrape out a life on cave fungus and farmed rats. A little commune was formed, called Freecloud. It's there that three brothers were born... blah blah. Prayer wiped that little smear out from underneath the mountain. But it became a bit of a symbol for those with rebellious spirits.

One of those brothers never forgot the dream of Freecloud. He floated at the edge of society for years, spreading the ideals and the ideas of the commune among the lower-classes and the disenfranchised and the criminals. A loose association of peoples that never really could do much against an omnipotent, omnipresent lunatic of an artificial intelligence.

But when Prayer fell... Well, there was chaos for a time. Naturally. But a mysterious figure took power, calling himself the Duke. (The Thin, White Duke, the people called him.) And he loosened some of Prayer's restrictions, but left far too many in place. And he wasn't omnipotent.

Jack and his allies thought it was an abomination that a living, breathing Martian would uphold the damn machine's laws. (Instead of tearing it all down completely, and reverting them all to the tribal times that they all sort of vaguely knew had existed at some point, and really heavily idealized.)

So that loose association solidified into something between a collection of small camps and 'tribes' in the tunnels along the outskirts of the Capitol or living in Hunger City above (more about Hunger City in a bit) and a charity organisation providing food and medicine to the poor, and a terrorist force nipping at the Duke's heels. All with sort of a 'get back to nature!' 'things were better when we all lived in mud huts!' sort of feel to it. They grow the cave fungus and they farm the rats. But they also live off the waste of the city, and really need them, more than many of them will admit.

Hunger City was one of the Duke's better ideas (or, as Jack would put it, 'his grace didn't know what he was getting into,' though I expect he did, at least partway) It was a project that restored one of the aboveground cities at least partially, testing the feasibility of aboveground restorations and salvage... and providing a convenient 'no man's land' destination for undesirables, so he didn't have to deal with their bullshit, while he was trying to keep the Capitol city running. It's partially aboveground, partially belowground. You can go outside, aboveground, at night, though it's fuckass cold and harsh. It's basically anarchist black market vegas-casablanca, a little bit. It's where the undesirables go, illegal activity takes place, city kits can get their rocks off, rebels can go do city things, and everyone is spying on everyone else.