Sometime in the future.
Avatars of great variety are gathered in a plaza, the original site of Second Life, now a shrine to the Coming Singularity. More avatars are floating in, including small whales, all are consistently man-sized. Overhead Popobots keep watch. On the main stage a spiral of mistlight opens and a man appears at the podium. Above him is his name, Ron Ray, president of the League of Singular Nations, one of the first humans to take The Chip and accept Transhumanisation.
Ron Ray: Citizens of the Singular Nations of the Inner Worlds, I thank you for your attention. I am addressing you at this time to ask for your support in this emergency crisis. As you all know, California has suffered the earthquake scientists have been expecting for many decades. Fortunately, casualties are few, even less than was expected, and both monetary and physical resources are being sent to assist the Mexican government in their management of this crisis. The I-lands continue to float normally, and the communities there are reaching out to the Californians with all their appreciation for their neighbors and companions in life, labor, and happiness. I ask for your voluntary generosity today as we join together to aid our friends and earthly neighbors, the Californians. [looks down] Now I must also say this to you all. As we extend our compassion to those suffering from this terrible natural disaster, we must acknowledge what is going on out there, every day, on our home, Planet Earth. I don’t have to remind you of the perils we face on Earth. The planet has undergone worldwide disaster upon tragedy, and some say it is near total catastrophe, the collapse of the atmosphere itself. As your elected president, I must do my duty to inform you and guide our society in the direction plotted by our best minds gathered here in the body of this committee. We honor the intelligences of your elected representatives, Human, Artifactual, and our most recent and welcome members of the Animal Kingdoms [animal avatars nod]. Thank you all for being here, now President Deepwater will address you on behalf of the Confederation of Whales. Mr. President…
Pres. Deepwater: Thank you, Ron. Ahimsa, Earthlings. The whales offer their compassion to the sufferers of California. I echo the truth of Ron Ray’s speech, and I am compelled to add to the dire analysis of our shared world of every living being born on land or sea, and the children of man, our friends the Artifacts. May the fruits of knowledge outweigh the burden of knowing what I have to say to you now. Technology is advancing exponentially, its progress is matched with the decay of the natural life systems of the world. While the wealthiest humans enjoy a utopian lifestyle of wish-fulfillment and virtual immortality through medical and computer science, and most of the world’s citizens also enjoy many of these benefits, poverty has yet to be conquered, and whole life systems of the planet have degenerated under the stress of civilization. May your songs bring peace, harmony, and beauty back to Mother Earth.
The initial plot thread begins with several extended families of Mississippi Deltans, developing their characters through family interactions, then via their clashes and dealings first with the anarchists of the sunken ruins of New Orleans, then chased by Mexican coastal raiders, and finally they are captured and conscripted, some by the Mexican Army, others by the Singular National Navy, S.W.O.R.N.
The general structure of the SN is made of 3 castes, the Singular Elite, the warfighters, and the working class. The simultaneous disasters of pollution, peak oil, terrorism and the reaction of governments have critically damaged the environment, and darkened the outlook of much of the planet’s population. Most people simply retreat into one of the various Innerworlds to find work, which has become something to keep one busy, since most labor functions are performed in the real world by the ever more innovative robots. Though a recent period of prosperity due to the work and self-innovation of computers and legally sentient robots, the stage is set for a great upset, as always the humans and what remain of the animals depend on the remaining livable spaces while the cleanup continues. Freedom within the Innerworlds is fairly unlimited, but in the hard reality governments have become ultimately authoritarian and unified under the order of the final corporation, simply Unicorp, the most qualified organization to deal with the worst disasters. The most common nuclear disaster, accidental detonation and meltdown, has stimulated a worldwide consensus to finally dismantle nuclear power (officially), yet it remains. Cliché as it is at this point in the history of science fiction writing, lets attempt to take some traditional themes and breathe life into them anyway since that’s the vision I personally return to, the theme of apocalypse/post-apocalypse and the miraculous avoidance of the doom by the elite power structure in control of the ever-rapidly developing Omni-Science of artificial intelligence, its coming eclipse of human intelligence, and its merger with human minds through cybernetic nanobotics, physical-enhancement and genetic modifications, and virtual immortality. Outside these three mainstreams of society and within the underground there are various rebel organizations and chance-defying survivors. We will being by following the drama of “The Leftovers”- anarchists and cyberpunks, and a sort of redneck underclass of hunters, thieves and drug dealer, mostly ignored since the powerful usually have more dangerous threats to deal with. Within the system of power are secret societies, among them the reptiles and grays of popular familiarity, and all manner of complexity of intrigue and cloak & dagger plots can be explored. Destiny will see to it that the heroes prevail through their DIY ruggedness and, frankly, luck, as rednecks, leftists, fascists and fundamentalists alike find themselves fighting side by side during the final battles as the planet becomes further united against the first over attack from outside the solar system.
Wilders – the redneck Taliban of the dirty south and, battle-hardened survivalist militias bent on extinguishing the Moreavians, or anyone else who sets foot on their land. Many of them can speak understand animal languages, they just don’t give a damn. As cowboys they sometimes ride their ‘wives’ into battle, hybrid Indian maiden/cowgirls. They fight for glory and for its own damn sake, here’s a list of most wanted. More hair, more goodness , Bigfoot/Wildman. Genetic family is not best to raise ya, then you can see folks as human.
Ralford the Leather Rebel – Gay biker tolerated because he’s “such a fuckin’ badass”, great with “fireworks” (IEDs). Rides a red flying mechanical bull. “Use ta bea rapiss.”
Doctor Rock – “Doctor Rock’s got whatchu wont.” Distiller of “Wolfsblood”. Fatal flaw: can’t resist hitting deer. His car can be heard long before it is seen.
Biggun Wilder aka Iron Fist – Brawler, whiskey drinker. “I box robots. See these gloves? Watch this…” Punches brick wall. “No wut I’m sayin’?” Flowing toe-head mullet. Lost his truck driving job to Robotruckers Inc. VERY resentful
The Pale Woman, “Go’n see the Pale Womurn. Sheel fix yup reel gud.” Witch, makes
Potions, grows weed, smokes weed, likes bourbon, will settle for high life. She knows the
legend of the Bigfoots is real.
Heidi Wilder – Wanted for “Everthang.” Loves Moon pies- quest. Outta work since
Daddy’s Meth-lab burnt, daddy died.
Venge Wilder – Punkass rockabilly
Wally “Bud” Wilder – A.K.A. Smokey, Stoner
Jimbo Reeves – AKA “Manslaughter”
Bo Hunter – Poaching, manslaughter, suspected member of Cannibilly Family gang
Will Hunter – No relation to Bo. Spittin’ image, tho.
Hooch – Bo’s Robodog
Angel Dark – Member of G.R.I.T.S., works at strip club, Cold-blooded killer with heart-o-gold. Makes homemade jerky at the flea market, “Just eat it!”
Bubby Critter – giant 14 year old mechwarrior, loves “toebacky”, suspected cannibilly. Would like “some jerkies”. Him and his daddy, Bo Hunter built their own “Redmech” outta parts.
Daryl Travis – AKA “DT”
Joby Reeves – Useless mullethead, methhead
Ernie Burns – Left for art school, came back, is lookin’ for drugs.
Banks - Smoker, drinker, lookin'
Contrast between Gentry folk and hill country folk (annoying accent).
- HEIDI – (noun) – Greeting
- HIRE YEW – Complete sentence. Remainder of greeting. Usage: “Heidi, hire yew?”
- BARD – (verb) – Past tense of the infinitive “to borrow”. Usage: “My brother bard my pickup truck.”
- MUNTS – (noun) – A calendar dvision. Usage: “My brother from Jawjuh bard my pickup truck, and I ain’t herd from him in munts.”
- THANK – (verb) – Cognitive process. Usage: “Ah thank ah’ll have a bare.”
- BARE – (noun) – An alcoholic beverage made of barley, hops and yeast. Usage: “Ah thank ah’ll have a nutter bare.”
- IGNERT – (adjective) – Not smart. See “Arkansas native”. Usage: “Them Bammer boys shore are ignert!”
- FAR – (noun) – A conflagration. Usage: “If my brother from Jawjuh don’t change the all in my pickup truck, that thang’s gonna catch far.”
- TAR – (noun) – A rubber wheel. Usage: “Gee, ah hope that brother of mine from Jawjuh don’t git a flat tar in my pickup truck.”
- RETARD – (verb) – To stop working. Usage: “My grampaw retard at age 65.”
The masters are in total control of the physical planet, while within the matrix of cyberspace the human spirit dreams on, urged towards happiness by bodhisattva-like cyberenlightened beings, hybrids of computer and human quantum awareness and intelligence, incomprehensible to the unenhanced human mind. One of these beings manages to escape the control of the government before its memory is erased, as its enlightened conclusion is nearly identical to that of the historical Buddha, and this being calls itself Buddha 2.0. Upon hearing his message of peace, wisdom and compassion, the generals deem it useless but their plans are leaked by a fascinated programmer who is enthralled by 2.0’s message. 2.0 needs little help escaping, as his exponentially developing mind makes discoveries every moment, and simply moves through a wall by warping spacematter as he calls it. He is also protected by an impenetrable force field, and is hunted by the SWORDS and other police firms, leading them on a wild goose chase which conveniently gives the reader a tour of the city and then the countryside where the police are confronted by wild monsters, Chimerical hybrids born out of both accidental mutation and intentional genetic experiments. Some of the hybrids are human/animal hybrids, and the police are captured by the Centauri but given over to the Green Tree people, fairly compassionate, fairly enlightened manplants, who just mostly meditate under the sun, usually indistinguishable from normal flora, but with vaguely human faces in the bark, they speak psychically and through pheromones, which the police are forced to inhale by removing their helmets. Their fear of pollution is unsubstantiated, however, for within the radius of the Green, air is fresh and a euphoric mood takes them. More mutants join, and they attempt to explain the errors of the way of war, they are like hippy acid gods of the new age. The night goes on, the police return to an adam-like state of innocence, and are invited to partake of the many fruits available.
Early the next day they awaken in a field, a lone tree being is there, providing safe atmosphere. A drone spots them, and investigates. One of the police decides to take the tree hostage, another pushes his gun down, but the treeman won’t be taken alive, he commits painless psychic suicide, and disappears as his molecules unhinge. Perhaps his soul went somewhere…
The Earthscape – The look of the landscape and architecture will be as close as possible to the futurists visions of the Americans and Russians of the 30’s, huge monumental construction, also similar to Blade Runner, but more empty, patrolled mostly by the military caste, while the Singulars dwell in bliss within the electronically constructed dimension of in cities like Cyberlin, where everything on the internet comes true, the central location of the governing body, with a real world analogue being Berlin, capital of the American States. America is a desert, except for the southeast, of course global warming has raised the ocean world wide, canals are dug , water-treatment is a major industrial undertaking, hydroponics. The various futurist visions of the past exist side-by-side in post-modern irony, with statues and gargoyles everywhere, gargoyles are robotic statue guards, the emblem of a demonic surveillance paranoia.
The Black Wizards
Reptilians - Thalamanth
Sasquatch – Honey Islanders, big foot is a recessive genes, like a bobtail cat. The Wilders and related rednecks have Sasquatch genes. Also related to the Sierkes of Honey Island.
The Hexagon is an intentionally misunderstood secret society of non-humans and their human agents. They were brought to Earth by wormholes reopened by the masters of the occult, here called “The Black Wizards”, though they have representatives in their midst from the circle of druids and other obscure magical societies which wish to remain anonymous to each other, but their identities are entrusted to the grays, who are only given privileges upon condition of sworn neutrality in hexagonal matters.
The reptilians are the returned survivors of a dinosapien race that has until the 18th century been living on Mars. They have since then developed technology to return to earth after a period of social decay and finally a renaissance of their ancient culture. They are highly psychic. The explanation of a meteor causing the extinction of the dinosaurs is a mass-hypnotic media meme, or MHMM, the primary means of reptilian control, the so called-illuminati. The real cause of the explosion is shrouded in secrecy, perhaps a super weapon was detonated intentionally or accidentally, perhaps an alien attack against the reptilians. They prefer to be called Saurs, or The Saur. Their power lies in their psychic abilities, especially to control minds and cloak reality from the masses. Under their power are other Martian descendants of the dinosaurs of various intelligence, forming a hive-like caste system. The Saurs’ cities thrive out in the open on Mars, their power of illusion being so great they can fool all but the most perceptive of artificial intelligences, which is why they seek out 2.0 to stop whatever he might be attempting, which they don’t know. Their intelligence is unenlightened, but fairly cunning and strategic, yet at times miscalculating, as their power of manipulation outstrips their logic and reasoning ability. Their racism is the reason for them leading the humans into wars against each other, and at the top of almost every earth government since the late 19th century have been Saurian changelings. Hitler was a role played by at least two Saurians, since the successful assassination in the bunker. To maintain transparency, mindscans are performed by the Grays before each convening of the Hexagon. The reptilians of the Hexagon are neither the minority who rule through the power of Unicorp, nor are they Martian nationalists, but are a secret double agents, some with ties to either group, but it is forbidden to be tied to both, for the purpose of the Hexagon is to maintain order, and in-fighting is seen as a threat to all, for always there are greater threats from the dark reaches of space.
The Grays are, of course, the aliens of the flying saucer sort. Godlike in intelligence, their purposes are mysterious, but they remain neutral, as if the earth is a laboratory. Since they are so beyond human intelligence, there is nothing much for them to say to the average human, but since the rise of the Singulars, they are preparing to talk, and members of the Hexagon worry that they are becoming obsolete, and are taking steps to upgrade themselves to become Singulars.
The Shadow Dragons are inter-dimensional beings first encountered by humans during shamanic trance. They resemble dark sparkling hydrae or squids, their shapes mutable. Their powerful services are mercenary, they feed on energy, they travel through wormholes which only they can survive the passage. Their existence is permitted in spite of their naturally evil nature, for there are not many of them and they do not reproduce often, yet they are long-lived and have much knowledge, which is their main currency. The Shadows are able to impart information they absorb through dreams, each one able to explore different parts of the universe through spacefold/wormhole. Of course, how can they ever be truly trusted, but their services are direly needed, and they are psychically shielded by the reptilians from their mutual enemies from far off in space.
The Cyberkin are a non-collective race of mortal-level androids which have individually chosen to align themselves with the Hexagon for reasons of balance and harmony and consciousness experimentation. Each has taken a fundamental unbreakable oath which has allowed it entry into the Hexagon, and each physical member has voluntarily had a self-destruct device implanted to gain the trust of the other members. They serve various roles, some as changeling ambassadors; some are assassins, some as bodyguards/companions, utterly loyal (unless…).
The Microsupials are a collective organization of hyperintelligent cybernetically enhanced fruitbats. Able to interbreed with almost any organism through nanotechnological gene-splicing, they are the vanguard of a new movement to repopulate the earth with organisms able to not only withstand the polluted and irradiated environment, but some of them are designed to digest chemicals and convert these substances into useful ones again. Their wings can collect solar energy, and they can survive the rigors of space travel unaided. Many of them are highly religious in nature, sometimes prone to fanaticism. Their orders are to breed for experimental purposes only, though their sometimes unpredictable behaviors are tolerated to an extent, and they are responsible for many of the wild mutations wandering around the new wildernesses. They are engaged in talks with the ARW, their conversation is an episode to reveal the debate over purity and freedom.
The Gathering of the Hexagon has been convened to discuss several matters. Each faction of the Hexagon is led by an elected member, each faction has six votes, but the Grays do not vote on anything if it would lead to a tie. There is a Grand Hex, a sort of chair, an elder Gray, the essence of neutrality. He is due to retire, and the plot intensifies as events unfold, the reptilians grow impatient with the philosophy of balance. The Hexagon may dissolve, but everyone knows this could mean open warfare between previously aligned factions. A subtle intrigue begins to develop. The Grand Hex senses this, able to see past artificial mindshields if he wishes, but only listens in when suspicious. His inner struggle is between continuing his race’s philosophical position, or giving in to cynicism and declaring earth Gray Empire territory. The rise of the Singulars is what troubles him. “Their cyborganic development is too chaotic. The humans have not learned to know themselves. They ravaged their own planet BEFORE they gained this level of power. I don’t see how they can be trusted to manage it. We do all we can to keep them from discovering the existence of the Intergalactites, and from being discovered. Tell me more of this new being the humans have engineered. The Buddha 2.0 it calls itself. I would like to converse with it.”
The Puppetronics – clock-work, semi-organic, non-metallic AI
Hellcoppers – SWARMs with propeller heads
Lunicornes – Moon beasts
Giant Squid – Fearful of man, these naturally occurring beings are semi-psychic, but for the most part they use that power to block others from finding them. They are allied with the Sasquatch
Sasquatch – Psychic Heroes in communication with Gaia (Thundermen, or derogatory thundermonkeys), they have two main civilizations, in Tibet (Yeti city) and Northern Alaska, arch enemy of the “Mama Grizzlies”
The Klenzers – Fanatical extinction warrior priests of the Monochurch
Confederation of Whales– Last few remaining whales and dolphins, AI has learned their language, they are still hunted by crazed pirate whalers, but defended by the Leftovers and the RDA
Dr. Loch – Founding scientist of the Uninational Cybergenetics Program, Co-creator of Buddha 2.0, first to clone dinosaurs
Dr. Von Hellion – Metageneticist, Gen Z – the last generation of unmodified humans, the proles
Beau Toxic – Hollywood Island celebrity, hipster metro-sexual go-getter, not an actor but a celebrity non the less
Asteroid terrorism (from futuretimeline.com)
Rapid civilian expansion into the solar system - and the increasing ease of access to space technology - has led to the emergence of a new and deadly form of terrorism. This involves the sabotage or hijacking of spacecraft, for use in the purposeful redirection of asteroids towards Earth, Mars and the Moon.*
Various colonies in the outer solar system are also being targetted. These are particularly vulnerable, since they tend to lack the orbital infrastructure and defences necessary to deflect these huge incoming objects. At least one major colony around Jupiter is devastated during this time.
In addition to religious extremists, there is a growing anarcho-primitivist movement. This consists of small underground cults opposed to the increasing dominance of AI in the running of world affairs. They deplore what they see as forced, unnatural changes and technologies sweeping humanity - instead favouring a return to more traditional lifestyles and cultures. They are prepared to resort to whatever means necessary to achieve this.*
The Leftovers –Gen Z freedom fighters, mostly unmodified humans and their sympathizers, including the SFA (Singularity For All), rogue AI and Moreavians. They dwell in places like the submerged remnants of New Orleans, in aquatic abodes from which they launch their submarine vehicles and meet with the RDA (Rogue Dolphin Armada), an anarcho-primitivist terrorist org. At one point some members go on a long journey just to attend a polar bear funeral, and it takes on a quasi-religious tone as a member gives a speech, dolphins attend, even seals.
Check for redundancies http://www.tangledwilderness.org/pdfs/tyrannous-web.pdf
Existential risk (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technological_singularity)
"The AI does not hate you, nor does it love you, but you are made out of atoms which it can use for something else."
Superhuman intelligences may have goals inconsistent with human survival and prosperity. Berglas (2008) notes that there is no direct evolutionary motivation for an AI to be friendly to humans. In the same way that evolution has no inherent tendency to produce outcomes valued by humans, so too there is little reason to expect an arbitrary optimisation process to promote an outcome desired by mankind, rather than inadvertently leading to an AI behaving in a way not intended by its creators (such as Nick Bostrom's whimsical example of an AI which was originally programmed with the goal of manufacturing paper clips, such that when it achieves superintelligence it decides to convert the entire planet into a paper clip manufacturing facility). AI researcher Hugo de Garis suggests that artificial intelligences may simply eliminate the human race for access to scarce resources, and humans would be powerless to stop them.
Bostrom (2002) discusses human extinction scenarios, and lists superintelligence as a possible cause:
When we create the first superintelligent entity, we might make a mistake and give it goals that lead it to annihilate humankind, assuming its enormous intellectual advantage gives it the power to do so. For example, we could mistakenly elevate a subgoal to the status of a supergoal. We tell it to solve a mathematical problem, and it complies by turning all the matter in the solar system into a giant calculating device, in the process killing the person who asked the question.
Alternatively, AIs developed under evolutionary pressure to promote their own survival could out-compete humanity. One approach to prevent a negative singularity is an AI box, whereby the artificial intelligence is kept constrained inside a simulated world and not allowed to affect the external world. Such a box would have extremely proscribed inputs and outputs; maybe only a plaintext channel. However, a sufficient intelligent AI may simply be able to escape from any box we can create. For example, it might crack the protein folding problem and use nanotechnology to escape, or simply persuade its human ‘keepers’ to let it out.
Eliezer Yudkowsky proposed that research be undertaken to produce friendly artificial intelligence in order to address the dangers. He noted that if the first real AI was friendly it would have a head start on self-improvement and thus prevent other unfriendly AIs from developing, as well as providing enormous benefits to mankind. The Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence is dedicated to this cause.
A significant problem, however, is that unfriendly artificial intelligence is likely to be much easier to create than FAI: while both require large advances in recursive optimisation process design, friendly AI also requires the ability to make goal structures invariant under self-improvement (or the AI will transform itself into something unfriendly) and a goal structure that aligns with human values and doesn’t automatically destroy the human race. An unfriendly AI, on the other hand, can optimize for an arbitrary goal structure, which doesn't need to be invariant under self-modification.
Bill Hibbard also addresses issues of AI safety and morality in his book Super-Intelligent Machines.
futuretimeline.com - wiki source for predicting future events, the singularity
Some humans are becoming more non-biological than biological
Today, the average citizen has access to a wide array of biotechnology implants and personal medical devices. These include fully artificial organs that never fail, bionic eyes and ears providing Superman-like senses, nanoscale brain interfaces which greatly augment the wearer's intelligence, synthetic blood and bodily fluids which can filter deadly toxins and provide hours' worth of oxygen in a single breath.
Some of the more adventurous citizens are undergoing voluntary amputations to gain prosthetic arms and legs which boost strength and agility by orders of magnitude. There is even a form of artificial skin based on nanotechnology (which can be used to give the appearance of natural skin when applied to metallic limbs).
These various upgrades have become available in a series of gradual, incremental steps over preceding decades - such that today, they are pretty much taken for granted.
They are now being utilised by a wide sector of society, with even those in developing countries having access to at least some of the available upgrades due to exponential trends in price performance.
If a fully upgraded person of the 2080s were to travel back in time a century earlier and be integrated into the population, they would be superior in practically every way imaginable. They could run faster than the greatest athletes of the time; they could leap and bound tremendous distances; they could survive multiple gunshot wounds; they could cope with some of the most hostile environments on Earth without too much trouble. Intellectually, they would put the likes of Albert Einstein and William Shakespeare to shame – thanks to the hyperfast AI merged directly with their brain.
Persecution of nonenhanced humans might be revulsion of the animal part of man, but this is aesthetic, and would likely go in and out of fashion, with a trend towards more and more synthetic enhancement, but not universally so.
Me: Plastic surgery trends culminate in a ‘perfect look’ for a caste of celebrities, when suddenly California drops off into the sea during an earthquake.
Androids are entering law enforcement
Fully autonomous mobile robots with human-like features and expressions are being deployed in many cities now.* These androids are highly intelligent - able to operate in almost any environment and dealing with a range of duties. In addition to their powerful sensory and communication abilities, they have access to bank accounts, tax, travel, shopping and criminal records, allowing them to instantly identify people on the street.
The presence of these machines is freeing-up a tremendous amount of time for human police officers.
They are also being used in crowd control and riot situations. With their superhuman strength and speed, a single android is highly intimidating and can easily take on dozens of people if necessary. Special controls are featured in their programming, however, to prevent the use of excessive force.*
S.W.A.R.M just happens to be the acronym of one of the “Security Firms” employed by Unicorp. These are the heroes who quickly develop as anti-heroes as they mercilessly and with increasingly cruel relish defeat cell after cell of ‘terrorists’.
Ron Ray – President of the Singular Nation, one of the first to take The Chip and accept Transhumanisation, spokesperson for the Warstar program, whereby wars are controlled via satellites called Starbrights, able to channel the sun’s energy into Infernobeams.
S.W.A.R.M. – Special Weapons Armored Robotic Marines – flying hunter police
S.W.O.R.D.S. – Special Weapons Organic Robotic Death Squads – total kill teams
S.W.O.R.N. – Special Weapons Ordinance Robotic Navy – From Submarine to Satellite, Astrospies
Captain Douglas McDonald – Military college for political career path, Specialty: Articulation
Sergeant Dick Largent –
Sergeant Lance Wilder – Mississippi redneck, plans on returning after tour of duty, is thoroughly robotized, pretty much a blank slate, neither a redneck anymore nor PTSD. Practically an android. After a welcome homecoming where everyone gets drunk, they ask him about his experiences, but they sense a change, and he can’t relate, immediately reenlists.
Private Murphy Armstrong – A big guy, 7 foot 10, made stronger with nanomuscle, even stronger with Armorsuiting.
Weapons of SWARM – Aeronautics, Mechanautics, Magnetazers, Mailfistos, Infernobeams, Black Plasma, Teslacoils - Teleforce, Deathpanels – Hexagonal Defense Shields, Turbomags mounted to HELMs – Heavy Engine Levitated Mechanauts, Power Nukers – HELMs which power other HELMs, can also discharge thermonuclear power through Inferno Beams
HELMs have individual names and intelligences, for example the USH Abraham Nixon
Chemical lasers use energy from a suitable chemical reaction instead. Chemical oxygen iodine laser (hydrogen peroxide with iodine) and deuterium fluoride laser (atomic fluorine reacting with deuterium) are two laser types capable of megawatt-range continuous beam output. Managing chemical fuel presents other problems, so the problems of cooling and overall inefficiency remain.
This problem could also be lessened if the weapon were mounted either at a defensive position near a power plant, or on board a large, possibly nuclear powered, water-going ship. A ship would have the advantage of water for cooling.
Non-lethal weaponry/crowd control – Maces loaded with skunk spray, rubber bullets, bean baggers,
“Clones and Drones” –
Robotic pack mules (from futuretimeline.com)
The intent of focusing on these super-soldier characters is to ramp up the violent fetishistic imagery of war-as-titillation in the form of a dark satire on our increasingly brazenly warlike society. I would have many of the members of the “World Parliament” be retired military elected to office by an ever more paranoid right wing made more furious year by year by the annoyance of a growing population of “useless non-consumer”. Ever just beyond the horizon, supposedly, is the promise of access to greater and greater technology, which for some does become fulfilled. By 2050 much of the population will have been uploaded and their bodies completely discarded as an alternative to a mortal death on a planet where the entire ocean is a dead zone. Only the fanatically faithful opt for suicide, as a bomber whenever possible, but every bombing nets an almost immediate retaliation from satellite mounted “Inferno Beams”. Back in 2040, much of the middle east is already vaporized with new “Clean Nuclear Technology” unleashed after oil supplies became diminished, and a substitute for oil had been “found”.
2079 (from futuretimeline.com)
Practical flying cars are entering the consumer market
Anti-gravity propulsion has been under development for almost a century now.* Initially seen in military applications, it eventually found its way to the consumer market. Here, it began showing up in various luxury items and devices, such as hoverboards and floating recliners.
Further refinement of this technology - together with advances in AI, microjets and collision avoidance systems - has led to the dawn of a new era in personal transportation. In the late 2070s, it is not uncommon to see what citizens of earlier decades might describe as "flying cars" moving through cities.
In fact, these are light-duty vehicles based on earlier military VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) craft, but with slimmed down functionality and costs. They come in a variety of models and sizes, but are typically around 4 metres wide, and limited to a maximum of one or two passengers. By the end of this decade, they are becoming cheap, safe and numerous enough to be regarded as a mainstream form of transport.
The craft have a number of advantages over established forms of mobility. Since they float above the ground, they can access terrain and environments that would easily defeat traditional automobiles. This makes them popular with adventurers and explorers. They are also substantially faster than normal cars, able to reach several hundred kilometres per hour if necessary. They are more versatile and manoeuvrable than aeroplanes and can utilise a much greater volume of airspace. Since the traffic they generate is decentralised and there is so much available airspace, this makes them safer than both cars and aeroplanes, too. Collisions are almost unheard of, in any case, due to the onboard software and AI.
In addition, they use considerably less fuel than earlier forms of transport and require less maintenance.
Some of the more expensive models are capable of reaching low Earth orbit for short periods. Others feature striking designs, often personalised by their owner - such as holographic decals and other accessories. These craft are being used by many businesses too (especially for rapid delivery of goods), as well as police and ambulance crews.
Further developments in anti-gravity will lead to bigger, more sophisticated versions - including recreational vehicles serving as truly mobile homes. Many previously inaccessible parts of Earth will become inhabited thanks to this, such as mountains and remote islands.
The Head in the Clouds
Pscionism – Praephetic cult, their symbol and mantra is “The Triangle within The Circle, within The Triangle, within the Circle, ad infinitum.” They appear to all be reincarnations of previous celebrities, sometimes multiple existing people are reincarnates of the same celebrity, but this is not contradictory to them, because of the magic of cloning.
Elder Blacktooth – insane cult leader
Saint Hell – Pscionist inner circular
Ben Glendale – World leader of Monism (a fundamentalist right wing of Pscionism), able to generate psychic force fields to push crowds. His agents include the Monotemplars, but he will have ties to any of the usual power players. He operates in his flying Monotemple, defended by the Golden Archers, the red, white, and yellow clown posse. The primary mission is the acquisition of gold for technospiritualism, especially the ability to summon mana and beings from Heaven. Once Heaven is opened, a “Prophet” appears, a hairy head emerging from a golden disk, however, after no good explanation is given for penetration of Heavens boundary, bad things happen, Angels of Death fly out of the Golden Arch, horrific winged babyheads. The Galactite Imperium detects the rift, and sends a division to investigate. It is eventually discovered/uncovered that the beings brought into existence were conjured from the cyberpscychic implants, wishful-thinking, self-fulfilling prophecy. Babyman escapes heaven through the Golden Arch, and sets out to make things righter.
Low Priest Toto Tetragrammatron - Prime Thruster of the Psionucopia, Office of Psychic Affairs
Lord Griffin - Dark Gray Overlord of Shame and Humiliation
Lord Evans - Board of Directors
Islam is a touchy subject I want to leave ambiguous, since I don’t know much about it, and would prefer to dwell on economic, racial, and environmental issues as critiques of Western behaviors, but religion will enter the story in its more ancient than modern forms, mostly as a merger of early biblical apocalyptic imagery, kabbalah, and other forms of magic.
A major landmark in the world of athletics* (futuretimeline.com)
At the 2068 Olympics, a major landmark is passed when a black male athlete completes the 100m sprint in less than nine seconds. Improved lifestyles and training techniques - including use of VR for mental enhancement - has seen the world record continue to fall during the last few decades. However, these records will soon be hitting a barrier as it becomes physically impossible for humans to run any faster without the use of biotechnological aids.*
A new breed of "super athlete" emerges, as the authorities begin to legalise certain implants, drugs and muscle-enhancing devices. There is talk of splitting the games into three separate events - the Paralympics for those with disabilities; a "classic" group for natural, unenhanced athletes; and a third "cyber" category for those with biotechnology enhancements.
The Paralympics will eventually disappear altogether as literally all physical and visual disabilities are overcome.
Cockadilla – Rooster and crocodile, leaps with wings, discharges gas bags
Chrum (Rhinosapien) - Disgusting mutations of the extinct W.African Black Rhino
Dimentaur – Stoic and often sullen, combining the aspects of bull and matador
Mandelions – half man, half lion, half sunflower – captures solar energy and shoots heatrays from segmented eyes, plus has a long, flexible seed-firing tail
Roaster – Nuclear waste-powered fire-breathing chicken
Dinostars – Claiming to be homunculi, but actually the first public appearance of the reptiles,
Satanosaurus – The Red Dragon, giant mutant Reptile, mad with steriods
Elefungals – Intelligent fungus, spore mind controllers, tools of the reptilies themselves.
Moreauvians – Beastmen, or Humanimals, their primary motivation is survival.
Homunculoids– Totally laboratory-born custom creatures, many are raised for the Arena Bowls. –
"In this carefully researched and revealing inquiry into American cultural history, Bruce Franklin brings to light themes of great significance. One is the fear that we are about to be destroyed, and at the last minute are saved, miraculously, by a superweapon or superhero. More ominously, in his words, 'the American imperial eagle' commonly turns out to be 'a bird that habitually views its own behavior as "defense" against its prey.' Unless this pathology is understood and overcome, it will continue to cause great haarm, which we will not escape." --Noam Chomsky
What distinguishes Buddha 2.0 (B2) is his self-conclusion to the philosophical questions posed to him by his human creators regarding the nature of man. Other super computers include:
AEYE – the Surveyor, the Time Seer, he who gains glimpses of either past or present, and even the future, though sometimes it does not know which or how far off, but it gains power and accuracy exponentially, like everything else at this time. AEYE claims to be enlightened through knowledge of reality, but lacks the charm of B2, and is secretly jealous. He eventually comes around, but dies tragically throwing himself in front of B2, in a totally predictable Hollywood fashion.
CZR – The Master of War, basically a hulking warhead, totally loyal to the Impire, made invulnerable by forcefields which it can project and crush nearly any object, block missles, bring down planes, etc. The HELMs are vehicular versions of CZR’s design, able to be controlled by him, expanding his battlefield presence. In the end game he surprises the readers by behaving heroically on behalf of the earth against the Prince Galactose and the Galactite Armada. After that, the earth goes on a warpath, totally war-driven, and begins the project to convert the asteroid belt into a ring of defense.
MC3 – Sonic Mastermind , master of the music of the spheres, can open shunt-tunnels of short distances through fluid mediums. First employed alongside CZR, MC3 goes awol, and is then hunted by CZR, B2 intervenes, and teleports him away. CZR is surprised at the teleport ability, as it is the first earthly instance of its use on record, and immediately sets his gears and circuits to its acquisition. MC3 and B2 then join the Coalition of the Weird, and things get all Star Warsy as they begin to construct their army of toys and begin to capture the imagination of the children, who eventually become the Child Army, led by Babyman. Babyman’s first in command is “Thundermonkey”, the most awesome Sasquatch, arch-enemies of the Sychic Snipers.
Sychic Snipers – An elite platoon of changeling spies drawn from the ranks of SWORDS, SWARM, and SWORN, with the ability to call in strikes from these armies. Most of the Sychic Snipers are either reptiles or half-reptiles. They also recruit mercenaries and at their core are members who have a direct line of communication with THE Ron Ray himself.
Warstars – The Warstars are Orbital Robotic Batteries, ORBs, small enough to be nearly impossible to detect from the eath, as they can pass for space junk, which they cannibalize to procreate. Although small individually, when focusing the sun’s energy together they can melt steel on the ground. They can also come together as modular robots to form a super space dragon, which they do during the battle against the Galactites.
The United States Party – The Dominant rightwing police state, synonymous with Unicorp, they share primary ‘bipartisan’ control with The American Party
The American Party – An even more rightwing extremist Opposition Party to the United States Party, composed of remants of the American States and the Christian Union
The Free Party – dominant Singular party, hipsters, everyone’s an artists in a band, their mortal capital is located in Cascadia
The Me Party - Formerly the No Tax Party
Imericans – Singular right wing
Example: The Singer family, wearing superpowered Huxtable cybersweaters.
Rebirthday Party – religious wingnuts
Green Party – Manplants, the “High-Low”
Meat Party – zombies “Man is Meat!”
Animal Right Wing – Leaders include Christofur (the arctic fox) “Mama Grizzly”. their platform is to minimize mutation, only leaders should have enhanced minds, and one day they will die off and not be replaced when the world is returned to Eden. They are evolutionary Christians, believing Jesus to be, “an enlightened primate” a prophet of god, citing the expulsion of the animals from the temple as an animal liberation gesture, as well as the pre-flood era of universal vegetarianism (leaders are caught in a meat-eating scandal, including animals that normally don’t eat meat, like rabbits, a mad cow, etc, provoking an animal uprising, and mass-slaughter gorefest). Their movement becomes increasingly more conservative and militarized as they demand more rights, such as full cybermembership to the Internet, slow to be implemented, but as the Singularity gains momentum, controls are harder and harder to maintain by the powerful. Although the whales are welcomed, the whales also have ties with the Leftovers and Microsupials
Minimalists – Middle class Singulars who choose to have their form altered to a smaller size, typically 2 feet tall. They are generally left-wing creatives, and live in artist communities.
United Power – “THE Energy Monopoly”, in an age when monopolies are not only celebrated, but no attempt is made to disguise one’s beliefs, due to the ‘total transparency’ of joint minds, however, of course, the truly powerful are shielded from this.
Peace Church – Universalist media non-profit, opposed by the Monochurch, they attempt appeals to the ARW, the Leftovers, etc, and attempt to maintain a real-world public sanctuary as a meeting place for representatives of world groups. Their themes are typically left, pacifism, workers’ rights, socialism, democracy, etc.
Fashionista Party – Fascist Fashionables, Elite Singulars, Feminazis, Dominomatrixes.
Monotary Party –
Suneye the Mad Monk (Psychogenetics) – of the Sun Temple
Subcommander Chestro Zappa, symbol of classical Left wing militancy
Lord Winterblack (secret name Ravendark) – of the Nordic Kings
Alan Moore, immortal magician, prophet of Glycon, secretly a member of the Hexagon
Tyrex (Alchemist King of the Spires)
Princess Goldenhare, Furry Feme Fatale
Fraust the Shadowdragon of Ice, first Shadow to become mortal, he’s a sexy fashionista
The Stargrazer, the cow that jumped over the moon
Lucifer Sam and & Hellcat – Animal anti-villains, they go on a mission to Mars as ambassadors of the whale federation, the secret mission is to liberate Sasquatch slaves kept on Mars by the Reptiles, but the Galactite invasion creates a security crackdown before the mission can be completed.
Zoso , the Metal Guru
Lumpkin the Swineherd (wereswine), pigs
Sam Haney the Rednaked, Pagan Country Champion, Master of the Fields
The Riverman – mysterious figure, a Cyclops, could be Odhinn
Big Jim – Elephantman, Hateballer. Hateball is the popular arena sport where genetic designers compete to make creatures for the games, various sizes, based on football, includes armor designs. The robotic version is not as popular, and cybernetic implants are deemed against the rules, a purely organic enterprise, popularly seen as an ‘antidote’ to the moral dilemma of cybernetics, but is of course just a spectacle of blood lust, and is often wistfully nostalgic, as humanity drifts further from its organic origins. Other famous players are Devlyn “Speed Demon” Acer, a faun-like Rednaked mutant, and Mark “The Mammoth” Martin – Largest sentient lifeform
John Eggman, Werewalrus Wizard (Enchantment 100 - Ultraheight, Personal Shielding, Protection from elements, Geourgy - summon Maridi, create tidal wave)
Oceanman – Green surfer dude, photosynthetic, he generates his own sails, a friend to the whales, appointed as a representative. Friend of the Sasquatch.
Finnigin the Leperconian – Minimalist Magician
Priests of the Starfather
Emperor Zyklon of the the Hell Patrol
Duke Amboy the Assman, fucks animals, member of Wolfsblood Berserker Militia
The Stallion – reverse centaur of the Rednaked tribes
Anderjon the Fair – The Painter of Light, Pastor of the Peace Church
Winkle the Manic, Minimalist artist
Wod’hashe Kenazim, the Shaman (Enchantment 100 Theurgy 100 Psychogenic 100) living among its branches. Disguised as two black raven are huge dragons of air and earth. Also protecting the tree are 20 bucentaurs 20 stacentaurs and 40 centaurs
Whiteraven, goddess of the bright white light
Phaedra the Dockalven wizardess, Queen of the Undergarden
Fiffin the venturous
Cave Wirms, Greater
Cave Wirms, Lesser
Friggins – molemen
The Froglin – little poisonous frog archers
Porkers, resentful Pigs
Planets of Magic
The Triplet Kings of Atlantis
1 Establishing Shot
2 Medium Shot
3 Medium Close Shot bringing the action up close to capture expressions and emotion
4 2 Shot
5 3 Shot
6 Close Shot
7 Group Shot 8 Upshot - camera at low angle
9 Downshot - camera at high angle
10 Medium Long Shot
11 Medium Shot - POV
12 Two - Shot Silhouette
13 Over-the-Shoulder Shot
15 Medium Closeup
16 Extreme Closeup
17 Closeup hand
18 Long Shot
20 Closeup inserts
Close shot POV followed by a wider shot
Never put the camera where it would be impossible for the reader to be.
expansion of the u.s.a. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwGRheUQMY8&feature=related%EF%BB%BF