THE WORLD OF
Looking back on March 11th 2103, that date we all learn in the brainpod, it’s easy to see why Earth Before seems so far away. It’s a hundred and fifty years since the Big Lift took the best of humanity into space to colonize the stars, leaving humans and AIs to face a world of pandemics and climate disaster.
The humans fled inland, as the vast empty cities were drowned by rising oceans, while the millions of autonomous AIs who created the Big Lift were left to seek new purpose. New cities were founded; many fell to famine, storms, and the wars between human and machine. Others survived, and this new world was born.
Today, Metropolis is the one city where human and AI meet as equals, and the greatest port on the New Pacific Rim, a world city of night markets, casinos, mansions, shantytowns, and a hundred stranger sights. Metropolis is a crossroads, and a puzzle, and - some people say - a vision of the future.
The wealthy look down from their gleaming towers; the city government strives to keep order; outlaws and data slingers thrive in the slums and ruins of the Old City. Everyone dreams of ruling Metropolis one day.
That day is coming.
The first major Climate War begins. Chinese troops surge over the mountains of southern Siberia, seeking to annex precious high-latitude real estate. The dominoes began to fall.
In the U.S.-Canadian peach action, climate wars go nuclear for the first time. Fort McMurray for Cleveland seemed a fair trade.
First “sentient” AI is developed by Sinclair Logic. Years of political and ethical debate of AI rights and citizenship begin.
The first full sensory cyberspace interface is built.
A mass refugee camp outside of Macau reconstitutes itself as the Free City of Metropolis. It soon becomes a haven for anyone fleeing climate disasters, political unrest, or a past they’d rather forget.
Metropolis becomes the first nation-state to unconditionally legalize AI citizenship.
The Silicon Congress unveils a proposal for the Star Initiative, a plan to take humanity’s population to the stars, en masse. Out of options, the U.N. Security Council approves. Work begins under AI direction.
The Big Lift starts, the first of many waves of emigration to offworld colonies. As the First World nations and cities empty out, the new city-states like Metropolis become more important.
The last of the great fusion rockets departs Earth orbit, and the Big Lift concludes, leaving millions of autonomous artificial intelligences and an “ancillary” human population to cope with an overheated, overpopulated planet.
The Dark Years. Rising temperatures and overflowing oceans. Human, robot and cyber-intelligences thrive and mutate, together with dozens of new technologies.
A robot maintenance worker discovers the AI Council’s memory cores in a hidden bunker. Soon after, it meets with a freak accident involving a runaway bus and a mariachi revival.
The first rumors of the terrible truth behind the Big Lift begin to reach human ears.
Our game begins.
As the world of Metropolis continued to evolve and divide, it's citizens - humans, AI, and hybrids alike - began forming alligences with one another until 3 factions arose: Government, Corporate, and the Underground. As high-tech corporations began catering to the wealthy 1% and neglecting the poor and the displaced, the Underground society formed to combat the imbalance of power. They would take what they need and thrive. A government entity arose as a response to the warfare between the Corporates and the Underground. They would not allow either side to take control of the city. Metropolis is a free city after all.
You make your money from corporate contracts. You don’t owe your allegiance to any one, long term, but you have to manage your relationship with your clients. Typically you are well-equipped and have access to some resources. Agent most likely to have something steaming hot and fresh from the lab. Works 100% of the time guarenteed, no crashes or side effects.
Libertarian tendencies. Fiercely independent, a creature of Metropolis that feels that the Corporations and the Government are just the same guys in slightly different suits. Faction most likely to have one of those jellyfish cell tattoos and tech from both factions, including the homebrew stuff from combining them. We'll sell it to you for the right price...and it doesn't have to be money. Use it at your own risk.
Technically, you work for the cops, but you're not a uniform, you're in the street. You’re like a cop in a John Woo movie - a street rat with an itch to keep this place from drowning in its own bile. Typically conflicted, in the way an undercover op always is. You’re chronically underfunded but your network is good. From the top, the brass will back you (sometimes). From the bottom, in their hearts, the citizens of Metropolis would prefer not to live in fear of the crazies or the Corps.