Seriously, How The Hell Did We End Up Here?

Part One

(due to the length of this post, I’ve broken it into two and will put the other half up next week)

About a month ago, I posted about the way the world was pre-the Shadow World, in generalised terms. I wrote about the vying forces that stood for control and freedom, for elitism versus populism. All of this affected the people and world as the Shadow World merged with it and nature itself changed, so that groups and ideas lived on in new forms. Cyborg sects and the aquatics, to name but two, have identities forged from people and events that occurred before their current existence was made possible.

So much later than planned, I can now go into some specifics. Yes, there were struggling factions and opposing ideologies conflicting across the world, but now I’ll mention some of who or what those were. Later on, I’ll talk about the Raging, the era that came soon after, where so much mayhem and destruction occurred, that truly separated what was left of our world from what it now is in the present day of Sojourners in Shadow.

Seeing as I mentioned the Oligarchs in the aforementioned post, I’ll start with them. By their time, the United States of Europe had been in existence for a while. However, Great Britain had broken off and then, within Europe itself, various leaders rose to power. Some led small central nations, others rose to prominence in regions within larger countries. These then joined forces to preserve their power and the cause for which so many followed them. The US of E now had a hole in its centre, and this was not appreciated. The Oligarchs faced opposition all around them, and also within their own territories, which is why they became stricter on control and created the Gendarmes.

As for Great Britain, it broke away, yet that did not go so well (I came up with all this a few years back, so Brexit had nothing to do with this). By this time it was an elected monarchy that ruled, yet political and social friction led to various parts of the kingdom separating. Eventually, only England and Northern Ireland was left, and yet they refused to give up the name. Scotland, Eire, Wales and Cornwall (also separate) formed the Gaelic Union. These two sides competed economically and politically, yet never with genuine action. At least, that was until the Shadow World came and the islands were flooded with magic. The people found they could act on their own, and so they did. Governments could only watch as the enmity they had fostered and exploited tore their civilisations apart.

Great Britain, the lesser version, had entered into an alliance with Russia, to compete with the United States of Europe. Russia faced threats from all around. Nations were becoming more aggressive, more extremist, more intolerant. Bases were constructed across Russia, to ward off invasion from China, from Europe, and even from the USA. However, it was Russia who then took the offensive, claiming Alaska was theirs. The resources there were needed more than ever before. So Russian forces massed in the east, then invaded.

Alaska became a warzone, with three sides fighting. On the one hand there were Russian soldiers, and then there were American soldiers trying to expel them. Yet there were also the Alaskan people, who wanted both sides gone. The American government wanted the resources there as much as the Russian one did, and was equally ruthless about it. As both sides fought and mined and took without concern, the natives chose to fight back. They were all still fighting when the Shadow World hit.

But Russia suffered further change. With the government based in the west and enforcing its will more and more, and then with the east militarised, there was a pull of will, with leaders in the east able to argue against those in the west. This led to the Siberian Secession. Russia, much like its ally Great Britain, was now a lesser version of itself as Siberia stood alone. This led to instant conflict. The Russians built an immense stronghold in the Ural Mountains to prevent attack, and to base an invasion from. Some even claim they were designing, possibly creating, super-soldiers before the Shadow World forced the hand of humanity.

As for the soldiers in Alaska, they found themselves deserted. Siberia was more intent on facing down Russia. With the invasion of Alaska not going nearly as well as needed, those sent out were cut out, left to make their own way home or die trying. Instead, they remained. The descendants of the three competing sides reside in Alaska now, all considered native at this point, and resisting cyborgs and mutants, who desire the resources still there.

I mentioned the government of the USA just now, but that isn’t what you typically think of either. The USA had a Second Civil War. Also known as the Bloodless Revolution. Due to inept governance, states chose to secede, while many people were protesting and resisting rule already. The Saints of Bushido were a growing movement. So the president called out the army. Soldiers refused to shoot their own people, or each other as the divisions grew. Soon the entire military was firm in its neutral stance. This held the nation together. Leaders met, resolutions were found. The USA remained, however its was from then on much less centralised. States became much more powerful, even having their own military forces, and people soon identified themselves by state first, country second.

The Alaskan pillaging was ordered by the government, with the support of the other states which needed the resources, and yet it led to more distrust of central authority. Who might be next?

The division grew and grew. By the time the Shadow World was summoned by Dylan Winter, there were the Atlantic States and the Pacific States. They were all still part of the USA, yet now stood as groups, stronger together, and each side looked in a different direction for gains and threats. By this time, it was the Pacific States who were invested in Alaska, while the Atlantic States were doing deals with the US of E and Northern African countries.

I could tell more of the USA, yet I’ll end there. But this growing division is why things went so wrong, so quickly, once monsters and magic appeared. California and Texas were quick to become independent. Various leaders stood up and took charge. Science was let loose to fight back. Many cyborgs and mutants have their origins here.

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Halftime in 2014

It has just hit June 15th here in the UK, and it suddenly hit me. We’re pretty much at the halfway point of this year. In about a week we’ll have the longest day of the year. Okay, so we’re only just getting into summer – and I mean really only just, the weather here has been autumnal for most of the year – but the date doesn’t lie. Half way. Halftime in 2014.

Just seems mad to me. It still feels like it is early on. Not sure why. January felt twice as long as a month normally does, likely due to personal events. After that, everything has flown by. Maybe due to the poor weather, maybe due to the fact things have just meandered along, maybe due to the fact that things I expected/hoped/planned to happen have yet to come about. Not sure. But it still seems too early to be halfway.

Admittedly, I don’t go by the calendar much. New Year doesn’t mean a thing to me. I go by seasons and events. Often the first part of a new year is spent just getting through winter and waiting for spring, so that it doesn’t feel like anything is starting yet. January and February feel like time spent getting over the Christmas preparations and celebrations, then bracing yourself for another year. By the time April hits, that’s when things start to change gear, and soon you’re in the summer, then autumn turns up and next thing you know you’re buying Christmas presents again.

Things have changed, though. Some good, some bad. A few were very bad. I miss my friend badly. I am doing more now but I dearly wish I had done it while she was here. She would have enjoyed my blog. It is pretty much full of the stuff I’d ramble on about to her.

Marriage, moving, future planning, uncertainty await me for the time to come. Not sure what is going on sometimes. I often feel like I’m just waiting for the storm to hit. Thing is, I like storms, so we’ll see if this will be good or bad.

Halfway through another year. I’m currently wearing a tshirt from 1996. I know this because it celebrates the Euro 96 tournament held in England. That seems another lifetime ago and yet, madly, it doesn’t feel like almost 20 years ago. I still remember the excitement of a nation falling in love with football. The summer of feel-good. Years just seem to slip by, one after another. Things move on, develop, fall apart sometimes, but so much just seems to glide by to one side that the passing of time isn’t noticed.

Could be a dazzling second half. We shall see. Bit stunned by this revelation. A lot happening in the months to come.

A lot has happened in the last few years too. Some mad turns. We’ll see what shows up next.

Still feels like March weather-wise most of the time. Have to admit, I don’t mind it much. Rather cold and rain than hot. Good job I live in the UK then. 😉