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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:15 pm 
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Next bit is up. Now with extra moonbases!

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 6:52 pm 
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Man. The works of Lenin on the Moon. The suppression of the Vietnamese insurgency. Vice President CURTIS LEMAY. NIKE-HERACULEZEUS BATTERIES ON THE MOON! Nuclear generators! Davy Crocketts on the moon! Claymores! Incorporating NASA into the military! LeMay taking SAC even higher! Robert Satan McNamara reduced to doing maintenance on the B-70 Valkyrie! Nuclear rockets!

Man. This article, or article addition rather, truly emphasizes how wickedly different the historic progression of CSW is from real life. Yes, CSW totally plays with the Cold War, and it does so awesomely - namely by making all those wonderous future predictions come TRUE! I wonder if Flying Cars are available in CSW too!

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:25 pm 
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The Red Room

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The Red Room, officially the Communal Chancery of the Eastern Bloc, is the collective consulate general of Communist countries in New York City. Built in the early 1980s on "skyscraper alley" along the Avenue of the Americas, it is a complex of diplomatic buildings that covers an entire city block. Inside the complex are consulates for almost every Eastern Bloc country including Cuba and Yugoslavia, as well as offices of various organizations attached to them like the Communist International, International Red Aid, World Federation of Democratic Youth and GOSPLAN, liaison bureaus to the United Nations, and official residencies of intelligence organizations including Cominform -- the Information Bureau of the Communist Bloc, an umbrella organization of Warsaw Pact intelligence agencies that amongst Western counterparts is known under the moniker 'the Red Room'.

Construction of the Communal Chancery began in July 1982, at a time the scare over the revolutionary take-over by the enigmatic 'Red Witch' had not yet subsided: Zhadanova's technocrats had just formed Cominform, and paranoid headlines in American newspapers wondered aloud if this behemoth New York complex was in fact a massive front for Soviet intelligence operations in the heart of the Western world. This didn't do much to hinder construction of the Chancery complex but the 'Red Room' nickname stuck, winning out over labels like 'the Red Gates', 'Little Leningrad' and even less flattering sobriquets.

It wasn't just paranoid nationalists that objected to the Chancery. Before its construction "Skyscraper Alley", the part of Sixth Avenue between 40th Street and Central Park, was an all-but-uninterrupted line of corporate headquarters housed in glass slab towers. The Chancery on the other hand was designed in a modern variant of the ‘Stalinskie Vysotki’ architectural style that shaped the Moscow skyline in the post-war years, and American architects and CEOs alike argued that the Red Room was above all an expensive aesthetic statement by the Second Revolutionaries: they intended to plant a visible representation of the Communist resurgence right amidst the headquarters of some of America's most influential corporations. There were protests marches, heated debates in newspapers and on TV and even a series of lawsuits but in the end it was - ironically - the money that won out: the Soviets struck a deal with the City of New York, made some minor modifications to the complex's outward appearance and donated funds to redevelop a nearby playground in return for it being renamed Hartford Park. This was an even bigger slap in the face of the establishment, especially because the memorial at its center made it amply clear the new name was indeed a reference to the Arkansas union miners riots of 1914. More lawsuits followed, but the Soviets had the support of the Mayor, who at the time was embroiled in a bitter dispute with several Skyscraper Alley firms over the city ordinance, and ultimately the reds got their way. The Red Room officially and festively opened its doors on 7 November 1985, the 68th anniversary of the Russian Revolution.

As could perhaps be expected of such a controversional project the Chancery is at the heart of a large number of urban myths. One of the more likely of these says that the Soviets provided one building plan to the city planning commission but used a modified version for the actual building so that Western intelligence wouldn't know the floorplan. Certain is that over a dozen American construction companies worked on the Red Room, that none of them ever saw a complete blueprint to the complex, and that the project was overseen by Soviet architects at least some of whom were later linked to various intelligence agencies. Less credible myths make claims about bomb-proof vaults, KGB cells holding kidnapped American citizens, SICKLE cores, Soviet taps into fiber optic cables to nearby Wall Street firms, or a supposedly fully functional secret metro station underneath the building. Though it is true that the Red Room is only a stone's throw from Rockefeller Center which does have its own subway entrance it is highly unlikely the New York transit authority would allow the Soviets private access to the underground.

Rumors aside, what can be confirmed about the Red Room is that it is home to the single largest concentration of Soviet personnel in North America (outside of Cuba anyway), that the building is secured by the KGB's Ninth Directorate (Guards and KGB Protection Service) similar to the way American overseas consulates are guarded by the USMC, and that the Soviets have been surprisingly open about the building. Its lobby is entirely open to the public: an expanse of reflective marble walls, high ceilings and grandiose chandeliers laced with motifs based on the 1913 Russian Futurist opera Victory over the Sun, a giant parable on the eternal fight between the New and the Old. In the opera the Sun, representative of the decadent past, is torn down from the sky and locked into the House of Concrete. The Strong Men of the Future impose their New Order, free of the morals of the past, and replace the sun with a source of energy by technological supremacy. In the Red Room this source is depicted as the Red Star, symbolizing a radiant future, eternal life and happiness. The technocratic symbolism is, if not subtle, at least striking to look at: the Red Room is one of the earliest examples of the return to Suprematist art in Soviet propaganda, as it was favoured by the Second Revolutionaries over the Socialist Realism that had come to represent Stalinist repression, and in that way has become a New York landmark for art lovers.

The Chancery schedules daily tours through parts of its premises for visitors, is home to a small, freely accessible museum about the history of the Eastern Bloc that doesn't shy away from the Stalinist depravities of the pre-Zhadanova era, employs a PR division that sponsors local charities and is involved with community and union organizations throughout the New York and New Jersey area, and hosts conferences by internationalist organizations and the United Nations. For New Yorkers the Red Room has long become an accepted feature of the already varied skyline of the city, even though the adjacent Hartford Park is still ground zero for frequent anti-Communist protests.

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I breakfast upon Armadas such as thine!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:19 pm 
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The Red Menace is on your doorsteps, New York. :) Really beautiful building too, though I don't recognise it. When it's not moonlighting as the Communist consulate, what is it?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:13 pm 
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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is one of the ‘Stalinskie Vysotki’, seven Stalinist skyscrapers in Moscow. I'll admit that style is not quite suitable for what's being conveyed thematically, but at some point literary ambitions must make way for wow-factor :).

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:26 pm 
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I like how it pretty much symbolizes the divergence of reality where communism crumbled, and CSW where it bloomed into a Marxist megalith well into the 21st century.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:42 am 
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The building is gorgeous and any organization that evokes the heyday of the International and idealistic communism has my stamp of approval.

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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 3:32 pm 
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Carthago Tower

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Carthago Tower is the center of WEU activity in Northern Africa, located at Rue Carthage No. 1 in the city of Tunis, Tunisia. Standing at 330 meters the Carthago Tower is the tallest building in Africa, rising high above the surrounding colonial era development and the city's old medina alike, a powerful symbol of Tunisia's WEU membership, the prosperity it brought, and the Union's growing interest in and focus on North Africa.

Conception of Carthago Tower began shortly before Tunisia's accession to the WEU in 2001 and construction was fully completed in December 2010. The WEU opted for a design in its preferred 'Glass House' variant of the International architectural style, dominated by broken horizontal rows of reflective windows and facade angles that catch, reflect and re-reflect the sunlight, bouncing reflections off itself. At some moments on cloudless days this has the effect of turning the Tower into a blazing monolith of orange light visible from far over the Mediterranean. Using 'green' architecture and modern materials the building was designed from the ground up to be self-sustaining, capturing the ubiquitous African sunlight to power itself and using sophisticated climate controls to keep its occupants cool. Inside the building there are several atria, massive multi-level open spaces dominated by hanging gardens and indoor fountains. Underneath the building is a water recycling plant, and excess power generated by its solar grid is pumped into the local energy net at no cost to Tunisians.

The top of the building is home to no fewer than eight helipads, four of which are located on platforms that can be hydraulically lowered under folding smart roofs in case of sandstorms. A direct executive monorail connects the Tower to Tunis Carthage International Airport, and to Tunis Harbor. Carthago Tower functions as a telecommunications hub, housing satellite uplinks and a major internet switching center crucial to the growing market for digital commerce of Tunisia and European Africa.

The Tower is home to the Directorate-General for North African Integration of the European Commission, the only DG headquartered outside of Brussels. It occupies most of the building, but the restricted sections of Carthago Tower also house command & control functions for SIG paramilitary forces and the WEU Star Chamber secret intelligence service. The Star Chamber annex is particularly notable for its size: several hundred agents are stationed in Tunis, the third-largest Star Chamber after the organization's dual headquarters in London and Paris. Chamber activities in Tunis mainly involve coordinating the activities of local agent networks across Africa and collating intelligence on a variety of topics such as Soviet operations in neighboring Libya, sub-Saharan arms trafficking, warlord skirmishes in the Congo and keeping track of South African paramilitary and mercenary activities across Africa.

Last but not least Carthago Tower hosts the central control center for the Sahara Irrigation Project, the web of atomic irrigation centers, pumping stations and desalinization plants built across Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia to reverse desertification and turn vast tracts of the Sahara Desert into cultivable land. The food produced by growing agricultural crops on reclaimed land is one of the chief tools the WEU uses to prevent starvation in several sub-Saharan countries, simultaneously encouraging a measure of stability and generating geo-political capital for the WEU in regions affected by droughts. The Tower control center monitors weather patterns and temperatures, handles the complex calculations of water pressure and energy distribution, and also coordinates the drone and helicopter patrols that guard the hundreds of kilometers of power lines and fresh water pipelines from attacks by insurgents, terrorists or Berber tribesmen.

Because of its sensitive nature in addition to local security the Tower is further guarded by a battalion of EURAPID air assault troops.

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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 4:19 pm 
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It shouldn't surprise me that nuclear desalination is a thing in CSW.

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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 3:22 pm 
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All Saint's Center

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Many of the great architectural works designed and built in the latter half of the 20th century are informed by agendas of their financiers. While it is true that art for art's sake had not been a driving force in architectural design for decades, never before in the history of the free world was the aesthetic dimension so intimately tied to the socio-political mentality of bankrollers, merchants and officeholders.

Sullivan's motto that "form follows function" is no more: in postmodernism's latter days form and function are statements of faith, reflections of the brainwork of sponsors; architects are now the diviners of their usurers' deepest dreams.

- Excerpt from Big Buildings, Big Ideas: Architecture as socio-political expression in the 20th and 21st centuries, by W.P. Birkin


All Saint's Center is a commerce hub in Jersey City, just a stone's throw away from Manhattan. It is home to a number of corporate headquarters, most notably that of the Center's financier, namegiver and largest presence, Fortune 500 firm Saint Holdings Limited. The myriad companies that make up Saint Holdings, the largest privately-owned military-industrial conglomerate in the world, were previously scattered around the United States. One of the first decisions made by Charlie Saint when she took over from her missing-presumed-deceased father Anthony was to concentrate if not the companies themselves then at least their headquarters in a single location, putting a recognizable face and image on the previously dispersed and diffuse holding company.

Through deft political manoeuvering Saint and her mentor, retired General Cogburn, acquired four adjoining blocks of dilapidated real estate near the Hudson waterfront, directly opposite Battery Park City. Demolitions of the crumbling housing projects started in 2008 and construction of All Saint's Center began a year later with the laying of the foundation of Saint's Spire, the 255m tall, 45-story skyscraper that would form the heart of the complex. Designed from the ground up as a stark contrast to the glass slab towers of Manhattan's financial center, the Center was conceived as an organically curving warren of white-washed concrete that invokes the spirit of Frank Lloyd Wright's work on the New York Guggenheim, featuring stacked triangular shapes that incorporate hydroponic gardens, shops, commercial areas and plazas overflowing at every level with greenery.

The eco-friendly design was ridiculed by critics as a publicity stunt intended to divert attention away from Saint Holding's nature as a weapons manufacturer, and certainly that was one of its intended functions: the Center is a striking statement that puts a high-profile 'green' face on the consortium. Now that the Saint Holding logo bathes the Hudson in viridian neon every night the company is extremely visible, shedding the anonimity that previously made the conglomerate into the subject of threatening urban myths. Simply put, it's easy for the public to distrust a faceless company housed in an anonymous glass-and-steel monolith. But if the same company adopts eco-friendly policies to the point of turning parts of its headquarters into public parkland... Well, how bad can they really be?

The first phase of construction of All Saint's Center was completed in 2011, covering the initial four blocks with towers and office blocks linked by a series of spiderweb-like skybridges and walkways. Most of these buildings appear raised from the ground atop concrete colonnades, creating an impression that they are physically and visually light as if floating in mid-air and leaving most of ground level within the Center open. In reality the pylons also hold up the 'ground', as what appears to be ground level is actually the roof of a multi-story parking garage. Certain areas of All Saint's Center Park, notably those near the Hudson coast, are open to the public and a popular picnic (and, at night, makeout) spot for Jersey City residents. The Center opened festively on 17 March - St. Patrick's Day - and has been a key part of Jersey City celebrations of the patron saint's festival, featuring feasting, copious consumption of alcohol, a parade and some of the most elaborate fireworks in the United States that are usually attended in person by both Cogburn and Saint.

A second phase of the Center's construction was announced in 2013 and involved a gradual expansion of the Center across neighboring blocks. Demolition started in 2014 and constructed was slated to begin in 2015, but was delayed after the conglomerate became embroiled in the Secret War. Areas of the partially demolished neighboring blocks were the site of several pitched skirmishes between rogue special forces in MIDNIGHT's pay and Saint's private security, the outcomes of which were inconclusive and mostly covered up through exertion of the conglomerate's political influence.

Saint's Spire
The focal point of All Saint's Center is the 255-meter tall Saint's Spire skyscraper. Saint's Spire towers over the complex and is highly visible from anywhere on the edge of westerly Lower Manhattan. Amongst New Yorkers it is colloquially known as Saint's Stiletto, a thinly veiled reference to both Charlie Saint's past as a high-heeled party girl and her company's weapons business. It has a floor area of 143,000 m2, is the highest building in New Jersey and is surpassed by only three Manhattan skyscrapers (the Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, and the WTC). The Spire has 30 elevators, 15 of which are made entirely out of reinforced glass and run up along the side of the building. The 10 stories at the base of the building feature glass-wrapped corners, behind which are showrooms featuring prototypes of aircraft and rockets manufactured by Saint Holdings' subsidiaries. In 2008 Saint's Spire was ranked #3 on the List of America's Favorite Green Architecture.

Most of the Holdings' key offices are located in the Spire, including the working offices of Charlie Saint herself and her right hand man, Cogburn, located respectively on the 45th and and 44th floors. Saint's 'office' covers the Spire's entire top floor, and features a full penthouse apartment complete with a private helicopter landing pad. Meanwhile amongst PMCs Jeff Cogburn's corner office one level below Saint's is jokingly said to be the biggest place on God's earth, because you can touch every US military facility in the world from there. Certain is that Cogburn is one of very few people in the world with a permant hotline to the Pentagon in his office: the former general is amongst the most well-connected men in the Western military-industrial complex. Within the Holding it's his job to make the sale, whilst Charlie Saint manages the business side of the conglomerate.

The Stiletto features one of the most elaborate security and defense systems in the Western world, said to rival that of the Pentagon itself. It sits at the heart of a multi-layered sensor web and the building itself features a complex network of security doors that require alternating combinations of pass-codes, security cards or biometric data to bypass. Only two elevator shafts grant access to the top two floors, and both are protected by high-lethality RAZOR glacis suites developed by Cybertronics Systems. Despite this the Spire was the target of several violent attacks over the years, first in 2015 when Fulda Syndicate gangsters mounted an assault through the public park, the official explanation for which was an attempt to acquire heavy weapons from the Holding. In the wake of the attack security was beefed up: parts of the park were made off-limits to the general public, the Holding scattered ubiquitous digital surveillance across its terrain and on-site security guards were replaced by former soldiers from Aegis Unlimited, a PMC wholly owned by Saint Holdings. This decision proved fortuitous when Saint's Spire was the target of a rogue Reaper team on a mission to assassinate or abduct Jeff Cogburn in an attempt to put pressure on the White House and New World Order alike. Parts of the complex were heavily damaged in the ensuing hour-long running gunfight which only ended after airborne troops loyal to President Skye touched down on Saint's private helipad and counter-attacked, forcing the Reapers to retreat back across the Hudson.

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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 11:43 pm 
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Man that is rad as hell, but the number of gunfights must make news headlines lol

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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 12:02 am 
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Ok all this talk of Saints makes me thing more or the 3rd Street Saints of Saints Row games than Anthony/Charlie stark Saint but those are some seriously cool images to base them on. I take it they aren't pictures of real places?

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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 3:26 pm 
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I'm not familiar with the Saints Row games myself, so I can't really comment on that :).

The picture used for All Saint's Center is that of the EDITT Tower currently pending construction in Singapore, but in this 'verse realized (in an admittedly supersized fashion) at the site of the Goldman Sachs Tower in Jersey City.

Ford Prefect wrote:
Man that is rad as hell, but the number of gunfights must make news headlines lol


Yeah. In the story I'm (slowly) developing the US' east coast at the outbreak of the Secret War is plagued by a series of particularly brutal gang wars, so the violence will be attributed to violent thugs who don't care about the rule of law instead of, well, violent thugs who don't care about the rule of law.

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I breakfast upon Armadas such as thine!


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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 3:46 pm 
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Republic of the Levant

The Republic of the Levant is a federal state in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. The Republic was formed after the dissolution of the British Mandate for Palestine. It is home to two main ethnic groups, Jews (52.4%) and Arabs (43.4%), and the region's ethnic diversity and related conflicts are reflected in its political history and a complex system of government.

Most most political power in the Republic is organised around the need to represent the main cultural communities. Political power has been segregated into three levels: the federal government based in Jerusalem, the two mostly self-governing ethnic Autonomous Regions Israel and Palestine, and the Jerusalem Capital Region which is officially bilingual, bi-ethnic and non-denominational.

The federal state's authority includes justice, defence, federal police, social security, nuclear energy, monetary policy and public debt, and other aspects of public finances. The federal government is based in Jerusalem but does not itself control the capital. Instead the Jerusalem Capital Region, the largest urban area in the Republic, has its own regional government lead by a governor who alternatingly hails from Israel or Palestine and is by strict dint of necessity always an accomplished elder statesman (or -woman) of impeccable repute. It is the task of this local government to govern a city of nearly 800,000 people that is holy in three of the world's greatest religions and, consequently, deal with all the problems that brings along with it.

Independently from the federal state the Autonomous Regions exercise authority within ethnically determined geographical boundaries, on the subjects of culture, education, language, economy, employment, agriculture, water policy, housing, public works, energy, transport, the environment, town and country planning, nature conservation, credit and foreign trade. The government of the Israel region is based in Tel Aviv; the government of the Palestine region in Gaza City.

Government of the Republic since its independence has been fraught with difficulty and ethnic and religious conflict ranging from assassinations and terror attacks to full-scale revolts, but careful political decisionmaking as well as occasional aid from NATO and the Kingdom of Jordan has so far helped the Republic survive. The President of the Republic is mostly a figurehead whose job it is to represent national unity; the federal cabinet is lead by the Prime Minister. If the President is an Arab then he must constitutionally appoint a Jewish PM and vice versa: likewise the federal cabinet will always know a precisely equal number of members from each region, whereas the regions themselves are unabashed representations of their dominant ethnicity's cultural values. As a result the Republic of the Levant is one of the most politically complex states in the Middle East, and its politicians have the thankless job of attempting to overcome several thousand years of ethnic, cultural and religious rivalry whilst in the midst of one of the world's most volatile geopolitical regions. It is no surprise then that the Republic has remained a policy of strict neutrality over the course of its existence, declining to become involved in the Gulf Wars or any other of the myriad conflicts that have plagued the Middle East over the last sixty years.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:49 pm 
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The Arkadeva-Sarov Exclusion Zone

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River valley taiga in the Arkadeva-Sarov zone.

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AVID LAPSE? Not much I can tell ya about that place. Only rumors. Supposed to be sumkinda closed commie city, nothing but forest for miles, real hush-hush. Well, it was anyway. Somethin' went wrong. Dunno what, this was back during the civil war when nobody knew what the fuck was going on in Russia, but it was bad enough that Sechalin diverted five divisions from the assault on Sary Sagan to deal with it. Whole bunch of those troops never made it back out, neither. Chatter through the grapevine is the forest ate them. Like, literally. I don't know what to make of that, but I can tell you Kiralova still has a Mechanized Corps sitting on top of it. You ask me, you better stay clear of that place. It's major bad news.


The Arkadeva-Sarov Exclusion Zone, code-named AVID LAPSE by NATO intelligence, is an area of boreal forest some 150km north of Irkutsk, to the west of Baikal Lake. It covers an area of approximately 1,400 square kilometers immediately surrounding the closed city of Zaraev-103, and is the site of the worst nanomolecular ecophagic disaster in the world.

Zaraev-103 was one of several 'black boxes', top-secret research laboratories maintained by the KGB's Thirteenth Directorate for Science and Technology. These black labs develop high-tech equipment like spy satellites, concentrated poisons, cybernetics, remote viewing technology and other technical devices -- like, in this case, nanoscopic self-replicating robots to be used either as sophisticated surveillance technology, clouddust assassins or possibly as a weapon of mass destruction. The locations of all these laboratories are highly classified, but amidst the chaos of the Russian Crisis the site of Zaraev-103 was leaked, and army troops loyal to Marshal Sechalin captured the facility and most of its staff.

Extremely concerned about what Sechalin might do with the experimental technology when pushed, the loyalist leadership decided to mount a surgical strike with the aim of retaking the laboratory or, should that prove impossible, destroying it. A team of crack OSNAZ commandos from the Ministry of the Interior was tasked with the job; they were accompanied by a liaison from the 13th Directorate, Colonel Irys Khorza, and a nanotech expert from the Odessa Scientific Research Institute of Experimental Electromechanics, Yelena Rozaliyevna Batsaikhan. Their mission, however, ended in disaster: the commandos successfully infiltrated the closed city but were discovered shortly after placing their detonation charges at the central mechanosynthesis research complex, but before they managed to seize its emergency high-voltage EM pulse generator. Convinced that failure of his mission meant the loyalists would have other no recourse than to obliterate the city and its several thousand inhabitants with vacuum bombs, a possibility strongly hinted at by Premier Kiralova herself, the team leader against the explicit advice of Colonel Khorza and Doctor Batsaikhan decided to blow the charges early.

The results were, put simply, disastrous. The explosive charges ripped through the complex, instantly killing dozens of researchers. Fires raged through the compound, but the flames or the wreckage were hardly the most pressing of problems, as the troops responding to the cataclysm soon found out to their horror. The destruction of the facility's carefully layered webs of sensors and internal electromagnetic defenses released several of the experimental militarized molecular dissembler swarms from their containment vessels, and the out-of-control self-replicating robots immediately began to convert the ruins of the facility into more of themselves, turning any human unfortunate enough to be caught in the wave of 'grey goo' almost instantly into dust.

Thus began the first and so far only battle of human against molecular robot swarm, and it was an extremely messy one. The majority of the poor citizens of Zaraev-103 died trying to escape the doomed city; so did most of the OSNAZ commandos. Fleeing the expanding tide of ecophagic robots and separated from the rest of the team Colonel Khorza with the help of Doctor Batsaikhan managed to make contact with NTET long enough to convince the underground intelligence organization of the seriousness of the situation.

By this time Sechalin's rapid-reaction troops in the region began to respond to the unfolding disaster, bringing the combined artillery of five Soviet Army tank divisions to bear in the hopes of containing the threat. This meant Khorza and Batsaikhan were caught between a rock and a hard place: with Ultramilitant troops shooting at everything that moved in front of them and an all-devouring swarm of nanomolecular dissemblers behind it seemed they had no place to go. That's when they were once more contacted by NTET. After quick deliberation with the world's foremost experts the smart-mob organization had formulated a desperate plot to stop the grey goo Apocalypse: if the two women would be so kind as to download a quickly compiled virus into the swarm in the faint hope of forestalling the end of the world?

Well, it wasn't like they had much of a choice in the matter. Khorza and Batsaikhan returned to the edge of Zaraev-103 and stared down armageddon. Khorza alone returned. But the nanomass just kind of... stopped.

Or did it? It certainly didn't convert the world, much less the solar system, into more of itself. But that doesn't mean AVID LAPSE is safe. The hastily assembled virus was only partially successful. It stopped the dissembler swarms from trying to eat everything, but instead they melted away into the taiga ecosystem surrounding the now-dead city, where they have formed a strange kind of symbiotic synthesis with the flora and fauna of the dense forests. Within the Arkadeva-Sarov Exclusion Zone grow plants with solar cell leaves, tended to by omnivorous nanomolecular 'bacteria' that spread like blowing pollen. There are trees that glow in the dark, crystal clear ponds covered in utility fog and a population of dangerously smart enhanced wolves. Aerial reconnaissance by Soviet drones reveals unnaturally beautiful vistas that, when viewed with real-time atomic cameras, appear to be crawling with nanobots. Some of the flora and fauna appears to be haphazardly connected by an evolving distributed intelligence completely unlike anything human. And indeed humans are not safe here: the virulent replicators that dominate the ecosystem will infect any lifeform within the Zone and effect their inevitable changes.

In order to stop the infection from spreading the Soviet Army soldiers have erected a ring of high-voltage EM pulsers powerful enough to fry nanomolecular assemblers around Arkadeva-Sarov Exclusion Zone. In addition they have orders to shoot anyone caught trespassing on the Zone on sight, and burn the bodies with special thermite grenades. So far, these measures seem to be working, as the artificially enhanced ecosystem has yet to spread beyond the Exclusion Zone. But time alone can tell whether the measures taken by the Kiralova administration are enough to permanently deter a grey goo doomsday scenario.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:20 pm 
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You had to put the smart wolves in CSW! :D

Why don't they just roast the place with EMPs from orbit or something, though?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:09 pm 
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"Look, Marshall, I just know Yelena's still in there, and I'm not going to murder a loyal Soviet citizen!"

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:32 pm 
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Shroom Man 777 wrote:
Why don't they just roast the place with EMPs from orbit or something, though?


SICKLE advised against it.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:17 pm 
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As far as I'm concerned in this situation, I'd be sure to do the opposite of whatever SICKLE recommended. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:08 pm 
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Cold Rivet Point

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Cold Rivet Point is a high-security laboratory, manufacturing center and warehouse complex. It is located in the foothills of the Adirondacks in upstate New York, in an area that has a long association with the US Army: West Point is only a few hours away by car, and the facility itself is built around and underneath the remains of Stonefire Foundry, a 19th century steel mill that made the cannonballs that helped the Union win the Civil War.

Owned and operated by Saint Holding and directly employing over 3,000 people, Cold Rivet Point is arguably the most prominent weapons research facility on the East Coast. The top-secret nature of the defense-related work conducted here, its gloomy surroundings and the urban lore surrounding the facility has earned Cold Rivet Point the nickname "the Devil's Workshop".


Early History

The history of Cold Rivet Point began in 1804 when Buster Howes discovered iron deposits and built a blast furnace on the shore of Stonefire Lake. In 1855 his son took over and greatly expanded the ironworks, which proved a visionary decision when the Civil War broke out not soon thereafter. Hermes 'Old Iron Head' Howes became one of the Union's chief armorers, and Stonefire Foundry churned out weapons and munitions in such massive quantities that at the time it was one of the symbols for the superior industry of the North.

The Foundry's fortunes faded in the 20th century. Captain Elias Howes was killed during the Second Battle of the Marne in World War 1. He was the only child and heir of then-owner, John Dee Howes, who was so distraught by the loss of his son he retreated from public life and eventually sold the foundries, stating he wished "nothing to do with the devil's business no more".

The foundries were kept running for a while longer but by the 1920s the iron mine was beginning to dry up. Then the new owner lost much of his fortune in the Black Tuesday stock market crash and the ensuing Great Depression was a final blow to the once-great Stonefire Foundry. The mine was closed, the steel mills fell into disuse. Despite global rearmament in the late 1930s Stonefire failed to capture any major arms contracts. Some of the locals were still hopeful of a revival when World War 2 rolled around, but all that happened was that the heavy equipment was moved down to New York. Most of the workforce, those who didn't join the army anyway, followed suit, and by 1945 Stonefire was a ghost town.


Anthony Saint

The site remained abandoned and mostly forgotten until the late 1970s when enterpreneur Anthony Saint acquired an interest in Rivet Point Manor. This secluded 16,000 square feet mansion was built for Hermes Howes in the late 19th century, and carried the nickname 'Ruby Red' for its red brick and oak exterior, and for the amount of blood Howes' weapons spilled to pay for it. This appealed and morbidly amused Anthony Saint, himself a weapons manufacturer, who acquired the mansion and indeed all of Stonefire from the trust that managed the Howes heritage for several million dollars. Saint renovated the mansion and until he went missing in 2005 spent at least a month of every summer there with his daughter Charlotte.


Charlie Saint

After the disappearance of Anthony his daughter took over the family business. One of her first decisions was to consolidate the holding. She did this by on the one hand building All Saint's Center, thus putting a friendly green public face of the largest privately-owned military-industrial conglomerate in the world... And on the other hand by establishing a central weapons research and development facility in an out-of-the-way location. That location became Cold Rivet Point: far away from prying eyes, yet always just a short hop in a Learjet away from Newark and All Saint's Center.


Location

Cold Rivet Point is situated on a cape projecting into Stonefire Lake. This roughly triangular 24 acre promontory can be loosely divided into three areas: the Saint Holding campus, the old Stonefire Foundry ruins, and Rivet Point Manor. In-between the island is densely forested. Cold Rivet Point can be reached by car, although visitors will encounter a private security checkpoint shortly after turning off the state highway. If they are let through, they will eventually reach a security wall that blocks entry to the cape. Beyond its gates is a raised causeway that connects the facility to the mainland. The causeway is permanently floodlit and watched by camera's and motion sensors.

Saint Holding Campus
The campus is a network of modern interconnected buildings that house personnel, R&D facilities, prototyping centers and automated factories. Each building is fitted with sophisticated green technology: solar panels, smart insulation and clever waste management means each is very nearly self-sufficient in terms of heat and power. The campus in fact more closely resembles a small town: it has an electric monorail network, a harbor and a small air field, a geothermal power station, and its own private security office. But for every meter visible above ground the campus extends at least two underneath the surface, because the most sensitive research is in fact done underground, inside bunkers buried into the old iron mines. Privacy on the campus is a polite myth: practically every inch of its grounds are covered by one of the most sophisticated digital security systems in the United States.

The heart of the campus is a round twenty-story building called the Basilica. This is the nerve center for the entire complex, containing supercomputers, data uplinks, a massive server farm and data switching center, and a bomb-proof vault that holds the most sensitive of Saint Holding's records. Like in All Saint's Tower the upper level of the building is reserved as an office for Charlie Saint herself, although she rarely uses it.

Stonefire Foundry
The remains of Stonefire Foundry and its small company town stand at the edge of the island. The old buildings have mostly fallen into ruin. Most of the roofs are gone, and some of the mills have trees growing through them. A few of the red brick warehouses are still in use however, as is the old railroad station that connects Cold Rivet Point to the main network at Saratoga Springs and, beyond it, New York City. A common rumor amongst locals is that private security uses the ruins for urban combat practice. Another is that Saint has littered the Foundry with sophisticated small security robots.

Rivet Point Manor
This foreboding mansion looks out over Stonefire Lake. Its foundations are built out of rough stone, with walls of taut wood shingle and ivy-covered brick, and granite corner towers that rise above the surrounding forest. The manor has a peculiar internal layout designed by Hermes Howes himself, who in a fit of whimsy (or perhaps paranoia) included numerous secret passageways and hidden rooms in its floorplan. It is said that only Howes himself knew all the secrets of his mansion.

Rivet Point Manor is still used as a home by Charlie Saint, who has upgraded the old manor with a private helipad and fitted the conical roof of one of the towers with a small forest of antennas and satellite uplinks that allows her to keep in real-time touch with the far-flung corners of her business empire. The mansion is guarded by Aegis Security paramilitaries, with defenses further beefed up with some of the most sophisticated security money can buy.


Rumors

As befits a highly secure military research and development facility rumors abound of Cold Rivet Point. The mansion and the Stonefire ruins for example are said to be haunted, although only very few people have ever been lost there. It is also said that the campus, mansion and subterranean bunkers are all connected with secret tunnels. This is certainly plausible, because the old iron mine extends underneath much of Stonefire Cape and indeed the lake itself.

It's furthermore suggested that Cold Rivet Point is home to 'Deep Nine', supposedly a Continuity of Government installation capable of resisting a direct hit by a Soviet nuclear weapon. This deep shelter is said to be buried even deeper than the Saint Holding bunkers, with Stonefire Lake and the rocky lakebed acting as a giant shock absorber.

Then there are atmospheric anomalies occasionally observed over the lake: strange lights and shapes in the air, oddly shaped objects that manifest on the water and then vanish, and intermittent fits of peculiar weather. According to Saint Holding these are the results of advanced maser research and experimental UAVs. Conspiracy theorists claim that Saint is conducting experiments with weather control, teleportation and/or anti-gravity. It's these peculiarities that spawned the "Devil's Workshop" nickname.

Finally it has been suggested that Cold Rivet Point has a special security arrangement with the military. Helicopters from the 171st Black Knights out of Fort Mercier are frequently observed at the facility's air field, and armed Airborne troops are known to occasionally supplement corporate security forces at Cold Rivet Point.


Cold Rivet South

A secondary Cold Rivet installation is located in New York City, opposite Rikers Island in the Bronx. It has some laboratories of its own, but mainly functions as a warehouse, transshipment and harbor facility for Saint Holding. It is a secure facility that requires a national security clearance to even enter. Cold Rivet South is also hooked onto the rail network, allowing trains to travel here from the main Cold Rivet installation without stopping.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:13 pm 
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Cool place Seige. I take it this is the place were most of Saints more shady stuff gets developed?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:37 pm 
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Is that some Philadelphia Experiment I spy?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:22 pm 
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I think that's a yes, and yes :). Because it was about time the New World Order got some love, dammit.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 5:07 pm 
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The Owl's Eyrie

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The Eyrie, ca. 2019

The Owl's Eyrie was originally an old colonial manor house on the banks of the Blue Nile, several hundred miles south-east of Khartoum. It was built in 1912 by Sir Talfryn Drake, at the time head of the United British Sudan Company which primarily concerned itself with the trade of (some would later argue the robbing of) the country's deposits of gold, silver, lead and petroleum. The Drake merchant family accrued an immense fortune in the latter half of the 19th century through skillful trade between the remote corners of Britain's empire and nothing represents this affluence more than Talfryn's manor, built at the heart of 290 acres of privately owned savanna and indigenous forest in the middle of nowhere. The Drakes owned a house in London too, but the Eyrie served as the base of operations for the Drake clan for almost forty years.

By the time Sudan gained its independence from the UK in 1956 the Drake family had already fallen on hard times. Its fortunes dwindled steadily during the consecutive world wars and the dismantling of the Empire also dismantled the family's trade network. The family was forcibly thrown out of Sudan in '56 and relocated to London until a military coup occurred two years later. The family split over what to do next: Corin Drake opted to stay in London, his brother Robert Drake decided to move back and support the regime in exchange for the return of the family's property. The reason for this was that President Nasser of Egypt had decided to nationalize the Suez Canal in '56, precipitating a brief military intervention in Egypt by Britain and France. Condemnations by Saudi Arabia and the Republic of the Levant and pressure from the United States and the USSR forced the two nations to back out. Britain in return decided to back the new Sudan regime because of its antagonistic relationship with Egypt over the Nile valley, and Robert Drake happily facilitated the sales of weapons from Britain to Sudan, taking a hefty cut in the process.

The sale of weapons would be the main source of income for the Sudan branch of the Drake family for years to come. Robert Drake retired in 1983, returned to London and was granted a peerage for "services to the Crown" which he received from the hands of his niece, Prime Minister Adelaide Drake-Carringdon. His son Nigel continued to run the family business from the Eyrie. Being more secretive than his father he allowed the tropical forests to encroach on the manor so that by 1984 the Owl's Eyrie was surrounded by carefully cultivated jungle that mostly hid the manor from outside observation. He also added a runway and several large warehouses to the property in order to better support his operations. But by the mid 1980s world opinion on weapons trafficking was beginning to change. It became progressively more unacceptable for national First World governments to be seen openly backing dubious regimes, and although in true Cold War style Britain like most nations continued to provide such support illicitly the trafficking business became more and more dangerous: as their craft fell into disrepute it opened the merchants of death up to reprisals by militaries and espionage agencies of rival nations that would not have touched them in the decades before.

Nigel Drake eventually came to a grisly end: in 1995 he was abducted in Burma by communist rebels who videotaped his execution. His family would later learn that the British government, then under PM Sir Julian Leighland Liberty, had been aware of the rebel's whereabouts and decided not to mount a rescue operation because it was felt best not to be seen to be associated with the Burmese junta, thus consigning Nigel Drake to a highly unpleasant and, after the tapes were released to international media, quite public death.

That judgement call would come back to haunt the UK in a big way later on, as Nigel's daughter Mary-Louise would pick up where daddy left off. Informed by a bitter hatred and mistrust of nation-states in general and Britain in particular, Mary-Louise Drake would by the second decade of the 21st century become the world's premier illicit arms dealer. With access to everything from suitcase nukes and stealth jets to military satellites and tailored plagues, Mary-Louise is considered by many intelligence agencies to be one of the most unpredictable, well-connected and scary dangerous people of the 21st century.

Oddly enough a major chunk of Mary-Louise's business is still run out of the Owl's Eyrie. From 2010 onward she has been one of the principal supporters of the Sudanese regime with money and weapons, and in return Khartoum has categorically refused to move against her holdings in the country -- the truth of the matter is in fact that it would most likely be unable to even if it wanted. Irregardless of her status as a stateless rogue high up on Interpol's list of most wanted criminals Drake continues to openly maintain the massively expanded Owl's Eyrie as her primary base of operations, most likely as a direct and very much open insult to the world at large. Several nations including Britain, the USA and the Warsaw Pact have attempted to clandestinely assassinate Drake at the Eyrie or simply bomb it to the ground, but it is defended by a small mercenary army as well as sophisticated air defense grid that rivals anything in Africa, and so far all attempts to remove the Eyrie from the planet have failed quite catastrophically. As a result the Owl's Eyrie from 2015 onward is effectively a sovereign enclave, a key hub for the Stateless Society and its ideals of dissolving the traditional nation state.

The Eyrie today is a sprawling facility running through and underneath the Sudanese jungle. The old manor house is almost completely covered over by a modern steel superstructure crawling with mercenary troops. Advanced stereolithography plants can produce weapons and sophisticated equipment on-site. It has its own laser defense grid powered by a artificial plutonium reactor, and a series of underground hangars for attack helicopters and VTOL aircraft. Drones and gunships sweep the skies and the jungle is littered with minefields, razor-wire and automated defenses. It is suspected that the manor houses a key server hub for the Exchange, the illicit virtual auction house run by former WRAITH shot callers, connected to the greater Internet through black satellites put into orbit by tactical missiles appropriated by Drake. Underneath however are still the trappings of old Imperial luxury of the Empire's heighdays: oak-paneled walls, oil portraits, thick carpets and chippendale couches, threaded through by hypermodern computers and invisible yet lethal defenses.

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I breakfast upon Armadas such as thine!


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