When the city of Alont collapsed into civil war, the people went about it like they did everything else, with bureaucracy and organisation. Once it became clear that only armed conflict would settle the disputes between the five warring political parties, plans were made. Those not willing to fight or neutral were ejected from the city into a refugee camp. Everyone else moved into their assigned section of the city an waited for noon on midsummer. On the last chime of the temple bell, the war began. A year later and the strict rules imposed to minimise the damage to the city have resulted in near stalemate. One faction has been reduced to a terrorist cell and another holds only a sliver of the city’s edge. The other three trade streets but cannot make any meaningful progress. More time is spent fighting about rule interpretation than competing for territory. Meanwhile, the evicted across the river have turned the refugee camp into a bustling city.
The interface between machine and mind opened up sentient cognition to new realms of senses and sensations. But this access came at the cost of openness. The serous mind crime unit was formed to deal with the growing spread of memory alterations. Amongst the witness manipulations and harmful jokes, they found a frightening new crime. Organised crime, always in need of funds, had started to kidnap memories for ransom. Unless the victim met with the demands, the memories would be kept or even deleted. With little overhead in hiding and keeping the data, it was an easy. It is so lucrative to exploit the grief and love of strangers that some gangs have stopped their other operations. A even more worrying escalation has seen the kidnap of entire personalities.
“Keep your cannon loaded.” It wasn’t the official motto of the Snow Guard, but it was the one drilled into the new recruits and veterans alike. Once the snow closes in, the only warning you’re going to get is your dog growling, for nothing can be seen or heard under all that falling ice. You don’t expect the the rest of your party to cover your back.This is the Snow Guard and we’ve a three thousand mile frontier to patrol and only a few hundred volunteers to do it. We’re alone when we’re out here and it is always dangerous. Yes, the days are gone where an entire platoon would go missing, but now we’ve the cannons we can hit back just as hard. So if you want to survive the season and you get your next set of tattoos, you keep you’re cannon loaded. If you’re really lucky, you’ll get a chance to reload.
Image Credit – Memory by Clive Darra – CC-BY-SA-2.0