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Aberrant: Infinite Earth - CN: World Building

Doctor Varroxxian

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We should to establish some details about the CN world, about the organizations we work in, how the international cooperation that allows us to write globe spanning stories works, etc.

As has been suggested in chat - a thread is the best place for that.


The UK - I have already made some minor changes to the EU - namely that the UK is a firmer member than in RL. I also posited the UK as a grittier place, with more surveillance and very advanced infrastructure for using all that CCTV. Britain in particular is one step closer to Bladerunner or Shadowrun.

Germany - is still the economic heart of the EU, but in this world it is re-industrializing instead of going super-green. Its not dirty industry, but its not as much solar panels and such. German Nova geniuses are setting up very large apartment blocks with very cost efficient automated systems - not arcologies, but massive structures resulting in very low cost accommodations that are still livable - and the same companies that own the blocks are offering these tiny apartments as part of compensation packages. This helped industry to flow back into Germany, becuase it is once again economical to support an economical workforce in a highly educated European population. The reality of this is somewhat more sinister in many ways - like the fact that workers earn less actual currency means it is more difficult to move away from their current jobs ... but overall things are rosier in Germany than they have been for decades. The boom time is back on, even if it is a bit dystopic.

The EU - some places in the EU are still facing problems, but even in places like Greece or Portugal there are Nova economists who are alleviating the burden not only with austerity measures but with new ideas. Innovations such as 'volunteer' programs for the elderly that give them free meals, uniforms, and even extra medical coverage in return for coming out and doing useful but light duty roles in government offices and hospitals. This is not seen as derogatory, but has been popularized as combating agism and highlighting the vital role that seniors still play in society. Another successful program has been revolutionizing the already well developed public transit networks with carefully calculated measures such as electronic privacy screens, pleasing and stimulating aromatic ventilation systems, and soothing lights that make European trains, buses and ferries pleasurable to ride. These and many other programs make public expenditures more efficient, and have reduced or eliminated public deficits across Europe - and addressed the pensioner support issues that were looming.

On the downside in the EU, there are less freebies. The web is locked down, and you have to pay to play. Access to government, some news and certain educational sites is still free but governments and corporations split a great new revenue source - controlled entertainment content. Driving your own vehicle now costs much more in tax unless you are operating a business conveyance - personal autos are now closer to being luxuries than necessities. These small but significant changes have been rolled out underneath positive new programs like an improved public internet backbone and increased road safety programs. Clever misdirection on the part of Nova spokes people that has the average European not thinking about sacrifices they have made for the good of society. The media plays this game too, again with a subtle dystopic leaning in a new era of prosperity and safety.

Asia - In progress. Highlights will be a China that is much closer to RL, a North Korean evil empire with Nova's as the latest master plan of the glorious leader (who all the NK's swear is the most powerful Nova in the world, who trasncends time, and has the power to raise the dead if they are worthy), a few Japanese tidbits that will be 100% compatible with Kami's stuff (mostly how the politics of the region plays out), and an India with lots of rich, tech saavy people (as in RL) convinced the gods have been reborn (which would happen, but the two together will be neat).

Middle East - Factions of Islam and Coptic Christianity that both hate and love Novas for complex reasons (with the net result being that some factions of Islam are forced to employ the Novas they revile in order to face up to the Novas of the opposing factions, and a treatment of Refugee Novas being demonic and many native Islamic Novas generally being considered angels). The Arab spring, tourism, big oil, and unstable politics will all be treated - as will relations with western powers.

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Thoughts on international cooperation. There are three prongs as I see it - and they sort of overlap.

The first is Law Enforcement. There is solid precedent there. INTERPOL, joint task forces, etc.

The second is military, again solid precedent. This is why I am putting DL squarely in NATO. The UN is not a body that can get anything done, but NATO is a far different story. The EU - which is more unified in CN - and the US would both be centers of cooperation. They also would tend to work well with each other. I am lumping intelligence agencies in this group, because they usually have National Defense mandates.

The third is corporate, and this tends to overlap with the other two in interesting ways. Militaries use private security companies like reserve standing armies. Corporations also tend to have incredible abilities to pull strings in government ... so there is a sort of love triangle here. Mega corps are already strong in RL, and in the EU I am painting they are even stronger.

So the DSA and European organizations certainly have lots of avenues to interact.

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I think I'll post up info on Japan, from the notes I wrote up when I originally was going to have Kei be Japanese.

Japan since the arrival of the Refugees has been one of slow, but then rapid change. Japan was already in a economic malaise, and the refugees arriving only served to exacerbate the situation. With Japan's population starting to crash and many firms relocating to China or South Korea, Japan was looking for a win, but they mistrusted the Refugees, and the only ones they decided to take in were 7 known Japanese novas. They in turn provided the first quantum catalyst by their just being there to start priming the nation to start having eruptions.

By 2009, there were 5 native "Nihonjin" novas, and 10 by 2012. The first Nihonjin was the director of "Project: 0", Aiko Nishimura, who erupted in late 2007 when arguing with one of her superiors over the correct course of action in dealing with Refugees.

As the number of Novas grew, the trend of Psiads appearing was taking shape. With Psiads being required to register for security and privacy reasons, Japan started using the required training of said Psiads for national security work. This made Japan overnight the premiere intelligence agency in the world because they picked the best covert psi-operators they could recruit.

But one Psi gave a dire warning that was left unheeded and would cause calamity.

The Earthquake of March 2011 was a shock to the country both financially and psychologically. The disaster would claim many, but immediately after all of Department 0 sprung into action to create a Disaster Response team to respond to any future disasters as well as the current crisis. All Novas in Department 0 were assigned to the effort no matter what they could do. This would become the basis for "Nippontai", a team that would form up during an emergency to answer any crisis. In fact after the 2011 quake, the economic and industrial might of Japan went into disaster preparedness and the reconstruction effort.

Culturally, Japan is of two worlds. They are a thoroughly modern society, but with an eye for ancient custom. They are reserved but also have started to become more individualistic from western influence. Also after the Great East Japan earthquake, they also have started a regimented approach to disaster preparedness. This has started to cause a "Security Culture" to form. Every corporation now usually has a cadre of Psiads trained in corporate espionage, while the few native Novas provide national protection in the form of watching the nation's borders to just representing them on the world stage.

All the while Japan's popular culture becomes more and more dynamic, portraying Psiads as silent guardians of the homeland and Novas as heroes (sometimes villains). All the while, the refugee Novas that are able to call Japan home are called "The Rescued" and while they seem to have it rough, are looked upon by Japan with some curiosity, although the mistrust is there as well.

Department 0

Department 0 is the Japanese agency that handles Nova relations, regulation, and security matters for the country. They also regulate all technology developed by Japanese Novas. They do not hire or take on any refugees, because of their immigration status, instead recruiting from the scarce pool of Japanese Nova natives.

Department 0 isn't just a bunch of curious nerds and brave secret agents. Department 0 has a branch with it's agency dedicated to Homeland safety. Dubbed "Nippontai", their job is to react on call to various disasters and emergencies on behalf of the people of Japan. Nippontai operatives wear distinctive white with red detail suits that double as biohazard gear and rescue gear. They've even developed a space worthy "tension suit" to use on space-based missions.

Finally, Department 0 has a cell within each branch of the JSDF. Each one with it's specialists in the field serving alongside the branches.

Department 0 is headed by a 50 year-old Nova named Aiko Nishimura, she erupted late in her life, but developed strong inter-personal skills and managing prowess. She is known for her faded pink hair, love of white suits, and a taste for Sake. She's a reasonible person, and generally trustworthy, but she's known for being very clever and wily if need-be.

In Japan, all Psiads in Department 0 need 6 months of ethics training, followed by 4 years service in Japan's Intelligence Service, before they are even allowed to start hiring themselves out. Although in Japan, Psiads are generally associated with espionage and corporate intrigues than anything else. Novels about them sound like something Ian Flemming or Tom Clancy would write, and are either seen as mysterious, brooding heroes or as mysterious, dangerous guardians against some dark conspiracy. Then again, one popular anime series in Japan deals with a Psiad who helps people with their personal issues as a traveling psychologist. The Manga series it is based off of, "Dr. Omoikane", went for 400 volumes, and the anime series is in it's second series. Strange thing is, "Dr. Omoikane" is a real person in the CN universe as well. She works for the Health and Welfare ministry, and is a Professor of Psychology in Tokyo University.

In Japan, Nihonjin Novas and their Psiad counterparts are considered national treasures to be protected and nurtured. This has caused (and in some circles highly believable) the appearance that Refugees that are allowed into the country are second-class citizens. Thing is, Japan has been severely behind in the Nova race since they only allowed Japanese Refugee Novas (called "Rescued" Novas) and while the government doesn't hire rescued Novas, Refugees are regarded with some respect, but there is a long way to go since although they are Japanese they are yet foreign, alien residents. This weak level of Xenophobia has made "The Rescued" seem almost ignored. It doesn't help Japan's reputation that Japanese firms and even the government have courted foreign native Novas over their own Rescued population.

Japan's view of Native Novas is far more amicable in the fact that because of their rarity and the fact Japan is "behind" in the node race, they treat such power with kid-gloves. But since the "Nihonjin" are so special, it is not as if they are feared, just jealously protected. Usually behind a cadre of lawyers, bodyguards (if needed), and the best equipment and support they have access to. (If anyone rolls up for Japan, best have Backing 5 and Equipment 5.) That, and Nihonjin in Department 0 get a pretty good Salary, excellent medical benefits, and a therapist for the rough times. Free Room and Board in Tokyo at a SDF base while spartan, doesn't hurt either if the Nova started out with not much to begin with. Although once they get established they help the new member find a place to live.

If anything, it's as best a situation one can ask for. You just spend your days on the Government's payroll, and generally on call. If the Japanese Government or Department 0 ever calls, they have ways to get you back as quick as possible.

God help you though if you welch on your duties or actively piss them off... you'll find yourself cut off at just the time you need them. And sometimes they might set you up for the fall.

World Relations

US: The United States is the closest ally Japan has. Even with the disagreements with some hot-button topics, Japan sees the US as a close friend and send assets to assist whenever needed. After all the US probably did the same after the quake last year.

UK: Relations solely with the British are like any other allied nation, they do business, nothing more.

EU: The EU is a major political power, that houses a traditional ally in Germany. (Japan and Germany have been allies, even before WWII, and still are.) Not to mention the EU is a major economic partner. If the EU called, Assets would be sent depending on what was needed.

Australia: Australia is a Pacific Rim partner and Japan routinely does joint defense exercises with them, the Koreans, and the US routinely. And as economic partners there are trade agreements that makes them an important ally.

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The Refugee Factions

The Teragen in Cosmos Nova

The Refugees have a number of factions that arrived with them through the StoneHenge Gate. The foremost among them is the Teragen. This group is a mix of bitter Project-hating activists and thoughtful philosophers. They are the source of most of the problems with the Refugees, as their experiences with the powers that be in their former world have left them suspicious of baselines. Some of them positively hate baselines and integration has been rough. Thankfully, most of their members with powers of large-scale destruction are presumed dead in the wasteland left behind. Those that are left are in some ways more dangerous; the schemers and persuaders – and largely unknown as Terats. Many of them see the world as a fresh start; a chance to help release the shackles from their nova brethren.

The world powers are very concerned about the Teragen, but many are reluctant to assume that members of the refugees are members of a terrorist group without proof. Still, some of the refugees are suspected Terats and are watched accordingly. It is believed that many who claimed to be independent were actually Terat. Additionally, given the rush and fury after the gate opened, there’s fear that there were novas snuck into the new world.

Project Utopia in Cosmos Nova

Though fewer in number than the Terats who came through the gate, the Project has had an easier time integrating with the populace. Though still distrusted, they have continued to work to prove themselves to their new neighbors. They have been patient thus far, but many are finding the effort convincing people that they are sincere to be an endless battle. They are largely researchers and public relations specialists as most of the heavy-hitters were killed in the war.

The world powers would like to integrate the Project members more fully, but the general public has been slow to differentiate between the various factions. There was a lot of backlash when Utopians were first moved into positions of power, and that backlash continues.

The Aberrants in Cosmos Nova

The Aberrants are a small minority; their purpose in their old world is gone. As such, they have little purpose or ties in the new world. They have remained together out of a sense of unity and protection. Here, Jennifer Landers is a young human in law school, not the beloved Slider whose death defined their cause. There is talk of a new purpose, but they haven’t really found one – beyond watching the known Utopians to see if they brought a member of ‘Proteus’ with them and to watch out for breeding programs. For now, they are more like a drinking club than a political faction, but they are watching and waiting for their moment.

The Directive in Cosmos Nova

The handful of Directive agents that came through the gate have been able to secure jobs with the governments around the world, mostly because trained spooks are needed and because the general public didn’t realize they were novas. To these elite few, their new jobs feel like their old; they are not completely trusted and get passed over for the best jobs. Still, they continue to work for their new-old countries, and many of them as succeeding in planting seeds of distrust regarding novas in the right ears. Fortunately, their voices are very few.

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As discussed earlier in the OOC thread - No canon novas came through among the refugees. No sterility plot. That's not to say a Proteus agent didn't come through, but if they did, they wouldn't have the drug with them, and wouldn't have the means on this world to produce one locally.

It is also possible that novas may have come through from that world before the 'refugees' made their great escape and be living incognito.

After the refugees came through however, no further novas have come through, at least officially. Stonehenge is now at the center of a highly guarded military installation.

Secretly some governments have even begun to investigate other 'mystical sites' such as the pyramids in Egypt, Easter Island, other stone circles in the UK, and even sites sacred to Native Americans.

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"Blip" Novas

Blip novas are a common phenomenon. 8 out of 10 native novas are of this variety. Generally they develop only a few mega attributes and no powers outside of them. Either due to the circumstance of their eruption their power is very gradual in increase, taking a decade (Possibly) to reach fruition, or perhaps not at all. They generally have a quantum level of 3 to 5, and generally tend to not to be as tough or obvious as their full-grown compatriots.

They are called "Blips" because they barely "register on the radar" as a Nova.

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An Operator is a Special Agent of the DSA assigned to be the assistant to a Nova. They are either chosen because they are a Blip Nova and have talents the Nova they are assigned to can appreciate, or they are a Human with a skill set that can enhance the mission the Nova they are assigned to is on. Think of an Operator on a mission as a "RIO" in combat situations, relaying real-time data to the Nova over communications, or in non-combat situations as the Nova's assistant, helping keep their daily duties and matters in order.

The Operator is also chosen due to their synergy with their Nova partner. Typically the Operator lives with their assigned Nova for the duration of their assignment, and (hopefully) the two get along well enough to be friends. In fact it is DSA internal policy goals to have such a good rapport between the Nova and their Operator to have therapists and counselors on hand to help resolve disputes or to console the Nova if the Operator is killed in action or somehow dies during the duration of the assignment.

Unlike most policies, A Nova who is an agent of the DSA can opt to refuse the assistance of a Operator, instead opting to go it alone. In all matters, if the Nova deems it necessary, they can override or ignore their Operator if the mission they are on requires independent operation. Operators assist and help, nothing more, nothing less. Operators that cannot stay within those bounds and either become to controlling of the Nova in their charge or are too lax or negligent in their duties may find themselves pushing pencils before too long.

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  • 4 weeks later...


The European Union Nova Protection Network is the DSA of the European Union. Headquartered in Brussels with the European Union Parliament and Court of Justice, EuroNet also has a compound for new European novas to learn how to control their powers (and what use the might be as EuroNet Agents) just outside of Ramillies, a small town about an hour from the European Union capital. All European novas are required to spend time the Ramillies Nova Centre; their identities and powers are registered there and tracked by EuroNet. Legislation both for and against the registration precedent and EuroNet in general has been stymied in Parliament for years now, leaving the program in a grey area where European novas are "highly encouraged" not to attempt to get around spending time at the Centre or resisting registration despite the lack of formal laws. The status-quo has been set and the Powers That Be in the EU are keeping it enforced through social and media pressure, while avoiding the entanglements of human rights violations by preventing concrete laws that can be challenged or removed by the Court from actually making to a vote in Parliament.

EU novas find themselves in gilded cages. While not required to work for a major corporation or other political interest, those that don't find themselves stigmatized by the media as selfish, sinister, and possibly criminal or a danger to public safety. Those that "play ball" are rewarded with money, influence, and preferential treatment across all spectrums of life. Novas that decide to become EuroNet Agents are hailed as EU patriots and paragons of nova potential; while they still lack formal powers of a law enforcement agency, their handlers have the economical and political clout to ensure the Agents have pretty much free reign in their actions in the Union so long as they do not embarrass the EuroNet or cause massive loss of property or life.

A rumor has begun to spread about a "Nova Underground" that attempts to get to newly erupted novas before the EuroNet does, to prevent their registration and possibly smuggle the novas out of the EU. So far this has been dismissed in the media as a scare tactic by novas that object to the perfectly reasonable precautions set in place by the EuroNet; the rumor persists, though, as well as whispers that the Underground is also a network of novas working to bring down the EU, either as super-powered Robin Hoods or a Brotherhood of Evil made real, depending on who's telling the tale.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Brief World History:

In July 2005, a gate at Stonehenge opened into a low-quantum world. Superpowered people spilled out into the English countryside, many slipping away before the British government could rally. At the same time, a wave of energy ripped out through the world, causing the residents of the world to begin to show strange powers themselves.

The world governments began to respond as more and more super-humans appeared, both from the gate and from their own citizens. Additionally, there seemed to be two distinct kinds of super-humans; those the Refugees called ‘novas’ (the name has been adopted) and something else. In time, the something elses were called psiads, as their powers seemed telepathic in nature.

The numbers for each group remain low. It is estimated that there are between twenty and thirty Refugees, of which over half are Terat or Independent. Roughly a third of them are from Project Utopia’s Research and Development Division, while the remaining are from the Directive, the Aberrants or any of the other ‘canon’ groups. Of ‘natural’ novas, there are between eighty and a hundred – some countries are believed to be obfuscating their true nova census. Most novas are blips – they possess one useful power and have less than twenty NP. So far, over three thousand psiads have been discovered across the globe.

Stonehedge today is highly guarded and regulated by the EuroZone. There is a base built around the ancient structure and access is extremely limited.

The large number of psiads has created an NATO-funded and monitored group call the Psi-Corps. This group is even more regulated and restricted than the novas. The idea of touch-telepathy terrifies many governments and as such, they are closely watched. These so-called Psi-Cops do aid in investigations – when the country in question dares to call on them.

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Leaders of the United States:

David Carlson – This Southern Republican was a natural successor to George W. Bush, and won handily in 2008 on a platform of economic reform. He’s a good politician; smart and canny and able to spin with the best of them. He’s facing some political heat; in 2010, the Democrats took the house back, buoyed by a lack of economic progress. However, support for him remains strong as he enters the 2012 campaign, inciting whispers that he’s a nova. Carlson has repeatedly denied these charges, stating that “it’s not my fault if you like me.”

Morris Koehnen (pronounced Canen) – Koehnen is more moderate than Carlson, part of a strategy to unite those closer to the center with the conservative base that supports Carlson. This has worked so far and Koehnen’s general blandness compared to Carlson has allowed the President to control things. There’s worry that in four years, Koehnen might attempt to run; most don’t think he has the force of will to manage it.

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