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"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity."
- - Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil Rights Activist and current head of the Allied Poverty Reduction Programme
The City of the Future
Take a trip south down interstate 80, westbound. As you shift gears on your new hybrid, listening to the sound of your tires on smooth road and the wind rushing through your hair, you'll see something remarkable. Ahead, looming in the distance, you'll see one of the most famous skylines in the world, the looming grace of the new arcology being constructed there. Past the wind farms and tidal power plants, the air scrubbers removing excess carbon dioxide and CFCs from the air, drive right up into the city, over the mighty Bay Bridge and into the city. Around you, silvery spires rise endlessly into the clear blue sky, tangible signs of humanity rejecting its limitations. Helicopters of every shape and size buzz through the air, desending occasionally to pick up waiting passengers. Your radio chimes out a familiar tune.
It's the middle of rush hour but there are no traffic jams; cars seem to melt away onto an endlessly complex yet amazingly straightforward set of tunnels. A monorail passes noiselessly above the street, casting a brief shadow of the setting sun. Around you is a vast tapestry of humanity, people chattering away happily in a dozen languages, never a harsh word passed between any of them. Walls of white and silver and blue mixed seamlessly with carefully tended plants, groves of trees mingling with works of art celebrating the achievements of humanity. Everything is so safe, so peaceful, and you feel like you are returning home.
Welcome to the City of the Future.
Citizen of the World
The Allies are a lot more than a military group of a loose coalition of countries. Ever since the end of the Second World War, it has been something else entirely, a political, economic and scientific powerhouse that has shaped it's member countries as much as they have shaped it. Ultimately, the Allies have come to represent shedding the nebulous concept of "state" and "nationality", a reality that terrifies some and greatly attracts others. When the veterans of World War 2 were demobilized, they came home with a fresh view of the world; the barriers of nationality seemed pointless. These same veterans redefined the Allies from a mere multinational army to an unbreakable concept that philosophy is more important than nationality. The geographical location of your birth, after all, is essentially meaningless as compared to your beliefs.
The Allies as an organization have used their vast political power to enact widespread changes in the nations that contribute to it. Using their nature as an evolving, mutually binding set of treaties, they have passed into existence international laws that somewhat standardize life in Allied nations. A citizen of the world (which in practical terms means anywhere the Allies control) have an expansive set of basic human rights; right to life, right to free expression, access to health care and a social safety net, and so forth. These rights are universal anywhere the Allies can safely reach to enforce them, though only grudgingly accepted in places (and in others they are actively resisted)
To fund their extensive programs, the Allies are funded by the governments that back them, which in turn are funded by taxpayers. However, in many of the more integrated Allied nations, the divide is increasingly nonexistent, with the government having atrophied to little more than a branch to make mostly-trivial executive discussions while the Allied-lead programs they pay for run the day to day business. The Allies lack a central political leadership and so instead handle everything as a series of challenges, tearing into each issue as it arises with ever-increasing amounts of calculated efficiency until the resolution of the problem becomes routine. As British Prime Minister Harold Wilson infamously snapped at a critic as he announced the incorporation of the National Health Service into the Allied World Health program; "What can I say; they get things done!"
During the dark days of World War III, the Allies ran into serious shortages of oil thanks to the Soviet wolfpacks and Soviet control of the Middle East. However, before this was able to cripple the Allied war machine, clever engineers turned to technology first pioneered in 1899 with the Lohner-Porsche Mixte Hybrid, replacing the engines of civilian cars and military vehicles alike with hybrid-electric versions. As a result, cars made in Allied-friendly regions are known for their unearthly silence as they fly down the roads, producing little more than an electic whine at their top speeds. This has created a notable rift in car manufacturers and collectors, with many large American car companies responding to the small, silent hybrids by making ever larger vehicles with engine acoustics specifically designed to create intimidating noises.
Team Allies: World Police
Much has been made of the Peacekeeper's defense of the free world from the Soviet Union and the Rising Sun, but just as in the eyes of people everywhere is their efforts to prove thier name. In the early days of the Allied nations, it was decided that the best way to stop war was to insure peace throughout the world. While many humanitarian and social programs do so without violence, all to often peace must be made at the barrel of the gun. To enforce the coming Pax Democracy, the Peacekeepers were formed. Though first meant as the front line against the Soviets, in the precious years of peace between open war, they were scattered around the Earth, stopping brush fire wars and preventing humanitarian crises. Their actions depend on the severity of the region.
All too often, aid sent by the Allied Nations and developed countries is confiscated by warlords in the region. One of the Peacekeeper's most common task is to safeguard relief supplies to crises points. This can be as little as a few Peacekeepers armed only with beanbag shotguns, to an entire convoy of Riptide's and Multigunner IFV's, with air support. Sometimes the removal of these warlords is in order, in which case the region is cleared of militia's. The Peacekeeper's are well trained in anti-insurgency; vehicles are proofed against IEDs, while the Peacekeeper's gear itself maximizes survivability.
There comes a time, though, when a dictator is simply too much a threat to peace to be allowed to survive. In this case, after much debate in Geneva, the Peacekeeper's air support will smash any armed forces the dictator has, as the ground forces apply thier standard anti-insurgency methods. Many a dictator have found themselves on the wrong end of a wire-guided cruise missile identifying their living room window. Only major powers can afford a conventional war against the Allied Nations. The Allies, though, would prefer to settle things peacefully. If there is a diplomatic option, they will take it, and it's better to get two sides to negotiate instead of using force to pacify them. For all these actions and more, Peacekeepers are seen world wide as liberators, who not only destroy tyrants but uplift those around them to a stable level of prosperity.
Places of the Future
Like one perhaps would expect out of the home of FutureTech, the capital city of the Netherlands is one of the most advanced in the world. The center of the Randstad urban area, encompassing a large part of the country's population, this city is the heart of the Dutch economy, although increasingly dominated by FutureTech. While the Dutch government rules from the Hague, Amsterdam is still considered as the capital due to historical, demographical and tourism reasons.
Considered one of the world's most liberal cities, many people have fled oppressive homes and societies to find a new home in Amsterdam. While the Allies, unlike the Syndicate, have cracked down on prostitution and drugs, they are still found in Amsterdam, although strictly controlled and under heavy criticism by many prominent Allied officials.
Biking is very common, and Amsterdam is together with Copenhagen one of the Allied cities with the highest numbers of bicycles per capita. This has made cars a relatively uncommon sight, which along with the extensive train and metro networks profile Amsterdam as a green and clean city.
Some of the most prominent sights of the city are its famous canals, mostly built by man ever since the 17th century. Today, the canals are heavily modernized, and hosting large parts of the Dutch and therefore also Allied navy. The FutureTech Headquarters, a modern landmark, is situated by the waterfront.
Amsterdam was never invaded during the war, as the Soviets were held back at the Dutch border by the remainders of the Allied armies in Europe and all of FutureTech's arsenal, not risking a takeover by the Soviets and an unevitable shutdown. It did, however, contain one of Western Europe's largest air bases. Plans found by Allied Spies indicated that Amsterdam was the primary goal for an Imperial invasion of Europe.
|Location||Massachusetts, United States|
One of the oldest cities of the United States, Boston is also one of the larger ones, and leads the region known as New England consisting of the northeasternmost of the 48 states. Local patriots claim that the Union was founded in the city, where events such as the Boston Tea Party took place. Later, it rose to prominence as one of the most important seaports in the United States.
Today, it is a center of education and technology, with one of the highest educated populations in the country and several universities nearby. It is also a pro-Allied stronghold, and has consistantly voted against the Federalist Party and former President Ackerman, the rural focus scaring away the urban progressives. Instead, the Democratic Party has been the most popular party in the state, although with the desertation of the popular former president John F. Kennedy to the Confederates the party ground is shaky.
Thus, the city is also one where the Allied reforms has made the most impact. After the Boston Oil Spill in 1966, the Allies have committed to modernize the seaport, which is now an example of the latest technological advances. One of the cleanest and most environmentally friendly ports in the world, it was of great importance to the Allies during The Silent War. It was, however, never threatened during the war except during the Soviet attempt to attack New York, when the naval base's forces was mobilised to assist the city. Currently, it is still an important Allied stronghold as more and more of America revolts.
One of the newest cities in the world, Brasília was founded due for a need to shift the Brazilian capital inland, as the southeastern cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo dominated the country. A competition was held, and the building of Brasília commenced in 1956, and the city was technically completed four years later, although the great expansion and modernization since then has changed the city considerably. The cost of such a monumental project was underwritten by the Allies, who wanted to invest in the promising country of Brazil to preserve its loyalty and strength as well as move the government away from the Syndicate infested slumhole of Rio de Janeiro.
Planned to be a futuristic city with smooth traffic and a clean environment, Brasília succeeded better than anyone could imagine. The city's growth was faster than expected, but still not overwhelming, and it currently has around half a million inhabitants. The city is shaped like a bird spreading its wings, a symbolizing image of the futuristic view the city was based on. One of its greatest feats is its modern traffic system, working with parallel throughfare roads and local streets to eliminate jams, and the city is remarkable for not needing traffic lights.
Brasília is generally acclaimed for its modern architecture, which have gained mostly very positive criticism, and efficient planning. It is also one of the most open-minded cities of South America. The South American Command Center of the Allied Nations is located here, far from any combat zones except minor skirmishes and insurgencies.
While Switzerland held true to its principles of neutrality for hundreds of years, being invaded during World War II and having several villages destroyed by the Soviets helped to end it. When a permanent headquarters was to be decided on, Geneva became a compromise between the founding countries, especially France and Germany. During World War III Geneva was reduced to rubble and would have been destroyed, if not for the use of Chronospheres to bring in the Allied Navy. Geneva has a lot of sentimental value to the Allies as it is the place where the Allied Nations were formed in 1950 to counter the Soviet offensive. To this day Geneva remains the undisputed capital of the Allied Nations.
As the Third World War ended, Germany was divided in two. Many Germans turned their back on the Allies for abandoning their countrymen to the communist regimes, and a large part of the Allied ARVs had to be sent in to clear the riots after the Soviets began building the Berlin Wall. Many decided to flee Europe for the United States and protest the Allied actions or lack of them in more aggressive ways.
But as walls were built in the west, the Allies tried to compensate for the loss of eastern Germany in the western parts, to improve efficiency and try to settle the angry mood. The European Railway was completed in 1968, connecting the western parts of continental Europe with each other. The finest example of the Allied investments is thought to be Hamburg, coincidentally the current northern end of the line.
Nowadays, the post-war investment has restored the city to far beyond its former glory. With an increased standard of living due to the new houses built and much improved infrastructure, Hamburg is the envy of many a German stuck in the east, ironically further increasing tensions. The port is the largest one in Europe, and in addition to several cargo ships it serves ferries to several destinations. Indeed, Hamburg is Germany's Gateway to the World.
After the Battle of Britain, where London was razed to the ground, the people of Britain took the task of rebuilding London as a blow to their confidences. Reconstructing landmarks with painstaking accuracy, rebuilding lost homes, or just fixing the sewage pipes seemed like an incomprehensible task. Yet, the government did not just intend for a rebuild; they intended for a brand-new London that would keep up-to-date with the times. So the British people undertook the task valiantly. A brand-new underground, new, reliable, hydrogen generators, and even skyscrapers showed themselves in months. Indeed, look all around London, and you'll see crisp, new skyscrapers that seemingly melt into the skies, and pedestrianized cobbled streets everywhere. The 'old' and new blend seamlessly.
Yet London's restoration was not completed until late into the 'break' after World War III. London's landmarks (or what was left of them) still laid in ruins, and the brand-new alliance with the Empire of the Rising Sun just formed, many countries of the Allied Nations were skeptical of the peaceful intent of the treaty. So, the Empire came up with a proposal. Emperor Kamina, the new leader of the Empire, felt 'deeply sorry' for the loss of London's heritage. So, he held a conference with the division of the Allies in charge of rebuilding London, and offered to help. Three days later, an Imperial Engineering Team came to London. Three weeks later, they left.
What they had achieved was remarkable: the ruined landmarks of London, restored by a miracle of modern science: Nanotechnology. The Houses of Parliament stood tall, Buckingham Palace rebuilt, and Tower Bridge shining where there had been rubble a month before.
The Empire had earned a new ally in the British, and it is sufficient to say, that all doubts about the Empire were dispelled.
London is still being improved to this day. The capital of Britain is likely to be one of the best cities of all time. But many citizens are still not convinced of the 'flying cars' that the hit BBC television series, Tomorrow's World boasts are still to come.
Few places in Europe are more beautiful than the Côte d'Azur. But with regards to the metropolis of Marseilles, the histrical port of Toulon and the former battlefield of Cannes, the prize of the region's most beautiful goes to Monaco. Independent since the medieval ages, Monaco is still today by the dukes of the Grimaldi family, who today are only representative monarchs; the real power lies with the Council of Government and the Allied Nations, who have overtaken France's role as the country's external support.
During the war, Monaco was occupied by the Soviets, who commissioned its casinos for their own use. This required a very lenient occupation, and so the city was mostly unchanged except for Soviet officers gambling along with the usual customers. Therefore, Monaco is still relatively friendly to the Soviets, contrasting for example the communist-hostile United States.
The city sports an excellent view of the sea, and with Monaco having been granted several exceptions from the Allied gambling regulations, Monaco is growing extremely rapidly; the Monegasque urban area is projected to grow together with the one of Nice in 1980, which will make the city far greater than the country. This has created problems for the Allies, who have tasked the Monegasque politicians with finding a solution; even if it means giving up their sovereignty to France. Currently, the wealth of the Grimaldi family and the casino revenues finance the city, ranking Monaco as the city with the largest investments in its growth.
Monaco is sometimes labelled the "Las Vegas of Europe" due to the aforementioned gambling. While Monaco has enforced income tax on its citizens like the rest of the Allies in the later years, the rich people leaving have been replaced by gamblers of all social classes, who all are united in the joys of Monaco.
|Name||New York City|
|Location||New York, United States|
Almost everyone in the world associates the words Big Apple to the most famous city in the Western world. It is a cultural crucible, a landmark of freedom of thought and act, a home to many Allied-aligned corporations and, generally, a great place to live and enjoy life according to five out of six Allied citizens. However, after the Battle for New York, the city became a little more than that; the first fully amphibious bases of the United States were rapidly thrown up around New York in the aftermath of the assault, transforming the city into a veritable citadel.
Even with the massive level of protection, the Allies have transformed New York in something else than just a must-see for any tourist in the western world. After the Soviet assault, it seemed the right thing to do. New neighbouroods, new skyscrapers, and even a new "World Trade" arcology, Patriot Spire, rose where the rubble had piled; every school of thinkers, every philosopher's thought, every form of art, every artwork, every form of humanity, became part of this city, that the Soviets tried to maim. Museums, library membership and news coverage are absolutely free for every inhabitant or visitor. Central Park University has become one of the most prestigious and advanced think-tanks in the world. The Statue of Liberty, recently rebuilt in its old and lovely green colour, is now surrounded by Freedom Town, a large social experiment in which some lucky residents from every part of the Earth coexists, side by side, with dozens of other fellow humans... even Chinese or Russians are represented, and with them, their cultural heritage. This has come to represent the true goal of Allied powers and philosophies: we can all live together, cooperate, coexist. As far as we can overcome our differences in order to accept some common laws, a common ground... we can recreate heaven on Earth.
|Location||California, United States|
Many tourists from other cities built by rivers, such as Prague and Vienna, are frequently surprised when they arrive in Stockholm and see people swimming in the lake right next to the city center like if it was the Canary Islands or the islands of Greece. But the water is in fact clean enough to allow anyone to swim or fish at their leisure, waving at the boats sailing by towards the Åland Islands and looking at the medieval architecture of the Old Town. If one was to leave the city center, one would find protected forest areas to take a stroll in just a few kilometers from the city and an archipelago of thousands of islands.
While the city in itself is a view, it is by no means futuristical - with exception for the new, modern city center, all attempts to tear down the cultural buildings have invoked the anger of the people, historians and tourists, and the proponents are today more or less non-existent. The futurism instead lies in the ultra-modern suburbs, with a whopping 400,000 new apartments of 1,1 million in the entire country planned due to a large demand of new places to live in the early sixties. When the Soviets invaded Stockholm in 1965, they saw no reason to interfere with the project. If they would win the war the city would still need living places. Thus building continued like business in most other sectors despite the foreign rule, although with a more Soviet fashion, until the occupation ended.
The new suburbs contain the best of both Soviet and Allied architecture. The apartments are effecient like the Soviet comraderies, but still asthetically pleasing. The greatest part of these modern places is the communities, as daycare, grocery stores, supermarkets, pharmacies and everything one'd ever need is close wherever in the city you live. Inside the living areas the roads are closed for cars, instead reserved for the excellent public transport and bicycles, with cars parked outside the housing areas. The roads between the suburban communities are inspired of Brasília's successful method. The streets are almost completely clean throughout the city, due to the large abundance of cleaning and litterboxes.
When the Second (and later Third) World War started, thousands of refugees fleeing from Europe needed a country with large open spaces to accomodate them, friendly citizens, and most of all, safe from Soviet attack; Australia fit the bill perfectly. After the war was over many refugees moved in permanently, and for this reason, Australia's population has almost doubled since WWII, composed mostly of German, French and Polish immigrants.
In addition to displaced refugees, Sydney also houses the Allies second largest Pacific port (after San Francisco) and after the treaty between the Allies and the Empire, a decent portion of the Empires South Pacific fleet. However some eye the Japanese visitors with contempt, after shaking Australia's status as a safe haven from attack. Many of the Japanese also share this feeling due to having lost relatives and countrymen to the Allied bombers stationed at Sydney airbase. In a effort to reduce this tension, the Government has create a large "Japantown" where Japanese sailors feel more at home, and Australians become more accustomed to Japanese cultures. Although effective for the most part, many older veterans still hold on to their old hatred.
Only loosely called a city, Yye, rrrerrre-kkkkllaii is a collection of old Ironclad-class destroyers that were stripped and sunk, intentionally left with large air bubbles inside. This was done after WWII to provide a capital for the United Allied Pods, to make paperwork easier and to provide a central location to drop off gear. Located in the Virgin Islands, it is very safe from Akula threats; even if one were to come along, it would be swarmed by dolphins and destroyed.
Here, Chancellor Glynnis Barnacle resides, doing little but catch fish until she's called to represent the UAP in Geneva. Otherwise, Yye, rrrerrre-kkkklaii serves as a meeting placed for all dolphins, and their dim, non military cousins the pilot whales. It is also quite popular with snorkelers and divers, who often take a guided tour from one of the residents.
Yye, rrrerrre-kkkkllaii has recently come under fire from pundits who protest the UAP's inclusion of a Confederate Revolutionaries embassy nearby. The UAP feels the Confederates aren't worth fighting due to their efforts to reduce pollution, and a few even appreciate the movement for greater rights for dolphins, though this is mostly work of one faction of the Confederates. The Allied Nations themselves have no official position on it, since the "embassy" mostly comes down to the ambassador, one Jimmy Buffett, sitting on a beach chair sipping tropical drinks and struming on his guitar.