CHAMPIONS OF IDUN
to be taken to the IC thread
Many years ago, the world was torn apart by mankind. War, famine, pollution, crime, and more... no country was spared the consequences of humanity's hubris. Billions perished as people fought over scraps of food, over trickles of water, over who would deliver them from their suffering... until there were less than ten million humans left alive. Realizing that the future held only extinction if this continued, the remaining world leaders pooled what resources they had and saw to the construction of the city that would come to be known as Idun.
A massive clockwork city powered by both geothermal and nuclear energy, Idun was a marvel of engineering. To maximize living and working space, its walls and buildings towered high into the sky as well as delving deep into the earth. This also allowed the city to tap into many deep aquifers to slake the thirsts of its many inhabitants and irrigate the immense greenhouses used to grow the city's food. The world had been saved, in a sense. Not the whole of it... but enough of it.
Still, there is unrest. Some question how such a city can operate so smoothly. Others are unhappy that their taxes are so high. Nevermind the fact their basic needs, such as water and electricity, are all met. And a few have been outspoken and even violent in their distrust of the city's leadership. Any such outbursts are generally dealt with harshly, so as to dissuade further violence... but that never lasts as long as the authorities would like.
Those who commit serious crimes are exiled to the polluted and inhospitable wastes outside the city walls, as Idun's finite resources cannot support a large system to incarcerate these criminals for extended periods of time. Minor crimes are dealt with via resource penalties. For example, someone caught stealing from a shop might have their power cut off during set times of the day or their ration chips restricted for several weeks. It is not a perfect system, but it works.
Rumors have been circulating about the automated systems keeping Idun running, though. A few nutcases here and there are always saying things like "There are demons running this city" or "Your sandwich there is actually made from dead 'exiles', not animal meat" or even things like "I swear I saw some guy literally run up the side of the central spire last week." ... and every now and then, a tabloid picks up on one of these stories to gain publicity and hands the crazies a few ration chips for the stories.
One thing concerns some of Idun's older citizens, though. The crazy stories? Maybe they're not so crazy. After all, they are always the same general tales. Even the ones about people doing impossible things often followed a theme. If they were so crazy, wouldn't they be different or more outlandish? In the five centuries since Idun was founded, only a select few had ever been assigned to maintenance duty in the greenhouses and utility sections. Why? Was the city just that autonomous? Or was there something to hide...
You are one of the around eight million denizens of Idun. You go about your life in whatever manner you are accustomed to. Are you a baker, making sweets not covered by ration chips for folks to buy on special occasions? Maybe a factory worker, processing rations to feed the masses? Perhaps an athlete on one of the city's menagerie of sports teams? A musician? A journalist? A mechanic? Regardless of your profession, your world suddenly changes and you are unsure what to do.
Last night, you awoke in a sweat. ... no... awoke is not the right word... it was like a waking dream. You were not quite asleep, but neither were you awake. A womanly figure shrouded in a silvery light appeared before you in your room and spoke of the atrocities committed in the belly of Idun. The automated zones are not so automated as the people are led to believe. She says that "exiles" are corralled and controlled as if they were less than dirt. Enslaved. Abused. Raped. Beaten. Murdered. Why? All to keep those above living in luxury.
Many have tried, she says, to change the city and free Idun's mercilessly oppressed underclass. You hear of them sometimes from the "crazies", who speak of people doing unlikely or even impossible things. It seems the stories are not so crazy as they seem. Are the other stories true as well? She cannot tell you, for time grows short and some things must be learned first hand. Touching your forehead, she says "A parting gift for Idun's newest champions"... champions? But you are only one person. Wait! Don't go! There are so many questi-... your alarm buzzes annoyingly in the background as you spring to alertness once more.
Perhaps you brush it off as a weird dream. Perhaps you think about it all day. Either way, you soon find you have an unusual ability that you did not have before the dream. This is not good. Soon you might be the one the crazies are talking about... and then the police will probably come for you. Will you hide this gift and try to live your life as usual? Will you become a criminal by using your power to exploit those beneath you? Will you usher in change for the better and try to save those trapped in the automated zones?
This is your story... now turn the page and see what happens next.