Earth, a hundred years from now... or five minutes. We asked for this when we elected an actor for governor. Don't say you never saw it coming.
The advancement of technology coupled with growing celebrity culture and fame worship changed society as we know it. Every region is a democracy - not with politicians in white houses, but with idols on golden stages, TV stars walking red carpets. The electorate is a fanbase, because government has become obsolete and dissolved in favor of famous people using audience-granted power to shape the world.
If you're a normal person, you stan for someone, call them up with your audience participation tokens, and "vote" for them to throw around their riches and influence. If you're a journalist, you pursue your truth over your life, and plaster that truth on every available surface. And if you're famous, well. The world is in your hands, isn't it? But watch the court of public opinion or it'll execute you in a second.
plain test of anchor class
Society: Climate of Decadence
New political infrastructure distinguishes this world and its conflicts.
- celebrities with money and clout, enough to function as the rulers of particular regions or communities.
- a direct democracy voting event when an icon asks for their audience's opinion on how to tackle a current issue. They can use called-in polls, online tokens, or other representations of a vote.
- when public opinion punches an icon off their pedestal. This can be as mild as a reputation smear taking away someone's influence, but it can also include riots, acts of property destruction, and even violence. It's not uncommon for a revolt to end in a new icon rising, or for people to take advantage of revolts for this exact purpose.
- derogatory term for journalists, especially tabloid journalists (or those who go against popular narratives). So-called vultures are often accused of corporate espionage or sabotage, and the term is associated with coyotes.
- secret operatives that spy, hack, steal, and otherwise disrupt the entertainment industry, responsible for many a revolt. They are criminals, but the idea that every agency and network uses them is gaining acceptance.
News: Today in 2118
Political infrastructure, of course, is junk for the history books. Some headlines right now demand as much attention as any icon.
- singular, Miasma. A race of aliens invading Earth, who look like masses of geometric shapes in dazzling colors. Miasma come in many sizes, and their soldiers have varied adaptations that call for special tactics that the military can't always match. Miasma send only send soldiers every few weeks, but every wave is stronger than the last.
- synthetic humans, shaped like singing idols. They are a special kind of icon, marked by an intoxicating singing voice and a mechanical body designed for battle; their names are derived from myths venerated thousands of years ago. They all rose to fame around the same time, and are regarded as defenders of their regions as well as icons. This has led to a popular theory that idols were engineered as a defense against the Miasma.
Resonance Core Apparatus (RCA)
- the device within each idol’s throat that allows them to sing so beautifully and manipulate elements via synapses. A remarkable and coveted piece of technology.
- techies and musicians who travel with idols. Of course, those are official titles, but their true jobs are protecting their idols' images and identities, and their actual responsibilities may be that of a vulture's or coyote's.
- general term; the concept has a specific name for each idol, relating to their mythos. A devotee is more dedicated than a casual fan. They're part of all the audience participation events, send fan mail, spread the idol's news on social media, and generally make a huge deal about their idol. In extreme cases, devotees are vultures or coyotes.
- failed prototypes of idols. Most would-be mortals have been destroyed, but a handful have escaped their engineers and live in hiding - quite a struggle, considering that they lack past connections or memories. Some are more integrated in society than others. They are largely regarded as an urban legend, but dedicated hackers have found cryptic proof of their existence. The mere fact of their existence, as well as their small-scale elemental powers, is useful leverage against the agencies who made them.
Technology: All of the Lights
Celebrity culture couldn't have burgeoned as it has without the aid of technology.
- biological modifications, from tissue implants and bacteria replacements to prosthetic limbs and wetwork in the brain. A popular mod is a social media overlay over sight via contact lenses and nerve implants.
- antigravity material, which becomes lighter than air when particular gases are pumped into it. The byproduct it forms is non-toxic. It can glow different colors on activation based on how it is pigmented.
- glassy material that can become lighter than air when heated. It takes on an intense glow as it heats up.
- orb-shaped hovering drones covered in camera lenses. Often hovering around or remote-controlled by journalists.
- textile that can conduct electricity, designed especially to transmit nervous synapses.
- textile that becomes sharp as lasers when electrified. It can be shot in projectiles, or wrapped around melee weapons.
(to be expanded upon)
Aesthetics: Neon and Chrome
2118 doesn’t look like 2018.
- tall, extravagant, and artsy, with many colored lights. Art nouveau and art deco influences. As big and luxurious as possible, with some exceptions. Brutalism is popular for slums and similarly low-income areas, seen as preferable to “knock-off” opulence, and of course different icons have different tastes.
- the greater income concentration, the greater the indulgence and sprawl. The poor integrate with nature, for better or for worse, because hunting and working the earth take better care of them than the icons will. Their buildings are close together, poorly lit, and modified for maximum conservation of energy. Richer places are more spread out, with self-expression dripping from the architecture to the colorful infrastructures. It’s not uncommon to see the richest neighborhoods themed like amusement parks.
- hovering cars and bikes. There are “roads” outlined by floating lights to prevent accidents, as well as magnetic “nets” in case of the worst. They are made of brightly-colored reflective material, with glowing undercarriages and external lights.
- high cost, striking return. Inexpensive clothing is utilitarian jeans, t-shirts, and work boots. High-class clothing blurs cameras, broadcasts social media messages in real-time, and mimics slow-blooming flowers and the swirl of gas giants. Between lies the expressive if impractical mores of present-day runway fashion, adapted for the seasons. A notable exception is historical garb in natural textiles - natural fibers, especially animal fibers, have been steadily losing demand to synthetics, so historically-accurate traditional clothing is a mark of high class, great dedication, or both.
(to be expanded upon)