Escape Velocity aims to build and explore a futuristic post-cyberpunk Earth. The events of the story begin in 2092. Technologically, computing and connectivity have evolved to a scale where humanity experiences physical and virtual reality simultaneously and continuously. Medical and materials technology have advanced to a point where cybernetic augmentation is widely available but except for several pieces of computational hardware, relatively unused due to the availability of superior options. The gerontological treatment, effectively halting the aging process and bringing new vigor and energy to the elderly has been available for almost two decades already; the oldest human is already over 125 years of age. The successful implementation of fusion energy and the development of high energy batteries and suprapowerful electric motors has allowed Earth to circumvent many of the limitations relating to energy of the 20th and early 21st centuries. Nano, engineering and constructing material at the single molecule level, is only just beginning to come into its own. Rho-field manipulation allows the levitation of rho-eggs (flying cars) and rho-trains, as well as opening new avenues in medicine and space exploration. Man has colonized the moon. And so while technology has answered many of the pressing needs of previous decades and centuries, it has also led to new concerns and crises. The ‘internet’, which we call the maelstrom, serves as a breeding ground for virtual ‘life’, and that ‘life’ has learned from us how to kill biological systems, like humans, making us of wary and occasionally very real victims of the maelstrom. Fusion energy is not nearly as efficient or cost-effective as it needs to be to produce the energy the world needs. Despite our best efforts at curbing climate change, and our first tentative steps towards terraforming our own planet, the damage of our ancestors remains and we continue to do active harm to our atmos- and biospheres. The longevity treatment has led to huge social upheaval across the globe. It is expensive and time-consuming, the wait times for treatment measured in years, and occasionally in decades. Those without are known as ‘mortals’ and those with… well, one wonders what they sold to afford the treatment. The masses speak of divergent speciation. Socially and culturally, and especially politically, the world has changed. The trend towards globalization that was reinventing the economic and cultural identity of Earth’s people for the last hundred years has only accelerated, linking us physically through wide-spread transport availability, economically, though millions and millions of worldwide transactions every day, and of course through the connectivity of modern computing. Certainly almost every political border has been redrawn as nations and national identities have collapsed, to be replaced with a post-national structure called ‘phyles’. Trans-national corporations with greater wealth and resources than most early 21st century first-world nations govern populations alongside phyles built around cultural or ideological identities. While each of these have central ‘heartland’ territory where their presence is dominant, they all also have tens or hundreds of thousands of enclaves as large as major cities to as small as a single office tower strewn across the globe, making physical borders between the phyles effectively impossible to define, let alone police or limit. Free-market capitalism, like communism at the end of the 20th century has for the most part collapsed, the run-away predatory nature of its largest and most competitive- and most successful- institutions ultimately leading to the downfall of the system as a whole. This was cemented when the majority of the world’s population rose up against accelerating wealth segregation and the dissolution of the middle class first, unsuccessfully in the late 2050s, then again, with greater success, in 2061. Today much of the world’s population lives in financial systems variously called social market capitalism, coopetition, or democratic economics, depending on its implementation and the speaker. Despite this, the transition to a post capitalist economic model is not complete and much of the world continues to live in abject poverty. The supra-rich aren’t going anywhere fast and are only too eager to continue to exploit social and world resources when they can to entrench their positions. And the poor are so very expensive to care for, many have no state, no phyle to call home and have come to be known as the unaffiliated. Without medical or nutritional support, beset by the effluent and pollution of the wealthier, and their inexpensive labor often predated upon by those with better prospects, their lives are often diseased, violent, and short. And despite the successes of the ‘middle way’, the world is as fractured by competing economic models as it is by culture, religion, or ideology, And so the world is not the dystopia of the cyberpunk genre, where there is no hope and one lives a life in rebellion of the faceless powers above, and neither is it the utopia of imagined science fiction writers of old. It is something else, something I hope is both realistic and interesting. Introduction History Factions Society and Culture Technology Military Space I invite you to explore the world of Escape Velocity and consider participating in this game. I intend to launch in ~3 weeks. If you would like to play, please list your two favorite triple-A related phyles and your two favorite double-AA or A rated phyles that you might want to play (see factions). Also indicate which forum(s) you would be comfortable playing on. I need 14 players before launch.