World Building Blogfest: History and Politics of Dead Sea Games
It’s day 2 of Sharon Bayliss’s great 5-day blogfest on the subject of world building. Today we’re supposed to focus on the history and politics of our world, in my case the world of “Dead Sea Games” (1st episode available now on Amazon HERE). Beta readers of the second episode, Dead Sea Games: Exiled, brought up a lot of interesting questions about the politics of the Colony which I’ll attempt to answer here without spoiling anything for the next installment.
Day 2: History and Politics of Dead Sea Games
For the most part, the history of the world of Dead Sea Games is the history of the US into the near future. The Emergency–as the outbreak was commonly known afterwards–changed everything. Although the events that started the Emergency are well known to the survivors, the history of WHY the five East coast cities were attacked and WHO planned and engineered the bio-warfare agent are cloaked in shadow. In Dead Sea Games: Exiled, Jeremy will meet someone who may fill in some of the blanks, if only he knows to ask the right questions.
After the initial terrorist attack on NYC, the city turned on itself. Panic, chaos, and violence engulfed the city as authorities initiated quarantine protocols. The government poured resources into the city to try and quell the rising tide of stage 1 infected, but the swat teams and national guard units couldn’t outpace the infection. Quarantine of the island failed and people fled like rats, spreading the infection to the outer boroughs. Desperate to slow the spread, the President authorized a total quarantine protocol that trapped a million souls on the streets on NYC and destroyed billions of dollars of infrastructure in the process.
By the time the dust settled, it was already too late. The infection was everywhere and government forces were fighting on every front, in every city, up and down the Eastern seaboard. The focus shifted from fighting the stage 1 infected to total evacuation and the survivors in the major cities were left to fend for themselves. NYC was declared a disaster area in public, but in private it was given up as a “Dead Zone” and all travel to the city was forbidden.
Fast forward six months and 99% of the population of Manhattan has been turned in flesh-eating zombies. The 1% scramble like rodents in the ruins, trying to stay out of reach of the hordes and keep from starving to death. Three small groups of survivors band together and focus all their efforts on one building. They destroy the stairs and fire escapes below the third floor and clear the building of zombies. With some clever fortifications and steadfast vigilance, their one building safe house holds against the Sea. Word of a safe haven spreads fast and survivors pour in to help the leaders of the three groups clear an entire block of buildings using the same technique, creating the first cell.
The Colony is established and the rule of law given to a council of three men, made up of each of the first groups’ leaders, called the Triumvirate council. The council spends the next three months setting up a working constitution and guard force that brings some semblance of order back to the liberated cells of Manhattan. After much deliberation and several unfortunate incidents, it is declared that only citizens of the Colony are allowed permanent habitation in the secured cells. To be a citizen of the colony, you must be at least 16 years of age and sign an oath of loyalty and service to the council. Each citizen extends their right of citizenship to their own children, and up to two non-related minors, with the express understanding that they, and they alone, are responsible for the care and actions of their charges. Adults suffer severe penalties for the missteps of their children.
The young children were quickly vouched for and taken in by the adults of the Colony, but the teenagers, orphaned by the Emergency, are a different story altogether. Too many of them took to the wilding streets of the Emergency with gusto, and there was no turning back for them. Civilization and the discipline of strangers was not welcome. They preferred to take their chances with the zombies in exchange for a taste of unlimited freedom. Now the gangs of orphans live in the periphery of the Colony, feeding on the remnants of civilization and fighting their own battles for turf, safety, and food.
Stay tuned for Day 3 and Day 4 in one super-post on Religion, Food, Culture, and Holidays of the world of Dead Sea Games.