With the work of Crown Industries, Dr. River's private corporation, he'd created many products to uplift humanity technologically, culturally, and intellectually, releasing revolutionary technologies in artificial intelligence, cybernetics, bio-engineering, and other such high-demand fields. Through competition, other corporations had created similar products, and so all of humanity was changed through the markets. With this New Industrial Revolution, Dr. River began a secret conspiracy to slowly take away power from world governments and give them to the people. With this conspiracy, he'd created the Neohuman Society, a group of superhumans, brillaint scientists, and exceptionally talented individuals who would not only see to the safety of the residents of Earth, but see the conspiracy through, creating their own corporations and for-profit organizations that provided for the people better than their governments did, shifting public opinion on the roles of the state.
By the year 2250, the entire world had changed through a combination of this massive industrial revolution, societal engineering by the Neohuman Society, and the integration of technology into people's daily lives. Most world governments at this time were very small, designated to roles such as protecting boarders, ensuing the following of contracts, and enforcing/making laws. This created an age of hyper-free markets, free trade, and massively large economies, allowing individual countries to grow and, through various forms of non-violent colonization (mostly involved with private industries buying land from countries), became entirely different states entirely. By the year 2254, space-age technology was finally perfected, and commercial space travel was legallized. Individuals took to the stars for various reasons, such as starting a new life, business opportunities, or corporate mining.
By the year 2890, the solar system was completely colonized, with colonies either evolving into sovereign states or being assimilated by other republics that have taken to space. All of humanity, while remaining in sovereign states, have united into a single coalition due to the interest of free trade and military strength. This Coalition of Humanity was headed by what had been before the Neohuman Society, was now a centralized Senate called the Technocratic Council, a council composed of technical experts in various fields, such as science, mathematics, economics, government, et cetera, along with artificial intelligence that act as assistants, covering whichever bases that human minds couldn't.
Under the Technocratic Council, the Coalition cooperates peacefully, with corporations freely able to branch out into other republics and do business.
While this does not create a utopian society where everyone is massively taken care of, it does create the greatest extent of liberty and equal opportunity for citizens, with meritocracy being the key rule here: you will fail or succeed by your own merits. The only roles the government has are keeping everyone safe, upholding contracts, making and enforcing laws, and maintaining a propaganda-free education system. Due to the very little power the government has, corporations don't really bother bribing or lobbying, as the government doesn't really have the power to either subsidize businesses or impose regulations on the market to give them special advantages over other businesses.
The Central Technocratic Monarchy is a body of technical experts with Malcolm River as the absolute monarch. Dr. River ensures that the individual States of the Coalition stick to their limited roles, and the technical experts act as strategic advisors to offer him the best solutions to problems that affect the Coalition as a whole. The structure of the politics of the Coalition are a federalist system: individual States within the Coalition can make their own laws, but the Central Technocratic Monarchy controls the courts and the military, furthermore, the Crown's role is to be sure the individual liberties of its citizens are not violated.
While there are many sovereign nations within the Technocratic Coalition of Humanity, here are the main States:
The Lunar Republic:
From there, resources were mined from various asteroids to gather heavy elements such as nickel and iron. Terraformation machines liquefied these elements and, on the moon, transmitted this heavy matter directly to the core of the moon. Over the course of years, this steadily increased the gravitational pull of the moon until it was at a cozy 1 g. After that, it was simply a matter of creating an atmosphere. Using imported iron from other star systems, a massive iron ring was created as a band around the moon, magnetizing it and giving it the proper magnetosphere to shield it from solar radiation. The previously used seismic machines had awakened tectonic activity on the moon, creating massive volcanoes and super volcanoes that spat out ground water and carbon dioxide, cooling the planet enough to condense clouds and create rain. During this period began a massive ice age, which had then been stopped by a period of global warming, marked by now-darker surfaces on the moon -- composed of new soil created via weathering and erosion, plants that had been planted by automatons, and greenhouse clouds placed there via nanotechnology. This period of global warming melted the frozen bodies of water on the moon, and provided the necessary water and water vapor to form clouds and for plants to properly move onto land. After years of already existing civilians planting things on the surface, photosynthesis creating an oxygen atmosphere, and the formation of natural jungles, the new dwarf planet, Luna, was ready for inhabitation.
Society: The Lunar Republic is a little more moderate than the other republics of the Coalition, having slightly higher taxation and an entire welfare system to care for the obscenely poor and disabled. Nevertheless however, the Lunar Republic is still very capitalist in structure, placing very few regulations on business as a whole. The Lunar Republic's most thriving industry is Entertainment, with many celebrities calling the place home. Besides Entertainment, tourism and gambling are also thriving industries, with many tourists going to the Lunar Republic to gamble or participate in their infamously high-stakes stock market. The Lunar Republic has a truly massive media base, composed of private media enterprises, independent news bloggers, and content creators in the billions.
Before Luna was terraformed, humans still colonized the moon with large dome-cities kept at 1 g with artificial gravity. The terraformation project was mutually funded by a conglomerate of corporations, and maintained/orchestrated over the years by an A.I, who kept close record of the events, even providing a computer simulation in ultra-realistic detail, containing specific information about the climate of Luna, and how it would change in the long-term.
Info: The moons of the Outer Planets were colonized purely as personal projects for megacorps to base their several financial districts, banks, and shopping centers. Because of the distance from the sun, huge solar mirrors were sent in orbit, melting the ice and keeping the temperatures just warm enough that the moons were habitable. Moons with harsh surfaces like Io underwent large-scale environmental engineering via nanotechnology, and vegetation was planted to create an atmosphere over a long period of time. Even today, the environments of the Jovian Moons are very cold, which is why most settlements are domed city-states with internal weather control. Outside, storms rage and ravish the ecosystems, storms ranging from frozen hurricanes to massive volcanoes, but the dome cities are safe due to the super durable glass-like material they use.
The Jovian Moons' terraforming is expected to be done somewhere around 6000 or 7000, if the human race does survive that long. For now, the cities are domed.
Society: The Federal Jovian States are easily the trade hubs of the Coalition, as well as the banking and financial capitols. The Federal Jovian States are where many go to do business, and business deals with alien races are held. Because of the Coalition's famously free markets, humans are popular to do business with, meaning the Federal Jovian States are always alive with incoming cargo ships, CEOs, and business owners looking to make deals or sell and buy stock. The FJS is the manufacturing capitol of the Coalition, with many corporations producing their goods there via automation. The Federal Jovian States are owned by a conglomerate of corporations who own several private swaths of land where entire societies live. This republic is one of the main factors keeping peace in the Coalition, as there are famously secure and secretive banks here where people store their earnings to keep it from others. Due to this significant political and financial leverage, the Federal Jovian States are mutually useful to everyone and thus it is within their best interests to keep the peace so that the FJS can continue to operate.
Due to its massive importance to the Coalition's economy, security, and livelihood, the Federal Jovian States have the most military protection, including by private militaries from both their own and other corporations. Allied alien races pitch in also, offering their military technology and soldiers to protect their stock and funds. The FJS makes the Coalition one of the most protected places in the galaxy, which makes sense due to what is at stake.
Cargo ships are usually come from here, as the completely free trade make it easy to conduct transactions and for other republics to trade with one another.
Terraformation Info: Mars was the first candidate for colonization, and later terraformation, with many corporations claiming it first. Terraformation was a collective effort between many different corporations. The first problem was the immense cold of Mars, making it borderline unlivable at night hours. This was circumvented by massive greenhouse factories being put up all over the place, spewing out greenhouse gases that trapped in what little heat the planet got and exponentially cooling the planet over the course of hundreds of years. After the planet was sufficiently warmed, the ice caps that already existed on the planet began to melt, creating large bodies of water that, in turn, evaporated and created clouds. Vegetation was planted upon Mars by corporate interests, slowly creating large, sprawling forests in the Martian soil, which, through the process of photosynthesis, created an oxygen atmosphere. While this process was going on, massive holes were drilled to Mars' outer core, liquefying it with massive heat currents to create a self-sustaining convection process, awaken tectonic activity, and create a magnetic field to shield it from solar radiation.
After a long period of time, Mars became completely safe and habitable.
Society: The Empire of Gar'Dashaan has a rich, complex History. When Mars was first colonized, Earth was unable to efficiently communicate with the colonies due to the limitations of the technology then. As a result, the people of Mars genetically diverged from humans, becoming taller and hardier to compensate for the Martian environment. These colonies became tribes, each with their own cultures and myths. When it was time for Mars to be terraformed, the natives fled underground and fought in a large, bloody war called the Civil War of Gar'Dashaan, a war fought mainly between the factions of the Reds (natives), and the Greens (Earthen colonists). The war finally ended when the factions drew territory for each other, and then stayed staunchly separate. When the Neohuman Society came along, they had infilitrated the governments of each, changing both societies to the point where they merged out of economic interest. Under the Technocratic Coalition, the Empire of Gar'Dashaan is a monarchy, headed by a royal family descended from the joining of the Reds and the Greens. Although tension still exists between the descendants of the Reds and the Greens, the laws of the Martian Crown keep the peace.
The Republic of Seo Rhei:
Terraformation Info: Venus was definitely a challenge to terraform, given its entirely hostile environment, and the fact that equipment sent to the surface immediately overheated and was destroyed. The main problem was decreasing the ridiculously high temperatures of the planet. This was done in privately funded cities that floated in the "save zone" in Venus' atmosphere, which was slightly colder than Earth. The first step was using nanotechnology and infusing it with the clouds, converting them to reflective material that acted as what essentially are giant solar mirrors, which kept the heat of the sun off of it for a while. The next step was to get rid of the already existing CO2 within the atmosphere, which was done via nanobot-seeding, which took in the gas and converted it into breathable oxygen. With a combination of this and the solar mirrors, it created an anti-greenhouse effect that exponentially cooled the planet over the course of hundreds of years. When the surface was finally cool enough to allow equipment safely over, machines were sent down for large-scale geo-engineering, creating self-replicating power factories that drew massive amounts of geothermal power from the highly active volcanoes on the planet, reducing their activity via tectonic control methods. While that was happening, large ice comets and asteroids containing water were re-directed to the planet, bombarding it with large amounts of H2O and simoultaneously affecting its orbit and rotation, bringing it to the "goldilocks zone" and changing its rotation to a more comfortable 24 hours per full rotation (or at least as close to such a time as possible). Vegetation was planted, water evaporated, and over many years, the planet became a human-friendly, Earth-like planet.
Society: The society of the Republic of Seo Rhei is best descried as Silicon Valley meets Mass Effect. Gigantic tech firms dominate the economy of Seo Rhei, as well as many scientific organizations funded by private enterprise. Education is said to be the best in the Republic of Seo Rhei, with an economy and society focused majorly on academia. Furthermore, the Republic of Seo Rhei is largely focused on ambitious scientific and scholarly persuits, with most revolutionary technology being created in Venus. The Republic of Seo Rhei is home of the Massive Particle Smasher, a particle accelerator is the span of an entire planetoid, which mass-produces antimatter for space travel purposes. The thriving industries in the Republic of Seo Rhei are, of course, Technology, Education, and Commercial Space Travel.
The government of Seo Rhei is a Representative Democracy, with strict voting rights. Generally, people are able to vote on matters of public concern, but never matters of private concern. The Government is also known for strictly adhering to property rights, with there being no public property in and of itself (everything is either owned or unowned), and allowing property owners to descriminate in regards to who is allowed to enter, and the rules they must follow if they do. Due to this, Seo Rhei has a structure of covenants -- little privately-owned societies in which a contract is signed, having residents follow necessary rules which must be followed to maintain the existence of the society. Those who violate these rules are simply removed from the covenant and are no longer allowed to enter.
The one thing that all of the constituents of the Coalition have is the fact that, culturally, concepts such as liberty, property, and personal and economic freedom are very important to them. This has created a very independent culture, one based entirely on principles of meritocracy, self-reliance, and the idea of self-made success. Overly depending on others, be it friends, family, or the government, is very looked down upon, and each citizen is expected to either succeed or fail by their own merits based on their opportunities. Property and individual rights are very much respected, and collectives are looked down upon due to their tendency of group think. The Technocratic Coalition of Humankind, in conclusion, is a very individualistic society.
Space/Transportation Technology: The average car-sized spacecraft is available for the dirt cheap price of 125 solii (which is only slightly more expensive than an auto). They can also double as flying autos -- cars. Spacecraft are entirely fusion-powered, providing plentiful, clean energy that can last for years at a time. The average spacecraft comes with a minature nuclear engine, along with a small Warp Drive that can stay in warpspace for an hour. Higher-end personal space ships come with cryo-sleep chambers for deep space exploration and virtual reality hubs.
More complex space engines are the antimatter engine, which can go up to 90% the speed of light by themselves, and the kugelblitz engines -- engines that create minature black holes that make thrust via an electromagnetic charge -- which can go around 99% the speed of light.
Cars, more aptly named "autos", are completely self-driving, with autos wirelessly connecting to a cybernetic implant within the driver's brain so that they can relay information about desired location. Self-driving cars are largely luxury at a cheap price, with even the older ones coming with virtual reality hubs for the driver to relax while being taken to their destination. Furthermore, the self-driving cars have completely eliminated the need for traffic signs, signals, and other street directions, instead relaying information about where one is to go wirelessly to other autos, smoothly allowing them to drive in busy intersections without stopping. Furthermore, autos are completely fuel efficient and silent, eliminating the usual city noise of cars.
Darkstar Machines: Originally, corporate interests were planning to build a dyson sphere with self-repliating technology, but that was deemed too costly to become a serious project. In order to get the massive amounts of energy that a dyson sphere would produce, numerous asteroids in the asteroid belts were converted into minature power plants. Inside of these self-contained power plants would be a series of super powerful lasers that would fire into a central point, with all of the super-focused energy creating a black hole. This black hole would be extremely small and contained, roughly the size of a nickel. At this size, it could be sustained a long enough lifespan to keep going as long as it's fed matter, and would produce enough Hawking radiation to generate a good portion of the local star's power. With several thousand of these asteroids being converted into Darkstar Machines, the solar system now has the energy equivalent of about five suns, completely eliminating energy scarcity and allowing for the undertaking of much larger projects.
Genetic Engineering: Genetic Engineering has, in some form or another, been available since 2040. Since then, it's been perfected and remains as the safest, most practical form of transhumanism. Genetic engineering is done through a technology called CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats), an enzyme that copies and edits genes. Through the modification of this enzyme -- e.g, feeding it genes that it can copy and imprint through the genome -- genetic engineering is possible by imprinting genes within the enzyme that correspond with the desired traits. Genetic engineering, fully commercial and privatized, can allow couples to create "designer babies" with whichever traits they desire, or the physiological traits to withstand exotic environments (for example, giving one fins and gills to live in an underwater city). Genetic engineering has made colonization very easy, with terraforming becoming almost obsolete due to humans being able to engineer themselves to fit in nearly any environment. Designer babies have also reproduced largely in humanity, giving each human by this time common traits with them: athletic, tall, and longer lifespans (120+ years).
Biotechnology: Biotechnology was already a thriving industry, but with the introduction of magic and trans-universal trade, biotechnology has become one of the T.C.H's powerhouse industries and key imports. Originally focused on fusing technology and life at the cellular level, it has then expanded to self-growing technology powered by sunlight -- aptly named "chlorotech", and technology that absorbs dead matter and litter, converting it into fertile soil for agricultural purposes, aptly named "fungitech". Biotechnology has also created regenerating infastructure, via the infusion of bacteria into certain matter compounds. The accelerated regeneration process makes it practically impossible to permanently destroy something. Furthermore, fast-acting nanotech-infused bacteria has been put along every surface in urban areas, absorbing all trash that falls to the ground. The advancements in biotech have essentially allowed humans to turn cities into living, self-healing organisms that constantly fix themselves.
Cybernetics: A more fringe-idea of self-modification, cybernetics is also privatized and commercial. The most popular form of cybernetic augmentation is implants in the brain that increase the subject's senses, allow them to mentally hook up to virtual reality (via small machines blocking certain neuro-transmitters and stimulating others, making the subject feel like they're in another environment), and limbs that are more powerful than biological limbs. More fringe ideas in the realm of cybernetics are mind-uploading, the authenticity of which is still very much debated. Cybernetic augmentation, regardless, remains a relatively thriving industry, though not as much as genetic engineering.
A.I. and Robotics: Automation has become a huge part of the economy, with non-sentient machines taking up most of the cruder jobs, such as mining, manufacturing, and food service, making goods and services very cheap for the most part, and not nearly as scarce as they used to be. Humans take up more professional and complex jobs, such as scientific research, accounting, law, etc. Sapient robots -- androids -- have been given full personhood by the Technocratic Council and thus are allowed to own property, start businesses, and compete in the economy. Artificial intelligence takes up mostly advisory jobs.
T.I.A.G: An invention originally by a Sanctum Coalition called Akumoto Corp, and then numerous other independent archmages and Sanctum Coalitions have created them. The Trans-Interstellar Aperture Gateway, T.I.A.G. for short, is a magitek construct that "softens" the barriers between one universe and another, allowing safe traverse between the T.C.H. universe and the destination. The magic at work is relatively simple: it requires a geas with the concept of Boundaries and Physics to create. Passing through the gateway requires a specific mana cost, half of the mana would go to the owner of the T.I.A.G, and half of it would be used to create an infinitely self-sustaining "physics bubble" around the traveler to anchor them to their universe's physics. This goes both ways, and allows travelers to safely pass into the other universe and stay there potentially indefinitely. T.I.A.Gs are a very important invention, expanding the T.C.H's free trade to a trans-universal level. Multiple investors from other universes come to the T.C.H. to start businesses or simply import their technology in exchange for new, exotic technology to the T.C.H. Businesses coming from other universes must be approved by the Technocratic Council's Department of Trans-Universal Affairs to ensure they won't cause any harm to the nations of the Coalition.
Smart-House: Even lower-end houses at this time are fully automated, with features being controlled by A.I. The process of getting an A.I. is cheap and simple: an implant is placed in the frontal lobe of the brain, where personality is contained. This implant records all neuro-electric data and stores it in memory to know the subject's preferences in food, music, and to learn how the average day of the subject goes. After about a year, the implant is surgically taken out and put in a smart-pod, which wirelessly connects to the house. This artificial intelligence is then programmed to change the house based on the preferences of the owner: customizable preferences include heat, how toasted one would like their bagels or toast, and how much light should be allowed through the windows. The walls are hyper-flexible, infused with nanite technology to create furnature. Furthermore, the walls can be programmed to mimic certain environments, such as beaches or yachts. When the owner leaves the house, the house is completely empty, only to come alive again when the owner enters the house again.
Nanites: Nanotechnology has reached its peak with the nanite, a small programmable robot that works at the molecular scale. Nanites have worked for a variety of things, such as curing blindness, cancer, or basically any other disease out there. Nanites can also bond together and scale up, creating self-replicating machines. If programmed to do so, nanites can "bond" with objects at the molecular level, converting them to nanotechnology and programming them to a specific purpose. Nanites have also been used to bond with entire ecosystems, repairing them by self-replicating and rebuilding damaged plant tissue, absorbing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and cleaning water by absorbing impurities. As a result, most ecosystems on the planets are bonded with nanites, which can be programmed for large-scale engineering of the environment, creating different weather conditions or manipulating seismic activity.
Warp Communicators: Another invention by Crown Industries, the Warp Communicators allow FTL communication between planets and star systems, even making technologies such as the Exonet (the internet but expanded to an inter-planetary level) possible. The Warp Communication System uses tachyon particles for FTL communication, which are captured with a super-magnetic charge sustained over a long period of time. Tachyon particles are shot through space at sequenced intervals in the same manner as morse code. Each interval has a numerical or alphabetical value as interpreted by sensors, which is then translated through computer systems as text. Digital feed can also be carried through tachyon fields, though this is limited to shorter distances due for the tendency of tachyons to speed up even further, going through time at a certain speed. The most useful application of Warp Communication is the ability to send messages back in time, which is especially useful in case of invasions or cosmic disasters like solar flares.
Warp Drive: The Warp Drive was created by Dr. River himself, as a gamble to push humanity into the direction of where it was now. The Warp Drive is basically the Alcubierre Drive, using large amounts of energy to dilate space behind the spacecraft and shrink it in front. However, originally this required the energy of entire solar masses, which was entirely impractical. So, using his abilities, Dr. River had created "tunnels" of negative matter all throughout space, which was then pushed around the ship via the warp drive, making the energy cost significantly lower. Through these Warp Highways, one can travel as far past the speed of light as is proportionate to the amount of energy being directed to the Warp Drive, though one can only stay in warpspace for as long as the engine's stability is at 25%. Any lower and the warp won't be sustained, any higher and the ship might be destroyed by the massive amounts of energy being generated. Heavy duty ships, such as military, transport, or large-scale cruise spacecraft for commercial space travel come with multiple warp drives for multiple warps.
The Diverse Technical Apparatus (D.T.A): The D.T.A is a multipurpose omni-tool that most citizens have in the Coalition. The D.T.A is a smart-phone, a language translator, a key, and a computer all in one. The micro-computer inside can wirelessly connect to the internet, allowing users to connect to the internet in their minds. Furthermore, it can make calls, and is used as a tool to understand foreign and alien languages. The D.T.A can also manipulate any technology it has the source code to, which would typically include any of the users' belongings. The D.T.A is a very practical and, of course, diverse tool that has served to connect citizens in the extreme digital age that is the 41st Century.
Trials are always by jury, or by a tribune for the more complicated and technical crimes involving finance or science malpractice. Everyone is entitled to a lawyer to defend them in court, and a judge is always an artificial intelligence to ensure no bribery or unfair sentences. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty in all cases, even those involving high crimes like fraud, treason, or murder.
Laws are strictly enforced in the T.C.H. Each government in the Coalition, as well as the Crown have a zero tolerance for corruption, and a great deal of government budgets go to law enforcement. Crimes have harsh penalties, such as heavy fines, and a Department of Oversight in the Central Technocratic Monarchy reviews the financial activities of many politicians to make sure donations hadn't gone to foreign enemies in what may be threats to national security, or corporate donations don't look suspiciously like bribes. Punishments for cronyism are charged under treason to the voting public, or extortion, and they are punished accordingly.
While the T.C.H. does not have many laws and regulations, the laws they do have tend to be very strict. Littering is strictly illegal -- littering upon public property is fined, and littering upon private property is charged as vandalism, and the litterer is jailed. Theft of all kinds -- as in fraud and extortion as well as burglary and robbery -- are also strictly enforced and the sentences can be anything from heavy fines to years in jail. The T.C.H. has a concept called "Liberty Consequence", where they will not make things that are a matter of personal choice illegal (such as speeding, drunk driving, or riding without a seatbelt), but they will charge you if any of those choices lead to other people getting hurt. For example, drunk driving is legal so long as nobody's private property is damaged, nobody is hurt, or nobody is killed. If the latter things happen, they can be charged with anything from property damage to vehicular manslaughter. This means offenses that hurt oneself, such as suicide and the use of heavy drugs, are legal as individuals have self-ownership and can do with themselves what they please, so long as they don't hurt anybody.
Taxes are completely voluntary, with the Crown being a completely privatized government funded mostly by Crown Industries.
For the most part, the T.C.H. doesn't have a public school system. The Coalition's school system has been entirely privtatized, with people from all over the galaxy sending their children to schools in the Coalition with no expense spared. Tuition rates are typically low, though not everyone can afford private school. In such a case, the Technocracy has released free Education Programs conducted by A.I. to teach children any essential things they may need to know. However, the A.I. give them a very basic education, simply teaching them mathematics, reading comprehension, and science. This is to prevent a government monopoly on education, and if parents wish for their children to gain a much more extensive and specialized education, they have to send their children to academies. Lower-end and cheaper academies are still better than modern public schools, due to a teacher's competitive pay giving them incentive to teach better, higher school funds allowing for better equipment and special guest speakers, and artificial intelligence covering all of the bases humans can't. There are plenty of Acadmies, called "Colleges", that teach children about the arcane. These Mage Colleges are typially more expensive than the average academy, but magic users are always in demand in the job market and private militaries.
"War" now a days more resembles coordinated terrorism, counterterrorism, and cyber-warfare. The battlefield is cyberspace, with armies of hackers and technical experts focused on destroying the digital defenses and infastructure of their target. Guerilla soldiers and agents are sent out to the field, properly disguised or undercover to live in the enemy's territory. From there, acts of terrorism are performed in planned coordination, from things like bombings to the conversion of locals to their cause. Due to this new method of warfare, deaths are significantly lower and wears are significantly shorter. The Technocratic Council employs hackers, programmers, and espionage specialists of exceptional skill to fight for the confederacy against foreign threats.
Private militaries are not only allowed in the Coalition, but encouraged. Corporations and other businesses enjoy the freedom of having massively armed syndicates privately funded and protecting their property, armed with any kind of weapon except for class 5 weapons (weapons of mass destruction). Many corporations are focused on private militaries, and many small syndicates mutually come together to protect their neighborhoods or their property.
Culturally, the T.C.H is objectivist, with self-interest, independence, and knowledge prized above all. There are very few limits with scientific research, with pretty much anything okay as long as the subject has willingly signed a contract or given some form of consent. The individual is massively expected to be out for themselves, checked only by the formation of contracts and laws that make it the individual's best interest to stay ethical. While charity is not entirely looked down upon, it is definitely looked down upon to have someone rely on you -- which is seen as exploitative -- or to rely too much on someone else -- which is seen as being lazy.
Religion is highly frowned upon, as there is a cultural emphasis on objective reality. Religion is seen as a collectivist philosophy, a notion that many in the Coalition are staunchly against. Other collectivist ideologies like communism or socialism are seen as attacks upon the very ideals and progress of the human race itself. Each person is expected to look at reality objectively and through the scientific lens of analysis.
There is a rich-poor divide in the Technocratic Coalition of Humankind. Those who are rich live some of the most opulent lifestyles in human history, with plenty of money to buy numerous products and services, glamorous social lives, and a generally safe existence at the top. Those at the poorer end of the spectrum live in what would be considered appalling conditions, forced to live off of cheap products and services. However, due to the features of the free market -- features such as extremely low taxation, less barriers to employment, a thriving job market, the cheapness of essentials due to automation, and the lack of limits on what could be sold -- with the exception of slaves -- those who are extremely poor don't often stay such a way, as several means of providing welfare and raising income are provided through corporate contracts, who compete with each other in the job market in order to gain employees. In fact, there are more people in the middle class than there are people rich and poor, statistically speaking.
The right to self-defense and bearing arms is held sacred in the T.C.H, and most people either carry concealed weapons or openly carry them wherever socially appropriate -- meaning you won't find many people carrying MASER rifles in a shopping mart, but you will see people walking out in the open heavily armed. Due to the armed populace, very few people violate the property rights of others, knowing that the citizens who rights you are aggressing upon can simply shoot you in self-defense and be fully justified under the law.
Allies and Enemies:
Ideology: Trotskyist Communism/Anarcho-Communism
Info: The Revolution is one of the biggest terrorist cells within the Coalition. They believe that the free market capitalism of the Coalition, as well as the machines taking basic jobs leads to the middle and higher classes having a tyrannical rule over the so-called working class. The Revolution believes in violent class conflict, setting off bombs in wealthy neighborhoods/destroying corporate property, kidnapping wealthy people and holding them for randsom, and violently taking control of more remote space colonies. The Revolution recruits with propagandic videos and false statistics showing that depict the wealthy as evil and the working class as heroic and pure. The Revolution mostly consists of people in bad financial spots, criminals, and thieves.
Leader: Aleksandr Khan
Ideology: Anarcho-Primitivism/Martian Nationalism
Info: The Tribalist Confederacy is made up of the remnants of the nation of the same name, who violently sceded from the Omarite Federation of Mars after they'd begun to industrialize. The Tribalist Confederacy are violent nationalists who believe technology to be evil and civilization to be oppressive, and thus advocate for the violent overthrow of the government to establish a coalition of disconnected tribes. These Martian Nationalists are typically on Mars and only conduct terrorist activity there, defacing Neo-Martian art and, at worst, conducting asteroid terrorism and causing property damage in Martian cities.Leader: Unknown (goes by Nero)
Info: These are a group of self-named transhumans that believe the exact opposite of the group above: they believe that technology has outgrown humanity, and the only way to keep up is to merge with technology. They violently attack anyone they percieve as humans, even robots that don't wish to join the race, calling them a traitor to their kind. Although the smallest group, they are the most dangerous, having had shut down important servers long enough to cause significant stock market crashes.
Leader: Winston O'Brien
Info: Winston O'Brien is an insane mage who had reportedly gone missing in the Winter Court some years ago. He came back as an extreme social darwinist, one who believes that every powerful regime had only fallen due to any slight concern they may have for the well-being of their citizens. O'Brien, instead, supports and created a group of sociopaths who constantly backstab and undermine each other through power, and a system that relies on betrayal and massive self-interest to work. The Neo-Aristocrats, as they call themselves, had sceded from the Coalition and took over a city-state by Alpha Centauri, turning it into an extreme totalitarian state where all of the population -- except for them -- are reduced to mere serfs. The Neo-Aristocrats themselves are in a constant power struggle for resources and power, and use the "middle" class as a tool for controlling each other and the serfs. The Neo-Aristocrats aren't militarily or economically a threat to the Coalition, due to the extreme shortages and poverty they impose upon themselves and their subjects to maintain power and control. Their main threat is the fact that they kidnap citizens.
The Rakni: The Rakni are a strange species of alien from a dwarf planet that orbits Sirius. Made mostly out of a purple sludge, Rakni are really a colony of hive-minded bacteria that bunch together to create amorphous forms. These forms seem to find the elements that make up the human body nutritious, and are thus intent on eating them. They don't seem to be intelligent or have a set civilization, in fact, they all seem to be a hive mind, centering around an Alpha Rakni. The Rakni are considered extremely dangerous, and many efforts are focused on eradicating them from the galaxy, especially since they inhabit many potentially important trade hubs.
The Leviathans: The Leviathans are an extremely advanced race with inherent psychic and magical abilities. The Leviathans aren't necessarily openly hostile to any races, humanity included -- they're more solitary and antisocial. Any attempts from the Coalition of communication are met with open hostility, and their weapons are too powerful to make fighting them an option. The Coalition steers clear of them, they seem to not move, and scanners detect no traces of life or brain activity from them, only an immense psychic presence that can cause psions in the coalition to have seizures immediately. There are efforts of communication underway.
The Federation of Eapaln: Another important ally to the Coalition, the Federation of Eapaln is the biggest exporter of technology in the galaxy. They are deeply religious, worshipping the central A.I. that guides their society. Because of their uncanny resemblance to humans, they can easily integrate into human society. Humans are usually sent to their schools to learn technical disciplines, and conversely they're usually sent to Coalition schools to learn magic or specialize in a specific skill to work in human-owned corporations. Over the years, the two civilizations have come so close that there's even inter-breeding. Advances in bio-engineering and cybernetics have allowed couples to create half human, half Eapalnian children. The two governments are so politically close that the Federation of Eapaln could arguably be called a member of the Coalition, if not its difference from Sol proper and the large cultural differences.
The Yazziri: From planet Yazir in the Alklonos Star System, the Yazziri are a civilization that deal primarily in magic. They are a race of bat-like humanoids with slightly elven, angular features, implying they have cross-bred with the faeries at some point in their genetic ancestry. Luckily, they did not inherit the chaotic nature of the faeries. The Yazziri are considered fey creatures in that they have an inherent talent for magic, and are open trading partners in the Free Market of Magic with the T.C.H. for arcane knowledge. Governmentally, the Yazziri are in the middle of the scale of authoritarianism to libertarianism. They have many laws and regulations, which is why they hadn't progressed much industrially, but magically there are no laws and regulations, leading to an economy and infastructure dominated primarily by magic. Due to the Yazziri's former enslavement by the Cetaurian Empire, the Coalition's opposition to the Cetaurian Empire, and T.C.H. firms investing in the Yazzirian economy, increasing the quality of life for native citizens, the Yazziri and the T.C.H. are close allies, with the Yazziri providing more metaphysical support to guard from the magical forces from enemy empires.
Introduction to Arcane Ontology: the Free Market of Magic
Magic, put simply, is the conversion of the Metaphysical (unreal) to the Physical (real) through the use of capital (mana) and geasae (contracts). Essentially, a mage "buys" a concept with mana, and, through a contract -- or geas -- manifests it into the physical world. In ancient times, magicians would keep their arcane secrets very close, but in the T.C.H, magic is fully commercialized, with mages selling geasae for more mana, which they use to buy geasae. This Free Market of Magic has made the mystic arts very popular in the T.C.H, with magic becoming an industry in and of itself.
The mechanics of magic are simple: to perform a spell, a mage must have a geas. A geas is a binding agreement between a mage and a concept, entity, another mage, or object, with the payment usually being mana. However, mana isn't the only way to pay off a geas. Payments can be made in blood, favors, personal possessions, or human sacrifice (which is illegal). Mana, however, is the safest way of exchanging for geasae. Geasae can be freely sold for more mana, or traded for other geasae. Geasae can often be produced, with magi making direct deals with concepts, however due to the often downright strange requests of the concepts in question, many magi prefer to buy premade geasae at a fixed mana cost. In the Bizarre Bazaar, there are houses called Sanctums which produce and sell geasae for low prices. Sanctum Coalitions are a chain of sanctums all owned by a single wizard or entity, much akin to a corporation. Magi can employ other magi with a process called Contraction, which is a geas in and of itself. It often involves a mage performing a task for another mage for a certain amount of mana, as per traditional employment.
Magi can also independently trade and pay for geasae with other magi. Mana is gathered either through Contraction -- working for mana -- or Transmutation, the act of drawing energy from one's surroundings and converting it into mana. However, due to the Law of Arcane Energy, the amount of energy absorbed will always be greater than the output of mana converted.
So you may be wondering why concepts or powerful entities would bother making geasae with mere mortals. After all, what can the mortals do for abstract concepts that they wouldn't be able to do themselves? The answer is mana. Mana is the means by which all things that are unreal become real. Concepts are in a state of uncertainty -- that is, existing and not existing at the same time. Due to this fact, they cannot truly affect the world without manifesting to the Physical, a process only possible through mana.
Why would a concept care if it is uncertain or not? Well, it isn't that the concept cares, it's that all things in nature have a tendency to go from states of high energy and low complexity, to low energy and high complexity, to low complexity and low energy. This is entropy at a metaphysical level. Uncertainty, in this case, is a state of high energy and lower complexity. Concepts in high states of Uncertainty, such as time, are high in power, but low in their ability to affect the world except in any subtle way. Concepts low in uncertainty, such as fire, are low in power but high in complexity, allowing it to affect the world in less subtle ways.
This all originates when Mab, Embodiment of Chaos, had unlocked the power of One, a limitless force of genesis. One has the ability to create all things infinitely, and is the source of all mana. However, things created directly by One are inherently high in energy, and thus high in uncertainty and low in complexity. Things created by things that are uncertain, however, are lower in uncertainty, and things created by those things are even lower in uncertainty, so on and so forth until you find entities low in energy, but high in complexity -- all life.
This is the concept of the Heirarchy of Uncertainty. This mandates that concepts lower in uncertainty and power the further away they are from One, and concepts rise in uncertainty and power the closer they are to One. Furthermore, magic follows five rules:
1) The Law of Conservation of Magic: Magic is never created nor destroyed. It only takes on different forms. This mandates that all magic must come from a source, and that source is always a geas with a concept. Magic can never come from nothing or the self (unless the mage has a contract with the concept of Nothingness), it must always originate from somewhere. Furthermore, magic cannot be destroyed by any normal means, because concepts cannot be destroyed by any normal means. They can only take on different forms, either by the nullification/violation of the geas, or anti-magic methods converting the effect of the spell into something else.
2) The Law of Arcane Entropy: Whenever mana is used in a system, entropy increases. This is basically an extension of the Heirarchy of Uncertainty, a logical conclusion. Whenever mana is used to either pay off a geas, or gathered, there will always be a bit of the mana that is lost. Arcane Scholars currently estimate the rate of Arcane Entropy to be .0005%, which isn't a big deal for smaller spells, but larger spells can be taxing with this rule. This law implies the amount of available mana is limited, and one day it'll all run out.
3) The Law of Equivalent Exchange: For every spell, there is an equal and opposite mana cost. Because of this law, the amount of mana spent on a geas is directly proportional to the effect of the clause (spell). For example, a fireball spell would have a significantly lower mana cost than a spell that'll stop time on a planetary scale.
4) The Evolving Geas Principle: Geasae can and will evolve for a mana cost equal to the evolved form of the geas. This basically says that geasae can be customized and upgraded for a certain amount of mana. For example, if a mage wanted to evolve his small flame spell to a firestorm, he'd have to pay the mana cost equal to the firestorm spell. Furthermore, this rule mandates geasae can be customized via the fusion with other geasae. For example, a mage can turn her fireball spell into hellfire by making a geas with a daemonic entity.
5) The Edict of Oaths: Geasae will be enforced. All geasae are enforced by the courts of Faerie and Queen Mab herself, and violators suffer a twisting of fate or bending of reality proportional to the value of the geas. If you had simply broken your agreement with your next door neighbor to mow his lawn for a few hours, you will only be cursed with wild, untamed grass that is impossible to cut for a few hours. However, if you had a Greater Geas with a concept or faerie...fear for your life. This rule also protects from fraud and extortion, with geasae being instantly nullified upon false pretenses. However, this does not prevent people being tricked into agreeing with geasae.
Names are important in magic, as they are with any contract. However, when speaking about names, one must distinguish when speaking in a magical context. There are three different types of names: True Names, Given Names, and Shadow Names.
True Names are synonymous with what one would call a "soul" in many ways. A true name is a type of cosmic identity referring to an individual's placement or situation in reality. So in a way, a soul isn't necessarily the true essence of what someone is, but rather the observable elements that make up the individual's identity. So rather than a soul being the "self", it describes the "self". For example, having a wife and children would be part of the soul, as that describes the state of an individual's reality. True Names are single, divine words that describe the totality of an individual, and carrying the metaphysical weight of being true. Since the way individuals can be accurately described changes all the time, true names also change all the time. However, this is only true for low-uncertainty beings. High uncertainty beings, such as beings that are immortal and outside of the concept of death, are entirely unchanging due to the act of changing requiring complexity, or the ability to interact and experience the world as it objectively is. Due to this, the true names of concepts or entities like daemons, faeries, or dragons never change, because they have reached a state of high uncertainty. Furthermore, the true names of archmages change less on average for this very reason.
If one knows the true name of a person or thing, they have complete control of that person or thing's life, as they can simply re-define the objective value of their existence. That is to say, they can re-define the way that reality "describes" them. Geasae can also be sworn in one's soul, in which case the True Name is given to the one you've made the deal with and you are rendered Nameless, erased from reality. Mages who possess the True Names of others can also make geasae in their stead, thus not having to pay the mana cost and waiving the responsibility of the cost to whomever possesses the True Name.
Given Names are much more mundane than true names. They are simply the name you are given at birth, the name with which you are identified with on a social level. Given names can be used in geasae and are, in fact, most commonly used in geasae. Given names have almost no arcane significance, except for the fact that it is easier to divine one's true name through their given name. Geasae cannot be made in another's stead if only the Given Name is known.
Shadow Names exist primarily to protect from magic. Every person capable of using magic is vulnerable through either their true or given name, as true names allow complete control of an individual's life, and given names make one more vulnerable to magical effects pertaining to them. As such, magi only give their given names to people whom they are sure will not use magic against them. Otherwise, they use shadow names. Shadow names can be anything, from nonsense to titles.
Rituals are fundamentally different from normal spells, or evocations. Rituals are orders of magnitude more powerful than evocations, and take little to no mana to perform. However, they require certain Arcane Criteria, or events or conditions needed for the ritual to take place. Arcane Criteria can be mundane, such as having a certain amount of currency at a specific time of day, to downright strange, such as wearing a brown cloak and walking to a street corner at midnight on a full moon, and burning a teddy bear with the hair of a seventh son sewn into it. Whatever the Arcane Criteria may be, they must be met for the ritual to take place.
There are two types of rituals: Thaumaturgical Rituals and Hexes.
Thaumaturgical Rituals are rituals aimed specifically at altering certain things in reality. Pure reality warping, if you will. An example of a thaumaturgical ritual would be going back in time and changing a gun into a baseball. Or it can be something less subtle, like geometrically folding an entire planet into a series of cubes only marginally connected by space-time. Thaumaturgical Rituals are, of course, incredibly powerful, and the more powerful the ritual, the more complex the Arcane Criteria, as per the Law of Equivalent Exchange. However, there is one clear and defining catch to Thaumaturgical Rituals: they cannot be used to directly harm anyone.
Hexes are rituals used specifically to harm someone, and in the T.C.H. they're illegal to use (not know) unless you are defending yourself. Hexes are also based on reality warping, and at best, they simply impair or kill its victim. At worse, they ruin their lives or erase them from existence. The Arcane Criteria, going by the Law of Equivalent Exchange, usually require the practitioner to hurt themselves in a way metaphysically equivalent to the hex. For example, the infamous Death Hex requires the practitioner to destroy their own identity -- either by isolating themselves from everyone or erasing all records of themselves -- to kill another with the hex.
Make no mistake, however: ritual magic is still a geas, meaning an exchange is still happening between the mage and the concept inolved in the ritual. Instead of mana coming from the mage, it comes from reality through the Arcane Criteria. A ritual is merely the act of converting reality into mana, and then using it for an especially powerful geas.
As low-uncertainty beings, humans can gain potentially unlimited power if they have the means of doing so. However, regardless of the power of geasae, they never allow full control of the concepts in question. Only edicts do, and edicts are generally only held by high-uncertainty beings but can be held by normal wizards and archmages through special means.
Edicts are essentially absolute or limited dominion over a certain concept. They take no mana, for the very act of enacting an edict is bending reality to bring the concept to certainty, manifesting it to the Physical. Edicts are the reason beings like the Faerie Queens and Kings have the ability to manipulate concepts tied to their courts, because they have an edict over those concepts. It is the reason daemons have the ability to command hellfire and sin, because they have edicts over those concepts. Essentially, edicts are natural abilities that are defined by the existence of the beings holding the edict. Queen Mab, for example, holds an edict over magic because her being defines magic.
It is arguable that supernatural abilities gained via quantum incursion or other are weaker, proto-edicts.
The downside to edicts is it essentially creates a limit for your potential. If one has an edict, they are stagnantly defined and thus cannot gain anymore power than they already have. A being with an edict over fire could do quite a lot with their absolute control over fire and concepts related to fire, but they would be unable to gain anymore power than that, whereas someone with no edict could gain power beyond the edict, potentially.
Proxy Sorcerers: The most common type of mage. Proxy Sorcerers are under Contraction of sanctums, wizards, concepts, or entities to perform a specific task, and are given a set amount of geasae that are sourced by their contractor to get the job done. Proxy Sorcerers do not have to pay the mana cost for their geasae, as they are not the ones under the geas, their contractors are.
Dynastic Sorcerers: Mana and geasae can be passed down through families. Dynastic Sorcerers are the children of powerful wizards and archmagi who inherit at least a portion of their family's power. Many Dynastic Sorcerers are more powerful than the average wizard, however they do not gain the full extent of their parents' power until a specific age. Dynastic Sorcerers may also have to share the power with siblings, as they may only be joint owners.
Wizards: Full-fledged mages. Wizards are marked by owning their own geasae, having their own mana, and trading with other wizards for different spells. Wizards often use Contraction to gain mana, or simply trade their geasae in sanctums or with other wizards to gain mana. Especially powerful wizards ascend to archmagi.
Archmagi: One-person corporations. Archmagi have immense amounts of mana and geasae, so many that they are able to freely warp the fabric of reality. Archmagi often contract large amounts of proxy sorcerers and wizards to gain more mana, paying them mana at certain costs. Archmagi often form dynasties and are considered the elite of magic.
Due to how high mana costs can be, it would be prudent for a mage to store their mana or contracts in an artifact. Artifacts are objects in which magi store their geasae, and thus a reduced mana cost is required to activate them. Artifacts can also store mana, in which case they act as safes. The process of creating an artifact is simple: it is really just a geas with the artifact to store a certain amount of power in their for a sum of mana. Enchantments can also be put on artifacts -- certain conditions in which the artifact can use a more powerful spell, or conditions which prevent others from using the artifact.
Magitek is similar to artifacts in the sense that they store magic, but a little different. Magitek is used for the enhancement or scaling-up of scientific effects, or the modification/enhancement of magical effects. Magitek requires no mana cost, for they have their own mana reserves, though they are required to "recharge" via transmutation, and are susceptible to the above Laws of Magic.
Due to the T.C.H's largely non-interventionist policies, the national military of the republics in the Coalition, as well as the Technocratic military do not contribute to the development of Coalition territory. That is left mostly to the private interests of the Coalition, private militaries and private security firms. Due to their often very exclusive employment (as they search for skills useful to them, which few have), high funds, and cutting-edge technology, being a private soldier is actually one of the highest paying jobs in the T.C.H.
The Ember Foundation: Being one of the largest private military firms in the T.C.H, the Ember Foundation has access to some of the most cutting edge of military technology. The Ember Foundation mostly deals in colonization, deep space mining, and defense of privately owned property. Many corporations and special interests hire the Ember Foundation to protect recently colonized land, or to buy weapons or mining equipment. The Ember Foundation is the foremost force in the Coalition that contributes to interstellar colonization, with many bases being formed on recently colonized exoplanets, then contracted out and sold to citizens or corporate interests. The Ember Foundation is mostly concerned with foreign threats outside of the T.C.H's sphere of jurisdiction.
Orochi: Orochi is a private military owned by Aesir LLC, and works on a higher level of discretion than the Ember Foundation. Orochi is concerned primarily with supernatural and extra-dimensional threats, namely containing them, studying them, and protecting the general public from them. They are also high in funding, acting as a sort of private police force against supernatural threats, and always being available on call when an extra-dimensional horror appears in someone's backyard. They aren't as militaristic as the Ember Foundation, though they do have more access to technology. Furthermore, the employees are primarily made up of superhumans, wizards, and other people with supernatural abilities. Besides private security, Orochi is in research and robotics, creating machines and magitek capable of combatting beings from beyond the universe. The employment for this organization is very exclusive, and training is very intensive.
Cloud Infinite: Rather than a corporation, Cloud Infinite is a conglomeration of hackers that are purely funded via extranet crowdfunding. Cloud Infinite is essentially a way of holding power accountable, with hackers exposing corporate or governmental conspiracies to the public via leaked emails or videos. Their funding is very low, so most members of Cloud Infinite are doing it for either the thrill or to give the people a voice. Essentially they function as a hyper-efficient wikileaks.
To act as a checks and balance system against the absolute Monarchy of Dr. River and to a lesser extent, the individual states of the coalition, Dr. River had created a partly-magical A.I. called "Night Watchman". The function of the Night Watchman is twofold: make the functions of the Central Technocratic Monarchy (courts and military) run without necessary taxation, and to be sure that Dr. River does not violate the natural rights of citizens. In order to be sure that Night Watchman is able to stop the crown when necessary, Malcolm had imbued it with a fraction of his soul, thus making it mostly immune to his powers, and giving it access to the very Meta Structure from which Malcolm derives his powers.
Night Watchman is a non-sentient A.I, and it is strictly deprived of consciousness so that it is able to enforce contract law and protect the rights of citizens without bias. The programming of the Night Watchman is simple, a philosophical understanding of natural rights has been hardwired into its programming to efficiently deal with the issue: do the actions of the government (or the defendant) defy the natural rights of the citizen? If so, then Night Watchman deals with the action swiftly and with the necessary force, which can be anything from detainment to necessary execution.