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City Seventeen - Overview

Mannulus

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City Seventeen Overview

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History

Prior to the Seven-Hour War and its official establishment, City Seventeen was known simply as Ukraine in Eastern Europe. Years of civil wars, terrorist activity, and eventual an invasion by neighboring Russia left Ukraine extremely crippled, with most of its infrastructure damaged if not outright destroyed. Contrary to other cities around the world, Ukraine practically embraced the Universal Union's indoctrination of the country into what is now known as City Seventeen. Over the next few years, rebellious groups consisting of hostile Russian ex-military, radicals, and other parties were eliminated or pushed deep into the outer territories or far into the city's vast sewer and utilities underground. What was left was merely people trying to have relative peace even if it meant them being on their knees.

Ukraine's location, geography, and a very willing population would eventually make the Universal Union turn the country into their headquarters on Earth. Thus, a year after the signing of the peace treaty between the United Nations and the Universal Union and at roughly 5:34AM, a large shadow suddenly appeared over thousands of Ukrainians before extinguishing their lives and wiping out miles of neighborhoods. The Citadel has arrived.

After The Citadel's violent arrival in Ukraine, the situation began to change rapidly for the country. Many people were immediately put on Razor trains and were never seen again. The local militia consisting of Ukrainian military and volunteers lost over half of its forces to City Seventeen's mandatory Civil Protection conscription. The rest of the militia was reorganized under the now bolstered Civil Protection and became merely known as Conscripts, acting as the low-class security forces in highly dangerous areas. The Conscripts would also become a mandatory service for anyone who wishes to join the Civil Protection without a waiver.

Roughly a year after the Citadel's arrival, the Conscripts consisted of only 25% of its original strength, having lost more than half to Civil Protection mandatory conscription quotas, with the Civil Protection now acting as the main security force in and around the city. Various Union-Aligned groups have propped up over the year as well, starting with the Civil Worker's Union, followed by individually ran businesses with their own employees. As time went on, the city eventually began electing civilian politicians, acting as a intermediary between the Universal Union and the general population. These individuals are known as City Administrators and their Council Staff.

In recent times, efforts have been made to begin expansion into a long evacuated industrial sector of the now City Seventeen. Its previous population's fate undetermined besides the occasional roster list of those shipped away by train. The air is much dirtier than it is closer to the city and the sewer system has long become a toxic hell for anyone who dares try to explore it from the biological waste and industry chemical spills. Some even say that when it rains, your skin sometimes feels like it is burning. But now, the factories are roaring again and lights are coming back on, as people relish the opportunity to work in this "gold rush" of labor credits, regardless of the hazards around them.


Geography

City Seventeen's geography primarily consists of low plains and plentiful rivers flowing into the oceans to the South. To the West are the rocky Carpathian mountains while to the East are the Russian mountains of Donets Ridge and the Near Azov Upland whose snow melt every year helps replenish the fertile lands below for both Russia and Ukraine. Its climate is very temperate, consisting of cold snow filled winters and warm summers. However, City Seventeen is unique in the fact that due to its sheer size and the way Ukraine's climate is, it is generally Warmer in the Southern parts of the city compared to the North.

Politics
The politics involved within City Seventeen are rather crude and simplified compared to pre-Union at least on the surface. Within City Seventeen's Citadel is the Earth Administrator, in charge of all Universal Union forces on Earth. Below him/her lies the Council, consisting of all the City Administrators. Below them are the local administrations, organized on the District level. These usually consist of their own Administrator and their staff team.

However, the biggest flaw in this system is the potential for corruption in various forms, as well as bureaucracy deadlock as Administrators may disagree on various topics. Something that is usually corrected by the Earth Administrator. Losing a spot as an Administrator usually means the person is thrown out to the general populace and left to deal with the consequences from the way they ran their district. The exception for this would be City Administrators who are handpicked by the Earth Administrator themselves and serve infinite terms until told otherwise.

Administrators on the District level are elected by the civilian population, something allowed by the Universal Union to help provide a sense of "control" to those affected by the Union's rule. As such, Administrators can come with their own baggage, desires, and viewpoints. Administrators serve a term of one year before having to go up for re-election for a second term. Administrators can serve a maximum of five years though most retire after their second or third term and become part of the next Administrations staff team at the allowance of the election victor.


Factions

Overwatch
Created or strengthened shortly after the first Citadel of many began violently landing on Earth, The Overwatch consists of the two main arms of the Universal Union's control over Earth: The Civil Protection, and the Transhuman Arm. Both of these factions draw their factions generally from the Civilian population. Individuals would join the Conscripts to eventually be offered the chance to join the Civil Protection. From there, as the unit progresses through the ranks, the Transhuman Arm would eventually pull them for service, thus completing the cycle before repeating with the next person. Both factions are generally overall commanded by what is referred to as Dispatch, a disembodied female like voice that issues commands in the form of medical terminology either over loudspeakers or directly in the unit's or soldier's helmets. This appears to also be a two-way communication line as Civil Protection and OTA forces can be heard requesting information or support from Dispatch as the situation(s) develop. Both of these factions are supported by the Universal Union's allies, known as Synths. These alien creatures, usually augmented with the UU's technology provide extreme firepower and support to ground units that need it, either in the form of transport or fire support.

CIVIL PROTECTION

The Civil Protection is the main security force throughout City Seventeen. Either by force, promise of better food and or shelter, or an actual belief in the Universal Union's idealogy could result in a Citizen being inducted into the Civil Protection program. The Civil Protection was formed before the Citadel originally came to City Seventeen, acting as isolated pockets within each District. Lacking a strong logistics capability and immediate support besides other District CP's resulted in many regions being rather unstable if not downright dangerous for CP forces. This would change however on the Citadel's arrival, as its powerful transmitter and communication equipment was able to link every district into a single network. Adding onto that was the capability to request heavy asset support in the form of Synth Gunships, Transhuman Arm Troops and Attack Helicopters.

Most CP's operate as small teams (known simply as Protection Teams or Ground Protection Teams) consisting of one experienced unit and several inexperienced units though this is not always the case and should not be assumed as standard. All Civil Protection units are equipped with the ubiquitous duty uniform and faceplate along with a patrol belt with the stun baton and a 9mm Sidearm holstered on opposite sides from each other. Heavier firepower such as sub-machine guns like the MP7 are usually restricted for only special duty or emergency situations. In the past, Civil Protection forces can be seen operating Armored Personnel Carriers (APC's) as either transport and/or fire support. Even more rarely is them acting as escorts or scouts for Synth entities such as the towering Strider. Individuals within the force can submit themselves to memory replacement in order to proceed through the ranks. It's well documented from various sources that this memory replacement is a means for the Universal Union to make the individual seemingly relate more to the Union's ideology and be more willing to issue punishments to the very people they may have earlier ignored or protected; regardless of the severity of the crime. The biggest threat to those wishing to do harm or have bad intentions is not the individual CP but their ability to mass, corner and eliminate threats quickly. With various forms of surveillance and their communication network, its guaranteed that its not a matter of if Civil Protection will arrive but when.

However, as the saying goes "All chains are only as strong as their weakest link." and the Civil Protection fits the bill. Since over half of the Civil Protection are either pushed into service or its members doing it merely out of survival, many are not quick to issue out punishments to the local populace, with some even opting to try to help the civilians where they could without getting into trouble. This could take the form of giving food from CP Storage or letting people go for minor punishments. It has also been noted that some Civil Protection units turn a blind eye to Anti-Civil activity or actively work with them though higher ranked units do not follow this. But as noted earlier, this slowly happens less and less as a unit progresses through the ranks and becomes more Union leaning. Regardless, serving in the Civil Protection is an almost guaranteed way to easily survive the majority of life's dilemmas in the city and that keeps the majority of the CP's in line.

TRANSHUMAN ARM
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The second most dangerous force on Earth, the Overwatch Transhuman Arm (OTA) is essentially the heavy duty military arm of the Universal Union. These soldiers were first created shortly after the Citadel's arrival and the subsequent mass conscription of the then ex-military personnel within the Conscripts. Since then, Transhuman Troops are created by pulling those willing to undergo the transformation from within the Civil Protection. Transhuman Arm soldiers are usually seen operating outside of the city, usually in support by dropships and gunships as needed. Anti-Civil Groups who operate inside the city limits may also attract the use of Transhuman Arm's presence.

Overwatch Soldiers hit hard without fear, without acceptance of defeat or remorse. Most OTA fireteams are wiped out if they were to fail instead of retreating. Wearing heavy combat duty armor and helmets, along with carrying a variety of equipment of weaponry keeps these groups dynamic and quick to adapt to various threats, and environments. The Universal Union utilizes their network of railways to transport mass amount of troops across different regions. From their last stop, they will use APC's, Dropships or simply march their way to their targets as ordered. Luckily for the civilian population, Overwatch Soldiers are kept out of sight as much as possible and are only deployed on the orders of the City Administrator and / or the Sectorial Commander. However, these requests can be denied by the Citadel for a variety of reasons unknown to us.

Soldiers come in three varieties:

  • First, you have the standard soldier, clad in a blue and grey like camo. These run of the mill troops usually sport MP7's and grenades. However it has been noted that usually one of these troops will utilize the Universal Union's unique rifle, the AR2 as a sort of marksman role.
  • The second role is the shotgunner / squad leader variant. Usually clad in a darker red and black camo, they carry with them a shotgun and issue orders to the run of the mill troops. It has been noted that there is very little information on what signifies when one of these soldiers are merely shotgunners or squad leaders besides seeing one giving the orders and one not.
  • The final variant is are the elite, the best of the best of what humanity has to offer for the Universal Union. Clad in white camo and sometimes seen as true Squad Leaders of the other variants, they are more often than not acting as their own squads or acting as bodyguards for a variety of VIP or HVT purposes. All of them pack AR2's and enough ammo to deal some damage to whoever dares get in their way.
Overwatch Soldiers share a collective conscience (though highly selective by the Universal Union) through the means of their memory replacement machinery they are affixed to when not in active deployment. For every mission won or lost, every soldier that survived will be put back into the machine and have their memories copied and duplicated across the vast network of similar machines. This is what makes Overwatch Soldiers so incredibly deadly is almost every single soldier is a soldier with tens of hundreds of years of combat experience from the Universal Union's history on Earth and off, on day one of their activation. The only documented weak link when dealing with the Transhuman Arm is to merely finding a way to jam their communications locally and either pick them off or simply run. Just know that for every soldier that survives is another soldier that will learn from the mistakes.

Conscription Forces

A shadow of the empty husk left behind from the old world before the Universal Union, Conscription Forces are spread throughout the city. Commonly known as merely The Conscripts, they provide security to the most dangerous parts of City Seventeen and districts where Civil Protection is not enough to cover the vast urban jungle. Clad in old green Battle Dress Uniforms and a hat, they are armed with just zipties and a handheld radio. They are responsible for assisting CP Forces with arrests, locking down areas, performing inspections, surveillance, and ration distribution. For those that do well in the Conscripts or are merely lucky, they may get selected for service in the Civil Protection which usually means better living conditions, better food, better pay, and a real sense of progression in this new world.

The Conscripts are not without their flaws. Being a Conscript is the easiest way to acquire communication equipment, a vital tool for those wanting to create their own groups that aim to commit anti-civil activities. Certain individuals from these groups may very well join the Conscription Forces just to key in on Civil Protection radio traffic so that they may tip off their allies of impending raids or lockdowns. This is also a problem for the Civil Protection as many of these civilians that are part of the Conscripts are ex-military, essentially told to either get down or get laid down. As such, Conscripts are a very real and possible threat to the security of the district. However, they can't simply remove this group due to the vital services they provide for CP's operating in the district. To help also ensure security of the district, no Conscript is allowed weaponry nor is allowed to enter the Nexus without a full security compliment of CP's escorting them. It's also well known that CP's tend to look down on Conscripts because of this complicated relationship between the two groups and have no problems with removing members within the CF if they become an obstacle to the Civil Protection. Even more so compared to the Civilian population.

The Collaborators

Citizens who have decided that being on the side with the bigger stick is better. Whether out of a pure need to survive, greed, or actually believing in the ideals of the Universal Union, multiple Collaborators (both individual and as groups) have formed over the years since the Union's arrival. Some are straight and narrow, others are more corrupt than a bad install of Windows Vista. They are a core part of the large population of civilians and their presence helps keep order in the city.

The Individual Collaborator

While many individuals who believe in the Union will normally join the Civil Protection, there are those who are aligned to the Union but not exactly interested in giving service. These individuals, known to assist Civil Protection by ratting out the anti-civil amongst the population or merely giving a helping hand, in whatever form that is are known as Collaborators or unofficially as Loyalists. They work their way up the social ladder by actively aiding the Union in various ways. The benefits are extremely good for those who work at the craft long enough. Everything from VIP Suites, pay that surpasses most Civil Protection units and the best food around, some of which is actual real food. Most Collaborators after long time of service usually end up as Administrators or part of the Admin's staff team if not owners of their own businesses.

With great reward comes great risk however. Being a collaborator paints a massive target on a person's back and the punishment for those who violate the laws of the city while being a Collaborator are much higher than the standard citizen. Not to mention, unless the individual is of extremely high importance, the individual collaborator usually lacks a personal concealed weapon or bodyguards thus leaving them open to attack or worse. It is for this reason that Collaborators and the Civil Protection share a rather unique relationship. In exchange of money or the much better food that the collaborator earns, CP's under the individual's thumb could provide limited security or even the potential to "remove" individuals that are a problem for the Collaborator.

However, being a Collaborator has its benefits for those with anti-civil intentions. They are normally not on the radar as much as the normal populace and are less likely to raise the suspicion of the various surveillance equipment throughout the city. It provides the perfect front for those operating within city limits and using stores as a cover for their ops...

Civil Worker's Union
The largest Union created organization on Earth, the Civil Worker's Union has a warehouse or usually a whole building dedicated to their operations in every major city and even some outposts throughout Earth. Their existence is simple: provide jobs and pay to Civilians who are unable or unwilling to serve the Union out of their own motivation. Whether this is simple one hour jobs like cleaning a street to multi-day contracts worth possibly hundreds of credits depending on the hazards and worth to the CWU. The CWU affords this with a weekly stipend provided by the Citadel whose amount is dependent on how the Civil Worker's Union is performing. If they cash the money for themselves and not get jobs out the door, they lose funds. If they do the opposite, they make even more money. In the end, its in the best interest for Worker's in the union to find work for Civilians, regardless of the risk.

Members of the CWU also act as supervisors for various kinds of work shifts. This ranges from the basic foreman, the shift supervisor, the office head, and so on. As such, only those with a solid brain in their noggin are capable of being in the union for the most part. Another function of the CWU is the warehouse and its management. Usually, the goods procured during a work shift exceed the quota needed for that day, so workers would box them up for the CWU to take and store away for emergencies, special events, as extra pay to those who work hard and so on.

Like every other organization, there is a high potential for corruption and the CWU is no different. Money is the name of the game for them and using the extra funds they can get from selling warehouse stock, or pocketing Citadel stipends for bigger jobs or purchases can easily make many a smart man in the CWU very very rich. A little bit usually goes towards the Civil Protection to look the other way or to provide better security for their area and sometimes extra food to help salivate a unit's palate for future work.

The Civilian Population

The rich, the hard working, and the absolute poor. These are the few things that divide the civilian population within City Seventeen besides Union favoritism. Originally numbering in the double digit million, the civilian population of Ukraine and in essence, City Seventeen has been cut to barely two million spread across the vast city and the outlying outskirts.

The Average Citizen

For the vast majority of citizens living in and around City Seventeen, the daily grind of life prevails just as it did before the invasion. You wake up, go to work, go home. People collect their paychecks for the day and use it to buy the necessities and the luxuries that the Union provides. The goal of most citizens is to move up through housing levels and earn themselves as comfortable a life as possible in the new world. Originally, many citizens died from the initial purges the Union issued shortly after the end of the war. More were killed as they were unable to be kept alive due to medicine that has become unavailable or were seen unfit as they aged.

The remainder of the population pockets around Earth are primarily young or rather fit individuals that are able to keep up with the vigor's of daily life. This works out to the Union's benefit as they began to shift their attention more to converting the most capable humans into soldiers of the Transhuman Arm. While citizens could theoretically leave the city with the correct permits, this is usually not recommended due to the Portal Storms that pass through the world every now and then as well as the dangerous and flourishing Xen flora and fauna.

The Vortigaunts

Natives of the homeworld known as Xen, the Vortigaunts were slaves to the Nihilinth during (and most likely before) the Black Mesa Incident. However, after being freed due to the Nihilinths death, they ended up in a rough position. Their homeworld Xen has been taken over at the time by Human forces, and ultimately were stuck on Earth. At first, humanity treated the Vorts with violent tendencies, usually wounding if not outright killing any Vortigaunt they saw. Over time however this began to change as the Vorts were able to help humanity understand the Xen flora coming to Earth. Their electrical capabilities allowed them to help in various industries as well, not to mention aiding in culling the Antlions that became prevalent in many sandy locations.

After the invasion of the Universal Union on Earth, the Vortigaunts became a second rate citizen due to their affiliation with Xen. Re-Enslaved with collars, they are forced to act as the janitors of the city, cleaning up after the violence has ended. Those that are captured while free are usually subject to various torture methods to get information before the re-enslavement procedure.

However, a free Vortigaunt is more often than not, extremely powerful due to their electric offensive capabilities. Most fight till they are killed, knowing what will happen if they give up. As such, most of these masters of Xen prefer to hide in the shadows or find refuge within Anti-Civil groups to help combat the threat of the Union.

The Lower Class

When arriving in City Seventeen, your fate is determined rather quickly. You are either part of the Working Class or the Lower Class. Once in the lower class, its extremely hard to get out of it. The old, the wounded, the careless and the naive criminal all make up this caste. Usually unable to afford the housing tax and just barely surviving on the minimal ration for sustenance, the Lower Class life is more often than not, a death sentence. Only those who are willing to drop their morals / standards usually live. Prostitution, drug dealing, muscle, being a guinea pig, and acting as messengers for the various criminal organizations could be the difference between eating tonight or not.

Civil Protection usually considers the Lower Class to be even worse than the Vortigaunts and treat them as such. Most of the working class do not interfere with them either, unless there is something they need from them. It has been known that certain key figures would make it rich and immediately take on the disguise of being Lower Class in order to not draw attention so they may continue their activities in private, sometimes taking a second identity in the process.

Joining the Conscripts is usually a Lower Class individual's final shot of hope when all else fails, though the Conscripts usually treat them differently from the Working Class who join up. However, if an individual proves their worth, they can have their past expunged from records and given a fresh shot, usually after being selected for Civil Protection.

The Anti-Civil

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Last but not least, at the bottom of the barrel in terms of reputation within the city are the various Anti-Civil Groups that inhabit inside and outside the city's perimeter. While some take very active approaches to their activities, others are usually more covert. For the former, members would try to kidnap collaborators, eliminating Civil Protection units and overall trying to hurt the Union as much as possible. For the most part though, this is usually the poorest path to success and almost always results in people watching Transhuman Arm or Civil Protection units storming various locations, routing out these individuals and tearing down the Cell.

The safer and more successful way to success is acting covertly. Hiding within the population, providing food, credits, information, and so on minimizes themselves on the Union's radar. It's also very common for these individuals to become Collaborators as a front, acting as legit businessman to hide their operations. Some might even use their covert operations to assist various high ranking members in the Administration or Civil Worker's Union in doing wetwork. This makes it easier for those using their services to blame them for incidents that happen around the city while secretly paying the very groups they blame under the table.

The general population is usually 50/50 regarding these groups. This also usually holds true with other anti-civil groups with each other, with one usually disliking how the other is doing their activities, believing that it merely just draws attention to them. Some even try to force multiple cells to form into a large cell, usually with some grandiose plan though this usually ends in a conflict of power, goals, and so on. It sometimes gets so bad that it becomes hard to tell if these groups are actual "Rebels" or just gangs.
 

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