Introduction

It’s been many years since the incident. People have moved on, adapted and evolved, and few, if any, remember what changed the world in such a way and for what purpose it was done. The reintroduction of species long extinct, rampant radiation and time have changed what it means to be human and what humans look like. Many have evolved adaptations to help them along in the wastes of the world, those that find themselves with similar mutations or appearances often band together and settle in cities across the planet. Scientific tampering and the aftermath of nuclear, planet-shattering wars has changed the weather patterns of the world and taken them to extremes. The only remaining continent known to most is a massive Pangean expanse, partially submersed with regions occasionally accessible via land bridges several times a year. Welcome to Warp World.

The Helix Hegemony began when a like-minded group of individuals got together and saw that the world had become segregated, its peoples paranoid and xenophobic, not trusting of outsiders. Its purpose was and remains to unite the world, its influence is far felt, and its means are great.

The Helix Hegemony uses massive, self-contained domes to traverse the world and harbor those that take their offer of peace and shelter. About two dozen domes are in existence, some found, some made, but all utilize a similar technology that has allowed the leaders of the Helix Hegemony to make use of nanomachines, dubbed Nodes, that make everyone in their protection effectively immortal. Few know how they work, but fewer still can doubt the way in which they have changed the perception of life.

Nodes take the genetic material, the combined technology and knowledge of their hosts and link these with a network of all of the other Node hosts in the vicinity, creating a community of skilled individuals and an ever-evolving race. When a host suffers a fatal wound, their body is broken down into its basic building blocks and over the course of 4 to 8 hours, the Nodes draw power from the domes to recreate the individual using aspects from the growing gene pool. The host is revived with a new body, appearance, a wide skill set, and some basic tools needed for survival pulled from the massive pool of supplies that the domes contain. The host’s personality and memories may be the same as their former incarnation, or they may take on new quirks and become a new individual. During regular function, the Nodes constantly evolve helpful mutations for their hosts taken from the large pool of individuals in a given dome.

Joining the Helix Hegemony and becoming a Node host is a voluntary transition, as the organization is a diplomatic one. In return for the ability to slow aging and be reborn effectively indefinitely, Node hosts agree to voluntary sterility (except in the case of small organisms who through the use of Nodes have become a single-minded hive organism, in which case the females reproduce through parthenogenesis and use a form of obligate diapause to delay the birth of their offspring, most often to replace killed or lost members of the hive organism) and a pact of nonaggression towards other members of the Helix Hegemony, both of which are enforced by the Nodes themselves.

While many welcome the quest for peace and technology that enriches life and allows for such aforementioned hive organisms to exist, not all peoples accept the intent of the Helix Hegemony and the organization faces insurgents in pockets all over the world. In an attempt to ease relations between the Helix Hegemony and those that oppose it and add to the allure of the organization, agents are sent out regularly to provide help to local people in need, acquire useful technology and acquire more genetic material in the hopes that a particular genetic combination will allow Node hosts to find physical common ground with outside civilizations. These agents are referred to by a numbers of nick names, Receivers, Retainers, Mediators, but are officially titled Intercessors, a term used to refer to someone that acts as an intermediary. They are essential to forward the ends of the Helix Hegemony, and their line of work is extremely risky. Given that individuals can die and come back looking completely different, Intercessors are encouraged to find an accessory or means of consistently visually identifying themselves. As not everyone is fond of their organization, they are discouraged from using the official Helix Hegemony symbol unless in amiable contact with a local civilization.

The domes that power the Nodes are massive structures, built for a variety of purposes and intended to be entirely self-sufficient. The power required to continually maintain the Nodes of all of the members of the domes, especially the ones outside of regular contact with the domes, is massive. Many domes rely on several forms of power at once and remain stationary, but many if not all of them are capable of traveling long distances in short stints at a time. Depending on the environment and the amount of power to be harvested, domes often go years without having to travel. Food rations in the domes are homogenous, and come in the form of silica-gel like tablets that dissolve and expand in water to accommodate caloric intake, and regulate biological function via the Nodes when applicable. They do no harm to non-Node imbibers.

There has been some concern lately regarding the livelihood of far-flung domes. Although the domes are entirely self-contained communities, they sync up quarterly to give status updates. Within recent years there have been occasional blackouts between domes, some even falling off of the radar completely. Given their self-sufficient nature and that domes are often many hundreds of miles apart, there have not been enough resources to investigate these disappearances.

Dome Foo has been at rest in the fields of Elyse for nearly a decade, on the edge of a massive expanse of grasslands near thick forests and mountains towards the continent’s northwest corner. Dome Foo is part think tank, part university, and part military installation. Its max population is about 2000 residents, currently it is holding 1200 or so. A massive drill underneath of the dome itself draws thermal power beneath the Earth’s surface, and at rest the golden panels that unfold to form the majority of the outside structure draw in solar power.

Within the dome there is a science branch, comprised of a research and development department, dome maintenance department, and very small power core security and maintenance team. The public relations branch is broken up into an intelligence department (scouts and infiltrators), embassy council, educational and world-knowledge department, and a medical facility that caters to dome residents and occasionally makes excursions to visit outside colonies. The dome security department is broken up into enforcers/defenders, search and rescue teams and outside aid. A representative from each department serves on a council that runs the dome, but its primary commander is Principal Fortuna. Residents of the dome are assigned to branches according to their aptitudes for regular service, but may have a hand in several departments if their skills allow it.

The most recent addition to the dome’s inhabitants is a tribe of yeti from the nearby mountains that call themselves the Kabuki. The Kabuki were a tribe of shamanistic nature-worshipers, prone to tattoos and colorful face-paints, reluctant to make any commitments to the Helix Hegemony and had themselves been in a long feud with a race of what they referred to as Obake. As reclusive as the Kabuki were—they had only been discovered within the past two years, and Dome Foo had been in the area for nearly ten—no dome residents have come into contact with anything close to resembling the yetis’ description of the Obake. Their initiation came reluctantly following a massive battle with the Obake that resulted in the death of the tribe’s leader, Sarjei, and her consort Gammayun. Zakar, Gammayun’s younger brother, made the executive decision to save the tribe’s leaders and initiate the rest.

Sarjei is a respectful and contemplative leader and has been revived as a firebird, the likes of which has started some rumblings within the tribe about a “prophecy.” Gammayun, her consort, is skilled and powerful but quick to anger. They have become staples in the dome as leaders. The rest of the Kabuki, though, are struggling to find a place. Many of them have introduced the idea of scavenging into the dome. There has been division into two schools of thought, one, that scavenged goods are as good as any and necessary for survival, and those that believe that dome tech is superior to all else. For the time being the Kabuki have been relegated to occupations involved with outside travel. They’ve been with the dome for about 6 months at present.

You all are residents of Dome Foo. And you have all just died.

Introduction

Warp World Kasa