Ruins Of Atlanta (BB2e) FR:Vivre dans les Ruines

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As soon as the dust settled, the infamous supervillain Master of Destruction, or simply MOD, was inside the ruins working to save the trapped and injured and bring water and food to the refugees. Paragon was still out there and still a threat; the nation and the world had more disasters to handle, more fires to put out, and everyone’s resources were stretched to the breaking point. Civilians from Georgia and surrounding states, financed by wealthy entrepreneurs and celebrities, came to Atlanta to help the rescue efforts while MOD did the heavy lifting, and hundreds of thousands were evacuated. It took FEMA days to organize a response, and by the time they did, MOD refused them entry. “Everyone who wants out of Atlanta,” he said, “has gotten out. The people that are still in there, they choose to be in there. And I don’t see as how bringing the government in is going to make their lives any easier.”

This was the origin of the “Atlanta Compromise”, MOD’s blockade of state and federal agencies from the ruins. Private individuals can enter, and over the last few years many have, but there has been no orchestrated reconstruction or salvage of Atlanta’s bones. The vast majority of the city has been abandoned, but small pockets of civilization have arisen – or hung on – and small bands of roving survivors walk the roads, like the inhabitants of some post-apocalyptic film.

The three largest and most well-known factions in the ruins are the Atlanta Regional Commission, the town of Terminus, and the Pyramid. The Commission, or ARC, claims to be the official government of the city and is led by the former Attorney General of Georgia, who survived Paragon’s attack. ARC controls Downtown and includes many of Atlanta’s former police, fire, and other emergency workers, as well as those who used to staff governmental buildings. Attorney General Montgomery has turned his police force into an army (something which, in the 21st century, isn’t actually very hard) and is slowly expanding his influence and control in the ruins, citing the authority of his office when the cruelty of his tactics come to light. His critics argue he’s more interested in building a little kingdom inside the ruins than rebuilding the city, and Montgomery’s only quibble with this accusation might be the word “little”.

The Pyramid is the headquarters for a mysterious corporation which moved into the ruins soon after the Fall. Its employees dwell entirely within the Pyramid itself, which has been constructed on the former site of the Georgia Dome, and use remote-piloted drones to gather salvage from the ruins. The Pyramid is a self-contained civilization, a high-tech world which caters to its highly stratified personnel and its enigmatic CEO, Stephanie Hatsu. Pyramid has access to the most advanced engineering and construction facilities in the ruins, and it has been stockpiling resources and conducting R&D for years, but to what end? No one seems to know.

But the real city inside the city is Terminus, which began as a refugee camp but slowly expanded as more survivors decided to stay in the ruins and forge a new life free of governmental interference. Terminus is well known in the United States at large, though there are many misconceptions about it, and it is portrayed in the media as a kind of libertarian utopia where guns are every man’s right and recreational drugs are cheap, where there are no taxes, no governmental regulations, and no laws. This has even drawn immigrants to Terminus, American citizens who decry the state of the nation and pursue an idealized free society. The truth is a lot harder, and life is brutal in Terminus, where resources are few and nothing is guaranteed except want. Nevertheless, thousands choose to live here, under the nominal leadership of Mayor Martha Johnston, a former school teacher and writer.

Electricity and water are scarce and unreliable inside the ruins. Established factions like the ARC and Terminus have regained access to city water (which is supplied from Lake Lanier) and partially restored their power grids, but only the Pyramid has secure cellular reception and wireless access. Other survivors in the ruins live off of supplies looted from stores and gas stations. While bottled water, batteries, and gasoline cannot be replaced, the number of survivors inside Atlanta is so small that groups are able to live by staying on the move. A single grocery store can keep a refugee group fed for months – or until a larger and better-armed group kicks them out.

After all, not everyone can make it in Terminus or the other settlements, and not everyone wants to. Groups of refugees, called Reject clans, eke out a life day to day as nomads in the ruins. Teams of scientists comb the rubble looking for lost secrets and collecting data. Religious fanatics have proclaimed Paragon to be the Scourge of God and Atlanta to be his Chosen City. Young people have rejected the flawed society that has caused such destruction and built a new law for themselves. And, deep below the Centers for Disease Control, a mad genius breeds a race of monsters.

Welcome to the ruins.