Cradle, a Bastion for Hope
Originally a project that began as a fallback shelter utilizing the natural protection of a mountain range, the Cradle project was ultimately scrapped due to cost. Three years before WWIII the project was revived by a group of very wealthy Doomsday Preppers with the help of residents from the nearby Chelbron Rise area. Together they finished carving out their city within the mountain and waited until the end. When the bombs dropped millions perished, and millions more died from the nuclear fallout. After cannibalizing most of the heavy machinery for different projects and parts, and after much debate, the people of Cradle formed their very first Expedition into the new world. After years of surviving this harsh new world, Expeditions have become one of the few ways left for people of Cradle to scavenge for new and old tech, as well as food and materials to fix or replace broken machinery. Cradle itself is situated above an enormous natural water reserve, and three years ago mines were dug out and the processing of metal ore began. An experimental fusion generator gives the vast majority of citizens their electricity, but maintenance from teams of experienced engineers is needed to keep it operational. For places outside of the main city of Cradle, such as the outposts erected in strategic locations outside of the mountain, use the more efficient but limited solar powered generators.
People of Cradle
The inhabitants of Cradle were mostly the residents of Chelbron Rise, the group of Doomsday Preppers and their families, as well as the army of construction workers, engineers and architects it took to create the living space. But in the years leading up to WWIII, rumors surfaced online of a bastion built into a mountain range and a few saw it as an opportunity for safety. Scientists, doctors, people from all different walks of life found their way to the Cradle and when war finally came they sat through it together. After the bombs dropped and communication to the outside world was lost, a High Counsel was elected to be responsible for many aspects of the judicial and prosecutorial system, as well as administration and civic development. Placement was enacted for the residents of Cradle, a test of skills, aptitude and knowledge that helped to determine the jobs that most suited an individual. Everyone in the Cradle has a job. Roughnecks, a term for bounty hunters, manual laborers, and mercenaries can choose which jobs to take, though its up to them if they get to eat or not.
The Central Library database contains the entirety of Cradle’s knowledge as well as entertainment. A multitude of Librarians work with new material every day, manually entering books and other forms of media onto an easy-to-access public archive accessible via personal tablet by any citizen of the Cradle. Due to the nature of adding media by hand, especially old pieces of script are given especially good care as to not damage the original material, so adding material sometimes takes days or weeks even. Alongside the massive servers dedicated to the smooth running of the Archive, the Central Library also allows citizens to check out physical copies of books. Not every book has an extra copy, so it’s expected that citizens be respectful and conscientious when checking out physical media by not keeping a book for too long, and that they not damage the book. Therefore, books are not allowed to be taken outside of Cradle once checked out.
Rewards are given to individuals that return books from the world outside of Cradle. Administration takes great pains to preserve and record knowledge new and old.
Radio is the name of the game. With no access to the satellites orbiting the planet and cell towers destroyed or left without maintenance, cellphones were little more than dead weight after the bombs fell. Instead, the Engineers of Cradle took to developing better radios and transceivers. Digital encryption and frequency hopping is now automatic, taken care of by the processors in the radio. Audio is compressed and shot along a focused radio-pulse, or in some cases a wide burst, and a receiver decrypts and unpacks the audio with perfect quality. Private connections are established via ‘fingerprints’ unique to each individual device. The devices themselves come in many different forms and variants. For instance, many use a small wristband that connects via short-range wireless interconnection between an earpiece or headset. Peacekeepers have a version of this technology built into their headsets. Dummy AIs are built into most devices, so an individual can simply speak a person’s name that they wish to speak to and the AI will attempt to establish a connection with person’s unique fingerprint. If the person accepts the query, a private connection is established between the two. Neural implants are also not uncommon. This practice is mostly used by the Peacekeepers, but individuals can opt for the surgery if they have the capital. Neural implants simplify the process even further by requiring the individual to simply focus on the person they wish to contact mentally and an AI processes the neural impulses to query another’s fingerprint, thus establishing an encrypted private connection.
The New World
Through nuclear bombs and the fallout thereafter, much has changed. There are pockets of civilization that have survived, and areas that are red-hot with radiation, but in the places in between, life continues to live on. Acid rain is a plague, but infrequent. Animals that have been born too close to hot-zones have been deformed and mutated. Even certain species of plants have mutated into monstrous caricatures of what they were. Tree sized Venus Fly-traps with a taste for human flesh and mutated Cordyceps fungus creating hive-like networks of zombies are just a few of the dangers lurking outside of Cradle. There are also human factions waging war with the survivors inside of Cradle. The Brotherhood, a small army of neo-Nazis bent on establishing an Aryan New World Order and the New Conglomerate, pockets of the Russian, Chinese, and Korean invaders left behind after the nuclear bombs hit are two of the more well-known factions.
The year is 2042. It’s been almost a decade since the end of the world occurred. You are one of the survivors. Whatever your story, you find yourself in the safety and shelter of the Cradle, a bunker-city carved out and into the protection of a mountain, situated in a range known as Chelbron Rise. To ensure survival, you are to help in the rebuilding, maintaining, and continuance of civilization, and that entails scavenging, exploring, and taking back what is left of the world you once knew. For some, this is all you’ve ever know, and for others, this is an opportunity to do things right this time. Cooperation is necessary for survival in these harsh times, and there are some outside of Cradle that simply desire power. Your story starts here, a request has come in for an Expeditionary team to travel into the Hunting Grounds down through the valley below Cradle. Your mission is to recover an intel package for a future Expedition into another city, scouts have indicated heavy wild life and infected populations in the area recently, scavenge whatever tech and supplies you can, and report back to Cradle with the intel.
Expeditions: Four times a month a team of no less than ten individuals leaves Cradle and travels beyond Outpost 3 (furthest outpost). The team is comprised of volunteers or individuals selected for the duty via draft if volunteers aren't forthcoming. Outside of Cradle, Expeditions fall under the command of the highest ranking Peacekeeper present. One or more Peacekeeper will be assigned to every Expedition. Individuals under the age of 18 are not eligible to join an Expedition.
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