by Max Barry

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The Atrahasian Republic of
Capitalist Paradise

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Basic Facts About Haja-Mishu

Refer to us as Shuraya.

Most of our culture's aesthetics and language are based of the Mesopotamian civilizations.

Our republic has stood uninterrupted for 10,000 years.

Our Great Houses are just as old as our republic, meaning some people are direct descendants of families 10,000 years old.

A sizable amount of us are openly racist towards foreigners.

We've never had a marxist government.

LinkOur beards look like this.

Our traditional religion is Henotheistic though most of us are avowedly atheist.

We have a small community of Methodists, Santera, and Voodou practitioners.

Our founder's name is <<<Atrahasis>>> (Honored Be His Name), and he is treated like a Moses/Confucius/George Washington fusion.

Our height ranges from 6'4 - 7'2.

We're great mariners.

Our ships have rams and eyes painted on the front of our ships like triremes even though we are a modern nation with state-of-the-art ships.

We've invented "Poultryhouses" which are like steakhouses but with chicken instead.

Our national fruit is the pomegranate.

Our national tree is the Greater Southern Willow which is a much larger version of the weeping willow.

Our food closely resembles Ethiopian and Soul food but is much spicier.

Most citizens own and are proficient in the use of firearms.

All buildings have bomb shelters under them.

Our sewers and abandoned subway systems are home to an extensive society of sewer people led by a king.

Our most popular sports are water polo, sailing, and basketball.

We have gladiatorial arenas where duelists fight using different weapons and combat styles to knock their opponent out.

We've recently established a well-equipped and trained national defense army, drilled by former Rusinan soldiers and various mercenaries.

We are the home of Murphy Inc. An originally Anvillian company that produces a medley of different goods from guns to champagne.

We have a huge navy and merchant-marine.

Motown, Blues, Rock, and Metal are the most popular genres of music.

Our biggest car company is Oldsmobile Automotive.

Our island and surrounding seas are filled with Miocene era animals.

Most of our energy comes from laser fusion reactors under the city and tidal plants.

We have vast deep sea mining operations.

The sea surrounding us is home to various giant sea monsters, ghosts, spirits, elementals, and demons though sightings are rare.

We're very stoic.

We trace our lineage from a sunken continent, it's name forgotten.

We are staunch proponents of Laissez Faire Capitalist Economics.

Socially we are libertarian conservatives.

Despite our Mesopotamian aesthetic, we physically look western European.

We're cultural chauvinists.

Rather than burying our dead, we cast the bodies of our dead inside marble, creating statues with dead bodies in them.

Most families own their own ancestral tombs where the statues of their ancestors rest.

We have an effective system of private schools.

We have drive-in liquor stores.

A common way of assaulting politicians is to throw baked beans at them.

Our hot sauce bottles don't have flow restrictors.

Men are commonly shirtless in private.

We put great value in rituals and protocol.

We are erratic drivers.

We use two language scripts: Cuneiform and Quenya Tengwar, though they are of course not called that.

LinkOur Linktraditional Linkdress Linklooks Linklike Linkthis.

We have a very high birth rate.

Our city is mostly comprised of high-tech arcologies and mega-skyscrapers.

Our city is very clean.

Demolition Derby and Demolition Racing are so prevalent here that there is a national league.

Our city's full name,
Ur-Āl Pānānū, Ba'ūlu Āl Dārū, Bitr Āl Mar Mīn, ubtu Atrahasis, Āl Ba'ūlu Ēkallū, Mūub Ilū Wap, Ban Ma Abūnāi, Ur-Ba'ūlu Aban Bālti Abrātu, U Gummur Bīrtu Ur-ūrāyu.

is 138 letters long. It means "The City of Ancients, Great City of Immortals, Magnificient City of Riches Immeasurable, Residence of Atrahasis, City of Great Palaces, Home of Gods' Incarnate, Erected By Our Ancestors, The Great Jewel of Mankind, And Last Bastion of the Shurayu." However, this name is mainly ceremonial and nobody uses it in day to day situations, though people using fragments of the name to refer to the city is not unheard of.

You can oftentimes find markets under highways.

We revere the dead and those who tend to them.

Our police force mainly uses Supras and Lexus LFAs.

Priests and Priestesses of our native religion of Pānaqīptum sell Marijuana and Blue Lotus dust.

We aren't on Earth and therefore have no idea about our Earth counterparts.

We used to have sea cowboys that drove herds of manatees to our city and various island-stations to be slaughtered.

There is no taboo about eating sea mammals, in fact, they are eaten regularly.

The three main types of meat we eat are shellfish, cetaceans, and poultry.

We have a massive hanging garden complex that is 800 meters tall. It is built from marble and contains every plant from every corner of the world. They are known as The Hanging Gardens of Shuraya. It takes 10 days to see everything in it on foot.

It's common for us to smuggle our own booze into bars to avoid the high prices and just buy mixers like soda.

Barber shops double as social clubs.

The entryways of our homes contain a small basin of water in which anyone who enters is obliged to wash their hands before touching anything in the home.

We take our shoes and socks off inside our homes.

Our Hanging Gardens is the largest structure in the city.

There are speakers on our Hanging Gardens that broadcast up to 7 kilometers away without deafening nearby people.

There are groups of Shurayu that live on boats, travelling from port-to-port all over the world.

Most organized crime can be tied to various cartels whose members can often be distinguished by have long well-kept hair reminiscent of the 80s.

Tortoises are the most common pets here.

We can summon the ghosts of our dead ancestors and speak to them. Our warriors of old often summoned their martially-inclined ancestors to fight alongside them.

Our dead are entombed in the Dead Quarter, one of the oldest sections of the city. There is a constant stream of dead entering at all hours along with months long somber processions down its wide avenues.

Our city is highly fortified with AA-guns, missile silos, and a sophisticated missile defense system.

LinkWe can count to 12 on each hand.

Our constitution and native religion forbid surrender and and the government has even told citizens to ignore all surrender orders and continue fighting regardless of the enemy's strength if a war that drastic came to our shores.

Despite tolerating and espousing individualism and individual thought, we are quite a collectivist society.

We "farm" millions of sea-creatures, allowing us to have a constant supply of farm-raised sea meat to supplement our already colossal fishing industry.

Most of our T.V. Shows and Movies are High Fantasy Action/Adventure and Historical Dramas.

We are known to have a dry, stinging wit.

We refer to the outside world as the "Gīdān"

We have a museum that displays various magical artifacts from throughout the world and even ones from other planes of existence.

We had several lethal outbreaks of tuberculosis all throughout the 19th century.

Our warriors used to have a tradition of capturing enemy soldiers and then drowning them called "amru-Tēlissim".

We are known to have some of the best guitarists in the world.

We have a natural resistance to narcotics.

We oftentimes cap our canine teeth in gold.

If you walk around here wearing sunglasses, someone with knock them off your head.

We shave and brush our teeth during our showers.

There is no taboo towards hitting women here, if a woman vexes a man enough he will think nothing of punching the woman.

Dominos is a popular pastime.

When disciplining our children, instead of spankings, the children get beatings, most notably with punches to the ribs and backhand slaps to the face.

We have a great public transport system.

We call our foreign friends "little brothers" and "little sisters". We do not detect how condescending that sounds.

We don't understand the concept of discrimination based upon sexual orientation as our society has always treated sexual orientation as irrelevant.

Our city's more prominent mages use lesser demons as chattel slaves.

When rebuking their children for texting excessively, parents often tell their children they'll get "finger cancer".

Carbonated drinks are often referred to as simply "Drink" rather than "Soda".

We have line dancing here.

The Shurayu version of the phrase "Let's go!" is "Rapāsi all nūn!" Literally meaning "Slap that fish!"

From an early age, children are conditioned to fight back if provoked. Our term for this philosophy is "Never stay hit."

Shurayu refuse to watch pornography that features infidelity.

It's standard for employers to regularly sleep with their interns.