by Max Barry

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by The Sayoko Soyjack of Unified Communist Councils. . 5 reads.


Our world of Erudia is a rocky planet approximately 7,000 kilometres in diameter with a nitrogen-oxygen atmospheric composition and an active, stable Hydrosphere. Its surface is dominated by the Xijuren and Puridian oceans. The biomes that are present on the two continental landmasses, [Eckhardt in the East] and [Orienisia in the West], vary according to latitude and regional precipitation rates.

At the subduction zone between the Orienisian and Eckhardt plates, situated within the Tradewind Trench, is [The Gape]. It is the lowest point of Erudia at 14,000 meters beneath the waves of the Xijurian ocean and the pressures found at the Gape exceed 110 Mega-Pascals. It remains one of the few points on Erudia that have remained unexplored and it was discovered by use of sonar hydrophones. The highest peak on Erudia, [Mount Klingon], can be found within the [Hapyo Mountain Range] and is often described as the summit where the Heavens and Land kiss. It pierces into the sky and measures 9,003 meters in height from base to peak, Mt Klingon was first summitted 31 years before the Armageddon War by a Bhatkhalian native named [Eston Milliary] and his local Hoangnese guide, [Zoeng Yunshu]. A unique planetary feature only found on Erudia is the existence of an enormous, prehistoric epicontinental sea that spans 1.97 million square kilometres of the Orienisian continent's interior. Known as the [Taal Megalake], the exotic brackish sea was formed 2.34 million years ago when moving plate tectonics separated it from the Xijuren ocean at the end of the last glacial age.

Our homeworld is a lush garden paradise, an oasis of life within the harsh backdrop of the cold and uncaring void of outer space. The world of Erudia before the war was home to millions of documented terrestrial and avian species of fauna. These animals ranged from several species of in-land golae (whale) and sangeo (shark) endemic to the Taal mega lake basin to the Gwiyeon snow owls, Uahan deer herds on the run from omnivorous Daenamu bears and Hapyo wolf packs, to the Guatzunese slime frogs and fuzzy Jaguen rabbit that call the evergreen Gotjawal forests home. The interior grasslands of Orienisia are home to herds of Gundo mammoths and Yumi Bizon that trample and graze on the tree saplings encroaching upon the grassland and steppe.

Animals can also be a part of native cultures and traditional beliefs. For instance, the elusive silver-black pelted [Iwonese Tiger] is a predator revered by the Iwonese culture due to its enigmatic charm. As the symbol of the survival of the fittest, the tiger has inspired countless artworks, folklore myths and musical pieces as the tiger's nature is said to entail the [Spirit of the Revolutionary] with how it stalks, bides time and strikes its prey at the right opportunity.

The Third Armageddon War, a calamity of apocalyptic magnitude which forever altered the course of human history and Erudian natural history. The ensuing nuclear war heralded a [Miniature Glacial Age] that lasted twelve years. Ecosystems collapsed in turn, as [Global Cooling] and damage to the ozone layer led to unprecedented mass-extinctions of amphibians, fish, birds and many other affected invertebrate kingdoms. Other species, such as the Gundo mammoth and Ingris river dolphin, tether on the verge of extinction.

The lowering of temperature caused by particles of ash and soot in the atmosphere caused crop failure on a planet scale, leading to mass famines exceeding the magnitude of even the Great Agrarian Advancement of the pre-war Holy Hanguk Empire era. The nuclear explosions had also caused great firestorms that swept across entire forests, a great [Deforestation Event] that transformed virgin forest and dense woodland into shrubland, prairies, quagmire and tundras in the north.

The United States of Bhatkhalia's use of [Collapse Warheads] is responsible for the endemic climate crisis that threatens the entirety of the planet's biosphere and biodiversity as a whole. The mutagenic effects of consistent and long-term exposure to survivable levels of [Collapse Radiation] cause muscles and blood vessels within organisms to harden as they undergo silication and their mind progressively withers into a basic pathological state of aggression.

[Advanced ELID Infection] contracted by repeated exposure for short periods of time manifests physically as bluish-green skin, extremely fast ageing made evident by geriatric wrinkles and crows' feet on the face, difficulty to breathe, muscular weakness and very unstable vital signs. Body amino acids decompose, connective tissues break down throughout the body, red blood cell count falls rapidly along with blood oxygen-carrying capacity and the skeletal structure changes, undergoing calcification and increasing the density and hardness of bones to numbers up to 400 HB, far beyond conventional steel. The onset period increases as the body are repeatedly exposed to radiation. Acute infection is fatal within 61 hours. Conversion to infected can take 24 to 48 hours but necessitate the body to be healthy enough to survive DNA recombination.

Freshly mutated cells will not only continue their mitosis but also produce a new cell organelle that releases Collapse Radiation. In other words, an infected organism becomes a new vector of Collapse Radiation contamination. This is why infectees are [Transmissive]. Because of this, direct contact with a contaminated individual is dangerous even if they have not yet turned. Entire habitats have been terraformed by invasive flora mutations and as a result, all wilderness and countryside areas beyond the borders of preserves and demarcation lines are considered unsafe due to the marauding hordes of grotesque mutants wandering through them.

[Purification Zones] are the narrow demarciation lines of territory located between the [Frontier Zones] and [Green Zones], which are classified as undergoing purification under the [Global Ecological and Wildlife Association] [Radiation Contaminated Region Recovery and Revitalization Joint Development Agreement].

Frontier Zones exist beyond the Purification Zones and are located in the immediate vicinity of [Red Zones]. They are regions that need to be cleaned and reclaimed according to the "Radiation Contaminated Region Recovery and Revitalization Joint Development Agreement", but the work there is not yet complete. Collapse Radiation density here is relatively low, but humans need to wear protective garments traversing through. Dolls do not require any protection and can move freely. There are comparatively fewer signs of human intervention here. For the most part, structures here have been left as-is. Many abandoned towns remain in a usable state and damage is not severe and said towns contain plenty of pre-war abandoned supplies. The terrain of Yellow Zones is primarily dominated by dead trees, swamps and desert. Desertification is a severe problem here and areas with plentiful underground water easily become swamp regions. The terrain tends to be quite hilly. Oases exist in valleys and other such water-rich areas, however, residents need to draw on underground water sources over 100 meters deep for consumption. The weather is either abnormal or similar to the contaminated regions and tends to form regular [Collapse Storms]. Regions that suffer frequent Collapse Storms tend to exhibit small-scale surface silicization, as well as the growth of small quantities of Collapse Epiphyllum flower clusters.

Red Zones form the border of the [Dead Zone] and the GEWA's needs are focused on the implementation of purification and treatment of heavily polluted areas. There is a considerable concentration of Collapse Radiation in these zones so Dolls and humans require heavy protection to enter this area. Most of the original buildings in the area have been preserved, but the damage is relatively high. There are few traces of human activity and marauding hordes of ELID-Infected are a common sight. The terrain of Red Zones is mainly desert due to frequent collapse storms and severe soil erosion. Vegetation in this area is scarce and ravines are vertical and horizontal, and the surface has also suffered from a certain degree of silicification due to frequent exposure to high concentrations of Collapse Radiation. In some low-lying areas, groups of similar looking plants exist. In the non-flowering period, the CF radiation concentration in the area is significantly lower than that in the surrounding area; in the flowering period, the radiation concentration in this area will increase sharply. Such plants show similar features and similar colours in a single area, but there are certain differences in the shape and colour of the flora between different areas.

Dead Zones are where the epicentres of Collapse Radiation is located. They are roughly several dozen kilometres across, composed of the craters created by the original blast and the area around it. It is the final region that needs to be cleansed under the <<Radiation Contaminated Region Recovery and Revitalization Joint Development Agreement>>. Collapse Radiation intensity here is extremely high and survival is unlikely once entered. The terrain within the Dead Zones is marred by ubiquitous wastelands and difficult terrain. After the blast, the entire region has collapsed into a funnel shape with the centre known as [Ground Zero]. Surface soil near Ground Zero was vitrified mid-flight by high temperatures and the shockwave, which has led to the surface being covered by sharp, black crystalline objects. The region is frequently beset by Collapse Storms. Unlike normal sandstorms, Collapse Storms carry high levels of Collapse Radiation, which make them lethal to all living creatures and electronic devices, in addition to impeding vision and movement. Collapse Radiation intensity in the region is extremely high. Few other living creatures can survive here apart from the ecosystems of mutated plants and ELIDified wildlife.

Climate change, habitat destruction, hunting, and competition with invasive wildlife and flora have been the most influential trophic cascades contributing to the ongoing [Anthropogenic Mass Extinction Event]. This process is commonly believed to have begun with the disappearance of large land animals known as megafauna, starting at the end of the last glacial period. Megafauna outside of the Eckhardt mainland, which did not evolve instinctual fear of humans, proved highly sensitive to the introduction of new predation, and many died out shortly after early humans began spreading and hunting across Erudia. Pre-war drivers of the mass extinction included meat consumption, deforestation, overfishing, ocean acidification as a result of atmospheric pollutants, and the decline in amphibian populations had were examples of global biodiversity loss. The most significant drivers in the decline of insect populations were associated with intensive farming practices, along with pesticide use and climate change.

Following the Third War of Armageddon, our animal and plant populations experienced a rebound in the absence of overexploitation, habitat destruction and anthropogenic climate change. Global carbon dioxide emissions have plummetted to pre-industrial lows, leading to a decline in ocean acidity. The phenomenon of coral bleaching have drastically declined and various coral reefs worldwide, which provide valuable habitat and maintain high biodiversity, have begun to recover and expand in size. Marine gastropods, bivalves and other invertebrates have also experienced similar recoveries, as are the organisms that feed on them.

The Global Ecosystem and Wildlife Association was founded on the principles of [Nature Conservation], [Climate Change Mitigation] and [Sustainable Co-Existence with Nature]. The GEWA in collaboration with local and regional governments spearheaded the transformation of the human relationship with nature. Rampant productivism that was exploiting Erudia has been cast aside and the artificial distinction between the human and the natural was dissolved, radicalizing the relationship with land away from private ownership and towards collectivized stewardship for the good of the biosphere as a whole. Within a decade the nature of human social relations, both with one another and the wider world had been completely transformed and the deleterious effects of declining health, biodiversity collapse, climate change-driven social upheaval, displacement and resource conflict, and resource exhaustion are being avoided by major changes in human industry and activity.

Two ways we actively combat Mass Extinction is through the [Synthetic Biogenesis Initiative]. Established Zoological Societies help spread public interest in ecology, taking the first large step toward establishing the global biosphere. Advancements made in the genome-editing permit for the biogenesis of artificially-designed organisms within [Bio-Labs]. [Ecosimulators] based on adaptive software and the latest supercomputer technology to allow our scientists to simulate entire ecosystems in great detail. This helps us better target future organisms as we rebuild our biosphere, and may even have an educative side-application as a gaming app for the public. Only time will tell if such a program would be popular as a game. Alas, designing organisms is only half the challenge of rebuilding a new biosphere: we also have to cultivate and spread the organisms across the surface. With the construction of a [Automated Nursury Network] to automate this process, we can quickly design and seed new species across "silent habitats", to speed the way to the establishment of a self-sustaining biosphere.

By acting NOW do we strive forward with the hope of preserving our cosmic nursery.

Land restoration through naturalisation or rewilding of local ecologies, is the Global Ecological and Wildlife Association's answer to habitat destruction and pollution arising from the Third Armageddon War.

Ongoing climate and habitat restoration projects are headed by the GEWA monitoring the nature preserves of pre-war ecosystems that had survived both the Armageddon War and the ensuing ecological collapse in-tact. National parks and protected wetlands are [Declared Regions] that are certified safe for human travel, many tens of thousands of people per year brave the risk of encountering ELID-infected lifeforms just for a chance to reconnect with the larger world beyond fortified urban megalopolis. The GEWA work in tandem with the military, Park Rangers are supplied with military-grade arms, ATGM-armed technicals and aerial surveillance drones to safeguard national parks and wetlands from ELIDified wildlife and potential infestation.

Declared Regions are sites of natural landscape and habitat, safe for humans, wildlife, and plant communities. Ecological destruction, to which land restoration serves as an antidote, is usually the consequence of pollution, deforestation, salination or natural disasters. Land restoration is not the same as land reclamation, where existing ecosystems are altered or destroyed to give way to cultivation or construction. Land restoration can enhance the supply of valuable ecosystem services that benefit people. This entails the process of cleaning up and holistically rehabilitating a site that has sustained environmental degradation, such as those by natural cause (desertification) and those caused by human activity (strip mining), to restore that area back to its natural state as a wildlife home and balanced habitat.

[Wasteland Reclamation] begins with the neutralization of collapse radiation through the deployment of [Anti-Radiation Containment Screen Walls], after which nano remediation, soil vapour extraction, permeable reactive barriers, monitored natural attenuation, bioremediation-phytoremediation, collapsing air microbubbles, steam-enhanced extraction and in situ thermal desorption methods are carried out to eliminate any last traces of Collapse Fluid particles. Following on, setting up reliable water provisioning (e.g. by tapping into underground aquifers or placing long-distance water pipes) lets for the beginning of a multi-phase process for stabilizing and fixating the soil to such an extent that dune movement ceases. Planting grasses and plants provide shelterbelts, windbreaks and woodlots protecting soil from wind erosion. These are composed of rows of trees, arranged perpendicular to the prevailing wind, while woodlots are more extensive areas of woodland. Enriching the soil is done by planting nitrogen-fixating plants to prevent depleting the soil on specific trace elements.

Furthermore, essential rare earth mining operations during the [1st 25 Year Plan for the Reconstruction of a Continent] led to a need for modern mine rehabilitation techniques aiming to minimize and mitigate the environmental effects of modern mining. Typically after mining operations end, the land needs to be rehabilitated. Waste dumps are contoured to flatten them out, to further stabilize open pits against erosion. If the ore contains sulfides it is usually covered with a layer of clay to prevent access to rain and oxygen from the air, which can oxidize the sulfides to produce sulfuric acid. Landfills are then covered with topsoil, and vegetation is planted to help consolidate the material. The dumps are usually fenced off to prevent livestock from denuding them of vegetation. The open-pit is then surrounded by a fence, to prevent access, and it generally eventually fills up with groundwater while tailings dams are left to evaporate, then covered with waste rock, clay if need be, and soil, which is planted with vegetation to stabilize it.

More recent developments of Land Restoration involve [Seawater Greenhouse] and [Seawater Forests], which construct these devices on coastal deserts in order to create fresh water and grow food. A similar approach is the Desert Rose concept. These modern approaches are of widespread applicability as the relative economic costs of pumping large quantities of seawater inland, coupled with renewable energy generation, is low. All these remedies help forge our sustainable future and show the resiliency of the united Proletariat in face of ecological peril.

We conduct extensive environmental remediation for the removal of pollution and contaminants from Erudia's environmental media such as soil, groundwater, sediment, or surface water. Remedial action is subject to an array of [Regulatory Policy] based on assessments of human health and ecological risks. Such assessments are carried out by taking into account the risks of operations, transporting contaminated material, disposal of waste which may be contaminated including workers' clothes, and a formal emergency response plan should be developed. Every worker and visitor entering the site are legally required to undergo safety induction personalised to their involvement with the site.

Greenhouse gas reductions and direct air capture are popular means of meeting the [Net Zero Carbon Initiative].

Cultivated gardens of cyanobacteria, called [CyanoVats], help us capture CO2 within the atmosphere and these bacterial colonies metabolize it into energy for food and excess oxygen for the biosphere as a whole. Other popular means of reducing the atmospheric parts-per-million composition of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are through aquaculture of vast [Kelp Farms]. Though not as visible as land-based rainforests, it is an elementary school fact that most of Erudia's oxygen is actually produced by great kelp forests within the ocean. With the introduction of genetically-tailored kelp, we produce enormous quantities of oxygen while preserving native kelp populations. [Reforestation] is achieved through the planting of artificial forest stands in strategic places around the planet, accelerating the growth of new forests and rehabilitating the planetary biosphere in a much shorter timeframe. Restoration of tropical rainforests, both passive and intentional, is a growing trend all over the equatorial constituencies. As hyper-diverse rainforest ecosystems come back to life, trees, soil, leaf litter, and other vegetation absorb and hold carbon, taking it out of global-warming rotation.

In 50 AAY, the [Yeong Challenge] set an ambitious target of restoring 1 billion acres of forest worldwide by 75 AAY. The 51st Session of the Supreme Congress of Labour Committee's Declaration on Forests affirmed that aim and added a cumulative target of 1.5 billion acres restored globally by 80 AAY. The ambitious thirty-year campaign gloriously met its goals and a net total of 40 gigatons of CO2 were removed from our atmosphere and became terrestrial once again.

In what little free-range livestock farms we have left, the practice of [Silvopasture] is carried out by our eco-friendly farmers. By integrating trees and pasture or forage into a single ecosystem for raising livestock, from cattle and sheep to deer and ducks, rather than seeing trees as a weed to be removed, silvopasture integrates foliage into a sustainable and symbiotic system. Trees may be clustered, evenly spaced, or used as living fencing and animals graze in grassy alleys between rows of arboreal growth. Most silvopastoral systems are similar in spacing to a savanna ecosystem, and they can be created by planting trees in open pasture, letting those that sprout mature, or by thinning a woodland or plantation canopy to allow for forage growth. Soil is the other essential component—and key to how silvopasture mitigates climate change. Silvopastoral systems sequester carbon in both the biomass above ground and the soil below. Pastures that are strewn or crisscrossed with trees sequester five to ten times as much carbon as those of the same size that is treeless. Additionally, the integration of trees into grazing lands enhances soil fertility and moisture, so farmers find themselves with healthier, more productive land over time.

There is much work yet to be done in regards to the elimination of radioactive contamination, heavy metal pollutants and restoring the biodiversity of our beautiful environment. However, we the Erudian Proletariat, have made great leaps forward in meeting our ambitious deadlines for a rehabilitated planet.