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Pius XIII and Alexander

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Rome, 2017 a.I.
Dark times came for the Occidental Culture as an institution. The very concept of the Occidental man is endangered as the cosmopolitan centers have been shattered, destroyed, and illness and civil wars shatter the ruins of the cities. Escaping and regrouping in a post-apocalyptic scenery, people becomes more pragmatic and less certain of values and 'reason', some appealing more to local autonomous zones, collective living and DIY yet others to raids, to centralized power units and pirate-driven trade commerce.

The Church itself, survival of a thousand crisis, has lot of money, yet money is losing its importance in a world where what matters is survival. Unable to convince others through an indirect mean of power, they join the latter form and begin appealing to raw power. Many cryptocrats, holding technology and means of production which are still set on foot, gather errant slaves and make sure that their traditions of authority are respected.

While having great groups and armies proves to be a burden for the packs and autonomous zones which are 'collective nomads', the sedentary church wouldn't care less about life quality of their supporters, so they thrive more in quantity and sheer bulk of armies to raid, given their ineffectiveness to produce food (which in some areas exhausted by millennia of exploration became certainly a luxury).

In a world with no institution for rights, some lay the belief on autonomous and collective living of the Anarchists for at least respect and ethics to prevail. Yet others, center their efforts on massive education centers, to ensure discipline and rules-following postures on the survivors of the catastrophes (among other slaves).

Those who are able to live a nomadic life soon understand what keep the collectives in feet: they have a secret means of communicating with some beasts and some natural entities, which provide an important intelligence sector to keep the autonomous zones as 'safe places'. Welcome themselves, the nomads find support of the craft and arts in those zones and reciprocally they teach others in their ways to spread word about a new libertarian common culture.

With philosophy itself shaken to an individualistic approach, arts and crafts prominently took on a more important scope than institutionalized sciences and industrial labour, given the same industries are but ruined piles of rotten technology as of now. But that doesn't matter to the League of Fire Lords, which hail from the oriental former-megalopolis of Haijian, neither to the faithful cardinals of the Church, met with their Eastern Counterpart to take hold of the traditions before the cataclysm of roughly 2 years before. So, understandably, they use the same 'slave policies' as the Oriental industrialists. In the darkest ranks of the church, a secret man use genetic engineering and alternative means of electric energy (notably neural systems of sentient beings) to raise a secret army of the church, with the remnants and volunteers of the same church's former Inquisitional forces.

But the latest Christ's Vicar, Pope, Pius XIII (known as "Innocent" among the ever-diminishing group of cryptocrats), is uncertain of the man and assures to Alexander, fellow cryptocrat, that Occidental Civilization will be restored once they monopolize the living once again, through an intricate plan that refers to a Human Automation, where a single body may contain a collective of memory, information and impulse to trigger a society based on following orders from a higher computer-base, to be held by no other than the cryptocrats.

Tests and money have run expensively on the project, which had to find many ways to surpass the need of slaves, since those were freed in places as far as Africa and Zealandia in the Pacific. But since the very globalization has been forced to a break, they believe that deaths and trades can go unnoticed. But soon enough they will learn that the very creatures and animals in their autonomy and individuality conspires against them. And this is their major grief: to be equalized to beasts, to be uncapable of dominating nature, and to know that near-to-solipsist Bairn of the Sea, unnatural as he seems, is right about the end of humankind as a concept.

But still, voluntaries and mercenaries always increase the ranks, and as we see, they are ready to corrupt, so the Church may live forever.
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