Once again it's time for a flag dump. And once again, it's a Fenspace… - Malaclypse the Seeker
Jul. 31st, 2010
Once again it's time for a flag dump. And once again, it's a Fenspace thing. This time, though, it doesn't require too much knowledge of Fenspace to understand.
Here's the premise: It's now 2040-50ish in Fenspace, and the environment starts getting really bad on Earth, no matter what anybody does to try and reverse the damage. Just when it looks like Earth and the Convention might be getting a handle on things, something completely out of human control (I'm thinking Yellowstone exploding) shoves the whole thing off a cliff.
So, the Convention engages in the single biggest operation in human history: the Evacuation of Earth. Over the next five years, pretty much 99% of the nine or so billion people on Earth are either moved by the Fen, or leave on their own. Many head for places in orbit (orbital colonies are churned out at a fantastic rate to cope with the influx), Luna, Mars, and the interstellar colonies.
There's an interesting twist, though: Many of the refugees fleeing for new worlds use an experimental FTL engine with a serious design flaw. If pushed past a certain limit of effect, the engine not only kicks the ship to the destination, it throws the ship back in time by a largely-arbitrary amount. The poor schmucks who get thrown around in time lose FTL engines or communications, which apparently is a handwavium safety lock designed to prevent paradox. So thousands, maybe tens of thousands of human refugee ships end up becoming Paradox colonies, losing all knowledge of Earth and evolving on their own until the Convention rebuilds and recontacts them.
This is all a dodge to create a vibrant space-opera world in a relatively alien-free galaxy like Fenspace. One of these days (maybe when I've finished a couple of the stories I have hanging fire) I may put this one up for debate in front of the group. But until then, have some flag doodles.
Our subject today is the United States of America (Exiled). The US was never the most Fen-friendly nation on Earth, even though many of the original Fen came from there. After the Evacuation, the US ended up with three successor states that claimed the name, plus several smaller states that remembered their American roots with something approaching pride, and Xenu only knows how many Paradox colonies out there.
Here we have the flag of the United States of America (Exiled) #1, a collection of orbital habitats that's part of the "Junior UN Cluster" at Earth-Luna L4. The Junior UN are the terrestrial nations that refused to give up claims on the mother planet, and could rightfully be said to be "exiled" in the truest sense. The orbital USA flag retains all the stars for the fifty lost states plus ten for each of the major habitats contributing to the American government.
This is the flag of the United States of America (Exiled) #2, more commonly called "New America." This flag represents a nation of American refugees who ended up on Chiron (Alpha Centauri III) and decided that not looking back was better for their collective mental health. The ten stars represent the ten small city-states that make up New America's allotment in Chiron's southern hemisphere.
Here we have the flag of the United States of America (Exiled) #3, more commonly known as "America 2.0." American refugees who ended up in the 37 Geminorum system founded a colony that takes many of the excesses of the American empire from the first half of the 21st century and turns it all the way up to 11. The Presidency in America 2.0 is literally a dynastic monarchy, with only minimal interference from the (still-elected) Congress. The economy wobbles between total lassez-faire and an odd sort of tightly regulated industry according to the whims of the President. The culture is a voracious consumer of media and goods. Many observers in the Convention think there has to be some sort of metahuman or transhuman meddling involved, because America 2.0 should have collapsed years ago.
...and those are the major Successor States. Needless to say, none of them get on very well with each other. The USA(E) considers itself the real United States, and New America as a territorial possession. New America's position is that Old America is dead and unlikely to be recovered anytime in the next century, so why bother? Both of them consider America 2.0 a bad joke. A2.0 is largely hostile to USA(E) and NA, but at this moment too self-absorbed to really bother with aggressive foreign policy.
Moving on from those, here we have two national flags that have strong American influence, but don't really consider themselves part of the successor state catfight.
This is the Cascadian National Flag. Cascadia (originally Tempe Terra) is a region of Mars north of the Tharsis plateau known for its forests of ultrapine (genetically modified redwood and spruce trees that can grow up to 200m tall in the low Martian gravity). A coalition of refugees from the northwestern United States settled here early in the Collapse, and have grown into a small nation that lives off the carefully-tended ultrapine groves.
Here we have the flag of the New Berkeley Socialist Autonomous Commune. The NBSAC started growing well before the Collapse, when the Sozvezdie Soviet (formerly the Soviet Air Force-In-Exile) started recruiting academic Marxists and other interested leftists from the American intellectual scene, inviting them to build "a new socialism for the coming centuries" on the Sozvezdie protectorate world of Ragnarok (Delta Pavonis IV). The Commune gained a major boost when the majority of the faculty and facilities of the original UC-Berkeley were moved there during the Evacuation. The flag design was influenced both by the American flag and by traditional Buddhist flags.
The next two flags, I really don't have a good idea on who they belong to - names, locations, etc. They're US refugee colonies, but they're ones that were out in the cold for a long, long time out past the Paradox sphere. They've evolved much differently than the ones who had regular contact with each other, other refugee colonies and the Convention.
* Mystery Guest #1: These guys retained, if not technology, then at least a functional knowledge of their history and practices. The book with seven seals and the Orthodox cross suggest a religious (possibly apocalyptic) revival in their recent history; perhaps they thought they were the only ones left after the end of the world. Time between getting Paradoxed and recontact: 150 years local time.
Mystery Guest #2: Now these guys went back further, and I think lost more of their traditions than Mystery Guest #1. They might not have went back to feudalism, but they certainly had to claw their way back to an industrial age society. This flag represents only one of several nations on this world, maybe not the most advanced but the one with the clearest sense of their origins, and the symbols represent that. Time between getting Paradoxed and recontact: 4-500 years local time.
ETA Two more mystery guests:
Mystery Guest #3 went back as far as guest #2, but they lost the plot by quite a bit more. They ended up going through a couple of dark ages thanks to a relatively resource-poor world, and so their comparitive knowledge of their history is lesser. There's a widespread religious belief that the Founding Fathers brought them forth, and would return for them when the stars were right. Needless to say, recontact was an interesting time for this planet.
Mystery Guest #4, and the last mystery guest for this session, is different in that while they lost much of modern Americana in the trip out, they retained a lot of Imperial Americana. This group survived, prospered and recontact was more on their own terms. The imperial aspects of this world worry the Convention, and they keep an eye out for warfleets flying the double-eagle. Time between getting Paradoxed and recontact: 6-800 years.