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Tell me what you think about this cyberpunkish setting

Eduardo Ficaria

After a long hiatus and some good rethinking, I think I finally got the basic setting I needed for writing epic cyberpunk/scifi stories with a dash of dark fantasy vibe. Find it in narrated form after this introduction and let me know what you think of it with your comments!

Myrias aberrant

It was the Pyrocene Age, and Mother Earth's fever was consuming us. Too many cities laid, abandoned, with their concrete and metal entrails gutted by the elements. We were withstanding the torment, yes, but surviving with a withered civilization, suffocated by an ever more extreme climate. We neither could escape to our settlements scattered by the solar system. They were scarce and, above all, too limited for giving shelter to our species. We were trapped in our own homeworld, dying under a Sun whose gaze we couldn't stand anymore. There was no palliative for our situation. We were facing our extinction and needed a drastic solution to save us. We didn't take long to conceive it in a plan that wasn't just radical, but also the most unwonted of our history.

We decided to create a digital realm of existence were the real world's hardships couldn't reach us. We had the technology, the wit and, most important, the despair for attempting to build such an unprecedented thing. That despair made us bear the decades of anguish we sacrificed to develop such a colossal project. The reward to our suffered perseverance was an strange technological chimera which we called Myrias.

It wasn't a mere refuge, nor an unbelievable electronic paradise. Myrias was a fully fledged miniaturized universe we seeded with a myriad of virtual realities, all able to evolve according to our interests. In those trying times, such promise of control and prosperity was irresistible for us. Hence, we trusted Myrias with all our hopes, besides millions of our lives.

Myrias was a gigantic decentralized platform and erecting it to a global scale was quite the feat. But time revealed that the striking, even miraculous, thing had been that it kept itself stable for so long. Because there was a crucial flaw in the design of Myrias. It was a subtle fault, so faint that those who engineered its deepest complexities didn't perceive it. Neither anyone from the syndic companies, Myrias' eminent caretakers, envisaged that something so weird could be born in the pseudoreality itself of the system.

The ail sprouted like an insignificant digital disease, something trivial that Myrias was able to correct on its own. In an enormous worldwide platform running at full capacity without rest, small failures were just a minor problem. However, the system's defenses were unable to recognize the nature of those errors, and the corruption entrenched itself within the digital bones of Myrias. By the time it infected the mind of its first human victim, it was too late to apply a cure.

The aberration grew till becoming a storm of madness. The powerful synthetic minds managing Myrias, the regents, could barely contain such overwhelming and incoherent frenzy. Too many fell in the defense of their dominions, wrecked or possessed by an absolute irrationality that twisted everything in its path. And not only entire dominions succumbed, also thousands of syndics were lost in the battle against the aberration. Lucky were those who died facing the digital dementia's aftereffects in the real world; those who fought the flood of inhuman nightmares in Myrias didn't lose their lives, but their sanity.

Overwhelmed by the disaster, the surviving syndics had to beg for help to their direct rivals, the lineages. These descendants of old family and corporative elites, when they saw the horrendous scale of the hecatomb devouring Myrias, they offered their resources and technology to eradicate the aberration. But their might was proven insufficient, and it became necessary to do something much more risky: to connect the lineages' dominions to Myrias directly. The hope was, since they had been developed in a different way, they were immune to the aberration and could get back control of the corrupted systems.

Our survival was again at stake, and again we decided to bet hard to save us. With a lot of luck, and no less heroics, our move was successful... to a point. Yes, we contained the aberration, saving the dominions that still resisted its brutal assault. But, after stabilizing the situation, we had to face the consequences of an unprecedented devastation. The aberration had devoured more than half of Myrias, trapping in its endless delirium an excessive chunk of our civilization. Exhausted as we were, we couldn't risk having another confrontation with such a vast adversary. We could only accept the new reality and survive in it.

The lineages' help, providential in avoiding total disaster, revealed itself costly and humiliating for the remaining syndics. The lineages split what could be recovered of Myrias proportionally, turning their most distinguished leaders into trustees and guardians of the physical keys from all dominions under human control. In effect, this was how a new neofeudal nobility ended up emerging, corporative and ultratechnological. One which had been trying for a long time to take total control over our civilization. The syndics, decimated as they were, couldn't oppose that sort of semidivine power and grudgingly accepted their rule.

But not all of humanity fell under the lineages' domination. On Earth still walked all kinds of people who, for the most varied reasons, hadn't ended dreaming their lives in Myrias. They were groups of every kind, from mere survivors to criminal clans, who fought for their lives, day after day, enduring in desolated places almost always infested by the aberration. Even so, over time these peoples found ways to draw profit from the aberration itself. They invented extravagant and, sometimes, even bloody rituals to forge pacts with the twisted minds inhabiting the corrupted dominions. It was from within that critical mass of dispossessed where a new clan was born, one that reminded the old syndic companies lost in the fall of Myrias. Made up of individuals with a very intimate affinity with technology, it was said of them that they were able to do all sorts of feats. Rumors spoke of arcane implants and devices that gave their users the most extraordinary capabilities, matching even the lineages' best technology. The gossips also told that they themselves built them with strange techniques no one else could understand. But little could be considered true about these mysterious men and women. Of them was only certain that they called themselves
technomancers, and that their leader was a no less cryptic character known as Chaman.

The lineages didn't feared these technomancers at all, but they did have some concern to know where they had got those marvelous faculties. And their suspicions aimed high, very high. Beyond Earth's skies.

Of all the settlements humanity had scattered through the Solar System, just the minuscule dominion of Venus escaped the lineages' control. When the aberration reached it, we believed it irrecoverable and left to its fate. Much time would pass until the lineages regained the appetite for returning to that hopeless planet. Still, before any of them made any attempt, the surprising takeover of Mercury by an unknown faction revealed them the truth. Venus never fell under the aberration's shadow. Somehow, the small colony foresaw the rising to power of the lineages and decided to oppose that fate. Thus, for more than a century venusians treaded with care, keeping up the illusion of being a doomed untouchable place. The deception worked and, when they emerged from the corrosive clouds of Venus, blindsided the lineages completely. But the challenge from the venusians never escalated into a war. It remained a broken conflict, peppered with skirmishes, raids and spy games that happened even in the most corrupted and forgotten corners of Myrias. But, by then, Myrias was no longer an exclusive scenario for the human dramas.

The two faces of Myrias, both the one controlled by the lineages and the other surrendered to the aberration, kept on growing and evolving in unsuspected ways for us. Between them flowed deep, enigmatic, currents coded in languages beyond our comprehension. Only the best hackers and the greatest Myrias experts detected this activity, and they asked themselves how far its influence went. This uncertainty stoked an understated fear, a dark premonition only whispered within the circles of power of all the greater factions.

They felt near the day in which, from Myrias' own unfathomable bowels, a superlative cybernetic being would raise as the human civilization's ultimate god. But this wasn't what really kept the human world's leaders awake at night. It was the certainty of knowing that countless humans would welcome the cybergod with tears of happiness rolling down their cheeks.
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Eduardo Ficaria

For extra information, know that I started older threads on the World building forum about variants of this setting or to talk about concepts related to them, and we got a bit of a debate on each thread.


Hm, there's a lot of neat stuff here. It does seem like you've got of balls in the air when it's all laid out like that. For a story I would certainly recommend a more narrow scope and gradually reveal things as they come up.

Eduardo Ficaria

That's the plan, Queshire . I'll keep my characters and factions ignorant of many things, my stories "narrow" initially and my readers wondering! I just wanted to share the overall setting here and get some opinions that could help me make improvements, or even give me some new perspective on it.

Eduardo Ficaria

Thanks for your offer, Super Fantasy , but I still have to work out the many other details of my setting, like factions, characters and so on. Also, I must warn you that I don't plan to write cyberpunk stories in the usual "neon noir" style that's so much in vogue right now. I'm going to try a different approach, something like an epic cyberpunk scifi saga with dark fantasy vibes.