1. Hey Guest! If you're more than just a WildStar fan and want to keep up on the latest MMO news, reviews and opinion pieces then I'd like to suggest you visit our sister site MMO Central

Story My perspective on the Brightland rebellion and Cassus

Discussion in 'WildStar Fan Creations' started by Maddog Charlie, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. Maddog Charlie

    Maddog Charlie Cupcake-About-Town

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    Likes Received:
    228
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    USA
    Below is the first part of the backstory according to my perspective, cause biased to the Exiles :D but I felt we all needed something more to explain why the heck all of us are heading to Nexus. Ties in quite well with what Carbine have released so far and the story has a darker feel to it than my previous, as you will see.
    First is a narrative, then a related short story then the Dominion angle on the story.
    Part 2 will be more Exile fleet centric :)

    Brightland had stoked the fire of the rebellion but the heated embers had been there for some time, waiting for a catalyst to fuel the flames. People of all races had been unhappy with over-taxation, artistic repression, resource seizure, and the jack boot politics of the Dominion. They resented their elitist ways and the 'mightier than thou' attitude of the upper ranks, of their 'knowing' what was best for every individual and then crushing the opinions of others who dared to speak out.

    Prison populations had skyrocketed in the last few years on Cassus and most were sent to distant mining colonies for resource capture where they often sustained life ending injuries. A 'fair trial' on Cassus was a long forgotten practice and computer algorithms now took the place of the judge and jury. Some of the accused never even got a voice in their trial, having been marked as noisy troublemakers their voicebox at the back of the throat, or Larynx, was disabled by micro surgery. Those who were left that could speak explained the process to others simply by saying the prisoner had visited 'Larry'.

    Younger people faced little choice other than joining the Dominion military to be able to support their families. Cassus population density levels had reached breaking point with only wastelands left for the poor and impoverished masses. While the middle classes struggled to survive in an endless cycle of work at manufacturing facilities in the well policed central cities. Modern medical science had created elitist population centers in the wealthy major cities where strict birth controls and extended lifespans meant the ruling classes (or Highborn) could bask indefinitely in the worship of their own glorious self centered lifestyles.
    Essentially the Dominion offered a luxurious everlasting life with all you could ever want, to those willing to devote themselves unquestionably to the extremist, corrupt and tyrannical ways of the leadership. To the point that some in the Dominion military replaced the term 'Retirement' the words of 'The Cassus Rebirth'. In reality it was impossible to discern how many Dominion soldiers actually retired, as communication between these luxurious cities and the rest of Cassus was almost non existent and always heavily filtered.

    Of course the Dominion had been cunning in repressing any kind of a rebellion for a long time, citizens of Cassus still had rights, its just that they could not afford to exercise any of their rights. Fees, regulations, fines and taxation charges were imposed on virtually everything. Technically you could still own and drive a personal transport but practically few could afford to keep a vehicle up with the strict regulations and astronomical fuel prices. The annual average commute expenses for a personal vehicle cost more than combined housing costs for two years.

    Dominion control of the media streams on the planet meant they could effectively sway public opinion in almost every aspect with fake lottery wins and false news stories reaffirming their predictions and actions. Censorship was barely needed as the costs for broadcasting were phenomenal and only affordable by the mega corporations that supported the Dominion regime. Legions of Dominion psychologists and analysts worked 24/7 to determine what the people 'needed' to hear on the news, entertainment and science channels. In the few waking hours out of a day left for recreation the people of Cassus could only participate in activities approved by the Regime, video games with a heavy Pro-Dominion theme, snack foods with questionable additives and community meetings which always had a majority Dominion favored presence at them.

    For anyone other than a sworn soldier of the Dominion or those Highborn into the upper most elite class of the planet, life was like a hard slog, uphill, through dense undergrowth, in a monsoon with a dozen snakes chasing them. Most spent whatever time they had left after working double shifts to just simply hold their loved ones close and hope for better times. The Dominion Regime had turned mass population control into a science, which they performed with supreme accurately across the globe. The whole system had become so intertwined, autonomous and massive that there was simply no space left on the planet to avoid it. Every image a citizen viewed, every word they heard from the media, every ounce of protein they consumed and every lung full of air they inhaled all bore the mark of the Dominion.
  2. Maddog Charlie

    Maddog Charlie Cupcake-About-Town

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    Likes Received:
    228
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    USA
    Stephen J Verliant, corrected the lane wander on the transport shuttle and accelerated into the middle lanes of the Expressway. The Cassus rain aimlessly drifted down and splattered on the windshield like random static on a display screen. The shiny rainbow colors of shuttle brightened in the rain and contrasted against the drab and dreary livery of the other vehicles on the Expressway.
    Despite the fact that the auto driver console could pretty much do everything better than he could, he still liked the feel of driving his own shuttle, he was one of the last few owner/drivers left on Cassus and since ZipStar Transportation Corp had bought out all the other companies he was the last independent driver in the manufacturing city of Plainzk.

    Regulations meant he couldn't afford a personal transport in the city and since driving was all he had known for the last 30 years it made sense to him to keep driving, just like his father had done before. At 48 Cassus years of age he was in pretty good shape, hair thinning a little, he ate well, Isabella his wife saw to that and he exercised when he got the chance. The fact that he was one of the few drivers that loaded passengers bags onto the shuttle for them anymore, gave him some additional workout. An old injury giving him a limp and weaker left leg meant he wasn't eligible for Dominion military service. He had stopped chewing nicostick around 20 years ago but the toll on his body had been yellowish teeth and a deep bass voice with an occasional throaty cough. He glanced at his interior monitor and didn't feel so bad as he viewed the mostly overweight, highly stressed and overworked passengers.

    A service shuttle carrying a load of goods suddenly switched lanes in front of him, its load wobbling and then straightening as the tension straps adjusted. Stephen gently eased on the speed retarder and remained at a safe distance, he knew the competitors shuttles would have jolted the passengers around with over-braking and over compensation, he liked to feel his passengers had a better ride. Glancing in the passenger monitor at the oblivious passengers, he realized it was something they probably never appreciated. Loosening the collar on his precisely starched work-shirt he thought of his wife and their son. Isabella worked two jobs and the boy helped out around the house but soon he would need to get real work, if only enough to pay his way with the schooling loans and all coming due. Still at least he was able to stay out of the military and give his son other choices rather than Dominion service. Isabella had lost three brothers and a father to their 'service' in the Dominion military and she had made it very clear that signing up wasn't ever going to be a talking point in their house. The rain had intensified into trillions of tiny aqua meteors that pounded at the outside of the vehicle, inside Stephen's passengers remained safe and warm, enjoying the commercials that the regulations required him to broadcast.

    A Cassus Police vehicle started to pull past then suddenly slowed and dropped back level with his cab, its driver looked at Stephen and seemed to be typing something in a computer. He kept the shuttle dead straight and constant speed, he was 'visited' at least twice a day by the police out on the road and if he was a more paranoid man he would have suspected ZipStar to be behind that. He felt his heart racing, felt his blood pressure rising and reached to his belt, pressing the medical aid unit he administered calming chemicals. The cruiser eventually accelerated away having found all in order.

    Maintaining his shuttle to the latest regulations and laws was a constant battle for Stephen, his son actually helped with that task by checking the new regulations every day. Sometimes there were delays in shipping new regulatory parts and he would not be able to run the shuttle until the parts arrived. No bank or loan company would back anyone running in competition against ZipStar. Stephen and his son would work through the night to get the shuttle ready for the next mornings run, those were the days when he missed the nicostick the most. The profit margin was so slim for owner-drivers that he dared not lose customers or miss being there to pick them up each morning. He cruised onwards cautiously glancing at the Expresssway cameras that twitched back and forth like mechanized birds seeking their next regulation evading targets.

    The low fuel level alarm began to flash on the control panel and Stephen navigated across lanes to the service exit for the next SpeedyStar refueling station. Fuel prices on Cassus fluctuated so often and by such large amounts that he felt his chest tighten with anticipation every-time he approached a fueling station. Gliding smoothly in he pulled alongside the refueling pump and hopped down from the cab. Swiping his card and entering his credentials he watched as the clunky automated refueling arm bumped against the side of the shuttle several times trying to locate the fuel port, hopelessly trying like a drunken darts player at the end of a long Friday night but eventually latching and starting to pump fuel.

    Stephen watched as the charge display started spinning at a breakneck speed, he queried the unit cost, it had risen overnight again. Pulling a small computer from his pocket he did the math, he figured time to destination, weight of the shuttle, consumption rate, headwind compensation, finally arriving at 2000 units needed. He braced against the worsening weather as he noticed the stations cameras auto focus on him.

    The pump display read 1600 and counting as he switched off the small computer and put it back in his pocket. 1700 units and he glanced up at the in-station advertizing screens screaming about the latest trend in snackfoods. 1800 units and he began shuffling on his feet trying not to think of nicostick and instead tapping out a tune on the side of the shuttle. 1875 and the counter stopped, the notice of 'Account Chargestop' began to flash and the bottom dropped out of Stephens world.

    Chargestop meant no funds were available, period. He stood for a second as the stations displays cycled to the next advertizement in the background, he then tried pressing every button on the pump but to no avail. He closed his eyes and slumped against the pump, watching the fuel unit price rise once again. All the work his family had done, all the sacrifices they had made, for a second he thought about robbing another person at the station for the money to just complete this run, but he knew that was pointless. Criminals never ran anymore on Cassus, your tracking implant fitted at birth told them exactly where you were and cameras monitored everything, everywhere.

    The screens in the station switched to a popular commercial for the CAIC (Cassus AllRisk Insurance Company) and he knew then, that this was his last option, the only chance for Isabella to get the surgery she needed and his son to be able to avoid military service. Stephen and Isabella had taken out a fully comprehensive loss policy years before to safeguard their son should anything happen to either of them, Stephen saw it as the only option left to him.

    Returning the refueling arm, he stealthily opened a side panel on the shuttle and disconnected some system wiring. He knew what he was doing, he had ran it through his mind a dozen times before this, as profits and money had been tighter and tighter. Stephen climbed into the cab and programmed the automatic driver control to continue the journey, hopping down into the main shuttle area he begged a long term customer for a nicostick, which he gratefully received and apologizing for the delay he bid his passengers a good day. Setting the automatic driver to start he jumped off the shuttle and began walking across the dirt to the side of the station, the taste of the nicostick tingling his senses as he focused on what he had to do. The rain had combined with a cold wind for what seemed like a directed attack at him, each raindrop like a high velocity shot, from a relentless and never ending machine gun. Leaning against the onslaught he pushed forward.

    The shuttle began its maneuvering through the station to continue its journey.
    Jumping a ditch he slipped and landed off balance but recovered, only to be assaulted by the stench of stagnant sewage in the shallow ditch. Stephen began picking out hand holds in the chipped stonework of the expressway sloping support as he inched upwards. Around half way up the 100ft climb Stephen welled up with tears and thought about just letting go, he choked back the tears as he imagined his wife and children being told the news, he also knew the fall from here might not kill him. His medipack on his belt started beeping loudly as his blood pressure rose, pulling it off he threw it into the ditch below.

    Stephens anger pushed him higher, he was angry at the system, at the regulations, at the ridiculous cost of basic living expenses, at Dominion rule, at taxes and corrupt politicians and unjust police. Reaching the top he stepped onto the Expressway determined to set his family good for the future, his mind evaluating every possible other option but finding none.

    His shuttle rounded the entrance ramp and began accelerating quickly. Stephen stepped out into the lane facing his shuttle that he had labored for years to keep operational. Normally the pedestrian collision system would have made the vehicle avoid him but he had already taken care of that back at the refueling station.

    Stephen calmly looked up as the Cassus clouds cleared and the rain faded away, the white fluffy clouds welcomed him, beckoning him to the skies, promising a soft embrace and fresh air. He closed his eyes as the speeding shuttle impacted him, his body was obliterated by the speed of the impact and death was instant.

    The shuttle didn't hesitate for a second as it continued towards its intended destination the passengers unaware of the events outside, as the Dominion Military recruitment commercial played on the interior screen.
  3. Maddog Charlie

    Maddog Charlie Cupcake-About-Town

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    Likes Received:
    228
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    USA
    and finally the Dominion spin on the incident;
    [​IMG]
    SiegaPlays and ruff_ethereal like this.
  4. ruff_ethereal

    ruff_ethereal Well-Known Cupcake

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    Likes Received:
    493
    Trophy Points:
    63
    There is no (C) on this thread, and I'm already wary from my first unwary critique. Please ignore if you aren't looking for such:

    I like your dystopia. I enjoy how the bleak, sordid world paints itself gradually. The "Big Brother" theme and the "We Care" vibes throughout the explanations of propaganda, repression, and censorship were excellent. "Larry" was a particularly lovely and gruesome touch.

    Stephen's story could use a few more periods and less commas. Some of the sentences have a run-in feel to them and thus lose their impact, like what Valiant's son was doing just to keep his business going.

    The way Stephen decided to use his fail-safe was heartbreaking. I like the dramatic music and the way I saw him wading through the muck and ruin that is the sewer system and his life to what he thought was to be a better life for his family.

    The Dominion spin was suitably harsh and like a punch to the gut. I enjoy the very orderly, bureaucratic and heartless manner in which the Empire rid themselves of yet another stain.
    Maddog Charlie likes this.
  5. FluidD

    FluidD Cupcake-About-Town

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Likes Received:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    PA
    So sad Mr. Doggy :( Euloora didnt cry, but she blew some stuff up all the same.
    Maddog Charlie likes this.
  6. Ayr

    Ayr Cupcake-About-Town

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2013
    Likes Received:
    191
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I like the way it brings out the economic culture of oppression in the Dominion side, a nice reminder that many Dominions follow out of necessity, and not out of loyalty or agreement. Especially good as it parallels with the very current issues surrounding government control and the illusion of freedom we have in western societies.

    A like for you.
    Fate Flyer and Maddog Charlie like this.
  7. Dyraele

    Dyraele "That" Cupcake

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Likes Received:
    312
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    What others have said. It was a sad ending. I was amused by the "snack foods with questionable additives" in the first part, but alas had to shed the proverbial tear for Stephen in the end.
    Maddog Charlie likes this.
  8. Maddog Charlie

    Maddog Charlie Cupcake-About-Town

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    Likes Received:
    228
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    USA
    I thought Siega would be proud of me as not one shot was fired :( in the making of that story ;)

Share This Page