Capitalism: an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.” That’s how it began. Private companies driving ever-growing economies in the enclosed system we call Earth. When it finally came, the third world war wasn’t fought with bombs or boots on the ground, it was stockbrokers and government hackers selling our souls for Crypto. That’s when our swan song truly began, with the Cryptoclysm. WW IV was just the final note.
To build a better world we had put our faith in trickle-down economics and in dodgy politicians with offshore bank accounts and private equity. In return, we saw a world that starved, a world that rioted and then a world that burned. By the time the mushroom clouds and virulent bioweapons were unleashed, it was a mercy, a quick end to a pitiful existence. What few survived didn’t relish it, we had faced an apocalypse and limped away, the Last People.
The guns and bombs fell silent, becoming buried and forgotten, ushering in a dark age, a de-enlightenment where we were barely able to claw back a semblance of life. People lived remotely in isolated homesteads, or in small communities of several families, as wary of each other as we were of outsiders. We always understood that to gather in great societies was to allow the ghost of avarice to rise again and destroy us. There will always be people consumed by greed; for wealth, power and for control.
Decades passed, centuries even and some of us began to forget. Militias formed and charismatic, greedy leaders emerged. These militias joined factions to spread their influence and unearth relics of the age of greed. Guns, tanks and it was rumoured, planes. It was a battle for survival they said and if you didn’t fight, you would be left to die. People began to starve again and others were killed in skirmishes or for refusing to fight. Some factions began to trade, and that’s when they resurrected it, Crypto. The very thing that had destroyed the old world, transmuted into the lifeblood of the new.
Over the last century, the factions have fought and allied, skirmished and traded, but we never forgot the first rule. Trust no one, everyone is out for themselves. Alliances are not built on trust, but for mutual gain. Attacks are not ideological, they are simply a matter of survival, a battle for resources. Within our factions, in our compounds and walled cities, individuals are little better. We struggle for credits, fighting each other when we aren’t on missions. We take dangerous bounties on wealthier citizens and scavenge for relics to help give us or our employers an edge.
Some of us make it out of the gutter, we scrounge together enough credit for some real estate and build a big enough armoury to defend it against raids and keep our skills sharp in tournaments. We have allies, form clans even, but we don’t have friends. We can’t rely on them. We fight to keep what we have, knowing at any point our door could be kicked in for bounties. And we keep one eye on the horizon, the future is shrouded in uncertainties, will this new world come crashing down like the old? Who knows, if it does then maybe all we’re doing with our credits is keeping score. Still, there are whispers. Artefacts, unique relics, weapons that could change everything. Whoever holds them could change everything. Or bring about a second Cryptoclysm.
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