Regarding the start of the war: A right winger blows up the White House. A liberal fringe group retaliates by taking out a couple of Republican senators. The right wingers respond by bombing the funeral of the President. Both sides grow in numbers, and eventually the government has to step in. The result is a full blown 3 way conflict. Because of the nature of the fringe groups, the government (which is controlled by a Republican president) passes a Constitutional amendment that allows the President to suspend certain sections of the Constitution during times of domestic insurrection. The first amendment gets thrown out immediately, the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 10th soon follow it, as does Article III (the courts). This allows the government to label anyone speaking out against them as a terrorist and a traitor, up to and including sitting congressmen. This has the net effect of eliminating all opposition while maintaining the appearance of democracy: Everyone votes for the incumbent or the candidate supported by an outgoing incumbent, congressmen and judges are too scared to challenge the Executive Branch for fear of being arrested or otherwise done away with. Most of this will be covered in about 3 pages, tops, because the plot happens 17 years later and I don't want to get bogged down in the prologue.
The point of setting up the 3-way civil war the way I did is to avoid falling into "This is what the country will look like if people who disagree with me have their way" Author Tract
and to allow myself to focus on what things would look like when the dust settled. On the one hand, it's still TECHNICALLY a democracy - votes are being counted accurately, but they don't matter since all the candidates are essentially forced to agree on most things unless they want to be taken out by the Knight Templar
factions within each branch. Even as these factions are growing smaller, pretty much everyone has decided to not put themselves on the line just in case, so the uniformity becomes self-enforcing. The threat of being killed or arrested if you run for office with different beliefs from the norm has been replaced by not being able to get more than 5 votes if you do, on account of the people being too scared to vote for you. Social and economic issues aren't really going to be discussed unless I decide to change something, but given that the President when the thing kicks off will be a Republican the policies will lean conservative.
Even that is largely irrelevant: the plot follows members of a Resistance movement trying to overthrow the system entirely. I just tried to come up with the most plausible way of putting La Résistance
in America and turning America into a dystopia bad enough that we can cheer for the criminals. I also plan on turning this into a bit of a Deconstructor Fleet
Character backstories are still being written, but here's what I've got:
Ryan: Was 24 and serving in the military when the war started. Ended up deserting when he realized that the government had become as extreme as either of the two opposing militias. He's been making his living as an arms dealer ever since then. Due to the fact that the government officially thinks he's dead and unoficially is trying very hard to make him that way, he can't get a regular job. He keeps up the arms dealer job after joining the resistance, but modifies his policies a bit.
Jason: Grew up with Nicole (little sister) in New York and was 11 when the war started. He watched as his parents were executed by the government for sympathizing with the liberal set of extremists (i.e. they were doctors who unknowingly treated one of the liberal command) and he was left to take care of Nicole. They had to go on the run, and their experiences eventually led them to join up with the Resistance in its formative years. Jason's tactical skill and care for the lives of his men allowed him to rocket to a position of command, and he was assigned to DC 6 years before the events of the plot. For obvious reasons, he hates the government's attitude that national security has to trump individual liberty, although he does attempt to make the distinction between those who support the government simply because they're either apathetic or dislike the extremists even more and those who are in full agreement with the government's ideology. This is also the source of his flat refusal to participate in or initiate any operation with a high probability of causing civilian casualties (e.g. anything involving bombs.) His day job is working at the bakery that is both a front for the DC branch and the main source of their funding.
Nicole: Unquestioningly loyal to Jason due to their childhood. Is still a bit too immature and clouded by anger to make the same distinctions between Lawful Neutral and Lawful Evil that Jason does. Despite this, she's extremely warm towards her teammates. Her day job is working at the bakery.
Janice: Her parents are very much alive, and she has always had a good relationship with them - dressing like she raided Lisbeth Salander's and Joan Jett's wardrobes is a pure fashion choice. Her family is fairly well off. She was largely unaffected by the war on account of being away from the fighting (boarding school). Graduated medical school and joined up with the Resistance 4 years before the events of the plot. Her computer skill comes from her own interest in the subject driving her to learn more about it. She works in a hospital when she isn't finding creative ways to access top secret files or making sure that everyone's communication works properly. Her salary covers a large percentage of the funding the DC, Maryland, and Virginia branches. Janice has a tendency to be attracted to considerably older men, which Bill needles her about at every opportunity.
Bill: Bill's backstory is still being decided on. The only things I've figured out are these: He's big, he's the nicest out of the Resistance members, he can kill you with his bare hands, and he's gay. His boyfriend was the resistance's inside man until Seth caught on, resulting in some torture and some killing. Regularly needles Janice about her preferences. Works at the bakery.
Seth: Served in the military during the war. He's utterly ruthless and is more than willing to kill anyone who interferes with his goals. Personally recruited into the CIA at age 25 by the Director, Seth is about as power hungry as they come and is more than willing to get his hands dirty to get it. He's taken out entire branches of the Resistance using just a few knives.
Marcus: Marcus served as a cop before the war, and joined the CIA during it. He is largely neutral on the liberty vs. security debate. His one goal in life is to take out the resistance due to the fact that his wife and daughter were killed by a bomb that they set off (At least, he thinks they set it off - whether or not they actually did has not been decided yet.) He's around 60 and is more than old enough to remember the old constitution and the freedom it provided. His main response is that he doesn't see things as having changed all that much since the Bill of Rights was abolished.
Gus: The rookie. He's around 20 and entered the CIA out of high school. He has no special skills aside from being a good driver. Despite this, he somehow ends up assigned as Marcus's driver. He's a young idealist who hates seeing people get hurt and doesn't remember a time when the government wasn't equating freedom with danger. Because of this, he sides with the government on the issue of liberty vs. security.
edited 10th Mar '11 5:55:41 PM by FrustratedRocka