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The future's out to get you.

Avatar had quite a few good ideas, but wasted them. I wanted to see where they went.

TCE is set in the last years of the twenty-first century, where technology force-marched on. Computers and communication technology are cheap and ubiquitous: spectacles can dynamically recognize faces, and newspapers can play video too detailed for the human eye to fully resolve. "Printers" can produce 3D structures from a variety of materials, while the most powerful create entire robots the size of a speck of dust, amongst other Phlebotinum. Medicine can regenerate body parts on demand, and genetically engineered bacteria are used in all aspects of the chemical industry.

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The story proper follows a Power Trio, consisting of a Genre Savvy Wonka, a nigh-emotionless Deadpan Snarker, and the nice Straight Man. They arrive on Avalon, the first planet known to host extraterrestrial life. Their mission is quite simple: Use remote-control surrogate bodies to learn as much as they can about the native alien tribe, while also hiding the existence of their own technology. This goes as well as can be expected, with the aliens developing a reluctant trust of the disguised scientists, helped along by direction from the tribe's tree-god.

And then the Imperialist Empire of Kin'ghon arrives.


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