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Rifts B.net RPG
The Coalition States

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The Coalition States
Occupational Character Classes (O.C.C.'s) Men of Arms
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The New Government of the former United States

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TRAVERSING OUR MODERN WORLD by Erin Tarn
The World, Circa 100 P.A.
Chapter 11

The Coalition State of Chi-Town! The Coalition States (CS) are a loosely knit allegiance between five industrial kingdoms that rose out of the ashes of the Apocalypse in North America (US & Canada). Some of the Coalition States are nicer/meaner/tougher than others. Likewise, some are more tightly and actively allied than others.
What can be said about Chi-Town that isn't already known? Chi-Town is the biggest and meanest (evil) member of the CS, and the instigator of the Coalition. Its leaders share delusions of a political/military empire. My feeling is that the CS government under the maniacal rule of self-proclaimed Emperor Karl Prosek is totally corrupt. The city is a den of iniquity, but without question, the most powerful military and high-tech force in North America (perhaps the world).
The Coalition State of Chi-Town encompasses Northern Illinois and all of Iowa. The Iowa section is 70% farmland and 30% livestock, pigs and cattle. Tiny farm communities can be found every 50 miles or so. Only the occasional military base breaks the peace and beauty of this simple country. SAMAS and sky-cycles patrol the skies. Human troops and a few Dog Packs patrol the borders and keep the peace. Estimated population is 1.3 million.
The Illinois portion of the Chi-Town State if the undisputed hub of North American civilization. Hundreds of small towns and villages dot the land around a dozen large cities (each city has an average population of approximately 200,00 citizens). The pervasive presence of the military is evident everywhere. Despite the dictatorial government of the last 30 years, the people seem quite content and blissful. Sadly, the anti-magic and human supremacist attitude seems to be shared by the vast majority of Chi-Towns people. This is due, at least in part, to the territory's history of struggle against supernatural fiends from the rifts to the south, and the Federation of Magic's invasion of 12 P.A.
Chi-Town, the city itself, is the seat of the Coalition government, the iron fist of the military, the mother of propaganda, and the home of the illustrious Emperor, Karl Prosek. Chi-Town boasts a strictly human population of two millions, with an additional three million living in the slums, known as the Burbs.

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The Burbs spread across the land for miles around the fortified city. They range from small city-like communities with 10 and 12 story buildings scattered among the homes and smaller two and three story dwellings, to the pathetic tents and shacks of the shanty-towns on the furthest outskirts. Except for the merchants who make their livings from the mercenaries and drifters who frequent the Burbs, most of its population are hopeful applicants waiting to be accepted as citizens of the ever growing Chi-Town fortress. I'm told the present waiting period is six years, but the people wait, dreaming of the famous grandeur and prosperity that the city has to offer. Sadly, I understand that 20% die of disease or famine every year. (I am not surprised. Except for the older, more affluent sections, nearest Chi-Town, such as City Side and Hillcrest, the squalor and lack of sanitation is appalling.) Another 15% will fall victim to demons and D-Bees. The survivors must fight a daily battle against dark forces. Still, there are always other hopefuls to take their place.
The Burbs are also crime ridden, especially in the shanty-town areas. Body-Chop-Shops are common, as are gambling houses, and all manner of places of ill repute. Roaming street gangs, bandits, slavers, crazed mystics, vicious psychics, malicious D-Bees, and supernatural predators all prowl the Burbs in search for victims or easy prey. Dog Packs and Psi-stalkers are an ever-present force on the streets, just as the SAMAS and sky-cycles are in the air. However, these police/soldiers are not so much concerned with protecting the people in the Burbs as they are with containing the criminals to the Burbs. Yes, this is Chi-Town's first line of defense against non-humans and malevolent forces.
Although the Burbs are considered a free-port, where all races and philosophies are welcome (and do indeed attract a vast number of adventurers and travelers), non-humans, practitioners of magic, scholars, and psychics are viewed with great prejudice. The Coalition peacekeeping forces seldom lift a finger to help a D-Bee or mystic even if they are witnesses to the attack. The murder of a D-Bee or practitioner or magic in the Burbs is rarely investigated, and then, only if the murderer appears to be another "undesirable," like a psychic, wizard, or D-Bee. Ironically, the Dog Packs are among the most reliable and helpful of the Burb's Protectors. They take a sincere and serious attitude regarding the murder and any violence taken against humans. They are particularly alert and aggressive toward crimes and atrocities committed by psychics, magic users, and supernatural beings. And they are ever vigilant for demonic fiends and monsters from the Rifts.

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Chi-Town, the fortress city, towers a thousand feet above the squalor of the Burbs, like a man-made mountain of concrete and steel. Inside, the city is a comparative paradise. The upper levels, beginning at about levels 23 through 35, are the domain of the upper middle class and the wealthy. Despite their wealth, most are illiterate, but content laborers, which is how the CS likes its citizens. Each level has attractive stores, entertainment centers, and parks. The higher one goes, the more affluent and attractive the city becomes. Above level 35 are the very wealthy and political elite. There is even a university and a medical/science center on level 40, near the very top. A place of learning for the elite 14% of the population that enjoys formal education and full literacy.
Levels 22 through level four are the homes of the lower middle class and the poor. The lower one goes, the older and shabbier the city becomes. This is the home of city rats, cyber-clinics, bargain stores, pawnshops, and the black market. The lowest levels look almost like a sewer and are as corrupt and dangerous as the Burbs. This is a place of shattered dreams. The place where too many of the hopeful, waiting patiently beyond the city's walls, fall between the cracks and end up suffocating in humanity's own cruelty and apathy.
Levels three through one are the high security government levels. The Chi-Town military, research facilities, and manufacturing plants are all located in this vast lower bowl. Beyond this is the Imperial Sanctum, several (I'm told five) subterranean levels that house the Emperor, his family, military elite troops, generals and their families, fantastic research and science facilities, bionics wing, independent life support system and power plant, and the great, allegedly destroyed, Chi-Town library. All subterranean levels are maximum security areas restricted to the most powerful and elite members of the CS and Chi-Town. I am told that the Imperial Sanctum is virtually impervious to attack and could withstand a nuclear bombardment.
The fabled Chi-Town Library is said to have been destroyed in a titanic battle in 77 P.A., five years after Emperor Prosek rose to power. It was reported that nothing survived. But this is a lie! THe library still exists as a secret source of lost history and technology for the Chi-Town Coalition. ALL OTHER BOOKS ARE FORBIDDEN!!!! The possession of a book or any form of recorded history/data/literature is punishable by imprisonment and torture. A second offense is a DEATH sentence. This is part of the Emperor's plan to control and manipulate his people. A plan that both and his son (head of propaganda) have executed masterfully.

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Chi-Town is not built on the remains of Chicago, but exists miles away. In fact, "Old Chicago" still stands in ruins. Much of it has been completely destroyed, but portions of its skyscrapers and cityscape are still present.
The ruins of Old Chicago can be found some 80 miles northeast of Chi-Town. The area is a forbidden zone with hundreds of warning signs and barricades warding away the curious scavengers. The reason is that two dozen ley lines slice through the ruins and a ley line nexus sits in was once the downtown metropolis, a few miles from the shores of Lake Michigan. This means that it is the source of strange occurrences, attracts magic and supernatural creatures, as well as admits strange, alien beings from rifts that periodically open. A typical patrol of 2-6 SAMAS of sky-cyclist cross the skies hourly, while ground patrols of Dog Packs, psi-hunters, urban assault robots, and eliminator squads make daily patrols into the city itself. Spider walkers defend the perimeter between the old ruins and Chi-Town.
Chi-Town will not allow a magic, psychic, supernatural, or any other community to establish itself in Old Chicago, because of its close proximity, and because of the memory of the Federation of Magic's invasion, which established a stronghold in the old ruins that cost Chi-Town thousands of lives. Any individual found practicing magic in Old Chicago is terminated on the spot. Demons and D-Bees are also destroyed without hesitation. Scavengers, bandits, and wayward travelers are escorted beyond the dead city's limits. Any resistance means death. Vampires and other supernatural menaces are constantly found to inhabit the ruins.

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THE RECOLLECTION OF ERIN TARN
An Introduction from The Great Historian Erin Tarn's book, HUMANKIND'S RISE FROM CHAOS, circa 63 P.A.

I have taken it upon myself to capture human history before it is entirely lost. Many say that it is of little importance since the planet Earth is forever transformed and the human race will never be as it was. All the same, I believe there was generations who will wonder how and why things came to pass as they did and I hope my works will help to answer their queries.
I am not an educated woman. Thus, my words may not read as eloquently as those spoken by the new gentry rising to power in the middle Americas. I am a nomad who has come to see and hear many things in her travels. Things, that I now realize are pieces of our vanishing past. Things that too few people remember. Such as the 52 United States, the names of old Empires like Japan, Korea, China, Canada, and even our own U.S.A. I am told that I am a fool, because few people today read American (or was once called English), or read at all. Still, I will try to capture our past for the sake of our children and their children. So when the day comes that they ask why, when, how, and who, that they have at least a few of the answers.
Ancient history of the world I will leave to the old books and video discs that still exist. I have seen an astounding number of civil and private libraries of incredible proportions. It makes me glad to see that so many books and recordings have survived. My own humble collection numbers 72 paper-books and 31 vid-discs, as of this writing. Of course, no library can compare to the library of Chi-town. It is without exception the greatest library in the world! Books, magazines, antique computers discs and films, video tapes and video discs, micro-film, and original artworks. I am told that many of the books were found in the catacombs of a place in the Smithsonian and other sites in the city of Washington, D.C., which served as the U.S.A.'s Empire's seat of government and knowledge. The months I spent pouring over those volumes was one of the greatest thrills of my life. I look forward to my return there one day in the years to come.
I will focus my records of history to the period just before the Time of Rifts and the centuries of chaos which followed. I will try to separate fact from fantasy and indicate rumor, myth, and legend when facts are not available.
Please forgive my shortcomings.

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CHI-TOWN
A study in the corruption of the soul
From the diary of Erin Tarn; Circa 78 P.A.

I fear that I am a firsthand witness to the birthing of a sad new saga of human tyranny. A despot names Karl Prosek sits as the chairmen-elect of Chi-Town, but I can see storm clouds rushing swiftly from the horizon. He is the second of the Prosek family to hold the illustrious seat of chairman-elect. And only one in a long line of heroes and visionaries who helped build the industrial city out of the ashes of destruction. However, unlike his forefathers, Karl Prosek is a vicious opportunist who sees the opportunity to creature a family dynasty and has seized that opportunity.
Perhaps it is from my position as a historian that I can see the progression of events as something far more dangerous than others around me can. I see the wheels of an oppressing dictatorship turning and gathering momentum. It is classic. The control and manipulation of the media by the Chairman and his government (for the betterment of the people), subtle and not so subtle indoctrination, the quiet abolishment of free speech, and the restriction of knowledge. There is talk of superiority and the inherent rights and benefits of being superior. Small, almost inconsequential acts of aggression under the guise of "security", weaves an unmistakable pattern of growing military strength and imperialistic conquests. These inconsequential acts of self preservation have increased the landholdings of Chi-Town by 12% and have increased manufacturing and political strength by as much as 35%. These actions are far from inconsequential. They are part of a calculated plan to expand the power base of the Chi-Town Empire.
I can not help seeing distinct similarities between this political regime and the Hitler Regime of the 20th Century Germany. In fact, I can not shake the feeling that Chairman Karl Prosek is intentionally patterning himself after this insane 20th century dictator. This is doubly terrifying for me when I realize that few people in the world today know anything about Hitler, World War II, or the deliberate extermination of millions of people. People executed because they were not among the chosen elite. Chairman Prosek's recent proclamations regarding the superiority of humans over mutants and non-humans smacks of the beginning of a political campaign to stir the people to his way of thinking.
Perhaps I am reading too much into what I see. Yet, in an obscure political essay written by Chairman Prosek as a student at Chi-University, he states: "Hitler was a genius who fell to madness and greed of power. He alone inspired a nation whose people were among the most downtrodden and depressed. Within a decade he had given the people's hearts and minds wings of inspiration and dreams of power and glory that they had not dared to imagine. Powered by these dreams, he was able to build an army unlike any the world had yet known. An army created from the ashes of despair turned into hope and prosperity. An army that made the world tremble.. Had he proceeded more slowly and let his people enjoy their prosperity, letting them feed and grow fat with each new triumph, he would have built an Empire that could not have been toppled. He should have fed their greed, for a people who are without want do not look far from its golden doorway. They do not question the inhumanity or plight of others, but only thank the gods that they are so fortunate. Then when somebody threatens their prosperity they are terrified and will sanction any acts necessary to preserve their way of life, especially if they are not asked to do the deeds themselves. That is the secret, control over one's ambitions and over the people he rules. Use fear and ignorance, for they are tools of incredible power. And patience."
The essay continues with references to Hitler Genius and his methods. I pray that the paradise of Chi-Town is not being corrupted by the insane vision of a 20th Century madman. This world knows too much pain already.