Part 15: The Stupa of the StarsChapter 14: The Stupa of the Stars
I've actually had a really hard time finding a picture of Hutama's intermediary Supremacy outfit, so this is his final level in-game. For the next tier, I'll use his look from Starships instead.
Hutama himself has now undergone extensive augmentation, in a show of solidarity with the Supremacy movement, which has grown so much that it is now considered normal to include a standard suite for newborn children.
But, like the great Boddhisatvas of old, he has elected to stay in his flesh and guide others toward the Nirvana we have achieved. Welcome to the Stupa of the Stars, a land of pure thought and emotion, the current apex of human development. Here, we are one step closer to the realm of Ideas. All thinking beings, organic or "artificial", are welcome.
From the top of our ladder of consciousness, we look down and see a world torn apart by strife.
(ARC is also now out war with Brasilia again.)
Factions of unenlightened humans bomb and shoot each other over nothing. Tensions with our neighbors rise, and our government's noble effort to mediate the dispute has only made matters worse.
Elodie has condemned ARC, and since we have a Cooperation Agreement with ARC, she now dislikes us more as well.
Though she's praising us for following the Supremacy affinity, note that her attitude toward us is still Guarded, a step below Neutral. Mainly because I demanded she make peace with Kavitha, but also because she wants our territory.
Our analysis indicates that one of the major sources of these conflicts are the differences in the philosophy of each colony, or in the similarities requiring similar resources to support.
The first we have dubbed "Harmony". These leaders embrace and learn from the planet itself, augmenting themselves biologically in much the same way that we augment ourselves mechanically. The hybrids created in ARC research labs are the stuff of nightmares for many.
The second is "Purity". The primary proponent of this way of life is Kavitha Thakur, who believes that we, and those like us, have corrupted the very essence of what makes us human. She says that our implants have made us unfeeling machines, not to mention the actual "unfeeling" machines we have created, AIs. She has made similar condemnations of followers of Harmony. They maintain their edge with minor genetic alterations and very large weapons.
Finally, the third major ideology is "Supremacy", named after Freeland's early augmented religious movement. This we know well.
Our sorrow over this tragedy is great, though it is lessened by the knowledge that our Disciples are out there, recovering the bodies for eventual upload. Once the process is safe enough, humanity will regain their uniqueness.
Still, we must be vigilant against misguided people who would seek to destroy what we have built. To that end, intelligence agents are attempting to maintain our edge against foreign powers.
I actually haven't established networks in these cities yet, since their Intrigue level is high enough to steal technology already, and I wanted to pounce on that before they managed to decrease it.
Meanwhile, the people of Freeland seek out new, safer frontiers. Many people, especially those who are disturbed by the great progress we have made, have set out to settle an entire new continent to the east. We foresee great unhappiness and division due to the resulting cultural differences, but it is marginally better than forcing people to live in a society that offends them. With the evolution of strong social mores, there is a small chance that the settlers will continue to identify with and support the greater whole. If Master Control manages to complete its magrail and communications projects in time, this likelihood should increase. Let us hope this comes to pass.
Only a couple magrail lines so far, but their benefit is huge. In addition to decreasing movement costs even more than roads, they increase the Production of any city connected to the capital by them by 25%.
Crossing this ocean is going to be nerve-wracking, as it is infested with sea monsters.
Thanks to the government's support of the Holosuite artists, Holosuites have given rise to massive regional hubs of entertainment and information.
Now the people must again choose the virtues that will define our society.
Or: Military-Industrial Complex (+15% Military Unit production), Field Research (+30 Science from completing expeditions), Survivalism (+25% Strength against aliens), Frugality (+10% Food retained after city growth), Scalable Infrastructure (+15% Wonder production), Social Investment (+2 Production from Manufactories)