Today, the Conglomerate rules the nation of Cascadia. But long before the corporations took their shared place on the throne, a nation called OmniStat once rose from the Regression, the Civil War divided OmniStat into 3 parts, of which Cascadia was 1, and the November Riots propelled the Conglomerate to power.
The Rise of OmniStatEdit
Out of the Regression rose OmniStat. Inspired by tales of ancient utopias and classless societies where every citizen had equal value and production was owned and shared by all, OmniStat quickly swallowed up the majority of the isolated settlements and surviving cities – sometimes peacefully, sometimes not. Some refused to acknowledge the OmniStat way of life and resisted to the bitter end, causing much strife and paranoia within OmniStat itself as the rulers were forced to accept that not everybody was ready to blindly embrace their vaunted ideas of the perfect state.
They reacted with increased control, to the point that all citizens were surveyed by the authorities, and each other, all the time. OmniStat soon became a merciless tyranny perpetuated by The Party and its ruling elite in their fevered struggle to centralize and control everything and everyone.
The Omnistat YearsEdit
Progress was still made though, ancient ideas were rediscovered and new technology developed. Slowly but inexorably civilization began to restore itself after the limbo of the Regression and the OmniStat cities grew fast as people abandoned the smaller settlements and migrated to the urbanized areas. Some of the Greylands that had been blasted in the old wars were recultivated with varying success and the population grew considerably.
The Kruger UprisingEdit
One of the ancient families, the Krugers had survived the wars and the Regression, retaining their pride, and even some of their gathered knowledge. When OmniStat rose to power they accepted its rule, but made sure to secure important positions within the Party as it grew. Despite their growing prominence within the Party they never truly accepted the Party rule, nor the philosophy it was founded on, and as the decades passed they began plotting drastic change – believing that for civilization to truly move forward a radically different society had to be formed, one based on free enterprise and individual achievement.
Always wary of betrayal, the Krugers still managed to gather a few other powerful families to their cause – some were prominent party members, and others held important industrial positions. When the flames of rebellion and civil war finally engulfed OmniStat, the Kruger family and their allies, the Brysons, Malus, and Wanderborn-Farchilds, were at the forefront of the struggle.
The Civil WarEdit
Decades of accumulated hate and frustration helped turn the flames into a devastating conflagration and soon OmniStat was torn apart in a bitter civil war. The fighting lasted for years and the leading families were forced to acknowledge that theirs was not the only vision of an ideal society. There were others who also saw these turbulent times as an opportunity to set up their own societies, and when the dust eventually settled three nations formed from the ashes of what was once the most powerful civilization on the planet.
The Kruger Uprising coincided with a widespread famine, which made many citizens more than ready to join the cause – fed up as they were with the secret police, the Party elite and its stifling political teachings. Decades of accumulated hate and frustration helped turn the flames into a conflagration far more devastating than the conspirators had planned and soon enough OmniStat was torn apart in a bitter civil war.
The fighting lasted for years and the Krugers were forced to acknowledge that theirs was not the only vision of an ideal society. There were others who also saw the turbulent times as an opportunity to set up their own assemblies, and when the dust eventually settled three nations formed from the ashes of what was once the most powerful civilization on the planet. The largest part would still be OmniStat and remain under Party rule; second largest was to become "Cascadia" – shaped by the families supporting the initial Kruger Uprising; finally there was Sabaeus, a theocracy founded on a religious text of obscure origins.
The fighting also caused many bitter losses, among them Dieter Kruger – head of the Kruger family and an inspired, altruistic visionary who, had he lived, might have had a profound effect on what was to come.
As the war ended, the OmniStat rulers grudgingly acknowledged that much of their once vast nation remained only in the historical records. A peace conference was called, attended by the leaders of the 3 main factions that had formed during the war.
It was agreed that OmniStat would be split in 3: The largest part would still be OmniStat and remain under Party rule; the second largest was to become Cascadia, shaped by the families supporting the initial Kruger Uprising; finally there was Sabaeus, a secretive and secluded nation founded on a strict religious faith and ruled by clerics.
A fragile and tentative cease-fire was agreed upon and borders drawn up. Tensions remain high to this day though, and many claims and counterclaims were never properly satisfied. Few believed in a lasting peace.
By FY 00, a fragile and tentative peace was agreed upon and borders drawn up, but the obvious enmity between Cascadia and OmniStat remained a severe threat to the conference, and had it not been for skillful negotiating by Sabaeus clerics the whole initiative would have failed and the war started anew. But in the end everything was settled into the Neridian Concord, and the representatives withdrew to rebuild all that had been lost.
It had been Dieter Kruger's vision to create a nation founded on democratic principles, individuality and personal initiative. But with Dieter's demise Cascadia's founding was off to a flawed start, as the other major families had more selfish intentions. The constitution stipulated voting rights for citizens of a certain standing and free elections of a president and an assembly to govern the nation. But with voting rights curtailed from the outset, the first steps down the road to tyranny had already been taken.
The original vision of Cascadia was a nation founded on democratic principles, where individuality and initiative was to be encouraged and rewarded. However, Cascadia’s founding was off to a flawed start, as the families involved in the uprising had less altruistic intentions. The democratic principles were only vaguely converted into actual law and the nation grew on an insecure foundation as the system favored those who had already secured vast assets during the chaotic war. With voting rights curtailed from the outset, and with several of the old families not ready to share their accumulated power, the first steps down the road to tyranny had already been taken.
The Triumvirate WarEdit
The Cascadian Constitution not only dictated how the country should be governed, it also included the Corporate Charter – allowing anyone to start an enterprise and nurture it to prosperity. The Charter too was flawed from the outset though, since little thought was given to regulatory statutes governing competition and unfair practices. Also, the families leading the uprising made sure to secure the main industries and natural resources early on, giving them a vast head-start.
Everything was closely watched by OmniStat whose ideals were diametrically opposed to Cascadia's, and to no-one's surprise, they made a surprise attack on both Cascadia and Sabaeus only a few years after the birth of the new nations. The Triumvirate War lasted for two years and mainly consisted of an endless string of intense border skirmishes. The conflict was ended only after an uneasy alliance formed between Cascadia and Sabaeus, and since then a cease-fire has been in effect between the three nations though no official peace-agreement has been signed.
Rise of the Corporate HousesEdit
A deep fear and hatred of OmniStat and the Party drove a nation-wide initiative to eradicate the old and rebuild anew. Statues were built, honoring values such as freedom and initiative, as well as the Original Twelve – the heads of the families that had supported the Kruger Uprising.
Within a decade those same families controlled almost 80% of the “free” market, and their dominance kept growing. Oligarchies between them formed and fell apart, and all the while the Cascadian Assembly struggled to create laws that would limit corporate control. But with most Assemblymen belonging to one of the families the laws remained toothless.
The families became known as the Corporate Houses and their opulence and wealth knew no bounds. Cascadian society eventually stratified into three distinct castes: the loCaste eking out a meager existence in the Greylands, the midCaste trapped in an eternal rat-race in the growing cities, and the hiCaste enjoying a detached existence at the top of the pyramid.
A deep fear and hatred of OmniStat and the Party drove a nation-wide initiative to eradicate the old and rebuild anew. All memories of the OmniStat era were to be destroyed and in their place new symbols were to be erected, celebrating freedom, and the original twelve families leading the uprising. Within a decade those same families controlled almost 80% of the "free" market, and their dominance kept growing. The Cascadian Assembly struggled to create laws that would limit corporate influence. But with most assemblymen belonging to one of the families the laws remained toothless.
The families became known as the Corporate Houses, their dominance grew and eventually they became the true rulers of Cascadia in all but name, having banded together to form a joint Conglomerate. However, wise from the OmniStat era they were careful to seem inclusive to the general populace, and stories abounded about regular citizens climbing the corporate ladder to achieve the same level of affluence as the corporate house members.
The Conglomerate was born when the twelve major Corporate Houses joined together with the intent of mutually shaping the future of Cascadia. Their internal rivalry remained to some extent though, and it was decided that only 9 would sit on the Conglomerate Board at any one time, depending on their respective market shares. This was intended to still foster some competition between them and make sure they didn’t stagnate completely.
The formation did not go unopposed. For years the discontent had grown among the general populace to the point that open protests were held against the worsening work environments, declining social conditions and rapidly increasing corporate encroachment on the elected government. The issue was debated for months on end in the Cascadian Assembly, but only toothless statements ever came out of the discussions.
As the Conglomerate grew in power tensions grew with it, and different protest movements came and went until one of them, based on pacifistic ideals, took root and spread quickly. It found its strongest supporters in Glass where it had also been founded, and on a cold November day, a hundred thousand demonstrators marched on Zephyr Station. There they gathered to listen to speeches and protester songs. But something went terribly wrong and some protesters began acting violently. Shots were fired and within moments the peaceful gathering had turned into a rioting stampede. For three days the riots raged unabated and Glass burned.
In the end the authorities prevailed, the riots were culled and those responsible (who still lived) were rounded up. The original leaders were found brutally executed, and the deed was blamed on the same separatist hardliners who supposedly started the riots to begin with. The Conglomerate saw its chance to grow stronger and made sure to point to the weak Assembly and their ineptness in handling the situation.
The growing affluence of the increasingly complacent midCaste was completely dependent on the loCaste, whose access to health-care, schooling and other services was severely limited, bordering on non-existent. Many were forced to live in the Greylands where the corporations ran their enormous factories, foodDomes and mines and life there was short and hard. Work-place accident were common, as were cancers and other sicknesses caused by the toxic Greyland conditions.
Tensions grew and movements formed and fell apart – until one of them, based on pacifistic ideals, took root and grew steadily. It found its strongest support in Glass where it had also been founded by Martin Connors, a charismatic and popular musician.
Things were brought to a head on a chilly November day when the largest demonstration to date was held. Thousands marched to the Zephyr Transit Hub where they gathered to listen to speeches and political songs. But something went terribly wrong, shots were fired, and within moments the peaceful gathering had turned into a rioting stampede. Hundreds were killed and thousands wounded. For three days the riots raged unabated and Glass burned. Martin and Erika Connors were among those killed.
The Conglomerate Seizes/Takes PowerEdit
The measures taken by the elected Assembly to rectify the situation proved to be too little too late, and when the Conglomerate declared the Assembly unfit to rule the nation, few opposed the move. The Conglomerate came to rule Cascadia, and Glass became a symbol of Conglomerate greatness. The refurbishing of the entire city was accelerated and immense resources spent on making Glass a pristine bastion of Conglomerate power, trumped only by Cascadia Prime, the Capital, where the Conglomerate Board resides.
15 years after the Conglomerate has taken power, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst puts you in the shoes of Faith, the heroine who will fight for those who can’t in the ongoing struggle against Conglomerate control. You will claim your freedom and fight the oppression that has hovered over the city far too long.
Among the general populace, and especially the midCaste, there was an outrage at the protesters and the damage and deaths they had caused. The Conglomerate made sure to also point to the weak Assembly and their ineptness in handling the volatile situation. Laws were passed forbidding large gatherings and protests, further strengthening the Conglomerate.
The measures taken by the Assembly proved to be too little, too late though, and when the Conglomerate declared the Assembly unfit to rule the nation, only a vocal minority opposed it. Those who did soon disappeared and so the Conglomerate came to rule Cascadia. Glass was chosen to become a symbol of Conglomerate greatness. The refurbishing was accelerated and immense resources spent on making Glass a pristine bastion of Conglomerate power, trumped only by Cascadia Prime, the Capital, where the Conglomerate Board resides.
Almost 5 decades have passed since Cascadia was founded and whole generations of employs have been brought up knowing only Conglomerate policy. OmniStat remains an ever prevalent threat, but few below eXec level believe hostilities will resume. There are signs of dissent in some cities and random acts of terror remind everyone that safety is a luxury dependent on the vigilance of KrugerSec and Conglomerate authority.
Covering a vast expanse of blasted desert, mountains, and a few stunted forests, Cascadia is completely structured around the 8 major cities. All the factories, foodDomes and strip mines exist to serve these sprawling clusters of spires and hiRises where the urbanite employs consume resources at an alarming pace. There are small villages and hamlets in the Greylands, but they have no entry in the official database, and the outCaste living there matter little to the Conglomerate except as target practice on occasional KrugerSec outings or as test subjects for different corporate projects.
- Cascadia is a bioregion and proposed country located within the western region of North America. The country would consist of Washington, Oregon, portions of other U.S. states, and British Columbia, Canada. At its maximum extent, Cascadia would extend from coastal Southeast Alaska in the north, extending into Northern California in the south, and inland to include parts of Idaho, Western Montana, Wyoming, and Yukon. More conservative borders proposed, is the land west of the eastern side of the Cascade Range, and the western side of British Columbia.
- The map provided vaguely resembles southeastern Australia and Tasmania.
- The Calendar Era of Cascadia is FY. This could be referring to the business phraseology, fiscal year. With other details such as the citizen of Cascadia being called employees, the term implies that Cascadian culture is heavily influenced by corporatocracy. A similiar calender is used in "Brave New World".
- The wars over the water supply are similiar to the "Flash Gordon" television series.