Columbia

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Columbia, formally known as the Columbian Union,[note 1] is a Terran country. It is a federal presidential republic and the only known democratic country in Terra, made up of various states with independent municipal governments and their own laws. A centralized federal government serves as the national government, with three branches: the legislative (the Union Congress), the executive led by its one and only President Mark Max, and the judiciary (the Union Supreme Court).

Columbia is not only the youngest nation in Terra, but also a melting pot of various races and cultures around Terra. It is known for accelerating scientific progress in Terra, its modern technology, and the influence it exerts through mega-corporations and its extensive military. However, Columbia has increasingly expanded its influence over the continent over the years, to the point where it has become an expansionist superpower in Terra.

Columbia has proclaimed itself to be a nation of "equity" where everyone, including the Infected and even the Sarkaz, is treated equally. On one hand, its treatment of minorities is indeed much better than other countries' (especially Ursus). However, the nation is secretly exploiting the Infected, the local Sarkaz community, and the commoners by enticing them to settle in the country's wastelands as its first pioneers, where Catastrophes are common, crime is rampant, and the land is yet undeveloped.[2]

The Columbian language is similar to American English in our world. However, they somehow have distinct grammars and accents even though both are mutually intelligible enough with each other.[3]

Background

Brand New World

Originally, Columbia was a Victorian colony stablished in the Terran year 990, following a geographical expedition sponsored by the Parliament with the objective of reaching the northwestern side of Terra, seeking for any Originium depots that haven't claimed by Leithanien yet, using their newly-developed deep mining equipment from the Royal Victorian Academy of Sciences. News about the discovery of uncharted lands were sent to the Parliament in Londinium seven months later, declaring that "If a plot of land can hold a boot, then it should belong to Victoria". A quote that would become immortalized in Terran history. Taking advantage of a newly discovered Originium vein, and the relatively low frequency of Catastrophe activity in the area, the explorers decided to settle there and develop a strategic enclave for Victoria, which would eventually came into diplomatic issues with Bolívar. The Duke of Goddodin at the time decided to mobilize various mining platforms to the region, and thus the first pioneering teams were formed.[4] For the following fifteen years, a large influx of foreign immigrants arrived to Columbia, ranging from Bolívar to Kazimierz, further developing a seemingly ordinary penal colony into a bustling, highly-versatile pioneer enclave. The flourishing economy also attracted various businessmen and scholars eaging to realize their ideals and look for new business opportunities.

War for Independence

The Aslan King of Victoria, Frederick III, was impressed with the development of Columbia, but nevertheless had to prepare his forces and keep an eye on Gaul's ever-increasing presence in the political game. Later on, in 1011, the Parliament issued the "Frontier Taxation, Public Safety, and Infected Individual Control Obligations Act, or "Obligation Act" for short, in order to increase taxation policies on Columbia, replacing all designated tax collectors with direct envoys from Victoria, and imposing heavy taxation on the properties owned by the pioneers and their families, and providing "loose" autonomy" to the pioneering zones in terms of Oripathy infection control, meaning that they had to handle the containment procedures all by themselves. On top of that, the Act also allowed the Border Dukes' armies to strengthen their presence in the pioneering zones for "ensuring safety". The pioneers also suffered from heavy looses over the past two decades, falling victim of Catastrophes, wild beasts, and highwaymen, yet they rarely received any help from Victoria. This only escalated the tensions between the pioneering teams and the authorities, eventually leading to small independent movements led by rebelling pioneers and local militias, later establishing the "Columbian Revolutionary Army".[5]

"Terra Bless Us!". These words from the first revolutionary soldier who boarded the Duke of Tybalt's flagship would be later immortalized in the nation's history. Their idenity and whereabouts are unknown.

The turning point came in 1016, when a Victorian envoy and two accompanying guards were attacked and severely injured by armed bandits during their line of duty. Although the pioneers managed to arrest the bandits, they refused to send them to Victoria for their trial, per the envoy's request. However, the incident soon escalated into a bloody conflict between the Pioneer Army and the authorities, which would later become the Columbian Revolutionary War. As the situation started to escalate, one of the Border Dukes, the Duke of Tybalt, came to the conclusion that the Pioneering Are was in a state of unforgivable uprising, so he led his army to an expedition to Columbia. Meanwhile, Gaul started to invade Victoria as part of his expansionist tendency, and Leithanien was slowly, but surely, approaching the border.

Back in Columbia, the Revolutionary Team was initially unable to stand against the Dukes's forces due to their low morale, size, and weaponry, while foreign merchants and mercenaries joined the frontlines in one way or another. The Dukes weren't precisely generous nobles, and they were eager to suppress the uprising by any means necessary. Taking advantage of the situation, Gaul decided to aid Columbia in order to weaken Victoria's forces, and four Columbian Nomadic Cities were retrofitted into mobile fortresses by their imperial advisors to face against their warships. Despite their efforts, the Revolutionary Army kept retreating, until the legendary war hero Mark Max entered action.[6]

Max' strategic genius led the Revolutionary Army to raid and recapture various zones occupied by the Border Dukes, leaving them in the brink of defeat. In the span of six months, the Duke of Tybalt's fleet lost ten entire warships, while the flagship was boarded and captured by the rebels in November of 1018, during the decisive Battle of Babbage. With the increasing pressure from Gaul, and after the humiliating defeat at Babbage , Tybalt and the other Victorian border dukes could not stop the rebellion and ordered all Victorian armies stationed in Columbia to retreat. The Parliament later sent a Messenger to the Revolutionary Army to discuss how to end hostilities in a peaceful way. Frederick III on the other hand agreed to recognize Columbia's independent status and negotiated the retirement of all Victorian assets, leading to the formation of a new country.[7] The newly-issued "Articles of Confederation" established by Maylander Selene and a few other pioneers consolidated the colony's independence, becoming the first "Founding Fathers". In 1019, the first elections were held which established Mark Max, the war hero of Revolutionary Team, as its first and currently only President.[8][9] The same year, the young Corsica I became the new Emperor of Gaul.At the time, most people didn't accept Columbia as an independent political power, and was even thought that it'll seek asylum in Gaul. However, the relationships between these two countries would become more tense after Mark Max personally persuaded various Gaulish advisors to settle down in the region.[10]

Modern day geopolitics

Ever since its foundation, Columbia has slowly been expanding both its territories and its political influence across Terra. It uses the propaganda of the "Columbian Dream" to attract frontier pioneers to move to its westernmost wastelands, mainly inhabited by the poor, slum dwellers, and the Infected, where they are to settle down and cultivate the land under the nation's name. Even though the pioneers' stories have been immortalized by various tales, they are frequently the target of ill treatment and governmental neglect.[2] These pioneers range from various backgrounds, even including criminals who do not want to spend their sentences in prison.[11]

Columbia's unrestrained expansion has also led to countless political conflicts with other nations. In the 1020s, Columbia began interfering with Bolívar's affairs through the support of local merchants, causing many areas within the Singas Dynasty's control to fall into their influence. In 1047, in response to their treason, the Witch King used the Singas dynasty as a proxy to attack Columbia, seeking to instigate civil unrest. As a result, Columbia launched an outright invasion against Bolívar in the name of retaliation against Leithanien, convincing a certain part of the Bolívarian Parliament to join the cause and establishing the "Coalition Government".[12] However, not only did Columbia attempt to secure its vast resource deposits, but also it constantly meddled in Bolívar's political affairs, which resulted in a never-ending stalemate against the local resistance forces.[13][14] After the failure in Bolívar, Columbia then set its eyes on Sargon and has slowly been destabilizing the country by covertly funding its operating mercenaries and pro-Columbian tribal factions, and even instigating conflicts to gain profit.[15] It also slowly expands its political influence onto Sami through scientific explorations by modernizing the country, though this often comes with many conditions that the Samifjod find it hard to reject.

The arms race is now unstoppable...

There are also growing concerns regarding Columbia's weapons programs funded by its national military. In an effort to triumph over other Terran superpowers, explore the untouched borders of Terran civilization, and finally win the political struggle against the Federal Government, the Columbian military has openly pursued technological supremacy through its mega-corporations. However, this is often done through questionable means, such as secretly conducting unethical human experimentation and reviving ancient, forbidden relics.

Columbia does have a lighter side to its expansionism. The nation is known for its soft power, exporting its vibrant culture all around Terra. Even the most conservative in Terra have begun to experience culture shock through the popularity of Columbian movies, music and sports. This is especially obvious with Emperor's worldwide popularity and the baseball craze in Terra.[16] Some nations have been strongly shaped by Columbian culture, such as Siracusa, which adopted Columbia's judiciary system,[17] and Kazimierz, the economy of which is influenced by Columbia's commercialism.

Notable people


Expatriate

Migrant

  • Damien
  • Elba
  • Steve
  • Thunderstone
  • "6060": An infamous Columbian rapper who Emperor is said to have a bad relationship with. The latter would dedicate a diss track to him at one point.[18]
  • Ambrois Edwards: A former baseball player who was constantly bullied for being Infected. One day, he´s approached by Cuora, who decides to cheer him up and takes him to Rhodes Island for help. After that, he decided to come out from his retirement.[19]
  • Dr. Hayden Ramnt: The director and owner of Haydn Pharmaceuticals, one of Rhine Lab´s investors. He provided the Lab-1 facility, which would be used to conduct experiments on Ifrit as part of the Department of Defense´s "Project Diabolic". However, he was killed when Ifrit´s powers went out of control during the Diαbolic Crisis[20]
  • "Mr. K.": The mysterious CEO of the Beachbrella corporation, as well as Jesselton´s boss. He considers him as his most valuable asset.[21]
  • Mario: A once renowned Wrankwood film director who Roberta worked with at some point. Known as the "Father of the Slasher/Master of Horror" for his horror films which were popular 15 years ago, his reputation started to fall from grace in recent years with flicks like "The Living Dead on the Frontier", which was a box-office bomb.[22]
  • Marshall: The current Chief Justice of the Union Supreme Court in Columbia. In Terran Year 1091, under the influence of Arturia's emotion amplification Arts, Marshall suddenly went insane by pronouncing himself as "Emperor of Columbia", and during the following years, he successfully passed various "imperial statutes" vowing for the emancipation of the Infected, which not only became a hot-topic amongst the population, but also served as the theory core of various nationwide pro-Infected movements afterwards. Prior to this strange incident, witnesses saw Marshall passed out drunk on the lawn of his almamater, while Arturia was playing an empty scalebass beer bottle at his side.[23][24]
  • Professor Thorne: A Vouivre researcher from Blaine Formative and Elliot's professor. Twenty-two years ago, he led the "Sand Soldiers" into the Ibut Region of Sargon for research on an Originium-based weapon. However, he was preyed upon by the local Padishah and was later murdered.[25]
  • Val & Leo Hyde: The twin CEOs and founders of Hydebro, who were at one point some of Columbia's top industrialists.[26] The company got involved in a corporate rivalry with Simon Co., resulting in a scandal that ended with the later falling from grace, and imprisonment of the Simon family members and its CEO, Smith Simon.[27] Following the Mansfield incident, the Hyde brothers were summoned to a district court due to allegations of shady business deals and violence, leading to their arrest and bankruptcy.[28]
  • Mr. and Mrs. Wright (Rhine Lab manua).png
    Mr. and Mrs. Wright: A famous young couple of inventors and aerospace engineers who were Kristen Wright's parents. They attempted to reach above the Starpod in the Terran year 1075, only for their high-attitude aircraft to star malfunctioning and crash, claiming their lives in the process. Prior to their passing, the couple had a good number of detractors and enemies within the government who thought they were wasting the nation's tax money on their projects, and as a result, they sought help from Maylander in order to protect their interests and their daughter.[29]

Enemies

Normal
Elite

Places

Settlements

  • Trimounts
  • Tkaronto
  • Davistown
  • Siesta (nominally)
  • Max D.C.: A major city of Columbia and the capital of the nation.
  • Bunkerhill: The Columbian city where Simon Co. and HydeBro were headquartered, as well as Columbian Tax Bureau office.[27][30]
  • Givogia: Franka's hometown. It was destroyed by a Catastrophe when she was 13 years old.[31]
  • Ironforge: The city where Anthony Simon was arrested. Due to the city being under a different state law, Anthony was free from the HydeBro's interference.[32] In 1095, A Blacksteel Worldwide team was sent to investigate a Fonnterra Bioresearching laboratory rumored to conduct illegal experiments with funding of the Department of Defense. This ended in an incident where Franka, one of the team's members, got herself infected. Under an agreement with the Federal Goverment, the information is kept hidden from public, with the official sources that it was just an "Originium Leakage".[33][34][35] The headquarters of Maylander's Security and Defense Company is located there, which Team RAINBOW is working with.[36]
  • Nulaiteburgh: Coldshot's hometown.[37] It's also the city where the Mansfield State Prison was docked during Anthony's prison break.[38]
  • Wrankwood: A Columbian city known for being the heart of its film industry.[39] Their movies' selling points include their pretentious titles, excessive use of explosions, and even age restrictions.[40] Although its film industry is sometimes criticized for the cookie-cutter production values of their Blockbusters in contrast of the less-popular B movies,[22] and the exaggerated way the big studios and agencies care about their clients and actors´ personas and public images while treating them as products.[39]
  • San Sophie: The city where the Mansfield State Prison was docked 4 months prior to Anthony's jailbreak.[41]
  • Steelham: The town where Sonny and Mary come from.[28]
  • New Manfist: A Columbian town that Dur-nar and her team visited at one point during her service in the Union Army, described as an unpleasant place.[42]
  • Yorktown: A Columbian city located close to Trimounts.[43]
  • Trenton: A Columbian town located close to Trimounnts, and the place where Muelsyse's parents entrusted her to a local orphanage after contracting Oripathy.[44][45]
  • Bayswood: A briefly mentioned pioneer plate.[46]
  • Deadhorse: A pioneer plate located in the same state as Davistown and Bayswood.

Institutions

  • Mansfield State Prison: A Columbian nomadic penitentiary, originally a half-abandoned Industrial platform.
  • Camp Collus: A Victorian POW camp built during Columbia's war for independence. It's known for the torture and inhumane treatment towards the captured belligerent forces, and due to its infamy, no military officer wants to mention it again. It was the place where Woodrow Bianchi and "Clip" Cliff conducted a rescue mission alongside other eight soldiers, but due to Clip abandoning the original plan, only Woodrow managed to come out alive.[47]
  • Barron Mine: An Originium mine located in Southern Columbia. It attracted the attention of the Columbian Tax Burreau as early as 1058, due to discrepancies on the registred ammount of Originium veins, and as a result, it was abandoned after its owner was arrested. It was later used by Towerhill Biotechnology in 1079, as part of the D.O.D's research in developing a way for the armed forces to deal with Oripathy infections in combat environments. However, in 1083, they came up with the idea of experimenting on Needleflies by injecting Originium inside their bodies in order to create biological weapons, only for the project to go haywire.[48]

Notes

  1. Originally "Columbia Union," which is grammatically incorrect.

References