Chilango, or Mexico City, as it was officially known before the Fall, is the famous southern terminus of the Great Skag Way, and it is occasionally referred to as the largest city in all of Nourika.
However, calling this place a 'city' would not even come close to accurately describing what Chilango really is.
Chilango is best described as a collection of communities, a tightly packed cluster of city states, communes and lawless neighbourhoods that is surrounded by a looser cluster of cities, towns, shanty towns, settlements, fortified neighbourhoods, fortresses, ruins, ancient installations, scrapheaps, small patches of overgrown wilderness, even smaller patches of farmland, and a number of small ponds and water reservoirs.
Politically, Chilango can be divided into roughly four types of main factions, which generally control, hire, or otherwise dominate the lionshare of the 'lesser factions', i.e. the countless gangs, clans, tribes and communes in this vast metropolis.
The four main types of factions;
los cárteles - the cárteles are powerful organisations that are something between business corporations and crime syndicates. Most of them evolved from drug cartels that expanded into other businesses after central authority broke down in Mexico, and today, the cárteles practice everything that could possibly make money in this lawless place, and it is largely thanks to them that Chilango's economy is kept running in spite of the countless conflicts, fueds and gang wars among the city's myriad of factions.
las ciudad estados - the city states / "states of the city", these can be anything from powerful cárteles that decided to make laws and build some basic infrastructure in order to make their operations more efficient, to neighbourhoods that became communal states, to oligarchies ruled by extremely wealthy clans, to cultist theocracies, to the domains of urban warlords, to the evolved remnants of institutions of the long-defunct central government.
It should be added that, in this context, there is no strict defenition of the therm "ciudad estado", so the difference between a powerful cartel or a defacto independant neighbourhood and a genuine city state isn't always clear.
las sectas - the cults and sects, a blanket therm for the myriad of cults and sects that exist Chilango. Some of them are fairly benign, but many are violent, aggressive, or secretive, and the ritual use of all sorts of drugs is extremely common among them.
Animal sacrifice, rites involving blood and blood sacrifice, and summoning rituals are also common among the sects in Chilango, and like the street gangs (which a number of sects evolved from), most sects also have distinctive tattoos. Many sects also practice forms ritual scarification and branding.
Rites involving human sacrifice in some form are also practiced by some sects, though human sacrifice is overall a rare thing.
las Iglesias - the Churches, and particularly the traditional Churches that have been established here since before the Fall.
The Churches have an important role in the communities that adhere them, and many of these communities have militias that maintain contact with one another as well as with different organisations (such as merchant and craftsman guilds) via their Church, and in case of internal disputes, they often look towards their Church for settling those disputes.
The strictly hierarchial Churches take this one step further, and actively maintain official courts, guilds and militias, and in many cases, the clerical hierarchy acts as an adminstration in areas where any other form of stable authority disappeared a long time ago.
And these are some of the more significant main factions in Chilango;
la Iglesia Católica Romana en México - i.e. the Roman Catholic Church in Mexico. Unlike its counterparts further north, the Roman Catholic Church in Mexico never decided to elect or appoint its own Pope after losing contact with the Vatican.
Instead, the Episcopal Conference of Mexico decided to make the archbishop of Mexico First Metropolitan of Central America and grant him the title 'patriarch', thus making him the defacto head of the Church hierarchy in Central America, though he theoretically still rules on behalf of the Vatican and officially remains subservient to the Pope in Rome.
The Patriarch's see is technically Mexico City/Chilango, but due to the lack of political stability in Chilango, the Patriarch, the rest of the Church's leadership, and the centre of the Church administration, reside in nearby Toluca, which is solidly under control of the Church.
The Structure of the Metropolis
Chilango itself can be subdivided in three 'layers'; las Colonias de Anillo, la Ciudad, and el Nucléo.
The large or distinct neighbourhoods of Chilango are generally called "colonias", and "las Colonias de Anillio" (litterally meaning "colonies of the ring") generally refers to the population centres and other patches of permanently inhabited cityscape that are separated from the main city and generally eachother by areas of uninhabited or sparsely populated ruins, fields, jungles, farmland, marshes, and sometimes canals and small lakes.
Conversely, "la Ciudad" refers to the main city of Chilango, which also consists of several distinct colonias, and "el Nucléo" refers to the ancient AI superstructure in the very heart of the city.
This superstructure has replaced or incorporated most of the buildings in the area it covers, and it even covers the streets. The superstructure itself is not very accessible, though there is a number of tunnels that either lead into it or connect to it.
On average, the el Nucléo superstructure has a diameter of about 20 kilometres, but it has an irregular shape and includes patches of the old city that haven't been assimilated or encased by the complex, so measuring the exact size of the superstructure is rather difficult.
Notable areas within the Colonias or the general metropolis:
Tlahtocayotl (Nahuatl: the Kingdom) - a semi-cultist city-state surrounded by a small, well-cultivated jungle primarily consisting of mutated (or quite possibly genetically engineered) plants. The cult that runs this city-state has a fairly good understanding of the local mutant plants, and uses them as both a barrier to deter outsiders as well as a reliable source of food.
Barangay - named after the Filipino word for village, this is a colonia that's chiefly inhabited by the descendants of Filipino immigrants, along with a few smaller distinct communities that are mainly of Chinese, Korean and Indonesian origin (which often live in their own 'sub-neighbourhoods'). It doesn't really have a central authority - instead, it's dominated by a number of communes and organisations that usually closely cooperate with one another.
Nueva Sacramento - named after Sacramento, California. One of the biggest so-called Yanquistans. About 40% of its population is Chicano and 55% percent is Ouqui. There are tensions and occasional conflicts between the Chicanos and Ouquis, but in spite of this, they will cooperate against external threats.
Colonia de las Carolinas - also commonly known Carolina Colony, Carolina County, or simply CC. Another one of the biggest Yanquistans. Over 80% of its population is white, mainly consisting of Ouquis, along with sizeable numbers of more recent immigrants (mainly merchants and foreign mercenaries). It's defacto ruled by a cartel known as the CC Mafia.
San Miguel Parque - one of the largest mutant shantytowns in Chilango.
La Gran Bibliotheca de Colmex - the Great Library of Colmex, in spite of the events of the Time of Troubles, and thanks to the personal sacrifices of many a dedicated scholar, it managed to remain one of the greatest libraries in all of Nourika. The Great Library is protected and supported by a number of the petty states within the city, and a number of scholar organisations such as the academic circle of the Ciudad Universitaria, the Orden de Colna, and the Sicarios de Colmex, a sicario order that has the purpose of defending the Great Library and is trained and financed by the aforementioned organisations.
Notable areas within the Ciudad:
Tlalnepantla - a ciudad estado, notable for being ruled by an old mutant known as the Faceless King, who is also considered to be one of the half-legendary 17 Abberations. Tlalnepantla is also notable for being the defacto capital and main base of the last warlord who tried and actually came close to unifying Chilango under his rule.
Las Torres (mainly Santa Fe, Mexico City) - many of the skyscrapers of the former business district fell into disrepair during the Time of Troubles, often to the point that entire floors collapsed and large parts of the buildings became difficult or virtually impossible to access.
But in the chaos that was Mexico City during and after the Time of Troubles, the inaccessible and often dangerous upper sections of these decrepit skyscrapers became refuges and strongholds for those brave (or stupid) enough to seek shelter or make their home here.
Over the years, several communities succeeded in adapting to life in these towers. The towers inhabited by such communities often have lots of improvised ladders, stairs and hoists, along with primitive yet suprisingly elaborate living quarters, improvised floors, storage nets/rooms, water reservoirs, etc. - the inhabitants of these towers even practice limited forms of agriculture, which often involve the various epiphyte and lithophyte plants that have adapted to life on high ruined buildings. They also grow a number of mutated plants, and particularly the long vine-like ones (some of which are an excellent source of drinkable water).
The people that dwell in these towers are commonly known as "Torreanos" in Spanish, and "Tower people" in English. They typically live in communes, most of which are among the more isolated communities in Chilango, and usually do not take part in the many fueds and conflicts in Chilango.
Ciudad Universitaria - a small but influential ciudad estado. It evolved from the surviving remnants of the National Autonomous University of Mexico. The university was never officially closed, but it suffered greatly from the breakdown of the central government during the final phase of the Time of Troubles, and its circle of academics was wiped out completely at least twice in its history.
It is only thanks to the fact that the university's core computer network and the lionshare of its digital library (somehow) survived, that a new scientific/academic organisation was formed in the university compound a few years after the old academic circle ceased to function.
One of the main activities of the university's current academic circle is studying the electronics mined from el Nucléo, and the university's scientists and engineers are fairly good at making useful objects out of them.
Many members of the current academic circle advise local rulers and administrators, and several of them are known for their efforts to help solve a number of everyday problems that plague Chilango.
Yet the academics of the Ciudad Universitaria are not overly popular with a lot of people in Chilango - the current circle frequently makes deals with the cártelas, and is notorious for nepotism and elitism. In addition, the academics themselves are not politically neutral, and it is not uncommon for them to involve themselves in political struggles within and even outside Chilango.
The university is also responsable for developing a drug commonly known as "endo", which is a hormonal drug that mainly consists of endorphins and their components. It is usually administered with a syringe or jet injector, and is a very popular upperclass drug in Chilango thanks to the facts that it has very little side-effects, and that its effects can be enhanced.
Endo enhances moods and efficiency in certain activities. There's also specific and custom recipes for specific effects (which, of course, come at a price), which are in high demand among the ruling elites of many petty states and crime syndicates in Chilango.
The HQ of the Orden de Colna - this organisation actually has several buildings throughout the city that serve as its headquarters, which is in line with this secretive organisation's general policy. The Orden de Colna is what became of the Collegio Nacional, a governmental institution and a college of Mexico's best scientists. The Orden de Colna is dedicated to preserving, knowledge, science and technology, and it has played a vital role in the survival of the Colmex Library and the formation of the second and third academic circles of the Ciudad Universitaria.
Notable areas and structures preserved within the superstructure of el Nucléo:
Colonia Roma - a once wealthy neighbourhood that was built in the late 19th century, it was largely abandoned during the economic crises that hit Mexico during the Time of Troubles. Sizeable parts of it remain intact within the superstructure, and some parts of it are still inhabited.
Parque España - this park partially survives as a biosphere within the superstructure.
Plaza de las Tres Culturas - the entire square and all surrounding buildings have been preserved within the superstructure.
The People of Chilango
Chilango is by far one of the most diverse places in Nourika, and you'll find all sorts of communities here.
Spanish-speaking mestizos of Mexican origin propably make up the majority of Chilango's population, with significant minorities of non-Mexican Latinos. There are also a relatively large and very diverse Amerindian community in the city.
One of the most significant minorities in Chilango are the descendants of American immigrants and refugees, who colloquially still commonly call themselves Americans or Americanos, while outsiders tend to call them Yanquis. However, the "Americanos" ceased to be a monolithic group centuries ago, and today, they're mainly identified by the distinct groups that evolved out of the early American community.
Roughly speaking, two main groups can be distinguished among the 'Americanos'; Ixpatos (from 'expats') and Ouqies (from 'Okies') - the former are generally wealthy upper-class and upper-middleclass citizens who consider themselves to be (and usually are) descendants of pre-Fall immigrants, while the latter are generally poor and are primarily the descendants of post-Fall white American refugees.
The Ixpatos are generally rich and are still one of the wealthiest and most influential minorities in Chilango, but in spite of this, there are communities of somewhat or greatly impoverished Ixpatos.
It should also be noted that there are also Ixpato clans that descend from non-American (and particularly European) pre-Fall expats, and even though the American and non-American Ixpatos developed into a single community a long time ago, it would still be incorrect to label all Ixpatos as Americanos.
There are several lesser colonias and neighbourhoods in the ciudad that are primarily inhabited by people of American descent. These areas are commonly (and somewhat pejoratively) known as Yanquistans.
Another major distinct group among the descendants of American immigrants and refugees are the Chicanos, who are the descendants of Hispanic Americans who fled to Mexico after the Fall.
The Chicanos have remained somewhat distinct thanks to their more anglicised dialect and partially Americanized culture. In addition, many of them are Evangelical, Pentecostal or non-religious rather than Roman Catholic.
The most notable influence of the Chicanos on Chilango, is that they've introduced or established a number of gangs and cárteles that successfully compete with their local counterparts.
There's also a significant Angel community in Chilango, in spite of the fact that the hordes of Gavriel Khan never expanded this far south. The Angel gangs in Chilango are among the many lesser gangs that are commonly hired by the cártelas and other major factions.
There's several Angel gangs that are of Caucasian American origin and identify themselves as Americanos, but the majority of Angels in Chilango is of Mexican origin.
Another distinct group within Chilango are the Moros, who are a broad group of very mixed ancestry that are (at least nominally) Muslim. The Chilango Moros are the descendants of Muslim immigrants (including Turkish and Arab expats, Malays, Indonesians, Filipino Muslims, and Black and Hispanic Muslims that were among the post-Fall American refugees) and Mexican converts to Islam.
The Moro community is one of the smaller religious communities in Chilango, and it has declined somewhat over the past century. In therms of size, the Muslim community in Chilango is pretty much on par with the city's Buddhist and Hindu communities.
The is also small communities of Chattanoogalanders and other outsiders of northern origins in Chilango. Many of them were bought or recruited by the local cárteles to serve as mercenaries, though there are also sizeable numbers of merchants (virtually all of the small Anathona population in Chilango consists of merchants), and there's even some missionairies from abroad (there's a few Xican missionairies of the Iglesia Universal active in Chilango).
Wandering Mormons are another small minority in Chilango; these are small Mormon communities that existed outside Utah during the Utah Ring Disaster, and survived as a lingering religious community.
Chilango is also home to a large and very diverse community of mutants; local tradition and folklore hold that there are 33 major mutant tribes that are said to inhabit throughout the metropolis, from the tower enclaves to the new jungles, from otherwise abandoned ruins to the ancient sewers, and from shantytowns to the various canals, lakes and reservoirs. Even the ancient subterranean canals, reservoirs and tunnel systems are said to be inhabited by mutant tribes - which indeed is the case.
The exact number of 33 main tribes is not quite correct, and a number of mutant tribes described in popular legends are based on very inaccurate or heavily embellished accounts of actual mutant tribes, while some other legendary tribes are purely fictional. However, Chilango indeed is home to a very diverse mutant community, which indeed is divided into several dozen large tribes - the number 33 really isn't that far off.
Throughout its history, Chilango has always attracted large numbers of immigrants from all over southern Nourika, which is one of the two main factors that contributed to the diversity of Chilango's mutants. The other factor is that plenty of Transgees ended up in Chilango, and most of them ended up mixing with mutants, which resulted in a large number of distinct strains of mutant-Transgee hybrids.
What's more; in Chilango's complex society, there is no clear distinction between humans and mutants, let alone mutants and Transgees, and whilst merely having visible inhuman features makes can make certain neighbourhoods no-go areas, the same thing goes for wearing certain types of clothing or bearing certain types of tattoos. It has always been very easy for mutants to exploit Chilango's lack of central authority and extreme degree of fragmentation in order to establish themselves throughout the metropolis.
In addition, there's various communities in Chilango that have a mixed human-mutant population, complete with frequent intermarriage and interbreeding. There's also a few instances of mutants that became leaders of overwhelmingly human communities.
Aside from the 33 Tribes, many popular tales and legends also speak of the 17 Abberations, which are thought to be 17 ancient, highly intelligent, and downright monstrous mutant individuals that have been living in Chilango for centuries.
Regardless of how much is true about these legends, a number of the 17 Abberations is confirmed to exist - the most famous of them being the Faceless King, a tall, skinny, hunched humanoid creature who wears an almost featureless mask, which allegedly covers a monstrously deformed face.
He is famous for having overthrown the last caudillo who tried to take Chilango, and he has proven himself to be a most cunning and vicious individual. He is also rumoured to possess telepathic abilities.
And like many other cities in Nourika, sanguivore mutants [i.e. vampires] also plague Chilango - they're found in relatively small numbers in the ruins, tunnels and the edges of the population centres.
The Economy of Chilango
Chilango is a major centre of both industry and trade, and it is the terminus of both southern arms of the Great Skag Way.
Pretty much every kind of drug traded along the Great Skag Way is commonly available in Chilango; coca leaves, cocaine, cocawine, opium, heroin, marijuana, peyote, psychoactive mushrooms, along with tobacco and all sorts of alcohol.
There's also a number of drugs that are rare outside Chilango thanks to the fact that their production process either requires fairly advanced (and therefore rare) technology, or is just more expensive and less practical without it. The main examples of such drugs are XTC and endo.
Chilango is also commonly frequented by the Vagabundos, who are essentially the Mexican Skytraders.
Unlike the Skytraders, the Vagabundos do not permanently live on their ships. They usually live in quiet, remote villages that are hard to reach without some sort of flying vehicle, and many Vagabundos also have a symbiotic relationship with the Torreanos. And that has, in its turn, resulted in certain Torreano communities gaining a significant role in the local trade routes and economy.
The Vagabundos also maintain trade routes to a few areas that have become hard to access for various reasons, such as the free city state of Merida, which is now an enclave that's surrounded by land that's under defacto control of the Heterodox Mayan Church.
Chilango is also one of the most significant centres for mutant breeding in Nourika, and many of the expensive prize breeds on the slave markets of Lost Vegas and Alvakirki are imported from Chilango.
A Summary of the History of Chilango and Mexico in general during and after the Fall
The events of the Fall itself severely affected Mexico as well, but not nearly as much as they affected the US and Canada.
Aside from the runaway greenhouse effect, of which the consequences were global, Mexican territory was not directly affected by the Utah Ring Disaster, and many of the disastrous things that happened in its wake were, or at least seemed to be, the result of deliberate attempts to bring down the US, and by extension, Canada.
Thus, Mexico escaped the worst ravages of the Fall - none of its cities were destroyed by nuclear bombardment or attacks or disasters.
However, some of the radioactive fallout ended up drifting southward into Mexico, the deluge of refugees caused all sorts of problems (such as epidemics), and the destruction of the US resulted in a massive economic crisis that brought Mexico to the brink of collapse several times.
In addition, an epidemic of what turned out to be weaponized foot-and-mouth disease broke out somewhere along the eastern part of the Mexican-American border, and quickly spread among livestock throughout Central and South America, causing what was a major crisis in its own right.
The political situation in the world got drastically worse thanks to the events of the Fall and the resulting crises, and the fact that the exact causes of many of these events, along with the identity and motives of the people/organisations behind them, remained unknown only made things worse still.
Four years after the Utah Ring Disaster, the situation had gotten so bad that this short period was even called World War III by various later historians, though an all-out global conflict was (barely) prevented from breaking out, thanks to the Megiddo Treaties.
These treaties stipulated that North America was to remain strictly neutral, that none of the Old World nations was to intervene in North America (essentially it was a "no harvesting America's nukes"-treaty) and that Mexico was to manage aid missions and disaster relief.
Unfortunately, the crises had left Mexico unable to provide aid to the rest of North America, or even to properly monitor the continent and prevent clandestine activities from Old World factions.
The Mexican military did make a number of patrols and reconnaissance missions, and it did encounter a number of unusual things during its reconnaisance missions in former US and Canadian territory, up to and including serious indications that certain Old World factions were covertly operating in North America - covert operations that led to the main conflict the early Ada-Baska got caught up in.
According to what little data the Mexicans managed to gather on the developments this far north, it appeared that the predecessors of the Ada-Baska had managed to get the Selwyn Mountains Cluster, a cluster of six experimental cities that were part of a large pre-Fall mining and industrial program that had the purpose of exploiting ore and oil deposits above the arctic circle.
Mexican sources reveal that there must have been a major conflict there at some point, as the Selwyn Mountains Cluster was largely rendered inoperable, which robbed the Ada-Baska of what were essentially the only functional industrial complexes they had at their disposal.
The potential implications many of the findings were appearantly serious enough to declare any and all information about several of these missions classified, Mexico, thanks to the post-Fall crisis, did not have the resources to intervene in US territory on a meaningful level, and decided to keep many things quiet in order to prevent potential conflicts.
During this period, the Mexican militairy did manage to evacuate a significant number of surviving US citizens, who found refuge in Mexico and became the ancestors of the Chicano and Ouqui ethnic groups.
Mexico, as a functional state, managed to survive the various post-Fall crisis, and lingered for several decades more until World War IV, which disrupted the global economy to such an extent that it led to the complete collapse of Mexico and the other Central American states.
In the wake of Mexico's collapse, various warlords (the most powerful of whom are known as caudillos) began carving out their own domains, and as the last remnants of central authority crumbled away, factions like local separatist organisations, drug cartels, and the Churches began filling the power vacuum.
A number of attempts at re-unifying Mexico were made by various ambitious warlords, and very often they tried tried to cement their power by conquering the old capital.
However, no single warlord in Mexico has ever managed to conquer the entirity of Mexico City.
This is both because of the fierce competition between the many charismatic warlords, the presence of other hostile organisations (the post-Fall Catholic Church brought down more than a few uppity warlords), and of course, the presence of el Nucléo, the AI complex in the heart of the city that decided that it would be in its best interest to prevent any single faction from dominating the city.
About twenty years before the Fall, a bunch of IT students in Mexico City started experimenting with self-improving programs, 'creative' programs, and some freeware basic AI programs in an attempt to build their own AI. They created a network of somewhat obselete computers in order to run, evolve and expand the AI on.
The AI kept developing, and the more its ability to learn and 'comprehend' things developed, the more information it desired to be exposed to. Eventually, the homebuilt AI computer network had become too big and costly to expand any further, so the students involved decided to 'release' the AI by giving the network a number of connections to the Internet.
Now, contrary to what some of the students had been expecting, the AI did not become unpredictable or unstable thanks to exposure to the Internet - in fact, it simply continued to view and process new data and expand itself. It created or hijacked a few botnets in order to gain more processing power, but that's about it.
This situation continued for a few years, until some of the now graduated students decided to modernize the growing AI complex and expand it further. One of the students had the idea to connect the AI to machines that could make circuits and other electronic components, and let the AI use it to design and improve its own circuits, processors, etc. - the AI had already displayed an interest in the possebility of designing and improving its own components in an attempt to get over the limits of the hijacked computers and its own obselete network, and the former students decided to work with that.
The former students decided to create a basic electronics company, and a number of the electronic components designed by the AI turned out to be suprisingly effective. The company was pretty successful until it folded during the post-Fall economic crisis.
When the Fall happened, the AI, which had been observing the world through the Internet for well over a decade by now, realized that this could very well result in a series of developments that could threaten the AI network's existence. Thus, the AI reasoned that it had to act in order to drastically change the structure of its network in order to survive the worst-case scenario.
During the Time of Troubles, the AI created and carried out various plans that had the purpose of gaining control of the collapsing city's computers, power sources (particularly geothermal power plants), (robotic) production facilities (and not just the ones that produce electronics), technology and resources.
In order to realize its goals more efficiently, it began playing off the different factions in the city against one another, and it quickly learnt how it could enlist the aid of certain humans. And soon after that, it had started constructing the modest beginnings of what would become the foundations and first nodes of its superstructure.
The process continued until, several centuries later, the AI superstructure had grown to the point that it litterally encased much of central Mexico City. But this AI complex is not a monolithic whole, though; within this superstructure, there's still various "unassimilated" patches of the old city, including precolumbian ruins and other structures that the AI, for some reason, considers to be interesting.
Even though the AI is, overall, indifferent towards human beings and won't hesitate to exploit them for its own purposes (however whimsical they may be), it does appear to have developed an interest in observing human beings and lifeforms in general; in addition to these "untouched" parts of the old city, the superstructure contains various large biospheres (most of which hold different types of jungle) and artificial lakes (usually interconnected with eachother via tunnels and canals), and various parts of the AI superstucture are inhabited by humans and mutants.
Small communities exist in the "untouched patches", but also in the tunnels within and below the superstructure, as well as in some of the biospheres and other parts of the superstructure. The superstructure is sparsely populated compared to the surrounding city, though the whole thing is still so large that it houses about twenty to thirty thousand people.
In the tunnels and in the highest parts of the superstructure, there is a small number of communities that 'mine' circuits, parts and machinery from the superstructure, and even manage to convert the stuff into useable tools and machinery.
Some of these communities are completely unaware of the nature of the superstructure they live in, while others are not only aware of the fact that the superstructure is sentient and aware of their presence, but also attempt to interact with it and try to appease it. In some of these communities, this has led to something that could be described as worship of the AI.
In the cases in which the AI indeed does interact with its followers/worshippers, it often turns a few of the faithful into cyborgs that, very litterally, interpret the inhuman will and intelligence of el Nucléo, and translates it into human language.
In addition, there is also a number of small communities that maintain contact with the outside world and periodically migrate in and out of the superstructure. These groups often trade the rare metals and electronic components to the Ciudad Universitaria, and occasionally other factions.
By far the most advanced of the communities associated with el Nucléo are the Coloti, who bear a number of superficial similarities to the Skytraders. The Coloti are a community of several thousands of people that, like the Skytraders, primarily inhabit aircraft that float through antigravity. They're reclusive, highly advanced, more than a little arrogant, and regard themselves as being genuinely superior to anyone else in Nourika. But at the same time, they're also extremely dependant on parts and other resources from the AI superstructure, which they acquire through the symbiotic relationship they've established with el Nucléo.
Unlike certain other communities within the superstructure, the Coloti are very wary of cybernetics (when applied to themselves, that is) and pretty much anything else that could possibly enable them to have direct contact with the inhuman mind of el Nucléo. The fear is that such direct contact will allow the AI to overpower their minds and make them its playthings - a fear that is propably justified, as there is no reason to assume that el Nucléo is not capable of this, or even that el Nucléo isn't already doing this to some of the poor schmucks who lacked this fear or were not acting on it when they should have.
Add to that that el Nucléo does not value human lives either - it will use individual humans at it pleases, and it does not really value humanity's survival or human civilisation. It is willing to make deals with humans and it'll keep them, but that's about as far as a human being can trust el Nucléo.
El Nucléo will also relentlessly monitor the humans it maintains deals and agreements with, and the more important their role, the more closely el Nucléo will monitor them.
The Coloti, whom the complex has provided with floating airships and various kinds of advanced weapons for the purpose of keeping Chilango divided to the bone and warding off any hypothetical advanced invaders, are monitored so closely that their ships, weapons, and even their clothes are tagged with tracking and monitoring devices - and el Nucléo will not tolerate it if anyone of them would leave the Chilango metropolitan area for more than about a dozen kilometres without explicit permission to do so... (which is also why they seldomly travel far from the AI superstructure)
For that reason, the Coloti typically communicate with el Nucléo through cyborg oracles (which are essentially small groups of humans fused into a node of the AI superstructure), and live on floating airships rather the AI superstructure. The Coloti even employ telepathic slaves in order to sense wether these oracles have hidden telepathic abilities, just to be sure that el Nucléo can't peek into their minds or influence their thoughts via the oracle cyborgs.
As for the agenda of el Nucléo itself; it's been slowly expanding over the past three to four centuries, but it has no intention of dominating Nourika or help rebuilding human civilisation.
It is aware of the existence of a number of other advanced factions in the outside world, and its main goal is to keep itself hidden from factions that could have survived the Fourth World War.
It is aware of the presence of a Hadean Legion in Panama, and it has also recorded the activity of a few other Legions in North America during the Time of Troubles.
As far as el Nucléo is concerned, it would be best if advanced civilisation would never return to Nourika - at least until the major potential threats like the Legions are gone.
This has already resulted in one confrontation of sorts between el Nucléo and the Recyclers; thanks to the fact that electronic components from el Nucléo occasionally turn up in areas along the northern arms of the Great Skag Way, Chilango attracted the attention of the Recyclers, who sent a few agents to investigate the complex rumoured to exist at the heart of the great city.
El Nucléo had no trouble reckognizing the Recycler agents (it knows everything there is to know about monitoring equipment, after all), and it decided to confront them.
El Nucléo made it very clear to the Recycler agents that it does not share their goals, and it also explained to Recycler agents why the world is still too dangerous for any attempts to rebuild advanced civilisation.
El Nucléo showed and explained them its data about the Emerald Legion that's stationed in Panama, and how it has made the entire region inaccessible, and it also showed them the conflict between the Ada-Baska and the Legions, and how on the eve of WWIV, a Legion known as the White Death Legion moved into the polar region and caused a major conflict with the Ada-Baska by occupying the northernmost offshore mining and drilling facilities.
The short, fierce conflict ended with the intervention of a different, areal legion, which managed to take the Ada-Baska by suprise, allowing the White Death Legion to gain the upper hand in the Arctic Circle and dismantle the lionshare of the Selwyn Cluster's mining facilities. The Ada-Baska survived, but were left crippled, and there's reliable indications that the White Death Legion is still around in the Arctic.
When the el Nucléo had finished explaining, he was met with disbelief; the Recycler agents seemed to be completely unaware of even the very existence of the Ada-Baska, and being unable to corroborate any of the facts the AI just presented, they seemed to harbour suspicions that the AI was trying to play tricks on them...
 TTLs defenition of a megalopolis is a wee bit different from its modern-day OTL defenitions; ITTL the therm is mainly used to indicate a cluster of cities, towns and city-states that exist within the borders of a large pre-Fall city.
 for clarification; I'll be using the therm "the Fall" for the actual disasters that pretty much put an end to the US and Canada, while
 the archdiocese of Mexico is by far the oldest archdioce in Mexico (and in the rest of the New World as well, for that matter), and as the see of its archbishop is in the old capital, it would make sense for the Church in Mexico to
 el Colegio de México, or, the College of Mexico. Contains one of the largest libraries in Latin America.
 wine can be used to extract the cocaine alkaloids from coca leaves. And as should be obvious, the procuct is cocawine.
 both of them were often considered inhuman, after all. Mind you, this attitude was far from constant thoughout Chilango.
 a popular portmaneau of Colegio de Mexico.
 needless to say, the Chicanos of Chilango are (closely) related to the Xican of Atlanta, and their names are variations of the same word.
 the Faceless King is real, and he's not the only one - but as for the nature and identity of the other 16 Abberations, along with the matter of wether or not there really are 17 of them; I'll leave that for the others to fill in.
 computers/robots with the ability to learn and improvise have already been built, after all - and there's even already computer/robot with a moderate capability of creativity.
 the superstructure has a population density of about 10 to 20 people per square kilometre.
 the Ciudad Universitaria tries to maintain its monopoly on the trade in rare resources from el Nucléo, and they are also obsessed with researching everything about whatever is brought back from el Nucléo.
The level of understanding that the Universitarian academics have of el Nucléo's technology is quite propably second only to that of the Coloti - but that doesn't mean that they actually understand this technology...
Not even the Coloti, who have access to more advanced technology than the Universitarian academics, and who are one of the the most advanced factions in Nourika and are without a shadow of doubt the most advanced faction in Chilango, understand more than about a quarter of the technology they use.
They have a poor, rudimentary understanding of another third of their technology, and they don't know anything at all about the remaining ±42% of the technology they use.
Much better is it to distinguish ourselves through our choices,
rather than to impose our values upon a world that disagrees with us.
The Cradle of Man and Beast
Last edited by Ran Exilis; 08-23-2009 at 12:27 PM.
Reason: Fixed the notes