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Star Ranger4 Wrote:... I was about to ask if Bronson Charlie was a rouge planet of on a quest of vengence.

Look up an ooooold sci-fi novel titled "When Worlds Collide".
Sucrose Octanitrate.
Proof positive that with sufficient motivation, you can make anything explode.
Was also an early 50's movie plot
Hear that thunder rolling till it seems to split the sky?
That's every ship in Grayson's Navy taking up the cry-

-- "No Quarter", by Echo's Children
Y'know, if we're going to have worlds that look just like Earth, at least a few of those worlds are going to have fallen off their poles and been put back tilted...
Rob Kelk
"Governments have no right to question the loyalty of those who oppose
them. Adversaries remain citizens of the same state, common subjects of
the same sovereign, servants of the same law."

- Michael Ignatieff, addressing Stanford University in 2012
So Bioshock Infinite dropped yesterday, and having informed myself fully on the plot details I’ve come up with a first pass on the History of the City of Columbia as it relates to Gate Crashers.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This will spoil the absolute fuck out of the ending of Bioshock Infinite, and as such I’m spoiler-blocking the whole thing. If you are playing or want to play the game and not be spoiled, do not read this.


In the summer of 1912, Columbia was simultaneously hit by three things: a popular uprising among the city’s underclasses, what could charitably be described as localized quantaclysm (see ref GURPS Infinite Worlds) due to reckless abuse of madsci dimensional manipulation technology, and the arrival of a man whom Zachary Comstock had a complicated relationship with and had cast in the role of antichrist to his savior. The city likely could have survived one or two of these things happening at the same time, but not all three at once. What happened in those few days in 1912 are documented elsewhere, and will not be repeated except in extreme emergency.

By the end of these events, Columbia was approaching the end with great speed. With leadership dead on both sides and nothing to fill the vacuum nor quell the need for revenge among the rank-and-file, the Vox Populi uprising descended into general chaos as ambitious underlings tried to claim the top seats, scores were settled and people just stopped paying attention to basic services in favor of hunkering down and hoping it blew over. Furthermore, the Siphon’s destruction set off even more chaos in the form of a hurricane of dimensional rifts that wrecked a good sixth of the city center and scattered chunks across the multiverse, flotsam in the sea of time.

Adrift in all possible ways, the city of Columbia continued to say afloat for a few months more while the Vox and the Founders finished their war to the hilt. Finally, the city’s battered infrastructure was unable to hold together and the city succumbed to a winter storm a hundred miles off the coast of New England. The wreckage crashed to the sea and sank in deep water. Survivors – yes, there were survivors – scattered to the four winds in the few airships still fully operational, clutching random darksci and madsci trinkets and never speaking a word about what happened. Some debris would wash up in Nova Scotia and Ireland over the next year or so, but the world had moved on and these events went by with only a few people noticing.

In 1939, a writer going by the name A. E. DeWitt quietly published a book entitled Columbia: The Modern Icarus. The book purported to be an eyewitness account of the rebellion and the end of the city as a functional entity. Most scholars at the time dismissed the book as fiction, as it described things and technology that were thought impossible by 1912 standards or simply impossible period. Since the advent of the handwavium age in 2006, however, quite a few people have given the details in DeWitt’s book a more thorough going-over.

Columbianism, the odd offshoot of Christianity founded by Zachary Comstock, survived mostly through inertia and the faith of a few surviving evangelicals. Without the new Eden to act as a focal point though, the Columbianists dwindled until the church finally went extinct in the late 1970s, ironically enough just at the point when the Reagan administration had restarted the fusion of politics and religion Comstock championed at the turn of the century.

What’s left of the city is still on the ocean floor, though by 2039 there’s not much left except the brickwork and maybe some remnants of the more durable madsci. Similar rusty old relics can be found scattered through the United States and are sought after by collectors and madsci enthusiasts hoping to reverse-engineer the city’s secrets. Partial hulls of the floating gunboats used in the Boxer Rebellion are on display along with other Columbian artifacts in museums in China and the US. Columbia: The Modern Icarus has come back into print and is popular among historians and retro-tech enthusiasts. And that sums up where Columbia is in the Gate Crashers scheme of things.

Except for one last thing.

The heart of the matter.

Comstock would’ve been just another religious zealot if he hadn’t had the backing of the real mind behind Columbia’s power. Rosalind Lutece was the mad scientist who made Comstock’s vision real and developed the technology that made it powerful and ultimately destroyed it. And unlike many mad scientists, she wrote down her madsci in terms that were fairly easy to understand.

The sole surviving copies of Lutece’s The Principles of Quantum Mechanics and Barriers to Trans-Dimensional Travel were found in an auction by Megan Anderson, who then gifted them to her niece Kohran, who had them copied to digital format. Digital copies were ‘borrowed’ by Kohran’s sister Sora, who took them to Grand Central when she ran away to join the gatecrahsers.

The circle remains unbroken. By and by.

Mr. Fnord interdimensional man of mystery

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