Setting


“No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.”


Adam Smith

The Collapse (as it is colloquially called), two decades of turmoil, meant the end of the world of the late Twentieth Century and it’s greatest defining product, the superpower of the United States Of America. Not with a bang, but with several whimpers. Although deciding what factors caused the Collapse is like trying to unravel a Gordian Knot, it is commonly agreed that there were four main contributing causes: economic collapse, global climate change, peak oil and the costs of bloated militaries.

Setting

A perfect storm of historically-unusual high cost of living for most people has been thrown into sharp contrast against the corrupt and nepotistic excesses of the ruling class: income inequality – and the power disparity that it brings – has been added fuel on the world’s fires. Protests, local revolts and a vast, unhappy underclass liable to turn to violence to express its frustration have become the new norm.

Yet the last few decades have also seen massive technological advancement. If you can afford it, you can have metal under your skin to make you superhumanly fast, or strong. You can replace damaged organs with cloned versions or have nanites clean your blood. You can submerge yourself in the shared hallucinogenic consensus of cyberspace. You can have designer drugs for every purpose, customized to your personal biochemistry. You could have a stab at living forever. If you’re one of the have-nots, however, then you make do with cheap knock-offs from some floating pirate factory in international waters or purloined from the scrap heap by grey-market scavengers. Only the rich eat meat – the poor make do with textured vat-grown and gene-tailored soya-algae mixes. The rich make sure they have men with guns around them at all times. The poor make sure they have at least a shiv made from an old car spring.

Our future is more or less dystopic, it only remains to determine the extent of the dystopia. In America and the rest of the West we, even the poorest “we”, have suffered less than those in other regions. But as the rich gather ever more wealth to themselves by ensuring as little “trickles down” on our heads as possible, there’s no doubt we will suffer too.

Welcome to the dark future of Edgerunners.


Setting

Edgerunners Langy Langy