13 August 2007

Story: In Cannibalism We Trust

This is part one of a new action figure-related story I came up with this evening, called "In Cannibalism We Trust", and is part of a general sort of action figure-related story-line that I've been working on in my head since January of this year.

Hope you enjoy it.

Be seeing you.

Once Upon A Time, in a land not too far away, and not very long ago, in fact, the events in this story have yet to happen, but that's beside the point, there was an enormous action figure and doll collection that belonged to a pair of Internet and real estate millionaires, who, unlike many of their contemporaries, had had the good sense to pull out of both markets, while the getting was good.

But, again, that's beside the point, as they both were so enamoured of action figures and dolls that they'd built up one of the world's largest collections of them.

So large was this collection, that it couldn't be stored entirely in the house on the enormous 5000 acre former cattle ranch-turned estate, they'd bought in Riverside, California, in the late '90's, so they created a set of mini-Madurodams, outdoor display dioramas patterned after the original Madurodam in the Netherlands.

Now, little did the pair know, but, then again, most action figure and doll collectors don't know this, that their figures and dolls, when their "organic"(as action figures and dolls call their creators and collectors) keepers weren't looking, came to life, and organized societies, complete in every detail, good, bad and indifferent, of their own, and this collection was no exception.

Indeed, because of the collection's sheer size, the societies, and everything therein, were multiplied a thousand-fold greater than most of their counter-parts in collections elsewhere.

But, for simplicity's sake, we will narrow down these to three major ones, the Centralian Union, which was centred around the main house and the properties immediately east and west of it, the Amalgamated Communities of Pacifica, which stood to the east of Centralia, and Dystopia, which extended from east of Pacifica, and went all the way to the southern end of the property.

Centralia had been controlled by a coalition of various right-wing figures, like the two variants on George W. Bush, the various Adolf Hitler figures, and so on, until a disastrous war with Pacifica, which was politically moderate to left-wing, and included such figure collections as the GI Joe Adventure Team, as well as various Soviet, Vietnamese Communist, and other such figures, in the spring of 2007.

The Centralians, along with some Dystopian allies, had invaded and occupied most of Pacifica for nearly a week, before the Pacificans finally rallied and threw them out.

This resulted in the Centralians deposing their former leaders, but the ones that replaced them had to contend with many problems resulting from the war and the heavy losses they'd taken.

So, all throughout the remainder of 2007 and all of 2008, Centralia was a weak and greatly divided place.
Pacifica recovered fairly quickly from the war, but it still had problems of its own with which to cope, plus those going in the Dystopian lands, which, even before the war, had hardly been known for their peace and harmony.

Dystopia wasn't always called that, nor was it always such a violent place, rent by war, terror and murder, as it was when our story begins.

Before the break between Centralia and Pacifica over political differences in 2004, Dystopia was the newest area of settlement for figures from both parts of the collection who, for one reason or another, either didn't quite fit into their home societies, or who just wanted to carve out something for themselves in those frontier lands.

Both Centralia and Pacifica helped fund, transport and settle many of these figures and dolls in these new lands, and, for a while, it looked like the inhabitants of Terra Nova, as Dystopia was then known, would make quite a success from their efforts.

But, with the Centralian-Pacifican rift, much of the support for those settlements dried up as both Centralia and Pacifica regarded each other with increasing suspicion, and began making preparations to defend themselves from each other.

The Terra Novans, left on their own, began to succumb to various demagogues, and dictatorships of all sorts appeared throughout the territories.

Before long, societies patterned after those like the Oceanian dictatorship in George Orwell's 1984, or feudal despotisms like that of Boss Rudolph in H. G. Wells' Things To Come, or even the semi-anarchic roving bands like those found in the first two Mad Max films, became the dominant forms of society and government in Terra Nova, and, thanks to a Pacifican magazine columnist who visited there in 2005, they, and the whole of Terra Nova, acquired a new name-Dystopia, which caught on like wild-fire in both Centralia and Pacifica, and stuck.

Before long, even Terra Novans who had first resented and resisted the use of Dystopia to describe their homes were using it, and, with it, came a further descent into totalitarianism, chaos, terror and bloodshed.

Before too much time had passed, none of the once peaceful agricultural, communal, trading and industrial settlements that had been established in the Dystopian lands were under the control of their own peoples, as they'd been absorbed by one expanding tyranny or another.

But, these tyrannies were never happy to hold on to what they already had, as there were always compelling, political, economic, and strategic reasons for them to grab more, more, and still ever more territory and people.

And so, they, once they'd made alliances with one new nation or another, would just as quickly turn around, and try to gobble it up like a hungry coyote does a rabbit..

Sometimes, they'd succeed, and absorb their luckless neighbour. Other times, they'd fail, and end up being absorbed themselves.

When the Centralian-Pacifican War of 2007 came along, some of the larger and most ambitious of the Dystopian states, like Oceania, saw their chance to get in on what they believed to be a quick and easy victory by Centralia over Pacifica, and joined the former in their invasion of the latter.

But, their forces, along with those of the Centralians, were violently repulsed, with the bulk of their combatants being killed, wounded or taken prisoner by the Pacificans.

The Pacificans, in turn, attacked the Dystopian lands, like Oceania, and disabled most of what was left of their militaries and police forces.

Without strong military and police forces to prop up their rule, the Oceanians and other Dystopian allies of the Centralians governments soon collapsed, as their peoples rose up and threw them out.

But, instead of the peace, reconstruction and harmony so desired by many Dystopians, more madness, terror, civil war and murder followed, as the various rebels turned on each other, and fought each other over the remaining crumbs of economic and political power left behind by their oppressors.

In those Dystopian states that had not participated in the Centralian-Pacifican War, events hardly ran any better, as these, too, tried expanding onto the territories of their vanquished neighbours, with some succeeding, and others failing, and being destroyed in turn.

Then, there were those Dystopian lands that weren't interested in expanding into the territories of the former Centralian allies, but that wanted to grind their immediate neighbours into a fine powder, so to speak.

It is of a quintet of these that this story's about, and we will find out more about them, perhaps even a bit more than we want to, in our next part, Dear Readers.

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