Thursday, February 13, 2014

Koreshi Chronicles - Chapter VII: The Old Ways

Certain things are older than recorded history. They define the way human civilization was formed and people banded together. The post, for example, has been around since the dawn of civilization. It’s hard to imagine that the Sumerians would develop a writing system on small portable tablets if they weren’t meant to be carried about. The formalized system of passing one’s mail to an intermediary is attributed to the man who brought us Law and Codes. Civilization, rules of social conduct, and information are all based on the same thing.

As mankind spread out into the universe, centuries after the digital age and the near extinction of mail, couriers once again became necessary. The Tannhauser effect meant that a ship could travel faster than light and so arrive faster than a radio signal crawling through the vastness of interplanetary space.

In the Humanist Alliance, the most advanced society on Terra Nova, where information and communication were so advanced, good old-fashion mail remained as necessary as it was over seven millennia ago.

The longrunner ferried a message like the carriers of old, though perhaps more discreetly. In the Alliance there was no connection to the Hermes 72 without first going through a hardline. Consequently, everything said over the phone, texted via mobile, or delivered by digital mail could be intercepted. There were ways around it, proxies and mirror site which would scramble messages and route them through complex encryption, but nothing was safer than a piece of paper handed to someone trusted and carried across the kilometers of desert and savanna and put in the hands of the recipient.

In the privacy of her bunk on the longrunner trundling towards the unexplored and, hopefully, unguarded borders of the Alliance, she opened the archaic paper missive which had been put in her hand.

She read the information on the lines and the worried subtext between them and smiled. Then she lit it and watched the letter turn to ash.

In the Badlands, trust is everything. Like mail and codes of conduct. For some, millennia of advancement have changed little and the old ways remain the best ways.

Heavy Gear Roleplaying Game


Hermes 72 - Heavy Gear RPG - Most artwork Copyright 2002 Dream Pod 9, Inc.