Topic: DIVID-30

Spawned from a random shower thought that I had to write down, DIVID-30 is set in a cyberpunk future heavily inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Background

A pandemic in the 22nd century erupts, known as DIVID-30 (l33tspeak for DIVIDED), scarring the infected and sparking germophobia to the point of radical isolationism.  Many cities drove out the infected and asymptomatic and declared themselves Havens.  Decades later, social stratification created three classes:

  • Invuls, privileged citizens born in Havens, free of infectious diseases, living a premium life style

  • A-syms, working class struggling outside Havens to earn a living in an age of automation.

  • Divs, infection-scarred humans ostracized from the rest of humanity into quarantine camps and the underground of old 21st century infrastructure (sewers, subway stations and tunnels, etc.).

The majority of countries have dissolved in favor of a planetary government, the United Earth Alliance.  The UEA seek to extend space colonies beyond the moon and funds mega-corporations to develop the infrastructure and system to carry out the UEA's mission.

Automation is king, universal health, income and education is standard, but the UEA cannot sustain billions of people without a purpose, so an economic system had to be developed to keep people busy instead of "getting busy".  While Invuls live like princes, A-syms are conscripted into the workforce, supporting education, childcare, meal prep and delivery service, hospitality, security, maintenance, santization, etc. with credit incentives to buy premium Haven amenities, even possible admittance into a Haven.  Divs, however, live like the homeless.  Told to be treated as equals by the UEA, Divs, instead, are treated like street dogs in many communities and practically shot on site if they try to step foot into a Haven.

Haven elitism makes A-sym entries difficult at best.  Some Havens put A-syms through lengthy, expensive certification, demonstrating a clean bill of health, strong immune system and not carrying any major contagious diseases.  A-syms born with such statuses are branded Exempt and can freely enter Havens.  This status brought the Exempts praise and jealousy among A-syms.

Story

Our story is set in Merlion, a Haven formerly known as Singapore, in 2176.  The sovereign country of Malaysia was hit hard by the DIVID-30 pandemic decades ago.  The government crumbled and civil unrest threatens UEA spaceport operations in Merlion so the UEA absorbs the region and tasks OSMIC, a corporate conglomerate, to begin redevelopment of the region while a provisional regional government acclimates its citizens into the UEA.  We follow an adolescent girl travelling to Merlion with a visa wristband, allowing her to visit relatives in the Haven.  But before she could enter Merlion, her visaband gets stolen  and she is forced to adapt to life in a Haven bordertown until her wristband issue is resolved.  We see high-tech-low-life, police brutality and corruption, corporation governments, human augmentations, virtual reality, AI, etc. through this character and the characters she encounters.  Following cyberpunk tropes, there'll be discoveries like Invuls having weaker immune systems due to generations of hypochondriacs living in Havents, corporation cost-cutting and scandals, stolen military technology, knowledge that can threatened the status quo, etc.

Themes/Commentary/Inspiration

This series or anthology idea is a rehash of a dystopian superhero idea I had ages ago, which in turn was inspired by the old Super community project idea, which was inspired by Heroes (NBC).  Point is, the original premise was Havens were established to keep out unregistered enhanced humans.  Anyone with superpowers had to be registered and issued a visa to enter Havens.

When talks of COVID-19 immunity papers came up, the connective tissues started to form and I redeveloped this superhero idea into a cyberpunk idea.

The Exempt branding would be like a badge of honor...or a badge of shame like the yellow badges during Nazi Germany.  In other words, it paints a target on their backs.

On a map, Havens look like outbreak points across the globe, except they're not outbreaks, obviously.

A-syms have to work jobs to earn a living and keep the UEA economy going, much like how essential workers during the pandemic must work to keep the food supply going.  There's also gig workers struggling with lack of unemployment support.  This is very US-centric, by the way.

Antibody black markets and gene splicing exist as people find ways to supercharge their immune system or at least demonstrate they have a strong immune system to gain access to Haven Amenites, much like how people will likely donate their antibodies and others want to buy antibodies to be able to go outside.

If you want to read more about this idea and/or want to contribute to the story development, message me your gmail and I'll give you access to the story treatment doc file.

https://i.imgur.com/4b9NnS3.pnghttps://i.imgur.com/GUIl0qk.pnghttps://i.imgur.com/ox64uld.pnghttps://i.imgur.com/v3iyhE5.png

Re: DIVID-30

I thought of The story of Scout in the shower! I like it! mini/bigsmile

Re: DIVID-30

Wow, this is a very fleshed out idea! Good work, seems very interesting.

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Re: DIVID-30

2x4 studios wrote:

I thought of The story of Scout in the shower! I like it! mini/bigsmile

Writer's block? Take a shower mini/wink

rioforce wrote:

Wow, this is a very fleshed out idea! Good work, seems very interesting.

Thanks.  I read or watched a YouTube video somewhere about worldbuilding to tell a story or tell a story to worldbuild.  Had a lot of time available to world build recently.

Haven't incorporated much of the face mask and social distancing aspects yet.  DIVID-30 isn't a contagious respiratory disease but a dermal one.  In the long run, might not be essential to the story.

Also the social stratification is a reference to India's old caste system where moving up out of a caste you're born in was almost impossible.

https://i.imgur.com/4b9NnS3.pnghttps://i.imgur.com/GUIl0qk.pnghttps://i.imgur.com/ox64uld.pnghttps://i.imgur.com/v3iyhE5.png

Re: DIVID-30

Well done!

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Re: DIVID-30

Sounds really cool! Showers are awesome.

"I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us." - Romans 8:18

Re: DIVID-30

Talks of immunity passports being a bad idea, which makes it a great story element.

Started catching up on Westworld Season 3 and the RICO app is giving me more ideas for the merit/credit system.

https://i.imgur.com/4b9NnS3.pnghttps://i.imgur.com/GUIl0qk.pnghttps://i.imgur.com/ox64uld.pnghttps://i.imgur.com/v3iyhE5.png