HOLY FUCK, I swear to god it's the same day as when I posted the infobank above. It's certainly not half a month later.
Yeah, I was writing about Meki's Parisian Vacation. But you know what? Fuck that. Just fuck it. Let's instead shift gears entirely and talk about the 1910s and VR.
Her Royal Majesty's Victorian Tropical Dystopia
2145. Meki leaves Paris. In the days following this excursion, she adopts the metahumanist philosophy. With metahumanism came Romanticism. She becomes passively nostalgic for days gone by, days she never lived and never wants to live. Oh no, she loves being a 22nd century girl. But it's our choice now, right? So without sounding like a Luddite/primitivist, she can adore the past.
There are many time periods Meki falls in love with. Human history always interested her, but it becomes an obsession after 2145.
A huge flashpoint in history: the Belle Époque. That is, the era between the Franco-Prussian War and World War I. From 1871 to 1914. That was an age of intense nationalism, imperialism, capitalism, industrialism, colonialism, militarism, racialism, social Darwinism, eugenics, proto-fascism, the growth of science, the liberalization of the arts, modernism... The world was about to explode. The Industrial Revolution took us from feudalism to globalism within a century, and the world wasn't ready to cope. It was an interesting period in human history. Riding horses and flying airplanes. The whole world was interesting.
Since she's a French girl, she reads up heavily/sims history of Northwest/Central Europe during that time.
Around 2315, she sets up a simulation, but it's a 'directed random' simulation. She will not know anything about the simulation until she experiences it in full.
It takes place in a tropical place known as the 'MYK.' She can't really pinpoint any year it's set, because some parts seem to be reminiscent of the 1700s, but others seem to indicate the 1910s. The place, too, seems to escape her. It's tropical, that much is certain. Is it Cuban? Haitian? African? Vietnamese? Indian? It's like a mixture of all of them. The worst aspects of all of them, at least. It's very hot, very muggy, very tropical. The people here are dark-skinned, but we'll get to them in a second.
Meki is intrigued by all the palm trees. But she's more intrigued by the very atmosphere of it all. Imagine a movie from the 1960s set in Vietnam. The picture quality will be very stark, very high contrast, with faded colors. That's what it legitimately looks like here.
The MYK Simulation is basically everything about the Age of Imperialism gone horribly, horribly wrong. Take the worst aspects of imperialism and put them in one condensed experience.
The people. There are three classes of people in the MYK.
- The ruling class.
- The working class.
- The peasant class.
To Meki, it's hard to tell the difference between the latter two because she hails from a post-singularity age. To her, they're both brutally oppressed, brutally exploited masses of the poor. However, the MYK abides by antiquated social categories. Peasants don't exist in modern society, save as an insult, but when peasants did exist, they were the people who tended to their own land and held no title. It was roughly synonymous with farmer.
Well technically, peasants do still exist, but it's a lifestyle choice rather than a social category, so it isn't the same. So it's rather hard to accept that peasants are better off than workers because of all the baggage added to the word since the days of the MYK.
The peasants live hard, brutish lives, don't get me wrong. Which is more or less saying something about the lives of workers.
There really are no workers in the MYK. There are slaves.
Meki learned the hard way that the three classes in the MYK could be better described as...
- The aristocapitalists
- The slaves
- The serfs
None of the peasants own their own land. The aristocapitalists own all land in the MYK, and force the peasants to work that land. One reason why Meki couldn't tell where exactly the MYK was situated was because she noticed a coexistence of cocoa plants, cotton, and rice paddies. The serfs would work 18 hours a day for their masters, and receive very little in return. It had degenerated into a brutal existence near that of slavery.
But the working class... No. They were slaves.
She followed one man, the Comte du Bourbon-Montpelier, who was a brutal aristocapitalist. When industrialization came to the tropical MYK, the plight of the underclass went from bleak to dystopian, and brutes like the count were all too eager to profit from it.
She got to see it all firsthand when Count Montpelier opened a mill. The mill was some kind of demonic hellhole, unlit and suffocating, with workers physically chained to their machines, feces and urine flooding parts of the room where some were forced to sleep, limbs scattered about and children walking naked to fix broken parts only to be butchered and disfigured. The count reported their “savage, barbaric idiocy” to his peers, using what went on to prove the ‘inferiority’ of the underclass. He called them “ape-things” who defecated freely and ‘refused’ clothing (not mentioning he never provided them with any, not that anyone cared either way).
All for what? They were paid ten cents a day, and the count thought that to be too costly and liberal. He claimed that “creeping Marxism” was responsible for these wages.
Meki stepped inside this mill, and it was so thick, she was nearly choking. 50 C and muggy! And the mushy floor, geez... some of these liquids, she isn't even familiar with them. They're miscolored, too much so to be feces or urine.
It reminds her of DURK#6 too much and she has to leave, feeling some of the effects of PTSD.
There's a secret police force as well, and the MYK is in a state of total martial law during her whole stay.
The poor don't so much as live in homes as they live in prisons. The working poor, at least, are crowded into these freaky panopticons that remind Meki more than a tad of Dunhurst. The serfs live in their primitive mud huts.
It's medieval how bad the MYK is. It’s as if one took her worst life experiences and amplified them several fold and subjected millions of people to them.
Let's talk about the aristocapitalists. As the name implies, they're this hybrid of the aristocracy and capitalist classes, so perfectly fused that there's no real difference. In order to start a business or own property, you must be titled.
It's noted that the classes are also divided along racial lines. The dark-skinned pseudo-Indo-Africans comprise the poor. The fair-skinned Eurasians comprise the rich. And it's concerning the rich that we get the issue of "when is this set?" Against all conceivable odds, the aristocapitalists are dressed like a mixture between French nobility of the 18th century and Chinese nobility of the 17th century. In this climate, it just doesn't seem thinkable, but they do it. But there are a lot of technologies that she recognizes as clearly being from the 1900s and 1910s. For one, there's radio. For two, there are machine guns. It's just three centuries compressed into one setting. As if the Ancien Régime lost all sense of morality and fused with the most cold-hearted of the late 18th century industrialists, all the while still wearing everything they’re known for.
As for the national origin of the aristocapitalists, it seems to, again, be this mixture. That is, predominantly French and some Chinese. It makes sense considering the clothing. But overall, the elite’s got nothing but very fair skin. Even fairer than you usually associate with West Europeans and East Asians. They’re almost like vampires, but they’re clearly not actually vampires.
She visits one particular manor after noticing this one young belle who kinda, sorta looked like her late sister, Annie. The many trinkets and goodies are handmade and high quality. Like these dolls. Real high quality dolls. These music boxes, too.
And this sugar box. It’s ornate. Decorated with gold. She actually thinks it’s beautiful, but the design is very much 19th century Oriental. Which is odd; this family seems European. The faux-French and faux-Chinese must regularly intermingle.
The MYK’s geography is every tropical trope thrown together. There’s rainforests, mountains, swamps, jungles, plains, and beaches. It’s as if you took the Congolese rainforests of Africa and fused it with the mountainous jungles of Vietnam and the plantation-esque landscapes of Louisiana and Haiti. All the French places, if you’ve noticed.
Meki comes across several water holes surrounded by cliffs and very, very thick tropical trees. A lot of the natives live around them since they’re often their only source of freshwater. Problem being— a lot of predators also fancy these watering holes. Predators like crocodiles who have taken a keen liking to the taste of tiny humans— that is, those below 8 years of age.
The aristocapitalists are so impossibly brutal sometimes that it becomes cartoonish. Meki never even knew the super rich of her day being this stupendously evil. Most of the time they weren’t evil at all. If you did find the few who were genuinely evil as popular fiction would imagine the rich as being, you’d still have trouble finding those who’d be so outrageously sadistic as to actively entertain themselves by watching natives get eaten by crocodiles.
And before you say anything— yes, most people do watch bloody stuff in private. Meki herself had a macabre fondness for snuff films. But I’m talking about hosting open shows, betting on how many kids any one particular croc could stuff, advertising these shows to their friends.
It’s almost like this is a highly sexually repressed society or something, so that the only way they can express their sexuality is through incredible violence. But aside from the 18th-century court clothing they seem obsessed with, she didn’t get that sense at all. They weren’t necessarily decadent sex fiends, but they weren’t prudes either. Why all this ultraviolence?
She wonders if it is, in some way, sexual. Maybe not sadistic, but tyristic.
Let’s explain the difference between sadism, masochism, and tyrism.
Sadism is pleasure derived from cruelty and pain inflicted upon others. If Meki were a sadist, she’d flog Mariko because hearing Mariko scream and cry makes Meki wet.
Masochism is pleasure derived from cruelty and pain inflicted upon oneself. Meki is a masochist, but a social masochist, so she gains quite a bit of perverse pleasure from being humiliated and dominated. If she were a sexual masochist, she’d let Mariko flog her because feeling pain and blood escaping her body makes her wet.
Tyrism is the newest of the three. It is pain and cruelty inflicted upon others as an act of one’s love to another. If Meki were a Tyrist, she’d flog Mariko because hearing Mariko scream and cry in pain… well, actually makes her cry. She doesn’t want to hear Mariko cry, but inflicting pain is how Meki expresses her love for Mariko. She loves Mariko so, so, so much, that she has some creepy compulsive need to choke her, beat her, slash her, shoot her, make her bleed and cry. If the actual acts of cruelty also turned Meki on, then it crosses over into sadism.
Meki noted tyrism as being shockingly common among pet owners. She met one who dearly loved his young cat. Loved how cute it was, loved the way it meowed. He never could bring himself to harm his cat because he loved it so very much. But he had a very morbid, borderline sexual fascination with the idea of cats— especially cats suspiciously similar to his own— being tortured and killed or suffering fatal accidents. Is it because he got off on torturing cats? Just the opposite. He couldn’t stand the thought. But there’s just this… strange, almost schizophrenic desire to see his cat in such terrible pain. He’d never outright admit this— no one would; the first reaction most would have would be disgust just so we don’t have to say “Yeah, that might actually be me”— but maybe the point is so that it becomes even more attached to him as he nurses it back to health? Maybe it’s not something so “rational”.
Meki wondered if the aristocapitalists of the MYK actually loved the natives so much, they felt they had to make them suffer. It’s a long shot, but it’s schizophrenic enough in thought to make sense.
You know, part of Meki is getting tired of the super rich always being so evil. It’s partly to due with her own class background— she doesn’t think she’s evil, and yet this simulation comes off almost like a Marxist’s hell. Why can’t we all just get along?
Class interests, is why. Conflict is the spice of life; when two people (or groups, or classes) have opposing interests (and often a common goal), you get conflict. Meki can’t see it anymore because, at a young age, she shifted her own class interests to that of the proletariat. And since the proletariat emerged victorious, she’s living in this sort of post-class mindset where, in a world where class and even castes were a thing, she has a bit of naivete.
She’s a spectator to the MYK, watching them behave and misbehave from a good, safe distance. All the injustices carried out against the slaves and serfs begets an intense indignation from her. She can’t stand seeing it. She wants to start a revolution, a violent revolution. The last revolution she had the opportunity to participate in, she just watched unfold. That was the Eurasian Winter, way back in 2121.
Starting another might be worth it. But how does she do such a thing? The underclass has nothing to lose. Everything they could have lost has already been stolen from her, so what do they have to lose?
Their lives? They’re already losing their lives! It’s entertainment for the rich to watch them suffer the worst deaths imaginable.
Nevertheless, while she does very much feel hatred for how they’re being treated, she can only also remember that they’re simulated people. She doesn’t have to do anything— their suffering can end by turning off the simulation. But that’s no fun.
She also feels tremendous hesitation when thinking of starting a revolution among a population that’s clearly not revolutionary. She remembers 2098. She turned Eurasia communist, and it wasn’t ready.
There’s no vanguard in the MYK, and the underclass doesn’t know of anything like it. But vanguards usually present their own problems. What if a vanguard party develops and leads the nation straight into totalitarianism?
It’s so complicated.
She’s not a kid anymore, and whatever revolutionary spark she may have once had in life has long since been extinguished. She lives in a world that doesn’t need revolution. At least, she doesn’t think so.
Just like how the aristocapitalists don’t think the MYK doesn’t need revolution. But who are revolutions for? The oppressed. Who is oppressed on Earth? No one capable of fomenting revolution.
In the MYK simulation, though, there’s very clear oppression. She’s unused to seeing it, and she remembers why she hates it.
But she also remembers why she tends to not get involved in these things. She doesn’t know what to do. She’s indecisive, and there seems to be no real reason to do it except because she wants to do it.
She has no idea where this will lead, but… she gets to work.
She conjures a copy of none other than the Bible of Revolution— the Communist Manifesto. She then begins spreading it to the underclass, preaching to them since they’re illiterate.
She’s able to plant the seed of revolution in their minds. Not all of them agree with the manifesto, but they do know they’re being oppressed. The aristocapitalists clearly despise her and everything to do with her and organize to have her arrested. If she’s arrested, holy shit. Is she going to suffer.
But she comes up with an idea— what if she willingly lets herself be arrested as a means of triggering the revolution? That’s the thing about revolutions— they always need a trigger.
She heads into the underground and keeps spreading her profane ideology. What she doesn’t recognize is that she’s just making life even harder for the underclasses because now the aristocapitalists are coming down ten times as hard as they were before for any insubordination. There’s a communist rabblerouser in their midst! They need to shut down any thought of revolution and kill anyone who may show signs of agreeing with her.
This leads to her presence becoming feared among the underclasses. If she’s found in an area, that area’s population will face extreme vetting.
Meki realizes the harm she’s causes and resets the simulation. This is clearly one where revolution is damn near impossible for a reason. She’s not meant to change the social order— she’s supposed to study it.
Which is a problem for her because she can’t tolerate it for very long. It’s shit like the MYK that made her not regret her own repression during the DotP, no matter how bad it got. If that’s what the underclasses had to face for all of history, then the ruling classes got what they deserved.
She heads back to the MYK, despair lain in her heart as she accepts that there’s nothing she can do for them. She really can’t last there for long. She just doesn’t like the place.
When she brings along the gang to see just how bad the place is, they agree that it’s pretty damn bad. So bad that the best word to describe it really is ‘cartoonish.’
It really makes you appreciate 24th century life, when humanity’s beyond such nonsense. But Meki can’t sleep until she is able to bring about revolution in the MYK. Why is she so obsessed with that? All it takes is just a tiny little change, and voila— the MYK’s now a worker’s paradise. But that’s not good enough for her. She wants to see the slaves and serfs fight for and earn their liberation and establish a state respecting their liberty.
Zdravko actually wonders if socialistic thoughts are natural to Aryans like Meki. It seems like every Homo eximius in existence supports some tier of socialism or socialistic technism.
That leads Meki to wonder how the MYK would respond to Vyrdism. Mariko tells her to forget about it— what will happen will be exactly what she thinks will happen. The aristocapitalists will take the technotariat for themselves and then either exterminate the underclasses or enslave them in a nation-wide concentration camp for their own sadistic amusement. The aristocapitalists in the MYK have had their humanity altered slightly, if Meki hasn’t noticed.
Even hardline Marxist-Leninist Zdravko admits that the aristocapitalists are unrealistically brutal compared to real life, and this is in a world where the 1% very nearly began a worldwide holocaust of the ex-working class. The MYK’s ruling class is pretty much composed of demons with human skin, not actual humans who have the capacity for demonic behavior.
Which makes Meki further wonder— who exactly is policing the MYK? She noticed that the place existed in a perpetual state of martial law like a tropical Victorian dystopia, but she never actually met one of these policemen. She never saw their faces.
So she goes back in to examine the police and military forces and notices that they seem to possess the intermediate skin-color. They’re the pink, golden, and brown-skinned people— sort of like a mixture between the Indochinese and Southeast Asians, Southern Americans, Medi-Europeans, Mesoamericans, Perso-Arabians, and North Africans. They have darker skin than the ruling classes, but lighter skin than the underclasses.
I do need to reiterate this because I mentioned that there are “pink” skinned policemen. In Meki’s time, whites no longer means the same thing it does in our time simply because of how many skin colors there are in the world now.
Meki is white. But when I say she’s “white”, some people might think she’s like the average white person but a different species. No, no, no. When I say she’s white, I mean she’s white. Like, almost paper white. If you’re one of those people we currently call “white” but you actually have pink or slightly tan skin, you’re not white. You’re pink. You’re a pink-skinned European person.
This was a necessary distinction to make as we progressed throughout the 21st century. Nationalist movements in Europe as well as the rise of East Asia meant that old racial markers were no longer working. More Europeans became aware of who they were ethnically, and while many gained white pride, others rejected the white label and instead focused on national pride— Polish pride, French pride, British pride, German pride, Italian pride, etc.
And then East Asia began rising, and here’s a problem: we often say Asians are “yellow.” But have you actually seen an Asian— especially a northern Chinese, Japanese, or Korean person— in real life? They’re often whiter than many white people (the Irish, northern British, and Scandinavian are the only lighter skinned people). Or at least, “pink-white” people. European people noted this. Actually, “white” used to refer to Asians and Europeans right up until European domination of the world in the 19th century— it was then and only then that the usage of the term ‘yellow’ for Asians became standard. And that only lasted for 200 or so years, until the mid 21st century, when Asians began dominating the world.
So by the 22nd century, once again “white” skin could refer to Europeans or Asians. And let’s not forget Persians, Turks, and northern Arabians— who also often had white skin. We redefined skin tones and decided to separate “white” into several more skin colors. That’s what I mean by “pink people”— we’d recognize them as “white”, but to Meki and her whole time period, they’re not white. They’re more like Southern Europeans or “white” people from the United States, places that are closer to the equator than Western/Northern Europe or Eastern/Northern Asia.
If you compared these pink people to the very white aristocapitalists, you’d see what I’m talking about. The aristocapitalists, just like Meki, look almost like vampiric porcelain dolls. Maybe there’s a little pink tinge to their skin, but it’s slight.
Funnily enough, most “pink” people are actually apricot-skinned, but now we’re being pedantic. Yes, now we’re being pedantic.
So yeah, the dark-but-not-too-dark skin colors are the “middle” class. The middle class being the police and military maintaining order. She never saw anyone with pink, golden, or brown skin in the factories or fields, suggesting that occupation and station is determined by one’s skin color.
There doesn’t seem to be any further stratification between these skin colors, however. It’s not like the pink-skinned people are better off than the brown-skinned ones. No, if you’re not dark black or porcelain white, you’re in the police/military/service jobs, and you have no say in it.
Meki keeps trying to spread communism to the MYK, and that eventually results in her getting arrested. She’s immediately yanked out of the simulation before any of that fun torture could begin, however. But she is beaten mercilessly when she’s arrested. I mean, beaten to near death (in the sim— if you die in the sim, you don’t die for real), but the officers make sure to not kill her because they think they’re going to torture a revolutionary fuckroach.
In 2316, Meki finally breaks down and alters the simulation ever so slightly as to allow for an opportunity for revolution to arise. She was playing on hard mode because she thought it was more cathartic that way.
And she eventually does get her revolution. The underclasses are united in a national general strike. Count Montpelier is held hostage in his own mill until he’s shot by some revolutionaries. The manors and palaces burn, and the capital city is sieged by a revolting military. The revolution succeeds at long last! In the sim, it took about 27 years worth of time.
She never does learn what ‘MYK’ stands for, though, so she just calls it “Middle Yistor Kingdom.” Yistor is 24th century slang for “rural”.