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June 15, 2014, 18:43:49 pm

Gaslight

The Society


  • As of yet Nameless, it is set in either a modern or near futuristic society based in a western country that has been overtaken by an extremely exploitative and oppressive autocratic Government where all ministers' identities are kept hidden and only the dictator - known as the Chancellor - is known about and ever seen publicly. Heavy industry - the country's main source of wealth - has caused widespread pollution which has led to the virtual destruction of their natural environment.

  • Women are seen as being little more than child bearing machines and tools used for labour and have no rights whatsoever in the society. All men, upon entering primary education, are assigned to one of three categories based on traits observed in them, believed to be their 'pure personalities', their true instinctive behaviour.

  • Poverty is rife in the country, particularly in the most rural villages that sustain themselves on farming and other agricultural pursuits (such as growing flowers for commercial purposes or rearing horses for racing). However, considering that widespread pollution has left a lot of land barren or difficult to get yields from, this is a hard life. Next in the social ladder are the towns, which can range from small cities to hardly better off than villages. The majority of the population live in towns where poverty is not as rife, but there is a vast economic range low paid manual labourers to more professional classes such as doctors, architects, artisans etc. who live a more comfortable quality of life. Those who are old, infirm or unemployed survive only by the pity of others.

  • At the very heart of the county is the only vast, sprawling city known as the Metropolis and is home only to the upper echelons of society, mostly wealthy business, manufacturing and shipping magnates and their families. Within the city, there is a walled off sector that is home to the parliament buildings as well as the residences of the Government ministers. It is patrolled by armed guards and no one gets in or out without permission from the Chancellor (think the Vatican).

  • Only diplomats and wealthy business owners have any control of currency. Every one else in the country survives off a stipend from the Government. Every person is required to register their occupation and the size of the stipend they are given depends on their judged 'contribution to society', with manual labourers earning the least and policemen and Government officials earning the most. However, the general populace never actually sees any money. Their stipend comes in the form of the Government using their wages to pay their rent, buy their groceries (which people pick up from local vendors) and so on. Those who earn enough to afford luxuries are given credit cards that can only be used at approved stores. This was done in order to ensure that the general populace didn't have the means to purchase any contraband that might be harmful to the Government (such as guns to help facilitate a revolution).

  • The country is crawling with armed soldiers, the ultimate weapons of the Government, who are on continual patrol. There is a barracks in every town and soldiers are ordered to swiftly suppress even the slightest hint of rebellion (whether there is grounds for it or not). Soldiers are amongst the most hated individuals, but many people from poorer backgrounds join the army since it provides a very comfortable living that they could not expect to find elsewhere. The presence of the soldiers is also the reason for the country's remarkably low crime rate; them and the severe punishments imposed on even the most minor of indiscretions.

  • As a generality, dissatisfaction in the country is high and the general populace feel a need to be freed from the oppression, but the Government rules with an iron fist, sees everything, and the overwhelming consensus is that the environment is simply far too dangerous to even take the risk of speaking up.
This one time I thought I saw a ghost, but then I didn't -- Gaslight


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June 15, 2014, 19:23:27 pm
Reply #1

Gaslight

Everyday Life



  • Education is provided by the Government and every child is expected to attend school. A few private institutions exist where the wealthy may educate their children, but most will have attended a State school teaching a highly controlled curriculum. Higher education is very expensive and with no such thing as Government grants for students, only the wealthy can afford to have their children educated at this level. The reason? To keep the wealth for the wealthy. The average man has no hopes of improving his life through education, the only exception to this being men who are classed as Dominant males.

  • While the country possesses advanced healthcare, clinics and hospitals outside of the Metropolis tend to be chronically under-stocked and as such many people die from illness or injury due to the pure medical infrastructure. Business owners may provide private medical aide for their employees and sometimes even their families, but those working outside of the private sector need to be very conscious of their health.


Life in the villages:


  • Villages are the areas suffering from the worst poverty and are usually small and remote. Most villages sustain themselves on agricultural pursuits such as farming, however there are also fishing villages on the eastern coast where people try to fish the polluted waters as well as mining villages.

  • Due to the difficulty of growing anything in the land, life in villages is usually extremely hard and the only people who remain in them do so because they have no other option. They live in poor housing that sometimes do not have running water or electricity, though most do. Farmers/fishermen usually earn a very small stipend due to the unpredictability of crops and the difficulty of producing good harvest.

  • Many young men leave villages to search for better prospects. With no possibility of education, some will qualify to enter into the armed forces and earn quite the comfortable life in exchange for becoming oppressors. However, many more will end up working in the mines, which also provide a comfortable lifestyle. Work in the mines is extremely dangerous due to poor safety infrastructure and deaths from collapses aren't unusual. Only those who are desperate seek this kind of work.

  • Villages may have markets where basic things like food and simple clothing are available, but they generally lack amenities and inhabitants of villages are usually required to travel into nearby towns for things like medical care and to attend school.

  • Due to their usual remoteness and small populations, villages are the least heavily patrolled regions of the country.


Life in the towns:


  • Towns usually revolve around some type of industry which maintain them and provide them with income. Most towns will be home to some type of large factories involved in heavy industry or manufacturing but some have been built up along ports or on main roads and serve as crucial transport routes.

  • Towns range in size, from small cities to only slightly better equipped than villages, and this mainly depends on the functions they serve. Most people living in the towns are likely to be employed in the main industry in some way (from manual labourers to management and accounting) but demand allowed other services such as small businesses such as tailors, grocery stores, florists etc. to emerge. They are also home to the professional classes (doctors, architects, engineers etc.) and most towns are divided into sectors based on income: professionals are likely to live in more affluent suburbs, lower skilled labourers to live in less affluent neighbourhoods and many business owners live above or in other rooms of their shops due to high rent prices.

  • Towns are likely to have very good amenities; everything from hospitals to cinemas to arcades, though of course only those with enough money can use them for leisure.

  • Artistic pursuits such as music and acting do exist, but it's not considered a legitimate career and so any entertaining is done on a person's own time and by their own dime. Any public performances must be approved by the Government first and if they are they will be 'supervised' by armed soldiers to prevent the occurrence of things like large, anti-government rallies.

  • Towns are fairly heavily patrolled and soldiers are ordered to put down any signs of unrest swiftly and severely. The police force is reserved purely for investigation - such as dealing with murders, robberies etc. - but corruption is so prominent in the institution that few trust the police and most despise them.

  • Towns are, essentially, just what you'd expect.



Life in the Metropolis:


  • Home to only the wealthiest, the citizens of the Metropolis range from significantly affluent to very significantly affluent. It is home to mostly diplomats and business magnates and their families. This is the only place in the country where Government approved entertainers exist and can survive. All of the residents are highly educated and highly respected. They are the movers and shakers of society, but are only a very elite few.

  • Unlike the rest of the country, the Metropolis is a hiving of thriving social life, flourishing artistic and scientific cultures and is the picture of ultimate decadence, lined with fine boutiques, eateries, clubs and bars. It is the picture of lavishness and opulence.

  • The only university in the country can be found in the Metropolis and for many born outside of the upper classes, this is the only part of the Metropolis they will ever be allowed to see.

  • However, due to the fact that businessmen are the only people in the country able to finance things independently of the Government and the only ones who are realistically capable of exerting effective resistance, the Metropolis is the most highly patrolled area of the country. Cameras litter every street corner and the citizens live life under a microscope, but their lives leave them content enough that few ever question. Few are actually aware of what life is like in other parts of the country.
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June 15, 2014, 20:03:37 pm
Reply #2

Gaslight

The Categories



  • The society has a tradition similar to the ancient Greek tradition of pederasty (read here for more information if interested) in which it's expected that a Dominant male will take a Submissive male as a partner (or, in this case, 'claim' a Submissive male). This is a bond that, if the Claiming is survived, is expected to be lifelong.

  • Dominant and Submissive males come from all walks of life due to the fact that the criteria for the categories are based on individual personality traits and not means. Similarly, sexuality is not necessarily denoted by either label and run the gamut from Dominants being strict tops to strict bottoms and vice-versa. However, there is a societal expectation that Dominants will assume the role of a man while the Submissives will be relegated to 'women', but most people are aware that this is just a facade entertained to maintain unnatural power dynamics.

  • Once claimed, a Submissive male essentially becomes slave to their Dominants every whim and are thought of as being 'powerless'. However, in reality most Dominants and Submissives gain a mutual respect and sometimes even affection for one another and while Submissives may appear powerless, they are sometimes able to have great influence over and through their Dominant partners.

  • The labels of Dominant and Submissive are given during early childhood and, as such, a man who had once appeared to be 'Dominant' could have had a complete change in personality and vice versa, however, the society places a lot of pressure on people to conform to the labels and as such Dominants and Submissives may be unwilling or unable to give up their facades for fear of repercussions. In short, there is more to these labels than meets the eye.



The Dominant males:

  • Dominant males are, above all else, seen to be the most desirable members of society due to their perceived intelligence, ambition, adaptability and self-sufficiency. During their childhood they likely excelled both academically and at sports, were charismatic, energetic and forward thinking. They are expected to be assertive, erudite, well-educated and, most importantly, able to lead and command respect in their own right through their own achievements. Dominant males are expected to one day assume positions of power in government and business in adulthood.

  • Dominant males from poorer walks of life are adopted by the Government, who provide them the opportunity for further education and employment opportunities. However, Dominants from affluent backgrounds are seen to have an advantage over others since their families likely already owned lucrative businesses and there is an internal elitism within the category, which is part of the fierce rivalry which exists amongst Dominants.

  • Dominant males are expected to marry in order to produce offspring who will hopefully carry on the desirable traits, however they are expected to establish a relationship with a Submissive male. They are expected to care financially for the Submissive male in return for this supportive relationship. Relationships between Dominants and Submissives do not have to be sexual, but it is expected that they will be. The theory is that this sexual relationship will satiate the Dominants' instinctive desire to assert their dominance over other males and will lead to less aggression.

  • However, there is a tremendous amount of societal pressure placed on Dominants to conform to the stereotype of a Dominant male and for one particular reason: any Dominant who is seen to have lost his 'desirable traits' will automatically be demoted to the ranks of a Submissive male, the ultimate shame in their society. As such a brutal competitiveness has been bred into Dominant males as each attempts to prove he is 'top dog' and 'most dominant' to avoid that awful shame.

  • Older Dominants are often fear younger generations of Dominants because of their ambition and it isn't unknown for a Dominant who has overstepped the mark to 'mysteriously vanish', never to be seen again. As such, while Dominant males may appear to be the most advantaged members of society, the truth is that they are the most heavily repressed as well.


The Submissive males:

  • Being labelled a Submissive male is nothing to be proud of and, in fact, it is often people's worst nightmare because of the considerable stigma attached to the label. Submissive males are seen to be little better than scum and are seen as being a burden on society. Submissive males are perceived to be weak, lazy, unmotivated and incapable of thinking for themselves. During childhood they were likely mediocre or less in their studies, were not as boisterous and inquisitive and generally lacking in any redeeming qualities.

  • Nothing is expected of Submissive males and they are likely to have suffered rejection, ridicule and even abuse during childhood. However, if they survive the Claiming then they receive elevated social status thanks to their Dominant partners. They are expected to never pursue careers and become completely dependent on their Dominant. As such, depending on how successful the Dominant becomes, Submissives can become very highly respected in society. However, they will never be able to command respect from others in their own right and their sole worth is determined by the worth of their Dominant.

  • Submissives are expected to remain entirely faithful to their Dominants and are not permitted to marry or procreate for fear of spreading the undesirable traits. The bond with their Dominant is lifelong but if a Submissive does something so severe that it is classed as betrayal of the Dominant or brings shame on him, the Dominant has the option to break the claim and return the Submissive to his family in shame. In this even, Submissives are unlikely to ever be able to find work and without support of sympathetic family members are expected to die not long after.

  • Due to the amount of prejudice against Submissive males, they can often feel alienated from their society and usually find the most fulfilling companionship with other Submissive males. The bonds between Submissives are much more accepting and nurturing (theoretically) than the bond between Dominants and while there is less societal pressure on them, they are stigmatised to such a degree that leading normal lives is impossible. A Submissive male may never be promoted to the rank of Dominant, but in exceptional circumstances a Submissive who has exceeded expectations may be promoted to a General male and pursue a normal life.
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