The City of the Saved was a human enclave comprising a bubble universe between the end of the Spiral Politic and the beginning of its successor. Inside, every individual of human ancestry was resurrected to a life where death and time travel were impossible.
The City had a number of protocols governing its operation, some of which were natural to all timeships, not exclusive to the City. The most obvious were the invulnerability protocols (or state-of-grace), which kept Citizens from being physically harmed. They were still affected by force, but it could never cause external or internal breakage — even a gun could only disorientate at best. Citizens could still be killed if they left the City, but they would just be re-reconstituted on Resurrection Day.
Time travel was also impossible in the City. However, natural precognitives inexplicably retained their abilities.
All Citizens could communicate with each other, regardless of the language of their original culture, in the Civil Tongue. Variants such as Gestural Civil and Radiant Civil existed for those who communicated non-verbally, and had equal universal intelligibility.
The History Protocols stated that changes to the history of the Universe affected the City only by adding to it, never by taking away. Individuals (or civilisations) removed from time continued to exist unaffected in the City, while things inserted into time were added to the City at the relevant point. (PROSE: The Book of the War, Of the City of the Saved..., A Hundred Words from a Civil War)
The 102-form timeship Compassion was cut off from the caldera by the Great Houses, and instead had to derive energy from human biodata. She had a scheme to generate power using two women with witchblood and a time loop, but when it broke down she had to find another source. (PROSE: Warring States)
Compassion made contact with the Universal Machine (or "UniMac") — the embodiment of all human tools throughout history, created by the last posthuman civilization. Together, they meticulously built the City of the Saved within Compassion's interior dimensions. On the day which became known as Resurrection Day, Compassion simultaneously reanimated every human, protohuman, posthuman, and part-human ever to have lived. (PROSE: Of the City of the Saved..., Salutation)
Diplomatic contact with Mictlan Edit
In the AF 240s, (PROSE: A Hundred Words from a Civil War) the City exchanged ambassadors with Mictlan. The City send Amanda Legend Lefcourt to represent their interests there, while the Celestis sent Lord Foaming Sky to the City. Foaming Sky brought with him a worldofme device, which he used to create an army of duplicate Foaming Skies. He intended to personally drive all the citizens out of a particular District, declare it a Celestis protectorate, and have his people begin filling it with Investigators. From there, the Celestis would be able to attack the Ghetto of the Damned, capture its inhabitants (who naturally couldn't be killed), and take them back to Mictlan for interrogation. Unluckily for Lord Foaming Sky, his chosen District was Spinegrove, seat of the Rump Parliament. The Rump Parliament had the extra Foaming Skies slaughtered by the Order of the Iron Soul, and their originator returned to Mictlan in disgrace. (PROSE: Amanda Legend Lefcourt, Lord Foaming Sky)
The Timebeast Assault Edit
In AF 262, Lord Mayor Verrifant betrayed the City to the Great Houses by opening the Uptime Gate to Lady Mantissa's fleet of timeships. The timeships appeared in Snakefell District, and began devouring citizens whole. Inside the timeships the citizens were no longer protected by the City's invulnerability protocols, and were killed. Some person or group — presumably Compassion herself — took control of all of the City's (normally useless) weapons stockpiles, and used them all on the timeships simultaneously, turning the City's state of grace off momentarily during the impact. This killed twenty-million citizens, and only stunned the timeships, but Compassion then completely excised the section of Snakefell District from her interior, and threw in into the universe immediately before the Big Crunch. All but eleven of the timeship pilots were able to escape alive. The citizens who had been killed were promptly resurrected again. (PROSE: The Timebeast Assault)
Civil War Edit
Compassion's first timeship child, Antipathy, harboured an enormous amount of resentment against his mother for giving birth to him in the first place, and for letting every human except him (and his siblings) into her interior. He created the Manfolk as an Oedipus-complex-made-flesh, and since they were created from humans they were resurrected inside her. He lodged himself between Compassion and the next universe, so that when UniMac helped dissatisfied Citizens establish a colony apparently in the next universe (accessed through the Downtime Gate inside the "Lost Planet of Erath" in RealSpace) they were actually entering his interior. In AF 291, Czn Lon Shel returned from the colony with part of Antipathy inside her mind. He steered her to Manfold, where he emerged and began infecting the City with his mass. His influence acted as a wavefront, disabling the invulnerability protocols wherever it spread. Although Godfather Avatar was able to kill Antipathy's conscious mind (leaving the "next universe" colony a brain-dead shell), the invulnerability protocols were still disabled. An all-out civil war erupted: Gnas Gortine destroyed the Timebeast Assault Memorial (possibly the only thing almost all Citizens supported), Manfolk in general resumed their violence-focused lifestyle, Lucius Cassius Ignotus imposed martial law everywhere he could reach, Melicia Clutterbuck led a rebel army against him, and every possible difference of opinion, rivalry, or vendetta established in the Universe or after was given a new dimension in which to play out: violence. (PROSE: Of the City of the Saved...)
Lord Mayor Ignotus had begun arresting Roman emperors with Claudius in AF 291, but not because of their supposed treason. He specifically targeted the emperors (and their associates) who had been considered deities. He claimed that Remakes of Egyptian deities could be used as personality uploads for the House-allied Osirians upon whom they were based. He tasked Resident Akhenaten — originally Amenhotep IV, known for his attempt to replace the Egyptian gods with sun worship — with arresting them. The Mayor was converted to a mal'akh by one of his Blemmye guards, which in turn was converted by a representative from the Sons of Tepes and Pope Beatrix II. He had an artificial sun crashed into the headquarters of the Sons, but found that the Sons were killed by the heat rather than their weakness to the sun. Ignotus was killed when Akhenaten brought him to a Remake of the Aten — as the god's faith in itself, its embodiment of the Sun, and Ignotus's god-fear combined.
UniMac gave blueprints for a new Downtime Gate to Cousin Edward. A Citizen made contact with the Rump Parliament. Cousin Rahman used a worldofme left by Lord Foaming Sky to create a paraspherical pocket universe. Cousin Darren tattooed the blueprints onto the Citizen. Inside the parasphere, the Citizen travelled back in time to Resurrection Day. They were killed in transit, but their remains were found by the residents of Bonehall District, who used the plans to begin building the Metalith. Keth Marrane placed the final stone, and a new Downtime Gate was created. But it opened too far into the next universe, and what came through was the ultimate, singular descendant of humanity. (PROSE: A Hundred Words from a Civil War)
This Anonymity began consuming City and Citizens, hoping to finally become all of its ancestors. It consumed until there was nothing left but Civitata. Civitata — Compassion — informed the abscence that without her timeship children, it was no more a compendium of humanity than her watch. And that though they were never inside her City, she never said she didn't resurrect them. They were thousands of backups. The not-thing consumed Civitata, but the City was again resurrected. (PROSE: God Encompasses)
Although the City of the Saved was limited to the human species, it was still far from homogeneous: "human species" was a term properly used in the plural. The City contained hominid predecessors of humanity like Australopithecenes and "cousins" of Homo sapiens like Neanderthals. There were innumerable types of posthuman, including cyborgs like the Order of the Iron Soul and the final living species of human — appropriately referred to as lasthumans. The majority of Citizens were resurrected, but there were also many City-born, who never lived in the Universe unless they visited through the Uptime Gate. Those of only partial human ancestry were the City's only consistent underclass, derogatorily referred to as "collaterals." Collaterals were not allowed to hold public office, regardless of the customs of their home district.
There were some non-human visitors to the City, such as Handramit, and there were a variety of pets, clones, and androids brought in through the Uptime Gate, but the only sapient non-human who could be considered an inhabitant was UniMac. Of course, as the embodiment of all human inventions, UniMac included every sapient robot ever made, and it built bodies for them where necessary or wanted. (PROSE: The Book of the War, Of the City of the Saved...)
The City had four Gates in the cardinal directions, immense structures through which entire stars could have been transported into the City. However, instead of functioning as thoroughfares to other lands, they... did nothing. They were entirely ornamental, serving only to define arbitrary compass points. Behind them was only an empty void.
The South Gate was a tourist attraction for attempted suicide, even though the void beyond was no more lethal than anything else. The City Council eventually had to install a net over it, to save the money that was being spent retrieving suicidees.
The West Gate was associated with explorers, who built precarious structures reaching out into the void. Entire cultures grew up around it.
The North Gate was a place for ascetics and hermits. It had monasteries built into its structure, recreations like sitting on poles for extraordinary lengths of time and gazing into the abyss were elevated to art forms.
The City Council caught on to these trends quickly, and the East Gate was designated a Civil Architectural Preservation Area. The entire area became Eastgate District, and the allowed visitation was through remote drones and astral projection. (PROSE: God Encompasses)
The fifth, most important Gate was the Uptime Gate. It was the City's only link with the Universe, a time corridor stretching back to the frontier in time, where a civilization called Ascension sprung up. Its location meant that it was only barely accessible to the War-time powers, keeping the City insular with respect to the Universe and its powers (though not, of course, internally — where the City was the epitome of cosmopolitanism). At Ascension, there existed almost a state of truce between even the Great Houses and their enemy. Of course, this was partially due to fear of reprisals if any aggressive action were taken in the vicinity of the Universe-terminus of the Gate. The Uptime Gate was closed, apparently permanently, when the Civil War began. (PROSE: Uptime Gate, Of the City of the Saved...)
The sixth and last gate was the Downtime Gate. It was partially mythical — the imaginary counterpart of the Uptime Gate, leading into the next universe. However, a real Downtime Gate was constructed — but it turned out to lead to the interior of Antipathy, rather than the true next universe. (PROSE: Of the City of the Saved...) A new Downtime Gate was constructed, and let in humanity's ultimate descendant — the Anonymity. (PROSE: God Encompasses)
The City was divided into many Districts, each of which had some sort of cultural/architectural theme. Districts included the Central District — the site of the City's government, the Watchtower — a pillar one astronomical unit (the distance between Earth and the Sun) high which actually composed three distinct Districts, Teletopia District — a Hollywood-like media-focused District populated with Remote and Remakes, the Romuline District — a politically influential District and modelled on the Roman Republic, Manfold — a secessionist District which was turned into a free-for-all battle site during the Civil War, Kempes District — an often-rainy seaside town, but on City scale, Paynesdown District — a film noir where every Citizen carried a useless gun, and Godsdice District — the only place where collaterals were treated as equal Citizens.
Every District chose a single Resident — through means ranging from hereditary matriarchy to gestalt consensus — to represent it in the Chamber of Residents. One thousand Residents made up the City Council, and every decade they chose one of their number as Lady or Lord Mayor. (PROSE: Of the City of the Saved...)
Major factions Edit
The City's diverse heritage and diverse set of connections to the Universe — in particular the War-time powers — led to a number of major interest groups.
The Piltdown Mob was a political/criminal organisation which represented pre-human interests in the City. Its acts of vandalism made it somewhat disreputable, as did its founder: Arr Ri, a Neanderthal known in his first life for masquerading as a shaman to obtain art, food, and sex. The Mob claimed to be motivated by a culture which predated the idea of personal and private property and a religious dedication to ancestors. (PROSE: Piltdown Mob)
The Sons of Tepes were the main organisation of human mal'akh. Unable to satisfy their natural bloodlust, they redirected their inherently subversive nature and became a criminal cartel. Rather embarrassingly, their namesake — Vlad III — was not, as his literary counterpart would indicated, a vampire. In fact, he was actively opposed to the mal'akh during his lifetime, and after his resurrection he became a recluse and had nothing to do with "his" Sons. (PROSE: Sons of Tepes)
Because of the systematic marginalisation of the partially-human, House Halfling was formed. It was founded by Grandfather Halfling, an individual of human and Great Houses ancestry, and centred in Godsdice District. Its ultimate goal was the complete equality for those with alien heritage, whether through modification (such as House Military regen-inf troops) or parentage. Its membership was open to the fully-human as well as part-humans, and Amanda Legend Lefcourt represented its interests in the the Chamber of Residents. In AF 84, House Halfling successfully lifted the ban on part-humans competing in the City Olympiads. Although its opponents spuriously accused the House of aims ranging from the combination of all humanity into a single individual to resurrecting all aliens, it was a more respected faction than either the Piltdown Mob or the Ghetto of the Damned. (PROSE: House Halfling, Of the City of the Saved...)
The Order of the Iron Soul was a quasi-religious group dedicated to the superiority of machines, and composed of those Citizens who had been converted (often by force) into cyborgs by pre-resurrection groups like the Cybermen. Not all such Citizens were resurrected in machine form, so it may have been dependent on personal preference. The Order was used as a proxy force by the Rump Parliament, seemingly because of links to Cousin (later Godfather) Pinocchio. (PROSE: Order of the Iron Soul)
The only major War power to have a significant direct influence on City life was Faction Paradox — known for recruiting "lesser species" members, particularly those of human extraction. This resurrected-Faction was named the Rump Parliament, in relation to the Parliament of the Eleven-Day Empire. Unable to use the Faction's two primary tools, time travel and death, the Rump Parliament instead perfected the techniques the Faction built after the Second Wave: subtlety and propaganda. The Rump Parliament (in particular its Acting Speaker, Godmother Jezebel) deliberately built mystique by spreading rumours of secret violations of the time travel protocols and lurid blood sacrifices, and by issuing obscure statements designed to amplify the ambiguity surrounding it. (PROSE: Order of the Iron Soul, Of the City of the Saved...)
The Ghetto of the Damned was originally a faction/District composed of the human servants of the Celestis, apparently beyond the effects of their Marks of Indenture and re-resurrected after their recorporation in Mictlan. The obvious (and correct) implication — that Mictlan would someday fall, and they its inhabitants die — was partially responsible for attracting the attention of Lord Foaming Sky to the City. The Ghetto's first leader, Gargil Krymtorpor, advocated direct action against the Celestis (or at least, their agents outside Mictlan). But Nathaniel Wain, its next leader, took it in a different direction. The Ghetto became more diplomatic and political, accepting all humans "royally shafted" by the War-time powers, like regen-inf soldiers and the Remote. (PROSE: Ghetto of the Damned)