by Max Barry

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The Confederal Theocracy of
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Sociological Coroner's Report

Description of Corpse:
Formerly a densely settled yet park-ridden quasi-agricultural society notable for its creative applications of advanced biochemistry, Polis Diamonil is now a post-urban rainforest dotted by small towns clustered around massive temple complexes. A small, nominally modern population continues to exist within the cities under the guidance of regional allotment governments, which have maintained continuity of governance in the aftermath of 'the quiet fall of Litherusk'. Cloning vats continue to operate under the control of various stakeholders. A state of approximate peace is holding, but public sentiment on whether Polis Diamonil still exists is subject to frigid ambivalence. All questions of where society is going also appear to be subject to frigid ambivalence. The most active force in defense of the continuity of Polis Diamonil is a newly manifest automated military.

External Injuries:
Border lacerations have developed into active conflict regions; active conflict regions have been subject to heavy incendiary bombardment from the automated military; a general erosion of the state of law is apparent, though the murder rate remains low. Occasional outbreaks of religiously-motivated violence have seen a confusing mixture of quelling and support from the military, suggesting unclear biases despite the military's seemingly central deployment of advanced vehicular automation.

Internal Injuries:
Diamonil religion has become quietly terrifying, with a literal looming presence given sorrow by their obligation to protect all that was and could be. Although the regional allotments have collectively formed something that resembles a national government, it appears to have no distinguishable authority beyond the maintenance of a collective archive. It isn't clear that there exists any force but sheer inertia which can presently advance policy in Polis Diamonil.

Medical Diagnosis:
Trust-Induced Network Collapse
Believing very strongly in the nation's technology, a melange of hidden influencers and well-established media figures began making increasing use of the nation's cryogenics facilities. In a government already built heavily around long-term planning, the plans of the ambitious began to resemble era trading. For quite some time, the increasing construction, deployment, and utilization of cryogenic facilities was seen as hardly even newsworthy in an exciting society ever-poised to advance onwards in its conquest of biology. Unfortunately, the networks of influence in Litherusk began growing hollow faster than they were growing young, and the quality of governance eroded. With trust in technology at an all-time high despite broad perceptions of weakness in the nation's culture and economy, a demoralized public began "era trading" en masse. The ensuing network injuries appear to have incited subsequent waves of "era trading".

Primary suspect:
Religious leaders in Polis Diamonil, attaining a previously unknown degree of unity and influence directly congruent with the events leading up to the nation's collapse, threw themselves into fulfilling the prayers of the public by directing the expansion of cryogenic facilities at a level adequate to service the full potential of a society-destroying feedback loop. Wielding no weapon but their kindness, the threefold contemplation achieved absolute power in the moment of its formation... very briefly.

Report