The Tome and The Tome Accord.
In the wake of Factor 46, the remaining extant democratic governments of the world have made a mutual pact to share what knowledge they can under what has become known as the “Tome Accord.” Huge data centres originally tasked as “Cloud” delivery centres have been commandeered and tasked with soaking up as much information from the public internet and whatever darkwebs can be accessed and storing it on the vast petabyte storage arrays housed within those data centres. Part of the Tome Accord provides citizens of what remaining governmental jurisdictions still exist with full access to “The Tome” – this distributed, decentralized, multiply redundant internet reservoir of all human knowledge collected, tagged, indexed and archived to date.
Cognizant of the fact that many (most!) of these data centres being used to house and publish the Tome are in cities ravaged by Factor 46, the signatories to the Tome Accord created a set of Academies, where survivors could be trained to face the rigours of a deeply changed world and keep the system running, available and synched up with other shards of the Tome. Far from being system administrators, the graduates of the Tomekeeper Academies are combat trained, skilled in multiple trades, drilled in squad work and in NBC (nuclear/biological/chemical) warfare survival. Each graduate will have a slightly different mix of skills, but all are capable of independent and decisive action should it be required. The graduates of the Academy then join the Tomekeeper Corps, and are subject to a quasi-military command structure that operates as a meritocracy. Gifted individuals all find a niche in the command structure where they can do the most good (and least harm). Less gifted TKC members fill roles not unlike those expected of non-commissioned officers or grunts in modern-day military organizations – clerks, foot soldiers, drivers, mechanics, cooks, and so on. Each TKC member is oath-bound to protect, enrich and defend the Tome.
The TKC has, over a period of 20 years or so since Factor 46 day zero, come to also be a provider of emergency services, crime prevention and enforcement, medical facilities and transportation services. The TKC is well loved by most citizens of Accord nations, but is potentially vulnerable in many ways to the foibles of human nature. While it’s guiding principles are entirely altruistic, its day to day operations are governed and run by fallible human beings, whose altruism is not always as great as that of the visionaries who negotiated the Tome Accord. This gives us some room to play with in creating complex and challenging story arcs for our characters, and vulnerabilities to be attacked and exploited by other factions within post-Factor 46 societies – namely, the Lorebinders and the Free Trade Alliance. But more about those in future posts!