The Atlantic Research and Infrastructure Association is a conglomerate of various construction companies and Laboratories. The strange mixing of enterprise is a result of the Science crisis of March 2012 when a stock crash brought hundreds of research institutes to their knees. The governments worldwide called for private support to avoid nationalising. The Association retained the traditional Homey name of the labs as a show of good faith, the public support for the move was considerable and the favour earned the company considerable sway in the Senate.
The defining move of the corporation in years to come was to be Project Lockdown. At the time it was a rather far-fetched idea proposed by an associate in one of the smaller Homey labs. Nevertheless the idea gained momentum and after sufficient research the US Government liked the idea and funded it. It was understood that the township was expressly a corporate operation, residents would be employees and it was simply an operation of business with housing and other supplies provided by the company. The difference to other such notable residencies (particularly the Cadbury - Birmingham operation) was the reduction of movement rights of employees; the permissions for these changes were received from the government on a basis of four 3 month trials. The operation was sorely needed, homicides in US cities were at an all time high and the requirement for military support in law enforcement had allowed the Association's considerable influence in Congress to skew support toward the operation.
The operation performed perfectly and Lockdown II was green lighted. This operation of a full sized town was heavily subsidised but constructed completely to Association specifications, and volunteers signing on were to understand they would be foregoing many of their fundamental rights for an entire year. The project was a resounding success again, an entire year passed with virtually no crime and the employees coming out with no traces of Apollyon infection.
The system of operation is completely self sufficient to a large capacity provided continued management without deviation is ensured. Operational decisions are made by a board of multiple members and upon this facet of the pyramid structure it is purely democratic. Upon the inception of a new city the Board will select a new member; the success of the system has partly relied on the democratic process proceeding unmolested due to the selection of like-minded individuals for membership and the assurance that indoctrination towards the ideals of the Charter is completed to the utmost degree. In modern day outlands the Association are revered with an almost religious belief which is ironic considered the controversial stance that was taken on religion and noted by the media in the early days of employee contracts. With the rarity of entry into cities little information has been able to escape from the cities and with the prevention of escape there is little information to the contrary that which is in existence is quickly snuffed out by the volume of contrary belief. The Association cities are viewed as the last islands of civilisation in a wasteland where the average life expectancy is estimated to be 29 years old (accounting low life expectancy of infants and high death rate through infighting, disease and poverty).
The Association regularly use Hunter-Class Carriers to bring supplies between cities in order to circulate excess and deficiencies and also to provide a mechanism of safely transporting construction supplies in large quantities. The Hunter is a result of the UGDT collaboration that generated the Valkyrie fighter, most notably the Anther interceptor missile technology rendering aerial transport the safest mechanism in a war-torn landscape.
Appended to the sides of Hunter-Class vehicles are 126 release modules. These modules each respectively contain 18 pods. These modules deploy the pods as a side mission of any particular transport run towards the city in need of re-population. Each pod contains 8 passes allowing 8 people to enter a city. The essential result is, allowing for a 10% loss of passes, a repopulation of approximately 3370 people per transport for entry into the city of need. In any area it is possible by releasing periodically over a week to attain a sufficient normal distribution of employees to reach optimum numbers. The system is unbiased and easily completed, it is believed that in terms of the value required to purchase a loaf of wheat-cloned bread a pass to an Association city is worth approximately 1,264,000 loafs.
Internally within cities the Association is split into four sections: MetroMil, the association military system. MetroPol, the lower level "Policing" service. MetroInd, the board responsible for ensuring continuing internal operations. MetroInt, the internal and external intelligence services.
MetroInd is the largest of the three governances. MetroInd as a blanket term oversees operations of all internal nature not operated by other sections of the city. MetroInd covers the operations of ensuring employees are operating at optimal capacity, monitoring of promotion of individuals, management of internal quartering and other provision (food and Tamefyllon supplies). MetroInd covers all operations non-military as well as all but the few covered by MetroPol.
MetroMil forms the covering of all Military operations, intelligence and external operations. MetroInd is also responsible for transport operations between cities. While induction into military service is handled by MetroInd, MetroMil covers all operation of military personnel.
MetroMil while responsible for all affairs external is also in charge of internal peacekeeping operations. Security for all operations requiring over watch (specifically manual labour operations) as well as general security. This security is generally reserved to upper level walkways and separate surveillance rooms whereas Employee interface is managed by MetroPol (see below).
MetroPol is responsible for employee interface and performing additional operations in order to follow MetroInt induction operations.MetroPol is the strangest of the sections within the Association. Within MetroPol it is possible for normal employees to apply through MetroInd with sponsorship from a MetroPol commissioner to transfer onto the force. MetroMil uses MetroPol as a recruiting ground for possible soldiers that could have been missed through usual screening methods. MetroPol is the key preventative measure in avoiding rioting and citizen unrest. While in order to ascended to the rank of Lieutenant or above an officer undergoes considerable screening in order to process their compatibility with Association views, Officers still undergo considerable screening. Nevertheless officers of and below the rank of Sergeant are capable of having families who claim their first priority and operating as normal employees outside of their officer duties.
These members like in other sections operate as normal officers but for essential purposes are still employees. MetroInt operate a formidable array of both noticeable and hidden cameras throughout the city with their most large scale systems being the placement of cameras in every building and interweaving of button cameras into all MetroPol uniforms. The MetroInt is responsible for the control of citizens and pre-emptive methods of control. It is also considered MetroInt territory to prevent uprisings and their territory is considered applicable to interviewing and interrogation of employees and spies. The MetroInt regularly interface with MetroMil and share authority with MetroInd over the MetroPol.
In addition to internal operations all cities are expected to field from each of the three controlling sections an external force. These external divisions of MetroMil, MetroInt and MetroInd will in general either via high speed internet manage the affairs of the Association empire or will remain in internal service until called (uncommon in high positions but quite common in lower forces. e.g. if the Association seek to field an army they can draw from many cities in the area without disrupting security). These external divisions help the Association to have a presence for operations that affect the whole corporation within every city and are in most cases detached from normal city operation.
All Association divisions from the Board to the lowliest Employee in a mine are monitored throughout their lives. The subconscious and conscious decisions are checked (mostly by MetroInt divisions) against databases of acceptable responses to ensure that employees are fitting the optimal Association profile. Each division has specifications for employees and part of the continuing success of the Association is that it ensures all employees (and particularly the Administrators of any division or city) are matched to personality profiles and so decisions will generally be streamlined due to the similar thought processes of all members.
Each city is designed in a relatively simple but efficient system. A large central wall bisects the city multiple times and orbits it separating it into districts. On each side of the wall there is a militarised zone with multiple smaller walls, bunkers and checkpoints. The city is built district by district and in each contains a fission reactor which is airlifted in, these are later set to minimal capacity as backups since the central nuclear fusion reactor provides all power required once it is constructed. The build of the city ensures that any trouble in a district be it invasion or rebellion is isolated. More information on city structure can be found in the appropriate texts.
Despite an inclusive policy the Association has strong ties to various governments and particularly in Europe to Union Global Defence Technologies who are major players in the military of most European nations. With nations where the Association does not have close ties, its operations of inclusion are generally respected.
In the modern world the politics of nations is accelerated considerably and attacks are common and so while with the Association repercussions of such an assault would be severe, further action against any assaulting group is rare beyond cursory retaliation. Nevertheless the Association is seen as a target not meriting massive assaults due to the considerable projected losses. The cities are heavily defended and any assault will call upon large armies from other cities, despite the advanced technology to be found each city is powered by multiple supports and a single super scale nuclear fusion reactor.
The Association is considered a minor and eccentric group in modern world politics but ironically is one of the most advanced and with its heavy exports of the key ingredient in Tamefyllon for IMSSI refinement as well as it's notable military research facilities and incredible advances in both binuclear Fission technologies and Hydrogen Fuel cell development which is deployed across the entire Association system for vehicles and other temporary power sources which can be refuelled at cities.
Case Study: The Newport Scandal (23rd March 2038)
The Newport Scandal was the revelation on the 23rd of March 2038 of how the Atlantic Research and Infrastructure Association had broken US law and exported technologies which had previously been under international export ban, most notably their advanced nuclear fusion reactor systems and integrated automated manufacturing blocks. The Association claimed that due to the subtle agreements between the host governments the city constructions were not in fact breaking the laws laid out. Nevertheless the scandal was a turning point in public opinion for the group, prior to this support for the ARIA had been nearly unanimous with their good intentions and continuing successful support of citizens with little motive other than the attainment of their safety proving popular. The scandal would also send the Association spiralling in and out of both the Senate and the Supreme Court for years to come, the operational freedom that had once existed for the group would not be seen again until the fall of America in 2042.
It was at an Association owned building in the subsidiary company Newport laser technologies (a developer of high power lasers for the ARIA nuclear fusion reactors) that an undercover reporter discovered papers referring to shipments to various European nations. Follow-up research revealed that construction was in progress in 4 locations in Europe. When the story broke the US government's action was immediate demanding an instant halt to all projects both domestic and foreign and all operations of the corporation were to be brought under scrutiny. The Association response was equally strong.
The Association accused the US government of prior knowledge of the projects and indeed encouraging their continuance. The Association revealed talks with the People's Confederation of Eurasia for completing two cities in their territories declaring hypocrisy in anger at the activities of the Association in other nations. The Association had spent decades fighting to secure its independence and freedom in completing its operations and in doing so had made extreme sacrifices in order to prove their reliability to the US government, they now declared that they could no longer allow their company to be used as a political bargaining tool out of their control. Unlike some other such industrial groups the ARIA stated it had no intention of becoming a government, it would operate for the good of its employees and its own expansion, not for the short-sighted wishes of politicians.
The ARIA argued that all of the deals operated, like in the US, each city as an independent territory under the dominion of the company. In this way it had not broken the law in any way having not exported its technologies to any other nation or given any banned information to any other group. In response however there were multiple protests both inside and outside ARIA cities, inside ARIA cities an immediate MetroPol response was launched with any street protests being dispersed and any dissidents being expelled from the cities. These expulsions were often crippling with those who had protested against the Association now finding themselves without employment, home or any income from their years in the city. With the government crippled with debt and (in the past) sponsoring the move to ARIA style integrated cities there was little social support for such people.
The results of the scandal were mixed. Foreign operations of the Atlantic Research and Infrastructure Association actually increased with two cities commissioned in Eastern Europe at the end of the same year. On the other hand 3 proposed constructions in the United States were cancelled. Newport laser technologies were shut down and multiple companies were removed from ARIA control under anti-monopoly laws. A city was proposed and fast-tracked for construction based on ARIA designs and using ARIA technologies but not under their control rather under US control, this was done despite extreme protest by multiple companies fearing similar actions of government claiming patented technologies for its own manufacture and use. In late 2039 a bill to hand over operational powers of ARIA cities to the US Government was proposed and only narrowly defeated partially thanks to an extensive campaign by the Association.
- 2012 (Early) - Science crisis. 19 US laboratory companies threatened with closure
- NFA expand purchasing homey laboratories after request by Government for private investors, likely motivated by government ties
- 2013 - Nathan Field Associated Enterprises gains contract for construction of holding facilities following extended guerrilla conflict in Iran.
- 2025 - FHA proposes Project Lockdown to Congress.
- 2026 - FHA Begin construction upon Project Lockdown under a new parent company the Atlantic Research and Infrastructure Association
- 2028 (Late) - ARIA complete Project Lockdown. Small controlled Township accepts civilian applicants. Trial Period begins.
- 2030 (Early) - ARIA publish results of Tamefyllon Trials. Begin talks with IMSSI for mass production.
- 2031 (Late) - Production begins on First Association city - Antiphonie.
- 2034 (Early) - IMSSI begin mass production of Tamefyllon. Distribution handled at Association headquarters at Antiphonie.
- 2035 (Early) - Antiphonie virtually completed. Opens for Civilian Entrants.
- Construction begins on 3 more cities, heavy government subsidy.
- ARIA request ability to hire US military troops to secure walls. Up until this point US troops required. ARIA cites corporate efficiency.
- 2035 (Late) - ARIA denied access to troops
- 2036 (Late) - Antiphonie proves extremely successful. - ARIA lobbies for 4 more cities - ARIA make strong progress towards influence of government officials
- 2038 (Early) - Association city of Sandenhauser revealed in Germany. Media upon closer examination identify similar projects being restarted in Great Britain, nearing completion in France and midway in Spain.
- 2038 (Late) - Landmark treaty. From months of talks between US and Confederation officials an agreement is formed. With US Support and Confederation approval construction begins in Eastern Europe on two cities.
- The 1st city is named Breslau after the nearby city of Wroclaw. The location is chosen because of particularly rich iron ore content. It is marked as a mining city.
- The 2nd city is named Odessa after the nearby city of Odessa. The location is chosen due to its strong naval ties allowing Mediterranean access.
- 2040 (Early) - Association announce major reconstruction projects. Externally produced nuclear reactors are placed at the centre of cities. The construction is modular and completed off-site to ensure safety and quality.
- 2042 (Late) - The US is in states of ruin.
- 2044 (Early) - Construction of Breslau completed - City Populated from nearby wastelands
- 2044 (Late) - Construction of Odessa completed - City populated from nearby Rubble settlements
- 2045 (Late) - Plague strikes Breslau. Walls set into lockdown. Supplies of Tamefyllon cut off, rioting in city sectors localised.