I have a story to tell you.

This story is inspired by the results of the Tournament of the Apocalypse that took place during the Kickstarter campaign for Euphoria, as well as the backer comments that followed. This story takes place in the not-so distant future.

The future is often depicted as a dismal, overpopulated scrapyard, but that isn’t the case in this story. Thanks to advances in biotechnology, humans are embedded with an organic microchip at birth that grows as they develop, resulting in a full-functional computer enhancement to every brain.

The Org, as it is called, brings people, businesses, and entertainment to a new level of connection and efficiency. 99% of the technological interfaces we interact with today with our hands are now embedded into people’s minds. All communication is instantaneous. Business transactions great and small are authorized with thought passwords. Every network–electric, internet, roads, etc–are connected in real time to every user.

When Org was being developed by a top-secret research team at Washington University in St. Louis, a political debate raged on about where the massive Org server hub should be located. Not only would it generate thousands of jobs, it would need to be the most secure server in the world. The future of human thought was dependent on the Org server.

So it was decided in the end that the server would be located on the moon. In addition to the benefits of isolation from the rest of the world, the moon’s cold surface would act as a natural coolant to the immense heat generated by the Org server. The server would be powered by a fusion reactor buried deep in the core of the moon.

Cut to several decades later, with Org fully operational in 95% of all humans. Most have forgotten the time before Org, just like it’s hard for us to truly remember what it was like before e-mail.

Several new pockets of society emerged as a result of Org. The first is a new upper upper class occupied by those who designed Org. The biotechnology made those researchers rich beyond comprehension. With their inexhaustible resources they built a golden city just south of St. Louis. They invited the wealthiest people around the world to join them in Euphoria, as they called the city, enticing them with lavish private skyscrapers and an Org 2.0 network exclusive to the city.

Meanwhile, another group emerges. At the time, they identify as Luddites–those who eschew technology in favor of a simpler life. With no place in the ever-connected society (try having a conversation out loud with someone who communicates entirely through thought), the Luddites find commune with one another in the foothills of the Ozarks.

art used with permission from Fran Fdez and Daniel Rosa
art used with permission from Fran Fdez and Daniel Rosa

On the run for a crime she didn’t commit, a woman known simply as “The Outlaw” discovers that the only way she can hide from the law (given that her Org serves as a tracking device) is to escape underground. After hearing of stories of the caverns under St. Louis, she finds herself in a subterranean world. Soon others join her, and together they begin to build a new life while the Org-connected world continues above them on the surface.

This brings us to the select group of individuals chosen to run the Org server. The Icarites, as they call themselves, operate a space station halfway to the moon. They make sure that Org has 100% uptime, a goal they accomplish without fail for many years.

That is, until the Incident.

Without warning, the fusion reactor in the middle of the moon imploded. Within seconds the Org server and the moon itself are reduced to space dust.

People will tell you that they remember that day, but they are lying. When the moon imploded, every single person with Org embedded in their brains blacked out. 95% of the world instantly went to sleep. The vast majority of them never woke up.

Ed Kind - Euphoria
art used with permission from Ed Kind

For those who are able to recover from the Incident, they get to experience the end of the world firsthand. Every network in the world is down: stock markets, electric grids, automated food transportation, ESPN…you name it, it’s gone. People freeze. People starve. People die.

Meanwhile, the earth itself changes. Tidal patterns are forever altered, and the world is stricken by natural disasters and extreme weather conditions. Most coastlines are underwater, and the disruption of migratory patterns in birds and bees causes widespread crop failures.

The lucky few are those who weren’t dependent on the Org server. The Euphorians with their private server. The Luddites–now called the Wastelanders–and their lack of technology. The Subterrans, oblivious underneath the earth. And the Icarites, who suspiciously saw the moon implosion coming and had been weening themselves off the Org for months.

It is those four groups that form the new world. Each takes harsh measures to sustain their way of life and ensure the future of humanity. Will you join them–especially the apocalyptic recruits, the Philanthropist, the Luddite, the Outlaw, and the Astronomer–in building a better dystopia?


Some of our talented backers have written backstories for some of the recruits in the game. If you enjoy dystopian literature, you’ll love the spin these authors put on their characters. They’re uploaded here.

Jacko the Archivist by Adam Buckingham (also mentioned: Geek the Oracle and Laura the Philanthropist)

Jacko the Archivist by Jack Francisco

Yordy the Demotivator by Aaron Senser (also mentioned: Jefferson the Shock Artist and Julia the Thought Inspector)

An Outlaw by Belle Chen

“Need” by Justin Killam (featuring Amanda the Broker)

Next by Ryan S. Davis (featuring Sarinee the Cloud Miner and Lee the Gossip)

Leave a Comment

2 Comments on “Backstory

  1. Thanks for the note, Jack. I just read your story as well. Nicely done! I think it jives perfectly well with what I wrote. Different angles on the same character. Always interesting to see another writer’s take on a character and his motivations.

  2. @Adam – Just read the Jacko the Archivist fiction. Great work! I just sent Jamey a little something that I wrote before reading your work. I think you did a good job capturing the essence of why I wanted the Archivist as my character.

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