The Global Information Grid
Also simply called the "GIG" or "Grid", it is a global communication network that synchronizes all data within a cloud-like database. It is owned by the World Coalition Authority and is used primarily as a private network to facilitate communication between WCA controlled states, as well as house important, often classified government data. The entire GIG is closed off from the rest of the Extranet, and it is made up of several smaller partitions categorized by classification level. Some are public within the Coalition, others are closed off to all but high-ranking WCA personnel, while still others are only accessible by the MPTF Top Echelon. Different types of data, from police reports, to scientific developments, to archived historical data, are also kept on separate sub-partitions of the GIG.
The Grid is also used by the MPTF to coordinate their operations, providing seamless exchanges between field agents and their superiors. Team leaders and tech specialists in the field always have a direct link to the Grid, allowing them to collect and dispense any and all information relative to the task at hand. This permits on-sight, on-the-fly briefings with the most accurate information available to the MPTF. Mercenary groups are generally granted limited, monitored access to the GIG.
All communication and data exchanges done over the GIG are constantly monitored, recorded and saved for later use. Every person in the WCA has a personal file containing extensive data about themselves that is freely accessible to anyone with the proper authorization. All newly appointed government personnel, be they military or civilian, must sign a contract stating that they are fully aware of the various privacy policies within the WCA and MPTF, though these have never been made public.
The Extranet is a global communication network spanning all of SIA. It is more commonly referred to as the "Net".
Cybernetic Enhancements, commonly referred to as "Cyber Gear", are used to elevate the performance of an organic body. They can be implanted directly into a person's body, or simply attached to it temporarily. They can be used for anything, ranging from physical strength augmentations to cerebral-optic computers. Some Cyber Gear can even be used to counter debilitating diseases.
However, due to the limitless advantages an individual can achieve with the help of Cyber Gear, they are restricted to governmental, medical and military organizations in the WCA. They are unavailable to the general public and may only be acquired with special federal authorization, such as for medical purposes. Of course, with the Black Market's influence steadily increasing, Cyber Gear is not uncommon among citizens of the WCA. Technocrats, however, make free use of Cyber Gear. It is, in fact, encouraged in Technocratic armies in order to give soldiers an edge against MPTF troops.
Melee vs Ballistic Weapons
The Renaissance saw the rebirth of several old, occasionally even considered “ancient”, ideals and customs. Possibly the most astonishing of which was the revisiting of melee combat in warfare.
Following the Great Cataclysm, Sia’s ecosystems were nearly fully destroyed or changed, affecting a large part of the planet’s natural resources, or rendering some pockets of said resources inaccessible with current technology. The factors of supply and demand in nations’ economies were turned upside down as precious or sturdy ores became much, much more difficult to acquire.
Lead, used in most ballistic projectiles, was one such material that was commonly mined around the world. But the events of the Great Cataclysm have erased any trace of the natural formations of this widely used material, forcing military groups to buy man-made lead from military contractors, such as “The Dulal Corporation” and “Akita Dynamics”, which is a particularly expensive solution. As a result, military organizations reintroduced and encouraged the use of melee weaponry, generally made of common steel, which was still plentiful and sturdy. This also lead to the creation of maneuverable suites of plated armor to go with the “up close and personal” inclinations of melee combat.
Although ballistic weaponry is still the norm, melee combatants have made a considerable dent in today’s armed forces. The use of swords, and even shields, are actually preferred by many soldiers, particularly among elven and tomyr ranks. Seeing it as a revisiting of their forefathers’ way of life, they believe it to be a way to honor the names behind the once great White Empire.
But melee combat is revered not only for its historical and honorable significance, but also for it’s practicality in the heat of battle. Ballistic users have found themselves to be at a great disadvantage when pitted against heavily armored soldiers. Their light weight body armor and limited effectiveness of weaponry (due to limited quantities of armor piercing ammunition) makes them easy targets for any skilled or especially persistent knight. To compensate, all military issue rifles are equipped with fixed bayonets and all personnel are trained in basic melee and ballistic weaponry. They are then left to continue advanced training with the school of their choice. Of course, most choose ballistic weapons training given the fact that melee weapons’ training is far more physically demanding.
M.C.E. (Mechanized Combat Exoskeleton)
In recent decades, “Two Ton Technologies”, a leading mobile armor research and development corporation, has developed a series of mobile armored suites. Based on the much larger behemoths of older war times, these heavily armored, yet highly maneuverable fighting rigs are primarily used in Technocratic states, as the MPTF depend mostly on light infantry and knights on the battlefield.
Generally standing at 10 feet tall, MCEs, affectionately called “Exo-Suits” by their pilots, are outfitted with weaponry capable of wielding 500 rounds of armor piercing ballistic ammunition for ranged situations, and advanced melee weaponry for close-quarters situations. The melee weapons make use of “tremor” technology which causes the blade to vibrate at incredible rates, allowing it to cut through heavily armored units, be they tanks or other MCEs, quite easily.