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Under the earth, in Aisling's Reach, several brilliant humans have made some of the most stunning advances in technology using the help of their brethren's Elemental powers. Though in the Crescent Plains, humans are thought as nothing more than slaves or beautiful breeders, this technology eventually leaked up to the surface and is used in Loftas every day. In much the same way, the advances the Plains Elementals have made in technology have made their way to the Reach and are employed there.
-- The History of Technology
It were two Elementals by the name of Jesov and Nandune who first discovered their powers could be trapped inside of inanimate object. Jesov, a Light Elemental of a young age, once challenged Nandune, who was of Metal, to trap a ball of his own light inside a small glass sphere. Nandune was reluctant at first, but she eventually gave in to the younger's insistance and nagging and began to form a ball of glass around Jesov's light.
Both of them expected the light to be extinguished when it was cut from Jesov by the glass cage, but the light persisted. With their newfound ability, Jesov and Nandune rushed to the Council that sat in the Cathedral of Aisling's Reach. This was only just after Aisling had brought the Brigitites beneath the surface, and the construction of the city was still underway. The Council was impressed at the two young Elementals' accomplishment, and they immediately set out to replicate the success and to find new ways of merging their powers.
Soon, orbs of light were decorating roads and homes throughout Aisling's Reach and even in the Crescent Plains, where the technology had somehow been leaked. As soon as it was common knowledge that powers could be combined to find such success, there was a scurry of activity among all Elementals to find new ways to power inanimate objects. It was not long before archaic weapons and crude communication systems were born, soon followed by simple transportation and even entertainment.
After this initial influx of new technology, the excitement died and many abandoned their pursuit of technological advancement. It was not until a group of five Elementals and three humans residing in Aisling's Reach began their pursuit of bettering current technology, hundreds of years after orbs had first been created, that Elementals realized the full potential of this merging of the Elements and the inanimate had not even been touched.
-- Current Technology and Ethics
Since the first light orb was created, Elemental technology has made several leaps forward, transforming a small, faintly glowing ball of light trapped in glass to a powerful and controllable source of light inside and out of homes. Technology has become something of an art, those who practice is are considered artists by most. It takes a good deal of patience, intelligence, and the ability to learn from past mistakes (theirs or others'.)
For the most part, standards have been created for the various parts of technology. Elementals have also discovered a way to infuse their powers into parts that can be built into larger pieces. This is how the humans of Aisling's Reach are able to contribute to technological advances, and if they need something not yet in existence, they find an Elemental who is capable of creating that part or object.
Though quite a business could have grown out of technology, cyartists (the common term for anyone who devotes themselves to technology and the ideals of the technology community) have decentralized themselves and grown a set of ideals and ethics that do not allow for a monopolistic takeover of society. Cyartists are generally very open-minded people with a dislike (even a hate) of a central authority. They are unbiased people who focus on their passion for technology and their love of creativity and stimulation in thought. They are intelligent people, very patient and generally considered reclusive. They band together, sharing amongst each other and welcoming anyone who wishes to learn and further their knowledge. It is said that their sole purpose in life is to enhance society and to gain knowledge.
Due to these ideals, particularly those of an unbiased and open-minded attitude, Aisling's Reach is the home to the majority of cyartists, though there are still those who live in Crescent Plains, for varying reasons. Some cyartists, though they despise the culture and the attitudes of the Crescent Plains, believe that by living in the Plains, they can spread their ethics to others. Some cyartists refuse to be forced underground by the Plains authority. And, though few and far between, there are brilliant-minded elements with an inclination for technology who do not associate themselves with the common cyartist ethic and community, yet still produce advanced technology that is widely employed.
++ Weaponry and Offense
One of the most astonishing discoveries to date was that by merging the Elements with inanimate objects, powers could be shared among Elementals and even humans. The creation of Elemental weapons took several decades to be perfected, but once it was, it greatly enhanced warfare and the chance of a human rebellion on the surface grew greatly. Since that time, the Elementals of Crescent Plains have taken great pains to ensure humans would never lay their hands upon an Elemental weapon, while humans beneath the surface were actively allowed, and even encouraged, to use and fight with them. It is not uncommon for humans below the surface to be seen bearing an Elemental weapon and human raids of the surface have been known to occur.
Elemental weapons are limiting. They resemble the guns of our own modern society, but are sleeker and much lighter in design. They must be loaded with ammunition before use and are capable of running out of ammunition. Ammunition is propelled from the weapons by Electric powers. Most weapons are capable of utilizing a wide range of ammunition, though there are several different models of the weapons.
++ Defensive Systems
Aside from the weapons used to both defend and offer resistance, there are programs in play much like our computer systems of today that cover the largest basics of defense. As long ago when Aisling’s Reach was shielded from outside dangers, lines of powerful Elemental magic stemming from Fires, Lights, Darks, and Electrics line the underground megalopolis from top to bottom, above and below. Invisible to all aside from Dark Elemental, these lines of defense act like laser beams that are able to sense the use of unfriendly power nearby, whether it be the enemies above attempting to burrow through the earth in search for the hidden Reach, or a captured Plain’s child attempting to escape. It is a net of protection that is virtually indestructible, though not entirely impregnable.
As with the Reach, this net of protection also extends to the Crescent Plain, where Loftians have employed a system very close to the one used in the Reach to examine all those who venture into the city limits. This system, originating mostly from the highly intuitive and empathetic Water Elemental, is able to search the intent of each person entering into Loftas. Should any be found with either violent or harmful purposes towards the city and/or those that live within it, a signal will be pulsed to a centralized database that alerts the Loftain army and the city is put on high-alert. Because of this highly sensitive dome of protection it is difficult for any who attempt to enter into the city with the intent of sabatoge, kidnapping, or for the purpose of a military strike, but not impossible. The art of meditation, taught to all Elementals and the humans belonging to the Reach, comes into play with these infiltrations as those who wish to enter into Loftas must stamp down as much of their intent as possible.
Communications was at the beginning virtually impossible to do aside from messenger birds, word of mouth, and a sort of Morse Code generated by Light Elementals. Since then, it has grown exponentially and has proven to be one of the most entertaining feats for the cyartists to accomplish. First as archaic as the ancient Elementals themselves, communications between individuals has grown to computer-like consoles that enable both video feed and voice linking between systems. Called vid-phones, the pictures projected of either participating individuals can either be shut off or enabled, allowing for whatever level of privacy a speaker wishes.
Communications between groups, such as strike forces or meeting councils, work much the same way. Handheld or tabletop units are employed for various purposes, though distance can play a factor. Once topside, strike forces from Aisling’s Reach are cut off from the Reach itself, and fifty miles or more cause a blackout of communications from individual members as well as those venturing forth into the Wilds from Loftas.
Bicycles, the only form of manual transportation available in both Aisling’s Reach and Loftas are a favorite of the health-minded individuals. Hover boards, seen only within the walls of Aisling's Reach, are used primarily by children and were originally produced by Earth and Air Elementals out having a bit of fun. While these elements are still somewhat needed to produce these fun and somewhat dangerous toys, the human scientists in Aisling’s Reach have found ways around exhausting these powers through the use of simple science.
Transportation units are in every home, office, school, and are on every city block in both Loftas and Aisling’s Reach. Created primarily through accident by a random group of Fires, Metals, Airs, and Electrics, this astounding technology allows for an individual to step into a Transporter, take an address number either from memory or from a book, input it into a data console, press a button, and transport themselves immediately to the needed location. Painless except for when a unit malfunctions (during which a small shock can be delivered to whatever person is unfortunate enough to be inside), these serve as the only real means of transportation wanted, and therefore available.
Smaller versions of the above mentioned transporters, called Food Sivs, are set into the walls of kitchens where food is transported directly from a central canteen into a person's home, office, or breakroom. The food used to supply these areas are farmed out in special districts of both Aisling's Reach and Loftas, and are cared for primarily by Earth and Water Elementals (as well as humans in Aisling's Reach).
Clothing cannot be transported due to an unknown hiccup in the system that seems to shred cloth and stain leather. It is therefore up to each individual to either make their own clothes, or buy them at small shops located in various places within both cities.
For those in Aisling’s Reach to both venture forth from and to return home to the Reach, an Electric and Air Elemental is needed to lift them gently upwards towards the cavernous ceiling and down from above. When above ground, a complicated message is tapped out on a selected, hidden boulder which sends an all-clear, friendly code to those down below to open the passageway, and lower their comrades home.
Entertainment is simple, and is kept by most individuals to doing what their personalities deem the most satisfying, whether it be walking through a wooded area, gardening, painting, or engaging in an enlivened, heated debate. Though some are considered by nature to be loners, most do prefer the company of others with which to engage in these activities, and boredom is a word heard normally by children who are too young to find such entertainment for themselves.
Another form of fun for the more technologically minded is tapping away endlessly on their computer consoles, programming in lines of code, creating software to be presented to and perhaps used by those who run the technology centers in both Loftas and Aisling’s Reach. Some prefer interaction with others by vid-phone, while others find vast amounts of joy from simply reading a book.
Firework displays are seen often in Aisling's Reach as it is not uncommon for friends of varying elemental gifts to show off, igniting the sky above with spectacular shapes of made of fire, ignited earth, and shimmering hot metals. Water Elementals find delight in creating water sculptures out of thin air, while their Air cousins devote their more mischevious natures to attempting to knock these scupltures down.
++ Aid and Intelligence Systems
Health care systems are in place in both Aisling's Reach and Loftas. In Loftas, these healing centers are ran entirely by a select group of elitist Light Elementals. Everything but the basest of health care is kept for the upper echelon of Loftian society. Slaves and Breeders are given only what medical care will keep them alive until their services are no longer necessary, though Breeders do get more attention due to their supplying Elemental children.
Loftas's healing centers are as archaic as they were when first developed, as the overall philosophy of their people is that power is everything, and any amount of technology to aid in the healing process is scoffed at; if anyone's life is not saved, it is then considered a weakness on the part of the injured individual and that loss of life is not widely mourned.
In Aisling's Reach, hospitals are ran more by humans than Light Elementals. Technology is more affluent here, as it is viewed that one cannot, at all times and in all things, rely on Elemental power. More modern medications, such as aspirin, anti-inflammatory, and pain relievers are used, as well as inoculations against diseases. Surgeries are more prevalent so as not to drain a Light of his or her power, and if a bone is broken, it is set by Light's powers and then casted for the duration of the healing process.
Basic field medicine is a practical must for all of Sabine's residents, and is left primarily to the Light Elementals, though humans from Aisling's Reach can also be looked to for this necessity.
Those who live in the Wilds are ignorant of a great many things, healing not being the least of them. Very few Light Elementals who come to Realization in the Wilds have knowledge of this power embedded within, and as such rudimentary wound patches, sutures, and fever reducing care techniques are employed.
Aid for the material betterment of life is not truly a factor of city living, as all head-of-households in Loftas are required to work and all jobs pay blue-collar salary and above. In Aisling's Reach, while there is an hierarchy of decision makers such as Councilmen and women, food and housing resembles more a communistic society than a democratic one. All are provided homes, and all are provided food. Not one person eats while another goes hungry, and it is considered against moral ethics to keep the knowledge of another's suffering to oneself, and to not offer help. All of adult age, that is 25 and older, are required to work in one way or another, be it in the hospital, Academy, fields, or militarily, humans and Elementals alike.
Aisling's Reach attempts, with each expedition into the Crescent Plain, to reach those who live in the Wilds. They look for signs of the small bands that live there, and offer help to all they come across in the form of food, water, health care, and asylum.
If anyone has any ideas for more on this subject, please let me know through PM.
** Special thanks to a friend who is not a member of Anubis Scripts for helping me think this out. **
"If he asks me what day of the week it is, I'll be sorely tempted to answer 'orange'." ~Chang WuFei, The Arrangement.