Arcadia

At the top of the ladder are the megacorps. They’re like the government, except you didn’t vote for them and they don’t need to pretend they give a shit about you. They are rich, powerful, and have privately-funded armies that sometimes go to the effort of pretending to be police.

The corps like laws. They like them because they make illegal things expensive and therefore profitable, and because they give them a pretext to lock up people they don’t like: ruling a populace through manipulation is far, far easier than ruling through fear. The corps would intensely dislike laws if there was even the slightest possibility that they would ever be affected by them.

The corps aren’t, of course, united. They jockey for power and influence just like everybody else in the world. They are also acutely aware of how unprofitable direct action against another corp is: not just because of the blow to their reputation, but because it would escalate into something that would end up damaging a great many of that corp’s assets — as well as everybody else’s. When tension between two corps really does risk getting out of hand, cooler heads among their peers generally step in to stop things going any further.

It is not a completely stable situation. But it’s not immediately unstable, at least.

Arcadia

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