The TriadCity Adventurer
Triad City's Three Monsters
Month of Turtles 11, Year of Monkey 3
Vohno has discovered this journal deep in the woods during his wanderings. Many of its pages are ruined and its author's name, Gwikos, can barely be made out. Vohno wishes to be rewarded by Experience for the effort it took him to locate this book and bring it to the light of civilization.
The first third I looked at was the NorthEast. This Third seems to be the closest to our modern life in terms of its level of technology and disregard for nature and also the easiest to see what monster it represents. It's is called by some, the Land of Individualism or the Land of Opportunity. It is however horribly corrupt and the major lifestyle seems to be almost parasitic in nature. The areas that best exemplify this are the casino and the law school.
Typically, when thinking of a law school, one thinks of a place young eager students go to protect the rights of their fellow citizens. This is totally the opposite here. The place is clouded by a foul miasma where even to draw breath seems to weaken you. The classrooms are filled with lessons that typify all that is wrong with Law. Lessons such as: Trade secrets are fun to know, Tax Law: loopholes are for you, and Attorney-client privilege: Don't make me laugh.
Lastly the casino, is the most blatant parasitic of all, awash in violence and greed. It draws the likes of clueless tourists who are overwhelmed by the sights, to rich businessman plied with liquor to separate them from their money. One disturbingly immoral aspect is that they keep atms right next to the slot machines.
The creature best to fit into this third would be the vampire. It is a foul and loathsome creature who lives off the life and energy of others. Its power lays in its immense strength, yet its greatest weakness is that it can't be exposed to the light of day. Like the corruption and greed of the Northeast, it best works from within the shadows. Incidentally, there is a forest actually called Vampire Grove but I trust this is just a humorous jest at the Third's true nature. Perhaps I will visit this grove after writing this essay.
The next third I encountered on my trip was the NorthWest, so called "The Land of Cooperation" because of collectivist approach to many civic and social matters. They often express the view that "many heads are better than one"; and this goes for hands, hearts and muscles too. The NorthWesters have chosen to live in a simplistic, naturalistic manner. While there are signs of high technology about, they seem to want to live more closely to nature.
However, the NorthWesterner's living as they do, living so tune in with nature, does have its price. They do get to enjoy the bounty and beauty of a land without it being befouled by garbage and filth, and other by-products of the modern age. However, the downside is that they do not have the sanctuary that technology provides. They are whims to nature, which can be cruel at times. The wolf that attacks man is, by its own natural design, only doing what it must, yet this can be little comfort to the adventurer as he is devoured.
Even more troubling is their form of government. Submerging themselves into the collective could be troubling for some of the more individualist, opportunistic people. Even the best of us, have hidden dark desires, and sometimes wish to stray to from the group. The social pressure brought to bear on those deviating from the norm, must be intense, and I would imagine causes great psychological damage.
Combining, these repressed emotions, with the love/hate relationship of nature, a good symbol of this third would be the Werewolf. A good citizen, but a man who can't control his angry dark side. Then when he can't take it anymore, lashes out with an animal viciousness, but the clearness of morning brings him to his senses and he regrets his deeds. Perhaps knowing his anger, this poor soul even leaves NorthWest for this period to prevent him from hurting his friends, but instead do harm to his enemies.
The last third I visited was the South. The South seems to be a technological wonderland. There are robots performing all the menial jobs, and every thing seems to be infused by nanotechnology. Many Southerners can tell you all about the extraordinary nanotechnology powering their watches, their clothes and even the grass. What worries me is that every utopia always has a dark underside.
First, let's examine their government. Most matters are left to the routine and of course infallible judgment of the Central Computer; and life is meant to be enjoyed. This allows the South's citizens with a great deal of leisure time. To pass the time, most people enjoy playing games or visiting the art museum, or a stroll through the bird sanctuary.
Another area of interest in the South is the Newspaper, which at first seems out of place in a land filed with fun and games. But what is news really? Information. And knowledge is power. I can see how the Central Computer, by its very design, must hunger for knowledge. But where does an interest in being efficient end and where does the Central Computer become more draconian. I've already heard whispered stories of unseen agents drifting through the three thirds, keeping an eye of things. Is this price of leisure too high? And if you if this sounds too alarmist, just ask yourself, "Where do broken robots go?"
Perhaps because I have spent the least time in the South, I still have some unanswered questions. I sense there is still much that I wasn't privileged to see. What about the citizens who are tired of games? Who don't want anymore museums or art? Perhaps, these people have begun to use the technology around them for mischief or even secret attacks against the Central Computer? Or even going one step further and incorporating this new technology into themselves. I will keep my eyes open in the future for what roles, these hackers or cyborgs play.
Now I must admit to cheat my conceit, a little literary sleight of hand, for the symbol of the southern third. It is actually two monsters, one being Dr. Jekyll and the other being Mr. Hyde. First, Dr Jekyll, who because of his own hubris, and with the help of technology, released a monster. The second, being Mr. Hyde, a creature that has through science given in to his darkest desires. These dark twins represent the benevolent but often egotistical veneer of science that often hides it's more depraved cruelty.
...The rest of the manuscript is missing.
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