We’re about 5 weeks out from Bomb Collar, the show that I’m writing and performing for Crack Theatre Festival. I’m not quite ready to spill the beans on this one, but suffice to say that I’ve had to generate a fair bit of story world material which won’t end up featuring in the story itself. The following is a historical timeline that I wrote leading up to the first moment of our show.
Bomb Collar Backstory Timeline
Curtain minus 105 Years– The song ‘Battle In Heaven’ by Adara Spread becomes the highest selling unit of entertainment in history. The song is heavily criticized for it’s glorification of armed conflict but is almost universally embraced by the dominant 8-20yr-old age bracket. Illegal re-interpretations of the song generate a cottage industry that effectively becomes the world’s 6th largest economy. 73% of all music heard in this, the last meaningful year of capitalism, is ‘Battle In Heaven’.
Curtain Minus 100 Years- Public panic over info-virus’s and artistic pollution lead to a resurgence in nationalism. Entire populations retreat into firewalled ‘thought reserves’ separate from the public internet. Cult political figures find themselves holding influence over tens of millions of people, most notably Fillip Despin and his ‘Golden List’ of acceptable and safe culture.
Curtain Minus 95 Years- The aggressive decentralization of knowledge has led to massive global interdependency, with many manufacturing practices only known in specific geographical locations. Mass shortages of sanitation gels and temperature control shakes lead to civil unrest among the Deep Ocean Colonies. Christian refugees from the Continents bring rumors of genocide. The thought reserves, once giant echo chambers of re-enforced opinion, splinter off into their own dissenting groups.
Curtain Minus 90 Years- 1.2 billion people are wiped out in the Golden March, executed for their cultural, artistic and religious beliefs. A vast Oceanic Alliance rises up in response, as if to fight one last great war, but it is too late. The global manufacturing chain fatally damaged, both sides of the conflict collapse under their own weight. The war over, local political and military leaders are forced to broker their own peace treaties, usually too late to avoid mass devastation.
Curtain Minus 80 Years- In the wake of the Failed War, an international movement of pilgrim technicians (‘Panners’) travel the earth, trying to piece together as much lost technical and practical knowledge as they can. Much of said knowledge is lost, but over a decade of effort the Panners are able to retain and restore basic living conditions in most of the Deep Ocean Colonies and the majority of the Continents. Most fast methods of Global Travel have become the preserve of the wealthy or powerful, making their job all the more painstaking.
Curtain Minus 60 Years- With most of the Firewalls negotiated away, the warped and skewed knowledge bases of the Thought Reserves become the basis for mainstream culture. The tenets of each Reserve sit in violent dissonance to the others, leading to bitter cultural conflicts and mass segregation along ideological lines. These warring ideologies eventually infect the Panner population as well, leading to the gradual erosion of this global movement.
Curtain Minus 45 Years- Worldwide communication and trade shrinks to a relative minimum due to ever-increasing ideological schisms. Art and culture from other societies is treated with hostility and skepticism, and each community retains a tightly confined suite of images, songs and stories that are agreed upon and sanctioned. Dissident artistic depictions become extremely rare, having been violently oppressed for years.
Curtain Minus 30 Years- The Deep Ocean Colonies slip into feudalism, dominated by a popular culture which glorifies warfare and expansionism. The extremely degraded state of all travel technologies creates a significant drag factor on these military campaigns, as does the armies’ low level of martial competence. Many of the the smaller settlements are allowed to live in peace for years before being attacked, many of them taking steps to prepare, some choosing to evacuate.
Also, Our Protagonist is born into one of the absolute smallest of the Deep Sea Colonies, a place know as Gales Edge.
Curtain Minus 5 Years- Scilly is taken by expansionist forces. Due to incompetence and mis-communication at the leadership level the people of Gales Edge are wiped out instead of subjugated. Our Protagonist is, as far as he knows, the only survivor.