United Europe

Stronger Together

Corporation Report 2020 Volume 3 p. 2. ISBN # 0-937279-24-2. Property of R. Talsorian Games, Inc

Europe, a continent stricken by war for centuries, plagued by bickering and conflict between their countries, successful nonetheless, but always suspicious of their neighbor. The uncertainty and volatility of the twentieth century and a pan-European sentiment started the path to what in 1992 would be the creation of the European Economic Community (EEC). A strong economic and political union, with a unified and strong currency and an open market, Europe would become one of the most influential forces, if not the most influential, in international politics.

Europe’s single market was and still is one of their biggest strengths. Being able to provide among their members manufacture and products that each other could (or would not) produce without having to go through the hassle of arguments and quarrels between nations, made them grow much faster than what any of them could have been able to individually. By 2020, Europe was, to a certain degree, a self-sufficient economy, but as is to be expected, they still relied on resource extraction and cheap labor (with a tad of colonialism) from other poorer nations. This outsourcing was very beneficial to the EEC, not only aiding their progress but also shipping abroad the stronger environmental effects of their economic activity.

The destruction of international distribution and trade routes from the 4th corporate war and the datakrash, however, forced Europe to bring back to their shores as much production and resource extraction as they could. Grants and credits had to be rolled out at an unprecedented pace, so the rest of the European market could continue to function. The EC, however, played it smart, and killed two birds with one stone. It brought to the core countries the better remunerated businesses, to alleviate unemployment caused by migration, but kept the worse jobs and those that required cheaper labor in the southern countries or in New Central Europe (NCE). The intention of the latter was to stabilize the poorer countries, hopefully reducing migration to the core EEC countries and reducing the environmental impact.

The result, unfortunately, was not as smooth as the EC would have hoped. For one, Europe did not have the capacity to produce as much as they could by using foreign countries, nor had as many natural resources to fulfill the needs of their citizens and businesses. Join the previous with the years it took to create a somewhat local manufacture, and the economic harm to Europe was considerable.

A second consequence was the conflicts and resistance from EEC associated countries in NCE, even though jobs were needed, the environmental harm, the corruption and the strengthening of the grip of the authoritarian governments of the NCE was not. Terrorist activity became a stronger problem, organizations such as the 3000 group, the Zaibatsus and the Organiskaya resisted the intrusion for many reasons, but mostly, failed.

A third, but no less harmful effect of the repatriation of production was the environmental impact of it. A huge amount of heavy industry, resources extraction and processing, and basic components fabrication was largely far away from European borders. Bringing such pollutant activities nearer naturally had increasing effects on the environment. The worse of such consequences are felt in the NCE and southern countries, with water, soil and air pollution in levels high enough to cause disease and death among workers and citizens, with areas even becoming uninhabitable (working against the EC with some of those displaced trying to enter the core countries). The ecological effect was, needless to say, also not limited to the NCE. Air pollution specially still affects the core countries and high scale measures like domes are becoming more necessary, at least in the most affluent places, in the rest smog, climate instability, acid rain and even blocked skies are just part of day-to-day life.

The re-shoring of production saved Europe from collapse, not only economically but societally. The unemployed fully depend and expect the European government to keep them from starvation, and the government is well aware of the chaos that millions of discontent and desperate citizens would mean to them. And, regardless, the chaos would not have stopped there. Europeans have learned to expect a certain level of comfort, style and entertainment, that, taken away, would have woken up a stuporous society. Knowing that very well and being very eager and invested in keeping their lifestyle, the Eurocrats worked tirelessly to restore food, industry and entertainment as early as possible.

This does not mean that scarcity is not a problem in Europe, the continent does not have neither the production nor the natural resources to keep the demand for their population. However, it’s much better than it is in the NUSA. Food, basic electronics and everyday life items will have decent availability, with hiccups once and again, if you can afford them (prices have risen, it’s not as cheap to produce goods in NCE than it is in third world countries). More advanced electronics and products (anything in the premium and expensive category) can also be found, but they are more scarce and prone to unavailability. Once your needs become more specific (Very Expensive and more) many times you’ll need to queue in a waiting list.

Edgerunners are not free from the difficulty of procurement for gear and goods. Europe has really strict laws to curb availability of weaponry and combat gear, and even the few allowed ones are difficult to access without waiting times and bureaucracy. Also, naturally, the reduced distribution affects the availability of illegal goods as much as it does for legal ones, specially because illegal goods, mostly, need to be smuggled from the fringes, NCE, the south, or Scandinavia. Expect to have as much as a hard time to access them as you’d have in NUSA.

There are still many ways to find what you need, of course, and your agent (lingo for fixer in Europe) will be happy and ready to attend to your needs. Night markets, inside European cities, except for combat zones and dangerous cities like Marseilles, are not common, there is no way to move that many illegal items in plain sight in European cities. A similar concept, however, came to exist thanks to the new conditions for shipping and transportation: Outland markets. For those, group of fixers, with their own little niches of market, gather in the closest trading post outside of their city and organize their nomad and smuggler contacts to bring what goods they have to barter. Except for the location, outland markets function the same way a night market would.

Fallen from the sky

Europe’s domination of Space was unpaired. The ESA not only pioneered orbital colonization, but ruled it. The facilities in the L zones, in the geosynchronous orbit, and Luna were the pride and joy of the ESA and Europe as a whole. The European commission spent decades encouraging corporations to move manufacture into orbital complexes and took millions of people from central African nations, trained them, and made them workers in their new ventures. The result of this drive was a huge economic boost to Europe thanks to both the fact that corporations grew their operations in space and that the ESA became law enforcement, infrastructure provider, and leader of most spacial colonies. All manufacture made in space paid 10% commission to the ESA.

The seven-hour war wiped away ESA control over spacefaring. With the formation of the Highrider Confederation, Europe lost an immense amount of income and a great deal of power. The damage to the EEC economy from the loss of their spacial facilities was enormous, and it took decades to the EC to re-balance their budget. The ESA, SRC and other “groundpounders” still secretly plot to undermine the confederation, with little success.

However, the choice of the Highrider Confederation to separate themselves from the conflicts of the 4th corporate war proved quite beneficial to the surface. All those factories and colonies built and promoted by the ESA survived the destruction from the war and are a valuable source of trade to the EEC, helping them keep their battered economy running. Corporations still run their factories in the Highrider colonies and materials and goods flow from and to Earth, and even though diplomacy between the EC and the Confederation is tense, both benefit and depend on each other.


Europe was famous for the complex and comprehensive train network that covered every major city in the core countries, with maglev and electric trains running pretty much daily. It took the interior commission decades to create and improve the network of tracks and infrastructure required for such a network.

Even though the 4th corporate war never became an all-open conflict, the shadow war was enough to do irreparable harm to the train railroads and infrastructure. It was not a concerted effort from any group or corporation, but a collection of separate attacks against assets and personnel. The result was, in any case, disruption, damage, and destruction of not only trains but also railroads and plants supplying energy to the system.

“old train” by benjaminabe is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Eventually, once the devastation was strong enough, the European council decided to suspend traffic with the hope to avoid further hurt and start repairs and reconstruction once the war cooled down and resources became available. However, this idea was ill-advised. The work that needed to be done for the countries to recover was considerable, and the railroads did not raise to the top of the priorities list.

Such an amount of resources unattended during times when components were scarce, and many groups were struggling (especially for power plants with materials that could be used in a Europe with common blackouts and brownouts), was bound to be scrapped and stolen. Between highwaymen, nomads, reclaimers, and even regular citizens, the railroad systems were ravaged to a point where reconstruction would be a challenge. Nevertheless, priorities for the interior commission and the countries are placed elsewhere so, to this day, those systems remain unrepaired.

Shipment and distribution

Corporation Report 2020, Volume 1 p. 68. ISBN # 0-937-879-18-5. Property of R. Talsorian Games, Inc

The EEC’s primary reason to exist was to bring economic integration among the member countries, and that was a purpose it served really well. The Mediterranean, Baltic and Black Sea saw a lot of maritime trading between the European countries and between Europe, Africa, and the East. A.I. ran lorries rushed constantly the highways transporting goods across the whole continent. The war, however, as with the rest of the world, destroyed distribution routes.

Eurosource Plus p. 60. ISBN # 0-937279-67-6. Property of R Talsorian Games, Inc.

Europe, being one, if not the main, focus of the OPEC-CINO war, was targeted by innumerable small and directed attacks, especially once Arasaka and Militech joined the fray. The attacks by themselves seemed small but add them up and the destruction takes its toll. It cannot be stated enough that CINO and IHAG were European oceanic manufacture and shipping corporations, and the attacks on their assets naturally affected international shipping. Once the war heated, Arasaka and Militech, in their rampage, attacked each other’s distribution lines, destroying hundreds of cargo ships and submarines in the process.

Nonetheless, the coup de grâce for shipping and distribution was the same as for others, Bartmoss. The datakrash and the R.A.B.I.D.s took a hard hit on Europe. Almost all transportation happened via robot cargo ships and A.I.-powered trucks. At first, it was just a few trucks taking odd routes, a ship here and there going to a wrong port, but it eventually went terrible: Ships and submarines never returned to port and either disappeared or shipwrecked; lorries stopped running or went in rampages crashing with each other or with cars.

To make matters worse, the postwar era was not much better for Europe. Even though economically Europe managed to keep itself functioning, it did not work the best for everyone. The difficulties of distribution took it hard on the unemployed. Millions of Europeans depended on their governments for feeding, housing, and health, and the countries did what was possible to keep them fed. However, priorities will not be given to the production and transportation of food to what was a caste of untouchables. Being unable to support themselves and somewhat abandoned by the European nations many joined gangs, nomads families, and highwaymen, adding danger to an already dangerous place, the roadways.

The European water and land routes were never fully safe, smugglers, pirates, and gangs were always on the lookout for victims. Granted, they were not as dangerous as the north-American ones, but they were still dangerous. Add now the increased criminality caused by the unemployed having to manage by themselves with the fact that the countries needed to focus on rebuilding after the war, therefore paying little attention to other infrastructure projects such as roads, and finish with a general decrease of usage of the highways and waterways (turns out a lack of navigation and AI makes it quite difficult to travel long distances). The result is the open roads becoming areas of lawlessness where few dared to venture. This carried on for the early postwar years, with pirates, smugglers, nomads, and even regular citizens scavenging and robbing from trucks, cargo ships, submarines, or simply from one another, with constant conflict arising between the new inhabitants of the outlands. As years passed and the countries stabilized, the situation cooled off, but it never returned to its pre-war state.

Nevertheless, the need to move goods and people was still there, but doing so was no longer as safe and easy as it used to be before the war. The gangs, pirates, and reclaimer groups that scourged the roads and the seas became battle-hardened and experienced in ambush and guerrilla methods that made the simplest of travels a gamble, both of cargo and life. Transport was no longer as simple as hopping on a vehicle and going from A to B.

The nomad Via Regia

Neo Tribes p. 52. ISBN # 0-937279-72-2. Property of R. Talsorian Games, Inc.

There was still another group that was used to move goods and was familiar with the dangers of the outer lands, the nomads. Before the war, the nomads functioned as itinerant workers and smugglers. After the war, the nomads worked with corporations and governments in the reconstruction efforts. Being already outside of the jurisdiction of most law enforcement the nomads were already allowed to be armed (as long as they kept their weapons outside of the civilization) and the war and post-war days made them as seasoned in battle as any of the gangs and pirates. Trade needed to be done, and with the nomads having already a working relationship with corporations, the natural step was for them to take over and either become escorts for shipping convoys or simply supply the transportation themselves.

The scale and methods of nomad transportation in Europe are nothing compared to what happened in the rest of the world. The nomad workgroups and smugglers were ever present in almost every single core country, their numbers were sizable and were quite skilled. The size of the families themselves was not as large as it would have been seen in North America, and they typically were not together in the same place. They were used to distributing themselves in different locations as the need arises and this, in particular, became really useful.

The nomads, noticing the need and the profit to be made from distribution, created a network of trading posts, secure areas, and routes for them to easily and safely (as much as could be done) transport goods. Many families joined in nations and alliances to improve their ability to cover more territory. The nomad logistics became not simply a group of loose families moving goods around, it became a trade empire.

The romano jekhetanipe

Sara Husein. Art created by mixa_.m (fiverr)

The Roma was a persecuted and often discriminated group in Europe, but it was also a large one used to nomadism. This was an immense pool of workforce for the new nomad shipping and distribution. Having a somewhat common cultural background and understanding between each other, they came together and founded the biggest and most powerful nomad nation: The romano jekhetanipe (The Roma union).

The Roma learned they needed to unite and organize in order to succeed in the new trade. Because of the prosecution and struggle that the Romani people suffered, they really never united under a single unified banner, being always on the move and, mostly, trying to keep a low profile. Seeing the opportunity that post-war Europe posed, a Roma singer and leader, Sara Husein, stepped up and negotiated the union of the Roma people under a single nation. Using her fame and influence she joined regional leaders of the Roma, and, after negotiating and creating the blueprint of the treaty that would rule and bind the newly formed nation, she herself and several representatives started a pilgrimage across Europe to recruit more tribes to join the Romani union.

The nation grew exponentially as a result, and there are member tribes in almost every single European country. The union resembles an alliance, where, with common goals in mind, the tribes work together. There is no real coercion in how this collaboration happens, they simply abide to the treaty terms and help each other. For example, if a cargo needs to be transported through a territory where another tribe is more familiar with the terrain, they work together to achieve the goals and share the profits as described by the laws. Make no mistake however, there are still a lot of intrigues and politics in the process (with some scuffles happening from time to time), but the result is still a quite successful nation and a big player in the shipping of goods in Europe.

The nation, treaty structure and culture were heavily influenced by Roma tradition and were grounded in the Romanipen, the Roma spirit. This was deliberate by Sara, as she knew that this would bring the pride and sense of union on the tribes and ensure cohesion in what was, mostly, a very disparate group of people. The Roma appreciation for honor and generosity is cored in the treaty of the jekhetanipe and used as the fundamental way to ensure collaboration between the tribes. Helping, sharing but without forgetting to display and seek success, creates a very healthy balance between union and competition among the members of the tribes and the tribes themselves. Leaders are respected, but that respect is earned in the community via their honor and success, and agreement is vital in any decision made by the tribes. Council of leaders, or baros, are ad-lib formed in the tribes and direct and organize their group. The baro council also serves as the Kris, the equivalent of the Roma court, when issues need to be resolved. Tribes join in regional chapters and meet when issues that involve the Roma nation as a whole, or major challenge need to be solved. There is no centralized leadership of the whole of the Roma Union and, so far, there has not been a need to call for any such leadership, but Sara is always involved and travels throughout Europe, both as a singer and as a diplomat for the jekhetanipe, and many tribes believe that if a need to have a leader arises, Sara would once again unite the Roma people under a single banner.

Next: Peace, gone

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