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KINGDOMS OF NIGERIA
Kingdoms of Nigeria: king-dəms əv nī-
Population: 40,000,000 (est.)
Primary Languages: Varies by Kingdom (Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, English, French)
Kingdoms: Abuja, Baatonum, Bokobaru, Bokyi,
Hausa, Igbo, Kanuri, Mali-Faso, Nupe, Tarok, Tiv, Tikar, Yoruba
Government Type: Predominantly dictatorships, monarchies, and
Bordering Countries: Kingdom of Benin, Asamando,
Congo Tribal Lands
KINGDOMS OF NIGERIA
KINGDOMS OF NIGERIA
KINGDOMS OF NIGERIA111
and facilities are heavily guarded, and several kingdoms (including
Yoruba) have formed a partnership with corporate investors to pro-
tect the recently-completed pipeline. Mercenary companies, corporate
security troops, and national armies are deployed in the area, ghting
pirates, ethnic groups, ecoterrorists, rival corporate strike teams, and
even sentient non-metahuman groups hailing from the Congo, making
it one of the military hotspots of the 2070s.
> Eighteen Kingdoms? Last time I tried to count, the number was well over ffty—
and those were just the ones acknowledged in Lagos. There’s probably three
times that number if you include some guy with a few dozen crates of AK-97s
who’s taken over a town and calls himself “king.” Where do these people get
> Black Mamba
> The number and names change almost daily. The eighteen they listed are those
that are stable enough to last more than a year.
> I love the Kingdoms. Where else can you eat off plates of gold with a king one
night, buy a tank and actually drive it back to your hotel the next day, and get
drunk on palm wine with ghouls the next night?
> Traveler Jones
> Jones, you are one crazy man. Outside of Lagos, most of the “cities” aren’t much
more than villages. Some have wireless networks, but most don’t. Medical care
is generally the local healer, witch-doctor, or midwife. Government is whoever
has the most guns and bullets. Roads are slashed through the jungle or don’t
exist at all—waterways are much more reliable, but plagued with pirates. The
rainforest—which overtook much of the savannah and dry areas that used to be
in Nigeria—is home to numerous Awakened creatures, many of which are toxic,
venomous, or harbor nasty diseases, like VITAS. I hate the Kingdoms.
> Lagos also happens to top the World Health Org’s list of potential pandemic
hotspots. So many people crowded into a city with no government, sanitary
systems, or running water—it’s the perfect breeding ground for nasty new bugs.
The WHO has a small facility in Lagos, on Lagos Island, but they’re always look-
ing for teams who’re willing to protect doctors in the city, get samples from the
ill, or even take doctors into some of the worse slums for “research.” Perhaps
not surprisingly, quite a few corporations have pharmaceutical, biotech, and
even biowarfare R&D—and live metahuman testing—in Lagos.
> And for those of us who have the guts and the skill and the will to survive,
there’s a fortune to be made there. Cowards need not apply.
> Black Mamba
corporate-controlled refineries exist. Other corporate investment
in the area includes manufacturing, taking advantage of the large
workforce, with military goods and arms, textiles, cosmetics,
foodstuffs, inexpensive electronics, processed telesma, and phar-
maceutical products as primary exports. Most of the Kingdoms of
Nigeria transport their trade goods to Lagos, as do the neighboring
kingdoms of Benin and Asamando, selling to corporate interests or
using the large port to export their goods around the globe. The
city is known for its black markets and as a haven for pirates.
Ife is the capital of the Yoruba Kingdom, one of the most
powerful and in uential of the kingdoms. e Yoruba also consider
Ife the spiritual center of their kingdom. e city is home to several
universities, including the University of Nigeria, which has exceptional
Awakened Studies and Parazoology programs. Proceeds from the oil
pipeline have begun to pour into the city, and extensive building and
expansion is currently underway. e city is also a trade center for the
agriculture and telesma harvesting industries of the kingdom.
Ife is particularly well known for the numerous museums
it houses, including the King Adegoke Museum of Nigerian
Archeology and Anthropology, famous for its collection of Yoruba
and African artifacts. Ife also has a 25,000 seat stadium and is home
to the Yoruba Flying Lions football team, which is a regular con-
tender in the African Cup of Nations tournament (and is scheduled
to host the 2074 games).
Zuma Rock is a 750-meter-tall rock formation that towers over the
surrounding rainforest. Just north of the city of Abuja, it is consid-
ered a site of spiritual signi cance to the Gwari and Koro tribes. e
rock has a chiseled “face” on one side, a prehistorical remnant which
is sometimes said to be the face of the spirit that inhabits the rock.
Eyewitness accounts say the face has been seen animated, although this
has never been caught on digital media. Local beliefs say the rock is
home to malevolent spirits that guard a treasure, and all attempts to
climb the rock have failed, while aircra and aerial drones have all met
with unexplained accidents (or been attacked by the local militia or
stolen). Several organizations, including the Draco Foundation and the
Atlantean Foundation, o er standing rewards to the rst person(s) able
to climb to the top and verify (or disprove) the rumors.
Rich in natural resources, the Niger Delta area is considered one
of the last large scale oil reservoirs. While warring factions, pirates,
ethnic disputes, and overall chaos distinguishes the area, corporate
investment has focused on tapping into the reserves. It’s estimated that
over thirty ethnic groups, speaking over 200 dialects, inhabit the area.
It is also a haven for pirates.
Unfortunately, this disputed territory produces almost eighty
percent of the kingdoms’ accumulated revenue. Corporate oil re neries
I plummet through the moonless night sky at more than three hundred kilometers per
hour—nearing the aptly named terminal velocity. The HALO suit does an admirable job of
protecting me from the freezing air, although I swear I can feel the cold coming through
my horns, tickling my temples. My breath is calm in my ears, with only the whisper of
pressurized oxygen hissing across my face.
The landscape below is beautiful, lit up by the sensor suite in my helmet. To the east,
the city of Sapporo twinkles in the distance, to the north, the dark waters of the Sea of
Japan. Stretching out below me and to the west is the forested mountains on the north
slope of Hokkaido—where my target awaits.
The altimeter in my AR’s heads-up display ticks off the meters I’m falling, the
numbers shrinking faster than I can follow. At fve thousand meters, I change my freefall
position from head down, arms at my sides, legs straight and tight together to the classic
skydiver’s pose; arms held straight out from my body, elbows bent ninety degrees legs
spread and bent at the knees. The wind buffets me slightly less as I wait for the magic
number that will begin the fnal insertion phase.
At two thousand meters, a soft chime sounds in my helmet, and a memory metal
rod springs out from my backpack, extending across four meters out in both directions
along my shoulders and arms. High-density nanofber unfurls next, attaching to my feet
using self-seeking memory molecule clasps. Now a metahuman glider, I slow down even
more, controlling my direction and descent speed with twists of my wrist.
A pulsing amber dot appears in my HUD—I’ve acquired the target site. I steer toward
it, aware of my rate of descent and the speed at which I’m approaching the small cluster of
buildings perched on the outcropping of rock. The compound was built to have unlimited
visibility in all directions—except up. The secluded retreat is built in the old style, with
what appear to be clay tile roofs, wooden-framed buildings, and traditional rice paper
walls. The spec plan revealed a much different story—pressure plates in the roof, auto-
mated security drones patrolling the grounds, and walls that, although seemingly fragile,
can withstand anything up to a RPG. Soft lights glow in a few of the buildings, which my
faceplate compensates for before they blind me.
The roof remains my best chance of infltrating undetected, but I’ll only have one
chance at the landing. The skeletonized glider is too small to detect on radar, and my
chameleon suit makes me one with the night. There’s only one last problem to surmount
as I line up for my approach, and the lack of a blinking light in my HUD makes a twinge of
unease futter in my stomach. The roof is now visible only two hundred meters away, and
if I don’t get the signal in the next six seconds, I’ll either have to go in without the way
cleared or abort the run. Gritting my teeth, I stay on course and watch the sloped roof grow
larger in my faceplate. 100 meters … 75 meters … 50 meters … 25 meters …
A message pops up in my AR: Roof security bypassed. My apologies for the delay.
A second later the glider touches down on the roof, its gecko pads bringing me to a con-
trolled stop in the middle of the plain of red tiles.
I send back a curt, “Acknowledged” and close the window. For the next eleven min-
utes, the compound security program believes I am a repairman performing maintenance
duties. Plenty of time to complete the task at hand.
Hitting the quick release, the glider disassembles itself, retracting into the case on
my back. I shrug off the pack and leave it on the roof. Making sure my katana is securely
fastened across my shoulder, I spider-crawl down the roof to a corner and hang my head
over the eave.
To my enhanced vision, the supposed paper walls light up with sensor warnings.
Besides their hardness, the walls have an electrical circuit built into them and proximity
wire. My suit is insulated, ensuring my own electrical feld won’t trip the alarm; that takes
A final farewell
BY JOHN HELFERS
care of the wire, but penetrating the wall will be more diffcult. Taking a small black box
from a pouch at my belt, I pull out two alligator clips and ready them, one in each hand.
Next comes the diffcult part. Selecting the attach points, I reach out over my head, getting
as close to the wall as I dare without touching it. Centering my ki, I exhale slowly, then
reach out and attach both clips at exactly the same time, tensing for the shriek of an
alarm or some kind of more lethal security to go off.
Nothing happens—exactly as planned. I pull a small, hand-held tool out of another
belt pouch. Pressing a button on the side extends a length of rigid monowire. Depressing
the trigger activates the silent electric motor, making the wire spin so fast I can’t see it.
Pressing the tip to the now dead area of the wall, it sinks in like a monosword through a
Kobe flet. Once the tip has penetrated, I draw the wire down, cutting a hole large enough
for me to enter. I secure the loose section with one hand while turning off the monodriver
and putting it away. Gripping the edge of the roof with my free hand. I swing my body
down and through the hole in one fuid motion, my feet resting lightly on the wooden
rafter right inside. Levering myself the rest of the way inside, I replace the section and
hold it in place with a squirt of spray adhesive at each corner.
Removing my helmet, I wedge it into a corner of the rafter—I will witness what is
about to happen with my own eyes. Unspooling a length of microwire, I tie an end off
and let the rest fall to the ground. Sliding down to the foor, I land without a sound and
face the room.
The large space is devoid of furniture, with only spotless tatami mats covering the
foor. In the middle of the room, his back to me, is a man seated in the lotus position,
dressed in an immaculate kimono, head bowed, hair oiled and pulled back into the tradi-
tional topknot. I have not even taken a step when he speaks.
“Good morning, Solo-san. I expected they would send you. Does the clan not trust
me to carry out this fnal order?”
I bow low, from the waist. “They do, Suhana-sama—I requested to be here, to serve
as witness to your fnal act.”
“That is most kind of you. The Saiki-rengo will not be pleased that you have visited
one of their strongholds so easily.”
“I will concern myself with that when the time comes.” I wait for him to speak, the
silence companionable, despite the circumstances.
“It is almost time. Would you do me the honor of serving as kaishaku?”
I walk forward to his left side, kneel next to him, and bow, my head touching the
mat. “It would be my great honor, Suhana-sama.” When I raise my head, I see the tradi-
tional instruments laid out—a writing brush, ink stone, and rice paper to his right, and in
front of him, a gleaming tanto on a black, lacquered tray.
He regards me for a moment; his lined, patrician face as strong and stern as I have
always remembered it, and inclines his head—the only time he has ever bowed to me.
Without another word, he begins.
Picking up the brush, he draws ink from the prepared stone, then holds it in front of
him for a moment before composing his last poem on the paper in fowing kanji. He gazes
at the fnished verse for a moment, then sets the sheet aside to dry.
Removing the top of his kimono to expose his hairless chest, he tucks the sleeves
underneath his legs, then picks up the tanto and holds it with the blade pointed toward
his abdomen. Straightening his spine, he lifts the knife in front of his eyes for a moment,
then plunges it into the right side of his stomach, the blade sinking in to the hilt.
A gush of blood spills out over his hand, but his face is as impassive as if he was
enjoying the cherry blossoms that bloom during springtime in Kyoto. Without a sound, he
draws the blade across his abdomen in a long, horizontal cut, then turns the blade ninety
degrees and levers it up under his ribcage. It is the most magnifcent display of seppuku I
have ever seen. His face still calm, even under the tremendous agony he must be feeling,
he nods, leaving his head lowered to expose his neck.
Springing to my feet, I draw my katana in one fuid movement and bring the blade
down in a perfect cut, the monoflament blade slicing through the vertebrae and muscles
in one powerful blow. His head remains for a moment, then slides off to the foor. His body
slowly topples forward, the jet of crimson spouting from the stump already subsiding.
I wipe my blade on a clean sheet of rice paper and sheathe it, then step carefully
around to read his poem:
Into the next life
My best student beside me
I regret nothing
I bow low once more. “Domo arigato gozaimasu ken sayonara, Oyabun.”
I turn and leave without a backward glance.
standard Sharia practice, though taxes are lessened based on the per-
centage of Islamic employees the corporation employs. e Mudaween,
the state-run religious police force, monitor corporations in conjunc-
tion with the Islamic-Corporate Coordination Board (ICCB). Due to
Arabia’s theocratic nature, there are speci c rules that must be followed
for all foreign corporations. e only foreign mega-corporations with
a notable presence in the Arabian market as of 2072 are Saeder-Krupp,
Esprit Industries, and the Frankfurt Banking Association.
Beyond the walls of the corporate enclaves and cities, the deserts
host many Bedouin tribes, none of whom o er their loyalties to the
Caliphate or any foreign power, choosing instead to live as their own
people. ey travel peacefully from oasis to oasis, as their people
have for thousands of years. e Bedouins are a proud and honorable
people, known for dealing fairly with any honorable trader, regardless
of religious conviction.
Once a leader in Arabian nance, Abu Dhabi has struggled to regain
its position in the wake of corporate closures during and a er the
Crash. Abu Dhabi is a coastal city, with work and social conditions
much closer to the Western world than more conservative inland
cities. Saeder-Krupp controls the oil re neries in the city and pro-
cesses a large amount of oil from Asia and Russia, though the local
elds have run dry.
S-K’s Arabian headquarters is also located in Abu Dhabi. Since
the restructuring of the ICCB in 2069, S-K has taken a smaller role
in the nation’s a airs, as the corporation was unwilling to change the
religious requirements for its employees both in Arabia and at foreign
locations to align with the ICCB guidelines.
Nestled along the coast of the Persian Gulf, Dubai is a strong-
hold for corporate nance within the Arabian Caliphate. Tourists
regularly visit the Jumeirah commercial district and duty-free zones
near the Jebel Ali port. e local government does not enforce Sharia
as literally in this city as elsewhere
in the Caliphate. This policy has
allowed small enclaves of Jews and
other groups to live here. All of these
groups do their best to maintain a
low pro le, so as to not aunt their
status to the rest of the nation.
Dubai also hosts the annual
International Defense Exhibition,
one of the world’s largest arms
fairs. e week-long event brings in
substantial revenue for the city and
caliphate. Cutting-edge prototypes
are displayed and media heroes
from the Desert Wars are regular
The capital of the Arabian
Caliphate, Medina has grown well
beyond the wall that once encircled
it. e walls still form a circle around
the Inner City, which contains the
administrative offices, houses the
Shura when they meet, and provides
the o ce and home of the Caliph.
Medina’s cultural heritage is nearly
as important as its political value, as
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