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In the year 20XX, a system error caused nuclear plants across the United States and Europe to malfunction. No one was quite sure if it was a form of cyber terrorism or an actual problem in the programming. After months of trying to get the plants back under control, they were unable to prevent a total nuclear meltdown. The resulting fallout blocked out the sun, and a nuclear winter began. The northern hemisphere was rendered completely inhabitable. A billion people died immediately from the explosions and another two billion died in the next ten years from radiation poisoning, starvation, fires, freezing temperatures, and cancer. It was determined that the Northern hemisphere would remain uninhabitable from the radiation for the next several hundred thousand years. Southern governments attempted to shut down borders to prevent political unrest within their borders but to no avail. Over the next twenty years, governments were overthrown and a new system rose from the ashes of the old one. Most of the remaining human population suffered from various health conditions, thanks to the huge amounts of radiation coming from the North, so medicine evolved quickly to keep up with the rate of disease. The new governments immediately invested huge amounts of resources into producing qualified medical staff. There was now an abundance of doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals, and they were tasked with healing the human race. With nuclear radiation still flowing from the North, the governments had to come up with a way to protect cities from the toxic rain and snow that fell every so often. Things like hourly weather reports,
mandatory anti-radiation facilities in every residential and commercial building, and underground passages and transportation could keep the remaining population as healthy as possible in day to day life. After the age of twelve, biannual cancer screenings are mandatory for everyone. Water is collected from deep underground springs and processed. Food is grown in isolated biodomes scattered throughout the cities. After turning sixteen, every healthy able-bodied person must spend four months per year for ten years doing agricultural service of some sort. Meat is rarely eaten, except for small animals like chicken, guinea pigs, and rabbits. Vitamins and other nutritional supplements are produced in laboratories and distributed among the population to ensure everyone is getting the nutrients they need. Hunting is expressly forbidden. Eating their meat may be dangerous for humans, and many populations have not yet recovered from the natural disaster. The story takes place in a post-capitalist society where workers have direct representation in the government. There are many different parties that work together, each one representing different demographics, and each one carrying an equal vote. Representatives typically work exclusively for their respective parties for a year or two, when they retire and return to their every day lives. They are tasked with representing their constituents. Representatives are chosen through popular elections. All government meetings are broadcast live on national television, and there are question and answer sessions where citizens can call in and directly participate in the discussion. Most governments have little to no power outside urban areas. While anyone can technically come in and live in another city with relative ease, people are
such as transphobia and racism. with significant numbers of Japanese. Australia. It is illegal to discriminate based on sexuality. Chinese. Countries like Brazil. and Spanish speakers. The story takes place in Brazil. but for the most part. Fossil fuels are used to a limited extent. Within cities. and there is progress being made. There are few. or body size. energy is drawn from tidal. people ride bicycles. Xenophobia is common and is not usually talked about. nationality. race. Rio de Janeiro. to ensure that such a catastrophe will never happen again. Cars and airplanes are used in long distance trips between cities. but it’s slow. but of course. and Indonesia now dominate the global political scene. The government coalitions have programs to educate the general population on how to treat others. Fortunately. Other forms of prejudice still exist. if any. wind. or even ride horses. people still find ways around hiring those they consider ugly or subhuman. Arabic. disability. appearance. gender. and solar energy. It was cleverly nicknamed Neo Rio when it was inaugurated and the name stuck. in the new capital. Its official languages are Portuguese and English. South Africa. use trains or subways. Most people are bilingual (think current-day Quebec) and all government documents are written in both languages.generally suspicious of outsiders since immigration is rare. There are few trains that travel long distances. It is the largest metropolitan area in the world. Nuclear energy has been banned completely. . they all work together to restore the environment and to create a new world. Neo Rio is home to 10 million people. people living in the northern hemisphere.
and they often attack travelers for food. many people actively avoid Outsiders.The concept of nationality still exists. Outsiders carry considerable stigma. While they are too few in number to actually overtake an entire city. but these things are difficult to confirm. they pose a risk to individuals and so most people are wary of non-natives. but most people no longer have home countries. People are generally content with their lives. and most of the population works in either agriculture or the medical field. day to day life hasn’t changed very much. There are reports of cannibalism and the like. Essentially. There is a small military force used for security purposes during intercity travel. Many simply identify themselves by race or ancestry. even a small one. They can never really be sure if someone hails from another city or if they are an Outsider. Basic needs are met fairly easily. People who live in the wild are usually referred to as Outsiders. the new army is open about their actions and routinely reports activities to government agencies. even if they have been living in a city for years. This military is an international force that does not answer to any particular government. which is simply an agency that Many still live outside the cities. and while governments are willing to fit them into society. but unlike in modern day militaries. . but must observe any and all rules and restrictions in any given country’s territory. City borders are overseen by a small group of soldiers the Border Patrol Force. People don’t need to worry about food or shelter or clothing. They are highly trained and capable.
or perhaps heavy metal poisoning or radiation sickness. people who lived on the Outside may begin exhibiting signs of emotional disturbances. However. and eventually. There is no cure. seizures. and the fatality rate is 100%. and the elderly and can surface at any given moment.However. no known cause. The disease takes roughly ten years to finally take its toll. there have been no reports of similar symptoms appearing in people who still live on the Outside. Oddly enough. They call it Outsider sickness. No one understands why it happens. Doctors think it might be a prion malfunction. There are rumors of Outsiders who enter society but are unable to adapt. It affects children. Then they may have momentary lapses in their control of complex motor functions. It eventually progresses into full-blown psychotic episodes. At first. . adults. the full moon affects the severity of the symptoms. death. It doesn’t appear to be contagious or have any particular triggers. though this is only a casual observation that doctors have not been able to confirm. not everything goes as it should. and not every Outsider who is integrated into society develops this strange condition. like mad cow disease.
His right wrist was shattered and his right femur was broken in three places.Naota Mori Age: 19 Height: 5’6” Weight: 103lbs Nationality/ethnicity: Japanese/East Asian Eye color: mostly pink with flecks of slate grey Hair color: shoulder length and white Home: Naota lives in a small apartment by himself in Neo Rio. Naota is androgynous in appearance. His eyesight is fairly poor. he and his uncle took a trip outside the city. When he was eighteen. Personality: Naota is comfortable with his appearance. For several days. Naota sometimes uses mascara and outlines his eyebrows in black so it doesn’t look like he’s completely hairless. The car malfunctioned and crashed. He is naturally thin. waiting for rescue. he would be: an Arctic fox General appearance notes: Naota is albino. He was raised by his father’s brother and was a fairly happy child. but doesn’t eat much anyway. flat lips. He has a small angular face. he was finally discovered by passing travelers and taken to a hospital in Neo Rio. gentle. He’s very susceptible to sunburn so he constantly smells like sunscreen. Background: Naota’s parents died when he was fairly young. His eyebrows and eyelashes are white and he has extremely pale skin. He very rarely gets angry and usually smiles a lot. After four days. and generally good-natured about most things. almond-shaped eyes. Naota’s uncle died immediately. He’s laid back. If he were an animal. Naota was delirious from . Naota lay in the wilderness in agony. and small. Naota finds it easy to talk to others.
The effect is somewhat jarring on others. He is extremely organized. Naota has had difficulty learning new skills and often forgets things most people would remember. first in a small notebook he carries with him. though most people don’t realize the amount of effort he has to put in just to get through the day. but Naota needs to be friendly so he can associate feelings and touch with people. Before going to bed. At the end of the day. briefly recapping the previous day’s events and making a small list of items to accomplish for the day. Naota spent several months at the hospital trying to get full use of his legs back and working on strengthening his memory. He works hard on his memory. It is the only way he feels he can connect with others. he became personable and friendly. Naota leaves himself notes on the bathroom door. like the names of new acquaintances. then in his cell phone. Naota writes everything down. and maintaining eye contact. In fact. as most people don’t expect to be treated with such warmth from strangers. In addition. his past remains somewhat of a mystery. most don’t realize there is anything wrong with Naota until they come to his apartment. He can’t remember a lot from his childhood.hunger and his body temperature was only 32 C. There are corkboards everywhere and stacks upon stacks of neatly places notebooks . and since most of his close relatives are dead. he rereads his notes and writes a small report of the day’s events on his computer. repeating their names while speaking to them. Since the accident. doctors soon discovered that he had lost huge chunks of his memory. To make up for it. making sure he touches new people gently.
His as he would like to his task. considering he spent so much time exposed to the elements after the crash. scan. Naota has some pain and numbness in his wrist from time to time. he will never be able to memory isn’t recovering as quickly it to. Then he backs up copies of everything on various hard drives. Naota knows that information he’s get it back. and he can’t play any sports involving physical contact.containing notes from every day since the accident. Naota keeps everything he writes on. he is left-handed. He has astigmatism so he has to wear glasses when reading or writing. He was born with albinism. which earned him a great deal of stares while growing up. . so he is extremely dedicated In addition to his severe memory loss. Thankfully. should he lose any of the gathered. Naota considers these to be minor. type up. but Naota always liked his appearance. Naota wants to become a nurse but feels he’s not ready to go to school just yet. at least until he can organize. and save every scrap of paper.
She learned how to become an excellent judge of character to avoid getting hurt. Personality: Junko rarely smiles. almond-shaped eyes. Her hair is naturally very dark. She is a quiet but confident person and while she rarely speaks or smiles. who simply disregards unpleasant attitudes as personality quirks. She doesn’t show much emotion. but sometimes it’s unavoidable. Her skin is a dark olive tone. Once she loses trust in someone. almost black. Her face is long and oval-shaped. Junko is a fairly cautious person who keeps people at arm’s distance. She usually has a comeback ready for every situation. but is beginning to go grey. Rarely does she make friends and she can definitely come off as cold or unfriendly at first. choppy long blunt bangs cropped short in the back—think Ramona Flowers Home: Deijiko lives with Imanja and Fatima in a small apartment in New Leblon If she were an animal. with full lips. it’s usually for a good reason. Junko is fairly quick to anger. a flat nose. Junko was born with a cleft palate and still has a minor scar on her upper lip. and small. something she freaks out over every so often.Junko Watanabe Age: 21 Height: 5’10” Weight: 168lbs Nationality/ethnicity: Japanese/East Asian and South African/Black Eye color: dark brown Hair color: black and grey. Junko is an extremely loyal person once her trust is earned. when she does. but unlike Naota. Junko enjoys solitude. However. they’ll never have a . She is somewhat flat-chested so she usually wears sports bras. she would be: a hyena General appearance: Junko is tall and athletic in build.
Junko learned from an early age that things empty phrases like “equality” mean very little when applied to someone who is still considered an anomaly in society. All of the staff identifies as transgender so the children can best receive the care they need. Junko began taking hormones and going to therapy to try and help her construct a healthy and positive self-image. At that moment. but a true display of her strength. Junko is likeable but aloof. but there’s only so much they could do when it comes to protecting her from the outside world. Her parents suspected she wasn’t “normal” when Junko innocently asked when she would become a girl like her mother. Background: As a child. She has a very clearly defined set of morals and can seem stubborn until you realize where she is coming from. They took her to the local children’s clinic and the doctors helped Junko realize she was transgender. Her parents have always been supportive and would do anything to protect their daughter. Junko had dreams about going to bed and waking up Christmas morning to discover she had become a Real Girl. Junko is young but acts much older. and she will give others the shirt off her back if necessary. The clinic was a specialized center that dealt specifically with transgender children. As an adult.second chance. she looks out for others like a big sister. However. she makes it quite clear that her generosity is not a sign of weakness. . and while she isn’t necessarily the mothering type. Overall. her parents realized something was up. After an evaluation. she feels like she “passes” quite well.
but knows she is lucky to have transitioned so early. which she swears up and down that everyone can see clear as day. Junko is an excellent cook. Her dysphoria kicks into high gear at the very thought of coming out to another person. She sometimes refers to her mouth as a “bear trap” because her teeth look scary. She has a faint scar in the middle of her upper lip. though most people probably look surprised when she smiles because it happens so rarely. Despite claiming to be completely adverse to domestic tasks. and so since she passes well. Junko is somewhat against to outing herself to others because she is afraid of how others will react. but in her adolescence she grew an iron-strong defense against other people and locked herself away. since she is quite happy with the genitalia she was born with. She won’t lie. Besides. Junko chooses to keep quiet until directly asked. . especially when it comes to what’s in her pants. especially romantic interests. but she also won’t willingly offer information about her. she feels it is no one’s business but her own. She experiences dysphoria sometimes. She has decided against surgery of any sort. and her teeth are pretty crooked. Junko isn’t that self-conscious as far as her gender identity goes. She enjoys running long distance and keeps herself in top shape. She studies medicine at the Federal University of Neo Rio de Janeiro and wants to be a doctor. but she is very insecure with her smile. and hormone therapy has helped her grow a modest bust.She was always a serious child.
very thick. though he is nowhere near as . somewhat wavy. His skin is a medium to dark olive color. If he were an animal. Personality: Ian tends to keep to himself. General appearance: Ian is tall and muscular. He captures animals and studies their behaviors. After meeting Naota.Ian Age: 26 Height: 6’3” Weight: 190lbs Nationality/ethnicity: Chilean/Latino and Egyptian/Arabic Eye color: Green and light brown Hair color: Dark brown. highlighted with very light brown flecks. Ian is methodical in his work and keeps a few observational diaries. but mostly spends several months tracking certain animal populations. Ian’s eyes are a striking green. Ian opens up a little more. He takes a while to warm up to others. Ian has a rugged sort of look that contradicts his shy nature. not because he doesn’t care for appearances. but because he likes to keep his face hidden. His lashes and eyebrows are thick and dark. He gets semiregular haircuts but remains conservative when expressing emotions. He likes spending time outside the city. His facial hair grows rather quickly so he limits himself to trimming his beard every morning rather than shaving. Home: Ian lives with his parents in Flamengo but spends a good deal of time at Naota’s apartment. His hair is often unkempt and messy. as it’s too much of a hassle to stay clean shaven. but lean. Ian works for the Wildlife Conservation Committee of Neo Rio de Janeiro. Ian enjoys the solitude of nature. he would be: a grey wolf.
Ian begins to care more about human interaction.neat as Naota or Imanja. He often gets lost in work and forgets about others in the process. Backstory: Ian was born to a Chilean miner and an Egyptian veterinarian. . Soon Ian was nearly as silent as an animal stalking its prey. As a teenager. His father took him hiking a lot and taught him how to rock climb and walk through the dense forests outside of Neo Rio. he made extra money by selling animals he caught during government-approved hunting seasons. After meeting Naota. He is protective of Naota and starts to resent being away from him. His mother usually brought home different animals as part of her job and Ian began to take an interest in animal rearing.
Adriano appears to be affectionate towards Ian as well. Hair color: Chestnut brown in tight curls. He’s fairly polite but thinks chivalry is a man’s greatest virtue. He usually sports a mischievous bad boy smirk. white-collar.) Ian and Adriano have an odd relationship because while there is potential for tension between them. When he’s not studying. blue-collar. He is athletic and strong. and humble. Adriano keeps his facial hair neatly trimmed at all times. with a year-round dark tan. If he were an animal. General appearance: At first glance. or going out for groceries.Adriano Age: 23 Height: 6’1” Weight: 190lbs Nationality/ethnicity: Afro Brazilian/Latino Eye color: Dark brown. he’s a medical student and quite serious about his studies. and extremely handsome. Home: Adriano lives in Copacabana by the beach. He is somewhat of a romantic rival and foil to Ian. . Personality: Adriano seems like a vapid. Adriano can seem condescending when in fact he’s simply attempting to be courteous. selfimportant surfer type. Adriano is your typical Casanova Latin lover type of man: tall. but like many in Neo Rio. (Adriano is polished. somewhat arrogant while Ian is rugged. he spends most of his time at the beach or dancing. maintain a perfect coif whether he is spending a day in his underwear. he would be: a boa constrictor. He is pretty vain. Adriano considered himself to be exclusively heterosexual until he meets Naota during his residency.
Background: Adriano is an orphan. .
If she were an animal. She has anorexia nervosa and absolutely refuses to talk about it. She is incredibly tall in a time where people don’t usually get bigger than 5’9”. She is extremely organized and orderly and always shows up to events at least ten minutes early.Imanja Age: 26 Height: 6’ Weight: unknown Nationality/ethnicity: Brazilian/Black and Indian/Southeast Asian Eye color: light brown Hair color: honey blonde. she would be: a crane. She loves being around others and does her hardest to make people feel welcome. she prefers to ignore it and hope it goes away on its own. Personality: Imanja is incredibly warm and friendly. often wearing high heels and pastel colors to make up for how awkward she feels in her own body. Home: Imanja lives with Junko and Fatima in a small apartment in New Leblon. However. Imanja is feminine. She is aware of how people react to her and does her best to ignore their reactions. she knows people stare most at her body. Part of the reason is denial. Imanja looks like an average sized person who was suddenly stretched and grew five inches in all directions. Imanja is generally friendly but will probably stop talking to . Also. Imanja thinks prying into the private lives of others is incredibly rude. blunt bangs. but it gets to her sometimes. Her skin is very dark and contrasts greatly with her naturally light eyes and super-long blonde hair. waist-length with heavy. General appearance: Imanja is physically striking in many ways.
Imanja hates fighting and confrontation and only complains when absolutely necessary. While Imanja doesn’t necessarily want to be ill. she doesn’t feel like she has a reason to be so thin. She is easy-going and caring—she just doesn’t care for herself very much. she doesn’t like the idea of spending . recovery is selfish. polite. to her. Imanja agrees—she finds herself to be a worthless and uninteresting person so she devotes herself to others. Junko often tells her she has a “martyr complex”. She has a pretty low opinion of herself.you for a while if you bring up her body or eating disorder. helpful. In her mind. Despite this. considering how her parents always encouraged her to feel positively towards herself and she was never bullied in school. respectful. Unfortunately. Imanja takes some sort of pride in being able to “function” in spite of her disease. but she still thinks she has no “right” to be mentally ill. She knows that these things sometimes happens spontaneously to people. with about three years total spent in the hospital. Imanja was completely average in every single way possible—a decent student who participated in class regularly. Background: Imanja was an average girl from an average family with average and loving parents. a little shy but friendly once she opened up. that seems to be one of the reasons she hasn’t had much success in recovery. She has struggled with anorexia for about ten years. Imanja doesn’t believe she has any reason to be sick since she’s never experienced any trauma and has always been a rather happy child. She thinks this is an incredibly boring topic so she avoids discussing it at all. Her pleasant demeanor continued after her diagnosis of anorexia nervosa.
Imanja earned her nursing degree and works with children. She wants to have a family someday but so far hasn’t been very interested in dating anyone.so much time taking care of health. no matter how much she needs it. Her endless patience and empathy make her very popular on her unit. .
starvation would become common once again.” he said softly. he researched better and more efficient ways to raise large animals for food and fiber. “Yeah. Ian sat down in the chair in front of him before leaning in for a quick kiss. None of this mattered to Naota at that moment. Four months was a long time to spend away from . He may very well hold the future of civilization in his head. Ian took a sip from his own cup of coffee and smirked. feigning indignation. he was the entire universe itself. but to Naota. Every able-bodied citizen had to serve at least four months per year in the food industry. but Ian was also quite gifted when it came to tracking animals in the wild. “You just made that up. Ian was Ian. His lips formed a pout but he found it hard not to smile. His specialty was animal husbandry and agriculture. watching him and humming softly. his heart was pounding. Ian didn’t even bother going back to his apartment to drop his things off. During his tour. Naota would fall asleep. Seeing his shaggy face in person after so long was indescribable. It was an important part of the society because without full cooperation.The empty Naota looked up from his cup and immediately smiled. His findings were of vital importance for the future of food security in the new world. Ian’s function was especially important. serving his duty as a citizen of the new world.” said Naota. and Ian would simply stay on the line. sometimes not saying anything at all. Ian and Naota spoke on the video phone for hours. I suppose I did. Every single night. Ian had been away at the farms outside Neo Rio. Inside. He too was excited to see Naota. To him.
” He smiled. Naota’s memory was so bad. hardly spoken. both staring nervously into their mugs of coffee as if they were on a first date. hardly breathed since Ian had returned only minutes earlier. Even if I didn’t know who I was.” Ian felt his throat close up. gently reminding him of their relationship. I would sometimes get goose bumps. Sometimes it was funny. but those first few moments of genuine terror shining in Naota’s pale eyes always felt like a stab wound to . breaking the silence between them and looking up into Ian’s vivid green eyes. “Some mornings when I woke up. but it couldn’t be helped. I don’t really get it.someone he loved so much. You know. Naota would stare at him with genuine fear in his eyes until Ian calmed him down.” Naota’s lip began to tremble. Naota continued. “I missed you. All that mattered was that they were together again. Naota wanted to remember how this moment felt. It’s because I like you. They fell into a comfortable silence. even when I was in a total haze. I remembered you. I could hardly remember where I was. it’s because of how I feel towards you. “I just…I don’t know how to explain it. I knew who you were and what you mean to me. I love you. your face and your smell and the way it feels when I’m around you. Like. “But for some reason.” he said softly. They had hardly touched. Why would you stay in my mind like that? How is it possible? And of course. some mornings they would wake up and he would immediately push Ian off the bed because he had forgotten they had spent the night together. and then your face would flash in front of me and I would remember you. my memory is worse on some days than others.
was Ian’s worst nightmare. Naota stirred his mug mindlessly. “Hey. wiping his face with the back of his hand. like a schoolgirl fawning over some prep school bad boy across the courtyard.” said Naota. nothing. He could overhear their conversation. not damaged neurons.” “You did NOT say latté. Ian.” “You mean a latté?” “Yeah. I haven’t had a chance to shower or anything yet and I really want to take a nap. “I won’t take long. let me get another cup of coffee for the road. “I love you. “I haven’t stopped thinking about you for a single moment.the heart. that’s the thing my man likes. “This is so damn sappy. Alright?” He stood and placed a kiss on Naota’s forehead. I’m really glad anyway. Nothing at all.” Naota felt his face turn pinker than normal and nodded. looking every bit like a working class farm boy.” “Gimme my goddamn late. smiling at each other through watery eyes. that’s what I said. gimme one of those. do not do this to me. “I want a pumpkin thing.” They sat there. Hurting him in any way.” Ian nodded.” said Ian. Joseph.” . Like. a pumpkin late. lingering for a moment before kissing him on the nose and lips. Nothing will ever change the way I feel about you. He watched Ian walk up to the coffee shop counter in his dirt-covered blue jeans and worn leather jacket. thin hands and held them tight. Ian.” “Ian. He reached for Naota’s icy. before they broke into nervous laughter. even unintentionally. Sighing dreamily. you know that? It’s not like you. “But you know. Not some farm work. you goddamn idiot.
I missed this illiterate motherfucker too. I’ll be back with your damn LATTÉ. YOU SPEAK SPANISH! It’s called AGAVE!” This time.Naota rolled his eyes. With a gave.” “Joseph. . “It’s okay. will you? A pumpkin late. we don’t use goddamn accent marks in English!” Ian leaned back on the counter and smiled. Naota couldn’t hold in his laughter and buried his face in his hands.” “Ian. who were more than happy to entertain them when the shop was slow. practically squealing. While the improper pronunciation of certain caffeinated drinks irritated him.” “It’s a LATE. The world felt like it was in order again. Joe. “The customer is always right. you understand me so well. At least they never threw temper tantrums over coffee like some of his other customers do. Get me my late.” “Nowhere on the menu is this thing called a ‘late’ you asshole.” he laughed. hiding his grin. “What can I say. Joseph enjoyed having Ian and his friends in the café. you don’t have to put up with him today. Ian looked back at the table and winked. He knew Naota got a kick out of watching him torture the baristas. Naota can’t have sugar.