The Union City wiki last edited by MrSensible on 03/12/15 06:18PM
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Union City is a metropolis that serves as the primary setting for the 1994 point-and-click adventure game Beneath a Steel Sky. The city appears to be built atop the remains of Sydney, Australia, as evidenced by numerous references to certain areas and landmarks of modern-day Sydney. At some point in the game's backstory, a massive conflict referred to as the "Great Euro-American War" reshaped much of the world's geopolitical landscape, giving rise to large city-states that have since replaced Australia's extant federal government. These city-states are controlled by megacorporations that represent their citizens' interests to varying degrees of success. The Union Group, with their recent acquisition of the last un-corporatized urban area known as Asio-City (a reference to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation), has become the second-largest of six remaining city-states in Australia and one of the world's most powerful political entities.
Based in their capital of Union City, the Union Group's leadership fully embraces a set of "neo-democratic principles" agreed upon during cessation of hostilities after the war which abolished any form of labor representation or social welfare. Their citizens are also heavily monitored at all times by Union City's omnipresent security forces and surveillance technology, creating what is essentially a fascist state. Twenty years prior to the start of the game, an advanced computer network called LINC was created to assume control of all of Union City's administrative functions, thus eliminating the necessity for human oversight. All citizens are assigned an ID card and an attached "LINC status" that reflects their relative station in society, with "D-LINC" being the lowest social category. D-LINC citizens have no rights and are generally treated as slaves; this extreme oppression has given rise to an underground resistance movement in Union City that has found additional support from agents of certain rival city-states. Because LINC controls all security inside Union City, resistance members use hacking software called "jammers" that can be loaded onto citizens' ID cards. However, citizens must also undergo elective surgery to install a Schriebmann neural port, which enables individuals to jack into "LINC-SPACE": a virtual reality interface that can be used to penetrate LINC's electronic security and access restricted files.
Large portions of Earth have ostensibly been subject to massive ecological damage since the war, and so Union City is physically encased by a "protection dome" in which the air is scrubbed for toxins and other harmful substances before being recycled through a massive ventilation system. Despite the environmental damage, human life continues to survive and even thrive outside the cities in the undeveloped zone referred to as "The Gap", the new name given to Australia's Outback. Tribes of scavengers have formed in these areas, subsisting on local floral and fauna as well as the discarded trash that is constantly air-dropped from the surrounding cities by helicopter. Some residents of The Gap suffer from a disease referred to by Union security forces as "Gap plague"; this is likely radiation poisoning caused by remnants of nuclear fallout or other toxic weapons left over from the war.
Although very powerful, the Union Group still struggles against certain encroaching threats to their ideology: namely the Hobart Corporation, a rival city-state that openly promotes labor rights and public welfare. The Union Group has long decried Hobart City's socialist policies, accusing Hobart's leadership of intentionally undermining Union City's economy by refusing to adhere to their fascist principles. An economic and ideological war is currently being waged between the two states, with agents from both sides attempting to infiltrate the opposing state's highest levels of administration. However, without a clear victor in sight, it is unlikely either entity will back down from their respective political stances.