A Darker Philadelphia

In the early 2030s, much like in other countries, tension and civil war within the United States led to the dissolution of the federal government, leading to the rise of smaller countries and city-states in lieu of the now-much-less-united states. Philadelphia, also known at this point as the Philly Sprawl as the city’s metropolitan borders expanded further outwards, was one of these many cities to become a city-state onto itself.

And with the fall of governments and nations around the world came the rise of the megacorps. And that’s all she wrote.

Philadelphia’s population spiked a little more than ten years ago in 2055 after an influx of refugees arrived from New York City and New Jersey after the Big Apple and the Garden State sank into the stinking sea. As most of these fleeing refugees belonged to racial and ethnic minorities, racial tensions grew within the City of Brotherly Love, and things haven’t gotten any better since. Several gangs formed in response to this—attempts at resistance against violent discrimination that have unfortunately gone sour as the gangs began to focus their efforts more on making money than protecting their neighborhoods.

Meanwhile, with New York City gone, the megacorps set their eyes on the ever-growing Philly Sprawl. While they had been present in the city before 2055, as Philadelphia had had to let them in in order to compete with the global economy, corporate presence was limited before the disaster, and the city-state’s government ran the show.

Not so much after Philadelphia nearly buckled under the weight of its own growing populace.

The megacorps were there to save the day. Kind of. They provided more jobs and more infrastructure than the city-state ever could, and yet things kept getting worse. Places like Germantown and Kensington became barrens, areas so poor that they made third-world countries look like Shangri fuckin’ La. Meanwhile, the city’s people became further divided by race, class, and corporate loyalties.

Now war is everywhere, from corporate board rooms to the grimy streets; from the ones and zeroes of the matrix to living, breathing, bleeding meatspace. And now Philly’s looking a lot like Hong Kong—a piss-stained city for corporations to play games where it’s all about the nuyen and the people don’t matter.

A Darker Philadelphia

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