If I'm lucky I'll have it finished within 2 years.
Rough ideas for RNiEEdit
Date of Setting; 1998
Basic premise; Red Nights in Europe is a work of science fiction depicting Western and Eastern Europe dominated by super science, sentient undead warlords and bitter rump states vying for survival while the outside world only watches. It explores the people who live within this world, how the society of Europe and Russia have been affected by the collapse of their governments and rise of an almost alien society.
The World in 1998Edit
Eurasia is the main focus of the story and is the important region in the setting. It is effectively divided up into three mains areas; ‘Europe’ now ranges from the British Isles, upper northern Africa and into deep Western Russia. This forms the ‘State of Europe’. On the other hand, there remains a Large collection of rump states, self autonomous regions and nations that span from Western Russian to the Ural mountains. Furthermore, beyond the Urals lies the US puppet state of the Russian Federation.
The State of EuropeEdit
The State of Europe’ is made up of what remains of the old European nations, most retaining their original borders and titles bar West and East Germany who were reunified into the new ‘German Empire’. Europe is nominally governed by the absente dictator, Richard Reinhardt, an extremely powerful Lich. The old European states form what is known as the Inner Empire (Inner Bezirk or Inner Reich). The Inner Empire is governed by thinly veiled puppet governments and possess limited and largely redundant police forces and civil services designed to convey an image of independence. All regions maintain free elections, thought all candidates are the same bar public persona. In reality, the real power in these regions are individual Undead generals and commanders who govern as they see fit, however their power is to some degree limited by the Richard Reinhardt.
The Outer Empire is made up of regions such as Ireland, Northern Africa, Arabia,Western Russia and the Kingdom of David (Israel, Palestine, Syria, and Egypt). These are largely military districts due to their close proximity to enemy forces, and lack the puppet governments of the Inner Empire. Instead they are directly ruled by the undead. For example, all of Western Russia is governed by Oberstgruppenführer ‘Zeit’ who also serves as the commander of the local undead army group.
All work in Europe is done by the undead, who with no need to rest or food, toil endlessly to keep the Empire working. With no need for human workers, the living population is largely left to their own devices with ‘necessary’ supplies delivered to them. Resources are plentiful and despite the damages of the war of 1988, Europe has been entirely rebuilt. It sits in a strange situation, where despite the fact a perpetual war is going on with the rest of the planet, the population is largely content. While not supportive of Reinhardt, there is little in the way of resistance. People go along with their daily lives the best they can, knowing any attempt to fight Reinhardt will end in disaster. The morale of most of the population had collapsed after the disastrous war of 1988.
Post Soviet Rump StatesEdit
In place of the U.S.S.R now sits a collection of motley and embittered nations. While they all universally oppose Reinhardt, most are in conflict with each other and can find little common ground. These range from small autocratic states run by former members of the Soviet and Warsaw Pact armed forces, maintaining hard-liner Communist officers and soldiers, to large but unstable alliances of federalists and republicans backed by the United States, to self autonomous regions of Anarchists, to White Emigre controlled tin pot states, to tiny communes of no strategic worth.
Despite its instability, conflict and the ever greater influence of Reinhardt, the peoples of these regions have developed into a fascinating collection of tiny cultures, cliques and societies. While the majority of the population is Russian, the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and NATO forces in Western Europe during the conflict against Reinhardt, saw many soldiers refuse to surrender and instead flee to Russia. This means there are many westerners among the new society, including British, Americans, French and Germans. They have found themselves forced to work alongside the peoples of eastern Europe, and while conflict is common, it is the only clear path they have. Millions of other refugees from Europe have added to this.
The level of development range from place to place. While the regions bordering the areas of Reinhardt’s control are often war torn and lined with trenches and defences, the inner regions of are often quite well developed - almost normal. Towns, villages, and cities continue to expand. Roads and infrastructure have slowly been rebuilt. A bizarre mix of cultures have resulted in a strange incorporation of Western European and Russian cultures.
It also gained control of many of the technologies Reinhardt used to take control of Europe, providing it with it’s own liches and undead soldiers.Using this, they have ensured their survival but also have fallen into a perpetual conflict with Reinhardt. Neither side can gain momentum or outdo the other.
Technology and Terminology in 1990Edit
‘Lich’ Liches are human beings who have been modified into an almost digitised form. They often appear as skeletal or translucent, wraith figures, a result of the poor capacity of many liches to control their own power and failure to manifest stable forms. Liches can manipulate objects through telekinesis, summon bolts of energy and raise the dead. Stronger Liches can manifest huge armies, but without training or focus will find themselves severely limited, often possessing crude and clumsy abilities. Other Liches, while weaker in their pool of power, are much more focussed and in-tune. They can manifest stable forms, produce servants with full consciousness and sentience, and make use of both amazing and destructive skills. The strongest known Lich is ‘Richard Reinhardt’, although his power unfocused, he possesses a wellspring of energy. All Lich’s rely upon a core or crystallized heart to function. While their bodies can be destroyed, as long as this core remains the Lich can re-form and manifest itself. Becoming a Lich often brings numerous unwanted side effects, such as mental illness and instability.
‘Enhanced Human’ Enhanced Human’s use a mix of reversed engineered Lich technology. This usually means a form of regeneration, such as Amelia Freund whose blood was seeded with fragments of Reinhardt’s core. Through his, her body evolved and became stronger, tougher and able to regenerate wounds and fight disease with little issue. Other Enhanced Humans can replicate basic Lich powers, such as energy blasts, shielding and telekinesis. They serve in many armies and forces, few of them volunteers.
‘Succubi/Incubi’ A term coined by Richard Reinhardt to describe the state of one Jan Woods, Succubi and Incubi represent the latest of the Artifact's produce. Afflicted by a terrible mutagen, Succubi become stronger, faster, grow plates of glossy chitin, horns, claws and talons. They are powerful psychics and possess many of the powers of a lich, but worst of all is the mutagen still active in their blood and bodily fluids. One drop is enough to infect any sort of cell structure, mutating it into a breeding ground for more infectious spores or fluid. Succubi and Incubi are driven by a desire to infect others and spread their disease, thought retain their personalities and agency.
‘Undead’ Not truly dead nor truly living, beings raised by Lich’s are often merely animated skeletons driven by a weak telekinetic field that is operated by a basic mind that controls the motor functions of the skeleton. Undead are only limited by the power and skill of their masters, ranging from unintelligent worker drones to fully formed people and individuals, such as Reinhardt’s cadre of generals.
‘The Artefact’ A great, black sarcophagus, ‘The Artefact’ is a seemingly alien device that has produced Reinhardt. Only usable by those with some connection to it’s power, The Artefact is the main source of Reinhardt’s power. It is capable of producing Liches, and seems to have divulged various other secrets onto Reinhardt. It’s other creations include ‘Succubi/Incubi’, as well as acting as the source of the power of Amelia Freund and other enhanced Humans.
Reinhardt’s Legion Numbering millions and effectively without number, Reinhardt’s undead army once was a tiny collection of former German soldiers skulking in basements with its commander failing to take it anywhere. Now it dominates Europe and is engaged in a constant conflict with all of it’s neighbours. Reinhardt’s Legion is a varied and extensive force; ranging from massive tank armies, to hordes of infantrymen, to massive fleets of stolen and looted aircraft.
February, 1988: Richard Reinhardt, a German SS officer from the second world war, once thought dead, reemerges in the United Kingdom as a bizarre creature possessing the power to raise the dead. Stunted by his lack of tactical ability, Reinhardt is ‘contained’ by the British army, if only temporarily.
March, 1988: Reinhardt gains momentum having raised a collection of WW2 Generals, including his close friend, Kurt ‘von’ Goldberg, Reinhardt is able to organise an efficient fighting force that strains the British army massively
July, 1988: The Soviet Union deploys the first of its ‘counters’ to Reinhardt, fearful he will turn on them after Britain. ‘Amelia Freund’, one of the few survivors of extensive testing using fragments of Reinhardt’s bizarre technology, arrives in Britain but is unsuccessful in her attempt to kill Reinhardt. She defects to the United Kingdom
September, 1988: Amelia Freund uncovers the source of Reinhardt, a great Obsidian Sarcophagus, in Western France. The UK quickly hides away the device and unsuccessfully attempts to make use of it. Soviet enhanced human testing continues, seeing the deployment of more enhanced humans to kill Reinhardt.
October, 1988: Reinhardt retrieves the Sarcophagus. The British desperately attempt to retrieve it, but Reinhardt is able to make use of it’s power. His strength increases massively, and soon he raises fellow Liches to assist him.
December, 1988: After a brief lull in activity, Reinhardt emerges in Western Scotland and takes control of the region with a massive army of undead soldiers. While lacking air support, he is able to overrun the British army due to his ability to teleport. With no need for supply lines and having bypassed the basic limitations of his opponents in the form of extreme mobility, Reinhardt takes control of most of the United Kingdom by Christmas
January, 1989: A NATO and EU US lead task force attempts to liberate the country. In a disastrous invasion, Reinhardt crushes his opponents, steals what equipment he can and uses the momentum to first enter France. Elsewhere across Europe, several million undead soldiers are deposited. The Warsaw Pact, struggling with it’s own economic problems, and facing revolution and collapse, offers some vague assistance to the collapsing Western Powers
Red Nights in Europe - the actual thingEdit
The concrete checkpoint face me was coated in snow. A pillbox marked with a red star sat on one side, a rusting sign partially draped in a red flag read in cyrillic “WELCOME TO ULYANOVSK” sat on the other side.
Manning the checkpoint were four men, all armed with assault rifles and garbed in heavy winter coats, red armbands marked with white hammers and sickles. The gate as lowered to bar my path - two of the men breaking off from the main group and marching toward me. I slowly drove the car to a halt,, keeping a close eye on the guards while I reached into a rucksack to grab my papers.
The man approaching seemed to be some sort of officer based on his attire; silver shoulder boards and piping and a small collection of rusted medals adorning his chest armour. His face was masked bar his pale eyes. The other trooper shambled forward, his movement awkward, janky.
The two kept their weapons trained on me as they moved up to the car, and I could see the shell impacts and bullet holes marring the side of the pillbox - and the crater beside the road and row of orthodox crosses on the road side. One of the guards arms was in a sling, another had a bandage wrapped around his forehead. A typical sight on frontier posts like this, thought I was surprised they’d buried their dead.
Drawing close, the officer leaned down to speak with me tapping the window of the car which I quickly rolled down.
“Business?” he muttered in Russian tinged voice. His adjutant shuffled next to him, his face covered by a rotting gas mask I unfurled the papers and handed them over to the guard, who quietly inspected them while the other trooper calmly took aim, flipping of the safety as he watched me speak.
“I was invited. I’m looking for work.”
I’d found the ‘invitation’ several weeks ago, a simple poster nailed to the wall of a bar near Volgograd. I glanced down at the tattered sheet of paper, ‘500,000 rubles for assistance for any ‘Lich, Enhanced Human or anyone else with special talents wanted for mercenary work. No questions asked. Ulyanovsk’. With no other work paying so well, it seemed the best option at the time since anti-bandit and partisan work was getting quite rare.
“As I can see,” the man sighed, lowering his rifle for but a moment to hand me back the invitation and pointing down the road ahead, “Go straight towards the barracks, you can’t miss. There’s a meeting point there.”
“How far is it?”
“Four miles. I’ll signal the other checkpoints to let you through, but no sudden movements, and if they want to check you, you let them.”
“I understand,” I nodded. The officer smiled and stepped back, waving to the men near the gate to open it up,
“Have a good day,” he muttered as he walked back off to his post.
The gate began to rise and I swiftly rolled up the windshield, dropping the paper back into the bag. The car rolled forward again, passing one of the men, but as I looked at him I realised there something different about him. His frame was hunched over and I could see now, his hands were free of any skin muscle. Instead pale bone fingers were wrapped tightly around his weapon.