SavRS Setting 02.04: Social Notes on The Reich
Day to Day Living
In the Reich, Deutsch (German) is the only accepted language. Just as the English effectively erased Scots-Gaelic from Scotland in the late 1700’s, the Reich has succeeded all but totally annihilating English, French, Russian and the other languages of its conquered lands. It may be difficult to imagine but while English is still spoken by some in Australia, and Western America, it is a FOREIGN language in England and the A.A.U. Several generations of totalitarian rule has done a lot to accomplish this end.
The Gender Roles
Women in the Reich are expected to be the dutiful wives and mothers. They do not belong in most work places, and those that do work can only get secretarial, health care, and lower echelons administrative jobs. This is especially true in government, military, civil service, and corporate fields. There are no female soldiers, politicians, or Intelligence agents. Women who wear more than very light make-up are labeled as prostitutes. A woman who smokes can be fined RM50 if she is caught. The only exception to this social stigma is within the Uber society, where women are treated as equals and allowed roles in the higher echelons.
Curfew & Work Shifts
On Erde, in order to alleviate some of the tremendous overcrowding on the streets, citizens are only allowed to be outside for a limited amount of time. There are three work shifts
A – Work during the hours of 12 midnight to 8am. Citizens are allowed in public outside from 9pm to 12 midnight, and 8am to 4pm.
B – Work during the hours of 8 am – 4pm. Citizens are allowed in public outside from 5am to 8am, and 4pm to 12 midnight.
C – Work during the hours of 4pm – 12m . Citizens are allowed in public outside from 1pm to 4pm, and 12 midnigh to 8am.
If a citizen is caught on the streets outside of their free hours or during work hours, they will be fined RM5OO. Citizens can become VERY angry at people caught violating curfew shifts – making lines longer and thickening already stagnate traffic, for example.
Certain professions have a “no curfew” privilege or spacial extension hours. These include politicians, bureaucrats, certain technocrats, military, polizei, bounty hunters, and reporters.
Most business operate 24 hours a day, 7 days. a week (except for April 20 and May 1). This keeps services available to people on all shifts and keeps more citizens employed.
On the Reich Netz, there are only 2 officially approved channels for entertainment and new, both operating 24 hours a day.
- Kanal 1 is the “National Socialist News Service or NSN. Downloadable print versions of the news are available through Kanal 1, transferable to ones personal terminal. Due to the scarcity of trees and thus paper, printed versions are on plastic-based paper.
- Kanal 2 is the German Cultural Network or DKN. DKN broadcasts government approved dramas, documentaries, music, comedies, films, and anything else not related to the news.
By National law, Reich Netz streaming units (Stream-Einheit or SEs) are REQUIRED in every home and workplace. Everyone must also pay an annual leasing fee/tax of RM100 for this privilege. SEs are powered by direct wiring. There is no plug to pull and no “off” switch. If the local station reads that your linkage has been broken, a technician is immediately sent to investigate. If the damage is the fault of the citizen, he will be fined RM250 by the Ministry of Propaganda and Enlightenment in addition to the cost of repair. SEs of course provides the Ministry with a constant barrage of subliminal messages.
The Kanal 1 new feed in text form is also constantly running across personal terminals and the audio can be brought up at anytime. This can be changed over to Kanal 2 as well.
Living Spaces (Wohnraum)
The vast majority of Reichs citizens live in very small, space conservative apartments which they often must share with other generations of their family. Someone who is fortunate enough to have their own lease is doing very well.
With the small area available, every possible method of conserving space has been applied: all doors slide open (either manually or electronically); beds and furnishings fold away into walls or floors, etc.
Because 80% of the population depends on synthfood as their primary food source, there is no longer any need for conventional appliances like ovens, stoves, microwaves, or refrigerators. These relics of the 20th and 21st centuries have either been replaced or eliminated altogether.
Water (clean and safe) is heavily rationed on Erde. The normal daily allowance is 10 gallons per household. This includes drinking and washing. However, new advances in audio technology have strongly diminished most washing needs.
The National Government owns and operates all housing and public utilities through the Ministry of the Interior. Typical rental for an apartment is RM20 per m2, and one’s social status can be measured in how high they live above street level. All apartments are also required to have a SE.
Originally developed for space travel by Gerber Foods, synthfood has now become the primary source of consumption on Erde. The massive expansion of human population and construction has destroyed most of the fertile soil and livestock, and so Gerber has engineered a synthetic food derived fr-om kelp, plankton, and mysterious “other ingredients” (including enough preservatives to allow years of storage without refrigeration). The company has also been plagued by rumors for years that the kelp and plankton supplies have been decimated in the polluted seas, and that the true ingredient is something far more sinister – byproducts
from SS-owned Body Banks! There is however no evidence to support this claim, and past investigations by the Ministry of Health and Human Resources have repeatedly cleared both Gerber- Foods and the SS of any wrongdoings.
Synthfood comes in a wide variety of artificial flavors ranging from wiener-schnitzel, to smoked salmon. It comes in a tube resembling toothpaste, and consists of an unsightly greyish paste that is squeezed onto a plastic tongue depressor “spoon”. Cost is RM2 each.
Located throughout the cities in the Reich are colossal skyscrapers dedicated to farming both salt and freshwater fish. Inside these incredibly durable complexes are level after level of water- tanks containing millions of aquatic lifeforms. Individual levels are drained and refilled daily for harvesting, and sent to nearby plants for- processing and shipment to food stores. Other- complexes are dedicated to the production of kelp and plankton. Fish meals cost RM5.
Other than fish, the only other real food on Erde is rare and only available to the upper echelons and the elite. The few farms that are left are closing managed and monitored by the Ministry of Agriculture, and many livestocks are genetically engineered and cloned in various labs on Erde and throughout the colonies.
MONEY, PROPERTY & INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS
Money and Credit
The modern Reichsmark as well as the Japanese Yen have gone completely virtual, embedded in the ZIK chip of every person. Hacking and counterfeiting are common but both major powers have extensive enforcement divisions to keep it at a minimum.
All land is owned and leased by the government. If a citizen is lucky enough to own his own living space, he should never forget that the government can evict both him and his dwelling from their land.
Simply put, there is none. Officially, the motto is “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear …” Law enforcement agencies are allowed by the constitution to use any form of public: monitoring available. This includes wiretaps, bugs, video, laser mics, x-ray cameras, drones and more. Part of standard polizei patrol work includes random surveillance with afore aforementioned equipment. Despite the news media’s praise of law officers working hard to fight crime, drugs and Imperialist garbage, the polizei spend nearly 70% of their man hours spying on private citizens.
A person is only allowed to carry a gun or purchase ammunition with a valid weapons permit. Weapons permits are not given out indiscriminately. There is an extensive background check into the applicant’s life, relatives friends, and acquaintances on Erde and in the colonies. There is also an extensive psychological profile. Obviously all this requires a significant amount of time to accomplish, and so waiting periods of up to four months are common. If any signs of communist or imperialist revolutionary ideas surface in the applicant’s past or in those with whom he has associated, or if he has a criminal record, the permit is rejected.
To apply for a permit you must convince the local Reichskriminaldirektor der Polizei that you have a just cause for the need to own a gun. The ONLY recognized needs are that you are:
- Presently in the military, or are a government official authorized to carry such weapons.
- A Polizei officer or a security officer of an officially licensed security firm.
- A licensed bounty hunter.
- A licensed detective.
- A colonist of a sparsely inhabited colony, and require a gun for self-defense against wildlife or criminals. (valid only on that colony, and only in very remote areas where there is not adequate polizei protection).
There are also numerous restrictions that apply:
- You may only obtain a permit for ONE specific gun.
- Only ONE load of ammo per month is allowed. All ammo purchases are logged with the polizei, and being caught with more than one load is a violation.
- You must be able to present the weapon for inspection at any time. If the gun is lost or stolen, you must report it within 24 hours or spend 1 year in a labor camp. You will also be declared “irresponsible” and lose the right to possess one.
- Permits are only valid on the colony where issued and may not be transported off-world, with the exceptions of government authorities, C.E.E. explorers, and bounty hunters.
A permit may be revoked by Polizei or any other authorized government authority on the spot, for any reason that official deems necessary. Once revoked in that manner you must appeal to a National Court to have it restored.
Vid-phones have almost completely replaced pictureless telephones in homes, offices, and phone booths. Many models have a built-in VDR answering module which records messages on a 4×8 mm microdisk. A typical call within the same area code is RM0.50/ minute. Phone services are government owned and administered through the Ministry of Post and Communications.
Basic letters are a thing of the past and primarily are now in the form of Netz-mail. However, packages and physical forms are still need to be shipped and times. The National Government owns and operates the mail system. Interplanetary shipment of government, bank, and special delivery data is handled directly by the Reichs Postal Service. However, many Interplanetary shipments are sub-contracted to private companies.
Postal workers deliver mail to their own small offices located in most apartment and office complexes. The mail is then sorted again and delivered to the addressee via small mailbots. These short, box-like, simple automatons are a well-known sight in daily life. In either case, the package is bar-coded for ease of tracking. This greatly increases the speed of sorting. The Postal Service is regulated through the Ministry of Post and Communications.
A typical letter can be sent anywhere on the same planet for RM1. Interplanetary can cost between RM5 and RM25. Planetary delivery takes 1-2 weeks and interplanetary delivery takes 2-6 weeks.
In the Reich, Lufttaxis are automated hovercar taxicabs (commonly called Johannie-Cabs by some). They are still a fairly recent development dating only back as 2035. 30 Years after their development, they are still considered very much a luxury form of transit and can be quite expensive (about RM2 per km). Lufttaxis may travel anywhere within a given State’s boundary, but not beyond. For example, you could take a lufttaxi from the A.A.U. capital of Chicago to any other Gau in the A.A.U., but not to Grunland, or Kuba and certainly not to Western America.
Lufttaxi platforms are located throughout all the Reich cities of Erde and the more developed colonial ones. These platforms consist of a 2.5m tall scaffold, with stairs leading up to the steel mesh landing pad. At the top of the platform is a proximity sensor linked to a semi-intelligent computer dispatcher. When the sensor detects someone standing on the platform it scans the person’s ZIK and asks politely, “Lufttaxi, mein Herr (or Dame)?” The person then simply tells the computer where he wants to go, and the nearest available taxi is signaled. These platforms are painted in cautionary yellow and black, and are easily distinguished from ground or air by a revolving yellow light.
Other Modes of Urban Travel
Groundcars, self-driving as well as personally driven are still very much in use, although production is slowly winding down. People have chosen to make use of the crowded (but faster) subway or monorails systems for their primary means of transport.
Other modes of personal transport within urban areas include bicycles for short distances in the major cities. The most popular models are the plasti-steel bikes that fold up and can be carried on one’s back. For those that can afford it, there are also contra-grav bikes powered by the rider pedaling. Additionally, there are wheeled and hover personal pods that many Marys/Marions use that are compact means of transportation. Mono-wheeled pods are a single-wheel unit that a person stands on and rides down the street. Hovers versions look like small hover-board that perform the same task as their wheeled counter-parts.
CRIME & PUNISHMENT
The days of long-term prison sentences have faded into history. In the mid 21st century, those who have committed crimes once reserved for incarceration find themselves put to a more productive use in labor camps. The more severe a crime is, the more dangerous the work assigned. Of course the number of crimes punishable by capital punishment have also increased since the Nazi rise to power. Traditional prisons are only used for short stay prior to transfer to a labor camp. Those that refuse to work are tortured, used in scientific experiments, or executed.
Beyond the standard Minder, there are many types of people in the Reich that, while not being persecuted are still looked down upon by the public at large. Among these are:
Strassers – These are the homeless beggars and scavengers that populate the darkest streets, ruins and sewers of the cities. Whole clans can be found living in the shattered and dangerous remains of New York City, mutated and unrecognizable as human. They live off of vermin and other people’s garbage far removed from those who inhabit the highest penthouse apartments.
Behindert (The Handicapped) – This broad category includes those that suffer from injuries, as well as those who have fully functional artificial limbs or organs. Those who were wounded in “the line of duty” are given much heroic praise by the government, but that same government may place the injured person’s children in a state institution or foster home with the reasoning that the handicapped person will not be able to find adequate work to support them. There is no
government legislation preventing discrimination in hiring practices.
Wandervogels (Wandering Birds) – These Reich equivalent to “hippies” have faded in and out of society countless times since the 1920’s. Part of this group
actually formed the original core of the Hitler Youth. Modern wandervogels, however, have become much less political and have abandoned the formal structure organized by founders Herman Hoffmann and Karl Fischer.
These idealistic youths despise the confines of modern industrialized life, and seek a return to a simpler romanticized ancient past. They rebel against modern
technology and machines in general, and embrace the beauty of nature in untamed isolated locations (the more untamed the experience the better). A true wandervogels would rather brave a drenching rainstorm than ride in a protected vehicle. He would prefer sleeping in a haystack in a freshly cut field to a warm bed. Purity of the body is also important, and so they abstain from alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
The daily lifestyle of these “wandering birds” includes any form of Germanic folk art, from singing and dancing, to playing traditional instruments, to crafts. Their clothing reflects their unique lifestyle, and in a strangely uniform fashion they all seem to wear simple loose-fitting shirts and trousers, waterproof boots, heavy coats, droopy wide brimmed hats, and the obligatory rucksack and walking stick. Out in remote areas of the colonies, many often revert to total nudity.
Demonstrant (The Protesters) – Small pockets of protesters can be found throughout the city streets with topics ranging from: war, peace, environment, social change, politics, anti-slavery, anti-robots, anti-Japan, etc. Such gatherings must be granted permission from the local Polizei (not given very often), and illegal gatherings are quickly broken up.