Antarctic State of Cyberia

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The Antarctic State of Cyberia (ASC or A.S.C.), otherwise shortened to the Antarctic State (A.S. or AS) or simply Cyberia (sī-bîr′ē-ə [Listen]), is a country spanning the entirety of the continent of Antarctica. At 5.4 million square miles (14 million square kilometers), Cyberia is the second largest country by area, behind Russia. It is a state run almost exclusively by its military, which has been an integral component of Cyberia since its inception.

The country has a culture mixed majorly between 21st century American and Russian facets and features, owing to the US and RU militaries and civilian workers that formed its foundation more than one hundred and ninety years ago. Following the militant takeover of Antarctic mines, the Russian and American separatist brigades held their ground against counterattacks and through many years of steady fighting, and formed into a new resource-rich nation founded on militant defense.

Now in the 23rd century, the dissolution of the United States and the backing down of Russia left the Antarctic State standing as a primarily defensive, technological, and largely independent superpower that continuously watches its territory with high vigilance and prejudice against those who dare encroach. Much of its military might is contained within its borders and in close contact with the civilian population. What limited physical outreach to other countries it holds is mostly through trade, as little as it is.

As it stands in its present state, the AS is a country of diverse tastes and personalities much like their 21st century origins. Its government can be regarded as authoritarian only when its rulings are aggressively challenged, much like the notion that a bees' nest will not attack unless provoked. Overall, the AS government makes noticeable effort to form most of its rulings around the general population's majority interests, usually through direct majority voting.

Etymology

The name Cyberia was created out of the combination of the two words 'cyber' as in 'technology', and 'Siberia' referencing the region of Siberia itself. Though it is not an official "translation", the name Cyberia can be expanded to mean "Technological Siberia". This is in reference to the country being formed within the digital age.

History

Early History

For several decades prior to the turn of the 21st century, Antarctica's volume of true land beneath a mile and a half of ice had its vast resources covertly exploited by the American and Soviet superpowers. Many mining stations were established in secret. These mines and other such important areas were heavily guarded and surveilled, and their workers — who were civilian prisoners — were escorted by military units of mostly American and Russian origin. Convicted felons, death row inmates, and other incarcerated peoples, of which there were no shortages of, were shipped into the fledgling enterprise to perform hard labor in frigid and dangerous conditions; in places that didn't officially exist, as far as the rest of the world was concerned. The militaries' personnel were known within the circles of mining operations to be harshly punishing upon those who defied orders. Those who tried to flee into the icy desert were either crippled and left for dead in said icy conditions, or captured and taken back to stand in front of a firing squad.

In order to facilitate the misinformed nature of the public regarding the mining operations, the Antarctic Treaty System was established. Proposal to other countries was done whilst turning a blind eye to the resource operations happening over the continent. The US and Soviet superpowers allied with one another for the sole purpose of keeping such resource operations hidden from the rest of the world. All the while, they slowly but steadily fueled their economies under the guise that these resources were coming from their own countries alone.

Internal Unrest

Through the decades-long duration of the operations, some of the high ranking commissioned officers that were stationed for the long-term in Antarctica began to think for themselves, rather than for the good of their home countries. These officers dreamed of a land where they could keep all the resources for themselves, and thus all the profits that come of these resources. Needless to say, this would be no easy dream to achieve, these officers were obviously in the minority when it came to plans for the future. Detailed war plans and contingency plans were passed around in secret to those that were surreptitiously proven to be feeling the same greed. Recruitment of more officers happened slowly but steadily, and secret meetings between these officers became a regular schedule.

Public Discovery

At the turn of the 21st century, a sudden and uncontrollable leak of information was launched by an unknown agent or agents. Nearly all classified documents, pictures and videos of the Antarctic mining operations was uploaded to to the public web, which soon gained traction in the world media, and thus the near-monopoly was heavily compromised. This came as a complete and total surprise to the planning military officers. However, to their advantage, since none of their own plans were ever officially known to anyone but them, their upcoming coup was still under wraps.

Three-Faction War

Total lockdown of each and every mining station was ordered by the generals back home in Russia and the United States. The plotting officers complied. Now that the entire operation was exposed, the tenuous truce between the US and Russia quickly deteriorated in the area. Bold accusations and other such horseplay was frequently exchanged between the nations along the lines of the rightful ownership of territory in the Antarctic continent, and supposed violations of agreements old and new. This quickly escalated into an armed conflict over Antarctic claims. All the while, a third faction in the conflict arose in the form of the separatist officers and their lower-ranked soldiers. These now detached battalions used captured planes to send soldiers to other mines that were in fact still loyal to US and RU. Battles between soldiers that were on the same side ensued, as a means to the separatist end that was to seize control of each and every resource mine over the continent. Blood was shed and lives were lost as a result of a three-way war, which to the detachments was akin to guerrilla warfare.

The fighting and takeovers were relayed to the two now-enemy countries by the defending fronts, believing the takeovers were coming from the opposing nation. With focus lost on suppressing information about Antarctican incidences, the general public was also informed of the violent outbreaks. The world stood and watched as internal conflict was breaking apart the chain of command; military officials questioning who they can and can't trust, sometimes even violently accusing each other of defection. With time, capture and control of the most crucial mining stations by the separatists was ultimately achieved, though many lives were lost and/or became prisoners of a new war. The separatist officers made sure to implement their contingency plans and defuse any mutinies by talking their men into the benefits of becoming an entirely new and sovereign nation with all the resources it could need at its disposal. The officers also sold their men on the fact that surrendering when the superpowers come to attempt to take back their land, would lead to court marshaling and life sentences if not capital punishments.

At the tail end of the three-way war, the two superpower nations were abundantly pressured on multiple fronts to end the war between themselves and the separatists. The separatists were a thorn in their side, and sending in new troops was proving ineffective at best. Around the year of 2008, after eight long years of fighting, the US and Russia form a second truce, and offered the same truce to the third faction, however the third faction ultimately refused. Figuring the third faction would sooner be starved of necessities and die out without their help, the US and Russia decide to wait out the third faction's eventual burnout or internal conflict, and pull out of Antarctica.

Formation of Cyberia

The mines were kept in operation under the guard of a now disavowed conglomerate of military units. Captured military aircraft were used to transport raw materials and many other types of goods to and from outside countries. These countries bought the materials, and soon with these profits, the Antarctic bases acquired the means to process and utilize their own excavated resources. This lead to an expansion of what small military bases lie nearby the mining stations, as well as additions and manufacturing plants installed. It was not without further conflict stemming from American and Russian interference, but the new permanent residents of Antarctica would go on to experience an almost exponential growth, and became known for their heavy defense and thorough scavenging of those that fall before them. They later would come to be officially designated as, Cyberia. Now in the 23rd century, Cyberia, named so for its technological nature and its frigid climate, is now best known as "The Brooding Dragon in the Impenetrable Castle". The dragon, being in reference to Cyberia's state military, which is primarily and vehemently concerned with defending its icy soil; the castle it resides in.

Politics

Government

Main article: Unitary Government of Cyberia

With the Constitution of Cyberia in place, the country is legally defined as a unitary stratocracy. That is, it is a military state (stratocracy) with a centralized power (unitary) that presides and governs over all territories of Cyberia. Much of its governmental offices require the office holder to be currently be enlisted in the military. Positions with more responsibilities and/or authority correlate with a higher rank required to occupy.

There are several departments that the government is split into, all exercising a majorly important aspect of the nation respectively. The departments are headed by one president each, each of which gather together to deliberate over the state of the country and its future; together they are dubbed the High Castle.

Foreign Relations

Main article: ASC Department of Foreign Affairs

The country in the present time considers itself neutral to all countries and factions that it does not have an alliance with, however the Antarctic State has often expressed the fact that it is "always watching", which not-so-subtly seeks to reinforce the image of iron defense the country is known for. Furthermore, after the dissolving of NATO and other such mass-treaties, Cyberia is one of many countries that no longer acknowledges the authority of old war treaties such as the Hague Conventions and Geneva Conventions, though some merciful practices are still in effect.

Military

Main article: Cyberian Military Forces

The military is very deeply integrated into society. It can even be said that while most nations have a military, the Cyberian military rather has a state. Unlike most militaries, the Cyberian military is not officially divided between an army, navy and air force. The Antarctic State Military operates under the notion that the military stays as one unit as closely as it can, for the sake of smooth-going communication and simplified logistics across the entirety of the forces.

Working for the military and working for the government are much the same thing in the Antarctic State, moreso than most other nations, as the military is very deeply integrated into the government. It can even be argued that the military is the government, due to much of its offices being occupied by commissioned officers.

Political Divisions

There is a necessary political divide between the military population and the civilian population. This division manifests in the form of the authorities that preside over them. For example, civilians who are detained by law enforcement or Riot Control after having committed a crime, are taken to a civilian court of law. By contrast, personnel who are detained by military police are either give non-judicial punishments by their commanding officers, or tried in court-martials. This is because Cyberian military personnel are sworn to a stricter and more draconian set of laws than civilians are as soon as they join basic training.

Legislature

Main article: ASC Department of Justice

During its upbringing, the country mostly assimilated the constitutional rights of the once-great United States and much of its common law. However, due to the alienation of its mother countries, the law system was not solidified and so there were many inconsistencies and at times even preferential treatment committed by higher authority. An example was shown to be worse treatment of mine workers who committed crimes, whilst enlists and officers were given relatively softer punishments for the same actions. With time, soon a coherent set of rules were laid out and voted upon. These ended up being more authoritarian and a bit more draconian than previous iterations.

In the present state, there exists a supreme Cyberian constitution, though it allows the highest echelons of government to revise it more readily than most countries' constitutions. Cyberian law is intended to be structured around logical and common sense rulings, and deliberately quashes the influence of emotion in those rulings. These laws and regulations heavily resemble the US's during the early quarter of the 21st century, with many revisions made in the pursuit of consistency, streamlining, and reasonable malleability for a constantly changing populous. A few examples of the vast amount of adjustments include: a time limit of two years imposed on court battles, speed limits raised in all types of areas, simplified gun ownership laws coupled with rigorous and recurring background checking, and sentencing made more punishing. It has been ruled that any new happenstance that is not unambiguously regulated by law is subject to special government scrutiny and evaluation.

Sanctions for criminal activity are harsh yet usually swift. Lesser crimes are often given one of three punishments; jail time, a fine or fines imposed, or wages cut and given to the government for a certain amount of time. The more severe the crime, the longer and/or more severe the sanctions. The prevailing method of capital punishment is standing before a firing squad, of which its five riflemen are chosen at random from the population of civilians who own a class II gun license, in the city or closest area the crime was committed in. Firing squad rifleman are compensated monetarily, however participation is not mandatory. RC Chief Warrant Officers are responsible for commanding firing squad executions.

For liability and insurance purposes, recording devices such as dashcams and input logging devices similar to airliner black boxes are required on all civilian vehicles, including freight trucks like semis. Car manufacturers often use the inclusion of built-in dashcam devices, recording capacity, resolution, and frame rate as marketing features.

The drinking age in Cyberia is eighteen years of age. Acceptance for enlistment in the Cyberian Military Forces is a lower limit of seventeen and a half years of age with no upper limit, provided that applicants are able to complete basic training. The age of consent in Cyberia is sixteen, and laws for sexual activity largely follow upon 21st century Russian laws, and have not changed much since.

Gun Ownership

Main article: Gun laws in Cyberia

Firearms are classified only by their average power, measured officially in joules per second, as opposed to barrel length or select fire capability. This takes into account muzzle energy and rate of fire. Basic licenses are available as a base certification upon completion of an educational course and examination in firearms safety and operation. However this is only a certification of basic knowledge of firearms operation and safety, and is not sufficient for ownership of any kind. Ownership is dependent on license classes. A gun owner's license class is dependent on the owner's education and training. For example, Class I certification requires the owner to physically display a basic level of proficiency and safety with weapons of the caliber class, using government-issued testing firearms. Proficiencies such as reasonable accuracy and control with small arms of this general size are tested. Classes II and higher require not only the education and training of larger calibers, but the acquisition of all preceding classes as well.

Cyberia has a very high rate of gun ownership. It is estimated that 8 in 10 people own at least one firearm, and many of those that do, own several.

Geography

Main article: Geography of Antarctica
The area of proper land beneath the ice.

The general geography of Cyberia is very much unchanged from the point at which the continent it resides on was occupied. With the exception of the larger mining quarries dotted around the country, much of it has been left as it was found. Large swathes of land is actually more or less permanent ice more than 1.5km thick on average. With there being a marked lack of natural trees and other foliage, deforestation is not an applicable problem. All trees spotted in Cyberia have been planted by mankind, rather than naturally available.

Topography

Cyberia's landscape can be described as coming in two flavors; high jagged mountains separated from each other by vast areas of relatively flat snow and ice.

The Transantarctic Mountains divide the continent, and thus the country, into two regions; East Antarctica and West Antarctica. The east has become the most populated region due to the higher ratio of proper land beneath permanent ice sheet. This land is home to the majority of the rich resources the continent holds, and so is the home of the majority of the major cities that are supplied by such resources.

Climate

See also: Climate of Cyberia

Due to Cyberia's location on the extreme southern edge of Earth, it is the coldest country on the planet. In fact, the highest natural air temperature recorded was about 17°C (63°F), which is only a few degrees above the common room temperature in the country.

On the coast, at the outskirts of city limits, the average high temperature is about 17 °C (63 °F). Areas deeper into the country such as Decatur and Articuno, city temperatures average around −55 °C (−67 °F). These temperatures tend to increase the further closer to population centers one travels.

Outside these city limits however, is where the temperatures are the most extreme, averages ranging from −10 to −89 °C (14 to −128 °F).

It has been found that due to the closeness of buildings and density across city blocks, the ambient temperature and humidity of particularly dense city areas is significantly higher than areas closer to city borders. Building code regulations require the thorough integration, maintenance and redundancy of temperature control systems; or more specifically, heating systems for the health and safety of occupants, to protect from the ever-frigid atmosphere outside. City roadways also benefit from government-required heating infrastructure to keep them freed from ice and snow. Cyberian government rules that residents of apartments and other residential areas are not to be charged for central heater use. Room temperature is commonly regulated to 16 °C (61 °F).

Sunrise and Sunset

Night and day are very different terms in Cyberia. Due to the continent of Antarctica residing on all longitudes, it technically carries all time zones. Nearly all locations within Cyberia experience polar night and midnight sun at the June and December solstices, respectively. In short, the country has fluctuating spells of 24 hour nights and 24 hour days.

Man-Made Infrastructure

See also: ASC Department of Infrastructure
High resolution map of Cyberia showing major and minor cities and military bases. It should be noted that this map is in fact not an exhaustive list and location of all established locations.

Cities

Despite having a massive population of 500+ million people, cities are very few and far between when compared to most countries. Furthermore, these cities are quite small, due to a very high population density that tends to average around 4,755/mi2 (1,836/km2), topping out at around 13,400/mi2 (5,174/km2). Both major and minor cities are often built quite dense at their busier spots, in the pursuit of minimizing exposure to the frigid elements.

Alongside areas of decreased business such as certain non-apartmental residences and underdeveloped areas, there are also areas of decreased density that are built on purpose such as recreational parks and mall plazas, where citizens often visit for relaxation and as a getaway from otherwise potentially claustrophobic conditions. Expansion is generally made vertically rather than outwardly. It is not uncommon for a tall building to house more than one business separated by stairflight and/or elevator floors. Buildings and floors that are no longer in use are quickly sold off to expanding or starting businesses. As space is at a premium, large signs advertising the location of multiple businesses in either Russian or English or both are a common sight.

Military Bases

All cities in Cyberia are essentially built surrounding very large and very active military bases where the ratio of civilians to personnel is extremely low. These military bases often have vast gullies dug between the borders of bases and the borders of cities, with several sparsely placed roads or bridges connecting the two, and heavily guarded gated checkpoints at both borders.

Military bases themselves are quite dense with personnel as well, the major ones peaking in population density at about 6,340/mi2 (2,448/km2). It can be argued that Cyberian Military Bases (CMBs) are cities on their very own, as they are actually built with the intention of operating largely independently of their surrounding civilian lands.

Building Code

Building code regulations mandate the heating of publicly-accessible places (such as stores and other buildings) to a room temperature at or near 16 °C (61 °F) for adequate health and safety. Regulations also expect residential complexes to have a certain level of soundproofing in walling preventing the passage of nuisance noise between rooms or apartments. This soundproofing must effectively attenuate any noises below sixty decibels.

Whereas in the past, the majority of light fixtures used in a nation's lighting shown a dull yellow/orange light using incandescent bulbs, nowadays LEDs and high color temperatures such as daylight/overcast (6000K-9500K), and color rendering indexes of 70-98 are exceedingly common in the Antarctic State.

Transport

Major roadways such as freeways and highways are built very wide due to large lanes made with the use of military vehicles in mind. Minor roadway lanes in contrast to major ones are made a comfortable width for civilian cars and freight trucks. Speed limits are high compared to other countries, and interesting in that there is a greater emphasis on speed minimums as opposed to maximums. That is to say, it is illegal to drive slower than a specially posted limit unless a reasonable problem arises. The most common speed maximum in even residential areas is 45 mph (72 km/h), while speed minimums are commonly found around 80 mph (129 km/h) on freeways and highways.

Due to temperature concerns, personal transportation is nearly entirely dominated by automobiles. Except in inner city areas where temperatures rise dramatically, it is quite rare to see someone riding any kind of bicycle, and motorcycles are not much more common. The notion that "everyone has one" has lead to a large modification community surrounding cars to personalize their cars and/or outperform other cars.

Underneath the cities' surface and heating pipelines, there is a vast tunnel system of high-speed subway rails built as one method of public transportation in the Antarctic State. The other most common modes of public transportation is by high-speed train between cities and by jet airliner. High speed rail lines are relatively straight shots between cities to and from destinations. Due to their long straightaways, they can easily exceed 200 mph (322 km/h) even with a full load of passengers and/or freight. About the same can be said for the subway systems, however since there are a greater number of turns, top speed is reduced. Airliners are generally only used for long distance travelling, such as between cities or to and from the country; however, some cities are so large that some people will take planes just to get from one airport to the other. Airports are usually constructed with very long runways in comparison to most airports around the world, due to a very high elevation on the average in the country making it more difficult to take off.

Economy

See also: ASC Department of Resource Management
Declassified rough locations of most of the element-rich mines. The production rate and amount of resource left in such mines is still classified.

The Cyberian economy is largely formed around the mining and selling of its raw resources to other countries. It gathers these resources from its own mines all over the continent, which often reach more than a mile below the surface through ice sheets. A significant secondary form of income for the country is the sale of export variants of military hardware and similar technology to outside countries.

Much of the Antarctic State's resources are used up by itself, in the manufacture of almost all of its hardware across the whole continent. This has made it relatively easy for the country to survive on its own without outside assistance, and is a point of leverage for Cyberia in negotiation for it need not rely heavily on other countries for prosperity.


Currency

Main article: ASC Department of Treasury § Currency

Cyberia uses its own currency called the Antarctic Ruble-Dollar, or ARD for short. It shares similarity with the Japanese yen, in that it does not utilize fractional denominations, which interestingly causes all prices to seem to be multiplied by one hundred, when compared to most countries' currencies. For example, an item that costs 19.99 GBP in the United Kingdom would cost 1,999 ARD in Cyberia if valued the same. It should be noted that items in Cyberia are NOT 100 times more expensive; they are simply the same value in different currencies. Stores are urged to keep prices of individual items within multiples of 5 and 10.

The ARD has inflated 1600% since its modelling after the United States dollar in the early 21st century. Common slang terms for the ARD are "dollar", "buck", "ren" (a contraction of "russian yen"), and "thou" (in reference to the thousand-dollar bill being the most common by far).

Taxation

Main article: ASC Department of Treasury § Taxation
Example formula for a large store transaction at a sales tax rate of 8.25%, and the application of the 1000 Ceiling Tax.

The Cyberian government collects taxes from an nearly all monetary transactions made in the country, including legally taking the tenths and lower places of most interest calculations as what is called a "truncation tax". Sales tax is taken into account in physical and online stores, however food items are not included in this tax. Furthermore, there is a tax that is officially named the "1000 Ceiling Tax", named so because it puts the total after sales tax through a ceiling operation to a significance of one thousand. The 1000 Ceiling Tax somewhat confusingly only applies to transactions that are greater than 1500 ARD after sales tax.

Income is taxed on a per-paycheck basis. This means every paycheck that one receives is automatically processed to deduct taxes from the earned amount.

Extensive financial records are automatically generated and stored by the ASC Department of Treasury and are made freely available to citizens when given the right security credentials. "Tax returns" are not made available to the public unless a major error had occurred in the process of taxation; there are forms available to report potential errors. This means there is a great emphasis on a denizen and their employer(s) precisely and accurately giving any and all financial information to the Treasury to the best of their ability. One may submit a tax form to the Department of Treasury to have financial information changed. Similarly, the Treasury has the authority to audit an individual or employer to ensure information is truthful.

The Cyberian government also has the ability and authority to directly withdraw funds from an individual's revenue or bank account(s) (whichever is larger) in the event of the individual being fined by the government, or in the event of financial deceit such as claiming less taxable income than is earned, which carries a fine in and of itself.

Agriculture

Main article: ASC Department of Agriculture
Common brand of cheap synthetic foods. Note the sparse labeling and ambitious flavors.

While there is no shortage of open space to plot and plant, there is next to no fertile soil across the continent, as most of it is covered in kilometers of ice sheet. This has led to the development, success, and perfection of artificial crop growth centers that rely more on processes that resemble hyper-accelerated hydroponics, rather than soil-based efforts. Agriculture in the country is nearly exclusively done within extremely vast and multi-level indoor facilities similar in size and shape to the Boeing Everett Factory. These facilities are equipped with very powerful climate control systems that simulate ideal conditions for healthy crop growth. Stepping into these facilities is often compared to stepping into an entirely different country.

All modern crops have been engineered genetically in the previous decades for increased growth rate and yield. These crop growing facilities are used to gather raw food resources, after which those resources are manufactured into a large swathe of synthetic food products that come in many sizes and shapes. These synthetic foods have been and are being sold on just about every single stores' shelves, with many of the products claiming to be indistinguishable from the texture, taste, calorie count, etc. of the genuine ones they exist to replace.

Cheaper products tend to take the form of rectangular "food bars" lacking in color and bearing the consistency of protein bars, while more expensive ones are made to look just like the foods they intend to supplant. The synthetic engineering boom has resulted in counter-marketing against synthetic production. Terms such as "fake food" and advertisements on non-synthetic products pointing out the fact that they are indeed "genuine" are common strategies employed in anti-synthetic marketing. Organic foods very often tend to be much more expensive than synthetic foods.

Energy

Main article: Energy in Cyberia

Cyberia has long since rendered itself independent of other nations in the context of fueling its own energy needs. This has been achieved through the continuous operation of a dozens of very large fast-neutron nuclear reactors running on a sophisticated fuel cycle of uranium, plutonium, and minor actinides. The bulk of the uranium mined in Cyberia was and is still used in the fueling of all the breeder reactors in the country's population centers. Most, if not all city reactors employ cogeneration strategies to provide easily accessible district heating for its citizens. This is why nearly none of Cyberian powerplants have conspicuous cooling towers. Uranium is the most common resource used for power generation, as other options such as coal and oil, which are also mined within the country, are generally either traded as goods with other countries or used in various other manufacturing processes in-country. While fusion energy is indeed a mostly proven reality at this point in time, it has been deemed far too costly and inefficient to replace the already tried and true fission reactors that are in-place and very well-researched.

Being one of the driest and windiest countries in the world, Cyberia takes advantage of these locational phenomena with the utilization of solar power towers due to the absence of clouds (with the exclusion of the city of Overcast), and wind turbines both inside and outside city limits.

Mains electricity is supplied to the general public in the form of 480 volts, in a three-phase configuration at 400hz alternating current.

Science and Technology

The public of the Antarctic State enjoys long since declassified access to technologies largely researched and developed by the country's own military, whose designs are generally first evaluated and tested for use by the armed forces themselves, then either sold off to the highest bidding company, or kept and manufactured for an extended period of internal use. Highly advanced technologies are indeed available to the general public, although their complexity and usage of precious materials has stapled their price tags to a level above consumer-grade.

Manufacturing processes have tended to increase in reliability while decreasing in costs of upkeep, leading to a general drop in prices for many industries of the more common consumer goods. This has led to a much greater saturation of the general population's surroundings with devices that were once considered high-end equipment. This, coupled with the multiple inevitable 'rushes' associated with large swathes of greatly outdated/neglected hardware eventually necessitating replacement, has greatly heightened the level of technological sophistication that the average person owns and encounters on a daily basis.

Computational power once deemed much too expensive to be practical has significantly dropped in price over the decades gone by. However, to this day they are still considered quite pricey to manufacture, thus pricey to own for anyone who considers themselves less than an enthusiast. In the pursuit of lower and lower latencies, optical fiber connectivity has become much more widespread, having largely replaced the older copper wiring that was once ubiquitous. Nearly all data transfer infrastructure is connected via optical fiber, which is especially true for extremely long and bulky data cables between cities. This has led to an extremely high data rate cap amongst all populations in-country, allowing even public library computers to download and upload at common speeds of multiple gigabytes per second. The same is somewhat also true for wireless connectivity, although wireless connections have dipped in commonality in comparison to decades prior due to the concept not maturing as well as wired connections.

Miniaturization of bulky hardware has been achieved in many industries and their products, notably seen in heads-up displays that have found their way into commercial aircraft and high-end civilian vehicles. Miniaturization, among many other advancements, has also led to great development in the fields of biomechatronics and other cybernetic studies, thus leading to a development in the cyborg industry. However, this transdisciplinary industry still remains prohibitively expensive both monetarily and physically to most of the general population, in the contexts of the high-value materials, equipment, qualifications, surgeries, and bodily modifications necessary for research, development, and actualization.

Although overall technological advancements and quality of life improvements have undeniably been made, some historians express concerns over the notion that the status quo, in regards to Cyberian social fabric, has stagnated since the 2020's, if not worsened. They compare the large leaps and bounds made in global society between the centuries preceding the 21st, and much smaller changes and even backward progress made between centuries after the 21st. The causes of and solutions to this speculated social stagnation have become a topic of hot debate within many circles.

Demographics

Main article: Demographics of Cyberia

General Public

The general population of the Antarctic State majorly consists of species and species variants that possess winterized adaptations to their bodies, lending to the common sight of thick and fluffy fur coats. Even so, people can still be seen wearing thick or otherwise insulative clothing when travelling outside, due to the frigid climate. Felines and canine continuously top the charts in regards to the percentage of the population they take up, the following in order of prevalence being avians, hyenas, fish, and finally reptiles.

A significant chunk of the population is employed in some way by the Cyberian military. As such, the public is never far from the presence of their armed forces. This has led to splits in the public opinion regarding such a presence. Most feel comforted and protected by a common military presence, others feel watched; and some feel herded and/or controlled to an extent. The majority of Cyberians trust in their government and see it as their primary defensive shield against outside nuisance and enemy activity.

The vast majority of citizens are able to read, write and speak both English and Russian, though casual conversation is commonly spoken in English. The Antarctic State is known to be wary of immigrants and tourists, as an extension of their objective to protect their land and citizens. Visitors are scrutinized heavily and at times are almost treated as lesser than a documented citizen by the state, however the citizen population is known to treat outsiders a little bit than government authorities.

Gender & Sex

With the country's inception beginning roughly around the 1950's, gender and gender roles started as an obvious distinction between man and woman, with very little crosses in between. On its way to the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd centuries, Cyberian society slowly integrated the two gender roles towards a marked irrelevancy in most contexts. In its stead, there now exists a more common belief in an obvious distinction between gender identity and biological sex. For example, while there continues to exist a specific assignment of sex on documents used for government identification, the average citizen does not base their personal identity solely upon their sex, nor are they expected to. It is not uncommon for citizens to identify with some form of non-binary gender identity.

Following changes in majority societal beliefs, the civilian and military workforces of Cyberia have tended towards looking past gender identity and sex; instead focusing more on whether or not a person has the physical and/or mental skills to be a beneficial employee. Similarly, following a deeper understanding of genetics and sex characteristics, biological sex has expanded beyond the binary with the addition of 'intersex' bridging the gap between the sex spectrum and sex characteristic extremes. Furthermore, those born with significant crosses between sex extremes receive more sophisticated and specialized treatment in the interest of a physically and mentally healthy adult life.

Religion

Religion is not a common influence in the population, civilian or military. For the good of the country, the Cyberian government makes a concerted effort to stay out of religious affairs. This means forwardly keeping theist influence out of government business. Civilians have their right to freedom of religion protected by Cyberian constitutional law, and therefore are free to practice their religion at will, with the stipulation that it shall cause no disturbances nor harm to other people. On the other hand, the Antarctic State Military does not take kindly to religious schedules interfering with government schedules, and may or may not deny personnel their requests to practice if it indeed alters ready-made plans, pursuant to a separation of religious and government affairs. This in itself has caused disturbances and legal controversy continuing to the modern day.

Health

All Cyberian citizens possess the right to universal health care, especially if injured by the state (law enforcement, riot control, etc.), if the citizen does not opt to pay for a privatized insurance and/or medical company to provide them with the service. This universal health care is widely considered to be the baseline; the bare minimum a person gets to fall upon, should they not pay into a private insurance company. Those who rely only on state-provided health care are generally regarded as markedly poor and/or exceptionally sure of their own safety.

On average, the general population of Cyberia is quite safe and healthy, owing to high standards of care legally imposed upon caregivers, manufacturers, and a vast breadth of other health and safety focused precautions beyond. For example, the Department of Agriculture heavily scrutinizes food products produced by corporations and companies in order to ensure that the food is indeed safe for consumption, else heavy punishments follow. This brand of government supervision for the sake of the population's health is also present in other industries.

As of 2200, the average life expectancy of non-military citizens was 97.

Education

Main article: ASC Department of Civilian Affairs § Public Education

Primary (K-8, or "elementary school") and secondary (9-12, or "high school") education in Cyberia is largely formed around practicality, critical thinking, and the solving of real-world problems students may face in life outside the classroom. Children and adolescents are deliberately taught the same subjects in same manner, regardless of differences in sex, species, social class, and/or gender identity. The country's youth are taught not to fear the world around them, but to make the most of it. Mandatory language classes have children learn both the languages of English and Russian. Students are required to wear schoolboard-appointed uniforms that can be described as plain and undecorated enlisted uniforms. Enlistment in the military is continuously encouraged throughout children's time in grade school, but is never mandatory.

Universities and colleges are required by government regulation not to necessitate unspecialized or elective classes in the evaluation of students for degrees. Classes must have explicit and significant relation to their corresponding major in order to be required for the acquisition of the degree itself.

Government monitoring and indirect management is in effect, which ensures the generally homogenized teachings of students in specific important subjects such as math and history, regardless of school location. Driving education is mandatory around the age of fifteen, and gives emphasis on how and why traffic problems are created, and how to avoid them as well as minimize their effects through driving techniques. Optional electives in Cyberian high schools are known for the inclusion of firearms safety education and training.

Students entering higher education in Cyberia are very often encouraged to pursue a degree that would benefit the research and development of new technologies for the military. There has been rumors that the CMF is steadily making progress with cybernetic modifications to otherwise completely biological beings, and even AIs replacing or augmenting the bodies of people and the drivers of vehicles. However, none of these rumors have been backed with believable evidence.

Notes

  1. Cyberia does not have a singular capital. Its highest authority is a conference of multiple highest-significance officials scattered across the country.
  2. Due to the continent of Antarctica residing on all longitudes, it technically carries all time zones. Nearly all locations within Cyberia experience polar night and midnight sun around the June and December solstices, respectively.
  3. The culled imperial system is a heavily trimmed set of US customary units. Officially recognized base units include inches, feet, miles, ounces, pounds, teaspoons, tablespoons, cups, pints, quarts, gallons, and Fahrenheit. Data and data rates are measured in bytes instead of bits.