Fight the Fall
Only two hundred strong (as of today), the population of Beatrix’s Redemption lives under a dome with a general technological level coherent with the late 19th-early 20th Century on Earth. Its founder, Beatrix Lamont, was a truck driver for ComEx supplying The Five with fresh, cheap Case or Flat Morphs that they were oh-sokindly offering to their Indentured workforce. About six years ago, Lamont found herself lost and stranded in the TQZ with a load of Synth and Flats in her truck when she was attacked by a roving group of Exsurgents. Not even Beatrix could tell you for sure how she managed to escape uninfected with strains of the Exsurgent Virus, but the fact is that she made it back from the Zone without so much as a scratch; although she was an emotional train-wreck. Her trucks automated systems, Muse and AI copilot were destroyed, her Synth cargo was lost but the Flats were untouched. Three hundred intact and unmodified human bodies.
For Beatrix, it was an Act of God; proof that He hasn’t abandoned his wayward children and a clear message: only those in base human bodies who forsake technological comforts will be Saved. She stole the remaining cargo, and began searching for a place to settle a new home for the “True Humans”, as she called them. It took her months to find the spot for her new Promised Land; a small impact crater (six miles wide) 660 miles South of Elysiumbound M4 highway on Dante’s Road.
Along the way, she had gathered a flock of people eager for something to believe in, disenchanted by the false hope and hollow dreams of fame in the glittering Elysium, or eager for a sedentary life after years of traveling aimlessly with their Barsoomian Sufi. Runaway indentured workers, survivors of the failed construction of the M-66, also joined here, and together they built a dome that wholly covered the crater. Beatrix’s Redemption was founded with five hundred people in total, with only three hundred Flats available. Some were full neo-luddites eager to be rid of ALL technologies except for the necessary evil that would insure their survival. Others just wanted a new start, or to hide from cruel masters, but did not wish to reject all modern technology, a view that drastically clashed with Beatrix’s utopia.
But as all utopias built upon or by tyranny, things went horribly wrong for half of the population of Beatrix’ Redemption. A true witch-hunt began in the closed microcosm of the dome. In less than a year, of the original five hundred people, three hundred died a True Death. The luckiest ones were killed right away by the mob, or fighting them, taking about a hundred of them. The less lucky were subjected to a gruesome execution after a summary trial; their cortical stacks forcibly ripped out of their living bodies or synth morphs, and then crushed and burnt in view of the public.
Whoever enters the dome will find themselves on a dirt road between cornfields of 30 feet tall crops (thanks to Mars’ lower gravity), and Case morphs used as scarecrows. Two miles down, they will find a village with the eerie appearance of a mix between an Amish community and western Earthfrontier decors. There are no motorized vehicles in evidence, only genuine (though cloned) horses, and drawn carts. The center of the village boasts a modest town square. In the center, a dais supports a surgical chair with an Egobridge awaiting the newcomers wishing a new life (in one of the few flat morphs left of the original stolen batch), and sinners sentenced to “Death by Extraction”.
Among Barsoomians, there are rumors that the maintenance of BeRe’s dome is sponsored, if not paid in full by Jovian Republic sympathizers. Some say the Junta itself always foots the bills, keeping the dome and wind turbines fully functional. Aside from Beatrix Lamont herselfassuming she is still alive and didn’t perish in the Witch Hunt-there is no indication of who lives there, and even less of who is keeping the population under a tight leash.