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The Guests are refugees (and their descendants) from a devastated outside world, who flocked to the Ark for food and shelter after the Earth was ravaged by rising seas. Originally accepted into the Ark out of humanitarian mercy, the Guests were soon put to work to meet the Ark's ever-growing demands for power and sustenance. Over the course of the next two decades, the Guests grew resentful of their dreadful living conditions; this resentment gave rise to the Resistance.

Origins and hardships Edit

The Ark's location was kept secret since its construction off the west coast of the United States. Despite this secrecy, thousands of refugees managed to locate the megastructure in the 2020s.[1] The Founders accepted the refugees onto the Ark, ignoring the blatant risks involved (which included, among other things, the spread of disease from refugees and the possibility that some refugees were dangerous criminals) simply "because it was the right thing to do."[2] The refugees came to be known as the Ark's "Guests".

The Founders were immediately faced with the problem of providing housing, food, and water to the Guests. The Ark was designed to support a population of 5,000; the arrival of the Guests significantly increased the Ark's population beyond what its energy sources could reliably sustain.[3] The Founders had no other recourse than to hastily construct Guest habitation from whatever leftover resources were available. New pelgos were constructed using steel, a material entirely unsuited to that use.[4] Shipping containers and the Guests' boats were hastily converted into a tangle of rusting, dilapidated slums.[5] Shipyards gutted and mutilated their contained vessels to construct housing.[6] The Ark's desalinated water was very strictly rationed, to ensure that every citizen on the Ark received water. The Guests themselves were used as a source of cheap labor, to ensure that the Ark remained operable and stable despite the sudden and massive increase in population that had taken place.

Furthermore, various security measures were taken place to isolate the Guests from the Ark's original population. The Ark was essentially divided into two regions -- the Upper Ark, consisting of the megastructure's original infrastructure -- and the Lower Ark, consisting of the Guests' habitation. These regions were divided by the Security Tower checkpoint.[7] Although Security recruited many refugees as they arrived at the Ark[8], they showed a considerable amount of distrust toward Guests that were not recruited. Guests resented the many security checks performed whenever they tried to pass through Security Tower; strip searches were apparently quite common.[9]

Life on the Ark Edit

Life as a Guest was extremely difficult. Working conditions were absolutely filthy, particularly where Arkoral maintenance was concerned. Guests that worked with Arkoral were scarred by the material[10], and at least one[11] is known to have died in an industrial accident involving Arkoral. Many Guests had powerful feelings of shame regarding the filth and grime that covered them.[10] Joseph Chen negotiated on the Guests' behalf in meetings held by the Founders' Council, but it was quite evident that these meetings had no chance of ever producing any meaningful improvement in the Guests' quality of life.[11]

Many Guests expressed interest in the possibility that other human civilizations might exist in the outside world. Prior to the events of Brink, Guests were allowed public access to Security-operated listening posts, which ostensibly broadcast signals and attempted to re-establish contact with the outside world.[12] Despite various (deceptive[2]) public speeches by Security Captain Clinton Mokoena insisting that the Ark was the only surviving civilization left on Earth, many Guests believed that other civilizations existed. Some went as far as to steal public, private, and even Security-owned vessels with the intention of escaping the Ark's territory and searching for life outside of the megastructure.[12] None succeeded.

The Resistance Edit

Main article: Resistance

By the 2040s, the Guests had become deeply dissatisfied with their living conditions. They had grown resentful of Security and of the Founders. Many Guests -- including Joseph Chen -- even believed that the Founders were deliberately oppressing them.

Chen knew that eventually, the Guests' tension would turn violent, and armed conflict would arise. Fearing that the Guests might be led by extremists and radicals in the event of such an armed conflict, Chen decided to start the armed conflict himself. Believing himself to be a capable and just leader, Chen spent months quietly working to start an organized revolution called the "Resistance". Chen fostered a bitter hatred between the Guests and the Founders, and collaborated with numerous officials on the Ark (including the Director of Maintenance) to ensure that Security initially remained unaware of the Resistance's formation despite it happening right under Security and the Founders' noses. Eventually, the Resistance began to attack Security directly. Since then, armed conflict has raged across the Ark.

The Resistance made use of the Guests' disorganized, chaotic slums when waging war. Abandoned visitor centers, airports, and other structures were used to store and gather intel. Guest housing areas, including Container City and at least one shipyard, were used as staging areas for Resistance operations. The Resistance fought the war by operating out of their own homes. The organization made a number of crucial sacrifices to keep itself supplied and operational. Among other things, zinc was taken from sacrificial anodes that could have been used to protect steel-based Guest pelgos from rust, and used to create ammunition.[10] Guest water filters were also cannibalized to obtain copper (again, for ammunition) despite the considerably-increased risk of disease that came from drinking unfiltered water.[10]

References Edit

  1. Quote from Ishmael, shown on loading screens.
    The Ark was flooded with refugee Guests in the 2020s. All contact with the outside world was lost in 2030. Lucky old Ark.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Encrypted personal journal entry by Founder Barbara Elmhurst.
  3. Quote from Ishmael, shown on loading screens.
    The Ark was built to support a working population of around 5,000. Current population: 45,000.
  4. Quote from Ishmael, shown on loading screens.
    Most of the Guest Pelgos are made from recycled steel. Steel rusts. Steel sinks. Time is running out.
  5. Quote from Ishmael, shown on loading screens.
    The Container City slum is a rusting tangle of steel cannibalised from the ships the refugee Guests arrived on. It's falling apart.
  6. Quote from Ishmael, shown on loading screens.
    The Ark's Shipyard used to build ships. Then it had to pull them apart for housing. Now it lies abandoned. Mostly.
  7. Quote from Ishmael, shown on loading screens.
    The Upper Ark contains the original Ark structures. The Lower Ark, rusting slums. In between them, the giant checkpoint known as Security Tower, or SecTow.
  8. Personal journal entry by Security Corporal James MacLeod.
  9. Resistance opening cinematic for Security Tower. A Resistance fighter says, "Finally, we hit them in the heart! No more checkpoints, no more strip searches! They won't know what hit them!"
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Personal journal entries by Welder 2nd Class Lugard Adebayo.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Encrypted prsonal journal entries by AWU General Secretary Joseph Chen.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Speeches given by Security Captain Clinton Mokoena, audible when standing near a Security-owned Command Post in-game.

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