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Equilibrium Fan Article by Judas Austin
Ideas on Libria's Timeline

So.  What about Libria's earlier years?  Although I'm virtually terrified of plugging my work, I have had a few people now comment either via email or the boards that Immune is an interesting window into those years...and it also serves as an easier analogy than trying to blind everyone, including me, with maths.  Chronologically speaking, I guess they're right, in the same way that the 1970s is an interesting window into England's/America's/Insert Country Here's earlier years.  But the bottom line is, by the time the first events in Immune take place, Libria, Prozium and the Tetra Grammaton have already been well-established for at least two or three hundred years, and most of my EQ writings on and off the site are based in the late 2400s/early 2500s.  Why?  Read on, and please save the hurling of rotten foodstuffs until the end when you may pelt me all you like.

Firstly, if the Nethers are anything to go by, WW3 devastated the entire continent. Libria would have to be practically rebuilt from scratch, since I find it hard to believe that any war would be obliging enough to leave an entire city inside its walls untouched. There may have been some buildings intact enough to shelter people while they worked (kinda like the derelict ones in the Nethers) but there would probably be no power, few construction vehicles and fewer people to operate them. I find it equally hard to believe that the war would have left all builders and architects alone, which means that you'd have to get them together and/or work a chunk of it out yourself by trial and error.  That's to say nothing of the problems generated by lack of materials.

Secondly, the people who survived the war would most probably have scattered and made it through by staying hidden and separate from others. There would have to be time allowed for a large number of people to turn up, large enough to construct Libria. Bear in mind the natural suspicion those people would regard others with; there would have to be time allowed for that as well. I'm not saying that they wouldn't want a society again; of course they would. I'm just saying that they'd have to come from all over the country to this place, and with phone lines probably destroyed by the war, there'd be no way of contacting others save by word of mouth.  Very few people are natural leaders of the kind seen in movies.  On that score, would you march up to a crashed alien spaceship (which had been trying to blow up your planet) wrench open the hatch and strike a cheesily heroic pose before punching this alien squarely in the...well, let's call it the mouth...and saying "Welcome to Earth"?  No?  Neither would anyone else.  To quote Bill Paxton in the Aliens commentary, "For every Hicks or Ripley, there are a million Hudsons."  In other words, there are very, very few people who would even consider building a city.  It would take years, maybe even decades to gather enough manpower for it to be possible, and that's before you even start building.

Thirdly, Prozium would have had to be developed, along with the need for it. I think in a situation like this, you would worry more about getting warm, sheltered and fed than major sociology or politics. You build your society first, then worry about how you can stop it from being torn down. Someone would also need to think about the necessity of Prozium; if you were to ask what you thought the main source of 'man's inhumanity to man' was, emotions probably wouldn't be the first thing off people's tongues.  Prejudice and religion, perhaps, but they're both entire arguments all on their own.

Fourthly, after you've developed Prozium, you'd need to persuade people it's for the best. Although the ideas and memories of war would have still existed, people would still need persuading. Fantasy and stories are probably the most common form of escapism. If you were to go to someone and say, "We have this miracle drug that can prevent war. The catch? Well, you're not allowed to read another novel or watch another movie as long as you live" some people would have to think very seriously about that and the others would probably tell you in no uncertain terms exactly what you could do with your miracle drug, and where to put it afterwards. People are usually antagonistic to the very idea of change; the metric system was invented in the early-mid 1900s and yet there are still people using Imperial.  I'm only twenty two years old, and yet I had to learn both at school.  Humanity's adage seems to be, if it's not broke, don't fix it.  Most people would think that they'd learned from their mistakes, they had a home again and turning themselves into Prozium junkies wouldn't help promote peace.

Fifthly, you'd need to think about what to do with people who didn't agree with you if persuasion didn't work.  Enter the Clerics.  But exactly how long do you think it would take to develop a completely unique form of martial arts from scratch? Also, DuPont mentions about 'through the analysis of thousands of recorded gunfights'. That must have been quite some analysis and taken a fair amount of time; could you work out the best position to be in just from watching an old Western movie, or something similar? That alone would take literally years.  It would have to be tested several times, any teething troubles ironed out and then you'd have to train people up in it.  It's not the work of a few years.

Sixthly, someone (I think it was Kurt) mentioned how the rebels are those who remembered it, and that's why they weren't going to go on Prozium.  Ignoring the little fact that based on the arguments above, the rebels in question would have to either have access to stasis booths and/or the Fountain of Youth, that proves nothing.  Turning the argument around, murder have been illegal here for centuries.  Yet people have still done it, they still do it and they always will do it.  Why?  A variety of reasons, but the facts are still the same.  For every regime, every government, there are those who oppose it.

*reads* Okay.  I think that about covers it.  Bear in mind this is only my take on it; other people might have different ideas for equally good reasons ;) *steps down from podium* The lecture is now over and in keeping with my earlier promise, any dissidents are now free to throw rotten foodstuffs at my head *ducks as half a brick hurtles through the air* I SAID ROTTEN FOODSTUFFS!