Memes: Reclaiming Earth
Main Stations: Vo Nguyen (Earth orbit)
The Reclaimers pursue one ultimate goal—the reclamation of Earth as transhumanity’s primary habitat. In addition to calling for the quarantine of earth to be lifted, they engage in scientific research and running virtual simulations on how to best cleanse and reclaim their contaminated and polluted planet. Despite the interdiction to enter Earth’s atmosphere, the reclaimers are suspected of sponsoring perilous and high-risk ventures onto the planet’s surface to gather scientific data or event to establish terraforming colonies.
The Planetary Consortium claims that Earth is transhumanity’s past and the stars are our future. They urge us to turn our backs on our birthplace, forget it ever existed, and go forth into deep space, exploring and growing and adapting to new environments and new situations. Most people, however, still feel some connection to our ancestral home. More and more people are saying it may be time to return there, to make it our center once more.
The reclaimers are at the forefront of this opinion. Their movement exists for one reason and one reason only—to bring transhumanity back to Earth and reclaim its homeworld. Though every reclaimer is passionate about returning to Earth, as an organization they are sensible, even cautious, and very, very serious. They have recruited substantial scientific help in studying the planet, and are large enough now to fund their own research initiatives. They have created detailed simulations to plot out the best way to cleanse the world, terraform it, and make it ready for repopulation. They have volunteers ready to serve and hypercorp interests willing to contribute for an opportunity to get in early on a new market.
While they have plans and potential starting resources, the complete project would be a massive undertaking requiring the full support of the Planetary Consortium and LLA, at the least. What the reclaimers don’t have, so far, is the political clout to push their agenda into action. They are working on this, however, and a new wave of reclaimer politicians and activists has stepped to the fore, complete with celebrity endorsements, making elaborate arguments to the media and presentations to political leaders and lobbies, pushing them to lift the barriers and return to Earth as soon as possible. They do this through the reclaimers’ official organization, the Earth Reclamation Project (ERP), and any less-than-legal activities are carefully kept separate so the ERP can honestly disclaim any and all knowledge of such.
Despite growing substantially in the past few years, the reclaimers still face an uphill battle. There is major opposition to their plan simply on the grounds that no one knows what dangers continue to lurk down there, and stirring them up may doom the rest of transhumanity. This is an argument that is difficult for the reclaimers to counter, as no one knows the true risks, or even if the TITANs are truly gone. At best the reclaimers can talk about caution and full surveys and stages of progress and risk management, none of which is very appeasing to those who still remember the terrors of the Fall. Another common argument used against them is that the Pandora gates offer much better opportunities, enabling transhumanity to colonize and terraform numerous exoplanets, while also spreading ourselves wider and thus protecting ourselves more from any sort of genocidal attack. Proponents of this argument ask why there is a hurry, why not wait and let Earth sit fallow for a century or more, giving transhumanity time to fully establish themselves throughout the galaxy, rather than putting all of our eggs in one barren and dangerous basket. In response, the reclaimers typically play the nostalgia and homeworld emotional appeal cards, with mixed results.
Meanwhile, outside of the realm of public debate, research, and lobbying, another wing of the reclaimer movement is already hard at work secretly putting their plans into motion. Refusing to wait for public opinion to get on their side, these cells of dedicated activists are engaging in more direct studies, including drone surveys and robotic field missions down to Earth itself. Reclaimer scientists work on developing new plant and animal species that will survive and prosper on the devastated planet, as well as microorganisms that will spread and help bring new life to the barren, scarred world. Reclaimers with military expertise make plans for destroying known TITAN remnants and strongholds, stockpile weapons, and recruit and train volunteer fighters. According to our intel, the most daring are already establishing base camps down on Earth, the first outposts in a battle to take back the planet. Preliminary attempts to locate and contact survivors are also underway.
While Firewall is neutral towards the reclaimer agenda, these clandestine reclaimer activities pose several potential x-risks. Ad hoc, unsupervised, and limited resource operations of this sort may run across a threat that they are incapable of handling or containing. Firewall’s policy is to monitor reclaimer activities, hinder those that may create risks, and actively engage and counter those that pose active endangerments. If a reclaimer op poses certain dangers and cannot be stopped, however, policy is to remotely observe and to provide backup support should a risk situation arise. Simultaneously, however, the reclaimers are regarded as a potential resource for information on threats, access to Earth’s surface, and other useful resources, so Firewall sentinels are advised to consider all potential interactions with reclaimers on a case-by-case basis.
A lot of people wonder where the reclaimers get their money—all that research isn’t cheap, and neither is maintaining Vo Nguyen and the other reclaimer bases, not to mention the clandestine Earth missions they frequently attempt. The truth, as far as Firewall can determine, is that the reclaimers have tapped into a network of support from multiple sectors. On one hand, we’ve noted several hypercorps that are likely providing funding and logistics for certain reclaimer projects. While some of these are ideologically motivated, it is likely that others view the reclaimer movement as an investment, looking forward to being on the ground floor for the recolonization of Earth, and all the business possibilities that entails. Some of these corporations are also clearly interested in piecing together more details on the TITANs, what they did to Earth, and what weapons of theirs might still remain, in order to profit from new discoveries.
On another hand, several pro-reclaimer LLA habitats have actually instituted a highly disputed Reclamation Tax that goes toward lifting the barricade and making Earth livable again. Most of these funds are given to the ERP, but some are discreetly channeled to covert reclaimer ops.
On yet another hand, the reclaimers also gain support from more hidden sources, particularly wealthy patrons with nostalgia for the homeworld who donate generously. Our sources indicate that even the Organization crime syndicate is a major supporter, possibly in a bid to control the black market if the Earth is resettled.
One thing to consider with these patrons is that support almost always comes at a price. What favors have the reclaimer benefactors already asked for—and called in?
Another source of funding for the reclaimers comes as a benefit from their clandestine reclamation projects: scavenging. At least one major scavving outfit—PastFinders—is linked up with reclaimer missions to Earth. This company is interesting because risky salvage ops are only part of their business model— they are also heavily invested in researching, cataloging, and reviving egos lost during the Fall. Most of this work entails digging through cold storage infugee archives looking for lost relatives of wealthy clients or tracking down infugee family members separated and sent to far-flung corners of the solar system. Some ego-retrieval cases involve searching through frozen corpses in devastated habitats or determined legwork through the system’s criminal network of soul traders. In any case, we suspect PastFinders of supporting at least one mission to Earth, from which the corp reaped the rewards of extremely valuable Earth relics and a few bounties on people lost on Earth during the Fall.
Tate is the Executive Director of the Earth Reclamation Project, the foremost spokesperson for the reclaimer movement, and the station chief of Vo Nguyen, the de facto reclaimer capital. Favoring muscular female morphs with close-cropped flame-red hair, Markess is surprisingly soft-spoken and disarming, but nevertheless resolute in her convictions. It is open knowledge that Tate’s deceased husband was a hero during the Fall; as the director in charge of a major egocasting facility under TITAN attack during the last few days of the Exodus, he stayed behind and ensured that as many people as possible were able to egocast out before the TITANs overwhelmed the defenses and he was forced to manually destroy the transmitter. Markess has vowed to find him and bring him back.