City State 1 is an agglomeration of fiefs that formerly feuded, now they operate like the well oiled cogs of an autocratic machine, all in it together under a Gun Metal Sky. They coordinate their production schedule mercilessly, supplying components, materials, munitions and children to feed the Expansive Drive, sideways to increase the levels of order in the world, upwards building a big motorway to crash through the Gun Metal Sky and into the ultimate test of the Big Black. Yevgeny Zamyatin would be proud.
City State 1 has resolved the coordination problem without the mess of markets. The discipline of society and algorithms suffices to make sure those diesel motors keep beating in the stiff ribcage of trains (loaded with beautifully grim howitzers and commandos), units of energy and information pulsing through the complex network encoding the epic of the Expansive Drive.
In the central node of City State 1 sits GNOD.
The Ministries of Intelligence of City State 1’s rivals have a plethora of theories about the meaning of GNOD.
Global Network of Dreams? Perhaps so, could GNOD be City State 1’s id, the instinct behind the threat of the Expansive Drive?
Glorious Node of Domination? That would make sense, there are no individuals or institutions beyond the power of GNOD in City State 1.
Or does it have something to do with GOD? There is no evidence of organised religion in City State 1, and no evidence of anything disorganised beyond the trail of chaos in its army’s wake. Is GNOD the spiritual monopolist in City State 1, or the concept that fills the gap of the divinity’s absence?
The only thing we know is that the closest City State 1 comes to a Mass is in those rare occasions when GNOD is ruminating.
The lights of City State 1 turn feeble with electricity consumption, and from the Brutal Tower where GNOD dwells snap beats like the guillotining arms of cyclopean typewriters, bubble chemical basslines, and crawls an invisible army of algorithms whose only manifestation is a collective, awful wail aimed at the Gun Metal Sky.
In these moments of rumination, the citizens of City State 1 congregate in the big square over which the Brutal Tower rises, and stare at it in blank rapture, subtly bobbing their heads.
The rumination is often followed by a shockwave of activity, movement, creativity and sexual reproduction that ripples through the syndicates, factories, offices, barracks, laboratories and dormitories of City State 1, as if the weird party that is the Expansive Drive had built up to a moment where it needed a drop, and this was it.
The spymasters at the Ministries of Intelligence of City State 1’s rivals scratch their (usually goateed) chins in admiration. It is an awful banger that is unfolding historically in front of their calculating eyes, but a total banger, nevertheless.
You have to give GNOD that.