All around the world there were planned more than twenty Megalopoli to shelter the rich and powerful, although some of them never were more than a simple project and a few of them have been destroyed. Not even the Eden dreamed by the world elites was really such a thing, as envy, corruption and hate, inherent to the human race, survived inside these idyllic walled havens.
The dormant Afrikaner minority in South Africa played its hand brilliantly during the gruesome events that led to the world collapse at the end of the 21st century. Making their move with cunning, finesse and the right amount of brute force, they managed to achieve enough power to create a megalopolis on the southern reaches of the African continent for their white peers, with the founding of some European countries (mainly current United England). This city is one of the smallest megalopolis in the world, but for the country’s white minority was more than enough. Outside its walls remained all the black inhabitants, who were the great forgotten of the end of the world together with the rest of the black Africa. The main global players still had a colonial view about this continent, so they encouraged internal quarrels, civil wars and clashes to such extent that no viable project was ever made to create an African megacity apart from Boereland, with the idea of exploiting the huge natural resources of the continent for their own benefit after the native population had been decimated by the bombs or had killed each other. Inside this megalopolis exists a really violent terrorist cell, formed by white people who radically oppose to this new era of Apartheid and wish to open the city to all races, and which is creating serious public disorders and giving their rulers many headaches.
Promised land never seemed so close to the Jew people than when the Jerusalem megalopolis was funded. Contrary to what was done almost everywhere else, in this city nobody was cast off: anyone who could prove Hebrew ascendancy up to certain generation was received with open arms to be able to enjoy his earthly paradise. But millennia-old grudges with their neighbours were not going to disappear overnight, so the nearby Arab city of Luxor became a melting pot of refugees, political rabble-rousers and those supporting the idea of wiping Jerusalem off the face of earth. It is not known who pressed the red button first, but not many years had passed (the megalopoli were not even fully finished or operative when the war begun) when nuclear warheads and tactical drone bombers began to fly forth and back between them. The predictable outcome was that all the area is now a radioactive wasteland inhabited by all kind of gruesome mutations and degenerated humans, including the ruins of this very megacity, which have been laid open and exposed to the outside world since its citizens, who preferred to push their luck in the Wasteland rather than staying there, fled in panic. Toxic clouds and acid rain devastated all territories east of this city, erasing all traces of human life on the old basins of rivers Tigris and Euphrates, cradle and coffin of modern civilization, and even farther east to ancient Persia.
What was intended to be one of the brightest jewels of Orient, heiress to the ancient and splendorous Alexandria, lighthouse of knowledge and science, soon was overwhelmed by reality. The almost simultaneous development of the nearby megalopolis of Jerusalem was really upsetting for the local, and when refugees coming from that place started to flood the plains outside its walls, it only got worse. Of course the leaders of the Egyptian megacity didn’t allowed that rabble of desperate pariah to come inside the walls, which granted them an unusual level of inside criticism for their lack of Islamic charity towards fellow Muslims. The only way out the had to retain their power was to channel all that rage against their eternal enemies, the Jews from Jerusalem, setting them on an arms race that took them all to a bitter end. You can’t really say any of the megalopoli really won the conflict, but both ended up so damaged and ravaged that they were defenceless against the radioactive Wasteland and its inhabitants. With their walls cracked, most of their automatic weapons destroyed or failing due to lack of maintenance, entire quarters exposed to toxic hazards by the collapse of their climatic shields, the population who managed to survive the short and brutal war was utterly helpless. The imams lost all their leverage and Luxor sunk into chaos. Now its ruins are inhabited by mutards, gangers and fierce mutant beasts, open to the desert except some small quarters where their residents have managed to put up a fight, restore the old shields and keep chaos at bay (for now, at least).
On the ruins of ancient Mecca, holy place of pilgrimage for one of the main religions prior to the Great Conflict, sheiks from Arab Emirates, Qatar, Arabia and other nations rich in oil reserves founded their own earthly Paradise (in fact, that is the meaning of its name in the old desert language). A true oasis of white roofs, mosques and open-air markets, paid for with the petrodollars of millennia-old dynasties from Middle East and ruled by the sharia or Islamic law, where the most grotesque ostentation of wealth lives together with ancient traditions and technological achievements (specially on the fields of medicine and robotics) that would make many other megalopolis feel ashamed. Curiously enough for a city raised on the money wads of oil tycoons, Imâra has clearly committed itself to renewable and green energies to fuel its day to day life, mainly solar and wind powers due to its privileged location in a desert. The old oil wells and refineries have fallen into the hands of errand bandits, gangers, mutards or worse things, who have converted them in their lairs and, in some isolated cases, man the wells to recreate a sad parody of the 20th century world they remember through legends and poems.
The history of Poltohar Abad and New Kolata is quite similar to that of Jerusalem and Luxor. Two neighboring countries with such a deep mutual hate, rooted in religious and racial issues, cannot let go their differences overnight. This city set in the high mountains of Pakistan, which wanted to recover the glory of the old empires when the Silk Road made the civilizations of Kurdistan and Hindukush blossom, was projected as a bunker with several levels under the tons of rocks of the local mountain ranges. On the surface were barely visible the roofs of temples, universities and trade centers to cover the decadent needs of the higher-castes quom elites, who had a luxurious living served by slaves bound to obey all their whims. But not even all the magnificence of the Pamir rocky mass could withstand the devastating rain of radiation and death unleashed by their neighbor and nuclear power, India, although their leaders had time enough to order a retaliation counterattack to wipe their sworn hindi enemies off the face of earth. Crushing earthquakes changed forever the face of these mountains, burying whole sections of this megalopoli, leaving others exposed to the radioactive winter and vanishing everything on the surface. It is possible that some people could have survived inside the maze-like underground tunnels of Poltohar Abad, but isolated from the outside world, with their glorious city destroyed and prey to mutant beasts and their own escaped former slaves, their lives would have been forced to a brutal regression to an almost savage state.
Duiyas from India, who formed the three social upper castes (priests, warriors and traders), allied themselves from the very beginning to leave the rest of the population out of their megalomaniac plans to create a Megalopolis in the Indian subcontinent. At the end there were chosen ones even among them, as a big portion of traders (vaisias) were left out of the city walls in favor of a greater proportion of priests (brahmans) and soldiers (chatrias). In a country with one of the greatest population densities in the entire world, that was the same as issuing a death sentence for more than 1.500 million of people from the lower social classes (workers, serfs and invisibles) outside the great walls of New Kolata, but none of the duiya leaders gave a damn when it came to seal the walls and activate the defenses. But the inhabitants of this peaceful haven, ruled by the strict teachings of Hinduism, were ill advised by the warlike chatrias who wanted to wipe out of the mountains the city of their eternal Pakistani enemies, whom they have always seen as a potential threat to their sovereignty. Their surprise attack with nuclear warheads could not completely destroy Poltohar Abad on the first strike, giving their enemies time enough to launch a revenge attack with all the missiles created in their extensive nuclear programs. All the Indian subcontinent, the Himalaya and Tibet mountain ranges, all the rocky areas of the Hindukush, the plains of old Afghanistan… everyplace and everything was so saturated with radiation due to this relentless exchange of attacks that no living being was able to survive. Animals mutated in horrible ways and humans… well, for thousands of millions who were exposed to the agony of being trapped in such a lethal Wasteland, a quick death was a blessing.
At the end of the 21st century Beijin itself already had the size of a metropolis. But in the eyes of the Central Committee there were too many people. Adept in repression and mass control techniques since times old, they didn’t think twice before using its full military power to purge of undesirable elements the germ of what would become the glorious megacity of Beijin. Those cast out fled to the vast Chinese rural areas, where they tried to survive the world holocaust the best they could. While the party leaders, their relatives, bootlickers, yes-men and other Committee bureaucrats enjoyed their new “communist” utopia safely behind their megacity’s fortified walls, the great masses of population scattered across mountains, rice fields and jungles, dying due to hunger, illness or attacks of the mutant beasts created by the war. Although it is true that this region of Asia has not been much ravaged by radiation and it is one of the few in the world that still has great jungle and rainforest areas, without a central government or a mutual plan hundreds of millions of people abandoned to their own fate have been decimated and scattered in small isolated groups of survivors, who have reverted to a subsistence economy and a stone-age way of life.
In Nanking the political leaders decided to try a new approach when building their Megalopolis. They reached out to their southern neighbors in Hong Kong, offering them a place among the chosen ones to live in the reborn fourth historical Chinese capital city in exchange of funding and technological cooperation in the project. The deal was made and they built one of the leading megacities in the fields of electronics, computers and communication, strengthened with the Chinese military expertise and defended by the most advanced war machines humanity could build. Then the Nanking Chinese leaders kicked out their Hong Kong peers, sending them back to their island and slaughtering them by the thousands. Once the betrayal was completed, the Chinese rulers sealed the gates with a loud laughter and began to enjoy the technological Paradise at their disposal. The fact that this city is settled in a vast region almost completely free of radiation has encouraged the formation of wide agricultural and livestock farming areas, which have become very popular among the population as a meaning of “tuning back” with their ancestors. It would seem that this modernity-tradition dichotomy has always been present in the Chinese way of life, but nowhere is it as clear as it is in Nanking when you watch the lift-off sequence of a hi-tech communications geo-satellite from a platform rising above a huge rice field being ploughed by a yoke of oxen.
Tökyö no Shita (Sub-Tokio)
Nippon was the original name for the megalopolis in the Rising Sun Island, which in fact occupied the whole main isle of Honshu, right in the middle of the 7.000 islands archipelago that formed the 20th century Japan. A huge wall was raised all around the coast of Honshu and the inside land became a whole metropolitan area combining high-technology population centers with countryside regions full of snow-covered peaks, wooden castles and wild animals. But the problems they had with mutations got out of their hands, maybe because of the gruesome nuclear war unleashed by both Koreas on the other side of the Japan Sea, which led them to mutual destruction and created an immense radioactive cloud all over the region. Being already a dangerous place due to its location over a main fault line, Nippon received its coup de grace when its own nuclear reactors began to fail. Local flora and fauna started to mute into colossal monstrosities (kaijus) which spread terror and chaos all across the island, or even emerged from the sea depths to storm the megacity’s armored walls. The idle Japanese people, more concerned about their leisure time in the form of virtual reality videogames, diverse sexual perversions and holo-television epilepsy-causing animated series, could not face up to such an extensive threat. The government had to resort to plan B and build a huge underground bunker under the old city of Tokyo to foster those survivors who managed to get there from any corner of the isle. The surface of Honshu Island is now completely devastated and is the hunting grounds of all kinds of mutant monstrosities weirder than you can probably imagine. A new caste of warriors, the Neo Ronin, have taken back the ancestral martial traditions of sacrifice, duty and honor, getting out of the subterranean bunker to run suicide hunts of this unholy beings across the surface. Although it is not quite clear that their sacrifice means anything, this handful of honorable men and women are beginning to awake the blunt consciousness of the decadent Japanese society, which is starting to see them as true heroes sent by the Gods.
In the sparsely populated Australia it wasn’t necessary to build more than a small sized megalopolis, as it happened with Boereland. The wealthy and powerful elites in the south Pacific region sought shelter behind its walls and just kept going with their flashy lives as usual, indulging themselves in such mundane pleasures as running organized hunting events across the Australian deserts from high-tech airships. Seeing the great austral island as their own private game preserve or personal zoo full of funny primitive life forms, these decadent yuppies were happy to stay away of the rest of the world and keep going with their routines. The Australian Wasteland became a lawless zone subject to the whims of these great hunters arrived from the sky, who could track a single prey for days across the reddish sands or wipe out an entire settlement in one night out of pure boredom. But some time ago radio signals stopped being broadcasted from Austral City. All communications between it and its sister megalopoli felt silent overnight, and given the time lapse passed since then it doesn’t seem probable it was caused by a temporary failure or an accident. If this complete isolation is a deliberate act planned by the megacity’s rulers, or something has gone wrong and the city no longer exists, is something yet to be revealed: its remoteness and the real lack of interest among the rest of megalopolis to know what has really happened to the citizens of Austral City, have sunk it in utter mystery and oblivion.