Tarot Card: Seven of Pattern
Symbol: a square
The Technocracy has made several disastrous mistakes, and is in a weakened position. If it cannot regain its dominance soon, it may loose the battle for Egypt.
Egypt has been an important place for the Syndicate and New World Order for a long time, ever since they sundered and crushed the Ahl-I-Batini. Although the Syndicate mainly turned to other regions in the Arab world after the war (Alexandria was one of their greatest strongholds in the pre-war era), the New World Order sought to build a firmly technocratic state. Gradually a kind of division of labour appeared, as the Syndicate took care of most of the Arab world through oil money and the New World Order attempted to build ideal states in Israel and Egypt. Between them they played various wars (wargames with real people and equipment) and conflicts to keep the Middle East fragmented and their enemies running.
In the 70's, the leadership of the Egyptian Technocracy began to show greater independence from the rest of the Technocracy and began to play their own politics to the chagrin of the global planners in the Ivory Tower, despite the fact that the results were good. Exactly why they did it is uncertain, but it is not entirely possible to rule out that they collaborated with fractions of the Ahl-I-Batin and groups within the Syndicate.
When Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981, the New World Order stepped in and purged the local technocratic leadership. They appointed an western hard-line technomancer, central coordinator Oliver H. Kalman, to bring Egypt into line. Coordinator Kalman did what he could, but soon realised that the corruption had spread too far - he would have to reorganise the entire local technocracy (and Egypt itself), which would dangerously undermine the stability of the Middle East and the Technocracy Plan, to be able to get everything to fit in the mould again. Being a pragmatic politician he did what he could, and then made sure he was transferred to one of the Orbital Collectives.
The current situation is a nightmare for the local technomancers. The fundamentalist choristers are gaining in strength, there are too many secret societies around to deal with, technomagick is unreliable in Egypt and to make matters even worse, the Union demands a solution. While they do not need to be as subtle as they might have needed to be in the West, their resources still do not help much against popular mistrust of the government or religious revival. Heads will roll, that is the only thing that is sure.
The Mayadan construct does not have a great reputation. After the purge it has become known among technomancers as a demotion to be sent there, something that has weakened it further. Still, its power over Egyptian politics and policy is tremendous, and for technomancers willing to put up with their peers the potential for personal power is huge.
He was born in Cairo in 1932 into a poor family. He joined the army as soon as he could (lying about his age), egged on by his nationalistic grandfather and his own ambition. He saw combat in the war against Israel 1948, and served under general Naguib. As he rose through the ranks, his ambition and tactical skills caught the interest of the New World Order which he joined shortly before the coup d'etat 1952. During the following years he became an indispensable part of the Egyptian Technocracy, serving under the different leaders. In the 70's he was sent on a long-term diplomatic mission to the other Arab nations, possibly because the corrupt leadership didn't trust him entirely, which let him avoid the purge under Kalman. As Kalman left, he appointed Ibrahim as his successor as coordinator.
Despite being 64 years old he is physically and mentally very fit, thanks to rigorous training and Progenitor medicine (he was almost killed 1967 in an airplane crash, and was restored with a somewhat younger body). He is the oldest and most experienced active technomancer of Cairo, and fanatically loyal to two ideals: the Technocracy and Egypt, not necessarily in that order.
His current main problem is the fundamentalist choristers, and he is doing his best to track them down and annihilate them. He is firmly convinced that they will destroy the Egypt he serves, and practically anything is allowed to get at them. He realises that he is not likely to receive the assistance he has requested, so he will bend his energies at squeezing as much efficiency as possible from the other functions of the Egyptian Technocracy.
Quote: "The rules will have to yield. This problem will be solved."
Yvette grew up in Province, intensely interested in history and old politics. At the university she majored in medieval history and her thesis (about the spread of technology through the medieval monasteries) raised some eyebrows - in the Ivory Tower. An agent was sent out to investigate her (and if necessary eliminate her threat). She found a competent, intelligent young lady who responded well to cautious probing about Technocratic ideology. Eventually she was admitted to the Ivory Tower where she began to study Applied History, the art and science of rewriting history and removing unsuitable evidence.
After graduating from the Ivory Tower (this time with a thesis about remaining spiritual practices in colonial nations) she became part of an amalgam consisting of Syndicate and NWO technomancers involved in ˛cleaning up˛ old folklore and historical finds. She quickly began to appreciate the Syndicate methods of commercialising history, making it safe and banal (instead of tearing down an old stone circle, why not make it a tourist trap with adjoining gas station?). When the Egyptian Technocracy was purged, she applied for relocation there.
Unlike Comptroller Redmond, Yvette likes Egypt. Her main duty is to oversee an amalgam of Syndicate and NWO mages keeping old Egyptian magick down. Most of the time they just keep an eye on the digs, watching for any unexpected or unsuitable finds (which then turn out to be something else), defusing the build-up of dangerous Quintessence in some places and generally enforcing the paradigm. Sometimes they make raids on the smugglers when they suspect significant artefacts are on the move.
Yvettes greatest tool is tourists; each tourist carries with him his own paradigm, and busloads of American, German, Swedish, Japanese and French tourists help enforce the Technocratic paradigm exactly where it is needed the most. By commercialising and turning great sights into shallow entertainment, they are forced to fit into the paradigm and loose their magickal power. One of her most radical ideas have been to arrange "spiritual tourist tours" for New Age people who comfortably travel along the Nile to visit the old temples and ruins, meditate in them and listen to lectures from the guides, all according to a hodgepodge of warm, fuzzy and harmless beliefs that would make most traditionalists want to scream.
Yvette is a clever lady, and she knows things are not going as well as they should. Although being stationed in Egypt is hardly a brilliant achievement on one's resume, she knows her work has been appreciated by her higher-ups and that she has many friends outside Egypt that will help her if needed. So she enjoys her stay, living in a large and stylish departement with her lovers, collecting antiques and discreetly planning to have a safe escape if things turn nasty.
Quote: "No, the site is just temporarily closed for some minor repairs"
Jeremy is a tiny, pale man who spends practically all his time in the underground bunkers of the Iteration X constructs in Helwan. He spends his time watching over all the systems and agents, planning and organising, but nothing works as it should. He can't stand the other technomancers, the unstable equipment and especially the remains of old magick in Egypt. He will gladly destroy any reality deviant he can get his hands on, especially if it will make him look good.
Quote: "Tell the %#"/(%& coordinator that I have no #&%¤# attitude problem!"
I am the guide and director of all men, the Almighty, the father of the gods, Shu, the mighty posessor of the earth. Khnum
Tarot Card: Ten of Pattern
God: Khnum Animal: Ox Symbol: A steel shield
This dam is one of the greatest feats of the technocracy. It is not just a technical achievement, but a mystical artefact giving them dominion over most of Africa. Essentially it dams up the quintessence of the Nile, diverting it to the Technocracy; it is the largest technomagickal node in the world and a resonance sanitation achievement the Void Engineers loves to boast about. Hidden in the dam is a small but very well protected construct devoted 100% to maintaining the node and deflecting any attack against it; unlike the rest of the Egyptian technocracy this is the elite of the elite, ready for everything. The security involve the most advanced Iteration X constructs and subtle NWO surveillance systems extending for miles around it. Nothing less than an army of mages would be needed to damage the dam.
In the Umbra the dam is a huge steel construction, marked with the symbol of the Technocracy, surrounded by a nimbus of power and arrogance. It has very strong defences even on the spiritual plane and anything approaching it will be attacked.
The lake upstream hid a large area, turning valleys into bays and submerging many old places. The move of Abu Simbel was a clever technocratic ploy to completely sanitise the old temple by cutting it apart, secretly draining every last scrap of quintessence, and then putting it together. They know there are several other hidden temples below the surface, now being drained/hidden by the great dam.
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