Prison Break Backstory


[I’m working to develop the world for my next NaNoWriMo story. Here’s my first stab at the backstory behind it. What do you think?]

Once upon a time there were two kingdoms, Yasgur and Addison. Yasgur was located in the southern part of the land, and had warm weather and a laid-back attitude, while Addison was to the north, with colder weather and more competitiveness. Both kingdoms were quite modern, with recognizable technologies and some rather advanced innovations, especially in the area of biotechnology.

There was a conflict between the two, a war if you will. It was short and bloody, as conflicts between such modern actors will be. The cause is irrelevant, the outcome perhaps predictable. Addison was on the verge of wiping out Yasgur, and possibly being wiped out in return, when an accommodation was reached. A cessation of hostilities, guaranteed by an exchange of hostages. These being kingdoms the hostages were members of the two royal families, children of the two kings, who were quite young at the time.

That ended the fighting, and for Yasgur the war as well, but the kingdom of Addison was not so easily deterred. While Yasgur went about rebuilding itself, Addison started a two-pronged strategy to conquer its neighbor in such subtle ways that it wouldn’t realized the war was still being fought.

The first prong was corruption. Yasgur was ruled by a king, true, but his rule was guided by a parliament made up of leaders of the major houses and representatives of the people. Key members of parliament, people of influence, received bribes in the form of campaign support and monies with the only expectation being that they would vote as Addison directed on certain measures.

The second prong was infiltration. The damage done to Yasgur’s economy and military left many opportunities for rapid advancement, and Addison was able to place agents inside both who advanced in position and power as those institutions were rebuilt.

There was a third prong, intelligence, but this was really quite a minor thing, since it was an area in which Addison had long excelled. Addison’s development of drones for information gathering and remote strike ability proceeded unabated by the cessation of hostilities. By contrast, Yasgur focused its technology advancements on animal-cyborg developments as a way to supplement its decimated workforce.

Several years after “the end of the war” Addison implemented the final phase of its plan. The king of Yasgur suffered an “accident” and the resulting power vacuum was filled by a minister on Addison’s payroll, who promptly urged closer ties between the two kingdoms. The motion passed by the narrowest of margins, and was reaffirmed not long afterward by a hotly contested election which nonetheless resulted in a large majority of seats in the hands of the pro-Unification party. Soon after the king of Addison was crowned king of the United Kingdom of Malum, and the purges began.

And what of the hostages? When the king of Yasgur died his children were “discarded” as no longer necessary. His eldest son wound up in the biotech labs as an experimental subject, while the younger was dumped into an orphanage that fed into the military academy.

The king of Addison’s children fared slightly better, being distributed into the foster care system and effectively lost in the bureaucracy. They were a son and a daughter, by different wives. The king went on to father more children, so reintroducing them into the succession would prove awkward, thus they were pronounced “dead” complete with state funerals so that his younger children could inherit.

A decade later a coup occurred that resulted in the death of the king and the ascension of a young, charismatic leader whose swift rise to power was attributed to a magical power of persuasion. He cemented his rule via the bloodiest, most repressive tactics imaginable, making full use of the latest technologies. Those in opposition were branded “traitors” and “terrorists” and most were simply killed, but a few select members were instead imprisoned in a high security facility located in a small town far from the capital.

This is where our story begins.

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About Kurt Schweitzer

A former vampire logistics facilitator, past purveyor of Italian-style transportation, and Y2K disaster preventer, I'm currently creating websites, novels and other fictions while reinventing myself. Again.
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2 Responses to Prison Break Backstory

  1. writerrick says:

    Your back story seems clear and somewhat predictable. I think the success or failure of this story (which, in my humble opinion could be very good) lies in the intrigue that is brought out while carrying out the three-pronged post-war invasion. I’ll be interested to read more.

    • Thank you for your comments!

      From my perspective the main reason for the backstory is to provide a base from which the main story can proceed. The time frame of the main story is about twenty years after the active war is over. I’m interested in the two societies suggested by the backstory and how well (or poorly) they may have integrated. Is there still an insurgency? If so, what keeps it going? You know that the children (now adults) mentioned will figure into the story – what roles will they have? And that charismatic leader – will his iron fist approach to rule have rusted any over the years? Is society ripe for a change, and if so, what will spark it?

      I’m still in the planning stages for this novel, and I find that writing down ideas like this backstory and then poking at them (by responding to comments, among other things) helps me flesh it out so that when I finally start typing I can spend more time actually writing and less mulling things over. Thanks again for helping out!

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