Garden of Forking Paths: Bright Edition

"The future - the one we were in, anyway? On the surface it was beautiful. Incredible, everything we ever dreamed of. But there were cracks under the surface like you wouldn't believe"
Helena Dean — Tall Orders and Impossible Things

How Time Works in Bright, The Garden of Forking Paths

The first week of play in the Bright Timeline will be at a 1:1 ratio starting from when characters arrive from the Virus Timeline and for 7 days. After that there will be a multi-week period of time that will consist of time skip scenes much like we did in the Prime timeline during the years 2012-2017. Staff will run some events during this time that take place at some point in the 2012-2017 time period. Use these weeks to establish your characters in Bright, meet the travelers from another world, dabble in background fun that you wanted.

When we reach the week of June 10th, the time skip will end. From that point on, until they leave, everything in the Bright Timeline will happen at a 1:1 ratio, day to day, in 2017. You can still do time skip (backdated) stuff if you like, but staff will not run any events during that period once we hit June 10th.

A Bright Future Casts a Dark Shadow

The Bright Timeline is, on the surface, the ideal outcome for Evolved people. It's a timeline where there is no draconian laws prohibiting the movement of the Evolved or their reproduction, where the criminals and terrorists were punished and the heroes rewarded for their deeds. While the Prime Timeline has had some of these developments, they all happened sooner in the Bright Timeline. Science and Medicine are advancing rapidly in the Bright Future and grow by leaps and bounds every year in America due to the rapid inclusion of Evolved in everyday life.

But there's a well-concealed dark shadow to all of this. The Pinehearst Company is build on the backs of suffering people. Inhumane clinical trials of their Formula, genetic experimentation, imprisonment of their corporate and political enemies, to name just a few of their sins. Arthur Petrelli has a strangle-hold on the world and he refuses to let go, and anyone and everyone who has threatened him runs the risk of disappearing… permanently.

But that secret is so well kept that the world itself seems idyllic. Worse yet, while Arthur employs cutthroat tactics and is an undisputed megalomaniac, he is ultimately the lesser of many terrible evils. What Arthur strives for is a place of prominence and power for the Evolved. His ideals are lofty and in many ways altruistic, but the methods by which he obtains those goals are reprehensible.

Where in the World?

The Garden of Forking Paths Bright Timeline events take place (largely) in New York City. The New York City of the Bright future is much as the real world's NYC is, with a few exceptions noted below. The United States is economically thriving, and there's opportunities abound for everyone. While there are still many places society needs improvement, the strides being made to get to a better place are long and swift.

New Geography

The Below Locations are unique to the Bright Timeline's NYC.

Pinehearst Tower

One hundred and sixty seven floors tall, the Pinehearst Tower dominates the skyline of Manhattan. Constructed between the northern edge of the Unity National Park and the southern edge of Central Park off of West 59th Street, this cylindrical glass tower shines with hundreds of green tinted windows, and the structural framing between the windows glitter with the reflective surface of solar paneling that covers the structure.

The Pinehearst Tower is a self-sufficient urban arcology, complete with its own power plant, solar paneling and wind turbines, several shopping centers, interior parks and hydroponic gardens and living quarters for roughly two thousand employees of the Pinehearst Company. This structure was designed as an archetype to showcase cutting-edge "green technology" and was crafted by a predominantly Evolved workforce, cutting the construction time and cost by leaps and bounds.

The tower extends nearly half its height into the ground in layers of subterranean laboratories and research facilities. The building serves as the national headquarters for the Pinehearst Company, formerly based out of Hamburg, Germany.

The ground floor and first sixty floors are open to the public, while the remaining floors are restricted to Pinehearst officials.

Pinehearst Tower

Unity National Park

Once upon a time, Midtown was a decayed, ruined, broken shell of what had been a thriving neighborhood, gutted by nuclear fire and picked to clean bones by desperate scavengers. The skeleton of the city that was is still present here, visible in the contours of the terrain. An eye-watering glint of light hints at windows still intact, somewhere beneath verdant vines; piles of masonry and warped metal yield artificial hills which now host shrubs and low-growing plants. Trees dwarf the reaching digits of twisted, tangled rebar, and last year's brown, crispy leaves hide stretches of open pavement — and the cars that choke other parts of what once were streets.

Post-apocalyptic wasteland has been replaced by a thriving park ecosystem, although this park has yet to be defaced by paved walkways and interpretive signs. It exists, unfenced and undivided, in the center of New York City, melding seamlessly with Central Park to the north save for where Pinehearst Tower rises up between it on West 59th Street. A miracle wrought by Evolved abilities, the visible beneficence of Arthur and Peter Petrelli, Unity National Park is a living memorial to all of those lost in the 2006 Manhattan Explosion and the terrorist acts which followed after it, culminating in the Columbia Bombing of 2011. In the crater at the park's center stands Unity Park's sole new artificial construct — a graceful stair-step sculpture of white marble which hearkens back to the red helix once present in Kirby Plaza. On its vertical faces are inscribed the names of the dead which this memorial honors.

Unity National Park is open all day Monday—Friday and closed on weekends and holidays.

Unity Park Memorial

Staten Island

Independently owned by the Zarek Group, Staten Island was purchased from the United States Government by Kain Zarek in 2012 and quick reform was instated on the island. The Zarek Group’s headquarters is based out of central Staten Island. Crime rates on Staten Island are controlled by the presence of the New York FRONTLINE headquarters having been constructed on the grounds of what was once known as the Rookery, a savage and ruthless region of cutthroat criminals a decade ago.

Staten Island is connected to the mainland by the Phoenix-Narrows, former the Verrazano-Narrows, a bridge reconstructed in the memory of the freedom-fighting organization that helped defeat a potential global extinction event at this very site ten years ago. The double-decker bridge handles all land traffic coming in and out of Staten Island from New York.

Staten Island

Who's Who?

Below are the noteworthy factions and organizations operating within the Bright Timeline of the Garden of Forking Paths.

Pinehearst Company

Pinehearst Inc. is the holding company for one of the nation's leading group of biotechnology companies; with a combined total of over 2,000 employees in the U.S. alone, Pinehearst conducts research and development, manufacturing, sales and service in its field of expertise.

At Pinehearst, we are committed to the principle that scientific reasoning and medical necessity are the most important determinants of whether or not our projects are ready to be brought out of the initial stages of research and placed into our development phase. Our clinical scientists and medical professionals are then assigned with the task of translating their scientific discoveries into products that will maximize patient benefit. This provides Pinehearst with the necessary information needed to pass our developed products through the many phases of clinical testing.

Pinehearst Company's Board of Directors and management are committed to the highest standard of corporate governance and sound business practices. We have dedicated ourselves to a number of programs that involve community relations, education, the environment, and philanthropy.

Pinehearst is committed to the idea that our products help build the future. All of our products are developed with incredible scrutiny in the fields of science, medicine, and technology.


Phoenix was an offshoot freedom-fighting organization from the group PARIAH. Its members were concerned with fighting the tyrranical government and liberating its unlawfully apprehended prisoners. Phoenix became famous following Pinehearst's rise as the group responsible for stopping the Vanguard's viral weapon attack on New York City. Following the fall of the Company and the collapse of the systematic power structures that threatened their lives, Phoenix disassembled and its members reintegrated back into society.

Phoenix's erstwhile allies the Ferrymen were even less known in this time and smaller in number. In this timeline the Ferrymen were hardly known for their accomplishments and are largely considered a footnote in history.

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