Forking Paths

"You don't understand! We've been working on bringing these Humanis First fuckers into the light of day for years. They have tortured me, tortured Felix, killed me, tortured Felix and Joseph, killed Mona Rao. The list is goddamn near endless. And they chunked fucking Emil Danko into Antarctica with us to save the goddamn world, and he survived like a fucking cockroach! Now I'm outing myself as a terrorist — do you think anything we say at this point will be taken seriously? We can't out the mayor and the head of the DoEA and the chief of police as Humanis First now — who the fuck would believe us? I should have just waited. Let them come at me straight on. They wouldn't have killed me. That'd make me into a fucking martyr, right? So they'd just chuck me in the same black hole they've thrown everyone else."
Elisabeth Harrison — The Fear of Tomorrow

How Time Works in Wasteland, The Garden of Forking Paths

We are playing much more fast and loose with time in the Wasteland iteration of the Garden of Forking Paths. As we tested in the end of the Bright Future, we're going to reveal an outline of major events that takes place through the time this storyline covers. In that outline you'll see major milestones with detailed explanations of events and we will incrementally move "real" time up as we progress. The Wasteland is scheduled to be run between August and October of 2018 and will cover events from late 2017 through a portion of 2018 which will be revealed in the outline document.

A link to the outline document will be provided here when it is available.

Further information will also be made available soon.

The Way We Weren't

The Wasteland timeline is a worst-case scenario that most closely mirrors what could have happened in the Prime Timeline had history not been changed. But this Wasteland is a rapidly accelerated one compared to the timeline we saw in the Woven Worlds storyline we ran in 2011. Events in this timeline were accelerated and changed, so while you're free to have your Wasteland characters follow similar fates to their Woven Worlds counterparts, you're not required to have them make those same choices or experience those same fates.

The world of the Wasteland is a harsh one where America has been involved in an ongoing war for several years, resulting in the collapse of infrastructure and civilization outside of the dome of Outer District. Characters living outside the dome must struggle to survive day to day in the war-torn America where patrols of soldiers and military robots are ever-vigilant for enemy combatants, and "shoot to kill, just to be safe" is the order of the day. Survival in the Wasteland is harsh and unforgiving, and the handful of freedom fighters left in the resistance are hoping for a miracle.

Where in the World?

The Garden of Forking Paths Wasteland timeline takes place primarily in New York City, centered around Staten Island and the walled city of Outer District that houses one of the last cities on the east coast of America that is untouched by war. This timeline is an experience in dichotomy and contrast:

In the Wasteland, life is harsh and unforgiving. Characters living there will huddle together in the bombed out remains of buildings destroyed by riots, fighting, and time. Characters on the outside of the walled city struggle to survive, and avoid exposure to the lethal H5N10 virus (see below for more info).

In the Outer District, the Department of Evolved Affairs' word is law. It is a city run by a totalitarian government with absolute control over its populace. Evolved living in the Outer District are surgically implanted with devices that chemically negate their ability and cause death if improperly removed. See below for more info on the Outer District.


The deadly H5N10 virus is alive and well in the Wasteland timeline. It is all but eradicated within the walls of Outer District, but within the Wasteland beyond, the virus is rampant and often fatal.

New Geography

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

Outer District

Outer District is a walled city of 2.6 million people, crammed into an urban sprawl that stretches up into the sky. The city is one of the last bastions of civilization on the east coast of the United States following the onset of World War III. Between local and regional conflicts, much of the rest of the country is in varying states of disrepair or desolation. But the Outer District exists quite literally within a bubble of the old world. It is a self-sufficient city capable of producing its own genetically modified and vat-grown food, from lab produced meats to hydroponic and aeroponic crops. The financial and industrial centers of America relocated here during the war, and Outer District features amalgamations of corporate and financial powerhouses that seek to weather out the storm. To do so, they must bend a knee to the Department of Evolved Affairs and President Moritz, who govern from within the protective walls of the city.

Outer District is protected by a nearly invisible but impenetrable dome powered by an Evolved ability that bars teleportation powers and other abilities access. No ability functions properly between the boundary of the dome, including telepathy, and those who attempt to teleport within often times find their bodies scrambled in horrifying ways. The DoEA has a means to open portions of the dome when necessary at a handful of gates situated at the perimeter of the city where the walls meat old, pre-war roads. These checkpoints are maintained by both human soldiers and robotic sentries called Centurions that can detect Evolved humans at close range. This checkpoint system is not flawless, however, and the Resistance has found ways to trick both machine sensors and fool human guards, allowing for infiltration of Resistance fighters into the dome. Getting in, however, is much easier than getting out.

Access into the Outer District requires proper Linderman Act Registration cards (now chip-based and much harder to fake) as well as on-the-spot blood tests. Those entering the city without previous residency are forwarded to a "processing" block where they wait for 6 to 8 weeks for background checks before being assigned to a work group. The wealthy and powerful are exempt from many of these protocols and are exclusively allowed access in and out through the Old Gate.

Inside of the dome, the city is abuzz with urban life. The divide between the wealthy and poor is stark, as is the divide between the Evolved and non-Evolved. Evolved residents of Outer District number roughly 20,000 and live within the same heavily patrolled neighborhood of Heartland Village. All SLC-Expressive residents of Outer District who are not employees of the Department of Evolved Affairs are forced to submit to an surgical process implanting a device that releases chemical negation and must be replaced every 5 years. These devices are considered tamper-proof, and removing them improperly releases a chemical into the blood that results in the implant dumping a reservoir of TSST-1 into the subject's system, causing instant toxic shock syndrome. Which is guaranteed fatal if not immediately hospitalized. Many of the evolved who work for the Department of Evolved Affairs have cranial implants capable of detonating a micro-explosive at the base of their skull on remote authorization from DoEA command.

Security within Outer District is a mix of human military loyal to the DoEA and robotic sentries that come in three varieties, detailed below. Other, nightmarish machines may exist, but are not commonly seen on the streets.

Outer District

Who's Who?

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

The Department of Evolved Affairs

The DoEA is a former government branch that once oversaw the handling of Evolved affairs within the United States. Ostensibly, they answer to President Timothy Moritz, but the truth is far more murky. Led by Georgia Mayes, the DoEA is a ruthless and tyrannical organization that has effectively seized power in the United States through an unspoken coup. The DoEA is backed by membership from Humanis First, an anti-Evolved terrorist organization of which many, if not all, of its decision-makers are members. The DoEA controls the advanced machines that patrol Outer District and are deployed in combat zones across the world.

The Resistance

No one singular organization, the Resistance is made up of a coalition of smaller freedom-fighting organizations that oppose the DoEA and seek equality for the Evolved. Organizations like Endgame, the Ferrymen, the Guardians, and more have melded into this cell-organized opposition that is rapidly diminishing by the day, resulting in a smaller and smaller force of allied powers either capable of (or in many cases) willing to continue the fight. What they haven't lost to battlefield casualties, they have lost to abandonment. Among the Resistance, Eve Mas is currently one of its most vocal and well-known leaders remaining alive today.


The below machines represent an attempt by the government to "streamline" the designs of Hector Steel and remove their dependency on an Evolved engineer. But time and again their designs fail, forcing them to turn to Hector's genius to get their machines in an operational state. These public-facing machines are only the tip of the iceberg, however, for the real artistry of Hector's designs are lurking in the shadows, behind closed doors, or perhaps hiding in plain sight.

Note: Each iteration of government-designed machine features a critical vulnerability that has resisted bug fixes. Whether these are failures in the government's mundane designs, or intentional imperfections worked into the system by Hector remains to be seen.

Hunter (Gen 3; Wasteland Future)

Nicknamed "Cerberus" by the Resistance, these quadrupedal robots are compact and fast tracking hunters capable of detecting large groups of Evolved over long ranges with advanced compass technology. They are equipped with a non-lethal sonic weapon that can be fired in a beam or cone, capable of incapacitating multiple targets with excruciating pain.

Vulnerability: The Gen3 Hunter has gyroscopic limitations inhibiting its running speed, making it slower than previous generations and less agile when taking corners or moving on slick surfaces.

Gen3 Hunter

Hunter (Gen 4; Wasteland Future)

Also nicknamed "Goblins", these are quadrupedal robots with underside hanging articulated arms capable of injecting adynomine III through retractable syringes or wielding manufactured firearms, opening doors, crushing limbs, or whatever other tasks a mechanical hand is needed for. These machines are fast, agile, and ruthlessly efficient.

Vulnerability: The fluid intakes for adynomine stored in the Gen4 Hunter's upper body are over-insulated, making the machines resistant to cold temperatures but highly susceptible to overheating. A Gen4 Hunter that runs at full speed for too long or is exposed to extreme temperature will shut down as its systems overheat.

Gen4 Hunter

Centurion (Gen 1)

Nicknamed "Iron Men" by the Resistance, the newest machines off of the DoEA's assembly lines within the Outer District is the Centurion model. These bipedal machines are equipped with compass technology and a microgrenade combat suppression system, capable of dispersing crowds with tear gas or negation gas as well as lethal incendiary microgrenades. These machines are eight feet tall and slow, but can take a beating from firearms and abilities. They have hands for grasping and tool manipulation, but are not dexterous enough to use firearms.

Vulnerability: Though sturdy and resistant to small and medium arms fire and explosives, the Gen1 Centurion is a top-heavy machine that lacks the ability to stand once on its back or side. The lack of proper articulation in its legs and arms is seen as a necessary drawback to carry the artillery it does, but leaves the machines vulnerable to toppling by close-quarters combat.

Gen1 Centurion

Centurion (Gen 2)

Nicknamed "Tin Men" by the Resistance, they are a bleeding edge second generation Centurion pushed off the assembly line in August 2017. These Centurions have the tracking ability of a Gen 3 Hunter and the manual dexterity og a Gen 4 Hunter with the versatility of a humanoid form. Worse, Gen2 Centurions can wield manufactured firearms and other tools and are faster, more agile, and quieter than their Gen1 cousins.

Vulnerability: The Gen2 Centurions are manufactured from a lightweight carbon fiber to lower power requirements and increase battery life and mobility, removing to inability to stand up that the Gen1 models experienced. However, these lightweight designs are not particularly durable, and they are particularly vulnerable to most gunfire and other physical damage.

Gen2 Centurion


The fourth generation of AETOS drones are sedan-sized hovering drones capable of engaging targets over long range. These machines possess great speed and agility in their flight and are outfitted with forward-mounted dual machine guns for combat operations.

Vulnerability: The AETOS-4's forward-mounted sensor array has highly accurate facial recognition capabilities, but lacks appropriate depth perception and high-speed targeting, making the AETOS notorious for its "stormtrooper" aim.



Harvesters are automated aircraft measuring 60 feet long and 30 feet wide at their widest point. A Harvester is propelled by four thrust vectoring turbines that give it the ability to lift off from the ground like a helicopter and attain a maximum aerial speed of 250 mph. The inner body of a Harvester contains storage compartments for up to 4 Gen2 Centurions that can be dispatched on the top deck or to ground level as fire support. Inside the middle of a Harvester is a slot for a custom shipping container used to house prisoners. A Harvester has an undermount gas delivery system capable of spreading clouds of negation gas through pressurized ports like a crop duster.
Additionally, each Harvester is outfitted with 12 articulated mechanical tentacles equipped with automatic injection systems typically filled with the ability-negating neurotoxin adynomine. Harvesters are entirely unmanned aircraft that patrol the ruins beyond the Outer District and capture SLC-Expressive prisoners for transport to processing stations that feed into the Outer District.

Vulnerability: The vector thrust turbines on a harvester have insufficient armor on their fuel intake lines, making them highly susceptible to damage and explosion.



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