What are Wards? Edit
Wards, or W-Citizens, are the conditioned, highly accomplished professional work force of the State. Raised by the State from an early age, they are identified by the arbitrary two letters of their PRI-FAC dormitory placement. For example, Block A, Bed J, becomes A_J.
Conditioned to conform precisely to their mandates, Wards adhere strictly to the ideologies of the State. They are never without the uniform appropriate to their position. Collectively, Wards represent approximately a quarter of the population of the State. They are found in the highest echelons of the military, of politics, industry, science and service. Though extremely capable, Wards lack humanity and are held in disdain by many. They are viewed with distrust by Citizens and often treated with contempt by them. Though technically not an underclass, their unnatural behaviour, ingrained servility and passionless compliance means they are often treated as such.
The underground PRI-FACS were initially envisaged as long-term habitable air-raid shelters for the children of the State. Both Citizens and Civilians were encouraged to evacuate their children to the PRI-FACs as a means of ensuring their safety and continued education through turbulent times. Stripped of their original identities, these children became the first generation of Wards. The tradition continues, but in recent times PRI-FACs accomodate the children of Wards, unwanted children, orphans and the children of refugees and Assets. Physically and mentally conditioned, ideal Wards are intelligent, unquestioning proponents of State Ideology and will apply themselves to their specialism with obsessive focus. Atypical Wards, able to analyse their situation critically, are often extremely dangerous.
Wards commonly have no knowledge of their birth name, if one has been given, their birth date, or parentage.
Lacking any knowledge of their parentage, Wards are encouraged to view the State as their Mother and many long for approval and love - a fact that makes them easily manipulable by the regime. This is the origin of the often-repeated idiom popular amongst Wards, 'The State is Mother.'
Wards are a product of a desperate nation that depends efficiency and innovation to operate. They are the State's model populace, forced to undergo schedules of education and conditioning to brutally shape them into conformity and excellence. They are a resource, and will ensure that their State is upheld.
Wards can be found in all of the broad industries of the State, and are provisioned and maintained by it. They earn a negligible wage that is heavily taxed and subject to mandatory donation, consequently they own little of value and rarely indulge in leisure. Wards are indentured to the State until the age of sixty.
Many of the State's most strikingly innovative technologies are the product of Wards, whose exceptional focus and unwavering efficiency coupled with high levels of education enable them to deliver successes in their respective research programs.
Wards are typically pale regardless of race, slim from undernourishment, and socially maladjusted. They are always uniformed, wearing both a standard underuniform and the formal uniform of their positions. Dress standards are strictly maintained and most Wards adopt standardised, practical hair styles. Wards keep their hands gloved, or alternatively covered, as the sense of touch is considered obscene.
Wards have a clipped and formal tone and a slight accent peculiar to their individual PRI-FAC. They are tattooed with their designated letters on the nape of the neck, and their blood type and furtherances on the upper arm. State insignia may also be tattooed in concealed areas, with symbols of loyalty and adherence, such as chains, and FAC numbers being popular. 'Mother' and '14', a reference to the original Physicists responsible for the State's atomic capabilities, are also regularly seen.
Wards are intolerant to sunlight and many wear visors or frosted white protective glasses to shield their eyes from it. The use of umbrellas as parasols is common in State cities. Wards wear markers of their service to the State; a black ring for five years, a black chain bracelet for ten years, double chain bracelets for twenty years, and a black ribbon for thirty.
'Blackribbons' are the longest serving and most highly regarded Wards and many are employed in the State's Ministries and in upper governmental roles.
Furtherances are the highest level of State education, and are mandated for Wards. Those that fail their assigned Furtherance, if deemed physically capable, become Administrators; the State's vicious, silent, ideological enforcers. The equivalent of an expedited Master's Degree reinforced with intense intellectual conditioning, Furtherances are rigorous, difficult, brutal tests of mental endurance.
Wards require at least one level of Furtherance, exceptional candidates may have as many as five. With each additional Furtherance, the potential for behavioural irregularities, stress-related illness and adverse neurological affects increase.
Though extraordinary in their State selected specialisms, Wards suffer from an array of weaknesses and disorders.
- Many young Wards are socially maladjusted. Lacking in knowledge derived from social interaction, they have difficulty perceiving non-verbal communicative cues, are generally unresponsive to humour, and are tactlessly direct. They are vulnerable to social exploitation, particularly by Citizens and older Wards.
- Wards are usually physically weak and tremulous from a lifetime of minimal nourishment.
- Due to their extremely limited exposure to the outside, many Wards suffer FAC-Shock upon leaving their PRI-FACs. Some never fully recover.
- They are extremely highly educated in narrow specialisms, but their broad knowledge, particularly of topics deemed irrelevant or frivolous, is severely lacking. Abstract, creative thought, and the progression of knowledge by illogical steps is difficult for Wards, worse still, they may consider it non-compliance.
Notable Wards Edit
- Facilitator A_J