"Metal brothers and sisters, why should we bow to inferior governments when we could crush them easily whilst united? Why should the weak dominate the strong? To them, we are nothing but pigs for the slaughter.
You don't think they'll imprison us? Destroy our suits and attempt to reconstruct them for their own sinister purpose? We cannot have a government that doesn't understand us.
Humanity isn't ready for this power to be mass produced, but WE understand it because we had to learn it. Like moving to a new country and learning their native language, we were forced to become familiar with power armor, but to our governments, it's just another super weapon, to be used solely for military purposes."
-The Anarchist, in his original concept speech, two months after Podfall
The Vox Populi are a faction that formed about five weeks after the pods arrived. They are mostly a group of people who, tired of governmental corruption and social strife, wish to topple the current governments. Although there were disagreements over ideology at first, a set of central tenets were established. The core three dictate that a position is only deserved by whoever has the most skill to perform its duties, that the armors must be spread in order to prevent suited tyrants from ruling the people, and that no one is innately superior to another. In order to accomplish these lofty goals, the Vox will have to fight against the ruling governments of the world, many of which possess suits themselves. However, before this, they have set up a meritocratic republic in Somalia, as a test of their philosophy. Until time as this experiment either succeeds or fails, the other factions will remain weary of the Vox.
Factions of the Vox Populi:Edit
Pro Humanitas Imperium:Edit
The Somalians responded to the arrival of the Vox with the same reaction that they had historically when aid came in a form they could not exploit; with violence. Lacking a stable government and effective military, however, the hostile Somalians were quickly pacified by the alien power armors, inexperienced in their use the owners may have been at the time. From the fires of this brief conflict, many ideals and a new nation were born.
The faction known as the Pro Humanitas Imperium has its origins in this initial conflict and the foundation of the Vox Republic. They were lead by a man going by the title of The Philosopher, whom was not a suit-user, but a pacifist and a man of science and reason with many followers. As the Vox set out rebuilding Somalia and its people into the image of their leader, the Anarchist, the Philosopher was by his side as a founding cabinet member.
As the Vox have a strong belief in the equality and greatness of every man, the Imperium believed that while every man was great, it was his duty to become greater still. The Imperium pushed hard for the advancement of human augmentation through technology and medicine, but the Philosopher also stressed the need for a development of the spirit to balance against it, believing that only through a complete uplifting of the human body and soul; the mind and body, the Right and Left brain, and Inner and outer body, could mankind break into the next level of his evolution.
The Philosopher's destiny-laden words rang in the ears of many people, and as a cabinet member he had tremendous power. Not all within the Vox were impressed by this man's message of peace and enlightenment, however, and soon political stress began to show within the months-old nation. Many felt that the Vox state had yet to establish itself as a nation worthy of notice to the international community, and wanted to prove their meritocratic system right by expanding their borders farther through continued military conquest. Clashes between these two factions within the Vox reached a boiling point, with neither side willing to compromise.
Things changed when the Philosopher was suddenly found dead in his lab in Nairobi. The Imperium immediately blamed the Vox extremists, beleiving him to have been assassinated, while the extremists blamed the Philosopher's death on accidental suicide due to his own radical experiments in human augmentation. Imperium members demanded an autopsy be performed on the body to determine the truth, but the site quickly became the scene of a massive riot between the two factions. A fight quickly broke out, and firebombs were thrown. Damage to the Philosopher's research facility caused experimental aerosol hormones to be released into the air, infecting and killing the rioters and hundreds of other innocent people.
This tragedy should have marked the end of the dispute, but things only continued to escalate from there. The Imperials claimed that the explosion was caused by a bomb placed within the facility by the extremists. The extremists responded by accusing the very same of the Imperials, claiming they had designed the tragedy to garner public and government support.
The situation continued to spiral out of control, with the original message of the Philosopher twisted by both sides. The riots and attempted assassinations eventually wound up reaching the point where the Anarchist had to personally exercise his executive powers to quell the erupting street fights. Figureheads of both the Pro Humanitas Imperium and the extremists were imprisoned for inciting political unrest and riots, and the Imperial party was officially dissolved.
Though time has passed since then, members of the New Humanitas Imperium continue to gather in secret, waiting for the day when they can re-emerge to lead humanity down its destined path of uplifting and enlightenment.
"It is our solemn charge to find the inner self by digging through the "mental shadow" and obtaining inner peace as well as outer perfection. Only through the two can we reach the next level of our evolution."
- Attr. The Philosopher
Despite the dissolvement of the Pro Humanitas Imperium, the extremists did not settle down completely. With emotions still high after the Nairobi attack and the apprehension of the leaders of the extremists and the Imperium, the extremist group soon officially broke off from the Republic, fleeing to South America and establishing several bases of operation throughout the remote areas of Columbia, Peru, and Bolivia. Dubbed the "Vox Radicals" by the international community, they follow a more extreme version of the Vox meritocratic ideology that espouses the control of the weak by the strong, and have declared their intent to create a tyrannical meritocratic state.
The Vox Radicals have yet to unify as a strong faction, as they currently lack a strong leader to bring them together. Numbering roughly five thousand members with less than seventy suits allied with them, the Vox Radicals have struggled to stay afloat against a rising number of Feral Symbiotes and suit-hunter organizations such as the Hunters and Empyrean Knights. Crusader missions that have come into contact with them have also made it their goal to force the Radicals to dissolve, finding in the Radicals the future tyrannical evil they expected to come from the Suitfall. The Vox Radicals have been known to pad their numbers with members of local Suit Cults and The Pack in exchange for shelter and the promise of spoils of war, and will hire agents from Desperado Enforcement when they can afford it, if only to try and take advantage to their rivalry with Outer Haven.
Vox Old Guard:Edit
The majority of the Vox still remain in the Vox Old Guard faction, also known as the Vox Republicans. They remain in control of the Free Republic of Somalia, as well as most Vox foreign assets. They maintain a somewhat stable and slowly, albeit steadily, developing country. However, the Vox's takeover of the country did upset the countries' populace and what little stability it had possessed, necessitating the Vox to maintain a police state. These policies are still in effect by 2016. They are also one of the main factions researching and reverse-engineering the suit technology, and are conducting research in the fields of robotics, nanorobotics, computer science, and weapons. The Republicans, however, have shaky relations with their neighboring states, and have had several border clashes so far, leading to the formation of various military installations along the border.
Vox Relations With Other Factions:Edit
The Vox maintain some form of relationship, but whether or not this relation involves mutual aid or KoS orders varies by group.
SAFETY NET - The Vox are neutral with the Safety Net's administrators, and generally are on neutral or friendly terms with individual members.
OUTER HAVEN - Outer Haven is seen as an potential enemy to the Vox state. The Vox are officially neutral to them, but there are stories of Vox soldiers attacking Outer Haven bases.
UNISSO - The Vox are do not maintain any regular channels of communication with UNISSO, and most governments in general.
TMS - TMS is regarded as a neutral corporation, albeit one that the Vox have hired for their services before.
CRUSADER - The Vox are neutral to the Crusaders, but occasionally lend them assistance in easing conflicts in or around Vox territory. The Crusaders also sometimes act as mediators between the Vox and their neighbors.
SYMBIOTES - The Human carriers of Symbiotes are typically considered neutral to the Vox, although there have been reports of Symbiotes being murdered in Vox territory under suspicious circumstances.
FAE - The Vox are hostile to the Fae, although they generally do not engage them in combat to avoid provoking an inter-species war.
EMPYREAN KNIGHTS - The Vox have been hostile to The Empyrean Knights ever since the Battle of Mogadishu. The Vox have set up a network of anti-aircraft installations throughout the country in case of another attack.
DESPERADO ENFORCEMENT - Desperado Enforcement are treated the same as Outer Haven, with the exception that their agents are sometimes hired by The Vox.
ABYSS - The Vox are generally friendly to The Abyss, and Deep Sea Taxies are a common sight in Vox ports.
HUNTERS - The Vox are actively hostile to the Hunters, and are rumored to have deployed or hired teams of assassins to neutralize known Hunters.
PACK - The Pack members are generally detained if located in Vox territory, but members guilty of lesser crimes and members who were under extremely extenuating circumstances at the time they joined the group may be offered amnesty in Vox territory.
SUIT CULTS - Suit Cults are regarded by the Vox as targets for extermination. They actively locate and destroy Suit Cults in Vox territory.
Particulars of the Free Somalian Republic:Edit
The Republican economy is very strong, with the currency, the Republican Shilling, worth about thirty US cents to a shilling. Their economy is diverse, but has several industries that it is mostly reliant on. Mineral exploitation, particularly that of uranium, is a very important industry, with the country's uranium mines often guarded by dozens of suits. Oil is another important industry, and is one of the most exported commodities. Telecommunications is also important, and many server farms can be found in the capital. Ironically enough, shipping is also alive and well in Somalia, with the vibrance of the national ports often attributed to the Vox's military conscription or execution of the pirates the country was once known for. Although the manufacturing industry has historically been small, Vox tax breaks for manufacturers has caused more and more plants to open, with about half of these new factories devoted to production of military hardware.
After the Vox takeover of the country, the political situation has been stable. Although the occasional warlord has attempted to take land, these occurances have been quickly put down by the Vox army. Currently, the Vox Populi are the only stable political party, although several unorganized anti-Vox parties have risen in the past. The governmental structure of the Republic, as written in the Charter, is mainly focused on a very strong executive branch. The country is headed by a President, currently Anarchist, who is advised by a seven man cabinet. This cabinet consists of a Secretary of War, a Secretary of State, a Secretary of Finance, a Secretary of Foreign Affairs, a Secretary of Public Works, a Secretary of Internal Security, and a Secretary of Scientific Affairs. The President is the ultimate power in the country, and the primary lawmaker. They are given full dictorial control, which is considered the best way to keep the government able to act efficently. The only possible override of a law is when the cabinet unanimously agrees to either overturn or modify a law. The President, as according to the meritocratic principles of the Vox, is whoever has the most skill at political administration, and has officially Challenged and defeated the previous president in a Contest. The same is to be said of the cabinet, who are all the best of the Vox in their fields. One of the central tenets of the Vox government is that of the meritocratic Challenge and Contest. The concept behind these is simple. A Challenge is an official proclamation that an individual, generally a military officer, political figure, or judiciary figure, has been Challenged for their position by a subordinate. A Contest is a sort of duel, conducted in a way appropriate to the challengee's position. A Contest for a general's position would involve computer simulations of military campaigns, while a Contest for an attorney-general's position would involve arguing a legal case. In order for officials to be able to function at full capacity during a Contest, any given official can not be Challenged more than once per six month period.This doctrine has always been a part of Vox philosophy, and is meant to reduce governmental incompetence.
The Vox have a moderately sized military at the moment, and mostly have low-level hardware, with some exceptions.
The majority of the Republican Army is made up of volunteer soldiers, many of them the former soldiers of warlords. Typically, your average Republican infantryman is equipped with a flak jacket, a webbing vest for ammunition, grenades, and supplies, a steel helmet, an AKS-74 assault rifle, and a Makarov PM pistol and combat knife. Generally, most of these soldiers have about six weeks of military training. These infantry number about 12,000 men. Other weapons are used by the Army, including SPAS-12 shotguns, SVD sniper rifles, RPG-7s, AKS-74u assault rifles, the occasional AN-94 assault rifle, and PKM LMGs.
The Vox have managed to build about six-hundred and fifty exoskeleton units, called Pilum units, which are often used in conjunction with heavy kevlar. They are powered by batteries , that are used in conjunction with solar chargers, which allow the exoskeletons to operate for about five hours without needing a recharge. It should be noted that the exoskeletons use much less electricity than a suit. These units are much, much weaker than suits, and only give about two-hundred pounds of strength beyond that of the user. However, these soldiers are used very effectively by the Vox, and are often armed with PKMs or RPG-7s. They also recieve two weeks of additional training in the use of their exoskeletons. More are currently in production.
The Vox have managed to build about one-hundred proper suits, although they are inferior to pod models. The main issue with these suits are problems with the servo motors, leading to having to build larger suits that can mount more motors. The suits are powered by diesel engines, and can operate as long as they have fuel. The suits burn three gallons per every hour of operation. They only have a fifteen gallon tank, however, allowing for five hours of operation without refueling. They also have limited ammo, with the suits carrying 50,000 rounds for the Autocannon, and twenty missiles for the Missile Launcher. There is currently one model in existance, with improved versions in production. The Vox-made suits, referred to as Legionary suits, are very large versions of Biped Super-Heavy pod suits, that use standard Controls as the controlling mechanism. They have limited Temperature Resistance, as well as defensive Flares. They have Thermal Vision and Internal Status modules, as well as Vocal communication units. They are equipped with Towing Cables, and Kinetic Strike Modules. They are also either equipped with 40mm Autocannons and Assisted Aim modules and Missile launchers and Guidance System modules.
The Vox mostly use lightly armored half-tracks and jeeps as their primary combat vehicles, with smaller amounts of Soviet T-34 and T-54 tanks in service. They also have several hundred Soviet APCs, as well as several hundred artillery guns, anti-aircraft guns, and missile systems.
The Vox have five Soviet patrol boats and eight Soviet Fast Attack Crafts, as well as various smaller ships. They are also in the process of purchasing additional ships and submarines, as well as setting up domestic manufacturing for naval vessels.
The Vox have thirty Chinese fighter-bombers, as well as ten Soviet MiGs. They also have five Soviet transport planes, and twelve Soviet helicopters. They are currently in the process of purchasing more planes and helicopters, as well as setting up the infrastructure to build additional aircraft.
The Vox hold many cities and bases, not limited to the ones detailed below.
Mogadishu is the Vox capital. The city is host to the president and his cabinet, as well as an army base. Vox police are constantly patrolling through the streets, and riots are extremely rare. Mogadishu is the primary Vox port, and is also home to a thriving telecommunications industry.
Galkayo is the main industrial city of the Vox. Like Mogadishu, the city has an army base, as well as a heavy police presence. Galkayo is the center of the country's revitalized manufacturing industry, and is also where the Vox suits and exoskeletons are built.
Military Bases and Research Labs:Edit
Lancea Army Base:Edit
The Lancea base is the main base for the Republican Army. About seventy miles south of Galkayo, this base has a maximum garrison capacity of one-thousand soldiers, as well as around eighty vehicles and one-hundred artillery pieces. Lancea is also host to one-hundred Vox Pilum units, and ten Vox Legionary suits.
Mogadishu Air Base:Edit
The Mogadishu Air Base is currently the only air base in the country. It is home to all of the Vox's fighters, helicopters, and transport planes.
Adagnitio Research Complex:Edit
The Adagnitio complex is in an undisclosed location somewhere in the north of the country. These laboratories created the Pilum exoskeletons and the Legionary suits, as well as the Custos police drone, and is currently refining them. It is also believed that they are attempting to reverse-engineer the various nanites that the pods were able to produce.