Australia in the Year 2237

The continent of Australia in the year 2237 represents the post-apocalyptic waste and governmental turmoil that characterizes many of earth's nations. After the Pacific Rim Wars, much of Australia returned to its former state, that is, it became a penal colony again. POWs from World War III and the PR Wars were housed in prison camps stretching all the way across the Western Frontier and reaching into the far north. No one knows exactly how many POWs are being kept within the Australian borders, but estimates run into the hundreds of thousands. Almost all of them are from the United States or other Western European countries. They were placed there by the Oriental Alliance, guarded by the Australian government according to the Treaty of Paris, 2216. Because of diplomatic tensions between the West and the Alliance, there is no expected date of release for any of the POWs.

The country was devastated in the two previous wars. It lost about one-third of its 200-million citizens due to land invasions and perimeter defenses. Sydney was all but obliterated. Much of Melbourne lies in ruins. The capitol of the government is now in the southern half of New Wales - which was also severely devastated in the Third World War. Australian officials claim that the government is a representative democracy, but more likely is an autocratic dictatorship, with a parliament of unelected but power-hungry megalomaniacs who wish to see Australia rise to prominence as a world power. Martin Ulrich, pictured at right, is the current parliamentary speaker.

Australia as a country represents a minor threat to world peace. It's only significance now is that it exists as a colony of the Oriental Alliance for the housing of POWs. Still, Australia boasts some pretty powerful technology. Some intelligence sources claim that the government has been practicing acts of extortion against some Western European countries, threatening to kill POWs if certain demands are not met. Others state that the government is wickedly deceptive, engaging in international cases of grand larceny and extortion.

You've crash-landed in the Northeastern portion of New Queensland. The Aero-Car's computer, which is stable enough to function after the crash, per your request has downloaded information pertinent to your geographical location. Here's what intelligence sources know about your immediate surroundings:

    1. This portion of New Queensland was named "Arranamus" by the freelance explorer Henry Dubbins in 2203. He recorded on his dicta-phone a description of the area, which included a series of swamps, and a small, yet steep mountain. He went on to explore much of the New Queensland area, but never returned. His dictaphone recordings were uploaded to his boat before his disappearance.

    2. In 2217, Dr. Darion Rodriguez, a world-renowned animal biologist, was condemned by the zoological community of scientists for expressing dangerous thoughts concerning "advances" that he had made in the area of genetic mutations (specifically, animal-human hybrids). He was not deterred by this action of his peers, and still enjoyed a loyal following amongst a few doctors in the zoological community, and continued his work. He apparently "experimented" on someone whose brother took an offense at the result. Dr. Rodriguez was shot by the avenging brother on Dec. 3, 2219. His assassin was quickly dispatched by Dr. Rodriguez's rabidly loyal assistant, Hector Silla. They both disappeared, but the rumor is that Dr. Rodriguez survived, although his body was destroyed. His head was encased in a liquid oxygen tank and his new body became a sophisticated computer on wheels. The rumor concludes by claiming that the doctor and his assistant retreated to Australia, specifically to New Queensland, to continue work on what one collegue has dubbed as "the unique and abundant styles of wildlife on the Australian continent."

    3. In 2227, another freelance explorer, Jacques Follet, decided to explore the New Queensland area. He reported to his peers back at base that the Northeastern part of New Queensland contained "some of the most hideous forms of biological life I have ever seen." He spoke of giant frogs, and several species of hostile birds, including one variety with toxic dung. He made it back alive, but his video equipment malfunctioned, and no visual records of these beings exist.

    4. Satellite photos reveal a huge warehouse-like building in the immediate area. Nothing is known as to what's inside.

    5. In 2232, the cartographer Jay Germain III was updating his father's map of the New Queensland area. He reported seeing a "a most ungodly thing, with a body like a python, and a face like a man. It had a pouch like a kangaroo, from which it drew laser-charged detonators that it would hurl at me betimes." Mr. Germain claims to have lost his right arm to one such detonator, and he claims that he saw a human-like person in the background, calling the hideous beast "Squanto."

    6. In 2236, the Australian government released a communique claiming to have made "significant advances" in zoological engineering. The communique went on to state that further information would be forthcoming. No news has since arrived.

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