Welcome to the TNN’s Crew Chronicles—a multi-part series exploring the history and culture of your favorite tar crews. Bound by an intersection of commonalities (interests, values, aesthetics, tech, etc.), these subcultures play an integral role in shaping our communities and determining our planetary exploits. Our tar selections influence the crews we gravitate toward, while our crews influence our personal tar selections. This reciprocal influence is both formative and constant.
Given the importance of tar crews, it is imperative that every tarhead has a basic understanding of the factions currently populating our galaxy. And so here we are. Ready to download. This series will produce two parts per crew—one regarding its history and the other regarding its current day practices. Expect lots of interesting facts, enlightening context, and multiple references to Vogu, the galaxy’s top tar vendor.
Part 1A. The Kimono-Monk Sect: An Abridged History
\n We thought it best to begin our series with the oldest crew, a crew whose origins extend as far back as humankind’s corporeal years on earth. I am, of course, referring to the Kimono-Monks, a crew of warriors and monks and warrior-monks distinguished by their fine kimono garments. Following the evolution of this centuries-old community will afford us a broader understanding of crews themselves and how they came to be in this post-nations universe. With twenty-three centuries to cover, this post will undoubtedly be the longest of the TNN’s Gang Chronicles. Apologies in advance. I hope you bear with us though—we have put together some illuminating context… First, a refresher: As your SEED 2 history teacher once explained, a historical Inflection Point is an event or series of events in quick succession that upend and re-direct the course of human civilization. There are three major Inflection Points on record. We will use these three points to frame the Kimono-Monks’ development and progression throughout the centuries. Because not even the KMs are immune to cosmic chaos.
The Before Times.
Though data and texts from the Earth Habitation Age remain sparse, many historians believe a nascent version of the KMs originated in Japan (a long-vanished country) during the Kamakura period. Perhaps around the 1290s. Some speculate the crew had ties to the Tokei-ji Temple. Details are difficult to find—the Kimono-Monks operated entirely underground in the early centuries. Highly trained in martial arts (mainly ninjutsu from the 1400s onwards), the KM warrior elites were often spies and assassins. And KM monks, mostly of the Zen Buddhist schools, wielded significant political power behind closed doors. As society advanced, the KM’s wealth and access grew. As did their interest in the galaxy at large. Though unverifiable, it is assumed that many KMs were among the first Space Explorers of the 2600s.
The First Inflection Point.
From 2995 to 3003, the following series of events occurred: largescale nuclear war, the collapse of the UN, and a southern hemisphere climate catastrophe which left a massive death toll and triggered a 14-month worldwide network blackout. In one short span, humankind saw the dissolution of nations—governments and borders gone—and a third of the population lost. Corporate entities, however, survived and thrived. Representatives from the remaining territories formed the Postnational Recovery Partnership and in their first act, entrusted the world’s recovery to thirteen mega-corps. In this new world order, the Kimono-Monk crew emerged from the shadows. The combined absence of nations and tech-enabled global connectivity had humankind seeking other avenues for solidarity and social identity. The KMs looked to each other and welcomed many. They gathered openly in dojos, temples, and monasteries throughout former eastern Asia. They used the 14-month network blackout to reconnect with their Buddhist roots—meditation became common practice. They also expanded their combat training to include virtual-remote robotics. Primitive tars were already in use as utility and mercenary bots. The KMs worked to master the tech in preparation for future conflicts.
The Second Inflection Point.
The corporate-backed Recovery Period prolonged humankind’s stay on earth by 300 years. During this time, the PRP (later replaced by The Gates Tribunal) commissioned multiple subterranean living experiments. Notably, most of the mega-corps invested in galaxy relocation research and development. In 3299, a seismic gas disaster rocked the world. Shortly thereafter, The Gates approved the 50-year/50-SEEDs project. Which leads to our Second Inflection Point: The Galaxy Migrations of 3348. As many of you know, this is when millions of humans relocated to the SEEDs, settling amongst the stars, suspended in space, never to return to their toxic home planet again (in bodily form). The Kimono-Monks, already seasoned space explorers, were vocal supporters of the SEEDs project. They came to believe that humankind’s time on earth had reached its natural conclusion. And that the quest for enlightenment required immersive experiences in the celestial vacuum of space. They believed a transcendent connection to the vast and infinite universe awaited them. So, they boarded SEED 7 and left earth. Leaving behind a stockpile of utility and mercenary tars ready for activation. (Many of these tars would have been from Vogu’s advanced-for-the-time bot lines). The Third Inflection Point. About 100 years ago, two momentous events transpired within six months of each other: the New Damascus bubble city tragedy (see my post on the 8/8 for more) and the discovery of the Black Matter Rails. The former crushed the centuries-held hope that human bodies would one day return to surface living, while the latter revolutionized space travel. An emphasis on galaxy exploration and adaptation swiftly overtook the urgency to recreate physical life on earth. Vogu capitalized on this cosmic shift with a new product line: tars designed for personal use. Launched in 3554, the bots quickly became the individual’s most prized asset—a means to experience a richer life outside one’s SEED. As a result, surface development boomed, propelled by a rush to build recreational outlets for tars amidst the existing industrial sprawl. Humankind had cities again. Albeit via a virtual-robotics linkup. Leading up to this Inflection Point, the Kimono-Monks had advocated against the New Damascus project. Citing galactic-environmental concerns about human spread. However, some speculate their concerns likely pertained to the eminent domain privileges afforded to bubble city contractors. Rumors have suggested that KM space exploration had advanced beyond what they publicly admitted. Perhaps they had territories to lose? (edited)
So, the mid-36th century was an auspicious time for the KMs. Bubble city plans were scrapped. BMR travel boosted their space explorations. And most importantly, personalized tars allowed their culture to flourish galaxy wide. During the Age of Suspension (3348-3554), SEEDs predetermined one’s community. Planetary tar socializing did away with this limitation—creating fertile conditions for communities and subcultures to develop, grow, and diversify. The Kimono-Monks, who quickly adapted to tar life, certainly benefited from these conditions; they have seen their crew evolve and multiply exponentially over the last 100 years.
Our next installment will examine the Kimono-Monks as they are today, looking at their style, tech, hangouts, meditation practices and more. To those reading this paragraph—thank you for sticking it out. To think, this is the abridged version. Hope you learned something and are ready for more! takes off reporter’s hat passes out