Withmore City, founded by an investment consortium known as Withmore Hope Inc in January 2027, is an independent city-state located in the volcanic desert that used to be Southern California. Encased in a geodesic-dome, its 65 million (at last census) citizens are protected from the harsh environment that makes up the Withmore Badlands. It's home to several of the worlds leading corporations, including Saedor Krupp, Zircon Matsua Industries, ViriiSoma Pharmaceuticals, Genetek Revival, Skywatch Orbital Research and New Light Media.
In 2027, a group of international corporations, known as Withmore Hope Inc, offered the fallen US government $200 billion to purchase the volcanic desert of old southern California. Amid protests against it, Congress approved the purchase by a slim majority. Withmore Hope began project Avia I on the site, researching deep core geothermal power as a viable energy solution. Finished in 2028, the project was encased in a huge mirror-like dome over 17 miles in diameter. The press was not permitted inside the dome.
In 2040, project Avia I came to an end and the site was renamed Withmore City. Developers began designing a beautiful city in the dome, using the power generated from the huge geothermal plant at the core of the dome. The original consortium of Withmore Hope Inc was dissolved in favor of a new form of government, the Corporate Council. It was at this point that the founding corporations began to advertise throughout the world, that a new life awaited everyone inside the mirrored dome of Withmore City.
The city is comprised of four levels, all of them under the same dome and the underside of the higher uses holographic images to create weather over to the lower. Hanging over two hundred stores above each other the illusion created by the holographies passes unnoticed by the citizens.
The lowest level of the city, colored Red, is where you'll find the big masses and the lair of poverty, starvation and crime. Over it lies the Gold Sector where the corporations thrive and display their great wealth over immense skyscrapers. It also holds the Withmore Hall of Justice. Climbing a bit higher is the Green Sector home of the wealthy corporate citizen and holder of their leisure places like the Cordoba Mallplex. The Blue Sector hosts the most distinguished personalities of Withmore, from CEOs and vice-presidents to television and music stars.
In 2048, the Corporate Council passed into law the Withmore Currency Act, establishing the chyen as the city-state's only accepted form of currency. The reasons for this vary, but the underlying factor was the ever-fluctuating value of the declining US Dollar. While the value of the chyen was initially based on the US Dollar, market forces quickly deflated its value to just more than half that of the US Dollar.
Two years later, due to lax law enforcement and even weaker laws, criminal activity in the city was deemed out of control. The average lifespan of those without security was calculated at a bleak 25 years and the Corporate Council was pushed to act. After much debate, they created the Withmore Code of Militant Justice (WCMJ), a much harsher set of laws designed to reign in the terror affecting its citizenry. The WCMJ granted the newly christened Withmore Justice Force (WJF) the power to not only arrest criminals but judge them of their crimes and issue punishment on the scene. Within months, crime rates began a steep decline.
In 2056, the Corporate Council approved measures to redesign the structural layout of the city to make better use of the space inside the dome. Taking a top-down approach to the redesign, it places the major residential centers above the business centers in a bid to lower crime rates, decrease traffic and raise property values.
2060 was an eventful year in Withmore. The redesigned business district, the Gold Level, has at its heart, the breathtaking Hall of Justice, which houses all governmental services. It was also at this time that the Corporate Council relinquished its authority to the newly formed Withmore City Council, a governing body of citizens elected every 4 years.
in response to the Matrix 7.4 computer attack of 2072, the City Council voted 9-2 to ban all Matrix software. The city fell back on a more secure system but suffered greatly from the loss of interaction that was available with the Matrix technology.
In 2076, a mutated strain of Vibrio harveyi, spread throughout the worlds krill and shrimp farms, devastating the food supplies and causing global food prices to skyrocket. Food riots in Withmore City soon followed as those less fortunate desperately fought for food to survive. The violence raged for more than a year as the WJF tried to enforce the law and keep the citizenry from rioting. The rioting only halted when the City Council voted to make participating in a food riot punishable by clone death.
When the Latin Trade Collective began purging augmented humans involved in its genetic augmentation programs due to global pressures in 2079, many of them came to Withmore in hopes of finding refuge. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants flooded the city's main gates, moving into the city's Red Sector and making the already overcrowded sector even more of a sardine can. It's due to this massive level of overcrowding that in 2080, the city closed its doors to 99% of the world's immigrants.
In 2086, a riot between attendees of a funeral for a Street Judge occurred in the Gold Sector, Central District, just blocks from the Hall of Justice. The riot claimed the lives over 120 people and as a result, the WJF began cracking down on all gang activity in the city, banishing thousands of people from the city.
In 2087, the newly incorporated Tactical Emergency Response and Resistance Agency (TERRA) was given a contract by the WJF to patrol and provide security for the central district of the city's Red Sector. This freed up WJF resources to provide better law enforcement to the gold, green and blue sectors of the city.
The ban on Matrix technology was lifted in 2088 only to be reinforced in 2089 when rogue hackers once again used the technology to drain corporate and personal accounts across the city. The company responsible for the insecure software, TekSoft has its corporate charter revoked by the Corporate Council and all its assets seized. In response to the catastrophe, New Light Media released GRID 2.0 to the public.
In January of 2093, the Corporate Council proposed changes to the immigration policies of Withmore City and they were accepted and ratified within weeks by the City Council. This new policy, which allows the travel of persons in and out of the city willing to pay a duty, aims to reduce crime rates, boost the quality of life and add a source of revenue to fund Withmore City Services better.