Spectrum Shock: Washington DC

Washington DC citizens are notorious for their distrust of nonhuman lifeforms other than those that they know are native to Earth. Beyond this stereotype, however, is a society of decent hard-working folks who just want to reclaim what they feel is rightfully theirs: control of the planet. Fortunately, the days of racial prejudices among humankind has long passed, humanity having long ago realized that banding together was the only way to survive. Because of this mindset and the many mixed race marriages that have occurred since, distinct human races (African, Asian, European, etc) are much less distinguishable. In fact, some traits (red hair, for instance) have become so rare that a child born with one of them is seen as an omen.

The typical citizen begins school at age five and continues there until age fifteen, spends four years in the District of Columbia Defense Forces (DCDF), and then decides whether to stay in the military or return to civilian status.

Between the technology salvaged from one of the most well-defended locations in the United States and alien technologies its citizens have been able to reverse engineer, Washington DC would be considered the most technologically advanced human society in the known world even if they had never made any developments of their own. However, while the level of technology is high, most of the funding is dedicated to maintaining the military forces and developing new technologies to fight the beasts of the wilds. Thus, while the military operates at PL 8, anything not directly related to the defense of the city will be PL 5 or 6 at best. While one might regularly spot a squad of soldiers in full power armor buzzing through the sky, civilian technology is not much more advanced than what is on the market today.

Washington's citizens still call their currency the dollar, although no transactions are conducted in paper. Instead, cash cards (similar to the debit cards of today) are used. The chief export is military equipment, and even though Washington only sells models that it considers obsolete, they are often still more advanced than anything other cities can produce.

The primary defense of Washington is its army of teenage soldiers. The actual number is never made public, but visitors are often overwhelmed by the sight of so many patrols. In addition to the infantry, power armor units make up a sizable portion of the troops, and robotic battle drones round out the DCDF.
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