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Nu Earth

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Nu Earth

Simon Coleby

"I saw a new Heaven and a new Earth: for the first Heaven and the first Earth were passed away; and there was no more sea... there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."

The ironically-named Nu Earth (alias planet no. 97104/A) was presumably quite a nice planet once. After all, it was named after a passage in the Bible about the coming of Paradise at the end of the world. Unfortunately, it then got caught up in the galaxy-wide war between the Norts and the Southers, rival human factions who both wanted to control the unlucky orb because it was a stone's throw away from a black hole which would provide the winning side with access to the rest of the universe.

Years of conflict (savage and primitive passions expressed with ultra-sophisticated weaponry) turned Nu Earth into a poisoned wasteland that humans could only tolerate if they were kitted out from head to toe in full-body chem suits. This was at least partly due to the Nord commander Josef Jaegir, the father of Atalia Jaegir, who vowed to turn Nu Earth into "a poisoned, polluted rock" after his son Rodion was killed there.  Despite the lethal environment, the war raged on, with Genetic Infantry such as the Rogue Trooper being created by Souther high command with DNA that could survive Nu Earth's newly-toxic atmosphere.

All of the Genetic Infantry except Rogue were killed. He, in a sense the only true citizen of Nu Earth because he was the only man who could and did live there unaided, ended up wandering the planet like its genius loci, seeking revenge. The line in the Bible about there being "no more sea" turned out to be true: the planet's oceans had been turned into vast expanses of fœtid chemical sludge known as the 'Scum Seas'. In a sense there was "no more death" too, because three of Rogue's dead comrades had had their consciousnesses preserved in 'biochips' which he affixed to his equipment. However, this extremely utilitarian mode of post-mortem existence ("trapped on a piece of silicon with you ordering me around," as one of the 'biochip buddies' put it), was probably not quite what the Bible had in mind.

The Nort-Souther war eventually burnt itself out. Nu Earth was subsequently transformed into a planet-sized war memorial covered in blue poppies.

Notable features

  • Dix-I, a peninsula controlled by the Southers (conquered by the Norts in the strip's timeline). It contains the town of Memfizz (where geysers disperse the chem-clouds, meaning that chem-suits aren't needed), the city of Nu Atlanta (the Southers' military capital), Southpoint military academy and Harpo's Ferry.
  • Fortress Neuropa, where a besieged group of Southers (protected by a natural rock formation they call the 'shield wall') have degenerated into mental instability and re-enact ancient Earth history in fancy dress. The Fortress' sectors include the Frank sector (a.k.a. the Napoleonic Complex); the Lim-Ee sector (pretending to be happy campers at Butlins, or upper-class toffs out hunting foxes); the Rom sector (populated by 'Romeos' or "girl-chasing disco freaks"); and the Scan sector (full of gorgeous Scandinavian women obsessed with beauty competitions).
  • The Morokk desert, containing the cities of Kyro (zonal capital) and Timbuk-2.
  • Nu Araby, a Souther-controlled area reached by taking a boat from Harpo's Ferry.
  • Nu Hamelin, a Nort city that is actually a giant computer-controlled booby trap designed to kill Southers.
  • Nu Nuremberg, a Nort city to the north of Dix-I. Near it is the river Rind, where Nort soldiers traditionally dip their standards (special non-corrosive standards, because the waters are toxic).
  • The Oxarks, a mountain range containing a town called Freedom.
  • The Petrified Forest, inhabited by a group of ape-men who were created by the Norts as their answer to Rogue but ended up hero-worshipping him.
  • Pueblo Pyramids: structures as big as mountains, covered in solar cells and used to house enough people to fill a city. They look like enormous glass pyramids. One of them was used as a Nort stronghold during the war and renamed 'Microwave Mountain'.
  • The Quartz Zone, an area warped by heat-intensive weaponry into a glittering, translucent landscape of glass and crystal. It was here that most of the Genetic Infantry were massacred.
  • The Rockies-2. They used to be a range of limestone mountains, but then they were hit by bombs and turned into a network of canyons.
  • San Francisco-the-Second, a city which resembles the original San Francisco so closely that it even has its own Golden Gate bridge. It lies in a depression in the landscape, so "the phosgene concentrations have built up into thick, low-lying clouds" known as "the 'Frisco phog." All fighting is carried out on the skyscrapers' upper floors.
  • The Scum Sea, which is so toxic that it will dissolve first the chem-suit and then the body of anybody who falls in it (apart from Genetic Infantry).
  • Vulcan's Belt, a zone full of lava lakes and lava geysers,where temperatures can reach 700°C.

Nu Earth II

A second Nu Earth was later discovered to exist, on the other side of the galaxy from the original. According to one account, both worlds were actually owned by the Clavel Corporation, which was manipulating the Nort and Souther forces for financial gain. This account may or may not be accurate. 2000 AD certainly don't seem in any hurry to address the question again.

Total war

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