The Sahara Nature Reserve

For profit, all things are possible.  
— Geo-engineering slogan
  Once a growing desert threatening to drown a continent in sand, the Sahara Nature Reserve has been reborn as a vast and profitable land of lush jungles and vibrant savannahs. About a quarter of what was formerly desert has been revived and transformed through careful geo-engineering, reborn to a corporate purpose. It is one of the premier tourist locations in the world, with millions traveling to see the wilderness paradise every year. After all, there aren't many left.   Tourists enjoy the hiking trails that wind through the Reserve and see genetically resurrected animals in their natural habitat (and are only on occasion eaten by - all rights to sue waived when they agreed to the terms). Others hunt, fish, or camp in the wild or in any of the luxurious resorts nestled into the jungle. All of nature's bounty is for sale here.   Dozens of corporations compete for the Reserve and all living things within it, with predictable results. Far from the Megacity sprawl, Corporations find that they have much more elbow room to take a swing.    

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Geography

  The Sahara Nature Reserve is divided into two major biomes: the Coast and the jungle. Either zone is rife with corporate-run hubs of hotels, markets, and another thousand ways to drain visitors' wallets. Hiking trails sprawl across the whole of the Reserve, but only cross corporate-zones when such agreements are in place. Feuding Megacorps often post guides and advertisements along clashing borders to lure away customers from their rivals. When quotas are low, some guides resort to more extreme measures of making sure that tourists follow them.  
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by Nandini Jungle Resort & Spa Bali

The Reserve can be split again into the various corporate fiefdoms, travel agencies, and at least one rogue cult. At any given time, some part of the Reserve is fought over in courts and with illegal mercenary armies.
   

The Coast of Culinary Delights

  The seat of the initial geo-engineering project and the foundation for the rest of the Reserve's revival, the Coast is the oldest and most part of the Reserve. It is the entry into the Sahara, with high-speed shuttles running every few hours from Megacorpolis to the transit stations along the Coast. Well within view of cameras and rival advertisement firms, there's little open conflict between corporations here.  

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by 925Egypt

  Marketing campaigns refer to the Coast as a sanctuary of culinary delights. Kitchen-laboratories clone the tissue previously extinct species for consumption and chefs compete for recognition. It is a popular setting for various cooking media, such as reality TV or even live-audience competitions. Food from all corners of the world is sold the tourists, from towering skyscraper restaurants to street vendors with dubious permits.    

Places of Interest

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by Insider

Atlantis Resort

  The Atlantis underwater hotel will, according to its marketing material, transport the guests to an underwater wonderland that rivals the fable from which it draws its name. The fact that Atlantis supposedly sunk beneath the waves in a cataclysmic day of reckoning that killed all its inhabitants is not addressed.
The Atlantis Resort is almost entirely underwater, with transparent walls that allow its guests to witness all the carefully cropped and arranged splendors of the seas. Chemical spills, industrial waste, and the mass graves of the earlier centuries have been removed or paved over with artificial reefs.  
There are many, many conspiracy theories happy to talk your ear off about the Atlantis connection here.
 

Museum of Restoration

  A monumental tribute to the generosity of the Megacorps and the failure of old nation-states, the Museum of Restoration is an interactive exhibit of grand proportions.   It details the environmental devastation of the mid 21st century and how corporations save the world when nations would not. Great emphasis is put on how grateful everyone should be.
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by Jose Borges
While the exact cast of corporations changes with the ebb and flow of market fortunes, the story has remained the same. Besides patting themselves on the back, the museum also displays all the different technologies that went into reviving extinct species and barren lands. As can be expected, it is sickeningly self-congratulatory.   It is a popular destination for schools to take their classes, by corporate mandate.  
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by FlyingArchitecture_Evolo

The Tower of Babyl-Noms

  "If it can't be found here, it can't be eaten anywhere" has been the Tower's marketing slogan for the last few decades and it is more than an idle boast. Restaurants, markets, and kitchen-labs of every variety can be found along its seventy floors. The prices rise as the Tower does, reaching astronomical levels at the top.
As with almost any corporate-only facility, there are endless conspiracies about what goes on behind closed doors. Everything from human sacrifice and consumption to secret meetings with food-obsessed aliens has been attributed to the top floors.   None of it seems very likely to most people, but isn't that what They want you to think?  

The Forest of Fierce Beasts

  Past the Coast and adjacent savannah, the Sahara Reserve blossoms into a thick, dense forest. Carefully cultivated trails snake their way through the dense brush and keep visitors on path to the most profitable sights. The more adventurous can, for a nominal fee, venture deeper into the jungle and come face to face with the wild themselves. Such expeditions are popular endeavors, and sight-seeing safaris are booming to the point where the introduction of additional extinct species are being considered. Tour guide corporations have running battles with one another over rights to particularly lucrative paths.  

Others go hunting, usually from jeeps or on foot, although hunt by drone is becoming popular among the rich and the lazy. Illegal hunting is fined and sued as a matter of damaging corporate property.  
Rumors of people being released in the Reserve to be hunted by the wealthy are probably an exaggeration.
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by ARK: Survival Evolved
  Parts of the Sahara are still under construction, and tourists can go visit them on geo-engineering tours. From batteries of solar panels to factory-strings of desalination plants, the restoration of the ruined lands around the Sahara remains one of the great modern wonders of the world. With enough money, visitors are even allowed to put their own personal touch on lands to be revived.

Survival of the Fittest

The law of the jungle doesn't seem so bad once you've been in the boardroom.  
— Happy Hiking Trails Corper
  Restoring the lands of the Sahara was never about the environment on the part of the Corporations, but a long-term money-making scheme and one that has been wildly successful. Once eco-friendly tourism and eco-restoration became profitable, lands around the world became ripe for a second round of exploitation. Sahara is the biggest and most successful of these eco-restoration projects, but it isn't the only or the last.  
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by https://apkpure.com

Today, the Sahara is home to a few dozen different corporations of all sizes, each competing for a slice of the pie. From hotels and restaurants to tours, hunters, and other adventures, there's enough profit here for corporations to fight dirty.   While the Gaia Sector in Megacorpolis is closer to home, the Sahara is many times bigger and much less controlled - the land is wild and the animals not under corporate sponsorship.
  In truth, the biggest danger to anyone visiting the Sahara is other people. Bandits infest certain parts of the forest and raid both corporate facilities and tourists for money and supplies. Corporations shoot at each other over the rights to plots of land, ownership of entire species of animals or plants, or just because they want to keep their ammunition budget for next year. Tourists are generally safe from the corporate war that goes on, but stray bullets haven't gotten the memo about that.
The Sahara Forest Project   In response to climate change and spreading desertification, some scientist and entrepreneurs began to fight against it well before the Megacorp Enclave's resolution. One of the most prominent of these was the Sahara Forest project.   Sahara was not always a desert, but over-exploitation and felling of its forest turned it into one in a few short centuries. By using solar panels for energy and shade, the Sahara Forest project powered desalination plants to feed small farms. These in turn increased rain in the region, allowing plants and trees to take root and stabilize the soil.   Once it became clear that real money could be made here, the Megacorps had a new interest in environmentalism.
 

Corporate Conflict

While corp-sponsored armies no longer wage open war on each other, that doesn't mean the battles have ended. The conflict between corporations continue, sometimes in the open but often out of public view. It is fought for market share, to enforce lawsuits, to break monopolies, and a hundred other reasons born from greed or petty slights.   Citizens and Employees are unwitting pawns in these conflicts. A hotel's food might be poisoned to bring their rating down or raptors "accidentally" break free of their cages for some highly publicized carnage. Expendable assets and corporate assassin trade barbs and bullets, while lawyer-bots file unending lawsuits.  
Corporate Warfare
Tradition / Ritual | Jun 3, 2019

When negotiations fail, explosions begin.

   

Geo-Engineering

Most of the early geo-engineering efforts went to preventing the spreading desertification of the Sahara. Soil erosion and rising temperatures turned spread the desert until it threatened to swallow the entire north of Africa. With the improvement in technology and access to clean, plentiful energy, the project moved from prevention to reversing to finally creating a new business.   Geo-engineering is still in use across the globe, but each is a large-scale and slow-moving project. Only when there's a real chance of making a considerable profit do corporations bother healing the world.    
The "fact" that Corporations saved the world from environmental apocalypse is a bludgeon they wield to justify all sorts of things. Whenever public sentiment turns ugly, another round of eco-terror-porn is blasted out across the airwaves.   Movies, ads and discourse all turn towards the environmental disasters of the previous decades and how it'll all happen again until the Corps get what they want.
   

Dextinction

Many highly profitable animals became critically endangered by the end of the 21st century due to over-hunting and the destruction of their habitat. Through the wonder of science and driven by greed, most are now returned to the wild by way of genetic re-engineering.  
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by Johny Mnemonic
  Not all are quite the way they might have been the first time around and few corporations have resisted the urge to "tweak" them. Many long-dead beasts now inhabit the Sahara Reserve, though less marketable species are left to oblivion.    

Jurassic Park

  Although the Sahara Nature Reserve has largely avoided creating things and areas outside what would have been found in the region, some trends earn too much money to ignore. Like the rest of the world, the owners of the Sahara Nature Reserve collectively got infected by the Dino craze of the early 2070's. Shareholders and consumers alike demanded dinosaurs, and the Reserve obliged.   Now, dozen of species of dinosaurs roam the Reserve. Unlike the Raffleraptor found across the Megacorpolis, these dinosaurs are feral and wild, and will not get you a cup of Java.    
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The Exalted Kingdom of Otherworldly Friendship

  Nestled deep within the Sahara jungle, the Brothers of Zeta live in a sprawling, broken cult compond. What started as a relatively innocent scam to sell alien-themed energy drinks to idiots soon developed into a horrible cult once they started believing their own lies.   The leader calls himself Brother Zeta and he leads the cult with an iron fist. Cultists raid resturants for food and kidnap tourists for "conversion" while they wait for the day of glorious ascension, when aliens will descend from Zeta Reticulon and enlighten mankind.   Just keep paying those membership fees.

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by Agoda

 
 
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Comments

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10 Jun, 2020 15:34

Great article Qurillion!   Though I'm now curious about this world's Amazon Rainforest since it looks like the forest is somewhat fertilized by the dust brought over from the Sahara via air currents.   NASA article from 2015: https://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/nasa-satellite-reveals-how-much-saharan-dust-feeds-amazon-s-plants

10 Jun, 2020 15:39

Wow, that's fascinating. I had no idea - I wonder if there's any data on how the Amazon looked back before the Sahara was desertified?   It might help that most of Texas has turned into an ash-desert, I supposed? :D   Thanks a ton for reading and commenting, and that's absolutely fascinating, thank you for sharing :D