Worldbuilding June Day 4: Meridiem
At the end of the sixteenth century, as one group of aristocrats and merchants were petitioning Queen Elizabeth I for permission to sail to the Indian Ocean, another began to meet in secret in London. Their goal was, rather than exploit the world’s resources, to explore a different kind of frontier – to stay on the leading edge of innovative and pioneering technology. This group became a conglomerate known as Meridiem.
Over the next two hundred years the group and its members steadily grew in wealth and influence. In the early years of the nineteenth, the Napoleonic Wars raged across Europe and Meridiem’s goals began to change. They feared that advanced science and technology would lead to ever more destructive wars in the future and so the best and brightest should control it’s spread and all information (at about the same time, a French cult leader who expressed similar views about the dangers of technology disappeared with her followers into the Atlantic Ocean, never to be heard of again).
In 1890, a member of Meridiem freed Stephen Gosforth, whose family had him commited to an insane Asylum to prevent word of his affairs with other men from damaging their own reputation. The condition was that Gosforth work for them and help build the Star Engine that he had designed during his incarceration. If it worked, this would have provided a source of energy that would have placed Meridiem ahead of the rest of the world by many decades.
However, when the completed machine was activated in 1901, it was a disaster. No one is sure what happened, as no one on the island it was built in survived. The island has since remained quarantined and isolated.
In the 1990′s, Meridiem began to work on a supercomputer. All the historical data they could was entered into it, and it’s purpose was to predict future trends and likely outcomes from investments and decisions they made. As technology developed, it began to gather more data by monitoring every kind of electronic communcation sent, as well as all social media. This machine was given a holographic interface named Pythia, after the ancient Greek oracle of Delphi.
About thirty years ago, Meridiem acquired many shares in Stag Corp due to it’s advancements in biotechnology and engineering. About two decades later one of Stag Corp’s escaped as they weren’t able to control it, and Meridiem demanded that the ELF project be halted at once and started over. Since the recent death of Mister Stag, Meridiem now own the whole company. Victor Crane is now the acting CEO.