2032, London is a shadow of it's former self.
A powerful tech conglomerate governs society after Solar Flares have taken out most of the globe's electricity.
This world looks familiar but is marked with signs of a decaying dystopia. You can feel the presence of a young totalitarian regime.
Every twenty or thirty blocks you’ll come across a queue of people awaiting their weekly Food Block rationing. There's little evidence of natural growth... the city is mostly dark except for the odd street light and a dim lamp emanating from an apartment block.
Whilst the fight for control of energy was not a new thing, the 'Solar Crisis,' 4 years ago, crystallised the rise of totalitarian corporate governments around the world. With satellites, transport systems and major communication paths incapacitated by the strong solar flares of a CME, countries and even cities have become increasingly isolationist.
In order to deal with the situation, The Government decided the only solution was to assume complete control over how its citizens use energy. It first decided to halt all animal and vegetable agriculture in favour of the energy efficient production of Food Blocks - nutrient blocks synthesised in a lab. Citizens are restricted to a few hours of energy use per day and a specific window of time where they have access to running water. The Government supplied everyone with a device to help track and guide their seemingly onerous existence.
Alternative energy sources are illegal under the pretext of poor safety standards of home-made generators, wind and solar sources.
There are underground markets where one can purchase ‘real food' such as vegetables grown on rooftops or indoor planting systems. People in these black markets trade in energy, for instance a portable phone charger might buy you a couple tins of beans. Several batteries might buy you some hydroponically grown lettuce.
There are also several underground printing presses free from The Government’s influence.
Aside from illegal homemade battery systems, there has been a revival of analogue and hand-cranked devices that don't rely on power supply, lending this world a retro feel against a backdrop of discarded electronic devices.
The energy crisis also heavily affected individuals who had a nanochip installed in their brains by Mindstyle during the Optimistic AI Revolution. Because their chip-enhanced brain functions rely on the central servers which are running minimal service, the wearers are in a zombie-like state for most of the day. The majority of them are cared for out of sight in dedicated asylums on the peripheries.
The Solar Crisis has had varying psychological effects on people. The majority have succumb to apathy and basic existence mode, fulfilling their role as good citizens and social beings through their handheld devices. Some have, however, turned to extreme forms of activism, religion or cults in a search for meaning in this new world.
Following the Solar Crash which collapsed the electricity and technology-dependent infrastracture, people needed a 'leader' they could 'trust.'
The Government was born out of a humble start-up founded by tech prodigy, Todd Harris. After several financially successful apps Todd realised he could control every aspect of the way people lived, supported by a stream of data on peoples behaviours and desires.
In Todd's ascent to running the biggest corporate conglomerate, he monopolised all services available to people: communication, food production, housing, water and energy supplies. One of his biggest ventures was Mindstyle Corp - which allowed people to design their 'perfect brain' through AI neural enhancements.
Todd promised the people he would use his business savvy to help save them and return their lives to normal as soon as possible. People accepted restraints in their freedom of movement and communication in return for basic civic services and survival.
To maintain order in a transitional society, there is only one news organisation allowed to broadcast and it's owned and operated by The Government: News Org. People are allowed to use a Government issued portable device which operates on their censored intranet.
However, there is a conspiracy murmuring underground that The Government is diverting energy in order to build a utopia populated by the tech elite whilst letting the rest of civilisation burn out.