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Terminal.png This article, Puerto Rico, was written by Distant Tide and Navisiul97. Please do not edit this fiction without the writers' permission.


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Puerto Rico
Political information
Type of government

Federal republic

Head of Government

Yuki
(YKI 7152-7)

(2553 - Present)

Societal information
Capital

San Juan, Caribbean Protectorate, Earth

Official language

Spanish (De facto), English

Currency

UN credit (cR)

Historical information
Date of reorganization

2170: Accepted membership to Unified Earth Government.

  [Source]

Puerto Rico, or the Puerto Rico Freeport, is a small island nation including the Virgin Islands, in the northeast Caribbean Sea governed as a federal republic following the Second American Civil War. After the formation of the Unified Earth Government, Puerto Rico joined the Caribbean Protectorate and is known for the most sophisticated hospital system on Earth and received a large portion of military wounded during the Human-Covenant War.

A united archipelago among the Greater Antilles island chain, Puerto Rico spent a number of centuries under American and Spanish colonial rule. After gaining independence in the mid-twenty-first century, the island nation went through a period of turmoil with the American collapse as larger Caribbean states attempted to forcibly annex the island only to be repelled. In an attempt to secure its sovereignty, the new country placed great emphasis on technology and commerce sectors and forged security alliances with key North American and European partners. By the twenty-second century, Puerto Rico maintained a strict neutrality policy and robust domestic industries, particularly robotics and medicine. Normalized relations with Caribbean neighbors elevated Puerto Rico's status to trade hub for the Gulf of Mexico.

By the twenty-fourth century, the robust Puerto Rico medical utopia began to take shape. The island nation also received heavy damage during the Battle of Earth in the Human-Covenant War, adopting UNSC Navy reconstruction oversight as part of Project Rebirth. During the Created conflict, the state's administrative Smart AI, Yuki, consolidated control over Puerto Rico out of necessity.

Geography

A small archipelago part of the Greater Antilles island chain, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands formed from ancient volcanic action though relatively recent in the Earth's geological record. The islands are located in proximity to a break between the North American and Caribbean tectonic plates with the main island of Puerto Rico overlooking deep, surrounding seas. The deepest of the crevices, the Puerto Rican Trench, includes the second deepest known point on Earth, the Milwaukee Depth.

Puerto Rico split into basic geographical regions, Virgin Islands not included.

Puerto Rico and its surrounding islands are geologically and volcanically active and prone to seismic activity including earthquakes. Seismic warning stations are a staple of Puerto Rican history, built on the islands to protect the population, local infrastructure, and mitigate damage in the long term. As much as sixty percent of the main island's landmass is covered in difficult mountain ranges along with mandated public land protecting sizable jungle terrain. The islands are located just south of the Tropic of Cancer and well within the range of Earth-defined tropical climate with a nearly year-round warm and wet season. Historically, Puerto Rico's locale and climate made the islands particularly viable for tropical crop harvest including cocoa, sugar, and tobacco, some of which remains the main island's oldest exports.

By the contemporary twenty-sixth century, estimates for ocean rise suggest that land loss reached as much as twenty percent in some severely affected parts. By contemporary times, land reclamation has undone some of the ocean rise but living space remains a commodity due to land development access and a large population. Large parts of the island nation are covered in metropolitan urban sprawl, much of it surrounding the capital in San Juan.

On the most basic level, the island nation can be broken into multiple geographical districts: Western Puerto Rico (5) located against the Mona Passage, Southern Puerto Rico (6) defined by Ponce to Guayama, the impassible mountainous Central Puerto Rico (7) including the Cordillera Central Mountain Range, the flatter Northern Puerto Rico (4) and home to both farmland and jungle, the San Juan metro area (1) east of the main island's northern reach, and East Puerto Rico (2) known for the El Yunque National Forest. Off the main island, there is proximal islands Culbera and Vieques (3), and the more distant but neighboring Virgin Islands.

The Virgin Islands divided by historic colonial holdings.

The Virgin Islands, including all aspects of American and British holdings, eventually transferred into Puerto Rican claims during and soon after the period of Caribbean volatility. Sharing much in the way of terrain and climate as Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands acquisition seemed a reasonable eventuality. While as seismically active and prone to flooding, the severe sea rise from global warming hit the islands much harder than Puerto Rico. A large portion of twenty-first and twenty-second century residents evacuated to Puerto Rico, neighboring island nations, or the continental mainland in subsequent decades of ecological decline. In the twenty-sixth century, mostly sects of hardy island natives and affluent technocrats try to call the beautiful islands home, especially in the face of severe storms and other natural discouragers.

History

Pre-Colonial History

Puerto Rico did not reveal any significant development efforts by Forerunners or ancient human spacefaring civilizations before the Halo Array event, however, archeological digs in the archipelago revealed a potential relation to the Ortoiroid culture and people from the Orinoco territory in South American Columbia and Venezuela. The Ortoiroid settlers likely arrived by island-hopping migrations around 2000 BCE, however, were forced out by the Saladoid culture between 430 and 250 BCE. At some point between 700 and 1100, its believed the Arawak people settled the archipelago, often intermingling and forging the origins of the dominant Taíno culture until the arrival of Europeans in 1493.

The visit by Christopher Columbus on his second exploratory voyage on September 24th, 1493 marked the accelerated extinction of the Taíno people as a war with Carib raiders from the Lesser Antilles islands was matched by deadly European diseases and the eventual enslavement of the local Taíno peoples by the first Spanish colonists. A smallpox epidemic in 1518 wiped out 90% of the Taíno population on the islands.

Under Colonial Rule

In 1508, the first European and Spanish colony in Puerto Rico, Caparra, was established by Juan Ponce de León with Taíno king Agüeybaná acting as first governor. Sir Ponce de León went onto enslave the local Taíno population for purpose of gold mining operations, part of grander practice that would continue during the Spanish Empire's reign in the Western Hemisphere. Ponce de León went onto establish another colony of Punta Aguada and the discovery of Florida, beginning Spanish entrance into the southeastern reaches of North America. The arrival of Europeans in the "New World" produced the Columbian Exchange, trading products and knowledge between Eurasia and the Americas. The Spanish brought Christianity, cattle, horses, sheep, and the Spanish language among other products to Puerto Rico and eventually codified the island's name, San Juan becoming the archipelago's major port.

The decline of the Taíno population brought the arrival of African slaves to the island and the successful establishment of the Spanish in the Caribbean became a major motivator of other European colonial powers staking claims in the Western Hemisphere, giving rise to a new generation of global empires. Through the sixteenth century, French and British forces attempted to seize the island from Spanish control but were rebuffed. Dutch and further British attacks continued into the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to similar results. Pre-modern Puerto Rico emerged in this time frame, with over forty thousand people living on the island. By 1835, slavery was abolished in Puerto Rico following a number of provocative slave revolts.

American inventor Samuel Morse brought telegraph infrastructure to the island in 1858, previewing United States interests in the Spanish colony in the coming years. By 1860, the Puerto Rican population reached 583,000 people; with outdated infrastructure and a poor local economy under Spanish rule, sentiments among the locals grew to a fever pitch with revolutionary fervor. After several failed attempts to defeat Spanish security forces by local rebels, Spanish Prime Minister Práxedes Mateo Sagasta approved an autonomous government in Puerto Rico in 1897. However, the independent rule was short lived as American military interests in the Spanish-held Caribbean colonies grew. The Spanish-American War broke out in the spring of 1898, ending in an victory for the United States of America and the expulsion of Spanish troops from Puerto Rico. Subsequently, the defeat of the Spanish also meant retreat across Spanish colonial holdings including Caribbean Cuba, Pacific Philippines and Guam. A temporary military government by American forces was adopted in Puerto Rico until 1900 with the Foraker Act, normalizing relationships between the United States of America and their island holdings.

American Control

The normalization of relations brought good and bad developments for Puerto Rico, establishing a colonial government appointed by the United States in a greater Caribbean strategy and the formation of the Panama Canal. While modern infrastructure came to Puerto Rico, it arrived with single-party trade with the Americans, leading to major agricultural mismanagement for the local coffee and tobacco industries. Further intrusion by American interests also propped up the local sugar industry due to the advantageous climate but local growers were stifled in the face of American sugar corporations and their unchallenged seizure of local farmland. The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, better known as the Jones Act, proved a particular thorn in Puerto Rico's trade capabilities, reinforcing an almost monopolistic relationship with the mainland. Attempts to teach English in the Puerto Rican school system were rebuffed by the local community as Spanish had been the local dialect and language of business for the better part of two centuries.

By time of World War Two, a sizable portion of Puerto Ricans lived in the continental United States, motivated by economic complications from the Great Depression and a large recruiting push by the United States armed forces during and after the conflict. By the 1950s, Puerto Ricans demanded an end to colonial governance in favor of local elections and their own constitution, approved by the United States Congress. In 1952, Puerto Rico transitioned from American colony to territory status, putting potential statehood into consideration. However, complications in corporate and political arenas stifled attempts to incorporate the archipelago even with popular local support. Instead, Puerto Rico remained in a state of stunted dependency of the American market even into the twenty-first century caused by ambiguous territory-based trade law and unresolved generational socioeconomic challenges.

Puerto Rico still developed ahead of its Caribbean neighbors and achieved an above average quality of life rating. By mid-century, some of the territory's socioeconomic problems showed early signs of resolution with congressional debt easing, reconciliation of anti-competition policies for the local economy, and advances in the San Juan tech sector. However, not all issues could be resolved. Literacy rates remained below national average and Puerto Rico's poverty rate among the highest in the United States; a new wave of social activism grew from the short-lived tech boom, mainland sympathies, and growing sophistication in Puerto Rico's criminal scene. Increased cyberattacks with antigovernment sentiments drew attention from the mainland as hackers attacked continental networks by piggybacking compromised systems in Puerto Rico. Even though their identities remained unknown, the hackers developed an unlikely folk hero status as championing a new wave of Puerto Rican dissatisfaction with American stewardship. This era of Puerto Rican iconography would be reused by rebel organizations during subsequent Insurrectionist movements in the age of the Unified Earth Government.

Unexpected developments came in the late twenty-first century as socioeconomic upheavals in the continental United States exasperated into a second civil war. Due to an increase in access to weapons of mass destruction by non-state actors and a greater sophistication to criminal activity in a near-Singularity society, the United States government was made impotent in its function. A "free state" autonomy system was tried and failed, the union fractured into multiple rump states. The United Nations vacated New York City and American membership into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was nullified by 2075. On their own, Puerto Rico resorted to full autonomy, announcing its secession from the defunct United States of America as the federalist superpower imploded.

Grand Experiment

Leaving the United States of America marked the start to years of turmoil for the new island nation. Puerto Rico lost considerable privileges with the end of American reign including the protections of the United States military and economic capital from the second largest single-nation economy. But true autonomy brought new opportunity, allowing the new nation to chart its own alliances and economic pursuits but at at time shaping up to be the worst global economic downturn since the Great Depression. Gone were the days of the Jones Act and its like, and Puerto Rico was quick to formalize proper recognition with its Caribbean neighbors.

From an amicable past with the Dominican Republic under the United States, the nation was the first country to formally recognize Puerto Rican sovereignty. With the Virgin Islands isolated like Puerto Rico from the United States, it forged a mutual security and economic pact with the island nation, becoming a pseudo-protectorate. Relations with other Caribbean and Mexican Gulf states remained frosty. To the north, a militant rump state in the American south was taking form with a particular anti-Cuban bend.

While not an immediate threat to Puerto Rico, the standoffish coalition of former American states could end up trying to reannex the islands or start a conflict with Cuba, dragging Puerto Rico into the conflict. An unapparent Texan foreign policy meant a careful balance for Puerto Rico as their energy resources were a counterweight to Venezuela to the south, a historic ally to Cuba. Not to mention many more factions in Latin America such as an overpopulated Mexican emerging power or Panama and its strategic Panama Canal. The nation that controlled the Panama Canal now that the United States Navy was in disarray would have considerable influence over Caribbean politics for the foreseeable future. And as for the whole chessboard of Caribbean players, Puerto Rico was stuck in the middle.

Puerto Rican leadership made haste in the 2080s, opening diplomatic channels into Europe in hopes of establishing legitimacy. While such attempts proved successful, ultimate recognition through the United Nations proved slow. Puerto Rico would go it alone; strategic partnerships established to create balance between neighboring Caribbean nations as a interconnected web and foreign policy emerged for the island nation. The proactive efforts at peace came as a slight surprise to its Caribbean neighbors but one of understandable circumstance.

When the 2080s global conflict broke out in the Americas and elsewhere, Puerto Rico appeared as a juicy target and faced four invasion attempts by enemies and even supposed allies. All attacks were rebuffed in a display of excellence by the island's budding Marine Corps. Several of the Virgin Islands were occupied and recaptured over several years of warfare but by 2090 and a resolution to the fighting, Puerto Rico emerged victorious and recognized by the United Nations through hard-fought battle. Additional interest from a more aggressive, European-centric NATO and European Union also guaranteed a short post-war recovery as the nation's resources were shifted to assisting its devastated neighbors. From a series of good faith acts, Puerto Rico emerged with a fortune of Caribbean state debts, a flourishing service economy, and a sophisticated working population.

The island nation was the shining jewel of the Caribbean, the new trade and financial hub with European products flowing south along the Gulf Stream and an alliance with holders of the Panama Economic Zone allowing free passage of Asian goods into the Caribbean Sea. Interest in further invasions fell apart as Puerto Rico's alliances emphasized its careful position and the emergence of a new foreign policy inspired by the Swiss neutrality model.

Caribbean Protectorate

After another global conflict in 2103, Puerto Rico evolved further as a financial power in the Caribbean Sea. Partnerships established by the University of Puerto Rico in the past century with North American and European research firms and schools guaranteed that the neutral country benefitted from pre- and post-Singularity emergent technologies that allowed its data-driven financial systems to weather global economic hardships that developing nations still struggled under. Now the island nation could focus on other pursuits, such as medicine and healthcare, especially as the region's most developed economy.

By the 2130s, Puerto Rico earned a reputation as "the nation that turns no one away." While a clear exaggeration, the basis for the reputation came as Caribbean warring states turned to the world-class medical system based in San Juan to care for its injured veterans and robust fleet of hospital ships. As the United Republic of North America emerged onto the global stage, it became Puerto Rico's greatest threat as strategic alliances made in the past century were nullified and factions within the North American superpower battled within over Puerto Rico's ancient status as an American holding. Only when Puerto Rico leaned into its relationships in NATO did it push back annexation attempts, mere days short of a planned American invasion and what would have been absolute destruction for the island state.

To discourage future incursions, Puerto Rico buried its old rivalries with its island neighbors to co-found a regional defense alliance against the United Republic of North America, the Caribbean Security Organization ratified under the Port-u-Prince Pact. The formal ratification would never take effect as greater powers were vested in the restructured United Nations Security Council and its mutual security interests. It was the mid-twenty-second century and new ideologies and discrepancies were emerging on Earth and among the distant space colonies on the moon, Mars, within the Belt, and among the Jovian Moons.

Covenant Attack on Puerto Rico

Main article: Battle of Puerto Rico

Culture

Architecture

"Puerto Rico is the closest thing to a hospital utopia in human space. And honestly, its sweetly disgusting."
―Bless-G189's thoughts on the San Juan skyline.

Juxtaposed against the bronze and dark red colors favored by the African megacity New Mombasa or the sterile white steel of planned colonial cities like New Alexandria, Puerto Rico and especially San Juan, represent a mix of new and old centuries colliding together to create a architectural deco unique to the island nation. San Juan includes many aspects of interstellar colonial planning as the island nation has invested billions of credits in tearing down and rebuilding public infrastructure into greater functions over decades of wealth and war. However, the sterile-white coloring is more favored for newer, vertical structures while lower and more historic districts favor vibrant and pastel colors of tradition that give off an often 'inviting' atmosphere to Puerto Rico and San Juan.

Observing Puerto Rican cities from afar usually give off a landscape of low colorful and ancient buildings against a backdrop of tall marble towers cutting through green mountains. In addition to the cities, architecture with a historical bend can be found throughout the Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands often referencing matters of necessity and circumstance from their relevant time periods in Puerto Rican history. Buildings are often simple infrastructure designs lining wide or narrow street paths, with large windows and narrow balconies.

Island structures, threatened by nature and the elements, tend to use more concrete or permacrete to withstand their difficult locations but not without dressing them up in signature pastel colors and natural materials like wood furnishings, plaster surfaces, and false fiber roofs in place of thatch or grass when incorporating the environment directly into facilities and estates. While the style of "tropical modernism" has played a part in influencing Puerto Rican architecture into contemporary times, a better description favored by Puerto Rican locals is "Invitasionalismo tropical resistente" or in English, "resilient tropic invitationalism."

Hackers


Key Locations

Ramon Emeterio Betances y Alacan Hospital Network

Main article: Ramon Emeterio Betances y Alacan Hospital Network

The exclusive and mysterious ONI "Projects" hospital wing on Fajardo's eighth floor.

A centuries-effort-in-the-making, the Ramon Emeterio Betances y Alacan Hospital Network, better known as the Ramon Hospital Network, is an incorporated hospital system spanning the national medical system of Puerto Rico and the eight largest hospital facilities within the island nation's borders. The network was named for a historic Puerto Rican medical doctor and independence advocate of the same name. Born from Puerto Rico's transition from defense and financial pursuits to service efforts at the turn of the twenty-second century, the Ramon Hospital Network became a neutral service medical system that developed a world-class reputation after providing care to military personnel and refugees after major conflicts in 2090 and 2103. It gained further prestige after the 2160s Rainforest Wars as well.

Puerto Rican medical hospitality was among the best in the Western Hemisphere by time of formation of the Caribbean Security Organization and later upon joining the Unified Earth Government as part of the Caribbean Protectorate function. Before being incorporated, however, Ramon started as individual, competitive hospital systems from a mix of backgrounds: for-profits, government-funded, and university hospitals all pursuing even higher standards for fair quality and cost of their customers. During the global conflicts that continuedly shook the global economy, hospital systems on the main island ceded further oversight by the national government as the hospitals repurposed for matters of war. While the medical systems never fully fell under government control, they were managed by a public-trading government corporation with a growing culture of community service that tempered potential for corruption and over regulation.

While the eight networked hospitals have transitioned roles over the many decades, the facility locations have generally remained the same, only occasionally changing for renovations or after rare incidents. A funded series of maglev trains joined the hospitals together in 2346, servicing both the local populace and Ramon Hospital Network as accelerated climate change made some parts of the island less navigable.

A bright interior typical of the Ramon hospital network.

Through the Insurrection and Human-Covenant War, Ramon Hospital Network continued to service UNSC wounded. Very few terror attacks by Insurrectionist factions proved successful against the hospital network over the years leading some to describe the island nation and medical facilities "untouchable," however, how much can be accounted to UNSC security measures and efforts to vet travel to Earth rather than domestic island security systems remains inconclusive. During the Battle of Earth, a Jiralhanae-led Covenant assault force arrived in Puerto Rico. Of the Ramon Hospital Network, only Rincón facility would receive considerable damage. Efforts to replace the Plasma Treatment Facility are underway nearby as part of the UEG-funded Project Rebirth.

Current Medical Facilities:

  • Arecibo Intensive Care Hospital
  • Cayey Military Hospital
  • Fajardo Post-Operations Treatment Center
  • Ponce City Bionics Central
  • Rincón Plasma Treatment Facility (Heavily damaged, replacement under construction)
  • Salinas Children's Hospital
  • San Juan Central Hospital
  • Yauco Center for Cryonics Research

Fortress San Juan

The interior bay of San Juan dotted by sleek modern towers at night, once guarded by the Castillo San Felipe del Morro.

Formally known as Old San Juan or known in Spanish as “Viejo San Juan” was a small town dating back to the Spanish colonizers in the 1500s. The town was built on a small, narrow island with only two entrances to and from the main land; known as the first and only line of defense against naval invasions, the fortress-town repelled seaside invasion attempts even into the late 1800s. Targeted during the 2080s conflict, it would hold off amphibious assaults before they approached the Bay of San Juan mainly due to the reconstituted and reinforced sea fortress: “San Felipe” Morro.

Part of the "San Felipe" Morro, reclaimed from the sea and strengthened in previous centuries.

The town remained mostly untouched by modernization efforts to retain the antiquity of the old buildings, considered symbolic and important to the Puerto Rican populace. The old “Morro” Castle forts were converted into historical landmarks but remained very defendable, so much so that the UNSC Army established their bases in the forts due to their strategic locations and thick walls. The Army however did run into trouble during their establishment process over thickening and building further structures in the old complex. To this day, the local populace has expressed distaste and petitioned returning the structures to their original state.

Arecibo Communications Center

Once the largest radio telescope on Earth, the Arecibo Observatory made many scientific discoveries though struggled through multiple points of severe damage from earthquakes and storms. The facility was eventually decommissioned when Mankind ascended to the stars for good. The decommissioned facility remained a local tourist attraction until its closure by the military. The UNSC Communications Commission reactivated the site as a new military communications hub in 2529, marking an increased UNSC presence in the Caribbean in support of the Covenant War effort in predicting Covenant attacks and accelerating communication times with distant and threatened colony worlds. After the Covenant War, the facility returned to dormancy but received some attention as a live-fire training facility and War Games simulator setting for the UNSC Army and Navy, based on records of the ancient original telescope site before its reacquisition.

See Also

Notable Links

Literary Appearances

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