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Message no. 1
From: "Paolo Falco, Explorer" <Falco@****.IT>
Subject: GEMITO: all comments VERY welocme
Date: Sun, 6 Jul 1997 20:34:41 +0100
I don't have much time left right now, so I'm sending you GEMITO
version 2.0, please send feedback (esp about canon-ness!!!). All you
say will go into the final release. Bye!


(>) I found this in the database of the Michelin Guide "lost files"
section. I thought it very interesting, but when I looked GEMITO up on
many atlases and guides, I found almost nothing. Some atlases report
it as a "toxic waste", some others simply and discreetly skip that
thousands of square kilometers. No guide at all mentions the place.
Since my family is originally from Piedmont, I hooked up with the
Italian Federation Government offices, and found out that nobody
really knows what to think of this place. They simply will tell you
that "it is dangerous" and to "forget about it". I even asked for a
permit, but was bureaucratically refused. I decided to continue the
investigation, and found out some people who were there for some
time... They are the ones whose comments you can see here. They are
not many, but it's all I could do, and hearsay rules when no official
info exists. Oh, well, yes, I checked FIAT and OLItechnologies'
database, and while their chrome-domes stand out like a beacon in the
Italian matrix, well, they are almost empty. All the files are in
subsidiary branches, and the mainframes seem almost unused. I also
checked for outcoming ether transmission, and found them scrambled,
distorted, and of low quality. I mean, how comes that a place that
allegedly hosts 50+ million people can pass almost unobserved to the
rest of the world? (>) Pautasso

(>) It can if you are strong enough. Let me tell you this... In astral
space, _the whole of the sprawl_ is somewhat weird... It's scary, but
if had been there like I was, well, you'd think twice before messing
with those people. The whole of them. They seem squabbling goblins,
but they actually are puppets in the hands of some occult power. (>)
Myster Kloyster

(>) Is this noise I hear your paranoia? Kewl down, Mister. It's not
_that much_ a weird place, it's just that you're not the magician that
you once were!!! (>) Angela

Since the end of the millenium, the northwestern part of Italy has
been one of the most industrialized and urbanized zones of all the
country. When the Italian government finally collapsed and could no
longer afford political stability in a linearly large and very
differentiated area, the independentist movement formerly known as the
"Lega Nord" (northern league) seized the occasion to climb to power in
the Northwestern part of Italy. The interests of the Lega especially
for its strict views on immigration, were largely opposed by the major
industries, some of which had by then climbed up the corporate ladder,
and this resulted in a period of tension, which seemed to explode when
in the 2020es, major riots started all over the northwest, fueled by
corporations such as FIAT and OLItechnologies. These riots, which
culminated in the infamous "Five days of Milan" in 2022, saw the
consecration of the so called "Centri Sociali" (Social Centers) as a
new political force. The Social Centers, mainly gravitating around the
anarco-leftist groups of the "Leonkavallo" of Milan and "El Paso" of
Turin, were born in the '90es first as a spontaneous congregation of
people from the extreme left and from the anarchic movements, who
reunited and "occupied" empty blocks in big cities to live in and
demonstrate against "the power". However, during the first years of
the 2020es, they were being largely manipulated in an occult way by
the bigger local corporations so that they could be useful allies in
their fight against the strict immigration laws proposed by the Lega.
When the Awakening began, this unlikely contraposition of powers
broke. The first sign of the incoming Awakening was the series of
mysterious murders and rituals held in the Turin Sprawl, already known
for its "magical" position according to some ancient occult studies.
The phenomenon quickly gave way to a rapid goblinization of
unprecedented size with as much as 30% of the population of all the
northwest manifesting the symptoms of UGE, and to the awakening of
magical powers almost everywhere.

(>) Yeah, it was, like, eerie! There was a lot of spontaneous magical
manifestation, with people bursting into flames near Palazzo Madama in
Turin, or with episodes such as the almost simultaneous goblinization
of a whole small town near Acqui Terme... You know, incredible! (>)
Freak Filippo

The conservative corporations, unable to exploit the new powers fast,
found themselves cornered by the spontaneous wake of rebellion in
their working ranks. The Social Centers, unable to cope with the
diversity that they found themselves facing, largely lost power and
credibility, and the Lega government collapsed, giving way to the rise
of several armed bands in the whole of the territory. In the ensuing
chaos, the three cities of Genoa, Milan and Turin, already united by a
very efficient transport system, spontaneously grew in size, helped by
the immigration of incredible quantities of political refugees from
Albany and the north of Africa, as far as becoming one enormous
sprawl, mostly built out of scrap, assuming the unlikely name of
GEMITO (GEnova-MIlano-TOrino), which, incidentally, means "wail" in

(>) This phenomenon has no equivalent. The Padan plain was already
very inhabited, and the rural areas already had a large population
density, but the immigrants, well, they just arrived, climbed on a
train, and went as far north as they had money. They then built tents,
villages, shanties, just there, and only in a second moment these
shanties consolidated in towns, and finally united into one big
sprawl. The key is the transportation system. You know, even on some
super-fast train lines, they had a station every 5 kilometers! (>)
Railroad Guglielmo

During the 2040es, the corporations adjusted their hold on the sprawl,
leaving nonetheless several large areas in the hands of armed bands
and anarcoid movements, and a large portion of the former center of
Turin in the hands of several magical groups, mainly the reborn
"Knight Templars" and the "Rusacrucians". Even if the Vatican never
completely left Turin, historically the seat of the Holy Shroud, the
finding of a huge movement of "Satan" followers apparently loosened
its grip on the conglomerate, and therefore GEMITO now suffers little
external political, religious or social inference.

GEMITO is unlike any other state or city-state, for many reasons. The
first is that it has no foreign standing as a power. Though
unofficially and geographically a part of the Italian confederation,
the independence of the "republic" from which it was born (called
"Repubblica Padana"), is nowadays more a result of the unwillingness
of neighboring states to let anyone cross its borders than a true show
of centralized power. The official seat of power is a "council of
rulers", located in Turin, made of 50 representatives. Of these, 18
come from the FIAT corporation, 5 from OLItechnologies, 9 from the
original Lega government, 5 from the Turin Magical groups, while the
others more or less represent regional and local interests. This
"council" has no standing as a government, and has not been recognized
by any nations except, for strange reasons, Liberia, the Italian
Confederation and Greece. No ambassadors from GEMITO are present in
the UN palace, and no consulates are available in foreign countries.
The council has a representative status but the extent of its real
power is unknown. Studies on the decentralization of police forces and
industrial production, however, suggest that it is almost
non-existing. Military forces are provided mainly by the two bigger
corporations' securities. However, the existence of large local armed
bands provides a degree of safety from external military intrusion.

(>) Don't believe a single word. The Council is a strong, unofficial
force, with no interests in being recognized by foreign countries. As
long as GEMITO holds its status of "nobody's land", FIAT and the other
corps can do whatever they want in the sprawl. And how else can you
explain that no major wars have broken out in such a place? (>) Myster

The northern borders coincide with the start of the Alpine range,
which is part of the "Vallee d'Aoste", now a small, secretive and
independent nation noted for its mountain resorts, comprising a large
part of what was formerly Piedmont. To the west, GEMITO degrades into
an agricultural and underdeveloped nobody's land, in which the only
break is the former city of Cuneo, now called "Kuneo", which gave
asylum to many of the desperados who fled Turin and Milan during the
chaos of the 40es. Kuneo is a lawless but relatively peaceful place,
where armed bands of self-appointed marshals ensure that nobody will
interfere with the affairs of the local underworld, specialized in
natural drug trade, especially the infamous so-called "Maggikal Mutant
Marijuana" (MMM).

(>) 100% Wiz, chummers. Totally natural, awakened marijuana coming
from the cultivations of the previous century!!! I DAMN like that! You
should try it too!!! (>) Freak Filippo

To the south, the GE (GEnua) part of the city is a long strip of coast
degraded by pollution and real estate speculation. The port of Genoa
is still active, especially in "free trade" and piracy, and is the
neuralgic center for the weapon trade that abounds in all of GEMITO.
The whole of the gulf, however, is also a safe landing for the
political refugees coming from Northern Africa and the Balkans.

(>) Don't stop in Genoa unless you really must. You know, as someone
said, the refugees go as north as their money allows, so people who
stay in Genoa are the poorer, rougher, more desperate desperados of
this whole unlikely mass!!! (>) Kamallo

Turin, apart from its notorious magical activity, is also the home of
FIAT, the biggest corporation of the area with OLItechnologies. FIAT
specializes in the building of civilian and military vehicles, but the
real industrial presence is a mere ghost of what it was in the past.
For historical reasons, the FIAT palace has never been moved, and has
instead grown disproportionately inside a "safe" militarized zone, but
manufacturing is now carried on mostly in the former third world and
in the CAS. The historical Agnelli family, however, still overlooks
the activity of the great industry, and partly controls trade and
justice in GEMITO. It is a widely renown urban legend that all of the
Agnellis are still alive in a basement of the palace, sustained by
incredible bio machines, and that they still somewhat rule FIAT.

(>) I can vouch for [INTERRUPTED]
(>) [garbled]

>>>> Warning external intrusion!

(>) No, you cannot anymore.
(>) Punto

MIlan and its sprawl are home of the most anarchic part of the
population, and yet also home of the more racist one, thus conferring
to the sprawl an air of constant tension, much enhanced by the freedom
(and quality) of armament that can be carried in the region without
fear of any superior justice. The three sprawls are united by a wide
strip of superhighways and high-velocity railroads, and sprinkled at
random on their lines are various shanties and the so called
"tendopoli" (Tent-towns), the bigger of which is of NewVara (formerly
Novara), with as many as three million inhabitants. Many of the
shanties which were spontaneously born were built by immigrants, and
have unusual names, such as "Marrakech-Milan" (formerly Cinisello
Balsamo, now a Magrebine center) and "Vercjellitsa" (formerly
Vercelli, now a slavic town). Incredibly, such shanties are safer than
the centers of GEMITO because of their gravitating around a common
culture. Strangers are usually unwelcome, and racism can cause severe
accidents, such as the 2000 dead of the Turk-Greek dispute in the
neighborhoods of Savona, but once inside, you're probably safer than
in the badlands...

It is very difficult to pinpoint a common center of gravitation in a
sprawl consisting of more than 50 million people from about as many as
30 original ethnic backgrounds. Since there are no (or perhaps too
many) strong political forces involved, people tend to revert to a
state of semi-anarchy, uniting in small bands and groups who try to
keep (most of the times successfully) peace with their neighbors.
However, strong cultural and social identity exists in those places
where factories manned by a single ethnical group are still active,
mainly in weapon manufacturing. It is rather interesting to note that
the original ethnic background is much more important in GEMITO than
the race a person is. Humanis has never gotten a real hold on GEMITO,
and all metahuman races integrate almost peacefully. On the other
hand, small wars can break out when Italian Lega Members demonstrate
against "the immigrants". This has been interpreted as a positive sign
in the chaos and negativeness of GEMITO, and has led to a wide
immigration of metahumans, especially from the more racist countries,
such as Switzerland and Austria.

(>) Darn trogs. But the Nigers are still vorse. They stiel our iobs,
and rap our vimen. (>) FUAN

(>) See? This is an example of the stupidity that reigns.
(>) Freak Filippo

Incredibly, not as much famine as would be expected from a sprawl of
more than 50 million people exists. This is partly due to the fact
that trade remains strong, and partly due to the fact that the area,
while being mainly covered in buildings, still retains some rural
areas. Especially on the hills, cultivations abound, because the
conglomerate tends to stick to the valley floors. The rural areas to
the north of Turin are now mostly controlled by OLItechnologies,
formerly Olivetti, which has transformed in a cutting-edge, if
somewhat rougher than normal, corporation active in the field of
genengeneering and biotechnologies. Workers for OLItechnologies are
routinely used as human testers, and even the land controlled by them
has turned in a monstrously intensive cultivation of mutant plants.
OLItechnologies sells artificial food to all of GEMITO, in exchange
for weapons and human slaves. This has resulted in the fact that the
two main corps, FIAT and OLItechnologies, have become a real military
threat, not only in the area but also in the rest of the world. Only
their relatively small size and their relative conservatism keeps
other corps safe. In case of a corporate war, in fact, OLItechnologies
could probably strike deep other corporations while being immune to
most retaliation due simply to the aggressiveness of GEMITO's
inhabitants and to the extension of their controlled territory. Apart
from FIAT, which we have discussed earlier, another strong economical
force in GEMITO is the so called "Five Corporations", which was
formerly the "Five Corporation", a broadcasting group. Its main
strength resides in its ownership of almost a hundredth of all pay-TV
satellites. Its influence as political and military force, however, is
mostly non-existent, even if persistent claims exist that the Five
Corporations have started a research group on sub-conscient

(>) Yeah, they have these trideo programs that can make a slobbering
idiot of you!!! (>) Railroad Guglielmo

(>) As if trideo didn't do that already!
(>) Freak Filippo

Turin's magical groups largely remain a mystery, but an air of eerie
mystery shrouds the center of Turin, still unchanged after more than
100 years. While some say the Holy Grail itself is held in the
basement of the Gran Madre (Great Mother) church, some others claim
the Holy Shroud (which has never been removed from the Guarini chapel
since the fire of 1997) is actually the Golden Fleece of the
Argonauts, and some others speculate on the position of the porches in
relation to magical lines. What is widely known, however, is that the
center of Turin is a mystical, magical place, where nobody can expect
to enter and exit unchanged, and is thus widely and usually avoided.
This makes it possible for the magical groups to be a deeply
territorial and secretive force, whose strength cannot really be
estimated. Some speculate that all of GEMITO is actually in the
clenched fist of a particularly powerful group (some identify it as
the former Damanhur adepts or as the Statanists that live in the
Alchemic Grottos below the city), but this is probably false in the
light of the continual fights that exist between the groups

(>) The center of Turin is another place where you don't want to go.
Starting from the Corso Vittorio border of the militarized zone, you
are transported 100 and more years in the past. Nothing has changed,
not even the cobbling that covers Piazza Solferino or the Citadel
tunnels... Astral space goes "AHOOGA" with unseen presences, and
entire liberty buildings seem to writhe and breathe a life of their
own. I have been there, and I can tell you that, unless you know
someone high inside this mystical place, you'd better keep an eye (and
your weapons) out. (>) Myster Kloyster

(>) You're right on this, sorry to admit it, but then, you have never
been to the Musinè. The Musinè is a big lonely hill outside and north
of Turin, with a large cross on top, in a plain overlooking the still
unchanged Sagra di S. Michele, a 12th century abbey... You know, "bad"
magicians abound there, and even if I don't believe in "the devil",
something BIG and EVIL moves, on the top of that wretched place... (>)

GEMITO can be reached from any part of the Italian Confederation by
simply stating that you are "going out" at the border controls. NO
documents are needed for check-out, since no controls whatsoever are
active inside GEMITO. However, re-entry is a much more difficult
thing. Usually, travel in and out of GEMITO is handled with the use of
strict "time-permits", personal cards that are issued by the Italian
Confederation government and which allow the holder to re-enter
civilized zones if within a certain time-span, usually 24 hours, one
week, or a month. Longer time permits are available for corporate
reasons. Customs when exiting GEMITO are very strict, but the presence
of a large border area and few controls grant that exiting is rather
easy for free-traders, especially by sea.

(>) Yeah, yeah! I wouldn't be rich if corps weren't so interested in
the weapons that come out of GEMITO. Actually, they are _so_
interested that providing you have a big load of ammo or hardware on
board, they will grant your ship corporate immunity! And that means a
lot when you land in some civilized places and are inspected by
ordinary customs. (>) Kamallo

There are currently five airports kept active, all of them capable of
handling only standard planes. Milano-Linate is the bigger one, and
Torino-Caselle is the safer. However, arrival at Torino-Caselle is
handed by the FIAT corp, so travelers are advised to pay attention to
Corporative regulations. The port of Genoa allows arrival with very
little controls, and public, uncontrolled landings are available
almost everywhere on the southern coast. Generally speaking, visiting
GEMITO is not advisable. Security is lax, sanitation inefficient, and
the territory itself can change in a matter of days.

(>) That was all I could rebuild... Apart from the info lost in the
rebuilding process, the file seems only half-written, as if Michelin
tried to bog that section of the guide down. Sorry pals, seems like an
interesting place for a runner, but you'll have to check it out for
yourself. And it isn't small. Or safe. (>) Pautasso

Paolo Falco | "All things foul and dangerous, the Lord God made
(explorer) | them all" (Monty Python, "All things Dull and Ugly")
A sub-ensemble is called self-referencing if it contains
at least a self-referencing sub-ensemble:

Further Reading

If you enjoyed reading about GEMITO: all comments VERY welocme, you may also be interested in:


These messages were posted a long time ago on a mailing list far, far away. The copyright to their contents probably lies with the original authors of the individual messages, but since they were published in an electronic forum that anyone could subscribe to, and the logs were available to subscribers and most likely non-subscribers as well, it's felt that re-publishing them here is a kind of public service.