"Two peoples divided"
"The City didn’t tolerate many flaws, and Nomods were about as flawed as you could get. They were the inferior species; the outcasts. Anya thought they at least looked like people, just a bit smaller and uglier."
Gem and Nomod
GEM - a being whose genes have been modified before birth. Their entire genome is manufactured, removing any of their pre-existing mutations and flaws. Many of their genes are replaced with more desirable versions, enhancing their appearance and physical capabilities. As such, they are viewed as superior to Nomods.
NOMOD - a being whose genes are left in their natural state. Remnants of the old world, Nomods are viewed as flawed and weak. They act as slaves to the Gems and are employed in jobs of menial labour. Due to their unmodified state, they have a far higher incidence of disease than the Gem population, and as such have a far shorter life expectancy.
Founded after the great dividing of the nations, The City places great emphasis on hierarchy. It is based on the premise of continuous improvement, and many of its roots are grounded in the Darwinian theory of evolution. Only Gems were deemed worthy enough to live inside its walls. Nomods were committed to the outside world. The founders felt that not only should the fittest survive in The City, but that they should be rewarded with a quality of life that mirrors their abilities. Hence, the Tier system was born.
It was decided that there should be seven Tiers for the seven founders.
Tier 1 - the highest Tier, reserved for only the best-performing Gems. The Gems in Tier 1 live a life of luxury. They are rewarded with vast amounts of Credit to spend on whatever they see fit. The houses are large, the jobs are prestigious, the food and drink are excellent. Gems in Tier 1 include Trystan Brant, Kerrin, Sandren, The Father, Arram and Dale. Gems in Tier 1 wear the colour white.
Tier 2 - just one below Tier 1, Gems in Tier 2 still enjoy an excellent quality of life and are well respected, even sometimes mixing socially with the Tier 1s. Gems in Tier 2 include Anya, Airen, Bonnie and Nesra. Tier 2s wear the colour blue.
Tier 3 - while lower than Tier 1 and 2, a position in Tier 3 is still respected. However, the gulf between Tier 2 and 3 is one of the largest in The City. Tier 3s enjoy many luxuries that the lower Tiers do not, but they do not tend to socialise with the upper two Tiers, the houses are much smaller and Tier 3s are not given prominent management positions. Tier 3s include the Coder Seth Jenson. Gems in Tier 3 wear the colour green.
Tier 4 - As the middle Tier, Tier 4 bridges the gap between the upper and lower Tiers. The lifestyle is average. Credit is more limited, the opportunities for job progression are more restricted, and the quality of food and drink is markedly less good than Tier 3. The unfortunate Lewys was a Tier 4. Gems in Tier 4 wear purple.
Tier 5 - The highest of the lower Tiers, a position in Tier 5 is barely respectable. In general, there are more Gems in the lower Tiers than the upper Tiers. A by-product of this is that there is a notable decrease in space for housing. Gems in Tier 5 are employed in more menial jobs, often taking on jobs of management within the higher Tier houses. Tier 5 Gems wear red.
Tier 6 - Only one above the lowest Tier, life in Tier 6 is far more challenging. The jobs are mundane and demand longer hours, the food and drink are bland, and the living quarters are cramped. Reyen and his family live in Tier 6. Gems in Tier 6 wear yellow.
Tier 7 - The lowest Tier. Gems in Tier 7, while infinitely superior to the Nomods, hold no position of respect in The City. With cramped streets, pokey houses and scratchy clothes, the Gems in Tier 7 are given enough Credit to survive, but are afforded no additional luxuries. The Gems in Tier 7 wear orange.
Initially designed as a way to allocate Gems into their various Tiers, The Trials have taken many different forms over the last few hundred years. However, they have all had one common aim; to push Gems to their absolute limits. The current Trials, as many have been before them, are based on the Seven Strands of Survival: Strength. Beauty. Courage. Resilience. Ambition. Knowledge. Ingenuity.