An outstandingly good update into an excellent scenario in itself. I really like the idea of toned down Daesh that kinda goes into a "Sharia in one country" sort of way. Very, very interesting.

Thanks, my dude. It's a fun idea to play with since I want the setting to be as morally ambiguous as possible. I know it's like a narrative trope these days, but I try to make things different by not being apologetic over the subject. I want to remind people that even if they're "reformed", the folks running it are still the same shitty freakazoids who plunged Iraq and Syria into the abyss, it's just that they've been humbled by the current reality they're facing.

Just how autonomous are the "autonomous regions"? Do they set up their own courts or even laws? Or is the autonomy more on military matters?

More like the former, they're allowed to run their region on their own accord as long as they are loyal.

Misrata is powerful in their own right, especially as a city-state. They pledge their allegiance to the Islamic State mostly because they need an ally to defend them, and this was proven when the Green Army rose and waged a campaign to take over the city (you could check out the main map for reference). The caliph mostly leaves the inner politicking to themselves as long as their troops are ready, and send economic tribute such as steel and cash.

When it comes to the region of Hadir, that place is mostly a barren backwater with only a single town running amuck. After the local units of the Green Army were crushed, they leave it for one of the tribes to control because there isn't much strategic value to them. Besides, the locals are as observant as their jihadist counterparts, so they're pretty much left to their own accord.

Anyway, keep an eye on the thread! I'm going to update the main map tomorrow to showcase the current situation the country is facing in July.
What is the Algerian Intervention?

It's the country's attempt to stabilize its eastern borders after the civil war spills over the Illizi Province. They were initially successful, securing towns like Ghadames and Daraj. But they overextend themselves as the local command expanded their operations further north, which brings many warlords and city-states to form a coalition against them.

They eventually get their hides kicked during the Battle of Sinawan and the surprise attack at Daraj, basically cutting them off from their only supply and escape route. If that wasn't bad enough, some of their expedition force head southeast hoping to reach Sabha, but they just mostly trekked through a patch of rocks and desert.

Poor planning, misleading intelligence, and underestimating the warring militias pretty much doomed their entire operations.


Sorry for answering this late. I didn't expect folks to ask some questions here!
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How come the European nations do not intervent in labia in order to stabilize it?

Factionalism for the most part. NATO is split between two parties with two different strategies: You have the Pro-French faction who favors containment, with countries like Italy and Greece trying to avoid a potentially costly war; and you have the Pro-Washington faction, with Spain and Germany supporting the deployment of their troops for a myriad of purposes. And things get complicated if you dive deeper, each major countries have their own agenda in mind.

The Algerian Intervention has also played a role in postponing their planned intervention, especially since they don't really have the support from the locals and a secure platform to launch their campaign.

This is all I could reveal, for now, I have a lot in mind for future publications.
Is the Indonesian Civil War and the Flop War still canon ITTL?

Yes, although what I have in mind now is drastically different compared to the old stuff I posted.

I have a plethora of writing ideas for Indonesia, more so compared to this series because, in that specific setting, the world is shifting into something more alien and chaotic. However, I can't write something out of the blue and make something up without a decent foundation. That's why I have to focus on the Warring State of Libya first before on to other projects for this world.

So just imagine this series as the first set of dominos, it's the catalyst of all things to come.
[Map] Warring State of Libya - 7/29/2026: When The Tuareg Gallops
Warring State of Libya - July 29th, 2026


7/29/2026: When The Tuareg Gallops

The shores settle as the conflict wanes into a soothing calm. Despite the dismay from the few, the Green Army withers down its revolutionary zeal as they begin to set their eyes on the livelihood of their people at Zaim’s behest. After the fall of Zintan, most militias who once fought for the city splintered towards both sides of the conflict while the tribal elders pledge their allegiance to the revolutionary movement. And after realizing the futility of their vendetta against Misrata, the Qayid and the Caliph, moderated by tribal elders, head to the tables as they negotiate their terms for peace: Both shall exchange prisoners lost during the battle, the Islamic States will pay tribute with an ample tonnage of steel for their arms production and fish surplus, and in return, the Green Army shall not interlope over their fishing boats and operations throughout the Gulf of Sirte.

In the east, the Libyan National Army has finally captured the tiny but strategic hamlet of Zelten. With the planned invasion of Ajdabiyah proving to be too costly for their manpower and armor, they decided to focus on the underbelly of the Shura Council, where its defense is few and too far for the jihadist to reinforce. They’ve also secured one of the most important oil fields in the Sirte, and even leftovers of the enemies' vehicles during their hastened retreat. The soldier celebrates their triumphs back in Jalu while few remain to garrison the area. This loss met with joyless disappointment from constituents of the Islamic State and the Shura council, with reports from locals suggest that the town of Marada is being reinforced to prevent further offensive.

However, conflict in the south blooms as the Sabha’s Jaysh Al-Khadam and the Sabha Core Army is pushing in towards Tegerhi. At first, the momentum of Ljubomir’s men seems unstoppable, the salvaged helicopter bought from Hun proves to be a valuable asset for the battle-hardened Serbians: providing them quick deployment and ariel superiority as they reign down hails of gunfires from the heavens. This did not last, however, as the Khattuf Clique regrouped their forces in Madrusah and halted the advance as they deploy the means to deter their airborne forces from committing any decisive strikes. As a result, the core army withdrew from the frontline while their enslaved levies are ordered to stabilize it, focusing on their energy to form a response against their fierce resistance.

To make matters worse, the Tuaregs, under the desperate plea from the colonel of the Khattuf Clique, launched massive conduct of raids around the eastern hemisphere of the Free State. Many were killed during their charge across the region: 20 members of the core army and families of the levied slaves were slaughtered during their early incursion within the urban areas. To this day, the extent of their raiding campaigns extends to the fringes of Al-Qurayfah and Murzuq, galloping over their lands as they raid the towns and hamlets in retribution. The Sabha Council was surprised by their endeavor considering their isolation from the grander affairs engulfing Libya, but considering their cordial ties with the Green Army, some of Martin's inner circle, including Ljubomir, asserted that this could be due to the recommendation made by Zaim's men.

Beyond the shores of Libya, developments over the dealing of the inevitable intervention are somewhat limited. UNHCR published a report asserting the ludicrous amount of income the Free State of Sabha has generated from their human trafficking schemes, with the High Commissioner summarizing the numbers over billions or more. France, despite facing pressure from Washington, refuses to extradite the captured perpetrators of the F.S Treville Hijacking, explaining this is a matter of national security. And lastly, the Central United States Command begins to consider reviving its defunct airbase in Niger - Airbase 201, in 2028 with Japanese support.
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Warring State of Libya - July 29th, 2026
A Follow-up

Just updated the current situation, introduction, and faction thread, there's a lot I wanted to improve upon and make it up-to-date. I also made a new title for the thread, dumping the god-awful piece with something new...


And I changed the mapping format from Imgur to Discord. The former compresses the map into a jpeg, which is unacceptable since I want it to be smooth and shaven. Discord, despite being a chatting lounge, is good image-sharing platform weirdly enough. As long as I keep it under 8 MBs, I can upload anything without being tampered with. Also, I'm planning to add more changes to the thread's formatting, so stay tuned.

There's not much to share other than the Reddit link I have here - [Warring State of Libya - July 29th, 2026].
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[Meta] A Message From Yours Truly
A Message From Yours Truly

If you guys haven't noticed yet, I've been absent for roughly two months. Not a single post or piece is being dropped into the scene ever since then. And to make this short, I'm currently cleaning my script for my thesis. This is one of the most stressful moments in my life since the national exam for high school because not only this will determine whether I'll graduate this year or not, making sure the process of my presentation and defense as smooth as possible is a momentous task that requires every attention that I could muster. This means I'm either wallowing in my anxiety or cleaning the papers.

Anyway, I will eventually come back to resume the project. It's just that I emphasize my education more since there's an actual stake to it. I don't really have time to make this formal or even comprehensible, so I'm sorry about the brief announcement.
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[Meta] Look Who's Back?!
Look Who's Back?!

It's been two months since my last post: two months of excruciation busywork to secure my graduation, and I'm still climbing up the ladder. While it's not as bad as before, I still need to keep an eye on the progress, and it's admittedly tiresome considering how far I live. For now, the campus is bonding the print, and the only thing I need to do now is to fill in another piece of paperwork, which I have to wait for another 2-3 weeks. So far, I'm only three who's trying to finish the ordeal as fast as possible, the rest basically chills around after their presentation.

Regardless, I don't think you folks are here to hear me vent about my personal life, although I writing this to add context for my absence. I did consider asking someone to fill in the blanks while I'm gone, but I regressed after thinking that they might detract from the themes of the project.

Anyway, I'll be lying to say that much is happening behind the scenes. In fact, I have never been much lazier since I passed my presentation. I was wasting my valuable time on Hearts of Iron IV, especially since the recent updates for both Old World Blues and Kaiserreich came out. There's like a conscious whisper saying that I should get off my lazy ass and put it to good use, but I kinda falter back in the end. But that doesn't I keep slouching all the time. In fact, I finished a piece a month ago, but I didn't have a proper script to justify it... Until now.

I'm going to post the latest piece soon, either tomorrow or even a couple of hours. The subject mostly retreads some of the earlier works I've made, albeit with more details to add some context to the crisis. And since it has been a long time, here's a little piece until the whole package arrives.


1.0 Just a simple teaser.

See y'all soon, folks!
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[Map] The Mediterranean - Neo-Barbary Crisis: Five Years After the Picchiotti Incident
The Neo-Barbary Crisis

The Mediterranean - Neo-Barbary Crisis: 5 Years After the Picchiotti Incident

Published: July 19th, 2026
Author: Alan Herver​

Vanishing of the Picchiotti

On June 13th, 2026, the Picchiotti, the family yacht that disappeared from the coast of Southern Italy five years prior, was rediscovered by Greek Coast Guards drifting over the Aegean Sea. The revelation ignited the public once again, with the Italian Ministry of the Interior facing even more scrutiny for their indecisive history on the matter. In response, the authorities resumed the investigation after its retrieval to prevent further outcry, pooling more resources into the operation, and even collaborating with their Greek neighbors to put the pieces together.

Upon its discovery, they confidently concluded that it was hijacked; stripped of its mechanical parts and luxurious goods. And while the fate of the family and its crew remained unclear, trails of blood dried leading to the edge of the outer deck. Sharing similar details with recent events occurring throughout the Mediterranean Sea, they determined that the disappearance of the Picchiotti preceded the previous tragedy over Papanikolis, making it the first case to have occurred over the past five years.

2021 marked the year where the Mediterranean Sea is plunged into a chaotic mess. Being deprived of basic needs and driven by desperate necessities and cynical opportunism, the disappearance of the Picchiotti has ignited a series of illicit piracy throughout the entire sea. As keen observers of this geopolitical phenomenon grow in numbers, the series of kidnappings and illegal fishing will eventually lead them to coin the event with a term familiar to the Mediterranean history, one that once wreaks havoc across the entire shores of Southern Europe: the Neo-Barbary Crisis.

Knowing the Corsairs

The emergence of the corsairs poses the Mediterranean Sea with one of the gravest crisis since the spillover of the Syrian Civil War. It exacerbates the already crippling Refugee Crisis and other humanitarian concerns occurring throughout Libya to a nightmarish calamity, to the point that they transformed it into a moral quagmire. However, the most worrying prospect is their extensive reach across most of Europe’s southern hemisphere and their ability to project their activities and influence spanning from coastal villages to cities such as Messina and Salerno.

Many ascertained that the fall of Haftar’s short-lived regime and the power struggle that followed led to the rise of the crisis. However, this observation is faulty due to the preceding events such as the massive flow of refugees and his neglect of proper nation-building, which contributes to the further development of the crisis we all know today. The lack of response against the following issues and the decrepit state of its economy leaves the Libyan with little to no choice but to take desperate measures, even if that means squandering over international seas.

The incident over the Picchiotti led to similar occurrences to spiral throughout the Mediterranean in massive numbers. And according to Jabarti’s Initiative for Democracy, 273 cases of corsair-related incidents occurred throughout the Italian shores in 2021; half of it occurred along the southern shores of Sicily. And this is a conservative conclusion as no one can't pinpoint the most accurate extent of its scale. The crisis has reached its peak in 2023, with various sources made estimates ranging from 3000 to 7500. Their reach quickly expanded across a gargantuan swath of the sea, stretching from the coastlines of Catalonia to the islands of the Aegean Sea.

Its impact on neighboring economies is evident both on a local and regional level. The rising presence of Libyan fishing flotillas has driven many local fisheries into bankruptcy, especially around Italy and Greece. Mazara del Varro - a vital fishing town situated in the southwestern region of Sicily, received 25% of its usual harvest due to their threatening encounters with their Libyan counterparts and the damages they've afflicted on the maritime ecology. The crisis has also affected the maritime routes once enjoyed by many, with major shipping companies either circumventing over Africa or investing more of their capital on security measures such as hiring mercenaries or expanding their security forces.

And despite Europe’s developed naval arsenal and its proven capability to drastically curb the wave into a halt - evidence by their successful participation in Operation Ocean Shield, the corsairs have proven themselves to be a significant challenge for their maritime security. U.S Secretary of Defense, Albert Wiesner, attributed their failure to two major factors: the surprisingly complex and intricate organization practiced by the corsairs and the frequent wave of refugees clouding their route and activities. European Union’s Operation Maria faced a quagmire where identifying between a refugee and a corsair has become a difficult endeavor. The Initiative for Democracy has reported over more than 73 cases of misidentification in 2025, some of them have resulted in deaths numbering hundreds.

Trades of the Neo-Barbary Seas

To understand the scale and complexity of the crisis, we need to recollect the reports made by the U.N’s International Maritime Organization. According to the Global Review of Maritime Security 2023 papers, over 2983 cases related to piracy were reported throughout the Mediterranean, both based on confirmed cases and eyewitness accounts. It also extrapolates descriptive detail on the variety of activities the corsairs are practicing, ranging from simple smuggling to even money laundering on European shores. However, their trade generally falls under three categories: hijacking, organized kidnapping, and illegal fishing. All three are synonymous with the Neo-Barbary Crisis and present itself as a significant challenge for maritime security.

Despite the monotony of the subject, illegal fishing is a grievous concern for the Mediterranean Sea. While Libya has a history of neglecting its fishing industry ever since the 2011 Revolution, some people do rely on the trade to make a living and even for sustenance as years went on. However, with the collapse of any functional government and the deterioration of the maritime ecology throughout the Gulf of Sirte, many begin to set their sights beyond for fishing gains, even if that means squandering over the exclusive zones of other countries. According to European Commissioner for Oceans and Fisheries - Franz Fischler, regions such as Sicily has lost EUR 97 Million to Libyan fishing fleets, roughly one-third of the revenue. He also revealed that their callous harvest has inadvertently harmed the ecosystem of the Mediterranean, with locals from Mazara del Varro reported floating refuse of corals being washed towards their shores.

Organized kidnappings have also become a common occurrence throughout the crisis and have become an epidemic that still baffles coast guard agencies throughout Europe. The first case was reported in Greece when a group of corsairs kidnapped a British couple for ransom, demanding over USD 2 Billion in exchange for their release. This incident eventually snowballed across Southern Europe as years went on, especially after the formation of the Free State of Sabha. This form of illicit piracy is prevalent throughout the coast, stretching from Barcelona to the surrounding islands of the Aegean Sea. To understand how volatile the situation is, the Italian Gendarmerie - also known as the Carabinieri, released a report stating over 831 cases are present throughout the country during 2023, during which the crisis was at its peak, and 523 of it occurred in Sicily, Sardinia, and Calabria. However, some locals, even higher officials and minor echelons of the military, collaborates with the corsairs over these efforts. One of the most infamous examples occurred in Calabria, where the entire crewmen of an Italian corvette - the Caprera, was court-martialed for collaboration with the corsairs.

However, one that received the most attention is the prominent phenomenon of ship-hijackings. It has become a subject of both fear mongering and even fascination, with incidents over the MSC Walker and F.S. Treville captured many headlines. This endeavor has caused many shipping companies to circumvent their route through Africa, reducing the traffic over the Mediterranean by 25-35%. Many assert that these endeavors are complex and resource-intensive, so it is to no surprise that some, including Wiesner, are wary of the capabilities of these particular group of corsairs. However, despite their ruthless efficiency and complexity, hijackings are uncommon, if not rare. Compared to 600 cases that occurred over the Indian Ocean in 2011, the Mediterranean only 53 cases ever since the crisis emerged. The endeavor is also tiresome for the corsair themselves, which discourages them from it as years went on.

What’s Next to Come?

The corsairs have terrorized the coastal shores for years. Not only have they impacted the economic stability of the Mediterranean Sea, but they also cemented a terrifying mythos all over Southern Europe’s cultural and political scene. Horatio claimed that many far-right movements took advantage of this crisis and used the indecisiveness of the establishment as a rallying call for their cause. It has also affected the psyche of many communities as well: A study by Porto Research & Analytics suggests a low level of trust within the islands of the Aegean Sea compared to folks from the mainland, stating that 53% of them are suspicious of strangers and even local officials due to the occurrence of corsairs scheming with local constituents.

However, it’s unwise to overstate the crisis as a hopeless and unsolvable menace. Despite the early blunders made during Operation Maria, the joint naval mission organized by the EU is beginning to show results in 2024, a year after the crisis was at its peak. Europe has faced fewer cases of illicit piracy in 2025: Compared to the gargantuan cases in 2023, which ranges from 3000 to 7500, the numbers have dramatically reduced to a meager 650 or less. U.S. Secretary of State - Mark Schumer, calls for the formation of a multinational coalition against the corsairs, although this was met with mixed reactions from both ends. Erdogan has also shown similar interest in forming a multilateral mission to eliminate piracy, albeit more Eastern-centric compared to the international call made by the former.

The Neo-Barbary Crisis seems to be at its end and the corsairs are showing signs of weaknesses, but it’s best to remain vigilant when they have proven themselves to be more cunning than believed. They still received the generous patronage of both the Free State of Sabha and the Islamic State of Libya, with the former providing them with ships and equipment that they couldn’t muster. Illegal fishing fleets is still a prevalent issue faced by Southern Europe, and refugee trafficking has yet to be solved to this day. To add more concerning detail, the possibility of the corsairs becoming more entrenched within the local bureaucracy are evident, especially when it comes to cases that were reported in Southern Italy, where the rise of corruption correlates with the crisis.

The world has yet to address the issue in a proper manner. The lack of a united strategic goal and the unwillingness for neither parties to step aside from their geopolitical ambitions to safeguard the sea has nevertheless allowed the corsairs to sail. It’ll be a matter of time when they begin to realize their follies for realpolitiking and the necessity to cooperate for a better and safer Mediterranean.
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[Media: Follow-up] Northern Front Article #1
Warring State of Libya - Northern Front Article #1
A Follow-up

Hello, everyone! I hope the first day of the year is pleasant for you people.

This piece has gone through a bit of a fickle over the past months. There were moments where I stumbled into writer's block and some occasions where I scrapped the entire subject for the article just to make way for a new one. I mean, the script for this piece has gone through three attempts of revisions where some of the changes are drastic. I even scrapped an entire section where it deals with the recreational facilities and how the people of Tripoli entertain themselves because of optimization issues and the weird scaling that comes with it.

It's weird that it took almost an entire month to finish a script while I made the entire graphic illustration in only three days. Then again, the flow that I'm currently working with makes the endeavor so enjoyable. I would've abandoned it if the piece looks too horrendous, but fortunately, I've managed to make it as concise and visually-interested as possible.

Anyway, here are compilations of sections and paragraphs that I cut out. It's still canon within the timeline, FYI.

1. Social Services


Others like Ahmed Al-Thani, a former pro-revolution militia diagnosed with diabetes, appreciate the establishment of healthcare facilities the capital once lacked.

Ahmed: “I was a bit frightened when I heard they [Green Army] took over the capital. I used to be a militia under the old Zintan Brigade, fought against Gaddafi and his forces back in 2011.

“My family and some of our friends tried to escape with the Second Coalition to Jalu, but they rejected me because I can’t walk; said I was too much of a burden to carry. I sacrificed everything to help their case, and this is the gratitude they showed for my service. I told my wife and kids to join them, but they want to stay with me instead.

"So I was surprised that they didn't drag me down into the streets, especially with the stories I've heard about them. They didn't flinch at the idea that I used to fight against the likes of them. In fact, they tried to help me get to the nearest clinic since I'm diagnosed with Diabetes.

“They mostly go from door-to-door asking whether we need medical attention and wrote a consensus on the sick. My family always assists me every time I need to go somewhere, and getting my medications is nearly impossible with all the hoarding and such. Now, I have a wheelchair, and getting my prescription has never been easier.

“I haven't changed my thoughts on Gaddafi, but it's nice to see some of their followers to make changes for the better. Without them, my family would have risked their lives to get it at Al-Jamahiriya Street.”

3. Recreational Activities

Despite the lack of luxury goods, exacerbated by the sanctions imposed by the United States, people have managed to improvise ways to maintain whatever's left of the remaining recreational facilities. Omar Maiteeq, an operator of the Al-Jamahiriya Cinema, explains the basics of how the place functions despite the lack of trade with the outside world.

Omar: “I'm surprised that this projector still works, despite being a 12-year-old piece of mess. We don't charge people money here because we already have a hard time dealing with life, and it worked out nicely because many come here to watch some movies in the end.

“People seem to enjoy watching them so far, not much to complain about other than the quality of the film. We tried our best to fix the projector, but we don't want to tinker with it unless we get some spare parts. Sometimes, we have to close the place because it keeps breaking.

“We got our DCPs (Digital Cinema Package) and spare parts from Ghat. I don't know where or how they get this stuff, but when I checked the labels, it ranges from South Africa to even the United States. I managed to get some of these packages for free since I have friends in the caravans. I took this film called Children of Dune because I heard it has giant snakes in it. I didn’t like the Metal Gear Solid one, so I returned it to them."

Many youths in the city begin to take an interest in extreme sports after the liberation. One such person is Mutasim, a 15-year-old boy who practices skateboarding, talks about his enjoyment of the endeavor.

Mutasim: “I took interest in skateboarding when my friends dragged me to Fashloum. The folks in green built these ramps when they came into the city, so we thought why not, right?

“I didn't know how to ride it at first. They laughed at me when I did it wrong. The older kids eventually taught us how to skateboard; showed us some neat tricks and techniques.

“I can’t take the skateboard home, though. I tried to pay them with money, but they said it’s public property now."
Fantastic work as always! May I ask, do all 4 major factions aim to conquer all of Libya? Or are they satisfied with a truce and a "balkanization" of the country?
Fantastic work as always!

Thanks, my dude! It's a pleasure to expand on this timeline.

May I ask, do all 4 major factions aim to conquer all of Libya? Or are they satisfied with a truce and a "balkanization" of the country?

There are only two factions that are politically motivated to strive for national reunification: The Green Army and the Libyan National Army. The other half is pretty content with the current situation they're in, albeit with their own reasonings.

The Green Army has always used Gaddafi's vision as their context to reunite the Warring State; It's been one of their consistent manifestos even before Zaim came into their scene. The Libyan National Army views themselves as the only legitimate governmental institution in Libya, thus according to their point of view, their actions and campaigns are justified under the rationale of uniting Libya once again.

Anyway, here's some concise insight into the other two.

Islamic State: Their situation is a bit complex than just not wishing to expand. Before 2026, West Libya used to be brimmed with a cluster of warlords and city-states, most of them either politically weak or militarily unhinged. In contrast, the Daesh wields both the political will and even military might to unite the region. The reason why they don't is that they're pretty much self-aware with their reputation in the western region, and Zaim's Great March shatters any opportunity for them to take over Libya. Now, they only concern themselves with the governance of their existing territories.

Free State of Sabha: In contrast to the Daesh, they're completely satisfied with their position. In fact, they believe that the warring situation is beneficial to their libertarian project because they have to deal little against the international backlash over their human-trafficking schemes. As far as they're concerned, they're deep within the Libyan desert, and as long as the political disharmony still looms over the country, the benefit of trade will always flow into the Pearl of Fezzan as many are willing to migrate into their earthly paradise. Besides, it's not in their interest to see the country politically united, especially if that faction proves to be an existential threat to their project.

I hope you find this answer a bit amusing, my dude! It's nice to see some comments in this thread from time-to-time.
[Meta] - Author’s Log #1: Writing Dialogue and Redesigning YouTube
Author’s Log #1: Writing Dialogue and Redesigning Youtube

Hello, guys. It’s been so long since my last foray. I’ve been busy for the past couple of weeks, so I didn’t have the chance to make something concrete like I use to. And it sucks because I want to dive deeper into the whole setting, but trying to balance my spare time with other charades makes it rather difficult to shove out anything on a weekly basis.

Anyway, I don’t think you’re here to listen to me ramble about my mediocre duties. You’re probably here trying to figure out whether I’m gonna post something new or not. And to answer that question: Yes, I’m making more. In fact, I’m going to publish the next piece this week, albeit that can change if something goes wrong. So, in my attempt to keep the thread from collecting dust, I thought that writing the process of making this future piece might be fun. Some of you might be interested in the intricacies I have to go through to make this work. So without further adieu, let’s jump right in.

1 - Writing Dialogue

Before I head to Adobe Illustrator, I have to write an extensive script or a rough draft first. This is what every piece I made has to go through. They don’t determine the actual specifics of whatever graphics or maps I’m planning to make, but they do help set up the tone and aesthetics I’m looking for, with a couple of outside inspirations to flesh it out. The largest project that I made for this timeline - TIME: The West Is Red, that couldn’t happen if I didn’t write a proper script, something that I have to go through a dozen times. If I head on making a 30-page magazine without any sort of aim or goal, I would’ve scrapped it entirely due to how exhausting it is.


1.1 A glimpse of the script. Not much to show here, tbh.

However, this is the first time I’m going to write dialogue for one of the main personalities in this timeline. Usually, I wrote intricate descriptions that’s pretty straightforward on the worldbuilding. But ever since the magazine, I try to add some unreliable perspectives to flesh up the writing - something that doesn’t come straight from my mouth. My latest piece for the project is a good example: I want to add something humble and grounded so I wouldn’t rely on exposition as much. This will be prevalent in my future pieces, so keep that in mind.

Trying to find inspiration for the exchange can be difficult, especially when I have never been much of a bookworm. Most media I consume are either movies or video games, and the stuff I do read is almost non-fiction from authors like David Glantz and Denys Lombard. But then it hit me when I got a flash reminder on Trump and since his interviews are one of the most surreal interactions I’ve ever seen, I thought taking some notes him his patterns might be fruitful. So, I read a transcript of his interview and see how it goes, and it already turned to be the main influence for this piece. And to some extent, I also took some notes from SCP since they have a lot of these kinds of transcripts.


1.2 From one of the old docs before I made something concrete. Cut the first few since it's pretty much a waste of space

After writing the whole script, I try reading to see whether it sounds natural or not. To me, it’s pretty decent, although there are spikes that kind of annoy me. I did this not only to check through the errors and typos, but I also need to time-stamp each conversation there is between them. It doesn’t add anything instrumental, but it’s just a fun little detail I like to shove in.

2 - Redesigning Youtube

Since the project is set in a rather hyperbolic near-future, the idea of exploring this timeline’s internet culture is a fascinating question to answer. Showcasing a glimpse of how it evolves is something I tried to attempt but never culminate into something concrete, especially since most of them are basic Wikipedia articles that stretch far too long. But ever since I wrote up both the Northern Front and The Mediterranean so people could take a glimpse of the world beyond Libya, I thought that it was a good time to tackle the idea.

Weirdly enough, Kaiserreich is one of my main inspirations for making this, at least the fan contents that are available in the subreddits. There are tons of these YouTube mockups, and they vary in quality. While some of them blend well with the current design, others feel like a generic copy-paste. But I wonder why, despite being set in an alternate timeline, could have the same design and aesthetic? You think they could something unique like having DailyMotion as the largest video-sharing media, right? But I get it, YouTube leaves a large impression on many, so I don’t defy its premise.


2.1 One of many examples in Kaiserreich, there's more if you scroll down.

Since I don’t want to make it rather facsimile, I have to make a whole redesign from scratch. There’s no way that YouTube will stick with the same UI since they have a history of revising them without warning, especially if it passed over half a decade. Reference for the design is pretty rare, mostly limited to some demo-reels and concept arts. Although from where I’m heading, the corners will be a bit curved compared to the blocky counterparts we have now.

3 - Conclusion

Welp, that’s all I have to say. Sorry if it wasn't something you guys expect from me. I would’ve written more for context, but I don’t want to ramble for too long and turn this into a diatribe piece. It posted this so you guys would understand what the next submission would be. Besides, I think I’ve said enough and I need to head back to the drawing board to see what works.

I might write something like this again, except I’ll probably talk about the stuff I put on hiatus. Maybe about the future of this timeline? Who knows.

Anyway, it's fun to talk about this. Goodbye, folks!
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[Media] Exclusive Interview: The Free State of Sabha’s Martin Geoff on Sabha and Human-Trafficking
Exclusive Interview: The Free State of Sabha’s
Martin Geoff on Sabha and Human-Trafficking


Exclusive Interview: The Free State of Sabha’s Martin Geoff on Sabha and Human-Trafficking

: February 20th, 2025

Author: The Mediterranean

(The Mediterranean) - The Free State of Sabha has garnered notoriety over its lucrative human-trafficking schemes and the phenomenon of attracting western emigres to the war-torn country of Libya. Charlotte McLamb received the rare opportunity to speak with its leader - Martin Geoff, the man who's responsible for the formation of the state and its many atrocities and illicit activities.

The following transcript was recorded during a livestream session between her and the Chief Representative at The Mediterranean headquarters in Valetta, Malta. Following subject preside over the matters on human-trafficking and their various ventures over the region of Fezzan.

<--- Transcript --->

Charlotte: Good evening, everyone. I'm Charlotte McLamb, and we're streaming live over our headquarters in Malta. I'm sorry if the whole scene feels a bit cluttered. Some of our folks are using the studio, so we have to rush our interview here. Speaking of which, we're here live with a very special guest. Joining me is one of Libya's most "eccentric" and "reputable" figures. Mr. Geoff, how are you today? [00:21]

: Uh, it's fine, I guess. Thanks for asking. [00:25]

: Before we start, do you like to introduce yourself here? I imagine some people here don’t actually know who you are. [00:33]

: Ok, sure. Uh, hello everyone! My name's Martin Geoff. As she said before, I'm the “leader” of the Free State of Sabha, but in all honesty, I’m basically what my friends would call the Chief Representative. Uhm, my job is to represent the Board and propose projects that we have in mind. I'm also responsible for keeping the sense of business as healthy and competitive as possible, so you could say I'm sort of the-- [00:56]

: I’m sorry, Martin. We have to keep it short, unfortunately. We don't want to keep this conversation too long. [01:02]

: That's cool. [01:03]

: Anyway, let's start with something simple from our chat here. Ok, so MuhammadIbnSiddiq72 here says, "Hello, Mr. Geoff. How are you doing today?". [01:15]

: Thanks, Muhammad. Uhm, everything's fine in our little town here. Business is running as usual, with the occasional bumps from the south. It's good, in all honesty; one of our best days project-wise. [01:26]

: Glad to hear that. Anyway, I wanted to ask the same question, but it seems like he thought it out first. However, you said that this is one of your best days and project-wise. What do you mean by that? Is the state facing some crisis, or do you think it's the opposite? The chief spokesperson from the Libyan National Army said, and I quote, that "the foreign system in Sabha will face retribution on the hands of our people.", so I thought that you might want to address that too. [01:56]

: Well, some folks in chat may know that we announced the Emerald Palace project back in 2022, right? We didn't have enough engineers and architects to jumpstart it, so we have to delay the whole ordeal until a year later. After the whole construction was over, it ended up being the largest building in the city, believe it or not. We cleared out the old blocks since none of the locals are living there, so it gives us a lot of space to work with. It's pretty much a great testament to our project if I say so myself. [02:22]

: I see, and where do you get these materials exactly? [02:27]

: Kind of a nosey question, but if you really do wanna know, we got our marble and granite from the south and eastern areas. I don't wanna say more since it's pretty confidential. We have an auditorium made of this expensive stuff, and we used it to talk with the local tribes the last time I remembered. [02:39]

: I see. [02:41]

: And as for what Abdul Al-Saleh has to say? Well, I don't really care. I'm not the one who set the country on fire in the first place. If they want us out, they better show the people something better than spitting rhetoric. [02:53]

: And you think you fared better than the LNA? [02:57]

: Of course. After what they did to Tripoli, many flocked to us when we set up shop. We let them settle in Al-Mahdia to build back what they lost, and a couple of years later, it’s one of the most prosperous districts in the city. We're not the LNA; we don't screw over our people by pushing heavy taxes and threatening them with a barrel to their heads. It's pretty important to let them do what they want as long as they contribute to the economy here. [03:24]

: I see. Well, we have another from the papers here. I thought you might be interested in the question at hand? [03:30]

: Shoot. [03:30]

: You made a statement back in 2023 about digging up gold south of Sabha, and it's been two years since then. Can you give us a general update on the whole matter? [03:39]

: Yeah, I tweeted about this before I got banned. For those who don't know, water has always been a problem for us. We can't fix some of the infrastructures since we don't have the spare parts, so we pretty much have to drill for wells instead. We didn't find much, but some of our guys over the south did tap a chunk of gold during the drilling. That's when the board decided to excavate the whole place since we could make good money out of it. [04:07]

: That’s rather interesting, to be honest. [04:09]

: Libya is sitting on a gold mine, at least metaphorically. There’s so much potential under there with the minerals and all. I just took the opportunity to mine it first. [04:17]

: I see, and what are you going to do with the gold, exactly? [04:23]

: Some on the board said we should smelt them and... actually, I don't know how to answer that without revealing much. Sorry. [04:32]

: Ok. So, here's something a bit mundane: "How do your people maintain the roads?". This is a question one of my colleagues wants me to ask because he wrote an article on how abysmal the roads over the south are, and he was surprised when the Free State managed to fix it, with little time and resources. So can you offer us some insight into the whole endeavor? [04:54]

: Yeah, sure. Uhm, some of the roads here are pretty simple, so it's not hard for us to fix them. I don't have much insight on the specifics since I usually leave that to Obediah, our Councilor of Infrastructure. But since we obviously have to maintain them to keep the trade flowing from city to city and-- [05:25]

: And your men do this alone or-- [05:28]

: We work with the local engineers and foreman that used to work for Haftar's regime. Sometimes, we ask them to look for some cracks and stuff so we could patch them up as quickly as we can. For the most part, it's mostly sand covering the roads, so it's pretty easy to blow it off. [05:44]

: The south is rather huge, surely you have more than just the locals that would-- [05:49]

: Uhm, we do have others doing the rest of the work, but… Yeah, I don’t really want to talk about those people either. [05:56]

: Why so? [05:49]

: Eh, I don’t want to say much, to be honest. [05:53]

: I see. If that’s the case, let’s move on then. [05:56]

: Good. [05:57]

: Ok, here's an interesting one: “How did people from Europe and the U.S. reach Sabha?”. Now we have our own findings in the Mediterranean, but I remember you saying that our coverage is pretty laughable. Since you think that we’re wrong, I thought that you could explain it yourself. [06:14]

: I mean, most of us have to cross through Africa. The travel is relatively cheap, and the caravans over the Sahels make it easier to reach here. That's all I could say, really. [06:23]

: Surely there has to be more than that? You could at least-- [06:25]

: Look, we don't set up a yellow brick road just so Dorothy could reach the Emerald. If they spend a little of their time on a map, then they'll probably know where it is, right? Like I assume that these people are smart enough to make it here alive, so no biggie for us. [06:51]

: I see. Uhm… Well, here's another one that’s kinda related to our last question, if you don't mind? [06:59]

: Yeah, sure. [07:00]

: There’s been a lot of Americans migrating to Libya since 2021, the same year when you set up this project. I wrote an estimate where it numbers around 7,000-- [07:05]

: --35,000. [07:07]

: 35,000? [07:09]

: Yeah. [07:10]

: As in the total numbers across the Free State. [07:15]

: At least that's what our census has to say. Like we could've accepted more since we have over 100,000 requests from last year, but we only accept people with applicable skills. Most of us here are craftsmen, agriculturists, civil engineers, and even scientists. We don't want the project to become a nanny state and take care of the burden that comes with it, y'know. [07:29]

: And they never faced any problems since they moved. [07:34]

: Some of them are a little homesick, so we tried our best to make the city as familiar as possible. Almost all of them settled around the Al-Manshia district because it was relatively empty. Few of them brought their entire family here, believe it or not. [07:49]

: So they don't face any problems with locals at all? [07:52]

: Nope, it's pretty negligible. [07:55]

: Negligible as in? [07:57]

: Negligible as in there's not much conflict between us and them. So far, we're pretty cool with local tribes. In fact, they love how much we’ve done for them here. [08:07]

Charlotte: That's a rather condescending statement, don't you think? [08:11]

: I'm just stating the facts here. [08:14]

: I mean back in 2022, you said the Libyan are aimless and incapable of building civili-- [08:19]

: I don't remember saying that. [08:21]

: Well, I'm basing it on an archived tweet you made. So I was surprised that you're-- [08:26]

: Look, I didn't say anything like that. And even if I did, I don't think it matters because we're still on good terms anyway. They're pretty grateful for what we've done, so if you're wondering whether I'm racist or not, go ask them! [08:39]

: I see. Anyway, before we head to our final talking-point, there's another question from our chat here. PinkPeaches says, "I know that you have some sort of a military considering you're in the middle of a war-torn country, but do they operate freely, or are there's like a system they have to follow through?". [08:57]

: Thank you, PinkPeaches. That's a really good question, actually. No, they don't operate freely. Otherwise, they'll be no different to the warlords up north. I'm basically their equivalent to a Commander-in-chief; that's one of the main responsibilities I have to deal with as Chief Representative. Although I leave details of security to one of my friends, Ljubomir. [09:15]

: Wait, an army? I thought the Free State is an anarcho-capital-- [09:18]

: We're libertarians, not ancaps. You could say we're pretty minarchist on the whole endeavor. Other than some basic functions, our government is pretty limited to protecting our rights and lands. Besides, we don’t force anyone into the fold. You can either volunteer to the Core Army or whatever security force our guys formed since 2021. [09:37]

: The Core Army? [09:39]

: It’s like our official defense force. Some people call them mercenaries, but that’s such a strong connotation. To me, a hired gun is a better word for them. It doesn’t mean there are no volunteers into the mix, though. In fact, their numbers are growing fast so… yeah. [09:57]

: I see. Is that all you have to say? [10:01]

: Yeah, that's pretty much it. Thanks for the question, uhh... PinkPeaches. That was a good one. [10:07]

: Ok, on to the last question. This one is going to be lengthy, so I hope you don't mind. [10:12]

: Yeah, sure. [10:13]

: Back in 2022, one of my colleagues, Susan Maccaferry, wrote a piece about the escalation of the refugee crisis in Libya. She explained how the refugee smuggling scheme has gone worse ever since the breakout of the civil war. [10:25]

: Ok, but what it has to do with me exactly? [10:28]

: There's an interesting read where she wrote about Sabha being the most prominent smuggling hub in the country. In fact, human-trafficking has exploded ever since 2021, the exact years when you jump-started the Free State. There's a lot of evidence and testimonies that you’re partially responsi-- [10:42]

: What evidence? [10:43]

: Excuse me? [10:42]

: Like I said, what "evidence"? Didn't you save you have-- [10:46]

: Let's make this quick since you sounds rather irritated with what I have to say here: How do you feel about being partially responsible for the further escalation of human-trafficking and many humanitarian crises in Libya, especially with the plethora of concrete evidence provided against you? [11:03]

: Uh... nothing. [11:13]

: Nothing?! [11:14]

: Yeah. [11:17]

: Can you explain to us why you're-- [11:21]

: I feel nothing is because I didn’t do anything wrong in the first place. How can I feel anything when you're accusing me of something that I didn't do? It's like accusing someone of a horrible crime they didn't make. [11:32]

: You said it yourself back in 2023, live on Twitter before you got banned and a warrant of arrest from both FBI and ICC. I quote: "The best thing about having refugees in your home is them doing the housework for free, lol." Not only did you make it explicit, but you also inadvertently showcase shots of them scrubbing the floor. One of these people who escaped, Bashir Tofa, who we interviewed back in the back on January 15th, said he's one of many that you forced into labor and cramping people in auctions. More than that, he stated that you-- [12:04]

Martin: Look, you don’t need to get all emotional on this one, alright? We have-- we do encourage refugees to work in some places you might consider to be “horrible”, that's kinda true. But I also like to add that they don't mind the whole thing. In fact, they kinda love what we've done for them. [12:19]

: So you do admit of forcing these people into labour?! [12:23]

: I mean, Uhm... Look, it's like working on a better version of Amazon, right? Sure, they get a little bit of crap from us and you have to work for a day or two, but at least we treat them better. Instead of getting some crappy wage and health insurance that they'll never get to use, we give them free housing, good clothing, and real food. These people used to suffer in whatever third-world countries they used to squat in, now they're living in luxury. [12:47]

: And you don't find this immoral at all?! You think making them surfer under literal slavery is better than-- [12:54]

: I think it's the exact opposite: I think it's pretty immoral to let them pass north. I could've left them to die to whatever torpedoes Europe has to offer or rot in detention camps they're gonna end up in. But, as a man of conscience, I let them stay here. Y'know, a better one where they don't starve. [13:09]

Charlotte: So let me make this absolutely clear: You actually believe that holding them in shackles and continuing auctioning these people is “better” than helping them to-- [13:17]

: I am helping them. Like I said, I could let them die in either way, but I let them live here. It’s weird because you’re the one who wrote how Europe keeps killing refugees instead of saving them, but you think what I’m doing here is wrong? To be honest, you should be thankful for what I’ve-- [13:33]

: I’m sorry, but what you’ve just said here is complete and absolute bull. I never met anyone willing to commit to such a level of mental gymnastics to justify a horrific crime as much as you. [13:47]

: Ok, that’s your opinion, and I respect that, I do. But the difference between yours and mine is that I based it on objective facts. You’re basing it on subjectives or whatever “evidence” you have against me. Worst of all, you think-- [14:01]

: I have enough of this. It was wrong for me to bring you here in the first place. [14:06]

: See, that’s what you guys always do. I try to be as reasonable as possible and you-- [14:13]

: Goodbye, Mr. Geoff. [14:15]

<--- End Transcript --->
What was the the point of that entire conversation? I feel there are better methods to get a feel for how the Free State operates instead of Charlotte being the most naïve journalist in the world. It's like if someone interviewed Kim Jong-Un and being completely shocked that he justifies the concentration camps and doesn't care about the average North Korean. What did they expect?
What was the the point of that entire conversation? I feel there are better methods to get a feel for how the Free State operates instead of Charlotte being the most naïve journalist in the world.

It's basically a characterization piece, my dude. I thought that writing an entire description of who he would be pretty wasteful, so I turned it into a dialogue transcript instead. There was a time where I tried to write a dossier about him, but it doesn't feel right because it sounds like someone dumping loads of expositions. In my opinion, having him speak for himself is a better way to contextualize personality.

One of the few mishaps I have is that I didn't contextualize Charlotte first, which would serve better in why she lashed on him over the end in the first place. I'm still a bit mixed with the pacing, although I'm not going to write a 2000+ wall of text, so there's that.
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