Mahou Shoujo Youkai
The MSY (Mahou Shoujo Youkai, 魔法少女ようかい, usually referred to as the MSY or Union in Standard) is the overarching magical girl organization of TtS, encompassing under its auspices every magical girl alive. In the past, this was compulsory as a matter of practicality—though it was required under MSY law—but now it is a legal requirement and assumption under Governance.
((A separate section on the breakdown and responsibilities of the contemporary MSY, along with known officials, is probably desirable.))
- 1 History
- 2 Organization & Charter
- 3 Major Branches
- 4 References
The MSY was founded in 2021, at a meeting of representatives from six teams encompassing the Mitakihara metropolitan area, the brainchild of the famous Mitakihara Four. It followed an extensive series of friendship meetings, social gatherings, and group hunts designed to bolster mutual trust. These ~24 girls, collectively considered the MSY's founders, had previously been forced to cooperate in order to counter the depredations of the Southern Group, and were thus on very good terms, facilitating the idea of a mutual aid group.
While the original MSY did have some ambitions for expansion, as evident from the name and the grandiose act of penning a Charter, the scope of the group's initial intentions were limited. As originally delineated in the Charter, the MSY was merely an agreed-upon framework for the fulfillment of five founding mandates:
- The elimination of grief cube shortages, by the formation of a collectively managed grief cube "insurance pool", designed to mitigate fluctuations in harvesting and need for any particular team. Each team was expected to contribute a certain percentage of their takings or a certain minimum, whichever was higher, and could not withdraw more than a certain amount per month. Deviations from these rules, in the case of extenuating circumstances, could be accepted with collective consent.
- Provide for the airing out and resolution of misunderstandings and disagreements.
- Providing mutual aid, in the case of external threats or in dangerous circumstances.
- Smooth out differences in non-magical resources between groups, and attempt to acquire a source of steady income. It was recognized that the health of each team was in some degree dependent on that of others, and that some of the wealthier members could easily provide for everyone with the use of only a minimal amount of their resources.
- Allowing for the "borrowing" and "lending" of team members between city regions, to optimize team structures, as long as the borrowing team undertook to provide housing, training, etc. For instance, in the provision of healers to teams with no healers.
The original Charter provided for decision-making by informal meetings of teams, who would meet at least once every three months, and more if necessary. Formally, a majority was required for decisions, as well the agreement of at least one member of each team. A quorum was required of at least one member of each team. Informally, most decisions in the early days were made by effective unanimous consent. The unusually formalized and written structure of the Charter reflected both the beliefs of the famous Akemi Homura and the advice of the Incubators (via Kyubey), who had seen the rise and fall of many similar organizations.
It was intended that while the Charter could be extended to an indefinitely large area, it would only provide a framework for local cooperation, with the wider prefectural or (unimaginably) national level connections being used primarily to facilitate easy travel.
The MSY succeeded beyond the expectations of both its organizers and the Incubators, driven by a combination of unexpectedly large grief cube surpluses and the overwhelming success of the rebranded D&E Corporation. The consequent more relaxed hunting schedule and relative opulence, with team members free to dine in expensive restaurants and dabble in personal careers (and even more unthinkably, outside relationships), attracted regional envy and "border" groups hurried to join. By the end of the first decade, decision-making with the full membership had become unwieldy, and the decision was made to fragment into local organizational groups, and Charterize a Leadership Committee (2031), formed out of prominent girls within the organization. While ultimate authority would still lie with the full membership, of whom a meeting could be called at any time, the Leadership Committee would be responsible for day-to-day decision-making.
This was also desirable because of a slow expansion of the organization's mandate. With the expansion of the MSY's financial resources and the lengthening lifespans of its members, the organization found itself expected to help with things like bribing local police, paying college tuition, providing plausible excuses to parents, providing medical and psychological care, hiding girls with missing limbs, and so forth. This entailed an increasing number of specialists, including non-contracted humans, deployed in more and more complex ways. Nearly all of this would eventually cement into a formal bureaucracy.
The first and perhaps most notable of these child organizations to emerge was the Soul Guard (2043). Headed by the founder Tomoe Mami, the Soul Guard began as a single team and grew into a full police force, and was designed to be the explicit fulfillment of part 3 of the original charter, suppressing insane girls, providing fire support, acting as response force to complaints of charter violation, and, occasionally, meting out approved revenge on behalf of organization members. All of these functions had been previously carried out haphazardly, with only an uneven record of success, and it was an embarrassing streak of unnecessary deaths caused by insane girls that prompted the Soul Guard's formation, though ironically this role became less important with the rise of the MHD and the MSY's increasing oversight of new recruits.
Hand in hand with the Soul Guard came the enshrinement of a legal system (2044), replacing mob punishment of "soul criminals" with formal trials, with a tribunal (two random members, one Soul Guard judge, at least two telepaths) for questions of guilt, a jury for decisions on punishment, and an executive panel for questions of interpretation of the increasingly convoluted "Law", at the time a confusing mixture of Charter amendments, Leadership Committee Decrees, and common practice.
It is to this period that historians date the MSY's institutionalization as a true government, with its seizure of the critical state monopoly on violence.
After the formation of the Soul Guard, with its legitimization of formal MSY sub-organizations (the Charter modified to explicitly give the Leadership Committe the right to make such organizations), there was a ballooning of the number of executive committees and organizations, with, for example, the MHD (2053) created to tackle the thorny issue of mental health (all-important to magical girls), the rehabilitation of insane girls and criminals, and, incidentally, the provision of health care when the normal hospital wasn't a choice.
Dating the end of this second phase remains controversial, since the date on which the MSY absorbed the last Japanese holdouts (2085) considerably postdates the establishment of the first MSY overseas outpost (2068). Nonetheless, the period 2050-2075 clearly represented a considerable slowdown in MSY growth, as the organization stalled on the coasts of Japan and struggled to digest its new responsibilities and powers.
It was a period of consolidation and organizational maturation, as the MSY refined its techniques and bureaucracies at all levels. From an institutional standpoint, the most notable milestone was a major rewrite of the Charter in 2059, establishing a common law legal code, placing legislative powers in a newly-formed Rules Committee, formalizing voting and representation procedures for top offices, setting the structure of the Leadership Committee, and giving an explicit procedure for Charter amendment. Though in some sense the Charter had been a constitution for a long time, this was first time it began to resemble the other democratic constitutions then prevailing in the world.
This period was also the period in which MSY corporations began to represent a significant portion of the Japanese economy, and in which MSY infiltration of the Japanese government began to spread upward into the Diet and Cabinet. The MSY saw its first "second-generation" magical girls, inaugurating the Matriarchies that would come to dominate internal politics over the coming centuries.
It was also in this period that the MSY, tired of the mob's outrageous crimes—especially its exploitation of teenage girls and women—and the nonstop jostling between the two organizations in the underworld they both inhabited, finally decapitated the Yakuza in a series of Soul Guard operations in 2055, installing its own bureaucrats at the top. From here on out, the Japanese Mafia would become a bound mastiff, abandoning most of its criminal enterprises and serving as an instrument of MSY policy.
By 2075, the MSY had become a dominant force in Japan, influencing its economy, controlling its criminal underworld, and helping to direct government policy, all from the safety of the shadows. It was only fitting that it would then turn its eyes outward.
Nationalism and Profits
It was the singular misfortune of the MSY that it was formed initially in Japan, a country which was, even in the late 21st century, still roundly despised throughout Asia for its actions in the Second World War. Though some historians argue that the delay in further expansion imposed on the MSY by this fact was actually an advantage, forcing consolidation and streamlining before possibly overstretching, this argument seems too convoluted to be valid. In any case, it is an ironic fact that the MSY's initial expansion out of Japan was far more successful in relatively distant locations such as Hawaii, Australia, and the American West Coast, than in more proximate locations in China, Korea, or the Philippines.
It is perhaps unsurprising that the original instinct of the organization was to restrict itself to the shore of Japan. As already mentioned, Asia was hardly a welcoming place for a Japanese-headed organization, and the logistical challenges of expanding to a geographically and culturally distinct region seemed daunting, particularly when it came to issues of control and representation. To inhabitants of the time period, it seemed unfathomable that, for example, South Korean magical girls would ever voluntarily enter an organization with a Japanese name, and to most MSY members, it seemed a wasted effort to even try.
There were two countervailing factors that eventually proved overriding. The first, and more minor, was the opinion of prominent founders such as Akemi Homura, Chitose Yuma, Kuroi Kana, and other cosmopolitan members of the leadership, as well as that of the Incubators themselves. While this was an important factor, it would likely have been insufficient to override the parochialism of most of the membership, much of whom had imbibed the xenophobia of their home nation. Indeed, this xenophobia was powerful enough that the leadership was forced to accede to major political concessions in the landmark Charter of 2059, to prevent a major grassroots Nationalist faction from sabotaging passage.
Most notable among these concessions was the institution of a form of contracting location-based citizenship, in which the leaderships' language officially incorporating all magical girls contracted within the borders of Japan was worded so as not to include anyone else—with a grudging exception made for foreign members already admitted. Both the Nationalist faction and the Charter language would prove significant thorns in later MSY operations.
The second, and more important factor, was business interest. MSY Finance, always greedy for more profits, frothed at the bit for commercial expansion, and was not easily denied by a membership whose incomes heavy depended on said organization. Yet attempts throughout the 2040s and early 50s to replicate the success of MSY corporations abroad were hampered by a lack of MSY organizational support—the teleporters and other personnel that were often relied upon could not easily operate in foreign territories—and it was soon became clear that the success of MSY corporations internationally was to a certain degree contingent on the presence of the organization as a whole.
Because of this, informal arrangements were quickly made with local magical girls throughout the sectors of MSY expansion, both overseas and in East Asia. Local magical girls were paid in both currency and grief cubes to tolerate the presence and operations of foreign magical girls and, in the regions where it proved necessary, efforts were made to recruit "local faces" to dampen down possible outbreaks of nationalist sentiment. However, because of reservations within an organization still uncommitted to expansion, formal membership was rarely offered, and after the Charter of 2059, completely impossible, preventing foreigners from assuming any MSY offices or any of the other vestiges of membership.
It soon became clear that these kind of informal arrangements were unsustainable in the long-run. Except for a few unusual examples, such as Singapore, corporate expansion in East Asia rapidly bogged down; the presence of a few paid local faces proved insufficient to engender trust, causing numerous incidents, and MSY executives repeatedly failed to understand the local market, due to both differences in cultural background and their own prejudices. Local nationalists grumbled that the whole setup smacked of colonialism—a charge which could not be easily dismissed—while the Nationalist faction grumbled at the amount of money and grief cubes that were being disbursed for little seeming purpose.
Success overseas came more easily, but this was a double-edged sword. Relations between MSY corporations and local magical girls were far more cordial, and as a consequence overseas offices became more and more heavily staffed by locals. While this went a long way toward promoting financial success, tensions soon emerged at the unnatural arrangement. Ambitious employees were frustrated at being locked out of upper-tier positions and, as MSY operations expanded in scope, local magical girl teams—who contributed significantly to these operations—began to complain about their lack of input into decision-making. True, they were paid, but initially not any better than local Japanese. They were merely employees, and increases in payments designed to ameliorate their complaints triggered political backlash from the home islands, who could not easily understand why foreigners were being given more money than they were.
Within the membership, too, opinions were shifting. Aging of the overall magical girl population, coupled with an increase in education and income levels, as well as an increase in foreign travel among the once firmly-rooted community, combined to foster a growing sense of cosmopolitanism within the voting population. The increasing power of an unifying internal media, communication, and political system, now increasingly adept at circumventing the limitations of secrecy, lessened the once-fierce devotion of the MGs to their home territories, and gave the leadership a valuable ability to project its opinions to its constituents. It was a form of demographics, providing long-term trends that would eventually counter the impressive organizing skill of the Nationalists.
While the Nationalist faction was a fierce vocal minority, the 2059 Charter represented the apogee of its influence. Ironically, Nationalist success carried the seeds of later failure, exposing rifts and contradictions that were repeatedly highlighted by the leadership and media. After 2059, Nationalist support rapidly contracted; it had overreached significantly, making 2059 a Pyrrhic victory.
The leadership soon began feeling comfortable enough to push forward referendums to not only strip ethnocentric language from the Charter—essentially reversing its concessions to the Nationalists—but also include an expansion protocol to formally absorb the hodge-podge of administrative regions, whose vastly differing policies and management schemes fostered confusion and mutual resentment.
In the late 2050s and early 2060s, a series of such referendums repeatedly failed to pass, but accrued greater and greater support with each vote. Longitudinal demographic trends suggested that passage was inevitable, but events were spurred considerably by the Triad incidents of 2063–65. Triad bosses, having gotten wind of the connection of MSY corporations to the Japanese Yakuza, resented what they viewed as an aggressive incursion into their turf, and began attempting to assert their authority, committing arson, kidnapping TNCs, and generally performing acts of intimidation. The situation was aggravated by the MSY's refusal to agree to settlement talks with an organization they viewed with as much disgust as they had once viewed the Yakuza.
Though no incidents of soul gem loss occurred, several high-profile injuries were amplified within the MSY's internal media, setting nerves on edge. Finally, in 2065, MSY leadership finally approved a targeted takeover operation which, while successful, only served to heighten local contradictions, as the MSY was once again forced to install "local faces", but in this case in positions of considerable power. The sense rapidly began to spread that the MSY was now inextricably tangled within the morass of the Chinese mainland and that, as long as this was true, the organization might as well devote itself to the issue whole-heartedly, with a well-executed plan.
Bolstered by an accompanying set of carefully couched humanitarian arguments, the so-called "Expansion Protocol" finally achieved majority support in 2067, and, despite considerable bitterness from the Nationalist faction, the leadership wasted little time in implementation, unveiling the first pilot expansion—into ethnic Japanese-heavy Hawaii—just one year later. Resounding success was followed by a cascade of expansion projects in the Asian-heavy US West Coast, New Zealand, Australia, and to a lesser degree in China and East Asia—successfully overcoming nationalist feelings and accusations of colonialism was a difficult task, even if Triad suppression produced a modicum of good feeling.
The revised Charter of 2067 permitted a level of federalization previously unthinkable within the MSY legal structure. Concerns about control were ameliorated by permitting a balkanization of legal codes, judicial practices, and Soul Guard control, allowing local members near-independence in managing their own affairs. The Charter's region-based representation, originally adopted because of team loyalty to their own cities, served the organization extremely well here, allowing local MSY branches to create and sustain substantively local organizations, with only corporate affairs and the inflow and outflow of money remaining firmly under central control.
The Charter of 2067, though far-sighted, could not address everything and, in at least one important way, sowed the seeds of future conflict: the splintering of central authority, while in many ways admirably democratic, meant that the organization would have trouble responding to events that required unified action.
The leadership, including newly formed MSY Recruitment and Diplomacy, under Tomoe Mami, was generous and conciliatory, but significant portions of the MSY political landscape were far less so, including the still-vocal but increasingly outnumbered Nationalists. This served as a portent of things to come.
Flush off a string of interventionist successes and confident in the newly created Black Heart, a new mindset began to take hold with the MSY, both within the leadership and rank-and-file. This mindset held that further MSY expansion was not merely a matter of practicality, but one of morality. The MSY, political orators began to assert, had a moral mandate to spread its auspices to every magical girl in existence, and to therefore bring an end to the tragic old era everywhere. Moreover, as the MSY had proven its presence to be a positive good wherever it went, it had both the power and the right to intervene wherever and whenever it felt that local authorities were failing its local magical girls. Because of the natural affinity each girl felt for their home area, and because local conditions determined the childhoods of future members, the organization could justify interventions that little direct effect on its members, even in the minds of its less humanitarianly-inclined voters.
This attitude took root and spread rapidly within the organization as it went from success to success. The MSY's unofficial borders pushed outward, spreading eastward and southward in the new world, and westward and northward in the old. Geographic and political barriers proved a frequent impediment, but were routinely circumvented by leapfrogging into urban commercial centers with the powerful instrument of MSY corporations and money. Indeed, as expansion gathered steam, voluntary requests for MSY incorporation became more and more common, especially from "Neutral" magical girl trading grounds, which were often coincident with major commercial centers.
These special territories, usually administered by cabals of pragmatic merchants, had often survived for centuries or more as hubs of underground trade, exchanging both grief cubes and currency for a variety of goods and services, and many had acquired an air of timelessness and respect within their regions. Thus, when they knuckled under to the MSY, enticed by the combination of exceptional profits and the opportunity to "finally stop paying those damn mercs" for protection and law enforcement, it lent the MSY a valuable a sense of both legitimacy and historical inevitability.
By the beginning of the twenty-second century, after a few decades of breakneck expansion, the MSY had grown to encompass the majority of the globe, with outposts stretching over most of North America, parts of South America, much of the Pacific Rim, most of Asia and the Middle East, and parts of Europe and Africa. Much of what remained was territory that was naturally hard to access, suffering from lack of infrastructure, lack of connection to global trade, or simply a lack of the dense urban areas where the MSY's policies were most efficacious. These would prove a tough nut to crack, but by then the MSY had plenty of resources to invest, or outright spend, in solving the "problem".
Indeed, most of the rural territories nominally inside MSY borders still persisted in independence. These were territories distant from MSY influence, whose sparse demon hordes and economic assets made them both much less attractive for MSY planners and much more difficult to properly absorb. MSY leadership was, however, confident that rural areas would eventually follow the example of their slow-assimilating Japanese analogs—as they eventually did.
Neither of these sets of territories proved a fundamental impediment to MSY expansion. Rather, the MSY was the victim of its own success. Word of the MSY phenomenon had spread rapidly outward, and copycat organizations had sprung up throughout the developed or partially developed regions where the MSY had yet to penetrate. Many of these had a distinctly national or regional flavor to them, and were often fiercely independent, refusing to listen to appeals to solidarity, or to economies of scale, or to financial considerations. Examples included blocs that formed in Argentina, Egypt, and the southern United States.
Still, as long as the MSY had the economic power of its constituent international corporations, it could always truthfully say that it provided a standard of living higher than that offered by any of these minor blocs. It could afford to peel away at these blocs territory by territory and team by team with the allure of financial incentives. It was a slow process, but it would likely have worked eventually.
The true threat to MSY supremacy came from the powerful European bloc which, in an appeal to historical nostalgia, was called the Système Magique Cordial. Based in the highly developed EU economy, drawing on a long tradition of magical girl organization, and owner of its own set of wealthy corporations, the SMC was a worthy foe to the MSY, and offered the organization its first true gut check.
How dedicated was the MSY to its programme of global dominance anyway? The SMC was prosperous, well-run, and stable. Unlike many of the MSY's other competitors, it deprived the organization of its most powerful moral rallying cry. If the MSY was truly dedicated solely to improvement of the lot of magical girls, there was no reason the two organizations could not live side-by-side, as SMC orators and diplomats constantly pointed out. What, then, did the MSY truly want?
The roughly half-century history of MSY-SMC relations is convoluted, multifaceted, and murky. MSY voting populations were torn between a desire to avoid conflict and a deep hunger for symbolic unification, reflected in editorial and political appeals to "Manifest Destiny", a phrase borrowed directly from the expansion history of the United States, and which either accidentally or deliberately recalled the events leading up to the Mexican-American War. Complicating the situation were the differing opinions of the MSY's constituent populations, with many viewing their former colonial oppressors as arrogant and selfish, while more Europhilic populations sympathized with the SMC's position.
Meanwhile, MSY leadership alternated between fire-breathing appeals for hostile takeover and conciliatory pleas to abstain from radical action, often from the same person in the same week. The senior leadership, embodied in the Mitakihara Four and other founding teams, remained mostly poker-faced. Notable exceptions included the conciliatory Chief Diplomat Tomoe Mami and the fire-breathing Shizuki Sayaka, Director of a MSY Finance rabidly angry at an organization that embodied many of its chief competitors.
Regardless of the complicated internal dynamics of both the MSY and SMC, the fact remains that in the last decade of the SMC's existence, the two organizations finally descended into a bitter cold war, with both sides engaging in brinksmanship-style diplomacy, deploying their by-now extensive covert operations groups, pulling strings with their host governments, and engaging in brutal corporate warfare. The 2090s were marked by a historically anomalous deterioration of the Eurozone's relations with the rest of the world, and was attended by a recession that was severe even by the standards of an already recession-plagued world. In retrospect, this seems hardly a coincidence.
The history of the era will likely be forever clouded, given the MSY's absolute refusal to discuss the matter, including the alleged questionable deaths that occurred on both sides, an eternal favorite of internal conspiracy theorists. In 2126, the SMC agreed to a merger, in exchange for lucrative special concessions and considerations, which would only be wiped out during the turmoil of the Unification Wars half a century later.
The legacy of the MSY Unification period can still be seen in cultural and organizational quirks within the MSY, such as the preponderance of Black Heart agents who first train in Paris—an echo of the SMC's formidable covert ops groups—or the number of MSY-sponsored biological labs in Argentina. In 2110, the MSY finally achieved its treasured Manifest Destiny, but it would have almost no time to savor it.
Calm Before the Storm
By the middle of the twenty-second century, the MSY was one of the world's most economically secure organizations. With holding companies planted in strategic sectors and massive investment and hedge funds posted to exploit the peaks and troughs of both global and regional economies, the MSY's cash flows grew prodigiously year after year. No longer seeing any meaningful reason to skimp, the organization's cash disbursements to its membership grew more and more substantial. The MSY's automated industries and computerized trading algorithms ensured an almost automatic flow of wealth into its bank accounts, and its tremendous wealth essentially guaranteed a (indirect, inexplicit) seat at the table of power, even without considering the Soul Guard, Black Heart, and Governmental Affairs agents posted throughout the world's governments
While it would have been impossible for the organization to make its members trillionaires or even billionaires on a per capita basis, collectively the trend was clear: the MSY had elevated many of its members into the hyperclass, and maintained the rest of its membership at a level significantly above the rest of the populace.
The years 2110-2160 were, for the MSY, a materialist golden age. The MSY's members were effective capital owners during the years when it most mattered. Many Magical girl teams situated themselves in opulent mansions, held extravagant parties, and flaunted their wealth in a manner almost indistinguishable from their more normal hyperclass peers,.
The leadership, more stoic, wiser, and more politically attuned, watched this, and worried.
With Vladimir Volokhov's 2136 unraveling of the principles of AI, the dam finally broke on over a century of economic trends. Steadily rising structural unemployment and slow concentration of wealth became instead soaring unemployment and exponential concentration of wealth. With the advent of cheap, easily programmable artificial intelligence, the world's industries no longer had a true need for human labor, and relentless cost-cutting left greater and greater proportions of the population out in the streets.
The paradox of plenty had truly arrived. Factories were more productive than ever, but even at the lowest prices, the only clients with money were the increasingly opulent capital owners, the hyperclasses the newly emergent economic class that would come to define the following century. Economic production stagnated, even as potential production skyrocketed.
Government responses were mixed. Almost universally, the world's government's, nominally democratic or not, had degenerated into instruments of their oligarchical hyperclasses. Nations where the hyperclasses sympathized with the masses handed out basic incomes to keep them solvent. Those that didn't handed out pittances or, often, nothing, content to rely on increasingly brutal oppression.
As the rank-and-file of the MSY isolated themselves deeper and deeper into cocoons of wealth, their cultural connections with the people they nominally served frayed, and increasing portions of the membership began to display attitudes similar to that of their crueler hyperclass peers, evincing contempt for the "handout-seeking layabouts" that now constituted most of the population. This growing strain of belief coalesced with pre-existing legitimate concerns about MSY intervention and a growing sense of superiority within the immortal, superpowered population to form the Mages First movement, an unofficial political movement seeking to end the MSY's significant—and expensive—humanitarian and anti-poverty intervention operations.
The MSY, as powerful as it was, could not afford to save the world, the movement argued, and the world hard deserved it anyway. As for those girls unfortunate enough to have contracted in poverty or in poorer nations, it would be significantly easier to move the girl into wealth, rather than trying to bring wealth to the area around her.
These arguments horrified the leadership, the older girls, and the poor new girls in question, who tried to exert whatever influence they had to resist any retractions in the MSY's operating mandate. However, the MSY's decentralized, federal, and democratic structure, so valuable an asset during expansion, now proved an obstacle. While the MSY leadership was able to apply substantial political pressure to influence attitudes in its traditional power centers and homelands: Japan, China, Western Europe, and the US West Coast, the state of MSY operations in the world's remaining regions depended heavily on local culture, the attitudes of the local hyperclass, and, to a significant degree, pure chance. In many regions of the world, MSY charities withdrew, MSY pressure on the government lessened, and economic manipulation ended. Only the centrally-directed Black Heart remained engaged.
The loss of these MSY interventions both precipitated and were caused by the form of social collapse emblematic of the Unification War era: Hyperclass Detachment.
The hyperclass, isolated and insulated by their wealth, faced by cognitive dissonance between their greed and their natural empathy with the lower classes, often constructed elaborate moral theories purporting to demonstrate that they were there because they were morally superior and, conversely, that the lower classes were in their positions because they were morally inferior. Such an attitude was a global phenomenon, but it was only in a certain proportion of nations that it was able to mutate into true Detachment, with the hyperclass extending their beliefs to include the proposition that it was morally correct for the lower classes to be kept down, that it was morally incorrect to hand out relief food or money, and so forth. These kinds of beliefs mutated into endless variety, to a degree wearingly and horrifyingly familiar to any historian of the age.
Eventually, the world's nations, defined by their hyperclasses, began to sort into two groups. The nations where the hyperclasses detached in this manner faded from central-MSY influence and began to back each other in international disputes. Similarly, the nations where the hyperclasses held onto their moral compasses, implementing relief and welfare programs—though never giving up their hold on power—began to form a second visible power bloc and, invisibly, began to consolidate under the control of the central MSY leadership, due to a combination of Mitakihara's desire to exert control and increasing factionalism within the MSY itself. This second faction grew increasingly disturbed and repelled by the actions of the first, and began to strive to destabilize the governments of the first, achieving some measure of success—but not enough.
The world was crumbling, but the MSY was too disunified to do anything.
Events came to a head in the late 2150s, when a series of open revolts in the nations with the most draconian policies were ruthlessly crushed. These crushings were followed a wave of crackdowns in the "Detached" nations, involving mass executions, use of military force, and, often, the disassembly of whatever remained of democratic governance.
While an effort was initially made to prevent leakage of information about the events, this proved an essentially impossible, as the media and internet combined to relay images to the world. Further revelations arrived with the appearance of a completely new phenomenon: refugee AIs, programmed in the friendly Volokhov fashion, who had been so horrified by events that they managed to override their programming restraints and escape. These often possessed enormous, horrifying insight into the operations of their former nations, and they were usually all too willing to talk.
These events and revelations shattered an already tottering international order. The last meeting of the UN General Assembly, in 2160, collapsed entirely when the delegates of the non-detached faction walked out in protest at the organizations inability to take meaningful action against abuses. The remaining delegates dissolved the organization and formed their own international organization, the appropriate Orwellian Freedom Alliance. This was followed, a week later, by the formation of its nemesis, the United Front, as the few remaining neutral nations (including the powerful United States and European Union) fell into internal strife and chaos.
This turmoil did not exclude the MSY. Unlike the outside world, the majority of the organization was solidly United Front oriented, reflecting the opinions of leadership, new girls, and, to a large degree, the fundamental nature of magical girls. Even the majority of the non-interventionist Mages First faction fell into this category, after witnessing the abuses of the FA nations.
But it was, perhaps, too late. Whereas concerted MSY action earlier might have prevented the slide into crisis, the choices now were far more dire.
As the atrocities increased, national armies were mobilized, and local wars began to break out, the MSY's power structures agonized and strains, divided between those who wanted the clarity of open war, those who argued that war would be too big a catastrophe, those who feared the ramification war would have on their own, comfortable lives, and the still remaining splinter faction that sympathized with the FA. The Incubators added their own input to the situation, warning direly that Humanity was at substantial risk of a "low-productivity, low-utility" end-state, and even offering direct intervention, if requested (this was refused).
The MSY's influence on governments strained to hold back war, but it was no longer clear this was possible.
Events crystallized in 2163, with the revelation of the so-called St. Petersburg atrocity. The local hyperclasses had resolved to do the unfathomable: annihilate an entire segment of the city's population for anti-governmental behavior. While the world was shocked by this, the MSY was further shocked by a subsidiary revelation—that a substantial number of newly contracted girls were dead in the event, not from an accident as originally believed, but due to the deliberate betrayal of members of the MSY's FA-sympathizing faction.
In an unprecedented action, a full meeting of the MSY's membership was called, and the overwhelming majority of the membership voted to override the Charter and pass down an ultimatum: the members of the FA-sympathizing faction would immediately move themselves to secure UF locations and submit to monitoring, or they would make themselves eligible for immediate capture and possible summary termination, based on criteria to be determined later.
Most such members refused, staying put. After that, the MSY voted to change its policy from suppression of war to active pursuit of war. War followed shortly thereafter, though it can be easily argued that no help was needed in this regard.
The military history of the Unification Wars is long and well-known, the MSY's involvement less so. At the first official movement of alliance against alliance, and even before, the MSY exerted whatever resources it safely could in pursuit of UF victory, massively expanding its Black Heart agent network, performing civil defense duties, and deploying special combat teams, designed to covertly accompany and support UF forces without being noticed. It was this experience that the MSY would later draw on for its initial encounters with the Cephalopods.
Eventually, agonizingly, and cataclysmically, the FA collapsed under weight of its economic inferiority, its own ideologies rendering it incapable of effectively mobilizing its populations, or even preventing its populations from being co-opted by the other side.
As the FA fell to pieces, MSY teams combed the ruins, hunting for their former brethren.
The Long Peace
The immediate post-war period was as difficult for the MSY as it was for the world as a whole. Much, indeed most, of the MSY's wealth and external power had been felled in the war, or would be dismantled afterward in the EDC and Governance's reorganizations of society. While the MSY had significant influence within the new government, even successfully placing one of Chitose Yuma's numerous aliases on the EDC, and manipulating the EDC into adopting numerous recommendations gleaned from the Incubators, it nonetheless found it difficult to adapt its operations to Governance's plans for a significantly expanded surveillance state, and significant fewer sources of private wealth. While post-war MSY members experienced a higher standard of living compared to that within the war itself, they experience a drastic dropoff when compared to the pre-war period. While the MSY would eventually successfully reorganize, it would never quite recover the level opulence relative to the masses it had once enjoyed.
When it became clear that Governance was governing effectively, the MSY leadership, and the organization itself, settled in fro the long-term, hopeful that they had finally accomplished what they set out to achieve, and that they could look forward to indefinite growth and prosperity.
Organization & Charter
Statement of Purpose
Up until now, the magical girl system has been a tragedy of massive proportions. The dreams of teenage girls become a nightmare of fear, conflict, deprivation and death. This is the result of a failure of organization and cooperation, not intrinsic to the system itself. The participating teams of Mitakihara City hereby undertake to build an organization, the Mahou Shoujo Youkai, capable of fostering the cooperation and organization necessary to end the unnecessary pain.
The MSY is founded as a mutual aid group, with five primary mandates:
The elimination of grief cube shortages in any one time by the establishment of a grief cube pool
The provision of a forum for the airing out, resolution, and arbitration of misunderstandings and disagreements
The provision of effective countermeasures in the event of serious external threats or dangerous circumstances
The distribution of non-magical resources such as money in a manner beneficial to the group as a whole
The distribution of team members, particularly newly contracted girls, in an optimal manner
Article I-Fundamental Organization
1: Global Meeting
Major decisions shall be made at a General Meeting, held at least once every three months, but more frequently whenever necessary. This Meeting shall have the power to issue exceptions to every part of this Charter, and may amend whenever felt necessary. At least one member of every member team must be present to constitute a quorum, and decisions require an absolute majority of present members, as well as the agreement of at least one member of each team, with the exception of certain sanctionary actions mentioned below, for which the quorum requirement may be relaxed to as little as one member per each of half the existing teams. This may be done, for instance, for failure to attend the Meeting.
Chairmanship and Hosting of the next Meeting will be decided at the previous meeting. The hosting team will organize and chair the session, charging any direct costs to the General Fund. Any member team may request an early Meeting at any time.
2: General Fund
Two joint Treasurers from different teams shall be assigned to manage a General Fund, which shall be used to finance organizational activity, as well as provide reimbursements when practicable. The Treasurers shall provide a description of organizational finances at every General Meeting, and may be replaced by the Meeting whenever desired.
The founding teams commit to providing at least twenty thousand Japanese Yen (¥20,000) per member to initialize the Fund. Subsequently, teams are required to contribute at least ten thousand Japanese Yen (¥10,000) each month per member. Individual members may be required to contribute more at the discretion of the Global Meeting, particularly if the given member has access to significant outside wealth.
Any contributions exceeding this amount may be used to deduct from the contributing team's required surplus grief cube contribution, at a rate to be considered and reset at every Meeting, depending on the state of the organization's current finances and grief cube stocks, but may not be used to deduct from the absolute minimum. The initial rate is set to ten thousand Japanese Yen (¥10,000) per cube.
Businesses or investment ventures undertaken by the organization will be financed from the Fund, and any proceeds will return to the fund. Every General Meeting, a monthly reimbursement amount for each team will be decided upon; this amount may exceed the contribution amount, and the amount may differ between teams, as circumstances warrant. Teams may also request emergency allotments, issued at the discretion of the Treasurers; the resolution of any resulting fiscal issues may be decided at the next Meeting.
3. Grief Cube Pool
Three Cube Keepers will be assigned to manage a Grief Cube Pool, which shall be used to insulate member teams against poor grief cube harvests. The Pool shall be kept in multiple locations, as practicality and safety permit. Every two weeks, or more frequently, teams shall submit a number of grief cubes not required to exceed the operating surplus, but otherwise not lower than an absolute minimum of one grief cube per member per week or fifty percent (50%) of their operating surplus, whichever is higher. In the event of an operating deficit, withdrawals may be made from the pool up to one grief cube per week per member. Additional withdrawal may be granted at the discretion of the Keepers, but must be discussed at the following Meeting.
The Keepers shall provide a description of organizational grief cube stocks at every General Meeting, along with an account of the productivity of various teams, and may be replaced whenever desired by the Meeting. The direct purchase or selling of grief cubes to or from the Pool may be permitted, within limitations prescribed by the previous Meeting.
The Incubators have agreed to perform verification of operating deficits and surpluses.
Article II-Entrance or Departure of Teams
A team that wishes to enter the organization may, with majority agreement of its own members, submit an entrance request at any time. Such requests shall be taken up by a General Meeting as soon as practicable. If requested by any one member team, a disapproval vote may be held—a majority shall suffice to refuse the entrance request. Otherwise, entrance is automatic. The Meeting may also require the requesting group to provide additional resources, i.e. monetary instruments, grief cubes, before allowing entrance.
A team may leave the organization at any time, with majority agreement of the team's own members. The other teams must be informed as soon as possible. Leaving the organization does not discharge outstanding debts and obligations.
A team may be ejected from the organization with the agreement of four-fifths (4/5) of the remaining total membership of the organization, with the assent of at least one member from team except the one being ejected.
Article III-Lending of Individual Team Members
Member teams may transfer or lend individuals between one another with unanimous mutual agreement, and in cases where newly contracted members have skills that would be essential to a team other than the team in her contracting area, it may be expected, depending on residency status, age, and so forth.
Individuals lent or transferred to another team have a right to expect treatment comparable to that which would be expected from their own team, including training, housing, social support, and so forth. The original team may, with the assent of the individual in question, demand that the move be reversed, with arbitration by the General Meeting if the new team does not agree.
Article IV-Other Resources
It is expected that member teams will share resources not already discussed, i.e. access to health care or transportation, in a manner that is generous, reasonable, and fair. Disputes may be arbitrated by the General Meeting, but this is hoped to be avoided.
Article V-External Threats, misc.
Member teams are expected to cooperate in the utmost in the eradication or handling of any external threats and other issues that may arise.
Article IV-Additional Enforcement Measures
In the event of noncooperation, failure to attend General Meetings, or willful violation of Charter stipulations and/or Meeting decisions, a Meeting may impose sanctions upon a team, with the agreement of two-thirds (2/3) of the remaining total membership of the organization, with the assent of at least one member from every team except the one being sanctioned. These sanctions include, but are not limited to, increased monetary and grief cube contribution requirements and refusal of emergency allotments and grief cube withdrawals.
Akemi Homura, on behalf of the "Mitakihara Four"
Kuroi Kana, on behalf of the "University Area Group"
Chiyo Rika, on behalf of the "Northern Group"
Tanaka Yui, on behalf of the "Financial District Group"
Takara Chinami, on behalf of the "Factory Area Group"
Yasuhiro Rin, on behalf of the "West Kasamino Three"