The Third World of the future is unraveling. The international economy is more imbalanced then ever, the earth's environment finding even more extreme levels of drought and tempest every changing season. Populations aren't shrinking anytime soon, and countless local conflicts flare up outside of the control of the international community. At the same time the United States government, traditionally the boy scouts of the modern era, are more helpless then ever before in the face of a plunging dollar and weakening central government. Instead, massive international corporations are the primary rebuilders of the modern era: they go in, provide security, food, medicine, and reconstruction, then reap the royalties from grateful nations.
Under the legal umbrella of a United Nations declaration, a consortium of major corporations pooled their resources to construct the greatest disaster relief project in human history, a modern wonder of the world. Their project was the Ark, an ocean-going relief center that travels wherever environmental disasters, economic collapse, and regional warfare have made mass refugees and destabilized governments. Ark isn't just a glorified aid station though. Everything that was needed to make the project self-sustainable was taken into account. It is a floating city.
Our story is set 20 years after the Ark's maiden voyage. The United Nations has dissolved under pressures from newer regional inter-governmental organizations, and provisions for the future of the Ark have yet to be decided upon. The loosely-allied group of corporations that skimmed their revenues through the great Disaster Relief bubble until it burst are looking to cut their losses and reinvent or scrap their pet project, but they're not the only ones with an interest in making a global statement with the Ark as the punchline. One way or another, the Ark is going to be Reborn. The question is by whose hand?