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I'm building a world, which takes place about 300 years in the future after an event in the near future, in which giant elemental monsters started to roam around the earth. These creatures are an average of 30 feet tall and have shapes of normal animals. They were resistant to conventional weapons and took the world by storm. After fighting humans and amongst themselves, these creatures have settled into large territories. The territories are large, like the size of New England region in the United States.

Humanity has been knocked back a bit to about industrial revolution technology and formed into city states inside the territory of the giant creatures. Humanity and these giant elemental creatures have learned to live with each other.

The giant creatures have learned to tolerate those within its territory but patrols their borders strictly. Any infrastructure between territories don't last long, except basic roads.

My question is how would the city states communicate with each other, if infrastructure can't cross the borders?

I was thinking something like radio. Would that infrastructure last 300 years or easy enough for industrial level people to build if they had the means?

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  • $\begingroup$ What characteristics or properties lead to the cities being tolerated by the monsters? And does that tolerance include communications between cities within a single territory? $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Commented Sep 12, 2020 at 14:06
  • $\begingroup$ @user535733 Many of the monsters have learned that humans won't attack if left alone and humans largely keep out of areas that the monsters are known to be in. City states within the territories usually have no problems with communications. $\endgroup$
    – Vernian42
    Commented Sep 12, 2020 at 14:40
  • $\begingroup$ Since the monsters destroyed well-defended/computerized/nuclear-powered cities, does it matter much to a monster if humans attack it or not? I'm not clear about why modern cities would be destroyed but primitive cities would be left alone. Whatever that reason is, perhaps it can be exploited to achieve the goal of communication (or to control, in a limited way, monster behavior). $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Commented Sep 12, 2020 at 16:41
  • $\begingroup$ .... Can the monsters just magically detect all infrastructure? Like, say, wires buried below ground? $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 12, 2020 at 16:43
  • $\begingroup$ I was thinking when the monsters first show up, conflict would be inevitable. Even if the monsters don't attack first, no one wants a 30 foot tall wolf in their backyards. After 300 years, I figured they'll find a way to live alongside with each other. $\endgroup$
    – Vernian42
    Commented Sep 12, 2020 at 21:05

2 Answers 2

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Telegraph lines to the border. Theres a relay hut with a guy using Morse code that can communicate city-to-border at speed of light.

A relay operator then walks to his counterpart at the border and delivers the message directly (verbally or written down), the counterpart then forwards the message to his city.

No new infrastructure crossing the border is needed, the huts are a few hundred meters back allowing for both sides to patrol. Near Instant communications, and, crucially, it's hard for country C to listen to what A and B are saying. Radio wont have that advantage, unless your elemental warriors rediscover decent mathematics.

Morse code operators develop a "feel" for each others personalities based on minutiae of how they tap out messages, meaning an invading force cant kill the operator and then say "everything's fine" down the wire. There are also usually prearranged duress behaviours, eg a message with no misspellings means it was sent under duress.

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting, I've actually not considered conflict between the city states, since I figured they were more concerned about not being destroyed by the monsters. Also, would this method still work if the border is more like a zone that may stretch for a couple of miles? $\endgroup$
    – Vernian42
    Commented Sep 12, 2020 at 15:04
  • $\begingroup$ Just longer to walk to exchange the message. Or Liz's extension on my answer and use a light / semaphore to cross the border. $\endgroup$
    – Ash
    Commented Sep 12, 2020 at 15:06
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Add a light based morse code at the border and you can signal from hut to hut without having to risk sending someone right down to the border. Semaphor flags would work too.

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  • $\begingroup$ Agreed. And on further reflection, were I setting this system up for real that's what I'd do. Were I building a story however I'd want to give that interaction some focus and develop those characters interactings a bit - in a tense diplomatic situation, these underling cross border friendships can help diffuse an escalating conflict. $\endgroup$
    – Ash
    Commented Sep 12, 2020 at 6:57
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting idea. Wouldn't the range be limited to a mile or so? The borders between giant monsters wouldn't be as simple as a line in the dirt though. It could be a no man's zone of sorts, couple of miles wide. $\endgroup$
    – Vernian42
    Commented Sep 12, 2020 at 14:44

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