Cosmic Cattlepunk Chronicles-1
The world had been on the brink of desolation, economically grinding to a halt after a chain of geological disruptions turned the industrial region of Brimsteel into an environmental nightmare of volcanic activity, sulfuric windstorms, and mutated varmints. But somewhere in the aftermath came the discovery of pulsarium, a crystalline mineral capable of producing high energy electromagnetic pulses, which in turn could be used to produce highly efficient electrical generators, laser emitters and eventually plasma-based power systems. This in turn allowed the construction of heavy machinery that could withstand the volcanic badlands without rusting, melting or clogging up and provide the power needed to move such large construction. Technology took an anachronistic swerve as older technologies that had been resorted to for survival were retrofitted for the new energies, resulting in new marvels like plasma-fired furnaces, machinery run by clockworks but wound by electric motors, and the mega-trains that run on massive pulsarium generators instead of steam boilers.
Isolation and desolation had already taken its toll on Brimsteel though, separation from any ruling bodies and seperation between surviving settlements pushing the people handle their own matters when it came to justice and sufficiency. With the potential revitalization of a new lifeblood at hand, that meant protecting it as well. With mines for pulsarium and other minerals being dug and the railways for the new mega-trains being laid, settlements started rebuilding themselves into defensive forts and sprawling trade depots. But with new riches came new thieves and new enforcers, both that often rode off-road 4X4s as they did genetically modified steeds, wielding pulsarium-powered sideirons and carbon-fiber lassos alongside leatherhide whips and slugslingers. As well as the competition, as there were those in the new frontier who were willing to take the revolution in Industrial Revolution to the literal extremes, and siege with corporate sponsored militias or steal with mercenary bandits what couldn't be bought off or driven out of business. Mighty walls, deep mines and powerful trains may help settlements survive the pulsarium rich volcanic badlands, but in the end success would only be with a sturdy hammer, a trusty sidearm, and a bit of brand new good ol' Frontier Justice.