South Pole Recoordination Trapping (better known by colloquial names "S'Poling" and "SPoRTing") is a practice in The Gerosha Chronicles of Dozerfleet Comics, first codified in the Cataclysmic Gerosha universe and defined in Sodality. It is an ethically-questionable event that can be triggered by a parole or probation officer on a target, and requires unusual police monitoring procedures to enact.
Due to the Percolation Energy Wave Storm, that takes on new life in the Dromedeverse after it is nearly destroyed in the Gerosha Crossover Gaming Universe, Earth-G7.2.1 SCALLOP is able to educate Camelorum Correctional on the "proper" use of S'Polers, leading to them becoming adopted for non-malicious inmates in Camelorum Adventures - as a way to control inmates out on field assignments - without having to create literal chain gangs.
This allows for the inmates to have better escape options if the place they are assigned to turns out to be too dangerous, reducing wrongful death lawsuit liabilities for Camelorum and its staff.
The Gerosha Chronicles
To avoid legal issues with Marvel, the Earth-G-Nada fact that ankle monitor technology was inspired by a Spider-Man comic is replaced with Earth-G7 Phaelite spies during WWII having learned of a plan by the Hebbleskins to develop a similar tracking system for Meethexos - so they could determine what their own creations were up to. This was inspired by the fact that when Molarity first goes missing after his battle with Arrowfrog, Meethlite and Japanese troops have no way of knowing Molarity's true fate. He is pronounced missing in action, presumed dead. Tobey Flippo in particular encourages the Phaelites to consider reworking this idea of a tracking system for dealing with ordinary criminals in America - namely, the Mafia. In the 1960s, the concept is declassified. By the 1980s, a primitive version of ankle monitor technology goes into effect.
SCALLOP's method isn't invented until late 2015, when Candi's first arrest due to being mistaken for an arsonist by confused cops in Gerosha leads to discussion on the possibility that the Kirby Act's call for SCALLOP to take responsibility for its creations may mean having a monitoring system that went above and beyond what the normal system used by police could do.
Ironically, Candi herself is spared initially from having to wear one. It is not until Gobargate that she is finally threatened with the prospect of having to wear one. She is officially forced to wear one following the events in Battle for Metheel, as Kirby Act and Beliah Amendment enforcement made her unauthorized disappearances from Texas illegal. She was placed under probation / house arrest for a period of five years, along with Dolly Malestrom. Lex Philippine lobbies aggressively to keep the other Sodalists from also being forced to wear the tethers, but this becomes meaningless when Rappaccini's forces invade the Toklisanan government.
While Candi and Dolly are not the only instances of S'Poling to occur during this time period, theirs become the most plot-relevant to the Vindication timeline.
By the time Vindication ends, the following Sodalists are placed on parole or probation using S'Pole-capable tethers:
- Hea Pang - 5 years
- Candi McArthur - 5 years
- Donte McArthur - 5 years
- Frank McArthur - 5 years
- Marge Ramirez - 3 years
- Emily Cormier - 10 years
- Stephanie Tannuli - 8 years
- Dolly Malestrom - 5 years
- Michelle Winston - 5 years
- Celia Reddlewick - 5 years
- Jordan Reddlewick - 5 years
- Angelo Abrami - 5 years
- Jeral Cormier - 10 years
- Jack Mercreek - 5 years
- Miranda Kanla - 5 years
- Pam Opendi - 5 weeks
- Wilfredo Opendi - 5 weeks
- Wilbur Brocklyn - Life
Tiffany and Jordan Sterlie are smuggled to safety amongst the Navyrope Society, protecting them from being issued similar monitors. The Gray Champion and Extirpon are exempted, since they are deemed too dangerous to attempt to force into wearing tethers. Purge-Flare proves too difficult to catch. Slip-Sadie is exempted due to her joining the Phaemer Village Peacekeepers and fleeing with them to another planet. Other Sodalists are exempted for a variety of reasons. Tabitha Pang and Sara Ruben were also to be placed on S'Poling-capable tethers, but Icy Finger plants within the state of Arkansas saw to it that Tabitha could not return home to her mother Hea after serving her three-year sentence in a Texas juvenile prison.
Instead of the foster home that Tabby and Sarah were promised, they find themselves abducted and taken across the border into Ameristan. From there, the girls are rescued by Shaniqua Tamery - an act that makes Shaniqua an outlaw and gets her fired from SCALLOP. After fighting their way back to Arkansas, Tabby and Sarah escape to life on the streets in the city. They reconnect with Tobias Reno, and accept Marge's Mapacha powers being transferred to themselves - so that they can improve their odds of survival while cut off from their Sodality friends.
The government in Arkansas grows increasingly corrupt, and S'Poling-capable tethers start being used as tools of intimidation for political dissidents. This becomes yet another challenge the Swappernetters face in trying to start a revolution to reclaim Arkansas from the Icy Finger.
Due to the Percolation, Emily Cormier of Earth-G7.2.1 finds herself briefly in the Dromedeverse several times. With this, she brings the secrets to S'Poling tech among other things. Stan Woudean, the warden of Camelorum Correctional, adopts the practice of S'Poling tethers. However, he warns city officials that S'Polers should only be used on those serving time - or on mutations, Xomified Humans, or other special cases. He strongly objects to the adoption of their use on ordinary criminals and on those serving house arrest or probation terms that lack special conditions, largely due to the risk of 4th and 8th Amendment violations. (Since the Sodality had to battle for what was right in a Texas that exists post-America, there effectively is no 4th Amendment to protect them.)
"Tether Gangs" become a common practice for Camelorum inmates. It allows them the possibility to escape dangerous situations faster - such as a mine caving in. This reduces the risk of wrongful deaths or expensive rescue missions. Also, while they have more freedom to move about and carry out their assignments, they are also confined to their mission areas in a highly-efficient way. With most of their vitals and blood hormones being monitored, what they do wherever they are can be tracked instead of merely their exact GPS position. This makes lying about what they were doing difficult.
Due to this, only the most vile and deviant of Camelorum inmates are still required to wear chains on assignment. The rest are free to join the Tether Gang and avoid wearing literal chains. The phones that come attached to the tethers also allow them to call for backup if they run into trouble, though they risk further detainment for using this service.
Those placed on this system include:
- Candace Mason
- Emily Barnes
- Barry Navoz
- Janet Joblin
- Jenny Jane
- Jenny Kay
- Beatrice Index
- Luin Kim
- Carly Rancine
- Bonny Boggidy
- June O'Reilly
Definition and application
SCALLOP ankle monitors
In the Gerosha universe, the need for SCALLOP to monitor Phexos and Marlquaanites - especially under the Kirby Act - led to some interesting challenges. Traditional ankle monitor technology requires that the monitor be in range of a tracker inside the subject's house, using either a cell or landline network or a GPS system to indicate the range of an alleged offender from their home or to determine if they are or aren't at their home at a stipulated time.
The SCALLOP monitor system works a little differently from traditional GPS systems. Using technology similar to a MiFi, the central master computer and monitor communicate with one another via satellite and shortwave radio feeds, the latter feed method being a backdoor to protect against shortcomings of the former. The battery in a SCALLOP ankle monitor requires charging once a month, during which a guard keeps the offender under watched house arrest until the battery is charged.
Since even house-arrested Phexos and Marlquaanites may be required to change locations frequently, officers placed in charge of the offender are given control over computers that can have their GPS "safe range" settings reconfigured on the fly. Also, motion sensors inside SCALLOP monitors make them more intrusive than a traditional unit, to account for the challenges that these individuals bring to the table.
The ankle monitors come equipped with a heart rate monitor, as well as motion sensors and hormone readers, to relay information about physical activity. If a subject is being chased, chasing someone, fighting someone, exercising, or even having sex; the master computer will know about it. Too much such activity will send the monitor's light from green to yellow, which will trigger a phone call. Too many missed calls and inability to explain, depending on continued readout, will lead to the light going red. If the subject still has a pulse consistent with consciousness and is still in motion, only police are called unless the phone call explaining the situation calls for worse. If there is an inconsistent pulse or none, an ambulance is called along with police and any SCALLOP personnel available. The individual in that case is assumed to be dead or unconscious. All such individuals are required to call in advance and gain permission to engage in physical exercise or sexual activity, in order to avoid false positives of delinquent behavior detection.
Marlquaanites have an additional detector inside their monitors, which tracks surges in Marlquaan energy to indicate when they are using their powers. Too high an energy surge will trigger a yellow alarm, similar to a Phexo getting too much exercise. Matter phasing, except for the Gray Champion and other phantom mimics, requires a large enough surge in Marlquaanite energy such that a red alarm is triggered. A SCALLOP team (or local authority equivalent) is then called in with MPF generators, as Marlquaanites are harder to subdue when they go rogue than Phexos are. To avoid unnecessary death tolls, SCALLOP uses MPF generators for any Phexo or Marlquaanite who removes a tether on their own and then refuses peaceful surrender when discovered. Bezeetol is used to subdue unruly Phexos, and long-term MPF containment is used to hold unruly Marlquaanites that cannot be detained by any other means. Unaltered Humans given SCALLOP monitors - due to either being a high enough threat or due to excessive association with someone wanted under the Kirby Act - are subdued via normal means when they remove their own tethers.
Stephanie Barrin is issued an additional headcap to wear until she invents Strawforcer as her personal babysitter. The purpose of the headcap - and later Strawforcer - is to make certain that she does not attempt to pilot another Strawberry unit.
Phexos and Marlquaanites aren't always placed on SCALLOP's system because of actual wrongdoing. Sometimes, especially due to the Kirby Act, they can be placed on the system simply for being. They can especially become candidates for the system if they are the frequent victims or targets of wrongdoing by others.
When Candi was being hunted by Gobar's men, and again when the Icy Finger was targeting her family, her reckless driving charge was more a cover for her protective custody than a serious charge unto itself - given the Kirby Act and Beliah Amendments treating Phexos as incapable of being innocent. Both Candi and Dolly were essentially S'Poled to ensure their safety - and that of their families. In Candi's case, the second act of protective custody was entirely voluntary. In the first, Candi explains the situation after Brian sees news footage and suspects her. Brian suggests protective custody, and Candi agrees to the terms. Stephanie is informed after detonating her Strawberry unit to protect Candi that she too must receive protective custody to avoid actual prosecution in a real court, as SCALLOP by this point cooperates with the Marshals to form its own sort of "witness protection" program for both girls.
Typical S'Poling scenario
When Candi was S'Poled at the Waco Wonder Wash in "Shaken Elite Foundations", Brian decided that Dolly was the Icy Finger's next logical target. He took pre-emptive measures to protect Dolly by S'Poling her tether, leading to Chad Orvain arresting her on the spot. Understanding the gravity of the situation - and need to protect Jeraime - Dolly decides not to resist. From there, her making a suit for the Purge-Flare was used as a Kirby Act justification for taking her in. Letting her use her Earwig armor to defend her own house with was considered out of the question; partially because she was on probation and partially because of fears of events happening similar to what would happen the very next day to Stephanie.
Without alerting Dolly, Brian reconfigured her safe range GPS coordinates from her immediate neighborhood to the following settings:
The "EEE.ERRO-W" section translates as "Error," with the direction defaulting to the Western Hemisphere on error message. The "090.0000-S" section refers to 90 degrees south, the logical geographic location of the South Pole itself. The "dV 0.000.200.00 m" section of this readout refers to the deviation vector, implying what radius in meters is permitted for someone to be away from the specified central safe point.
Since there is no physical intermediary device other than the satellite and shortwave radio transceiver towers communicated with for message transfer, greater relativity is permitted for re-defining safe points without the need for an officer to directly and physically move an intermediary device to a new location.
The officer in charge of the computer set up for tracking that specific individual is usually instructed to set up a radius for a SCALLOP justice client pertaining to the degree of their parole or probationary terms. A maximum range of 9,999.9999 kilometers (about 6,200 miles) is possible for a readout for "safe range" without causing an error reading, more than would ever realistically be granted to any individual on the system. As such, deviation vectors are often only a few hundred meters away from the safe point - confining someone to a house or to a neighborhood. In more lenient cases, the "offender" is confined to an entire city or small town.
S'Poling occurs when the individual remains safely at or near their safe point, yet a call is made to bring them into incarceration in spite good behavior. Again, due to protective custody or Beliah Amendment-related concerns. The rationale behind Dolly's S'Poling was this: If her safe point were reconfigured to the South Pole and her deviation vector set to 200 meters, then she literally would have to be at or teleport to within 200 meters of the literal, geographic South Pole for her tether light to turn green - or have it deactivated at a station and turned off. Otherwise, Dolly's tether would be red even if she remained motionless within her own home.
There would be literally no other place on Earth she could escape to without authorities knowing - and being able to track - her every move. They would also know how fast she was running or driving, her heart rate, and be able to guess to within a very limited range of accuracy via her sweat hormonal reads which emotions she was most likely feeling at a given moment. In addition to her movements and her rapsheet, data collected on her for analysis includes her psychological profile and even details about her sex life. S'Pole-capable tethers would have their monitors modified to account for even the most subtle of differences in male and female body chemistry as well.
Real-world human rights issues
Due to a lack of Phexos - and no Great Marlquaan Storm happening in the fall of 2012 in Earth-G-Nada, and the lack of Xomians and Xomifieds, the need to limit S'Poling technology to altered, enhanced, or otherwise unusual humans would be too small to be a practical application. As such, S'Poling-capable tethers would most likely be viewed as a practical upgrade to current ankle monitor technology.
The intrusive measures it involves would lead to some concerns about privacy rights, leading to S'Poling being debated as hotly as forced installation of RFID chips.
Some would be vehemently against a practice like S'Poling, whereas others would argue that S'Pole-capable tethering should only be reserved for the highest-risk protected individuals and otherwise for the absolute worst criminals. It could also be used for manual labor assignments, as a way for non-violent offenders to do away with literal chains. However, laws would have to be passed so that simple DUI house arrest individuals are not at risk of being S'Poled. This video demonstrates several behaviors that, while acceptable with regular monitoring technology, would be risky to attempt with a S'Poler attached, assuming the officer monitoring on the other end were to abuse that kind of power.
There are some issues as well with slippery slope application of such a technology. The usefulness and potential of it could lead to a temptation to use it on lesser offenders. In extreme cases, political dissidents could be punished with such devices also, leading to virtually unlimited potential for political corruption and ideological censorship.
This panel from "Shaken Elite Foundations" is the first time a case for S'Poling is ever made, in which Candi agrees to terms of surrender to sue for the safety of her husband and son. While this is not the first concept art panel for Sodality to mention S'Poling, it is the first to so prominently make the case for it being a possibility worth contemplation. This essentially means that a Ciem-themed concept art panel for Sodality becomes the origin of the concept of S'Poling in public consciousness.
Weirdly enough, this corresponds with the introduction of the original concept of ankle monitoring technology dating back to a 1960s comic panel - involving Spider-Man. The Gerosha Prime version of Ciem was an attempt to make a workable take on Spider-Man as a Sims 2 comic involving original characters and working with the pre-established mythos of Stan and Shalia Flippo in Indiana. It was over time that Candi evolved into a proper, original character in her own right.
Yet, as Candi's SDCPM file makes clear, the same Gerosha universe that establishes S'Pole-capable monitors as a possibility also deconstructs their practical application - illustrating their potential for use to invade privacy with reckless abandon.