Circa 1850:1900: Mediums—people who can speak to the dead—are in vogue throughout the latter half of the Nineteenth Century, and sˇances are held with regularity. Other mediums take to the stage, performing various tricks which may—or may not—be paranormal in origin. Most mediums are disclosed to be frauds, but this does little to dampen the enthusiasm for those individuals who bear up under scrutiny.
1914-1918: World War I. "The War To End All Wars," World War I marks the introduction of a host of new military developments, including: airplanes, machine guns, poison gas, and tanks. When it is over, Europe is in ruins and its hold on the rest of the world is broken. The Age of Colonialism is over, and the United States of America starts to emerge as a world power.
Circa 1930s: Dr. J. B. Rhine of Duke University conducts experiments onto the existence of extrasensory perception (i.e. "ESP") and other paranormal powers with positive results. During this time, he coins the term "psychokinesis."
1931: Charles Fort introduces the term "teleportation."
1938-1945: World War II. Truly a world war in scope, the Second World War brings devastation on an unprecedented scale, along with such new innovations as amphibious assaults, the jet fighter, long range rocketry, mass bombing raids, and mechanized warfare. The war ends with the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan. Earth enters the Atomic Age.
1943: Colossus, the world's first electric digital computer, is brought on line in an effort to crack the German's Enigma code.
Circa 1950-onward: Both the CIA and the KGB conduct research into ESP and "espers." Their initial forays produce little in the way of concrete data, but further experimentation yields limited, albeit reproducible results. These first "espers" are extremely weak, but are capable demonstrating their talents at will outside of a highly controlled laboratory environment. Further research produces espers of growing power, as well as better methods for unlocking esper potential. By the 1990s, numerous espers are reported to be working for both agencies.
1952: International Business Machines (IBM) decides to add computers to its product line.
1950-1953: Korean War. The event marks the beginning of the second "Red Scare" (the first occurred in the early 1920s after the Communist revolution in Russia).
1953: Francis Crick and James Watson discover the structure of DNA.
1955: Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her seat on a public transit bus sparks the modern Civil Rights Movement.
Circa 1956-1975: Vietnam War. Although the French have been fighting in Vietnam since 1946, American troops don't arrive until 1956. Originally they are there simply to train and advise the army of South Vietnam, but as the fighting gets worse, the United States, leery of a full-scale Communist invasion and takeover of Southeast Asia, increases its military presence. The war is a long drawn-out affair, costing millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives, and severely divides the United States both politically and emotionally.
October 4, 1957: The USSR launches Sputnik. The Space Age has begun.
Circa 1964-1970: Civil unrest all though the United States of America. It initially comes as a result of the civil rights marches in the South (which started in 1955), but dissolves into general anti-war/anti-Richard Nixon protests all though the later half of the 1960s.
Circa 1965: The CIA develops an esper activation drug and secretly tests it on an unsuspecting American populace.
Circa 1965-1967: In a precursor of things to come, both the CIA and the KGB experiment with implanting listening devices into various animals (such as cats). The projects are dismal failures, but they serve as the first steps towards cybernetic implants.
July 20, 1969: Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong land on the moon.
Circa 1970-onward: Corporations begin the trend towards multinationalism. During the 1980s, multinational corporations will flourish at an unprecedented scale, eventually reaching a point where certain corporations are so widespread throughout the world as to no longer bear allegiance to any one country.
1972: Esper testing becomes widespread. Great Britain and China are among the nations who launch extensive esper research programs.
1975: Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems, Inc. releases the Altair 8800, the first personal computer. It can be bought preassembled or as a kit, doesn't include a monitor, keyboard, or a printer, and can't store data.
1979: The Shah of Iran flees his own country, and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini comes into power. Soon after, Iranian radicals assault the embassy of the United States, taking 66 hostages.
1980: American armed forces manage to rescue the 52 American hostages still held in Iran. There is strong speculation that CIA esper operatives assist in the mission. President Jimmy Carter, riding a wave of public acclaim from his success in Iran, and backed by positive economic growth, wins a second term by defeating Ronald Reagan's bid for the presidency.
Circa 1980-onwards: The number of "free" (i.e. unknown or undetected) espers grows as the 1960's experiments of the CIA and the KGB reach fruition. Many of these free espers are born to parents who participated in the earlier experiments, often unknowingly.
August 12, 1981: IBM releases the IBM PC. Its release marks the turning point of the personal computer from an expensive novelty to a serious business machine. In the same year, the Osborne 1 is released. It is a suitcase-sized "luggable" computer, and comes prepackaged with software. The Computer Age has begun.
1981-1984: Carter serves a second term in office. A fairly "green" president, he is responsible for the passing of a large number of environmentally friendly laws. Although these laws serve to better the environment, many companies decide the price of doing business in America is too high, and leave for countries with lax or nonexistent restrictions, primarily in those in Europe and Japan. In addition, Carter increases domestic spending (mostly for social reform), setting aside large portions of the budget for research into various alternative energy sources, and gives out billions in international aid. All of this is at the expense of the military. Many military projects (some of which are of a dubious nature) are cut, and in an effort to purge itself of waste, the armed forces go through an extreme case of house cleaning, with forced retirements and the closing of numerous military bases. The end result is a large number of people added to the work force, but with no work to be had. In addition, a number of highly classified military projects go "underground" using funds supposedly destined for other purposes.
Circa 1982-1990: The Soviet Union, emboldened due a perceived display of weakness on the part of the United States, engages in extended campaigns of military adventurism in Central America. The CIA partakes in several covert campaigns to oppose them, and some of the first esper versus esper clashes are recorded. The net result is a slow decay of the Central American market as the resident countries engage in internal power struggles, military coups, and revolutions. A side effect of this is an increase in illegal aliens crossing the border from Mexico. The United States responds with harsher and more restrictive immigration policies, and expands the power of the Immigration and Naturalization Service in an effort to combat this threat.
1982: The computer is designated Time Magazine's "Man of the Year."
January 22, 1984: Apple introduces the Macintosh computer. It has the first commercially available graphical user interface, and takes the computing world by storm, setting the stage for future icon-driven operating systems.
1984: Ronald Reagan, by accusing Carter of not desired instituting tax cuts and other reforms, and of continuing with bloated government spending, defeats Walter Mondale to win the presidency.
1985-1988: Reagan, deciding the business of America is business, launches a multi-pronged plan to revitalize the stagnant economy. First and foremost is a corporation-friendly foreign policy placing American business interests ahead of most other concerns. Second is a massive buildup of the American military, which had waned under Carter. Reagan also increases NASA's budget, as he is a proponent both of the International Space Station and of space-based weapons systems as a form of missile defense. This increased spending by the Federal government (which Reagan had opposed in his campaign speeches) serves to give the economy the desired boost as military contracts are eagerly snapped up. However, much of this money ends up overseas in uncontrolled foreign investments. Unfortunately, Reagan's economic stimulus plan doesn't work exactly as desired, and the disparity between the rich and poor grows rapidly.
Circa 1985-onward: The United States Border Patrol, with the blessing of the new Reagan Administration, escalates their patrols to the point where they no longer just police the border, but actively engage in search and destroy missions, using paramilitary force to keep hordes of refugees out of Arizona, California, and New Mexico. Texas simply mobilizes the Texas National Guard for the same purpose.
1986: Public announcement of "Dolly" the world's first cloned mammal. Research shows that Dolly required some 200-300 failures before a viable copy was born. Research continues to make it a reliable process, as the benefits (and profits) to cattle and sheep ranchers would be immense.
1988: Due to his failing health, Reagan declines to run for a second term. Vice-President George Bush, backed by Reagan, wins the presidency easily.
April-June, 1989: Thousands gather in Beijing's Tiananmen Square to protest against the oppressive Chinese government and to call for democratic reform. However, between June 3rd and 4th, elements of the Chinese People's Liberation Army move in and massacre the demonstrators, killing more than 1000 protesters and wounding thousands more. Afterwards, reports have various army units fighting each other. Fearing civil war, China moves swiftly to quell the disturbances.
July, 1989: China reaches the brink of civil disorder as some army units refuse to stand down and fighting between military units of differing provinces escalates. In the "Special Economic Zones" established around Shanghai and in southern China, a degree of order is maintained, rumored to be due to payments to military commanders by large corporations.
1989-1993: George Bush, attempting to continue Reagan's legacy, discovers he doesn't have the influence and charm of the former president, and finds his attempts to institute further reforms come to a crashing halt as a deadlocked Congress squabbles over spending and tax reform. By the end of Bush's term, unemployment and inflation are both spiraling out of control.
Overseas, the Japanese suffer a devastating economic crash, as the carefully controlled government-subsidized economy basically goes belly-up. Due to overprotected domestic markets, and political leaders who talk about reform, but are not prepared to sacrifice their popularity to make the necessary changes, the Japanese economy almost self-destructs. This in turn, pulls down the rest of the Pacific Rim, as the Asian marketplace—fueled by continuing unrest in China—almost vanishes overnight. In Japan, this results in almost unheard of social reform, as young radicals, unfettered by tradition, show a willingness to enact revolutionary changes in the way Japan governs and does business.
As the United States (and the rest of the world) starts to economically sink, the European Community mobilizes, working frantically to protect their respective economies. Following the lead of West Germany, the EC becomes more and more isolationist, hoping to survive the threat of worldwide depression.
1989: The initial map of the human genome completed. Work begins on ways to genetically alter and improve plants and animals.
August 2, 1990: Iraq invades and occupies Kuwait. George Bush, in what is later considered an effort to bolster his sagging reputation, contacts the United Nations in order to get them involved in expelling Iraq from oil-rich Kuwait. This maneuver allows him to ignore Congress and the Congressional capacity of officially declaring war.
January 16-April 10, 1991: Operation Desert Storm. Unfortunately for Bush, the Persian Gulf War isn't the quick and easy victory he had hoped for. Although the Coalition forces have some technological superiority, it's not enough to totally balance the Iraqi force of numbers. American casualties number close to two thousand killed and wounded, including some of the first military female deaths due to combat. Bush's popularity plummets.
Circa 1990-onwards: The rapidly growing personal computer industry, combined with the growing internet leads to the coining of the term "The Information Age." Computers grow faster and cheaper at an unprecedented scale, with no signs of letting up. However, due to the sluggish business climate in the US, most of this development occurs in Japan, and the overall impact on the American economy is minimal. Nevertheless, the states of California and Washington gain great benefits from the rapidly exploding information technology field.
1992: George Bush wins a second term in office after a very controversial election. Democrats accuse Bush of out-and-out "buying" the election with Republican funds. Republicans accuse William Clinton, the Democratic candidate; of attempting to steal the presidency through manipulation of vote counts and falsified records. Tempers run high, and in Washington D.C. protesters meet in violent clashes.
August 21, 1992: FBI siege and shootout in Ruby Ridge, Idaho. Three die. The incident provokes strong reactions in right-wing militia groups and separatist elements within the United States. They consider this a clear example of the excesses of the federal government in its treatment of its own people, and a prime reason why the current government needs to be overthrown.
February 26, 1993: A bomb is set off under the World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York. The bomb kills six, and injures over 1000. FBI and CIA investigations eventually lead to the arrest of a number of Middle Eastern Muslim terrorists.
February 28, 1993: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agents move against the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. Four BATF agents and ten cultists die.
April 19, 1993: A second, full-scale assault on the Branch Davidian compound results in a fire that kills 93 members of the religious cult. Coming as it does so soon after the Ruby Ridge shootout, it serves to reinforce the separatist movement of various right-wing extremist organizations. Conspiracy theorists state the fire was deliberately set and FBI units prevented the cultists from escaping. Records show an increase in minor acts of domestic terrorism from this point onward.
September 11, 1994: Frank Corder steals a small single-engine plane, flies into Washington D.C., and crashes the plane into the White House. Corder is killed instantly, while President Bush, away at the time, is not injured.
Circa 1995: It is suspected, but never proven, that a human being has been cloned by end of the year.
1995: The Soviet Union, in financial dire straights for years (but able to hide it well), eventually collapses as it goes virtually bankrupt. Its collapse is heralded by the slow breakup of the Eastern Bloc, ignited by Poland's severing ties with Russia in the late 1980s. By the end of 1995, the Berlin Wall has come down, and East and West Germany look forward to an eventual reunification by the end of 1996. Russia, unable to feed its population, suffers from outbreaks of extensive violence and fighting as an angry population revolts against an ineffectual government.
Looking to avoid the fate of the former Soviet Union, the European Community starts to layout a long term plan of protectionism, in which the member nations integrate themselves to a great degree, in an effort to avoid economic collapse. One step is the adoption of a common currency, known as the "Euro." This currency is slated to come into common use January 1 of the year 2000.
Theodore Kaczynski, better known as the Unabomber, mails his manifesto to the newspapers The New York Times and The Washington Post, as well as Penthouse. Kaczynski has been mailing explosive packages to universities since 1978, and has managed to kill three and wound 23 in that time. A man who despises technology, Kaczynski wishes to return to a time before electricity and airplanes. The FBI arrests Kaczynski in 1996.
April 18, 1995: Timothy McVeigh, seeking to strike back for what he feels to be oppressive government tactics at Ruby Ridge and Waco, detonates a homemade truck-bomb in Oklahoma City, killing 168 and wounding over 400. Despite stepped-up security around the White House and other government institutions, there is a rash of break-ins and minor antigovernment actions, leading to (among others) the shooting death of Leland Modjeski at the White House.
1996: In the face of rising inflation, vanishing markets, and vast unemployment, representatives of various multinational corporations approach President George Bush with a simple ultimatum: rescind various environmental and labor laws or else. "Or else" is apparently the total collapse of key American industries, such as aircraft, automobiles, lumber, oil, and steel. Bush agrees to their demands, and Congress—faced with a potentially angry and unemployed electorate—follows suit. In one fell swoop, the power of the unions is shattered, and the wages and quality of living of the American worker plummet. The multinationals, however, show record profits.
The FBI's attempt to arrest a right-wing militia group known as the Freemen results in a bloody shootout that claims the lives of four agents, and wounds ten others. Eight Freemen also die in the gun battle. Following this shootout, various armed militia groups strike back, using an assortment of homemade pipe bombs to attack federal buildings such as courthouses and FBI offices. FBI retaliatory strikes are met with armed resistance, and the body count in this war on domestic terrorism quickly rises.
1996: In a surprise upset, independent candidate Neil Egan wins the US presidential election, riding a tidal wave of voter anger over rising unemployment, falling wages, and what is seen as a "sellout" to big business by the White House and Congress. Egan pushes a strong "America First" platform and promises tax cuts and increased jobs for American middle-class workers, However, Egan is unable to work with Congress, as he is opposed by both major parties, while his administration, mired in bitter conflicts, achieves little, except to drastically reduce United States involvement abroad—what Egan calls "overseas adventurism".
1997: Control of Hong Kong reverts from the United Kingdom to Mainland China. An exodus of Hong Kong nationals to other countries, specifically Australia and Canada, marks this reversion. To quell unease, the new ruling council of Hong Kong establishes "Public Order Committees" which supposedly operate to enforce law and order, but which rapidly become an unofficial militia operating in the southern "Special Economic Zone" around Hong Kong
1998: The failure of the government to agree on an acceptable budget leads to major delays in wage payments to many government employees. A series of strikes by government workers culminates in a violent demonstration by postal workers in Washington D.C. When local police refuse to act unless their own salary demands are met, the government authorizes the use of National Guard and military force to quell the riots.
April 1, 1999: The eastern half of the Northwest Territories becomes the Inuit territory of Nunavut (which means "our land" in Inuktitut).
December, 1999: A team of scientists at the University of California in San Francisco develop a method for "reprogramming" the growth of cells. Initially it is seen as a method for producing replacement tissues for medical use, and the technology is widely licensed.
2000: His credibility in tatters, Egan is easily defeated in the presidential elections by billionaire financier Ryan A Anderson III, who promises to restore America's economic might. One of his first actions is the imposition of a flat tax, which although welcomed by the corporate world, causes the government's budget deficit to swell dangerously. Anderson also continues to reduce American involvement overseas, sighitng budget concerns and a need to support the American people.
January 1, 2000: The European Comunity adopts the Euro. The introduction of a common currency sets the stage for the slow "reinvention" of Europe. There is a marked increase in government cooperation and regulation, all in an effort to stave off the fate of America and the Pacific rim. For the most part, the EC is conservitive and avoids speculitive ventures, which results in greatly reduced coporate influence.
2001: Scientists in Japan introduce the first "neurochip," a microchip capable of being hooked into the human nervous system. Initially designed for use by amputees and paraplegics, the capabilities of the chip are expanded to allow for mental control of external devices. Thus, the first true cyberware systems are introduced, and man enters the Cyber Age.
Africa staggers under an AIDs epidemic that threatens to rage out of control. Foreign aid is minimal, as most nations are too busy trying to prop up their own economies to help anyone else. Estimates state over 25 million people are HIV positive, with 5 million suffering from advanced forms of AIDs. As the decade progresses, these numbers increase dramatically.
June 2, 2002: Shion Nys born. By 2022 she is the most powerful, stable, esper on the planet.
Circa 2003-onward: Global warming goes from scientific theory to science fact as climatic patterns change and water levels rise. One side effect is crop failures worldwide. Another is increased research in genetically altered foods capable of thriving in the changed environment. By 2030 sea levels have risen to such an extent some coastal cities are partially flooded. However, an interesting side effect of this phenomenon is that both Canada and portions of the former Soviet Union now have longer growing seasons and increased wheat production.
2004: Ryan A Anderson III wins a second term in office. The election is notable for an all-time low in voter turn out and general public apathy with regards to who wins. Supported by the corporations (in fact, he is suspected to be a virtual puppet of the multinationals) Anderson continues to craft economic plans favoring the corporate world at the expensive of the workers. Unfortunately, this leads to a greater and greater government debt and more and more unemployment.
December 26, 2004: An earthquake in the Indian Ocean triggers a tsunami. Most of the Indian Ocean rim is hit, with a death toll in excess of 300,000. International aid is slow to non-existant with many dying of disease and malnutrition. Certain corporations offer to send aid in exchange for favorable treatment various economic ministers and the like. Most of these offers are accepted.
2005: With Canada's economy sinking fast due to the collapsing American market, Quebec realizes the protective umbrella of the Canadian government is shrinking rapidly. In an effort to look after their own, Quebec decides that if the Inuit can have their own homeland, then so can the French Canadians. Voting to separate from Canada, Quebec forms the Republique de Quebec. Canada, finding its hands full with everything happening in the United States, is unable to really press the matter, and allows Quebec to go its own way.
August 29, 2005: Hurricane Katrina, after battering the Gulf Coast for several days, makes landfall near New Orleans. Unable to cope with the surge of water, the levees around the city give way, causing extensive flooding. Federal response is very slow and days pass before any real relief arrives. In the mean time, the city descends into anarchy, with armed gangs roaming the streets, looting shops and homes. The tepid federal response sparks anger and resentment while the exodus of refugees from the the hurricane's destruction (which is spread across multiple states) created a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions. To make matters worse, the slow response means the levees are too far gone to save, and much of New Orleans is permanently abandoned to the floodwaters.
2006: The world is stunned by Sweden's public announcement of the world's first cloned human. It is suspected humans have been cloned before this point, but it is never proven.
The United Nations moves to Geneva, Switzerland.
The year of the Bird Flu. If the AIDs epidemic tearing across Africa, parts of Asia, and up into Russia, the newly-dubbed "Bird Flu" virus starts to ravage South East Asia. Not only does it kill millions of birds (both domestic and wild), but it jumps to humans, causing the death of untold hundreds of thousands. Some of the hardest hit areas are the regions still recovering the the 2004 tsunami.
2006-2007: With the quality of living for the average American declining since the mid-1990's, the middle class has essentially vanished. Resentment against the policies of the federal government (and the multinational corporations controlling it) has reached the breaking point. Extensive labor riots, with looting and the burning of vehicles and buildings widespread rock the United States. In many cases, the police, undermanned and underpaid are unable or unwilling to try and stop the rioters, leading to virtual anarchy in some cities. The multinational corporations request the federal government to act, leading to brutal suppression of the rioters and those in the lower classes of the economic strata though intervention of the National Guard and the military. This suppression quickly divides the populace into two groups, those who are willing to work for the multinationals and submit to their policies, and those that are eventually shipped off to prisons and Zero Zones (see below).
May, 2006. A rebellion by ethnic Tajiks in northwestern China is ferociously repressed. However, the conscripts of the People's Liberation Army, drawn mainly from rural areas hard hit by China's internal problems, desert by the thousands. Banditry and warlords plague the region, as local military commanders try to establish control of their own areas. Soon, similar uprisings occur in other autonomous regions.
September, 2006. In an attempt to shore up central authority, the Chinese government calls for a general mobilization to defend the People's Republic from "counterrevolutionary forces". They levy a war tax on the Special Economic Zones, which are the only part of the country who have avoided the economic downturn. Local officials refuse saying it would destroy their local economy, and units of the People's Liberation Army in those areas side with local government. To avoid a potentially bloody civil war, the government backs down, granting significant autonomy to regional committees. However, this proves unable to satisfy local separatists, and unrest continues in many areas.
2007: Atlantic City, plagued by plummeting property values, rising crime rates and bankrupted by costs arising from containing rising sea levels, is basically bribed by the casinos to pass a resolution dividing the waterfront from the rest of the city. The casinos then erect a series of fences topped with coils of razor wire. These fences are eventually built up into a wall rivialing the now long-gone Berlin Wall in scale and complexity. The rest of Atlantic City is declared a Zero Law Enforcement Zone, and left to its own devices. Within months, extensive rioting and raging fires have reduced Atlantic City to a smoking ruin.
Circa 2007-2009: The City of Los Angeles is wracked by extensive riots, as frustrated citizens rise up against city, state, and federal government institutions. The police are outgunned and outnumbered, and even the National Guard is unable to fully restore order. Martial Law is declared, and military troops occupy central Los Angeles. This serves to only heighten the problem, and soon the city is marked by terrorist attacks against occupying military units. The situation comes to a head in early 2009 when an unknown party detonates a small-scale nuclear device in downtown Los Angeles. Rescue efforts are virtually nonexistent, and what little attempt is made to help the surviors is halted by an earthquake which strikes the region soon after. By the end of 2009 central Los Angeles is in utter ruin.
2008-2016: Second American Civil War.
2008: The Second Civil War begins not with a bang, but a whimper. A military unit in Georgia is ordered to occupy and "pacify" downtown Los Angeles. The unit commander refuses, instead accusing the President of acting in a manner contrary to the Constitution of the United States and disgracing his office and the people of the United States of America. This announcement results in the commander being branded a traitor and other units are called in to suppress this action of rebellion. Unfortunately for the Federal government, it's not that easy. The arresting units end up in a firefight with the so-called traitors, and the battle quickly dissolves into a chaotic mess as military units start to fight among themselves. The governor of Georgia is quick to declare martial law and equally quick to call up all elements of the Georgia National Guard, asking them to defend the borders of their state from intrusion by "the corrupt and honorless lapdogs of an uncaring and ineffectual administration." A large percentage of Guard units respond.
Following the lead of the state of Georgia, a number of other states (mostly in the south) declare similar states of emergency. Washington's attempts to control the situation are hampered by the fact not everyone wants to follow the administration's orders. Amid massive military desertions, defections, and rebellion, Congress ends its session prematurely, and many members return to their home states. President Anderson cancels the upcoming elections and declares martial law. In Washington looters and curfew violators are shot on sight, with no verbal warnings issued.
Many multinational corporations attempt to save themselves by transferring their key personnel and assets to locations outside of the United States. A few decide to sit tight and ride out the storm. As unrest grows, a number of multinational installations, such as manufacturing centers, research centers, and company headquarters, are assaulted by rioters, leading to destruction of these facilities. In some of the assaults, the corporations utilize paramilitary forces to defend themselves, leading to a large number of casualties among both the rioters and corporate personnel.
2009: The fighting in Georgia spreads to other states as federal and state forces quickly find themselves at odds with both each other, and in many cases themselves. Many states try to secure their borders, seeking to keep out refugees fleeing from the conflicts. Gated communities, which had become more and more popular over the years as unrest grew, seal themselves off, and attempt to drive off anyone who isn't a resident. State and local governments try to seize what resources they can, in order to maintain some semblance of order. One major problem is interstate commerce has effectively ground to a halt and the inner cities are no longer receiving shipments of fresh food. Hungry mobs soon take to the streets, engaging in smash-and-grab tactics in order to find food.
With the United States embroiled in the midst of civil disorder, and open fighting only a matter of time as states scramble to secure resources and borders, California votes to end its ties with the largely ineffectual Federal Government. Declaring itself as the new Bear Flag Republic, state leaders basically adopt the original United States Constitution as their own, and by pointing to the ruin of Los Angeles are able to convince most of the populace that survival lies in separation, as otherwise California will be no more. For the most part, the populace, fed up with the actions of an obviously out-of-touch administration, agrees. By the time the Second Civil War has ended, the Bear Flag Republic has expanded to include half of Nevada, and the entirety of Baja California.
The Mormons, deciding that the end of the world is upon them, act to save their own. Utah seals its borders, ignoring or expelling non-Mormons, and only allowing fellow Mormons to enter. As the rest United States is too busy spiraling down into a shooting war, most people only marginally notice these actions. As the Second Civil War spreads in scale, Utah slowly expands its borders, promising a peaceful law-abiding community to those willing to accept Mormon rule. Within two years, Utah is replaced by the Kingdom of Latter Day Saints. By the end of the Second Civil War, the Kingdom has absorbed the southern half of Idaho, half of Nevada (splitting it with the Bear Flag Republic), and part of Arizona, extending its southern borders to the Gulf of California.
North and South Dakota, in cooperation with Federal military units, seals its borders, effectivly "seperating" from the rest of the United States. In doing so, it instantly becomes the world's third-largest nuclear power.
In the rest of the United States the Civil War breaks out in ernest, as the different states start to take up sides and attempt to quell the others in an effort to bring order. The war initially is pure chaos, as there is no set "enemy" and no clear objectives. In many cases military offensives seem to be a case of "tit-for-tat" in which a strike is launched in retaliation for a previous strike. Venting long pent-up frustrations, atrocities are common as both military and civilian units take their "revenge" on the people responsible for the current situation. Although Federal institutions are hit the hardest (the IRS building is gutted and burned, for example), state buildings, police stations, and the homes of the ultra-rich all fall victim to angry citizens.
In time, the fighting finally sorts itself out into a rough north-south orientation, vaugely following the lines of the first Civil War (one reason is due to many Southerners seeing the war as a chance to "do it over, and this time do it right"). However, not all the Southern states fought against Northern states and fighting occured between Northen states. In addition, fighting also occured within states—such as Montana, which had to do deal with various milita groups attempting to form their own nations within Montana.
Hong Kong, chafing under the rule of Mainland China, realizes China's current political turmoil is the perfect chance to escape from under the Communist thumb. They declare themselves to be a free and independent city-state. In order to secure their freedom, Hong Kong places little in the way of restrictions on companies willing to relocate. China attempts to retake the city, but their efforts are hampered by a lack of cooperation among military leaders, as well as those who see the loss and attempted retaking of Hong Kong as a sign of weakness to be exploited elsewhere in the country. China is unable to mount a serious offense, as most attempts are sidetracked by covert black operations teams sent in by multinational corporations and foreign governments.
2010: New York, faced with hordes of refugees, violent street gangs, and an overworked and undermanned police force, creates the New York Zero Law Enforcement Zone. Due to its size and scale, the New York Zero Law Enforcement Zone eventually evolves into the most famous Zero Zone in the world.
Faced with extensive fighting along the Southern states, and with individual units suffering from low moral and apathy, Federal forces pull out of the new Bear Flag Republic. Some units remain behind, fighting for the new Republic instead of against it.
2010-2020: World War III. In actually, this isn't so much as a single concentrated military conflict as a continuous series of short wars all around the world. With the realization the former Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, and the United States of America are no longer major factors world politics, while the European nations are mostly isolationist, many smaller nations decide to finally resolve old grievances once and for all.
The conflicts include:
[note events from original Kazei 5 sourcebook]
2011: Nanotechnological "cell factories" are perfected, allowing for the rapid growth "synthetic" life forms. The mass production of certain animals (such as chickens, shrimp, and fish) begins.
Rising sea levels flood some parts of Tokyo while subsidence and rising groundwater cause utilities such as power and water to fail over large areas. Displacement of the population drives property prices sky-high. The Jinsei Corporation acquires large areas of land affected by flooding very cheaply and negotiates tax benefits from city government in exchange for flood control. It then builds a self-contained complex containing its own utilities, accommodations for workers, business facilities, and shops. Unaffected by the flooding and largely independent of the city, it is essentially a corporate city: the first arcology. Other corporations in cities threatened by flooding rapidly follow suit.
2013: With the last Federal troops gone, and the Kingdom of Latter Day Saints serving as a buffer, the Bear Flag Republic announces full independence.
2014: With labor problems reaching an all-time high, several biotechnology firms introduce the first replicated humans. These early synthetic humans are hairless, sexless humanoids used mainly for manual labor.
2015: In an effort to follow Quebec's lead, Nunavut declares itself a free and separate nation. As Canada is only just beginning to regain its financial footing, this event is allowed to occur unchallenged. However, Nunavut never actually achieves full economic independence and remains a client state of Canada and eventually United North America.
2016: Introduction of the first cyberdroids. They are military models, and used extensively for border defense and patrol.
2017: Exhausted and worn out, the former armies of the United States of America finally stop shooting at each other. The death toll has been catastrophic, and much of the country is in ruins.
Trying to pick up the pieces, the Southern states decide that in order to avoid the mistakes of the past, they will band together and form a Confederacy, with strong individual states, and a weak central government, officially forming the Confederated States of America. The Confederated government's main duties are to see to the national defense and to handle relations with foreign powers. The Confederacy runs into trouble almost instantly, as Texas decides its had enough of being dependent on others, and along with Oklahoma, leaves the Confederation before it is even formed, the two states merging to form the Republic of Texas.
2018: Realizing that the events of the past decade has left their countries in a shambles, what is left of Canada and the United States combine to form a new nation: United North America.
The large number of wounded and maimed survivors of the Second Civil War become the perfect test subjects for those corporations who make cybernetic and biological implants. Cybernetics (i.e. cyberware) becomes common place, and in many areas commonly accepted.
2019: The next models of synthetic humans arrive. They come in both sexes, have hair, and are designed with a wider range of emotional responses. These new model synthetics are incredibly popular, especially as escorts and assistants to corporate executives.
Experimentation begins with full-body (i.e. "full conversion") cyborgs. Using technology developed initially for cyberdroids mixed with stimulus feedback systems, the first true cyborgs are large, heavy, slow, and plagued with crippling insanity's. Research continues, however, as the advantages of a human mind in a cyberdroid body are obvious.
2021: Australia, seeking to stem the tide of replicants being brought into the country for use as unpaid laborers, passes a law stating replicants are to be accorded all the same rights and privileges as natural born humans. Initially, this means all replicants brought into the country are required to have work visas, must be paid a fair wage, and this wage can and will be taxed. Eventually, this law is interpreted to mean replicants grown in Australia are to be considered Australian citizens, and those who escape to Australia can ask for asylum and citizenship.
2022: A Jinsei psychokinetic research station in Chiba, Japan vanishes in a titanic explosion, leaving little more than a crater. No explanation for the event is found or given. Popular speculation places the blame on an out of control esper activation. Rumor states Ran was responsible.
2023: A series of specially designed cyberdroids land on the moon and begin excavating what will eventually become the International Lunar Station.
2026: Contruction begins on Poseidon Station.
2039: Kazei 5 PBEM Phase II
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