World History

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1996

  • The Republican Revolution is in full swing in the United States, and similar sentiment spreads to other nations around the world.
  • Full-bore deregulation leads to a quickly widening gap between the haves and have-nots, as well as accelerated decay of the environment.
  • The Internet expands dramatically, despite serious censorship controls imposed by law. One out of two homes has some form of access by the end of the year.

1997

  • The US becomes involved in numerous wars around the world, first in Angola, then the Phillipines, then the Third Serbian War.
  • In September US forces invade and annex Mexico, citing "terrorist government threat" as the reason.
  • CBS News does an expose on alien bodies warehoused in the infamous Hangar 18. Two days later CBS is acquired by Westinghouse, and the news division is dissolved. By the end of the year the other three major networks have also dissolved their news crews.
  • Widespread US use of advanced missile systems violates the Anti-Ballistic-Missile treaty. Russia and China protest and withdraw from nuclear weapon limitation treaties, prompting a new arms race that rivals that of the Cold War.

1998

  • The first human clone, "Leona", is sucessfully created by Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals. Over strong government protests, the Lilly corporation begins selling clone tech as a commercial product.
  • A world-wide trend towards rising temperatures and falling precipitation levels leads to massively wide-spread drought for the third year. As crops fail yet again, many governments introduce rationing as an emergency measure.
  • Three companies develop successful oil-based food products.

1999

  • The Food Riots. Non-incorporated rural land and highways are declared neutral territory by the beleagured US government, and quickly become lawless wastelands. Displaced people flood major cities across the country; overpopulation rapidly becomes a serious problem.
  • Decorative skin-grafts become an overnight sensation with bored upper-class teens looking for a thrill.
  • As New Year's approaches, the tabloids are filled with stories of religious cults committing mass suicides, terrorist bombings hit almost all major US cities, and end-of-the-world paranoia reaches a fever pitch.
  • A terrorist bomb knocks over the Washington Monument in DC, killing a bus full of touring schoolchildren.
  • Hysteria over the approaching millenium and continued terrorist attacks prompt the US government to declare martial law.
  • With military forces stretched thin from peacekeeping duties at home, the US withdraws from NATO. Corporate sponsors step in to provide support for Europe.

2000

  • US military forces come into direct conflict with combined armed forces of General Motors and Westinghouse-Microsoft over a prisoner extradition squabble. The underfunded US military is handily trounced, establishing corporate rule as the norm in America and around the world.
  • Geopolitics are in chaos as third-world countries default on their World Bank loans and plummet the world economy into destruction.
  • Meanwhile, with corporate funding, the Internet (now simply called the Net or the Matrix) grows exponentially, with almost everyone having some access to it through public dataterminals or cheap plug-in boxes.
  • The United Nations dissolves and is replaced by dozens of regional organizations in Asia, the Middle East, the South Pacific, and Central America.
  • The Euro crashes and several Asian markets refuse to redeem bonds purchased with the defunct currency. Cracks form in the European Union.

2001

  • Westinghouse-Microsoft develops the world's first Digital Neural Interface, delivering a Matrix product which allows direct immersion in the virtual reality via DNI.
  • A series of other DNI-based cyberware products are introduced, and are quickly adopted by the military and by the professional gangs which rule the rural areas of much of the once-civilized world.
  • The US government legalizes drugs and pornography. No one seems to take much notice
  • Cross-Marion Aerospace uses new advances in jet engine technology to create the first aerodyne. Assault AV's are deployed for riot control almost before the first luxury and civil transport models appear in sales lots.
  • Epoch Electronics emerges as the leading pioneer in cyberdeck and DNI chip technology.

2002

  • John Sculley's clone, owner and CEO of Coca-Cola, is elected president in the first telection, an election done entirely via the Matrix.
  • "Chainsaw Fuck" becomes a worldwide sports sensation, in which contestants compete naked in a gladiator ring with chainsaws.
  • Tri-V (holographic television) replaces HDTV as the standard in most areas of the Americas and Europe.
  • Utah secedes from the union and declares itself a Mormon theocracy.
  • The increasingly bankrupt Russian government begins limited sales of "below weapons grade" plutonium in a series of state-sponsored auctions.
  • A wave of post-millenial religious fanaticism seizes the globe. The Church of Infinite Light and a Tri-V preacher named Reverend Jim inspire millions of devout revivalists.

2004

  • The Heaven Star orbital base finishes construction; an estimated 3,000 people begin living completely in orbit. Later this year the base's corporate backers declare it an independent neutral nation.
  • Sanguinius Technologies is formed by a partnership of Japanese and Taiwanese electronics firms.
  • A group of computer software engineers, after visiting Sumerian ruins in southern Iraq, forms the Enkian Temple digital cult.

2005

  • Zero Day. A terrorist atomic bomb detonates in New York City, destroying the city and everything in a 30-mile radius, killing an estimated 11 million people in minutes.
  • Long-forgotten military response systems are triggered, sending a large number of remaining missiles skyward towards Russia and China. Some get through and trigger similar systems, causing counterattacks.
  • When the smoke clears, 40% of the world's population is dead or dying and 60% of the arable land is irradiated.
  • Opportunistic factions in the Syrian and Egyptian military invade Israel during the chaos. The ensuing fighting lasts the entire year until troops on all sides begin dying from starvation and radiation poisoning.
  • India and Pakistan exchange over a dozen waves of tactical nuclear weapons. No government leaders are left alive to settle disputes about who fired the first salvo.
  • South and Central America, Australia, Northern Japan, and Central Africa are the only major regions of the globe not cratered by massive nuclear strikes.

2006

  • Most surviving cities declare themselves as independent city-states, some with corporate backing.
  • One city in particular, San Diego, California, re-dubs itself "New Carthage" and, with combined corporate funds, rebuilds from the riots to become a center of culture and commerce.
  • Cities are reconstructed by the corporate elite as safe havens for the privileged and their families. Refugees are brought in as laborers. Desperate squatters form camps outside city walls that extend for miles and are visible from orbit.
  • Nuclear winter begins.

2008

  • 60% of the Matrix is back online thanks to new technology from Westinghouse-Microsoft.
  • A combined board of corporate CEOs forms the World Safety Union, displacing federal governments in most countries.
  • The remains of the US government and military hole up in Colorado and Wyoming, still claiming legitimacy.
  • New Carthage builds a wall around the city and begins screening of immigrants.
  • InterOrbital Operations, Incorporated forms from a group of national telecom companies. Its satellite network becomes instrumental in rebuilding Matrix backbones.
  • Freelance mercenary armies for hire become the de facto method of conducting warfare between city-states, corporations, and crime syndicates.
  • Gothix Industries releases its first line of ICE and counter-ICE software as corporations attempt to control unauthorized traffic in cyberspace.

2010

  • The first mutants from the War begin appearing, triggering a violent backlash in the city-states. Most cities adopt eugenics policies to prevent mutants from spreading through the populace. New Carthage follows suit.
  • The Desert Rangers form, a spontaneous survivalist movement based in southern California on the site of an old federal prison, with the aim of starting over and creating their own order in the desert.
  • Westinghouse-Microsoft spins off its matrix/wireless division as a new corporation: Matrix International.
  • World Safety Union creates the Turing Registry to track the creation and growth of Artificially Intelligent (AI) programs on the Matrix.
  • Humans First! is formed as a grassroots army committed to the eradication of mutants and cyborgs.
  • Eugenics surveys estimate that, since Zero Day, the human population worldwide has been depleted by approximately 65%. Widespread starvation continues as nuclear winter begins to lift.

2015

  • Contact with the orbital base is re-established; shuttle flights from New Carthage begin a growing commerce with the base.
  • Lunar mining facilities at Tycho Under are completed. Construction begins on the L5 Space Habitat. Rising Storm Industries is appointed as the habitat's corporate sponsor by the World Safety Union.
  • The Japanese Parliament recognizes the Yakuza as a legitimate corporation. Amidst dwindling federal resources and mass starvation, Yakuza oversight is granted to 60% of the prefectures around Tokyo and Yokohama.
  • Blue skies return to Earth, but vast areas of the continents remain irradiated. The glow at night is visible from colonies in orbit.

2018

  • The NAS-plague sweeps the world, killing off 10% of the survivors of the War. A vaccination is developed by Matsushita Inc. and distributed worldwide, but isolated outbreaks continue.
  • Plague paranoia virtually shuts down intercity commerce, and most city-states become walled camps.
  • Public cloning is introduced by governments and corporations as an aid to rebuild dwindling populations.

2020

  • In the wake of the plague, commerce begins to reemerge.
  • Industry, largely fueled by the demand for cheap foodstuffs and consumer goods, thrives as corporations develop technologies for alternate power sources and raw materials.
  • The world begins to be reborn.
  • A sister colony, L4, is begun in a companion orbit near the L5 Orbital Habitat. InterOrbital Operations, Incorporated is named corporate sponsor by the World Safety Union.

2025

  • L5 Space Habitat is completed and becomes home to an estimated 10,000 citizens in orbit.
  • Neo-Communist Kombinat Party emerges from massive civil wars in Russia as the victorious power. Capitalism is spurned as many Russian states return to Soviet ways and dreams of recapturing past superpower status.

2026

  • A RSI mining laser destroys The Black Obsidian's corporate headquarters in New Carthage, ending a large-scale corporate war that some historians dub "World War 3.5".
  • A massive explosion aboard the L5 Space Habitat kills thousands and renders the station uninhabitable. Approaching salvage and rescue teams are killed by the station's remaining automatic defense systems.

2027

  • RSI Orbital strike teams are assembled by an AI aboard the ruins of L5 that calls itself "SETT".
  • RSI invades New Carthage under SETT's command. Thousands are killed or imprisoned in the bitter fighting that follows. Underground freedom fighters begin limited strikes against the occupation forces.
  • As resources and supplies run low, RSI's forces are withdrawn from New Carthage. Internal power struggles throw RSI and SETT into chaos.
  • Turing Registry's powers are broadened to prevent and punish destructive incidents like SETT's invasion of New Carthage.

2028

  • The New Carthage Security Patrol is created and funded by the FUCHI Corporation. The last remnants of the city's old municipal police department are reorganized and given jurisdiction over only the lawless western half of the city, as the New Carthage Police Department.
  • Control of the NCSP would later be sold to a corporate oversight committee formed from the most powerful corporations in New Carthage.
  • InterOrbital forces defeat Rising Storm Industries in a pitched battle to control strategic launch sites in the South Pacific.
  • Rodin Technologies develops the Edgecrusher expert system. Edgecrusher eventually escapes Rodin's control and merges with Grephand, an AI born in the matrix scripts of a backroom hacker.

2029

  • The rogue AI "Edgecrusher" is isolated and forced to stand trial before the Turing Commission.
  • A group of clone service provider companies, worried at the proliferation of tainted DNA, hires InterOrbital to find and "recall" defective clones.
  • RSI Gun Platform 738 returns to New Carthage after 2 years of wandering the Wastes on autopilot. The platform is a relic from the Rising Storm Industries occupation of New Carthage: its AI-driven weapons systems cause widespread destruction until neutralized by a group of IO SECteam operatives.
  • Massive earthquakes destroy most of the ruins west of New Carthage. One of the aftershocks opens up passages into the underground remnants of old San Diego, which have been buried since the last series of quakes in 2009.

2030

  • After years of delays, the L4 Orbital Habitat is completed and opens as a major offworld vacation resort.
  • InterOrbital move their headquarters to the new habitat.

2031

  • RSI have a new board of directors appointed, in an attempt to repair their shattered public image.
  • InterOrbital acquire Sanguinius Technologies. The child corporation is subsequently renamed Sanguinius Arms to reflect their area of specialisation.

2032

  • Civilian infrastructure continues to be improved. Across the world cities begin to expand beyond their walls again, in an attempt to ease overcrowding.
  • In the Middle East, Meht-Neuport finish construction of the aggregation platform "God's Legacy", a vast floating factory city. It becomes their new corporate headquarters; their previous land facilities are remotely destroyed to prevent use by rival corporations.

2033

  • A massive earthquake strikes Japan, destroying vast amounts of NeoTokyo's outskirt residential areas. The core corporate buildings survive unscathed thanks to advances in building technology. Reconstruction begins by a combination of automated construction vehicles and prototype nanotechnology.

2034

  • Nanotechnology reconstruction in NeoTokyo is put on hold for unknown reasons. Construction is finished by traditional machine and man power.

2035

  • RSI officially declared bankrupt. Proceedings begin to dismantle the corporation.
  • Tensions between Gunshin Technologies and Sanguinius Arms rise they squabble over RSI's remains.

2037

  • The fighting between Gunshin and Sanguinius Arms come to a head, with numerous clashes reported around the Asian Pacific Rim and in South America.

2042

  • Meht-Neuport's third aggregation platform "Maker's Gift" enters New Carthage territorial waters as part of a resupply operation. Security contracts soar as local corporations take precautions.
  • Anarchist activity in New Carthage prompts re-evaluation of corporate sector security.

2043

  • Inter-corporate tensions remain high, as Meht-Neuport's aggregation platform shows no indication of leaving New Carthage waters.
  • Scattered religious wars break out in North Africa and the Middle East. The fighting is vicious, and early estimates expect that it will continue for many years. Corporate arms dealers descend on the area like vultures.

2048

The present day.