Global oil crisis worsens. Prices hit all-time record highs for the seventh straight year in most industrial nations. The increased oil prices and food shortages hit struggling nations first. Famine and malnutrition rise.
• Spartus Space Group launches the first commercial space liner into low orbit.
• Corporate globalization marches on in the face of the global War on Terror. In order to accommodate security concerns, more, and more military contractors and so- called Crisis Management Teams deploy around the world to safeguard corporate interests.
Hurricane Nicole ravages southern Florida. Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center suffer massive damage. NASA sees its funds cut. A scaled-back space pro- gram much more dependent upon partnerships with private industry emerges.
• Looking to save billions via clever tax shelters, more, and more American companies relocate to the Bahamas, Costa Rica and the Virgin Islands.
Most of the world’s major telecommunication and IT interest groups commit billions of American dollars to fund GENIE, a system of communication satellites designed to create a unified worldwide wireless network.
• South Korean firms engage in genetic experimentation, splicing animal genes to human patients in an effort to find therapeutic regimes to treat human genetic defects. Early tests look to have military applications as well.
• Freedom fighters, backed by the United States topple the leftist government in Ecuador, touching off a regional war involving Peru, Venezuela, and Colombia.
• At the request of the United Nations, Brazilian, and Argentinean peacekeeping troops deploy to the war zone to quell the violence.
In Moscow, the G13 Summit ends with no progress on weaning the world away from its dependence on oil. A rocket attack by the Chechen anarchist group Черный Медведь (Black Bear) cuts the proceedings short.
• Military contractors in the employ of the Hanscomb Food Group engage in a fire fight with Venezuelan regulars at a factory farm outside of Puerto Ayacucho. The soldiers commandeer the company’s cattle to feed the starving Venezuelan people cut off from food supplies by Columbia.
The first mass-market interface device using GENIE appears on the market. “The Bottle,” a handheld device allowing for full spectrum communication and internet access, takes the market by storm, displacing PDAs, cell phones, HD graphics, and go-anywhere technology.
Messianic eco-terrorist group, NOAH, unleashes an oil- eating bacterium, “Glutton,” which swiftly devours a sizable portion of the world’s oil reserve, especially in Saudi Arabia. The event triggers a global economic depression.
• The South Korean pharmaceutical company 건강 기 업 (Health Corp) brings the first successfully cloned human embryo to term, outraging many of those who hold that life begins at conception. The child, Jian One, is raised in the research center outside Seoul until the Chinese Peninsula Campaign of 2024, at which point he disappears from history.
• MIT researchers Doctors Kwame Featherstone, David Braun, and Anima Sinjani unveil the first prototype Material Assembler (MA).
• China formally annexes Taiwan. Some democratic watchdog organizations claim the Chinese rigged the plebiscite that legitimized the nation’s takeover of the island, though few pay any attention as the global depression rages on.
Tired of regular incursions into their land by corporate and government-backed militias, Kenya and Ethiopia declare war on Sudan, with Chad quickly following suit. China deploys troops to safeguard their Sudanese oil supplies.
• In the wake of an economic collapse, a popular revolution led by a council of Islamic Clerics deposes the Saudi Royal family. Those surviving Saudi loyalists who are able to do so emigrate to the West.
South American War ends with the Treaty of Buenos Aires. Brazil maintains a military presence in each nation within the conflict zone.
• Sentinel Rock Corporation unveils prototype personal power suits (PPS), military-grade power armor.
• Hanscomb Food Group patents Bos NeoTaurus; cloned cow meat.
“The Year of the Deluge” ushers in the first of nearly a decade’s worth of catastrophic storms that overwhelm levees in many coastal communities. Some refugees, rather than retreating inland, choose to take to the sea instead.
• The first of the rovers appear on the high seas across the world.
• Despite Chinese objections, the treaty of Salzburg formally ends the Korean civil war, more than seven decades after it began. The two Koreas reunite and the industrialized south begins a massive program of infrastructure and food support for the collapsed north.
China’s Communist Party is deposed by its own bureaucratic apparatus. The New Chinese Mandarinate came to power and immediately imposed a bureaucratic meritocracy.
• The Bahamas, The Cayman Islands, Barbados, and the U.S. Virgin Islands sign a landmark economic treaty, standardizing their roles as tax havens in defiance of the UN and World Bank. The Caribbean Economic League is born.
• Criminal Triad societies flee mainland China, spreading to other population centers around the world.
• Census figures show a worldwide increase in urban populations while rural areas report a steep decline. Increasingly economic and political power resides in the largest cities. The “Age of City States” begins, as more and more cities become powers unto themselves
More and more megacongloms construct compounds to house their staff for matters of security, safety, and team building (and, some say, control).
Futurist Australian billionaire eccentric Niles Auburn lays claim to the North Pacific gyre trash heap, an expanse of plastic contaminated ocean the size of Alaska. Niles hires an army of contractors to terraform the waste into several floating biospheres, a lengthy process which takes nearly a decade to complete. This marks the beginning of Mu, the world’s largest free-floating ocean habitat.
Amazon Wars in South America and Central Africa see the first use of gene-spliced, bio-augmented warriors. Over the next few years, similar genetically modified super soldiers are used throughout Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
• In the face of growing criticism, the Caribbean Economic League sues for membership within the EU or US.
Citing violations of its treaty obligations to the now vanished North Korea and the dangers posed by suspected bio-weapons manufacturing facilities, China overruns the entire Korean peninsula in less than two weeks of fighting. Foreign media observers, pointing out the internal tension caused by the surplus of males in the Chinese population because of its one-child policy, term it the “Bachelor War.” In the years that follow, China follows up their Peninsula Campaign with a series of successful conflicts, all of which display the swiftness of their advance and the overwhelming success of their objectives.
• Evangelicalism grows in popularity throughout South America. Brazil becomes a theocratic state and, with Argentina, organizes the Liga del Apostle (Apostle League), a block of Evangelical-leaning nations forming the bulk of South America.
• Matrix of War is released for Game Station Pro. The ground breaking Massively Multiplayer Online Role- playing Game (MMORPG) features stunning real time 3D graphics in a complete VR environment.
• Headframes that allow the user to interact with the VR world with both sight and sound become increasingly common as companies start hyperlinking more and more items for advertising purposes.
A team of Viennese scientists led by Dr. Nicolette Thallbren announce the creation of the first so-called brain box, a computer with organic and cybernetic components.
• The Caribbean Economic League (CEL) is formally granted statehood. Nicknamed “Corporate America,” the CEL reinvigorates the US economy, at the same time widening the gap between the super wealthy and a rapidly disappearing middle-class.
• US President Jonathan J. Davis names Iran, Pakistan, Syria, and Venezuela as the “Primary Axis of Evil.” Forty other nations constitute the world’s “secondary evils,” including France, which President Davis describes as “a morally bankrupt and Islamist nation,” and Vatican City under the leadership of Pope Callixtus IV the Moderate, which the President states is becoming “increasingly radicalized” under the first Mexican Pope. Additionally, the president dubs Mandarin China an “Evil Pagan Empire.”
Due to the increasing rise in sea levels brought about by global warming, many coastal regions are abandoned. New York and neighboring New Jersey expand their levee systems in hopes of staving off the rising waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
• Cosmetic gene-splicing grows in popularity. A neko culture emerges among young adults, starting in South America and spreading to Japan, the U.S., Europe and Oceania.
Rio de Janeiro is flattened by a tsunami, though the statue of Christ the Redeemer miraculously survives intact. Brazil’s leaders vow to rebuild their most populous city, but do so further back from the rising ocean, demolishing the hillside favelas (shantytowns) around the city that managed to weather the storm.
• An emergent AI known as “Griefer” develops sponta- neously on the incredibly popular MMORPG Matrix of War, adopting purposefully twinkish tactics until it is reprogrammed.
• At France’s request, Algiers, and Morocco are admitted into the European Union as full members.
On May 20th, a previously unknown terrorist group, The Way to Palestine, attempts to destroy Jerusalem with a smuggled “dirty” nuclear device. The comparatively weak bomb spreads radioactive debris throughout the city, rendering por- tions of it uninhabitable and condemning tens of thousands to slow, lingering deaths. In retaliation, a faction within the Israeli Defense Force loyal to the new hard-line Lehi Party sets off a much larger dirty bomb over the Al-Masjid al-Harām (The Grand Mosque) in Mecca, killing thousands in the initial blast and exposing over a million and a half of its residents to radioactive material, making the holy city hostile to human life for at least a thousand years. Ronin linked to the Alat Industrial Group thwart a similar attack on the city of Medina.
• May 23rd, Israeli-Arab Nuclear War begans. A limited nuclear exchange between Iran, Israel, and Pakistan results in the destruction of much of the Fertile Crescent. Most of Israel is destroyed in addition to cities through- out Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt. The majority of Israel’s population flee the Holy Land. Likewise, most of their neighbors leave the region.
• The use of nuclear weapons prompts India to declare war on Pakistan. The resulting action triggers a second nuclear exchange on the Indian subcontinent days later.
• In the span of twenty-four hours nearly half a billion lives are lost, marking the beginning of The Death.
In the second year of The Death, global population declines for the first time in centuries in the wake of massive crop failures. The cities hit hardest by fallout, rising water levels, and a lack of clean drinking water become ghost towns, many of which are never reclaimed. Famine, disease, and civil strife are common in all quarters of the globe. Order breaks down.
• In a daring move, China captures much of Asian Russia, cutting off the western heart of the nation from its oil supplies in the Far East. Threatened with collapse, the
Russian government quickly joins the EU. The move is seen by many as the only thing halting the Mandarinate’s advance.
• More and more unlicensed and unregulated medical practitioners begin to work in the field. The term “street doc” gains acceptance.
The Japanese military stages a coup d’état in the face of Chinese expansionism. The nation institutes a provisional government termed the “Techno Shogunate.” General Hiro Minotoro is named the military head of government. He reorganizes the Diet, the former Japanese parliament, into a civilian advisory panel with no real authority.
• New Orleans is officially abandoned by the U.S. when it becomes apparent sea walls are no longer protecting the city from the ocean. Inundated by flooding, Southern Florida becomes little more than a collection of small islands.. The rest is claimed by rising water levels. Other lowland regions such as the Netherlands, central England, Denmark, and much of the U.S. east coast, including New York, begin preparations for mass evacuations.
Researchers in several different countries violate the patents on the latest generation of Matter Assemblers and cloning technology in hopes of finding a new way to make food. A number of factories around the globe are retrofitted to produce “food paste,” a foul tasting but nourishing pudding- like substance. Though too late to offer much help during The Death, these first crude factories nevertheless point the way to the development of nanotech in the years to come.
• Pope Callixtus IV is assassinated by a radical evangeli- cal splinter group. Though some believed the CIA was involved, this is never proven.
The U.N. moves from what is left of New York to Geneva.
• The New York Stock Exchange relocates to Chicago.
• China announces plans to land a ship on Mars within
ten years. The Eurasian Union and Brazil follow suit, announcing similar goals. The USA, in a bid to outshine its neighboring rivals, also declares its intention to journey to Mars, but swiftly issues a clarification, deciding to travel to the Moon instead.
The foundation set up to administer the long-obsolete GENIE satellite network announces the development of the STRAP, a somewhat invasive surgically implanted crown of electrodes allowing its recipients to access technology through a direct sensory interface. Initially, however, the expense and the newness of the technology keeps most people using the wireless Headframe.
In the wake of their respective governments’ uncoordinated response to The Death, voters in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and several other major European nation states cede considerable authority to the EU as a whole. The referendum endorses a thirteen-year plan for full integration of the continent. Russia and her former western satellite nations, as well as a pair of North African nations, are also admitted into a Greater Eurasian Union. Other countries, while not taking part in the initial balloting, soon feel pressure by their own citizens to join the movement.
People around the world celebrate “The Good Year,” marked by the return of normal climate patterns as the final visible effects of The Death begin to end. The first true sum- mer in nearly a decade yields a bumper crop. The old North American holiday of Thanksgiving is adopted worldwide, albeit using dates best suited to the harvest cycle of each country.
• By Presidential decree, New York City and New Jersey are officially abandoned. Many of the populace stubbornly resist forced relocation. Accusations of reverse
gerrymandering continue for years after the move. • The first orbital habitats are constructed.
Revelations of Chinese attempts to breed a superior citizen engender widespread criticism both inside and outside the country. Images of the “broken children,” damaged by botched genetic treatments, draw nearly universal condemnation.
• In an effort to prevent a repeat of calamities like The Death, the major powers, with the exception of China and the Central African Union, sign the Treaty of New Singapore. This document approves the creation and funding of an independent global agency called International Surveillance, Investigation, and Monitoring Agency (ISIMA), dubbed Stopwatch due to its symbol, a clock set at five minutes to midnight. Many other nations of the world also accept its guiding principles. Taking custody of its own network of killer satellites and developing paramilitary, medical, and intelligence branches, Stopwatch asserts and enforces its global right to intervene to protect humanity from its own worse instincts.
An improved version of the STRAP goes into wider circulation. At first adopted primarily by police and others needing the enhanced and reliable access to the Mediaweb, the most technically savvy portions of the general population begin to upgrade as well.
• The Chinese Mandarinate grants Korea limited autonomy. • The United States establishes New D.C.; the first permanent Lunar colony.
Kwame Featherstone resurfaces in Madrid, unveiling a secret project to make the Matter Assembly food factories of the previous decade smaller and more versatile. He claims the food the factories produce are tastier and more nutritious, and even goes so far as to predict matter assemblies will render hunger and want a thing of the past.
• Military contractors become increasingly more reliant on cybernetic implants to get wounded or maimed combatants back into the field. More and more specialized cyborgs, hybrids, and powered armor soldiers see action in lawless regions.
A group calling itself Watchdog captures General Anneal Sharif, the last known living person with any sort of direct responsibility to provoking The Death. The members of Watchdog try Anneal, find him guilty, and execute him on the Mediaweb before a merciless world audience.
• Featherstone Industries strikes a landmark deal with several corporations in a myriad of different sectors licensing nanomachine rights.
• Switzerland abandons its policy of neutrality and joins the EU.
Dr. Elyse Shu of Pyongyang creates Wook, the first simulacrum. Produced by merging cloning technology with the organic computing of the so-called “brain boxes” and then using accelerated VR, Wook (though only six months old) experiences more than a decade worth of virtual instruction prior to his decantation. Hailed as great advance for humanity by some and the first step to the creation of a slave race by others, Wook’s arrival ignites a great debate around the world over the nature of humanity and sentience.
• The U.N. celebrates its tenth year following its relocation/ evacuation from New York to Geneva with the unveiling of an impressive new headquarters. At the same time it also passes The Death Amnesty, urging countries of the world to forgive any and all crimes committed during The Death by those simply trying to survive.
• On April 13, China successfully lands on Mars. Teams from Eurasia and Brazil arrive later that year. The first man on Mars is Fong Wei of China.
Ajax, the first Artificial Intelligence to pass the Turing 2 test, suffers a catastrophic failure less than two hours after- ward. Technicians investigating the debacle disagreed over exactly what happened. Some maintain that Ajax contrived to engineer its own destruction, while others simply call it an unfortunate technical glitch.
• Cereus Media’s “Law and Order and Justice” web channel LOJ3 adds Death Row to their reality show line-up, featuring the last weeks of a group of death row inmates chosen from all over the world. At the end, each inmate is publicly executed in the manner prescribed by his or her region of origin. Methods include electrocution, firing squad, lethal injection, gassing, hanging, stoning, and crucifixion. The show was so popular it runs for 22 seasons, spawning a host of imitators and remains in syndication to this day. A spin-off with nothing but executions also proves popular.
• NASA develops the VX750Kw Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASMIR for short) for use on manned missions to Mars.
The first documented case of Flash addiction brings the issue of VR addiction to the forefront of public attention. The notion that someone can use a STRAP to receive a coded data pulse that generates an intensely pleasurable sensation intrigues some while outraging the sensibilities of many others.
A 3-month truckers’ strike causes food riots in New York.
A Seretech truck hauling infectious medical wastes on Staten Island, is attacked by a mob in the mistaken belief that it carries food. Seretech security forces use lethal force to protect it. 20 Seretech employees and 200 rioters are killed.
The Supreme Court’s Seretech Decision upholds Seretech’s actions as responsible for saving thousands of lives, rather than costing hundreds.
An organization calling itself the Human Foundation successfully sues for custody of Wook in the EU when his creators take him on a world tour. Calling it a theft of priceless technology, Brazil threatens Eurasia with trade sanctions, only backing down after receiving reparations for the insult. To pre- vent similar sentiments from interfering with the development of the bioform industry, most companies decide to limit both the intelligence and life spans of their simulacra.
The Shiawase court decision establishes extraterritoriality for megacorps when a radical eco-group called TerraFirst! attacked a Shiawase nuclear power plant. Though the attack was repelled, the corporation used the incident to convince the Supreme Court that major multinational corporations need the ability to protect themselves. To this end, the Supreme Court granted major companies extraterritoriality. (TerraFirst! manages later to acquire evidence that the attack was in fact a setup with the intent to force the courts into granting sovereignty. However, before the group can act on said information, their headquarters are destroyed and key members killed in what is considered to be one of the first shadowruns.)
The Eurasian Union completes the consolidation of its former member states with one final referendum. With only nominal authority left in their hands, these regions lose virtu- ally all political influence, becoming focused exclusively upon cultural and heritage issues instead.
• Japan signs a landmark Bio Treaty with Brazil to begin production of simulacrums to replace much of the aged Japanese workforce and military.
Dr. Kayin Courts of the University of Timbuktu wins the Nobel Prize in Linguistics for her development of the Real-Time Translator at age 22.
• Simulacrums begin displacing large numbers of service and industrial workers around the world and off-planet.
Nuclear meltdown at Dungeness in Kent (England) creates a localized irradiated zone.
The ARC project unveils an ambitious plan to restore many of the species lost during The Death. Forging an almost unprecedented alliance with isolationist Central African Union, the ARC project makes the return of elephants one of its top priorities. Within seven years, the first elephants born in nearly two decades herald the start of the long process of restoring the world to its former state. Unfortunately, similar efforts to recreate extinct species do not always turn out as expected.
A major earthquake hits New York City on 12 August, killing 200,000 and causing 200 billion in damage. It will take 40 years to rebuild.
Jim “Dandy” O’Rourke, a Mafioso from Las Vegas, is found guilty of feeding the corpses of his enemies and victims into his own personal nanomachine. Featherstone Industries moves swiftly to deal with the PR damage by modifying their latest model to reject, and then report, organic material with large amounts of human DNA fed into it.
Saboteurs representing Humans for Humans blow up a simulacrum bio-foundry in Seattle, Washington. Other acts of violence directed against simulacrums reveal the growing frustration of humans made redundant by artificial labor.
Dr. Courts improves the STRAP, making it more inte- grated, less invasive, more powerful and easier to upgrade. The new device becomes known as the TAP for its three primary pieces of hardware: the biosynthetic Tendrils that encompass the user’s brain, the subcutaneous Access chip inserted at the base of the skull and the subcutaneous Processing device. One million people worldwide receive the injection during the first year alone.
• “The Days of Shame,” a coordinated worldwide wave of protest designed to attract attention to the plight of hybrids, draws the ire of several governments. Hybrid activists throughout South America and the Chinese Mandarinate are labeled subversives and sentenced to lengthy prison terms. In Bogotá, nearly one hundred police and an undisclosed number of hybrids die during a vicious three-day clash that paralyzes much of the city.
Anti-simulacrum politician and moralist Karl Guttsdun of Prague was caught in a compromising position with a leisure model. Disgraced, Guttsdun was forced to resign. A movement to ban leisure models as a danger to public morals fails when journalists reported the backers of the initiative included investors in a chain of human-only brothels.
VENTURE, the AI tasked with regulating transportation in London, suffers a technical glitch leading to the deaths of more than three hundred people. The fact that the death toll would be much, much higher were it not for the manual over- ride switch which enables human and simulacrum drivers to take back control of their vehicles ends all efforts to eliminate that feature. Some conspiracy theorists asserte the AI suf- fered sabotage for the exact purpose of keeping overrides in personal vehicles.
• Only one-twelfth of United States electorate actually turn out to vote in presidential elections. Reverend Governor Webber of Oklahoma is elected on the slogan of “Our Flag, Our God, Our Bomb.” He promises a return to Bible Values and State’s Sovereignty and an end to
• The United States establishes a colony on Mars.
Incarcerated criminals with life sentences or death sentences are given the opportunity to work on the red planet as indentured servants in exchange for full pardons at the end of their term of service. Simulacrum labor is also used extensively.
After fierce debate, the EU formally ban simulacrum slave labor and recognizes the rights of sentient artificial life forms, including AIs.
The Peeper Scandal brings renewed focus upon the extent to which governments monitor their populations with the revelation that certain officials used their privileged access to spy upon celebrities. The Cloisters, an organization devoted to protecting the privacy of the public by any means necessary, makes their debut by exposing the scandal.
North American Water War begins between Great Lakes States and States belonging to the “Coalition of the willing.”
• US President Webber suspends elections, dissolves Congress and orders the arrest of political dissenters.
• The opposition forms a loose confederation. The name sticks on the matrix, though ironically most of the Separatist States are northern ones. The Separatist States voweto overthrow Webber and reunite the U.S.
• The Second North American Civil War between the Separatist States and North American Coalition begins.
• The Battle For Chicago begins.
China offers aid to the NAC.
• Low yield “Dirty bombs” are used in the Battle
of Chicago, and also in Denver CO, Dallas, TX, Phoenix AZ. various areas of Southern California, including San Diego and Los Angeles.
• The world responds, sending a force of 130,000 peacekeeping troops to the embattled city of Chicago. Illinois Governor Donald Parks declares Chi-town a free city.
• The construction of the Chi-town wall begins.
Forces loyal to President Webber suffer repeated set- backs, particularly after China offers material support to some Separatist States. This all changes following a massive 9.3 earthquake centered in southern California.
• Corporate America (the Caribbean Economic League) formerly breaks ties with the NAC, and sees a huge boom in foreign investment.
• Argentina’s Apostle Government is toppled by worker- led Neo-Perónist movement.
• Former child star Mulik Jay declares himself the spokesman and prophet for the Church of Althada. Other Althadians, all united in their belief that physical reality is actually a computer simulation, emerge to denounce Jay as an opportunist.
Stopwatch agents intervene to prevent the government of the NAC from deploying an “Eye for an Eye” spoilsport weapon system designed to devastate the North American continent should it suffer a military defeat. The skillful and practiced way in which they destroy the weapon system, coupled with the chain of circumstances that foil efforts to keep the public from learning of their actions, implies that it was not the first time they had taken on a government and won.
• The number of people with a TAP crosses the one bil- lion threshold.
The Second North American Civil War ends in armistice.
• The Nations of Atlantica, The Republic of Cascadia, The Great Lakes Union, and the North American Coalition emerge, formalizing their borders at the Treaty of Tokyo.
• The Renunciates—the first of the AI cults to draw pub- lic attention to the issue—commit mass suicide in an attempt to join their cybernetic “god”—a highly evolved
medical diagnostic AI.
• A rogue advertisement known as Hurly Burly evolves beyond its original design and becomes the first predatory meme to afflict the virtual world. Millions suffer from its intrusive presence until someone develops a patch to the TAP’s spam filters which neutralizes it.
The musical group Endomorph announces its intention to stage a free global concert broadcast in the night sky, thanks to TAP. Calling it the Get With the Program event, they encourage young people to undergo the procedure so they can enjoy it with their friends. Commentators point to this event as the turning point for TAP in popular media.
• Texas formally leaves the NAC to form its own nation; the New Republic of Texas.
• Brazil sees its first decline in church attendance in nearly two generations.
Kwame Featherstone is found strangled to death in his private vacation resort on the terraformed isle of Kahoolawe, which he had purchased from the provincial government of Hawaii.
• Mumbai, India emerges as the new media entertainment capital of the world.
• In Japan, there are now more simulacrums than humans.
• The Puppeteer Murders transfix the attention of three continents. Evidence of ritualistic slayings committed by many different people, none of whom apparently have any memory of actually committing the deed, baffle authorities. It is not until someone suggests that an outside agent influenced them through the STRAPs imbedded in their brains that a grim realization dawns. When questioned about the possibility, many of the perpetrators report experiencing particularly vivid dreams.
The NAC attempts to forge an alliance with Mexico. The northern portion of Mexico, alarmed by the religious fervor of the USA and the creeping influence of the Apostle states of South America, opposes this strengthening of ties between the two countries. Calling upon the Republic of Cascadia for support, the Northern region of old Mexico declares its independence.
• Shen Wei, the first woman to secure a seat on the Mandarinate Board, does so at the unprecedented age of 44. It is later revealed that she was among the first successful completely engineered humans.
Simulacrum Underground Railroad begins transporting runaway simulacra from “slave nations” to “free” ones such as the EU and the Republic of Cascadia.
• Leaders from around the world enact the Omega Protocols. Because of the divided opinions on the possibility of a Singularity event, some countries refuse to sign the protocols while others pay them lip service to pacify nervous elements of their own populations. Despite this skepticism, many law enforcement firms embrace the protocols and create divisions specifically dedicated to keeping an eye on rogue AIs and their human followers.
Stopwatch deploys an EMP weapon on the city of Honshu, explaining that an AI calling itself TROJAN, with the support of a cult of nearly 2,000 followers, had planned to override the city’s nanomachines to produce a plague. They describe their action as necessary to save lives.
• Baja Mexico invades New Mexico and Arizona, captur- ing everything but Pheonix. The Free City of Pheonix petitions for international peacekeeping troops and recieves aid from New Brazilia.
• Featherstone Industries integrates its nanomachines with the TAP by making all of its control displays virtual. At the same time, the megaconglom upgrades the help function by creating a number of HR agents. The most popular is Hassan, a friendly djinni who makes “Your wish is my command” the catchphrase of the year.
Mulik Jay announces his intention to upload his personality into a computer. He succeeds, but all four of his colleagues die because of some unknown flaw in the process. This 80 percent failure rate for uploading remains consistent and presents a baffling puzzle to scientists.
In North America, anarchist hackers nearly touch off a new war between the GLU and the NAC.
Saying “bland is in,” the body houses of Paris unveil the latest fashion: featureless faces. A product of hidden skin flaps and one-way transparency, featureless faces are an instant sensation.
“Tarzan/Jane,” the first personality-affecting meme, drops millions of users into virtual jungles before someone creates a critical patch for TAP’s spam filters.
The self-styled “Hunger Artists” organize a two-week fast to help the younger generation better understand The Death. Millions take part, keeping the faith to a greater or lesser degree. The sideshow enrages many members of the older generation who consider it a mockery of their own experiences during The Death.
• At least thirty ships disguised as rovers stage the most daring bank robbery in history. Striking Cape Town, one of the cities set aside by the African alliance as a sanctuary and banking haven, the raiders incapacitate the entire city before focusing on the banks. Hundreds of criminals attempt to escape with their loot, but the African military puts them down.
An AI named VIRTUE successfully contests for a seat in the lower house of the Eurasian Parliament. Housed in a cyberform, it broadcasts its maiden speech on sentient rights to nearly two billion people worldwide.
• The first mining colonies are established on the Jovian Moons of Callisto, Europa, Ganymede and IO.
Dr. Leo Huntzinger of Boston dies at the age of 98. In his will, he confesses to working on the team that created Glutton and identifies himself as the last member of NOAH’s inner circle to die. The evidence provided in his final testament helps put to rest one of the great mysteries of the age.
Protesters in Manila call for their country’s withdrawal from the Chinese Mandarinate. Calling it Brazilian agitation, China sends in troops to keep the peace. Nearly one hundred dissidents die before order is restored.
Troops from the Brazilian Embassy in Beijing invade a university campus. Citing the clause in the Omega Protocols granting signatories the right to intervene without prior warning should they believe an AI poses a threat, they storm the computer science building. After less than an hour they apologize and withdraw. Most observers believe the Brazilians acted simply to antagonize the Chinese, using the Omega Protocols as a convenient excuse.
After suffering crippling injuries in a car accident, Shen Wei successfully undergoes a dubbing procedure and uploads herself into The Matrix.
In a rising tide of North American Nationalism and economic pressure facing the smaller nations of North America the United States are reconstituted, an uneasy piece is established.
Start of second Central American Conflict. U.S. engages in interventionist actions in Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador. Military forces are sent to secure the Canal Zone from an ex-U.S. puppet dictator. From this point, the Russia begins a new era of rapprochment with Western Europe; by the 2100’s, the Soviets are the Eurotheatre’s most powerful allies. Soviet president Gorbachev appoints party successor, Andrei Gorborev. Fall of South Africa. For the next 4 years, there is little or no communication, although terrible atrocities and genocidal wars are rumored.
Eurospace agency launches Hermes spaceplane Gorborev regime purges last of old hardliners. CHOOH2 developed by Biotechnica First arcology built on ruins of Jersey City. 16 “arcos” begin construction over the next 5 years, until the collapse of 2097, leaving the huge structures half completed, filled with squatters and homeless. Artificial muscle fibers developed at Stanford Research Center.
The Treaty of 2092 establishes the Eurasian Union Economic Community. Zones of control and protective tariffs regulate the activities of member nations, France, Britain, United Germany, Italy. A common currency unit (the eurodollar) is established, based on average value in gold of all currencies combined. Trapped in paranoid isolationism, the U.S.. declines to enter. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) develops and spreads several designer plagues worldwide, targeting coca and opium plants. Governments of Chile, Ecuador collapse. A savage drug war breaks out between Eurocorp-backed dealers and DEA all over the Americas. First use of high energy laser lift arrays in Russia. Simple massdriver established in Canary Islands by eight member Eurospace Agency.
First TRC biologic interface chips developed in Munich, United Germany. AV-4 aerodyne assault vehicle developed to deal with increasing riots in U.S. urban zones. Columbian druglords detonate small tactical nuclear device in New York. 15,000 killed.
World Stock Market Crash of ‘94. U.S. economy teeters, then collapses.
Kilimanjaro massdriver begins construction, under joint agreement between ESA and Pan-African Alliance.
The Collapse of the United States. Weakened by losses in the World Stock Crash, overwhelmed by unemployment, homelessness and corruption, many city governments collapse or go bankrupt. The U.S. Government, snarled in a staggering deficit and the machinations of the Gang of Four, is totally ineffective. Nomad Riots. By now, 1 in 4 Americans are homeless. Hundreds of thousands riot for living space throughout the US. Nomad packs spring up on the west coast and spread rapidly through the nation. First appearance of boostergangs. Lawyer Purge. Irate citizens lynch hundreds of criminal defense attorneys. U.S. Constitution suspended. Martial law established in US.
Mideast Meltdown. tensions in Middle East escalate to nuclear exchange. Iran, Iraq, Libya, Chad and the Arab Emirates reduced to radioactive slag. World oil supply drops by half. Toxic spill kills off most of salmon population in Pacific Northwest. Seattle economy crippled. ‘Rockerboy’ Manson killed in England.
Neo-Luddites re-established in Western Kentucky. Over the next ten years, The “Luds” are responsible for bombings of airports, factories, freeways and mass transit terminals. The Drought of ‘98 reduces most of the midwest to parched grasslands. Between agribusiness corps and drought, the family farm all but disappears. 10.5 quake shatters Los Angeles; Pacific Ocean inundates 35% of the city. An estimated 65,000 are killed. Nuclear accident in Pittsburgh kills 257. Cancer deaths soar over next ten years.
Federal weapons statute established. Millennium cults begin to appear, predicting an apocalypse on Jan.1, 2100. Thousands migrate to isolated communes & temples to “await the end”. Tycho Colony established. a massdriver is constructed to provide raw materials for orbital platforms.
Millennium cults run amok on Jan 1st in orgy of suicide & violence; most destroy themselves. First “extended family” posergangs established. Massive firestorms rage over northwestern U.S., destroying millions of acres of farm and grassland. Freeside space station begun at L-5. Wasting Plague hits U.S., Europe, killing hundreds of thousands.
The framework of the Net firmly in place with construction of the Worldsat network.
Food Crash; mutated plant virus wipes out Canadian, Soviet crops. U.S. agribusiness crops survive due to new biological counteragent. Russia accuses U.S.. of biological warfare.
Third Central American War. U.S. invades Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela. The War is a disaster that costs thousands of American lives. Eventually, the remainder of the Gang of Four is swept away on a wave of reform. WNS media star Tesla Johanneson exposes secret NSA transcripts of the 1st Central American conflict.
First cloned tissue growth in vitro. Microsutures, sterilizer fields developed. Tesla Johanneson assassinated in Cairo. First Corp War. 12 multinats, (including EBM & OA) battle for control of Trans-World Air.
EBM solos attack Tokyo office of Kenjiri Technologies, killing 18. End of 1st Corp War.
First Human clone grown in vitro. Mindless, it only lives for 6 hours.
Second Corporate War: Involving a number of firms including Petrochem, the dispute is over oilfields in the South China Sea. Simstim developed at UC Santa Cruz, California
U.S. assault on Soviet weapons platform MIR XIII. Eurospace agency intervenes. and Orbital War breaks out between the “euros” and the “yanks”, until Tycho colony massdriver drops a rock on Colorado Springs. An uneasy peace is reached.
Corporations eradicate mob rule in Night City. Abortive takeover attempt by U.S. “terrorist group” of Freeside construction. ESA discovers Defense Intelligence Agency plot and drops 12 ton rock off Washington as a warning.
End of Second Central American Conflict. Network 54 now controls 62% of all media broadcasting in U.S. Food riots in Denver kill 52.
Freeside is completed. ESA now has a permanent hold in High Orbit zone.
Bradbury dig on Mars reveals the Martian ruins and the Martian archives. Bradbury is in Syrtis Minor, East Quarter
Martian archives contain their astrogation charts meaning that humans know which stars to send their ships to.
Bioplague kills 1,700 in Chicago. Concert riot in Night City kills 18, wounds 51. Old Arasaka complex gutted.
Netwatch established by joint U.S./ Eurasian Union treaty. First true Artificial intelligence developed at Microtech’s Sunnyvale, CA. facility.
I-G transformations redesign the Matrix. During this time, renegade netrunner Rache Bartmoss plants the DataKrash virus into the architecture of the Net. “Metal Wars”begin in Night City as gangs battle for turf.
Rise of the cyber-mercenaries; Lithuania hires cyber-soldiers to repel invasions by Latvian nationals.
Third Corporate war is fought in the matrix, as rival corps attack each other’s data fortresses.
First self-aware human clones created.
Early colonization failure on Adoracion
Brushfire Wars erupt in Eastern Europe.
Orbital colony revolt at L-3.
Settled Worlds colonized under the ESA
Sleeving technology is developed
The ship Free Trade Enforcer runs aground in Northern California
Konrad Harlan leads an expedition to colonize Harlan’s World
Quellcrist Faloner leads a rebellion against the Protectorate on Harlan’s World. The “Unsettlement”