16 January - 28 February – First Persian Gulf War rages between U.S.
and Iraq over Iraq's
invasion of Kuwait
(on 2 August 1990).
5 July – Edinburgh, Scotland
– Dolly the sheep becomes the first mammal cloned from adult cells.
11 September – the World Trade
Center in the U.S.
is bombed; Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda take credit. The Western world suddenly realizes that
there are thousands of extremists, unfortunately mostly in Muslim nations, who
hate and wish to destroy the West.
7 October - 9 December – the U.S.
fights and overthrows the Taliban government in Afghanistan
after the latter refuses to turn in bin Laden.
Many non-Western states decry this as an anti-Muslim act, raising
already significant tensions between traditionally Muslim people and the West.
20 March - 1 May – Operation Iraqi Freedom pits U.S.
against Iraqi forces again, this time in Baghdad
and throughout Iraq. The invasion is justified by Saddam Hussein's
supposed possession of WMDs ("weapons of mass destruction"), which
are never actually found.
1 May - 2007, 13 August – the U.S.'s continued presence in Iraq, ostensibly to
support democracy there, raises more and more ire among pro-Muslim forces, who
perceive it as anti-Muslim aggression.
Roadside bombs, suicide bombs, and similar violence, most of which harm
civilians more than military, become commonplace in Iraq. All told 3,276 American soldiers, 200+
American civilians, and 18,000+ Iraqis die before the pullout.
12 July - 14 August – Israel
exchange missiles and bombs due to ongoing aggression from Hezbollah, a militia
and political party in southern Lebanon. Because Israel
is a close ally with the U.S.,
once again pro-Muslim forces see this as Western aggression against Muslim
nations, and anti-West sentiment grows more.
8 October – North Korea sets off its first acknowledged nuclear test, prompting
protests from neighbors Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. Tensions rise in the
Korea applies for nuclear status two weeks
begins developing an anti-missile system.
continued nuclear defiance eventually causes Japan,
Taiwan, and South
Korea to forge an alliance against both China
and North Korea.
June – International Gene Pool Fund ("i-jeep" or "IGP")
established by two wealthy moguls; stem cell and gene research kicks into high
gear as fresh resources and funding become available.
April – a massive series of coordinated bombings and suicide-attacks through Western
political and social capitals sets off WWIII (although no one wants to call it
that). The issue begins as Muslim vs.
West but soon expands into an energy war.
Several countries including energy-hungry China,
N. Korea, Vietnam,
unite with the Saudi Nations (incl. Turkey)
to create the so-dubbed "Power Coalition." They fight against the "West"
including the U.S.,
Canada, E.U., Israel,
S. Korea, Japan,
September – Energy crisis begins in the West due to war, production
limitations, and Hurricanes Kate and Victor.
Gasoline rationing is widespread.
(Inventions are designed to convert other fuels, including "green"
fuels like corn-based ethanol, into true petrol, but none are completely successful. Retrofitting of automobiles into inefficient
ethanol engines leads to a corn shortage.
Corn prices shoot up to $113/bushel from $4-5/bushel before the war [1
bushel = 56 lbs shelled corn]. Corn
shortage hugely impacts food industry, causing shortages in all areas including
animal feed, which in turn leads to a meat shortage. Brazil
emerge as world powers due to supplies of rich ethanol-providing switchgrass
April - September – American farmers eager for profits and government subsidies
plant genetically-engineered, high-energy corn and switchgrass. (Oregon
and Washington also grow
hemp.) Engineered corn cross-pollinates
and ruins adjacent crops. More food
shortages ensue. Root crops, gourds, and
other non-grain crops distant from corn, which survived the cross-pollination,
now become the main food supply. Some
cornfields are razed and replaced with these foodstuffs, in an emergency
second-wave of late Spring planting.
(Same thing happens in other Western countries.)
September – U.S.
citizens rise in protest when existing corn supplies are converted to energy
rather than food. In some localities,
farms are raided and corn taken by citizens.
In other locations, corn stores are burned. U.S.
military moves in to restore order in half a dozen states. A semi-permanent State of Emergency
is declared in Iowa. (Same thing happens in other Western
October – government food subsidies are declared for three-quarters of the U.S.
to combat rising shortages. Crops are
imported from South America, Central America,
through the winter. War coffers are
drained and citizen disquiet rises.
(Same thing happens in other Western countries.)
December – in a fit of energy-desperation the West threatens to bomb and
destroy the Muslim holy capital of Mecca
unless a truce is called and gasoline resumes flowing. This prompts the Catholic Church to unite
with the Power Coalition in religious protest.
March – the Catholic Church divides from internal pressures into Catholic and
New Catholic. The old faction, which
supports the "pro-Muslim" (actually the misinterpreted and
politically lambasted "don't blow up Mecca")
Pope, gets kicked out of Rome. They take refuge in Constantinople
where they are used as hostages and spies for the Power Coalition. The New Catholics ally themselves with the
Christian Coalition, the Anglican Church, and Israel
in an attempt to cement their "we love the West!" image.
December 21 – the Power Coalition launches a massive (non-nuclear) missile
assault against the West. Among other
targets, Tel Aviv in Israel
is leveled on the 21st (first day of Hanukkah).
December 24-25 – Bethlehem in Israel
is leveled by the Power Coalition. (Bethlehem
is considered holy by the Christians for hosting the birth of Jesus on that
December 25 – the West bombs Mecca. Cluster-bombs level the site and nuclear
fallout poisons Saudi Arabia
for years to come. Underground oil stores
there become contaminated and pose a risk to human life.
December 28 – the Power Coalition retaliates with nuclear attacks on Tokyo,
and other important Western sites. One
location struck is Seattle, which
has become a science and technology stronghold.
lava-dome is cracked; an ash-cloud descends over much of the United
Global temperatures fall 2-3 degrees.
- 2015 – Overview:
World population & shortages:
escalating ground-war at first worsens, then improves, food and energy
shortages throughout the world as population begins to drop. Attempts at "aid" gradually taper
off as neediness becomes worldwide.
People are left to fend for themselves in invaded and bombed areas. Ash-clouds from volcanoes and nuclear-clouds
from bombs lower Earth's average temperature by 1-2 degrees each year. Cold and lack of sunlight cause crops to fail
in the U.S. Midwest, Europe, and other areas. Thousands die from hunger, disease, and
exposure worldwide. Thousands more flee
to South America and Australia.
Science: Tremendous leaps occur due to
rich wartime budgets and necessity.
Artificial food is one of the top priorities;
genetically-enhanced crops for larger, quicker harvests and vat-grown meat
produced from cow, chicken and pig cells becomes widespread.
Battlefield and bomb injuries produce a boom in
health and artificial limb developments.
Stem cell regrowth provides new limbs and organs for those wealthy
enough to afford it; cybernetic replacements fill in the gaps. The first true cyborgs begin to emerge with brain-controlled
limbs and complete organs. Eventually
these two fields (stem cells and cybernetics) merge as scientists learn to
"grow" circuits and mesh them perfectly with flesh.
Energy crunch leads to new power-sources
including enhanced solar (strong enough even to get a trickle-charge from
moonlight), upper-atmosphere, wind-driven, hydro, radiant / gamma ray, plasma,
and electrochemical sources. (Someone
even learns to harness nuclear fallout for those unlucky enough to live, at
least for awhile, in contaminated areas.)
All of these have significant limits, however.
Communication requirements drive the need
to decentralize the internet; so-called "mini-hubs" crop up to
replace the former nexuses. DNS and root
servers become less available so people typically memorize IP addresses.
Backbones are often fragmented so many individuals use their personal systems
as servers to pass on a limited amount of traffic, and thus keep the 'net going
(there are groups of people with agreements to pass along only their buddies
using specific ports rather than usual web port 80). As society gets more computer-centric, DNS
numbers are assigned at or shortly after birth, rather like a worldwide social
security number. (The 128-bit IPv6 protocol, expressed in
hexadecimal, replaces the four-node traditional system.) Unfortunately, those who know the system can
use someone's DNS to estimate their age and place of origin, which can lead to
discrimination. Also those who wish to
fake their identity can take on a false DNS, but it's hard to do.
undergoes a split in which a large segment goes anti-religion due to the
ongoing war and its underlying problems.
Religion goes underground as a result, being hidden from public view in
a sort of "don't ask don't tell" mindset. Another segment is strongly pro-technology
while others seek to avoid it. Hunger, disease, and need are widespread, with
only a select few having the resources to live in comfort. There are numerous clashes between these
factions. Artistic progress slows during
times of hunger and war, only to emerge in fresh bursts of emotional and often
dark-haunted forms of expression between.
hurricanes, fires, floods, locusts, et al.
The magma under Yellowstone erupts and covers the Midwest in another
cloud of ash (18 Feb 2014). Atmospheric
temperature falls a few more degrees, but this only has the effect of
countering global warming. Sumatra is swallowed under the
ocean as underground earthquakes trigger tsunamis; Washington and Oregon states
are also hit by tsunamis the year after as their own offshore fault
shifts. San Andreas and surrounding
faults finally give way but the shift only makes a big crack, allowing seawater
to flood inland in a sort of elongated delta.
The area from San Francisco through Sacramento is leveled, however. The war between global warming and volcanic
activity causes alternating years of heavy then negligent hurricane activity, plus rapidly fluctuating years of overly-hot and overly-cool weather.
→ 2014, 18 February – Yellowstone Disaster - bedrock
cracks beneath Yellowstone National Park in the western U.S., creating a vast
leak of superheated water, sulphurous gasses, and steam. Three weeks later the magma itself erupts
onto the surface with explosive force.
Although the area has been evacuated, 215 people are killed by the
resulting plume of choking ash. The
initial ash-cloud covers a radius of 52 miles, followed the next day by a
second, larger eruption as the bedrock finally gives way. Most of the American Midwest becomes covered
in volcanic ash. Crops fail, livestock
dies in droves, and the American economy is thrown into pure chaos. Over the
next six years, thousands die of Marie's Disease. A steady stream of desperate refugees /
immigrants pours into Canada and Mexico.
These American expatriates are gradually relocated (sometimes by force)
to other countries.
2016, June - a scientist in Japan creates a method of
getting energy by mixing a specific gel with water. Immediately a feeding frenzy begins; every
nation tries to get its hands on the technique.
China steals it and spreads it to the other Power nations. Every country tries to keep it a secret from
everyone else. The creator goes on a
valiant campaign to have his process used for peace, even going so far as to
give out the technique freely on the 'net.
He is subsequently tried in a martial court for treason, even though he
is a civilian. (China's possession of
the secret is blamed on him, although China possessed it well before his free public announcements.)
2016 - 2018 – Society/Economics: Gap
between wealthy and poor becomes more pronounced; at first the promise of
inexpensive energy for all looks bright, then dulls as one force after another
tries to monopolize the power.
April 26 – Japanese scientist who developed new power source is executed for
treason. His technique goes on to be
reproduced and improved, eventually solving the world energy-crisis and bringing
peace to the long, energy-driven war.
Subsequent groups label this Traitor Day, but use the name in bitter
sarcasm, claiming that the true traitor was the government coalition that
- 2029 ("the 20s") – Society: Ultra Modern Trend. In the wake of the war, society makes great
bounds forward, particularly in the upper classes. Great emphasis on technology and new
development, recovery, baby boom. So
called "designer children" are a passing fad, with genetic
engineering giving rise to exotics such as pink eyes, zebra-stripe skin, purple
hair, and other wildly unnatural patterns.
Law constrains human embryos to be kept in humanoid form, however, so
there are no centaurs, fairies, tentacled people, etc..
Society / Economics: Gap between classes becomes
painfully obvious as only those with disposable income can enjoy the developing
technologies, designer children, or—most importantly—the essential therapies
and treatments either to cure disease or obtain cybernetic replacement parts. Those with less income and opportunity are
forced to the margins of society... in some cases quite literally, having to
take refuge in contaminated areas and thus elevating their need for medical
treatments. This proves a vicious cycle.
The gap widens more. The poor
become sickly and disabled from their contaminated environments; many are
unable to maintain jobs, and worse—become subject to discrimination because no
one wants to hire contaminated or sickly individuals. Foremost among these oppressed groups are
refugees, particularly those from ravaged parts of the U.S. (and other
– Refugee Resettlement Act passed - work-programs begin, designed to spread out
the refugee population and put them to work in different regions. There is controversy surrounding this
program, however; in some cases, the refugees are taken to literal work-camps
and given unsavory jobs like cleaning up contamination with plasma-torches and
similar equipment. In others, families
are separated by bureaucratic error or the need to assign different personnel
to different jobs.
– protests begin among the refugees in several countries, as promises for
resettlement and reintegration fall by the wayside. They are given little heed, however, since the
refugees have little money or influence.
- 2032 – crime escalates in poor regions; rising cost of maintaining order
leads some politicians to openly consider expanding the work camps and
resettling the poor even farther from "normal society" (i.e.,
privileged). The result is a wave of
protest and violence, which unfortunately proves the politicians' point.
13 April – the asteroid Apophis passes
close enough to Earth to be seen with the naked eye, triggering public alarm
and at least two cult suicides in Europe and Asia.
- 2037 ("the 30s") – Society: New Naturality Movement (begins U.S.
East Coast, spreads rapidly throughout all areas of civilization touched by the
Ultra-Modern Trend). Emphasis on
all-natural fabrics, patterns, colors, dyes, etc.. Babies born in this period are mostly
normal-colored (as opposed to technicolored).
Society / Economics: Ironically, this movement
too works to widen the gap between poor and privileged. Those raised in the contaminated areas tend
to look less "natural," bearing sores and sometimes mutations. Also, those who were able to do so cyberized
themselves as a means for survival.
That, too, is considered "unnatural" and a cause for
discrimination. Refugees in particular
have difficulty reintegrating themselves with society.
- 2036 – refugees and lower-class citizens become increasingly segregated;
forced relocations become common, if unpopular.
More violent groups are sent as "peace keeping forces" at
- 2040 – the forced relocations are replaced with a new program, as worldwide
political skirmishes break out. Refugees
are promised citizenship in exchange for military service. Many thousands sign up for the program, only
to discover that the promise is worthless.
It only becomes valid "when hostilities end"… and there seems
to be no end in sight.
8 August - 2039, 12 December – the New Madrid Fault, which runs through the
Midwestern U.S. and has been silent since 1812, awakens with violent tremors. Over the next eighteen months seven
earthquakes above 7.0 magnitude shake eight states, with countless aftershocks
causing mass hysteria and PTSD. Memphis,
Tennessee is nearly destroyed by the first and second quakes, when tremors
destroy masonry-built homes, crack several city buildings, and rupture
underground gas and water lines, causing both fire and flooding
simultaneously. By winter 2039 the
Mississippi River has significantly altered course and nearly 40,000 people are
homeless. Naturally, this makes the refugee
situation far worse.
– refugees begin openly defying their work-orders and come to resettle
themselves in more populated areas.
Gangs and mafia-style organizations begin to crystallize; in some cases,
wealthy citizens sponsor these groups in order to push their private
interests. People begin openly defying
curfews as well as social mores, mixing themselves in public with more
privileged groups. (Predictably, the privileged
– crackdowns begin; law enforcement is given greater authority to uphold
curfews and to keep the lesser class "in its place." Violence erupts anew between gangs and law
enforcement; so many officers are lost that robots and cyborgs begin being used
almost exclusively for the task. Robots,
lacking emotion, have far less compassion than human police and tend to take
their jobs quite literally. Quite a few
civilians are killed in the resulting melee.
– retaliation strikes begin against law enforcement; buildings are bombed,
officers targeted, and even politicians are assassinated. The refugees' attacks (for now the term
"refugee" has become synonymous with "poor person" in the
public's eye) are becoming more and
more complex. Wealthy sponsors have given
access to better technology, and the refugees have made the most of it. A handful of figures begins to emerge, strong
leaders who are guiding the refugees' attacks.
– one leader in particular, known as "Rei," begins making headaches
for law enforcement in New Japan. This
one specializes in cyberviolence and hacking, destruction of electronic
property and information. This is not
all electronic, however—because everything is run by computers these days, the
havoc he wreaks spills out into the physical world. Trains collide, planes crash, bridges and railways fail to
shift on command. Refugees are smuggled in from work camps to
swell the ranks of his growing army.
Gradually the plans expand and coalesce into a cohesive political
movement: equality for the refugees, or better yet a place to call their own.
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A.M. Coy - All Rights Reserved.
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required for use.