Shadowrun: Throw Back
And So It Came To Pass
Today, in 2050, our world is radically different from that our great-grandfathers knew. Where once superpower nations dominated the globe, threatening all with sudden nuclear annihilation, the superpowers have now broken up into many smaller, autonomous nations, and corporations have taken over their once-immense power. Our science and technology, too, set us apart, with current levels making previous advances look like a child’s experiments with a science kit.
But that is not all that divides our age irrevocably from the past, for magic has emerged again on Earth and we live in an Awakened world.
Rise of the Megacorps
It all began in the late 1990s, as the civil unrest that marked the end of the millennium intensified even more. Alarmed at the state of things, the corporations feared to trust their interests to indifferent of in their eyes, incompetent governments. Beginning with their holdings in the Third World countries, they armed their security personnel with the finest available equipment and hired professional mercenaries on both long and short term contracts. As the tide of civil disobedience and urban violence began to engulf every nation on the globe, the corporations began to transfer their paramilitary assets wherever needed. The stage was set.
In 1999, food riots in New York City created the flashpoint. Angered and frightened by a three-month truckers’ strike that had stopped the flow of fresh foods into New York, the people took to the streets. Hundreds were killed and thousands injured as the violence spread through the city.
At one point, a Seretech Med-Research truck hauling wastes, including infectious materials, became the target of a mob. In what became a running gunfight, Seretech security came to the aid of the corporate truckers, withdrawing the to one of the firm’s medical research facilities. More violence followed as the maddened crowd stormed the building. By dawn 20 Seretech employees were dead, while 200 rioters lay lifeless on the grounds and in the street.
In a misguided attempt to crush the growing corporate armies, the city, then the state and federal governments charged Seretech with criminal negligence. Seretech asserted that by defending its truck from the mob, it prevented the potentially lethal cargo from infecting the population at large. In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court upheld Seretech’s right to maintain an armed force for the protection of its own personnel and property, and commended the corporation for protecting innocent citizens and honroing its trust to dispose of contaminated materials safely. The case set a precedent that led to the Shiawase Decision of 2001, firmly establishing the extraterritoriality of multinational corporations in international law.
More disasters followed. In 2004, Libya unleashed a chemical weapon against Israel. The Israelis responded by destroying half of Libya’s cities with nuclear weapons. Then, in 2005, a major earthquake hit New York City, killing more than 200,000 people and leaving behind over 200 billion dollars worth of damage. It would be 40 years before the city was fully rebuilt. In the meantime, the United Nations moved to Geneva and the East Coast Stock Exchange to Boston.
With their new freedom, the corporations of North America increased their exploitation of the continent’s resources with a vengeance. In what the media dubbed “The Resource Rush,” corporate coalitions demanded and were granted access to oil, mineral, and land resources on federal lands. Again, and again, in the years of 2002-2008, the government invoked the right of eminent domain to bring property under its control, only to license its exploitation to a corporate sponsor. Taking the brunt of this landgrab were the Indian reservations and federal parklands.
Conservationists and Indian-rights groups expressed their shock and disgust, though corporate influence and paramilitary power made it dangerous to object. Angry and frustrated, the more radical elements founded the Sovereign American Indian Movement (SAIM), whose roots traced back to the Indian-rights struggles of the twentieth century.
The growing tension and hatreds finally erupted in 2009. On May 5, United Oil Industries announced that it had acquired the right exploit the petrochemical resources n one-quarter of the remaining federal parks and one-tenth of the Indian lands, which the government had just confiscated. SAIM reacted immediately. A small band entered the Shiloh Launch Facility in northwest Montana, capturing a missile silo. To this day, no one knows how the raiders managed to bypass the security patrols, but once inside the missile silo, they met up with John Redbourne, a USAF major and a full-blood Dakota Sioux. After knocking his partner unconscious, Redbournce took the man’s keys and codes to unlock the launch failsafes.
The Lone Eagle
Issuing a demand for the return of all Indian land, the Shiloh raiders threatened to launch the silo’s missiles. Ten days of tense negotiations ended when a black-garbed delta team invaded the silo. During the struggle, which resulted in the death of all of the occupying Indians, a Lone Eagle missile was launched. NORAD command in Cheyenne Mountain watched helplessly as the missile headed for the Soviet Union. All their autodestruct signals went unheeded, and the military had to interceptors in position to down the bird. Though denying responsibility for the launch, President Jesse Garrety informed Moscow of the targets of each of the missile’s multiple warheads, hoping to avert a full-scalle retaliation by giving the Soviets enough warning to use their semi-secret ballistic defenses to stop the missile.
Moscow was understandably skeptical of Washington’s claims that the Lone Eagle was an isolated accident and not a ploy to make a surgical strike against selected Soviet targets. They put their forces on full alert. As tank divisions began preparations to invade Europe, all the Soviet citizens were ordered to shelters. In the United States, however, the public was unaware that it was perilously close to nuclear war.
President Garrety waited anxiously, and as later revealed in the celebrated “Back-Room Tapes,” alternately wept, ranted, and prayed. Two hours later, President Nikolai Chelenko tersely informed him that the warheads had been stopped. A privately conducted stress analysis of Cheleko’s voice later indicated only a 79 percent probability that he spoke the truth, but neither seismic nor space-based sensors recorded any nuclear explosions at that time. Explosion or not, there was definitely fallout from the incident.
The Blame Falls
When the American public learned of the Lone Eagle crisis, the outcry was enormous. Goaded by corporate propagandists, the people began to blame SAIM, and by implication, all Native Americans. This fit well with the larger plans of the megacorporations, principally United Oil Industries, which was not satisfied with their rate of acquisition. 2010, they had applied enough pressure to pass the Re-Education and Relocation Act. This new law called for the confinement of anyone connected in any way to SAIM. Abuses of the law were rampant because of the general hatred of Indians. Thousands of innocent Native Americans were sent to concentration camps, euphemistically called “re-education centers.” Among those shipped to the Abilene camp was Daniel Coleman, future Prophet of the Great Ghost Dance and the first war shaman of the Native American Nations. History knows him as Daniel Howling Coyote.
In a government economy measure, Congress soon contracted out management of the re-education camps to the corporations. As the camps dropped out of the media spotlight, overcrowding, poor sanitation, and insufficient medical care began to plague the inmates of the camps. Was this a deliberate plan of genocide, as Coleman would one day claim? In one of the great ironies of history, however, the isolation of many tribes in the re-education camps spared them from the scourge that hit the world in 2010.
Virally Induced Toxic Allergy Syndrome (VITAS) broke out first in New Delhi, but within weeks, cases were being reported all over the globe. In the worst epidemic sine the Black Plague, and estimated 25 percent of the world’s people were dead or dying by the end of 2010. Most fatalities were in outlying areas where medical care was unavailable or in high-population centers where the supplies of medicines and interim vaccines were insufficient. China, India, many African nations, and many densely populated Third World cities suffered disproportionately because their medical delivery systems could not provide adequate symptomatic relief.
Tragic as the VITAS plague was, it was only the beginning of unprecedented chaos. Beginning with the violent dissolution of the Mexican government in January 2011, more governments fell than in any other five-year span in history. Famine stalked the world, adding to the already-lengthy rolls of the dead. Massive civilian protests led to raids of European nuclear power plants, there of which suffered meltdowns. Radiation fallout was extensive and damaging.
On the heels of VITAS came the frightening phenomenon later named Unexplained Genetic Expression, or UGE. All over the world, mutant and changeling children were being born to “normal” parents. Newsweek dubbed these UGE children “elves” and it seemed that the horseman of the Apocalypse had finally arrived. This year has become known as the Year of Chaos.
As miracles and calamities were reported form every nation, religions rose and died. Prophets appeared, proclaiming the end of the world. One of these emerged from the despair of a concentration camp. On December 24, at the same moment that hundreds of Japanese witnessed the first appearance of the great Dragon Ryumyo as the sped past Mount Fuji on a bullet train, the Prophet of the Great Ghost Dance, Daniel Howling Coyote, led his followers out of the Abilene Re-Education Center.
The Sixth World
What we know as the Year of Chaos was actually the end of the old age and the beginning of the new, the dawn of our Awakened World. Some mystics point to the Mayan calendar as an authority, noting that it predicts the start of anew cycle of humanity on December 24, 2011. They also say the appearance of the Dragon Ryumyo is the signpost marking what the Mayans called the Sixth World.
Had they done better research, these dreamers would have discovered that the Mayans also predicted a world-destroying calamity that would herald the birth of a new, improved race of humans. Where were these things? It is true that we faced trials, and disasters, and great change, but we do not have a new world. It’s still good old Mother Earth, even if she has entered a new phase.
We get a better model of the change by looking at the historical shift from B.C to A.D No one at the time knew it had happened. Only hindsight reveals it. Even the calendar had to be backdated to take into account the change.
For years after Daniel Coleman led his cadre of believers out from the Abilene REC compound, he dropped from public view. Knowledge of his activities during that period is minimal, but he was, most certainly, proselytizing. Among Native Americans-those still free as well as those incarcerated in camps or restricted to the ever-shrinking reservations-word spread of a new prophet, a great shaman to whom the spirts had taught a powerful dance.
This inspired Native Americans to resist the tyranny of their existence. Many more escaped the camps, eluding the federal and corporate hunters by fleeing into the wilderness. Like their ancestors, they began a guerrilla war against an army that wanted to destroy them. Unlike their ancestors, they had access to the same technology as their enemy.
In 2014, Daniel Coleman stepped out of the shadows. He called himself Howling Coyote and declared that he was a shaman of the Ghost Dance. Backed by an elite core of fanatics, he announced the formation of the Native American Nations, a coalition of tribes. They laid claim to all of North America and demanded the immediate withdrawal of all persons of European, African, and Asian ancestry, threatening dire magical retribution if the demand was not met. Of course the media tried to make a laughingstock of Coleman and his followers. Though magical phenomena had become increasingly commonplace, no one believed any group of persons could enforce such a threat.
Insulting jokes were still making the talk-show circuit when Howling Coyote and his Ghost Dancers demonstrated their power. In 2014, Redondo Peak erupted, burying Los Alamos, New Mexico under a cloud of ash. Howling Coyote appeared in a vid-cast from a nearby Zuni reservation. He claimed credit for invoking “our Mother Earth to punish the children who forsook Her.”
Surviving documentation indicates that the U.S. government did not take the claim seriously, except to capitalize on an opportunity to capture the elusive resistance leader and smash his growing movement. Within an hour of Howling Coyote’s broadcast, a federal reaction force, composed of the Sixth Air Cavalry Battalion form Fort Hood, Texas was in the air. The helicopters and support aircraft never reached the Zuni reservation. All were destroyed by the sudden appearance of violent tornadoes. When a second force arrived, the self-proclaimed shaman was long gone.
The guerrilla war went on, to the great embarrassment of the federal and corporate forces, who seemed unable to see or touch their prey. While frustration mounted in the government, it became harder to enforce news blackouts and official denials wore increasingly thin. Finally, someone leaked the whole story, and it rocked the government, with President Jesse Garrety forced to take the heat.
The Indian Question
Amid the storm of criticism, Garrety was assassinated in late-2016, followed shortly by the assassinations of General Secretary Nikolai Chelenko of the USSR, Prime Minister Lena Rodale of Great Britain, and Minister Chaim Schon of Israel. The assassins of Chelenko, Schon, and Rodale were ultimately killed in violent confrotations. William Springer, the man identified as Garrety’s assassin, was never captured.
William Jarman, the new US President, issued the now-infamous Executive Order 17-321 immediately upon taking office. One month later, Congress ratified it with the Resolution Act of 2016. The corrupt government had sanctioned Jarman’s plan to resolve “the Indian question”: total extermination of all Native American trives.
While the government huddled with the megacorporations to plan their strategy, Howling Coyote’s people had quietly begun their own solution to the “Indian Question.” We now know that the Great Ghost Dance began in 2017, as men and women of the tribes all across the continent performed the ritual that Howling Coyote had taught them. They san his songs and chanted his chants. Their power grew.
Early in the year, when the government moved to implement the Resolution Action of 2016, several months of freak weather and other uncanny disturbances disrupted military bases and supply dumps assigned to the plan. With each new delay, the President sacked another general, but he refused to commit his forces piecemeal. By August 17, the government had finally managed to assemble its troops, and the operation began to roll.
That morning, at 10:32 AM Mount Hood, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Adams all erupted in cataclysmic fury. Mother Earth had announced whose side she was on, and even the most skeptical became believers.
Treaty of Denver
Meanwhile, Native American tribesman and non-Indian sympathizers were occupying military bases in all three North American countries. Chastened and wary, the three governments sent representatives to Denver to negotiate with the Ghost Dancers in 2018. Three months later, they had hammered out the Treaty of Denver.
In the treaty, the federal governments of the United States, Canada, and Mexico acknowledge the sovereignty of the Native American Nations (NAN) over most of western North America. The document outlined a ten-year population adjustment plan that would relocate all non-Indians off lands belonging to NAN. Provisions included the establishment of reservations for non-tribal peoples and corporations, the maintenance of certain cities (such as Seattle) as extraterritorial extensions of the governments that had formerly claimed that land, and the retention of most of the state of California by the United States.
No one was happy with the Treaty of Denver, but no one had a better solution. The magical capacity of NAN offset the nuclear capacity of the three North American nations, which is why they agreed to give away large portions of their land and wealth. Though the Native Americans had not achieved their goal of removing all others from their homelands, they had regained control over much of it.
Howling Coyote was named the head of the Sovereign Tribal Council, the NAN governing body. Though he found it difficult to mediate among the bickering that now began to plague the various factions, Howling Coyote was probably the only man who could still rally the loyalty of all sides.
While the Tribal Council struggled with internecine problems, the people of the United States experienced a new shock of horror when the spaceplane America disintegrated in orbit. The wreckage landed in Australia, killing 300 in the small town of Longreach.
Also in 2018, the first generation ASIST (Artificial Sensory Induction System) technology was created by DR. Hosato Hikita of ESP Systems, INC. in Chicago. While the entertainment industry was going wild exploiting the commercial aspects of “simsense,” other researchers saw the technology as a key to containing the data explosion. Goblinization
On April 30, 2021, a totally inexplicable phenomenon began. All over the world, one out of every then men and women suddenly metamorphosed into hideous humanoid shapes. For some, the process was short and mild. Other spent days or weeks in the hospital. Some recovered, while others died screaming in agony. In those horrible weeks, two new races of men were emerging like strange spring flowers under the Awakened sun.
“Goblinization” was the name the media gave to this seemingly catastrophic process which was but another threshold point in the reemergence of magic. Reserachers had their own names for it, mostly polysyllabic mouthfuls or strings of consonants standing in for strings of seemingly unconnected words. Whatever the name, the result was the same. No race or ethnic group was spared as 10 percent of the world population became what were soon dubbed “orks” and “trolls,” projecting dark dreams of goblins onto the unsightly physical modification of the victims.
Most of these unfortunates were traumatized by the experience. And if they were not, their loved ones were. Some accepted the media’s name for them as license to act like the ghouls and goblins of legend, making incidents of violence common.
Had it ended there, surely the psychological wounds would have healed in time, But some “normal” children changed as they grew older, joining the ranks of the so-called Orks and Trolls. These either grouped with their own kind or mated with great-hearted souls who could see past the physical shells. The offspring of such unions were sometimes normal and sometimes produced the new racial types. Not all the “normal” children remained that was, however. Many suddenly underwent goblinization at puberty, and the trauma its associated maladjustments cycled again through the community.
UGE, Goblinization, and the violence it spawned consumed the people of Earth for much of the next year. Where the color of men’s skins had once been the great barrier, the people of Earth now began to hate and fear the new “races,” the emerging Elves, Dwarfs, Orks, and Trolls. In the year 2022, race riots wracked the globe on a scale never seen. In the turmoil new nations emerged when states split from patent countries or coalesced from two or more unites. In the North American sphere, the most important of these were and independent Quebec and the newly formed Caribbean League.
The US government declared martial law for several months in a futile attempt at control, while reports trickling out of the Soviet Union told of deaths on a mass scale. In fear for their lives, many of the changed beings went into hiding, whether underground, into the wilderness, or in communities of their own kind.
As the year drew to a close, however, another spector more gruesome than any Ork or Troll raised in head as a new wave of the VITAS plague swept the planet. While another 10 percent of the world’s population fell before the onslaught, racial violence fickered out, leaving both human and metahuman reunited in fear.
It was in the grim year that Data, and electronic news magazine, first coined the term “Awakened” for the metahumans and other lifeforms recently come into being.
Magic and the Matrix
Though humanity suffered through another devastating crisis, science and technology marched on. In 2024, the first simsense entertainment unit (a kind of sensory VCR) became available. The unit offered the user rudimentary sense impressions, with full awareness that the experience was a simulation. Also in this year, the experimental “remote-vote” system was used in the US presidential election for the first time. President Jarman was reelected by landslide victories in urban centers though the opposition claimed fraud. Meanwhile, the NAN relocations continued relatively peacefully despite continued provocation by the hostile Jarman White House.
In 2025, magic joined the ranks of science at last, when UCLA gave the discipline academic recognition by establishing the first undergraduate program in occult studies. Fine programs at the University of Southern California, Brown, and Yale soon followed. Within two years, technical magic programs and magical research facilities were established at Texas A&M and MIT, with the later adding”&M” to its name (for “and Magic”).
In 2027, science tapped another source of power, this time in the sunlit world. After years of pursing the dream of table top cold fusion power, the first power plant went on-line. The dream of tiny generators had not been fulfilled, but the research led to breakthroughs that made possible the construction of large power plants.
The other breakthrough of this year was the development of cyberterminals. As computer systems became increasingly complex during the late 20th century, many programs replaced lengthy strings of commands with simple pictures, or icons, that symbolized specific commands or programs. You picked the icon you wanted, and the computer would do whatever the picture meant. By the late 1990s, however a typical computer user was dealing with so many thousands of icons that data-processing systems were breaking down under their own complexity.
By 2029, Sony Cybersystems, Fuchi Industrial Electronics, and RCA-Unisys had all developed prototype cyberterminals that allowed a user to interface witht eh world data network via his nervous systems, which translated the data and issued the commands. Instead of typing in commandsor clicking a mouse at an icon, operations were carried out literally at the speed of thought. These early cyberterminals were massive, requiring that the user be in a sensory-deprivation tank. Largely funded by various intelligence agencies, the goal of the research was to allow agents to raid data systems, crating strike teams of “super-hackers.”
In the United States, the CIA, NSA, and IRS pooled their resources to exploit this development. Under the code name of Echo Mirage, they recruited and trained a team of “cyber-commandoes.” Fighting balky equipment and the psychoses induced by the overwhelming sensory signals generated by the primitive cyberterminals, Echo Mirage was advancing toward a workable technology when disaster struck.
CRASH of ‘29
On February 8, 2029, computer systems across the world were attacked, apparently at random, by a virus program of unprecedented power. Systems crashed, their data wiped clean and even their hardware burned out by the effects of the virus. As the killer program spread, governments toppled and the world economy neared collapse.
During the first quarter of the year, the virus shattered the data network that held the world together. By presidential order, Echo Mirage was activated to counteract the virus, but the “straight-arrow” agents of Echo Mirage were overwhelmed by the psychological demands of combat in cyberspace.
Echo Mirage’s masters responded by recruiting the most brilliant, if erratic, data-processing mavericks from industry and the universities. Their choices were drafted under a presidential emergency order and rammed through a brutal training program. A cadre of 32 men and women graduated with their sanity intact.
It was not until August 2029, however, that the new cadre, armed with improved cybertechnology, could mount a coordinated attack of the killer program.
Eighteen minutes after engaging the virus, four members of Echo Mirage were dead. When the data logs were analyzed, two things became apparent. First, the virus program could induce lethal biofeedback in humans accessing the Matrix. Second, no existing computer security could even slow down someone using a cyberterminal.
The corporations involved in the effort were horrified at the ease with which Echo Mirage penetrated their mot secure data systems. In reaction, secret corporate research was begun to develop new security software that could repel intruders in the Matrix. This included research to duplicate the lethal effects generated by the virus. The resulting software was the first generation of Intrusion Countermeasures, or IC, know worldwide as “Ice”.
Echo Mirage learned techniques to isolate and contain the virus. Equipped with new combat programs and beefed-up cyberterminals, they began the lengthy task of purging the Grid of infection. By late 2031, they had wiped out the last-known concentration of the virus code.
The second generation terminals used desk-sized hardware and needed no sensory deprivation tank. Shortly after the final purge of the virus, four of the surviving seven members of Echo Mirage decamped into the private sector, taking with them the secrets of the new technology.
In May 2034, Matrix Systems of Boston came out with the first “gray-market” cyberterminal. Six weeks later, Matrix Systems’ main computer crashed and its two founders died in apparently unrelated accidents. From the perspective of the military-industrial complex, the damage had already been done. Matrix technology was loose. Fuchi Industrial was the first major corporation to break ranks against the invasion of the deckers when, In 2036, it marketed its own third-generation cyberdeck, the desktop CDT-1000.
The majority of cyberdecks sold today are licensed machines that inject a unique signature into the logs of any systems they access, thus recording all legitimate activity in the Matrix. For year, however, pirate users, or deckers, have been acquiring decks and modifying them. Deckers suppress their system’s signature and add capabilities that are of little use to an honest cyberterminal operator. That’s the way of the world in 2050.
The Computer Crash was the death knell of the world dominators. Already weakend by the catastrophes of the first three decades of the century and exhausted by the trials of the Awakened World, they reeled under the new assault.
For twelve years, beginning in 2030, the people of Europe and Asia underwent a series of conflicts now know and the Euro-Wars. With their communication and surveillance systems disrupted, the old men in Moscow found their subjects making a long-overdue bid for a home-rule. The separation was difficult and prolgoned. Also during this period, the Awakened came to dominate the Western Siberian Lowland, Yukut ASSR, and all other USSR lands to the west of the lowlands. Like the US and Canada, the Soviets lost their wilderness to the newcomers.
The Crash was a gut punch to the United States of America. In a country that was increasingly dependent on information technologies, the virus was more devastating to the economy than VITAS had been to the population. Canada was even worse off. In 2030, what was left of the United States merged with what was left of Canada, including her major industrial centers and important natural resource areas. The new government was called the United Canadian and American States. Though there were protests on both sides of the border.
Almost four years later, a coalition of then southern states seceded from the union to form the Confederated American States. The CAS was instantly recognized by Aztlan, inself recently separated from the NAN. Sentiment ran high, and fears of a second civil war were rampant. Nevertheless, the transition was relatively orderly. Military units, divided in loyalties, split up and moved to their preferred countries with few incidents of violence.
Europe was not so lucky. In 2031, a desperate Moscow launched an invasion of estern Europe to secure vital industrial and agricultural resources. Soviet and Warsaw Pact forces met unexpectedly tough opposition from NATO, even though the European forces fought without their American allies. In a fit of isolationism, the UCAS Congress recalled American troops from Europe.
With a year, the European conflict slowed to a deadlock as attrition took its toll. Though the losses in men and materiel had been high for both sides, little territory had actually changed hands. Then, in late 2032, forces of the Republic of Moscow renewed the war in a surprise attack on Hamburg. Their mechanized forces, carefully husbanded whiel the other republics and their Warsaw allies had taken the burnt of the fighting, intitally made great gains. The allies were thrown into confusion, but managed to slow the offensive. Previously uncommitted, Britan stepped in by sending troops into the Low Countries “to protct Bristh interests.” Further excalation seemed inevitable. The on the frigid night of January 23,2033, Swedish airspace monitors detected several flights of British aeropace FA-38 Nightwraith fighter-bombers streaking across northern Europe. In short order, the aircraft obliterated key communications and command centers belonging to both sides. Will all their offensive plans crippled beyond repair, both sides announced a cease-fire the next day. No one knows who was responsible for the strike.
The end of Euro-War was not the end of problems. Unable to stabilize their economies, the European Economic Community, The Warsaw Pact, and what remained of the USSR fragmented. The Germanies reunited, becoming one of the stringer states in the new Europe. Italy, southern France, and southeastern Europe shattered into hundred of tiny states and returned to the city-state politics that have plagued so much of their history. Lost in impotent dreams of empire, the Republic of Moscow continued to attempt self-aggrandizement, but was repulsed on all fronts by neighboring states, corporate pressure, and Awakend activity.
As the fighting died in Europe, the specter of violence flared again in the Americas when a force of Awakened beings and metahumans led by three great dragons descended on the Amazon basin. In a short but extremely bloody conflict, the Brazilian forces had to cede most of the Amazon basin to the invaders. The Brazilian government fell, and two days later, most of their territory was claimed by the newly declared nation of Amazonia, self-acclaimed savior of the eco-sphere.
All was not quiet north of the equator, either. With Aztlan, the NAN member that had taken of the southwestern portions of Texas, now independent and not longer under the Sovereign Tribal Council’s protection, the Texas state legislature agitated for a military venture to recover those lost lands. In 2035, the CAS government refused, however, suspecting that NAN would defend its former member anyway. No one in Atlanta wished to risk the power of the Great Ghost Dance. The angry Texans declared their own independence and launched an invasion. Four months later, a frustrated and embarrassed Texas applied for re-admittance to the CAS.
CAS fears of the NAN were groundless. The Sovereign Tribal Council had its own problems. Having opened its arms to the various metahuman races, NAN was finding out that these new children of Mother Earth had their own ideas. A powerful group of Awakened beings and metahumans, mostly Elves, were in the process of doing to NAN what they had done to the United States. In an unprecedented interruption of worldwide broadcasting, the Elves of the Northwest announced the birth of Tir Tairngire (the land of promise) and seceded from NAN in 2037.
Unwilling or unable to resist the move, the Native American Nations did nothing to stop the formation of this new state in the region of former Oregon. Emboldened, the Tsimshian also declared their separation from the organization. In the wake of these defections and renewed internal dissent, Howling Coyote resigned. The shaman of the Great Ghost Dance withdrew into isolation.
Independence fever was contagious. Long isolated from its parent, California declared itself a sovereign nation. After immediately recognizing the nation, the powerful Japanese Imperial State followed up by landing its troops to protect Imperial interests from any possible disturbances. Within five years, San Francisco was almost totally controlled by the Japanese corporations.
In 2036, the napalm fire-bombing of a small community in rural Ohio announced the arrival of the New Terrorism. Twenty people, most of the metahumans, died in the flames on that Sunday morning. A group calling itself Alamos 20,000 claimed responsibility. Over the next 15 years, this terrorist group was positively linked to the deaths of more than a thousand metahumans and publicly sympathetic normals.
Three years later, metahuman hatred peaked in the Night of Rage. Worldwide riots resulted in the deaths of thousands of metahumans and other cosmetically altered to appear metahuman. In New York City alone, 836 such persons perished. There were backlashes and incidents of couter-violence.
Retaliation came in 2041, when EuroAir flight 329 was destroyed with no survivors. While en route from London to Atlanta, the aircraft was attacked over the Atlantic by a great dragon identified by some as Sirrung. A garbled last transmission form the doomed craft seems to indicate that one heroic passenger held the beast off for several minutes with sorcery before both passengers and crew were destroyed by the terrorist’s fiery breath.
Another important development of 2041 was the birth of Policlubs in Europe. These youth-oriented associations were dedicated to promoting a particular philosophy. Each policlub proclaimed its intention to impose its viewpoint on the general public by taking the lead in the so-called European Restoration.
In 2044, Axtlan nationalized all foreign owned businesses, under heavy pressure from Aztechnology Corporation. Semi-open warfare broke out as some corporations attempted to hold onto their properties. Using the confusion as a screen, Aztlan annexed most of what was left of Mexico. The exception was the Yucatan, where Awakened forced halted all take-over attempts.
By 2046, the Policlub idea had spread to North America. The movement spread quickly, but violence followed in itswake. Humanis Policlub, in particular, has built a major following that cuts across economic, social, and political divisions. Terry Smith, a metahuman rights activist and head of Mothers of Metahumans (MOM), has denounced Humanis as an arem of the shadowy Alamos 20,000 in a series of advertisements in major dailies.
In 2048, the Aztlan government negotiated the Veracruz Settlement with several megacorps in the wake of a combined corporate military strike on Ensanada. In that same year Alan Adams, former CEO of the Colbert Group, an Illinois-based multinational corporation, was elected President of the UCAS. Edna Wallace, former governor of Louisiana, was elected Presidnet of the CAS.
This year, 2050, has seen the development of the 7th generation cyberdeck, which is now keyboard size. Though the hatred between humans and metahumans still simmers, things are relatively quiet. But even in an Awakened World, how long can that last?
Next Chapter: Game Concepts