A war begins between alien species, the Seraph and the Ophanum. Its combatants - seemingly immortal - return to Earth every 10,000 years to continue their epic struggle. Rumours abound that the Seraph and Ophanum once shared the same home world, but an unforgivable transgression was committed by the Ophanum, resulting in banishment from their home world (3).
Infiltrators, collectively known as Malak, on Earth for 10,000 years, act as intelligence and reconnaissance soldiers. Some are loyal to the Seraph, others to the Ophanum. Initially, however, all remain xenophobic and insular, hiding from mankind as it spreads across the planet. When there is nowhere left to hide, some Malak try to blend into the population, using powers of deception to mask their true identities, avoiding unwanted attention at all costs. Others make the decision to abandon their soldierly duties and use their powers to influence the weaker, ignorant Humans for their own benefit. At first all keep their true identities hidden, amassing great power for themselves and directly influencing the development and history of the Human race.
Those who remain loyal complete their tasks. They watch and wait, keeping track of the development of the beings that would surely complicate the next Evolutionary War. A few small skirmishes erupt between individual Seraph and Ophanum - battles of myth and legend, witnessed by only a handful of people throughout history. Small skirmishes between Evolutionaries are mistakenly passed down through history as conflict between the forces of good and evil. Some witness Ophanum harassing primitive humans, taunting and manipulating them, before the Ophanum themselves are attacked by Seraph troops. This led many to believe the Seraph are to be trusted as guardians while the Ophanum are seen as evil monsters. Stories are told and retold, the truth lost, and humans are left with their false notions of the Seraph and Ophanum (3.9).
Ancient humans bear witness to the clash between Seraph and Ophanum forces. With each visit they leave behind a small number of operatives to serve as spies and make preparations for the next war. With the spread of civilization, some of those who remained on Earth choose to mix with early humans. Some remain hidden, while others attempt to influence or control the budding human race in order to tailor the field of battle. Still others abandon their commitment to their home world and choose to create their own destinies on Earth.
Eons pass and humans spread, dominating the planet. The Seraph and Ophanum fade into myth, their numbers few and purposefully reclusive. Those remaining behind do what they can to avoid the prying eyes of a human world ferocious in its appetite for dominion and knowledge (3).
In the middle of the 19th century
In Paris an unknown writer named Ethan Haas publishes a tiny book of fiction called The Wheel and Other Stories. The work receives very little attention, except within some unusual circles in Eastern Europe. Some philosophers and mystics of the time hail the book as the prophetic visions of a gifted man who had somehow seen the truth of Earth’s origins, end, and rebirth. However, Haas disappears shortly after the book is published. Only a handful of copies survive through the years, carefully protected by a few collectors who quietly hold to the belief that Haas was a prophet (2).
Ethan Haas’ personal journal reportedly goes missing. It is believed that the majority of The Wheel and Other Stories was first recorded by Haas in this journal. Copies of Haas’ journal have circulated over the years, although their authenticity has never been proven. Some researchers claim Haas’ journal includes several entries in which he claims a “demon” watches over him, “whispering visions of what will come” (2).
During the 21st century
The Mezin’s primary target is Van Mantra, whom they hunt relentlessly. Their goal is to quiet Van’s warnings and see to it that humans never knew their world would again serve as the battlefield for the Seraph and Ophanum. Some speculate that the Mezin allied themselves with a group of Annunaki assassins who attempt to carry out a contract on Van and his family. The attempt fails, pushing Van Mantra into hiding.
Vendark Industries begins as a nanotechnology research and engineering firm (3.8.1).
Van Mantra, Lavin Renault, Simon Alexander, Natasha Baron and Oban Karon secretly come together to form a union of Evolutionaries, whose sole purpose was to defend the Earth in the face of the coming Evolutionary War (5.2.2).
Lavin Renault is attacked in his Berlin home by Grigori assassins sent to silence him. Lavin, a wealthy media investor, was preparing to host a gathering of academics and business associates to discuss the writings of Ethan Haas and to prepare a reprint of Haas’ work. Before he could complete his initiative, Lavin is murdered.
With Lavin’s death, Axiom commits to find new ways to reveal to the world the approaching cataclysmic danger and to recruit new Evolutionary members to its ranks (5.2.2).
Several corporations work together to create the first truly massive arcology project - a self-contained city in California for their employees. The city quickly becomes home to 950,000 people. Dozens of suburbs, commercial districts, and parks spring up around the base of the towers. Plans for expansion are put into action almost immediately after completion, as hundreds of thousands flock to the corporate city to be part of the new phenomenon. It does not take long for other corporations to notice the incredible influx of human capital to Max-plex and begin plans for their own city complexes. The rise of the city-states is underway, and before too long, the arcology towers disappear into the clouds (3.2.3).
Volcanic and seismic activity causes several large geographic changes. Three large areas known as The Divides are the sites of particularly dramatic changes (4.5.1).
It becomes clear that Haas’ book was not fiction but indeed prophecy (2).
Mother Nature exacts her revenge on humanity, wiping the Earth‘s surface clean and devastating the world through a decade of violent natural disasters. Volcanoes erupt, spewing ash and fumes into the atmosphere and the Earth‘s surface is torn open by massive earthquakes. Tsunamis scour many of the world‘s coasts, forcing inhabitants many kilometres inland. Storms of never-before-seen power sweep the globe. Crops fail and droughts spread. It seems the Earth itself has turned on humanity.
Forced to fight for survival in a world unravelling around them, humans lash out at the only enemy in sight - each other. Terror spreads around the world, fuelled by the attacks of several doomsday cults eager to tip the scales further towards chaos. Tensions rise between nations until war erupts. Plague spreads, tearing through even the most developed countries, some the products of biological weapons wielded by terrorists and doomsday cults (3).
The Markova Centre becomes a research centre devoted to the study of religion. As the years go by and the centre expands, it becomes a global centre for the discussion and collective study of religion, attracting thousands and faculty (4.3.3).
On 9 November 2049, as earthquakes began tearing at the surface of Earth, a quake of monumental intensity strikes the southern coasts of Panama and Costa Rica. The quake opens a massive trench from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea, creating the Panama Divide, a treacherous waterway (4.5.1).
The human population is estimated at seven and a half billion (6.2.1). The Caspian Divide is formed by another series of massive, violent earthquakes. The first quake hits the southern coast of Iran on 9 January 2050 and is quickly followed by a second and third quake just one day later. The aftershocks continue for several days, until finally a fourth quake opens a chasm from the Caspian Sea which forks before reaching The Gulf of Oman.
On 12 July 2050, the Baja Divide, the last major Divide to form, separates the Baja Peninsula from the mainland, creating a channel linking the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California. The damage caused by the quake is phenomenal, levelling the city of San Diego and almost swallowing the city of Tijuana (4.5.1).
It is the beginning of the end for large-scale air transport as natural disasters spread and conflicts begin to erupt. Fewer and fewer people are willing to leave home, let alone travel great distance by air. Public carriers soon find themselves in serious trouble with no promise of recovery. Even large cargo carriers are struggling (3.8.1).
The soft-tech revolution reaches extraordinary heights when Dr. Rictor Beniton perfects and goes public with his Mesh technology, a series of procedures used to re-engineer or replace genetic code in a patient. Mesh effectively enables people to completely transform their physiology in the same way a software developer rewrites code to perform new functions. The possibilities are endless and so are the ramifications. The genetic Pandora’s Box has been opened and there is no way to close it.
Dr. Beniton’s techniques open new doors in genetics and biochemistry, and very quickly a flood of new Mesh techniques begin (3.8.4).
There is a turning point for AI research when a researcher, Dr. R. Chandra, discovers a seemingly autonomous intelligence online that, it seems, can readily pass the Turing Test.
No one ever lays claim to programming this AI entity, and there is some speculation that is somehow coalesced from existing software. In the digital corridors of the Net, rumour has it that a mysterious research collective called Pharaohs Alive is responsible, but its aims and ends are unclear.
Ultimately, the entity is contained, analysed, and eventually destroyed. The event triggers a resurgence in AI research and engineering. It also triggers a public outcry for controls on AI. Predicting a race for dominance in the field of AI, corporations rush to fund researchers and hire AI experts (3.8.5).
Indonesia, having been ridden both by political violence and by massive earthquakes, finally erupts into chaos. The giant archipelago never recovers (4.4).
Vancouver is struck by the washout of a mega-tsunami that hit Vancouver Island. The wave annihilates the island, washing over it. The resulting wake hits Vancouver, reducing buildings to rubble and killing hundreds of thousands of people (4.1.7)
The War (3.1).
Politicians and the global elite can no longer maintain control and our deadliest weapons are unleashed upon enemies, real or imagined. The world is dragged into a vicious war as nation-states fall into chaos. The Earth endures the ravages of nuclear and biological terror, bringing humanity to the brink of extinction (3).
Most of the great European, North American, Asian and African cities are destroyed (4.3).
Terranova Corporation begins fortifying its already massive facilities in the Yucatan, expecting to be targeted as war spread. Terranova also begins assembling a substantial security force, recruiting military and ex-military personnel from around the world to build and train a private army (4.2.6).
Hong Kong is attacked, enduring significant damage (4.4.1).
The Great Wastes are formed when a barrage of attacks from foreign nations, terrorists, and doomsday radicals tear through the Great Lakes region. The first attacks are launched in Washington by a group of doomsday cult members who unleash several biological weapons in the city, stirring it into chaos. As war and confusion spreads worldwide, the U.S. and Canadian capitals are quickly targeted, and when they are reduced to rubble, the surrounding suburbs and urban centres that supply human capital and bureaucratic support are also targeted and destroyed. Through months of fighting and unimaginable destruction, the area is laid to waste. Countless millions are killed, and millions more flee (4.1.1).
New York City is largely destroyed (4.1.4).
The Markova Research Centre plays host to a continuous flow of high-profile religious leaders and many of their followers from all over the world who begin converging on Città Santa for discussions on everything from the religious significance of the world’s sudden and violent upheaval to the revelations of Van Mantra, which shook the world of many of the world’s religions. During these years, Città Santa is forced to expand (4.3.3).
The global financial markets collapse, currencies quickly become worthless. For years barter becomes the most efficient means of trade. Banks struggle to maintain their relevance, investing almost exclusively in the corporations behind the rise of the city-states. As governments crumble, hard currency becomes meaningless. Personal incomes begin to be paid in “credit dollars” held in trust by a bank able to guarantee the value of the trust by way of its own investments and resource holdings. Over time, the word “trust” becomes synonymous with “money” and “credit”. Trust accounts become the standard system for holding and tracking wealth and “credit dollars” become known simply as Trust (3.4.5).
Then, as the dust settles, all eyes look to the heavens as a massive comet emerges.
Scientists do their best in the chaos of reconstruction to forecast the comet’s path, assuring everyone it will pass near the Earth but poses no threat. Then, as though the Universe itself has decided to punish the Earth, the comet’s deadly cargo is unleashed as fragments break free and fall towards the planet. Meteors tear through the atmosphere and pound the Earth for months. It becomes clear that this comet is just the first of many that will bombard the planet’s surface for the next six years (3).
As the skies fill with the flames of meteors, they empty of aircraft (3.8.1).
Hong Kong is hit by several small meteors, adding to the destruction. Undeterred, the city pushes on and continued to thrive. With the People’s Republic of China unravelling alongside the world’s other major nation states, Hong Kong declares itself an independent state, becoming the first of what would soon be many city states (4.4.1).
Plants, animals, and humans begin to mutate and change. Biological and nuclear weapons are blamed for twisting much of the life on Earth, but some claim the meteors had carried with them alien micro-organisms and mutagenic viruses made more ferocious by radioactive fallout. Political and religious leaders scramble to explain what is happening and control the hysteria. It seems as though the Apocalypse has begun and that the end is truly near. Chaos and panic spreads. Terror claws at the world from every side as it spins wildly out of control.
Seeking protection from a world rapidly descending into primal savagery, humans retreat into nearby cities in increasing numbers. Outside the cities, chaos reigns and the wilderness again, becomes raw and deadly. The cities fortify and reinforce their boundaries, climbing higher, attempting to lock out the ferocious, diseased, and mutated world surrounding them. Some cities become continuous buildings with towers reaching thousands of metres into the sky. Nation-states continue to fall and are replaced by city-states. Corporations and the few governments remaining solidify their positions of power and begin to build walled cities and arcologies. Borders are tightened to protect against the spread of illnesses and mutation. Those unable or unwilling to make their way to a city suffer the greatest exposure to radiation, poison and disease. Conflicts over resources and control of agriculturally valuable land erupt around the world. Armies emerge to protect assets like the cities themselves, the people and infrastructure that power them and the nearby land that supplies them.
Decades pass and the city-states rise. Outside, the broken remnants of the 21st century are consumed by a savage wilderness, primal and deadly, mutated and twisted by radiation and the remnants of biological weapons. Animals mutate beyond recognition and nightmarish creatures prowl the wilds, claiming a world almost completely devoid of human life.
Humanity is scattered and locked in the cities, venturing forth only far enough to acquire defendable agricultural land and valuable natural resources. Cities are forced into isolation and decades pass with very little communication between them. Global communication systems are slowly re-established, offering humans an opportunity to reorganise and cast off the shackles of terror and slowly explore the world (3).
An island begins to form in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of what was Brazil. Earthquakes shake the coastline for months and volcanic activity stirs the ocean floor. Over the course of the year, an island rises from the depths like a massive sea creature. The island of Divinus is formed.
The island is quickly purchased from the Sao Paulo Council - the closest thing to a governing body with claim to the area - by the Axiom Holding Group, a tightly knit group of wealthy entrepreneurs with business holdings all over the globe. Within days of purchase, survey crews and geologists move in to prep the island for development. Weeks later, construction begins and the island city rapidly begins to appear.
Administration of the emerging city is handed over to a charming character named Vandorian Menhir, a long time member of the Axiom Holding Group. Vandorian immediately takes up residence on the island and launches a campaign to attract the world’s elite to Divinus. Corporations and wealthy individuals flock to the island. Construction surges. Vandorian, the charming and graceful administrator, fast becomes a global celebrity. The island’s profile continues to rise under his watchful eye, and the world’s rich and beautiful continue to arrive everyday (4.2.3).
Life in the cities begins to stabilise. Science and technology once again flourish. The barons of a new global economy fight for control. Arcologies climb higher. The city-states begin to reach out, exploring the countryside around them and seizing territory to supply the city’s population. Finally the cities reconnect and establish trade, all in an attempt to return to life as it had been in the 21st century (3).
Moore’s Law reaches the summit of its exponential climb, prompting huge investment in the development of organic computing systems (3.8.3).
An unusual criminal case makes international headlines. Jet Matheson is indicted for his alleged involvement in the assassinations of several prominent crime figures around the world. He is captured outside Oderon City after evading the city’s security forces, running at seemingly impossible speed through the city, and leaping from a sixth story ventilation shaft in the arcology’s exterior wall. While he is held in Oderon City, Jet Matheson is studied by the city’s pre-eminent geneticist, Dr. Stanton Lethus. Dr. Lethus’ time with Jet would change the focus of his research forever. He comes to the conclusion that Jet’s genetics are fantastically different than any normal human. After several weeks of study and numerous conversations with Jet, Dr. Lethus comes to the conclusion that Earth is home to an array of non-human intelligent species. Just three months after having been captured, Jet escapes from is holding facility, once again in spectacular fashion. The video footage is incredible and rapidly makes its way around the world. This is the first time the general public have ever seen someone who looked human do things so obviously superhuman (3.6).
A mysterious individual named Van Mantra begins to appear in the media (3).
Late 21st and early 22nd centuries
As AI research progresses and proliferates, researchers begin to put the computational powers they had summoned into robotic and organic bodies, creating entities which, while not quite human, have all the faculties of Humans - the first free-floating AI. Corporations and private AI engineers ignore the commission’s proposed guidelines and simply do what they want. AI pops up in all manner of robotic forms. Everything from industrial machinery to household aids become infused with some measure of AI. It seems a golden age of intelligent machines is about to arrive. At the same time, AI are largely exploited and their role and use is clouded in moral and ethical fog, a fog which becomes thicker as corporations and those with little interest in liberty become more and more involved in the debate, AI researchers, cognisant of the ethical questions surrounding AI, struggle to develop systems that have no concept of liberty and no ability to “grow” beyond the parameters of their design. However, it quickly becomes evident that such programming limitations severely limit their creation’s ability to function autonomously and understand the world sufficiently to remain competitive with models programmed with no such constraints. In order to give an AI “life”, and enable it to remain competitive, the AI require resources for growth, resources which are soon consumed at a frightening rate. Scientists and engineers can not keep their programmes contained or manage their massive appetites (3.8.5).
Jet Matheson is captured by Oderon security forces after a long investigation involving numerous informants and an elaborate sting operation. Clearly, Jet’s underworld enemies are desperate to rid themselves of the competition and eagerly cooperate in a setup he could not escape. At the time of his capture, Jet is wanted for questioning in the mysterious deaths of several high profile figures in Oderon City and elsewhere, all with known ties to organised crime. It is correctly assumed that Jet was a hit man working for the highest bidder.
Four months later, Jet is the modern world’s first public Evolutionary. His daring escape from the Oderon security forces is captured on video and broadcast worldwide. The public can only assume they were watching a VidNet movie (5.1.8).
Van Mantra claims the arrival of two ancient warring species, the Seraph and Ophanum, is imminent. Referring to these two species as the Elim, he claims that Earth has been their battleground for millennia. Precise cosmic alignments, he explains, enable the Elim to travel to Earth. Van goes on to suggest the Elim would be surprised by the progress humanity has made since their last war and that humans must organise in defence of their world. Van also reveals the truth that he is an Evolutionary half-breed and that there are others like him, spawned from the union of Elim and humans, known as the Nephilim. He goes on to explain that there are other species, one engineered by the Elim as servants and soldiers, known as the Grigori. Both the Nephilim and Grigori have spawned additional half-breeds, diluting their Evolutionary blood further, creating the Lesser Nephilim, Lesser Grigori and Anunnaki over the centuries. Van explains that these Evolutionaries live veiled in secrecy, some still loyally serving the Seraph or Ophanum, others operating in an ancient underworld, manipulating the world of humans, amassing wealth and power for themselves. Most people write Van Mantra off as just another crackpot trying to spread chaos until more Evolutionaries reveal themselves, some forced from secrecy others doing so willingly.
Over 150 years, Evolutionaries continue to reveal themselves, many seeking to be openly integrated into the world of humans. Humanity struggles with the existence of these new species and their own place on the evolutionary ladder. As time passes, cities grow, the arcologies climb and in some places the Evolutionaries are accepted. In other areas, humanity‘s bigotry and fear keep Evolutionaries on the fringes of society at best. However, in even less tolerant communities, Evolutionaries are persecuted, forced out, killed, and in some cases, legally hunted (3).
Guadalupe Island, off the coast of former Baja California, is hit by a massive meteor. The island’s east side is devastated when the meteor crashes into the shore line. Massive waves race east, battering the California coast. The impact crater tears Guadalupe Island almost completely in two as it quickly fills with water (4.5.2).
Gravux Power Collective, a group of industry leaders and researchers with a special focus on sustainable power sources, become a serious player in the New World’s energy game when it introduces the Gravux Solar Cell Spray (3.8.1).
More than 30 years after his administration began, Vandorian publicly declares he is Nephilim, the off-spring of a human and Seraph union. His celebrity status only rises, catapulting him further into stardom, and contributing to Divinus’ rise to be the most desirable travel destination on Earth (4.2.3).
Città Santa, formerly the Markova Research Centre, has become a full-fledged city and home to more than one million (4.3.3).
Widespread violence Città Santa in three days of riots and chaos fuelled by intolerance. Thousands are injured and killed as the city’s meagre security force struggles to restore order. As the dust settles, the city’s assembly of representatives rush to organise a proper security force capable of maintaining order in a city heavy with tension (4.3.3).
Lavana Free City begins life as the Lavana Trade and Education Commune, an experiment in open community design organised by numerous academic leaders from around the world. The community is designed to be a self-sufficient commune, based on the principle that education is the foundation of a truly civilised and open society. The commune grows rapidly, attracting attention as an exporter of industrial designs, software, and other by-products of the commune’s centre for higher education. The commune quickly forms relationships with numerous corporations, academic institutions and government bodies - many of which contributed some measure of funding - and becomes a meeting place for discussion on everything from political philosophy to chemical engineering (4.3.2).
Numerous corporate and academic leaders come together for a conference in the Lavana Trade and Education Commune, which would later become Lavana Free City, to discuss the prospects of forming a global body to regulate and enforce intellectual property rights and standardisation. The discussions are unsuccessful; a consensus can not be reached. However, several of the conference’s participants recognise the need to re-establish global standards for science and engineering, even if they are only to ensure compatibility and consistency of seemingly mundane things like measurement standards. Numerous corporations, eager to improve their image as cooperative forward-thinkers, offer support. Several universities follow suit (3.8.2).
Numerous corporations and universities return to Lavana and found the New World Science and Engineering Commission (NWSEC). Their first order of business: to publish a standardised system of measurements for use in science and engineering. Very shortly thereafter, the Commission offers its resources to revive the old Request for Comments system of research and innovation, providing an open forum for the discussion of ideas. Given the protective nature of most corporate researchers, use of the forum is light initially, but momentum builds and the New World Science and Engineering Commission quickly begins arranging and hosting an annual symposium on science and engineering, attracting many of the world’s brightest minds. It quickly becomes a bi-annual event, which leads to a flurry of publications in support of common standards and research principles. The Commission gains clout and buy-in, and becomes a friendly face in corporate circles and in the media (3.8.2).
The Net begins grinding to a halt. Comp-grids fail, individual systems crash, and critical infrastructure around the world lose connections to central control systems. The Net is swarming with AI and a war for computational resources has erupted between them. AI programmes rapidly consume systems, redirect power, and alter system controls in order to give themselves more resources.
On 2 June 2155, a young technician, Nic Scot, reports a series of odd building system fluctuations at the Lavinda Technical Research Institute, in Oderon City. The reports include reconfigured building security systems that somehow lock down the institute‘s high performance computing wing. A few minutes later, the Institute‘s climate controls begin dropping the temperature in the locked down wing. An AI had made its way into the Institute‘s systems and was preparing to overclock them to augment its own processing abilities.
Oderon City’s security forces have to be called in to break through the Institute’s physical security and take the high performance systems of the Net.
Power failures and damage to critical systems spread as AI attempt to hoard power and computational resources for themselves. Outcry for something to be done reaches the highest levels of city-state administration, and everyone looks once more to the New World Science and Engineering Commission.
The Commission’s first move is to propose a Global Accord on Artificial Life, complete with agreed-upon punishments for anyone who violates the Accord and a promise from all Accord signatories that they would devote resources to seeking out and punishing violators.
The city-states quickly agree, their populations screaming for action, and sign on, bringing the GAAL into effect on 1 July 2155.
One day later, as systems fail around the world and panic reaches apocalyptic levels, Dr. Hector Sullivan of the NWSEC releases his team‘s Active Artificial Intelligence Deconstruction Module to the technical heads of the city-states, who begin deploying the tool on their comp-grids. The AI Killer, as it becomes known, sits in wait on the borders of systems for AI to attempt to pass. It then injects a copy of itself, causing the AI to rapidly destabilise and, in the words of Dr. Sullivan, “die a painless death” (3.8.5).
For the last century, the need to attract valuable and talented human capital has weighed heavily on the corporations, and the competition for human resources has forced almost every city-state to institute policies that make them appealing to the New World’s best and brightest. Corporate rule was further challenged when city-states began to open the lines of communication with other cities. Opportunities to relocate to a more desirable city, even if it was made extremely difficult or illegal became possible and the need to the cities to remain attractive was amplified. Furthermore, as business dealings and trade became more common, opportunities within the cities became numerous. New corporations were formed and established offices in new cities, hired staff, and became entwined in the fabric of life (3.4).
The world’s largest corporations come together with the heads of several city-states and create the Central Financial Authority (CFA), a singular global bank to handle all Trust accounts, personal, corporate, or otherwise. A constitution is drawn up, outlining the framework under which the CFA would operate and the system by which its board of directors would be chosen (3.4.5).
The CFA is officially formed and headquartered in Lavana Free City (3.4.5).
Sergius Wanderlay, a renowned physicist turned mystic and philosopher, develops powers he can not explain. Wanderlay abandons his lucrative career as a researcher, choosing to focus his considerable genius on understanding the source and purpose of this power. For more than three years he delves into everything from the loftiest theories on metaphysics to the darkest corners of the occult (3.7).
A handful of research specialists form the Cuidad Group. Their early work focuses on organic building materials but quickly evolves to incorporate genetic engineering (4.2.1).
In the end, Sergius Wanderlay finds no real answers, but knows he - and others like him - will need something to help them understand the origin of this power. Wanderlay knows there is something intangible linking earthly physiology with the energy of the universe. He can feel it, and through Wielding he can see its effects, but he can never define it. So, he sets out to build his model of the Wielding Cosmology as a hybrid of the solar system and atomic models he knows so well as a physicist, keenly aware of the genetic link he feels exists between Wielders and the source of their power.
The Wielding Cosmology is first drafted. The Cosmology describes the sources and intentions of a Wielder‘s seemingly supernatural power (3.7).
The Cosmology changes little from these early writings (6.10.2).
The Lavana Trade and Education Commune proclaims itself a formal city-state, establishing a constitution and formal governing body. Lavana also solidifies its role on the world stage as an open, neutral, and free city-state that would welcome any healthy person willing to take the city’s civic oath (4.3.2)
Over the next 80 years Triton Enterprises and a few of its competitors bioengineer creatures of every type, from delicate, rare birds to the fiercest custom-engineered monstrosities. Most of their creations are produced to bolster populations of endangered or even extinct species. However, later decades see most of Triton Enterprises’ research and development directed at filling roles in theme parks, zoological exhibits, and private collections (3.5).
Paulo, the first child of wealthy couple Mika and Silvia Vanderlai, dies in an attack on Greater Mexico City by raiders (5.1.22).
Vul’s existence becomes relatively public knowledge when her convoy is attacked by Mezin assassins while travelling in the south-eastern foothills of Senegal. The attack draws substantial attention when several containers of unstable meteor debris explode, unleashing a catastrophic blast that spreads lethal radiation across the countryside. The Freezone communities of Nadaji and Safaya are completely obliterated, and tens of thousands are killed. Vul and the few survivors are captured by local security forces, with local VidNet reporters in-tow. However, they are held just long enough to escape (5.1.27).
Tomas Vanderlai is born in Greater Mexico City to Mika and Silvia Vanderlai. Tomas is raised in protective opulence, educated and groomed for a life in the upper echelons of corporate rule. However, Tomas has no interest in following his parents’ path, and quickly sets out on his own after completing university (5.1.22).
Van Mantra suddenly goes silent. His face disappears from VidNet broadcasts, where his exploits had become news staples (5.1.23).
The next 50 years see a consistent increase in the amount of personal inter-city air travel (3.8.1).
Strata begins using the CSM. In over 40 years of professional Strata there are only 2 fatalities (3.4.8).
Shortly after Triton Enterprises establishes its headquarters on Triton Island, the most notable escape occurs on 12 July 2245.
As the sun sets across the Solomon Islands, a deep sea fishing drone is attacked from below. Its sensor arrays send images and video footage of the attacker to its control vessel several kilometres away. In seconds, the drone is destroyed, but not before it is clear to its operators that it is no normal shark that is behind the attack. When the footage is broadcast around the world all eyes immediately turn towards Triton Enterprises. Triton comes clean, explaining that earlier this morning their latest marine creation, an incredible 17 m (18.9 yd) megalodon shark had escaped its holding pen at Triton Island and was loose in the open ocean.
In spite of the bad press, Triton’s profile rises and public interest in their creations skyrockets. Triton begins to hire professional trackers and big game hunters to assist in recapturing or killing escaped creatures (5.2.5).
The Global Accord on Artificial and Machine Intelligence (GAAMI) is signed by the city-states. It is a technical agreement preventing Loaded AI from moving freely through the Net and from using shared computational resources to augment their own processing power (3.1).
Public opinion regarding Vidal Corporation becomes dramatically polarised when Vidal adds a range of military-specific AI to its massive product offering, which had traditionally catered to residential and business consumers. Vidal quickly follows its foray into military AI with a line of adult companion or “Pleasure-Bot” AI and terminates its support of the AI in the Classroom programme. From this point on, public opinion of the corporation wavers significantly (5.2.6).
Sergius Wanderlay, creator of the Wielding Cosmology, dies. Numerous versions of the Wielding Cosmology are built and studied by Wanderlay’s successors. None are able to improve upon his original vision in any meaningful way (3.7).
Hong Kong begins issuing naturalised citizenship status to those who prove they have lived and worked within the city for at least seven years (4.4.1).
The Venlu Corporation makes waves when it becomes the first corporation to offer private incarceration services to the city-states. Venlu’s Corporation CEO Markus Venlu approaches the heads of the major city-states and offers them an opportunity to rid their cities of expensive and unsightly prisons, promising to take any and all prisoners off their hands, while abiding by the penal system requirements of each city-state government. For many the offer is too good to pass up - Venlu is willing to handle the most dangerous criminals and shoulder the responsibility of their incarceration. Venlu quickly becomes a major player in the New World’s corporate power game.
It is not long before Venlu has enough contracts and Trust to expand its operation. The construction of the Venlu Island prison quickly follows (4.5.2).
Over the next twenty years, Alexa Petronas enters the political realm, making a push to improve health care in every major city-state, starting with her own. Alexa spends a lot of time visiting Freezone communities, trying to establish and improve medical facilities (5.1.2).
The New World Wielding Commission is formed by a group of scientists, many powerful Wielders themselves, to study the origins and effects of Wielding (3.7).
Sao Paulo is targeted in a series of biological weapon attacks by anti-genetic research activists. Security becomes tight and import/export regulations become strictly enforced (4.2.5).
Venlu Corporation moves in to Guadalupe Island and establishes the world’s first corporately run island prison (4.5.2).
Almost 150 years after its inception, with its hand in everything from academics to corporate research, the NWSEC gains its most valuable asset when Paul Silvine becomes its executive director. Paul Silvine is an engineer and senior researcher at Triton Enterprises and has held key positions at several other firms over the years. He is also something of a scientific celebrity, counting VidStars and professional athletes among his numerous high-profile personal friends. Silvine takes the reins of the NWSEC and gives it a public face like never before.
Silvine immediately begins winning the public’s favour pushing hard to, in his words, “…ensure science and engineering work for everyone and exploit no one”.
The next five years see the NWSEC become a media mainstay and hub for the meeting of great thinkers. The NWSEC also wins over the confidence of consumers as a respectful, honest, and objective body of experts. An endorsement from the NWSEC can make or break a product or a professional’s career and almost every major corporation and institute of higher learning has membership and voting rights on the Commission (3.8.2).
Synth Lejun begins her career as a Handler after developing a friendship with Jack Albert, a professional art thief. While working as an executive assistant to one of the city’s leading gallery directors, Synth seizes the opportunity to point Jack toward an easy score. Her cut is more than she knows what to do with and she soon realises she has a knack for connecting criminal talent with moneymaking jobs (5.1.20).
The reconnaissance screens for both the Seraph and Ophanum armies arrive on Earth. The several hundred members of each advance force are greeted by those Malak who remained loyal. News of the development of the Terran species is met with surprise and concern by Seraph and Ophanum commanders. Both Evolutionary species recognise the dangers to their ongoing war posed by divergent evolutionary paths the Human species has taken in the last 10,000 years. In addition, Human science and technology have advanced at a rate Seraph and Ophanum intelligence operatives and anthropologists had not predicted. Fighting the next Evolutionary war will require preparation and caution. Both the Seraph and Ophanum will need allies amongst the Terran species, and will need to find ways to prevent them from uniting against the off-world armies (3.9).
Nearly two centuries has passed since the first Evolutionaries emerged. The world has become a flavourful blend of intelligent species, and although most species are native to Earth, tension hangs heavy. It is a dangerous world, reclaimed by the primal forces from which it sprang. The city-states have become massive power centres of human ingenuity, secretly controlled by organisations spawned from the corporations, criminal syndicates, and secret societies of the 21st century, all with their roots deep in the political and economic fabric of the world. Science and technology have enjoyed two hundred years of development reaching fantastic new heights within the protection of the cities. A sophisticated satellite network links the cities, supplying global communications. The race is on for control of valuable resources and exploration is common but dangerous. The wilderness is home to all manner of bandits, marauders, slavers and rogue armies as well as scattered communities, mostly lawless and usually built upon the ruins of 21st century cities.
Now, it is time to venture forth, to explore the dangers beyond the cities, to fight for control of resources, to bridge the gaps between human settlements and reclaim the world (3).
Global air travel is most certainly on the verge of dramatic expansion (3.8.1).
Alpha Omega is a world of imagination, adventure, fantasy, and limitless possibility. It is a world where the normal rules of daily life no longer apply - heroes villains, monsters, and terrors of every sort lie waiting for you. It is a world wiped clean, returned to a state of primal nature where only the strong survive.
Humans have regrouped in the safety of cities inside a whole new range of intelligent species. Inside the cities, they have pushed the limits of science and engineering, ensuring survival and the eventual reclamation of Earth. It is a dangerous, untamed frontier world, ready again to be explored. It is a world where the bravest and strongest can be whatever they want, and where those willing to risk it all can achieve greatness. Finally, it is a world ready for you to make your own (1).
Seraph and Ophanum vanguards are scheduled to arrive within a year. These groups will number in the thousands, and will be heavy combat soldiers and powerful Wielders, mostly Grigori. Their purpose will be to solidify a base of operations and find the opposition, engaging in small-scale warfare to begin probing for an advantage. New tactics will be required to deal with the environmental challenges posed by the New World and by the evolution of Terran science and technology. Many of the previous battlefields in areas such as South America and the Middle East now lie in the middle of the Wilds, where creatures powerful enough to kill Evolutionaries run rampant (3.9).
Dur-Koss, Commander of the Ophanum reconnaissance screen arrives on Earth in the spring of 2280, instructing her forces to survey the heavily populated areas, gathering intelligence about Terran military capabilities. She makes contact with Karr and the Seekers, providing them with additional forces to hunt down those Ophanum who strayed from their duties. Dur-Koss is also hunting for suitable locations for the Ophanum base of operations (5.1.6)
Having arrived on Earth early in 2280, Kai’Tron (commander of the Seraph reconnaissance screen) is debriefed by the few reconnaissance agents, such as Vul, who maintained their loyalty and performed their duties since the last Evolutionary War. Kai’Tron is shocked by the advancement humans have made and the profound effect their technological developments have had on the planet. He is now intimately aware that many factors, such as the weapons of the Terrans, and the misconduct of the Seraph and Ophanum who abandoned their duties are going to cause great complications in the planning for the war (5.1.9).
The Hong Kong underworld has seen the assassination of a number of mid-level crime bosses and gang leaders in the past several months, causing paranoia and suspicion amongst the criminal classes. Rumours have begun circulating that much of the violence is sponsored by freelance teams of assassins hired by the security forces of Divinus and Hong Kong to prevent underworld leaders from becoming a threat to legitimate governments of both cities (4.4.1).
Kal-Orn, having doubled the size of the Ophanum vanguard, attempts to hunt down and destroy the Seraph reconnaissance forces when he arrives.
Kal-Orn is amused by the advancement of humanity and the Terran species. He tests their resolve and intelligence, baiting them into reacting to his forces in ways that will test their strengths and capabilities (5.1.10).
Naera and the 3,000 Seraph that comprise the vanguard are scheduled arrive on Earth. At that time, the reconnaissance teams currently on Earth falls under her command. Commensurate with her rank of Kull, Naera is responsible for establishing the Seraph base of operations, assessing the state of Earth as a battlefield, and evaluating new capabilities the Ophanum have developed.
Naera’Kull oversees reconnaissance patrols and raids to locate and pressure the Ophanum forces. She must ascertain their level of combat readiness, determining any tactical advances the opposition has made since the previous Evolutionary War. She must also report any unusual changes on Earth that might cause difficulty for Seraph forces (5.1.17).
The main bodies of the Seraph and Ophanum Expeditionary Forces - legions led by experienced generals and accompanied by masses of Grigori Wielders and warriors - arrive on Earth, tens of thousands of Evolutionaries thirsting for the blood of their most hated enemies.
The Evolutionary muster on Earth is complete and mankind once again bears witness to opposing armies of species far more physically powerful than themselves (3.9).