Tales of a Dark City
Act 1—Oh, Brave New World!
- October 31st, 12:18 PM UCT: An explosion in Iraq near the Iranian border, thought to be a nuclear device, vaporizes forty square miles of desert. A strange energy fallout later known as The Shadow Weave appears across the globe. Within a matter of hours, freak accidents and catastrophes occur the world over. Strangely, few increased radiation levels are reported in the wake of the disaster.
- October 31st, 2:31 PM UCT: Randal Portman becomes the first publicly known Abnormal. “The Fireman,” as the media later dubs Portman, emerges during a school-bus fire in New York. His nascent powers absorb the energy from the fire, extinguishing it and saving dozens of lives.
- November—December: Abnormals emerge worldwide on a daily basis. Governments scramble to deal with the phenomenon. International relations become tense, with the United States going to Defcon 3 and other nations responding in kind. Emergency sessions of the UN are called. First usage of the term Nova by the press, in response to scientists’ unofficial categorization of the newly erupted as Homo sapiens novus. First usage of the epithet Abnormal.
- January 12: The Aeon Society, an international philanthropic organization, initiates a dialogue with the UN, offering to seek out and study novas.
- February 1: The Aeon Society publicly announces its UN support and issues an invitation to open dialog with any interested novas. The UN works behind the scenes to calm and reassure the world that Aeon can handle the nova outbreak.
- February 5: A group of Hispanic novas go on a wild crime spree in the southwestern United States in response to perceived anti-nova sentiment. Similar incidents occur worldwide as it becomes increasingly clear that law enforcement agencies are unable to contain outbreaks of abnormal-led crime and violence.
- March 1: Martial law is declared in the western United States as military forces are dispatched to aid local law enforcement in troubled areas. This action causes President Bush’s approval ratings to plummet, especially after the military aid fails to restore order.
- March-June: As nova crime increases, the Aeon society studies the nova phenomenon. A media frenzy erupts as a group of nova vigilantes calling themselves The Fabulous Five begins operating out of San Francisco’s Castro district. Within weeks, the Fabulous Five manage to capture some of the most dangerous Abnormal criminals, though they suffer some casualties in the process. Similar vigilante groups develop during this period, and slowly the rate of Abnormal crime drops. Most of the notorious Abnormal criminals are held in secure locations, but the world is unsure what to do with them.
- June 30: The UN passes the Zurich Accord, a document declaring Abnormals to be human beings, with all the rights and responsibilities thereof. The Accord is not passed without issue. Several prominent member nations (including China), as well as fundamentalist Islamic and dictatorial regimes, protest the resolution and refuse to ratify it. However, it is pointedly mentioned that many of these countries have poor human-rights records.
- July 8: The surviving members of the Fabulous Five are arrested on obstruction of justice and assault charges for their involvement in handling the Abnormal Crisis. Public outrage swells and riots are threatened until Jason Deschaines, leader of the group, issues a press release stating that he is a law-abiding citizen and will willingly stand trial for his crimes. Still, massive criticism of President Bush follows as some loudly wonder if the Fab Five were arrested because they were abnormal or because several members were openly gay.
- July 28: The 2004 Athens Olympic Committee, in a startlingly controversial move, disqualifies American Gary Redrush when he erupts during the final lap of the four hundred meter sprint, citing the discovery of steroid enhancement as their reason. When no evidence of such steroid use is found by independent investigators, the public outcry is enormous. Despite the outcry, the judges stand firm, and Gary Redrush sues several of the judges on grounds of discrimination.
- August 13: Project Utopia, a multipurpose private foundation, is formed under the guidance of both the UN and the Aeon society. Project Utopia’s stated goals are to study the nova phenomenon and utilize novas’ abilities to better the quality of life on Earth for all its inhabitants. Membership is open to all interested novas, under the direction of Drs. Henri Mazarin and Farah Rashoud.
- September: Project Utopia’s first test comes when a massive tsunami forms in the Indian Ocean, causing massive loss of life and property damage as flooding occurs throughout East Africa and the Indian Peninsula. Novas under the auspices of Project Utopia are quite visible in the disaster relief efforts.
- October: First use of the term Baseline to refer to humans without abnormal abilities.
- November 3: President George W. Bush narrowly wins over his Democratic rival John Kerry. In a move almost unheard of, various independent candidates, especially in the Libertarian and Reform parties, come away with 30% of the total vote. Cries of electoral fraud go unaddressed at this time.
- December 4: Dr. Henri Mazarin and Dr. Farah Rashoud release their findings on the discovery of a unique gland found in the brain of novas. The Mazarin-Rashoud, or M-R, node is believed to be the root of a nova’s abilities. Novas are officially dubbed subspecies Homo sapiens novus. A pharmaceutical facility operated by Dark-Hawke Industries, known as The Triton Foundation, provides funding for Mazarin and Rashoud’s research and much of the other abnormal-based research over the next two and a half decades. Some criticize the corporate sponsorship at first but gradually fall silent as the Triton Foundation begins to find cures for some of the world’s most horrific diseases.
At this time, a nova’s powers are theorized to derive from manipulation of the basic forces of the universe, also known as quantum forces: gravity, electromagnetism, weak nuclear force and strong nuclear force. The M-R node allows the nova some degree of channeling and control over these forces.
- December 31: Aeon Society census reports roughly 1200 known novas in the world population.
Inspired by the coming of the novas, various apocalyptic and transcendentalist religious sects arise throughout the year. Many of these groups see novas as the chosen of God or the ultimate development of humanity, though several anti-abnormal groups decrying novas as the Devil’s children or minions of the Antichrist are formed as well. The most notable sects are the Church of Immanent Escheaton, founded by a charismatic nova styling himself as Chystian Kalpa, and The Church of Jesus Christ, Paragon, founded in New York by Archbishop Theodosius. The Vatican does not release an official statement of position on the status of novas at this time. Protestant sects and Judaism release statements of support for novas, with wording in line with that of the Zurich Accord. Fundamentalist Islamic sects decrying novas as the Devil’s Children increasingly come into conflict with Sunni philosophy exalting novas as the chosen of Allah.
- January 1: In a media spectacle attended by former President Clinton and the UN Security-General, Project Utopia introduces Team Tomorrow, a group of novas from around the world organized to implement Project Utopia’s goals of a better future. Team Tomorrow begins to combat global terrorism, organized crime, and natural disasters with the cooperation of law-enforcement agencies worldwide. Utopia’s Science and Technology Department begins working on solutions to famine and environmental crises.
- January 8: Project Utopia opens the first Rashoud Facility in midtown Manhattan. The facility is intended to be a place where nascent novas can go to learn about and explore their powers in a controlled environment. Over the next decade, dozens of other Rashoud facilities open worldwide.
- January-April: More abnormal vigilante groups spring up world-wide. Some of them assist Team Tomorrow in the curtailing of criminal organizations, but several actually resist Utopian-sponsored “interference.” Widely-publicized confrontations between Team Tomorrow and “home town heroes” become highly rated news items.
- April 6: Microsoft becomes the first private company to hire a nova consultant for public relations and research. Mungu Kuwasha is hired for his ability to interface with computer systems.
- April 8: Fidel Castro is assassinated. Cuba spends the following weeks in political turmoil. When the dust clears, a democratically-elected president and legislative body take control of the government. Cuba’s relations with the rest of the world stabilize by July. Various conspiracy theorists claim US-backed forces participated in the assassination.
- May-November: Brushfire wars sweep through sub-Saharan West Africa while terrorism escalates in the Middle East. Sierra Leon, Nigeria and Sudan use nova mercenaries, dubbed Elites by the press, to fight as proxies, while terrorist organizations such as Al-Queda employ novas from their own ranks. While fewer than a dozen elites die in the conflicts, thousands of civilians are killed as “collateral damage” and the political borders of Africa and the Middle East are redrawn several times throughout the months of conflict. Team Tomorrow takes peacekeeping actions on behalf of the UN and finally negotiates a ceasefire. Osama Bin Laden, Al-Queda leader, is discovered by a team of Elites working for the United States, and several of his most fervent backers, including several prominent leaders of the Iranian government, are assassinated. The political structure of the region collapses, allowing American-backed forces to enter Iran for peacekeeping duties and delaying their withdrawal from Iraq by another year. Press coverage of the twin conflicts becomes the highest-rated television event of the decade up to this point. Various conspiracy theorists claim that the conflicts were instigated by the US and other major powers so that they could see how effective novas were when used as military operatives.
The Equatorial Wars, as the African fighting is latter dubbed, prompt international negotiations concerning the use of novas in military applications. While the talks are never formalized, the UN and Project Utopia openly support discussion on the issue. International consensus falls short of banning the use of novas in the military, but it is generally agreed that due to the unpredictable nature of abnormal powers, novas should not be used against civilian or normal military targets unless in all-out war. Strategists and academics quickly devise a new school of military deterrent thought based around novas and formalize the idea of limited-scale conflicts fought by nova proxies. General acceptance of this idea, as an economical alternative to certain types of conventional conflicts, leads to large numbers of elites being contracted by world governments in the following year. The term Superman Squad comes into use as a derogatory phrase relating to bands of government-sponsored elites and, to a lesser extent, Team Tomorrow.
- June 17: The “Fab Five” case goes to trial. Harvey Birdman, Jason Deschanies’ lawyer, argues passionately on the grounds of the Second Amendment protecting the creation of militias. It is a bold move, but initially, it fails. The Supreme Court overturns the original ruling, however, and establishes a legal precedent for the formation of citizen-regulated vigilance groups.
- September: Hurricane Katrina slams into New Orleans, killing hundreds. Though Team Tomorrow is quick to respond to the disaster, the Federal Government is not; They do not send relief troops to the area for an unprecedented five days. This slow response is widely reviled by the press and the American people. This glaring oversight is seen to illustrate the very wide gap between the wealthy and the poor, as the sections hit hardest were predominantly poor black neighborhoods. The criticism only worsens when a similar hurricane strikes Florida three weeks later and the relief efforts are many times more expedient.
- October 31: Congress passes The Citizens Vigilance Act on the second anniversary of the Weave incident, legalizing vigilante activities as long as such groups are registered with local law-enforcement agencies. This act allows citizen vigilance groups a certain latitude to make arrests when present during a criminal activity. The Act allows States governments to make their own legislation regarding the guidelines by which vigilance groups may be formed.
- December 31: The Aeon Society reports approximately 2700 known novas in the world population. Novas continue to erupt throughout the year, despite falling levels of radiation from the Weave incident.
- January 28: The Triton Foundation announces the first successful gene-therapy treatment for breast cancer. This treatment, combined with childhood genetic screening, makes breast cancer a thing of the past.
- February 1: Project Utopia announces, before the UN General Assembly, its intention to perform a worldwide environmental cleanup. The world press applauds the news, and various countries use the cleanup project as a core to create civil works programs to help alleviate unemployment.
- June 1: The hypercombustion engine is released to the public by Dark-Hawke Industries. The hypercombustion engine is a super-efficient internal combustion engine, suitable for consumer and industrial applications. It boasts a tenfold decrease in fuel consumption while increasing power by a like amount. The design is credited to the late Professor Malcolm Quintal. Within the decade, all automotive transportation and fossil-fuel-based electric production use hypercombustion engines exclusively (and later, electric/hypercombustion hybrids, and later still, off oil completely). Several prominent oil companies, including Endron Oil, file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection in the wake of this development.
- September 6: Project Utopia announces that it has successfully closed the hole in the ozone layer and introduced CFC-eating bacteria into the atmosphere to prevent continued damage. Project Utopia requests that all UN member states begin transporting toxic and radioactive waste to a collection facility in Siberia for “future disposal.”
- December 31: Aeon Society census reports approximately 3600 known novas in the world population
- January 24: Project Utopia-mediated negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization open. The peace talks end with the signing of the London Peace Accord, which establishes a Palestinian state along the border of Israel and Egypt. Project Utopia agrees, as part of the accord, to monitor the newly created border, although Israel is rumored to have almost two dozen novas under its direct control.
- March 18: Project Utopia announces that bioremedial bacteria recently introduced in the world’s oceans, along with a large amount of physical cleanup, will restore the water quality of the world’s oceans to pre-Industrial Revolution levels by 2012.
- March 29: The Russian Confederation rises from political and economic chaos. Russia’s downward spiral reverses, albeit slowly, thanks to nova “economic savant” and Minister of the Treasury Vladimir Sierka. The reorganized Confederation consists of sovereign member states allied for the purposes of economic strength and foreign relations. The Confederation has one currency, the ruble, and representatives of each member state in the Confederation vote on all foreign trade decisions. The confederation retains its seat on the UN Security Council, but the member states are represented individually in the General Assembly. In effect, the Confederation functions somewhat like a cross between the European Union and the United States of America. Belarus president Andrei Srebrianski is elected the first Confederation president. Although Srebrianski is officially president, rumors continue in the press that Minister Sierka is the true leader of the Confederation.
- May 21: The Triton Foundation announces a gene-therapy treatment for prostate cancer and a genetic screening process that predicts (with 94% accuracy) whether a person is at risk for developing any of the common forms of cancer. Attempts to use this process to predict the nova intron sequence return results that are unreliable at best.
- June 10: Representatives of the United States, the Russian Confederation, the UK and Japan meet in Moscow. They agree to form and sponsor a multinational intelligence agency, which they term the Directive. The Directive’s primary mission is to monitor the activities of Project Utopia and the world’s growing population of Abnormals.
- August 7: Anibál Buendia, a nova with the ability to reconfigure his cellular structure, creates the polymer derivative known as Eufiber. This material, which has the ability to bond with nova cell structure and channel and redirect quantum and bioenergies, becomes the most popular fashion accessory for the novas and the wealthy. As a side effect, studies of eufiber enable the development of OpNet cable technology.
- October: Project Utopia begins coordinating with law-enforcement and intelligence agencies from around the world (Interpol, the FBI, Scotland Yard, Mossad) to combat organized crime and terrorism. While they do a lot to curb organized crime, they also wind up forcing the surviving syndicates and cartels to merge into larger, more powerful organizations. The Camparelli-Zukhov Syndicate, Nakato Gumi, Heaven Thunder Triad, Medellin Cartel, and The Golden Dawn rise out of these attempts to combat crime.
- December 3: A terrorist attack by a fire-wielding nova shocks the American public. The nova, termed Inferno by the press, attacks during a party hosted by executives of Dark-Hawke Industries, allegedly for poor treatment and illegal experimentation conducted on him during the nova’s stay in one of the Triton Foundation’s research centers. Though there are a great many severe injuries, there is only one casualty—the wife of Dark-Hawke executive Adrian Newberry. An investigation into Dark-Hawke Industries in response to Inferno’s allegations are hampered by a lack of cooperation on the Triton Foundation’s part and the matter is eventually dismissed.
- December 31: Aeon Society census reports approximately 4400 known novas world wide
- January 2008-early 2011: Much of the world’s copper and fiber-optic cable communications networks are replaced with advanced optic cable derived from studies of Buendia Eufiber and wireless networking. The new hardware, coupled with new data-transfer protocols, is dubbed the OpNet. OpNet replaces the Internet, phone systems, and cellular networks, allowing for wireless communications from virtually any location. It boasts an initial 700% increase in data speed over conventional telecommunications technology.
- March 30: CNN breaks the news of a massive scandal as a Federal probe into the bankruptcy of Endron Oil uncovers widespread evidence of corruption, price gouging, price fixing, and insider trading. President Bush is among those indicted in the proceedings, and there is an immediate call for his impeachment. Pentex, Incorporated cuts a deal with prosecutors, handing over all evidence of the President’s involvement in return for less scrutiny into other operations and manages to escape the worst of the fallout, though the company is significantly weakened afterward.
- May 5: President Bush resigns his position as President of the United States in the wake of the Endron Oil scandal amid calls for his impeachment. Dick Cheney becomes the President pro term but announces that he will not be running for reelection.
- July 24: The first Summer Olympic games to feature nova-only competitions opens. The nova events include variations on traditional track and field events, and the games become the highest-rated sports event of the year. Gary Redrush triumphantly returns during these games to win the Gold in the Men’s 2000 Meter Dash and takes on the moniker “The Mad Dasher” for his flamboyant antics on the field.
- August 12: Project Utopia gives its final report on the state of the environment to the UN General Assembly. Team Tomorrow combines physical cleanup with the introduction of the Zushima microbe, a genetically engineered self-regulating organism that will regulate further pollution. The environment is in better shape than at any point in the last hundred years, and Project Utopia scientists estimate that a sustainable level of pre-Industrial Revolution air and water quality will be a reality by 2011.
- September 15: India, China, and Pakistan face off over ownership of the Kashmir region. Quick intervention by Team Tomorrow prevents an all-out war, but several conflicts with government-sponsored Superman Squads and mercenary elites occur. Kashmir becomes a demilitarized zone under UN and Project Utopia surveillance.
- November 3: Riding on the wings of President Bush’s disgrace, Hilary Clinton is elected the first female president of the United States. The press credits her victory to voters disgruntled by two impeachments by two consecutive presidents from both major political parties. The Libertarian Party and various independent candidates claim a sizable portion of legislative seats in the election. Following Bush’s impeachment and escalating with Hilary Clinton’s election, many of the Republican Party’s far-right elements divorce themselves from the party to found splinter groups more appealing to their agendas, one of which is known as The Tea Party after the Boston Tea Party.
- November 21: The Microsoft and Viacom corporations announce their merger into an enormous corporate entity to be called ViaSoft.
- December 4: A subway bombing in Tokyo brings world attention to Kamisama Buddhism, a hybrid of Shinto and Buddhist beliefs that is increasingly popular with Japanese youths. While Kamisama Buddhism professes nonviolence, the media plays up the suspects’ involvement with the sect. Three young fanatics are charged in the bombing, though the leader of the religion, nova guru Bodhisattva Masato, disavows any knowledge of the attack.
- December 31: Aeon Society census reports approximately 5600 known novas in the world population.
- January 1: The N! channel debuts on cable and satellite systems in 47 countries. N!, a spinoff of the E! channel, is dedicated solely to covering the lives and exploits of novas. It features biographies of famous novas, quasi-scientific documentaries on nova abilities and physiology, nova sporting competitions, interviews with novas and nova-related news from around the world. Within three months of its initial airing, N! becomes the highest-rated channel ever.
- March 9: Team Tomorrow stages a dramatic rescue of the crew of the international space station Freedom after a sizable meteor strikes the structure and ruptures an oxygen tank. The entire crew survives the rescue. This event marks the point at which governments begin to consider novas for space operations and exploration.
- May 6: Project Utopia announces plans to terraform the Ethiopian Highlands. The project, a cooperation endeavor between Project Utopia, the UN and the Ethiopian government, marks the first attempt at engineering widespread geographical and environmental changes throughout a region.
- June 12: A divisive election in Iran sparks country-wide protests. Incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is reelected, though there were a great number of irregularities with election. Cries of fraud and vote-rigging go unheeded by the ruling party.
- September 25: A terrorist organization, apparently in protest to the reelection of Ahmadinejad, sets off an explosion utilizing primitive fusion technology in Tehran. Over 30 city blocks are leveled, and hundreds (including the entire ruling government) die. Team Tomorrow Asia arrives immediately to supply humanitarian aid and assist in criminal investigation. Despite repeated reports of nova involvement in the bombing, no one is charged. The Tehran Bombing is the most expensive terrorist attack in history, causing an estimated $20 billion in damages, and throws Iran into chaos.
- October 7: The Triton Foundation announces the discovery of an HIV vaccine. The World Health Organization declares October 7th “Red Ribbon Day” and, with the help of national and local health organizations, vaccinates 90% of the world population over the next three months.
- December 10: Henri Mazarin and Farah Rashoud receive the Nobel Prize in biology for their pioneering research into nova physiology and the discovery of the M-R node.
- December 31: Aeon Society census reports approximately 7800 known novas in the world population.
- February 19: The Triton Foundation announces an advanced gene-therapy treatment that fights most known forms of cancer.
- May 1: The World Health Organization approves a host of new genetic engineering techniques, many of which were developed in conjunction with the Triton Foundation over the past few years. Most national food inspection organizations (such as the Food and Drug Administration in the United States) copy the move, marking the first widespread international use of genetic engineering for livestock and crops. World food stores increase by 25% over the next few years. Worries about the possible side effects of Genetically Modified Organisms go unheeded at this time.
- July 5: A conservative Tehran Ayatollah named Mohammad Hassan al-Fadiq is elected president of Iran out of the feuding factions vying for control after the death of many country leaders during the Tehran Bombing. Though a devout Islamic fundamentalist, Ayatollah al-Fadiq publicly speaks out against all terrorist organizations and seems generally interested in promoting relationships with other Muslim countries. His words concerning the United States are much less congenial. Though a Shi’ah Muslim, Mohammad al-Fadiq openly welcomes nova aid and even seeks out and supports Islamic novas, allowing the marvels of the “nova boom” to penetrate the heart of the Middle East.
- June 15: In the wake of the Tehran bombing, the UN Secretary-General grants Project Utopia’s Science and Technology Department authority to monitor, approve, and regulate new technologies, particularly those derived from the “nova boom.” Many member nations and corporations vehemently protest this decision.
- September 6: Project Utopia opens a special Rashoud facility in Bahrain. This facility is ostensibly designed to assist novas with high levels of quantum buildup, but Utopia is given leeway to confine novas considered in need of therapy by the UN as a whole. The facility’s opening is not publicized, nor are the media or the public allowed on the facility’s grounds, though news of its existence soon flood the OpNet. Several UN member states, including the US, open their own facilities for the containment of dangerous novas.
- September 30: The inaugural matches of the Xtreame Warfare Federation, or XWF, and the World Gladiatorial Association, or WGA, take place. The XWF match opens in Madison Square Garden in New York, while the WGA takes Hollywood by storm. These two companies are founded in response to increased demand for nova sporting events, and the corresponding loss of interest in traditional sports over the preceding years. The twin pay-per-view events garner massive ratings and are carried over OpNet. Licensing revenues top the $1 billion mark in a single year. The initial matches combined are the highest rated television events of the decade, and the rivalry between the two companies fuels public interest in the games.
- December 17: A Tunisian fruit vendor sets himself on fire in protest of his treatment by police. The next day, major protests against the Tunisian Government begin.
- December 31: Aeon Society census reports approximately 9000 known novas in the world population.
- January 14: Tunisian President Bin Ali resigns after a month of protests and occasional bursts of terrorist violence, fleeing the country.
- January – February: The protests spread like wildfire across the Arab world. Egypt and Lebanon soon host massive protests of their own, followed by Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, and Lybia. Only Iran, which is in the middle of making reforms, is spared the unrest.
- February 11: President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt resigns. The Egyptian military assumes control of the nation. Despite promises to the contrary, the military does not quickly transition the government to civilian hands.
- February 16: Protests in Libya get bloody as Benghazi erupts into violence when Gaddafi’s loyalists open fire on protesters. The violence sparks a full-on rebellion against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.
- February 26: In an unprecedented show of unanimity the UN Security Council announces its intention to arrest and try Muammar Gaddafi after reports of high-tech weapons of mass destruction used against revolting populations comes to light. Team Tomorrow is authorized to intervene in the situation.
- March: Team Tomorrow enforces a “no fly zone” over Lybia while the rebels and Gaddafi’s loyalists battle across Lybia. Gaddafi’s advanced weapons cause horrible casualties among civilian populations.
- April 2: Puerto Rico becomes the 51st state of the United States of America.
- April 19: Team Tomorrow captures Muammar Gaddafi and his loyalists after a fierce battle in Tripoli. Following the revelation that Gaddafi’s weaponry had been produced by Japanese corporations acting in violation of UN norms, Utopia’s Science and Technology Department petitions for even greater regulatory latitude in monitoring “potentially dangerous technological advances.” Member states opposed to the Project’s already considerable influence over technology regulation vote the petition down.
- June 15: Pope Benedict XVI issues the controversial Ad Dei Lucem, a bull declaring that novas (referred to as “the nephilim”), while “invested with divine power” and “above the normal realm of mankind,” have immortal souls, are tainted with original sin, and can be saved through the grace of Christ. The ambivalent wording of the bull worries a great many people, since certain passages of the Ad Dei Lucem can be interpreted as separating novas from human affairs, a contradiction of the Zurich Accord embraced by other world faiths. This tension is only increased in the wake of the broadcast of the Null Manifesto later in the year. The word Imbued comes into fashion to describe novas who claim to be imbued with divine (or demonic) power.
- August: Ayatollah Mohammad al-Fadiq officially renames Iran The Islamic Republic of Persia and opens talks with Iraq. His publicly stated goal is to “bring the nations of Islam together as one and heal the wounds of the past.” American politicians are very nervous of this policy, but, lacking UN support, are unable to do more than complain.
- October 31: A previously unknown nova calling himself Divas Mal issues The Null Manifesto in a broadcast emanating from the Azores. The edict essentially counters the Zurich Accord, and claims that novas are “emancipated” from global citizenship and any responsibilities thereof. The provisions of the Null Manifesto state that novas are not human beings and therefore not subject to human law, boundaries or moral codes, nor may they claim citizenship in any nation established by human beings. Novas may be granted diplomatic privileges by human governments, but they are essentially “governments” unto themselves. A nova-only dissident group calling itself The Teragen publicly endorses the Null Manifesto and renounces all ties to governmental bodies. Project Utopia comes out in strong public opposition against the Teragen’s position, and it promises, in front of a closed UN Security Council meeting, to monitor Teragen activity. Sales of Teragen bootleg merchandise skyrocket, particularly among the First World 18-35 demographic.
- November 7: The first ever surgical trial of a complete spinal cord reconstruction is performed. The trial is a glowing success. Funding for the research comes from the Triton Foundation.
- December 31: Aeon Society census reports approximately 12,400 known novas in the world population. As of this time, no novas are known to have been impregnated or impregnated others, either baseline or nova. Utopia-affiliated scientists vow to study this phenomenon, at the behest of nova would-be parents.
- January 1: Nova astronaut Janos Karagin walks across the lunar surface without artificial life support gear. Plans are made to send nova astronauts to Mars.
- January 12: A 7.0-magnitude earthquake occurs in Haiti, devastating the nation’s capital, Port-au-Prince. With a confirmed death toll over 230,000 it is one of the deadliest on record. Team Tomorrow is sent in to handle the relief effort.
- February 27: An 8.8-magnitude earthquake occurs in Chile, triggering a tsunami over the Pacific and killing 497. The earthquake is one of the largest in recorded history.
- March 1: The UN promotes a pact banning all nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) weaponry. The NBC weapons ban is signed by all member states. Military observers claim that while there is a trend towards disarmament, most of the nuclear powers still have stockpiled weapons.
- April 13: A 6.9-magnitude earthquake occurs in Qinghai, China, killing at least 2,000 and injuring more than 10,000. An independent team of scientists comes forward after the quake and provides evidence that the three quakes were not caused by natural forces.
- April 14: Volcanic ash from one of several eruptions beneath Eyjafjallajökull, an ice cap in Iceland, begins to disrupt air traffic across northern and western Europe.
- April 16: Iraq joins the Persian Republic as a member state.
- April 20: The Deepwater Horizon oil platform explodes in the Gulf of Mexico, killing eleven workers. The resulting oil spill, one of the largest in history, is combated by the Zushima microbe. Though the microbe does help clean the oil out of the gulf, it mutates and spreads for several months, killing sea life and damaging the waters of the United States coastline, and prompting international debate and doubt about the practice and procedure of using “novatech” to solve the world’s problems.
- May-December: Teragen attacks of terror and random violence begin to be reported by the media. Although fewer than half a dozen terrorist strikes occur, the media goes into a frenzy. Known Teragen sympathizers disavow the acts, claiming that the Teragen is neither an organized institution nor has any single agenda. Nonetheless, Project Utopia and the UN take greater pains to monitor known or suspected Teragen novas, and the press blames the Teragen for the trio of deadly earthquakes earlier in the year.
- May 22: The Ethiopian government announces the completion of the terraforming project. The Ethiopian Highlands, once a dry, flat, desert plain, is now a verdant grassland. The grateful Ethiopian government gives Project Utopia a large headquarters in Addis Ababa. Ethiopia soon becomes the breadbasket of Africa.
- June 9: Ethnic riots in Kashmir between rival clans results in the deaths of hundreds. Project Utopia efforts to quell the riots end in failure as the Project is not given enough authority to intervene in the situation.
- June 18: Epsilon Inc., a research firm located in Drake City, announces a planned test of a “quantum space shunt” intended to revolutionize shipping and transport through the development of practical teleportation, after extensive small-scale testing.
- June 21: The test commences to much media fanfare. The switch is thrown, and then the live feeds go dead. An investigation reveals the entire Epsilon complex empty. None of the people present at the site are ever heard from again, though rumors of strange disappearances, ghostly voices, and other paranormal phenomena rage for decades afterward.
July 4: Ten-year-old Alice Pleasance Liddell of London becomes the world’s youngest known nova when she erupts during a traumatic fire that kills the rest of her family. Alice’s abilities warp the world around her into a strange sort of fantasy realm apparently based off of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Scientists are baffled at her ability to so totally deform the laws of physics and reality in her immediate area. The terms “Liddell Syndrome” and the more colloquial Rabbit Hole come to be attached to this event and events with similar eruptions of powers that transform surroundings to greater or lesser degrees.
- August 3: Project Utopia receives a permanent “Advisory” seat on the UN Security Council. Many political observers credit the unprecedented move as stemming from Project Utopia’s agreement to pay off the UN debt, totaling $1.6 billion.
- August 30: Ongoing tensions in the Kashmir region erupt into a small-scale war. Nova elites representing India, China and Pakistan fight across the region, turning it into a blasted ecological nightmare. Project Utopia steps in to stop the fighting, under UN authority, and arrests several of the novas deemed responsible for the disaster.
- October 25: An earthquake and consequent tsunami off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, kills over 400 people and leave hundreds missing. Reports of nova involvement in the series of quakes is speculated, but never confirmed.
- October 31: Ayatollah Mohammad al-Fadiq releases a press statement declaring that, after great deliberation, the Ayatollahs have declared Weave Ground Zero to be a holy site where Allah has touched the world, and should be visited by members of the faith on pilgrimage. He decries all sects that deny the divinity of novas. His stance on nova status is worded very much along the lines of the Null Manifesto, something that troubles many in Project Utopia and the Directive.
- November 3: Hillary Clinton is reelected as President of the United States. In her first four years she has managed to reduce federal spending and improve health care in the United States by nationalizing much of the health care system, though “Government Takeover” of healthcare remains a hotly-debated topic and the pejorative term “Clintoncare” comes into vogue among detractors. Sadly, she does little to address rampant corruption in Congress and the Senate, and special interest groups continue to gain power.
- November 5: Maîtres Chez Nous, a Quebec separatist group based in Montreal, claims responsibility for recent terrorist strikes in Ottawa and Toronto. Given the nature of the strikes, Canadian authorities fear the group may be employing a band of nova elites.
- November 17: Researchers at CERN trap 38 antihydrogen atoms for a sixth of a second, marking the first time in history that humans have trapped antimatter.
- December 31: Aeon Society census reports approximately 15,900 known novas in the world population.
- January-May: After many talks and negotiations, Syria, Lebanaon, Jordan, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates join the Persian Republic. Political critics loudly wonder what sort of tactics Ayatollah Mohammad Hassan al-Fadiq employed to gather the Gulf States under his banner, and the Shah of Saudi Arabia goes on record declaring his intention to resist “a Persian reconstitution.”
- March-October of 2015: The MCN commit more acts of terrorism, prompting harsh responses from Canadian authorities. Due to the potential Nova involvement, the Canadian Parliament authorizes the creation of Northlight, a team of Canadian-born Elites. Novas of French-Canadian descent are notably barred from joining Northlight (based on fears that the team will be infiltrated by the MCN), which hardens many “soft nationalists” against the rest of Canada.
- May: Popular Team Tomorrow agent Jennifer “Slider” Landers is killed in Calcutta by parties unknown. The world is shocked by the murder of its “sweetheart.” Jennifer Landers’ closest friend, controversial ex-T2M nova André Corbin, inexplicably flees the site of her funeral. UN and Utopia investigations finger Slider’s murder as the handiwork of Corbin, who is believed to be linked to the Teragen. This revelation comes as part of a worldwide public broadcast on all major news networks.
- May 19: Scandal rocks Project Utopia as unconfirmed reports of mercenary novas, government infiltration, and nova black ops leak to the media via WikiLeaks. Aeon Society and Project Utopia spokespeople immediately counter with evidence of a Teragen frame-up involving the dead Slider. Wary observers and conspiracy theorists see themselves as vindicated and deluge the media with dire predictions.
- June 2: In a closed UN Security Council meeting, Utopia’s Internal Affairs Department reveals findings indicating a frame-up of the organization. The US and British governments are unconvinced, and Directive surveillance of Utopia’s operations is stepped up.
- June 21: A nova whistleblower calling himself The Ghost steps forward, posting damning documents on WikiLeaks confessing his involvement with an organization known as Project Proteus, a shadow cell within Project Utopia that had infiltrated the US military and other government organizations and sent his “Superman Squad” on several black ops missions. Over 150,000 highly incriminating documents are released fingering several prominent member of Project Utopia in activities ranging from funding of pro-Kashmir groups to the assassination of Fidel Castro. The evidence presented strongly suggests that Project Proteus is involved in a clandestine operation designed to control nova population as well as elevate Project Utopia’s control of the UN through careful engineering of world conflicts. The Ghost agrees to testify in exchange for immunity from prosecution for his own involvement, though he refuses to reveal his true identity.
- June-October: Members of Project Proteus are identified, arrested, and charged with crimes against humanity for their attempt to control through genocidal means the nova population of the world. A group of Utopians calling themselves the Aberrants, including André Corbin himself, step forward and present their own findings of conspiracy, and an outraged UN strips Project Utopia of its advisory seat and dismantles the Project. Project Proteus is painted as a Teragen-based conspiracy by the media and the UN declares the Teragen a terrorist organization and declares its intention to bring Teragen members to justice. During the proceedings, The Ghost vanishes out of the public eye, presumably assassinated by Proteus operatives. However, the damage is done. The scandal generates a great amount of public backlash against abnormals world wide.
- October 31: On the tenth anniversary of the Weave incident, 13 identical nuclear explosions (12 simultaneous strikes followed by a 13th roughly a minute later) are recorded in the blackened Iraqi desert where the Weave first manifested. Team Tomorrow, now under direct UN command, investigates, but contact with the team is lost almost immediately and most fear the worst, which is confirmed when The Paragon, Team Tomorrow’s leader and widely considered the world’s most powerful nova, is discovered in a coma in Baghdad a week later. The loss of Team Tomorrow is widely considered the true end of Project Utopia.
- November 2: Ayatollah Mohammad al-Fadiq of the Persian Republic declares that god has sent him angels from the Heavens for his unwavering devotion to the cause of Islam. He reveals to a stunned world 12 novas more powerful than any ever seen before, beings seemingly made of pure nuclear energy that refer to themselves as “Avatars of the Martyrs.” These are powerful by even abnormal standards, and are able lay waste to large tracts of land. Afghanistan and many of the remaining Gulf States surrender unconditionally and are incorporated into The Persian Republic, leaving only Israel, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Turkey unaffiliated with the so-called “Nation of Islam”.
Though speculation of a “13th Avatar” runs rampant, no evidence of one ever emerges, leading most experts to believe that the final strike was a sensor ghost of some sort.
- December 31: Aeon Society census reports approximately 17,300 known novas in the world population.
- January-June: The Persian government secretly exposes civilian populations to the energies of the Avatars of the Martyrs, resulting in mass eruptions that increase the number of novas in the Persian Republic a hundredfold, though the death toll caused by the exposure is in the thousands. Many of these Novas find their powers fading after a few months, requiring more exposure to the Avatars to retain their powers.
- January 8: The Shah of Saudi Arabia is killed after a demonstration protesting his support of the United States erupts into violence. The Shah orders his forces to fire into the assembled crowd, and the demonstrators return fire. The Shah’s sons are arrested and executed, and the country erupts into anarchy. Conspiracy theorists claim that the demonstration was staged by the Persian government, who provided weapons to the demonstrators.
- January 14: Saudi Arabia is annexed by The Persian Republic, sending troops, equipment, and, most importantly, oil to the Persians, at the same time withholding oil shipments to much of the rest of the world. The United States is hit the hardest by the move, and gasoline prices skyrocket for the first time since the introduction of the hypercombustion engine, topping $15 a gallon within a few weeks. The Persian Republic now controls nearly two-thirds of the world’s oil reserves. Meanwhile, the United States tries to build a case for the invasion of the Persian Republic, but lack support from the rest of the UN, who refuse to aid the US on “another wild goose chase.” The UN even refuses to send weapons inspectors on the United States’ behalf.
- February to July: The Persian Republic adds Afghanistan, Egypt, Lybia, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco to it’s growing list of member states. Most of these regions, destabilized by the Arab Spring protests, are easily swayed by shows of force from The Avatars.
- March 20: The Kashmir region erupts into violence once again as Pakistani forces enforce their claim on the region. India and China declare war on Pakistan when it is revealed that Pakistan is allied with the Persian Republic, but declare war on each other as well over mutual accusations of sabotage.
- April 20: In a secret meeting among top military officials, President Hillary Clinton signs a document declaring the Avatars a “clear and present danger” to the United States and approves one dozen projects proposed to create abnormals capable of combating the threat of the Avatars. These clandestine projects are a tightly guarded secrets, as they violate UN norms and bans on such research. The military begins contacting a number of research companies, including Dark-Hawke Industries and Pentex, Incorporated, and funnels resources and personnel to various remote facilities.
- June 24: The Triton Foundation announces the first successful fully cybernetic limb replacement graft. The artificial hand is able to provide 83% of tactile sensation and 95% of the full range of motion of a natural hand, an astounding improvement over earlier designs. Cybernetic enhancement is soon to be a reality as interested governments begin researching the devices as an alternative to or supplement of existing armed forces.
- July-December: In a startling turn of events, the Persian Republic withdraws its support from Pakistan and allies with India instead, offering its aid in the invasion of Pakistan in exchange for the extradition of all Pakistani Muslims to the Republic. Pakistan is swiftly occupied by Indian forces and India renews its war effort against China for control of the Kashmir region by December.
- September 12: A peaceful, symbolic protest held at Meech Lake in Quebec becomes the site of a bloody massacre when Northlight, acting on faulty information, mistakes the protest for an MCN rally and goes in powers hot. Over three dozen people are killed or wounded before Northlight pulls back. The blunder makes international news and sparks riots in Gatineau, Ottawa and Montreal.
- August 15: Negotiations with Israel collapse and the Persian Republic declares its intention to take the holy city of Jerusalem by force. Ayatollah Mohammad al-Fadiq declares a Jihad and Persian forces backed by the Avatars invade Israel, slaughtering Jews by the thousands.
- August 18: In an impassioned speech before Congress, President Hilary Clinton calls for an armed response to “address the horrible atrocities committed against the Israeli people.” Congress declares war on the Persian Republic. The European Union and the Russian Confederation pledge their support, and The Avatar Crisis officially begins.
- September-October: Turkey and Israel become battlegrounds as UN forces meet with the Persian Republic. Nova elites and Superman Squads are contracted en masse, and are used against civilian and conventional military targets. The death toll is staggering, but even more unsettling are the reports of mass eruptions among civilian targets when exposed to quantum forces unleashed in conflicts with the Avatars. The Avatars are able to take on large numbers of nova elites without suffering casualties among their number, and military contracts are offered to the corporation able to find a way of neutralizing the Avatars’ abilities.
- December 31: Aeon Society census reports approximately 22,000 known novas in the world population.
- January-May: Fighting escalates between China and India. Indian forces contain enough abnormals to match the People’s Liberation Army. Nepal and Bangladesh ally with India and the fighting spreads across the whole of Tibet. China threatens nuclear retaliation against India, but Chinese silos are sabotaged by an Indian Superman Squad.
- January 27: The Battle of Istanbul results in a UN defeat, leaving an opening for Persian forces to enter Bulgaria.
- April: Germany introduces its first line of cybernetic-enhanced soldiers to the European theater. The soldiers are enhanced by chemical packs containing a synthesized hormone extracted from a German abnormal, granting them exceptional strength and durability and allowing them to participate in nova-level combat. Despite the success of the units, the German government is criticized for operating out of UN norms and scientific regulations. Critics fall silent, however, when the “Übersoldaten” play a key role in liberating Austria from Persian control. This point marks the beginning of a new, horrible era in human genetic and cybernetic experimentation as countries race to perfect techniques of human augmentation for the war with the nova forces of Persia.
- May: Doctors Remial Mortos and Lillian Krieger, researchers employed by Dark-Hawke Industries, discover a biochemical restorative formula. This formula marks the first attempted super-soldier serum that replicates a Nova-level ability without actually being based on something a Nova produced. The formula is not entirely stable at this point—rejection rates are higher than the German Steremol-VNM chemical compound, and even successful injections result in unpleasant physical side effects. Still, the very existence of the Biorestorative provides proof that Novas can be matched on equal terms. Funding for the project was indirectly provided by the government.
- February-August: Persian Forces begin a slow crawl through the Balkans. By the end of the year most of the Balkans are under Persian control, though constant guerrilla warfare will disrupt the Persian war machine’s ability to continue further into Europe. However, the fractiousness of the Balkan states also retards their ability to work together to face their common threat. Greece and Italy are occupied while the Pope is evacuated from the Vatican. During this period, mass eruptions continue to occur, even in areas where the Avatars do not make appearances.
- April-March of the following year: Twenty volunteers who passed rigorous physical, psychological, and political criteria are subjected to various brutal and torturous procedures in the Cold Mountain facility buried beneath the Appalachian Mountains for a government project known only as NINE TANGENT APPLE, nicknamed Project Hyperion among the scientists researching it (which include a young Caroline Quinn and the mysterious Professor Trinity). The procedures are designed to stimulate latent introns and spark Eruptions. The project culminates in exposing the volunteers to a tightly-controlled nuclear explosion. Only a dozen of the test subjects survive the tests (and most of these die in the weeks following from the radiation exposure), and only four erupt into novas.
- October 19: In a historic election, a great number of Quebecois Isolationists gain seats in parliament, largely fueled by anger over the Meech Lake Incident and other incidents taken in response to the MCN. The newly-appointed Premier Bryan Dubois promises to hold a referendum on the subject of Secession, over the strong objections of Quebec’s Lieutenant Governor.
- November 13: Persian Republic-sponsored terrorists embedded in waves of refugees from the Middle East commit a series of coordinated attacks across six locations in Paris, France. The terrorists have a number of Abnormals among their ranks, and the death toll is in the high hundreds,with the wounded numbering many more. The targets (a rock concert in the middle of the city, a soccer stadium with a game in progress, a tenement, and three restaurants) were all picked to maximize casualties.
- December 31: Aeon Society census reports approximately 27,700 known novas in the world population. The “Nova Boom” scares a great many people as mass eruptions continue to increase the nova population throughout the course of the Avatar War.
- March-June: The four Project Hyperion survivors are put through a regimen designed to allow them to control their newly-emergent powers, but the scientists notice that each of the survivors experienced serious psychological deterioration. A debate rages among the project administrators about whether the risks of unleashing psychologically unstable walking weapons of mass destruction is acceptable or not.
- April: The Paragon awakens from his coma. Horrified at the atrocities of a world at war and blaming himself for the death of Team Tomorrow and the dismantling of Project Utopia, he retreats to the Amazon River Basin to live in seclusion.
- May 27-June 12: London is evacuated as an Avatar breaks though EU lines and heads towards Great Britain. In an act of extreme desperation, Parliament authorizes the use of nuclear weapons against the Avatar in the event of landfall.
- June 13: The Avatar makes landfall in London. He is confronted by The German Marvel, a nova who has the ability to turn his body into an extremely dense material resembling steel. The German Marvel and Avatar battle, and the German Marvel is able to grab and hold the Avatar for an extended period of time. A forty-megaton device is detonated, killing hundreds who had been either unwilling or unable to evacuate in time. When communication lines are reestablished, the first image is of the Avatar walking unharmed through the rubble, clearly demonstrating that nuclear weapons are ineffective against the Avatars.
- June 15: In light of the failure of conventional nuclear weaponry to kill the Avatar, and with other projects showing more promising results, the decision is made to scrap NINE TANGENT APPLE. The four survivors of Project Hyperion are tricked into entering stasis capsules designed by Professor Trinity for a “routine” examination. The entire project is buried (literally and figuratively), and the staff reassigned to other projects. Professor Trinity develops the capsule designs as a promising way of capturing the Avatars, while Dr. Caroline Quinn begins formulating the theories of nova development that would later become Project Prometheus.
- July 20: After months of campaigning, a referendum on Quebecois Secession is held and passes by a very slim margin. The Lieutenant Governor at first protests the decision, then, inexplicably, changes his mind. he is later found dead of a drug overdose, apparently a suicide. Premier Dubois congratulates the Quebecois for making a stand, and then issues a declaration stating that Quebec is now a free and independent nation and imploring the Canadian Government to allow the development of the new state without bloodshed.
- July 27: After fierce deliberation, the Canadian Parliament decides to reject Quebec’s secession referendum and declares martial law in the Province. They send in the CAF and Northlight. Quebec meets this with armed resistance from militia reservists and the MCN, and the Canadian Civil War begins.
- September: The Archbishop Theodosius of The Church of Jesus Christ, Paragon publicly demonstrates Nova-level abilities to heal and comfort the wounded but, amazingly, does not possess an M-R node and was never subjected to military supersoldier programs. He is hailed as a living saint and claims his miraculous abilities as gifts from God, and furthermore claims that his powers are proof that Abnormal abilities are divine in origin. He begins an aggressive push against Abnormal discrimination. The term Saint comes into fashion to describe those individuals supposedly imbued with powers by some outside force.
- November 3: Senator Michael Bloomberg of New York wins the White House as an independent, beating out both Democrat Barak Obama and Republican Sarah Palin. He pledges to stop the Avatars by investing new technologies.
- December 31: Aeon Society census reports approximately 23,200 known novas in the world population. The dip in numbers is suggested to have been caused by wide-spread nova conflicts throughout Europe and Asia. Roughly 4500 genengineered and cybernetically enhanced soldiers are believed to exist among the various world powers, as research is poured into these techniques as viable and cost-efficient alternatives to NBC weapons technologies.
- February: Dimensional Developments, a subsidiary of Dark-Hawke Industries, develops a “dimensional shunt” that is hailed as the best way to combat the Avatars. Major design work for the shut is credited to Professor Trinity. Production of the shunts begins immediately.
- March-June: The dimensional shunts are deployed in Europe and the Middle East. One by one, the Avatars are lured into the shunts and drained of power, neutralizing them. Without the Avatars, the forces of the Persian Republic begin to falter as “Flares” lose their powers. Many novas created by Avatar energies turn on the Republic, offering their services to the Allies.
- June 21, 12:58 PM EST: The Day of Fire. The last two remaining Avatars are dispatched by Mohammad Al-Fadiq to destroy the Evil Empire as Allied forces close on Tehran. They display the previously unseen ability to teleport, vanishing just before Allied Forces enter the city. This is the only time this ability was ever demonstrated during the war and it is speculated that these two Avatars were the only ones that possessed it (or perhaps that only one had it, and was able to carry the other along).
- June 21, 12:59 PM EST: Two Avatars appear above Manhattan. One immediately begins flying west, towards Los Angeles. The other begins to rain down destruction on New York City. Manhattan is vaporized in a burst of magical energy unseen since the Shadow Weave. The island shatters into the sea. The Avatar then proceeds to tear apart the rest of the five boroughs. Quantum energy surges throughout the state, causing horrifically violent storms and unleashing mass eruptions among the populace. By the time the National Guard arrives on the scene, an estimated 2 million people have died. The energy unleashed renders the land where the city once rested an uninhabitable wasteland.
- June 22: The second Avatar reaches Los Angeles. Military batteries open fire, but prove useless against the Avatar. This Avatar begins systematically laying waste to the city, but all of the abnormals of Los Angles, including the L.A. Stars, a Hollywood-based super team, and The Paragon, the former leader of Team Tomorrow returning from a self-imposed exile, join the battle. The Paragon and Avatar personally trade blows above the city as other novas use their various powers to wear the Avatar down. A dimensional shunt is prepared, and The Paragon sacrifices himself to hold the Avatar in position long enough for the siphon to deplete him. The Paragon dies from his wounds immediately following the Avatar’s containment.
- June 26: The New York Avatar is defeated by the combined forces of the National Guard, the Army, the Marines, and Professor Trinity. The battle rages across the entire eastern seaboard, from the ruins of New York City through New Jersey and Delaware to Drake City, Virginia. An estimated 6 million people, and several dozen novas, are killed by the Avatar before Professor Trinity contains it in the dimensional shunt.
- July 1: Archbishop Theodosius of The Church of Jesus Christ, Paragon leads several thousand survivors out of the ruins of New York. Theodosius and a number of New York-based novas protected the survivors of the Avatar’s attack, healed the wounded, and protected them form the many strange Fortean Events as they traveled. Archbishop Theodosius begins work on The Cathedral of Saint Nicolas in Hoboken, New Jersey, to spread the word of Jesus Christ, Paragon.
- July 12: The Shambala Veil, a misty wall of magical energy, seals off Tibet from the rest of the world. A shaky ceasefire between India and China develops as the phenomenon is explored.
- August – February of next year: Terre Haute, Indiana suffers an inexplicable increase in suicides. Nineteen people die in increasingly bizarre and gruesome ways. The Terre Haute Terror, as this rash of deaths is known, only stops with the apprehension of the telepath Adrian Solace.
- September 3: Doctor Remial Mortos is apparently killed in a lab experiment gone wrong, though his body is never recovered. Lillian Krieger, his assistant, is suspiciously absent from the facilities on the day of the explosion.
- October 31: The first Fischer Relay station goes online in Drake City, Virginia. The relay draws upon the siphoned energy produced by the New York Avatar and produces enough electricity to power the entire East Coast. Critics debate the wisdom of containing the single most destructive being in history near such a large population center. Despite the concern, more Fischer Relays are produced, containing the Avatars and powering much of Europe and The United States.
- December 31: The Aeon Society reports that due in large part to the great tragedy at New York and other nova theaters it is unable to complete a census for 2017. It is speculated that about one quarter of the world’s existing abnormal population is wiped out during the conflict, but that mass eruptions continue to occur. By this time, the damage done by Project Proteus’ “sterilization” projects have largely reversed themselves, and though novas have higher percentages of miscarriage and other problems bringing children to term, it is clear that novas can, in fact, procreate among themselves and the baselines.
Aside from the novas, there are a great many genengineered or cybernetically enhanced soldiers remaining in the service of governments and military organizations. Even a few criminal cartels begin to use genengineering techniques and cybernetic enhancements to empower their enforcers. Tragically, few of these soldiers are allowed to return to their previous lives after being subjected to enhancement procedures, given the expense of such measures and the high rejection rate among test subjects.
Act 3—Who Watches the Watchmen?
- February 17: The “Terre Haute Terror” comes to an end when Adrian Solace, a local psychiatrist, is arrested. Dr. Solace turns out to be an extremely powerful telepath who planted posthypnotic suggestions in his patients’ minds, driving them to act out their worst nightmares, usually with fatal consequences. Dubbed “The Sandman” by sensationalist newspapers, Adrian Solace’s rampage inflames public fears about abnormals in general, spurring calls for government action.
- April 9: Congress passes The Abnormal Powers Registration Act. This Act requires all “novas, the genetically engineered, and the cybernetically enhanced” to register their powers and abilities. Though touted as a measure meant to aid prosecutors in handling cases where abnormal-level powers are employed, the Act is soon misused by those seeking either to discriminate against abnormals or else exploit abnormal abilities for their own gains. Other countries pass similar bills in the face of public fear of new Avatars arising without government supervision.
- April 22: Under the provisions of the Abnormal Registration Act, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency begin keeping detailed files on all known abnormals, tracking their movements and associations whenever possible. This results in the formation of The Abnormal Registration Department, an agency devoted to keeping tabs on abnormal activity and working in concert with state and local law-enforcement agencies to deal with nova-level threats to public security.
- May 6: The Treaty of Kolkata officially ends the war between China and India, as the Kashmir region has by this time been subsumed by The Shambala Vale, making further fighting pointless. Bad blood still lingers, however, and a Cold War develops between the two most populous nations in the entire world.
- July: 18-year-old Gabriel Knight publishes the first William Byrd novel, Ballad of the Fallen, telling the story of a man struggling against a decadent New Orleans aristocrat with nova abilities and a sadistic streak. The book catches the tenor of the times, resonating with a public ambivalent towards abnormals in general and novas in particular in the wake of the Avatar War. Sales catapult Gabriel Knight to bestseller status in a single month.
- October: A series of protests lead by student groups in Chechnya turn into a an uprising against the Russian Confederation’s control. The students claim that under the Russian Confederacy Chechnya is nothing but a puppet state controlled by Moscow to the citizen’s detriment. The uprising gains steam with Protonik, a Chechen-born Nova who served against the Avatars during the Balkan Campaign, throws his support behind the rebels. Initially, the uprising is not taken seriously, and Minister Vladimir Sirka remains convinced that the Chechen security forces can contain the insurgents.
- December 10: German Scientist Albrecht Vierhoff wins the Nobel Prize in Physiology for his work in genetic engineering, while his rival Lillian Krieger wins the prize in chemistry for several radical supersoldier serums. Krieger represents Dark-Hawke Industries in the place of Doctor Remial Mortos, who died in a tragic lab accident just prior to his nomination. Germany is recognized as the world leader in the development and production of superhuman enhancement.
Professor Trinity is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the development of the Dimensional Shunts that captured and contained the Avatars. This prize is awarded in absentia, and the whereabouts of the mysterious Professor are never revealed.
- December 31: Aeon Society census reports that it is no longer able to accurately collect the number of known novas in the world population. The total number of Abnormals worldwide is thought to be somewhere around one in ten thousand. The term “Abnormal” has, by this time, come to mean any human displaying abilities that far exceed baseline norms, not just novas.
- February: Creatures called “ghouls” start appearing in the Drake City slum known as The Hellhole. Only rumors at first, confirmed sightings grow rapidly. A gang of these ghouls appears in control of a street gang called The Cryptkickers, and challenge the dominance of The Bloodfangs.
- May 17: UN officials hold a press conference on the steps of the United Nations plaza in New York City, where the Secretary-General of the UN announces the formation of a new peacekeeping organization dedicated to following in the footsteps of Team Tomorrow. This new organization, codenamed Vanguard, would operate under the direct sanction of the United Nations to preserve international peace and security in response to threats posed by “the amoral and unconsionable use of Abnormal abilities.”
- June: The second William Byrd novel, The Eye of the Dragon, is published. In the book, William Byrd investigates the rumors of a monster in the ruins of New York City and encounters a fire-breathing creature apparently descended from an alligator and warped by the destruction caused by the Avatar.
- July 9: A winged, fire-breathing alligator is discovered and captured in New Jersey. It is traced to the New York City Zoo, and is the first animal nova ever positively identified. Sales of Gabriel Knight’s The Eye of the Dragon skyrocket and the author is hailed as a prognosticator of abnormal evolution. Over the next six years, more than four hundred species of nova animals are discovered and identified worldwide. The term Bygone, from a particularly quotable line from the novel, comes into fashion as a term for Abnormal animals that mimic various legendary traits of monsters from myth and magic.
- October: Controversy erupts when France passes a law declaring that all Abnormal capabilities are property of the state. Germany, the world leader in genetic augmentation, is particularly vehement in denouncing the new law, calling it a stark violation of The Zurich Accord affording Abnormals all the rights and responsibilities of baseline humanity. The resulting legal battle clogs EU courts for years, remaining unresolved as of 2030.
- November: As a direct response to the passage of the French Law, Switzerland and Germany offer open amnesty and anonymity to other nation’s abnormals, promising civil rights and better treatment. Their abnormal population swells, but as a result international flights are very tightly regulated to keep abormals from seeking asylum—which results in Lichtenstein suddenly becoming an extremely popular destination for Abnormals seeking asylum.
- December 31: Aeon Society census begins again, and reports approximately 201,400 known novas in the world population, though other estimates put the number closer to 600,000, including non-nova abnormals. This staggeringly huge number fuels anti-abnormal paranoia throughout the world.
- January-October: Conflict between the Cryptkickers and the Bloodfangs escalates into a full-on superhuman war.
- March: The separatist insurgents in Chechnya capture Grozny. Protonik declares that “The end of the Russian puppet government is at hand!” In response, Vladimir Sierka authorizes the deployment of “military advisers” to aid Pro-Russian forces.
- April: The fighting around Grozny intensifies and Russia officially declares war on the separatists. Along with regular troops, the Russian Government contracts a number of Elites, including the controversial neo-nazi group known as The Fourth Reich. With these forces, the Pro-Russian faction is able to rout the separatists from Grozny.
- October 20: After an altercation at the Deva’s Dystopia nightclub, several of the novas involved are contacted by a person calling himself “The Ghost,” and are asked to attend a special private meeting at the club the next week. In the weeks following this event, a vigilante group known as The Watchmen begins operating in Drake City.
- October 24: Secret facilities below the Mark Hamill Memorial Building are breached by a mysterious nova calling herself Carrion Queen. Carrion Queen releases a number of criminal Novas being held at the facility to study their M-R Node emissions.
- October 25: Dr. Remial Mortos, now a hideous mutated freak calling himself “The Ghoul King,” takes over the WBRT tower, revealing himself to the world and decrying the explosion that supposedly killed him. He claims that his lab was sabotaged by Lilian Krieger, his former partner, and that she was acting on behalf of the Dark-Hawke board of directors. He further threatens the company, claiming he will turn his research over to the black market unless the Federal Government begins an immediate investigation into Dark-Hawke’s activities. His ultimatum is cut short by The Watchmen, who attack him. He is captured, but escapes custody.
- November 3: President Bloomberg, riding on the successful end of The Avatar Crisis, sympathy from the survivors of New York, and his hardline stance against Abnormals, wins re-election against a field crowded with numerous parties. In addition to Republican Mark Rubio and Democrat Tammy Duckworth, Bloomberg wins over Tea Party candidate Ted Cruz and American Progressive Party candidate Lawrence Lessig.
- November 18: The first William Byrd movie, “Ballad of the Fallen,” opens to massive box-office ratings.
- December 31: Aeon Society census reports approximately 219,800 known novas in the world population. The total number of Abnormals worldwide is speculated to be somewhere around 900,000. This number does not include Abnormal Bygones.
- March: A village in Sri Lanka is destroyed by an earthquake, but a Nova with power over stone and earth emerges from the rubble. Calling herself Gaia, she restores the village, then quickly becomes controversial when she declares herself a Goddess and demands the villagers pay tribute to her, prompting an armed response from Sri Lanka’s military. The Vanguard is called in. Though Gaia is driven out of the area, she eludes capture by Vanguard.
- August: Gabriel Knight’s third book, On Winter’s Edge, is published. It departs in style from the previous works by postulating the existence of magical societies and magical creatures existing before the Weave. In the work, William Byrd erupts after an attack by his nemesis, Trevor deWinter, and seeks solace in North Dakota on a Native American reservation plagued by vicious, cannibalistic creatures known as the Wendigo, learning how to control both his powers and his shock with the help of a society of Sioux Shamans. Though the book is coldly received by fans who are turned off by Byrd’s eruption and the uncomfortable premise of superpowers actually existing before the Weave, it is hailed by critics as Gabriel Knight’s finest work to date. Though it falls behind the previous two novels in sales, it gains a cult following among young would-be shamans and mystics. The term Mystic comes into fashion to describe humans who gain Abnormal-level abilities by tapping into quantum forces through dedication and ritual without the benefit of an R-M Node.
- December 31: Aeon Society census reports approximately 237,500 known novas in the world population. The total number of Abnormals is speculated to exceed 2,500,000.
- May: A masked vigilante known only as The Jersey Daredevil makes a snide comment to an interviewer asking how he acquired his seemingly superhuman senses and martial arts skills. These skills, the result of years of intensive training, are mistaken by the interviewer as a form of Abnormal ability, and The Daredevil’s simple reply to how he gained his powers, “Practice,” gets picked up by baselines who tire of their better-than-average abilities being described as somehow magical. The term Daredevil comes into fashion through memetic mutation after a screen-cap macro series showing various stock Abnormal abilities (the ability to fly, cling to walls, shoot energy beams) with the caption “How did you gain the ability to [x]? Practice.” spreads through social media.
- June: Through Dark Shadows, the fourth William Byrd novel, is published. In the book, protagonist Byrd roams the American southwest, trying to avoid ambushes by Trevor deWinter and come to terms with his new powers while struggling with an emerging shadow personality known as Nemesis that urges Byrd to let himself go. The book ends with a climactic battle between deWinter and Byrd. Sales top all previous William Byrd adventures as novas and other abnormals identify with Byrd’s internal struggle and hardcore fans thrill to the finale between Byrd, deWinter, and Byrd’s shadowy Nemesis self. Many claim that Through Dark Shadows is the best of the series.
- July: Three members of a Nova group calling itself The Pantheon assault Blackstone Island Supermax Penitentiary and release Anwaar al-Jahiz, a Golden Dawn terrorist with abnormal powers, after a brief and bloody battle. The Pantheon broadcasts a video of a “prayer” sent to them by al-Jahiz’s daughter, as well as footage of the rescue and footage of father and daughter being reunited. The footage ends with a message: “Worship us and your prayers will be answered.” Immediately, people around the world download the footage despite the US’ best attempts to suppress it.
- August: With supplies running low and the morale of the troops in tatters after the death of Protonik at the battle of Terek River and the taking of Grozny by Russian forces, the separatists insurgents surrender. Instead of holding them as prisoners of war, the Russian forces allow The Fourth Reich to massacre the surrendering troops. While Vladimir Sierka claims that the Fourth Reich massacre was unsanctioned, critics of his administration say otherwise.
November 16: The second William Byrd movie, “The Eye of the Dragon” is released. It is a box-office smash.
December 31: Aeon Society census reports approximately 250,000 known novas in the world population.
- October 31: Worries over the 20th anniversary of the Shadow Weave boil over into unrest the world over. Though there’s a spike in hate crimes aimed at Abnormals, rallies, protests, and other hysteria (including a mass suicide by a cult that believed the date would be the day of the end of the world), no major Abnormal crisis actually occurs. The Watchmen find themselves particularly active, and prevent a number of hate-related attacks against residents of Drake City’s Abnormal community. The Pantheon, on the other hand, answer a great number of “prayers” around the globe in a concentrated effort to capitalize on the publicity.
- November 7: Vladamir Sierka is assassinated in an explosion that demolishes the Russian White House while the Federation Council is in session. It is initially believed that this is a retaliatory attack on the government in response to the Fourth Reich Massacre, but it quickly becomes apparent that this is only the start of a major coup.
- November through all of 2024-25: Various powerful Abnormals overthrow the legitimate government of Russia. The Confederation collapses into chaos as brutal warlords seize power in the former states and provinces.
- November 15: The third William Byrd movie, “On Winter’s Edge,” is released. Like the book, the movie is not as warmly received by the public, but though its proceeds do not reach the box-office heights of the previous films, it immediately becomes a cult classic.
- December 31: Aeon Society census reports approximately 281,300 known novas in the world population.
- February-March: Adrian Solace, The Sandman, escapes federal custody after making a pact with an entity he calls “The Nightmare Prince.” The Sandman wages a campaign of terror in Drake City, using his mental powers to put people into comas and then animate their dreams, creating a horde of nightmare beasts for no greater reason than to spread fear and misery throughout the city. The Watchmen confront and kill Solace and free as many of the “sleepers” as they can, though one of their members, the fireslinger Inferno, causes considerable collateral damage during one of the battles. This results in the deaths of twenty comatose sleepers and his expulsion from the group.
- March 6: Amy Angstrom, an army medic serving the National Guard post at the ruins of New York, erupts while protecting her unit during an attack on the post by winged Bygones. She successfully fights them off, saving her companions while displaying fiery powers that give her an angelic anima. The media immediately begins circulating the story, calling her The American Dream.
- August 16: The Dark Knights, a band of supremacist Abnormals, hold the nightclub Deva’s Dystopia in Drake City hostage, demanding the surrender of The Watchmen, a local vigilance group. The Drake City PD refuses to intervene due to a long-running feud between themselves and the vigilantes, forcing the Watchmen to try to storm the building when the Dark Knights begin killing hostages. During the battle, Eric Lang, the leader of the Watchmen, is injured and goes into a coma. The public outcry over the failure of the DCPD is enormous.
- November 3: Thanks to the provisions of the 22nd Amendment to the constitution, Arnold Schwarzenegger is able to run for office and is elected the President of the United States of America. A Republican, he is the first to hold the office since the impeachment of President Bush. The Republican Party rallies around Schwarzenegger, but critics claim that the true power behind the presidency is Vice-President Jacqueline “Jackie” Kennedy.
- December 31: Aeon Society census reports approximately 294,100 known novas in the world population.
- May: Gabriel Knight publishes the fifth William Byrd novel, Thy Flesh Consumed. As William Byrd begins to finally come to terms with his powers, he finds himself caught in the crossfire as two gangs of rival abnormals, the Bloodfangs and Cryptkickers, start a bloody war in the ghettos of Drake City. Nemesis is further developed, becoming a full-fledged alternate personality and interfering with Byrd’s efforts to stem the tides of violence. Public reaction is mixed, but sales are quite strong, especially in Drake City where the real Cryptkickers and Bloodfangs start using copies of the book to identify themselves to others.
- July 4: The Patriot Society, an American-backed superhero team, is unveiled to the world in a media fanfare. Though touted as a humanitarian effort similar to Vanguard and the long-defunct Team Tomorrow, it soon becomes clear to most observers that the Patriots are mostly being used as figureheads and mouthpieces for the Schwarzenegger administration’s policies.
- November 14: “Through Dark Shadows,” the fourth William Byrd movie, is released. Hailed as a dark and moody exploration into the plight of the modern abnormal, the tale garners massive ratings and becomes the third highest grossing movie of all time.
- December 31: Aeon Society census reports approximately 300,000 known novas in the world population. It is speculated that nearly 3 million people world-wide can be considered to have abnormal abilities, though the definition of what “abnormal” means varies from person to person.
- June: After a massive accident on Century Bridge, a Nova that the media dubs “Seraph” begins operating as a lone vigilante in Drake City. Her charisma and her heroic tendencies catch fire with the public, and Seraph becomes a well-liked superheroine, though may critics point out that she often causes a large amount of property damage with her escapades.
- December 24: For a period of roughly six hours, a huge structure can be seen near the magnetic south pole in Antarctica. Its footprint is estimated to be roughly 1.75 million square feet. The grainy images, nabbed from satellite feeds by vigilant hackers, are denounced as fakes by all authorities. The structure has never been seen again despite scientists enlisting the aid of Vanguard to survey the site.
- April: Gabriel Knight publishes Down The Rabbit Hole, the seventh William Byrd book. The story borrows heavily from the Alice Liddell incident, in which Byrd is forced to deal with a child who is unwittingly transforming people and her surroundings into people and situations drawn from Alice in Wonderland while dealing with Nemesis, who appears as a demented Cheshire Cat urging him towards violence. At the climax of the story, Byrd is forced to kill the child to keep her powers from growing and consuming the world. Though the story is well-regarded, controversy soon surrounds the work as survivors of the Sandman incident in Drake City protest the events of the book as “a tasteless cash-in on a deeply painful personal tragedy.” Though the events of the book have little to do with the Sandman attack, the controversy makes headlines nation-wide, particularly after several outspoken critics are found murdered.
- December 31: It is speculated that one in a thousand people can be said to have abnormal abilities. Due in large part to the rising tide of anti-abnormal sentiment in the world, many newly-formed abnormals begin trying to avoid open displays of power, though some, particularly genengineered or cyborg abnormals, have little choice in the matter.
- April: A mysterious figure calling herself Deva Lang meets with a number of Abnormals, forming a new band of Watchmen.
- May: The rogue Nova Inferno escapes custody at Hillside Mental Hospital and goes missing for several days. When he returns to the public eye, he goes on a rampage. First he attacks Deva’s Dystopia, irradiating the patrons and claiming the new moniker “Holocaust.” Next, he destroys an apartment building on Cole Street, murdering more than a hundred people after the building collapses due to fire. Next, he attacks the historic Candle Hill Chapel, destroying the rooftop and adding several more bodies to the count. Finally, he assaults the Hellerman Fischer Relay. Gabriel, one of the Watchmen, intervenes as Holocaust gathers energy about himself. He teleports Holocaust away from the facility. Holocaust ignites eleven miles out to sea. Both Gabriel and Holocaust are presumed dead.
- June 2: Scandal rocks the ARD after three members of the STAR squad known as “The Pack” are arrested and charged with illegal search and seizure and police brutality following the arrest of the Watchmen known as “Jinx.”A multimillion dollar lawsuit is filed, and there are calls for the resignation of Assistant Director Felix Spencer and STAR Sergeant Rex Hartigan.
- June 19th-30th: A massive wave of demon-like creatures appear in Drake City, attacking public facilities. The Watchmen step in to battle the demons, culminating in a pitched battle in Drake Park with an immense dragon-like creature. The nova Holocaust reappears, now calling himself Supernova, and aids the Watchmen in defeating the dragon. The immediate area is left in ruins. Hundreds of lives are lost, and millions of dollars worth of damages are inflicted on the city before the crisis is ended.
- October 31: The planned Sojourner mission to the dimension THX-1138, tentatively called “Heaven,” is postponed due to legislative pressure following the Drake City Incident.
- November 3: After a lackluster term, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s bid for reelection fails. In a heated race, billionaire Michael Caine runs on a Tea Party ticket, financing his own campaign from his personal fortune. He wins by playing to the evangelical base. On the ballot in Virginia are controversial changes to the Virginia Code of Vigilance, which greatly restricts freedoms and protections vigilante teams relied on as a shield in order to operate. The campaign for these changes was spearheaded by Senator Helen Quintal, and cited the Drake City Incident as a reason for the changes (despite the Watchmen being essential to the resolution of the crisis).
Act 4: The New Pantheon Arises
- March 21: A psychopathic AI calling itself Deva Ex Machina attempts to seize control of Drake City. She begins her reign of terror by seizing control of air traffic at Jameson Airport, threatening to send the planes filled with people crashing into landmarks around the city if her demands aren’t met. She also seizes control of the USS Titan, a helicarrier, and attempts to bring it into a position where it can rain down destruction on the city. However, The Patriot Society and a new band of Watchmen team up and break her control, resolving the crisis with startlingly few casualties.
- March-April: Deva Ex Machina’s nodes are identified and destroyed, though as a computer program it’s unknown just how many copies of herself she made.
- April: Deva Ex Machina, exploring government computer systems, notices a set of systems monitoring a facility that a number of other systems said didn’t exist. Intrigued, she infiltrated the system and discovered the remains of NINE TANGENT APPLE. She plants a back-up copy of herself in the facility, set up as an emergency back-up plan—if she is ever unable to complete the weekly ping she sends to her various backups, her program will overload the system and trigger a cascading failure of the stasis controls, releasing the survivors of the project on the world once more.
- September 28: Deva Lang sends out invitations to a new group of Watchmen, to combat the rising tide of Abnormal crime…
- Period: The passage of The Abnormal Registration Act in the United States. (Dark) (Start) — In which President Bloomberg, facing pressure after the Terre Haute Terror is revealed to be a mind controller, caves in and signs a bill requiring all “Novas, cybernetically-augmented citizens, and citizens with genetic augmentations” to register their powers with the government or face stiff penalties.
- Period: The Illuminati Propaganda War (Dark) — In which The Illuminati wage a propaganda war against Abnormals, using their resources to influence the media into creating biased and exaggerated accounts of the dangers of Abnormals, as well as providing funding to anti-Abnormal groups and politicians.
- Event: The Reverend Robert Devlin begins broadcasting The Hour of Power (Dark). In which The Reverend Devlin, a right-wing bigot belonging to the Church of the Seven Thunders, begins broadcasting a daily Hour of Power program, weaving Anti-Abnormal positions into right wing policy positions.
- Scene: Question: Was the Illuminati directly responsible for the popularity and Influence the Hour of Power achieved in the wake of North Korea’s collapse due to Abnormal influence? Setting: A board room in a corporation owned by a member of the Illuminati. Outcome: Dark. Yes. The Illuminati decided to weaken American abnormals through the use of the right-wing fringe, and needed a face to make the Seven Thunders seem more moderate.
- Scene: Question: How does Delvin become cemented as the leading right wing televangelist in the US? Outcome: Dark. Charles Carmichael the III provides the younger Devlin with contacts and donors after a faked assassination attempt.
- Event: Backlash to the Backlash (Light): In which Occam’s Razor, an advocacy group made up of scientists, philosophers, and teachers, begins pushing back against the growing fundamentalist movement and provides aid to Abnormals, acting as an Underground Railroad of sorts.
- Period: The African Border Wars (Dark) — In which a series of wars break out in former French colonies of Africa, and spread across the continent. The African Border Wars were brutally-fought conflicts to re-draw the borders of entire nations to create new countries made up of predominantly one group of people only. Often, these groups were defined by the tribes of old. Sometimes, by religious affiliation. Every year saw new wars breaking out, and Africa seemed on the edge to plunge back into the chaos of the various wars of independence.
- Event: The World United for Peace in Africa Concerts (Light) — In which a series of fund-raising concerts spark some talks that would lead to a strengthened African Union.
- Event: Persian Desert No More. (Dark with Light bits) — In which The Wrath unites many of the splintered Islamic states, using brutal methods but ultimately lifting many people out of poverty through the use of Project Utopia terraforming.
- Period: The Abnormal Struggle for Civil Rights (Dark) — In which the ARD registration database undergoes revisions, makes its content available to the public, and leads to various abuses and violations of privacy laws as politicians expand the ARD’s scope and duties in order to manipulate it for their own ends.
- Period: The Rise of Abnormal Entertainers (Light) — In which abnormals, driven from traditional forms of employment, enter entertainment and spark a cultural revolution.
- Event: Mr. Herbert’s Wonderment airs (Light): An abnormal calling himself Mr. Herbert starts a television show aimed at educating children by doing wonderful things with his Abnormal powers. Children who watch the show do markedly better on tests.
- Event: The WGA signs Dmitri Von Jeggett (Light) — In which Von Jeggett, one of the Watchmen, is signed to the WGA and gains superstardom, allowing him to use his fame for various pro-abnormal causes.
- Scene: Question: How did Von Jeggett beat a professional wrestler with no training? Setting: The WGA locker room, just after Von Jeggett is told to take a fall. Outcome: Light. Von Jeggett accepts Benjamin Nasty’s deal, gives the fight his all, and winds up winning, gaining a massive wave of approval.
- Period: Rise of the Machines (Light) — In which increased automation and a rise of strong AI’s across the world affect labor, military forces, and computation-based careers, resulting in freeing normal humanity to concentrate of creative output rather than laborious or computational tasks (with a period of adjustment).
- Period: Walled-off Europe (Light) — In which the networked AI’s of Europe see a largely supernatural threat from Russia after the breakdown of the Russian government and pools resources to create a wall separating half the continent. Leonardo da Vinci-inspired mechanized exoskeletons partol the border, on the lookout for creatures warped by The Shadow Weave. In Fallen Russia, Abnormals carve their own personal kingdoms out of the territory, abusing Baselines in the process.
- Period:* The “Right To Work” Movement* (Dark) — In which backlash against automation and AI’s forcing people into mass unemployment fuels riots, recession, and anti-automation legislation. Following the appearance the the mad AI Deva Ex, protests grow worse.
- Period: The formation of The New Watchmen by Deva Lang. (Light) (End) — In which Deva Lang, the AI who watches over the Deva’s Dystopia nightclub in Drake City, recreates The Watchmen vigilante group to fight the rising tide of abnormal crime in the city.