Hybrid World History

World Collapse

During the early decades of the 21st century, rapidly diminishing oil resources polarize the world. An initially localized skirmish over the last remaining oil rich region escalates and eventually culminates in a devastating nuclear war. The subsequent inevitable radiation turns the world into an uninhabitable wasteland that is caught fast in the grip of nuclear winter; ice sheets from the northern and southern poles extend far into the temperate zones, locking up most of the world's water. This drop in sea levels makes the Earth unrecognizable.

Close to the equator is a city that acts as the Earth-bound anchor for the end of a massive cable - a Tether. At the other end far out in space is a counterweight. Between them Earth's only large-scale self supporting environment - a Platform - is perfectly positioned. Still unfinished, this space Platform is designed to support thousands of scientists as a base for space exploration and possible colonization of the Moon and Earth's closest planets.

Miraculously, as if planned, none of the ballistic missiles impact close to this city and the nuclear war leaves it unscathed. Predictably, during and immediately after the exchange, VIP refugees from all over the world arrive in their hundreds desperate to secure a place in one of the Space Elevator Capsules that shuttle between the city and the Platform far above. The powerful and wealthy - using any means possible - successfully obtain the coveted places on the Space Elevator Capsules. Then, from inside the safety of the Platform, they organize themselves. All of a sudden old corporate enemies find themselves on the same side, their feuds forgotten in the face of looming catastrophe. They unify the security forces they have brought with them, imposing a lock down and expelling those who have nothing to contribute to the Platform's future survival back to the surface. There the outcasts join the other hundreds of millions condemned to almost certain death from radiation and other after effects of the nuclear war.

New Mutant Order

Over time the old city around the base of the Space Elevator is destroyed in the continuous but futile struggle for refuge. The Platform inhabitants, now known as 'Purists', transform the ruins into an impregnable fortress to serve two purposes: it will guard the extremely important and vulnerable base of the Tether and Space Elevator and also protect its small but permanent defense force from the radioactive wasteland outside. The Purists name this fortress-bunker 'Terminus'.

Elsewhere on Earth the years pass, bringing pain and sorrow as the various clans all witness their children suffering increasingly terrible mutations. This flawed genetic legacy continues through the decades, and the permanently scarred Mutant survivors eke out a sparse existence.

Below the massive walls of Terminus the crowds of mutated refugees wait, praying for access to the Platform. The most cunning see that there is advantage to be gained from this situation. They proclaim themselves "prophets", and create numerous cults, promising their followers admittance to the Platform, claiming secret access that will allow a 'chosen few' to become part of the saved. In return the prophets live well; ruling as despots, worshipped; the masses hanging on their every word. Inter-cult strife becomes commonplace as each prophet leader greedily tries to gain more power and territory. It is total anarchy.

Biological Augmentation Unit

Hundreds of kilometers above, the Platform inhabitants live out the radiation years in cramped conditions. Life is hard - but even though the founders have done their work well and left their children an efficient and stable environment, development has to accelerate as the Platform lacks the living space, necessary technology and materials to sustain it indefinitely. The Purists are restricted to whatever is at hand, and many times total system collapse seems imminent. They gaze at the poisonous wasteland below: it has everything they need - but radiation levels and a hostile, well-armed Mutant population make access an impossibility.

With no other option the Purists become scavengers, learning how to retrieve old orbital space junk. Over time they become proficient, launching small robot craft which intercept numerous near-Earth asteroids, providing minerals and metals. Their basic resources are assured.

Now the Purists are able to concentrate on maximizing the lives and productivity of the Platform's still small population. They focus on experimental research into augmenting their human bodies - doing more with less.

Working on the surface of the brain stem they eventually manage to create a digital interface that allows the subject to interact directly with computer systems and the machines they control. This technology is extended and complemented by the ability to also grow artificial tissue - which strengthens and even replaces the original organic tissue.

Once the Biological Augmentation Units are tried and tested the Council makes them available to the whole population, boosting their physical abilities to incredible levels and allowing every Purist to contribute to the utmost. Production capability and general well-being rapidly improve. Soon they are totally dependent on this technology - and it becomes the cornerstone of the Purist way of life.

Return To The Surface - Terminus

By the beginning of the 22nd century the Purist population has exploded. They have expanded their Platform tremendously by constructing countless new space-tethers that support the enormous weight. However, they have now reached the point where further expansion is neither viable nor feasible. Radiation levels on the surface have fallen somewhat, and the Purists' deepest desire - returning to the surface - is now conceivable. Eventually, after much debate in the Council - the Purist ruling body - the decision is taken to upgrade the fortress-bunker of Terminus, and construction plans to extend it into a massive, radiation-proof, domed habitat are begun.

To construct a project of this magnitude the Purists need an enormous, continuous supply of raw materials that can only be found on Earth's surface - still controlled by the resourceful Mutant clans.

The different Mutant clans start small skirmishes trying to stop the Purists from taking over their resources. However the Purists biologically augmented defense forces easily brush these aside. These losses are a terrible shock to the clans and their prophet leaders who realize that they must put their differences aside and band together to prevent the Purists from gaining any more of their valuable territory. They stop their inter-clan feuds, and start to unite under the strongest of the clan leaders who calls himself 'the One Prophet'. He promises the Purists' complete destruction and begins an orchestrated campaign to take and destroy Terminus. The Purists are unprepared - and to their horror and surprise the now-united Mutants almost succeed.

This close shave forces the Purists into action. They begin intensive military research into a new concept called 'Dynamic Armor' - massive exoskeleton suits that not only protect the occupying pilots but also, through their augmented implants, allow direct mental control.

This merging of man and machine into a single fighting unit dramatically increases their combat strength despite their smaller numbers. With these 'ExoSuits' they can now repel the Mutants' advances and push them back.

As the Purists gain territory they construct small military strongholds called Citadels which protect access to Terminus - and their resource gathering. These heavily fortified outposts are deep in the radioactive wasteland, each guarding a different region and monitoring the Mutants movements.

The Citadels are an unpopular assignment. The only way to cross the intervening hostile land between them and Terminus is via a network of small VTOL air transport craft carrying all staff and supplies. All too often these vulnerable aircraft are shot down or inventively attacked by Mutants.

To the Purists horror, one of the craft that is shot down is carrying a Biological Augmentation Unit for installation at a newly constructed Citadel. The Purists do everything in their power to recover it before the Mutants get it - but they are too late.

By sheer luck the Mutants have got their hands on the Purist's most vital piece of technology. The Biological Augmentation Unit offers the Mutants the possibility of enhancing their own warriors. Very soon they are able to compete with the Purist soldiers on the same level.

But the One Prophet doesn't stop here. After much trial and error he selects the largest and fittest children, augmenting them in many small stages. This drawn out method pays off. The subjects experience rapid growth spurts after every application, and in only a few years have developed into inhumanly powerful massive creations that can directly compete with the Purist's ExoSuits - thus creating their own class of Dynamic Armor.

When they have amassed enough augmented warriors the Mutants launch a concerted attack. The Purists lose citadel after citadel as the Mutants advance claiming back their valuable resources. Eventually the Purists manage to stabilize the situation but the Mutants are clever, and constantly find new weak points to attack. From this point on the evenly matched struggle for resources is continuous.