ExistenceRP Universe Lore
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As The Lights Fade
By Shade, Cipher, and Vice
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson
The year is 2017 - The world is quickly reaching a boiling point - civil unrest and war is at its highest so far in the twenty-first century. The European Union is at it’s last nerve; with countries across the EU reverting to a strong sense of nationalism, rejecting globalism and tanking the Euro. One primary member state has already begun due process for seceding from the European Union; Great Britain. France is set to follow suit after the election of a more nationalistic president, playing into the hand of Russian interests. Eastern Europe has been hit substantially hard by the rising nationalistic tide; no longer able to depend on the Euro for a stable economy, the Baltic states look for other options for financial and military security. The Middle East isn’t any different; the Syrian civil crisis has gained international infamy, with Assad deploying chemical weapons on his own population, causing the death toll to break an astonishing 300,000, pushing the United States into halting its overt support for various Syrian rebel organizations. With Russian influence in the region growing every month, there is no end in sight for this tragic situation. In more comparative countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and other Middle Eastern states, the sentiment is the same - terror and confusion is at large, and no foreign power wants to deal with the deep-rooted issues in the area, leaving the region in an unfortunate state of limbo. In the United States, a new administration has cast a new light on foreign affairs; withdrawing from its involvement in middle-eastern satellites and it’s war on terrorism, they turned their focus inward on improving self-sufficiency and homeland security.
All of the previously mentioned played into Russia’s hands, and around this time they re-positioned themselves to a more aggressive power in Europe, as well as putting more time and energy into their weapons and science programs. It truly seemed that Russia was poised to once again become a world power.
The United States ended its overt support campaigns in Syria and the Middle East; however, they still had eyes and ears in the region. The United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had deployed the Special Operations Group, “SOG”, in the region for long-term reconnaissance and other covert tasking that needed attention within the region. These agents, totaling in number at between 35 and 65 operators in total, were deployed alongside one of the primary rebel groups in the area - the Free Syrian Army - in December of 2016.. As they worked to retake a primary city in the area, Hama, the operators stumbled across a memo that would spur the investigation that would lead to the end of the world - a memo with the title “Akula”. This memo, found on March 15th, 2017, mentioned a powerful weapon of mass destruction being developed by the Russians, which spiked the radars of Pentagon leadership at home. The Pentagon reassigned these operators to tasks and operations regarding discovering what this weapon actually is, and if it is a threat to the United States.
Meanwhile, protests in Turkey were gaining traction, but aggressive police action broke it further, spiraling into outright civil war. Refugees from across the nation of Turkey marched west, praying to leave the wars and oppression of the increasingly totalitarian state that left them displaced. However, on the western edge of Turkey, a force of thousands of Greek border guards gunned down refugees as they were crossing the Aegean sea in overcrowded rafts before they hit the shores, leaving the sea a crimson red mess, riddled with bodies. It was an international disaster, with world leaders across the board denouncing the act as a war crime. Russia was incredibly vocal about it - they took the action as a chance to denounce the European Union as a failed state, and move more aggressively into Eastern Europe as a result, for “security” purposes. The world sat and watched.
Russia began its war against Europe quietly - or, as quietly as it possibly could, given the circumstances. The New European Coalition, the Russian government called it - a replacement for the failed state known as the European Union. This new order comprised of Russia, a few Baltic states that were swiftly annexed by Russia, and Ukraine. Ukraine, however, did not go quietly like the rest. The battle of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, was broadcasted internationally, which made the international community denounce Russia once again for their “crimes against civilians and human rights”. However, no action was taken against them. There was no strong reaction from the international community that they had hoped for either, (the angriest voices came from US diplomats), and the European Union’s military strength was next to none in comparison. Facing no real opposition, Russia pushed it’s warmachine forward - moving it’s military forces through Eastern Europe, hastily reaching the Polish border by mid-April.
Meanwhile, these very same SOG operatives found themselves dropped into Mykolaiv, a Russian-occupied Ukrainian city, still smoldering from engagements. These operators were tasked with locating and infiltrating a local shipping complex that was known to be importing shipments of Akula and distributing it for combat deployment throughout the rest of the Ukrainian fronts. Some of these operators were ambushed and apprehended by Russian forces to be shipped off for “questioning” in Beketov, Ukraine. The Russians took this news to the international stage, accusing the United States of sending spies to interfere with Russian operations in the region. The United States rebutted back quickly by releasing some tailored documents on Akula, and threatening to intervene should Russia push further into Western Europe.
It was like throwing a match onto a pile of gunpowder. The Russians performed a preemptive strike on the Kerama Islands, an archipelago just south of Japan. They dropped paratroopers, armored divisions, and flew bombers carrying canisters filled with an aerosolized version of the Akula virus over the islands. The United States ended up losing the island, but they quickly joined the war effort, impeding Russian advancement quickly. American efforts in the war nearly halted Russian advancements, stabilizing the frontlines somewhere in Western Germany.
Shortly after this, The United States deployed a squad of MARSOC agents along with the remaining SOG operatives to Mykolaiv to find information on the missing SOG agents, as well as the location they’d be transported to. They did so successfully, and the intelligence they found led them to Beketov, Ukraine.
Beketov, Ukraine; a central point of contention between Russian and Ukrainian forces, was a major population center in northern Crimea, a region in Ukraine annexed by Russian forces three years previous. On April 26th, 2017, this area once again gained international attention, the world watched as a full-scale assault on the area was launched by the United States, in order to rescue the high-value SOG operatives, as well as capture shipments of Akula that were currently stationed within the region. It was this day that the Russians debuted their superweapon - Akula. It was a lethal bio-weapon that attacks the nervous system of humans, turning them into flesh-eating monsters. The operation was quickly cut short by a massive deployment of this virus in the surrounding area; however, the SOG operatives were extracted home safely.
Germany’s borders fell to the Russians in early May of 2017. Now, the Russian frontline pushed all the way to the borders of France, where they were stopped by the United States at the historic Maginot Line between France and Germany. The war became riddled of attrition, as refugees went hungry and bodies lined the streets. Russian, French, British, and American troops traded shots at one another from the frontlines. Refugees from Europe flowed westward, through France, and then north. However, the United States opened up a path to safety for European refugees…
The lights were fading on the civilized world as it once was. All of it’s due dates, deadlines, wars and societies were coming to a sudden halt. Out in the dark of the Atlantic, a beacon of hope screamed high above the clouds, calling out across borders and through the echo of transmissions. Through the smoke and fire of the coming apocalypse, Isla Abramia stood as a testament to humanity’s stubbornness and endurance. The United States offered a way out for civilians that wished to leave behind the war-torn landscape that ravaged the landscape of Eastern and Western Europe. For anyone who was lucky enough or rich enough to make it, the United States opened up refugee centers on the a group of islands in the Baltic Sea named Isla Abramia. Isla Abramia was home to a small local lower-middle class population of fisherman and mostly blue-collar workers, as well as a United States naval base. As refugees flowed into the islands, the quality of life declined for the natives living on the island. Tensions between natives and refugees were high, and became higher with every passing day.
As the islands reached their maximum capacity, a few NATO ships led by the USS Freedom, began preparations to extract the first group of refugees, approximately 3,500 hundred in number, to other designated camps in Iceland and Greenland to wait for further transportation to the United States and Canada. The date for the fleet’s arrival was set for June 30th, 2017.
Meanwhile, the SOG and MARSOC operators that survived this far were reorganized into a special division dedicated to the destruction of the Akula project, appropriately named the Akula Task Force. This task force was deployed to high-risk areas where Akula was feared to be deployed, as well as areas of high Russian activity, in order to find leads to Akula. Eventually, their work brought them to Chernarus, an autonomous district of West Russia, near St. Petersburg, where the original Akula virus was developed and tested, and where the original strands of the virus were located. After some recon and search and rescue, the operators staged a massive attack on the facility, but deployed Akula to hold off Russian reinforcements in the process, allowing the virus to quickly spread throughout the area.
The Russians, of course, had eyes and ears feeding them a wealth of information from within the refugee camps and native population. They soon caught wind of this operation, and launched an offensive to stop the effort in it’s tracks. It was at this very same date that the Russians prepared an early morning bombing raid to thwart the plans of the Americans, and truly burn out the last remaining hope for European refugees. The canisters dropped in the silent hours of the morning, capturing most victims in their sleep. What was once a sleepy town that then converted into a hotbed for refugees escaping the war finally met it's final resting place - as an epicenter of the infection that would doom humanity as we know it. The ATF got word of it and attempted to stop it, and the United States defended the islands with what resources they could muster, sending air battalions out to counter the bombers, even shooting a few down with anti-air, but it was all too late. Within twenty-four hours, the islands were lost to the infection. It is estimated that around ten to twenty thousand were affected by the virus, and an unknown amount of survivors were still active, waiting for salvation. The US/NATO fleet pulled it’s ships back, switching its role from rescue to containment. The United States used the fleet to coordinate a naval blockade to ensure the virus would not spread any more westward than it already has, and daily air patrols were flown over the island to ensure that no boats or aircraft were actively trying to leave the area. The Russians were rapidly gaining naval superiority against the last remaining Royal Navy cruisers and battleships a few dozen miles east of Isla Abramia, covering the North sea. Anyone caught between the two lines were essentially trapped within the region. The naval base on the island was overrun by infected from lack of defensive capabilities relatively quickly, and the last remaining U.S. Military forces on the island were dispersed by force, scattered, and given the same repeating radio broadcast to survive and wait for further orders. The natives blamed the refugees for the bombings, and some took up arms against them for resources. The refugees defended themselves as best they could. Quite soon, a civil war emerged between the refugees and the natives, with infected playing the role of extremely dangerous background noise. Airdrops filled with supplies and personal defense equipment were dropped almost daily by NATO C130s, leaving the contents to whoever got it first. The war refused to halt over such a small anomaly, as the United States began to push the Russians back out of France and into Germany, grinding to a halt at Berlin. The war became a battle of endurance; riflemen took potshots at each other in the tight streets of the city, and calls for gas masks were frequent as Russian bombers flew overhead, deploying immense amounts of Akula to keep the US from advancing any further.
Bedlam waged across the globe. The infection quickly became a global pandemic. World leaders who were not directly involved with the war began to speak out for the good of humanity, and the civilians on both sides echoed their remarks. Fear brought on by humanity’s own arrogance became a palpable entity. Though the war was never popular internally in Russia, support for the United States’ entry into it plummeted drastically. The world seemed to be ready to put down their arms over what was now seen as a disgusting waste of human life, and pick up the tools to begin rebuilding the world, bringing it back from it’s breaking point to rebuild what had been lost.
The call for peace came from the United States - the country’s leaders, losing a lot of support and risking the next election by continuing the war effort, reached out to those on the other side. Russia’s economy was crippled by US entry into the war, as well as the looming infection at its borders, and so they were forced to come to the negotiating table to finally end this conflict.
Finally, it seemed as though there was a light at the end of the tunnel. An emergency UN summit came together near the ruins of Paris, France to finally discuss a cease-fire that would lead to the end of the ongoing bloodshed. Leaders from all countries came together to witness one of the most fated political encounters. The event was televised, and citizens and soldiers around the world witnessed what was once seen as an impossibility; the leaders of countries engaged in brutal conflict, both responsible for hundreds of thousands of casualties, sitting at the table of peace as opposite sides of the same coin. The event was strangely surreal - until the explosion blew out the microphones in the room and the unmistakable green gas - Akula - filled the building in minutes - and then all of a sudden everything was grounded again. The worst that was possible became a reality, and the vision of a peaceful world was quickly smoked out by the nuclear detonations that followed. And then…
Silence. For the first time in many years, humanity had found a way to nearly bomb itself back to the stone age and those that remained truly felt the devolution. Flags and patriots led to the undoing of life itself, as around 60% of humanity’s former population simply vanished in the chaos of Akula and the nuclear fire. Nobody wanted to fight for their country’s ideals anymore, simply because it finally felt that they no longer existed. Cities and countrysides in nuclear wastelands decayed and remained vacant, except for the occasional scavenger. No more statues erected, songs sang or anthems recited. Only dark landscapes and broken people.
Things vary region by region, which are hardly called by their old-world name anymore. Areas are simply known as wastes. The Heartland Wasteland surrounding the ruins of Moscow, Russia is infamous for the chaos that has enveloped it. Stories of a certain “horde”’s terror carry from mouth to mouth, blowing facts into wild tales of speculation around Russia’s old capital. The Hollywood Waste is a tale carried rarely across the sea, but it is known truly as the “Land of the Dead”, a terrible host to many mutated Akula victims. The Tokyo Crater was infamous for it’s marksman that dotted the monolithic skyscrapers, dubbing the area as “Tower Town” by victims of the snipers.
Your situation takes place in the Esseker Valley, a territory in Northern Ukraine just north of Kiev largely affected by the nuclear holocaust. Briefly occupied by Russian forces during the war, it’s people were diverse. From farmers to factory workers, it was a busy and populated area dotted with towns out in the country-side. Comparable to America in the 1900’s, there was an even blend between industrialized towns and rural spaces between the forests. What remains of Esseker now is an overgrown and decayed valley of ghost towns, frozen in time. Those that dwell there are caught in the midst of a power struggle between an ex-military faction known as the NRC and it’s separatists. What kind of life could be made in this hollow waste? That is your character’s choice. Will they rule like a monarch, uniting a battered humanity and restoring civilization… Or will you die like a dog, forgotten in a damp alleyway?