Singularity City, Formerly Chicago.
Singularity city was created as a UN spearheaded social experiment in a world that’s on the verge of a new world war. This super advanced metropolitan area was built to last. Started in 2025, this monster of a city is now a international hotbed for spies, Intelligence organizations, hackers, riggers, organized crime, scientists and regular old folks trying to make a living in the worlds most advanced city. Welcome to your home. Wether you are a newly arrived defence contracter working for one of the Massive Corperations that pretty much own the upper levels, or a thug, runnign with the Gangs on low and mid level. Or if your a spy who spent far to much time in modern day babylon. You are home. Welcome to SC kid, I hope you brought yourself a trench oat, because Chicago used to be rainy this time a year.
There is one thing thats somewhat specific to this setting, its the way weapons and general technology works. It may be very, very advanced. But the clothing, the guns, the works is 20-30's era style. That means bio electric, gas powered Tommy guns and 22's and teched out trench coats. Think Blade Runner meets 20's Noir style archtypes and aestethics.
The Chinese Superpower.
Following a massive financial meltdown in 2017 and a “Asian Spring” much like the Arabian Spring of 2011, Bangladesh, Vietnam, North Kora and many other Asian states found themselves embroiled in civil wars. America, already wrecked with debts and facing a internal crisis due to the acts of domestic terrorism had nothing it could contribute. So it was China, who neighbored most of the countries anyway, that took action. With official UN backing, Chinese troops spilled over the borders. And sure enough, there would be peace at the end of the bloody conflicts. But China now all but owned most of Asia in all but name. The regimes were nothing but puppets, the companies that build it up again and escaped with the benefits were all Chinese. The Chinese, already the biggest economical power and consummate now out weighed a weakened USA in the UN. The tides were now shifting. With so much of East Asia under the sway of China, and with the Chinese spearheading the African Rebuilding process, the worlds formost Superpower was no longer the USA. It was China. But with great progress, comes higher demand. While China is more powerful then ever, it's government is less so. The iron grip of the worlds largest political party has lessened as a stronger middle class has emerged.
Of course, there were more then a few nations who felt the pressure from this. But no matter how much the UN pressured China, the country was a massive financial superpower. It was around this time the Chinese would officially begin to provide America hostile countries with arms. The Chinese influence, substantial in the poorer states of Africa, allowed China to wage a cold war on the US. East and West was no longer about the east European block vs the West world. It was now China vs USA. And the the battlefield consisted ofstock markets, the virtual net, and the few countries not yet stripped bare of its resources.
To this day, the cold war between the two shapes most of modern politics.
Japan and the Genesis of the Virtua Net.
Japan have always been cutting edge. Japanese science was the first to fully capitalize on the sudden AI development. It was the Japanese who first created a fully working Combat Exoskeleton. In fact, a lot of modern science trends were spearheaded by Japanese inventors. But it was one creation that would become a defining aspect of the Japanese. It would also carry with it some dire consequences. The V-Net started as a natural development of the internet. A direct upload to somewhat clunky gear that let you browse a virtual space and communicate in a whole new manner. Unfortunately, it made the Japanese Hikomori situation worse. The shut ins became ever more isolated, now able to really live in their own world. People died of starvation, over stimulation and poor judgment in general. But the phenomena only grew, soon it was common around the world. Of course, the V-net would soon become a place for a whole new level of cyber crime. While the phenomena was growing, it wasn't after a great earthquake the Japanese really felt the brunt of it. Hackers from all over used the V-net in elaborate scams to steal the identities of Earthquake victims, they deliberately hacked and fried brain jacks of Relief workers and Hijacked AIs inside relief related machines. This sudden surge in attacks delayed the Tokyo Rebuilding project and cost the Japanese huge amounts of money. To this day, Japanese politicians blame China for the attacks. As a result, Ultra Nationalists rose to power and a new much more Militstic Regime took the reigns. Ironicly, Japans first Female Prime Minister, something that should be seen as triumph in a society long marred with patriatichal traditions, was Ultra Nationalist.
Then there is the Yakuza. Long considered something of a unofficial social pillar in poorer Japanese communities, the organized crime that was so typically Japanse had a new opponent in the Ultra Nationalist Yuko Katami but a new business in the much coverted western and chinese imports that got banned when Yuko came into power.
The European Meltdown.
Following numerous financial crises within in the EU, tension began to cruelly rise between stronger, established Nations and those that were suffering. Nations like Greek were bankrupt, with riots and massive civil unrest as a result. Other, stronger countries like France had just barely kept itself from financially collapse. But with more and more countries no longer able to properly sustain its own budgets, the blame began shifting towards the EU as a whole. The domino that truthfully started it was when Britain withdrew from the EU, following BP's Bancruptcy and the uncovering of a large, widespread corruption withing the EU Parliment. Soon Sweden, Italy and Spain followed suit. The EU was in complete chaos.
What came next was a series of conflicts that would forever change European history. On the eve of 2023, Italian Prime minister Anthonio Visceras was shot by a unknown assassin. One month later, A series of explosions sank a Italian destroyer. Four months later, North Italy Declared itself a separate entity by both popular Vote and parmlimental resignation.. Italy had long been a country divided in North and South, with North being very industrial heavy and blaming the countries problems on the poorer southern Italy. This Northern Italian League was heavily capitalistic and actually turned Norther Italy, now Pandona, to prosperous region.
Scandinavia in turn benefited from the chaos just like it always does. Rather self sufficient the 4 countries would slowly integrate into one new, strong Nordic Republic. Britain, Germany, Spain and most of the major countries did in turn recover as the dust Settled, having had a history of strong economies.
A country that was less fortunate were aforementioned South Italy. Weakened and far poorer then its wealthy northern brethren, the church became the only thing its people could turn to. The country became a strongly catholic state, one where the “New Christian Party” is the ruling party and strongly backed by the Sicilian Crime Syndicates.
The Arabian Oil crisis and Two State Peace.
With the oil reserves running out faster then ever before, the Arabian economical lifeline began to dry out and grow weaker. While at first, they can press prizes due to high demand of oil and low supply. But the new, alternative power sources begin for the first time in modern history, become big money. With turmoil still prevalent in many of its countries, the Arabian league needed to do something as tension rose. That something quite unexpectedly came from Iran. Not from the regime, but from the People, rising up and in what may have been the quickest revolt in modern Persian history, overthrew the government. It began with sudden defections within the military, spreading like wildfire after a leak regarding the government torturing its citizens for the enjoyment of their by then paranoid and deranged President. In less then a month, the entire regime had surrendered to revolution troops who had managed to not only take the presidential palace, but the entire inner council of Teheran. This sudden upheaval led not only to a change in tone for the surrounding countries. For the first time, Israel could no longer blame its arm race on Teheran. And a Israeli people tired of constant conflict had begun to stray away from the strong right, military focused government. A new era was about to dawn. Year 2020, 2 years after the Iranian Revolt. Two of the wordls most bitter enemies, the Palestinian and the Israeli states, both recognized by the UN, finally made peace. A historical moment. Albeit the future would hold other threats, Middle East was the most stable it had been in decades.
Africa: Exploitation and Advancement.
Africa remains a warzone in many places. Religion, cultures and other things factor in to make regions unstable,. But on a overall, the continent of africa has moved past a certein treshold. Less totalitarian and corrupt regimes are becoming more normal. Famine is finally being pushed back, and economy is on a massive upswing. Chinese influence is evident however, as the superpowers started infrastructure programs even in the early 2000's. Now, it has started to bear fruit as the African countries owe them a debt, a debt best paid with cheap export and trade alliances. With new medicine there is less disease, with less disease there is less deaths. And with new ways to clean, gather and even create water, parts of the Sahara is slowly being turned green. Of course
The Free South American Netzone
With Brazil beoming one of the worlds foremost economies, the death of several old and decrepid leaders in other South American countries, change could be felt very strongly in the region. What was most intersting however, was the weakening of the Colombian and Chilean drug kartels. Cocaine, heroin and other old world drugs was not cutting it anymore. Cheap to make designer drugs that was sfer and foar stronger at the same time was flooding the market. From Asia, form small places in southern USA. In mexico, a massive effort to clear out the Zetas and the immense corruption for the past 20 years hadd started to pay off. Suddenly the Kartels lifelines were being cut off. Another thing that actually sounded the real alarms, the V-net. Net diving could give you any kick a drug could, and then some. And you could get in nearly free. The old drug market had died. Its killing blow: Virtual Drugs. But, as restrtictions grew on the V-net. A new kind of market appeared. The Free Netzone. A place of total web anarchy, hacking, illegal information trade and the new, “Virtual hooks” that to many replaced drugs. No restrictions.
The North American Nightmare.
The United states, Not so united any more. Following a downward spiral and a amounting financial Crisis, America hits a new Depression. This immense economical failure brought markets to its knees all over the country, and there was a sudden, violent outcry. In the south, Militias blamed the government entirely. In the north, Citizens looked to the corporations and rich for their anger. Riots began to become more and more widespread as did armed skirmishes between well armed citizens and government officials. As a counter measure, The Federal government forces trough a ban and return program for all weapons short of hunting rifles as well as a nation wide revocation of many licenses. A act of desperation, It seemed a good thing in theory. But the already inflamed situation was now a festering wound and America stood on a brink of a humanitarian and military catastrophe. The town of Brookwills in Texas was the starting shot. The entire Town, at the brink of ruin due to lack of jobs and any income end up conspiring gainst and attacks government officials and declare itself “True American”. Similar events happen all over the state as a organization calling itself “ The Lone Stars Republican Army” begin to actively operate within smaller communities. It is soon labeled as a domestic terrorist group, But the phenomena spreads beyond Texas. Other militias join in a combined effort to toward combating “Federals”. Driven not so much by right Wing extremists as a overwhelming anger at the current situation, Americans fight each other on native soil. The militia grows in power, with Texas leading the charge. Defections within the National Guard and the US Army begin to take place as Texans and other from the affected states join the Militia, providing a already well armed force with even more guns. For no less then 3 months, The American army has to deal with what is a popular uprising. Fighting them town to town, with only more disgruntled citizens joining the LSRA. Around 2017, a truce is formed. But America to day, remains strongly divided.
Canada stayed mostly outside of the conflict, but many prevalent North Americans crossed the border and there was something akin to a refuge wave washing across the border in the most heated stages of the war. Canada, already a strong, very wealth fare heavy state, didn't have to much trouble coping. Infact, despite its clsoest Ally being torn by civil strife, The Canadian economy remained fairly strong troughout. It was also Canadian diplomats that led the Texan Peace Talks is 2018.
The Singularity Project
In midst of the political turmoil, With America once more on track after the hostilities settled down. UN came with a As well as a new, super efficient energy source. Spearheaded by Dr Joseph Gilhelm , a brilliant physicist who years easlier had deviced a small test reactor of his own in his native home of New Zealand. The main device was something what he called a “implosion core“ A self contained energy source that constantly fluxed between expanding and detracting, s essentially imploding itself creating massive amounts of energy whenever it exploded outwards. This, combined with the advancements in man and machine integration, led to new age. One that would See America rise from its darkest hours back to a financial powerhouse. The UN in the meanwhile, Established Singularity city on what was once Chicago.
Chicago, having been the worst hit by the riots, was in dire straits. The city looked like a warzone, crime was rampart and its people lived in third world country conditions. The UN went in, suggesting rebuilding it as Singularity City. In turn, the UN would finance the reconstruction. . This super advanced city, the most advanced in human history was a multi-trillion project, financed by many different countries with interest. Including countries that clearly just funneled money from China. It was a project trying to advance humanity, the largest social experiment in history. Based on studies conducted on the citizens who all were essentially test subjects in their own right, the discoveries and new technology developed on site has been made with neck breaking speed.
The New Zealand experiment and the Australian Deadzone
The two main countries of Oceania have become each others polar opposites. Were new Zeland became something of a forerunner to the Singularity Project, everything that could go wrong, went wrong for Australia. The smallest continental landmass, Australia has been suffering from a shrinking ozone layer. Wildfires break out with increasing intensity and frequency as time passed and it became clear that something had to be done. A leading scientist in enviromental research presented to the Australian government a revolutionary new project. The Oz' as locals called it, was something of a miracle project. The large scale, super powered monster or was built over the course of 9 years, in the middle of the Australian Badlands. Powered by two Implosion Core Reactors, the project seemed to be a success.
It was only fitting, that mans attempt to fix their own mistakes, would end u in a complete disaster. On may 22nd, One of the reactors shut down. The reason why is still unknown today, all systems were showing green and no cracks had been reported. 50 minutes after it seized to work, it flared up again, imploding the entire facility, including its twin reactor. The chain reaction of the two cores imploding into one another alongside many dangerous material, including the pure Ozone, meant that disaster had struck. The Resulting event took with it a large chuck of the neighboring area and created the biggest man made crater to ever exist. At the core of said crater, Is the densest man made object ever made. The remains of the impact core is a 1 km by 1km big chunk of metals forcefully squashed and forced together. For around 58 miles around the core, the land is absolutely toxic with pollution.'
New Zealand however, had a bit more luck with experimental technology. It was here the first prototype of the Implosion Core was created. It was also here the first large scale reactor was built. Increadibly clean energy, that would continue to single handedly provide most of the country with electricty. Next in line was the “New zealand AI experiment”. By building up what was essentially a small society meant entirely for AI's, scientists observed as the AI's grew smarter, more adaptive and more mature. It was from this small scale project, the Singularity City Project would be born.
East Europe and the Russian Collapse.
While “Europe” had crisis in the west, east suffered from its own problems. The Russian machine was on shaky legs. The regime, long under pressure from populous groups, human rights activists and even far right movements had a hard time properly enforcing their rule. The death knell seemed to be a insignificant thing at first. Just another unjustified prison sentence of a human rights activist. The problem was the timing, as she had just received the nobel peace prize. The outrage from abroad aswell as inside russia at her life sentence for clearly falsified charges were enormous. And it became like petrol hitting fire. Rioters took to the streets, organizations began digging up prior cases of similar nature. But Russia is not a country unaccustomed to violence. And it has a history of quelling riots. And only two days after the riots started, prominent figures were arrested, anyone without a Russian passport was deported, It was a lock down. But this time, everyone knew Russia could not hold it. And then came the cracks. The opposition left parliament entirely. Hardliners found themselves targets of organized, angry “freedom fighters.” The backlash grew, as nationalistic smaller parties in its far off regions like Tadzhikistan began calling for freedom once more. Soon enough, the parliament called martial law, but it was to late. The entire government machine was collapsing at them as defections plagued every part of the public services. And Russia, a country that encompasses a suprising amount of regios with rich local history and desire for statehood, began to crumble When the dust settled there existed among others “Central Republic of Russia, where most of the old “true russia” was concentrated. To the east there was the heavily Chinese backed “Peoples Federation of Russia.” To the north existed the “Siberian Russian Republic. That while not overly populated, remained rather strong financially.
But while the old Russian machine crumbled and became a bunch of smaller states the east block was experiencing a great deal of commerce. The countries benefited greatly from trade with the new, Scandinavian Federation. And they also had new partners that were desperate for greater leniency in the now weakened Russian states. Countries like Polen, Estonia and Lithuania were becoming booming, fast growing economies.