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In the year 2021 the world held its breath...

In the previous decade, China’s economy had progressed to a point where it was more efficient, larger, and more powerful than the United States, and began to compete with the U.S. for the title of the world’s only remaining super power. An economic war ensued in which the United States vied for control of its own trade agreements, and China, with its superior technology and vast population of dedicated workers, developed a monopoly on all major worldwide products and services. In an act of arrogance, the Chinese government openly challenged the U.S. for control of every major market in the world. In response to this challenge, the United States' intelligence organization, formerly known as the CIA, sent covert operatives to assassinate the leaders of the Chinese government, in the hopes of maintaining their stranglehold on the world. Sometime into the mission though, the Chinese secret police discovered the assassins before they had completed their mission. Following intense interrogation of the captured killers the Chinese government lay accusations of terrorism against the U.S. Later that night, on October 15th, the assassins were executed on live television. The Chinese promised swift and brutal retribution against the American people. Spies from the US learned that the Chinese were planning on launching their own assassination campaign, and an all-out assault on American installations in Asia, and North America. To combat this threat, a Black Ops unit operating in the White House ‘convinced’ the President to go to Defcon Four in preparation for an assault on China. On the night of October 30th in a desperate attempt to stop the Chinese nuclear clock and save its failing status, a sadly reduced United States launched a nuclear sneak attack on the Federation of China using every cold-fusion warhead in its arsenal. The assault wiped out almost every major Federated city. In a matter of minutes, the automated warheads of the Chinese Federation retaliated, and what was once known as North America almost entirely ceased to exist.

After the dust cleared, only one major city remained in the US: Los Angeles. The missiles targeted for the city somehow failed to explode, and LA remained untouched by the devastation. Meanwhile, the Federation of China was virtually decimated, with death tolls estimated by historians to peak somewhere over the one billion mark. Lines of radio and internet communication were fragmented by high concentrations of residual EM radiation left over from the cold-fusion bombings, so the residents of Los Angeles had no choice but to believe they were all that remained of the human race. As such they acted according to their preconceived notions of Utopia and took it upon themselves to re-establish the American Empire. Those who maintained the governmental foresight to see that most of the world had probably survived the nuclear barrage, realized quickly that other, less developed countries could conceivably rise to superpower status in the power vacuum left by the removal of the US and the FC. Therefore, it became the priority of those in power to return the United States to its former status and technological level of advancement as quickly as possible in order to ensure their re-emergence as the world’s foremost superpower.

The citizens of Los Angeles quickly came to the understanding that if they were to survive, they would have to depend on the resources and technology at their immediate disposal. Scouts sent out into the heartlands and up the Western Seaboard met with nothing but smoking ruins and charred corpses. Nothing seemed to remain of any other major city in the US, and the small pockets of civilization left between the areas of destruction were encouraged to migrate to LA in order to facilitate the rebuilding of the country from a central population nexus. Thus began the Great Relocation of 2024. Although the forces sent out to relocate these wayward citizens were quite persuasive there were those communities who refused the invitation to join America’s New Order, and indeed many of the ‘welcoming committees’ sent out to escort these people to their new homes never returned or reported back. Contact with these renegade communities was not re-established until years later.

Throughout the course of the same year, all governmental, industrial and military organizations were run out of Los Angeles. This same year, the European Union cut off all communication with outside continents and declared itself to be the “one true super power of the world”. Unbeknownst to the citizens of Los Angeles, a year later the Union collapsed. War broke out between the European Powers, leaving that portion of the world in chaos comparable to the ordered mania found in the areas surrounding LA.

The population of Los Angeles had grown to over 35 million people during the time of the Great Relocation. Overwhelmed by the population boost, the government contracted a small construction company formerly based in Dallas to renovate the majority of the residential areas in the city to accommodate this new population surge. Within 10 years 80+ story apartment complexes sprang up all over the city to house the surging growth and the company now newly named “Dal-Tek ” became a billion dollar conglomerate, merging with many technological and industrial corporations still in operation. Building up seemed the only way to go according to Dal-Tek’s R&D team. The once-plentiful resources of America’s heartland had been seared from the face of the globe by the intense nuclear strikes of the war. Gone were the great plains and the agricultural interests they supported. Gone were the lush forests and the bounty of animal life once found there. LA had to become self-sufficient, simply because there was nowhere else to go.

By the year 2036, the government of the United States had stabilized itself in the new Free State of Los Angeles. The majority of citizens in the remaining States had declared independence following their disposal of the LA Welcoming Committees. The states of Texas New Mexico and Arizona amalgamated under the name New Texas, and the former Confederate States reintegrated themselves and became the United Confederate States. The rest became abandoned and the populations moved towards the coasts, in the hopes of either joining the FSLA or beginning their own new colonies on the edge of the ocean; one of the few resources not marred by the war. Most of the Western States remained largely intact in terms of population and Los Angeles became their universal capital. In Europe, Germany had emerged victorious in the wars between the European Powers and had gained control over all of Europe with the exception of England Spain, Portugal, and Switzerland. Persia and some of Northern Africa had also been amalgamated under the United Socialist Flag of Germany.

Later that year, a shock of unrest rippled the calming surface of the FSLA. A man claiming to be the direct genetic descendant of the ancient prophet Nostradomus appeared in the central square of Los Angeles proclaiming that the end of this short-lived peace was near. His exact words have been lost to the annals of history but the general message was one of apocalyptic fervour. His claims that Los Angeles would be “humbled” in the face of some great natural disaster, incited fear among the still-shaken generation that had built the FSLA on the ruins of a damned civilization. They found themselves once again facing certain destruction but unlike their forefathers, there was nothing they could do to prevent this calamity. Of course the government did not pay heed to the warnings of a man they dismissed as mad but the general populace certainly felt differently, as the Son of Nostradomus (as he came to be called) developed a cult following of over two million residents over the course of just a few years. The Children of Nostradomus as they came to be called, would become the major thorn in the side of the FSLA government. Although they never became aggressive, peaceful demonstrations were held all over the city. Most of these demonstrations occurred on ground-level streets. These streets which were once the veins of the original city of Los Angeles were quickly becoming abandoned in favour of the large catwalks suspended between apartments called 'skyways'. The streets became home to underground civilizations and the dredges of society - drug dealers pimps whores, thieves, and the Children of Nostradomus.

During this time, a new group of people began to permeate the streets and skyways of the FSLA. They closely resembled humans from a distance but were horribly deformed when viewed closer. They had elongated and pointed ears almond-shaped eyes with green pupils, thin and angular faces slim builds and fine hair. Historians recognized them as depictions from the popular fantasy of the previous century, of 'elves'. Indeed, these new residents even referred to themselves as elves. Scientists immediately explained the elves as genetic deviations caused by after effects of the cold-fusion bombings, and in doing so turned these highly intelligent creatures into pariahs. They were shunned from almost all areas of the FSLA out of fear of contamination despite the fact that no radiation had been involved with the attacks. The elves, a group nearly one million strong themselves were offended by this treatment and prepared to leave the city.

Before they departed, their leader - a man known only as Trell - was approached by the Son of Nostradomus himself. The meeting that followed was held in a secret location, known only to the denizens of the Street Level, but when it was over, Trell and his elves had amalgamated with the Children of Nostradomus, and the entire force left the city en masse.

During this time, as the world reached the year 2040, the population of Los Angeles had grown to 42 million people. The city was slowly becoming its own country; completely self sufficient, and with enough people to support it. Instead of building out past the suburbs, as nothing remained beyond the city limits, Dal-Tek promoted the building of their mega-apartment complexes. So Los Angeles built up. What were once eighty-storey buildings became well over 130 stories. The Skyways became the primary transport venue, and the ground level streets fell farther and farther away from the general populace. Children were born that would stand upon the earth. Despite the population's continued growth, with no stop in sight, there was a constant stream of death. The intense mechanization of Los Angeles following the Relocation resulted in tremendous pollution being released into the environment. For the first few years, an average of 75 000 people per year died of cancer and related respiratory diseases. Once medical treatments were developed to combat these illnesses, the death rate lowered, but a blanket of smog still engulfed the city, never letting the sun in. Children were born never to see the sun, and remained unaware of the destruction that lay outside of the city. People walking outside on Skyways were eventually required to wear Dal-Tek engineered breathing assistance apparatus, in order to purify the foul air and make it breathable.

Medical technology was perhaps the one industry that profited more than any other from the pollution problem in the FSLA. Huge sums of tax and government money were invested in medical research to improve the quality of the average Los Angelino's life. In 2040, scientists from Dal-Tek made a stunning advance: they publicly announced on June 17th that they had successfully integrated the first artificial cybernetic limb to a human nervous system. Although crude in design the limb interacted directly with the cerebral cortex of the human brain allowing instantaneous nervous reaction - in effect working the same way as a biological limb. Due to public demand, this technology immediately hit the market, and 90% of patients waiting for limb transplants opted for a cyber limb instead. Shortly after Dal-Tek opened up a cybernetics department and closed all new technology, except for medical advances to the public. This was the same year that Japan immerged from international slumber, and announced its intentions of digital information trading with the US. It had been unknown even to the government of the FSLA, until this time, that any other country except for a few of the old EU nations had survived the war. At first hesitant, the politicians shied away from trade agreements, fearing that to help another nation would be to give away the superpower status for which they had sacrificed so much. However, the corporate force of Dal-Tek took precedent, and at their request, negotiations were opened with the New Republic of Japan. For Japan, a young man named Hayao Hirohita would front the negotiations.

Hirohita had created an entirely new system of computer interaction. By using an optical visor and thermo-sensitive gloves, both designed exclusively by him and his personal team of cybernetic specialists, Hirohita was able to travel through computer networks by implanting his consciousness into the neural fabric of cyberspace, without the use of primitive physical interaction systems such as a keyboard. Although this method was revolutionary for its time, it was primitive compared to what was to come. Hirohita offered this technology and his services to Dal-Tek in exchange for a place on the Dal-Tek executive board.

Hirohita and his new partner, Dal-Tek enjoyed tremendous progress for three years, which marked the beginning of the Cybernetics Age of humanity. In 2044 however, the warnings of the Son of Nostradomus finally came true. On February 21st, the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in North America struck Los Angeles. A tremendous fissure opened almost directly along the state line and physically split the land. The waters of the Pacific Ocean rushed in, killing thousands and cutting Los Angeles off from the rest of North America. Within a few days, the LA Channel had been created, destroying much of the city and condemning most of those who lived on Ground Level to drowning. The death tolls reached a record 1.5 million people, and the destruction was severe. There was now a mile and a half of water between LA and the rest of the States.

Panic struck the citizens of the FSLA, especially in those living right around the water level. The great Dal-Tek apartments were designed to withstand earthquakes, so they remained standing, but their foundations were crumbling due to water damage. The people at the water level were obviously the first affected, but there was mass hysteria on the upper levels. If the buildings came down, everyone would die regardless of the floor on which they were living. In an effort to contain the panic before it spread throughout the remains of the city, the FSLA organized a militia and declared martial law. The militia were armed and ordered to contain the masses and begin plans for a mass evacuation of the affected buildings. The evac began on March 1st 2044, and although it took several weeks to evacuate everyone from the buildings, it was largely a success. However many buildings still collapsed with people inside and the death toll jumped another 22 000 during this time.

Martial law remained in effect in the FSLA for two more years, as stock of the damages was taken and the ruins were removed and recycled in preparation for the rebuilding of the city.

In 2046 the Great Rebuilding got underway. Thousands of workers and close to a million volunteers began work on new Dal-Tek apartments, even larger than the ones that were destroyed before. In accordance with new Dal-Tek policy, these buildings were proofed against all forms of natural disaster - fire flood earthquakes, tornadoes and even limited meteor showers. They were the most hardened civilian buildings ever built. Although the Great Rebuilding continued for many years, the official commissioning of the New FSLA City Hall marked the beginning of a new era for the FSLA. This year also marked the 25th anniversary of the Great War with China. A memorial service was held at the New FSLA City Hall on November 11th, one of the few traditions held over from before the great war.

The following year, Hayao Hirohita braved the journey across the Pacific Ocean to come to FSLA. When he arrived on June 7th, he was greeted with a Dal-Tek honour guard and every member of the executive board. He was welcomed with open arms as the board's newest member. Thus began another five-year period of success and peace in the FSLA. Great technological advances were made in the field of cybernetics research, and 'augmentation' became a regular practice for most adults. Cyberware included enhanced vision or strength, as well as various increases in dexterity memory storage or physical ability. A poll taken by the FSLA government in 2051 showed that 72% of the population had some form of cyber augmentation implanted by the age of 21.

Of course all good things must come to an end, and in 2052 Hirohita revealed himself for what he truly was. Using his position as executive board member as leverage, he stole highly sensitive technical data on the developing 'cyberdeck' technology originally created by him, and later enhanced and improved by Dal-Tek. The original plan was to release the cyberdeck internet system as Dal-Tek hardware; Hirohita's defection to the public workplace foiled those plans. Taking the blueprints and prototypes for the Cyberdeck v8.0 and utilizing his extensive personal fortune Hirohita started Hirohita Co. and immediately began mass production of the cyberdeck technology. Hirohita Co. became Dal-Tek's only major competition in all markets and Hirohita's ability to offer better employment packages to high-end researchers cost Dal-Tek dearly in brainpower losses. For the following three years, an economic war raged between Dal-Tek and Hirohita Co., and although the war never reached physical violence, the economic shock waves were felt all over the FSLA and Japan. Stocks careened wildly, skyrocketing one day and plummeting the next. The stock market came perilously close to crashing several times and public tension was very high. The fragile economy of the FSLA could not handle a stock market crash and the resulting repercussions it would bring. The economic war came to an abrupt halt in 2055, however, when the Children of Nostradomus returned from the desert. The Son of Nostradomus had been replaced in leadership by the elf leader Trell, and it appeared as though the Children had succumbed to elven rule as a whole. The Children demanded entrance to the city and the immediate rescinding of all governmental and economic power to them. When the FSLA, backed by Dal-Tek and Hirohita Co., refused their demands, the elves and their human subverts attacked the FSLA. Thus began what historians would later call the Human-Elf War. It became disturbingly clear in the first few battles how woefully inadequate the FSLA's army was against the power of the elves. Armed with conventional weapons, the FSLA was powerless to stop the onslaught. It appeared as though the elves had developed some sort of psychotelekinetic abilities far beyond the reach of even the most advanced cyber augmentations. So advanced, in fact, that the common civilians who encountered the elves and survived referred to these abilities as 'magic'. The elves were totally unstoppable, and once the army had been crushed by their power they occupied the city.

What followed was three years of hell. Trell was heartless and cruel, and he had been placed in total control of all elven occupation forces within the FSLA. The Children of Nostradomus were his willing slaves, and they enforced his rule within the human population while the elves reaped the benefits of human labour. The Ground Level became home to the majority of the human population, while the great buildings were occupied by the elves. Dal-Tek and Hirohita Co. executives who had not escaped during the war were executed publicly. Although the human population had lived through years of martial law, nothing could have prepared them for the repression they faced during the occupation.

Humans are not without a fighting spirit however. The executives from the two companies who escaped, among them Hayao Hirohita and Robert McGraw, the current president of Dal-Tek, organized a human resistance against the elves. Working in secret they did everything in their power to sabotage the elves' stranglehold on the FSLA. In 2058, the resistance gained access to secret Dal-Tek underground labs and began work on a new supersoldier to combat the elves. Code-named Techno Mage, the first of these supersoldiers was augmented with the most advanced combat cybertech ever developed. Capture and dissection of an elf led to the understanding of how the elves utilized 'magic'. Bioelectric energy was focused within strange organs in their chest, allowing them to direct, channel and control this energy, using it to create energy blasts, shields and to manipulate their environments. It took a year to bioengineer a similar cyberdevice and microfuse it into the first Techno Mage. When he was complete, over a year and a half had passed, but the template was ready.

Techno Mages were chosen from the FSLAA resistance for the best physical and mental characteristics, and were promptly implanted with augmentation and the bio-device which allowed them to focus and channel their own bio-energy. In initial combat tests, it was shown that the bio-device was unstable and Techno Mages who drew too much power ran the risk of burnout, thus killing themselves. However, it was decided that the FSLA could exist no longer under elf rule. Executions had begun of general citizens, and they were increasing in numbers daily. It was feared that the elves were beginning a large-scale extermination of humanity. The Techno Mages were activated, and sent to battle against the elves in 2060. It took four years but the Techno Mages succeeded to drive the elves out of the FSLA. On August 14th, 2064, VLA-Day was declared at the recently liberated City Hall and the Techno Mages (those that survived) were hailed as heroes. Another great Rebuilding began, and defenses based around bio-weapons were engineered to keep the elves from returning.

After a year however, the Techno Mages found it increasingly difficult to adjust to life once their primary purpose had been fulfilled. Humans, as well had grown wary of the potential threat they posed. As a result, the Techno Mages were politely but firmly asked to leave the city. When they refused, the FSLA forced them out, with great casualties. The Techno Mages disappeared moving underground…