2075: Empire Earth
By 2075, many of the world’s countries have consolidated into larger nation-states. The handful of remaining corporations, instead of legally being considered people, are now sovereign nations, with their own legal jurisdiction and military security forces. Cloning is a reality, and advancements in medical technology have increased lifespans and effected a cure for many diseases.
The first neural interfaces have become a reality, and biotech implants are slowly becoming common. Many humans live in “orbital colonies” above Earth, easing the population problem but creating a stark class division between Colonials and the Earthbound. Humanity has put colonies on the moon, Mars, Titan, Europa, and several smaller moons in the outer solar system. While interplanetary travel is still slow and unreliable, humanity has finally taken its first steps from the cradle of Planet Earth.
2085: The First Attack
Directive: Death Can Come Anytime, Anywhere
The first extradimensional Gap appeared off the coast of Mumbai on 28 October 2085, at 3:22 AM. The first EDE (Extra-Dimensional Entity), a Type 1, began attacking the city, killing tens of thousands. International military forces scrambled to stop the creature, proving ineffective. In desperation, India’s military deployed and detonated a tactical nuclear weapon, vaporizing the creature and the city. Casualties were in the millions.
News spread quickly across the datanet of the the attacks. A random commenter made a quip about the “Old Ones” returning (a reference to an ancient 20th century pulp author), and the moniker spread, meme-like, being eventually truncated to “double-Os,” “00s,” “nils,” or “zeroes.”
Secondary attacks began days later, as larger and smaller “Gaps” began opening across the world. The next five attacks took place in Japan, Finland, Algeria, Uruguay and Mexico, seemingly without pattern or predictability. The second wave of 00s, the Type 2, were numerous and roughly larger than man-sized. They swarmed the cities where they spawned, and while they caused considerable casualties, they were able to be defeated by conventional military means.
2088: The Heartland Disaster and the UMA
Directive: Never Again Will We Pay This Cost
00 attacks continued over the next three years, happening intermittently and without warning. Attempts to predict or prevent the opening of the extradimensional Gaps proved fruitless, despite the creation and massive funding of Intex, the Intelligence Context Service, a body created by the Reason Corporation for just that purpose. Over the next three years, Type 1 00s hit Beijing, Buenos Aires, Jakarta, London, and then Los Angeles. All five scenarios ended with tactical nuclear strikes, after conventional military forces failed to contain the creatures.
Seeing a possible pattern of strikes into major coastal areas and larger cities, the population began to flee to rural areas, leaving many major cities semi-abandoned and creating infrastructure and population problems. Universal Dynamic, the biggest aerospace engineering / manufacturing corporation in existence, ramped up its efforts in orbital colonies and interplanetary settlement.
The theory of major urban strikes was disproven when a Gap opened and released a Type 1 into rural Ohio. Yet again, only a tactical nuclear strike could stop the creature. The resulting fallout severely impacted America’s meat and agricultural production.
Vowing that humanity should never again use nuclear weapons on its own cities, Prime Minister Augustus Sterling of Great Britain proposed the formation of the UMA, the United Military Alliance, which would pool humanity’s resources into building weapons that could fight the 00s on their own terms. Dozens of industrialized nations jumped on board, including the EU, the United States, China, India and Japan. With heavy investment from the UMA, Reason Corporation and Universal Dynamics, the Titan Initiative was born.
2092: The Titan Initiative
Directive: Titans Go Where They are Called
The Generation 1 Titans rolled off the assembly line four years later. The world had endured several more Gap openings and 00 attacks in the meantime, but only a single Type 1 attack, which leveled Budapest and broke the “Sterling Resolution” never to use nuclear weapons against the 00s again.
The UMA promised that eventually, Titan squads would be available in every major country in the world. In order to effectively deploy the first Titan squads to Gap sites, Industrial Dynamic created massive “base ships” for the Titans, known as the Mobile Rapid Attack and Deployment systems, or M-RAD for short.
The first engagement between a Titan squad and a 00 took place in Benghazi on 13 July 2092, and after a stunning three-hour battle, ended with humanity’s first non-nuclear victory against a 00. The event later became known, somewhat humorously, as B-Day.
2108: In Mars Memoriam
Directive: This War Affects Us All
Prior to 2108, the Gap sites and the 00 attacks had been confined to Earthside, leaving the Mars colonies largely unconcerned about any ramifications for Mars. Mars had been cultivating an independent streak since the establishment of the first colonies in 2065. However, that changed when a Gap site opened at Arsia Mons, in the middle of a tour of the cave systems there.
The new 00, known as a Type 3, had the ability to survive in Martian conditions, and crushed the Arsia Mons colony. With no way to deploy a Titan Squad on Mars, and no military forces strong enough to repel an invader of this magnitude, Mars was at the mercy of the Type 3. For the first time, however, a 00 traveled back through the Gap, leaving further mystery as to its motivations.
Plans immediately began to deploy Titan squads on Mars, Europa, Titan, and even orbital colonies, since it was now clear that the Gaps could open anywhere.
Directive: Humanity Isn’t Finished Yet
Humanity is under siege from an enormous threat, but they have risen to the challenge. New Titan squads are being built and deployed every day, both Earthside and off-world. Though humanity has not eradicated its internal conflicts — Martian vs. Earthbound, human vs. clone, military vs. corporate — they have come together to fight a common enemy that knows no mercy.
Life in 2113 is hard, but beyond the horror and pain of the 00 attacks, life has progressed. Many major diseases are now a thing of the past, thanks to stem cell research and cloning. Recycling and repurposing has become a necessity and a way of life. 3D printing has reduced the need for centralized manufacturing centers, and made small luxuries easier to come by away from the major urban centers. Biotech and cybertech modifications are common for soldiers and corporate security. Interplanetary travel and life away from Earth is an accepted reality. Titan pilots are held in high esteem and treated with respect and sometimes adoration.
But there is always the war.