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2020 – The setting
In 2018 the first personal chips were introduced. Technological advances meant that for the first time mass production of chips that could be directly implanted into a human to monitor health was possible. Prevention of strokes, heart attacks and better diagnostic information helped to start a transformation of the health of first world countries. It was just as well. Terrorism continued to escalate as did the causes these acts of violence were carried out because of. The number of attacks spiralled and by spring of 2020 it is an unusual month in the UK, week in the US, that there isn’t an attack.
With the US governed by a president interested only in his own advancement supported by a likeminded senate and congress the world’s leading democratic light had been switched off. In Europe, Brexit and financial meltdown in several European countries, has brought the union to the brink of dissolution. The Russian government continues to be portrayed as aggressively exploiting this situation to further its own ends but it too suffers increasing attacks by terrorist organisations. China has shifted its stance, and while its nearest neighbours continue to protest its claims on the land they consider their own, on the worldwide stage it has done more to advance international cooperation than any other country in the last three years.
In the UK the government continue to publicly and defiantly state that they will not bow to terrorist demands while looking to find ways of preventing the attacks which inevitably has curbed some freedoms. Many groups campaign to make sure that hate doesn't distort social values and equally noisy groups campaign for more isolationist policies. Some areas deliberately work to integrate people of all different races, creeds, etc. When some of these were targeted other areas choose to work towards the same goal in a more circumspect way. The country and communities have generally pulled together but strangers in an area that is tightknit feel they are being watched and unwelcome.
Within the UK itself Scotland is due to hold a third referendum on independence shortly. Despite claims that health services and infrastructure would be prioritised upon Brexit the reality is that politicians have failed to deliver their promises. Instead spending has increased on defence and intelligence, taxes continue to rise and trade has become difficult with a number of markets that used to be reliable.
Opportunities abound too. Security is a massive part of life now and anyone in this area has virtually guaranteed employment. England leads the way in the development of personal chipping technology. Microsoft, Apple and a number of other technology firms have both negotiated excellent deals bringing jobs and revenue to the country. Personal chips are now used by some to control home technology, replace car keys and have limited communication potential. The UK Parliament is currently debating requiring all drivers to be chipped to help prevent terror attacks. There is similar debate about making it mandatory for all government employees to be chipped to help with security.
PCs can be of various ages, rich or poor, religious or not and so on. Ordinary men and women, they’ll be thrust into a conflict that will shape the world for centuries to come. While the characters played in this game can be very different they must share a small number of traits:
• Their moral code, as a minimum – while generally looking out for their own interests they do not support extremes of violence and given the chance, without massive risk to themselves, would choose to help others to avoid being hurt/killed
• They have lost a birth parent and the body was never found whether through an accident, not knowing them etc.
• They have not been chipped – again the reasons for this could vary, perhaps they are waiting for a more advanced version to be released to market, they agree with the civil liberty concerns about loss of privacy, they have a phobia of injections
• They are all looking for a job, maybe not with any real effort, but they have one or more reasons they want to find somewhere new to work
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