|The Story Thus Far - 2219|
|IC Date:||01 January 2219|
|RL Date:||01 January 2006|
2219 dawns across the world with only the expected levels of deaths and injuries. A hung-over planet cautiously breathes a sigh of relief, having once again apparently challenged fate and succeeded. An uneasy holiday peace, or perhaps a collective breath.
The armies of man and machine have come to a strange equilibrium. North America is held by a coalition force of the United States military and Repliforce. South America, politically dominated from Neo Arcadia, is kept a barely-contained pressure cooker of anti-robot sentiment. Europe, save for the United Kingdom, is an anarchic post-apocalyptic wasteland being carved up by Juggalos and African expatriates -- disenfranchised members of the lower classes finally able to dine on the corpse of their former imperialist masters.
Africa, the fortress continent, is an economic giant which is just now beginning to make its power known to the rest of the world. Investments in heavy industry, combined with the legacy of Dr. Wily's long-term planning for the continent, will cause the continent to become the industrial heart of the planet over the next several years. Asia, meanwhile, begins its shaky recovery. The Russian state appears to be stabilizing after a bloody civil war, and China, as one of the anchor members of the United Nations, may finally get the aid packages it so badly needs.
Australia watches the world warily. Tied to the United Nations, yet fiercely resistant to the idea of external military power acting on it, it appears to be developing a dangerous isolationist mentality driven by repeated terrorist attacks on its soil. How many of these attacks are legitimate and how many are engineered incidents of convenience is a matter of discussion in the back rooms of the world's governments.
The axis of the world continues to run through Giga City. A tenuous peace has been established there between the Reploid population and their human taskmasters, brokered by Repliforce intervention to secure the vital resource for the great powers of the world. The strong Irregular presence in the city prevents a lasting peace, as Epsilon's men have their own long-term agenda they wish to achieve which is at odds with a purely peaceful existence.
The Neo Arcadian/Repliforce war continues. Repliforce has made key gains against the Neo Arcadians, but the Aztlan army has made them pay dearly for every inch of ground. So far, the Mavericks have only sent in the occasional harassment raiding party to keep Neo Arcadia on their toes, making many suspect that the Mavericks are waiting for Repliforce to do the hard work before they move in to strike a decisive blow.
The Robot Masters have carefully avoided drawing the undivided attention of the large standing armies of the world, focusing on standard raids and the occasional sweeping gesture. Their main opponents at present are the Maverick Hunters, who struggle to protect the world from Dr. Wily’s latest fiendish plot.
Meanwhile, preparations for the upcoming Battle and Chase have begun to be discussed on the news. An atoll is being constructed in the Pacific in international waters to house the events, the successful deployment of Giga City proving to the committee that a permanent structure is viable. While unwilling to set an exact date, Battle and Chase 2219 may take place as early as February. The world continues to turn. The visible world is only part of the story. Outside of the machinations of the great powers, invisible forces toil for their own ends.
STARS and SciTech attempt to keep the peace in their own way; the world can only hope they have learned the painful lessons of the previous administrations of the United Nations and Interpol. The Yakuza, crippled from the internal and external betrayals it has suffered, faces threats from several would-be suitors seeking the remains of their empire.
There is darkness in the world, growing ever-stronger. The Umbrella Corporation draws strength from Neo Arcadia, remobilizing its bioweaponry programs purportedly for the benefit of Neo Arcadia, all the while selling power armor technology to the wealthier nations of the world. The world asks too few questions of Umbrella and is all too eager to accept their weaponry, even as they continue to become a power unto themselves.
Wiggin’s reconstruction of the Striders under his command adds a new dimension to Umbrella’s power, giving them a functional covert operations group more capable of attending to individuals who step out of place without the obvious debris of a bioweapons attack. His own motives are unclear, as he appears to pursue unification for its own sake, and in the interest of maintaining the bloodlines of the Striders. What he may know about the true nature of the Strider organization is unclear, as his own involvement is shrouded in mystery.
Deeper in the shadows, wicked men slowly move their forces across the face of the world. They have found the weaknesses they require to rebuild, and are taking measures to address all of the major threats of the day. Old programs have been reactivated, and new programs have been started. The time of their ascension has not yet come, but for men such as these, time is a commodity they possess in abundance.
Elsewhere, the stellar drive of Epsilon has been studied by numerous groups of elite scientist. The main research program has been spearheaded by the United States government, who has control of the original saucer wreckage. Scientists from the Maverick Hunters and the Irregular Overlords have been unraveling the secrets of the drive, and have begun to build their own version to send a vanguard to Mars to assess the threat of Patriarch.
Unknown to the United States or the Hunters, the Irregulars have begun to construct a drive independently of the Americans to ensure their timely arrival on Mars. Unknown to the Irregulars, Scott Wily may not be as trustworthy as he appears…
Within the depths of the planet Mars, Patriarch waits; prepared for the onslaught to come.