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It's been fifty years since it happened, but the changes that have accumulated make it seem like thousands. When historians look back on us here, they will think of this as the second dark age, but in this one the barbarians are armed with handguns and rifles.
In the year 2020, civilization was at its height. We, the human race, had in the century prior to that moment managed to split the atom, breach the sound barrier, land on the moon, connect the world via computers, and cure cancer...
...but technology is a double edged sword. The cure for cancer was a virus that had been genetically engineered to recognize and aggressivly attack cancer cells. It was a major success, and went on the market in 2013. Things would have been fine if it wasn't for something that was overlooked. The market for it grew so quick the ability of the worlds governments to keep to manage it responsibly slipped, and in 2017 a mutated strand began to spread, unnoticed because it did no harm at first...
...but eventually, another mutation occured. Strands of it began appearing that didn't differentiate between cancer cells and healthy cells. Coupled with the fact it was slow moving at first, spread easily, and had a death rate of almost 95%, it turned out to be the worst thing that happened. Within fourteen months, this one virus took the population of the earth down from a little over seven billion to only about eight hundred million.
The years that followed saw the utter collapse of civilization, as nations and economies crumbled under the weight of the bodies that piled up in such a short period of time. The survivors, made up of those who either didn't contract the disease or who weren't killed by it, found themselves fighting for limited resources as the global economy that had been responsible for so much of life was now not there.
This resulted in anarchy at first, but very quickly people banded together. Out of the ashes grew small communities, some productive and some malignant. Local warlords and statesmen struggled to create safe-zones.
Now, in the year 2075, nearly fifty years after this whole thing started, the safe zones are still just barely holding on, and find themselves at odds with bandits. Clever and industrious men seek to expand these small civilizations against the wilderness, but their success hinges entirely on the strength of their people, and their ability to construct a new world.
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