A Shadow In the Sky
The World As We Know It
Ever since the Decagon appeared during the Cuban missile crisis in October of 1962 the world has been swept along an alternate path. After chafing under the yoke of the Decagon for 7 years France was the first (and only country to date) that declared war on the Decagon and, after a countdown came and ended, launched a nuclear bomb at the orbiting space station that houses the Decagon itself in the middle of 1969. The missile failed to detonate and the Decagon retaliated. Through some unknown means the Decagon psychically inserted an aversion to the opposite sex in every man, woman and child in France. France is on a long, slow decline into extinction. The peace counterculture of the late 60s arose in Europe and, to a lesser degree, the United States in direct response to the French Annihilation. The idea was to show the Decagon that the world and its denizens were peace loving and that oversight was no longer necessary.
The 1970s ushered in a decade of bureaucratic nightmare as the increasing oversight of the Decagon begins interfering with the deployment of resources. It is similar to the high cost of fuel in our world but much worse. Shortages of all manner of resources including (but not limited to) fuel, food and clothing abound. It is during this period that the black market begins to come to prominence. Like organized crime in the 1920s the underground begins to fill in the wide gaps between mankind’s largest experiment in Communism ever. The Underground begins shunting efforts from gambling and prostitution to take over distribution of normal everyday goods. After the 1989 protests in Tiananmen Square turn violent the
The 1980s are a period of relative peace. The Decagon, now into their third decade of rule, have begun to implement systems that allow for better distribution of goods. Understanding that their goals will be more easily implemented with a popular public opinion they begin to court the hearts and minds of humanity. They began the Decagon Auxiliary League and the Hectocracy to better allow them to react to the will of humanity. For the first time world leaders can directly communicate with the Decagon, make requests and use them to mediate. WNN, The World News Network, is launched in 1986 and begins to supplant other news outlets leaving the Decagon in sole control of broadcast news by around 1992. After the 1989 protests in Tiananmen Square turn violent the Chinese government is forced to commit suicide after it refuses to apologize and promise never to use violence against its own people. This is also the decade that marks the beginning of the largest flop of the Decagon. It is the construction of a new city on a newly formed island off the northwestern coast of Africa. Though it was called many things by many people (particularly since it was longer than it was wide) but one name that managed to stick was Atlantis. There was to be a large city built upon the island to bring all of the world’s leaders together under a single flag. Strangely, by the end of the decade work on the project had almost completely halted. Many groups feel that the island holds the key to understand what the Decagon is really after. Others think that it was just too big of a project even for them. Many groups launch raids to see if they can recover new technology but so far most have come up empty handed. WNN, The World News Network, is launched in 1988
The 1990s began showing signs of amazing technological growth. The pace that technology began to evolve far outstripped the ability of the Decagon to regulate it. Increasing frustration at administrative oversight (and in some cases outright paranoia) by the Decagon drives the vast majority of technological progress underground infusing the black market with even more sources of revenue. Legal cellular phone and computer technology moves forward at a snail’s pace while in the Underground technology accelerates as the number of hypersmart people drive it forward faster than in our timeline. The Decagon begins to collect technologies and begins to show a ravenous interest in telecommunications and robotics. By the later 90s it is possible to get a phone about the size of a brick (and slightly less heavy) at the phone store. You can get a cell phone that can dial up your friends on Mars AND fits more comfortably in your pocket from your neighborhood black market fixer. With the beginnings of the Internet (still a bit behind what it is today by about 3-4 years) resistance movements are able to organize to a level never achievable before.
The 2000s continue the trend of amazing technological progress although much of it seems to be coming from the Underground. The Resistance is strong and vital utilizing electronic media to move unseen through the vast amounts of moving information. This continues until around 2009 when, for an unknown reason, the Decagon begins to crack down on these Resistance groups (labeled terrorists). They launch a worldwide initiative called The Purge. Massive numbers of revolutionaries are rounded up and placed into maximum security prisons. Some just vanish. Violet Hannigan, an Irish girl whose sole power is to maintain telepathic contact with her brother claims that he is not on Earth anymore. Her claims are mocked by the mainstream media. Four months later she meets an unfortunate end in a plane crash on her way to start her first semester at Stanford University. 2009 marks the year when the youngest woman in France turns 40. The other strange trend is an increase in the power scale of Talents noted during this decade.
Welcome to 2010. It’s going to be a hell of a year.