There Goes the Neighborhood
Welcome to the Future!
The Second Golden Age of Humanity ended as it began – with a bang.
Fossil fuel and the more common forms of energy were exhausted during the Collective War (A.D. 2140 – 2200). Then the great Ley Turing (a descendent of the great Alan Turing) discovered a working method of cold fusion, thus ending the war and beginning the Great Rebuilding Period. The nuked deserts that span the rebuilt, towering metropoli are radioactive wastelands; unsuitable for any real human life.
Then disaster struck. On December 21, 2340 A.D., the cold fusion reactor that ushered in the environmental and technological revolution mysteriously surged, cracked like a thousand thunderclaps, and disappeared. The only machine generating the world’s power was no where to be found. In its place, a smoldering crater of high density radioactive matter.
A second Dark Age loomed on the horizon. Most of humanity had begun to move toward the stars, aided by tiny sub-light generators. But then something happened.
Theorized as a result of the shutdown of the reactor, bizarre lines of energy, dubbed Ley Lines, appeared criss-crossing the earth. Points where Ley Lines intersect, such as the Pyramids of Giza and Stonehenge, are called a nexus. If a Ley Line nexus grows strong, the very fabric of space and time can be torn, creating a rift, or a hole in space-time leading to another place and even new planet. Ley Lines become visible at night as massive bands of blue-white energy half a mile wide in some places, and stretching for many miles. When extremely strong, Ley Lines can be seen during the day.
No one really knows which Ley Line leads where, and therein lies the issue. Last week, Paul the Reluctant, the perpetually afraid manchild son of Emperor Shaddam, fled into a nexus after his father was murdered outside the Wrigley Field memorial in New Chi-Town. The rebel techno-terrorist group, SHODAN, are the prime suspects in the murder.
Paul was last seen wandering aimlessly through the streets of off-world colony New Eden on the recently terraformed planet, Hawking. His eyes were completely white with a single black pinprick pupil and a stream of green drool was hanging off of his rapidly moving lower jaw. Babbling nonsense, he turned, looked directly into the TechnoCore terminal (the AI-driven computer network that spans all four planets in the New Union) shouted to “follow the yellow brick road,” and jumped into another nexus, and completely off of the TechnoCore’s grid. The Cabinet of the Emperor has issued a $$40 Billion reward for his return.
The theory amongst most Leyists (religious cult that worships the Ley Lines as gateways to heaven) is that each string of Ley Lines follows a specific pattern. So by following Paul the Reluctant’s path, one could arrive at the same terminal point.
This is where you come in. Jossy, off-world smuggler and sort-of friend, has called you to his mobile home in The Stacks to cash in on a favor. You know it is dangerous to walk there alone, so you grab your pack, charge your energy weapons, flip down your radiation re-breather, and walk out of your tiny shack and into the Wastelands…..