Genre: Science Fiction
Game Type: Multiplayer
Modes of Play: Forum / Play by Post
California, April 2014 -- a year since the world came to halt.
February of 2013 brought the highest level of solar flare activity ever recorded and, with it, the world changed forever. At first, people thought it was a simple black-out, and some complained, others lit candles; before long almost everyone on earth was standing outside to look up at the sky. Northern Lights as far south as Texas and Morocco and India, Australia and South America. It was only a relatively thin belt around the equator where no ghostly shapes appeared in the night sky.
It was the following day when panic started to spread. The black-out didn't end, not that day, not the next, not for weeks. No electronics, no batteries, no generators, no satellites or telecommunications - nothing worked. The radiation caused by the solar flares had knocked them all out, made them useless heaps of scrap metal. And, while around the world engineers started to rebuild feverishly, the vast majority of the population was left in chaos. There were riots for food, mass waves of suicide, starvation and murder as people started to fear nothing would ever come back and try to hoard as many resources as they could.
The new generators, built by hand and difficult to start while the geomagnetic storm raged on, were quickly shipped to the big nuclear reactors, trying to make them stable until the earth was ready and safe in its magnetic field... but quietly and in the background, another factor was starting to spread, foiling any plans hatched to rebuild.
It was suspected that it had been the massive amounts of radiation coming down with the Northern Lights which caused the mutation of the common cold-- or maybe it was just the worst kind of coincidence. It was deadly and fast and found all too easy prey in the already terrified and malnourished populations.
By June, 10% of the US population had fallen victim to the virus, hauntingly named the Northern Cold, and from there, it swept the world. By July, half of the population was dead, thrown into shallow mass graves to somehow cope with the onslaught of bodies. But it didn't stop and everything ground to a halt, including the small rebuilding efforts that were being undertaken. When winter came, further debilitating immune systems, the Northern Cold kept demanding more and more bodies. Labs lacked electricity and working equipment to work on a cure, and technicians and engineers, scientists and politicians died, too - no one was safe.
The winter of 2013, the Dead Winter, saw over 99.9% percent of the population succumbing to the Cold. The ones who are left are the few with a natural immunity against the mutated virus, but even they aren't safe. They starve and freeze, are attacked by gangs or feral animals, fall ill and die slowly due to radiation poisoning in the many uninhabitable areas - and maybe the most tragic killer of them all: many, many commit suicide in the face the bleakness of the current world.
But a few people come together, form groups, start settlements, find places to rebuild. Some in hippie communes like the one at Lake Almanor, others in old military bases, small towns or by the sea. They are as different as people can be, some free and searching for happiness in spite of it all, other suppressed and dystopian. There is a place for everyone under the vast Sodium Sky.