The Heavy Smog Timeline

Posted on 17/01/2009


This is the timeline of my cyberpunk setting ‘Heavy Smog’.
It’s rather roughly translated from German, and still has a lot of holes in it. Still it gives a good impression of what Heavy Smog is all about. For more of this, and the ones of you able to comprehend the German language, visit the Heavy Smog project blog

Year of Mars: A chinese robot mission succeeds in preparing a base on the red planet for future colonists. Also, a joint venture of the European Space Agency and NASA called “Orpheus” starts on it’s way to Mars.

Dramatic failure of the Orpheus-Mission due to a computing error in the landing phase. All equipment and crew is lost.

The Subsaharan Wars begin: The “first world” countries face the biggest natural resource shortage in recorded histoy. While Russia still has huge reserves, which it keeps selling off partially to the EU, China, the United States and the Leauge of Arab Nations see their reservoirs empty at alarming rates. Then, after the discovery of vast quantities of fossil fuels, metal and uranium in Equatorial Africa, the number of international corporations trying to court the local governments into giving away mining permits rises quickly. In February 2024 a Sudanese terrorist group which allegedly was funded by the Ecuadorian government blows up an oil refinery plant owned by an American Big Oil corporation. Said corporation, United Petrol, in response brings a specially hired private military contractor to keep it’s installations secure. This in turn leads to an arms race between the several first world corporations in Subsaharan Africa, bringing more and more private armies and security companies into the various countries. The whole region goes up in flames in early 2025, when different units of different corporate- and national interests begin to clash over the natural resources of the Black Continent. These wars will dominate world politics until at least the 70s of the 21st century.

The Virtuality Project hails it’s first major breakthroughs: Sillicon Valley’s ViewTech-Campus becomes the first place on earth to be completely covered by Virtuality-projections. The following years see the Virtuality replacing the traditional web step by step.

First Man on Mars: The Chinese colonization of the Red Planet begins.

Permant Moon Base established by the US: At Boltzmann-Crater an army of robots and astronauts establish the first Lunar Colony. Other colonies from other nations follow in the decades to come.

The age of Orbital Stations begins: The 30s see a huge boom of newly built space stations in higher earth orbit. The first Orbital to follow the aging ISS is a project overseen by the Indian Space Buro, which in turn is used by international space programs as a stepping stone into off-world space and Earth Orbit.

Inception of the SimNet Project: A select group of international high-tech corporations starts developing a real, fully sensoric cyberspace, basing their work on the Virtuality Protocols

Year of the Chinese Civil War: Following a series of riots in the south of the People’s Republic, the poor rural populace begins a major, nationwide uprising against the rich urbanized regions. The Civil War shatters China into a collection of smaller states in the pacific region. The Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong declares itself independent. All the while the first extraterrestrial city has grown on Mars. SEADA forces intervene in single police actions, while the PLA is unable to keep the upper hand in the souther reaches of the former Middle Realm. Beijing cannot help but loose the Pacific Rim region to chaos, and anarchy.
Meanwhile, die-hard communist forces in reunited Korea attempt to topple the elected government, which leads to a series of skirmishes on the Korean mainland between SEADA forces under Korean command and members of the formerly North Korean military. The fighting lasts only for a few days, but manages to serve as an integrating factor for the traditionally rather cold relationship between neighbor states Korea and Japan via the SEAD-Alliance. Globally, the Chinese Civil War proves most disastrous for the world economy, bringing in it’s wake a full blown global economic crisis. Involvement of the People’s Republic in the Subsaharan Wars declines in the following five years. Beijing keeps the Mars-Project running throughout the War and the following years of financial crisis, even though chinese spacecraft leave for Mars a lot more sparingly than before.

Founding of the United Protronics Conglomerate: To protect US-based high-tech corporations the White House greenlights the founding of the UPC. Only months later the APC, as well as several smaller conglomerates follow, with the aim to get US-companies through the economic crises with as little casualties as possible.

The traditional Internet is extinct. The Virtuality is everywhere.

Chinese Flight for Mars: The wealthier citizens of Greater China leave the Blue Planet for the Red, settling in the Martian Colonies of New Home and New Shanghai. In the middle of the 2040s the Chinese government manages making the colonization-project attractive even for less wealthy citizens, aided by state and corporate funding.

Birth of the Civil SimNet: Four years late, the SimNet Group unveils the fully sensoric, international cyberspace to the public.

US-Mars: With a significant delay to Chinese efforts, the first US bred colonists land on the south side of the Red Planet. In the following years, they will build up a slowly prospering Martian colony.

100.000 people permanently live on Mars.

Building Heaven’s Gate mining colony and research station begins: Tenzan Heavy Industries in conjuncture with Federated Aerospace Ventures of India lays the groundwork of the huge Heaven’s Gate space station in the middle of the Asteroid Belt.

The Luzon Crisis: The northern part of the Philippine island Luzon declares itself independent, and calls out to the League of Infosocialist Nations for help and recognition. The newly found Socialist Alliance North Luzon declares all installations owned by interenational corporations on it’s soil state property. This step leads to reactions not only from the Philippine Republic itself, but also from the nations in league with the Philippine government. Both SEADA and the US send regular and irregular troops to the island of Luzon, to support the Philippine army in the heavy fighting against the surprisingly strong forces of the newly found socialist state. Luzon is to become the worst hot spot of southeast asia, and the scene for the biggest proxy war of the 21st century NOT fought on African soil.

The first real Bioroid is manufactured in the laboratories of the Bayer-Rosen Genitech corporation. The sixties are the decade of the Bioroid.

Fall of Silicon Valley: On August 29th 2062 at 10:05 PST a thermonuclear bomb detonates in the center of the US high tech wonderland of Silicon Valley, California. At the very same moment, an aggressive, megamassive AI-Net attacks the digital infrastructure of the biggest US based corporations, leaving them damaged beyond repair. Both acts of terror are quickly attributed to irregular Chinese units. The World Economy reacts with a new economic crisis. The US Dollar tumbles and begins a continuing fall, ringing in a new Great Depression. The American high tech industry is left thrown back years in it’s development.

Fujan War: In spite of the New Depression, the US engage in an act of retaliation against the young southern nation of Fujan, which allegedly was the source of the commando units responsible for the nuclear strike on American soil. The infosocialist government is quickly removed and replaced by a hastily chosen democratic regime.
The year sees a growing number of US-corporations forced seeking shelter under the financial roofs the United Protronics- and American Petrochemical Conglomerates offer.

Space mining booms: Off-world mining facilities manage to produce huge revenues thanks to thousands of newly built bioroid workers, in spite of extremely hostile working environments. Especially Heaven’s Gate and the newly founded colonies on the moons of Jupiter prosper thanks to the bioroid boom.

Bioroid commandos see their first use in the Subsaharan Wars.

Critical Breakthrough of the Prometheus-Project: The tremendous throwback the Fall of Silicon Valley caused notwithstanding, the scientists of the Lightbringer Foundation succeed in developing the first fully self aware, fully sapient artificial intelligence, dubbed Prometheus III-4.

Manila Treaty: Having spent years away from the global stage, the UN comes back into play. UN diplomats successfully negotiate the Manila Treaty, which recognizes the Socialist Alliance of North Luzon as an independent state, despite the protests from both China and the US. Still, the newly recognized republic faces huge reparation charges for the state property turned corperate installations. The coming years see a shift of the Luzon Conflict to the stage of international courts, on which the League of Infosocialist States shines magnificantly. All of this changes little in the fact, that Northern Luzon and the sorrounding islands remain a dangerously unstable region.

Present Day: Stockmarket Insiders report a trend of international coprorations relocating their corporate headquarters into the Higher Orbit, or into newly founded off-world colonies. The scientific community begins to face ethical issues surrounding the use of bioroids, fully sapient artificial intelligences start showing up ever more frequently in all walks of life, while Africa continues to burn, and the US military sees itself stuck in the third year of police actions in Mexico…

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