MIT develops MH-1
MIT develops the MH-1, a computer operated mechanical hand.
MIT develops the MH-1, a computer operated mechanical hand.
The Altair 8800 is released, marking the birth of the microcomputer era.
A deaf Australian citizen becomes the first recipient of a multi-channel cochlear implant.
Events during this conflict sow the seeds of dissent that will later result in the creation of the private military contractor Belltower.
The Picus Group is formed by Sir Martin Darrow.
A deep-brain electrical stimulation system is implanted in a patient with advanced Parkinson‘s disease.
Lasik eye surgery is performed for the first time on a human patient.
Marc Thorpe hosts the world‘s first Robot Wars competition in San Francisco, California.
Millionaire Hugh Darrow purchases a struggling prosthetics manufacturing company in England and incorporates Darrow Industries.
The private military contractor Belltower UK is created by Roger St.John-Ffolkes.
Professor Ellen Heber-Katz discovers the world‘s first regenerative mice (the MRL strain).
Researchers at Emory University in Atlanta install the first brain implant capable of stimulating movement in a human patient.
The Human Genome Project publishes its first working draft of the genome (the final draft will be published in 2003).
The first Artificial Silicon Retina (ASR) is implanted in a human eye.
Japan renews its defense obligations with the United States and (partly in response to fears that China will eventually invade Taiwan) embarks on a costly rearmament program.
Double-arm amputee Jesse Sullivan receives a fully robotic arm developed by the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.
Darrow Industry researchers successfully intertwine PEDOT-electrodes with live neural cells, creating a biocompatible matrix that better enables acceptance of prosthetic materials by organic tissue.
Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian calls for a referendum to decide whether Taiwan should declare independence. China immediately threatens to use force should the vote occur.
Engineers in Copenhagen fabricate diamoissonite, a revolutionary carbon-fiber material that paves the way for the creation of lighter, more durable prosthetics.
A U.S.-led multinational coalition of armed forces invades Iraq in search of weapons of mass destruction. Iraq falls within a month. No WMDs are found.
The U.S. Military enacts ‘Project Phoenix’, a volunteer program that has amputee victims participating in advanced prosthetic research.
Belltower UK becomes Belltower Associates, an umbrella group including companies such as Belltower Maritime Security, Belltower Alpha, Hack Wall Data Protection Services and Skye Secure Aviation.
Darrow Industry researchers create a revolutionary biosensor which vastly improves the connection between the human nervous system and artificial limbs.
China passes its Anti-Secession Law, authorizing immediate war with Taiwan should Taiwanese independence forces ever succeed in separating Taiwan from China.
The Human Brain Project, an international scientific research project aimed at understanding and completely mapping brain functions, launches in the U.S. and Great Britain.
Hoping to automate the manufacture of advanced prosthetics, David Sarif purchases a struggling auto factory in Detroit and converts it into a mechanical augmentation factory.
As part of their Disease Control Initiative, The World Health Organization begins construction on a new center for research into viral genetics and biological sciences. The center will later be nicknamed "Omega Ranch".
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) bans any form of prosthetic assistance in able-bodied competitions.
Taiwan declares independence during the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. One month later, China launches an invasion. The U.S. and Japan do nothing. Taiwan falls in 6 days.
"Omega Ranch" officially opens its doors on March 15th.
Wide-ranging cutbacks in the British, American, German, and Russian military put many trained soldiers out of work; Belltower cherry-picks the best of these soldiers to bolster its own forces.
Stretched thin by two Mideast conflicts, The U.S. Congress passes the Recycle Military Bill, financing free prosthetics for any wounded vet who re-enlists. Sarif Industries wins the lucrative prosthetic manufacturing contract.
Capitalizing on world reaction to Taiwan‘s fall, Tibet declares independence. Chinese forces swoop in to completely crush the rebellion in 4 days. Photos smuggled out afterward show a large number of prosthetic-equipped soldiers amid the invading army.
German researchers publish the results of a revolutionary study suggesting how information may be coded in neural activities.
Darrow Industries publishes the first genetic test capable of determining an individual‘s compatibility to mechanical augmentation.
Entrepreneur Haydon Suyong borrows $50 million Euros from Hugh Darrow to open the first health care clinic in China that caters exclusively to prosthetic-equipped patients.
Bluewater Global, America’s largest private military organization, disbands due to a scandal that rocks the PMC industry to its core; Belltower takes advantage of the situation to fill the vacuum left in their wake.
The Human Brain Project publishes a first draft map of the brain, depicting populations of neurons involved in complex phenomena like reminiscence and future simulation.
The U.S. pulls out of Iraq. Just prior to withdrawal, as part of its exit strategy, squads of prosthetic-equipped soldiers are deployed into the heaviest conflict zones.
Germany boycotts the London Summer Olympic games and sends its athletes to compete at the Paralympic Games instead. Picus Communications broadcasts the augmented competition and sweeps the ratings.
The 50th healthcare clinic for mechanically augmented patients opens in New Delhi. In an interview, Haydon Suyong calls his network of clinics L.I.M.B. International for the first time.
The South American Economic Coalition (SEAC) is formed, headquartered in Buenos Aires.
The Augmented Combat Challenge (ACC), a new form of ultimate fighting, emerges as an underground movement in Asia. Within a year, it is accepted as a legal sport in 12 countries, with bets taken on-line and in Vegas.
A deep-brain implant device, capable of stimulating portions of the brain to significantly increase natural cognitive functions, is implanted in a patient with Downs‘ Syndrome.
Without warning, the volcanic Vilama Caldera complex in Argentina detonates in a powerful 'super-volcanic' explosion, killing hundreds of thousands and blanketing huge swathes of land in Argentina, Chile and Bolivia with ash. In the aftermath, augmented humans play a major role in the region's rescue and recovery operations, using their enhanced abilities to save many lives; it is later determined that the involvement of Augs in this situation made a crucial difference. The fallout from the Vilama disaster has long-term economic and environmental effects that will resonate around the globe for decades to come.
The IAAF announces plans to rewrite the guidelines, practices and rules governing Olympic Game competitions in time for augmented athletes to compete in the 2016 Summer Games.
Adam Jensen is accepted into the Detroit police department.
China secretly begins implanting deep-brain intelligence-enhancing implants in its military and counter-intelligence officers.
A major terrorist attack against Saudi Arabian oil fields decimates the country‘s infrastructure and plunges the world into a serious energy crisis.
During an emergency session, the U.S. Congress passes the Green River Energy bill, opening up oil shale deposits in Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming to development.
Augmented war vets are quietly recruited to work the most physically challenging jobs for unusually high salaries.
Fallout from the enactment of the Green River Bill opens up new emergency powers for FEMA and the NSA, created in preparation for the possibility of civil unrest in the wake of the looming energy crisis.
An incident on Earth orbit resulting in the death of the crew of a corporate space shuttle takes place; the accident is blamed on pilot error, but exact details are never released. Rumors of a Chinese military presence in space are rife.
A Chinese pilot equipped with a deep-brain intelligence-enhancing implant defects to a U.S. base in the Philippines. The U.S. Military immediately attempts to reverse-engineer the chip.
The Singularity Faith of the MachineGod, a quasi-religious pro-augment group first formed in 2011, is formerly recognized as a church.
In the Arctic and several other oceans across the globe, construction begins on the Panchaea Project, a vast geo-engineering experiment funded by the United Nations and a consortium of corporate interests in order to combat global warming through iron seeding.
New elections in the Russian Federation herald sweeping changes across the region as a series of newly elected officials take power in a bloodless coup d‘etat; the re-named Russian Federated States take a firm stance in the global political arena.
Sarif Industries is awarded a top-secret, no-bid contract to manufacture deep-brain intelligence-enhancing chips for the U.S. Military.
Dallas becomes a self-declared, protected city-state; over the coming years, other so-called fortress cities will come into being.
The rapid expansion of the city of Shanghai reaches saturation point; Tai Yong Medical is the first company chosen to take part in an audacious industrialization and city building initiative there known as the Upper City construction project.
Australia declares independence, becoming the Republic of Australia. New Zealand becomes an associate state six months later.
Canada enacts the Paulsen Program, a gradual strengthening of its borders and military capacity, in the face of economic pressure from its southern neighbor. The most contentious element of the program is the radical decision to force the nationalization of Canada's rich oil sands deposits, securing the country's energy bounty for itself. US-Canadian tensions intensify from this point.
The International Space Station is formally transferred to the control of the United States Air Force‘s Space Command; in response, China‘s scientific Shenlong space platform is immediately militarized.
Japan‘s economy enters a serious downturn; over the next three years, the nation goes through radical changes within its governmental and corporate structures in an attempt to stop the encroaching collapse.
The Picus Group launches its 400th communications satellite and opens a new virtual channel serving the Chinese Bloc, effectively giving it the longest global reach of any entertainment and news channel on the planet.
In Malaysia, a breach in containment in one of Omega Ranch's labs leads to the explosive spread of a modified variant of the H5N1 avian flu virus, which sweeps across the nation, killing hundreds of thousands of people. In the aftermath, Versalife and its corporate partners cut all ties with the facility.
Žofie Ruzicka becomes the Czech Republic’s first woman president. Over the next nine years, her vision to turn her nation into a global power through economic means brings new levels of prosperity to the Republic, and opens its doors to a plethora of technological, medical, and financial corporations.
Haydon Suyong repays the last million Euros of his original debt to Hugh Darrow while simultaneously opening the 125th L.I.M.B. International clinic in Utah.
Omega Ranch is sanitized and closed down, quietly slipping into the stewardship of a United Nations committee.
Belltower Associates institute their augmentation plan, allowing troops injured in combat to be augmented in return for the acceptance of indenture contracts.
Scandal rocks the world when a contestant on the highest rated game show in history is caught using an intelligence-enhancing brain implant. He is later revealed to have been fired by Sarif Industries in 2018.
Millionaire Hugh Darrow fires his entire research staff and begins selling off Darrow Industries' satellite complexes. Speculations regarding his plans for an early retirement abound.
In the United States, Antoine Thisdale — a completely healthy man unable to find work in Utah‘s increasingly lucrative oil shale industry—sues for the right to amputate himself.
The Californian Secessionist Movement is narrowly defeated in a public referendum, by a very small margin of votes.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police come under investigation when they use lethal force to deter a horde of American economic refugees (nicknamed ―snowbacks) from crossing the Montana/British Columbia border near the town of Roosville. The RCMP officers are later cleared of any wrongdoing, further inflaming existing tensions between the US and Canada.
The U.S. Supreme court issues a landmark ruling, giving people the right to mechanically augment themselves. As a direct result of this ruling, The Humanity Front organization incorporates in Utah.
Through third party negotiators in a secret deal with the United Nations that passes without any public scrutiny, Hugh Darrow purchases Omega Ranch. By Christmas, a new team of researchers moves in.
China's Upper City construction project is completed in the Shanghai region. Chonming's trio of islands – Hengsha Island, being one of them – become a corporate fiefdom, with Tai Yong Medical free to be a law unto itself.
Belltower Associates is now regarded as the world‘s number one private military contractor.
In a last-ditch attempt to stave off economic disaster, Japanese prime minister Ataru Moroboshi institutes a new policy of ‘neo-sakoku‘, all but closing the country‘s borders to outsiders in an echo of events in the 17th-19th centuries. Japan turns inward in an attempt to heal itself.
The Czech Republic’s economic boom, combined with its policy of offering tax breaks to augmented laborers, transforms Prague into a hub for transient contract workers passing back and forth between Eastern Europe and the E.U. nations. At the same time, the lack of housing for these short-term inhabitants becomes an issue.
The first L.I.M.B clinic to open in Brazil (the 359th worldwide) does so amid a gathering of Humanity Front protestors, members of a group who believe the human body is sacred and should not be tampered with.
Border skirmishes on the outskirts of El Paso between the Texas National Guard and Mexican military forces create a tense standoff that lasts for several months. Mexico eventually backs down, but the Mexican government‘s pride is dented. Taking advantage of the situation, representatives of the Russian Federated States make overtures to Mexico City.
Pressed by an ever-increasing influx of temporary workers on one side, and a lack of adequate housing on the other, the Czech government hires The Santeau Group, a European-based construction giant, to build a massive, one-of-a-kind, temporary housing project on the outskirts of Prague. It will be named the Utulek Complex.
Sir Roger St. John-Ffolkes officially steps down as CEO of Belltower Associates, giving joint control of the company to his sons Luther and Andrew; in reality, he has served only as a figurehead in this post for the last decade.
Quebec begins agitating for a referendum on independence, but the Canadian parliament are resistant; with public interest in this issue lost, the separatist movement falls apart.
The Juggernaut group make a brash entrance to the hacker scene by co-opting control of the atmospheric processors used by a popular weather artist in Paris, trashing an event sponsored by Page Industries.
Rising African pop star NyAshia Akim is critically injured during a terrorist attack in Lagos. Her songs about growing up poor in war-torn, plague-ridden Nigeria had captured the heart of fans all over the world; many stage candlelight vigils.
In the wake of ongoing terrorist atrocities, the United Nations begin a series of evaluation studies, considering the future creation of a new trans-national anti-terror force.
Adam Jensen resigns from the Detroit Police Department after an abortive siege turns bad. Jensen is offered a new job in corporate security for Sarif Industries by company CEO David Sarif, and accepts.
Triggered by Hugh Darrow’s broadcast from Panchaea, in an event that forever afterward will be known as The Aug Incident, augmented individuals worldwide suffer psychotic episodes, attacking people and causing the greatest loss of life in recorded history. Densely populated, augmentation-friendly cities suffer the most.
In December, Adam Jensen’s body is found in the deepest underwater regions of Panchaea amid pieces of the Hyron Project. It is pulled from the water by an Illuminati-controlled recovery team and secretly sent to a black site facility in the Baltic Sea for identification and study.
In Prague during the Incident, Žofie Ruzicka’s augmented bodyguard goes crazy, crashing their limo into the Vltava River and killing them both. Ruzicka’s death heralds a turning point for the Czech government; in the months that follow, pro-Aug representatives and the laws they’d set in place will be ousted and overturned one by one.
In the Arctic Sea, rescue crews swarm over Panchaea, searching for survivors. David Sarif is one of the few pulled out alive; Hugh Darrow, Zhao Yun Ru, and Bill Taggart top the list of missing and presumed dead. By mid-November, the rescue effort will be downgraded to one of recovery and the world will turn its attention elsewhere.
In response to the worldwide crisis caused by the Aug Incident, the U.N. rushes to pass the Taggart Act, a piece of legislation designed to regulate the mechanical augmentation industry. It includes a strict classification and licensing system, and requires that all augmentation products obtain an official seal before they can be sold. The Taggart Act only targets mechanical augmentation products and the companies that make them. To cope with rising violence and prejudice against augmented people, governments all over the world independently enact legislation to “protect” their augmented citizens.
Disturbed by the failure of many of these new laws to see augmented citizens as victims of the Aug Incident, grassroots pro-Aug support groups all over the world begin banding together. By July, they will have chosen both a name—the Augmented Rights Coalition—and a spokesperson to lead them: Talos Rucker.
Hit hard by both the Taggart Act and a variety of local government laws and embargoes, the mechanical augmentation industry begins to collapse. Its final death throes are accompanied by a boom in black-market suppliers and the criminal elements supporting them.
Back in the States, Megan Reed accepts a job at VersaLife and moves to San Francisco to begin her life anew. Her first project, code named The Orchid, is ostensibly meant to be a cure for AIDs, but draws heavily on the work she had been doing at Sarif Industries before the Aug Incident occurred.
Prague’s newly anti-Aug government cancels the Santeau Group’s contract and seizes control of the Utulek Complex. Declaring that the facility will henceforth be used as permanent housing for unlicensed Augs, they begin relocating hundreds of augmented citizens into it. The complex soon gains a nickname: Golem City.
Information about Belltower Associates’ involvement in human trafficking gains worldwide attention when the Collective, a group of activist hackers, leak details about an alleged black site facility located near the Spratly Islands. Already reeling from the loss of over a third of its special forces units due to the Aug Incident, the PMC goes bankrupt.
Black market sales of weapons and augmentations reach unprecedented heights. At the same time, local intelligence agencies fail to stop a series of high-profile attacks around the globe. Blaming the failures on a lack of international intelligence-sharing, the U.N. pleads for the formation of Task Force 29, an integrated anti-terrorist intelligence and response team overseen by Interpol. Joseph Manderley is appointed to run it.
Concerned by growing rumors of mistreatment and abuse leaking out of the Utulek Complex, Talos Rucker decides to move there, making it the defacto headquarters of the Augmented Rights Coalition.
Having been largely quiet since the death of its CEO, at the end of the year the Tai Yong Medical Corporation announces the creation of a breakthrough technology: a dampening chip which, when implanted in an augmentation, makes its user “safe again.” Several countries immediately add implantation of the chip to their anti-augmentation laws.
In Alaska, an augmented man fitting Adam Jensen’s description wakes up from a coma inside a rehabilitation center run by the World Health Organization. His memory of who he is and how he got there is sketchy at first, but within weeks Adam Jensen’s name will be added to the official list of Panchaea survivors.
Faced with a continuing humanitarian crisis over the mechanically augmented that only seems to be getting worse, the UN Security Council drafts the Human Restoration Act, a resolution intended to address the Status of Augmented Peoples worldwide. After much debate both internally and in public, it is scheduled to be voted on in November.