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NOTD Back Story

Historical influences
1914: Archduke Franz Ferdinand – the presumptive heir to the Austrian-Hungarian throne – was assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia, by 19-year old Gavrilo Princip. Princip was a member of the Black Hand, a Serbian nationalist terrorist group. A witch hunt for other members of the Black Hand began and World War I broke out soon after Ferdinand’s death.

1915: The first commercialized identification tool was created as British scientists invent the Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) transponder which enabled the detection of friendly aircraft. The device became popular after the Allies used it extensively in World War Two.

1919: The aftermath of World War I sees the national registration acts coming into place in various European countries to facilitate identification of aliens. People were required to carry their ID cards at all times to show it to police or members of the armed forces.

1929: The Great Depression sees governments enacting registration laws as a means to track welfare benefit and temporary job creation. The first non-war registration enforcement was shown to be effective in most cases.

1933: The Nazi regime take identification to a new level by compiling card catalogs identifying political and racial enemies of the regime, such as Freemasons, Jews, Sinti, Gypsies and "genetically diseased" persons.

1937: German scientists come up with a smaller and more advanced transponder but the impending outbreak of war sees resources allocated elsewhere and the device saw little action in the Luftwaffe. Its design and functions were studied by Allied scientists after the war.

1938: The Nazi regime employs thousands of people to record national census data onto Hollerith punch cards. The Waffen SS would use Hollerith machines during the war to monitor prisoner inflow and outflow at concentration camps.

1945: Leon Theremin invents The Thing, also known as the Great Seal Bug – a covert listening device that used passive techniques to transmit audio signals. The Thing is considered to be a predecessor of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology as it is passive, energised and activated by electromagnetic waves from outside sources.

1948: The prelude to the First Indochina War begins with occupying French forces conducting an intensive nationwide registration drive in a bid to stem out Communist elements. However, early Soviet and PRC assistance and an existing underground Viet Minh network rendered French efforts ineffective. French General Henri Navarre was quoted saying “You may be able to track where people are but you can’t keep track of their hearts,” after the war.

1950: The Korean War and Communist uprisings resulted in identification being enforced in many Asian countries during the 60s including Malaysia and the Philippines.

1960: The Basque ETA and other “terrorist” groups raise security concerns across Europe. The Six-Day War in 1967 subsequently resulted in widespread registration in the Middle East as Israel consolidated its hold on its newly acquired territories.

1969: Mario Cardullo conceptualizes the first read-write RFID tag. After much research, the tag is produced and patented in 1973.

1972: Intentionally lax security with no proper identification system led to the Munich Massacre where Black September terrorists killed 11 Israeli athletes and coaches as well as one West German police officer. In response, nations like the United States, Britain, France and Israel form counter-terrorism units.

1981: Despite being protected by four layers of tight security and ammunition-seizure rules, Egyptian president Anwar Sadat is assassinated by lieutenant Khalid Islambouli. Islambouli managed to sneak in grenades and an assault rifle. It was the first time in Egyptian history where a head of state had been assassinated by a citizen.

1983: The Beirut Barrack Bombings kill 241 American servicemen: 220 Marines, 18 Navy personnel and three Army soldiers as well as 58 French paratroopers. International resolve to combat terrorism is heightened.

1987: A series of transnational flight bombings (i.e. PanAm Flight 73, the Lockerbie bombing, UTA flight 772) result in the tightening of worldwide airport security.

1990: Widespread use of RFID technology became part and parcel of daily life. Product tracking, animal identification, inventory monitoring, transportation and billing purposes are some of the many usages of RFID technology.

1994: Counter-terrorism efforts earn rave public reviews after the French GIGN liberate 229 passengers and crew from Air France Flight 8969 in Marseille after the plane was hijacked by four GIA terrorists who wished to destroy the Eiffel Tower.

2000: Al-Qaeda operatives conduct a suicide bombing on the USS Cole while at anchor in Aden, blowing a 12m hole in its side, killing 17 and injuring 39. A wake-up call after a relatively quiet decade for terrorism, the incident is perceived by many as a targeted attack on the US military and not a global threat.

2001: The Sept 11 terrorist attacks, the 2004 Madrid train attacks and the 2005 London bombings woke the world up from a lull of false security. The terrorist attack in Spain, in particular, raised global concerns as it precipitated a change in government. Then US president George W. Bush declared the War on Terror and the US subsequently attacked and occupied Afghanistan and Iraq.

2003: Despite early success, the War on Terror becomes a quagmire after the Iraq insurgency results in mounting death tolls. The insurgents begin murdering hostages and this heaps pressure on the US-led coalition.

2004: Human implantable RFID technology was introduced in the form of grain-sized chips. The chips could be used to store identification details and allowed the detection and tracking of one’s whereabouts.

2008: The Indian Space Research Organization launches the probe Chandrayaan-1 on Oct 22 to map the moon’s surface for Helium-3 – a new fuel for fusion reactors. In the meantime, Chinese cosmochemist and geochemist Ouyang Ziyuan who was leading the Chinese Lunar Expedition Program stated that the main goal of the PRC space program was the eventual mining of Helium-3.

2009: The Fort Hood shootings and more hostage taking in Iraq and Afghanistan raise concerns regarding the safety of military personnel serving overseas.

2010: Advancements made in chip implant technology result in the production of embedded bio-sensor systems in the form of RFID microchips that measure glucose levels in a patient’s body, as well as a virus triage detection system for the H1N1 virus. Despite this, the chips remain unpopular due to religious concerns and privacy issues.

2011: The Pentagon proposes implanting all military personnel with chips to combat any untoward incidents. Congress rejects the move but negotiations continue earnestly – to little effect. However, more research laboratories and hospitals recommend to “chip” their staff on a voluntary basis.

2015: After a decade of overtures in the international diplomatic arena, China flexes its muscles by launching its first aircraft carrier Zhi Jue, a Beijing class supercarrier capable of ferrying 90 planes.

2017: The decreasing number of US combat forces in the Middle East, a shift from its pro-Israel stand and a more inclusive foreign policy results in less animosity towards the US and her allies. In the mean time, China and Russia sign agreements which will see the two countries jointly developing weaponry and sharing energy resources.

2020: Declining oil reserves force countries to turn to nuclear energy and renewable energy. The erstwhile squabble for oil in the Middle East and Africa is now a thing of the past.

2029: After years of relative peace, an Israeli nuclear reactor suffers a meltdown – four times the scale of Chernobyl – causing much damage to Israel and its surrounding nations. The Arab countries are livid and demand compensation but negotiations are moot.

2030: Under much pressure, US president John Simmons shifts back to a pro-Israeli stance. The US and Britain veto Arab proposed retaliatory action – backed by China and Russia – at the United Nations (UN) Security Council. Arab and African nations withdraw from the UN in protest. Despite the brouhaha, the peace is kept.

2032: The US suffers a bioterrorism attack during the Olympic Games in Detroit. Also hit were its allies. The move emboldened insurgency groups elsewhere and global unrest ruled in a year of infamy. The global economy crashes.

2033: Investigations proved that the terrorists received funding from the countries which left the UN. The inquiry also showed the involvement of several disillusioned and “planted” military personnel who assisted the terrorists. Congress passes the bill to chip all members of the US Armed Forces.

2033: The CIA in collaboration with the Israeli Mossad uncover the string of terrorist funding that all lead back to one place - Iran. Armed with conclusive evidence and growing calls of anger in face of continued bioterrorism attacks, the US and Israel launch a coordinated joint attack on Iran. It would turn out to be a bloody and protracted war. Hidden stockpiles of nuclear weapons thought to have been destroyed emerge from deep underground bunkers and retaliate at Tel Aviv.

2035: The Iran war ends in devastating bloodshed after the ruling Republican Guard finally agree to a ceasefire. 17,302,101 lives were lost on both sides, with civilians accounting for more than 60% of all casualties.

2041: Multiple efforts to get the global economy back on track fail to bear fruit, resulting in worldwide lawlessness. Martial law is declared in many countries and the five major powers – the US, Britain, China, Russia and France (representing the European Union) – meet at the negotiating table to curb the crisis.

2043: After protracted negotiations and more failed attempts to reestablish order, the five powers agree that stringent identification laws are the only way to curb the spiral of decline. The aforementioned nations decide to chip all their citizens for the sake of security. Dissenters forsake their rights and are unable to participate in economic activities.

2048: The precedent set, other countries jump on the bandwagon and by the end of the year, 73% of the world’s population had received chip implants. However, the upheaval had weakened many national governments and global direction remained shrouded with uncertainty.

2055: Already a nonfunctioning entity, the UN is dissolved and the United Global Coalition (UGC) – an economic-military run organization – takes its place.

2059: Led by the five major powers, the UGC expanded in influence and by the end of the year, the map of the world is redrawn as countries ceded their sovereignty for the sake of order and prosperity.

2062: A once again robust global economy ushers in a new era of prosperity. Greater identification technology sees crime rate decreasing by an average of 37% per annum. Advancements in nanotechnology enable chip implants to function as proactive health monitors with the ability to combat viruses and their spread.

2065: Since its foundation 10 years ago, the UGC has accelerated global GDP growth to unprecedented annual rates of 12%. New materials technology continue developing and human life expectancy has reached a new peak of 103 years. All life threatening illnesses have been cured. However, UGC needs more energy to fuel its growth and has allocated substantial global resources into a lunar mining colony. The UGC calls this the imperative of the generation.

2068: Mining activities of Helium-3 on the moon commence to power most of Earth’s energy requirements. Although adequate mining technology existed in 2031, the lack of political will and subsequent global upheaval led to a halt in the space race. However, events on earth are less positive as global warming leads to crop failure in many countries. Melting polar ice caps leads to the total submersion of the island nation Maldives.

2071: The mining colony on the moon reaches the 5,000 mark – making it the most significant corporate investment ever. While it wasn’t stated, the colony which was equipped with an eco-dome – an invention which provided heating and enabled settlers to breathe without oxygen masks – was actually a pilot test for an eventual human settlement in Mars.

2073: The top secret UGC Lab 814 team invent the Compliance Nexus – a tall spire which broadcasts commands to chip implants, enabling behavioral control. The nexus is set up in the prison facility Indefatigable and inmates show a massive reduction in aggressive behavior. By the end of the year, more nexuses are established around the world.

2075: More Helium-3 sites are found on the moon and two more colonies are set up at the moon’s polar ice caps to take full advantage of the sun’s energies. Construction of launch platforms to Mars and large nuclear-powered space travel craft begin in earnest on the moon. Crime is virtually non-existent in all major UGC cities across Earth.

2083: Global warming intensifies and the UGC announces the colonization of Mars to ensure the continuity of the human race. The first prototype colony ship to Mars is completed at the end of the year. Supply craft and construction robots are sent to the surface of Mars for on-site mapping, selection and construction of a future human colony. Meanwhile, the human population on the moon reaches 20,000 and the UGC orders the construction of a Compliance Nexus there.

2092: After rigorous testing, the Mars colony ship Endeavour begins its maiden voyage with 3,500 settlers and the necessary equipment, paving the way for subsequent missions.

2093: After a 7 month journey, Endeavour lands on Eden, the first human settlement on Mars built in its polar regions with vast reserves of water trapped in its ice. The population settles into Bio-Domes and underground caverns constructed months in advance. Record high temperatures ravage the Australian continent with forest fires, killing 1,504 in its wake. 13 towns and 18,300 homes were leveled by fires.

2101: With the route to Mars established, the influx of settlers to Mars – via the moon – continues. By the end of the year, the total population of Mars stands at 18,040 while the moon reaches a new peak of 385,031 colonists.

2102: Adam Rossi commits the first murder on Mars. He is sentenced to death. Despite protests from the Free Mars Society, with its spokesman calling it a subjugation of “free will”, the UGC orders the construction of the first Compliance Nexus on the red planet. It is met with popular support.

2103: After 36 years of incident-free activities, communications break down on Apollo – the moon’s primary population facility.

Time: Now
Continue reading the NOTD story which details the events that unfold in the weeks leading to Easy Company's deployment on Apollo.

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