Countdown to Doomsday XXVc
Remnants of the old-time Soviet hardliners launch the space weapons platform: Masterlink. U.S. strategists send the American ace Anthony “Buck” Rogers to destroy Masterlink. Buck is sent up in an experimental space plane outfitted with a new cryogenic system for high altitude ejection. Masterlink is destroyed, but Buck Rogers’ plane is heavily damaged and his frozen body
floats in space.
When Masterlink is destroyed, the Soviet extremists fire a salvo of ballistic missiles at the U.S. The resulting conflict enters history books as the “Last Gasp War.” World governments look in horror at the insane danger of escalating arms races and maintaining nuclear arsenals. Governments around the globe disassemble their war machines and power shifts from the national
governments to large international corporate alliances, such as the Russo-American Mercantile, the Euro-Bloc faction, and the Indo-Asian Consortium.
The System States Alliance forms to represent the three big power blocs and fringe Earth nations to help ensure the survival of a depleted and polluted Earth.
New chemical and solar propulsion technology allows mankind to move out into the solar system. The System States Alliance forms an organized effort to exploit the nearby planets. RAM, having the most clout, grabs rights to Mars, while Luna goes to the Euro-Bloc, and the Indo-Asians take Venus.
Initial interest in the planets is for resources. True colonization is slow at first, as mankind both adapts to alien environments and adapts the environments to mankind.
Trips to the planets become commonplace as fission and fusion drives become available, and terraforming technology has transformed the surfaces of Mars and Venus to become more habitable for humans. Genetic engineering skills develop new life forms, called Gennies, that can be tailored to nearly any environment or function.
In 2275 RAM, groaning under an increasing repressive Earth government, rebels. Venus signs a nonaggression pact with Mars, and ten years of war follow. Earth falls into barbarism with her major population centers left in ruins, and cut off from much needed extraterrestrial resources. At the end of the war, RAM completely dominates the remains of old Earth.
In 2310 refugees from Earth, and others who are discontent under RAM domination, begin a crash program to colonize Mercury. Asteroids are moved into orbit around the planet, and moveable cities are built on the surface. Mercury develops an economy based on mining and solar power.
Mars and Venus, once forbidding alien wastes, have been terraformed and now support populations in the millions. Bases have been established on Mercury and Luna. Colonies float in the edges of the Jupiter gas clouds and cities have been carved out of asteroids.
RAM rules old earth with cruel efficiency and an iron hand, its brutal Terrine combat gennies roam and enforce the planet’s exploitation.
A daring band of Rebels called the Organization for a New Earth is formed to combat RAM domination.
The figure of Buck Rogers has been elevated to nearly mythical status by media hype—he has become a symbol as the last martyr of old Earth’s foolish political struggle. In a strange twist of fate Buck Rogers
-the myth- is recovered alive from his frozen sleep!
With his tactical genius and fearless daring, Buck Rogers joins ONE in its battle against RAM.
ONE and Buck Rogers, form a dangerous plan to subvert RAM control of the Earth. The cornerstone of RAM’s dominance of the planet is “Gauntlet”, an orbital weapons platform originally constructed by the old Systems States Alliance. Gauntlet had been designed to act as a watchdog against nuclear weapons. Under RAM administration, the station was upgraded to both watch
the subservient Earth and completely control all traffic to and from the planet.
Buck steals a squadron of RAM’s latest spacefighters, a squadron slated for Gauntlet’s defensive force, and attacks the station. The surprise attack is a success, however the legendary Buck Rogers is again lost in the battle leaving ONE without a champion. Without Gauntlet, Simund Holzerhein, the head of RAM, decides that over control of Earth is too expensive and orders RAM troops off the planet. The mood on Earth and in ONE is a combination excitement and dread. The raid on gauntlet was costly, and the newest recruits have yet to be tested.
Earth is under its own control of now, but the shadow of RAM is still present, Occasional attacks by RAM military are explained away as “acts of overanxious officers” and “unfortunate lapses of judgement.” Earth scrambles to rebuild a shattered planet and build the forces required to fend off RAM attack it feels is inevitable.
THE TEAM ASSEMBLES
“Buck Rogers!” The name is everywhere. “Buck Rogers and ONE victory at Gauntlet — Vid at eleven.” The Video Network News, people talking on the streets of old Earth, even in the furthest asteroid outposts — Buck Rogers’ death and ONE are everywhere.
There is a feeling of hope now. After years of domination, RAM no longer holds old Earth, and ONE is finally able to make a real stand against the corporate behemoth. Victories, real and exaggerated, boost ONE confidence daily.
ONE ranks are swelling with new recruits — young people who never before felt they could make a difference. Your team is assembled from those ranks. Each member has made his or her way to Chicago with plans to join the war against supremacy. Each has visions of great victories, glory and lasting fame — like Buck Rogers…