Cyberfantasy Microscope

SpaceX Launches
Recent Past Event

While Spaceship One is the first corporate manned craft to reach low earth orbit, technical problems delay scaling the craft from a two-man craft to an eight-man craft. SpaceX begins the corporate exploitation of space by developing a new breed of fully recoverable rocket and unmanned reentry vehicle. It wins the Commercial Resupply Services contract for resupplying the International Space Station. SpaceX is able to maintain its rigorous schedule for deploying satellites and corporate orbital experiments.

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Sumitomo Formed
Recent Past Event

Imperial Japan nationalizes all of its defense contractors, merges them, and then sells the merged companies to Sumitomo Heavy Industries (then primarily a truck manufacturer) in a deal deemed “suspicious.” Nationalized news outlets later clarify the earlier reporting to correct the record. Thus, Japan creates the first of their MegaCorps.

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Magic Arrives

The first overt signs of magic’s return come when roughly 10% of the world’s population turns into things: orcs, elves, dwarves, and trolls. While scientists are quick to determine that genetically no change has occurred, the public is less convinced. Panic, riots, lynchings, and social strife are rampant.

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Cambodian Fire
Magic Arrives Event

During an anti-orc riot in the village of Samrong, Cambodia, the child-soldiers had pressed the orcs into the dock areas. Amongst the wooden piers and junks, the child-soldiers were ordered to open fire. Instead of hundreds of dead orcs, a major explosion burned much of the port and then spread into the heart of Samrong. Investigators discover that many of the orcs did not die from gunshot wounds, instead most were victims of some sort of ritual sacrifice. Their abdomens had been sliced open and their hearts extracted. “Fire” in Khmer was written in blood on the chests of the sacrifices, and none of the victims showed signs of being touch by the fire. Superstitions about ancient blood magics roared back to life.

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Coyote Bugs
Magic Arrives Event

Bug insect spirits make their first appearance (inadvertently) when their “coyote” operation is revealed to be funneling people across the US/Mexican border not to work in the United States, but to serve as hosts for more insect spirits. Much carnage ensues as local and federal authorities attempt to exterminate the bugs.

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Balkanization

As corporations grow in power and independence, the authority of many central governments deteriorates. Some countries actually break up, with different megacorps typically gaining a major say in how the new “states” are run.

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Republican Secession
Balkanization Event

Red state/blue state acrimony reaches new heights, then is suddenly resolved as much of the Republican states break away, reforming the Confederated American States. Most debate revolves around what proportion of the national debt and military bases they will take with them — the rest of the country is almost as eager to have them out as they are to leave.

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Religious Terrorism
Balkanization Event

Freed of the “Northern Aggression” which has forced them to live in sin and degradation, white evangelicals rejoice by purifying their states of Satan’s taint (liberalism and the desire for equality) by forcing hundreds of thousands flee on foot from their homes. To prove their point that these tainted individuals are deadly to the pure of faith, many fleeing refugees are locked into bomb vests which are then detonated when the tainted refugee is embraced by the evil liberals. The fact that the liberals and the refugees die is further proof that God has forsaken them as beyond salvation.

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Hong Kong Succession
Balkanization Event

The Hong Kong/Canton region effectively secedes from China, as ties between local government and the corporations become strong enough to supersede those from Beijing. Also corporate money becomes more plentiful than central government money for local needs as Beijing engages in prestige projects (and military expansion). The more power Beijing gains in international affairs, the less influence it maintains in Hong Kong.

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Space Race

SpaceX begins the exploitation of space by developing a new breed of rocket and reentry vehicle. Other corporations rush to keep SpaceX from gaining a monopoly. Small laboratories, along with communication and tracking satellites make their way into orbit — and then the “Space Bubble” bursts.

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