Before the Fall, the Earth is still habitable, if well on the way to becoming an absolute disaster. Off-planet migration is well under way as people sign up with megacorporate interests and newly founded hypercorps to get offworld, often signing away decades of their lives with contracts that can be indefinitely extended by forcing people to pay for the resources they used at arbitrarily high rates. Even with their rise to relative prominence, the UN and the newly organized Peacekeepers are a finger being used to plug a single leak in a crumbling dam.
The climate is sliding into chaos, entire ecosystems sliding into collapse despite the best efforts of environmental scientists and genetic engineers as some areas flood under torrential downpours and others bake for months under relentless sunlight. Refugees are fleeing the less hospitable parts of the world, stressing the still-stable countries willing to let them in and forcing others to militarize to keep them at bay.
Some areas find their governmental structures dissolving, with new countries arising and falling in a churn as people struggle to stabilize things and old animosities boil up, augmented by the power of new technologies. Terrorists with access to nanotechnology find it possible to commit atrocities on scales never seen before, and the UN Peacekeepers find themselves busy responding to dozens of small-scale terror threats, any one of which might have a much vaster danger hiding inside it.
So it is with the first mission of the campaign, as the team is scrambled to the personal compound of a would-be dictator with ties to several megacorps and hypercorps that help fund the UN; death threats have been made by unnamed terrorists, and so despite the understanding that nothing is likely to come from it, the team must treat it as something deadly serious. Complicating the matter is the fact that the man is a colossal jerk, a bigoted scumbag the world would really be better off without. He has a large staff of personal guards, none of whom he trusts to not being conspiring with the terrorists against him, along with an extended family who all have reasons to resent and fear him.
The compound has several AGI tasked to manage the private security systems, each one set up to be destroyed at his whim if he thinks they might be betraying him, even as he skimps on actual security systems in favor of getting the UN to look after him. As such, the compound is curiously compromised, with absolute surveillance and very little ability to do much of anything with it, amplified by the grudging compliance of enslaved intellects.
And, well, there’s always the chance that the terrorist threats are actually real, delivered by someone with access to technology and firepower sufficient to make good on them.
Next Setup post will look at the compound itself, with a look at the floorplan and defenses that the players will have access to during their investigation.