On June 21 2021, American softwar programs mutate and go haywire, destroying
the global Internet within hours. Communications and economic transactions
flatline, causing havoc across the globe, and bringing most advanced
economies to a halt.
Thousands of deadly accidents involving nuclear plants, factories,
energy grids, satellites, ships, networked cars and other modern
metasystems bring the death toll to nearly 134,000. American NADAN
Wall reduces the damage in North America, but the Wall eventually
President Haldeman declares limited martial law to contain the chaos,
and elite troops are recalled from Asia to enforce the Security
Acts against Americans. Hundreds of urban centres are declared 'Federal
Territories' to ease martial law and encourage central re-organization.
Warring armies grind to a halt around the world as chaos takes over.
Megacorporations hire mercenaries by the ten-thousand and establish
safeholds and enclaves to protect their holdings and employees from looters, gangs and
Central government in Russia collapses, but within a year is replaced by a theocratic
Mitteleuropa chafes under German domination, and takes this opportunity to destroy
the offices of hundreds of German corporations and agencies. European Legion troops
kill thousands of rioters when commands become garbled because of the NetCrash.
By late 2021, Protocol and Vatican computers have become safe havens for
data from across the planet. Long-distance networks on Mars and on the Moon
are least affected because of their limited connections.
Increased global birth defects from radiation and new diseases encourage hundreds of
millions of couples to adopt eugenic drugs and modifications. American GCC Birth Enhancement
Acts passed to encourage selective reproduction.