It is 2040. America ceased to exist ten years ago.
As America reeled from the shock of the 2008-2010 banking crisis, a possible solution was cooked up, behind closed doors, between the leading politicians of the day and those who stood to benefit from a strong economy. Although it was risky, it could restore America to its former glory and height of power as a global financial market. Their plan involved producing vast numbers of new jobs that were essentially useless, encouraging people to spend more money on the market because of their newfound wealth, and strengthening the dollar. How these jobs were produced, however, was barely discussed: nor was where the wages to pay the unemployed with would come from. It was an ill-conceived plan, and doomed to failure from the start. Although Congress readily passed the bills, the process of producing jobs was fraught with difficulty, and the people, losing faith in the government of the day, elected a new leader, from a different party, in the 2016 Presidential elections.
In their manifesto this administration promised to revive the dollar and repair the lasting damage of the recession. "More empty promises!" cried some. But their cries for transparency were ignored, their protests beat down to the ground, their traces erased from the planet under an increasingly authoritarian administration. The internet was banned, according to popular vote, for 'promoting anti-American and secular concerns', in a controversial referendum held in the early months of 2019. Internet businesses collapsed, and millions of people became unemployed. Two years later, the constitution was scrapped as a 'relic of ancient and foolish ideas'. In the same year (2021), nearly 100 billion dollars were injected forcibly into the economy to pay the rising numbers of unemployed people, causing a depression much, much worse than the 2008 one, silly goose relationships were banned as 'against the wishes of the Christian majority', and abortion doctors were dragged into the street and publicly shot according to a new 'trial-less death sentence' law passed through the Senate earlier that year.
Then the economy collapsed.
In 2026, the dollar was worth 4 yen, and the pound, Euro, Yen, and other currencies dropped substantially as a result. Countries could no longer afford their own police service or military, and poverty and depression was rife amongst even the previously wealthy suburb dwellers.
In desperation, the government declared war against a small Asian country to attempt to save the economy with a wartime financial boom, uniting the American people, but failing in its economic objectives. Rioters took to the streets, insurgent attacks, before relatively rare, became everyday occurrences in New York, Washington, Chicago... Buildings and landmarks before symbols of national solidarity fell to the ground under dissident attacks or to pay the national debts - and all over the developed world, the same was happening. Tokyo, London, and Brussels, the biggest financial centres outside the US, now found themselves in dire trouble. The year was 2029 - Christmas was cancelled.
On the 25th of April, 2030, the White House and the House of Representatives exploded.
On the 28th of April, 2030, a young Democratic Party Senator, Rain Williams, declared America officially dissolved on behalf of the deceased President and Vice-President.
On the 1st of May, 2030, the riots began. Shops were out of food, the railway networks were no longer running, criminal gangs roamed the streets. The 'black decade' begun.
Fast forward ten years. It is July 2040, almost ten years since America was dissolved. Previously small criminal gangs now have a perverse form of legitimacy as they control the supply of essential goods into what was previously known as the USA. The largest of these gangs is the 'Urban Angels', who act as a police force and keep the law around the new settlements. True weaponry is hard to come by, and munitions are controlled again by the largest gangs. The civilian populace generally use knives or swords to defend themselves when attacked as they last longer, are less prone to break, and can still be produced en masse
despite the infrastructural failures. Still, even in this climate of fear, many people are glad of a little stability in their lives after the chaos of the last decade. The largest of the new settlements is Neoville (lit. New Town), a small city constructed from the ruins of Washington.
You have been invited by Rain Williams, now in his early 40s and a footnote on the pages of history, to meet him for tea at a small café on the Peacock Boulevard. The Peacock Boulevard is a wealthy area of town mostly roamed by semi-wealthy officers in the various gangs that battle for control of the city. In some ways it is almost identical to the city pre-collapse; it has electronic lighting, glass shop fronts, and rather expensive shops. Ironically, the collapse of America has brought the dollar, relatively speaking, back to its former value. However, most people earn only a meagre few dollars a day; as a coffee at the Peacock Boulevard costs at least a dollar, it is certainly one of the most upper-class areas of the city. Rain assures you he will pay.Character Sheet:
[b]Name:[/b] Your character's name. You may want to provide a pseudonym as well. Eg: 'Don Feather', Giovanni Ross.Equipment:
[b]Gender:[/b] I hope you can figure this out...
[b]Appearance:[/b] Bear in mind that there has been a great financial collapse; suits etc. are only for the really wealthy; and jewelry isn't worn any more because it would just be stolen. Most people, male or female, dress in functional gear such as cargo pants or jeans and a simple t-shirt top with a heavy jacket.
[b]History:[/b] Read the synopsis carefully to see if any part really interests you, and make a character based on that part. :D
[b]Equipment:[/b] See below. You start with $60.
[b]Cash:[/b] How much money do you have left over after equipment? That's your cash.
Guns are expensive, swords less so, knives even less, improvised weapons even less so.Improvised Weapons
Baseball Bat ($2): Your basic, everyday baseball bat. Good for fending off would-be rapists or such like. Golf clubs etc. come under this too.
Glass Bottle ($0.50): A painful implement to be struck by, but not one that lasts very long. Survives 3 glassings.
Kitchen Knife ($5): Lethal if used properly, but hefty, hard to carry, and not very lengthy.
Molotov silly goose/Petrol Bomb ($10): An insanely cheap explosive, made from a glass bottle filled with oil or petrol and with a fuse dipped in. One throw only, must have a source of fire to light.Knives/Swords
Pen Knife ($4): Less lethal than a kitchen knife but still nasty, and much easier to hide and carry.
Flick/Spring Knife ($10): Designed for secrecy, and easy to take out quickly, both the flick knife and spring knife are sure to 'surprise' your opponent.
Utility/Hunting Knife ($15): A sturdy knife easily capable of killing a man. The easiest knife to wield as a martial arts weapon. Comes with a leather holster.
Machete ($20): Good for either hacking down bananas or hacking up people, but heavy, dangerous, and hard to secrete.
Axe ($30): Works just as well on people as on wood.
You need two hands for it.
Longsword ($35): A traditional one-handed sword which can slice through flesh and bone with ease. Comes with a scabbard.
Bastard Sword/Katana ($50): Can be wielded with either one or two hands depending on the wielder's mood. The katana only has a single cutting edge, but is slightly easier to cut with. Comes with a scabbard.
Sabre/Rapier/Epeé ($40): A thin, fairly easy to break sword designed for stabbing, but with a small cutting edge. Comes with a scabbard.
Swordstick ($60): A cane or walking stick with a Sabre, Rapier, or Epeé within, making the sword easy to carry and hide.
Insane Sword ($100): Originally only sold as replicas of video game weapons due to their insane size (nearly 4 feet) but gaining popularity amongst certain thugs as brutal weapons. One-edged, scabbardless, and only for use by the ridiculously over-muscled.
Chainsaw ($300): A spinning weapon that rips apart wood, some metals, breezeblocks, and plaster. Don't wave it around too much.Handguns
Pea-Shooter ($30): A cheap home-made gun that can only fire one bullet at a time.
Revolver ($50): Can hold 5 rounds in the drum, and reloads automatically.
Handgun ($80): Can hold 10 rounds, reloads automatically.
Gunblade ($120): Not really a gun, actually a bastard sword with a firing mechanism inside it to surprise people with
. Fires one bullet at a time.
Hunting Rifle ($50): Holds 1 bullet, which it fires with a great deal more power than a handgun. Needs to be reloaded by hand.
Sniper Rifle ($200): Holds 5 bullets, which it can fire hundreds of metres with accuracy and power.
Assault Rifle ($200): Holds 40 bullets, and can be fired singly, in 4-bullet bursts, or on full automatic.
Machine Gun ($500): Holds 200 rounds and fires automatically.
Rocket Launcher ($1000): Holds 1 rocket, which can destroy a whole building if used properly. Ammo is $50 per rocket.
Chaingun ($5000): Fires handgun bullets at a rate of 5000 a minute! Can hold 5000.
Grenade ($30): A highly explosive ball of fury.
Grenade Launcher ($150): Lets you launch grenades to the distance of a bullet with good aim.Misc.
Lighter/Box of Matches ($5): Can be used 20 times. Good for pyromania or lighting petrol bombs.
5 Cigarettes/Cigar ($5): This seemingly useless item makes you look cool, can detect infra-red trip lines, and gives you lung cancer.
Surprise Item ($30): Roll up for your surprise items! Could be a cigar, could be a chaingun!NPC Guide:
Character names link to their 'theme tunes' which ought help you get a grip on their characters.Rain Williams:
An ex-politician, your sponsor, and a generally strange guy. Cynical bastard.