The Murphy Project
The campaign history, as told to the players, began in the year 2047. The world was shaken with the revelation of the biggest multinational government coverup in history. The world’s superpowers (USA, China, European Union, and Russia), in a rare and unprecedented event, cooperated with each other to facilitate this coverup to maintain order and control over their subjects. A brief overview follows:
- The depletion. In 2032, the last of the world’s large oil field deposits (Prudhoe Bay Oil Field) was depleted, unbeknownst to the rest of the citizens of the world. Superpower governments met secretly (The Beijing Accords) to discuss what they predicted would be the ensuing wide-spread panic of their citizens, once the truth was revealed, and how to best handle damage control. These governments knew that once the public discovered the potential loss of everything from transportation, to energy, to plastic products, etc., there would be a collapse of society. Due to wide-spread panic, nations would fall into anarchy, and governments would crumble.
- The reset button. Collectively, these nations had approximately 15 years of crude oil reserves in secret storage facilities. They agreed to pool their resources and continue the façade while they scrambled to find a solution. The world leaders had 15 years to:
- Find a complete replacement for fossil fuel dependency. They failed in this endeavor.
- Find a way to maintain order and control of the people once the truth was discovered. They failed in this endeavor as well.
- As a last-ditch effort, find a way to encapsulate a small group of elite human specimens, which would be released back into the world long after the collapse of humanity. It was hoped that these colonists would be able to rebuild society from the rubble. At the time, experts estimated that in the decade following the collapse of organized government, approximately 95% of the world’s population would die. Factors taken into consideration included the loss of food transportation, the near 80% loss of energy production, the ensuing anarchy, killing, starvation, disease, with the primary threat being global war.
- The Shalen Incident. In 2045, a multinational group of terrorists, who identified as the Shalen Muqawama, discovered evidence of the coverup. Initially they attempted to educate the rest of the world in the truth, however the governments’ propaganda machine was powerful, and the Shalen were branded as crazy heretics, and violent extremists. In response, the Shalen managed to obtain six, 220 kiloton nuclear warheads. These warheads were transported to strategic locations globally. The Shalen demanded the governments release half of the remaining crude oil reserves to them, or they would “release the fires of hell upon them”. Attempts were made, through special military operations, to discover these locations and neutralize the threat. Two teams were successful, however four were not. Four nuclear warheads were ignited; one in the United States, one in Slovakia, one in Turkey, and one in mainland China. The ensuing radioactive fallout was the least of the problems.
- Paki-India War. After the Shalen Incident, and as time grew nearer to the depletion of oil reserves, government officials began to panic and falter. As desperation grew, so did tensions. Eventually, the nations of India and Pakistan declared war on each other. Before larger nations could intervene, a full exchange of these countries’ nuclear arsenals were unleashed on each other.
- Dr. Murphy. One year following the Beijing Accords, Dr. Murphy was assigned as director of the Murphy Project. Dr. Murphy (Ireland) was world renowned as a leading expert in cryogenics and biotech. Dr. Murphy’s team was assigned the small task of preventing the total extinction of the human species, and to this date is considered the single most important person in human history. Dr. Murphy designed what he called the Cryo-Hive, a cryogenic facility designed after nature’s beehive. Each cell contained a cryogenic gel, which when supercooled had the unique property of being able to absorb massive amounts of gaseous molecules. Through the advanced technology of nanites loaded into this cryogenic gel, human bodies could be stored for extremely long periods of time...possibly even tens of thousands of years. Dr. Murphy’s team of leading engineers, scientists, physicists, and medical experts created the Cryo-Hive, a chain of nuclear energy reactors (when one’s fuel expired, the next reactor would activate), solar energy solutions, and new breakthroughs in building material technology. Eventually a facility was built deep in the bedrock of the Rocky Mountains, in what was the former state of Colorado, USA.
- The Team. After the Paki-India war, the remaining influential nations were given the opportunity to send 20 persons to the United States, to be stored in the Cryo-Hive. It was encouraged that each nation send their representative elite, not only in intelligence, but fertility, useful skills, and cultural purity. Ultimately a group of 700 of the world’s finest craftsmen, scientists, doctors, legal experts, tacticians, scholars, and teachers, were gathered together. It was further decided that a lottery of 300 standard citizens would be the final allotment to the Cryo-Hive facility.
- The aftermath. In 2046, the Murphy Project was executed and 1000 souls were stored in the Cryo-Hive. Approximately 7 months later, it was announced to the world that the oil reserves were depleted. The shock and panic that ensued was of epic proportions. Within weeks, all major governments collapsed and were overrun by rampaging citizens. Millions died to military operations while nations struggled to maintain control. New wars broke out. Radiation and chemicals released from the tools of war poisoned the globe. Within 5 years, it was estimated that of the 9.2 billion people who inhabited the planet, only 60,000 remained scattered in small pockets. No one knows what happened to these people.
- Something went wrong. The Cryo-Hive was programmed to reactivate the stored humans after 500 years. However, a malfunction occurred within the program. No one knows for sure exactly how long the Cryo-Hive remained operable, but due to facility data records, it is believed the Cryo-Hive maintained functionality for approximately 128,000 years. A safety protocol, designed to activate when energy fuel was depleted and failure was imminent, initiated a cryogenic shutdown and reactivation of the stored human bodies. Of the 1000 persons who were cryogenically stored, 372 were lost. Dr. Murphy was numbered as one of the lost.
- A new world. The Murphy Project survivors were faced with a new threat. Eons of time had passed since the facility was first built. The survivors started the long task of tunneling to the surface, while others created emergency means of energy and food production. As survivors climbed out into the bright sunshine, they were left speechless with what their eyes beheld. The world had completely changed. What was once rugged mountain peaks covered with pine, were now rounded hills covered with lush jungle vegetation, much of which was completely unrecognizable to them. Animal species were abundant, though most were unrecognizable.
- Murphy Outpost. The survivors quickly made a surface colony and began studying their surroundings. Food production became a priority. Others began working on creating industry and energy. However due to the lack of tools and resources, much was unattainable and ultimately the colony developed much like an old western frontier town, with a mix of modern technology. The survivors named the colony Murphy Outpost, in honor of Dr. Murphy.
Each player was asked to think of a profession they have an interest in. Paramedic, forest guide, and actuary (actuarial science) were chosen. Players were then challenged to create a character (SWADE rules), choosing skills which an individual in that profession would have, and thus representing one of the 300 "normal" persons kept in cryogenic storage. For example, paramedic would be skilled in healing and driving, and other skills pertaining to that profession. Player characters were then recruited into the scouting and security forces division of the survivor outpost.
Once characters were created, a short adventure ensued which involved investigating a report by a previous scouting party. This previous scouting party reported seeing a large metal object approximately 25 miles south of the outpost. Forward observation group, "Black Dog", (player characters) was sent to investigate.
Black Dog group made it 12 miles before they were ambushed by a large reptilian creature they had never seen before. During the attack, Jakob (player by Anilar) was critically wounded by an errant shotgun blast from his teammate Sheldon (played by AmerigoV). Black Dog group was forced to return to the outpost due to Jakob's wounds, however on the return trip, they were able to also view the unknown mettalic object in the distance. Using optics, they were able to determine the object was a very large facility structure embedded in the jungle foliage....
The story continues next week.....