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Ortus Novae

^ Art by David Ball ^

Fast and Savage Apocalyptic Warfare
(Free To Play: 6mm Scale Apocalyptic Wargaming)

It was sometime in the 21st century when we tripped the singularity bomb and everything plunged into darkness.

Things before the VNs were great. We had robots to clean our floors, robots to cook our food and robots to keep our lawns looking perfect. Everyone in the world had a smartphone and enough bandwidth to easily access the sum total of human technical knowledge or send Hyperdefinition VR memecat videos to each other in seconds. FTL travel was right around the corner, and pioneers of AI technology were promising us a future where no one would have to work and everyone could spend eternity doing whatever crazy fun things they wanted.

It was only when the scientists of the world tested our first FTL drive that everything suddenly went to hell, literally.

Before the VNs, only a few people outside the ranks of scientists and science fiction authors could tell you what a Van Neumann probe is. Now, everyone who has survived knows what it is, and just how bad of a thing it can be when it comes from someone else's civilization.

The stories are fragmented and sparse, but the scuttlebutt going around is that when humanity first fired up that prototype FTL drive, we woke up something that had been floating in our solar system for billions of years. An alien probe, ever-watchful, and planted by a civilization that doesn't want any competition when it comes to mining the galaxy. The virus from that probe shot through the networks of human civilization without anything to hold it back, and overnight we were on a permanent lockdown. The first weapons of the virus from the VN probe were smart cars, drone interceptors and anything else with a software brain that could be hijacked. Military bases were sterilized first, turned to scorched earth, then offices of government, labs and colleges. Within three days, the cities were gutted and the first VN drone walkers appeared. The strikes were calculated with machine precision, and that alone is enough to make us all wonder-- why did they hit what they did and leave the rest untouched? Why didn't they burn out the farms and let us all starve to death? Why didn't they obliterate everyone when they had the chance, and why didn't the alien virus target anything on the moon?

Of the survivors, the rich were the first to get out. Seventeen ark ships full of wealthy folks and their waitstaff flew straight to Luna and started working on ultra-tech solutions to overcome the VNs. Word is, they figured out how to resist the virus, and there's some argument among the moon-folks about whether or not Earth is worth retaking, or if it should be left alone as some kind of darwinian experiment they can watch from space.

Of those that stayed on Earth, most became what are now called "The Analogs." Vacuum tube technology, vintage cars and the people with the know-how to fix them became the most sought-after things in the post-apocalypse. Hill-folk, rednecks, biker gangs and survivalists from the rural parts of the world became the frontline soldiers of the resistance against the machines, and they've learned to take down the VNs with surprising efficiency given the rusty junk they have to work with.

And there are rumors that at least a few of the survivors who stayed on Earth went in a different direction technologically, embracing biotech and customizing their own bodies into mythical creatures with very real destructive powers. If you ever hear someone talk about seeing a dragon roast a swarm of VN drones in the wasteland, don't assume they're a few bricks short of a barbeque. In the deep wastes of the world, there be dragons, most assuredly, and most of them are more eloquent and intelligent than anyone else on Earth these days.

This is an evolving project. 
Check back regularly to watch it grow!

Updates on Patreon

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Setting Fiction:

"Out of Asgard" by E.S. Wynn
"Whistling in the Wasteland Winds" by E.S. Wynn

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