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Critical Mass HL2RP: Community Lore


Several years before the events in Critical Mass HL2RP, Earth and all of mankind was engaged in a massive conflict against an insurmountable enemy. This conflict is referred to as the 7-hour war. This war was an unintended side-effect of the Black Mesa Incident from two years before the war.

The Black Mesa Incident, as everybody would know of, was caused by a division of the Black Mesa research team. A crystal from the border dimension Xen was hit by a controlled beam of energy. This is what caused the resonance cascade. Were it not that the system fail safes had malfunctioned, the incident would have never occurred. Now, hostile alien creatures flooding Earth en masse is quite a problem on its own, but this problem would be nothing compared to the fate Earth soon had to suffer.

The Universal Union, informally referred to as the Combine, would soon catch wind of the resonance cascade. This Union is a vast, multidimensional empire consisting of a plethora of alien species, founded before the dawn of man. As such, the Union is technologically advanced beyond human comprehension. Not to mention the size of their armies.

The fact that water is a valuable resource to the Union led them to perform a full-scale invasion on Earth.

The 7-hour war

It was on June 23rd, 2015 at 16:45 GMT that the skies all over earth began to tear and glow. These tears in the sky turned out to be portals created by the UU. The creation of these portals sent shockwaves all over Earth, causing damage to weak buildings and decimating small wildlife. Shortly after, alien ships began to flood through the newly opened portals. Within an hour, Earth’s surface was filled with alien troops as far as the eye could see. Not understanding what mankind was up against, human armies were deployed around the world to try and stand their ground.

The Union would quickly plow through human troops, as humans were far less advanced and greatly outnumbered. First to fall were the larger cities with lots of residents, as these greatly attracted attention from the Universal Union.

Casualties were countless, as was the damage done to these major cities.

[Image: d94nr6d-cade7a79-7709-41f7-a884-9217851c...ATTnfGGuzo]
Human troops engaging in combat with Union forces in the battle of Chicago. Source: MrCryCraft on DeviantArt

Those who survived the initial assault on the vast urban centers quickly fled to either the underground subway systems, the rural countryside or chose to take their own life as to not live through this hell.

Roughly 2 hours into the war, most large cities in the world were turned to a concrete wasteland. Alongside this smaller nations such as the Netherlands, Denmark, North and South Korea and many others had completely succumbed to the might of the Universal Union. As Union forces advanced to the Pentagon - which was the central coordination point for armies worldwide containing all available intel on human strategy - the United States government quickly decided to decentralize army coordination and destroy the Pentagon, so that the Union would not gain yet another advantage over humanity. Currently 4 hours into the war, the United States commenced operation Retribution. This essentially consisted of launching a nuclear missile directly at the Pentagon itself, completely destroying it and any Union troops directly around it. This operation would be the largest source of Union casualties, but this would not even be nearly enough to break their will. They continued to wreak havoc onto the world.

Following operation Retribution, the United States realised they could not win the war. After some time discussing and realizing the magnitude of the threat, United States officials up to the president had decided to take their own lives to “preserve the American Spirit”. This was followed up by a national TV broadcast on every channel, urging residents to do the same. Because most major media outlets got destroyed in the chaos, this message could only be relayed on small, local television channels.

Contingency broadcast (watch until 2:22):

Source: Local58 by Kris Straub

Although some US residents obeyed this broadcast, most saw this as an act of cowardice and felt betrayed by their own government. This led to the formation of small guerilla groups throughout all of the United States. Smaller in size and armed lighter, these would be no match for the Union troops.

6 hours into the war. Two-third of Earth’s military population has been massacred. One by one, the major powers of the world started to fall, the United States being the first. Shortly after, Russia, Japan, Germany and the British Isles would capitulate. The very last to fall were the more uninhabited and lesser known regions on Earth, such as the Antarctic, the Seychelles and Micronesia.

7 hours into the war. It was at this point that the Union was preparing to glass the planet and deplete its resources. This plan was quickly brought to a halt due to the actions of Dr. Wallace Breen, who - against all odds - managed to negotiate a peace between Earth and the Universal Union. However, it is debatable whether this fate is preferable to the extermination of mankind, as the Universal Union has now effectively enslaved all of mankind and will still deplete most of Earth’s water sources. The UU placed a reproductive field, causing certain hormones in humans to being broken down and stopping them from being created, which made every person on Earth infertile.

Government workers all over were absorbed into the new UU government, and what remains of Earth’s military was shipped off with UU ships, for them to return as augmented super-soldiers; the Overwatch Transhuman Arm.

Life on Earth as people knew it was changed forever. Ecosystems collapsed due to the introduction of invasive alien species, whereas human life is now in the hands of the Union…

After the war

In the first period after the war, most of Earth’s population was transferred to (partially) habitable large cities around the globe. Life was harsh, as every city was cramped and people were still trying to cope with the fact that their lives have been turned completely upside-down. Other, more destroyed cities were at least partially rebuilt to strengthen the Union’s foothold on Earth and to have more control over urban centers.

After 6 months, small bands of civilian militia - loyal to the Universal Union - were formed to ensure UU-compliant life in the currently lawless urban centers, where the OTA would only be deployed in serious sociocidal threats. These would soon be employed officially as the Earth’s Metropolice Force.

About 2 years after the war, the Metropolice Force became much more organized with the addition of divisions, ranks and a Nexus in every urban center. This led to greater stability in these cities, as the flames of resistance were slowly but surely doused. Metropolice raids became more ruthless and frequent, especially in the uninhabited slums in the major cities. At this point in time, everybody over the age of 50 would be exterminated on the grounds of physical imperfection. Meanwhile, everybody under the age of 18 would be sent to factories to produce equipment and gear for the OTA and the MPF.

[Image: d9y6vruv1wu11.jpg?width=960&crop=smart&a...ec8f5407dd]
Elderly citizen being dragged away for amputation, early metropolice. Source: u/Barney___Calhoun

2 months after the children were sent to work, the UU ruled that their productive capabilities were not satisfactory and proceeded to kill off anybody under the age of 18.

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Current day Metropolice Unit. Source: Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar

With mankind under the thumb and the MPF becoming better organized as time moved on, life on UU-occupied Earth would start to feel normal for most people.

3 years after the UU invasion, the City 3 (formerly known as Mumbai, India) incident occured. In this incident the Nexus got blown up by a band of insurgents from the Lambda Movement, costing many UU officials’ lives. This sparked an outrage within Earth’s UU government, leading them to call for a complete crackdown on every part of the slums in every city around the world. This is referred to as the Dawn of the Dark Days, which went on for a good 3 weeks. In the end, the Lambda movement was completely crushed by the OTA and the MPF, having most of the resistance members being refurbished into OTA soldiers. This event significantly decreased activity in slums and sewers, transferring it from a point where man still has hope to a criminal underworld.

Other major events

The City 03 incident
The Dawn of the Dark Days

City 17

Currently, City 17 is starting to get a tad less stable. With the recent appointment of several ministries, the assassination of the CA and the crackdown on corrupt MPF units, the High Overseer has to divert his attention from managing the city to a broader array of tasks. New citizens are still coming in every day, and it is up to the Metropolice Force, the city ministries, the Civil Workers’ Union and the Civil Service Workers to maintain stability in the city. Meanwhile, a shady new ministry is set up, only known by MPF higher-ups and a select few UU officials.

This is where the server’s backstory ends and where the next parts are written by you, the players. How will you write history in City 17?

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