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The story starts in late 2032, after the nuclear war which occurred between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Asian Continental Military Force. All civilization across the world was destroyed within minutes as hundreds of millions were incinerated in nuclear fire and billions more died from the radiation sickness, anarchy, and horrid living conditions which ensued. Most of the world had been turned into a radioactive wasteland, but as humans so often do, they survived this war albeit as an endangered species with a tendency to kill itself off over the smallest things. During this time, the United State Civilization Preservation Force was created, followed by the Civilian Defense Front. The USCPF are dedicated to eliminating the mutant threat, restoring the American civilization back to power, and to rebuilding the once great nation of America. The CDF was formed a few years after the creation of the USCPF, with similar yet simpler goals. The goals of the CDF were simply to protect and aid survivors.
All across the southern United States, including the Outer Banks of North Carolina, ACMF remnants from the Third World War attempt to survive in the completely hostile territory of post-flash America. Once formidable, the ACMF has been virtually wiped out; small bands of soldiers hunt around the wastelands trying to survive - hostile to everyone, with everyone hostile to them. The RAD virus, a radiation fueled super-bug which alters the genetic data of humans, has created Mutants. Highly diverse, they range from people with simple mutations to grotesque and horrid monstrosities with 10 limbs. Semi-intelligent yet physically enhanced mutants, commonly called Marauders, rally up nearby mutants to help them attain their goal of replacing the human race as the world's dominant species.
Various pieces of equipment are scattered about the landscape, from UR-22s originally belonging to the United States military to MPD-27s operated by the Asian Continental Military Force. Scrap towns spring up like irradiated fungi, such as Bridgetown. Small shantytowns, they offer some semblance of prewar peace, although everyone noticeably has several heavy rifles or pistols slung over their shoulder or some sort of sword on their hips. The USCPF has more organized locations, usually resembling pre-flash FEMA camps or tent-cities. Refugees may be welcomed here, or they may be detained and marched a good distance away if the outpost belongs directly to military forces. If there's a USCPF outpost or camp set up, chances are good that a UR-22 will be able to land near it.
In Japan, the situation is flipped around somewhat. During the war, the United States Marine Corps used Japan as a major staging point for the invasion of mainland China. When the flash occurred, the few surviving marines were left stranded in the apocalyptic Japanese wasteland. When the postwar factions such as the New Japan Liberation Force and the Rising Sun Warriors popped up, the Marine Corps suddenly found itself at odds with the new leaders, with many Japanese survivors considering the US to be at fault for the nuclear holocaust in the first place. The New Japan Liberation Force has goals comparable to that of the USCPF- to forcefully eradicate mutants and to restore Japanese civilization back to power. In addition, the Rising Sun Warriors have similar goals to the CDF- to aid refugees and create a new and simple government out of the ashes.
Albeit the similarities in the factions, Japan is a very different place from the US. There are new and different types mutants in ATF: Osaka, such as the Malevolent Ones, which kill everything (even fellow mutants). The map is a dry wasteland with humans sparsely populated here and there along with small amounts of plant life. Unlike in America, an actual cure for the RAD virus can be found here in post-flash Osaka, something that the United States would not have something similar to for a while.
Rockport was one of the areas chosen by the ACMF for their invasion during the war, and their numbers are strong here. A prewar Coast Guard base serves as local USCPF headquarters, and several scrap towns can be found in the area, among which Docktown and Tracktown. At the moment, the remnants of the ACMF hold an old bombed-out town, but barely ever come out to do harm, as they know they are in the minority here. The nearby city of Rockport is held by several factions, although parts of it are considered neutral. Around this time, CDF and USCPF are equal in technological strength.
Before and during the war, Pearl Harbor became a massive naval hotspot for the Pacific Fleet, and the Leeward Community College expanded massively for drone specializations, as well as coast guard operations. Defenses were installed around this part of the city, but not anywhere else. During the nuclear attacks, Pearl City was fairly lucky, being hit by only two warheads. Both these warheads detonated in roughly the same spot, obliterating only the areas west of what is now Cranetown. There is a ship stranded nearby, this is a Zumwalt-class destroyer known as the USS Erwin. A few years ago, the Atlanta Crisis occurred in Atlanta, a major conflict between the USCPF and the CDF regarding land and resources. This resulted in the USCPF splitting along ideological and geographical lines. Both USCPFs still have similar missions, and maintain contact with each other. However, the East USCPF is at war with the CDF, whereas the West USCPF isn't. Peace is only an illusion, however, and war could break out at any time in two notable hotspots: Los Angeles or Pearl City.
When the Atlanta Crisis happened in 2096, a distinct split formed between the Southern and Northern States.The United States of America controls the North and the People's Republic of Tidewater controls the South. After a series of raids and battles over the next 6 years, a distinct border between the two countries formed along the Halfmoon Creek in Georgia. Although the war has simmered down in the intervening years, there is a growing unrest in the country. Political leaders are being assassinated, trade organizations are having their merchandise sacked and destroyed, and people are going missing. Somewhere between 50% and 70% of the population in this area before the war has moved either further North or further South, depending on where they lived at the time of the Atlanta Crisis. Most homes and buildings are abandoned. Not only is this area on the brink of conflict, it's also the home for countless bandits, mercenaries, and black market dealers. Only the most hardy of men and women still thrive along this river. The biggest city in North America at the moment, New Atlanta, lies just a few miles South of the Halfmoon Creek. A few rather large US cities, like Hanover and Wilmington, lie a few miles North from the river. Many black market deals and shady organizations reside in Hanover and New Atlanta.