The Third World War:
In 2019, the information hacking cartels of Africa and the former Russian Republics were able to unify and acquire the nuclear launch codes for Russian and British ICBM and sea based launch vehicles. With this threat at their disposal, they intended to bring the governments of NATO to their knees and plunder their resources. They called their organization the O.P.E. or Omni-Present Eye. Counter hacking arms of the NATO nations had developed to an extremely sophisticated level, however. Although the physical locations of the hacker cells could not be found, their information servers were. Once digitally infiltrated by NATO and United Nations programmers, OPE quickly lost its ability to wield the nuclear arsenals and, thus, lost their ability to threaten.
However, they were not to lose the war. While the NATO nations were infiltrating OPE servers, OPE had laid a Trojan horse trap for them. They were easily able to utilize the coding used by the governments to reverse engineer the banking and financial markets of the world. Within minutes of the NATO attack, dozens of trillians of Euros were taken from the global banks and erased. This drove the value of global currencies into incalculable deflation and individuals with a few Euros or Dollars on hand could purchase small cities.
With the global economy in ruins, OPE quickly moved its attacks to personal information. Having given the economic power of the world to the people, and holding the personal information of those people, OPE once again turned its computing prowess to military might, but this time it destroyed all military communications including space-borne systems. In their last sortie to disrupt society, OPE infiltrated the hub-plexes of the internet and installed Trojan horses on every server to be able to monitor, hack, hijack and decrypt all information sent across the world-wide-web.
Unable to mobilize military powers, send information securely, receive government services or have any ability to earn wages, the citizens of the Western World devolved into Anarchy. In the dead cold of the Winter of 2020, with millions dying of exposure, suicide and starvation, it was the North American Union which took the plunge back to the technology of 1960. Within weeks, analog telephone lines were reactivated and restrung. Radiophonic devices and AM/FM/UHF/VHF communications went back online. By the Spring of 2020, The NAU had it’s military mobilized and on the offensive against the seemingly unstoppable hackers using Vietnam War area technology. Following the NAU lead, Russia, was easily able to make the transition to 20th century tech while the European powers lagged behind. The entire governmental system was unified in it’s desire to seek out and eradicate the OPE and return society to 21st century life by using the technology of its grandparents.
The first success occurred in October of 2020 when CIA operatives were able to apprehend a Hacker cell in Prague. Under torture the OPE agents were unable to reveal the nature of their superiors. However, similar successful raids rendered the hacker cells easier and more obvious. By the end of 2020, it appeared that the war against OPE was being won.
However, the hackers were a long way from being finished. They simply went silent. When the internet was declared “safe” again, the barrage of information which once again freely flowed was easily tagged and decoded by the OPE. By 2023, investor confidence had been restored and the monetary system in most UN countries had stabilized, amazingly. However, on October 25th, 2023, OPE struck and again erased all currency from banks, but this time, cash had been outlawed throughout the globe, and there was no currency to be had digitally. Moreover, OPE began melting down nuclear reactors killing hundreds of thousands of people in every major nation.
By now, however, the governments of the world understood how to deal with digital warfare, and they had devised super-power algorithms and Artificial Intelligences connected to the most powerful computers in the world to “push back.” While millions of people again died from starvation and the cities of the world melted down, the OPE was systematically and brutally destroyed without a bullet being fired. By the end of 2024, all of the OPE heads had been killed or incarcerated. But the damage had been done.
The people of the world were afraid, and they had lost complete faith in their governments’ ability to protect them. In the ensuing anarchy, many governments failed, and the United Nations was forced to step in and create a one-world government under one law system so that the people and economies of the world could peacefully continue in civilization.
It took decades to restore the damage which was done. The leaders of the world realized the people needed a dream to unite them in spirit. And taking a page from JFK’s playbook, and with the help of the invention of the Anti-Gravity projector in 2023, the human race looked to the stars. And with the moon and Mars now within several hours reach, colonization and mining of the inner – and soon outer – planets began.
But still the people of earth were split and held to their belief of nationalism. It wasn’t until late in the 21st century when Terrans were forced to unite against alien foes that GADEA was formed in 2085. But by then, the horrors of the Third World War or the “Hacker War” as it was called, had been fully healed in the realized dream of space flight.