Our tale of treachery begins within The Great Empire forged from the ruins of the Great War. At first, the Great Empire fostered commerce and innovation across the planet. Over time, corruption rose, debt grew and complacency settled in. Allies and enemies exploited the Empire's debt and low morality to bribe and blackmail its leaders. Eventually a Strategic Plan emerged...
As the Great Empire teetered on bankruptcy, a virus was released across the world. Perhaps by an enemy, perhaps an ally or perhaps by The Empire itself. The virus was long on fear and short on death but it justified a spending spree of trillions to keep the Great Empire going until... the Vaccine!
The mRNA Vaccine was released but only to the major Anglo countries of The Empire - USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand. Africa, Russia and China chose more traditional medicine. The vax gradually killed and crippled millions under the protection of compromised corporate and government leaders. Industries were disrupted, bankruptcies rose, health care costs skyrocketed, shortages appeared. Inflation increased, the military suffered a major defeat in Afghanistan and many soldiers fell ill.
As the Great Empire lay crippled with a weak military and corrupt leadership in disarray, Russia seized the moment to invade their target domain, the European continent.
In tandem with Russia, China invaded Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand, blocking The Empire from critical technology. The Empire's credit fizzled out, many citizens were impoverished and a dark malaise settled over the land.