Our tale of treachery begins within The Great Empire built upon the ruins of the Great War. At first, the Great Empire fostered commerce and innovation across the planet. But over time, corruption and theft rose, enemies and debt grew and complacency set in. Allies and enemies alike used the Empire's questionable debt and 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 another year and created the impetus for... The Vaccine!
The mRNA Vaccine was released but only to the major Anglo countries of The Empire - USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand. More traditional remedies were used in Africa, Russia and China. Gradually, the vax killed and crippled millions of people under cover 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.
With the Great Empire crippled and bankrupt, its military weakened and leadership corrupted and in disarray, Russia seized the moment, invaded and conquered their desired domain, the European continent.
In tandem with Russia, China invaded and conquered their desired domain, too; Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand, cutting off critical technology from The Empire. The Empire's credit fizzled out, many citizens were bankrupted and impoverished, and a long-term malaise settled over the land.