The date is August 18, 2010 and Rodney Davidson is arriving in Tokyo, Japan at the invitation of his maternal grandfather, Isamu Shimizu. Rod is a fan of Anime and Manga, coming from the Arlington, Virginia area in the United States. He is fairly excited about arriving in Japan, eager to explore the city that is the location and source for most of his favorite anime / manga series. Meeting him at the airport is Brawyn Flannrua, who recently returned to Japan at the behest of Isamu as well. Unfortunately for both of them, the Arashi offshoot of the Shimizu clan has plans for both Rod and the Rakurai amulet held in keeping at the shrine. They have agents in place to intercept Rod at the airport, an encounter Brawyn and Rodney share which comes back to haunt them later…
Over seven years before, the world underwent a drastic ‘Change’. Before this Change (as it is called) took place, the world had progressed as much as we know it with the exception of rumors of a fantastic archeological discovery in Iraq. The discovery pertained (so rumored) to a hereto forth unknown weapon of massive destructive properties uncovered in the region where the Tigris river ran past Al Kut. These rumors circulated the globe from Iraq after the Desert Storm War (1991) and the beginning of the World Terrorism crisis after 9/11, perhaps prompting the events leading to the U.S. led coalition invasion of that country. The true nature of the discovery of course was kept under tight wraps by the Iraqi government, and only the barest of bits of information ever reached the ears of the Western scientific community. Rumors abounded from the possible discovery of a civilization that predated the earliest known of mankind, to a possible ancient alien stronghold. Later over the next few years, information leaked out of strange occurrences at the dig site in Iraq, and even a few deaths.
In March 2003 the invasion of Iraq was initiated by the U.S. led coalition after many diplomatic maneuverings and failings which set off a series of events that reshaped the globe forever. Acting on intelligence reports of a possible Iraqi WMD storage / research facility based out of the Iraqi dig site, the Coalition targeted it during their initial airstrike. Less than four hours after the attack, the world was thrown into chaos, whether as a deliberate response to the attack or an accident, no one knows for certain. Whatever scientific discoveries made at the site, or the implications behind them, faded into the world wide anarchy caused when over five percent of the world’s population died horribly, another small portion of humanity then developing abilities that were once the realm of science fiction. World governments were overthrown, the resultant upheavals causing borders to be changed and laws rewritten in the space of a few months. The United Nations became a more active and dominant force worldwide, prompted by geopolitical reactions to the event, giving broad powers to the United States and its allies to react to situations once the purview of national jurisdiction. Many nations turned to the organization for support and assistance with the new factors that now faced all humanity. The U.N. was viewed as having the interests of the World in its care, overriding nationalistic concerns and was given force backed by the new strategic interests of the United States.
However, no explanation of the cause of the Change has come from Iraq, as it seems to have been as affected as the rest of the World by the events of March 2003. Saddam Hussein’s government was dissolved, the dictator himself either in hiding or killed. Iraq itself was declared a ‘protectorate’ of the United Nations, a model that was developed for other ‘trouble spots’ deemed worthy of administration by the world body. NATO flyovers and spy satellite photos revealed no evidence of any technological or military buildup anywhere in its territories and spies reported no evidence of any information related to the dig site or cause for the Change. Officially the site was destroyed beyond recovery by the bombing, nothing remaining to be examined or investigated save rubble among the sand.
Presently mankind is beginning to adjust to the situation and thinks the worst is over, each belief and nation turning to the age old questions and ideals that were challenged or reaffirmed by the new state of mankind. However, as the world seems to settle into this new era, another factor intervenes, caused by events both recent and ancient. This is our story….