It's a little hard to look at the material below and not get a bit freaked out over how fast time passes. I wrote this extension to the I.S.T. timeline in the middle of 2000, as best as I can recall, and at that point it had been almost ten years since GURPS I.S.T. had come out. And now as I write this intro to the (slightly) revised 1990s timeline, it's another eight years on top of that. Add in nearly two years it took to get I.S.T. from idea to print, and we're talking two entire decades here.

That's way too freaking much of my life.

I wouldn't have missed it for anything.

This page was originally written as an article for SJG's Pyramid magazine, back when it was still on paper. But putting it together took so long that by the time it was ready, Pyramid had gone electronic. And the editor at the time -- I forget who it was now -- rejected it for being too long. I never understood that -- it was a web article, they didn't have a page count to adhere to, after all. Oddly, I got that distinct impression that they might have considered it had they still been paper. Weird. So I put it up here instead, where it seems to have reached a far wider audience, if the citations and references I've come across on UseNet, the Web, and the occasional book are any indication.

Anyway, with the redesign of my website in 2008, I've had the opportunity (and the motivation) to go back over all this material and clean it up a bit -- there's nothing more annoying than a typo or a bollixed phrase that you've known about and kept forgetting to fix for ten years. So what you're getting now is version 1.1, the (mildly) new and improved timeline. And if it helps get me off my duff and into finally writing an "IST World in the 2000s" article, well, that's just gravy.

But no promises there.

-- Bob Schroeck, 11 July 2008

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Classification Date: 2002-11-17
Author: Sabreshark (IST SN 00032234)
Abstract: Archived UNET Online Seminar Transcript, 12 June 2000


Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to IST Online Seminar HI98-DA.1, An Overview of World History in the 1990s. There are no required texts for this seminar; optional supplementary materials are available on your embassy mainframes or through UNET archives in category HS, section 9.

You will see that the bottom third of your screens now displays the seminar handout, a scrollable hypertext timeline from 1990 to the present. Feel free to annotate and hyperlink your copies as you see fit, but please be aware that each timeline entry is already prelinked to relevant detailed texts in the IST/UN databases, as well as independent third-party archives on the Internet.

Now that we have that out of the way, let us begin.

It is difficult to sum up the events of the 1990s in a single, glib phrase. The decade began promisingly enough, with the defeat and capture of Hussein, the beginning of trade with the Meeranon, and the growing democratization of the former Soviet states. But sadly, no unabatedly positive trend emerged from 1990.

International Politics

In general, the atmosphere of hope and cooperation that characterized the 1980s seemed to peter out in the 1990s. Even as international programs such as the UN space effort exhibited unprecedented success, extremist nationalism and other chauvinisms demonstrated that they were far from dead. These forces re-emerged to erode the spirit of worldwide unity that initially seemed to be the legacy of the 1980s.

Two of the most notable nations in this regard were the Peoples' Republic of China and the United States of America. China, already an outlaw state at the start of the decade, seemed determined to demolish the authority and respect of the United Nations. They were helped in this by a growing isolationist and in fact xenophobic movement within American politics, a reaction to the perceived liberal excesses of the 80s and early 90s.

As the "America First" movement grew in power, the American political climate grew increasingly hostile to the U.N. and its goals. Whether President Buchanan actually subscribed to the paranoid "New World Order" thinking sweeping the nation, or simply paid opportunistic lip service to it, the fact is the effective withdrawal of the United States from active participation in the United Nations severely weakened the U.N.'s prestige and power.

As a result, China and other rogue nations perceived a growing weakness in the organization's ability to preserve international peace. In particular, over the last few years China has taken advantage of the Hong Kong situation and the U.N.'s crumbling influence to position itself for expansion into disputed and desired areas of Asia. This done, it has begun making explicit challenges to the U.N. and its forces. As the millenium draws to a close, the PRC's apparent eagerness to engage the U.N. in a battle of wills is the single greatest threat to the security of the world currently extant.

Several smaller nations across the globe also endanger international peace. The worst of these have left Latin America a fermenting pot of tensions and hair-trigger tempers. The Cuban-Guatemalan alliance of the past three years, and its near-successful invasion of El Salvador, have shaken up many of the governments in the region. Even though the U.N. successfully repelled the coalition forces, confidence in the organization is at an all-time low.

Conversely, the Middle East is enjoying its most peaceful era in decades. After Iran and Iraq all but mutually annihilated themselves, there was a noticeable drop in the popularity of fundamentalist Islamic movements and terrorist organizations, with a corresponding stepping back of extremist influence in civil governments. As moderates began moving back into power over the past decade, tensions in the area seem to have eased.

The momentous Israeli-Palestinian accord has also done much to shift the traditional alliances and antagonisms into entirely new configurations. The casual observer should be aware, though, that on a more local level, the old hatreds and rivalries still exist, and frequently erupt in unexpected and violent spasms. A case in point is the angry grass-roots Israeli opposition to the new Palestinian homeland.

Science, Technology, and Magic

Human knowledge made several significant leaps over the past ten years. Not the least of these was the acquisition of and improvement upon the Meeranar warp drive; the technological spin-offs from this program alone have made several dozen millionaires and promise to make as many more. Meanwhile, the first U.N. starship has been built using the improved drive and has already completed its first round-trip journey to Myrr, the Meeranon's homeworld.

Another innovation has rocked the United Nations to its foundations. While since 1982 a number of schemes from tidal power to solar satellites to geothermal energy have been proposed and implemented in an attempt to circumvent the U.N.'s monopoly on hot fusion, the announcement in 1996 that Singaporean researchers had reproduced the secret catalytic process that was the key to the fusion secret irretrievably shattered the only real hold the U.N. had over the major industrial powers. In 1998, the United States put the first alternative fusion plant on line in response to U.N. pressure tactics.

The eruption of the Internet into the public consciousness during the early part of the decade has proven to be a godsend for the U.N. The Net's "native" culture has survived the advent of commercialism and is viewed by the U.N. as being congruent with many of its social goals. However, many governments appear threatened by that culture, as evidenced by sporadic attempts to "filter" and censor the Net throughout the developed world.

The related explosive growth in computer power and capacity even as the price of such technology has plummeted has completely altered the role of the computer in everyday life. To the surprise of researchers, though, the MV-2400 still remains, even after more than a decade, substantially more powerful than any commercially-available system. Not surprisingly then, despite its appearasnce in various unique models, no mass-produced computer of any size has yet manifested sentience.

Powered armor and related weapon technologies continue to advance as well. The IST Powered Infantry Armor of 1999, for example, is far more powerful and better armed than its predecessor of a decade earlier. Unfortunately, so are its public and private counterparts.

On another front, the secret of the Roland Power Cell remains inviolate, despite another decade's worth of prying and analysis by both governments and potential competitors.

Research into magic continues in most nations as well as in the U.N., often cloaked under such euphemisms as "alternative technologies" and "n-dimensional studies" where religious or cultural pressures make more forthright descriptions uncomfortable or dangerous. A joint project between several American and European universities has resulted in the publication of The Whole Earth Grimoire -- a reference book containing just over one hundred "standard" spells culled from the repertoires of mages the world over.

The presence of a number of so-called informational spells in the Grimoire has triggered a long, loud and as-yet unresolved debate on their role in pure research. The potential for accelerating the process of scientific discovery by their use has proven tempting, but the inherent unreliablity of the spells in the hands of even the most expert casters has led more conservative scientists to eschew their use entirely. Regardless, the spells themselves are the subject of intense research, both magical and mundane, to determine the precise mechanisms by which they get their answers, as well as the ultimate source(s) of those answers.

Magical and technological research continue to merge on several other fronts. Some advances have been made in mass-producing minor enchantments, but no commercial-scale successes have yet been forthcoming. A long-term program studying the Blue Demon during its brief periods of capture/regeneration has begun to decipher some of the less-obscure properties of the creature, and hopes to eventually find a way to dispel or destroy the Demon permanently. A similar effort has begun to analyze the mysterious French super known as "La Fusionne" -- with her cooperation.

Business and Industry

The commercial sector continues to grow and adapt with the changes that race through world culture. A score or more high- tech companies have emerged in the wake of stardrive research; a hundred more have grown out of the Internet. The first megacorp has apparently been born in the wake of the U.N.'s space efforts, as General Nippon Orbital Manufacturing formed to take advantage of microgravity fabrication environments and the plunging cost of reaching them. General Nippon has also made several unsuccssful attempts to buy, either into or outright, Roland Power Enterprises.

Trade with the Meeranon has grown extraordinarily profitable for those firms lucky enough to land the few contracts available. Those companies originally based in the United States have of late relocated their corporate headquarters to Canada or Europe as America's growing isolationism manifested in excessive tariffs and actual hostility towards extraterrestrials. With the recent contact with representatives of the Confederation via the Meeranon, an even wider range of trade possibilities have presented themselves.


The proportion of metahumans in the world population remains at roughly one in every 10,000; as usual, this figure assumes that not every potential metahuman actually expresses any paranormal traits. Supers manifesting now, which for the most part are persons born in the early 1980s, are demonstrating a higher proportion of so-called "cosmic" power levels than earlier generations. This lends credence to those theories that suggest the metagenes will continue to reinforce themselves through succeeding generations until all of humanity will display some variety of metafunction.

The Chinese breeding program is presumed to continue unabated and perhaps accelerated. U.N. intelligence suggests that the PRC is using several different eugenics and genetic engineering techniques to increase their effective "yield," although the degree of success they are enjoying is uncertain.

One apparent mystery being investigated by U.N./IST researchers is a new power that may open entirely new avenues of opportunity and threat: world-jumping. The British super known popularly as "Deep Pockets" (because of his talent to pull needed items from thin air) discovered an ability to bodily travel to wherever his items came from during a routine study by U.N. metabiologists. Returning with documentary evidence of his travels, "Deep Pockets" set off a firestorm of interest and investigation that has yet to settle down into anything resembling a conclusion or even a theory.

The ISTs

The past decade has been evolutionary rather than revolutionary where the International Super Teams have been concerned. With the beginning of the 1990s, the basic infrastructure of the Teams was finally cemented into place. The last of the IST training camps were established, with the embassy construction program continuing at a breakneck pace.

As expected, 1995 saw the last planned IST embassy open, and the final retirement or absorbtion of the contracted superteams which had been so key in the early days of the U.N.'s new role. While the exact number fluctuates from week to week due to leaves, retirements and recruitments, the total strength of the International Super Teams at this time hovers somewhere in the vicinity of 1400 metahumans, with at least 20 times that number of normals in the powered infantry.

Argurous Astraph's retirement was hardly the world-shaking event many observers feared it would be, although predictably her choice of Witchwind as her successor prompted protests and complaints the world over. American representatives in particular objected to the selection of a one-time citizen of the former East Germany, but the Security Council approved her promotion and in 1998 she took command of IST New York and the International Super Teams as a whole.

Most importantly, the IST has had to deal with the fallout of the U.N.'s declining prestige. Many potential aggressors seem to believe that the apparent weakening of the U.N. as a world power has resulted in a corresponding weakening of the IST as a military force. The recent willingness of Guatemala and Cuba to enter into open armed conflict, for example, may reflect a subscription to this erroneous belief. While any aggressors operating under this misconception will find themselves quickly disabused of the notion, the disadvantage is that the IST has found itself more likely to be drawn into otherwise-avoidable conflicts.

The United Nations

A number of outside observers have confidently declared that in the light of the events of the 1990s, the "grand experiment" of the activist United Nations and its metapolice has clearly failed. They point to increasing tensions with China, the Latin American conflict, and America's withdrawal from the U.N. as proof that the U.N. should return to the milder, less confrontational style of its earlier decades.

However, many historians and politians do not hesitate to point out that, like many other things, international politics is cyclical. The U.N. may have suffered a loss of prestige and perceived influence during the past decade, but it is far too early to write it off as a world power. It is still the primary arbitrator for the majority of international disputes, its humanitarian efforts continue unabated on a scale never before seen, and it remains the central contact for extraterrestrial trade and diplomacy. The ISTs are still a significant peacekeeping force. Ten years is far too short a time from which to extrapolate a permanent decline, and the future may yet prove the doomsayers wrong.


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Timeline: Key Events in the IST World During the 1990s

U.S. government project to develop a warplane invisible to psi and radar is scrapped with the end of the Cold War.

Regular Earth-Myrr trading route begins, using Meeranar ships.

Romanian civil war ends in March as rebels capture the last supers and secret police loyal to the Ceaucescu government.

Alleged Libyan chemical weapons plant explodes; Qadaffi accuses Israeli agents in an impassioned speech, but stops short of declaring outright war.

Albanian, Iranian and Philippine earthquakes; in all three cases, the Blue Demon appears shortly afterward.

Fidel Castro begins making increasingly apocalyptic speeches against the U.S. and U.N.

The U.N. begins a program of sanctions against China in an attempt to pressure that nation to abandon its metahuman breeding program. China ignores the sanctions.

PLO tacnukes West Bank settlements in retaliation for the murder of 8 Palestinians by a crazed Israeli gunman.

Roger Waters performs "The Wall" in Berlin. The all-star cast includes Songbird of IST Bonn and Doreen "The Seductress" Kano.

Iraq invades and annexes Kuwait. The U.N. votes sanctions against Iraq and shuts down fusion plants in both countries. When troops are not withdrawn, an international force is assembled and deployed, liberating Kuwait. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is taken into custody by members of IST Baghdad.

IST Los Angeles stops a coast-to-coast murder rampage by five escaped metahuman mental patients, only three of whom survive the confrontation. The 'Outcasts' leave a trail of sixty dead in their wake.

Public fear of metahumans begins to increase.

U.N. initiates construction of the Bifrost Bridge Launch Laser/Mass Driver complex at Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Hubble Space Telescope launched, and is found to be slightly defective.

Manuel Noriega convicted of drug trafficking by the World Court at the Hague and sentenced to life imprisonment in an American maximum security prison.

U.N. forces leave Iraq after the election of Tariq Haziz to the presidency of Iraq.

The Soviet Union collapses into separate nations after a failed coup attempt. The Commonwealth of Independent States is created by most of the former Soviet republics.

Yugoslavia disintegrates into several small, squabbling countries.

The World Court at the Hague rules that the MV-2400 is a sentient being due all the rights possessed by all humans. UNESCO immediately places the MV-2400 on its payroll after confirming that the computer wishes to continue working with their researchers.

Iranian forces make incursions into Iraq, but are repulsed by the Iraqi military.

First commercial ground-to-orbit spacecraft launched by General Nippon Orbital Manufacturing, a consortium of Japanese high-tech companies.

Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines erupts. International Weather Organization operatives vainly attempt to contain the ash and smoke from the volcano in order to prevent disruption of world weather patterns.

Increase in Neo-Nazi organizations noted in Germany.

The Warsaw Pact is formally dissolved.

The first serious attempt to implement an alternative to the U.N. fusion monopoly is made with the establishment of a full-scale wave-power station on the British island of Islay. Elsewhere all over the world, research programs into duplicating the U.N. hot fusion process are established or ongoing.

First appearance of "New World Order" conspiracy theory in American political mainstream thought when Republican presidental candidate Patrick Buchanan makes an indirect reference to its tenets during a campaign speech in North Dakota.

The first year's trade with the Meeranon bears little in the way of financial fruit, but the exchange of scientific data -- particularly in the area of metabiology and robotics -- proves profitable for both sides.

Saddam Hussein tried for international aggression and genocide in the World Court at the Hague. He is convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment; he is taken to serve his time at a former Soviet gulag.

General Nippon Orbital Manufacturing announces plans to build a permanent space station housing both research and manufacturing facilities.

U.N. peacekeeping forces enter Somalia for humanitarian relief.

IST Kingston established, providing a permanent Caribbean presence. An unsuccessful attack on the new embassy shortly after its opening ceremonies is traced back to possible Cuban agents.

Civil wars break out in Algeria, the former Yugoslavia, the former Soviet Georgia and Angola.

IST Paris manages to prevent an attempt by terrorists to sieze and sabotage the Croix de Bergny fusion plant. The leader of the terrorists, L'Egoiste, is captured.

Republicans nominate Patrick Buchanan for President of the United States.

Democrats nominate Martin Luther King, Jr. for re-election. A grass-roots smear campaign against King using 25-year-old FBI files is generally attributed to Republican "dirty tricksters."

Hurricane Andrew successfully shut down by the IWO before it could do any damage to the Caribbean.

King re-elected by a narrow margin.

U.N. Conference on Environment and Development (a.k.a. the Earth Summit), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, results in the passage of the so-called Biodiversity Treaty.

Barcelona Olympics. An exhibition team of Meeranon athletes participates in many events which are identical to or close analogues of Meeranar sports, although they are not eligible for medals.

Guatemalan forces make a number of cross-border incursions into Honduran territory, prompting Honduran protests in the General Assembly.

The European Space Agency begins building an orbital "drydock" and space station in preparation for the construction of its long-planned fusion-powered planetary probe ship. About the same time, General Nippon Orbital Manufacturing begins construction of its orbital facility.

Iranian forces invade Iraqi territory, triggering the second Iran-Iraq war. Basra falls to the Iranian army.

The huge Meeranar trading ship known on Earth as "The Behemoth" makes its first arrival in orbit and with U.N. permission delivers nearly 2,500 Meeranon -- representatives of various Meeranar corporations here to establish branch offices.

Petrosian steps down from position of Secretary-General and is replaced by Jey Thanapal of Pakistan.

First working test models of a stardrive based on but not exclusively built from Meeranon technology demonstrated simultaneously by researchers at Princeton University and General Nippon Orbital Manufacturing.

Attempted pro-Communist insurrection in Moscow fails.

First non-Terran illegal immigrant, the fugitive mentat D'Yn, is captured by IST Washington.

Terrorist bombing at the World Trade Center in New York City injures dozens, but no one is killed and the buildngs are not seriously damaged. IST New York is deployed to help police and the FBI identify and arrest the perpetrators.

Hubble Space Telescope fixed.

Iranian forces secure the south-eastern quarter of Iraq and Tehran announces its formal annexation by Iran. Iraq responds by devastating Tehran with several waves of Iraqi SCUD missiles carrying conventional warheads.

Saudi Arabia mobilizes its forces to reinforce its new border with Iran, and in conjunction with Kuwait asks the U.N. to reinstate the Desert Shield/Storm multinational task force. The General Assembly approves the request, and Operation Shield Wall is emplaced within a month.

The third year of regular trade with Myrr brings with it the first significant quantities of physical trade goods exchanged -- literature and entertainment items such as films and video games.

After two years with no results, the Security Council issues a new demand that China disband its breeding program, and establishes stronger sanctions. The Chinese government responds with the declaration that the U.N. has no jurisdiction over them, and begins establishing all-supers units in its army.

First Meeranon immigrants petition U.N. for "Earth citizenship."

Branch Davidian debacle in Texas, USA.

Commonwealth of Independent States reports guarded success in the first stage of their transition to a market economy.

Peace talks open between the British government and IRA.

U.N. completes construction of its final permanent IST "boot camp" in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.

Comet Shoemaker-Levy discovered; a Meeranar trade ship is jointly rented by NASA and ESA to follow the comet and study it.

Earthquake in India kills 10,000. The Blue Demon appears and is killed by members of IST New Delhi, who then unsuccessfully attempt to prevent its regeneration/resurrection.

First appearance of active, overt anti-IST sentiment in the United States outside of extremist groups -- small rallies in the Midwest protest the U.N.'s "growing influence" on the U.S. government.

As Iranian Army units prepare to take the Iraqi city of Al Hillah, Iraq launches a massive chemical weapons attack on Tehran, killing at least one million civilians and prompting a visitation by the Blue Demon. The Security Council declares Iraq an "outlaw state." Iraq continues chemical attacks on Iran, and is able to recover much of its lost territory.

The General Assembly approves the construction of the first Earth-made starship, using the same "drydock" facilities being built in orbit for the ESA planetary exploration ship. The General Assembly also approves "Earth Citizenship" petitions from Meeranar immigrants.

The Chinese government executes an Asian-American US citizen whom it claims is a metahuman spy for the U.N.

A tactical nuclear weapon intended for Tel Aviv accidentally detonates in a PLO facility in Sidon, Lebanon, killing dozens of Lebanese and Palestinians and poisoning thousands of others. Israeli military and civilians immediately rush to the aid of the the victims. The fast response saves hundreds of lives.

Genocide in Rwanda triggered by the deaths of the Rwandan and Burundi presidents when their plane is shot down.

Comet Shoemaker-Levy bombards Jupiter. The joint NASA/ESA/Meeranar mission observes and records the effects from a position in orbit several hundred kilometers above the various strike zones. The photos transmitted by the mission are spectacular.

The Internet is discovered by the world at large with the creation of the World Wide Web.

Earthquake in Los Angeles kills 60 and injures 10,000; to the surprise of no one, the Blue Demon shows up.

First reproduceable successes reported from magitech research.

Ceasefire declared in Northern Ireland.

First demonstration of commerical application of Meeranar robotics technology, Xerox PARC, California, USA.

NATO agrees to allow former Warsaw Pact members to join.

North Korean nuclear crisis narrowly averted.

Republicans gain control of the United States Congress.

General Nippon Orbital Manufacturing announces it has made dramatic improvements to the Meeranar stardrive, reducing its fuel consumption substantially.

General Nippon's orbital platform GNRS-1 completed; both the ESA and the U.N. lease facilties and space thereon.

Destruction of alleged Iraqi bioweapons plant by what is believed to have been an Iranian tactical nuclear weapon.

A Dutch corporation claims to have duplicated the U.N. fusion process, but is unable to demonstrate its alleged breakthrough when angry investors demand proof.

Lillehammer Winter Olympics.

The U.N.-owned Bifrost Bridge Launch Laser/Mass Driver complex at Mount Kilimanjaro is completed. First payloads sent into orbit include ESA construction materials and trade goods bound for Myrr.

Kobe earthquate in Japan kills 5,000 and leaves 275,000 homeless. The Blue Demon savages over a hundred survivors before it is brought down once again.

First battlefield use of a tactical nuclear weapon, Iraqi-Iranian disputed territory, as Iran retaliates for continued Iraqi chemical attacks. At the prompting of the Security Council, the General Assembly declares immediate and extensive sanctions against both nations. Operation Shield Wall expanded to other nations bordering Iran and Iraq in an attempt to contain the conflict even as it begins escalating.

Beginning of the "little oil crisis." Petroleum prices go up by 50%, worldwide.

The PLO calls a ceasefire and, through the Palestinian Government in Exile, makes its first proposal to the Israeli government for peace talks.

Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA is partially destroyed by a bomb. IST Dallas participates in the ensuing investigation.

The European Space Agency orbital space station/drydock is completed. Construction is subsequently begun on the ESA's fusion-powered spaceship, the Ulysee Merou.

AUM nerve gas attack in Tokyo kills dozens and results in one known mutation. To the surprise of IST Tokyo and other assembled specialists, the Blue Demon does not appear.

Fiftieth anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings are observed with ceremonies at their respective IST embassies. The memorial services are broadcast worldwide.

Through an act of the United Nations, the IST Academy is established. Although primarily intended to groom future menbers of the Teams, it is open to all young metahumans regardless of their career plans.

International Olympic Committee votes to allow Meeranar athletes the probationary right to compete for medals in those events where they are on a reasonably even footing with humans.

China holds extensive military exercises involving both normal and metahuman troops in the Formosa Strait, near Taiwan. The exercises continue for several weeks, until the U.N. begins to transfer peacekeeping forces to Taiwan and the Philippines.

U.N. peacekeeping forces attempt to enter Iran-Iraq conflict zone, but are fired upon by both sides. After an unsuccessful chemical weapons attack on them, the U.N. forces are withdrawn from the warzone except for an occasional humanitarian mission.

Ebola outbreak in Zaire is identified and contained by U.N. medical teams.

Guatemalan-Cuban summit marks first meeting of Hoyo and Glasser with Castro.

The U.N. celebrates its 50th anniversary.

The last planned IST embassy opens in Hyderabad, India.

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks open. Jordan and Israel sign a treaty.

UNET connects to the Internet. The MV-2400 figures out how to reach USENET, and begins a personal, large-scale Turing Test.

Hypercoagulin and other TL8 medicines made commercially available in most Western nations.

Last interim U.N. superteam contract expires.

IWO handles a record ten hurricanes in the Caribbean.

Total number of Meeranon on Earth reaches 25,000.

Despite international protests, China conducts a series of aboveground nuclear tests.

Singapore officials announce that government-funded researchers have identified and reproduced the catalytic process that is key to the U.N. fusion secret.

Members of IST Ankara intercept an Iran-bound shipment of twelve 10-kiloton "pony nukes" believed to be from Libya.

The Second Iran-Iraq War ends in an exchange of chemical and nuclear weapons, devastating both nations' capital cities as well as hundreds of square miles of land on either side. U.N. troops enter both countries in order to provide humanitarian aid and to prevent total social collapse.

End of the "little oil crisis."

After several years of occasionally-volatile negotiations with various governments, the Independent Metahuman Ethics Committee establishes a European division.

Cuban jets shoot down two American civilian airplanes, killing hundreds of innocents.

The USA tightens its embargo on Cuba.

Bombing at the Atlanta Olympics leaves 30 dead and hundreds injured. Right-wing anti-U.N. and anti-IST groups suspected.

Republicans nominate Patrick Buchanan for President of the US.

Democrats nominate Vice-President Michael Dukakis for President.

The Security Council urges the United Kingdom to not return Hong Kong as the sanctions against China are re-examined and expanded further.

Israeli Prime Minister Rabin assassinated.

China repeats its Formosa Strait military exercises.

North Korean tensions increase as it moves troops into the Demilitarized Zone.

The Gordon DeFontaine Memorial Fund, dedicated to the establishment of a memorial to fallen members of the IST powered infantry, is established. Kent Masefield, a former U.N. consultant and an occasional member of the Independent Metahuman Ethics Committee, acts as its spokesman.

The number of private militias in the United States surges.

Patrick Buchanan elected as President of the United States.

Nicola Friedman of Denmark elected as new U.N. Secretary-General when Jey Thanapal's term ends.

Guatemala and Cuba sign mutual defense pact.

The design for the U.N. starship is finally settled.

Patrick Buchanan sworn in as President of the United States. His inauguration speech denounces U.N. ambitions to be a world government.

The Ulysee Merou christened in orbit and launched on its first mission, a pursuit of Comet Hale-Bopp, followed by a survey of Mars, with a crew of 45 humans and 10 Meeranon.

Construction of the U.N.-funded starship is begun in the ESA spacedock facility. An international contest is held to name the ship, results to be announced in early 1998.

Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping dies.

After a year of refugee relocation and decontamination efforts, WHO and FAO jointly declare the former Iran-Iraq war zone a long-term disaster area, unfit for human habitation. U.N. occupation continues as interim governments finally begin to coalesce out of the two nations' remains.

In the United Kingdom, Parliament votes to retain control of Hong Kong.

Bucahnan administration enacts tariffs on Meeranar goods and raises barriers to the immigration of Meeranon.

EEC announces plans to open membership to Eastern European nations.

Despite a small increase in Chinese forces outside the city, the deadline for the transfer of control of Hong Kong passes without incident.

Tokyo attacked by a giant saurian creature of unknown origin; IST Tokyo and Japanese supers repel the beast, which vanishes into the Pacific ocean. A U.N. science team is dispatched to investigate and track the creature.

Pathfinder probe lands on Mars.

After many ups and downs, the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks result in a joint accord that promises the establishment of a Palestinian homeland by 1999.

In response to public pressure in part orchestrated by the Gordon DelaFontaine Memorial Fund, the General Assembly votes to create a memorial to fallen members of the IST powered infantry. A competition is begun to find the best design.

Princess Diana of Wales dies in an automobile accident.

Mother Theresa dies.

President Buchanan announces the United States' intention not to pay the nation's U.N. dues during a speech given to members of a radical right-wing think-tank.

Reports of genocide in the former Yugoslavia filter out to the world at large.

The whimsically-named Whole Earth Grimoire is published by a collective magical research team established by several American and European universities.

Pacific Ocean El Nino phenomenon produces unexpected and often devastating weather throughout the world, despite the best efforts of the IWO.

As the Cuban economy approaches total collapse, near-famine conditions in Cuba are only slightly alleviated by aid provided by Guatemala. Castro ends the year with a speech blaming the U.N. and the United States for his nation's starved and impoverished condition.

U.N. forces begin investigating accusations of Yugoslav atrocities.

Ted Turner donates one billion US dollars to the Independant Metahuman Ethics Committee.

The U.N. starship approaches completion in orbital spacedock as the United Nations announces the selection of the name "UNSS Wanderer" from the contest entries submitted over the past year and a half from around the world.

Russian President Boris Yeltsin fires his cabinet and prime minister, triggering a crisis of public opinion in Russia.

After receiving a threat of fusion power termination over the U.S.'s refusal to pay its U.N. dues, President Buchanan announces the completion of the first American fusion plants using the Singapore discovery of 1996. Washington DC is pre-emptively disconnected from U.N.-generated power by Federal officials.

Border clashes between Guatemala and its neighbors raise Central American tensions.

Thanks to an informant, IST Miami thwarts an attempt to bring a Cold War-vintage one-megaton nuclear bomb into Miami, Florida on a cigarette boat. The plot is traced back to Cuban agents, and over the objections of the Security Council, President Buchanan orders an air strike on Cuban military installations.

U.N./IST efforts to thwart the American airstrike on Cuba are not completely effective, and several targets are hit. Castro vows vengeance. Buchanan threatens to evict the U.N. from New York.

Israeli and Palestinian officials announce a tentative agreement on the location of the new Palestinian homeland.

Conservative religious groups in both the United States and several Islamic nations independently protest IWO "interference" with "the weather intended for us by God."

The U.N. announces the selection of a winner in the competition to design the IST Powered Infantry Memorial. Submitted by Celestine Wu of Hong Kong, the ampitheatre-like memorial is slated for completion by late 1999.

Last American company doing regular business with the Meeranon relocates to Canada.

Argurous Astraph retires; Witchwind of IST Tokyo is promoted to replace her over objections by the American and British governments.

Protests erupt in several American cities over Witchwind's appointment to commander in chief of the IST after Vice-President Robertson publicly declares Warrior more fit for the job.

Chinese establish several permanent military bases within twenty-five miles of Hong Kong. Great Britain increases troop deployment in Hong Kong.

El Salvador invaded by Guatemalan troops. The U.N. responds with a defensive force composed of both IST and conventional forces. In response to this U.N. "aggression," Cuba provides military support to the Guatemalan forces. Secretary-General Friedman calls the Guatemalan-Cuban alliance "a marriage made in Hell."

The UNSS Wanderer leaves Earth orbit on its inaugural voyage to the Meeranar homeworld, escorted by the "Behemoth."

President Buchanan denounces the Chinese threat to Hong Kong and offers military aid to Great Britain. Great Britain accepts.

Relations between China and the other major powers continue to deteriorate.

Doomsday cults appear in many Western and Middle Eastern nations.

Israeli settlers resist efforts of their government to relocate them prior to establishment of Palestinian homeland.

The Wanderer returns from Myrr carrying trade goods and representatives of an interstellar civilization with whom the Meeranon have just had a first contact: the Confederation.

Bete Noire (Haitian national, IST San Salvador) dies in single combat with Doctor Radiation as combined Guatemalan/Cuban forces besiege the Salvadoran capitol.

IST and mundane U.N. forces from all over the globe are redeployed in El Salvador via "bucket brigade" teleportation. While the sudden influx of troops does not catch the invaders by surprise, the reinforcements do turn the tide; over the course of the next week, the Guatemalan and Cuban troops are forced to fall back to the original border, where the U.N. forces stop.

Suicide bomber attempts to get into the United Nations complex in NY, but is detected and apprehended. He detonates his explosive in the plaza outside the public entrance to the U.N., killing himself, 37 civilians and two members of IST New York, and severely damaging the facade of the building. While the bomber was affiliated with a fundamentalist Islamic group, investigation reveals he was equipped and encouraged by Cuban agents.

Public funeral for Polymatrix and le Fantome d'Orleans of IST New York is attended by thousands.

In the wake of a series of devastating tornadoes in the American Midwest, demonstrations are held protesting the IWO's perceived negligence in not shutting the storms down completely.

Chinese forces clash with American and British soldiers on the border between Hong Kong and China. China severs diplomatic relations with the US and Great Britain and establishes "shoot on sight" zone around the city.

Chinese government increases troop presence in the various bases outside Hong Kong.

Border clashes begin increasing in frequency in the Korean DMZ.

Precognitives the world overgrow concerned about near-universal visions of inspecific disaster in the year 2000.

IST Powered Infantry Memorial is unveiled in September.

As the date of Palestine's independence approaches, Israeli settlers in Palestinian territory resort to greater and greater extremes of violence. Israeli mobs twice attempt to storm the temporary seat of the new Palestinian government, only to be repulsed by joint Palestinian-Israeli military forces.

Omega Saints, a British-based doomsday cult, attempts a mass killing in England by dosing the paper napkin supply for a major fast food chain with a slow-acting contact nerve toxin. The plot is foiled when SuperTemps employee Samuel "Kem King" Mulrooney, on assignment checking for industrial pollutants in the neighborhood, accidentally discovers the contamination before the napkins leave the warehouse.

As the end of December approaches, Chinese troops begin to mass outside of Hong Kong and along the Korean DMZ.

Millennial celebrations across the globe as 1999 comes to a close.

This page was created on September 11, 2000.
Last modified December 12, 2013.