How It All Began
Is this the world we created, we made it on our own/Is this the world we devastated, right to the bone
–Queen, “Is This The World We Created?”
Human culture at 2030 is self-destructing at a more accelerated rate than ever before. Blooded corporations and ruthless business warlord tycoons own everything. There are hardly any small businesses left, and mom-and-pop establishments, bodegas and yard sales are a thing of distant memory.
In 2020, there came The Turning Point. The worldwide economy crashed with a resultant nuclear-level destructive implosion. Apparently it is possible to buy the finances of an entire planet, because that’s exactly what a group calling themselves the Committee orchestrated in a successful, unrelenting and mostly hidden coup.
The most powerful forces in the world– the identity of some an enormous, unwelcome shock to the general public– comprised this ‘elite institution’ and it wasn’t long before they controlled the militaries, medias and governments of the world. They even rebooted the Internet, except now it’s called DigiWeave, and it’s much more heavily screened.
The ruling bodies are made up of a horrifically diverse laundry list of corrupt creatures: CEOs of the biggest corporations from all sectors, the most jagged and shark-sharp legal officials, smilingly noxious politicians, the richest and seediest pimps and human traffickers, arms dealers, drug cartel owners and influential mobsters, the most hated and feared mercenary companies, and those most terrifying of all–the quiet ones we don’t know anything about.
I wish we could call them thugs in suits, but they’re not. They’re efficient, calculating, hungry, dogmatic, unpredictable, brilliant and chilling. Clinically precise in every move they make, even when taking over the entire damned world they never spilled any excess blood, didn’t seem to tamper with fundamental human rights, and were very careful to always be politically correct.
“Look at us,” they seem to say beneath their smiles and hairstyles not an inch out of place, brimming with eager questions you don’t realize are all pre-recorded and rhetorical. “All we’re trying to do is help people. Didn’t we save the economy when the world thought it was the Apocalypse? Are we tyrants demanding your firstborn children, or are we heroes just looking out for the greater good?”
M.U.S.E has had to learn the hard way that it’s much harder to open the eyes of an entire world to injustice when it’s cloaked in the golden benevolence only a true predator is capable of mastering. And it’s even harder when everyone seems to have their eyes firmly shut in an infant’s temper tantrum, or more accurately like a fearful child closing their eyes in the breathless hopes of blocking out the monster under their beds.
Alpha to Omega, Genesis to Revelation/The meek shall inherit but they’re still miseducated/By the colonized mind idolized in America/New people’s era once again break the barriers/To crush, kill, destroy
–Blue Scholars ‘The Long March’
Over the past ten years the Committee has steadily warped the fabric of our society at the seams, right under our noses, without causing many blinks. M.U.S.E members don’t know exactly when our founders started to revolt under the radar, but some of the older ones hint that both M.U.S.E and the Committee both date back far beyond The Turning Point.
J’hela, our founding Council and the creators of M.U.S.E, began to actively recruit from those of us who were still awake. Often deemed outcasts or lost souls by an uncaring society, they gathered us in and showed us a better way: to battle their destruction with our creation. Since my surrogate mother/father TJ, my best friend Isis’s mother and Ash’s aunt Johanna and my occasional mentor Coyote are all Bones– cell leaders of M.U.S.E— it seems inevitable that I wound up a MUSE operative.
I came of age (they don’t allow us to fight until we turn 25) a few years after the worst had passed. For the first 5 years after their world coup, there came a time known by most as “The Gold Quarter.” Those of us who chose to fight back had a rather different moniker for it. For us, those were The Breaking Times.