Summer, 2087

With the Chinese “Operation Bleeding Lotus” well underway, Japan is in a state of crisis. With a totally unprepared force, combined with a semi-unstable transition of power within the old Japanese Corporate State, the timing was too perfect, for the Chinese to do some serious damage to the small series of islands.

At first, life went on as normal within the high-tech island, with the two sister megacities of Tokyo, and Ukiyo City, located on Japanese Hong Kong, essentially ignoring it, just as they would any sort of constant flow of information, fed directly to the individual. Talks were panicked, at first, but then quickly subsided, as society found something else, to focus it’s attention on.

But, that all quickly changed, as the Government Police, entitled GOVPOL, a state-mandated security force dedicated to the self-defense of the nation, was quickly battle-damaged, to the point of near non-function. Numerous coastal cities on the west, were the first to be totally occupied, in a series of massacres and invasions which shocked the nation.

Every media corpo-exec was quick to jump on the story, some of which purposely twisted facts in order to attempt to use their own greed, to function in a way that benefits themselves. Others, lower-level employs for these media corporations, often-times lost their lives, trying to report objectively, due to the invading Chinese forces incredibly brutal assault on the island.

Civil unrest within the major cities grew, with a severe lack of trust in the current corporate state, leading to an incredibly high turnover rate within the higher echelons of the country itself – it seemed like anyone with a name and face willing to represent the Japanese Government, wasn’t about to stick around – or were cycled out of their positions.

Series abuses of human rights were recorded, the barbaric assault on the once-gleaming cities of Japan rippling through the nation so badly, that in some sub-districts of Tokyo, the role of the government began to fall apart.

The central “core” of the current Japanese State was once again, very quick to capitulate – selling out to private corporations, or being bullied by other various entities. Shinjuku and Shibuya were quickly snapped up by the widely-known group “Shinjuku Clan,” a historically Yakuza-aligned group that quickly made it’s way into the mainstream, by doubling up with a corporate front, a thin veil over the original Clan. In these two cities, they set themselves up as the provisional government, quickly mandating authoritarian measures and cracking down on the press, to deeply freeze the current tensions, within the nation.

In some cases, the approval rating of these private groups, acting as the provisional government in areas, fared far better than the original government, itself.

It wasn’t long before the entire country was virtually swamped, almost close to total capitulation, save for some of the regions that were taken over by private entities. Tokyo was, and currently remains to be, in a state of complete, and utter disrepair – though livable.

The constant use of totally automated, non-sapient AI-driven machines of war by China, versus the combined human, synthetic, and non-sapient-android had caused such acts of utter chaos, such hellish carnage in the mainland, that as photos of it were disseminated across the SprawlNET on the planet, the world nearly stood still – watching as yet another massacre occurred, at the hands of China, or The Great Kingdom of Britannia – sometimes together.

Quickly, the remaining executives of the Japanese Corporate State called a meeting, to settle the score, once and for all. This time, they called upon The Triumvirate, the enigmatic, massive, global megacorp, which was created during Formation Day – a Day that refers to the creation of the Pacific States of Cascadia.

The Triumvirate quickly extended a tendril, over to the Japanese State, almost seemingly overnight, they integrated themselves into the state, and a new governing body was announced: JTRI.

Almost immediately, the word was put out to the citizens of Cascadia, behind the massive walls, of the planet’s most advanced city, as a means to attempt to progress forwards in terms of solving their own income inequality, within their country – by developing CHESPA.

For characters that are returning, from Chromed Out 1, the context for you coming to Japanese Hong Kong, is because you’ve taken up The Triumvirate on the offer of partaking in CHESPA. CHESPA is a program that was marketed primarily as an “employment abroad” program, geared mainly towards individuals that considered themselves “solos” – self-modified mercenaries, that walk the streets in search of any sort of physical, mercenary work that they can get their hands on.

The general promise on behalf of The Triumvirate, was that an individual could perform an 18-month visit, to Japan, and link up with a variety of security groups, to help assist with stability/cleanup operations – knowing full-well that not every city is nearly as advanced as Cascadia, which has done it’s part in connecting futuristic cities by linking everything to “The SprawlNET,” a massive network that handles interactivity between people, places, and things. Any city on the SprawlNET has it’s own “SprawlROOT,” a massive data-farm that handles all things in regards to the NET, networking, and infrastructure, be it physical, or digital information.

Participants were given a direct payment, based on their total net worth, and wealth-bracket, and after signing a few waivers, were transported by sea, and by air, to Ukiyo City, in Japanese Hong Kong – one of the last semi-safe cities, that resembled anything close to a normal life.

But, it was quickly figured out that the situation was a little bit more complex, than initially believed.

The geographic location of Ukiyo City, being on an island, as close to mainland China, in fact closer to it, than Mainland Japan, made it a prime target for threatening acts of wanton destruction, by the major imperial power, directly to their north. An amassing of Chinese troops, machines, and other war-time assets, appeared across the sea, on the coast, and in the port city of Shenzhen – a very threatening act. And as defensive measures escalated, in order to push the Chinese out of the mainland, through a combined offensive of civilian combatants, insurgents, war-tourists, and JTRI officials, the Chinese reformed, in Shenzhen, in preparation to attempt to completely re-take Hong Kong, by way of Ukiyo City.

The initial stage of this involved long periods of artillery shelling, surgical strikes, to harass the forces and population of Ukiyo City, until a system similar to The Iron Dome, was constructed. And ever since the major anti-air, anti-rocket/missile system was put in place, the population of Ukiyo City, has seen an uptick in covert acts of terrorism, and guerrilla warfare, used by biological and synthetic infantry, within the country. Cyber-attacks were commonplace, and at one point, the SprawlROOT was attacked, causing a mass data-loss, that resulted in a severe blow to Ukiyo City’s economy.

In response to this, JTRI decided to immediately modify existing legislation that once made Japan a weapon-free country, for civilians – relaxing the laws around firearms, and other types of weaponry and body modification so extensively, that it now gave any citizen of Japan the ability to easily become registered to own, operate, and modify weaponry of any type, to include destructive devices. Restrictions on Body Modification was lifted, giving any citizen access to an easy licensing process to possess, wear/use, modify, or sell, higher-grade WetWare – the general term for modifications of any type to the body and limbs, and ChipWare – the general term for any chip-based modification you can make to WetWare.

The idea behind this process, was that JTRI might be able to provide far more assets than before, for the express purpose of attempting to wage a proxy-war against the Chinese, through using the power of the corporations. A series of extremely extensive tax-breaks to attract larger corporations of all types, to Ukiyo City, was moderately successful – and despite it’s situation, quickly became home to an explosive uptick, in corporate activity.

As Japanese Hong Kong became the focal point for nearly the entire Eastern Hemisphere’s conflicts, it further attracted the attention of important groups, such as cells from intelligence agencies around the world, massive security firms, and genuinely anyone looking for a potentially lucrative opportunity, in exchange for a potential risk of injury, or death.

MillenDyn was one of the first early adopters – and quickly set up shop within Ukiyo City, to provide the infrastructure necessary for individuals to purchase or use a Millen Cube – an extremely important device in the technological advancement of humanity, that allowed an individual to “SoulSync” – or, essentially back their brain, their “image” up to a Millen Cube – to be later re-deployed onto something such as a Cyber-Brain, recovered from accidents, or newly built, or Synthetic bodies – providing another level of insurance to those who deal in violence.

Ukiyo City has quickly become a melting pot, for anything and everything. Whether you’re a ganger, a corpo exec, a corporate cop, a solo, a dancer, or someone simply trying to get by – whatever it is, it’s there for your taking, in Ukiyo City. The sudden mixture of weaponry, money-fuelled greed, opportunity, and conflict has led Ukiyo City to essentially become one of the single most populated cities, on the entire planet, trailing just behind Cascadia’s second zone, PACIFICA-2.

You’ve arrived here, now – whether you had always lived there, or whether you immigrated from elsewhere, or whether you’re here on behalf of Cascadia (returning character from first iteration). And now, it’s time for you to begin another chapter of you life – cooperate to save the country, and preserve the neon-lit expanses, and labyrinthine streets of Japan? Or exploit the situation for your own personal gain?