On January 6th, 2014, at approximately 8:41pm est, the one hundred largest cities in the word went dark. While news stations and citizens alike scrambled to make contact with their affiliates or loved ones, not so much as a peep emerged from those cities. No air traffic, no radio chatter, no commuters.
Two minutes following, a news van just outside of New York City transmitted the first footage of one of the cities. Childrens cartoons, movies, even new-to-air episodes of popular shows halted their broadcasts to play the live footage. All they saw was rubble. Knee-high, dusty rubble lined the skyline as far as the viewfinder could see. No dust lingered in the air, and no birds flew overhead. Just rubble.
The broadcast went world-wide within the hour, and other countries began reporting the losses of their own cities. Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, India, China. Nation after nation, the number racked up to a total one hundred. Instantly, countries began blaming one another for the attacks. Some claimed the sites had incredibly high levels of radioactivity, but further research ran contrary. No country reported missing weaponry from their armories. Accusations flew. Some blamed the USA, some China, others Russia, North Korea. Even places like New Zealand were blamed as they didn’t lose any cities in the destruction.
War rose to a crescendo, and then fell back down as no one came up with the answers. Within weeks, broken countries recalled their tanks and tried to rebuild. Some grew stronger. Russia claimed much of eastern Europe, China spread southward and westward. India claimed its place as a technological powerhouse as most of Japan disappeared. Many more remote places in the world see shifting borders on a daily basis.
The US broke into five separate pieces. To the south, the Confederated Southern States control the existing land, and newly acquired parts of Mexico. The United States, claiming to follow the same government as the previously whole US, calls the center of the nation its homeland. The Democratic Republic of California set up strict borders and built walls to maintain its western position on the map. Alaska retreated, becoming its own unit. The rest of the unclaimed lands came to be known as the Lawless Zone. While the new nations attempted to take the zone, the people out there fought back with a strange ferocity. The Lawless Zone remains under no specific government, but unconquerable on the eastern seaboard.