By Scott D. Haring
The History of Terrorism
Terrorism becomes a world-wide theater in which any small group, sufficiently armed, can grab headlines for their cause around the globe. Western countries are the most frequent targets, but by no means the only ones. Response is ineffective, as nearly every terrorist group has some country that secretly supports it. Americans stop traveling to many parts of the world for safety reasons.
A small but dirty thermonuclear device obliterates Beirut, Lebanon. The death toll is estimated at 1,300,000. Tremendous groundswell of public opinion in all nations results in a special 86-nation summit conference to deal with world terrorism.
The "Beirut Accords" are signed by every sovereign nation on the planet - not surprising since one of the points of the accord is massive economic sanctions against non-participating countries. Other points include strict prohibitions on harboring and training terrorists, and worldwide extradition.
As the oil supply dwindles, economic collapse and revolution overtake many Middle Eastern countries. The regimes that rise from the rubble are a varied lot, but none recognize the Beirut agreement, decrying it as a "capitalist Zionist tool to deny us our freedom."
Worldwide energy shortage puts an end to regular air travel to many parts of the globe. Deprived of two traditional targets - airplanes and tourists - the "new breed" of terrorists turn to attacks within their home countries.
A new way to export violence is found - via the worldwide satellite communications network. Using telecommunications and extensive "hacking" skill, these new terrorists infiltrate control systems at industrial plants, defense bases, and air stations, causing as much damage as possible. Some consider it vandalism carried to a new extreme; other experts label the activity "techno-terrorism."
The Grain Blight. Famine in the Third World countries takes a horrific toll. What little food is available goes to the best-armed. Terrorist groups change their priorities from revolution to survival.
The Food Riots hit the U.S. Disappointed by the inability of the federal government to keep order, the Anarchy Party is formed. Their motto: "No government is better than bad government."
The Anarchy Party makes some modest gains in local elections, where members run on the premise that if they win, candidates will abolish the post they were elected to. Frustrated with a lack of recognition on the national level, however, the party decides on a more direct plan of action, and the Anarchist Relief Front is formed.
A new ARF manifesto calls for stepped up activity on the highways. "To curtail intercity traffic is to isolate each community, and anarchy will prosper." In local response, ARF members take to the highways, shooting at anything that moves, including, in cases of overexuberance, each other.
The ARF becomes the #1 threat to domestic security in America, according to FBI statistics.
A series of Washington car bombings eliminate 8 of the 10 members of a special Congressional subcommittee investigating the ARF - since no one volunteers to take their places, the investigation stops. The remaining two were saved by luck - the bomb failed to go off in one case, and in the case of Minnesota Senator Albert Wesley, the bomb claims his wife instead. Wesley vows revenge.
ARF operatives steal a Dempsey XM-6 from an Army base near Midville, Ohio, and attack the town. Midville townspeople put up a tremendous fight, now chronicled in "Massacre at Midville", Space Gamer 58.
Through hard work and inspirational leadership, Wesley has reassembled a Select Subcommittee with far-reaching subpoena and investigative powers. Rumors in Washington corridors of power say that this time, Wesley may actually pull it off... if he lives.