In the year 2012, severe storms ravaged the coastal regions of the Mediterranean from Spain up to the African coast, bringing the tourist industry of almost every coastal country to its knees. Between February 14th and March 8th, the storms rampaged the coasts, only to suddenly change back into "normal" late wintertime weather. The weather stations couldn't find any logical explanation for this sudden change in climate, or how the African continent could be affected by the same weather conditions as Italy, located on the opposite side of the Mediterranean.
The storm built up within a single day, only to disappear on one single day 23 days later. The coastal regions, cities and harbours were devastated, shipping had become almost impossible, and a great many ships were sunk by the storm. The economies of Italy, Morocco and Corsica had become almost obliterated.

Exactly 17 days later, on the 25th of March, severe earthquakes and tempests occured in central USA. "America's granary", as this region had been known, was completely annihilated during one single day, and with it several nuclear rocket bases were destroyed. Fields and farms spared by the earthquakes were destroyed by heavy storms. The President of the United States of America, George W. Bush, was convinced by his cabinet, especially General David A. Nordstern, that the catastrophes had to be the result of some sort of terrorist attack - and the only power with the capabilities to accomplish such a feat was thought to be the People's Republic of China.
This theory was heavily debated in both Senate and Congress, where the slogan "Every cloud is red" could be heard more and more often. China remained silent at first, but finally issued a statement rejecting all accustations. As the debates kept going on and the anti-Chinese faction grew stronger every day (which was not a big surprise in face of the desolate economic situation and nationwide famine, things America never had had to endure before), diplomatic relationships between these two countries grew bitter and frosty. In China itself, anti-American sentiments reached an unknown high, almost everybody demanding an official retraction of all accusations and an apology by the President. The confrontation reached its climax when several bombs placed by Chinese agents were detonated in government buildings in Washington, killing 63 congressmen and wounding countless other government officials. As a result, the President declared war on China, and America's nuclear arsenal was launched towards Asia.

Not much is known of subsequent events as the situation quickly escalated from there on. But some facts are known for sure: In the hours before the nuclear holocaust, the East managed to mount a counterattack. The Russian warning and control systems turned live, and Russian missiles rained down upon North America in flames of nuclear destruction. Nobody knows what has happened on the North American continent since then. All the populated areas of China were utterly devastated, and even Japan was engulfed by the ensuing fallout which led to the death of almost all of Japan's population. Simultaneously, heavy rainfalls began over Holland, France and Germany, leading to the worst floods in Europe's history. The Russian military tried for a coup d'etat, which resulted in anarchy, mayhem and destruction throughout Eastern Europe and the former Soviet states. Any knowledge about what happened in the rest of the world has been lost in the chaos that engulfed every continent.