The Vinestead Universe

~ spoilers ~

Pre-History (1960 - 1990)

Perion Synthetics is founded by James Perion in 1966. Notable births in include Anela Zabora (1977), Gordon King (1979), X (1980), and Kaili Zabora (1983).

The Early 90s

In 1991, Katsumi Enterprises debuts the "sliver," a small piece of metal with an LED readout that can be embedded in a user's wrist. The sliver functions as a watch, instant messenger, and news aggregator. In virtual reality, a sliver can be used as a programming device.

Later that year, XFX debuts a fully immersive virtual reality known simply as "the Net." Initially deployed to universities and military networks, the Net becomes a ubiquitous consumer product within four years.

An ambitious Anela Zabora leaves her home in San Diego to move to Austin, Texas, where she founds the ZabSix Cipher Den.

To capitalize on the adoption of the Net, Black Star Circle launches the iMerse Dot0 immersion rig in early 1993. Similar products are launched in the following years, most notably by VitraC (a subsidiary of Vitra Computer Systems) and the Germany-based Koertig Electronics.

The Mid-90s

In 1995, Arthur Sedivy is appointed the CEO of Vinestead International and begins to steer the worldwide conglomerate in a new direction. Vinestead acquires 67 companies who do business primarily in the Net, including Accent Ascension.

Vinestead engineer Kenneth Barnes develops the first prototype of the Guardian Angel biochip, a multi-function, miniaturized computer that is placed directly on the user's brain stem and helps monitor and control biological processes. An internal beta test of the Guardian Angel biochip (also referred to as a GA chip or Georgia chip) begins in 1997, culminating in the general release in early 1998.

Prior to his death, Kenneth invents the House of Nepenthe, a self-contained construct that allows dying or comatose users to communicate with the outside world via VNet. The project is buried by Vinestead International.

1998 - 1999

Gifted hacker X leaves his high school sweetheart to attend college at the University of Texas at Austin. After his relationship with C begins to fail, he copies her consciousness and imprints it on a virtual avatar in the Net. X hires the ZabSix Cipher Den to help with the project. The C clone grows too powerful for X to control. In his attempt to turn her off, X is banished from the Net by C. Anela Zabora abducts X in an effort to secure the consciousness-copying code, but when she connects him to the Net, he is instantly destroyed by C's Null Echo virus.

X's friends Natalie and G attempt to rescue him by filling the Net with X clones. This causes the Null Echo virus to quickly overtake the entire Net. Vinestead International launches a white flag operation, presenting an antiviral solution that will actually destroy the Net so they can force users to their fledgling Vinestead Network (also known as VNet) service.

Natalie and G attack the ZabSix Cipher Den in a last-ditch attempt to find X. In the process, X is discovered to have already died. Anela Zabora and the entire cipher den are killed in the attack. Natalie and G are listed as Missing Persons two months later.

Early 2000s

With the invention of whisperers (wireless earbuds that continually "whisper" news and updates in a user's ear), media feeds begin popping up in urban centers, most notably Lincoln Continental in Umbra, CA, Banks Media Productions in Los Angeles, CA, and White Line Media in Atlantic City, NJ.

Perion Synthetics begins releasing technical demos of advanced robotics. Vinestead International supplements their failing Synthetics division by acquiring Companion Dynamics and Kitzingen Escorts for their pseudo-artificial intelligence IP.

2004

Vinestead International introduces the Guardian Angel Bill, which will require all newborn and naturalized citizens to be outfitted with a Guardian Angel biochip. The bill passes without much effort.

Kaili Zabora joins the Calle Cinco Cipher Den to join in the fight against Vinestead International prior to the Guardian Angel Bill's passing. Her first major operation is to participate in The Reaping, a wholesale assassination of Vinestead employees at the Vinestead West building in Sacramento, CA. Kaili is assigned Rick Diaz as her target. However, Kaili gets too close to Rick, and falls in love with him. She is too late to prevent his death. Rather than blame her own cipher den, Kaili puts the blame squarely on Vinestead International for forcing her to kill Rick.

Late 2000s

Military-grade Ayudante biochips from the MX begin to appear on the black market. The LassiterAI incident kills 27 engineers at Vinestead International. Nixle Chronos debuts the OcularAr augmented reality headset.

Kaili Zabora assumes control of Calle Cinco. In 2009, on a day known as Calle Cinco de Mayo, the cipher den's attack on Vinestead's network cripples the United States air traffic control system, resulting in the deaths of 7,057 people. National support for Calle Cinco evaporates, sending Kaili into hiding.

2010 - 2015

The open-source Margate Biochip debuts, allowing users to load custom software directly onto their biochips.

Adelai Associates is founded in July of 2015.

© 2017 Daniel Verastiqui