Civilisation was churning along nicely, at least if you lived in a nice part of civilisation! At the beginning of the 21st-century there were great advances in science and technology. The quality of life in the Western world was extraordinarily good, but this was not the case worldwide. The vast majority of the world at this time was living in poverty or under the tumultuous horrors of war. In 2015 the economies of the world were hit by a global economic crisis the likes of which had never been seen before. The global economic system fundamentally crashed and governments and citizens alike were flooded under debt that no one could repay. The results were the collapse of businesses and governments and consequently massive job losses on an unprecedented scale. There were riots in the streets as people scraped for food. The effects were felt most severely in the west where people were used to a self-indulgent lifestyle. All of a sudden people who had lacked for nothing and had every type of gadget they could desire were unable to afford the basic necessities of life. In the Third World governments frequently collapsed. Society began to crumble and people lost all faith in their governments and administration. Crime skyrocketed and the citizens of once civilised nations became like feral beasts clawing at one another to gain any advantage. The results of this varied widely from place to place, but one outstanding feature was the rise of the megacorporations. Businesses suffered immensely, but some began to band together in order to pool their resources for survival. Once the crisis began to subside they found themselves in a very powerful position with the ability to influence governments. Such was the state of most administrations that megacorporations began to exert themselves on a national and then international level. Many began accruing their own private armies so that they became like principalities in their own right, nations without borders.