The Zone

A Near Future Sci-Fi LARP

User Tools

Site Tools


A Brief History Of The Zone

In June of 2023, there was an explosion at the Calder Hall reactor, part of the Sellafield complex. Decommissioned in 2003, there was no logical reason for the reactor to explode, and the government of the time refused to comment at all, claiming the entire matter was classified and a matter of national security. An exclusion zone was quickly established around the entire Sellafield site, extending 20 miles beyond the perimeter of the complex in every direction.

By late 2023, several conspiracy theories had begun to take hold in the popular consciousness. The most popular and pervasive was that no nuclear material had been released in the explosion and so the exclusion zone was unnecessary. Shortly before Christmas, one conspiracy theorist posted video evidence of Geiger counter readings taken at a few points within the zone, indicating no more than the usual level of background radiation. A serious political scandal blew up, and a public inquiry was announced. This escalated severely in February 2024 when another conspiracy theorist was caught inside the exclusion zone, and subsequently shot dead by the security services. Unable to adequately explain why it was necessary to shoot and kill a trespasser, the then Prime Minister was forced to resign. The subsequent general election was fought on the basis of promises of greater government transparency.

A series of public inquiries was held by the new government, but nothing of substance was ever reported. The Sellafield Exclusion Zone was quietly maintained, it was substantially increased in size, and security ramped up considerably. The conspiracy theories continued, but as the public inquiries released plausible theories and explanations, the conspiracies moved back into fringe thinking, and were largely ignored.

In early 2026, a new manufacturing process was announced that had produced a material whose electrical conductivity could be switched on and off at will, which revolutionised microelectronics. Rumours swiftly began to spread that the material had come from inside the Sellafield Exclusion Zone, and was an accidental by-product of the explosion. These rumours were further fuelled by news that private security firms were being hired to send people into the exclusion zone. Watertight NDAs prevented any details emerging, but it became clear there were scientists within the zone who needed protection, and that the military were solely concerned with protecting the perimeter of the zone.

By 2032 the Sellafield Exclusion Zone has expanded to encompass most of the former Lake District and a strange industry has sprung up, with both paid and freelance mercenaries occupying the exclusion zone, and various criminals operating smuggling rings, bringing guns, ammunition and food to the mercenaries, and selling on the items found within the zone. Corporations and private citizens will pay substantial sums for unique materials and artefacts found within the zone, as well as copies of the government research being done by the scientists inside the zone.

lore/brief_history_zone.txt · Last modified: 2022/12/10 09:48 by aettles