Written by April Heaney and contributions from the players of Fulda Gap

2009 November 9: Tactical nuclear warhead detonated in the Canary Wharf complex, London. A dozen groups claim responsibility, justifying the act as retribution for Britain's support of the newly formed Republic of West Iraq.

2009 November 16: Britain and the United States claim knowledge of the groups responsible, and point the finger at France and Russia as having connections to the responsible parties. China vetoes the United States' move to sanction the two countries, presumably due to China's heavy investment in Russia. China has found Russian investments more economical as Beijing's gentle embrace of capitalism had brought with it inflation, making production in China too expensive for many areas of industry. The motion for sanctions is also protested by most other European nations including Germany, Spain, Poland, Norway, Finland and Belgium. The new ultra nationalist government in Moscow declares the western accusation to be evidence of the West's disingenuous policy toward the new Russian leadership.

2009 November 26: Britain and the US quit NATO in protest, and the 60 year old treaty is dissolved by the remaining nations. Former NATO members on the European continent reassign their forces under EUFOR - the European Union Force.

2009 December 6: The New Eastern Bloc Pact (NEB) is signed, with Russia and China the core nations, their declared goal to protect Eurasian interests in Eastern Europe from increasingly active and militant secessionist factions growing in popularity in the former eastern bloc nations. In eastern Germany, where secessionism grew through the commonly held belief that West Germans have been openly discriminating against the former East Germans for twenty years, militias have begun openly promoting armed revolt.

2009 December 26: Russian President Aleksandr Zinoviev is assassinated en route in his motorcade by a car bomb. The architect of the new ultra nationalist movement dies a martyr, suddenly more popular with the people in death than in life. The old Soviets ride the wave of patriotism, among them the new Russian President, Grigory Kamenev.

2010 January: Russia and her new allies exert tremendous diplomatic pressure, and the threat of invasion, to force several former Warsaw Pact nations back into the fold, despite enormous public disapproval in those countries. Poland and the Czech Republic are among them. Memories of past violence and the sight of Russian tanks quickly end public protests. Kamenev declares a "new revolution," and promises of equality gain him support among the marginalized minorities of Europe.

2010 February 8: NEB forces, which have been massing for a month, move westward to the eastern German border, citing increased militia activity along the German-Czech border, including several raids which resulted in loss of life and weapons from NEB depots.

2010 February 10: NEB issues a warning to EUFOR to quell the "imminent uprising" in Germany, in the interest of regional stability.

2010 February 17: EUFOR deploys EUFOR Deutschland with the purpose of "pre-emptive peacekeeping" in Germany, and while not stated publicly, as a gesture to the NEB.

2010 February 19: Hoping to stem anger in eastern Germany over perceived inequality, the German government and European authorities announce a program of aid and investment for the region worth tens of billions each year. They don't count on the rage this unleashes in western Germany, where an economic downturn has also raised unemployment. Public fury manifests in street demonstrations and isolated incidents of violence. State authorities mistakenly believe the violence will remain isolated.

2010 Early March: Frankfurt becomes the eye of a growing storm, as various factions reach for their guns. German nationalists, some claiming the forbidden Nazi heritage and others abhorring it, separately prepare to seize control of the city. The local population of socialists also quietly mobilizes, and requests help from their allies in the east. Sensing an opportunity, Frankfurt's Muslim population makes plans to bring Islamic rule to a north European enclave for the first time.

2010 March 22: All hell breaks loose in Frankfurt as the factions rise in open insurrection. German authorities, and EUFOR, were unaware so many separate uprisings were in the works and are unprepared. Riots in other European cities prevent the deployment of a decisive EUFOR force in Frankfurt. The city quickly falls, each faction grabbing as much territory as they can while government forces withdraw to the outskirts of the city, fearing a bloodbath if they try to fight among so many civilians. The bloodbath is averted only for the moment.

2010 March 25: Alleging the Frankfurt uprising is in danger of spreading, and claiming to fear for the safety of their ideological fellows in the city, the NEB invade Germany, driving for Frankfurt with a large mechanized force. EUFOR, scrambling to garrison other German cities, are caught with their forces out of position and the NEB divisions reach the suburbs of Frankfurt before facing significant opposition. They succeed in breaking into the city, taking heavy losses in weeks of horrific room-by-room fighting. Afterward, they lack the strength to protect their supply lines and become isolated, receiving only sporadic replenishment from convoys that must fight their way across the no-man's-land central Germany has become.

2010 Spring and Summer: Inconclusive fighting continues. EUFOR and NEB battle groups savage each other, and the countryside, as they struggle to control supply lines to Frankfurt. What's left of that city is reduced to rubble as EUFOR artillery and air power try and fail to dislodge NEB forces. Both sides maintain the bulk of their forces in reserve, wary of further uprisings or surprise moves by their adversary. Neither is willing to commit enough troops and material to force a decision in Germany. EUFOR and NEB leaders don't launch an offensive to push the other back, believing a commitment of that size would cause the front to collapse, leaving only the nuclear option to prevent utter defeat. Rumors of Chinese commandos making raids into Western Europe flow through the media. Talks of the possibility of NEB reinforcements in the form of a division of the Chinese People's Liberation Army are neither denied nor confirmed by NEB leaders.

The greatest refugee crisis in Europe since the Second World War descends, as millions stream into northern Germany and adjacent countries, fleeing the fighting. Life for those who remain is harsh, often painful and frequently short.

2010 August 17: A ceasefire is reached which preserves the status quo. NEB forces remain in Frankfurt and elsewhere in southern Germany, intermingled with EUFOR units and unoccupied civilian settlements. Diplomats begin strained and tedious negotiations on the final status of these regions. No one expects a quick decision. In the meantime, both sides try to avoid open conflict. There are daily skirmishes, however, some authorized by senior commanders and others not. Neither side is permitted to introduce new forces, but those in place may be re-supplied - if the convoys can get through.

Both sides resort to using guerrilla fighters and hired mercenaries to secure supply lines, "influence" local officials and as a method of getting the dirty work done in a way that allows for plausible deniability. Civilians caught in the middle turn to the black market, banditry and prostitution to survive. In some places, they provide neutral ground on which the opposing armies can meet without - always - killing one another. An uneasy state of not-quite-war persists. Elsewhere, Europe is divided once again. A new Iron Curtain lowers between East and West.

2010 - 2013: As public will for a drawn-out conflict fades in the unoccupied nations of Europe, Germany comes mostly under NEB rule by default.  NEB forces are able to develop forward bases and formal agreements with the fractured German government, giving them a strong negotiating position with the leaders of the EUFOR nations.  Partisan fighting and in-fighting remains intense, though their marginal training and leadership prove to be their biggest weakness, and are generally considered by the NEB occupiers to be a nuisance and not a serious military threat.