June 6, 1996, A mysterious explosion destroys the Chernolton research facility near Moscow. Lucifer Alpha, a powerful biological weapon under secret development there is released into the atmosphere, creating a deadly bio-hazard. Carried by the trade winds, Lucifer Alpha spreads through out Eastern Europe and Eurasia, destroying 80% of the populace. Half of the world's people die. The greatest bio-hazard in history later becomes known simply as "The Catastrophe". But at this time who could have possibly imagined that the ultimate bio-hazard wouldn't occur for another half century.