The nuclear war throws vast amounts of dust into the atmosphere, resulting in a nuclear winter called the Great Ice Dark, which lasts several decades and sees the Sun blotted out for long periods of time. The majority of the survivors of the War of a Thousand Suns die of exposure, starvation or radiation poisoning in the period immediately following the war.
Survivors of the war in Japan manage to escape out to sea in immense refugee flotillas.
Death of George Washington Jefferson 1st. The underground civilisation he founded is formally named as the Amtrak Federation.
The Federation ceases to use paper as a date storage medium.
By this time the Federation has switched to the use of video and computer disk for all data storage and transmission purposes. Trackers born after this date do not even know that paper exists, outside of the First Family.
The Seventh Wave of settlers of Japanese origin arrive on the eastern seaboard of North America, led by the Da-Tsuni family. The Da-Tsuni crush all opposition to become the rulers of a new nation, Ne-Issan.
Death of Bruce Lee Jefferson, a member of the First Family who reintroduced the Japanese martial art of kendo, fighting with a quarterstaff. His instructional videos remain in use within the Federation.
The Break-Out. The first permanant interface between the earthshield and the blue-sky world is established by the Amtrak Federation, marking the beginning of the Federation's efforts to conquer the surface. The first powered gliders, forerunners of the Skyhawk production line aircraft, enter service not long afterwards.
Oklahoma is formally incorporated as the second state of the Amtrak Federation with the completion of the divisional base at Kennedy/Tulsa.
Arkansas is formally incorporated as the third state of the Amtrak Federation and the third of the Outer States, with the completion of the divisional base at Lincoln Field/Little Rock.
New Mexico is formally incorporated as the fourth state of the Amtrak Federation with the completion of the divisional base at Roosevelt/Santa Fe.
Louisiana is formally incorporated as the fifth state of the Amtrak Federation with the completion of the divisional base at Truman/Lafayette.
George Washington Jefferson 22nd is killed by six cousins during an attempted coup, the first and only event of its kind in the history of the Federation.
The Federation begins a programme of shoring up the river defences and levees along the banks of the major riviers in their territory, particularly the Mississippi, to minimize the risk of flooding in the divisional bases.
The First Family constructs Cloudlands as an above-ground accomodation and relaxtion centre near Houston/GC, featuring freedoms and luxuries undreamt of by the soldier-citizens toiling underground.
The Federation identifies Mount Rainier and Mount Saint Helens as the most likely candidates to be the 'great mountain in the west' that will fulfil a role in the Talisman Prophecy. The Federation begins monitoring these mountains and several others in the Cascades and Rockies for signs of seismic disturbances.
The Federation Skyhawk Mark 1 reconnaissance and light assault aircraft enters service on 5 April of this year.
William Hartmann joins the crew of Sands of Iwojima as a lineman, rising to the rank of Line Captain in just three years.
Jack Roosevelt Brickman graduates from the Flight Academy and begins overground service aboard the wagon-trains, eventually notching up twelve years of operational duty (a so-called Double Six. He is bonded to Annie Nixon Bradlee.
The Battle of the Black Hills between the Clan M'Call of the She-Kargo Plainfolk and the Clan B'Nardino of the D'Troit. The M'Calls emerge victorious and their status as the pre-eminent She-Kargo clan is confirmed. Thunderbird, father of Clearwater, is killed in this battle. This is the last major battle between entire clans for seventeen years.
Rozanne Roosevelt Brickman is born at the Life Institute in Houston/GC and raised at Roosevelt/Sant Fe by Annie and Jack Brickman.
William Hartmann is promoted to Lt. Commander and transferred to the Lady from Louisiana as Deputy Wagon-Master.
AMEXICO and Chamberlain Ieyasu of Ne-Issan enter into a secret alliance where intelligence and resources are shared between the two organisations with the understanding that Ne-Issan will not expand south or westwards and will allow the Federation a free hand in their activities against the Mutes.
William Hartmann is promoted to Wagon-Master of the Lady from Louisiana.
Jack Roosevelt Brickman is pulled from duty as he begins to suffer from the effects of terminal radiation-induced cancer, and becomes confined to a wheelchair.
The Trans-Am rail-link between Johnson/Phoenix and Roosevelt/Santa Fe is completed. Regular services begin two years later.
The Battle of the Now and Then River, near navref Cheyenne, Wyoming. The Lady from Louisiana is ambushed by the Clan M'Call and suffers severe losses, eventually being forced to retire from the battlefield after losing most of its air wing. Steven Brickman is shot down and captured by the M'Calls, and begins his period of captivity amongst them.
Steve Brickman escapes from captivity by hang-glider.
Steve Brickman reaches Federation territory and lands at the Pueblo way-station in Colorado, where he is briefly held before being sent back to the Federation for debriefing and interrogation.
Steve Brickman is cleared of all charges of dereliction of duty and defaulting, but his inability to fully condemn the Mutes is considered disturbing by his Board of Assessors. He is ordered to spend three years serving in the A-levels before his case will be examined again.
Cadillac constructs a powered glider using the knowledge stolen from Steve's mind. Posing as a Tracker wingman, he travels to Ne-Issan to give the secret of flight to the Iron Masters in return for weapons and better supplies being delivered to the M'Calls. Clearwater accompanies him as a bodyguard.
The Yama-Shita and their allies, the Ko-Nikka and Se-Iko, send five ships to the trading post at Du-aruta to take vengeance on the She-Kargo Mutes for the destruction of the Heron Pool. They employ the D'Troit and their allies as cannon fodder at the Battle of the Trading Post, which sees the destruction of all five ships and the D'Troit forces, along with many of the She-Kargo and their allies, thanks to a tidal wave created by Mr Snow. Upwards of 100,000 Mutes and Iron Masters die in the chaos.
The surviving Mutes agree to a greater degree of mutual cooperation in the face of the encroaching threats of both the Iron Masters and the Federation.
The Battle of Twin Forks. The Lady from Louisiana is destroyed with all hands by the M'Calls, but four relieving wagon-trains wipe out the surviving M'Calls. Mr Snow is killed. Steve returns to the Federation, but Roz escapes with the help of Cadillac.
The first Plainfolk Council is held at Big White Running Water (Sioux Falls, South Dakota). The Plainfolk Council build on the bonds between the clans established after the Battle of the Trading Post and approve of a mission to send Roz and Cadillac into Ne-Issan to prevent the Iron Masters from pursuing a long-term conflict with the Plainfolk.
With the aid of Cadillac and Roz, the Yama-Shita arrange the assassination of the Shogun and Chancellor Ieyasu. The Toh-Yota descend into chaos.
Steve and Fran fly to Ne-Issan to take part in negotiations with the Shogun, but are caught up in the chaos surrounding the Shogun's death. Steve is able to escape, but Fran is taken prisoner by Cadillac and taken to the Yama-Shita stronghold at Sara-kusa.
Mount Saint Helens explodes with tremendous force at 16:42 exactly. The Federation monitors the eruption. Nearby Mute clans see the eruption and proclaim it the fulfilment of the Talisman Prophecy, with the 'great mountain in the west speaking to the sky with a tongue of flame'.
At the exact same moment, Lucas Brickman is born at the Federation's Life Institute to Clearwater and Steve. He is swapped for another baby, named Sand-Wolf by Clearwater, with the Federtaion taking Lucas and giving him to Annie Brickman to raise.
Also at the exact same moment, Cadillac and Roz conceive a child in Ne-Issan.
The Yama-Shita and their allies launch a full-scale offensive against the Toh-Yota, sparking the second Ne-Issan civil war. A large swathe of Toh-Yota territory falls under enemy occupation, but the network of alliances surrounding the Toh-Yota does not collapse as the Yama-Shita expected, and the resulting counter-attacks slow their advance. Within a few weeks the war has settled into a long, drawn-out stalemate.
The after-effects of the eruption of Mt. Saint Helens are felt continent-wide. The Missouri and Mississippi flood, causing significant damage to Federation installations along their banks and flooding parts of several divisional bases (Le May/Jackson, Truman/Lafayette and Lincoln/Little Rock) and way-stations. The Plainfolk also suffer from the effects of the flooding, but are mostly able to simply move away from the swollen rivers. This is interpreted as the 'earth drowning in its own tears', another fulfilment of the Talisman Prophecy.
Steve is invited to watch The Alamo at Cloudlands, marking his increasing status within the Federation and the First Family.
With the connivance of AMEXICO, Clearwater and Sand-Wolf are despatched from the Federation to Sara-kusa, in return for Fran's safe return.
Cadillac, Roz, Clearwater and Sand-Wolf return to Plainfolk territory with their reward for removing the Shogun, including some 768 former Mute slaves. They are given shelter by the Clan Shawnessee until the next Plainfolk Council takes place.
The second Plainfolk Council takes place at Sioux Falls. The ties between the clans are strengthened further by Cadillac's distribution of the goods gathered procured from Ne-Issan and the return of the slaves. Cadillac, Roz, Clearwater and Sand-Wolf are adopted by the clan M'Kenzie.
Steve Brickman attempts to escape from the Federation after AMEXICO attempt to kill him. He fails and is killed by John Chisum. This also kills Roz at the moment of childbirth, but she manages to deliver the baby before passing. Cadillac and Clearwater name her Snow-Raven and become her guardians.
A number of unusual glitches start afflicting COLUMBUS, resulting in the first major accident within the Federation in centuries when a passenger train is accidentally routed onto a line containing another stationary vehicle, with a catastrophic loss of life. The First Family is unable to explain how the accident happened.
Snow-Raven begins restoring greenery to the red grasses, confirming to the world that she is the Talisman. The events of Earth-Thunder conclude.