In the year 2025, a massive earthquake, dubbed 'The Big One' by residents, rocked the San Andreas Faultline and destroyed wide swathes of land within California. The aftershocks spread into other nearby faults, causing auxilliary damage and millions of displaced, injured survivors to lose their homes. Fissures, floods, riots, and fires caused chaos across the Golden State. Major highways and infrastructure went first, making recovery efforts incredibly difficult and causing the survivors of the catastrophe to be stranded without food or clean water. From Los Angeles to San Francisco, terror and screams filled the smoky nights for weeks. Many of the metropolitan areas surrounding the San Francisco Bay were destroyed and engulfed in fire, including San Jose and its surrounding areas, leaving few if any survivors. Sacramento, despite surviving, never fully recovered and has been nicknamed 'Rubble City'.
San Francisco had slightly more luck. Much of the city's infrastructure and homes weren't irreparably damaged, but the city itself was split in half by the force of the Big One, leaving a deep volcanic fissure in the wake of the cataclysm, where bits of lava lingered at the bottom and ate away at the slowly melting husks of now foundation-less buildings that fell into the chasm. Despite this, scientists say that the fissure itself, now dubbed the 'Frisco Fissure' is what saved the city, as it released the explosive pressure that decimated so many other places in California. Relief efforts coming from Washington State and Oregon were the first to arrive to San Francisco nearly a week later, and they did so by sea. For decades, the US Government and foreign interests did their best to clean up the mess in the San Francisco Bay area. Soon, private construction companies came in and began to make a fortune on the recovery efforts. Despite the criminal racketeering, gang-related crime, and utter devastation all around them, the area formerly named San Francisco was densely populated with workers that used state of the art technology to excavate the ruins state-wide, but focused most of their work on rebuilding close to home. In 2058, the area is mostly rebuilt and renamed 'New Frisco' by its residents.
Since then, over a hundred years have passed. The city has become the second most densely populated metropolitan area in North America after New York City on the East Coast. It is a dirty, overcrowded city with traffic and radiation problems, where prostitutes, gangers, and slumlords rub shoulders with famous artists, celebrities, and corrupt politicians. The pretty colors that the buildings are painted do little to hide the danger that lurks around the corners of East New Frisco, the more damaged of the two halves. Make no mistake, however - the West Side is just as corrupt and dangerous as the East Side, but for different reasons. The New Frisco Renaissance in 2165 made New Frisco to be one of the most forward thinking places on Earth, and most of its political powerhouse resides on the West Side, funded by corporate interests that would prefer to stay out of the city. Separating the two is the Frisco Fissure, whose lava flows daily beneath the three bridges that lead across it. In the end, the culture and art has won out, serving to make this Californian melting pot into one of the most popular places to live, despite the inherent dangers in doing so.