This material is adapted and summarised from GURPS Time Travel for the convenience of my players. No challenge is made to the copyright of the original document.
The Hive is our world but different. Sometime between 1970CE and 2100CE something happens that has created a world with important differences to our own.
(In fact, it is not quite certain that the change occurred during that time – it’s an assumption based on the fact that from what we can work out the history of the two worlds must be very similar until about 1970 – but it’s possible the critical change actually happened prior to that date, but just took time for its effects to be known – if somebody was – or wasn’t – born in 1950 for example, it could be 2010 before their stirring speech – that never happened – changed the world – or didn’t.)
What we do know is that the Hive is a world where everybody works for the World Government (which seems to have grown out of the United Nations). The society is a massive government bureaucracy with central control of all industry. The world is polluted, overpopulated, desperately short of resources, highly regimented, and, totalitarian.
Only part of the Earth still seems to be inhabited or at the very least functional – North America, Europe, China, Japan, Australia, and Argentina. Everywhere else is either abandoned, or the people live in appalling conditions as something close to slave labour.
Stopwatch is the Hive equivalent of Timepiece. Their agents are as well trained as ours, as well equipped as ours, and as well motivated as ours. They are also fanatically convinced that their timeline can only survive if ours is extinguished. We would be satisfied with a status quo situation where both timelines existed side by side, but they do not believe that such a balance is possible and so they work to make historical changes that will make their timeline more likely and ours less so. We are unclear as to if they truly know what actions will make this happen (we certainly do not have that insight) or if they simply experiment with change to see what happens.
Stopwatch agents are not stupid nor suicidal – far from it. In certain circumstances, Timepiece and Stopwatch agents have even found themselves temporarily working together on a local level to restore a time flow that seems to be having a negative effect on both realities. We know that if people in the past realise Time Travel is possible and happening that seems to have bad effects on future events, and sometimes that makes an alliance a good idea as well, while competing teams work together to cover up the mess they’ve made.
But this is a war, and truces are temporary…