The Shadow Years was the era that lead up to Armageddon. This era was a high-tech utopia, that ended wars, diseases, poverty, and pollution. Over-population was handled though colonizing other worlds. Life was highly idyllic, but then politics and group identity became a highly popular interest. Eventually, this interest became on obsession, and then became outright fanaticism, without a lot of middle ground. This resulted in deadly conflicts and acts of terrorism. It the height of the conflict, a group of abolitionists called The Apocalypses tried to force a state of peace through nuclear annihilation. The opposing groups banded together to fight them, but in the end, The Apocalypses destroyed civilization, and forever changed the natural environment of the world.
After the fallout of the Shadow Years, a new world grew out of the ashes. A would driven on evolution, on overdrive! This dark era is call the Black Years.