2089 -- An inside agent helps HUMNX locate USFF Hangar One, the center of operations for the secret development of a new weapon. The attack on Hangar One is swift and decisive- 900 lives are lost, many of them key personnel. The secret weapon however, a Mech later called "Archangel", is saved along with its first pilot and a small support crew. Archangel is successfully delivered to USFF Central Command Headquarters (Deep Mountain) for replication, a marked turning point in USFF's war-making capabilities.
2091 -- After 18 months without much progress, the effort to rebuild M1KL (Archangel’s instrumental neuro-linked AI) is abandoned. Its key insights were lost with Hangar One. Plans for Mech replication continue without the M1KL Neurolink, leaving pilots to simultaneously maneuver and shoot with high proficiency. Such manual control is rife with human error, and only the most skillful pilots succeed. Confidence in Mechs dwindles and a stinging internal review describes them as "tanks with legs" when built without M1KL.
2092 -- USFF embarks on new R&D initiatives in a search for replacement technologies. Although a functioning M1KL was deemed impossible, a Mech's on-board computing and energy resources could still be useful. USFF Scientists and Engineers soon break new ground and develop technology that led to numerous new tactical mech capabilities.
2095 -- The USFF is roughly twice as powerful than it was only five years ago. In comparison, HUMNX growth rate decreases every year- a stark contrast to USFF and even its own operations prior to 2090. Globally, USFF offensive operations increase in number and ambition. USFF Military now commands eight, fully-operational Archangels and replication continues at increasingly faster rates.
2096 -- USFF Intelligence identifies a HUMNX scientist, Dr. Richard Wainwright, as a person of extreme interest. The exact nature of his threat is unknown, but a command to eliminate him is issued. A team lacking intel and without previous missions together is hastily sent to carry it out: The mission fails, all units are lost. Classified documents reveal that HUMNX has also developed mechs, though exact details are unknown since the USFF Archangel Mk 2 ceased telemetric reporting seconds later.
2098 – No more direct Mech engagements occur for 22 months. During this time, both HUMNX and USFF enter a Mech arms race in which the winner would be decided by fleet size and advancements in Auxiliary Combat Functionality. Key discoveries such as line bonded molecular structure, athermodynamic theory, and broad spectrum light reprojection are obtained by engineering teams on both sides using espionage, reverse engineering, and even torture.
2099 -- Foreseeing a long-term inability to keep up with rapid HUMNX enhancements, USFF executes a first strike against the largest HUMNX Mech Replication site, Genesis Facility. The strike triggers immediate retaliation, and four USFF outposts are simultaneously attacked. Neither offensive is clearly ahead. HUMNX predicts a long war assuming complete fulfillment of retaliation protocols, with a 95% probability of improving their military superiority by 5% in ten years. Deemed sufficient, they proceed, and The Great Mech Wars begin.