In 2089 The Varuna Project was well past launch and its full operation was underway. The first few years of vacationing wealthy families was hugely successful and The Project had seen its first dozen or so families settle in nicely to their accommodations beneath the waves.
Unfortunately, things on the surface were not going so smooth. In parts of North Africa, The Mediterranean and even the east coast of the Americas, a rather aggressive pandemic had begun to threaten the world's safety. By 2090 the virus had started to show up all over the world and the fear had begun to destabilized almost every state. The world had just enough time to register that this virus was man-made before the communication networks of the planet largely began to turn inward then go dark.
Over the course of that year many fled to the refuges that they could find, including the Varuna Project. More and more filled the halls and hauls of the facility until there could be nothing for it but to add improvised extensions to the base.
At first these were well supplied and thought out under-water habitats that were highly functional and even still fit with a relatively comfortable lifestyle. Soon though, resources became somewhat more finite and habitats had to be less designed and more improvised. Still people came until there was a strange mix of the super-rich and those with nothing but what they had brought with them.
Today in 2131 the surface is only just starting to be explorable again. The virus lead to a total breakdown in society which lead to resources falling short, which inevitably lead to war. The combination of disasters that followed were all man-made and have made sustainable life on the surface impossible.
The virus was all-consuming. One part of a food chain would be infected and it would steadily start to spread through the ecosystem, killing as it went, and infecting every food supply humanity relied on. Though rumors persist that pockets of humanity were mutated as opposed to killed off. Ecosystems were similarly rumored to be partially killed off and partially changed on the genetic level.
The loss of reliable food led to a few years of brief wars, and the last act of human civilization. It involved a few halfhearted and feeble nuclear strikes that, while small compared to the vast stockpiles available to them, still left to large patches of radiation and fallout that spread through the atmosphere.
The Present Day
Since its inception, the Varuna Project has been owned, operated and governed by Tadashi Takahara and his board of Trustees set at NANTEC. For nearly a century, NANTEC has 'done its best' to maintain order between the two very different societies in wildly uncharted territory, but as the population grew, tensions have begun to mount at the disparity between the overpopulated Hollows - space allocated to refugees by residents of the Varuna Project, and the luxurious lifestyle led by the Corpos, their better paid wage slaves, and the abundantly rich.
There has been a growing resistance against NANTEC-installed policies, who are known to take bribes from their rich investors of the Corpos, hateful tags for the Science Superpower have been showing up all over the Hollows, and just one month ago, three members of the NANTEC Board of Trustees were found gruesomely murdered in their stellar homes. Unsettlingly, there has been no evidence found of hacking or forced entry for any of them. The seats are still vacant.