The cold war between the Union and the Polity was finally broken when the Union attacked New York City during a United Nations summit. The Vanguard were unable to withstand the Union's use of weaponized Nanotech, but they retreated and sustained heavy losses partially mitigated due to the heroic sacrifice of Julian Chase.
Four years after the fall of New York kicked off the slow attrition of Polity territory, Rufus Weller's gen:LOCK project arrives at the Anvil base along with others who are part of the Experimental Science Unit (ESU). The gen:LOCK program suffers a rocky start, in which an impostor who replaced the captured gen:LOCK candidate Rob Sinclair attempts to steal a Holon. He fails and dies upon attempting to sync with one of the machines. The program then begins to slowly integrate with Vanguard forces at the Anvil.