We're in a hypothetical future other-world, set about a hundred or so years after present-day. Archaelogists and explorers found what Jurassic Park dreamed of; perfectly mummified organs of ancient monsters.
- A liver, found in El Castillo, Chichen Itza, Mexico
- A brain, found in The Great Pyramid of China
- A heart, found in The Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt
Of course, more body parts were found after and in more locations around the world, but those still remain the most important locations as they were the first. Each body part belonged to a different dragon, and the clones generated from those first specimens were named after the original Greek trio;
- The heart spawned Zeus
- The liver spawned Poseidon
- The brain spawned Hades
These three dragons were tauted as ambassadors, workking around the world to draw more money to those countries' research programs. It wasn't long, though, before they became weapons of war.
Further attempts to clone dragons from the original tissues were unsuccessful, so the world only had three dragons. While there was no open war, a cold war was brewing based around dragons and nuclear technologies.
Hades, wisest of the trio, wanted little to do with human politics. So he did what dragons are known for doing; he left. Simply took off into space and never said a word. This didn't have the desired effect, however, as his departure signaled to the other dragons in their solar system that Earth was ready for them to return.
Soon, what had been three dragons became hundreds. Dragons passed by earth, talked with humans, and agreed to research and weapons contracts. Every government had a protocol for dealing with extraterrestrials, they just expected them to be humanoid.
This spawned the Dragon Renaissance, a time of great science and art lead by the dragons themselves. Earth rejoiced and global politics calmed down as the dragons intervened to make earth a more peaceful, hospital planet.
It did not last long, however. One of the most popular things to come out of the Renaissance was Dragon Racing, a high-speed high-stakes sport found everywhere from the fanciest casinos to the lowliest slums. It was considered more humane than dog or horse racing, as the dragons were sentient creatures that could consent. The dragons wanted to race; they, just as much as their human riders, wanted to feel adrenaline in their veins as they pounded down a track and raced through the air.
it was however, gambling. Gambling with lives and money, not something any government would sit idly by and allow. And so began the Racing War, fought over the legality of dragon racing. The dragon racing was more of a symptom than the actual reason for the war; the war was really being fought over whether or not to allow dragons to be considered "people" like humans are; whether to give them pay and rights, or to treat them like horses.
The Coalition for Good, known more simply as COG, was created as an off-shoot of the United Nations to deal with this rising threat. As dragons had led to humans becoming an interplanetary species, it required the combined work of the United Nations to legislate anything happening off-earth on any sort of meaningful scale.
Directly in opposition to COG was the Dragon Racers United, known as DRU or the racers, a non-violent political protesting group dedicated to lobbying pro-racing laws through congress. Due to their non-violent stance, they did not make much early progress.
Soon, like a phoenix from ashes, Oz rose. A rejected government expirement, she was only a cyborg at this point; with only her legs below the knees replaced with axiom parts (much the same as Volts, it's not an accident that she specifically loses her legs). She pulled together all of the more radical parts of DRU and created Oz's Candyshop Inc, the largest interplanetary racing and gambling company in the system. Her radical, and rich, followers quickly built an army to rival COG, and the real war began.
Other, smaller, factions cropped up around this time too. In response to COG releasing a law requiring dragons working on Earth to enlist in the military, the New Draconism group formed. A deeply religious group, they saw the usage of dragons for war as deeply immoral. They worshipped dragons as gods, and felt they should be treated as such and not subjected to the whims of human fancy.
Next to splinter away were The Cartographers, a non-violent group of scientists dedicated to learning more about themselves, the dragons, and the solar system with dragons' help. They are economically left, as research requires a lot of funding, but other than the pursuit of science they're not very invested in the outcome of the Racing War. As long as dragons have the freedom to help them do science, they're content.
The youngest, and possibly most radical of all the factions, is the Free Space Alliance, a radically liberal group dedicated to pretty much just upsetting everyone. They believe dragons should have the freedom to do whatever they want, but they take that phrase entirely too literally. There's more sacrafice-based cults within its numbers than in New Draconism, which is saying something. They believe dragons shouldn't be bound by our laws at all, but also shouldn't be treated like humans. Their views manage to oppose every other factions' at once.
As the war between COG and Oz picked up, COG quickly learned that it was running out of human soldiers because it was fighting a war on so many fronts. The drafting age was dropped to 16, and COG started winning the war.
In response to this, Oz started her Spartan Project, designed to create super-soldiers and steal men from COG at the same time. It was seeing some success, but it was an expensive and slow project and Oz was losing the war.
That brings us to the opening of the book; Oz has been fighting a war for years that she's losing, and Volts and Issa were her latest spartans. Stevius gave his life to Oz to further her cause, and Issa became Oz's first User soldier.
The outcome of the war now rests on Volts' and Issa's shoulders.