|The subject of this article is based on declassified sources that were not publicly available during the game's formal run.|
Compound B1Y5 is a non-lethal chemical agent developed under a joint project between the United Arab Republic and Northwestern American Union in Imperium Offtopicum XIV. The compound induces sedative and hallucinogenic effects including reduced aggression, heightened sense of pleasure, altered state of consciousness and reduced reflexes. Consequently it is popularly nicknamed "Bliss", and after production relocated to the UAR a modified form of the agent was distributed commercially as a civilian pharmaceutical.
Conceived as a means of strategic warfare against Japan that did not violate the Salisbury Convention, development began in 2106 but did not enter mass production until after the Pacific War. Despite this, the Pan-American Union accused the NWAU of engineering the poison food crisis, using international confusion as an excuse to launch the Winter War.
Background and developmentEdit
Inspiration for the project emerged in late 2105 during an advisory session between the United Arab Republic and Roman Empire over Operation Devil-Fish, the proposed Greco-Roman invasion of the Japanese Home Islands. Rome sought advice over strategies to suppress guerrilla uprisings without inducing collateral damage. The UAR delegation replied that as the Salisbury Convention only expressly prohibited lethal agents such as anthrax and mustard gas, non-lethal methods previously banned under the Geneva Conventions (now superseded by Salisbury) such as tear gas were not expressly forbidden, meaning Rome "could, if [it] really wanted, carpet bomb Japanese cities with marijuana so the public is too stoned to fight".
In preparation for Operation Sunset, the UAR subsequently adopted the idea as a morally safer alternative to Korea firebombing Japanese civilians. Concerned that home territory was at risk for foreign espionage, it contacted the newly-formed Northwestern American Union, which agreed to host production sites on the promise of a seat in the final peace talks. Construction of a research facility began in Alberta in the spring of 2106 to devise a chemical compound capable of temporarily disorienting and pacifying the subject. The goal was twofold: to erode enemy willpower and enable frontline forces to subdue the opposition with minimal combat, and to undermine economic productivity by sedating the working populace. Prototyping was completed that autumn and tested through a range of delivery systems, with full-scale production slated to begin the following spring.
In the Fall of 2106, Japan was devastated by food sabotage undertaken by Indonesia that claimed twenty million lives. Shortly after, a Texark spy that had infiltrated the B1Y5 site's construction reported home that Jerusalem was overseeing a chemical weapons buildup by Vancouver for use against Japan; while Indonesia had planned its sabotage independent of the Pacific War's combatants, the spy claimed the two projects were part of a common strategy.
The Pan-American Union immediately issued an ultimatum to Vancouver demanding the expulsion of all United Arab staff, the surrender of all project documentation, full compliance with an investigation by PAU "forces", and the extradition of all facility personnel into PAU custody. Vancouver admitted to the facility's existence but stated that it was not connected to the sabotage, and reiterated that the B1Y5 agent did not violate the Salisbury protocol, requesting that the investigation be undertaken by a neutral third party.
Texarkana rejected the compromise, and went on to state that United Nations conventions did not factor into its ultimatum. When after 24 hours Vancouver had not complied with the ultimatum, the Pan-American Union declared war. St. Louis' eagerness to pursue the warpath and its refusal to compromise led many states to regard it as bullying a weaker neighbour, and even after occupying Alberta it failed to produce evidence of the facility at all.
Relocation to UAR and frontline deploymentEdit
The United Arab delegation returned to Jerusalem with all salvageable data and resumed the project through local facilities. B1Y5 entered service as part of the UAR's expeditionary army in the Winter War, and was later deployed in Anatolia during the Soviet invasion, yet did not come to public attention until late in 2113.