|Public Domain Information|
|Leader||Chairman of the Company|
|Period active||2056 - 2592|
PDI is shorthand for Public Domain Information, inc. It was based in Rockville, Maryland, until 2075, when it was moved to the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda.
It was founded by Sid and Paul Preston in the mid 2050s as an attempt to popularize and commercialize inter-terminal communications. Before the advent of PDI's internally-developed "hard-networking" system, terminals were either isolated from the rest of the world or were connected via an internal network. With the "hard-networking" system, terminals as far apart as California and Maine could share information. For a monthly fee of 500$, a person could access information posted into the central database.
Sid pursued an aggressive marketing technique. He sponsored numerous local events, paid for ads in prime time television slots, and paid for billboard space. He even went so far as to hire telemarketers to call randomly-chosen phone numbers. Sid's efforts paid off, and by the end of the 2050s, there were as many as four million subscribers.
PDI's work caught the eye of the United StatesArmed Forces during the mid 2060s. For several million dollars, General Babcock bought a heavily-modified variant of PDI's hard-networking system. It was encrypted ten times over, and when first used during the Anchorage Reclamation, it proved to be worth the money. Messages got across the lines far faster than they ever had before, and the encryption had proven too hard for the Chinese to crack.
In 2072, PDI was officially subsidized as part of the United States Navy. It maintained its civilian database, and even made basic upgrades in communication such as instant telecommunication, where people could send small, less than 500kb messages back and forth for hours on end. However, the Government was officially looking in on the civilians, and anybody caught slipping up was arrested and sent to prison or even executed.
In 2075, PDI was relocated to the NNMC. There it had access to a prototype supercomputer capable of unheard of feats, such as holding an entire movie theater's worth of videos, in high-definition. This computer was connected to the Vaults in the DMV area, as a means of acquiring information for study by the remnant government. A fallout shelter was built around the computer, and claimed the title as the largest fallout shelter in the United States. A second fallout shelter using the same basic technology had been planned for the West coast, being built for the researchers of West Tek, but due to numerous setbacks, was not completed by the time of the Great War.
The Great WarEdit
When the Great War began on 2077, Sid and most of his employees, as well as the Sailors stationed on the NNMC, were relocated into the fallout shelter, where they were told they would live until given the all-clear. This fallout shelter was cutting-edge compared to the Vaults.
The shelter was intended to be entirely self-sufficient; it worked near-perfectly. It utilized a General Atomics International nuclear reactor and generator as a power source, as well as a water-filtration and purification system. Beyond that, it used sunlight-mimicking lamps on the shelter's lowest level, where the farms were kept. Human and cattle waste was used to feed the crops that were being grown.
For the time when Bethesda was drowned in radiation, PDI thrived below, making an easy living compared to the rest of the wasteland, and the vaults. And thanks to the super-computer, which the shelter was centered upon, and machinery which was capable of recycling and producing military-grade materials, PDI were capable of furthering Pre-War technology.
PDI initially remained secluded; Bethesda was one of the primary targets in the Capital Wasteland, and as such the base became heavily irradiated immediately following the war. For the first few decades after the Great War, PDI was self-sufficient, and was capable of producing its own food and water, and could perpetuate due to its large size. Its only detriment was the lack of genetic diversity.
In 2120, the base had been cleared of radiation thanks to time and rain. PDI first began to explore the ruined cities surrounding the base, namely Bethesda. Some of the people of PDI left the shelter to live in the ruins of Bethesda, where they ousted non-human mutants, for instance ghouls. They tolerated but segregated the humans who had survived.
By 2165, PDI expanded its reign outwards, taking in some of the smaller communities adjacent to Bethesda, and then pushing north. In 2180, PDI-Bethesda overtook the native inhabitants of Hagerstown, one of the then-largest pre-war communities in the Capital Wasteland. In order to consolidate its power, PDI's forces then moved into Baltimore—only to find it an inhospitable place, still suffering from a lethal amount of radiation. They settled instead the remains of Elicott city, which had been abandoned since the Great War. In 2200, with an army bolstered by men and women from the annexed communities, PDI pushed forth to Harrisburg.
In 2260, a rival upstart empire -- The Principality of Quebec -- pushed south from their long-time foothold trading port of Erie. There were several tense years as thousands of Québécois moved south and bolstered their military presence on their border. Although there was some reaction from the Commonwealth a ways east, nobody dared challenge Quebec, as they had conquered many hundreds of communities in a very short time span.
When war first broke out in 2277, initial fighting lasted over one month and casualties came up to about 30000 for the Québécois and 12000 for PDI-Bethesda, or about 7% and 9% of their respective overall populations. The war drew into a stalemate as both nations sized the other one up, fortifying their border towns in preparation for a long and bloody war; this is the time frame of Fallout: The Pennsylvania War.
In 2587, it was made clear that, between external pressures and internal dissent, the state of PDI, which had come to own all of what was once New England, could not survive. In 2588, civil war broke out between the Colombians—natives of the former DMV area—and the Institute, who had gained significant amounts of support in New England. Bethesda itself fell under fire as MiG-3000s seized from Quebec over two hundred years beforehand started flying sorties anew. The Colombians, whose technological advantage over other wasteland factions had diminished significantly over time, found themselves on the defensive against a numerically superior foe.
In October 20, 2588, the Chairman of the Company was killed by a MiG-3000 that strafed his VB-02 while it was on the runway. After his death, with no appointed heir, dozens of smaller factions claimed legitimacy to rule over PDI. BUMED claimed to be the heir by shared heritage, as that organization had once been stationed on the NNMC. The Spetsnaz' leader, who had come to work closely with PDI, claimed to have been chosen by the Chairman as his heir. In addition, several small organizations resurfaced, such as the remnants of the Québécois. Soon, the Institute declared its independence from PDI, and the remaining portions of the country were torn up between the small factions vying for power. By 2589, no portion of PDI existed that could trace itself back to the original establishment, ending its nearly 600-year existence. Only the Independent State of Bethesda remained loyal to PDI, but it was governed as a constitutional republic rather than a constitutional monarchy.