The Empire Event was the name given to the event that was the destruction of Empire City at the hands of the Beast. All of the known survivors of the event were on a boat to New Marais, with Cole MacGrath among them.
This is gonna be a short-term visit, man. Just gonna get in, I'm gonna get some new powers, and then we're gonna come right back.
― Cole MacGrath, on his trip to New Marais.
A month after Cole MacGrath's confrontation with Kessler and his battle with David Warner, Cole was contacted by NSA agent Lucy Kuo regarding her findings on The Beast, her knowledge on its nature, and how she could help him. Her associate, Dr Sebastian Wolfe claimed that he can help amplify his powers and prepare Cole for the Beast's imminent arrival, with the knowledge he gained being a former member of the First Son's and working on the Ray Sphere. With this in mind, Cole boarded the boat to New Marais, with his friend Zeke Dunbar and Agent Kuo at his side.
Just as the ship was due to pull out of the harbor, a vortex appeared beyond the horizon, appearing in the sky right beside the statue in the heart of Archer Square. The destruction was instant, as civilians, vehicles and building were picked up and sucked toward the vortex. Unable to see innocents being harmed, Cole leapt from the ship and began making his way back into the city. As he opened a gate, allowing civilians to flee the carnage, he saw the visage of the Beast making his way through the ruins of the city. Shooting a lightning bolt towards him, Cole gets the Beast's attention who in return threw the remains of the Archer Square statue at him. Getting back to his feet Cole declared that he wouldn't let Kessler's vision become a reality. After a long fight, Cole was able to subdue the Beast long enough for him to call down a lightning bolt from the sky, which seemingly defeated the Beast. As the Beast sunk to the water, Cole made his way back to the ship before the pier collapsed.
Just as he jumped for the ship, Cole was held back by an unknown force, and was pulled back into the hand of a partially reformed Beast. As a last attempt of breaking free of the Beast's grasp, Cole summoned another bolt from the sky, which managed to get the Beast's hands off of him and back to the water, as Cole fell with it. Cole, badly injured, was pulled back onto the ship as it departed the now destroyed Empire City.
The Beast had just put itself back together again. And now Empire City is dead.
― Cole, on the destruction of Empire City.
Upon waking, Cole found himself in a bed with Zeke beside him, who was watching the news. Captivated, Cole sees the Beast, reformed, and watches as it destroys Empire City using a single blast of immense power. News media would later dub this event as the Empire Event and would draw several theories and suggestions as to what caused the event, such as an unnatural phenomena, or a terrorist attack, in one of his broadcasts, Joseph Bertrand III blames Cole for the event. The attack also led to the collapse of the U.S and the global financial systems as the Empire stock exchange was destroyed in the blast and the billions of dollars in damages caused by the Beast's rampage along the eastern seaboard.
The following years caused the citizens of the world to become distrustful of Conduits, leading to many deaths to members of said species, which also lead to the foundation of the Department of Unified Protection (D.U.P), who's sole function was to arrest Conduits(which were renamed Bio-Terrorists), and send them to Curdun Cay.