It took a bit of time but here's one more map-profile to end the year on. A map based on the PC game Sid Meier's Civilization Beyond Earth
), which is both part of the long-running Civilization
series and a spiritual successor to the classic spin-off Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri
). The premise is that a few centuries in the future, long after a Great Mistake messed up the world, the Earth itself is starting to run down. Thus begins the Seeding: an international project where various countries and political blocs (even one powerful US corporation) send their own colony ships ala Interstellar
off-world in order to guarantee humanity's future. The actual game involves said colony ships making landfall generations later, and how they develop and survive is up to the player.
In any case, there are a few tweaks and a bit of artistic license to make it relatively more plausible. There are also a few nods to *Alpha Centauri*, certain other works and a nod to modder JFD ( to steamcommunity.com/profiles/76…
), from whom the Iron Pact and Christian Democratic Commonwealth come from.
Hope you enjoy!
(UPDATE: Polished the description.)
A figure whose name is lost to time once said that the future ain't what it used to be. That much is certain. At some point in the 21st Century AD, a sequence of events unfolded that reverberated around the world. Climate disruption, social turmoil, mass migrations and even limited nuclear exchanges transpired in what history now calls the Great Mistake. Much had been lost or swept in the chaos to the point that even the circumstances of those times and those immediately before it remain muddled. But though it set back humanity at large dearly, life went on. Civilization got back up on its feet as order and stability returned. Eventually, society began to match and to a degree even surpass what the pre-Mistake age accomplished. Still, one would be foolish to think that the modern world would be directly comparable to the past, especially given the future looming over us all.
In North America, the United States managed to weather the chaos of the Great Mistake more or less intact. And while the Americans remain a prominent player in the global stage, their endurance came with a literal price. In order to maximize what resources were available at the time, the Federal Government resorted to outsourcing mandates if not entire regions to private companies with various degrees of success. Of these, the most powerful and influential is the American Reclamation Corporation, whose fortunes truly took off with the Trans-Mississippi Recovery Initiative. Such is the ARC's clout that it'd not only expanded its portfolio or dominated Old Wall Street, but has also become the premier corporation in America, a fact that worries some activists and government officials. In more recent years, it's even extended to space operations, though Congress quickly stepped in to regulate their more flagrant activities. Indeed, its CEO Suzanne Fielding is often joked as having enough money to buy the world.
Further south, the vast majority of Latin America is under the Organization of South American States, a grand euphemism for its true leading power: Brasilia. Having endured difficulties long before the Great Mistake, the Brasilians took bold measures to survive the chaos, going so far as to conduct peacekeeping operations both close to home and far-away areas like Central Asia. In time, Brasilia not simply integrated nearly all of South America with its economic clout but also rose to become one of the world's leaders in military power, a reputation that holds to this day. While many of the Spanish-speaking member states may grumble, not even the most antagonistic of Argentinians would deny that the order and prosperity symbolized by Rio de Janeiro or the inland capital of Brasilia-DF are massive steps ahead from the days of the Caudillos and corrupt oligarchs.
Across the Atlantic, much of Africa is part of the People's African Union. One of the largest blocs in the world if relatively poorer, it is the end-result of what some call the sub-Saharan renaissance, in which pockets of order and stability emerged amidst the upheaval of the Great Mistake. These enclaves, bound together by self-reliance and traditional communalism eventually encompassed many countries and tribal groups across the continent, bringing peace to lands that had previously seen little more than bloodshed; indeed, pacification and stability remain a major priority for the myriad members of the PAU. But for all its resources, potential and widespread solidarity, the memories of the dark days remain deep. Neither has economic development been as evenly distributed or consistent as was originally intended, prompting PAU delegates to make deals with various corporations and entrepreneurs, fully aware of risking a new Scramble for Africa.
Meanwhile, the heart of the Old World has seen much happen over the past two centuries. As the European Union and the unity it promised drowned in turmoil, new powers had since taken form. The west is one under the transnational Union of Franco-Iberia, which encompasses the Mediterranean. Though known more for its wealth, culture and vineyards there is no question that its predomiantly French masters are more politically skilled than their decadence may suggest. Neither is it denied that Franco-Iberian hubris is legendary, seeing itself as the caretaker of Western culture itself. The lands of Central Europe on the other hand have become known as the Iron Pact, the result of populist reformers and the Great Houses of generations past restoring order and continuity. From Bavaria and the remnants of Germany, it has grown to encompass various realms in a system combining the ancient Holy Roman Empire with much more democratic concessions. The royalists and Houses have also extended their hands into countries sympathetic to the thrones, be it for historic or economic reasons. Both these factions claim to be successors to the EU. All while the United Kingdom and what remained of its Commonwealth joined the Scandinavian nations to form the Christian Democratic Commonwealth, with little interest in seeing another "Eurozone society" from forming.
Yet these powers would find some difficulty in approaching the scale of the Slavic Federation. Forged by a persistent, ambitious Russia in the aftermath of the Great Mistake, the Slavics are as peculiar as they are powerful. Though torn by infighting, particularly between the so-called Poland-Galicia-Ukraine clique and the Russian-dominated center, they are united by a shared cultural heritage, scientific know-how and a common bond of resolve. For all the bombastic parallels made with the old Soviet Union and Russian Empire, the diverse peoples calling the SF home have achieved through hard work and some faith what the Premiers and Tsars of yore could only imagine. In fact, it's been through industry and innovation that the Slavics have also become one of the most prominent players in space-based programmes.
A close match however does exist in the Far East through the Pan-Asian Cooperative. Established by the People's Republic of China during the Great Mistake, it has in time come to symbolize the best Asia has to offer, stretching from the Mongolian steppes to the revitalized megalopolis of Singapore and even including former rivals Japan and Korea, albeit with some misgivings. Its large, revitalized cities are as productive and as the great factories that dot much of the PAC. Even its research hubs compete fiercely with the best that Moscow or Paris can muster, while its myriad corporations would put the ARC to shame if ever they coalese like the Zaibatsu of old. Such is the PAC's clout that it, or rather its Chinese superiors in Beijing can proudly claim that their time in the sun is far from over.
Further off, the Indian Subcontinent has undergone a dramatic change over the generations. Amidst the population movements and internal unrest tearing the Republic of India, a religious figure by the name of Raj Thakur became a rallying figure among a growing number of adherents. After his death, his daughter Kavitha rose into prominence, conducting various humanitarian campaigns before becoming the leader and face of the Protectorate named in her honor. The results nearly speak for themselves, however bizarre they seem. For while the Kavithan creed, which includes elements from various religions, is nowhere near as accepted as the endless images of its founders attest, its emphasis on religious tolerance, optimism and resourcefulness have helped the Indian peoples recover from the Great Mistake. Still, questions remain on the ruling figurehead claiming to be Kavitha herself, with experts either baffled or refusing to answer for their sanity.
While the Commonwealth of the Pacific, more commonly known as Polystralia continues to grow. Having severed their remaining ties to the British during the Great Mistake and faced with rising seas, Australia, New Zealand and the myriad states and islands around the Pacific and Indian Oceans banded together in the name of survival and the environment. In the process, they became pioneers in climate engineering and soon sought to exploit their familiarity with the seas to the fullest. As a result, Polystralia has become a major economic and cultural powerhouse that continues to attract those seeking sanctuary and profits alike. And while poverty in the less developed regions is an issue as is the occassional seccesonist uprising, there remains much to admire, unless one is perhaps from their Anglo-Scandinavian rivals half a world away.
Such then is the state of affairs in AD 2210. It is a peculiar age to be sure, where the familiar and novelty blend. Across the globe, new technologies continue to be developed, with trade and communications keeping the myriad countries linked to one another. Already, a number of powers maintain a sizable presence in space particularly in the fields of orbital settlement, off-world mining and exploration. And though socio-political issues continue to remain hot botton affairs human civilization has made great strides in rebuilding itself, if not surpassing heights reached before the Great Mistake. If anything, one from those times would be more than impressed, as strange as this altered turn of events may seem. But all is not right with the world. As mankind's time on the planet itself may be ending.
Not long ago, the UN Commission Report on the Inflection Point was released, confirming what some scientists and religious figures, even the relatively upbeat Kavithans had feared. The coming of a so-called Inflection Point was all but inevitable, wherein conditions on Earth would no longer make it possible to sustain human life, let alone the capacity to respond. For all the achievements of the past few centuries, mankind is living on borrowed time, prompting many to look to the stars themselves. Thus, the Seeding has been set in motion. A grand, international venture in which various countries and blocs - while cooperating in developing the necessary technology, logistics and self-sustaining policies - send their own cryogenic colony ships into the void, where they would for all intents and purposes have to survive on their own. The Slavic Federation was among the earliest signatories to announce their first Seeding expedition, as was Brasilia and even the Kavithan Protectorate. They have since been followed by the other powers and various states for so long as the capabilities and resources are there; indeed, a few private players like the ARC and even bodies like the UN itself have likewise gotten involved directly with their own plans. All in the name of ensuring the survival of human civilization.
The risks involved are immense to say the least. Those who have volunteered or been chosen to leave their homes and loved ones behind would for all intents and purposes be on their own, faced with thriving on alien landscapes that may not even be anything remotely recognizable. While those left behind could only hope for the best and make do with today. Hoping that whatever happens here or whatever would become of the Seeding in the years to come, those brave souls who have set off from this pale blue dot for God, country and the good of all mankind would carry on the human spirit.
Somewhere beyond Earth.
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