Balance of Power

Most nations and institutions exist as they do on our world and the issues are mostly the same with some notable exceptions:

North America: USA and Canada are experiencing a boom in their economies (the former more than the latter) because of the wealth generated by high tech industries based on the continent. Mexico is a stark exception as cheap labor becomes less important to the North American economy and the instability caused by the drug gangs (some with supers) further destabilizes things.

Central America: Like Mexico but worse. Many countries have already been effectively taken over by criminal organizations.

South America: Doing poorly but with some shining spots. Brazil, ever the sexier but less affluent cousin of the US, is progressing nicely with a new government that was more business friendly.

Europe: Germany, England and Ireland have surged ahead based on materials tech, immigrant supers, and computer tech… in that order. Scandanavia is somewhat moribund and the more socialist eastern European countries are in a profound recession. Excepting Russia which has surged ahead based on purchased (and some say stolen) technologies. Vladimir Putin resembles a Bond Villain more so than even in our world and Russian supers are active both visibly and covertly.

Middle East: Fossil fuel demand has plunged and shows no signs of reversing course. The same regimes exist, but it’s harder to afford the palaces and extravagent lifestyles now. Lacking an abiding interest in the region, most of the world has turned its back on the blood-coated sands as internicine warfare ratchets up. Israel is, as usual, a counterpoint and defends its country rigorously. (Note: Sept 11 didn’t happen as in our history due to the intervention of Stopper.) Without the wash of money to fuel conflict in the region, the ‘Palestinian problem’ doesn’t exist.

Asia: China has a vertible army of supers under strict control by the government… except when they escape. It’s estimated that at least half of all supers born in the China have emigrated or defected… mostly to the US, Korea, Hong Kong or Japan. China and Pacific Rim countries have taken a major blow if their economies depended on cheap labor as a big selling point. Japan and Korea have weathered the changes well, and both sport superheroes (and have the highest per capita percentage of corporate heroes). Hong Kong is an independent country despite rumblings from China.

Africa: North Africa has followed the Middle East model above. Central and Southern Africa are doing relatively better. Several dictators in our world are food for worms in the PTA world as fed up people with superpowers have eliminated them in several bloody coups. Mugabe, against the odds, is holding on but only because he developed super powers of his own and has a death squad that rivals that of those in the Middle East for brutality.

Australia: Like our Australia, but more so. The Abos made a strong bid for a separate state unsuccessfully, but have a fair-sized and motivated voting bloc to see to their rights. The fact that they have about twice the number of superheroes per capita puzzles researchers but has been independently confirmed numerous times.

Antarctica: Yes, really. Several supers camped out directly on the South Pole and declared it an independent country right on Jan 1, 2001. Satellites show that the central polar ice cap is gone (no one is quite sure what they did with all the water) and there is a jungle-like environment right in the middle. Several countries have, somewhat hesitantly, recognized the Free State of Antarctica and the US is expected to do so soon.

Balance of Power

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