Far From The End:
A delightful little ASB scenario of mine that I thought I would try my hand at. This is a world set after the end of an alien invasion. The invaders actually had some preliminary planning, sending out some infiltrators that were prepared for the environment. Some were still lost, to either the environment or the natives, you can't do everything perfectly. The first major targets of the war were North America, the centre of the world's leading power and the site of their world government (there were huge misunderstanding about what the UN really was) and the Middle East, the largest concentration of their most important fuel source. The US military was hamstrung by the systematic destruction of their command centres along with many of their more populated cities. The Middle East was practically obliterated by the alien attack. The rest of the world was saved by the fact that these attacks had been slowly orchestrated, with forces moving into position very precisely and with the assumption that the UN really was a centralised world government.
Humanities only real advantages were desperation and numbers (in comparison to the aliens). Alien positions were overrun by hordes of armed soldiers and in some cases fanatical partisans. The Invaders armaments were far in advance of human technology but even they succumbed to sheer attrition and volume. Europe, Russia and China coordinated the attacks and even led the remnants of the American armed forces as they fought back against the invaders. Most of the world's nuclear arsenal was depleted and several more cities were destroyed but eventually humanity prevailed. The war had begun in June 2014 and lasted until February 2015. however in that short time the entire world had been traumatised by the massive upheaval this single year had created.
The nuclear missiles, massive conflagrations and the falling space ships caused immense climatic damage, reduced the global temperature and caused famines that killed hundreds of millions. Even decades later the climate changes did not recover properly. This did lead to the few countries who were capable of doing so to begin investing in genetically engineered food and nutrient pastes grown in vats. The distribution of resources became very difficult and the loss of so much fuel impacted global trade more than anything else. Most of the world fell into anarchy at the lack of certain necessities, riots broke out in most of the world's cities, mass migrations of urbanites into the countryside took place and some countries even collapsed completely.
It has now been 40 years since the Invaders attacked humanity. A lot of things have changed but by 2055 the world has stabilised into a new status quo.
The United States recovered to the point where they returned to democratic government about twenty years ago. Most of their large cities were obliterated in the invasion and they suffered enormous damage as well. Their days as a superpower are over and they may never reach the heights they had before the Invasion. Reconstruction is still ongoing in many areas and a lot of cities are still largely abandoned except for some token garrisons and reconstruction/salvage crews. The US is a far more conservative nation thanks to the majority of the survivors being in the rural communities. The army still have a lot of power having been the government during the reconstruction (Airforce 1 tried to pull an Independence Day and failed miserably, then again its not like they could have ever succeeded). They are no longer directly involved in government but still have a lot of informal influence. The government is also far more centralised thanks to the involvement of the military and the necessities of the reconstruction. America thankfully didn't receive as bad a famine as much of the rest of the world. The Grain Belt was thankfully not attacked and the death of most of the urban population meant less mouths to feed. Distributing food was more difficult though and food shortages and subsequent food riots were a normal occurrence during the worst of the post-Invasion years. America still has issues about accepting any more aid than necessary from the other world powers and they often react poorly to any offers of assistance from the rest of the world. They tend to complain to the other powers that hey took the brunt of the assault (which is partially true).
Despite some very large setbacks such the collapse of the global economy, the famines, climate changes and the destruction caused during the Invasion, China has emerged as the most powerful nation on Earth, though by a very narrow margin. China has rebuilt their economy to a fraction of what it was before 2014 but that is still a massive improvement of what it once was. In order to put down the unrest that emerged in the post-Invasion anarchy the army was allowed more power. The Politburo are still powerful but now they co-operate with the army in order to keep China stable and powerful. Sheer volume keeps China's economy going and whilst there is not as much of a market for mass produced toys and other things as their once was, there are more demands for lots of necessities such as food, processed metals and the components for renewable fuel generators though and in bulk too. China has abandoned any pretence of Communism now and is an openly red-brown fascist state. They are regaining a degree of prosperity though as their industry picks. They managed to lose no vitally important cities in the invasion (their losses mainly came from space debris and the riots that took place during the worst of the Aftermath) and though their population took a huge blow from famine and anarchy it bottomed out years ago at 742,108,689 in 2036. The police state has now been taken over by the military and police in infantry gear are common sights on the street, watching the people and waiting for any possible sightings of dissidents or criminals.
The people of China have seen a reduction in their standard of living and the middle class have rolled back very far compared to their position in 2014. Things are improving again as industry and trade return but the slums are enormous and living standard is only rising at a crawl. Pollution is an enormous problem and heavy metal poisoning and contaminated food and water are common causes of illness and death in China. Few genuine efforts (aside from more bleaching chemicals in the water supply and thicker filters) have been made to deal with these problems. The Chinese people are being encouraged to start having children again in order to deal with the high mortality rate which has yielded rather favourable results. The army is a tangible aspect of society with propaganda highlighting the visible soldiers on the street and the regular military parades and political rallies that are often festivals as much as they are political statements. Jobs have once again become arduous and most of the work is unbearable drudgery but as production increases so are working conditions. The factories and business owners blare out propaganda as much as the media and the politicians do.
China also has control over an alliance of nations in the West Pacific. These are mostly puppet states that were taken under China's wing after the Invasion. Taiwan still puts up a now quiet struggle and Indonesia is a weeping sore but the Chinese have a handle on most of this system. They are even making increased overtures into Africa, stabilising regions, sponsoring more agreeable warlords and introducing Chinese expertise (colonists) and industry to these ailing regions. They still dislike the Commonwealth for barring them from Malaysia and the rest of Africa and whilst the competition between the two power blocs is peaceful it is still fierce.
Russia came out of the war in an odd shape. Like Their allies they didn't suffer anywhere near as much as the United States though cities such as Omsk, Vladivostok and even Moscow were lost. The current government is in St Petersburg and has managed to settle the issues that arose. Standard of living dropped yet again and for a time things looked similar to how they did during the years of Stalin's Five Year Plans with starving people slaving away to meet harvest quotas whilst heavily armed soldiers and propaganda loomed over them. The Orthodox Church actually had a strange revival in these trying times, adopting some very violent and xenophobic rhetoric (to the aliens at least) and many people were swept up in it. Putin was at least clever enough to ride the waves of the movement and officially incorporated the increasingly militarised and zealous Church into the emergency government that had previously been dominated by military officials and Putin's inner circle. This all culminated in Putin actually declaring himself Tsar in 2039 after the country had stabilised once again and the death rates had dropped. Russia under the new Putin Dynasty (Putin died in the 2040s) is a very odd place to live. It has adopted a lot of old Soviet techniques of control and propaganda and combined it with lighter elements of fascism and the symbolism and rhetoric of a Christian theocracy all centred on the Tsar himself who has been appointed by God and rules with absolute power. The economy is fairly socialist with a few elements of capitalism at the top and bottom of the social spectrum. The big corporations are now all in government with the Tsar and his political allies holding a lot of shares whilst on the other end of business agriculture and some other primary industries are allowed (and even encouraged to) exceed their quotas and then independently sell their surplus.
Russian society is very authoritarian. The grim depressive atmosphere of the old USSR has returned to a lot of Russia. The cities have been fortified against any other possible threats and an initiative to place as much industry as possible underground was begun about seven years ago and is still ongoing. The Russian people are subjected to copious amounts of propaganda in the form of public rallies and religious sermons that public enthusiastically attend and absorb. Public executions are back and the occasional witch hunt against terrorists can sometimes turn into a community event if the right demagogue gets behind it. Every home has a picture of the new Tsarina in their home and the media channels are all subjected to government propaganda with much of the news being edited and doctored so that the message of global events corresponds with whatever the government wants the public to think. Thankfully the general spirit of human cooperation continues and discrimination is limited to simple contempt towards anyone not Christian (Orthodox Christians are considered the best) and enthusiastic attempts to convert them often involving threats.
Russia has built a modest empire in Central Asia but has not managed to spread their influence as far as the other powers thanks to competition with the other powers. Instead they have put the most effort of any of the great powers to understanding and reverse engineering Invader technology. Progress is still very slow but the Russian government has been overtly and covertly acquiring as much debris and as many Invader prisoners as possible.
The European Union has undergone massive upheaval and as a result has changed immensely as well. The Europeans suffered from the Aftermath and had an very noticeable swing to the right but still managed to hold off fascism. The EU is now a far more centralised system with an organized and centralised government, economy and military. France and Germany dominate the EU which has caused a lot of problems with the other nations. The member states of the European Union have cultural autonomy but by now the richer and more powerful member states have control of the EU Parliament. Britain's withdrawal did wonders for European unity though and a sort of Continental pan-nationalism has emerged. A European military was formed in the Aftermath and has gained a decent amount of credibility and prestige and even served as a testing ground for the integration of the various different peoples of the EU into a single entity. Europe has the most advanced technology and has made the most progress reverse engineering and integrating Invader technology.
Europe is still struggling with the after-effects of the Aftermath and several nations within their sphere of influence were actually occupied in order to prevent them from collapsing. Much of Europe is reminiscent of the final days of the Warsaw Pact and even France and Germany have struggled to rebuild their economies to even a fraction of what they were before the Invasion. People are generally more religious and right wing ideas have entered much of the population. The remaining European Muslims unfortunately are subjected to a lot of informal discrimination that the government ignores and even allows. A lot of anti-Muslim propaganda appears in much of the propaganda produced by nearly every large political group in the EU Parliament and even the political left indulges some right leaning rhetoric every now and then. Thanks to pro-life policies and the resurgence of conservative thinking (and the drop in standards of living) has raised the birth rate which is increasing more and more. A lot infrastructure investment is taking place and Europe has even militarised in order to maintain order and also guard against another possible invasion. Europe is also leading in the development and employment of synthetic materials. Renewable fuel sources are being researched, developed and refined by corporations and laboratories across the EU and they are also one of the largest market for Chinese built fuel source components.
The last (but not least) of the Big Four is the United Commonwealth. After Britain abandoned the European Union they searched for allies and with the United States having been almost obliterated by the Invaders they instead sought out the nations of the Commonwealth Realms and the other areas of the Anglosphere. In order to maximise their resources the various member states promoted a greater sense of unity between the Commonwealth states. Today the Commonwealth is a large but fairly rickety entity that is less developed and stable than the other three powers. The Commonwealth seems to have divided itself into two tiers. The Inner Commonwealth is made up of the firmly Anglicised nations such as the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. These members are the most united, stable and prosperous portions of the Commonwealth and thus have the most power and influence. The Outer Commonwealth nations are far less stable and culturally distinctive. Most of them are former parts of the British Empire but others are regions and nations that Britain has moved their interests and investments into. The Commonwealth is a democratic entity with an established pan-national parliament that has representatives from every member nation. The British Royal Family serve as the head of state but have little to no real power outside of symbolic influence. The British and the Inner Commonwealth lost several cities during the invasion and most of the Outer Commonwealth is still being reconstructed from the Aftermath.
The British Isles suffered through the Aftermath politely and only had to suppress a few riots compared to much of the rest of the organized world. The capital is still in Edinburgh as London has yet to be rebuilt and this has done wonders for British unity, as has the whole stand together or hang separately sentiment that has swept the planet. The UK is still democratic but also very authoritarian. They appear very much like a police state with numerous CCTV cameras, heavily armed police and frequent public messages through the media. However it is a very polite and civilized police state and has calmed down from their more repressive days during the Aftermath. Most Muslims left or were evicted except for the most noticeably secular or useful. The other demographics are generally respected so long as they are orderly and productive. This attitude has been exported to the rest of the Commonwealth and has been adopted with a few changes depending on whichever region of the Commonwealth it is. They also struggle to reverse engineer any of the Invader technology and have made the least progress. However some breakthroughs have been made and a few corporations have been able to make some products from Invader technology. Britain has the finest atmospheric converters in the world which they plan to adapt into a means of clearing up the pollution from industry and they have actually developed giant mecha (they rarely exceed 6 metres but that's still very large) which, now that they are being mass produced, have become a huge help in pacifying Africa.
The Commonwealth currently competes with the Chinese (and the EU to a lesser extent) over Africa. They do possess more territory on the African Continent but are struggling to develop and stabilise it compared to the Chinese. More industry is emerging on Africa but it is far more gradual and the number of warlords in their new territory is embarrassing. This has justified the expansion, centralisation and consolidation of their military and economy though. A lot of their pride now rests in their new size and reach even if it shaky at best. India suffered less than China from the invasion but the Aftermath was especially nasty and the migration/fragmented invasion by millions of starving Pakistanis certainly didn't help. India has absorbed or puppetized the warlord states of former Pakistan and even annexed Bangladesh and a few other areas. India is officially only an associate of the Commonwealth but they have increasingly become the manufacturing engine of the rest of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth has reverted to a lot of heavy industries in order to boost their economies.
The Middle East suffered horribly from the Invasion. Most of the population died from Invader orbital strikes. The Invader's mothership was in orbit over the region when it was shattered and brought down. The Aswan Dam was not attacked but was hit by a chunk of debris and washed most of Egypt out into the Mediterranean. Israel was not exempt from the attacks and even today various Zionist warlords hold out against the new Muslim settlers. Muslims from across Europe and North Africa as well as others from Central Asia, Pakistan and Indonesia have moved in to salvage whatever is left of the Middle East (Mecca received the most attention from these concerned groups). The area is now rife with warlords and demagogues that have built their own kingdoms and tyrannies and now battle one another for whatever resources they can find. An internationally guarded quarantine has been built around what is left of the Arabian oilfields but the rest of the area has been left to go to hell on its own. The quarantine line around the Middle East is very porous and people, terrorists and smuggled supplies slip through constantly. However every analyst agrees that without it the chaos around the Middle East would be much worse.
Technological advancement was slowed down by the war but has accelerated again in good order. The loss of the United States and most of their innovative companies impacted growth of technology really impacted things but the desperate search for means to alleviate food and resource shortages made up for it. The years after the worst of the Aftermath were some of the most rapid and desperate periods of innovation in recorded history. Ethics and standards were discarded in the face of so much death and chaos and gave rise to some truly monstrous attempts to alleviate the burden of shortages. GM crops adapted to more rigorous environments are now the norm despite the thankfully few cases where specimens escaped into the wild and caused minor ecological damage to a biosphere already struggling against incredibly rapid climate change, an increasingly toxic atmosphere and the wanton scramble for whatever resources could be found. Nuclear fusion has been discovered and the Germans Russians and Chinese have all built their own reactors that hardly even come close to breaking even with the immense costs required to build and maintain them. Still its the principle of the thing by this point. Invader technology has been a field of research that cause many scientists to tear their hair out in the face of its intricacy, often unnecessarily alien complexity and the fact that half of it seem to employ a form over function work aesthetic. Still the Big Four have made strides in their efforts to crack open the Invaders alien technology and plunder their secrets. None of the FTL engines survived the war though which has upset many people, especially those expecting a rapid expansion into space.
Most puzzling are the Invaders themselves. A significant number survived, though it was a mere fraction of the force that had initially entered orbit. Translation has been incredibly difficult and it took decades of research before anything resembling a dialogue could be set up. According to what could translate most of the prisoners being interrogated are actually mercenaries. Though following a strict warriors code with a rigid system of protocol and military etiquette that culminated in a lot of restraints in case they attempted to again die in an honourable death, they are considered incredibly unruly and liberal by their races standards. They follow a racial caste system that has divided their species and society into certain roles for millions of years, ever since their equivalent of hominids came to the surface. They are primarily subterranean, preferring dark environments and seeing things in a dimmer spectrum them humans. Outwardly they appear as a fleshy, rubbery cylinder with dermal armour on what could be referred to as the shoulders, back and chest. Eight limbs are spread in four pairs down their cylinder with four at the base for locomotion and a ring further up the cylinder just below the tapering tube that can be identified as a neck is placed. Their limbs are slender and spindly but apparently their endoskeleton is composed of stronger materials than calcium. Their 'heads' are round and appear bulbous on their comparatively spindly necks. They have eyes that can be expressive but require a lot more concentration on the part of any humans observing and segmented mouth parts surrounded by a ring of whisker-like tendrils. Of course this does not account for any cybernetic replacements and enhancements that have been built into the captives prior to their failed Invasion. Unfortunately without the technological base to maintain these implants many captives have died as vital cybernetic organs have broken or shut down.
The Invasion was not an orchestrated invasion on the part of the Invaders but was actually a private filibuster by a wealthy individual. Said powerful would be Conqueror was killed when the mothership fragmented and she failed to activate her environmental safety suit before she was sucked out into the vacuum. According to the more cooperative captive Invaders the Invader society is an oligarchy (its obviously a lot more complicated than that) who are ruled over by a massive collection of the ruling caste. There are five castes in their society, rulers, administrators, warriors, artisans and labourers. This society is highly stratified but is not a hivemind or mental collective and there are individuals as the fact that most of the captured invaders are mercenaries can attest to. Males seem to be very rare and the few that have been captured are far smaller and more fragile than the majority who have been revealed to be female. Supposedly they are also born far less frequently than females. Their stratified caste society is highly matriarchal and males are sequestered away and kept in special enclosures where they kept safe away from the dangers of the surface world, brought out of their enclosures only during the breeding seasons. Most of the prisoners that were captured are also of the warrior caste as well and little insight has been given for the other castes as the warriors actually know very little about them. This has also made understanding their technology as science and technology are the domains of the administrators and not thus taught to warriors.
Their societies are very slow and docile with expansion being a slow drawn out affair and battlefield doctrine is not really adapted unless it is proven to be completely inept at handling a given situation. The invasion targeted such a limited area because the only time the Invaders had ever fought an enemy that was more advanced than the human Enlightenment Era was a planet that had formed into a corrupt and rickety world government that immediately fell into anarchy when their government centre was destroyed (hence the destruction of the UN, they believed that Earth had a centralised world government). Earth's rapid and destructive response with weaponry more advanced than most of the Invaders former opponents is the reason behind the Invaders defeat. That and it was later revealed that the ruler that had organized the filibuster of Earth was a dislikeable and egotistical incompetent who coordinated a truly terrible strategy and fumbled every other strategic change she tried to organize and alter once the initial attack failed to end organized resistance.
The good news is that thanks to the docile complacency of the Invaders ruling body and the fact that the Invasion was a private venture means that the Invaders are unlikely to return. Despite ruling over several solar systems the rulers are likely to declare the Solar System a quarantined zone if they even noticed the botched attempt at expansion at all. At best this means we need not fear from them again. At worst we have bought ourselves some time to prepare and expand our arsenal.