The Abused Future:
Just something that came to me late at night, one day, and was expanded upon later. So the year is 3015 and the world has really changed. Humanity reached great heights and the 25th Century was a near century of relative peace until the Gene Wars and the 3rd Spiritual Reaction. The short rise of the Neo-Luddites in North America in the 2570s set humanity back even further than the renewed periods of warfare and after over a century of on and off warfare it all finally culminated with the Ascendancy Project followed by the subsequent God Conflict that finally forced humanity down into a new Dark Age. Things bottomed out and several centuries later several new status quo had taken shape and things kept changing from there.
One of the world's new leading powers is the Azani Dominion. South Africa once again suffered a fairly turbulent history and during the Gene Wars the population was devastated. The remaining white population was subsequently purged afterwards in a horrendously violent uprising. By resurrecting a somewhat old national identity they were able to unify their nation. They avoided the Luddite Wars of the 2570s and instead focused on rebuilding their infrastructure. In 2620s the new and thoroughly radicalised regime suggested a new path towards survival and supremacy. Soon enough genetic engineering that had previously been outlawed was implemented on the majority of the population. Soon the new generation of genetically augmented children was born. Originally they watched over the remaining un-enhanced humans but it didn't take much time for a master race mentality to emerge. On the other hand it did take a while for this ideology to take over the entire nation. With armies of augmented soldiers they expanded across Africa and finally finished their conquest of the continent just in time for the God Conflict to level their empire. They reformed around their core territories and have spent several centuries recovering. Their enhanced abilities gave them advantage when it came to rebuilding and retaining technology. They are now a 'racist' autocratic technocracy. However they do suffer from problems concerning the lower technology level that Africa still constantly suffered from. The entire population has been enhanced now and whatever humans remain under their control are carefully regulated, many are chemically castrated or have their genes infected with specialised gene infections in order to convert their children into augments.
North America has taken a serious beating over the past few centuries but finally a new great power has emerged from the centre of the continent. The Republic of True America is a technological theocracy that was created as a reaction to the devastation of the God Conflict. Their form of Christianity incorporates many of the discoveries made by the Ascendancy Project and hopes to one day resurrect the entirety of the Project and reach its full potential. They are violently nationalistic and contemptuous of all other nations. Due to the loss of so much information in the last few centuries the attempts to resurrect old American culture have been rather poor and the current form appears to amalgamate features from the 20th Century, 22nd Century and 23rd Century in very exaggerated fashions. The surveillance state is run by cybernetically enhanced operatives that are considered somewhat more trustworthy than AI controlled systems due to several incidents with advanced self-learning machines. Their duty is to monitor the ideology of the individual citizen and those who's faith is found lacking are sentenced to re-education. The few remaining city states and petty tyrannies on the coastlines are all heavily armed and radicalised and also claim the legacy of the allegedly mighty American Empire. A few of them even possess ancient technology from before the Gene Wars and the God Conflict but they have forgotten the ability to replicate them or even use them properly in a few cases. The after-effects of the Neo-Luddites still scar the North American continent and even with the technocratic ideals of True America there is a great deal of superstition and distrust around certain fields of research and the occasional preference for engineering attitudes towards machinery. Most soft technology is also disliked due to various moral reasons hat built up over the centuries.
High Brasil has transformed itself into biotechnological metropolis with genetically engineered vegetation covering the cities and dealing with pollution. Bioluminescent creatures provide light for many areas and specially adapted beasts of burden carry heavy loads and transport people. Natural waste is channelled away to the massive agricultural complexes made up of massive specially engineered food plants that can reach many metres into the sky and are adapted to be far more efficient at harvesting energy. These are surrounded by pens containing massive corpulent meat beasts created and raised to feed the population whilst actually being tasty. Hard technology is mostly used in High Brasil to manufacture the special materials necessary to creature the massive high rises that house the population as well as military equipment of course. However they do struggle to actually project any real power beyond their borders and do suffer raids from the surrounding states as well as threats from True America and the Azani over sea trading routes. The people of High Brasil have avoided extensive self-augmentation due to several moral reasons and fear of their nation turning into one similar to the Azani.
Europe suffered the worst of the God Conflict by far. As the centre of research and development for the Ascendancy Project it was also the centre of the Conflict and received the most damage as a result. However some areas did survive and recover. Grand Britannia only made it through thanks to an extensive system of bunkers that had been built prior to the Gene Wars and subsequent issues. Grand Britannia has transformed itself into an expansionist theocracy based around the discoveries of the Ascendancy Project. They have suffered a few invasions from the Americans in an attempt to capture the technology of the Ascendancy Project but they have been fought off. The armies of Grand Britannia are equipped with weapons that appear to be almost magical for the fruits of the Project produced some very strange and disturbing results. Recently they have begun a campaign of conquest to retake Europe, their armies spearheaded by immense humanoid creatures that are grown in enormous vats and then harnessed by advanced technology and have control systems lodged directly into their nervous systems. These new weapons have given them the advantage they need in order to conquer the cybernetic augment empire of Schweiz that dominated much of the continent. The Balkans also received less of an impact from the various wars and right now have rebuilt and created their own empires. Thanks to being the centre of much research and development over the centuries the Europeans have also been uncovering as much technology from the past centuries and many people are attempting to replicate them, usually with great difficulty.
The fifth great power of the 31st Century is the renewed empire of All Under Heaven. After the final death of the corrupt 3rd Peoples Republic in the middle of the god Conflict the people of China were left under the rule of various warlords and megalomaniacs. One of the warlords managed to get his hands on a reusable doomsday machine (the fuel costs are horrendous) and defeated all of his rivals as well as a few other petty empires that had been formed in the area. All Under Heaven exploits a lot of the neo-theocratic ideals that have spread across the planet but are not necessarily theocratic themselves. A lot of strange ideas concerning classical Chinese culture has been adopted once again to give this empire new legitimacy but like True America a lot of it is very exaggerated. The Chinese may not have recovered as much technology as the other great powers but they have the advantage of volume and they at the very least know how to repair their remaining superweapons. A regional rival is the Union of Pacifica who have set up a hyper-advanced thassalocracy across many of the islands and coastlines of the Pacific. Pacifica also rules over the last functioning deep sea floor metropolis.
There are numerous other states and petty empires spread across the world. They may all exist within the shadows of the big four but many of them are still forces to be reckoned with and few nations declare war lightly for whilst so much technology has been lost enough survives to make mutually assured destruction a very real threat. Most states are autocratic in some fashion with democracy (of the universal style) being seen as a very backwards and even dangerous system. Few leaders believe that the common man on the street has any idea behind the complexities of government though the rates of corruption and incompetence in quite a few of these states does also give the impression that most of the ruling classes have no idea either. A few new ideologies such as technocracy, theocracy and neo-monarchism have instead arisen to take the place of the abandoned systems. One of these states is the Revised Caliphate which has embraced a technologically progressive form of Islam that was popular in the 25th and 26th Centuries. It is however aggressively expansionist as well and has made a habit of covertly collapsing its neighbours and annexing them. The new Russian Empire follows some kind of insane mixture of authoritarian oligarchy and technocratic corporatism and has been attempting to make their empire completely self sufficient through extreme resource control and refinery. Thankfully it's population is still too small and its technology still too primitive by comparison to make it a great power.
As the centuries passed humanities rate of development and discovery accelerated along with their technology. They have fallen far from what previous generations benefited from centuries ago but regardless humanity has advanced exponentially far from where they were a thousand years ago. Most states have at the very least recovered to 23rd Century levels of technology by now with the Great powers averaging at 25th Century with elements from the 26th and 27th. Most cities are now arcologies of some design and reach far into the sky and deep underground. They are connected by maglev lines that carry massive trains at incredible speeds over the continent. Three of the fabled orbital elevators remain intact, the other five having been destroyed by war. They are incredibly valuable and the Great Powers still fight to capture them. Armies fight with power armour, laser based weaponry, vibrating blades, giant mecha, floating battleships and aircraft carriers, genetically engineered monsters and radiation free superweapons. However it often difficult to equip every soldier with this equipment and they often must cope with inferior quality weaponry. Artificial Intelligence does exist but most people keep them at simple levels of intellect for the memories of the unfathomable and malevolent Data Core that ravaged humanity in the 28th Century still remain. Genetic engineering has cured a number of hereditary ailments as well as increased life span by significant degrees. It is believed that the Ascendancy Project had discovered immortality but that too was lost in the God Conflict along with so many of the discoveries made before then. The Ascendancy Project did leave behind a number of artefacts and technology that produce almost supernatural results can still be found scattered across the world. Europe is a treasure trove of lost technology and those who live there benefit from the remains the most. Cybernetic and genetic modification have become commonplace now though the degrees to which people subject themselves to it vary from region to region. Artificially created plants and animals now roam much of the wilderness having broken free of captivity in the terrible wars. Many have wreaked devastation on the natural ecosystems but in time they have been integrated and a new equilibrium is beginning to take shape. Deep crust mines now provide resources, the veins closer to the surface having been dried up by human activity. In space the remnants of humanity's colonies continue to limp on. When the Earth went to war their extra-terrestrial territories were dragged along with them as it had always been when great powers fought. Many have been destroyed and countless others withered away without supplies. The few that are left are tragic and impoverished communities, scrapping out lives from the dusts of Luna and Mars. In the Asteroid Belt only shattered and crushed habitats serve to memorialise the once exotic community that existed here and beyond on that lies only the wreckages of orbital colonies, generation ships and other artefacts of a richer age.