The dream of the United Nations (UN) had fallen apart. The utopian dream for a world government had not been abandoned, though. The UN was not a victim of war or aggression. It was a causality of peace. Nuclear disarmament started when the INF treaty between the United States (US) and the Soviet Union (USSR) was signed in 1987. The remaining stockpiles of nuclear weapons were whittled away with other treaties until the Breinz Treaty of 2015 eliminated the remaining nuclear weapons.
The European Community (EC), the People's Republic of China (PRC), the US, and the Soviet Confederation agreed to consolidate their conventional military forces into the United Earth Forces (UEF). The consolidation was completed in 2035. The great economic powers no longer had military forces to oppose each other with.
The world seemed to be well on
its way to the vision of peace embodied by the dream of the League of Nations,
the hope of the United Nations and Gobachev's glasnost. The US discontinued
funding of the UN in 2036. The UN General Assembly voted to disband as of June
8, 2037. The UN collapsed because of the efforts of the Paideia Institutes. The
four Institutes were organized in 1995. Their mission was to educate people to
live in the world. The Institutes' programs were divided into three areas:
population control, ecological awareness, and conservation. These programs
probably kept the Earth from becoming uninhabitable. The four Paideia Institutes
are: Americas, Euroasia, Africa, and Pacific. Each Institute was responsible for
Paideia activities within its geographical area. The Institutes worked together
under the direction of the Paideia Council. Gradually, the Institutes
established a political power base. Then, they became players in world politics.
The Institutes entered into politics by, first, mediating and, then, arbitrating disputes between countries and corporations. In the first landmark case, America's Paideia Institute mediated an agreement between the US, Mexico and Texaco for an oil spill clean up. It was signed on October 7, 2018. This was the first mediation case for any of the Institutes.
The Paideia Institutes had
arbitration contracts with most of the countries and major corporations in the
world. The next landmark case was an arbitration case between Canada and the US.
Canada had brought the US to arbitration to force the closure of coal fired power plants in the Mid-west. Canada's grievance was that the exhaust from these plants caused acid rain which was falling in Eastern Canada. This was an ongoing dispute between the US and Canada since the 1980's. When the US signed a general arbitration agreement with Americas Paideia Institute, Canada filed the grievance. Three years later, The US exhausted its final appeal. The initial decision still stood: the US must shut down the coal fired power plants. The decision was recorded on February 10, 2041. The US was given one month to comply with the decision. The US ignored the decision. On March 10, 2041, Americas Paideia Institute security forces closed the plants. The Paideia was established as a defacto world government.
The UEF military command assets were turned over to the Paideia Security Corps (PSC). This consolidation demilitarised the US, the Soviet Confederation, the EC and the PRC. It also removed the last military organization that could challenge the Paideia's forces. The Institutes maintain authority in all intermember disputes. This has been liberally interpreted to include any actions that affect more than one member, such as the burning and clearing of South American rain forests.
Several observatories announced that they were tracking what appeared to be spacecrafts approaching the Earth. Arrival date was estimated to be several months. Scientist were still tracking the incoming craft when the Hordian ships appeared in orbit (proving faster than light travel was possible). The three Horde ships appeared on February 18, 2050. They did nothing for two months.
Then they answered the messages that they had been receiving with one, simple broadcast, "The Stark Fist claims the plunder of Earth. You animals will produce and feed the Horde. The Stark Fist has spoken." While this message was being broadcast, the Horde launched The Attack -- simultaneous slaving raids on New York, Paris, Tokyo, and Rome and attacks on space stations and Moon Colony. The raids showed the might and ruthlessness of the Horde. Innocent blood flowed in rivers. The causality estimates from these initial raids is 5,000,000 dead and 10,000 captured.
The Horde did not want humans in space. All space stations are presumed destroyed. They were not designed to withstand combat. Nothing has been heard from Moon Colony. Paideia officials speculate that some colonist might be alive. The earlier portions of the Moon Colony had been designed while there was still fear of war between humans. No communication has been received from the Colony since The Attack.
In August of 2050, the Horde landed in and destroyed Cape Town, South Africa. Hordians rebuilt a city of their own over the old city. Cape Town serves as their primary Earth base. Outposts were placed throughout most of Southern Africa. This move cut access to many strategic substances.
The Horde launched a campaign of terror. They are experienced terrorist. Their goal is not to conquer earth, but to plunder it. Hordians raid for food, slaves, entertainment and luxury items. The biggest individual items are movies and chocolate.
The PSC was granted control of all remaining armies in the face of the Horde's attacks. They now command all the world's military forces. UEF researchers had developed and tested Shock Armour, personal combat armour made of ceramics, composites and ballistic cloth. The PSC mothballed this design because of the cost and what the PSC considered to be overdesign. The armour was meant to be used at the front lines in a war. PSC Command could not conceive that such heavy armour would be needed again. After the first attack, the PSC started production of Shock Armour.
The PSC fought a loosing battle for nearly two years. During this time the Horde did what it wanted. Eighty million humans were killed and another million were taken as slaves. One thousand Hordians were confirmed dead during this time. Paideia forces could not respond with sufficient manpower quickly enough to defeat Horde raids. Despite public outcries, PSC forces started to guard critical locations with large concentrations of troops and weapons. This strategy kept the Horde from taking critical supplies in several raids. The first of these defences was at the Los Alamos Testing Grounds. On December 6, 2051, Hordians attacked in an attempt to capture fissionable material stored at the location. The Horde withdrew after a four hour battle. The Paideia had finally developed a winning defensive strategy. They had yet to find an effective offence.
In 2047, the Paideia had started to dismantle the UEF research complex. This was to be a gradual process because of the number of jobs involved. The dismantlement was scheduled to take ten years. When the Horde declared their intentions, the PSC cranked research up to full steam. They needed an offensive weapon against the Horde. The first hope for an offensive weapon came from the Biowar Alpha facility. It did not seem to be much of a weapon, but it was all that three and a half years of research had come up with: the Morituri Process.
A squad of five experienced soldiers were treated. Three survived the process. They became the Blackwatch. On March 17, 2054, they attacked Cape Town and killed the First in the Field(#2 Hordian). Clinton Rogers was killed during the raid. Woodrow Green died from the Morituri Effect on the way out from the raid. Bruce Hagashi was killed when the Horde nuked the escaping scramjet. None of the Blackwatch returned home, yet they were victorious. The Horde had been hurt. They proved that humans can fight back. Hope was reborn.
After the Blackwatch, Strikeforce Morituri was formed. This squad of superpowered soldiers have proven to be the needed offensive weapon against the Horde. Strikeforce made its first appearance in August, 2054. They began a steady offensive against the Horde. They were working form a hidden base in the Canadian Yukon Territory: Morituri Mountain.
Strikeforce Morituri was initially used for counter-raid missions. They even managed to get aboard the orbiting mother ship. Strikeforce travelled using a rail gun launched scramjet. Eventually, the Horde figured out the approximate launch area of the scramjet. The Horde was not used to being hurt. They did not like their cattle to fight back. They wanted to punish the humans who dared fight, to show that fighting was useless.
The Horde struck the Mountain on November 5, 2055. The Horde used nuclear weapons sparingly, but that day, no radar could track them all. No one knows how many warheads fell that day. The land was classified for 100 miles around the Mountain. The Strikeforce had just returned from a raid on the Horde ships in Jupiter orbit. All Strikeforce members were in the Mountain recuperating. No one is known to have survived. It is believed that this strike may have used the Horde's entire arsenal of strategic nuclear weapons. They have not used nuclear weapons since the strike on Morituri Mountain.
On February 7, 2056, the next generation of Strikeforce Morituri was unleashed on the Horde. This generation became an offensive weapon, indeed. The new Morituri headquarters was on a train. One of the cars mounts the scramjet. Training and daily workouts took place on the train. The Strikeforce Commander and Strikeforce Morituri were on the train with a complement of security guards. All other planners and support personnel were distributed around North and South America. The train travelled constantly across North and South America on a computer planned random schedule. The Morituori were indeed successful but this didn't sit well with the secret shadow government within the Paideia . Eventually after the Vxx199 aliens turned up and destroyed the Horde fleet, this secret cabal decided to act. The Morituori were sent to attack the last of Horde stronghold. Meanwhile a new team of Morituori assassins were created.
After victory over the Horde was announced by the Paideia the assassins were sent out by the cabal and succeeded in killing some of the Morituori and the Paideia president in an attempted coup. However the surviving Morituori stopped and exposed the cabal's plan. Most of the cabal died in the process.
Years after the conclusion of the war with the Horde,
events occurred involving the Morituri with the alien VXX199. Guided by the
sentient intelligence of the now-defunct Paideia's central supercomputer, the
Morituri discovered that the VXX199 had only hidden behind the moon for all
these years and were actually subverting mankind's culture. By use of genetic
constructs and psychological programming, the aliens had created in humanity a
bizarre psychic backlash that periodically resulted in the spontaneous
combustion of a human being. As this phenomenon, called "S.C." by the
media, spread across the globe, the VXX199 absorbed the psychic energy released
by the explosions.
Humanity was being harvested by the VXX199.
Together with the mysterious Random and "Will," the spirit of the Paidean computer, the Morituri journeyed to the VXX199 mothership and destroyed its central processing unit, thereby removing its threat of continued cultural corruption.
The US, the Soviet Confederation and the EC entered into many joint projects together for the betterment of their peoples. The first joint project was the Moon Base. The governments established the Moon Base in 2010. The purpose of the Base was to provide a location for low gravity and low pressure research. Initial projects included hydroponics, materials research, physics experiments and study of effects of low gravity on humans.
The Base also was designed to be the nucleus of the Moon Colony. The Colony was to be an industrial centre and an exploration launching point. In 2050, the Colony had a population of approximately 4000 people: 75% working colonist and 25% dependents. The hydroponics and life support system was designed to support up to 5000 people. Most of the Colony was underground. It was a major supply centre for exploration and had started to build up an industrial complex.
The early Moon Base experiments led to the commercialisation of hydroponics. This event removed the weather dependence of many crops. Fruits, vegetables, and grains were grown year-round using this technology. World population continued to grow into the twenty-first century despite the Paideia's education attempts. Food demand was met in part by hydroponics. The one development credited with preventing food shortages is Gentec's protein algae. It was the first commercial success of DNA splicing technology. The algae provides cheap and easily grown protein. Tanks can be set up where there is adequate light for the algae to grow. By the time that the Horde arrived, these food sources are common place.
Beef, pork and poultry industries thrive, but these meats are more expensive than algae. Generally, meat is for special occasions or affluent people. Beef is the most expensive followed by pork then poultry. Most algae is formed and flavoured to resemble meat.
The world economy had turned into a free trade system for the most part. Some countries still protected domestic markets, but this is the rare exception to the rule. The Paideia had encouraged free trade to allow the most efficient use of natural resources. The world economic powers are the US, the Soviet Confederation, the EC and PRC. Moon Colony was a small, but rapidly growing economic power, consuming very little, but controlling a sizable proportion of raw materials.
The transportation industry had moved away from internal combustion engines. Personal transportation had already been taken over by electric cars despite slow speeds, only up to 110 km/h and steam driven cars. Gasoline engines are limited to racing and show cars. Public transportation systems had been developed extensively. Most of the public transportation systems are dominated by monorail systems that ride on superconducting rails. Long distance freight movement has been taken over by tube trains. Tube trains are high speed trains(1130-2420 km/h) that run in tunnels. They ride on superconductors in a vacuum. Acceleration and deceleration are done magnetically. Long distance passenger transportation is by rail also, usually above ground and by personal car.
Water transportation has remained unchanged. New hull and engine designs developed in the 2010's are still in use. Refinements have allowed ships and boats to move faster. Air transportation had changed dramatically from pre-Horde arrival. Generally, air transport is reserved for emergency and high priority military movement. The aircraft in use are catapult launched, high speed, scramjets. The scramjets use advanced control systems to maintain minimum altitude. Humans do not control the sky and so they do not use it very much. Space travel technology is high efficiency chemical rockets and fusion rockets. There is no travel from the earth to space by humans.
Surprisingly enough, the Horde did not destroy Earth's communication satellites when they arrived. If they had destroyed them when they first arrived, Earth would have been crippled. They either simply decided not to commit the manpower necessary to destroy the satellites or they were not aware of Earth's dependence on them. The Paideia quickly built ground based relay stations in case the Horde decides to destroy the satellites. Some military strategist speculate that the Horde do not realize the importance of the satellite system.
Mass production and installation of optical cable was begun after the Horde arrived. The Paideia planned to replace all metal communications cable with optic cable. By 2055, it had been installed for all military and most civilian communications. Only the most remote locations still had metal wire for communication.Radio stations broadcast. The programming has remained pretty much unchanged since the 1960's. Both AM and FM broadcast in stereo. Holovision sets are becoming standard. The cabled images are displayed as three dimensional light images. The images are produced by lasered projection.
Holovision programming is similar to television programming from the late 1900's. The most popular daytime holovision shows are live action soap operas. This type of program evolved from real like dramas of the 1990's. The shows focus on fictional characters but use live input for the background to combine news and entertainment. Horde raids are especially popular for this type of show.
The telephone system and on-line computer databases, such as computer bulletin boards, on-line news, stock prices, train schedules, etc., make up the Infonet. The Paideia tries to limit Horde access to the Infonet by using optical networks. This was not always possible, so all broadcasts are scrambled. The Paideia keeps this system under strict control and monitors it extensively. The nature and extent of the Infonet make it impossible to keep the Horde out of it.
Advances in power storage had made solar power a viable energy source. Large expanses of desolate areas have been covered by solar collectors. Burning of fossil fuels for power had been abandoned because of the need for plastics and environmental problems. The Middle East is still a major source of world energy because of the large dessert areas. The other major source of power is fusion. Before the Horde came, fusion power plants were built under the ocean for safety. A constant supply of cooling water is assured. These designs proved to be fortuitous because the Horde could not destroy these plants from air or space. Much of the cabling for conveying electricity had been moved underground for safety reasons long before the Horde's arrival. These factors have kept the Horde from destroying the power grid that Humans depend on.
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