Who Are the Big Players?
There are a number of powers that everyone in the Cosmic Era is aware of. The New Earth Governments are power blocs that formed around the time period of the Oxygen Depletion Incident, during the early portion of the Second Renaissance. These powers are coalitions, confederations, and multi-nation alliances and vary from being very strongly unified to being their own worst enemies.
The Atlantic Federation:
Composed of Western Europe, the Eastern half of North America, Central America, the Caribbean, Central and Equatorial Africa, and a large number of space stations, habitats, and colonies on the Moon, Mars, and on several of Jupiter's Moons. The Atlantic Federation is big, it is powerful, it is patriotically pro-military, and like Oceania, it is constantly at war. Armed with fleets of flying battleships, divisions of giant robots, and a robust supersoldier and robot army, it strides proudly onto the field of conflict.
The Eurasian Alliance:
Also known as the Neo-Soviet Union, the Eurasian Alliance is composed of the poor parts of Central and Eastern Europe rejected by the Federation, North Africa, the wasteland ruins of the Middle East, Russia, and many of the former Soviet Bloc nations. The Alliance has lagged behind in advanced technology and the space race, but can win on the ground with its peerless submarine fleet, excellent aerospace fighters, and continued usage of heavy armor. The Alliance is nationalistic, hybrid socialist, and hearkens back to the Greatness of the old Soviet Union, and it's thriving masses of the proletariat, with military parades and institutionalized stoicism.
The Asian-Co-Prosperity Sphere:
Also known as China and Friends, the ACPS is composed of China, Tibet, all of SE Asia, Korea, and large portions of Indonesia, Mars, and a number of space stations and habitats. The ACPS has remained a cultural oasis, and has resisted the encroachment of megacorps and their corporate philosophies, meaning that off all the world powers, the ACPS is going to be culturally the most organic of the world powers. The ACPS is self-serving and is expanding it's power and borders through eugenics programs, genetic manipulation, and virtual warfare.
The Pacific Rim Coalition:
The PRC is a liberal progressive collection of nations the surround the Pacific Ocean, the most notable being Nippon aka Japan, the Western North American continent, Australia, and the island nations that do not want to be annexed by the Chinese leviathan. The PRC is technologically advanced, but it's moral attitudes and ideals have left it militarily vulnerable, demonstrated by the ACPS conquest of Korea in the last decade. Unless the Coalition finds a new backbone beyond the Army of Nippon, it is looking as a slow slide into second tier status.
The United States of South America:
Also known as the Amazon League, Amazonia, and Latinia, the USSA is united by a common culture heritage, a common landmass, a common history, and a unifying hatred of the Federation for its heavy handed militarism, and the Nipponese for their intrusiveness and attempts to collapse the USSA's culture and economy. The citizens and corporations of the USSA draw upon pre-Columbian mythology, imagry, and the ideals of a warrior culture and are determined to defend their continent from outside intrusion. Communism, statism, and economic stagnation are painfully common among the USSA member states.
The South African United Republics:
Better known as the SAUR, this new earth government is composed of a coalition of nations the occupy southern Africa, and have mutual economic, cultural, and military interests. These have welded together to the point that the nations are now more states than sovereign entities, and this suits the residents of the region, as they have banded together and have colonies in space, in the ocean, and have resisted the might of the Federation, and have Prevented that power from conquering all of Africa.
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The sole National Power, India has allies, but none of them are woven into a NEG pattern charter. India is a free nation, with a strong economy, strong presence in space, and a prominent position as the abode of choice for many of the world's shadowy organizations, as well as being a haven for criminals, smugglers, and online illegal operations. India retains it's culture, and what it lacks in technology, it more than makes up for in it's zeal, and ability to react strongly and quickly to threats around it. India has repulsed several ground wars started by the ACPS, and in some instances, forced that NEG to lose ground.
The New Economic Blocs
One of the hallmarks of both dystopian literature, movies, and the cyberpunk genre is the presence of the MegaCorporations. The MegaCorps miss the mark in most fiction, as the world's largest companies don't make guns, or sell drugs, they are banks, commodities trading companies, and corporations that as their business, own other businesses.
The names of the MegaBanks aren't horribly important other than for letterhead purposes and who signs the checks. At the end of the day, these monsters spread their tentacles across nations, across NEG borders, across peoples, across entire worlds. Each and everyone of them is almost identical as they all exist for the same, sole purpose, the enrichment of their shareholders and the draconian will of their Boards of directors. They are represented by generic men in generic suits with scads of money, and obvious moral bankruptcy.
Examples: The Goliath Bank, Bank of the Northern Hemisphere, The Red Sun Bank, etc.
The CogNet is big big business, and it handles the largest part of the commerce through the entire Solar System. The companies that exist maintaining the infrastructure, designing new equipment, creating new code, new programs and enforcing cyber security make massive amounts of money. These megacorps have massive amounts of money, power, and are the behemoths in the virtual realm, and like the MegaBanks, they are cut from the same uniform templates, generic men and women in fashionable generic suits, with scads of money, low morals, and an interest not in just profit, but in entertainment and social media and controlling who, how, and what is said.
Examples: Atlantic Telecomm & TeleNet, Cyberdyne Systems, Orion Technologies, CognaPhone, Vivid-Sony, Rockstar, DisnEA, state sponsored corps.
Electricity keeps the Cosmic Era turning, and while power is cheap, the companies that produce it make great amounts of money doing so. The Cosmic Era is power hungry on a scale that is staggering. Free energy has meant that the idea of conserving electricity is as absurd as breathing shallowly to conserve air. Arcos are electric, industrial geofronts are electric, the war machines and mass transit, and vertical farms, and magnetic rails launching shuttles into space all are electric. The Power companies are almost backwards in their presentation, with generic men and women in dated suits, with surly attitudes, scads of money, and a firm belief that he who controlls the Grid, controls the world. Damned if their not right, though.
Examples: Magnetar North American, MagnaVolt Technologies, Consolidated Electric, Industrial Light & Power
The bottom tier MegaCorps are the ones most familiar to the dystopian reader, because for the most part bankers, media moguls, advertising executives, and power company liaisons aren't really interesting villains, even if they are more realistic. The classic MegaCorps do things like own large swaths of territory, have vertical zaibatsu structures, and are involved in construction, manufacture and distribution of sundry goods, large scale services, and military contracting.
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Examples: Omni-Consumer Products, Union Aerospace Corporation, Cyberdyne-Grumman, Armadyne, SecuriCorp, Vault-Tec
Without certified villains and bad guys, it's hard to have a proper setting. Someone has to be the assholes. Luckily, in the Cosmic Era, organized crime is big business, and as such there are several major terrorist groups, crime syndicates and megagangs.
Aka Cobra, the AC hearkens back to their antiquated biased misinformed idea of what 'Murica was and in the Cosmic Era, they fight to see that dream recovered. This generally involves primitive religious ideas, personal materialism, and rebellion against the pragmatism and collectivism of most of North America. Drawing from social outcastes, criminals, and disenfranchised veterans, the Command has turned most of the southern Rockies/North and central Texas into a North American version of Taliban Afghanistan. AC has indigenous support, access to heavy weaponry and military factories and can and does fight battles against the Atlantic Federation.
The biggest more organized criminal syndicate in the Eastern Hemisphere, this cartel of drug lords, gun smugglers, vice kings, political terrorists, despots and banana republic dictators have amassed a staggering amount of wealth from illegal shadowrunning, gambling, human and drug trafficking, and are among some of the worst people on the planet. Operating out of Indonesia and SE Asia, they are heavily armed, and have access to powerful arcanotech including major advancements in genetic modding and supersoldier information stolen from the PRC and the ACPS. Shadowlaw is well known for violence, staging martial arts tournaments, criminal biomodification, and torture.
Black Dragon Society
The Black Dragon is a massive guns, drugs, and money criminal organization that has a heavy hand and strong presence in the Western portion of North America and has made inroads in Central America, and the USSA. The Black Dragon is violent, remorseless, ruthless, and where they lack heavy weapons and advanced tech, they have numbers recruited from favela dwelling street gangs, disgraced mercenaries and discharged military and war criminals on their side.
A European threat, Armas wants to see Europe united again into an independent power, free of both the Federation and the Alliance. This has lead to constant violence and terrorism along the AtFed/EA border, and major hotspots in France, Italy, Spain, and the Balkan Peninsula (Shocking, I know). Armas is internationally savvy, as has allies with Amerikka Command and Shadowlaw facilitating the flow of technology, equipment, and information between these powers. While not a huge immediate threat, Armas and it's charming agents are the glue that hold the criminal underworld together.
A maritime terrorist/pirate organization, the Python Patrol operates out of Australia and Indonesia, where it is a threat to the PRC, the ACPS, and even clashes with the agents of Shadowlaw. The Patrol is heavily armed, psychotically violent, and receives funding from the government of Australia, as the Patrol has formed a strong buffer between the Land Down Under and China and it's regional ideas of Manifest Destiny. The Patrol is primarily a racist organization bent on hunting down ethnic Chinese and killing them.
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The Foot Clan, the Mafia, street gangs in the favelas and megaslums, Mad Gear Gang, Local Drug cartels, regional banditry and rogue mercenary organizations.