Uncle Jimbo's Bug Huntin' Range
They left it out in the Oort before we crawled from the sea.
The gate of Paradise.
Or the mouth of Hell.
In 2201, the states and territories of Earth are divided into two hostile blocs and a number of Non-Integrated States.
The United Nations is the most advanced grouping. It is known as the New UN, since the Old UN was disbanded for nearly three decades as a result of the First Corporate War. The UN is a federal government with a directly elected Secretary-General and Chamber of Representatives, a Global Armed Force and Space Navy. Transport and communications are fast and efficient. However, the UN bureaucracy is secretive and power-hungry.
Major UN states include Europe, Russia, Kazakhstan, Siberia, China, Tibet, Quebec, Chile, Israel, Egypt, South Africa, several orbital cities and Copernicus City. UN special territories include the Baltic, Indus and Japanese Protectorates, Saturn Orbit Scientific Reserve, Nemesis Security Zone, and Ketann Co-Development Region.
Each state of the UN has its own form of government, including monarchies, theocracy (Tibet), one-party democracy (Chinese Socialist Party) and partial democracy (most off-Earth states). Japan, Pakistan and the Baltic Protectorate are UN states, but are still recovering from nuclear damage suffered during the 21st century.
Bio-Types: Human Groundling, Human Spacer, Human Unique Mutant, Emergent (Shanghai), Emergent (Europa), Emergent (Nemesid), Emergent (Fellahin), Emergent (Antarctic Indio), Emergent (Kabul), Emergent (East Coast), T'sa, Sesheyan (any)
The government is a one-party religious fascist state. All Senators are members of the New Congregationalist Movement, which combines the 20th century Protestant churches, citizen militias, New Age beliefs and Santeria. All industries have been nationalised, then acquired as autonomous businesses by cronies of the Government.
Outside visitors are struck by the widespread study of creation science and history, and by American gun laws. Any person is permitted to carry small arms in all public places, including public transport. Vehicles with mounted weapons must remain on private property, unless they are taking part in a parade. Any person may hold a parade by informing the local sheriff's department 24 hours in advance.
Bio-Types: Human Groundling, Human Spacer, Emergent (Antarctic Indio), Emergent (Martian), Emergent (East Coast)
Spaceports are located in Colombia and Fiji, providing vast wealth and considerable corruption in these countries. Other Non-Integrated States are more backward, and are best known for highly-polluting industries, cheap weapons, drug production and athletic contests. (In 2201, all sports are illegal.)
Bio-Types: Human Groundling, Emergent (Antarctic Indio), Emergent (Kabul), Weren (any)
Environmental damage caused in the 19th and 20th centuries destroyed many large animal species forever, such as all types of rhinos and gorillas. Chimpanzees and cheetahs have been reintroduced to the wild, both in Africa and South America.
Large areas of rainforest were destroyed, creating the wheat-growing Amazon Prairie and Indonesian savannah. The Caspian and Aral Seas no longer exist due to massive pollution and water drain for irrigation, causing a decline in the Ukrainian and Central Asian climate.
The Arctic ice pack broke up in the summer of 2040, but reformed after the nuclear exchanges of the War of American Reformation. The Antarctic ice cap has been permanently reduced to one third of its former area, allowing the Spanish-speaking Antarctic settlements to exist as an independent state. Sea level has risen by 12 metres, causing massive refugee movement from Indonesia to Australia and southern China.
There is widespread nuclear damage on the East Coast of North America, China, Japan, India and Pakistan. Europe was also attacked, but most missiles were blocked by orbital defences.
The land area of Lithuania was vaporised in the Angel Incursion, along with Callisto and the six largest Inner Belt asteroids. St. Petersburg and Latvia were heavily damaged and now make up the UN Baltic Protectorate.
Travel on Old Earth
All of the following transport, except unusual travel modes in Non-Integrated states, can be booked and paid for system-wide over the Interweb. All ticketing is virtual, requiring only a thumbprint ID on check-in.
Travel within the UN is by aerospace shuttle, TGV and door-to-door skycoach, costing E0.10/km. UN Metro systems are free.
The USH has trans-continental bullet trains and aerospace shuttles between America and Australia, costing $0.20/km. USH urban transit systems also cost $0.20/km.
Internal transport systems vary widely in the Non-Integrated regions. Long-distance travel by high-speed rail in Africa and Central Asia costs E0.50/km first class, E0.30/km second class or E0.05/km third class. In the most lawless areas, it is wise to travel in a convoy with armed escort, costing E20/km.
Any travel between the different blocs costs E1.00/km.
A shuttle launch from any spaceport to low orbit costs E3000.