14-08-2015: Beyond Alpha Centauri
 
(this works better on DeviantArt: https://nlspeed.deviantart.com/art/Beyond-Alpha-Centauri-553759449 )

What happens when Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri doesn't take place on Alpha Centauri? What happens when Sid Meier's Civilization Beyond Earth doesn't go beyond Earth? Lots of fun (and poverty and scarcity), that's what!

1) There were some excellent mining opportunities in western Alaska. There was also oil. Perhaps there was more to be found westwards, and lo and behold, suddenly the American Reclamation Corporation owns all of Alaska and a huge part of the surrounding territory.

2) Canada has been placed under the protection of the United Nations, rapid, pillaged, and deserted as it is. Guess this goes to show that even the closest of allies can't be trusted; the collapsing USA ran roughshod over Canada in a last, desperate gambit to feed her populace, and while the Lord's Believers are very much supportive of underdogs (provided they convert) and have actually returned a lot of Canada to Canada, the American Reclamation Company is just as opportunistic as the USA. And the North Sea Alliance twice as much as that.

3) The ARC's latest acquisition. Canada's government has trouble letting go, and the ARC can barely do anything without spending months of time and millions of money on the most inane bureaucratic procedures.

4) Nobody is quite sure who is in charge of Minnesota, and, indeed, most legal experts are of the opinion that both are in charge of Minnesota, somehow. Fortunately enough, while there's a lot of subterfuge going on, there are few actually violent acts. And Minnesota's own state government chugs happily along.

5) During the 'collapse' of the USA, what with scarcity setting in and brother turning on brother just for a bottle of water, the North Sea Alliance decided to plunder the USA for all its worth. Ulrik Svensgaard, from his home in Gloucester, started a militia - called the Nautilus Pirates, to keep with the North Sea Alliance's theme - and played a key role in driving back the invaders. As his army enforced peace and security, both from the North Sea Alliance and the internal disorder - if not outright civil war - seen throughout all of the USA, Ulrik quickly found himself leading a new nation. He called it Haven, as it was the only safe place in the USA (or so he said), and demanded tribute from any non-citizen wishing to enter Haven (as a safety measure, but also as a means of funding his nation). Eventually, his militia evolved into a full-fledged, hyper-modern army, bankrolled by the ARC, and unofficially speaking, Haven is a (more or less domestically independent) part of the ARC now.

6) Ulrik's expedition to Bermuda proved the superiority of his navy; after all, they had beaten the mysterious Bermuda Triangle! What happened then, and what's happening now, nobody really knows... The more rational people talk about a secret science facility. The less rational people carve bloody runes in their body and scream "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn." A tiny and rather unknown cult even speaks about the planet communicating directly to humans here - what preposterous nonsense!

7) The rising sea tide and all the natural disasters that followed caused southern Florida to turn en masse to the ARC. With success; it's 45% richer than the rest of Florida, and citizens are on average 2.7 points happier with life (8.8 versus 6.1, out of 10).

8) The ARC's reconstruction projects were remarkably successful, lifting a large part of the Caribbean up to modern standards. Now, a lot of Atlantic trade is controlled by the ARC thanks to the Caribbean, which upsets the CSA.

9) The Trans-Mississippi Recovery Initiative was the first large project the ARC worked on. Since then, Mississippi has become the ARC's headquarters - but the religious nature of Mississippi also made it a breeding ground for the Lord's Believers. Politics in Mississippi are violent - people speak of legalised terrorism - and while the state is officially part of the Christian States of America, unofficially, the ARC has probably slightly more power.

10) Utah is completely sealed off from the outside world, except for air drops from the rest of the Christian States of America. However, Utah's leader - Brother Warren Jeffs, whom some claim is in love with Sister Miriam Godwinson - has proclaimed planes are actually metallic angels sent by God, and is apparently trying to turn Utah into a technologically backwards commune of God-fearing farmers, or somesuch.

11) The San Andreas fault line was pretty frightening, and the Lord's Believers proclaiming that the San Francisco Peninsula would drift off from the mainland, that San Francisco would crumble apart, and that the whole Bay Area would be flooded and cleansed... Well, California was quick to turn to the ARC.

12) The richer part of Mexico turned to the ARC, and became even richer as a result. Supposedly, there are documents somewhere stating that all of Mexico is property of the ARC, but better informed Mexicans (and ARC representatives) say that this is libel, slander, propaganda, and a lie manufactured by the Christian States of America.

13) Said Christian States of America found quite the breeding ground in Mesoamerica, and indeed, the old WASP might as well be replaced by the LASP (Latino, instead of White). It helps that Mesoamerica is one of the most densely populated regions.

14) Only the Panama Canal was important to the ARC. There are some shiny military bases and fortresses here, though, and rumour has it various less-than-ethical prisons (torture) and laboratories (biological warfare) operate here as well.

15) Many here have turned to the Lord's Believers, as Data Angel anarchists tear apart the country, but faith doesn't seem to help much against the IT savvy wizardry of the Data Angels. The Spartan Federation would lend its considerable military strength (and thereby acquire another country for its federation), but the inevitable re-education of the Lord's Believers - because there's no way such a religious movement is allowed to hold any strength within the Spartan Federation - could see the Christian States of America coming down upon the Spartan Federation. And in that case, Brasilia may just decide to dog pile the Spartan Federation.

16) On the other hand, Brasilia would be very interested in wiping out the Data Angels, as they thrive on chaos, anarchy, freedom, and in specific, the free flow of information. Which are about the exact opposite of the morals of both the Spartan Federation and Brasilia; order, obedience, discipline, and strength. It was bad enough when the Data Angels, originating from Trinidad and lead by Sinder Roze, took control of many of the Caribbean islands, operating as mercenaries and pirates. But when they outright seized abandoned European colonies, that, by geographic location, should be Brasilia's... Perhaps the Spartan Federation can lend its support to Brasilia, as Brasilia claims what should be theirs.

17) Embittered by ARC's seizure of Puerto Rico, Corazón Santiago fled to Argentina, and vowed to never let anyone humiliate her again; she would become the strongest, the best, the most powerful... And she did. She took the nationalistic Argentinian populace, angered by Brazil's 'Organisation of South American States' (that is; Brasilia), and forged them into the Spartan Federation. She does have a healthy respect for Brasilia though, viewing it as a cunning creation that has guaranteed the survival of Brazil and its sphere of influence. The fact that Brasilia is quite militaristic, just like the Spartan Federation, helps as well.

18) Santiago's first act was, of course, a show of strength and nationalism; retake Las Malvinas from those whose strength made them control the whole world for centuries.

19) The ice caps became quite important, as resources dwindled into nothingness and climate got out of control. Various ecological groups - as well as the United Nations - still vehemently protest the North Sea Alliance's acquisition of these, but what can they do? Still, it would seem that out of any faction, the North Sea Alliance is at particular risk, should all the ice melt, so... They can be trusted to try and preserve them, right? But then what are those documents about that Scotland has released, concerning Royal Northern Shell's excessively polluting operations amongst these ice caps? Oh well, it only makes Free Scotland fight harder against Northern imperialism.

20) Aki Zeta-5, leader and creator of the Cybernetic Consciousness, hasn't left her basement, nor the virtual reality machine inside it, in five years now. She knows her body is becoming obsolete, as cybernetics become more and more advanced, but oh well, she has virtual reality, and thanks to highly experimental technology, she can even 'possess' the bodies of her fellow cyborgs (though only acting as an observer). Soon, scientists say, this possession can be extended to include telepathic communication.

21) Free Scotland rejected the gunboat diplomacy and outright plundering of the neo-imperialist neo-Vikings (Lady Deirdre Sky's words), better known as the North Sea Alliance. Now, they are a nativist society that's trying to preserve and aggressively expand their own small piece of the environment... Hopefully they aren't too late; the sacrifices they make for the ecology are quite horrifying. But if not them, who else?

22) Ireland became a part of the United Kingdom when a second potato famine struck. Funnily enough, the United Kingdom has dissolved since then, leaving Ireland as the sole member.

23) Belgium, containing the former 'capital' of the EU, is actually an honorary member of Franco-Iberia, Italy's bloc, Germany's bloc, and the Baltic Federation. Brussels has also become a very important city for the United Nations, and Belgium is officially under the UN's administration.

24) Even Switzerland - and still independent Liechtenstein, last of all micro states! - has lost its neutrality, what with the resource scarcity. Although, one supposes the United Nations is as neutral as possible.

25) Italy is... Sort of part of Franco-Iberia, but it's also an independent country with an independent union of various countries. It's complex, and nobody is really sure.

26) Italy has built up its own sphere of influence, based on Rome; Hellenic Greece (rescued just after passing the brink of mass-starvation and reverting to a bartering economy), Roman Romania (muh heritage! Muh non-Slavicness! And muh economic prosperity, glory to western Europe, all hail the new Rome, we submit ourselves to Caesar - wait, you're Italy, with a president? Well okay, that works too), Hellenic Macedonia (turns out economic interests beat nationalistic interests), Roman Tunisia (Carthago delenda est!), and... Whatever could be saved of Libya.

27) There's something to be said for Turkey helping out the Greek people here, who were starving left and right. But in the private rooms of Turkey's president, more is said about 'doing away with the eternal enemy' and 'more bodies to labour in slavery for our glorious nation'. Well, those might be dreams... Or nightmares... But they could turn into reality, couldn't they?

28) Yugoslavia 2.0 has had more success than its previous incarnation - but that might be because of grotesque resettlement programs and a massive influx of resources that left Ukraine starving - but this 'Yugoslavia', so close to the west, must show itself to be superior to the west.

29) Hungary is fiercely independent; not German enough to want to join Germany's bloc, not Roman or Hellenic enough to want to join Italy's bloc, and not suicidal enough to want to join the Slavic Federation. The Slavic Federation does desire a land route towards 'Yugoslavia' though...

30) When the EU collapsed into various smaller coalitions - first unofficially, then officially, such as Franco-Iberia or the North Sea Alliance - Germany was a bit late to the game, trying to maintain the EU as a coherent whole to the very end. Even then, it took some time for Germany to begrudgingly admit that the EU had failed, and that perhaps a smaller organisation could work better. Together with Austria, Czechia, and Slovakia, this 'smaller organisation' now consists of Germany, smaller Germany, tiny Germany, and mini Germany.

31) As everyone left the EU, the European Union reformed itself into the Baltic Federation, also known as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth - but don't say that last name anywhere in Finland.

32) LOOK! KALININGRAD CAN INTO INDEPENDENCE! And, what a surprise (not), Germany hasn't invaded to regain its rightful homeland (or something)!

33) Moldavia went with the Slavic Federation, so as to free itself from Romania. Little did they know then, that they also freed themselves from a non-starving populace. It's the GDR and DDR all over again.

34) Some say Crimea houses secret research facilities where the Slavic Federation and the University of Planet combine their powers in the name of science; orbital and industrial might from the Slavic Federation, and extensive scientific knowledge about geology, chemistry, and physics from the University of Planet. One wonders what nightmares are dreamed up here, if that is true.

35) An absolutely massive country such as Russia cannot easily survive a time of poverty and scarcity like this - definitely not without the rich, western part. As such, drastic measures had to be taken; the creation of a technocratic dictatorship lead by Prokhor Zakharov, the focus of science above all else (more efficient ways to extract energy, to produce resources, and ever so on), and worst of all; the redrawing of Kazakhstan's border into a straight line.

36) If joining Al Falah is the only safe way to guarantee independence from the Slavic threat - not to mention resources - then so be it. And thus strongly Orthodox Georgia joined dominantly Muslim Al Falah.

37) This was also the thought process of the other Caucasian nations, the Kurdish people, non-IS dominated Syria, Afghanistan after Kavithan fundamentalists launched suicide attacks and declared war... Well, behind a lot of people. Funny how these things work though; Kuwait joined for protection against Iraq, and now Iraq is also a member for protection against the IS.

38) Cyprus was seized by the United Nations' Peacekeeping Forces as a safe haven for the Jewish people. The Israeli bodies that continue to wash up on the shores of Cyprus at least have a safe mortuary, one supposes.

39) Lebanon joined just in time to (mostly) stay out of the horrifyingly barbaric and violent (both sides) war against Israel. Turkey launched various offensives against the IS, though the Kurdish people were making things hard for both the Turkish army and the IS, supported by Al Falah. The newborn Al Falah, only consisting of Iran, Iraq, and Kuwait, was more concerned with keeping the current borders of the IS as they were, than with launching operations to drive the IS back, and although they did engage in a few offensives, this did lead to Al Falah becoming the eventual mediator for peace. 'Course, peace was a long way ahead yet; the IS fought tooth and nail, employing chemical and biological weaponry - all kinds of nerve gasses, an upgraded Agent Orange, and even a tiny few dirty (nuclear) bombs are but a few examples - and when Arabia decided it'd be a good idea to seize Israel...

40) Saudi-Arabia, of course, saw the writing on the wall; oil was the first to run out, after all, and a desert doesn't provide one with much fertile farmland either. Through diplomacy ('look at our mighty military!'), Saudi-Arabia united the whole of the Arabian peninsula, but even that wasn't enough. Al Falah, the creation of Iran, was Arabia's natural enemy, and thus couldn't be relied on. The Suez Channel was lucrative, and had potential, but Egypt's borders were guaranteed by the western powers and various international corporations (which, of course, had their own armies); cutting off the seaway through the Suez would seriously hurt them (and Egypt's agricultural exports were nice). Israel, however, was a pearl of wealth and prosperity. And with the USA collapsing, who was going to protect it now? Arabia teamed up with the IS and invaded Israel. Arabia won the war, too, though it lost the peace; IS fundamentalism had spread everywhere, and de facto, Arabia is now ruled by the IS...

41) Iran, long since using the power of religious fervour to get an obedient populace, discovered the power of Kavithan religious fundamentalist fervour was stronger. Nobody is happy with the situation as it is, but, it seems that the borders have stabilised for now. Some have joined Al Falah, some have joined the Kavithan Protectorate, most have had civil wars and / or have been invaded by one of the two powers, and all suffer. Except for the core parts of both powers; eastern Iran / western Iraq and India. It's just a play for power to them, one side promoting it as supporting independence in the face of foreign aggression, the other promoting it as spreading the word of god so that they may all be protected (or return to his light in death) during these harsh times.

42) Theoretically part of the Kavithan Protectorate, but that's becoming more and more theoretical as Cha Dawn and his Cult of Planet gains prominence. They're apparently obsessed with Bermuda and view Scotland as the promised land. Weirdos. Al Falah has been successfully courting them to fight against the Kavithan menace, but as a result, Al Falah has slightly (ever so slightly) wavered from its stance of 'independence at all costs', opting for a more ecologically friendly approach.

43) Tajikistan opted to join the University of Planet at the last moment (Kavithan missionary-armies and Al Falah's guerillas were already at the borders). Prokhor Zakharov agreed, and his armies made sure no foreign forces would occupy the country - but said armies then installed quite horrific facilities throughout the country, all in the name of science. The experiments that take place there... Well, there's probably a reason why there are so many refugees originating from Tajikistan.

44) There used to be water here, but Lake Balkhash is gone now. Oh, the things we do for SCIENCE! And the continued survival of humanity, of course. That's not unimportant either.

45) Buryatia seceded from the University of Planet shortly after Lake Balkhash dried up. Perhaps they were worried about Lake Baikal - it does have an odd green tint these days, and people living on the coast report suddenly crying for no reason. Already, they are known as 'Weepers'.

46) The people of South Korea barely noticed it when North Korea invaded, and laughingly surrendered (drugs might have influenced this). Confused, the North Korean soldiers turned around and went home, where they were promptly shot under the mistaken assumption that they were deserting, retreating, or loitering. Eventually, after even North Korea's leadership couldn't gain access to food (see, you kinda need farmers to produce food, and if all the farmers starve...), china took them in and put them all to work as what we'd call slaves.

47) Cybernetics and virtual reality give a whole new dimension (literally, even) to hentai and tentacle-porn and who knows what. At this point, one might wonder; this sounds way too good to be true, the Cybernetic Consciousness lives in a utopia while the rest of the world deals with resource scarcity, climate change, and all-around misery? Well, yes. But there is one catch; the people of the Cybernetic Consciousness don't have a lot of resources either. That means they will die. And, why not enjoy life to the fullest, before dying? Why not lock yourself up in virtual reality, so as to not have to face the poverty of the outside world? Of course, you'll die soon enough, provided you don't have people feeding you and all - but if happiness is one's life goal, well... It makes sense, doesn't it? It's the rational thing to do... Right?

48) Taiwan has finally given up on being China, and now thrives under the aegis of the United Nations (as do a few islands to the north-east, having been more or less abandoned by Japan). Well, 'thrives' in a relative sense; at least whole neighbourhoods don't explode or starve to death.

49) China became increasingly democratic, which paved the way for increasingly large and violent protests - resource scarcity - which paved the way for large swathes of the country to secede (and do even worse than before). The new Pan-Asian Cooperative will bring all the countries together in harmony, so that, together, a solution to this scarcity may be found. Often, these cooperative solutions seem to exist of China taking things from others, oddly enough.

50) China would like Tibet back. Similarly, a random person would like to win a trillion of whatever the local currency is. Fat chance of that happening though; the Dalai Lama is a close friend of Kavitha Thakur, leader of the Kavithan Protectorate.

51) Chairman Sheng-Ji Yang didn't like the democratic bent of China. Luckily, Myanmar was more receptive to his peculiar solutions to the problem of resource scarcity. And Yang, in turn, was very receptive to the armies controlled by Myanmar. Thus, the Human Hive was born.

52) Bangkok has uploaded itself into the Cybernetic Consciousness. LGBT+ rights are better than ever, what with instant transitioning into whatever body one wishes - oh, the joys of cybernetics and virtual reality. Why Bangkok hasn't been razed to the ground yet by Chairman Yang, nobody knows, though some suspect Chairman Yang wants to make use of cybernetics to make his Hive even more efficient.

53) Singapore is a very unique society; half of it lives within the virtual reality of the Cybernetic Consciousness, while the other half lives and works and dies like any other human, profiting from the free trade of Polystralia. Violence and resent against the virtual half of society is non-existent, which may be correlated to the existence of omnipresent surveillance and autonomous police robots that do not comprehend the term 'excessive violence'.

54) For all the United Nations' talk of non-aggressiveness and peacemongering, Sri Lanka resembles a Floating Fortress from 1984 more than it resembles an actual island. Not surprising, though, what with it being the home of Pravin Lal.

55) Polystralia's free trade policies are great, and Polystralia's people are, on average, the most wealthiest (yes, 'most' and 'wealthiest'). Unlike Morgan Industries, where only the elite is wealthy, for example. But this is balanced by the fact that Polystralia doesn't have a lot of industry or luxury products to spend all this money on; there's an abundance of basic food and water and all, and it's very easy to have a nice house on a random tropical island... But that's it. It's rather primitive, all in all.

56) Foreman Domai's Free Drones are the opposite. Sure, they don't hold much hope for science either, but they also reject wishy-washy idealism and a 'manjana' plus 'carpe diem' attitude to life, which is a core component of Polystralian culture. Further, the Free Drones have polluting industry everywhere; hell, they toiled and slaved for the bourgeoisie oppressors before, and now, thanks to the bourgeoisie, all of humanity is screwed - well then, the Free Drones may as well profit from the fruits of labour and industry before the atmosphere breaks down or whatever kind of horrific ecological disaster is bound to happen in the near future. Foremain Domai is actually a bit disgruntled; he gambled big, and lost. He predicted Polystralia would evolve into something like Morgan Industries, with the capitalist upper-class ruthlessly exploiting the common people. He rejected that, staged a rebellion, and carved out his own empire. And now... Now they all live a life hard work, while the common Polystralian relaxes on their tropical beaches and maintains a small family farm for food.

57) Speaking about tropical beaches, most of the Pacific is up for grabs, as most nations had more pressing issues at home than in the middle of a violent ocean. Individuals can easily set sail and claim an island for themselves. Polystralia does maintain nominal control over all these islands though, but that's more theory than practice.

58) Egypt is a totalitarian military dictatorship, entirely sealed off from the outside, except for carefully controlled trade. Egypt is considered to be some kind of promised land, as Egypt's borders are entirely sealed off, and the government engages in active population control (birth quotas, for example, or giving certain criminals sentences that are just a tad harsher than usual and lead to either their impotence or their death). That means there are a lot of trade opportunities here for foreign countries or companies, if the government allows it. There's the Nile, too, as well as agricultural exports (nifty, those population controls; we can just lower our population depending on how much food we're selling, so that everyone always has enough to survive - barely).

59) Libya's tale is a sad one... But in the end, it kind of worked out; Italy liberated quite a bit of Libya (with the help of Franco-Iberia - primarily Algeria and France - and Tunisia) and has managed to rebuild the country. It's about as prosperous as the rest of western Europe now (that is to say, not much, but better than most of the world).

60) This part of Libya wanted to go on on its own, but quickly faced resource scarcity and had no idea how to run a government in the first place. It eventually became a member of Al Falah, which helped. The wiser choice would have been to stay with Italy - Libya knows that door is always open, but Al Falah has quite thoroughly convinced this Libya of not needing 'western imperialist help'. Al Falah basically took control of Libya to restructure it so that it'd become a functional country - but that isn't >western< imperialist help, you see (it was quite benevolent though, and the results speak for themselves).

61) The third part of Libya... Well, that fell to the IS - though Pol Pot would feel right at home, considering what happened. Eventually, the IS was defeated - because there was simply a lack of people to purge and go to war against, and only the most ardent IS-supporters supported the Lovecraftian horror that was going on - and Libya joined the People's African Union. On the upside; the fact that the populace is still lower than 50% of what it was in 2015 might actually be a good thing, what with resource scarcity.

62) Tunisia is definitely in the top five of 'best places to live'. Europe is jealous - but Italy is also proud.

63) The rich (and more Frenchified) part of Algeria was allowed to join France outright. Not that there is much of a practical difference between both parts of Algeria; in fact, Algeria still has one government, and everyone perceives Algeria to be one country - different from France, especially by the more xenophobic French! But, this supposedly looks better on maps; more multicultural or something.

64) Resource scarcity sometimes makes old conflicts have an extremely logical solution; more land is less scarcity, thus more land it is, and Morocco grew larger. Some wonder whether this land offsets the increase in population - some say it probably doesn't... How's that for extremely logical?

65) Mali's confederation was short-lived (though surprisingly successful at making the area more prosperous for the people living there). One confederation was easier to 'acquire' than multiple nations, though. And now, 'the Morgan regime' (as some embittered old people call it - they don't even realise how good they have it, I bet!) has been going strong for more years than this previous confederation. It's surprisingly successful at making the area more prosperous, too, just like the confederation was. Except that it's mostly prosperous for Morgan Industries and affiliated actors - not so much for the people living there.

66) This tiny part of Angola was handily acquired by Samatar after a popular uprising against Morgan Industries. The people were upset at Morgan ruthlessly industrialising the coastal area, establishing gigantic harbours for massive container ships. Samatar, on the other hand, offered the people a lot of jobs, which made them happy and content. Jobs that eventually lead to the construction of gigantic harbours for massive container ships.

67) Of course Morgan bought Bir Tawil and the Hala'ib Triangle. Cries of imperialism were ignored, as literally nobody lived here anyway. It is, however, rumoured that Morgan found an ancient pyramid here, hiding documents detailing some kind of planet-wide consciousness.

68) The Sudanese civil war, mostly over oil, was settled quite fairly by Morgan when he made the various actors involved rich beyond their wildest dreams; now all oil is controlled by Morgan Industries, leaving none for Sudan. That isn't to say Sudan hasn't seen any improvements; it has become quite a commercial nation with lots of trade flowing through it.

69) Eritrea and Djibouti were being forcibly kept in Ethiopia's sphere of influence - they're also known as Ethiopia's Harbours - which is why recently, a curiously coordinated popular uprising slaughtered the whole government of both countries and installed someone who's very much in favour of the People's African Union. Said someone now rules both countries and will soon surrender the newly merged country's sovereignty to the PAU. Suspicious.

70) The East African Union is seen as the spiritual and conceptual birthplace of the People's African Union, but the visionary - and current leader - who made it all possible, Samatar Jama Barre, was born in Somaliland. 'Course, Morgan bought Somaliland, and this naked capitalism made Samatar Jama Barre turn to a combination of socialism and intra-nationalism (that is to say, nationalism, but for the People's African Union, and not for the individual member nations of the PAU). He played the game cleverly though, forging connections and exploiting the opportunities provided by capitalism to the maximum - until he had his PAU and came down upon all those who thought they could profit from poor, black Africa. He has described Morgan as his arch-enemy, and demands Somaliland for the PAU. Somaliland was all Morgan could get without Ethiopia outright declaring war. Ethiopia feels very threatened, both by Morgan Industries and by the People's African Union.

71) Madagascar and the surrounding islands were bought by Morgan as some kind of vacation resort (France got compensated with the islands to the north and north-east). Rumour speaks about a 'Vault City' being established here too; a gigantic underground complex to seal away thousands of humans, to hopefully protect them from the horrors above ground, should something go terribly wrong. Well, I guess we all know who these 'thousands of humans' will be; the elite of the elite of Morgan Industries.

72) Here the Firaxians wait, in their hidden houses deep underneath the frozen surface, dead but dreaming. They know the secrets of the singularity, and they'll abandon this godforsaken rock the moment they finish constructing the device that allows them to transcend their fleshen shackles. So long, and thanks for the fish. Funny thing is, they once tried to reach out to humanity, but the woman they approached went insane. Or maybe the Firaxians didn't have a good grasp on the way we pronounce and hear things; after all, 'Cthulhu' doesn't at all sound like 'Firaxis', does it?

73) Somewhere in that black void of space, fast approaching Earth, are the Manifold Usurpers and the Manifold Caretakers. They have heard Planet - Earth - calling, a bitter cry for help, one last desperate plea... They have come here on a mission of perseverance, to protect our whole ecosystem against wanton exploitation, and to save our species from utter extinction... Well, from utter extinction by our own hands. Nobody said anything about extinction by alien hands.