2012 — As the economies of many southern European countries collapsed, increased oil prices and decreased production further aggravated the issues plaguing the petroleum-based industrial world. Oil-based plastics, fertilizers, and pesticides threatened the medical and agricultural foundations of the modern era, while rising fuel costs only worsened the situation. Restless populations across Europe began a ‘European Spring’ of protests and demonstrations, mirroring the ‘Arab Spring’ the year before.
A largely stalled Occupy movement in the United States attempted to resurrect the anti-government protests in America only to find that new laws made it even easier to arrest dissidents en masse and hold them indefinitely without charge. Without the human, political, or logistical resources necessary to continue the fight, the majority of people fighting for global equality had no choice but to go home and go back to work, or starve to death on the streets.
Asian markets continued to suffer for the indignities of the Western powers, and China began trading off some its holdings of the dollar to various bidders. American political rhetoric continued to insist on recovery while investors and analysts feared the collapse of a giant and the accompanying shock waves. As American economic power waned, the military took a more prominent role both at home as peace keepers and crowd control, and overseas as managers of recently overthrown nations. Along with NATO, the United States ‘kept the peace’ in the world’s most volatile areas — however, most civilian populations in these nations resented the presence of foreign troops on their own soil, and guerrilla insurgencies in the occupied territories only grew in strength.
2013 — In June, a failed coup in Venezuela was revealed to have been instrumented in a joint operation by the Central Intelligence Agency and Israel’s Mossad, leading to public demonstrations across the globe against the American and Israeli governments. OPEC, in a surprising response to the action against one of its member states, switched trade of its oil to the ever stronger yuan, dealing what many analysts considered twin fatal blows to the U.S. and EU economies.
The American government claimed that the agents in Venezuela were rogue and acting on their own, and dismantled the agencies involved. Months later the President announced the formation of the Department of Homeland Investigation, folding the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security into this new organization. In December, an exposé revealed that most of the members of the top secret and highly funded DHI were hired directly from not just the FBI and DoHS, but from the CIA and NSA as well (including all agents involved in the Venezuelan plot that weren’t apprehended or killed in-country). While the mainstream press ignored the story, the government still quickly issued an official denial. Further denouncements rolled in from across the globe, but the American government and people soldiered forward.
The rioting in London, which had been taking place on and off for two years, finally came to a violent crescendo when multiple members of the royal family around England were murdered by various organized mobs on November 5th. Groups that had organized in secret online planned a multi-pronged suicide surge against several estates and autumn homes of Dukes, Earls, and various other symbolic nobles in the British Isles. An attempt was even made on Buckingham Palace, but was soundly defeated by the Life and Grenadier Guards.
The U.K.’s response was a violent crackdown, turning London into a militarized zone, and quickly spreading military forces out from the capital to control outlying areas. While resistance intensified across the United Kingdom, especially in North Ireland and Scotland, the aid of NATO and the U.S. helped contain the violence for a few years.
The murders, however, spurred on protesters in many other countries, and governments that did not rapidly militarize quickly found their systems of rule dismantled by angry populations. Trials were held in Spain, Italy, Greece, and other countries in an attempt to appease violent riots. Condemned as kangaroo courts by the remaining stable EU nations, these trials resulted in executions and life-term imprisonments for several former legislators and career politicians.
The peak of the solar storms that had begun more than half a decade earlier resulted in the loss of over 50 percent of the satellites orbiting Earth. As many digital satellite television providers, cell phone companies, GPS providers, and other sat-based industries tried to recover, Western economies suffered even more. Many companies went bankrupt due to lack of funding to relaunch satellites and lack of governmental support for space programs. Nearly all of the remaining companies sold themselves to larger corporations or government entities within their home countries, furthering fears of Big Brother states, given national control of telecom networks in most first world countries. China and India’s strengthened space programs provided opportunities to many companies to begin a slow and expensive recovery, while helping further solidify Chinese monopolization of technological advances.
Multiple governments made accusations against one another (Americans against Chinese, Iranians against Israelis and Americans, Pakistanis against Indians, etc) that cyberattacks were being used to assess defensive capabilities of possible enemies. These claims were always quickly denied, although as a result of the attacks, America, China, and Iran amended their rules of engagement to include possible military response to computer hacks on government networks. More invasive surveillance legislation was also passed in all the aforementioned countries, legalizing many anti-insurgency monitoring tactics that had already been used for years on civilian populations.
2014 — Under the auspices of streamlining and efficiency, the American government nationalized several large corporations, immediately folding them into the bureaucratic machine that was Washington. Many U.S. citizens protested the moves against private industry, for fear that economic recovery had been all but abandoned by their government in favor of rapid militarization, federalization, and the formation of a police state. As more companies either willingly nationalized or were purchased by the federal government, protests started in earnest across the United States.
Fortunately for those in power, a strong National Guard presence as well as a smart distribution of military forces to population centers’ law enforcement agencies ensured that all protests were contained. With the propaganda machine in full effect, many American people were lulled back to sleep with promises of access once more to cheap housing, high credit limits, and gas that didn’t cost five dollars a gallon. The government only delivered on the last promise before dissolving, and only through subsidies that hid the reality that oil cost over the equivalent of 150USD per barrel. Despite the continued push for radical change by an ever growing number of discontented citizens, the lack of a united and organized revolt never produced any major overhauls in the American government in its final years.
2015 — More markets switched away from the USD to either the Euro or Yuan, signaling what was the unmistakable end of American foreign economic power. As they shored up against uncertain times, the American government began negotiations with regional leaders in an attempt to form a new super country on the North American landmass. Following these meetings, several South American countries threw in together and established a trade union of their own for increased strength and viability in the changing global market and the pressing energy and food crises.
Israel held turnover elections, and a new ultra-hardline government stepped in, the likes of which had not been seen since the Six Day War. An immediate recension of the territorial recognition of Palestine was followed by protests in the occupied territories and abroad. Fast and aggressive crackdowns combined with military excursions returned many former Palestinian territories to Jewish rule, and the dream of Palestinian sovereignty died before winter began.
Terror attacks from suicide bombings to rocket sieges against the Jewish state increased tenfold, and by end of the year, Israel was under martial law. The imposition of such a status on the country didn’t seem to have an effect on the insurgent activities, however — attacks continued without interruption as Israeli Defense Forces were spread too thin after the latest campaign. Talk of changing conscription laws began in the Knesset.
2016 — Going a step beyond the Latin and South American Trade Union, the countries of Canada, Mexico, and the United States formed a new super country they called the North American Coalition. Enacted as a temporary emergency measure, each government quickly forced through laws to make the change possible while suspending the normal operation of their respective nations. Many television and radio pundits hailed the measure as a long time coming, attempting to groom the public to blindly accept the transition. Journalists and press that questioned or attempted to call attention to the event as anything other than necessary quickly found themselves without jobs, and often imprisoned on false charges. Some were released by judges who still respected the idea of justice, but many more were jailed indefinitely.
A new government formed, consisting of the current political leaders of each of the three member states. The NAC immediately began to establish new trade policies within its substates, now called Territories, and no longer followed the traditional boundaries set by any one of its member countries. Each Territory had a legislative body composed of a mish-mash of legislatures from the previous substates, but endowed with very little actual power. Instead, most bureaucratic responsibility and decision making was handed to the regional Governors, appointed by majority decision in closed NAC legislative sessions. Many were men and women of power and influence in their region, some wealthy, some already in politics, but all willing to follow orders from the Coalition to the letter.