The Pan-American Expanse
Formal Name: The Pan-American Expanse
Also Known As: The PAX (upper or lower case), America, North America, Pan-Am
Major Corporations of Note:
Rackham Military Applications – Military hardware
Optimal Security Solutions (OpSec) – Private security and military forces
EinSoft Corporation – Computer software
Noble Pharmaceutical – Biotechnology and medicine
Geographic Regions: North and Central America, the Caribbean, various Pacific Islands not part of Sparteca or the Empresa
Chief Executive Officer: Ainsley Breckenridge, CEO of EinSoft
Capital City: Los Angeles, California
The Pax is the global leader in software design, with EinSoft-designed systems being present even in other syndicracies. It is also one of the most heavily militarized syndicracies, with OpSec serving as the de facto military and police force. Rackham MA, led by the charismatic and influential Miles Rackham, wields significant power in the global arms market.
The wealth disparity found in any syndicracy is less pronounced in much of the Pax, with something resembling a working middle class existant in some cities. Poverty is still rampant, especially in Zero-Sec regions, but the exile of non-comps and anti-citizens to Zero-Sec has actually reduced overall crime and poverty for the majority of the rest of the Pax. The cost of this reduction is horrifying to some, but many turn a blind eye to the price paid to live in peace.
A way that the Pax mitigates poverty and crime is by declaring sections of land and even parts within cities themselves to be “security priority zero” or simply “Zero-Sec”. A Zero-Sec Zone (0SZ) is defined as a place that is not under the jurisdiction of the Pax or any other syndicracy, and Pax law and legal protections do not apply there. As a result, a citizen in a 0SZ is on their own, and nothing is provided for anyone there.
Entering or inhabiting an 0SZ is not inherently illegal, but it is suspicious, since the only reason one would presumably go to such a place as a legal citizen would be to commit crimes without repercussion. Crimes committed by one citizen against another in an 0SZ could still be prosecuted if they could be proven, although that in and of itself would be complicated to establish since OpSec and other authorities would make no attempt to investigate the matter unless it was someone of serious importance.
For the most part, the only inhabitants of 0SZs are anti-citizens and non-comps, the renegades and dregs of society that the Pax doesn’t want to deal with and wants to see go away anyway. Because OpSec doesn’t police these spaces, they become wretched hives of criminality, with thriving black markets and their own criminal underworlds. Smuggling is rampant, and although OpSec attempts to police the borders between OSZs and the Pax proper, corruption in their ranks and cleverness on the part of smugglers will always keep the black markets alive.
However, by allowing the criminal underworld to coalesce like this, it serves as something of a convenient gutter to catch away societal refuse that the Pax doesn’t want polluting the rest of it. Zero-Sec is tolerated as a necessary evil, so long as it doesn’t spill over into more civil areas.
That is not to say it’s a lawless madhouse, though. Every 0SZ establishes its own kind of order. In the wilderness of northern Canada and the Appalachians, there are bandit warlords who have built their own little fiefdoms. There are tribes, descended of the natives of North America, who refuse to give up their land or participate in the Pax. And within some of the urban 0SZs, there is the Shadow Government of the United States, one of the most powerful and well-organized of its kind.
The Shadow Government
There are a few different Shadow Governments around the world, attempting to maintain the continuity of the governments of the fallen nation states. Some exist as rumors, or as ideas so vestigial they’re almost jokes. Some have incredibly questionable legitimacy, if any at all.
The Shadow Government of the United States is different. It has an unbroken line of continuity dating back to the Scramble, when the President resigned and the Vice President assumed his office and refused to cede power to the corporate oligarches attempting to overthrow the government. They have continued to hold secret elections for a Congress and a President, and have a Supreme Court that hears cases brought before them in Zero-Sec zones. In 0SZs are where the Shadow Government has real power. Anti-citizens, non-comps, and other disenfranchised people who reject the Pax often side with the Shadow Government and look to it for aid. They provide the closest thing to order besides criminal organizations in the 0SZs.
The Pax tolerates the existence of the Shadow Government for the most part, provided it never gets too big and never tries to truly put a nation state together, unify the Zero-Sec zones, or otherwise try to actually challenge the Pax’s authority. So long as the Shadow Government restricts itself to holding some degree of authority over the 0SZs, the Pax will continue to see it as the toothless charity organization of romantic nationalists holding on to a vestige of the past and little more.
A day comes where Shadow President Everett Clay gets too ambitious, and there will be problems.