Having been elected as the next President of the United States, Adlai Stevenson IV was considered to be a bit bland, with most of his policies having carried over from his predecessor, Hillary Rodham, whose endorsement and successful presidency had gotten him elected in the first place.
While he was actually a fairly competent President, he lacked the policies or great diplomatic skills that would made him be seen as a great president. In fact, by some he was seen as incapable, following the lack of success at Saturn to secure the aliens for America.
Stevenson not grabbing the opportunity to persuade the world to agree with quarantining the aliens on American soil, intensified the feeling that he was not handling things in the best interest of the US. That the US government instead cooperated with the Soviets over the alien issue only added more negative publicity from several right wing media outlets.
The fact that Stevenson created legislation to increase funding for the Pentagon in the wake of the revelation of some nebulous enemy outside the fringe of the Solar System only raised his approval rating for a limited time.
By the time the 2020 elections happened, it had dropped to an all time low, and he was defeated by the Republican candidate, Senator Jon Huntsman of Utah.
Huntsman was a firm believer of private enterprise and as such was making sure to reduce some of the restrictions that had been placed on it during the recent decades. He had however learned from the failed attempts of Reagan and kept it to a reasonable degree, as to not raise unemployment rates. Tax cuts for companies and grants to entrepreneurs under the New Small Business Innovation program lead to another period of economic growth in the US.
However Huntsman had to admit defeat when it came to the aliens. Allowing the aliens to choose where they settled was one thing, but the failure to get more of them to settle down in the United States was another. Only the fact that the Soviets, Chinese and Europeans had to admit to the same thing and couldn’t just take them all in kept his ratings from dropping.
Thankfully the Quetzal that intended to settle in America were from a nation that had been one of the more developed on their homeworld and as such had technology that was a bit further developed compared to the others and as such secured the US a technological advantage.
The biggest problems the Huntsman administration had to tackle were all connected to the Quetzal. As soon as the Quetzal had settled in, they founded several technology companies that were offered grants from the governments under the New Small Business Innovation program, among others Riaria Technologies Incorporated, which was collectively owned by the 961 Quetzal of America. While founded by the Quetzal, they offered a number of jobs for humans, who had the know how in the human business world.
RTI also applied for patents for the advanced Quetzal technologies. As soon as that happened several groups of wealthy industrialists, among them the Koch brothers and Andrew Wilkins, filed for an injunction against the patent office. It was based on the technologies not being developed on Earth or by humans and thereby could not be applied as patents.
This tied in with another set of injunctions from far right groups, as the US government intended to award citizenship to the Quetzal in 2022. These were based on the Constitution and that it spoke of ‘men’, as in humans. There was no mention of extraterrestrials who were most definitely not ‘men’ and therefore could not be granted citizenship.
In the end the US Supreme Court had to decide on this matter. As it was seen as an extremely important case, it was taken up as soon as possible. In the end the injunctions were rejected with six to three votes, though they noted that the content of the Declaration of Human Rights needed to be reworded to take other intelligent beings into account.
There were several tries to overturn the rulings, but in the end it stuck and resulted in the Declaration of Sophont Rights, which was taken up by the United Nations and ratified by most nations of Earth, safe for a number of African nations and North Korea.
The entire case had some negative effects on the approval ratings of Huntsman, who was very open in his religiousness and whose election campaign had received some funding from the groups that now caused problems for the Quetzal.
During the election year of 2024, the spotty record of Huntsman quite rapidly changed due to a pair of crisis that followed up on each other and proved that Huntsman was a capable crisis manager.
In early 2024 the attack of Islamists on the Quetzal in Africa had lead to a global outcry and pulled the United States into action in Africa, which satisfied both the massively pro-alien groups in the United States as well as the majority of Muslims. While Huntsman kept out of the military conflict, as the taxpayers did not want to be pulled into a war they cared little for, he gave full political support of the European Union as well as approving and providing humanitarian aid, through the Peace Corps, which was many volunteers from the american Muslims.
The second was the 2024 Korean War, which nearly ended in a nuclear exchange when North Korea threatened to use nuclear warheads in the front lines. This time it was Huntsmans order to secure the North Korean nuclear bases. SEAL Teams One and Five succeeded on this task in conjunction with the Indian 5 Gorkha Rifles, keeping the Korean peninsula from becoming a nuclear wasteland.
Huntsmans decisive performance in both events gave him the approval ratings and electoral votes needed to be reelected, beating the Democratic candidate David Fleming by a decent margin.
Huntsman repeated this performance during the 2025 Suez Crisis, where he made sure that the conflict between Israel and Egypt didn’t escalate into a nuclear exchange.
When it came to the Republican hallmark for starting large infrastructural projects to create jobs and keep the United States economy afloat, Huntsman’s choice was the expansion of the high energy power lines stretching across the continent as well as easing legislation for the big power companies to build commercial fusion power plants. Some of these were based on modern designs gained from the Quetzal, but needed Helium 3 for fusion, while most were based on Turukal designs, which used the less powerful Deuterium-Tritium fusion.
Other projects were the construction of water desalination plants on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and Southern California, powered by the waste heat of the fusion reactors, to increase the amount of water available in the area and allowing the expansion of irrigation for increased crop yields, as well as projects to reduce desertification in the Middle West, following the warnings of a ‘Second Dust Bowl’ in the area.
Fusion power plants were not the only larger investments as a number of smaller towns and municipalities wanted to be less dependent on Big Power and invested into solar and wind power. Additionally the success of the PM&M Solar I orbital powerstation showed a great potential for cheap power, once it was beamed down to Earth. Only the question where to beam it down to presented something of a problem.
The budget of the Armed Forces also got an increase, largely due to the potential threats out in the galaxy, though the increase of military expenses in the other blocs played a major role as well. The Space Force gained the most of the budget increase, enabling them to persue many advanced projects, most importantly the Spearhead Project.
The 2028 elections were between Republican Senator of Montana, Frank Michaelson, and Democratic Senator of New York, David Sternberg. Neither of the two candidates had much of a lead compared to the other. In the end Michaelson won the election by just a good margin after being endorsed by Huntsman.
During the Michaelson administration the United States had gained more advanced technologies from the Quetzal and was able to modernize more than before. Michaelson also increased the budget for the US Space Force as the Spearhead Project was poised to allow the United States to take the lead in militarizing space and preparing the protection of the planet Earth.
In 2029, the FBI had a success in their counterintelligence work. Originally it had been expected to be a large case of conventional industrial espionage between companies, but eventually it turned out to be much more. More and more companies got involved into the investigation and after four years of careful investigation the FBI busted a large Soviet intelligence ring operating throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The reaction of the Michaelson administration was heavy and the spies were prosecuted with the full power of the law. The members of the spy ring got long prison sentences of more than a hundred years, with the leaders facing capital punishment. The leaders were still exchanged for a number of American spies at the Glienicker Brücke in Berlin, concluding the affair in a rather stereotypical way.
In the Soviet Union the death of Mikhail Gorbachev on June 3, 2020, gave raise to another progressive leader of the Politburo. Alexandr Tereshkov, who was the son of the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova, and born in 1970, was the youngest General Secretary of the Soviet Union.
Tereshkov had been brought into the Politburo by Gorbachev ten years earlier and had proven himself to be a capable administrator, though he, obviously, had a very vested interest in space and everything that was related with space. He knew that only modern technology could secure the future of the Soviet Union in the new frontier and used this to strengthen the high tech industry over the previously dominant heavy industry.
While the loss of the ‘Race to Saturn’ was to a degree the fault of Soviet engineers, the Quetzal that came to the Soviet Union more than made up for the loss and they did bring new technologies with them that allowed Tereshkov to push forward his plans to grow Soviet High Tech Industry.
One of his projects, already started before the return of the Quetzal, was the modernisation of the mobile communication network, which still relied on what was known as first and second generation cell phones in the ‘First World’.
At first the intention was to use fourth generation technologies similar to the Western LTE, but with the new Quetzal technology it rapidly switched to the sixth generation technologies now available. These technologies, combined with powerful embedded computers developed on the base of a native 64 version of the ARM architecture, allowed the development of the first Soviet smartphone and pad computer.
Both the smartphone and pad computer shared the same basic processor, and communication unit, but differed in memory, screen size and battery power. The operating Ssystem was homegrown and partly developed by the KGB, so it naturally had backdoors and other spy systems integrated to allow the observation of the user of either a smartphone or a pad. What made them standing out was that they, compared to most other Soviet technologies, actually had comparable features to high-end Western smartphones and pads.
Within three years of its introduction about half of the population had access to a smartphone and one fifth had access to a pad, making the Soviet society more interconnected that it already was due to their own computer network.
The loss of the intelligence ring in the American science organizations and various corporations was a serious blow as it was now harder to get to know what the Americans would do or what else they might develop and allow the Soviet Union to build their own versions of it.
To increase its hold on the Western client nations of the Warsaw Pact, the Soviet Union enlarged its Maglev network into the West with one line connecting Moscow directly with Berlin. That the line had a massive capacity, comparable to the Trans Siberian Maglev, could point towards the possibility that the Politburo still didn’t fully trust the leadership in East Berlin.
Tereshkov also suggested that these nations developed their own high tech industries, helped along by Soviet Engineers and tied closer into the Soobshcha Computer Network to increase their effectivity even further.
The Trans Siberian Maglev itself lead to a further opening of Siberia to the Soviet Union and its natural resources, mainly oil, gas and variety of ores needed by the Soviet industry. New Cities sprung up along the Trans Siberian Maglev and the fusion reactors powering them.
One such city was Budushcheye, the city of the future. Spanned by a massive dome structure, it was the model for Soviet cities on other planets. It was a test case with massive teething problems however and the construction of the dome itself was presenting massive technological problems to the Soviet engineers.
Political reactions to the loss of the ‘Race to Saturn’ were different to quantify. While a number of engineers were assigned to Siberia, most of them were needed for the future of the Soviet Union in space.
The Quetzal that came to the Soviet Union were another problem. While they were persuaded to choose Star City, it became clear that the Quetzal form of communism was different from the Soviet model and closer to the pure communism that had been put forth by Marx.
The Soviet Union had of course long since learned to deal with these and similar problems and managed to keep the Quetzal nice and satisfied within Star City, working with Soviet scientists and engineers, largely isolated from the outside.
Some contact had to be allowed however and the Soviet Union could not keep the Quetzal idea from spreading through the Soobshcha Network and its underground twin. The KGB had its problems with keeping up with groups that called for a more democratic form of communism, forcing them to use a heavier form of response and increasing the number of ‘volunteers’ to the new isolated Siberian cities and mines, which in turn became breeding grounds for the new ideas.
In Europe, Greece finally had managed to complete the reforms necessary to meet the requirements to become a full member of the European Union after decades of being a provisional member. On April 1, 2023 Greece was awarded with a full membership and on January 1, 2026 introduced the Euro as currency.
A direct neighbour of Greece, Turkey was awarded provisional membership of the EU on January 1, 2024, after nearly two decades of talks with Brussels about joining, implementing reforms and adding its growing economy to that of Europe.
This happened in a general high of pro-europe feelings within its member nations in the wake of the relative success of the Marco Polo. The actual mission had failed, but the general sentiment was that at least no one else had been able to claim the derelicts either. In fact the rescue of the Chinese survivors was great proof that Europe was not above helping when help was needed.
Marco Delacroix, the head of ESA in the time was officially hailed as a hero by the news for his hard decision to help the Chinese. To show Europes gratitude he got the call to Brussels to become the new European Commissioner for the Aerospace Industry, which largely kept him away from ESA. He was replaced by the German Ulrich Walter.
The diplomatic relations between the EU and China developed in a positive direction in the aftermath and lead to a number of diplomatic and cultural exchanges. That there was an increase in chinese intelligence activity was a given.
The interest in the aliens itself was big as seen with the traffic to the European GlobalWeb page about the aliens and their history spiking over several years. It peaked when 942 Quetzal settled down in Erstein in France.
The status of the Quetzal was unique and created its own problems, especially when the European Parliament added one additional seat that was given to a Quetzal, setting a global precedent. The immediate problem were several European minorities, like the Basque or the Catalans, claiming that they were also to be given their own seats. Other more nationalistic groups called for a reduction of the European Parliament’s power. The first voices of Europeanism were also heard, stating that Europe was for humans.
Protests remained small however, as many people in Europe felt a certain smugness about being the first to have aliens in the parliament.
The de facto status of the Quetzal as refugees and the way they were handled, brought organizations like the European Council on Refugees and Exiles to the forefront, who forced the problems of other, human refugees into the public light. Every year thousands of refugees from Africa and Arabia flooded the EU via various means and were treated less than friendly.
The public outcry left much to be desired. As the Quetzal delegate to the European Parliament, Aldam, placed himself on the side of the ECRE, many were finally made to listen. Aldam noted that he and others of his species were ashamed to be treated differently to human refugees, who had a worse lot. He was successful in starting a loud discussion about the situation of refugees and exiles in Europe, punctured by the sinking of a ship with nearly five hundred refugees near Lampedusa.
The situation in West Africa made the refugee situation even worse, increasing their number. This was seen as one reason of the EU to get involved into the West African situation, as well as the outrage of the European Quetzal about the death of their brethren by the hand of Boko Haram.
In the wake of the ‘War on Terror’, Europe began a large humanitarian aid program for the Maghreb as well as West Africa and put political pressure on the governments ofNorth Africa. To a large degree this was a way to try and stem the flood of refugees to Europe by giving them no reason to flee any further from their homes. It also helped to stabilize the area and making them more likely to buy european goods.
On the other hand the added political pressure on the East African nations by the European Union was seen as meddling in the internal affairs. The bad situation concerning refugees from areas that had been devastated by the war also added into these problems. Fear of recolonization also lingered, especially in the wake of images and videos of misbehaving troops, making the nations look for other partners to balance out the Europeans, finding them in South America.
To appease the Quetzal, Euroforce supported the second Ivesi Fakuxi Shiry expedition in 2031 to Mali.
The issue with the European heavy water plants never quite left the news following the Subvention Scandal, as it became clear that several plants had leakages in the reactors used to make heavy water. While leaking heavy water was not a problem at all, the process involved hydrogen sulfide, which in turn was poisonous. That was something of a problem as Europe had chosen to adopt Deuterium-Deuterium fusion for fusion power plants to actually use the heavy water plants to full capacity.
In 2029 the American discovery of the Soviet intelligence ring lead Europol and national law enforcement and intelligence agencies to implement their own measures against foreign intelligence. Aside from a number of agents being discovered, as well as computer surveillance from the Soviet Union and an unknown party, either the Chinese or even the United States, there were no big discoveries of massive spy rings.
The destruction of the Zheng He was an extraordinary loss for China, but the Central Committee of the Peoples Republic very well knew that it was an unfortunate accident that noone could have expected. While some within the Central Committee wanted a scapegoat to hang, other heads prevailed and the Peoples Republic had its last batch of great heroes, who gave their lives in pursuit of ancient knowledge. That the accident could be used to keep the peoples eyes away from a few domestic issues fit nicely into the Central Committees policy.
The aftermath and the surprising rescue of the surviving taikonauts, showed that the Central Committee had largely moved towards being pragmatic about many things. When it became clear that the alien spacecraft were out of reach for claiming and it was discovered that they were very much alive, they relatively quickly changed their plans, satisfied that the other of the Big Four could not claim the spacecraft either.
Seeing it as a way to expand their own influence and perhaps get some of the APCP into their sphere of influence, China was rapidly willing to help with any international project to help the aliens and placing a few agents to help convince the aliens to settle down in China, which was successful and their open policy, when it came to dealing with the beginning population of about 1000 Quetzal, gained them positive publicity.
The remaining crew of the Zheng He was welcomed as heroes, who had gone through great hardship in the face of the destruction of their spacecraft and each was awarded with a Hero’s Medal First Class, as well as International Scientific and Technological Cooperation Award of the People’s Republic of China for their cooperation with the European astronauts on the Marco Polo. While neither of the four would ever fly into space again and went through a month long debriefing on European technology and procedures, they were still able to get nice and comfortable assignments during the rest of their careers.
China was largely ahead of many of the other nations when it came to the construction of fusion power plants that were needed to power the growing industry and the Pan-Chinese High Speed Transport Network. Most of this growth was still based on the documents from the Imperial Dragon.
With Quetzal settling down in China and sharing technology, largely to protect themselves in their new home, it was possible to advance even more to try and pull up to the United States and Europe when it came to the desire of technological parity.
With this new outlook towards technology, China worked on expanding their sphere of influence across Asia as well as Africa, though they dropped their support of North Korea. Several nations that were not very satisfied with the Asian-Pacific Cooperation Pact, like Myanmar and Cambodia, were courted by China, using lower tariffs and relatively low cost arms deals, undercutting Indian and Japanese prices.
Looking more to the west, China also increased its support to Pakistan. There was also interest of increasing their influence in Africa, where they also made some advances in relations to Mozambique, Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the latter resulting in some diplomatic problems with the Soviet Union, who strongly supported its neighbouring nation the People’s Republic of the Congo.
The ‘War on Terror’ in West Africa was also a welcome chance to expand their Sphere of Influence in Africa.
The Asian-Pacific Cooperation Pact hit its biggest problems in the early 2020s as the rift between Indian and Japanese interests grew. Both aimed to use the APCP largely to sell their own goods and in most cases directly competed with each other.
Politically compromises were harder and harder to get between the two bit powers of the APCP.
Myanmar and Cambodia were the least satisfied with this shift in priorities. Both were nations that had gained relatively little in the membership in the APCP and had failed in taking part in the Asian-Pacific Space Community from the beginning, making it harder to get into the program.
In 2027 China’s economic and military deals finally caused Myanmar and Cambodia to drop out of the APCP and to go on alone, closer into the Chinese sphere of influence. While this didn’t weaken the APCP by much, it had the effect that both India and Japan realised their actions being a problem for the future stability of the APCP. With some additional mediation from Indonesia and Australia, they started moving together again, thereby also pulling the APCP closer together again in a new balance.
With the discovery of the large oil field near Coober Pedy, Australia increased its own political influence by being able to export the majority of it to the APCP, aside from some oil that was used to become independent from oil imports from Arabia.
Politics in Australia saw the addition of the Turukal as an interesting bonus, after two of the Turukal were elected into the District Council of Coober Pedy, followed by one of them being elected into the South Australian House of Assembly as an independent. This marked the second time of aliens getting involved into politics, although this time they got elected, rather than being given the seat, like it had happened in Europe.
In North Korea the situation deteriorated during the early 2020s. Even though the nation was largely isolated from the rest of the world and only got some help from China and the Soviet Union, they were largely on their own. With the arrival of the aliens, they isolated themselves even more, with Kim Jong-sung, the Supreme Leader of North Korea, stating that aliens had infiltrated the outside world and that North Korea was the only free nation left.
Over decades they had developed their own rocket systems, which looked suspiciously similar to the Soviet R-7 launch vehicle, even if the United States, Japan and South Korea had pushed hard restrictions.
So the launch of a manned spacecraft did not come as much of a surprise, and neither did the fact that it looked very much like the Vostok capsule of the Soviets. There was not much in the way of radio contact between the capsule and the ground. The North Koreans also denied any launch after about three orbits of the spacecraft and it reentered the atmosphere two days later above the Atlantic Ocean, without a separation of the capsule from the service module. The capsule survived and impacted in the Atacama desert. The North Korean astronaut could only be recovered dead and by the looks of it he had already suffocated early into the flight.
The North Korean State TV accused a coalition of the United States, Japan and South Korea to have shot down the capsule and that the necessary countermeasures would be take. There were no more attempts of manned space flight, but that did not prevent North Korea to launch a number of large satellites. Officially they were technical tests for future weather and television satellites, but no other nations actually believed it.
When a Quetzal was part of a Chinese diplomatic delegation to Pyongyang, Kim Jong-sung, the leader of North Korea, overreacted. This situation was a mix of Kim being born and raised in North Korea, surrounded by his father’s own propaganda, as well as a deep seated fear of snakes. In his panic of being face to face by an enemy alien snake, he ordered the countermeasures against everyone else to be used.
These countermeasures were the satellites North Korea had managed to launch. One of them entered the atmosphere over South Korea and detonated a nuclear warhead of ten kilotons 40 kilometers above Seoul. There was only a small EMP effect and older electronics failed, but it did not actually damage anything, the artillery bombardment of the city that followed however did.
China and the Soviet Union almost immediately withdrew their nominal support to North Korea, leaving the nation without any outside support. Additionally it was China who destroyed the remaining North Korean satellites with its orbital weapons, finally washing their hands clean of the rogue nation.
The 2024 Korean War lasted one month, with South Korean forces, supported by the United States and the Asian-Pacific Cooperation Pact all but steamrolling the ill equipped and ill trained North Korean forces. Only the threat of using nuclear warheads by North Korea against the Allies kept them from finishing the war two weeks earlier.
The North was then occupied by the Allies, with China also offering their help. Rather than having South Korea take the brunt of the rebuilding costs for the occupied area, the APCP got in on helping them, especially India and Japan. China, interested in seeing the reunited Korean peninsula in their own Sphere of Influence added their own help for rebuilding the nearly completely destroyed north. This in turn increased the funds coming from the APCP, who rather wanted to keep Korea away from China as best as they could. This monetary ‘tug of war’ between the APCP and China resulted in the Recreation being well funded for Korea with some cynical voices noting that it was actually the best thing that could have happened to Korea.
In the Middle East the small Cold War between Egypt and Israel heated up again as Omar Ghanem died in May 2025 and was replaced by Ahmet Halim, a militant when it came to retaking the Sinai as well as somewhat superstitious, seeing the arrival of the aliens as a bad sign.
That Israel demanded a share of the profits made by the Suez Canal, the border line between Egypt and Israel since the Six Day War, played into his hands.
Within three months of seizing power Halim had tripled the forces standing at the Suez Canal and pulled up a number of short and medium range missiles, eight of them armed with nuclear devices. He claimed that it was to better defend against Israeli aggression.
The direct response of Israel was to double their own forces in the Sinai, which very nearly left them exposed on the other borders.
Syria came very close to reinforcing its own borders with Israel, but Iran, while not a direct ally of Israel, made its dislike known of any war that could lead to a, even a limited, nuclear exchange, which could be sparked when Syria attacked Israel.
Political pressure from the United States and Europe on Israel and of the Soviet Union and China on Egypt eventually diffused the situation after three months of uneasy peace between the two standing armies. No one wanted to see any problems arising from a dispute about one of the most important shipping routes of the world. In the end Egypt was forced to give a twenty percent share of the profits from the Suez Canal to Israel.
Partially in response to Iran keeping Syria in check, the United States offered Iran a single Pegasus aerospace plane.
In West Africa the situation with Islamists became unstable as the biggest group, Boko Haram attacked a group of Quetzal trying to help the people in the area, and finally attacked them even in South Africa.
This brought the African problem with growing Islamist groups into an international focus, as the Enthat destroyed several Boko Haram strongholds from orbit. The Quetzal Assembly at Diego Garcia announced that they wanted the situation addressed by the United Nations. The UN did little more than discussing the situation however and the situation in Nigeria and the Guinean Union deteriorated during 2024 until the GU demanded actual help from the UN.
The EU answered the call for help and asked the UN for an official mandate. The UN Security Council gave the mandate on October 15, 2024, under the United Nations West African Intervention Force, with the United States offering political support for the plan. Brazil and Argentina, who had economic ties to West Africa joined the UNWAIF as well, though with less troops than the European Union. China, interested in expanding their sphere of influence to Africa offered their help as well. The United States supported UNWAIF with logistics and humanitarian aid through the Peace Corps.
On October 23, the first cargo planes with Euroforce troops landed in Lagos and began operations against Boko Haram on October 29, which were joined by a group of five Quetzal ‘space marines’ from the conventionally manned Quezal combat spacecraft, as well as 49 Quetzal and 15 Turukal volunteers in November. All of the volunteers had military training, though it varied to a degree from that of humans, but was still valuable. The Turukal proved themselves as valuable combat engineers, while the Quetzal were valuable as assault troops, especially with body armor designed with the Quetzal in mind.
Until January 2025, operations were mostly confined to Nigeria, but Boko Haram and other Islamist organizations all over the Guinean Union and West Africa flared up and began to mount attacks on Guinean forces as well, forcing the UNWAIF to branch out into other nations, who largely welcomed the help.
Operations of UNWAIF eventually spread out through nearly the entirety of West Africa and even the Maghreb. Nigeria had seen the worst of the fighting against the Islamists, especially as they had eventually followed a ‘Scorched Earth’ policy, destroying villages, farmlands and leading to a massive growth of the number of refugees fleeing towards the coastal areas. In many cases the Islamists pressed villagers into service.
Operations against Boko Haram and other Islamist groups in West Africa lasted until August 2028. Afterwards the UNWAIF forces remained behind as peacekeeping forces, helping to rebuild the places that were destroyed.
Relations between the Guinean Union and the EU were hit during operations of the UNWAIF, especially as pictures surfaces, describing European troops acting against civilians. This included the razing of entire towns to find Islamists, as well as mistreating prisoners in Euroforce run prisons. This made the nations of the GU moved closer together, having gone through a common crisis, while looking for other allies, like South America and China.
The situation in Somalia and East Africa in general was sometimes thought to be a sideshow of the ‘War on Terror’ in West Africa, the fighting there was no less important to the future of Africa as a whole.
Somalia had been a largely lawless place, but for a while it looked as if the East African Community or the APCP forces had been able to reinstate peace in the area after several years of long operations against various warlords and other local leaders in the area. Most of Somalia was under control of the Federal Republic of Somalia, with some areas still needing to be retaken by the internationally recognized government and their supporters of the APCP and the EAC.
With the arrival of the aliens and the Boko Haram attacks on the Quetzal, islamists gained more traction is East Africa as well, especially with the Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen militia in Southern Somalia proclaiming that the Islamic Emirate of Somalia was the only bastion against the alien demons in East Africa.
The al-Shabaab forces began with a wave of terrorist attacks in the EFC, with schools, military bases and even shopping malls being targets. Attacks in Somalia itself forced the surprised APCP and EAC back, and once again Mogadishu came under siege. Several warlords that had defected to the Somali government used the chance to return their own ways again, sending Somalia once again into disarray.
Indonesia, the largest Muslim nation of the world, did not like seeing the islamists gain such power again and increased its number of troops in the area, followed by India, who once again sent the INS Vikramaditya and INS Delhi to Somalia to support operations. Still the fighting spread over into the EAC, making them call the ASPS for help, which was given.
The fighting against the Islamists lasted about as long as UNWAIF operations in West Africa, but were less visible due to the fact that conflict in Somalia had become a ‘normal state of affairs’ during the previous thirty years, with an entire generation not knowing actual peace and a stable government.
In 2028 operations against al-Shabaab and other smaller groups ended with the majority of Somalia under control of the central government in Mogadishu and the northern part becoming the Republic of Somaliland with its government in Hargeisa.
In South America, Chile and Bolivia became full members of Mercosul in 2022 with Peru and Paraguay following suit in 2026. The rivalry of Chile and Argentina still existed and made their relations a little bit problematic, forcing Brazil into a mediating position more often than they liked.
The period of economic growth continued for the Mercosul nations as a whole and the Quetzal in Brazil only helped it along. The new or at least more advanced technologies remained largely within Brazil, but tickled into the rest of South America sooner or later.
The slow speed at which technology transferred out to Mercosul led to political problems. Additionally, Chile and Peru accused Brazil of using its technology to advance its nation while leaving the rest of South America behind. To address these problems, Brazil set up a technological exchange program and enacted a number of political reforms at home in regards to the distribution of advanced technology.
Since the formation of the Guinean Union, Brazil and Argentina had formed good economic relations to the west african nations, seeing that they were an expanding market for their goods, which were of a good quality and relatively cheap compared to American and European goods.
When the Guinean Union called for international help to combat Islamists, Brazil and Argentina joined the UNWAIF mission to West Africa to help , hoping for better relations in the wake of the war and helping with rebuilding. The war lasted longer than hoped by Brazil and Argentina and rapidly became unpopular and calls of pulling out became louder.
The ‘War on Terror’ ended successfully and half of the troops returned home, with the rest staying behind and helping to rebuild, resulting in the better relations the two nations had hoped for.
In Mexico the situation with the ‘Neo Aztecs’ in Veracruz became something of a continuous headache for the Mexican government, in addition to a raise of criminality on the area. The willingness to use violence made it necessary for the police to take on the help of the army to suppress them, essentially turning Veracruz into a crisis zone.
To make it worse, one group of Neo Aztecs managed to steal a Quetzal egg from its parent while the Quetzal still were in Coatzacoalcos. The group evaded the Police and Army, fleeing north and finding a hiding spot in the state of Sonora for the next eight years.
When the group was found in 2030, they had managed to keep The Quetzal alive, but had caused massive psychological damage to him. The group had acted as he was a god and going as far as sacrificing to him. At first it had been animals, who had their hearts cut out while they were still conscious. Eventually they had worked their way up to humans, as seen by a human skin adorning the wall of the ‘God Chamber’.
The Quetzal was handed over to his people for psychological treatment, while two of the ‘Neo Aztecs’ were killed ‘on the run’ and the rest charged with multiple charges of murder, kidnapping and everything else that could be tied to them.