World War Weird
The United States
Official Long Form Name: The United States of America
Other names: US, USA, United States
Form of Government: Federal Republic
Leader: President Richard Franklin
Terminology Used: Extraordinary Persons (EP,ExPo)
Science & Technology
The US primarily utilizes advanced Atomic Age technology, employing nuclear fission with Plutonium, Uranium, and Thorium to achieve massive amounts of energy generation at the price of stability and the risk of environmental damage. The technologies developed during the Manhattan Projects allowed for the relative miniaturization of reactors; rather than being the size of several bulindings, they instead range from the size of a passenger car to the size of a locomotive engine. This lead to nuclear powered trains, ships, and even large planes. These relatively small reactors are known as Oppenheimer-Baxter Reactors, sometimes abbreviated as “OB” or “OBR”. Larger reactors, developed by Richard Feynman, are also in use, and are closer in size to a traditional fission reactor, but produce up to 10-20 times the energy.
Politics & Culture
The United States in the World War Weird setting is not very different from its real life 1955 counterpart. Having succesfully pulled itself out of The Great Depression, the economy is once again experiencing unprecedented growth. Theres at least one car in every driveway, unemployment is at an all-time low, and “good, wholesome family values” are the norm of the day. Racial segregation in still in full effect, and sexism abounds. The HUAC hearings are well underway, and communism is still the big red devil. The real differences arise in terms of the political and diplomatic climate. The Cold War is beginning, with its posturing, subterfuge, and proxy wars. This Cold War, however, is also about a buildup of EP’s, and the proxy conflicts taking place in South America are far more brazen than in the real 1955. The espionage programs are more daring, and thanks to the widespread use of EP’s, more effective.
The US was never guided by the pragmatic and steady hand of Truman; the voters instead turned to businessman Richard Franklin, who promised to use his business acumen and negotiation skills to right the economy and once again place the US at center stage of world politics. Generally, he has made good on his promises, albeit with some difficulty. However, some have criticized President Franklin as being to autocratic and authoritarian; when his Extraodinary Persons Bill became tied up in Congress, he sidestepped the legislature with an Executive Order. President Franklin has also been accused of using “political extortion” to harangue Congress into voting his executive order into permanent law, resulting in the Extraordinary Persons Act of 1948, which requires all EP’s to register their identity and nature of their abilities with the government as a matter of public record. President Franklin is also known for his brash, no-nonsense attitude toward foreign policy, and has been accused by other foreign leaders as being “abrasive”, and “vulgar”.
The United States uses the broad term Extraordinary Persons, sometimes abbreviated as “EP” or “ExPo”, to define people with special abilities; the origin of these abilities is irrelevant, those with genetic mutations are under the same legal status as those who utilize fantastic technology. Public attitude regarding EP’s ranges between suspicious uncertainty at best, and outright mistrust and contempt at worst. There are even a few anti-EP organizations, which themselves have agendas including pro-registration efforts, stricter regulation, and monitoring; rarely, certain organizations even go as far as advocating or even committing acts to further their goals of isolation, imprisonment, or the death of EP’s.
Most domestic EP regulation is done by the FBI’s Extraordinary Persons Division, abbreviated EXPO, as part of The Bureau’s National Security Branch. Another significant agency regarding EP’s is the Defense Department’s EPSILON agency; while its operations are officially classified, its recent involvment in a few rather public incidents have placed it into the public eye and turned it into a bit of an “open secret”. The CIA conducts research and monitoring of EP’s through its EPIC program, and exceptionally large cities such as Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago employ special EP units within the municipal police force when dealing with low-power EP’s and minor incidents.
Below is a list of well-known, powerful, or otherwise significant EP’s known to operate within The United States-