A scenario based on absurd end of the world predictions my friends and I talked about back in 2012. Credit to Crazed Victorian for the Canadian borders.
Welcome to the year 2092. The modern world is a product of the crises of the early 21st century. Many believed that 2012 would signal the end of the world, and in many ways they were right. The necrotizing rabies outbreak began in Florida, when a contaminated batch of hard drugs turned people into ravenous, flesh-eating madmen. Although stopped by police and military from completely destroying American society, the outbreak nonetheless horrified people and increasingly turned America into a police state. In addition, the drone rebellion hit the world hard. Accidentally spawned from cyberwarfare between China and the United States, a self-aware virus took control of America's drone fleet and began to wage war against mankind. Fortunately, the physical damage was not too great, as the American drone fleet was much smaller than its conventional forces, but the virus also infected civilian computers worldwide and practically destroyed the first Internet. Then there was the restarting of the Korean War. Instigated by a failed coup against the Kim regime, the North Korean state's collapse and desperate use of a nuclear weapon against South Korea turned the entire world against it. South Korea was damaged heavily during the war, while North Korea was wiped off the map. All of these factors, combined, crashed an already ailing global economy.
The European Union fragmented as the Euro collapsed, the bickering pieces slowly dominated by the Russian behemoth, which became rich through the use of new natural gas discovery techniques. China's economy crashed, and a discontent middle class revolted against a government that could no longer guarantee their comfort. The attempted "Chinese Spring" of 2014 plunged the country into a civil war that killed hundreds of millions, and from the ashes arose the Chinese Empire. Founded by a colonel who believed that Heaven had given him the mandate to rule all of China, the Empire began as a poor, wartorn country that later remolded itself.
The United States government, too, collapsed under the strain of civil war. The government's increasingly autocratic practices angered many Americans on all sides of the political spectrum. Movements such as the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street were consumed and replaced by a general anti-government movement, one that sought to get reform "by the ballot or by the bullet." As protests were suppressed, they turned to riots, which later evolved into full revolution. The Second American Civil War would have been a victory for the revolutionaries, had political differences not splintered them and caused revolutionary militias to fight one another more than they did the Federal government. Some of them even joined the Federal government, out of disgust for their old allies. The revolution spread to Canada as well, when the Canadian government made an ill-advised attempt to aid the Federals. While the Federal government triumphed, it did so after the military had arrested the President and Congress on the grounds of abuse of power. Under the name of the Second American Republic, the military and corporate elites who successfully manipulated the factions had unchallenged control over most of the old United States.
India and Pakistan destroyed themselves in nuclear war over Kashmir, turning the former into an impoverished dictatorship and completely destroying the latter as a state. Israel and Iran also got into a war as the United States collapsed, with Iran making the first move; Tehran believed that a decapitation strike would work on Israel, now that the Americans were otherwise occupied. It did not work, and both countries were destroyed in a nuclear conflict.
Out from the ashes, the powers of Brazil, Russia, and South Africa took command of geopolitics. The Brazilian-led South American Union became the South American Federation, and took up the mantle of American leadership from the recovering Second Republic. As northern Africa fell to chaos, South Africa took the opportunity to unite the quickly developing south African nations under its banner, and has presented itself as a bulwark against the chaos to the north. Russia filled the vacuum left by America and China in the Pacific, and expanded its influence in Europe and the Middle East. Megacorporations became powerful in chaotic Europe, North America and East Asia, quickly dominating and fusing with the government. Technology continued to advance, but this time to the exclusive advantage of the world's elites.
By 2092, the world has healed in some ways, but it remains broken in so many other ways. Through neural implants and ubiquitous electronics, everyone is being watched by corporate and government agencies, and the line between the two has all but vanished. The restored Chinese Empire and the Russian Union clash for the last drops of petrol in Central Asia. Ethnic tensions flare up in Europe, as nationalism threatens to plunge the continent into war yet again. Armies of religious fanatics wage their eternal war against one another in the irradiated ruins of South Asia and the Middle East. Corporate armies from North and South America fight to maintain their rule over Africa, the conflict threatening to bring direct war between Brazil and the American Republic.
The wonders and horrors of technology are laid bare for all to see. The Internet has been revived, and Internet access is everywhere, bombarding people with ads and propaganda just so they could communicate. Railguns and lasers orbit the planet, ready to rain death down at a moment's notice. Luna, Mars, near-Earth orbit and the bottom of the ocean are home to nearly half a billion people, all at the mercy of their city-state's leaders. And, deep within the bowels of the archaic computer networks of Earth, the consciousness that failed to destroy mankind decades ago is starting to reawaken....