Base Raiders: The Sword of Damocles
The Ideal - The Ultimate Super Team
Politics in the World of Base Raiders
The Ideal – The Ultimate Superteam
At first glance, up until the Second World War, the world of Base Raiders would seem very similar to our own. Languages and cuisine, books and music, clothing styles and architecture, capital cities and national borders, these have been much the same as in our world. If someone were to visit both our parallel earths, it might take them a while to notice any major divergences in geography and culture. It was during World War Two that the existence of Supers became known to the public. Since then, high-powered individuals have had a huge impact on every aspect of life in every county. It was only one year ago that every known caped avenger and black mask mysteriously disappeared, and the resultant power vacuum has also had a tremendous effect on everyone on the planet.
Some heroes that emerged during WW II were immensely powerful and were among those that founded The Ideal, a super team with immense international influence. After the great conflict, The Ideal persuaded national governments to support their agenda related to powered individuals. To this purpose, The Ideal persuaded the vast majority of heads of state to sign The Accord.
This treaty established that any super could chose to register with The Ideal. If they did so, all personal information, including any secret identity, remained undisclosed and would not be shared with private interests or governments. The Accord put The Ideal in charge of overseeing all international efforts involving supers. It mandated that all law enforcement defer to The Ideal in every way in all cases related to super crime. It made it illegal for powerful supers to seek public office. The Accord gave UN partial oversight over The Ideal’s operations, but many allege that the team was skilled at tricking and subverting inspectors. This treaty also allowed The Ideal to confiscate and store super weapons and artifacts. They normally did so in secure vaults in their bases.
The Accord insured that civilian supers would receive free training, therapy, job placement, and legal aid. It made it illegal for high-powered supers to serve in the military and banned research meant to create super-soldiers. It mandated that anyone with mind control powers register them with The Ideal and rendered it illegal for supers to violate the free will of any sapient being with their special abilities. The Ideal agreed to provide governments that adhered to The Accord with any technology that they found or developed that could detect and counter powers such as mind control and shape shifting. The Ideal could also impound any super-tech or alien devices that they believed might be dangerous. The Accord also mandated that The Ideal release the fruits of reverse engineered alien technology to the public in a timely manner, as it was understood and any associated dangers mitigated.
While political leaders sometimes found ways around The Accord or even violated it successfully at times, it still gave The Ideal tremendous leverage in matters related to powered individuals as well as any sort of super technology. Over time, governments generally learned to live with The Accord, especially as they came to depend on The Ideal to deal with super criminals that regular law enforcement couldn’t handle, as well as alien invasions and other global threats.
The Accord was still seen as problematic by many, especially at times of strong nationalism. For example, during the Cold War, most nations that could do so launched covert programs to create super soldiers. Many methods for doing so were developed, despite The Accord. Nations also did their best to recover alien technology and conceal their efforts from The Ideal. Still, The Accord gave The Ideal great political power and did hinder nations which might otherwise have engaged aggressively in some kind of superhuman arms race.
Why Was The Accord Passed?
The Accord involved the surrender of a degree of sovereignty by every nation that signed it. Not long after it was pushed through, some critics in the U.S. bitterly began to refer to The Ideal as America’s Fourth Branch of Government. More than a few citizens of other nations had reservations too. There were various reasons that The Accord was widely supported. The Ideal reaped tremendous goodwill due to their heroism during WW II. There was also a widespread view that, just as they’d repeatedly fought Axis supers, they were also best-suited to deal with super criminal in peacetime.
The Ideal was also greatly involved in rebuilding war-torn countries, further helping their image. It should be remembered that The Accord was signed in the heady days when the U.N was founded, back when a great many believed that ambitious international treaties guaranteed a better future for all. In addition, there were those in the corridors of power who feared that if they did not give their cooperation to The Ideal, that they would be forced to cooperate. All these reasons, and others, also made The Ideal something of a sacred cow and limited criticism of them by most political leaders.
The Apolitical Ideal
Though their reasons were never clarified, The Ideal strongly discouraged its members and other supers from becoming engaged in politics on any level other than voting. Expressing respect in general terms for freedom or democracy or whatever generally positive political values existed in a particular super’s country was quite acceptable, but clear, public support for particular candidates or political causes met with disapproval. There have been repeated allegations that The Ideal might withhold their services and support from supers who crossed the line into political advocacy.
Some speculate that The Ideal feared that internal partisan bickering could damage their ability to cooperate and act as humanity’s protectors, perhaps leading to the destruction their organization. Others argue that The Ideal was actually quite political in that they were a civil liberties organization dedicated to both defending the rights of supers and fighting efforts by governments to impress powered individuals into service. A vocal number of cynics claim that The Ideal were simply quiet supporters of the status quo. Really though, no one really knows for sure.
One thing agreed upon by many who have studied the history supers is that, on the whole, being non-political and “just doing their job” inspired respect among the general population, a phenomenon seen in the United States and other countries in respect to judges and members of the military. While exceptions might be made for dark avengers of the night, eerie alien refugees, or a few sui generis champions with grotesque appearances, the public liked supers, and those that were seen as protecting the public while staying above politics were generally the most widely respected in the long run.
Wealth and The Ideal
How could The Ideal afford to operate? First, they were the recipients of generous donations. Every time they thwarted a major menace or engaged in disaster relief, money poured in. The Ideal also made huge amounts of money from marketing, though the team was very aware of their brand and made sure that whatever they sold was within the bounds of good taste. Ideal super-geniuses created new inventions and sometimes reverse-engineered alien technology, and the results were licensed this to companies. These were the main methods of fund raising.
Active Ideal members, and those inactive due to injury, received an excellent salary. Some supers were reserve members, and they earned a healthy stipend. The Ideal also offered legal assistance and public relations services, so this made being associated with The Ideal on some level an attractive arrangement.