Doragon no rūru
In this Alt, the economic and cultural center of gravity of the Earth is in the East. China, Korea and Japan are in a sort of weird federation with each other. China is by far the richest and most powerful nation on the Earth.
Europe and the Americas struggle to escape a distinct second world status.
Here, at Mammoth Caves and in Bowling Green, things look retro. Styles are sort of 1960s, it may take PCs a bit to notice that something reinfrocing this image is that consumer goods are fewer here. American made items have older styling and older technology.
Asian built devices are very modern and very capable, but they're expensive so the people of Bowling Green don't have a lot of them. Same with cars and other machinery. American made has lagged and Asian made, while modern and capable are few, since people struggle to afford them.
Tourism is a strong industry here, with signs in Mandarin, Japanese or Korean. Asian upper middle class people can afford to travel the world. Some come to visit Mammoth Caves.
Farming is also not too bad. Besides America, Chinese are always willing to buy agricultural products with their sweet, sweet yuan.
Well Armed PCs may be taken for backwoodsmen on an infrequent trip to town to stock up.
In this Alt, On Sept 11, 2001, a Pax Draconis based scout ship landed in Shanghai.
Now every few weeks to two months alien space ships land at Shanghai Pudong International Airport.
China has traded for out of date Galactic technical manuals and science text books, and now Asian scientists and engineers struggle to update their technology. They are disappointed and slightly offended that the Pax Draconis considers Earth too pudunk a back water to deal with.
Asian People from this Alt would not recognize the names Mao, Kim Il Sung, Prime Minister Tojo, or Chiang Kai Shek. The idea of a Divided Korea would strike them as silliness.
Western people would be even more lost. History unfolded very differently in this alt. The Diversion point seems to be some time in the Early 20th century. Japan backed a 1911 military uprising in China and this was successful, replacing the Qing dynasty with a friendly Chinese Republic.
At the same time, The Japanese rearranged their influence in Korea aiming to be more palatable for the Korean people, and they were successful.
In 1914 all three nations joined the Allied powers during WWII and bit huge chunks out of Russia while Russia was dealing with the Bolshevik reolvution.
This lead to serious tension, but that was eclipsed by the Fascist/Communist tensions in the west.
In the 1940s, instead of the WWII we know, a German vs Russian war broke out, leaving Belgium, France and Europe out of the war. Japan, China and Korea also piled into the war on the German side, ignoring The U.S. Because Japan and China were allies, there was no 1930s Sino-Japanese war and the conflict between Japan and the U.S. over influence along the Pacific Rim was muted.
In 1943. Adolph Hitler visited Japan and has a famously popular visit. On his way back, Hitler's ship was torpedo and sank brutally short period of time. Conspiracy theories have swirled about this, ever since.
Russia was defeated after a grinding war.
Not long after, The UK was embroiled in an uprising in India which turned into a violent quagmire. Sources claim that Indian Nationalists were backed and influenced by Japanese agents, but others claim that no such influence was required. The US struggled with the Depression throughout the 1940s, and only began to recover when Harry Truman became president.
In the 1950s the US got involved in a violent quagmire in the Philipines. The rebels were largely held to be influenced and backed by the Japanese. but this was never proven.
In Europe, Fascism became the political flavor of the day, and Europe struggled with this through the 1940s and 1950s.
Meanwhile, Japanese style modernization increased the economies of China and Korea to the point where they began to compete with western nations in terms of wealth and standards of living.
After 1950, Western History becomes effectively randomized, with different figures who are footnotes in our history becoming influential and figures we recognize relegated to secondary or footnote roles.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the fascist countries either reformed or fell into economic irrelevance, while Japan and her allies advanced in technology and economic power.
But through the 1980s and to the present, the west has struggled to keep up with Asia, falling behind.
In this alt Japanese has become a very common second language since Japan invented the internet. All the kids read some and speak a little Japanese.