In 2055, technology has changed and humanity is different. Aliens and cyborgs are commonplace, but not everyone accepts these changes.
Some alien races have found earthlings to be a devious, conniving blemish on the face of the galaxy. Members of races with this attitude are found on earth (usually only one or two members of the race are found) only as observers, providing intelligence to their own governments to determine the best way to eradicate the human race. Other races see the humans as sentients to be allied with or, at the very least, studied. Humans have found their own way to other planets without outside interference (unlike some races in the galaxy) and, as a race, have great potential. Most humans are oblivious to the scrutiny they receive by some alien races, but others suspect governments of making ill-fated deals with them. Conspiracy theorists are far from dead.
Bionics have become more commonplace, at least in the military, due to the increasing reliance on technology. Japan, in particular, due to the incredible advances made in the cybernetic sciences (as a result of supercomputing electronics and increased knowledge of biotechnology), uses cybernetic augmentation as a supplement to some forms of medical care. Those with bionics are very well received in every society worldwide because of this (either for their service to the country or sympathy to a medical condition).
Experiments are some of the most common types of superhumans due to the large number of governments conducting, official or unofficial, tests on subjects to create a better warrior. This is especially true in the North American Federation in order to protect the country from the dangerous drug cartel to the south. Russia, in an attempt to quash the remaining resistance in the conquered territories, have also begun experimenting heavily to discover the best method of creating shapeshifters for intelligence-gathering and assassination missions. Unfortunately, these occurrences have lead to a general distrust of superhumans in some cases (and it tends to boil over to mutants as well as it is generally unknown whether the person is the victim of a mutation or an experiment). There are some groups, such as the Humanitarian Brotherhood, who employ KKK-style tactics in an effort to promote terror among the populace and scare mutants into hiding.
Hardwares have also increased greatly in number. This is due to strict breeding policies in China, where only the most intelligent are authorized to breed, and the improved education systems in North America. When the corporations bought out the American government, the first thing they improved was education. This has led to a large number of highly intelligent tinkerers (this is also due to a highly innovative generation who shared a characteristic of enjoying disassembling and reassembling things). Since Hardwares are the most like humans, they receive little to no scrutiny (though they still are often viewed as "geeks" and "nerds" throughout their adolescent years).
Though rare, magic-users, mystic artifacts, and mystically bestowed humans and aliens can be found in libraries, universities, and home studies all over the world. Most are archaeologists who stumbled upon their knowledge by accident, but some are true knowledge seekers or grave-robbing criminals. Some are viewed as crackpots by humans and others who give a bad name to this particular type of superhuman (usually members of a mage's guild) due to a high number of incidents of megalomania.
Mutants have begun to surface primarily in heavily industrialized regions of North America and the war-torn zones of North Africa. The reason is varied. Some scientists believe that this is due to the number of chemicals used in creating day-to-day products. The hazardous waste is then dumped, rather than properly disposed of. In North Africa, the reason is simple: the use of chemical warfare has grown and is causing more frequent mutations in humans. Sometimes these mutants are beneficial and work for a benevolent faction. Most times, however, they are found in the employ of tyrants and dictators who overthrow any civil government. Mutants are often confused with experiments and are targeted by the same hatred and bigotry experiments receive at the hands of some groups and organizations. This view has been further corrupted by the few mutants who feel they are the next evolutionary step of mankind and believe that a war will (and should) erupt in which mutants will emerge victorious (Darwinism at work, as it were).
With less emphasis placed on sports and the physical being, except for military applications, this power category is a rare find. Generally, they will only be found in military organizations where strength, endurance, and other physical attributes are more desirable. Crime Syndicates also prize these individuals and will pay top dollar to those willing to work on their side.
Many of the world powers have begun attempting to exploit the human mind, using experiments to awaken latent psychic ability in those that show the potential (approximately one in every one million people). Many small organizations exist to foster psychic ability away from the government's watchful eye, but most are quickly placed in special classes with other psychics. Generally, psychics are given special treatment in the education system and this has led to animosity between mundanes and psychics.
Robotics has always been a touchy area in governments; thus few advances have been made in the areas of artificial intelligence. The only major advances came in the design and manufacture of exoskeletons. Though still experimental, they are used with increasing frequency in the military. In the NAF, only a few private organizations are allowed to continue research in this field, and most have government contracts. Nonetheless, some organizations use robots and androids to perform some simpler tasks, such as automated security drones, though there are some freelancers (mainly Hardwares) who work on AI robots and androids as a kind of hobby. For the most part, those who use exoskeletons are seen as normal, while androids and true robots are viewed with some disdain due to their artificial nature.
Ancient Masters are most common in Southeast Asia, with others scattered throughout the world. No more than a few dozen actually leave China. Either they are caught and executed because of the crimes of their fellow Masters or they choose not to leave and fight with the Resistance after leaving the monasteries. They are viewed as heroes by the lower-class citizens of China, much like modern-day Robin Hoods. Those that leave China are usually well received within their native communities (such as China Town) in other countries. Elsewhere, they are treated the same as everyone else, though they often get odd looks when not sure of how some modern items operate. Hunters/Vigilantes are used extensively by law enforcement agencies as bounty hunters. This frees up law enforcement personnel to carry out investigative tasks or deal with new crimes, leaving the Hunters to bring in known criminals. Special Agents, or super-spies, are used almost exclusively by the mega-corporations, though a few of the world's intelligence organizations also utilize them to an extent. The special agents are used in industrial espionage, assassination, and numerous other missions to further corporate interests. Because this category most often appears as a normal human, they are well-received in society (provided they do not reveal their occupation).