Historical File: h001a

 

Part 6/11 of the 'Upgrade Anthology' - Out Now: eBook, Paperback & Audible

For an integrated experience, the author suggests listening to: ‘Weightless’ by Macroni Union whilst reading (the author claims no ownership, copyright or control of this song)

Prefer audio to text? Listen to this chapter instead!

"You have selected historical file H001a - a modern recount of humanity’s journey to Integration, part A."

2039:
The natural resources of the modern world are becoming ever more scarce. Poverty and famine are rife. Pollution and deforestation have ravaged the earth. Large cities surrounded by endless slums begin to encompass most of the world’s surface. Population growth is out of control, particularly in third world countries.

"Please, give what you can, only use what you need."

In many countries, larger families are seen as a form of ‘natural welfare'. They know that their governments can no longer support them into old age, so they rely on their children. Due to the high mortality rate amongst infants and the young, parents are having upwards of five children. Hoping that at least one or two survive into adulthood, thus supporting their elderly parents. These children then do the same, total population was predicted to reach 11 billion by the end of the decade. It is clear to most that this cycle cannot go on for much longer.

"Economists predict that if the current trends continue, the majority of Earth's population will be facing water shortages, famine and disease."

There is increasing tensions amongst nations as each begins to realise that the resources of Earth are finite. The era of plenty is fast coming to an end.

2041:
Marks the first of a series of major terrorist attacks committed against the world’s largest superpower; the United States. Specific details relating to motives of the perpetrators remains scarce. There is little to no connection between attacks in regards to religion, ideology or country of origin.

"We were targeted for these attacks because we represent a beacon for hope. Steel
and mortar can be destroyed, but they cannot break our sprit. Nor halt our will to avenge these atrocities and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

In response to these attacks, military spending sharply increases. Funding is funnelled into additional recruitment drives, securing home based production facilities and technological advancement. Psychological warfare in the form of social media manipulation both on the home front and abroad is given special attention. The populace is whipped into a state of patriotic fervour.

Over the next decade, the United States becomes involved in a spate of small ‘Humanitarian Occupations’ in various lawless corners of the globe. The stated objectives included: restoring law and order, providing aid and assistance to local populations and ensuring that the perpetrators of the attacks are swiftly brought to justice.

“NO MORE OCCUPATIONS! Do you really think that the thousands you lost in those cowardly attacks can equate to the millions of us that you have killed or displaced? For what? To take your revenge on a couple hundred men? Men that you can’t even prove originated from here?”

A substantial military presence is left in each country to provide ongoing support to the newly established governments in each fledgling nation. Who in turn agreed to favourable conditions for the trading of their countries dwindling supplies of natural resources.

2051:
Tensions reach breaking point as small border conflicts between small nation states start to erupt around the globe. Larger countries begin to take sides. Threats, sanctions and ultimatums are levelled in all directions.

"If you can fight you MUST, for you, for your family, for your nation, for humanity."

"You have been warned, ANY hostile actions will be met with swift and total retribution."

2052:
The militaries of all nations are mobilised in response to successive nuclear exchanges between rival nations in Africa and the Middle East. During the confusion, the United States military begin a move of aggressive expansion, attacking outward in all directions. With this operation it quickly seizes strategic control of all of the territories of its occupied nations. Under threat, Russia, China and India along with many smaller nations retaliate. This marks the beginning of ‘The War of Resources’.

“We must immediately strike back at the United States, their aggressive expansion poses an existential risk to our national sovereignty.”

Mutually Assured Destruction prevents any further use of atomic weapons, but not the use of conventional warfare. Global conscription is introduced as the war devolves into a battle of attrition. Fortunes fluctuate, but no nation can secure a lasting foothold.

2057:
The devastation of the War of Resources is on a scale that humanity had never seen. No country is left unscathed, at best, populations are halved. At worst, complete nations are wiped off the map. After five years of such a destructive stalemate, the will to fight on is broken. Most of the world’s resources are all but depleted. Cities are in ruins, populations decimated, economies in depression and their morale at an all-time low. Every family had lost a loved one.

World leaders are forced to convene a cease fire to discuss terms of peace and reconstruction.

“In order for this peace to last, we must think and act differently. No longer can we afford to view through a lens of suspicion, self-serving motives or betrayal between neighbours. Humanity can no longer afford to be divided into the subjective camps of ‘Us and Them’. We must view ourselves as one people. A collective race, all working together towards a common goal.”

2058:
The Nations for Lasting Peace council is created, with the charge of ensuring everlasting peace. World leaders realise how close the world came to complete destruction. Territorial differences and religious problems are put aside, with most nations agreeing to the terms and signing up. A charter for the distribution of natural resources is created. The main stipulation is fairness. No more will there be a first and a third world. No longer will there be inequality. A global union is established consisting of one currency, a central government and consistent law.

"We are all human, our differences are insignificant, they pale in comparison to our similarities. We must work together to ensure that we are all looked after, all have food and clean water and most importantly, that we are all free from the clutches of war."

Any dissenting voices are crushed with global sanctions and military intervention. The rogue countries quickly comply.

"The end will justify the means, the human race cannot afford to fall back into war, we must swiftly and efficiently crush any opposition. The Nations For Lasting Peace will ensure the safety and continuation of the human race. We will prevail."

2071:
The world continues to rebuild, with the Nations for Lasting Peace employing various strategies designed to ensure stability and global peace. Fear mongering propaganda tactics are employed, with endless campaigns reminding the population of the atrocities of war.

A small child stands in front of a burnt house, dirty and in tears.
"Mummy... Daddy... Where are you?”
A war plane flies overhead, the child shrieks in terror.
Then the tag line appears:
"Remember the destruction, remember the fear, remember the death..."

Social consensus trends towards peace, but the constant foreboding and trepidation pushed by the Nations for Lasting Peace has undesirable side effects. Psychological diseases including anxiety disorders and depression become more prevalent. Studies show that fear and apprehension of death, by any cause, are on the increase. The same is true for most illnesses, from the extreme to the benign.

"I just can't handle it, my grandmother came down with bronchitis last week, and she died! What if I get sick, what if I catch something? I couldn't handle it, I just couldn't. First it's a cough and a headache, that's where it starts you know?”

"I must stay inside ... People are infected ... What if I get hit by a car... They are everywhere... It's safer in here.”

"A global health warning has been listed for the MX311 strain, please take precautions outlined by your local Sanitations Office when interacting with domestic felines. An 'open cull' has been authorised for all feral animals, if you see one DO NOT approach it, call the hotline and an exterminator will be sent immediately.”

This short story was part 6/11 of the 'Upgrade Anthology'
Out Now: eBook, Paperback & Audible