Friday, February 9, 2007

Histor's Fantasy

JANUARY 1 2100





(excerpt from an after-action report released by the US Army.)

Australia, along with Chile and western China, is a global hotspot, for much the same reason the Middle East was 150 years ago. The laser weapons every science fiction writer praises have come into being. Nevertheless, 7 out of 8 soldiers are killed as they were in 2007: by hot lead and explosives. New technology allows one to know every inch of the Earth's surface without actually going there. Yet food, drink, houses, and business are essentially the same as they were in 2007.

The Table of Contents:

  1. Religion

  2. Politics

  3. Science

  4. And next?

Section 1: Religion

Despite being scheduled for elimination hundreds of years ago, it still bosses us around.

Christianity is still prominent in 2100 - not much of a surprise. Islam is also strong - more of a surprise. Paganism - despite loud cries of "it can't happen on this planet!" all over the place - is a dangerous force in what once were Christian and Muslim heartlands. New England, Ireland, and Mesopotamia are more than 60 percent pagan, and a Pagan elite leads resistance against Brazilian attempts to control the whole of South America. Hinduism has held out in Eastern India, despite its mid-century shift to Muslim/Christian religion. Judaism has (inexplicably) retained control of Palestine, but has a weird split-personality problem as certain aspects of its doctrine grow "Christianized."

Speaking of Christianizing, miraculous progress has been made in ecumenism, and 94 percent of Christians profess unity with the Roman Catholic Church. However, no less than 13 different rites occupy the United States alone, and the rest of the Christian world has a rather confusing multiplicity of practices, devotions, regulation, and Masses. For instance, the only things Sino-Oriental Rite masses have in common with New English (i.e. eastern USA) masses are the Eucharistic rite and the Kiss of Peace.

Eastern Orthodoxy attained union with Rome in 2039, but was exterminated in 2049 by the House of Islam in Europe (HIE) despite a rather quixotic attempt by the Louisianan National Guard to hold Constantinople for the Patriarch. The Guards' only victory is that "brave as a Cajun" is an international compliment.

Islam's great strength is owed to the Caliph Ali da'Qat, who in 2011 announced himself the Servant of Muhammad sent to reunite Islam and spread it across the world. Within twenty years his Caliphate of Muhammad ruled all the land between Galway, Johannesburg, Brisbane, and Vladivostok, and held the Pacific Northwest. Only Israel held out, a "pimple on Muhammad's nose" as Ali put it. He split the empire into three parts - the African Caliphate, the House of Islam in Europe, and the Islamic Caliphate of the Orient. After his death, however, Christians, Buddhists and Pagans rebelled, and Islam retreated from its major gains.

Paganism rose like the phoenix from the ashes of Christian, Muslim, and Chinese secularism. It helped bring down China's defenses against the Caliph Ali, and became the religion of the Latin American elite. The Pagan Revolution in New England and Texas (PRNET) attempted to conquer North America in the Second Civil War, but failed. Ireland became base for a Pagan Independence Movement which gave the HIE a serious run for its money in 2069-2080 (the Decade's War). And the Sumerian Liberators briefly controlled the world's oil supply until the discovery of GEE in 2050 made oil superfluous. Most American pagans have undergone "reconstruction" and are starting to grow lukewarm. In Europe, South America, China, and the Middle East, it urges rebellion against the powers over it - Christian, Jewish, and Muslim alike.

Religious map of world, 2100

Section 2: Politics

"Hey," [Professor Singums] said, "let's have two or three huge empires - simpler than 199 sovereign nations, isn't it?" - "The Wise Men Talk Politics," an essay by R. R. Mands (AD 2002-2091).

The USA - despite doing its best to destroy itself between 2020 and 2050 - remains a world power. No longer a superpower, it is nevertheless the most feared of the "Christian Powers" (the United African Republic, the USA, the State of China, and Brazil). It renders support to Israel (from sheer force of habit; the UAR gave decisive backing to the country in 2045-2060, when America could not help it), the Vatican, and the Australian Republic (fighting to regain the continent from the ICA) and does not notice occasional "goodwill visits" by de facto Crusaders to contested areas abroad. Mexico is now a part of America, having been made a United Commonwealth in 2080. Its border region of Chihuahua sent a crusade to Africa in 2088, but it hasn't come back yet.

Brazil was the first South American nation to eliminate its drug cartels in 2033, by using what became known, chauvinistically, as "Russian Diplomacy:" legalizing cartels, then mass assassination of their leaders. A continent-wide crime wave followed, in which Brazil gained control of most of the Pacific Coast and exterminated 90 percent of the drug trade. However, the Caribbean and Venezuela had an outbreak of Pagan rulers, who to this day seek to undermine Brazil. Brazil gained international prominence in the meantime, and is closely tied to the State of China.

The State of China was the first territory lost to the Muslim world. It controls the eastern third of China, while various Pagan, Christian, Hindu, and Muslim warlords fight for the rest. Americans, Africans, and Australians are strictly banned from dealing with these warlords. To the south of China, predominantly Christian populations are ruled by the Caliphate, while Hindus have a quasi-state granted them by Sultan Ali. However, North Africa, Western Asia, and Europe is still Muslim-ruled.

The Three Muslim Powers are far richer combined than any other nation, but their armies are inferior in quality to South African and American soldiers, and they have received many humiliating defeats at their hands. Their disregard for casualties alone prevents the weakening of their military position. The ICA is the strongest, both due to its size (Jordan to Western Australia) and possession of GEE extractors in Australia. The African Caliphate is in a continual war with the United African Republic, limiting its wealth and opportunity for growth. The HIE has Pagan and Christian rebels and a border with Christian Siberians, but it still has the opportunity to grow filthy rich - something of which the ICA is not ignorant.

North Germany contains the only significant resistance to the HIE. A 'shadow state,' strong enough to thwart HIE attempts to ban religious practice in public, controls Hamburg and the north part of the land between the Rhine and Elbe. Britain, primarily Christian, is independent, owing to an American invasion in 2065. The British complained about "American Colonialism" loudly, but they preferred it to attacks from Irish pagans. Various Pagan gangs on the Continent make the life of HIE policemen and soldiers a headache, but have little ability to do otherwise.

Sub-Saharan Africa united to defend itself against Sultan Ali, and in 2040 destroyed Muslim power outside of Muslim-majority regions. Since then, it has exported GEE and fought the African Caliphate and not much else.

Section 3: Science

Or, why things are weirder nowadays

Geo-Electric Energy is now the chief energy source in the world, after Australian miners discovered a way to 'drain' naturally occurring electric currents in the earth's crust. Similar currents were discovered in South Africa, the Great Plains of America, western China, and Chile. The electric currents, cheaply drawn and seemingly incapable of depletion, are now used by the whole developed world, and are exported in huge storage-battery filled ships. Not all was smiles and eco-friendliness, however - Russia, the Middle East, and Venezuela all disintegrated, and still are a mess.

Other than computers having the ability to actually deal with people (i.e. efficiently check out your groceries, drive your car while you nap, and criticize your writing style), digital technology has paused.

Satellites have withstood 88 years of total neglect in space and are now being reused. However, the Universal Ground Locator, which stores information on every location on the Earth's surface, land and water, has replaced GPS. The great migration into space everyone has been expecting hasn't happened yet.

Tanks, ships, and cars now use luminophobic paneling, which naturally moves away from sunlight. LP on the bottom of the vehicles causes them to float above the ground, and UV/IR lights make them capable of nighttime operation. UV Beam Weapons (UVBW) now occupy the slot cruise missiles and rockets held, with the disadvantage that they cannot affect anything smaller than an ATV. As a result, infantry armed with grenade launchers (having small rifles mounted underneath them) still rule the battlefield. The ICA is desperately working to create lightwarp shields to makes its aircraft UVBW-proof. However, the US has beaten them to it, as the after action report quoted shows.

Section 4: What Next?

Many people in America claim that 2101 will mark the end of time (due to a prophecy by a Japanese translator around the turn of the century), but it doesn't change anyone's behavior. The Muslim Century, by Haourin al-Jakarta rather glumly predicts that "Islam has lost its opportunity for success, and the world will be abandoned to the desolation of the Christian religion." Parai Jana expects the same thing to happen to Christianity in her book, Until the End of Time? However, Pope Gregory XVIII evinced no despair as he announced on Christmas of 2099, "Our mission for the next century is to bring the Crescent in union with the Cross." The failure of the Council of Ali (the ICA's legislative body) to protest this surely has significance.

The end of Histor's Fantasy. No doubt everything above is unlikely. Then again, the fall of Rome, the rise of Muhammad, and the death of Communism were very unlikely in their time as well.

Did this prophecy scare you? Excite you? Bore you out of your skin? The comments box awaits.