Earth Commerce

Welcome to Earth Major, 2307. Firmware 3.1.53. 

It has been 2 months and 12 days since the last consumer uprising. Estimated GNP loss of  ¥R 42 Billion. Since the Great Capitalist Rebellion of 2205-2209, Corporations are officially recognised as the governing elite, as Commercial Autocracy washed away the obsolete ways of State and Party rule. With the fall of the old establishment, Conglomerates now map the globe. National pride and brand identity has become one and the same.   

In the west, 2 tech giants continue to battle for majority market share. The razor edged monoliths of glistening steel and glass that pierce the clouds of Microsoft loom over and dominate a vast urban sprawl of all shapes & sizes that stretches beyond the horizon. Divided into blocks, each zone is supported by a network of nuclear processor farms, overseen and run autonomously via Cortana. With a window into every household, the organisation monitors its inhabitants with a keen, authoritarian eye. Since the fallout of the World Wide War (WWW), the information superhighway was forcibly diverted into isolated ring roads of propaganda and filtered content. In Microsoft, Bing maintains a draconian grip on it’s society, pausing only for automatic updates. 

On the opposing shore, assimilation resides over oppression. The Sweeping, undulating architecture of its identikit dwellings, State-issued vehicles and complimented by luscious greenery and open space living paints a vision of the perfect suburbia. Safari promotes healthy living, wellbeing and above all, a unified operating social system complete with a choice of mandated profession, outfit, haircut, and offspring. However, whilst residents of Apple may consider themselves part of an ideology, its neighbours view its cult-like regime with concern, as they watch droves of would-be members flock to become one with the forbidden fruit, thanks to its open immigration policy. The ultimate gated community, an immense geodesic dome houses the capital, protecting its newly welcomed society from the outside elements, and outside interference.

Languidly fettering between the two are the Fast Food Nation States. A sea of oil and grease, factories and laboratories tint the atmosphere in a yellow-brown haze. Global exports on the grey market are grown, rather than reared. “Organic” has been off the menu since livestock were declared endangered in 2217, and extinct by 2219. Lobbyists’ influence led to relaxed regulations on the recognition of “fit for consumption” goods, as a desperate need to source alternative marketable products. This was further expanded following the decriminalisation of cannibalism, and a coincidental drop in population growth.

Mass deforestation and indigenous re-housing has led to the south becoming home to the largest warehouse and distribution network facility on Earth. Amazon supplies goods to all, for the right price, whether it be a coffee machine or life saving medicine. Each recipient region has their own supply chain, and as such their own regulated list of officially approved products. However, for the low sum of donating your first born child as an employee, Prime Members can circumvent these restrictions, and get next day delivery.

Alternatively, the heaving, deregulated web of bustling market towns and independent traders of the Alibaba Republic service the globes’ commercial needs at an “under the counter” rate, where anything can be found if you ask the right person. Copyright, Trademark and Plagiarism are officially unrecognised terms. Owner of the world’s largest shipping fleet, it also serves as the Republic’s Navy, which actively patrols and protects it’s deliveries, whilst acting as a visual reminder of its might.   

Whilst a treaty was signed between Amazon and Alibaba in 2302, an end to the Distribution Wars were never officially declared. A Stalemate currently exists with both sides claiming the victor.

After the global stock market crash of 2207, “Too big to fail” could no longer be upheld. With widespread corruption, political influence, senior mismanagement and debt-ridden projections, the Banking Dissolution of 2208 and the bloody unrest that followed saw a new dawn in finance, and the eventual relocation of all monetary holdings to the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. With the exhaustion of mineral resources, information now holds more value than gold or silver. Secrets and lies are traded daily, kept below ground in the world’s largest secure digital server farm, guarded at all times by the nation’s own immense private army.

Meanwhile, on the outer fringes lie the remnants of the former social media kingpins. Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok, Snapchat and Youtube occupy the small archipelago, clinging on to whatever strands of data they still protest to claim. At the apex of the World Wide War, the dotcom bubble burst, spilling its guts and contents into the public eye for all to see. An iron curtain was duly drawn over the Cloud, under the guise of the inherent danger of online outrage and triggering social behaviour being seen as poisonous to the human condition, but also to the personal detriment of each state’s control over its own inhabitants. Shells of their older selves, these hollow, feeble few delay their inevitable extinction by selling off the last remaining scraps of user data to the highest bidders. 

Quietly orbiting the planet, the Tesla Principality is home to the elite. The 0.1% who could escape the chaos when the opportunity presented itself. Self-sufficient and autonomous, the floating vessel is also the central hub of the Tesla Coil – a mammoth solar array network that wraps around the planet to form a ring of artificial asteroids, much like it’s grip of control.  As oil and gas deposits depleted, the Energy Wars of 2258 – 2260 saw the world almost implode as the nations battled for control over the remaining supplies. Out of the rubble rose the Coil, as a clean, efficient and reliable solution to the world’s needs. It would also use around 85% of Earth’s sand to produce the amount of silicon required. Tesla’s residents figuratively and literally look down upon the mess below with dismay. Earth looks up with disgust.  

Please enjoy your stay.

This article was written in response to episode four of the Prompt Night podcast (here). It was read aloud in episode five (here).

Published by digitalgyoza

Hello, my name is Dan | Lighting designer, budding writer & graphical tinkerer. Design, music, & sci-fi are my holy trinity.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: