A brief history of the future
Historians trace the earliest signs of the world of today to the financial crises of late 2000s and early 2010s. Corporate deregulation in the name of economic growth provided fertile ground for the rise of the corporate congloms and zaibatsus of the later half of the 21st century.
Late 2012 – Early 2013: Defaults amongst several European countries, including Greece, Portugal and Spain leads to the near collapse of the European Union into its member states. Emergency legislation passed under urgency creates an economic haven in Europe. Within days of passing these new laws, there is a rush of new corporate investment in Europe and the EU sees rapid economic growth.
In the Middle East, tensions between Israel and Iran rise over Iran’s supposed nuclear programme, and there are a number of limited scale skirmishes.
Obama wins the presidential election in the United States, prompting outrage in Republican strongholds, particularly in the South.
2014: The rise of the South. Representatives of the southern states present the US Congress with a declaration seceding from the United States. At first this is intended as a protest, however it quickly starts to escalate and by the end of 2014 a referendum is planned to formalise this declaration.
2015: A newly revitalised EU proposes the development of a large scale mass driver, beginning in Egypt, crossing much of the African continent, finally running up the side Mt Kilimanjaro and launching its cargo into orbit. The design allows for a moderate acceleration of 2g, allowing it to be used to launch manned missions.
Tensions rise in the Middle East with the successful test of a nuclear weapon by Iran, justifying Israel’s concern over their weapons programme.
The referendum in the Southern States ratifies the decision to secede from the US. Negotiations begin between the US congress and the representatives of the South in an effort to prevent the split. Negotiations are initially well received, but towards the end of the the year break down.
2016: The year of black rain. Israel and Iran declare war. On the 12th May 2016, Iran launches a nuclear attack on Israel. Israel retaliates in kind and over the course of the next 3 weeks the Middle East is reduced to radioactive slag. Fallout from the nuclear exchange begins to affect crops in Russia, Western China and the Indian sub-continent within 3 months.
Talks of secession between the US congress and the southern states are put on indefinite hold in light of the developing crisis
2017: Massive famine caused by the large scale failure of crops in radiation affected regions of the world kills hundreds of millions worldwide.
2018: Talks between the North and the South in the former USA begin anew. Representatives of the South present a list of demands that are, in the words of the US Congress, “completely unacceptable”.
2019: The South formally secedes from the North and the US becomes two countries. Travel between the two countries is relatively easy and their currencies are accepted on both sides of the border.
European consortia, led by the newly commercialised ESA, begin buying large chunks of African land, walling it off and hiring mercenaries to keep it safe. Over the next few years this acquisition of land creates large scale unrest in the affected countries and leads to the formation of the African Coalition of Nations (ACN).
2024: The ACN petitions the UN to intercede and reclaim the land sold to the ESA. The UN security council vetoes the proposed economic sanctions amidst rumours of widespread bribery. Later in the year council members of the ACN begin suffering “accidents” and by mid 2025 are all dead.
Rumours of large peasant uprisings in central China slowly leak out through the Great Firewall. The UN asks permission to send in envoys, which is refused. Economic sanctions are imposed, but quickly repealed when the world realises how many of their manufactured goods they are buying from China.
2025: The ACN is reformed under European law as a corporate entity. The ACN acquires most of the mineral bearing lands left in Africa and begins a period of intensive mining. ACN experiences the most rapid growth of a corporate conglomeration in history.