The Future Humanity Consortium

From the Alternate History Series

Recently the The Politically Incorrect Fish was sitting in his office, minding his own business, singing old favorites to himself – "Home on the Range," "When the Cows Come Home," and so on – then, intermittently talking to himself about old love affairs gone astray, when a stranger knocked at the office door.

Surprised anyone knew his whereabouts, the PIF, leaning back in his somewhat-broken Captain’s swivel chair, his feet comfortably parked on a nearby bookshelf, hauled his feet back to the carpeted floor and sprang out of his chair, nearly falling flat in his haste.

When he got to the door – after first half-heartedly peaking through a conveniently placed curtain, checking to see if this was either a bill collector, or a mysterious beautiful woman mistakenly arriving at the wrong address – he was relieved to find his visitor was neither.

Instead of the expected, the sight of an elderly gentleman greeted the PIF – well the PIF is polite if nothing else. So more out of curiosity that anything else the PIF opened the door fully expecting to redirect the man to a more suitable address; at least the PIF hoped the man was merely lost.

The nondescript man at the door quickly assured the PIF he was not selling anything nor soliciting donations for any cause whatsoever. Being that as it may, as it were, he was wearing a headscarf and a loose dark-colored robe.

Fearing that he had been discovered in his secluded home – often referred to as a cave by the great unwashed – PIF reacted in alarm. The stranger calmed him by saying these magic words, quickly grabbing the PIF’s attention: "I am a time traveler. Please hear me out. You won’t be disappointed."

Adjourning to his office the PIF sat down with the traveler and recorded the following interview. After the gentleman had said his piece, he vanished into thin air with nary a puff of smoke. The PIF, breathing a hearty sigh of relief, was alone and safe once again.

Being somewhat skeptical of the interview, the PIF presents it here in its entirety for your judgment. The PIF takes no sides in the issues presented, being largely unschooled and unable to make politically correct decisions – preferring instead to take his decisions from the advice of the educated elite in the media and politics. The gentleman’s views are his own and not necessarily those of the lovable PIF.

Excerpts from an Interview with a Time Traveler

PIF: "So what does the Earth look like in the future?"
Traveler: "It’s a wonderful place. Mankind has achieved many of its dreams."

PIF: "I mean specifically – what does it look like?"
Traveler: "Well, looking down from space the air is perfectly clear."

PIF: "How was that managed?"
Traveler: "Mankind has learned how to draw all its energy needs directly from the Earth’s core. There are great machines at the poles cleaning up any remnants of air pollution. The atmosphere is being repaired and restored."

PIF: "What about animals, fish and forests? Are they also being restored?"
Traveler: "Definitely, yes. There are breeding farms everywhere and huge artificial reefs located off the coast of all the continents."

PIF: "How are they managing to breed so many species?"
Traveler: "They use large-scale cloning techniques in conjunction with many DNA manipulations. They created a basic template model for each species; they use these templates to build the plants, animals, and so on. They are very successful using these methods."

PIF: "But… Are you saying these animals are – well – artificial?"
Traveler: "Yes, but there are a lot of them."

PIF: "I see. Getting back to air pollution. You say the air is as clear as glass. What about outgassing from coniferous trees, large-animal ‘out gassing,’ ocean-bed releases of methane, and volcanic eruptions?"
Traveler: "The first two were solved by the genetic manipulation, I said earlier. The problem of volcanoes was solved once they began to drain off sufficient heat from the Earth’s core to generate unlimited power, as I mentioned."

PIF: "But doesn’t the atmosphere need constant renewal of essential gasses from natural sources?"
Traveler: "Yes, of course. However, once the new regime was created, those sources are all done by machine to ensure quality. They are working on controlling ocean-bed methane. Perhaps an additional energy resource. Some think the methane should be gathered and fired off into space. However, that solution would mean bringing back space travel; that, in any form, would undo much of the work already achieved."

PIF: "What about quantity?"
Traveler: "Not relevant."

PIF: "I see. So in the final analysis the Earth is pretty much a dead planet. Thank you for your time, sir."
Traveler: "Just a minute! I resent that! Don’t you what to know what happens next? I mean many, many people labored long and hard to achieve that dream. The planet is hardly dead. Artificial perhaps, but not dead. Certainly not! There’s more."

PIF: "More? OK. We can continue for a few more minutes."
Traveler: "Aren’t you curious about social conditions?"

PIF: "Yes. What sort of life do people live in those times?"
Traveler: "There were many steps along the way, but it’s safe to proclaim the long-awaited Utopia was achieved at last."

PIF: "Now that’s interesting. What did they do? How was each step accomplished? And what were they?"
Traveler: "Following the election of a great spiritual leader to the presidency of the United Nations, he convinced the assembled body to proclaim its self the sole government of the now united world. The name was then changed to the United Earth."

PIF: "So now we can see all peoples coming together in a peaceful and united manner. Wonderful. What happened next?"
Traveler: "Well, it wasn’t without some problems from certain individuals. These problems were overcome after the new President of the United Earth was unanimously proclaimed The Twelfth Iman, Al Mahdi Å0â9¢„°? The Chosen One. From that point everything began to fall into place."

PIF: "I don’t understand. Who chose whom? And what do you mean ‘fell into place?’"
Traveler: "He was chosen by the assembled body, of course. As for falling into place, once the world’s peoples were united behind the United Earth, it was a simple matter to make all other religions submit to Islam."

PIF: "Islam?"
Traveler: "Yes, that was seen as the true answer to all plagues of problems that had beset humanity over the ages. Under the benign guidance of Al Mahdi, strict Islamic law was made the world’s law. Of course many of those who had labored for various causes, such as environmentalism, socialism and such, were reluctant to submit, consisting mostly useful idiots who had outlived their usefulness in any case."

PIF: "Reluctant? What happened to them?"
Traveler: "The few who were People of the Book – Christian and Jews, as well as so-called moderate Muslims – were given the Choice – to submit. Those that chose not to were listed with all those from other beliefs, like Hinduism, Zoroasterism, agnosticism, atheism, and various satanic and polytheistic cults like Wica and Eckenar."

PIF: "Listed? What happened to them?"
Traveler: "Those few who chose to convert were spared. All others were put to the sword."

PIF: "What about the people necessary for creating the amazing sciences and engineering that made their Utopia possible?"
Traveler: "Most of the work had already been accomplished by that point, only a few relatively easy steps remained."

PIF: "What about writers, sculptors, artists and so forth?"
Traveler: "Some were put to work building the many new mosques. Before they were put to the sword, the rest were assigned the task of rooting out any and all things and writings which contradicted the Qur’an. Those things, along with anything which was already mentioned in the Qur’an, were then destroyed."

PIF: "You mean the artists and so on willingly sought out those things, knowing they were going to be killed afterward? Which things, by the way?"
Traveler: "Yes. They did so willingly. They were not told of their fate until after they were finished their task. As for which things they gathered, that would include most, if not all, things created by the degenerate western civilizations, since the twelfth century."

PIF: "All of it? Books, paintings, statues?"
Traveler: "Yes. All of it. Degenerate, superfluous or contradictory. Al Mahdi pointed out that Caliph Omar said in 639 A.D., all books should be destroyed ‘because they will either contradict the Qur’an, in which case they are heresy, or they will agree with it, so they are superfluous.’"

PIF: "I see. Other than that were there any other problem groups?"
Traveler: "Yes there was one, but they solved the problem themselves."

PIF: "Who were they? What did they do to ‘solve the problem,’ as you say?"
Traveler: "A little more than a decade before Al Mahdi, a group of multi-billionaires founded The Future Humanity Foundation. It was the stated purpose of The Foundation to gather together all those restless souls – the free thinkers, scholars from obscure disciplines, maverick scientists and engineers, creators of art, and others generally disaffected by society – to create new ways of looking at life, society, art and science. Thereby, they saved others from the later work of discovering the rebellious and other assorted riffraff."

PIF: "What did they hope to accomplish with so many great and wonderful things happening at that time? Why weren’t those very people in the vanguard?"
Traveler: "They were, many of them. But they felt constrained nonetheless. The Foundation offered them something which no other part of society or government was willing to fund."

PIF: "What?"
Traveler: "The Future Humanity Foundation proposed to leave the Earth entirely. At first many governments were alarmed, but then saw the wisdom in allowing them to go ahead with their plans; some governments actively assisted and encouraged the group."

PIF: "They were going to go to Mars or the Moon? Wow! Did they succeed?"
Traveler: "No. The scum… the capitalist billionaires had initially decided to construct a gigantic habitat in space between the Earth and Moon. However, once the habitat was built and a great many people had moved there, they were still under constant scrutiny from Earth. Since this was what they wanted to escape, they changed their plans, and – with the blessing of most governments – built great nuclear engines fueled by most anything. The governments were glad to see them go, since they were mostly troublemakers."

PIF: "Where the engines like those the US planned in the 60’s for Project Orion? At the time I read their slogan was ‘Mars by 1965, Saturn by 1970.’ Then, petty politicans killed it, leaving all of us to squat in dreamless, narcisstic squallor. Anyway, were did The Foundation go?"
Traveler: "Yes, the engines apparently worked in a similar fashion, at least in the early stages of their journey. At first, many thought they would go to some nearby solar body, like the moon or Mars, as you mentioned. But they set out for the outer solar system instead. When they were several years into the voyage, just nearing the orbit of Saturn, they sent a message back saying they had found a way to travel out of the solar system entirely."

PIF: "You mean they discovered a faster then light drive?"
Traveler: "No, something else, but with the same result."

PIF: "How many people were on this star-bound ship? Ten, twenty?"
Traveler: "More. The ship was huge, remember. While Earth lovingly labored for the Utopia to come, they built a ship some twenty kilometers in length and ten in circumference. As they progressed toward Saturn, they added to ship substantially. I was not able to obtain their actual locus in space-time, therefore I cannot tell you the final size."

PIF: "But how many people?"
Traveler: "The final count was over 100,000. But there were accounting errors discovered later, and the number might have been closer to twice that or more."

PIF: "It’s truly amazing what the human race is capable of when freed of so many unwise and artificial restraints. Did anyone ever learn what happened to them?"
Traveler: "Yes, in fact they sent a message back to Earth nearly 100 years later. The elite of Islam still had a few functioning satellites they used for intercontinental communications – mostly unnecessary since the reign of Al Mahdi."

PIF: "What did the message say."
Traveler: "Oh just some nonsense about aliens and the like. Nothing important."

PIF: "Wait a minute! This is big news. Aliens? Do you remember the message? Please!"
Traveler: "Oh very well. The first part said, ‘After exploring several systems, we have reached a solar system with several uninhabited earth-like planets that are hospitable for human life. Their climates are benign and their soils are fertile. Animals, plants, fish and natural resources are abundant. Shortly after we began to settle these worlds, our explorer ships came across a vast alien civilization, spread across much of this galaxy. They invited us to join them. We did.’ Like I said nothing important."

PIF: "To you maybe. What was the next part?"
Traveler: "More nonsense. The second part was received some decades after the first part and said. ‘We have discovered that the alien civilization is nothing like we supposed at first. It was even more wondrous. They have told us there are many problems in the Universe, but despite their best efforts they are too few. Their civilization consists of races originating on many thousands of worlds. They ask you to join us. Even in the trillions of individuals within their civilization, they need more, many more.’ Nonsense, you see."

PIF: "Was that all?"
Traveler: "Oh it blathered on."

PIF: "Tell us if you can. It could be important."
Traveler: "I doubt it. But anyway, the message went on to say, ‘We asked the aliens what the problems were, and why they claimed to be too few. We were puzzled. They replied that when this Universe was built, not everything was done. In amazement, we asked how it was that a universe numbering over 150 million galaxies, each having on average 300 billion stars could be unfinished, and how there were too few people. They said those calculations omit the other 96 percent of this Universe. They added: besides there is another Universe for us to construct, and others after that, for that is one of the purposes of life – to make more life and places for it to flourish. We asked what would happen, if in the unlikely event the people of Earth decided not to join us. They replied: that is a very small and minor problem, which would be better addressed after the more important and pressing things had been solved."

PIF: "So did anyone join them?"
Traveler: "And leave the paradise of Earth? In case you haven’t read your Qur’an lately, space travel, aliens, and the rest are most definitely not in it."

PIF: "Thank you for your time. Good luck in your future."
Traveler: "I’ve got all the time I need, and luck is irrelevant. My problem with the future is, since my discovery of time travel, I can never return to the paradise on Earth. I’ll have to find some later time or investigate a suitable time in the past. Good-bye."

PIF: "Wait! Before we close this interview, one last question. Did their ship have a name? It could be important to include it in the historical record, if for no other reason than completeness."
Traveler: "Complete nonsense as I said. The ship was given the inappropriate and cumbersome name:
God Helps Those Who Help Themselves."

End Interview
–PIF – 12/16/03

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