These are strange times. Unprecedented technological expansion in the past decades are laying a heavy weight on a rapidly fragmenting world. Advances that were once hailed as great wonders begin to be viewed with wearied suspicion, and as a world begins to grow conscious of itself, so it begins to fear. Yet driven by a mad compulsion to create and structure, we continue to build higher and dig deeper. As a race, as a world, we are finally beginning to gain sentience, consciousness of the changes we have wrought on a planet that sags under us.
When the first deaths started occurring in Africa, Europe and Asia, we should not have been surprised. We had been functioning on the illusory promise foisted on us long ago that endless progress will eventually lead us to a self-perpetuating golden age. I, perhaps more closely than most, observed the events of the world falsify our dream, piece by piece. We had chances to overcome ourselves, to build together, rather than apart. But we long ago began to see evil in simplicity, and weakness in humanity. Our lies thickened, and so our dreams narrowed to a vanishing point.
This will be this publication’s last issue, and it will consist only of this editorial. Our headquarters have been relocated, and with over 80% of our staff exiled, there seems little point in maintaining the charade. My tenure as editor-in-chief of this newspaper has been an honour and a service, but my time is done, and I look forward to retiring to the Bayeux where I was born. New York was once the centre of world civilization, but now the air is toxic with pollutants and the harbingers of a new civil war bay at the gates. The world creaks and groans as vast canopies of wire and machinery hang over every major city. Tiny villages in Africa and China are ruled by exiles with a few cybernetic implants who are treated as gods. We are all waiting with baited breath, but ‘The News’ can no longer provide any answers, or give any clarity. Who do we look to?
But humanity perseveres with its characteristic intensity. The exotic cyber-bazaars of Osaka still teem with life and imagination, and all over the world new frontiers draw themselves in the interstices between civilisation and the wild. Perhaps the future will be found not in the machinations of the Supercomputer Ocean AI in Singapore, but in the foundling towns of Africa and Latin America. Perhaps a new vision for mankind will obtain, and we will see a new dawn. Golden dust now falls in the sky above New York, and I can see God in a single ray of sunlight making this poison look more beautiful than anything I’ve ever seen. This city may yet be spared oblivion, and as I watch the last of my newspaper company’s belongings packed into government boxes, I pray that someone, somewhere sees over my city the glimmer of a dream deferred.
-Confiscated from the Palace Building, Manhattan, New York, by the National Government Authority of America on Sept. 21, 2029