When We Were Forgotten
By: Gustavo Simmons
It wasn’t impossible to forget, they rose to the power through hate and fear. They divided the friends and families through their rhetoric that “invisible enemies within us” were going to destroy the fabric of the nation. Who were they? Nobody knew, the only information was that they came from the different regions of the country and used cyberspace as a channel to spread their message and conquer adepts.
The future that wasn’t, many people theorized that the timeline split and we became Earth 295. As if Lord Apocalypse rose to the power and created a new system of power. Could be it as easy as a comic book explanation? No; the idea of a new world was far more complex than any point in fiction, far more tragic in which a demagogue and his team found a way to exploit the inner fears and emotions of a population that was on the verge of a civil war.
The first week came with the goal to bring a glory that was already there but people couldn’t see it; people were blinded by the idea that the country was in the need to be great again, all because they saw people who were running from a way that was happening far away as the “real enemies of the nation” as the “real enemies of their own religion” as “barbarians who didn’t deserved a dose of compassion”
The second week came with an invisible wall, no one could go in or out of the country, airports and seaports were ultimately closed. Citizens were asked to refrain from flying as there was an imminent fear of a nuclear strike coming from China. Refugees who arrived fearing from their lives were sent back to the places they were running from; the ultimate action, it costed the lives of 3,250,000 million people in only a 12-month period, as the newly elected President and his cabinet saw isolationism as the ultimate truth to “save the country” from the enemies that weren’t there.
The fourth week became the last in which the country was standing still, it became the point where the government cut funds to health and education; it severed ties in which let each State to do whatever they pleased. Human rights were violated everywhere, basic principles of the constitution were just ignored and it gave a form of fundamentalist Baptism that started to rule over the public institutions.
We became a theocracy within a 14-month period; science and human rights became for a while a philosophical aspect from the past, the Federal State turner into simple and mere anarchy, where even transmitting news that weren’t approved by the White House was punishable by law. In two years, we were living under the shadow of the phantom government, where the dear leader was a mere puppet of the 12 masters that controlled different aspects of the population.
12 masters, 12 corporations that organized education, infrastructure and regional politics per their own means. They start spreading lies which eventually became truth, police became an LLC that responded to the interest of a private creditor. There was no more free press and the idea of net neutrality was from the past; people running blogs became the source of information outside the State propaganda.
We, the free press, we became forgotten, we became a secret; the population became forgotten of who we were; we weren’t as organized as we were. We just turned into shadows that became enemies of the “fallen empire”. Walkers as if we were zombies of the Walking Dead mythos; nobody wanted to be near us but we became the people who opened the dialogue to throw the dear leader outside the power sphere and make the shadows to crumble into ashes. Yet, our lives when they ended became erased from existence, nobody could have remembered us, who we were, who we are, what we did; our blogs and collective stayed online, some of them ended up in the underground nets called Cobra and Thor in case the powers that be decided to shut them completely.
Two years later society as it was, it was a mirage of the empire. There were more theme parks, no more entertainment, nobody could travel far away as gas became a luxury, people started to die as the public health system collapsed and anyone who dared to do public protest was in risk of being executed on the public sight.
How terrible society turned to be? It wasn’t the land of the free anymore, it became just another dictatorship. What the braves who fought the wars? They were left to die on the streets as they represented a negative profit on the earning margins of the government… what had we become? A land of nobody, a land of the blue, a land where desolation is everywhere yet no one has a voice...