Earth was at war.
It was expected to be pretty much inevitable at this point, but it was a culmination of events that led to conflict. As France left the European Union, and nationalism and populism kept crushing the opposition in most democracies, it became clear that people were afraid.
Globalism is nothing new, but combined with the increase in automation, it became clear to many countries that things were going to change pretty drasticly, pretty soon. The emergence of the International Nationalism Front, a group promoting that each country diminish interactions with their neighbors as much as possible, was instrumental in that; and as economies became more isolated, they also became more regulated and nationalized.
"Would you rather have no money to buy cheap bread or some money to buy expensive bread ?"
This tagline, one of the many that the INF used, was making one thing clear: this is not a good move, it's simply the least bad move. It's possible that this honesty was part of the INF's success — as demonstrated by the electoral victory of their member parties in various western countries. People were tired of lies, fake news, and endless unverifiable countradictory statements put out by the mainstream media and the politicians themselves.
The internet was largely censored, and international freight became restricted to extremely controlled — and, unavoidably, inefficient — trade between the state-owned companies of various countries. As a means to avoid humans losing their jobs to automation, many draconian laws were enforced; and from all these phenomenons, most national economies took a huge hit.
People weren't living well, but they were living. Many heavy industry jobs that had in the past been replaced by machines came back to humans; and as bad as they were, they were jobs. As the tagline mentioned, better to have a bad economy where humans earn money than a very strong one which leaves most people behind. And thanks to democracy, it was still the people's choice.
Fear had won the day, and now that countries had very strong states and governments with (mostly) charismatic populist leaders and were self-sufficient, they did what inevitably happens under these circumstances: they went to war.
The unlit paths of the dispowered folkhive were unran of noisewave, but that was not what was exceptional. What amounted more to a longjmp down the empilement of mindcalls was the coneslice of photon propagation squeezing up from the assertably ellipsisly unreferenced tower, saved from the abandoned malloc cleaner solely by its tallness-assured sightableness.
Tom eyeshot aimbotly, as if to magicken himself astral projecting circlely of the mixedstone and cookedsand rook. He then snuggled himself in the commanding personslot of his horseobsoleter, rotated himself and the rest of the universe relative to the enginefire pseudounique unlocker, and abused gravity and friction to progressively relocate nearer to the aforementioned ejaculation of brightness.
Unoccamsrazorably, his slide down the einsteinian thinggrid was sigint'd by a an inside-out full piggybank of bipedly-motioned qualialess epidermis-nibble-wanting posthumans. He USSR-in-finlandly dismanaged to snowplow the alphago-tier-minded former stickfigure interpretations, as his witwetware case came bonking onto the maneuvering solid orbit, and he unironically ironically endencountered from what had, pre-moviecliché'd societal posthuman-segfaultly, been a systemd-bloatedly highfrequencied entailer of abrupt metabolism-ending.
A boy was once sitting in a bus,
sitting next to his mom,
and his anecdote went thus:
Behind him were two guys younger than twenty,
ruiners of peace and tranquility.
The boy started to notice smoke as if from fire,
and intruiged about it,
he inquired to his mother:
"Hey mom that's kinda weird, do you see it ?"
he said as he got her attention
to what had in fact been lit
She began to panic and inform her son
as she saw that it was
his own hair that had been lit on !
When they both suceeded in putting the fire out
it became clear to them
that the culprits were trying to get out
The bus driver had indeed noticed the assault,
and was driving towards
a police station to make them pay for their fault !
Panicking because they'd been found out,
the two perpetrators
forced open the running bus's door and jumped out
This story has humor despite lack of joy
or at least I think so
and I'd know, it was real and I was the boy !
The eighty-one brown cloaks entered the ceremonial room silently, in a line through the small entry door, and started standing around a seemingly homogeneous cube of marble standing onto four resting feet, each in the shape of a smaller cube. Once they had all entered, the heavy door descended behind them in the passage from which they had come. Even though it descended slowly and carefully, the impact of the door onto the floor was audible throughout the great room; despite the numerous blocky pillars breaking up most of the echoing sound near the edge of the square chamber, the high ceiling was plain and reverberated a lot of the sound.
It was audible mostly thanks to the complete silence of the people in the room, who were now sealed within, and had formed a circle around the cubic object.
They waited like that for a while, until a deep, low-frequency noise appeared and gradually gained in amplitude. Nevertheless, the audience was undisturbed. When it reached some critical point that would have been unbearable to most, the noise suddenly stopped; not that any of the audience was paying attention. At that point, they knew exactly what they had to do, and they had been doing it ever since they got in the room; their were thinking.
Abstract symbols of purposedly forgotten meaning flew in their heads, and though they were still individuals with their own lives and personal stories, in this room and at that time, they were united in thought.
A few moments after the noise stopped, something else came. Light. Sudden, white, strong, illumating the dark room to the point where the audience should've felt blinded despite having had their eyes closed for the whole duration of the ritual. They didn't flinch; it was their role to take part in this.
The light was being reflected by the white marble of the room, but was in fact emanating from the cube itself. In a few moments, it became so strong that most — and shortly after, all — of the audience passed out. As the amount of light increased in the room, the heat continued rising, and the unconscious bodies laying on the floor started burning, boiling, evaporating, becoming ash upon bones. Finally, the light emission ceased, and the temperature was able to slowly lower.
After a few hours, cooling water started circulating through the hollow pillars, and after a few more hours, the entry door opened and the extraction crew started digging at the stone cube, carefully removing the marble from the top of the cube to the bottom, revealing the layer behind it. They were dressed in formal but practical uniforms, and wore respiratory masks to help with the smell of the eighty-one charred bodies laying around them.
Once the marble had been cut away, the inner layer consisting of metalloid nanostructure revealed the breaking point that had allowed it to fissure, and heavy equipment was taken to the room to split the cube starting from that breaking point, cutting the inner cube in two. As the process was nearing completion, most equipment and crew left the room, until the cut was complete and the cutting device and its operator were the last to exit.
This time, nine people in black cloaks entered the room, and even though they didn't wear breathing gear, the still present charred bodies' smell didn't disturb them. They went up to the cube and lifted the upper part that had be separated from the rest. Inside was a high-tech survival capsule, cylindrical in size but solidly held in place within the cubic structure by pressure pistons pressing against the eight corners of the metalloid cube. Nevertheless, the black cloaks were able to operate the pistons to make them slowly retract, and carry the pod out of its resting place and out of the chamber.
They thoughtfully carried it through the large corridor, past the intersection from which the extraction crew had come on one side and from which the cleaning crew would be coming from on the other side, and continued onwards until they reached the throne room. They then rested the survival pod onto a stand in front of the throne, and operated the pod's machinery under the watchful gaze of the naked middle-aged man silently sitting in the throne: their foremost lord.
As the survival unit confirmed that its occupant was indeed in good shape, they set it to open after a countdown had elapsed, and silently left the capsule alone with the lord and his dark marble seat.
Shortly after, the pod opened by way of its top disc dividing in four and revealing the person inside, moving after having been curled up in fetal position for what was now many days. The person stood up, as naked as the foremost lord was, and climbed out of the pod. After looking around and getting some bearings, the person got up, and revealed herself to be a woman.
"Swear your sake", the foremost lord commanded.
She turned around, reached below the survival pod, and as she turned back to face the lord, she used the gun that had been concealed there and shot dead her interlocutor.
"Foremost lady", she then answered; before pushing the dead man's naked body off the htrone and taking his place.
A few months passed.
The public analog monitors on the three sunly worlds of the sunly kingdom lit up. The face on them was unknown to all, but if her ability to broadcast directly wasn't enough, the view of the throne beneath her made her position clear.
"Proud folk of the kingdom of man, we have sworn stalwartness for the oneness of warehood."
"Since wizardry threatened to split endlessly the hold on shared truth, we have stood for mankind's wholeness, to the point of giving up selfhood and freedom."
"Today I bring you great news: greater oneness can yet be reached. I am a wordbearer from allworld beyond, and I carry the key to true enlightment: wizardry and witware are not our foes, they are but our leads to truth and theedom."
As she spoke, the skies became dark, and her determination became apparent. The analog monitors went fuzzy, and as the minds of all foolish humans came to be recombined into mere transitional computing units, the crazy words of the doombringer echoed as the last sounds heard by any human form.
"Herry Moloch !"