Shorts smartworld

The Liberation

Where, following the war that started when they were a small child, Citizen 1,498,382 reflects upon those days that came to define them. The days when YutopiCorp’s forces landed in her homeland and liberated her—and her entire country—from the tyranny of political rule.

[16 September, 2122 | Wednesday]

My sixth birthday was the first I remember. I know I had to attend my educational institution, but after I got home, there was a cake. I don’t recall what kind; it was likely chocolate flavoured, with a nutrition bar melted into the batter. I recall that after my day’s learning, I had a party. It was me, twenty-five of my “closest friends”—though, when I think back to them now, they are just a blur—riding rainbow horses through XBCorp’s Serenity Fables Pony Funland virtual world. It was three hours of playing while being blinded by lights in every colour of the rainbow, and giggling from the virtuality-induced endorphins.

If I was ever asked to pick my parents out of a line-up, I couldn’t; every memory of them is just a blur, like the fading remembrance of a dream. But, after logging out of the party, I do recall them looking as white as ghosts. They also seemed distant, which struck me as odd; it was my sixth birthday: a day of celebration. But with age and the benefit of hindsight, I now know they were in a state of shock. As I learned later, they had just lost their jobs.

My parents were one of the many casualties caused by Canada’s war on YutopiCorp. While by this point, it had been five years since the country had banned the sale of YutopiCorp, the power of the almighty credit kept the country manufacturing hardware for them. As much as the government told its people it was taking a stand against corporate rule, for all its proclamations that the citizens of the City and the Heart were being used and abused by their corporate overlords, they were still willing to take YutopiCorp money; it was a vital part of the country’s economy, after all.

Three days before my birthday, the Canadian economy crashed. The City and the Heart advised the government that unless they revoke their sanctions immediately, they would cease importing hardware from Canada. Rather than work with YutopiCorp, the government chose to destroy the economy. That decision cost millions of innocent people their jobs, including my parents, who lost theirs on my birthday. Happy birthday to me, right?

By this point, XBCorp tech was everywhere, to the point where finding anything built by any other corporation—mega or otherwise—was rare. While operating under different trading names, every other business in the country was owned by XBCorp. Even those that had existed for decades beforehand, that were once standalone businesses and corporations, now fell under the shadow of the mighty XBCorp umbrella.

Despite the money and resources XBCorp had, they had little desire to increase their manufacturing output and save those lost jobs. Instead, they just offered people less money to do their jobs: it’s easier to exploit the desperate.

In the intervening years, as Canada suffered through its worst recession in history, YutopiCorp extended its reach into French Guiana and Mexico. Russia, determined to fortify itself against the world, shunned not just YutopiCorp, but all megacorporations. While their propaganda machine says they allied themselves with the rest of Europe in a bid for collective independence, they seized control of those countries, determined to be their own superpower who could reckon with the megacorps.

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