The world is a different place than it was a hundred years ago. With a population of 9 billion, the experts have long since been proven wrong about sustainability. The most recent threat facing the world was religious in nature and it was the common folk that dealt with it.
In order to better appreciate the transition from the world of 1950 to the world of 2050, one must understand that in 2029, a major event took place. World War III. Total loss of life, 998 souls. Every nation on the planet was involved in WWIII and no one was left untouched by its effects. Primarily a cyber war, the world was left in turmoil for 3 months and what rose from the ashes was a World Community Government. The WCG was headquartered initially in Geneva, then 10 years later, moved to Nevada in the old United States of America - now called Callipsia.
A lot has been written about the war and its consequences. This account deals with little of that and the events detailed so far, are merely for the purpose of understanding the question of, ‘How’. Suffice to say that the new world government was run differently than any predecessor had ever been. Matters of local interest continued to be dealt with locally and international issues were now dealt with by the WCG, yet laws could be suggested, amended and ratified by world citizens within a week.
One local issue that was escalated to the WCG after a single day of debate, was the issue of criminals. An official from the post WWIII country of North Korea, suggested that criminals convicted of crimes prior to the rearrangement of world politics, should all be set free if a true reset were to be implemented.
A response to that request was as rapid as had the others before it and since. The world community was consulted via an internet poll and within a day, the matter was settled with a 32% response. Current criminals would complete their sentences, and local justice would be governed by the WCG from that moment onward. Local criminal matters would be decided locally with the guilty sentenced by the WCG.
There was no major uproar about this – because the decision was made by the masses instead of politicians with their own agendas. It did however, underscore the need for community members to vote their preference. Thousands complained that they didn’t get to vote in time, would have voted differently and that their vote may have affected the outcome. Each was sent a message in response, telling them to vote within the clear guidelines next time. When the next, unrelated vote was held a week later, participation increased from 32% to well over 40%.
This example underscores the pace of change within the government yet it illustrates much more than that too. Consequence. Once the people put the WCG in charge of sentencing, the government didn’t sit around debating how to implement change, for the next year or five. They simply tasked a representative to implement their decision. In this instance, the representative, from the state of Nabia, had carte blanche to deal with her task, much like a dictator. Her decisions would be implemented and 3 years later, an international poll would be conducted to determine if her decisions required review.
She determined that there were two types of crime; Deliberate and Circumstantial. Deliberate crime was the type of crime that was planned and executed while circumstantial crime was the result of opportunity. Each type of crime then had two subcategories; Rehabilitative and Terminal. It would be the local government’s task to determine which of these categories the guilty were to be classified as.
If they determined that the prisoner was guilty of a deliberate, terminal crime, they were effectively sentencing the prisoner to death from incarceration, even if the deliberate terminal crime was as simple as fraud. The local government was tasked with determining, from personal interaction with the prisoner, whether or not the prisoner was likely to plan a future crime or reoffend in any way - and the local government was given a month to do so, before being required to request an extension.
If no extension was requested, the individual responsible for the prisoner classification, was subsequently charged with the crime of delinquency themselves. Justice very quickly began to operate at a hugely increased pace and perceived efficiency.
After 3 years, the aforementioned follow up poll was conducted. There were more than 900,000 men and women around the world, incarcerated for life and many hundreds of thousands had been classified as Rehabilitative merely to ease the load on the penal system – the public was never aware of that additional statistic however - they were merely asked if they were satisfied with the system and given options on what should be done with the terminal criminals. The 76% response was an indication of how much public polls had gained favor.
The system was ratified. Not only that, there was now a resultant public opinion demanding that terminal prisoners not be put to death, an option offered in the poll, but rather be made to serve the communities in which they were incarcerated. The public was overwhelmingly not interested in prisoner rights. They were to have none. For victims of terminal prisoners, opinion was varied. The majority was in favor of what this meant to them.
Terminal prisoners were to be publicly, physically branded and made to serve as slaves for the communities that paid for their incarceration until their life expired. In a world of civilized beings, aghast at the thought that people could abduct and exploit regular citizens, be pedophiles or rape and kill for any reason, they themselves had determined that slavery should be reinstated as a punishment for those found guilty of terminal crimes.
It took a year to process the existing terminal prisoners and many subsequent rules were implemented to reduce the amount of additional crime developing due to the creation of a slave class. Many a wealthy citizen was charged and convicted of using slaves to break laws and shortly found themselves serving alongside their previously owned chattel. Many politicians, who considered themselves above the laws of commoners, received wakeup calls at the hands of those same common folk.
In this new world, a whole new set of problems, from the unwanted or abandoned babies created as female slaves were impregnated by their masters, to slave deaths at the hands of revenge-stricken citizens - were now something to be addressed on a never ending basis. This is the world we live in. The Hydra effect - deal with one problem and a dozen more crop up to take its place.
THE SLAVE AUCTION
Talia was scheduled to be auctioned today. She sat in her cell, shivering, partly from the cold and partly from humiliation of being practically naked. Also partly in fear at what her future held. Her story was typical of the Terminal slave. She believed with her whole heart that someone else was at fault for her being there. She had merely gone along with her boyfriend the day he shot and killed the clerk at the gas station. Sure, she’d spent some of the $250 he obtained from the robbery, but she was high at the time so it wasn’t her fault and it wasn’t as if SHE’D pulled the trigger!
Now she was a terminal slave because someone that didn’t even know her had determined that if circumstances were duplicated, she’d do the same thing again, just because she liked to hang with powerful, confident men. She shouldn’t BE here! She screamed in her head.
Talia knew she would create a bidding war. She had no doubt in her mind about that. She was a natural beauty and men fought over her all the time. Or at least they had done before she was arrested. The thought that she’d fetch a high price was at the same time humiliating and exciting. She would never see a credit of her sale price and she did not get to choose who purchased her. PURCHASED HER! Her mind screamed in anguish.
She had no makeup to enhance her natural beauty yet she was one of the lucky ones in that respect. She had seen the girl before her head to the auction block. As with every female slave, they all wore the standard poncho – a mere meter of white nylon cloth, particularly lightweight and cheap to manufacture, with a hole for the female’s head and nothing adorning it save her prisoner number.
Her wrists were cuffed behind her back and chains connected her ankles to make walking difficult, running impossible. This girl too, had been pretty, although her sunken, haunted eyes, defeated expression and general lack of poise, had ensured that she would be sold for a mere fraction of her true value. She’d been fed and bathed as required, yet nothing more than the minimum to ensure her continued health, while she’d waited for auction. She had embezzled millions from her employer and Talia had once seen her picture on the news feeds. In her picture, she’d looked more like a supermodel though. Now she was a slave, waiting to discover her fate.
This was Nevada, after all – the secondary sex capital of the world, after Amsterdam. If a representative of the company she embezzled did not buy her, her fate was almost surely to be sent to a brothel. If she’d been plain or downright ugly, she may have suffered a worse fate – to be a sweatshop worker, making slave ponchos for the rest of her life, or walking, bound and stoppered in a circle for 10 hours a day, doing her part to generate electricity for the community. Talia didn’t for an instant think anyone would waste her as a walking girl, to be put on display for paying customers to observe while she walked her circles.
At least I’m not a male, Talia thought, reminded that she’d been told her boyfriend had been exported and now worked a mine in South Africa due to his imposing size and suitability for using a pick. He would last a few years at most – either being killed by a bigger, ‘badder’ slave or he’d fall victim to disease, something still prevalent in that part of the world.
“Sold!” She heard as the next in line was committed to some new, unknown fate.
The slave auction was a televised event now. That meant that discerning viewers from around the world could bid from the privacy of their own home if they wanted. It also meant that when a viewer was registered and their allotment confirmed, they’d have full access to an uncensored view of the auction. Unregistered television viewers still numbered in the millions, however their view of the slaves at auction were restricted to seeing the slaves in their ponchos, and only live head-shots or historical photos, while the inspections took place.
Television companies would now regularly show pictures of the slave from before their convictions – pictures of them, taken from social media, sometimes stretching as far back as childhood, were used to show the slave in their best light, while the view provided to the registered viewers were substantially more graphic as the ponchos were raised for inspection.
No one was allowed to come within 6 feet of the slave on the auction block except the handlers and guards. Not surprisingly, being a handler was a sought after job, despite the many dangers involved. The handler’s job was to display the slave at the behest of the viewers. No part of the slave’s anatomy was sacred and was almost always fondled, probed, stretched and tested by the handler. More than one handler had been killed or injured over the years following an attempt to satisfy a viewer’s curiosity. A computer program had eventually been installed that predicted the likelihood of violence from body language and telescoping intentions, so that television viewers would not be subjected to a slave turning on the authorized agent of the local government. It had been decided that the risk to the handler was minimized as much as possible already and additional restraints merely made their tasks almost impossible to effectively achieve. The handlers, on the whole, were satisfied with the current level of security anyway.
The guards and the handler were in front of her only a minute after she’d heard the auctioneer declare that her predecessor had been sold. She knew not to whom, where, or for what purpose. That was never announced and although it might be obvious to the person standing on the block, Talia had no idea of the fate that had befallen the girl in front of her. “C’mon hon, you’re up. You gonna make it easy on us or make us earn our paycheck? We LIKE to earn our paychecks,” the guard smirked.
“I bet you do!” Talia replied, slowly standing as she’d been taught, her knees practically knocking and feeling faint in her nervous condition, while blushing at the thought of a sensitive body part being crushed between the fingers of a sadistic guard to ‘subdue’ her.
At least she was still completely covered even though the poncho barely cleared her lower lips and was transparent enough that the shape of her breasts and nipples would be clear to the audience. Her pubic hair had already been removed. She hadn’t had a choice, nor had she done it herself. It was standard procedure for health reasons and to ensure television audiences would not be offended to see a shadow of pubic hair beneath the poncho.