The World of Tomorrow

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It is the twenty-eighth day of the month of July in the year twenty hundred and sixty-one. In 2061, the world as we know it is different.

Scifi / Drama
Daniel Bull
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

It is the twenty-eighth day of the month of July in the year twenty hundred and sixty-one. A man and his son sit on the rooftop in the suburbs of Copenhagen. The father hopes to show his son the wonder of viewing Halley’s Comet. He remembered that both of his parents were children during the disappointing apparition from nineteen hundred and eighty-five to nineteen hundred and eighty-six. The tragedy is that the comet is only visible from Earth every seventy-five years. He hoped that the same disappointment would not be repeated for him and his son.

The father and his son share a lot in common with each other. The son inherited his father’s love of history and his interest in politics. The man is a forty-one-year-old native from Copenhagen, the son of an ethnic Danish mother and a Polish immigrant father. He is a member of the biracial community of Denmark, who are Danish citizens who are the children of one ethnic Dane parent and a non-ethnic Dane parent. These individuals make up around a quarter of the country’s population. His wife is an ethnic Dane. Despite the claims and conspiracy theories of radical right-wing leaders as well as the hopes and dreams of radical left-wing leaders, the majority of Denmark’s population remain ethnic Danes (this includes the biracial community).

The non-Danish ancestors of the biracial community have come to Denmark during the second half of the twentieth century. Their arrival in the country, which has historically been ethnically homogeneous. Many wanted strictly controlled immigration, believing that immigration is a privilege and not a basic civil right. They believed that those who wished to live in Denmark had to assimilate to Danish culture and speak the Danish language. They also feared that the influx of migrants wasn’t under control and welfare leeches and criminals were entering the country. Ethnic nationalists had come up with a conspiracy theory that western governments are trying to eliminate the white race. That theory (for the most part) ending up being nothing more than rubbish, and Denmark is still homogeneous.

Those who wanted to have strict and controlled immigration eventually won the ongoing argument over immigration. Denmark has adopted strict immigration policies, the strictest of all Western Europe. Laws passed by the Danish parliament have forced immigrants to assimilate into Danish society. Ghettos were destroyed, and many of the refugees and migrants of the Mediterranean migration crisis of twenty hundred and fifteen were repatriated to their homelands once some form of stability was restored. The immigrants of the late twentieth century and early twenty-first century have since assimilated into Danish society, speaking the Danish language and adopting Danish customs and principles.

When he married, the father’s Polish father decided to give his children Danish names instead of Polish names, out of a hope to assimilate into Denmark. The father’s name is Knud Kowalczyk, his Polish father had decided to name him after the ancient kings of Denmark. Knud’s brothers were named Johannes, Harald, Valdemar, and Frederik, while his sisters were named Ingeborg and Margrethe.

Harald spent two years in the Royal Danish Army. He never saw action in any foreign war, something for which he has been thankful for. Johannes and Valdemar both enlisted in the Royal Danish Navy, Johannes left the Navy after three years but Valdemar rose through the ranks. When Johannes left the navy, Valdemar became the first mate onboard the Thetis-class ship, the HMDS Vædderen. Ingeborg spent a year in the Royal Danish Air Force.

Knud, Frederik, and Margrethe didn’t join the military. Frederik wasn’t interested in military service, he preferred spending his time as a painter in the Danish countryside. He considered the Victorian Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh as his personal hero.

“There exists a strange peace,” Frederik once told his son.

His son then asked, “What kind of Peace?”

“A peace that can exist when one is alone and could just paint the surrounding world.”

“Why do you like painting,” Frederik’s son had said in the form of another question.

“I like painting because it is the one hobby that brings me peace,” Frederik responded, “Because there is no peace in this uncivilized world.”

Margrethe, who was staunchly anti-war, on the other hand, hated the military, viewing militaries as tools of war. She begged her brothers to leave the armed forces and even begged her father to force her brothers to leave. She joined Anti-War groups, including one named “Planet of Peace”.

Despite his Polish origin, Knud’s father, whose name is Bronisław, was a Danish patriot and he loved his adopted country. He was fluent in the Danish language and he was an expert in Danish history, especially over the Danish monarchy.

The current ruling monarch of the ancient Kingdom of Denmark is King Christian the Eleventh. He is of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, a junior branch of the ancient German royal house of Oldenburg. Technically, Christian should belong to the House of Monzepat as his paternal grandfather was a member of that dynasty. However, Christian’s paternal grandmother was the monarch of Denmark, and Christian’s father and predecessor chose to retain the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg instead of adopting his father’s name. The House of Oldenburg/Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg is the longest reigning royal dynasty of Denmark, having the Danish throne since the year fourteen hundred and forty-eight.

Knud and Bronisław had once met King Christian (when he was still the Crown Prince) during a visit to the national sea dikes in the twenty-thirties. These dikes were built to prevent Danish land from being lost to the sea, as sea level increased when the polar ice caps melted. Knud, who was a teenager at the time, dropped a ball he was playing and he chased after it, bumping into the king by accident. Both Knud and Bronisław bowed and apologized to King Christian.

“No need,” the King responded, “my children are wild as well.” The King and Bronisław both chuckled.

Bronisław was originally a plumber when he moved to Denmark, but then he attended school and worked hard. He became a well-respected history professor at the University of Copenhagen and has earned a great living. He’s not wealthy, but he was able to persevere through all odds. He is set to retire from his position by the winter of twenty hundred and sixty-two.

Bronisław is at home watching the skies, hoping to see Halley’s Comet. The local government has ordered that all lights be turned off in the hopes of the comet being visible, unlike the disappointment of the late nineteenth century. Knud fixes his telescope while his son awaits impatiently.

Meanwhile, Halley’s Comet was already visible over the night skies of East Asia. Almost every major city in that region of the world, including Vladivostok, Tokyo, and Seoul had all lights turned off in hopes of the people being able to see the comet with their naked eyes. The Empire of Japan and the Republic of Korea are the two most wealthy nation states in both East Asia and the world.

Japan had become the world’s leading producer in smartphones, automobiles, computers, aircraft, sea vessels, and televisions. The Japanese had also perfected what most people would call “the most realistic hologram in the entire world”. Japan’s main competitor is Korea, who ranks as the second leading producer in the same technology exported by Japan. Despite the competition, as well as the brutal Japanese occupation of Korea that occurred until nineteen forty-five, the two nations are close allies.

In twenty fifty, then Japanese Emperor Fumihito (now posthumously named Akishino), visited Seoul to erect a monument in honor of the one-hundredth anniversary of the Korean War. The Republic of Korea’s oldest enemy, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, had ceased her arguably illegitimate existence. In twenty-twenty, portions of the armed forces of the DPRK had mutinied against the ruling Kim dynasty. Soon after, hundreds of thousands of men and women soon began to violently protest against the regime. Supporters of the Kim dynasty, including civilians and the remainder of the military that remained loyal, soon began to defend “their fatherland and dear leader”, and civil war erupts in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The People’s Republic of China ultimately intervened and sent a military task force to gain control over the now unstable Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The territory was annexed into China, and the DPRK ceased to exist. Although the Chinese restored stability to the region, their intervention has been highly criticized by the United Nations, and new economic sanctions were placed against Beijing.

The new sanctions worsened the Chinese economy, as well as the global economy. It didn’t help when the Indian subcontinent was engulfed in the first nuclear war since the atomic bombings of Japan in nineteen forty-five. It is unknown as to what started the war, although most people believe that a computer error was responsible for the death of millions, as relations between India and Pakistan were not dangerous enough to constitute war, and the two republics were reluctant to engage in a nuclear war.

The war resulted in the deaths of untold millions, and the worst environmental and refugee crisis in human history. Baljeet Chandrasegarampillai was a refugee from India in the aftermath of the war. He headed straight north to Tibet, which was controlled by China at the time. Most of his family perished in the blast that destroyed New Delhi. Baljeet fell ill from radiation sickness and he was hospitalized for a period of ten years. He lost his leg due to radiation exposure and he suffered from an unknown but slightly benign cancer in his other leg, for which Baljeet fears will one day kill him.

If one were to be honest, Baljeet had a lot to fear. China was one of the only few countries to accept refugees from India. The Mediterranean migration crisis of the twenty-tens had overwhelmed Europe, and most European nations states had outright refused to accept any Indian refugees. The United States originally was going to accept refugees, but nationwide protests had prevented any Indian refugee from stepping foot on American soil.

The Indian refugee crisis did nothing to help the People’s Republic of China in the long run. Virtually almost overnight, the Chinese red cross and refugee camps were overwhelmed. The Chinese government also had to deal with unauthorized refugee camps that were established in the southern regions of Tibet. Tibetan nationalists, who so desperately wanted to break the chains of rule from Beijing, saw the migration of Indians as an invasion, similar to the invasion of Tibet by the Chinese Red Army in the dusk of the Chinese Civil War, and begun to wage a guerrilla war against the migrants. Meanwhile, people from all over Chinese society saw the migrants as a threat and took measures similar to the Tibetans.

Beijing never even wanted any of the migrants, they only took them in as the rest of the world wouldn’t. Following the nuclear war, an aggressive wave of racist Indophobia quickly spread across the world. From major cities such as Tokyo, Seoul, Moscow, Melbourne, New York, Toronto, London, Vienna, Athens, and Chicago, many protests erupted. These infamous protests were covered extensively by CNN, but this network along with FOX News had lost its credibility. Many started to get their news from the internet, while others returned to broadcast news, especially ABC which had regained some credibility in the eyes of many television viewers.

One ABC News correspondent, Mack Woodruff, reported of the situation in China closely. Woodruff, who decided to follow his father’s footsteps, believed that the ancient Asian nation was going to fall into a state of anarchy and chaos. The Tibetan guerrillas soon began to take action against the Chinese armed forces, firing at a military base and stealing armaments. Soon after, Uyghur guerilla forces were formed and began fighting the Chinese authorities. Pro-Democracy groups, fascist guerillas, Marxist-Leninist militias, and many other separatist organizations soon began to bear arms. Woodruff spent the next four years at the American embassy in Tokyo, as he personally wanted to cover the situation but Japan was safer than the cesspool that was once the People’s Republic of China.

Tibet and Uyghurstan had gained independence, Hong Kong was under Anglo-Australian military protection, Manchuria and Northern Korea became federal subjects of the Russian Federation, while the rest of the country became the Republic of China, reuniting with Taiwan in twenty thirty-two. The new government of Tibet, which had welcomed home the aging Dalai Lama, waged genocide against the Indian refugee population. The United Nations protested and placed economic sanctions, but it did little to dissuade the Tibetans.

Baljeet had fled to Mongolia, where he would later meet Woodruff, who wanted to interview a refugee.

“Where were you during the nuclear war,” Woodruff asked, trying his best not to make Baljeet uncomfortable.

“I was traveling outside the suburbs of New Delhi,” Baljeet said in response, “I was heading home from a vacation.”

“I hope you don’t mind me asking, but how were you able to survive?”

“I heard the report from my car radio, and I did not know what else to do.” Baljeet began to choke up, trying to prevent himself from tearing up. “I ducked in my car. I didn’t know that it would actually save my life, I thought that I was going to die, but I guess that it was pure luck.” Baljeet took a sip of water, silently gathering his thoughts. “I left my car, which no longer was working, and I just walked, away from New Delhi, or at least what was once New Delhi.”

By the time Halley’s Comet returned to the skies of Earth, Baljeet Chandrasegarampillai had been long dead, passing away from the tumor that he feared would take his life. Mack Woodruff had now become the anchor of World News Tonight, the flagship broadcast of ABC News. While television news no longer had the influence it once did during the time of Walter Cronkite and Peter Jennings, people still watched it.

When Halley’s Comet returned, the effects of the Indo-Pakistani nuclear war still lived on. In the early twenty-first century, scientists feared that Greenhouse Gases would cause global temperatures to increase. However, the bombs that were detonated over the military bases and urban centers of India and Pakistan sparked firestorms that produced between one to five million tons of smoke, which quickly rose fifty kilometers into above cloud level and into the stratosphere. Within the following ten days after the nuclear war, temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere decreased dramatically to the point in which it was colder than the Little Ice Age. Millions fell victim to famines, mostly throughout Asia.

As Halley’s Comet passed over the Earth, Knud and his son watched with awe. The young boy reached his hand toward the sky, with a look of absolute wonder. Halley’s Comet admitted a beautiful purplish-blue light.

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