“It looks like a funding bid to me“, was the reported comment from Professor Adbul Mohammed Jayasinghe when the news broke of an unusual find by the robots poring over the Great Contamination Zone. To date, the resources for this project have been a hotly contested political issue ever since it began in the year 2856. The Professor’s campaign to ban robots from almost all aspects of governance seemed, until Sunday, likely to succeed and project him to the Indian Presidential Office, the most powerful office in the known Universe.
The new discoveries are as startling as they are incompletely researched. The timing couldn’t have been better for the robot citizens. With a new research funding programme about to be agreed in just two weeks time, sources inside the joint Robotic Humanist Commission for Equality suggest that another decade will be granted to investigate the Northern Wastelands.
Whilst it has long been established that there was indeed an advanced human civilisation in the main geographical area of wastage in the North and considerable evidence that the people living there identified themselves as a culture known as ‘Europeans’, the puzzle for the research programme has always been centred on the question of what led to the poison wars. The new discoveries may lead to an answer to those questions.
As with many great discoveries, this revelation was found by accident. Hard drive recoverers were about to complete their survey of a crude building complex in the biggest island in the seas to the North of ‘Europe’, thought to date from 1837. Some archeologists argue that elements of the building are even older. Experts agree that it was some kind of palace of governance, which has been the main reason of interest in the various electro-magnetic data storage devices held there. So far, very little of interest has been discovered. Most of the data recovered confirms the orthodox view that governance at that time was comprised of various competing factions in the long lost Cult of Capitalism, which followed a bizarre form of mathematical accountancy built entirely on various fictions. The long held suspicion that the economic system crumbled according to the terms set out in a prophecy by a wandering philosopher in the late 19th Century (who seems to have been called Karl Marx), may now be in serious doubt.
A third generation robot was performing a last check of some obscure office rooms in the palace when its rear guard sensor trail caught a previously unnoticed edge in the furry floor covering. Security bots soon appeared on the scene. The protocol for leaving the floor alone, due to the number of contaminated remains previously discovered below ground level, was broken because the first robot had already curled up part of the covering. Underneath, there was a vast layer of a truly ancient data storage device known as ‘paper’. The paper was divided into thousands of tiny sheets and covered with chemical markings.
The sheets were scanned but initial language checks did not confirm that they were written in any known tongue. Pattern recognition software took almost a full ten minutes to decode the crude cypher. Incredibly, it was assessed to be a newly discovered ancient language, even though it used only 26 characters and various other special marks.
The first translations of the data didn’t make much sense. They seemed to consist of human communications and contained extensive and hugely repetitive arguments between two prominent factions of the Cult in and around the year 2012. As ever more of the data was cross-referenced, a different picture began to emerge. Most importantly, with every new cross-referencing technique applied, the new picture gets confirmed.
How the data sheets were swept under the floor is beyond the ken of our current historical knowledge. They were written by a particularly obscure faction inside the Cult, which called itself the “Liberal Democrats”. The precise meaning of this name is hard to fathom. “Liberal” seems to be a largely meaningless term. It probably arose from the constant need to distinguish one faction from another virtually identical one. The most respected scholars who have examined the finds agree that the word “Democrat” appears to have been adopted in the spirit of the Culture of Irony then prevalent. Whereas now we understand the word to be intrinsically linked with political contracts, in the year 2012 it seems to have been used to describe the breach of such things!
The first tranche of detailed analysis reveals that the Liberal Democrats had colluded with the original Cult leaders (whom we know as the Thieving Tory bastards) to precipitate the Great Crisis deliberately! The data set suggests that the leading Liberals had realised that they had joined the wrong faction but engineered a situation whereby they could work with the one they wished they had joined anyway: the Cult leaders themselves. Together they set about a train of decisions which collapsed first their financial system, then the fuel and power system and, finally, poisoned the land itself by the use of rock gas extraction and general nuclear contamination. The most inexplicable details show that the Liberals knew these decisions would cause great hardship and suffering but took them anyway. Some of the scripts suggest that they believed they would personally benefit from the ensuing chaos. However, the matter remains a complete mystery. So far no document recovered has provided a plausible explanation.
We’ve known for some time that after 2013, the Liberal faction disappeared from history altogether. We now know that the last few surviving members gathered in a place called Sheffield Forks the following year for a last supper. Human remains discovered at that site suggest that the meeting broke up in violence. Those that were not killed by their erstwhile colleagues committed suicide [self harm leading to death, an ancient practice which was thought to end emotional pain]. After the Liberals deleted themselves from history the two remaining dominant Cult factions (the Tories and ‘Labour’) governed by general agreement with the psychopathic corporations of old. This sequence of events was apparently acknowledged as being very predictable by the Liberals, yet there is no evidence that they did anything to stop it.
Finally, a curiosity… given the culture at the time, it is difficult to sort out the difference between identifying codes and mocking terminology. Thus, although today everyone knows that a Clegg is a parasitic insect which lives on horse shit, it seems that this was also the word the Liberals used to describe their final leader.