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Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Perfect World Doctrine

[The Perfect World Doctrine  is a story idea that I came up with some time ago, and scribbled into something resembling an overview. I may or may not do something further with this at some point, but for now I'm letting the idea into the wild]

     There is a theory that for each decision made, another reality is created from the branch that decision makes. Another world, very much like our own, but sideways. One simple difference separates us from our own brethren on a very similar world.

      Going by this theory, there must, then, exist one perfect world, where every single decision made by every single being capable of making decisions chose the "correct" option. In one such reality, some decision was made, now lost to the annals of history, that resulted in the Many-worlds theory being accepted as common belief. The natural pride and arrogance of man's society clung to the irrational belief that they, in fact, were existing in that reality.

      As that belief spread, so did an equally irrational fear that any perceived misstep in reality would immediately result in that world no longer being considered perfect. Ordered societies quickly formed, with laws formed to ensure continued perfection and law enforcement dedicated entirely to upholding the tenants of this perfect society. There was, initially, resistance.

      Nobody remembers that resistance anymore, though. It was deemed as potentially disruptive to the cherished idea of perfection, as some could argue that the mere idea of resistance qualified as a decision made that threw that world out of balance as the perfect world. Perfect World Doctrine became a required subject at as early an age as it could be comprehended.

      There were upsides, of course, as there are to any decision. Poverty and sickness, were eliminated, as it was decided they were not characteristics of a perfect society. Construction projects were started in less developed parts of the world, with people that would otherwise be unemployed building homes and structures of aid, worship, and business for those in less well-off areas. Within a few generations, the idea of "third world countries" was completely eradicated. Everybody that could be accounted for had a roof over their head, a full belly at the end of the day, and a warm place to sleep at night. Technology was implemented to harness the weather, redirecting heavy rains from areas prone to flooding to areas prone to drought, increasing crops and food supply.

      Upsides, however, always have a dark lining. Single-party political systems gave way to conglomerate global governments. Free speech in general had less and less leeway with each passing generation. Personal liberties were repealed in favor of maintaining the Delicate Balance. The Ideal Enforcement Division was also one of these dark linings. Initially, jokingly, referred to as Men In Black, officers of the IED would investigate 'poor decisions' reported by other citizens. If you were found guilty of making a poor decision, you were persuaded to change your decision, with the justification that reversing a poor decision could restore the delicate balance the Perfect Society hung upon. One such officer, Anthony Clemens, was so persuasive, so determined, that he rose to the top of the IED. As Chief Protector of the Balance, he put those powers of persuasion to effective, if not necessarily altruistic, use. The IED gained more and more power under Clemens, eventually operating essentially unchecked, in the name of protecting the Delicate Balance.

      The IED began branching out from investigation to Imbalance Prevention. Film and television production houses were folded into their Balance Education wing, producing cheery generic sitcoms glorifying the status quo, and terrifying horror stories about the slippery slope that a Great Imbalance would bring. Citizens that objected to the message of these productions were often labeled dissidents, and at first simply disappeared. The IED would soon find a more subtle way of preventing even this messy, loud problem. Clemens argued successfully against the protests of the GFDA that water supplies should be silently laced with chemicals developed to make the population more pliant, and easier to persuade should they make a poor decision. With the population pacified, there were no more dissidents, no one that required 'disappearing,' and nothing to cover up.

     The IED had the ear of the world's official leaders, but even they did not know everything that happened in their perfect world. Despite the attempted pacification of their populace, there were still people that were dissatisfied with what their world had become, but unable to speak up either due to fear or from having their spirits chemically castrated. In the massive underground storm sewers of Tokyo, walled off by Japanese leaders before the country was absorbed into the one-world government, experiments with piercing the walls between realities had been taking place for decades with little to no success. Founded by brilliant misfits from the Perfect Society, scientists, engineers, and civilians worked together to find a way to escape what their world had become.

      Nearly 100 years to the day after the IED had implemented Imbalance Protection, a breakthrough had been made. Quiet joy moved through the underground communities, as people celebrated in a dozen languages the fact that they had found an answer. Recon teams were sent through, scouting each reality and gathering information, hoping to find a reality different enough that they could resettle. The theoretical mathematicians calculated they would need to find a reality approximately 1 billion decisions away from their own before they could be safe.

      Thus began the new underground railroad. People that would have been human traffickers, smugglers, criminals in a world not unlike our own now ferried people across the world, skirting entire nations and sticking to international waters and no-fly zones to bring people to Tokyo. Tunnels had been constructed, burrowing out from the storm sewers to concealed docks on the coasts of Japan, with the purpose of guiding in refugees from more 'civilized' parts of the world. At first, this was a one-way stream of people, inhabiting other dimensions that allowed them to make their own decisions. As more and more people were appearing in these alternate dimensions, their own officials started noticing. Refugees were detained, questioned. Scientific inquiries were made. Meetings were had, and important people made important decisions.

      Then, one day, people started coming back through from the other side.

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