Do you remember 2013? I won't hold it against you if not. It's been twenty four years since.
This is a bit of a retrospective. I hope you'll lend me your patience for a tad. You see, I was there. At the start, in London.
Carrying nothing but my handmade made sign and lose change in our pockets. Remember coins? Can't say I miss them. Anyway, my sign was a gold middle finger and the words "WTF WTO".
I was young and stupid. I wanted my voice heard. If you were alive in 2013 or have studied modern history, I'll presume you know what came next.
Eighty nine people dead. One hundred and thirty injured. All civilians. To date, the Police have yet to release their loses. Anyway. It was a couple of days after the riots that I first saw the blue HAND logo.
There were similar things in the past, the last official one had been used during the war. But Churchill had got rid of it as soon as he could after V-Day. Labour wanted to install an ID Card system after the July 7th bombings, it was shouted down. With good reason.
So when the blue HAND logo appeared on the televisions, no one took notice. Why would they? It was a fad. At that point, no one had even heard of Francis Fray or Fray Industries. And we were right. After a fashion.
Anyway, a year later: What I had been protesting against, happened. And happened big. The economic bubble that the worlds banks relied on, finally burst. And China's economy collapsed. The financial tsunami raged across the globe's stock markets. America toppled so too did Europe. Britain, sunk like a brick.
In three months; refugees were flooding in through the Euro tunnel. The French government pulled their military back to protect Paris and it's own borders. It was everyone for themselves. There were rumours that France funnelled refugees from the east and through the tunnel, but it's never been proven.
All we know for certain is that somewhere between 1.5 and 4.7 million refugees walked through the tunnel in 2014. And Francis Fray was waiting for them. He successfully lobbied his case. His ID Card and registration system became a reality.
Of course, the refugees need not carry them. Only British citizens had that privilege. Want to vote? You need a card. Want to drink? You need a card. Want to drive? You need a card. Want to go to the toilet? Anyway, you get the picture.
As you know. The Human and Associated Networks Database, did nothing to stop the refugees. It did however, allow Fray Industries to become Fray International when it floated on the stock market back in twenty three.
By 2015 the military that acted as border patrols at Dover, were overridden. They high tailed it back to London. Finding that most businesses had left already, there was no money in the Capital. The Sovereignty were moved for their protection and Parliament ran to York.
At least everyone had a nice HAND Card to keep in their wallet. A one stop shop that pulled all our social networking aliases into one, a big fuck you to Zuckerburg, stick that in your tweet hole. HAND is here. But like alchemy, it promised us everything. It delivered us nothing.
So now it's 2037. HAND is still here, it is present in over sixty countries. It shares the same processor chip that runs our bank accounts, our insurances, our personal lives. These chips that were at first optional, are now implanted at birth. Today's generation will not now life without it or HAND. They will be forever connected.
And yet despite the billions of dollars in revenue, Fray International has not been able to deliver on their initial promise. England is still divided. Fences twenty feet high are guarded with machine guns, splitting the country like it's Cold War Germany.
You may ask: Who benefits from this?
Francis Fray, that's who.
Thanks for reading.
Take a Chill.
[Pil is a fictional blogger from the book Gun Boy]