Everyone remembers where they were when they first heard of Artisian.
It’s hard not to remember, actually. The United Nations had announced they would be holding a conference on how to deal with overpopulation and urged every person worldwide to tune in.
The year was 2030, just two years ago, and everyone was terrified. The projected human population had been 8.5 billion, but it was now a horrifying 9.7 billion and climbing.
Economies were on the verge of collapse. Many people couldn’t afford the high costs of food, and it was quickly becoming more scarce.
Before the United Nations decided to hold their conference many countries had toyed with the idea of a mass culling by lottery. The international debates and outcries inevitably lead to that fateful meeting that the entire world had become obsessed with.
I can still think back and recall the atmosphere in my office. Every staff member crowded into a room and gossiping, wondering what would happen. Stress and fear filling every corner with borderline panic.
When the meeting started China didn’t hesitate to state its full intentions, initiating a lottery to cull the populace immediately, and putting strict measures in place to control birth rates. They preached that every country do the same, with no less than a 30% decrease in population, more if the country had a larger population.
Heated arguments broke out between representatives, many saying there was a better way, but offering no better option.
The facts were then laid out in order, after the head representative called for silence.
First, in a matter of time the world would no longer be able to sustain our population. It was already apparent in many areas, and would only grow worse with every passing year.
Second, controlling birth rates in many countries at this point would not help. The world was already at nigh unsustainable numbers.
Finally, and not the least important point, crime was becoming too abundant as more people fell into poverty and sickness.
At the rate events were moving, he warned, it was possible that another world war would begin and end the human race.
Que the most important event in history.
The hall entrance, a large set of double doors, swung open at the most opportune moment. It revealed a strangely normal looking man with a cane and an impossible grin.
No one knows how the man got in, or why anyone let him talk at all. Perhaps it was the desperation of the situation, but when he spoke.. everyone listened.
“I have a proposal, if I may.”
Silence had never seemed so incredibly tense, and you could see every representative wondering if this was some orchestrated event, or if the man had just broken in.
Even the head representative seemed a little too uneasy at his entrance, but nodded for the man to proceed.
The cameras zoomed in. He smiled and made a flamboyant pose.“Project: Artisian.”