After the corporations controlled just about every facet of government, the fate of the Earth became their problem. With the changing environment, whole cities were doomed to flood, and mass migrations in the face of turbulent, unpredictable weather made many societies itinerant. They were not profitable.
And so, the corporations eventually realized that there needed to be major change in order to stabilize the planet. Sure, they were protected thanks to the luxurious space stations that they poured trillions into to keep sustainable, but without an Earth and a population of customers, the next few fiscal seasons were too much of a question mark for comfort.
Various corporate leaders presented strategies to either protect their customers (and thus, their profits) or to protect the world. They did what they did best: make advertisements.
Some advertised human decimation. That is, a literal decimation–reducing the population by a tenth. The scavengers, the wanderers, the parasites that didn’t make but took–little more than modern pirates or vikings. Of course, the corporations assumed more than a tenth would be necessary, but none of the consumers knew a whit about global numbers. They wouldn’t notice the full reduction.
The ads gained a lot of support among the stable, wealthy populations, but they backfired in the face of the nomads, who began dressing like pirates and vikings and embracing their barbaric roots. Now the stable citizens demanded protection, which would cost money. And subduing the nomads would not be as easy, since they were arming themselves and increasing their violent streaks.
Another series of ads suggested water-proofing the neo-coastal cities. Since their citizens had all fled, the cities could be re-purposed to housing a sustainable underwater environment, much like the space stations. A paltry sum of citizen donations, coupled with a modest entry fee could guarantee a citizen a safe home.
Wars were fought over the advertisements. The nomads vs. the citizens, the rich vs. the poor. And, like always, the corporations were only blamed on internet forums. They would send free merchandise to distract the dissenters. It worked. But it didn’t help the world. Something needed to change.
They watched the decimation ads again, and began making the calculations.
Today’s three random prompt categories were: “Bad commercials,” “An underwater society,” and “Decimation.”
I really depressed myself with this one. Oy. Hopefully tomorrow’s prompt is cheerier!