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The Armageddon Clause: Conspiracy & Scene Outline | Synopsis | Outline
This is a shameless and bewildering plug for the spectacular, convoluted, and entirely imaginary unwritten tale of: The Forbidden History

The bewildering story of the search for the Forbidden History, the mysterious truth of our past. A small tale of heroism & humour, morality & mortality, terror & torture, excitement & boredom. A thoroughly nasty record of the future as foretold by those who have been there; the tale of the continuation of our peculiar society.


continued . . . the synopsis:

This compelling and entertaining world of sprawling cities that extend beyond every horizon, long since colonised by discarded burger wrappers and cigarette ends. Concrete conurbations that are the scarred battlefields of consumerism, where old beer and soft-drink cans march in metal armies of billions, and the air is filled with the graceful flight of old newspapers, circulars, leaflets, flyers, and other inspirational literature. A tangled landscape of grey buildings huddling beneath black skies, standing defiantly against the dive-bombers of acid rain and pollution. Cities that spin upon a planet where no one is responsible for anything, and all that is wrong is the fault of someone else.

Many are worried about the future; many more are scared of it. The doomsday movement is gathering momentum. Forget the lottery, horse racing or share prices. This is the biggest gamble of all. The minimum stake is a planet.

Sir Desmond Trithon, the Chairman of Trithon Industries, self-made billionaire and international industrialist, doesn't share this pessimistic view of the planet. He sees it as one large malleable asset with a profit to be made everywhere if you just look hard enough. Together with his colleagues and peers, he embodies the spirit of the corporate world and the drive behind the industrial modernisation of the planet.

The British government has given Trithon Industries the honour of setting up the London Traffic Control Centre (LTCC), the largest and most ambitious transportation project ever undertaken. It combines every road in the capital into a single, computer-controlled, flexible grid network.

The major oil companies and motor manufacturers have backed the project and contributed heavily to its cost. If someone - anyone - can help sort out congestion problems, or at least apply some cosmetic surgery so it doesn't look as bad, they would be able to sell more products and stem the rise of imminent restrictions that are appearing over the horizon. It takes a great deal of money to make more money.

Major industrialisation, and the powerful global companies who sponsor it, have all been having a bit of a public relations crisis lately, and they envisage a beautiful new world where every major city and nation flows under the benign guidance of international corporations. It is time to get rid of those stupid notions of politics and get down to some real business. You let someone have a vote every five years or so and suddenly they think they are clever and start having opinions.

The official opening of the LTCC has already taken place, and the British government is taking all the credit and applause, as the UK roads are suddenly becoming congestion free once more. It is simply the natural evolution of the congestion charging introduced years ago in all major UK cities, they say. Long live the road. Some people may not like it, but no one cares what they think. Road revenues are spiraling upwards, oil output is rising, car production is slowly increasing once more, the fully manipulated unemployment figures are still falling even though they already officially reached zero months ago, and the economy is officially buoyant. Everyone should be happy.

The environmentalists are moaning as usual, but no one is giving them any airtime any more. It is just so . . . yesterday.

Does Sir Desmond have an ulterior motive beyond that of just making a vast profit on the initial construction? Of course he has. The LTCC has been built with the traditional implementation of a government project - with the vast majority of the allocated budget disappearing in committee and consultancy fees, hideously expensive and useless prototypes, and a series of middlemen taking the rest - the final cheap system that goes on-line is destined to fail. Only 7% of the budget went on the actual system, the software and hardware. Just as Sir Desmond always knew it would. Kids using their MegasonyXcatridge games console had more power at their disposal. And they were only fighting zombies not the oil industry.

The LTCC was born on a Monday and it died on a Monday. It finally collapses on an otherwise unremarkable wet and cold early morning in October. The consequences for the nation are enormous. The financial cost to correct the system will be astronomical and Sir Desmond knows the government can't and won't afford it. But, until it is fixed, the nation's capital, and by virtue of its dependence, the nation as a whole, is at a standstill.

In his office overlooking Canary Wharf, Sir Desmond sits and plans the future. He is to offer to repair the system at his own cost. All the government will have to do is hand over the entire control of the UK road network to Trithon Industries. Then the trial systems in other major cities around the country and the world will be forced to follow suit.

The LTCC is vitally linked - by coincidence or design - into the Government Online Strategic Network. As this one small wheel in the complex digital gearing of state grinds to a splintering halt the rest of the virtual cogs, from communication to paperclip ordering, start slipping too. The bug is in the wild. The country pitches dramatically into confusion and then plunges headlong into red tape anarchy.

London is now in a state of total chaos, with the road networks completely stationary and the basic social infrastructure fragmented. The city and the rest of the country are swept by continuous rain and severe storms. Lowland flooding is rising and the drainage systems all over London fail due to Drainage Control Project, the government solution that had been implemented in the same manner as the LTCC and is also part of the Government Online Strategic Network. All public transport has ceased. Communication is failing. Electrical supplies become sporadic. Society begins to crumble as people panic and the authorities realise how precarious the belief system really is.

The choice has to be made right now, on a wet Monday in October, whether we want to save our planet, our cultures, and our societies, a direction that will cost us dearly, or whether we will try to weather the very real storms and keep the profit rolling in. The real question is can it be even possible for us to do everything differently?

Time says it is too late. The species has had more than enough warnings and has chosen to ignore them all. Time is always impatient. It doesn't care it is only imaginary.

If it had been just the one problem it would have been bad enough, but the Universe is well known for its sense of humour and has decided that all the unpaid bills should arrive at once. As industrialised nations grind to a halt, the world economy, that precarious thing that no one understands, collapses, and it is at this precise moment that the ozone layer finally passes the point of no return and the planet's weather systems go haywire. The ice age is coming, civilisation is wearing thin, civil and religious wars are breaking out everywhere, and people the world over are facing deprivation and starvation as the chaos disrupts supply chains and production.

The Third World is about to get a great deal larger. And it's not even Tuesday yet.

To combat this, the world's banks are thinking of quickly raising interest rates and foreclosing on every loan. If the world is going to end they had better maximise the profits whilst there's still time. There are always those that forever live in denial even when the universe is impatiently tapping them on the shoulder.

The Armageddon Clause: a journey through life, death, and the little bits in between, on an insane rollercoaster ride to the end of the world . . .


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