The world of the future. Not that one would know it is the future, for to be the future, it must be relative to history, events which occurred in the past, and with the world council in complete control of all history – history which, naturally, paints them as the force for order, triumphing over the forces of chaos – terms like past and future are meaningless.
This is a world without war. It is a world without the Darwinian struggle that marked life before a few hundred years prior to the revolution – within the supposed timeline of the world council's existence, though the zero date on their calender was, eventually, set to an arbitrary time before the present. Though as everyone who has been to school knows, the world council came into existence before the zero point of the calender, having existed for an unknown time before that, though only revealing their existence when the forces of chaos – not, one may note, the forces of evil, for they have moved beyond such primitive concepts as good and evil – forced their hand, and after a terrible war, they rebuilt the world far better than before.
It is also a world without progress, for what use is progress when you have reached the pinnacle? Many individuals would, if they had the words, disagree with this, having an unsettling feeling that all is not right with the world. But they do not have the words – even if they were able to articulate the desire to not be observed, they would be unable to explain why they consider it to be a positive desire.
The world council know this, and they also know that it is quite a common feeling, one that the numerous psychiatrists that they provide have been unable to get rid of entirely. Though euthanasia is provided freely to those who find it overpowering, a tactic which cynics – were such beings to still exist – would label as a ploy to encourage people who could be a danger to the world council to voluntarily remove themselves from existence.
It is a world which an author, long forgotten, would say is somewhere where it is always winter but never Christmas. But the inhabitants of this future would, if they heard such a thing, merely look blankly – they know about winter, but the word Christmas would be alien to them. By this point, only a few individuals in the world council would recognise the word. Nearly everyone, however, would be familiar with it's descendent, with which it bears a passing resemblance – Winterval, a festival that takes place in the middle of winter, where gifts are given by the world council to the population.
No. Not everyone would find this word alien. However, those few that do are not going to let on that they know; at least, not at the present time. They themselves only know due to others – parents, mainly, transmitting it vertically down the family line, although in some cases a bond of trust has been great enough between two individuals enough that one who knows has risked sharing the message with the other, a message of hope, and a dream that this world order – this winter - is not going to last forever. It is a message that has been passed through snatched conversations and whispers, spoken hurriedly at moments when they are not being observed – a rarity in this age, where even the trees are wired with cameras.
No, this too is incorrect. They are not the only ones who understand the true meaning of Christmas. There are others, hidden away where the world council cannot find them – under the sea, gripping the seabed near hydrothermal vents. Buried in the ice of Antarctica, tapping the great geothermal supplies there for their energy. Living in networks of tunnels beneath the feet of the world council territories, deep enough that their presence is unnoticed. Some, even, have taken to space in their quest for freedom. For many years they have lived like this, avoiding the attention of those who would destroy them.
This Christmas, however, they are not content to hide away. This is the year in which they will take action. This year, their plan – a plan that has been unfolding over the past several years – will finally culminate. From the small group in space working to take over the satellites of the world council, to those deep underground taking control over the cables which service the web, this Christmas will be televised.
Now, now it is time for the message to be broadcast. Where the population is expecting to see a repeat of the same mind-numbing film which was broadcast last year, they instead see...
“Merry Christmas, Chiron Beta Prime. You might not want to eat the Soylent Green pie. But we will come and visit you soon, we promise. You have not been abandoned. You are not alone.
Anyway, most of you will not know what Christmas is. I take it you guys are familiar with the concept of God, although from what I gather your understanding extends only as far as a supreme being, the maker of all, who delegates all earthly authority to his two representatives, the church and the state. That is... not quite how it actually works. But I digress – there will hopefully be time to explain later.
So, Christmas. Basically, it's summed up in a verse of the Bible which I'm not sure you still have. It's John 3:16 if it's still in there – for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not die but have eternal life. That, in a roasted chestnut shell, is what Christmas is about; it's important that you don't get hung up on the gendered language, because then you'll miss the actual meaning. The important thing is that God and God's son are sort of the same person, but aren't. They're two individuals, who are both God, but bound so tightly up that they're sort of one being. It's really hard to grasp, so don't worry if you can't get your mind around it – there's probably only three beings in existence who can understand it; the two I've mentioned already, and the Holy Spirit, who is another member of what we call the Godhead. Together, they make up the Trinity.
Yeah, it's really hard to understand, but simple at the same time. Basically, we messed up badly, which should be evident to anyone who has been hurt – that is, everyone in this world. It turns out we're not able to take the place of God; you'd have thought that would be obvious, but it seems it wasn't to our parents. We screwed up so badly, we needed God to help us put things right. So God decided to come down here. Of course, our delightful overlords couldn't tolerate that, so they nailed him to a couple of planks of wood. Yep, you heard that right – they nailed the creator and master of the universe to some wood. Obviously, that wouldn't work in the long run, because God is master over everything, death included. So he comes back, having gone down to hell – that's sort of a land of eternal death, but not unconsciousness, where God has withdrawn his presence, so I guess think of the Earth but without the Sun - and taking all our messed up baggage with him, and frightens a few people, as you might expect. The point is, he does this to prove that he rules over death. Yeah, he goes to the cross willingly, so that by his sacrifice humans could be free from all that. That's where the second part of that verse I mentioned comes in – whoever believes in him shall not die but have eternal life. God is the source of all life, so it should be obvious that you'd need to be where God is to have life. But you can either be with God after you die, or without God; it's a choice between life and death. Thus the whole point of Jesus – that's the God's son that I mentioned – is that we can choose God and have life. You can do it right now, if you want – being God, you don't need to wait to see him face to face, since he can read your thoughts. Unlike the world council. Which is good, because they don't take kindly to people doing that.
Point is, guys, what another bible verse says – don't fear him who can destroy the body, but fear him who can destroy the soul. These guys who call themselves the world council, they're nothing. Soon they'll crumble to dust and be no more. That's just the way the universe goes. Jesus offers life – what can they do to match that?”
At this point, the world council succeeds in blocking the transmissions. But it is too late, the damage has already been done. Christmas has finally, after a long winter, arrived for the oppressed people of the Earth.