Letter to the Future
(Translated from the Ukrainian)
If you are reading this message – and indeed can understand this – then I will have succeeded in the great task that has been entrusted to me. Namely to save humanity.
My name is Evhen Ivanovich Baransky. I was born in the year 2040 in Kyiv, Ukraine. I won’t give you my whole life history, you will probably know it already. The story of my ten years as a teacher, getting involved in my union. My election to the Verkhovna Rada. How I become Foreign Minister, then President.
Six weeks ago, on 20 April 2099, the greatest calamity in history occurred. A regional governor in the New Confederacy by the name of Ava Rice managed to fire forty to fifty nuclear missiles at the West African Union and the Republic of China. The Chinese fired back. The New Confederacy launched their remaining missiles, and the Chinese did too. As a final crime, Chinese submarine launched missiles struck New Confederacy cities in the middle of their rescue efforts.
Ava Rice herself confessed to her barbaric action in a recorded address from a bunker in Dakota Province. That bunker was struck by four nuclear warheads and it can reasonably be assumed she is dead.
We now face the consequences of the detonation of over 800 thermonuclear devices in quick succession. We know that at least 250 million are dead so far and more will follow in the shattered nations. But there is worse to come.
Millions of tonnes of dust in the upper atmosphere will result in two or three years without a summer. This has catastrophic implications for global food production. Various alternative food production methods are being implemented as I write, but it will still not be enough. The scientists tell me that we could easily see the deaths of three-quarters of the world’s population of just over eight billion.
Our very existence as a species is at risk. While we have tens of thousands leaving this world on the Generation Ships for other stars, we cannot guarantee those colonies will survive either in worlds we still do not fully know.
The surviving nations of the world have come together to form a United Earth Government, the first we have ever had.
In order to resolve squabbles over leadership and prevent egos from taking over, it was decided that the President of the UEG would be selected by lot from the existing world rulers.
The lot fell to me. Evhen Baransky, President of Ukraine now finds himself leader of humankind for the next four long years. I was sworn in yesterday and delivered a short inaugural address. You can probably find a recording of it.
The challenges that have fallen on my plate are truly immense. I must make decisions on the allocation of medical resources, foodstuffs, and other essentials, deciding who will live or who will die. I will need to resolve disputes and deal with those who wish to pursue their own selfish ends at this time.
I have selected my advisers, ministers, and governors. I hope that I have chosen wise and honest people.
I am also setting an example for my fellow humans. I will eat the normal rations of someone in my category and only take the medical resources I am allowed. This may well shorten my life, especially as I have already had one lot of cancer and another is quite likely based on my family history. We may have to engage in mass euthanasia for those with terminal illnesses, especially as we will see a massive rise in cancers from the radiation. If I develop such an illness, I will take my own life first.
The job in front of me is so daunting that I have to take it a piece at a time. On the shoulders of a little Jewish boy from Kyiv rests the fate of Homo sapiens and the responsibility makes me tremble.
I have prayed to God for guidance and wisdom in the task ahead. If he is truly there and genuinely good, he will not let his people perish.
If I succeed, please make sure that my tomb is well kept. If I have failed, then it will have crumbled like the rest of civilisation.
And dear reader, do not let something like this happen again.
Evhen I. Baransky
President of the United Earth Government
4 June, Anno Domini 2099