What will the future be like in 100 years?
I love to imagine it will involve starships and space stations, but that’s comparable to the 1950s promising us our flying cars and jet packs too soon. Barring some sort of apocalyptic dystopia, it is clear that the corporation will be the center of power in our society. It already is, to an extent. A century from now, the rights of the “corporate citizen” will be the status quo. CEOs will be kingmakers and the people will not complain, so long as their quality of life is comfortable, or better yet, luxurious. The corporation that delivers viable, limitless power will be the one to retain viable, limitless power. In the Reflection Series, that company is FergaCorp WorldWide (FCWW) and it prospered unchecked long enough to build the ultimate Pandora’s Box.
We all do things when no one is looking, but what if everyone was looking all the time. Who would we be? A central theme throughout the book is that just because you can get away with something, doesn’t make it right. By introducing Reflection Technology, a means to view the past, the series explores the idea of how society would adapt with this type of invasion. Would we become more open, or would we go to ridiculous means to still try to conceal our behavior? Would we all be on board for social utopia at the price of privacy?
The obvious, almost anecdotal symptom is that no crime would go unpunished. Everyone in the world (with the possible exception of criminals) can get on board with that. That’s the golden ring that makes the technology irresistible. But what happens when we walk that back? We all lie. We all commit acts that are selfish. We all do things that would hurt or disappoint the people we love. Would we still do these things if the shadows no longer existed?
We also all want to know the answers to mysteries that are legendary in our society. Every child who ever hears about Atlantis is left for the rest of their lives imagining if it existed. And, if it did, what happened to it? Or Amelia Earhart—no one can hear her story and not wonder how it ended. These are easy things. We would all use Reflection Technology to answer these questions without hesitation or debate. But what about the other side of the coin? Would a devout Christian really want to risk observing Christ for fear of the possibility of disillusionment? Or a Muslim Mohammed? Would someone who interprets the Biblical Old Testament as the literal Word of God really want to see if a talking snake offered Eve that apple? And those are just the religious questions. Would we really be psychologically prepared to possibly witness alien incursions on Earth?
Worse yet, what kind of oversight would be needed. Should one person wield this type of power? Especially if that person was as biased and broken as FCWW’s CEO, Carlton Ferguson? At least Carlton has a moral compass. Most governments are not so encumbered. The United States is a beacon of democracy that values civil liberties above all things…except reliable intelligence.
This is the concept that builds the foundation for Reflection: Book One. FCWW evolved by saving the world. The question is, what will those at the helm do next with this power?