Trade Block Builders

For thousands of years the Neanderthals had shivered on the frozen European continent. The women tore flesh from animal skins with their teeth, preparing clothes for the tribe. The men hunted beyond the safety of their cave in dangerous, predator-filled valleys. Hungry wolves howled in the darkness. Infants born crying in the dim, stinking cavern looked forward to but a cruel, merciless future. A new animal had stepped into their valley overnight, steadily making its way closer. An animal that would ultimately wipe them all out.

Over the following millennia Homo sapiens had made a series of stunning scientific discoveries, culminating in the eventual unmasking of the god particle followed by unlimited fusion energy. Fertile lands further east towards the Eurasian land mass had been conquered and the Russian federation had disintegrated long ago. 

Only China now stood in the way of total global hegemony. The leaders of the European Union were finally drawing close to the moment of breakthrough that had eluded their nations for years - a decision that if taken would unleash their great trading block. Cloud bots hovered silently behind them as they frantically negotiated through the night, streaming live pictures to engrossed eyeballs in the other great trading blocks of Earth - The Americas and China Pacific. For what was at stake was not the childish question of fiscal union and the sacred Euro, presidential powers or a single European army as in bygone days. No - this would be to unleash the exponential power of hard European AI, a prospect that haunted many but promised nothing short of immortality and the chance to leapfrog ahead of their Chinese enemies.

The Chinese rulers also had AI albeit a somewhat inferior technology. The price they paid for not building atom smashers and fusion reactors at the dawn of the 21st century. However they refused to yield their human powers to the cloud in any event. Would they strike in the final moments to halt the awakening of a new fearsome European brain? Those Eurocrats were mad they thought, about to sell their souls to the devil. But what could they do, even their advanced computers told them the alternative nuclear apocalypse was hopeless. All they could do was sweat and watch those mad, pale hominids to the west.

The high temple to the EU superstate hummed with activity. Behind prettily arranged refreshment glasses politicians fretted and plotted. Later at group photo sessions the tribe leaders arranged themselves accordingly, looking for their marked positions. Standing clumsily, pointing at the floor. Shaking hands and smiling for the camera.

From a distance the ancient president of the EU sat looking on in his minimalist throne. Dressed in a flowing blue toga, his sinewy old forearms emerging limply from the loose sleeves. The homo sapien descendant of the butchers of neanderthal man knew the time for his species had come in turn. His relaxed bony fingers curled over the armrests. He smiled faintly, confident of the end game. The satisfied high priest in the twilight of his career. He had steered this land mass inexorably towards a sea change. Like the European neanderthals long ago his species was now about to be wiped out by a higher intelligence, his techno-blindness paving the way.

Hundreds of metres below chanting biological fundamentalists had chained themselves futilely to street furniture at the entrance to the EU headquarters, near where gargantuan statues in European man and woman’s image stood keeping guard over the shining edifice. They looked up in fear. Somewhere up there sat the president, like an old Roman emperor. A man they had only ever seen in the cloud.

Alas light years away across the dark void super intelligent beings looked down upon the emperor with his modern tribes of humans in suits as they shook hands and congratulated each other. The aliens chuckled. ‘If only they knew their superstate and blue planet were but a tiny speck in our galactic empire’.

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