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Our future, our universe, and other weighty topics

Friday, August 2, 2013

Trillionaires: A Science Fiction Story

Trillionaires: A Science Fiction Story

“Okay, let's divide up the world,” said Rod Pullman.

Pullman was rather embarrassed to be hosting the meeting of the three trillionaires on such a small yacht. He owned five yachts that were vastly larger in size. But this yacht was the only one he had at Lake Tahoe, Nevada, the designated site of the meeting of the world's three richest men. So the small yacht would have to do. With Pullman were his main rivals, the obscenely rich Edward Heathton and the ridiculously wealthy Xiao Jing.

The three men were each worth than 1,000,000,000,000 dollars. It was now the year 2040, and throughout the twenty first century there had been a relentless acceleration of the trend of more and more wealth accumulating in fewer and fewer hands. The poor kept getting poorer, and the rich kept getting richer. Each of the men controlled multiple global conglomerates, and each of the men had bought political connections that guaranteed control of a large fraction of the world's population. Relatively few people knew how much political power the three men had, because they acted in the shadows as clandestine puppet masters.

Pullman, for example, was in charge of political action committees that placed him in control of the US Congress. One time in the Oval Office when the President of the United States resisted his proposals, Pullman had used an arm swipe to clear the President's desk, and had bellowed: “You are not in control of this country; I am in control of this country.”

The activities of the three giants of industry had put them at odds with each other. The three trillionaires had decided to meet together to work out an equitable agreement between them. They sat on the deck of the small yacht on a pleasant April day.

“Two thousand years ago when Mark Antony met with Octavian and Lepidus, they basically divided most of the known world up among the three of them,” said Pullman. “Now let's do something similar. The decisions we make here will probably spell out the fate of the world's nations for the next four decades.”

“Europe is in my hands, and I'm keeping it,” said Heathton. “It took me a long time and many billions to gain control over the European Union.”

“Some things are pretty obvious,” said Pullman. “I control the US, and you, Heathton, control Western Europe. Xiao controls China. But what about all those countries on the edges? What about Africa, and Japan, and Russia, and the Philippines, and Indonesia?”

“I claim all of the countries around the Philippines and Indonesia,” said Xiao Jing. “They're part of the Chinese sphere of influence.”

“Okay, sounds pretty fair,” said Pullman. “But I get dibs on Japan. That's been in the US sphere of influence ever since World War II.”

“I should get Japan myself,” said Xiao Jing. “It's right next door to China, and I'm the lord of China.”

“Let's have a fair competition,” said Pullman. “You want to arm wrestle, or flip a coin?”

A flip of the coin decided the issue.

“Now what about Russia?” said Heathton. “Russia is part of Europe, and Europe is my piece of the pie, so I figure Russia should be mine.”

“But Russia is next to China,” protested Xiao Jing. “It should go to me.”

The two men arm wrestled, and Heathton won. It was agreed that Russia would be under his control.

“Now what about South America?” asked Pullman. “I figure that as South America is in the Western Hemisphere, and the USA is my piece of the pie, it's only fair that I get South America.”

“I have spent billions and billions gaining control over the government of Brazil,” said Xiao Jing. “Do you expect me to hand that over to you for free?”

“Okay, let's make a deal,” said Pullman. “You give me South America, and I'll let you have all of Africa.”

“Deal,” said Xiao Jing.

“That means you guys are getting more than me,” said Heathton. “To fix that, I should get Australia and New Zealand.”

The other two agreed.

“So I think we're close to a final deal,” said Pullman. “Let's sketch out an agreement on the map.”

Pullman took out a map of the world, and got out three pens. He drew one big circle in red, which included the whole Western Hemisphere. He drew another big circle in black, including all of Western Europe and Russia. He drew another big circle in blue, including all of China, the Mideast, and Africa. Pullman wasn't too concerned about who controlled the Middle East, as most of its oil had been tapped out. Pullman finished the map by writing a map legend which made clear which circle was for which person.

map of world

“What do you think?” Pullman said.

“Looks good to me,” said Heathton. “I can live with it,” said Xiao Jing.

But at that moment disaster came like a thief in the night.

A few years earlier, rocket powered speed boats had become wildly popular. The boats used a combination of rocket technology and hydrofoil technology to reach speeds of 250 miles an hour.

A young man was riding his speed boat at a speed of 240 miles an hour when he came near the yacht on which the three trillionaires were meeting. The young man saw a message on his wrist phone from his lady love. He began texting a reply, and took his eyes off of the water ahead of him for a moment. While in the middle of texting, his speed boat collided with the yacht where the trillionaires were meeting.

The force of the collision instantly knocked unconscious the three trillionaires, who were ejected thirty feet into the air. All three fell into the lake and drowned.

The three trillionaires had each imagined that they would use their enormous wealth to somehow cheat death through sophisticated technology they could buy, so that they would live for hundreds of years. Instead their bodies were eaten by hungry fishes.