This report was prepared for the executive committee and summarizes the current state of our organization.

Progenitors

The Dream: We hoped to create a better humanity, propagating cures for disease and better health and longevity for all, deliverable in commodity form. Our vision was of mankind, free from illness, standing tall against death, feasting upon abundant crops.

The Reality: Despite initial success in promoting hygiene and cures for many crippling diseases, the last century has been brutal to our goals. The concept of eugenic improvement to mankind was co-opted and destroyed by a dictator, millions live in starvation, and several terrifying diseases resist mass-market cures. Mankind has developed dozens of new and deadly vices to compensate for all the ills that they were trained to avoid. Lifespans are greatly increased, but much of the span suffers deteriorating health that reduces the net gain in years. Many even resist the very basics of education required to understand our science, favoring, instead, superstitious creation myths.

New World Order

The Dream: We wanted to create a world where every man and woman could meet as equals, and only one’s drive and ambition would be responsible for success. In our vision, the greatest lights of humanity climbed to the pinnacle of their capabilities with no regard for race, gender, creed, or other peculiarities. Disagreements would be solved by words, not wars.

The Reality: Slavery is nearly nonexistent, women are legally the equals of men in much of the world, and war is no longer the first resort of nations. However, hate and prejudice still run rampant. Everywhere, people cling to disagreements based on creed and politics. Grand social experiments like Communism were terribly mismanaged by those left in charge. The two default states are to trust one’s leaders blindly or assume they tell nothing but lies. Whole countries have, if anything, grown less enlightened than they were centuries ago.

Syndicate

The Dream: Capitalism would guide the world where social engineering could not. By the invisible hand of the markets, every individual would grow steadily in wealth while being protected from the greed of others by their own interests. Each worker would be free to claim the value due his or her own talent, and everywhere the quality of life would be driven by the understanding of mutually beneficial trade.

The Reality: The standard of living steadily rises in first world countries, and, even in developing nations, many have wealth to spend on goods far better than those owned by kings of old. But the invisible hand increasingly fails to defend against human greed, and politics and the realities of transport limit the pure ability of workers to seek their highest wage. The recent crisis is merely a tragic symptom of an economy that can be abused in ways never intended.

Iteration X

The Dream: Humanity is meant to develop the tools that would let it subjugate the terrors of the world and drive back the boundaries of ignorance. Each individual would wield items of science to rival the foci of the greatest wizards of old, using them to learn and to build. Owners of these tools would know them as they knew themselves, transcending simple humanity and reaching an inevitable singularity where they became so much more.

The Reality: While seemingly the most wildly successful of the conventions, we have faced increasing apathy from the user base. Few have maintained any kind of capacity to even perform the bare minimum of service of their tools. The entire breadth of human knowledge will soon be available on the Internet, but most of humanity is still disconnected, while most of those that are treat it as a toy. Increasingly complex circuitry faces greater and greater difficulty existing in the world, and Moore’s Law may soon reach a plateau. The singularity is as far away as it ever was.

Void Engineers

The Dream: By rolling back ignorance of the world, we would defeat the great horrors that lurk in the shadows and the void. We would order the cosmos into something that did not need the hands of immortal beings to remain in motion. We would push back the sky until each incarna was revealed to be merely a floating rock or massive ball of fire. Humanity would see that there was hope in the darkness, and there would be nothing to fear in the night.

The Reality: We reached the moon by mortal means and have filled the sky with satellites that watch the ground and allow global communication and travel. But we have not returned to the moon in decades, much less pushed further into the darkness, and even the oceans remain full of darkness. Not far past the orbit of Luna, space remains nothing but a single perception of the vast umbrae, too dangerous for mortal travelers. Mankind simply does not seem to have the will to expand its horizons further.

Conclusions

While it is tempting to blame our woes upon the mystical terrorist network called the Traditions, all evidence points to them being as weakened by the modern malaise as are we. Instead, it may be simply stated that we were too successful: we created a world of order and presented it to mankind on a silver platter. Like so many things, it was taken for granted. And perhaps humanity as a whole was not ready for our grand experiment, still weak to the temptations long inculcated by worship-seeking spirits and power-mad wizard kings. In another few centuries, perhaps we can quietly breed out some of these tendencies towards apathy and contrariness.

But if the walls of the world continue to be tested by the dark things beyond, we may not have centuries. We may require a solution to break humanity of its apathy before it is once again plunged into shadow and our dream shattered back into another dark age. If this threat is true, then it may behoove us to seek aid amongst the least of the evils available to us, and find a way to work with those willworkers that have noble, if obsolete, intentions.

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