I've seen this before.
I've seen the chaos. I've seen what happens when mankind is divided, between the haves and have-nots, between the technological and the natural. I've seen when boundaries are crossed. When boundaries are redefined. When people forget that those boundaries even exist.
I continue watching the TV though. It's fun to watch the world spiral out of control, or rather, continue to do so. I hear someone say that "we can no longer stand aside as these scientists play God." Which is funny, because we've been standing aside for decades. I remember the 2020s, when "playing God" became the norm. I remember the Humanity Front, and the terrorist attacks on Sarif Industries. I remember it now, even while the world was still reeling from the actions of Cordis Die. War, terrorism, suffering, poverty, religion…all linked.
Nothing changes of course. But I still remember. I remember the Secessionist War that began in 2031. I remember when brain-to-brain communication was developed ten years later, changing the idea of control and communication as we knew it. I remember the rise of UNATCO to deal with the chaos in the world. I remember…well, I remember a lot of things.
"This is not about technology," the news pundit says. "This is about right and law."
Might makes right, you should know that by now. The person who wields the biggest gun is always going to be in the right. Same reason why the augmented will always have an edge over the un-augmented. And be hated for it. So as I flick the news channel, as I see the latest leak, I can't say I'm surprised at the revelations.
"You think the retinal chips you buy in the mall are high tech?" he asks. "Our military is light years ahead of that."
Well, first of all, I don't buy retinal chips in the mall, thank you very much. Secondly, I notice you're wearing glasses – funny that, I can't remember the last time I saw someone with those things instead of the aforementioned chips. And third of all, light years measures distance, not time. Just saying.
"The things we use to heal ourselves," he continues, "they are using to literally turn humans into weapons."
Again, not a revelation. Augments have been dominating sport, law enforcement, and pretty much everything that requires manual labour for decades. The idea of a military using it doesn't come as a shock. Especially when you consider all the rumours of regenerating health in the military. How soldiers can come back from the brink of death provided they get some cover.
The feed changes to a spokesperson. He says that the idea of the United States sponsoring a super soldier program is absurd. Yeah…remember that regenerating health thing? Well, I do. I remember a lot of things.
"Neural control," says the whistle-blower. "Voluntary limb replacement. This is happening. The question remains…how far have we allowed it to go?"
I flick the TV off. I know what will come next. Talk, talk, and more talk. Talk as if these are indeed revelations. Talk as if this has never happened before. Talk that will come and go, only to resurface next year, as the same content is revealed and presented as new. Talk that has gone on for longer than many have even been alive.
But like I said, I remember.
And I know that the more we change ourselves, the more things stay the same.
When I saw the Ember trailer for Black Ops III, I quickly noticed the similarities to Deus Ex, and by all intents and purposes, so did most of the Internet. Admittedly, I'm in a neutral position here, as I've never played a Deus Ex game (yes, I know, shame on me) and haven't played a Call of Duty game since Finest Hour. So on one hand, yes, I'd say that Black Ops is aping Deus Ex at least partially. On the other, Deus Ex doesn't have the monopoly on the cyberpunk/transhumanism genre in the games industry, and similar themes have been explored in Metal Gear for instance. So at the end of the day, I'll see where this goes. After all, Mankind Divided is also on the horizon.