In a World Without Belts with Holes the Pioneers of Future Belts are the Last Best Hope for Peace and the Only Chance to Stop the Spread of Ill Fitting Pants Once and for All
In one possible dystopian future the fall of man was brought about not by a nuclear holocaust or alien invasion, nor by a biological agent unleashing a zombie plague or a global economic collapse, but rather by an event so mundane, so random, so seemingly inconsequential that not even the wisest of men could have predicted it. This is the world of belts with holes are dead. A world ended when the last belt with holes suddenly disappeared from our planet earth. A hellish nightmarescape where the ability to keep one’s pants up even if they are too large is no longer an option for most. The rich seclude themselves in future belt enclaves where they live in relative luxury and wear whatever size pants within +/- two sizes they desire while the poor live in squalor, suffering from constant pants droppage or doing anything they can to just get by. The lowest of these, the so called “below the knee cutters” are the worst off by far. Their misery was so great that they actually took scissors to every pair of pants they owned and cut them off below the knees. Sick I know, do not read on if you are faint of heart. The only hope left are the so called Pioneers of Future Belts. Will they arrive in time to save our once beautiful planet and usher in a utopian paradise where everyone, regardless of means, can choose to wear whatever pants they want, no matter the waist size or inseam length? These stories represent the collected works of just some of the people who lived through those dark times. Pray their future does not become our own.
The Time: Post DoBwH (death of belts with holes) future
The Place: Djibouti, former East African nation-state
Part I — Ucaca in Djibouti
Ucaca Wa strode the streets of his native Djibouti with a purpose. Tonight was the night he was to see the legend for himself. Ever since the death of belts with holes Ucaca had been a man possessed. He had also not been able to keep his pants up for more than 5 minutes at a stretch. His purposeful stride had in fact been interrupted on no less than ten occasions this evening already as he had been forced to stop and hitch up his ever sagging khaki Dokkers. Tonight however he might have the opportunity to do something about this horrible fate, this terrible world. Ucaca had an appointment with the Pioneers of Future Belts. They had been whispered about for years now but he thought them only a figment of the imagination. A fantastical dream team of made up belt makers who somehow still had access to the knowledge and equipment necessary to fashion new belts with holes. Of course this was a ridiculous notion, everyone knew belts with holes were long dead and would never return. And yet, he still held out hope, for the allure of maintaining his pants at the appropriate level on his hips was too great. The chance to rid himself of the continuing sagging and tripping over his own pant legs was simply too enticing to pass up, no matter how low the probability of success.
He turned the corner at one of the bustling main thoroughfares of Djibouti. As he scanned the area he noticed them, the belt with hole-less masses wandering about as if lost. Pants dragging at the ground, some cuffed in a feeble attempt to keep them dry and clean, others simply cut off below the knees. The below the knee cutters made him sick to look at. How could he live, how could anyone live, in a world like this? Then he saw the “lucky” ones, the rich, the ones with belts without holes, belts that somehow worked even without holes for that little metal thing to stick through. Rumor had it they could be tightened and loosened with even more precision than a belt with holes allowed. Ucaca didn’t believe that last point, how could anything allow for even greater flexibility in size and comfort than a belt with holes? It was madness to think that way so he dismissed it out of hand as just another wild rumor made up by those who possessed these miracle belts to further castigate and demean the beltless downtrodden. Tonight those uppity ups would get theirs, he would see to that. Once the pioneers of future belts were found, belts with holes would return from the dead and then they would pay, they would all pay, including himself, he would pay just about anything for a new belt with holes. But he was getting ahead of himself, first things first, he needed to make contact with his connection to the mysterious pioneers, his old friend and sometimes rival, the legendary Uranus Yoda.
Part II — Uranus Gets Slipped a Digit
Uranus Yoda had to move fast if he was to make his scheduled meet up with his good friend U. Wa on time. He had only left his home planet of Dagobah some fifty light years ago and the trip to earth had another 1000 parsecs left. As was typical he could still smell the swamp on him so he threw on some additional nano-deodo and asked his AI Johnny Pneumonny III to kick his ship into high gear. Of course JPIII, as Uranus often referred to him, did not understand, he was a typical AI, they only understood things absolutely literally so the term “kick it into high gear” just about fried his artificial neural network.
“Does not compute Mr. Yoda, how could I kick the ship as I do not possess any appendages with which to kick anything? Moreover I fail to see how kicking the ship would in any way speed up our journey.”
“Geezus christi JP, it’s a figure of speech, you have to be the dumbest AI in the multiverse.” “Actually that would be the AI, Tim Tom Dim Dom, he was given life in……” JPIII droned on and on as Uranus sighed and shifted his ship into top speed for himself. He preferred to fly manually anyway. According to the navi-computer with that speed and a slight course adjustment he would be able to make his meeting just in time. He had information that Ucaca wanted very badly indeed, information that many people wanted, a rock solid connect that could take him straight to the mythical Pioneers of future belts. Once the Pioneers were found things could finally return to normal around here and Uranus could finally get to the doctor. That red rash was not getting any smaller.