For about a year
The trending question was, "Are they really gone?"
None of the humans currently living know what it is like
To live in a world without the Traders
Economies are based
On exchanging shit for needs and wants
Political and religious systems are based
On making wants more important than needs 
Because while wants are infinite
What humans need to live productively and contentedly are few
And if they are allowed to focus on these
Sooner or later they will realise
That these people who talk for a living are not needed
Twisted physicians who engineer (or raise alarms about) disease epidemics
So they can sell cures that only they can manufacture
They would be out of business
"And that would be a tragedy," they tell themselves.
 
Not everyone has forgotten everything
Though for some what is remembered were mainly lies
Which is why they say how you start and what you start with is what counts
It makes no difference if the first word is a lie or the truth
What matters is what follows
What counts is what becomes current reality
 
Not everyone has forgotten everything
Long before the Traders set down their tesseract(s) on Earth
Ancient archetypes had been transplanted into new settings
So primal fears could be examined with clear liberal conscience 
Some people told themselves tales of evil aliens
And stories about rebellious robots who turned with lethal force against their makers
Parables about insurgent former colonies
Potent allegories about human prey nations and imperial properties
Taken out of storage
Dusted off and updated
To shape minds in a new age of man and mankind
 
Not everyone has forgotten everything
Though the Traders had not allowed 'strong' nations to act as unrestrained predators
They had disappointed many others
Those who thought that finally the grass-eaters could overthrow the carnivores
Because for as long as predator and prey were enclosed within the same borders
The Traders did nothing to intervene in their interactions
"We are not here," they said, "to interfere with how humans govern themselves."
So tyrants who held dominion over areas with demarcated borders
Were able to do as they pleased within those borders
For a while
Because eventually, the new shit-defined economics broke their holds
You see, the shit of people who believe themselves to be free
Is of a higher quality than the shit of ones who believe otherwise
And the Traders paid little for low quality shit
Subjects of tyrants became the poorest people on Earth
It was chronic poverty whose causes were understood by all
With no end in sight  
Eventually stomachs shrunk so much
Ones formerly filled with timidity had nowhere left to store it
"If we fight we die in pain
If we do not fight we die in pain
We are in Hell
Better we fight and die."
Because though men normally feared death
It was now seen as the only way out of Hell
Chronic poverty with no hope of improvement made ones formerly obedient scorn loyalty
Ones who dispensed violence for little pay became less enthusiastic
They no longer broke heads or threw people down stairs with their former abandon
Left to oppress millions of hungry angry people with only a few demoralised mercenaries
The tyrants one by one fell and were replaced
By ones who could talk the people back into happiness  
 
After 220 years on Earth, the Traders left
Bewildering many who had engineered pervasive systems
That were based on the trade of shit
But not everyone has forgotten everything
Because while in some parts, the 220 years had been years of ease
During which the most pressing matter of concern for many was constipation
For others, the presence of aliens b
Based in an alien continent
Imposing an alien order
Was anathema
So not only do they dig up the old stories
To rejuvenate consciousness of the old order in the mind
They also unwrap the stored old technologies of war
Those sleek metal avatars of the ancient Fire god
That had proved so powerless against the Traders
Surely still retained their ability to make other humans lay prostrate
Either as corpses or as supplicants  
 


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