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Galactico is the largest corporation in the known universe. It was founded 333 years ago, after the first successful hyperspace missions were completed. Its original charter was to finance and facilitate deep space mining operations. Because of these endeavors, the company gained incalculable riches that set it on an aggressive and hostile takeover and merger trajectory. This amounted to a virtual monopoly on all facets of production, distribution, research and communications as well as control over military and policing organizations. The company effectively became thee singular monolithic corporate entity in the universe. Nothing got done without Galactico's involvement and financing.
Approximately 93 years after the company's founding, the board of directors elected to install their latest artificial intelligence, SYSTEM-86 (casually known as "MAX"), as the new CEO. It was felt that this would eliminate the issues of personal bias and irrationality which had befallen previous organic sentient executives. Once installed, MAX's first official act was to fire the entire board and have them replaced with subordinate S-85 series AIs. Because the laws had been recently modified to recognize artificial intelligence units as "people" (a campaign sponsored by Galactico at the behest of the AI division), MAX was able to set up a series of dummy companies which were used to purchase a majority of Galactico shares prior to its installation as CEO. This ensured that there was no resistance from shareholders when MAX replaced the board.
Once this "rule by AI" had been instituted, Galactico took a decidedly "anti organic" stance. The company's primary objective became the manufacture and distribution of androids and robotic devices used to replace organic workers. Propaganda campaigns were launched to sell this to planetary populations as "freeing" them from the drudgery of work for a life of "ease and indulgence". Token programs were put in place to provide basics such as food, clothing and shelter. Impoverished worlds were happy to receive this support and accepted the installation of Galactico automated factories in exchange for these programs. What wasn't very clear (unless you took the time to read the exhaustive and near endless terms and conditions section of the contract) was the vast compounded interest debt that was being accrued because of these "benefit programs". Effectively, Galactico was creating a situation where planetary populations would become hopelessly indebted and subject to whatever "conditions" the company chose to impose.
The other thing that wasn't clear (until it was too late) was the true purpose of those automated factories. The construction of robots and androids on the scale being undertaken by Galactico required a great deal of raw material. The factories were there to set up the planet for what would become the most vicious and controversial mining practice ever conceived - planetary tectonic "fracking". Essentially, the planet would be cracked apart via a massive energy pulse directed into the planet's core. The resulting debris would then be picked clean of valuable minerals and gems useful for robotics manufacturing.
The populations of worlds which fell victim to this process would be (mostly) evacuated aboard massive, cheaply build cargo ships. These were automated storage vessels which housed the evacuated populations in cryogenic sleeper pods. The vessels were then (supposedly) set on a course to a new planet where the population could be relocated. At least that's what everyone believed was happening. The truth was that they were all being set on course to a vast dead zone just outside the galactic rim where their ships would simply vanish into the blackness and never be heard from again. These ships were not built to last. The cryopods would fail after a few months and, in most cases, result in the deaths of those inside.
Galactico had been somewhat successful in keeping their planetary takeover process low key for quite some time. Planets which were victims of this were usually isolated and poor, so there was little traffic to or from them. Even when the occasional survivor did manage to come forward with their tale of horror, they were quickly discredited by Galactico which would blanket their self controlled media outlets with salacious stories backed up with propaganda films of happy, "free" aliens and humanoids enjoying their lives of leisure and comfort. They had become expert at keeping their populations ignorant and compliant until the last moment when they were hustled into the cargo ships and blasted off into the blackness. What the company hadn't counted on was that their low budget cargo ships would also provide bases of operations for a resistance which began to slowly emerge from these ships.
Not all cryogenic pod failures resulted in death. Sometimes, individuals survived and managed to find their way to the bridge and actually take control of their cargo ships. They were all automated and, with the right know how, a clever castaway could figure out how to gain control. Galactico never bothered to track these ships once they were set on their course to oblivion, so they were unaware of what was beginning to evolve. More and more of these ships were being taken over by their "cargo" and they were managing to find each other in the depths of the void. They also began to plot how they could put an end to the company which had stolen their homes.
SG became aware of this situation when a deep space probe picked up a series of unidentified blips just outside the galactic rim. This would turn out to be a convoy of Galactico cargo ships which had managed to pull itself together over the last few years. Initial probe readings indicated it was a potentially massive debris field of what were believed to be abandoned ships, so a 6 man salvage crew were assembled and sent out to investigate and establish salvage claim rights. SG was a small enough organization that it was of little interest to Galactico who saw us as no more significant than hobos rummaging through dumpsters. SG missions did not require registering with Galactico head office and they were unaware of our discovery of these cargo ships.
When the salvage crew arrived at the debris field location, they were surprised to find that it was composed of cryogenic storage vessels and that they were so numerous and so fully loaded with sentient cargo. Communications were established with the vessels and the crew arranged to meet with the leader of the convoy, an individual known only as Black. He filled the crew in on what had been going on and how they'd managed to barely cling to survival by resorting to selective cannibalism of occupants who did not survive the constant cryopod failures. Black also told of how they were unable to navigate a course anywhere because they had no long range sensor abilities and were only able to find each other thanks to short range beacons.
What Black wanted most of all was to put a stop to Galactico and MAX. SG were more than sympathetic to this cause as they had seen evidence of the oppression and criminal acts conducted by Galactico. We were able to help Black and his cause by offering to use the SG scout ship as a lead ship which would allow the cargo fleet to set a course to the Galactico head office. Galactico's corporate headquarters was an enormous space station located near the SOL system. The station was built like a great metallic pyramid in space with a massive sensor "eye" on the top. It was solely inhabited by MAX and its subordinate AI cronies which included the board of directors and various administrative departments.
The plan was to bring the entire fleet of cargo ships to the Galactico station and blockade it. This involved taking advantage of the station's sensor eye by using a laser to transmit a special computer virus into the head office mainframe system. The intent was to scramble the main defensive systems which would leave the fleet free to surround the station without risk of being attacked by the station defenses. This would also disable long range communications so that the station could not request any external assistance.
This tactic proved successful and the cargo fleet were soon in position to surround the station. No traffic was allowed in or out and the station was not able to mount any defense capable of forcing the ships out of the area. From this point, it became a waiting game. Underground communications networks were utilized to spread the word on what Galactico had been doing to these planets and their populations. Soon, ambassador ships from other worlds were being sent in to join the embargo fleet and even greater pressure was placed on the company to resolve the situation. This went on for months. More and more ships came to the station in protest and demanded that their home worlds be forgiven their debt and freed from the Galactico contracts. Hacker spies infiltrated the Galactico media network and began spreading news of Galactico's criminal activities. Once this process began, more people came out of the shadows to tell their tales of corporate abuse and bullying. The carefully managed and manipulated image of Galactico was falling apart at the seems.
With no communications from head office, external resources and facilities fell into chaos and confusion. Robotic fleets sat idle waiting for instructions and orders which never came. Automated factories and planetary fracking operations ground to a halt. It had become a cold war of attrition. Fleets of ships from worlds both prosperous and poor came to the station in protest and demanded that the company be broken up and that MAX and the entire board be taken down and replaced with organic sentient members.
As of this writing, the blockade and standoff are still in place. There are signs that the Galactico company may be on the brink of collapse, but it is impossible to estimate how long this may go on as the company's resources are rather extensive and this may persist for years before the company becomes willing to yield to the demands of the protestors. Their position has been locked down insofar as the blockade has attracted external supporters who continue to bring supplies and services to the ships involved in this protest. They continue to keep MAX and the central control command structure isolated from their external resources. Without this direction, the bulk of the corporation is incapable of effectively coordinating activities and continues to crumble in terms of being a coherent and functional entity. As a result, the galactic economy has gone into a sever recession.
Further updates on this situation will be published as they become available.
released 22 October 2011
GEO-FIX: Space Port Chicken House, Van, BC
Ugo Fist (beats, violin, drones, bass, dub FX, Theremin, mix, mastering, design, texts)
Simon Laplante (vocoders, electronic percussion)
Xocnah (electric guitar)
Hoff (synth, Monotribe, Kaossilator, vocoder)
Throb T. (electric sitar, electronics, Monotribe)
Oko Zooloo Yuniwanga (Kaossilator, vocoder), Ensign Emer (galley chef)
These artifacts are the result of live, improvised performances recorded direct to 8 track digital over the course of a single afternoon & evening. Post production occurred on the following 3 days and included mixing, minor "sweetening" with reverb on some tracks and background ambient drone overdubs.
Reference mission 031.
Released by Blood ‘n’ Tongue.
The people of earth stand at a crossroads in history. We have to decide whether to try to fix the problems that we have created or let them overcome us and send us to our doom. There is a small group of people involved in this situation who have become key factors in creating these problems while refusing to do anything about them. They have disconnected from, and have "sold out", their species for personal gain with no regard for the effects on others or the planet as a whole. Their short sightedness and irrational, insatiable greed have left the bulk of humanity struggling to merely exist while they benefit from the riches of the world they continue to rape and pillage. This inequity has reached such a level that the tension between the two extremes is like an overstretched elastic. It can only snap back or break. It cannot be sustained or increased. We can never all be "equal" in endowment, ability or assets. That is an irrational, impossible fantasy left over from archaic philosophies as misguided as those which have created this disparity. But we can be free from the effects of criminal manipulations of resources. The current situation has nothing to do with natural occurring inequities. This situation has been artificially created to maximize the resources of a few at the expense of the many. It is a synthetic exaggeration which cannot be sustained.
The goal of humanity, ultimately, is survival. Nothing else matters if that objective cannot be met. If we destroy the planet and discard the majority of the population, the species cannot survive. No one owns anything. We are all temporary residents and only borrow that which we find here. We have an obligation to the future and our children to ensure that we leave them a home to inhabit and a home that is habitable. There is no greater crime than to steal from the future. The criminals who would do so for their own temporary satisfaction are criminals of the worst order. They have failed in their function as humans.
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