Flames of Revolt
About a hundred years ago, there was a war on Earth. It was mostly conventional, as if that could make things better. Eventually, the war ended, but not because peace was declared, but because there was nothing left of the combatants. Every country on Earth had thrown everything they had to defend itself and attack all enemies, real & perceived. When they ran out of money, they traded art treasures and buildings for bombs, bullets and mercenaries. When they ran out of those things, they traded rights to land, and eventually possession of that land. With whom did they trade? The multinational corporations. These huge conglomerations of defense contractors, weapons manufacturers and mercenary brokers eventually owned more than even the most powerful nation states. Many feel that these corporations, these mega-monopolies, actually fomented most of the conflicts, to feed their own greed. In the end, this all out war hurt the Megacorporations, but not as much as the Nations they would soon replace. As the Nations fell to the predations of their enemies and the Megacorps themselves, the international monetary markets & systems, the basis for much of the Megacorporate wealth, disintegrated and faltered. The Megacorporations owned bombed out buildings, cratered, contaminated farm lands, destroyed art objects and piles of worthless paper printed with the faces of dead presidents and other world leaders – but they survived … and soon, they thrived.
The war produced new technologies, as they often do. Hyper-smart, multi-decision capable drone vehicles led to advanced Artificial Intelligence. Better explosives led to shape charge bullets. Advances in air craft propulsion led to the RIP (Rail Induced Propulsion) drive which led to faster air travel, inter-planetary drives and inter-stellar drives. Attempts to create super soldiers led to advanced genetic techniques and cyberware, while genetic weapons led to mass mutations entering the populace. Advanced materials for drones and body armor have led to lighter, stronger materials of all sorts. The war had a peace dividend, but the price was so very high.
With the depletion of the Earth’s resources, Nations began to push outwards. Nations started colonies, mines even farms in space and on other planets. But, again, soon these were traded away to the Megacorporations. Now, those entities hoard their planets and colonies. Protecting them at all costs.
A war still wages. This war is less direct, but none the less bloody. Some call it a cold war, but none who tried to count the dead could call it cold, other than in its brutish, blackheartedness. The War is between the Megacorps, each trying to win – win land or control of a resource, entire planets might change hands. But, some say that whole wars have been fought just to answer who will buy the next round of drinks.
We, the living, the trillions of starving masses, we who live day to day on the blackened Earth or toiling in some mining rig in the hard vacuum, we mean nothing to the Megacorps, little more than drones made of flesh. Yet to us they are as gods. Uncaring, distant, vengeful beings bent on draining us of all but enough to keep us alive but not living. They, our masters, with whips that stretch from Venus to Mars and even beyond, they will not always be as they are today. We will fight. We will die. But, we will win – not some land or some resource – but our freedom. And, in doing so, the gods may perish.