Tanks Alot - Part 1
Towards the middle of the 22nd century, Corporations and Conglomerates were forced by so much social media awareness to crawl out from behind the shadow of government involvement and openly assert their will. Businesses became the ruling bodies and governments be came their bureaucracy.
Businesses became the ruling bodies and governments be came their bureaucracy.
This was a harsh time for the worlds population. Over the ten years it took to go from a governed world, to a controlled world. The population was evaluated and whoever was deemed not to be useful or productive was not supported. Many faced hardship, of limited food or other essentials. Large groups became burdens to those who still cared for and about them, forcing them to share their resources. Groups rose up, protested and rioted. Many times these demonstrations were met by the Corporations expanding security forces and quelled with deadly force.
One corporation who had originally started as a shoe manufacture, but expanded into other things including rare earth mining and production, became the worlds savior. Adidas took many of the other corporations refugees. Adidas fed, housed and cared for millions, giving them better conditions than they got elsewhere. Adidas trained them as security forces. They were not particularly competent but were very numerous.
Other Corporations saw the Adidas standing army and started collecting their own forces. Soon the useless armies were all over the globe. Eventually the largest Conglomerate, AMMWEC the converged power of Amazon, Microsoft, Monsanto, Walmart, Exxon, Coka Cola, declared war on Adidas.
AMMWEC was generically based in what was the USA. Adidas was based in what was once Mexico and central America. The war lasted for a very bloody four months. It seems wars are not profitable to wage for very long when you don't need to be elected. Other small wars broke out all around the world, and by the end of two years the useless armies were all but gone.
Corporations settled into relative peace and collective prosperity. All currencies were abolished and everything was exchanged into "Worth", an electronic currency that everyone used. Most Corporations settled into areas of monopoly.
Adidas with its large useless army did well in the conflict and took what was once part of the southern United States completely controlling the Gulf of Mexico. After the war Adidas went aggressively into space exploration. Within 10 years Adidas had several facilities on the moon and was mining rare earth metals. In another 10 years Adidas monopolized asteroid mining.
Adidas was doing very well, when the aging CEO of AMMWEC, took his own life in a public broadcast. The CEO was plagued by the guilt of all the deaths caused by the Corporation, but mostly by the staged war between them and Adidas. He admitted to staging the war so the Two corporations could eliminate the useless armies and be rid of the burden of maintenance. He was appalled when Adidas proposed the idea those many years ago but knew if he didn't go along the board would replace him.
Adidas went from a popular, even beloved Corporation to one of derision. They couldn't get enough people to work in the demanding environments of space. The new expanded endeavors would not get the workers they required. So Adidas grew their own workers in a facility on the moon. The first batches were abominations, that were mercifully destroyed, but eventually the process was viable.
The batches of workers were grown in tanks. The units went from embryo to fully grown adult in about 5 years. Those 5 years were full of hormones, training, and indoctrination. The units were exemplary workers but only lived about 15 years. The early units were really flesh robots, devoid of independent thought. They were used for about 20 years for essentially the grunt work. Those 20 years were then used to grow actual people with experiences and upbringing. The unit grown in tanks were more resistant to disease cancer and had better endurance and ability to control pain. This normal growth time gave them personalities, identities and some even say a soul.
During this time other Corporations experimented with tank growth but never really got past the failure abomination stage and most gave it up. The second generation tank born almost always stayed in space. When any ever made it to earth they were seen as both miracle and anathema. A strong and palpable prejudice followed them everywhere.
Adidas became the masters of space, and controlled all above earth. Attitudes towards the tank born were softening and some even considered them people instead of company property. After a shakeup on the board of Adidas the new CEO officially designated all tank born to be people and not company property once they worked off their construction costs. This decree made them indentured servants, but it was still seen as a great compromise.
Adidas established other mining colonies in the belt on the two largest asteroids, Ceres and Vesta. Those born in a tank were given a first name followed by the middle name Or which meant Organic replicant and the last name of the place they were from, either Ceres, Vesta, or Luna.
Adidas and AMMWEC were the most powerful Corporations that hated each other but couldn't afford not to do business together. AMMWEC was always threatening to hold back food production or some other necessity. Adidas took those threats seriously and it made them vigorously expand space based hydroponics. The diminished threats to Adidas forced AMMWEC to create a more substantial military threat in the form of a powerful planet based rail gun system. This system cost them about 1% of their total yearly worth. When the system came online AMMWEC made the ultimatum of control of the moon. The most advanced technological weapon system ever made was destroyed by a rock from the sky. Adidas chose a small asteroid chunk about 100 feet across and dropped it into the middle of the facility. After that Adidas control of space was unchallenged.
Hanso Kitaro entered the meeting room an assumed his seat at the head of the table. His aide quietly place a cup of coffee in front of him with the proper amount of cream and sugar the way he likes it. Hanso was not a patient man, and as deputy directer of security for AMMWEC he had many items on his plate. Today he was here to hear a proposal for action against Adidas. Their respective corporations were not at war but opportunities must always be explored.
Kenji Matsuo began his presentation. "The Adidas corporation controls space mining, and the disposal of undesirable materials from earth into space. Those two portions of their business contribute to 80% of their worth, despite the fact they only comprise 20% of their resources. The fleet of cargo/miners can move large amounts of material in units they refer to as pans. A ship is described by the number of pans it carries. A single pan is 50×50×100 meters, that's 250,000 cubic meters of material per pan. Small ships carry 30 pans but the largest, can be 250. The bases on the asteroids Ceres and Vesta are large and self sustaining. However with the completion of what they call the Zodiac bases on asteroids closer in they will be able to double the their space production.
Hanso interrupted Kenji, "I know what pans are, and I know about their ships, but How will small bases double the output"?
Kenji bowed imperceptibly "The Bases are on small asteroids that have been maneuvered into closer orbits between Mars and the Earth. The are named Zodiac because of their somewhat equidistant placement in orbit and the roughly corresponded to the Zodiac positions in the sky at the time of the placement. Most are rocky but the Ares Base is mostly Nickel/Iron and it is believed to be indestructible. The location of the bases will greatly improve the efficiency of the mining operations as well as increased ability to remove the undesirables from earth".
Hanso chuckled, "I like the option to remove undesirables". The rest of the room smiled or laughed with him, being the yes men toadies that attend these meetings.
Kenji smiled and went on. "They have a very efficient system, undesirable material is shipped to Adidas and then transported to the moon where it is then compacted and mixed with some water, the cold of space freezes it into a solid block. The pans are then loaded onto a cargo/miner that uses the pans as a shield against the solar winds along with their own generated magnetic field. They then go to the belt and mine ore, the dirty ice cubes of material are ejected and orbit stabilized and the pan is filled with ore and replaced into its spot on the ship. These ships make worth coming and going".
Kenji looked directly at Hanso and continued. "The Adidas corporation will eclipse AMMWEC in two years at most. our sources indicate that overtures have been made to some of the smaller and strategic corporations about mergers, that would further weaken our global position".
Hanso met Kenji's gaze and stared unblinkingly back. "Well, what is it your propose"?
Kenji smiled and said "I have a plan that will slow them down and reduce their image to the rest of the world".
Hanso waited. Kenji added "Even though everyone here is beyond reproach I think it's best shared alone".
Hanso expression never changed, "Give us the room"
Everyone got up and filed out and with the door shut, Hanso looked at Kenji with impatience.
Kenji once again bowed imperceptibly, "If we can destroy the indestructible Ares base, in a way that seems like an accident then the glory that Adidas is riding will dissipate, and the merger plans should cease".
Hanso stared and waited for Kenji to continue. "I have a trusted agent on board a key cargo/miner called the Juarez, who is in position to perturb the orbit of and asteroid and send it crashing into Ares base. That will seem an accident and as we both know, the power of a rock under velocity can be very powerful". Hanso needed no reminder about the destructive power of a rock, He was in charge of the destroyed rail gun project and saw all his efforts turned into a ruined crater.
Hanso let slip a slight smile. "Is this agent trustworthy, and are you sure this can not come back to us"?
Now it was Kenji's turn to smile, "the agent is my sister and she is the navigator and communications officer aboard the Juarez. She will be able to spoof the sensors and the logs to hide her actions. The other agent is already on board the Ares base as the sensor technician, who can ghost the sensor image to show its still in position, with a program that will delete itself once its activated".
Kenji added "Even if it's suspected that it was not an accident, there are no trails to AMMWEC. I work for Nissan not AMMWEC, even if I am looked into. My other agent works for Adidas and is tank born".
Hanso nodded, "What did you promise the tank born"? Kenji replied "what all tank born want worth and legitimacy, but being tank born they are disposable once their job is done, so is he".
Kenji looked directly at Hanso, "this is an opportunity, that has a small window. The ships scheduled at Ares are sporadic right now and the odds of the rogue asteroid being detected are small, and my sisters ships is almost ready to return to Ares. All I need is your go ahead and conformation that we will be well but quietly compensated once the accident occurs".
Hanso smiled broader now "Your plan has merit, and if it works the disgrace to Adidas will be worth the costs alone, I approve your efforts and once completed we will take good care of you. If it does not then there is no trace to AMMWEC".