Short Story: Citizen’s Memorial

If those rat-bastards had known what they were starting, would they still have started it?

That’s the question that can’t help being asked. Fact is, the Paris Incident wasn’t the start of it. The start of it was those pansy-ass ultra-liberal extremists masquerading as good, decent-minded folk. That they’d managed not only to succeed, but also manipulated others into believing their bullshit was more astounding than the cluster-fucked war-zone or its aftermath.

That war-zone, of course, was Earth. Who doesn’t know by now? Those cheap-shit Clinkers and their aluminum guts. It was a wonder anyone ever wasted time or money on them in the first place. Who knew what we were setting in motion when that Cameron-bitch did her thing.

Cameron Mobility my ass. It was the black market that really did it.

Course… we did sort of fund that one too, so maybe we’re to blame there. Then again, no-one blames us anyhow, so it’s moot.

Problem was, those pansy-asses had gotten their tits in a twist over something. Again. Like they did, the media arms of Info-corp, GNN, and the other Big Five went into gear, spinning and spinning. Until they’d formed another of the threads woven day and night into the masses’ fates.

That thread was one, unbroken stream-of-consciousness for an entire global culture. It had stretched on, completely unprepared for Cameron’s sudden revelation to be added to the mix.

Augs appeared and it was like every extremist’s wet-dream; an army of disenfranchised for the picking. Right place. Right time. Funny two wrongs never make a right, but two rights can make a wrong.

Pricks.

Everyone, corp and not, knew the protesters were never there as Augs or sympathizers. Augged or not, they only cared to use the situation to their advantage, forward their agenda. Whatever it was, it was all that mattered. A new arm to jerk at a thousand-Gs was just a bonus.

And why not? Never know when you might need to.

People’d been trained too well in that case. Each one had been turned into scheming bastards. Corps spent decades being scheming shits. Why couldn’t people be too? In the end, that was why the Corps fell; shadow games couldn’t be run if the shadows were full to brimming with wannabes.

The Big 13 had unwittingly spent decades teaching their enemy to play their game. It is always inevitable that the student become the master. It is the natural march of time. The only reason corporate culture’s thrived so well on those Eastern philosophies.

Castes and cliques make system incorporation easiest to limit. Controlling what is already self-limited and self-controlled is inherently easier.

On a human level, what delineated those organizations was culture.

Corps didn’t understand their own culture well enough to maintain control in a crisis, how could they ever become eternal, as they were wont to do?

Culture is a concept that adds social redundancy to various levels of a system. In the case of corporations, it’s the sense of Corporate security. Ensuring Corps maintained morale and proft-margins was the first level of corp-sec before men were ever involved. It was inherent and intuitively established in the concept’s existence.

Corporate safety and sovereignty could be assured simply by understanding that, so long as the actuators in the system were allowed their leeway to work, they would. The actuators further up, in this avaricious executives blood-thirsty for money, were thus supposed to allow that leeway.

But the shit hit the fan, and they ran. Instead of stepping up and getting splattered.

As they should have.

That was what the Execs never understood; Eastern philosophies and, thus Corporate culture, dictated all fuck-ups be accounted for. In effect, some entity was required as sacrificial lamb.

Until the Fall, not one of them knew that.

By then Execs were third and fourth-gen buy-ins. Their qualifications were theoretical, more or less guaranteed by their great grandfather’s skill in their field, rather than their own proficiency. The Fall’s seemingly unendingness was necessary.

However long-coming, it was the result of corporate and true-realities clashing.

Reality was, Corps were as much living things as any multi-celled organism. As capable of corruption as anything, but moreso inclinded toward it because of their great propensity for effect.

Corporations were human-body cell divisions; each level a title. Each marking some region along the body. Cells were grouped within and by them. Mostly, for the purposes of efficient division of labor and resources to meet demand, but each individual was therein motivated differently.

Each level of cells had its own inner divisions too. If only in two lines of actuators– or people, shuffling boxes in unending Conga lines. The trick was keeping that going for ever without any, one conga-er being without its every need and reasonable desire.

It was a delicate balance that required occasional sacrifices for the same reasons all sacrifice is required; because it was fucking required. Sure, CEOs were least likely but so long as no-one was immune to the purge, it was no more or less fair. So long as heads still rolled at every level, no-one was the wiser to the actual statistics.

Besides, numbers didn’t matter. Not really. Only preservation of the system. The resistance succeeded for the same reason. Especially in the beginning, their leadership was entirely nonexistent. Then, entirely fluid. Whomever had the best ideas rode lead. If someone failed to produce after a while, they rode backseat again.

Revolution made people feel useful again; as individuals, in addition to a disenfranchised group.

The individual was what really fucked Corporations. They didn’t have time for it. Patience did not exist in corp-culture. Only two things did: time and money.

The goal was achieving the perfect fusion of the two. The cold-fusion, if you will, of time-money synergy with the least interference between A and B.

Only what was necessary was allowed there. It was an attempt at statistical harmony, to be maintained indefinitely. True Fusion would be perfected harmony between the forces of labor, cost, and output allowing for total, eternally sustained growth. That was the “nirvana” of the Corporate entity.

And it would absolutely never have room for the individual.

Impartiality aside, those fucking liberals knew that. Maybe not all of ’em, but the ones stirring the shit and priming the fan, so to speak. They knew the system for what it was; that just waiting a few more generations might sort the last bugs out as intended. And they weren’t satisfied with that.

In the end what’d we get? LeMaire’s future? The resistance? Still living in fucking shit and squalor decades later; some places worse than if we’d left well enough alone? For what? No corps

Yeah, and a fucking barter economy, too. Turns out when you surgically remove the largest– and only– Global producers of services, goods, and employment, things don’t just balance out. If they’d just shut their mouths, the eventual cock-up cascade might never have occurred. At least, if it had, it wouldn’t have rivaled the damage even World Wars couldn’t top.

In time, things might’ve worked out. Little by little. Shit always shakes out. Eventually. Our species’ survival’s taught us as much.

Usually, without nearly destroying us in the process.

After The Fall, most people began seeing that but the screaming wasn’t applause. It was the fucking bloodbath going around everyone. Everyone’s agreed on that; the Two Week War, was war. The Revolution, was a revolution and it did occur globally.

Global war. Plain and simple infighting. Not a sovereignty war. Not even a civil war. It was a Corporate war. A real one. Not the kind run in boardrooms and through ad-campaigns, for figures on paper. It was a war for ground, for bodies, for hearts and minds.

That was the one thing the resistance got wrong– not that it mattered in the end. They were fighting a war on two fronts they could’ve easily won on one alone, if they’d been smart enough.

The sheer strength of the message that rallied their people attested to that.

Instead, they waged a bloodbath of corporate war for nearly a decade. All that time, conditions worsened for corp and wage-slave alike. The cities turned to ruins from constant exodus of war and attrition shrinking borders and collapsing what remained of the economy.

By the end, no-one really cared that the last corp exec was tried or executed. We’d lapsed back to normality. A new normality, but a normality nonetheless.

The only real, net differences were for those on the sidelines, counting the losses sustained. Bits are still cash. Folks still earn ‘it, with or without the sweat off their back and brow, but everyone needs ’em when suddenly no-one’s got ’em.

People though… they don’t grow back. You can’t take on an extra helping just to get back some that were lost. A lot of people learned a lot the hard way from that war. Some learned of their own mortality, some learned of others’… but I’m not bitter.

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