[font=arial]Panspermia Weekly News[/font]
Breaking Report: Rama Sethu Arcology Sieged by Corporate Powers
[font=arial][font=arial][font=arial][font=arial]by Staff Reporter Dante Lee[/font][/font][/font][/font]
The old maxim of war says that the one thing costlier than a battle fought is a battle won. Today the market trends speak of a new pattern. Investing analysts everywhere are clicking in agreement. War has outstripped the profit potential of peace.
A violent siege ended in the twilight hours today, a cold morning in the Indian Ocean. ZendaSlev Industrial, supported by the Australian National Navy, occupied the Rama Sethu arcology after a few hours battle. Because Rama Sethu’s original founders are the Chinese-based Heaven’s Garden Astrologistics, the attack represents history’s first armed incident between megacorporate entities.
The prospect of a global diplomatic breakdown over Earth’s limited resources has many megacorporations and surviving governments racing to respond.
Although ZendaSlev and Heaven’s Garden have declined to comment on the occupation, other megacorporations worldwide have roundly condemned ZendaSlev, particularly members of the European Union.
“With sad hearts, we offer condolences to our brothers in enterprise,” said an official spokesperson for German Lanzgrow Aeronautics. “That goes for both parties. We are especially sorry that ZendaSlev could commit such a gross error. When chaos spreads to every corner of our world and orbital space, responsibility will fall squarely on their shoulders.”
Madhav Paranjay, a civilian survivor at Rama Sethu, was taken prisoner shortly after the firefight. After escaping an Australian penal ship Paranjay gave a video interview from New Hyderabad.
“They brought battleships, marines, they even flew in orbital assault fighters” said Paranjay. “We had walls. Inside, we were ants staring down the barrel of a flamethrower.”
Rama Sethu is gutted, but still stands over the geological bridge between India and Sri Lanka. Founded years after the famed Verhoogdland arcology, Rama Sethu remains among the world’s oldest. Its design, a spherical human habitat supported on a nest of titanium legs installed in the seafloor, earned it its nickname “The Monkey Ball.” Today Rama Sethu is known as a thriving regional marketplace with a cramped population of 2.5 million. It is also a renowned hub for air and space engineering.
Despite ZendaSlev’s public silence, circumstances suggest their ultimate target was Rama Sethu’s research data.
“My background is in aeronautics engineering and EarthCore gravitational drive systems, I won’t say any more,” said Paranjay. “I know enough that the soldiers ran straight for the spaceflight and design workshop. They knocked me across the room to open that door.”
ZendaSlev rose to power in 2170 when it bought 51% market share of the Australian State government. After saving the nation from widespread rioting and unrest, ZendaSlev used its advanced orbital attack ship designs and heavy industrial resources to annex every pacific island. As governments fell under Australian control, ZendaSlev brought needed infrastructure where it never existed before. Although it filled a political vacuum for the region, Australia now struggles with a fractious political system.
“Neither Zendaslev nor the Australian State can exist in power without the other,” says Hibbert Sloane, Professor of Geopolitical History at Universidad de La Habana. “They strengthen each other in a time that Earth’s dwindling resources can support so little. However, their ongoing crusade for land and resources puts them on a dangerous train, an unending need for more conflict and more spoils. This attack on Rama Sethu may snowball across the world.”
In a later press release, German Lanzgrow issued a no-tolerance decree to armed action in the European Union.
“To protect our assets, we will be increasing our orbital forces twenty fold over the next few years. Aggressors like ZendaSlev have made it clear that peace is less valuable than securing strategic resources. So be it. Any troop that sets a boot on German soil, any craft that dares interfere with our space mining operations will be obliterated. We encourage our European neighbors to bolster themselves the same. Any theft of water, research, or orbital space is stealing from our dinner table, and in these times no one can afford to starve.”
“But what’s sickening?” says Paranjay. “A week before the attack, most of the soldiers stationed here were pulled out. We only had automated defense turrets to hold back an entire navy. The fighting only lasted hours, it took them more time to breach Rama Sethu’s blast doors. Once the fighting stopped ZendaSlev’s goons landed an orbital, parked it point blank range from the hull, and fired hadron accelerated mass drivers at us. At the residential quarters! I still feel the walls shake. I still smell the ozone.”
Heaven’s Garden has declined to comment on the absence or presence of security at the arcology. ZendaSlev has declined to comment on its tactics during the siege.
“I think Heaven’s Garden saw this coming,” said Paranjay. “And wanted to stick ZendaSlev with the least valuable resource: refugees. People are becoming less and less valuable every day. When war breaks out, it’s not going to be over people. It’s going to be over research and development. It’s going to be over engines and it’s going to be over pathways to the stars.”