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Across Human history one thing has been more precious than anything else, life. For millennia we pondered its origins, dedicated ourselves to preserving it, and then eventually struck out into the stars in search of it. We’ve become so obsessed with preserving life that we recently discovered a way to avoid death in most cases. Despite this incredible scientific achievement, I’m worried where this development will lead us next. My name is Parker Terrell, and this is the Plain Truth.
Let’s start today’s show with a simple question, what are you willing to die for? Sure some of you are laughing at that notion now, but it used to mean something. Before regen tech upended what it meant to “die,” knowing what someone was willing to put their life on the line for laid bare the principles, people, or even places they believed were worth the ultimate sacrifice. We’ve virtually eliminated martyrdom and all it used to mean, and the change it could inspire. Today the power that our fragile mortality used to hold is all but gone. We now live in a time when dying to defend something means you regen safe and sound with maybe with a few scars to show for it.
There’s no doubt that our newfound ability to delay death has changed how each and every one of us go about our lives. But don’t think for a second that our governmental and corporate overlords haven’t also adjusted their plans accordingly. If anything, they’re giddy at the fact that we’re now both disposable and reusable. Why else would they have pushed so hard to spread regen tech far and wide?
Don’t believe me? Well, look no further than Stanton. Where, once again, a system owned by some of the largest and most successful corporations to ever exist failed to defend itself from attack. The hate-spewing terrorists known as XenoThreat had barely left the headlines when they recently struck again, which makes the attack’s success all the worse since you figure someone in the system would’ve learned from last time and, I don’t know, maybe done something to prevent it from happening again. Instead what we wound up with was a complete and total failure of system security. Thankfully for Stanton, a system run by mega-corps who promised to uphold UEE-level security standards, the incursion triggered a system-wide CDF alert and instantly deputized millions of regular people to come to its defense.
Think about that for a second. Four of the most successful and highest-earning corporatocracies of our era can’t defend themselves despite having ruled Stanton long enough to know what it takes. I don’t know what that says to you, but to me, that means it’s not a priority. The cost isn’t worth it. They’ve realized that providing proper defense is expensive, volatile, and unpredictable. All traits mega-corps famously love.
Now, if we look back, Crusader is at the core of what’s going on here. Its security failings in the past have allowed this to happen, even famously forcing the Senate to get involved. But the situation is also an indictment against Hurston, ArcCorp, and microTech for not finding a way to help. For putting their bottom lines before the security of a system they swore to keep safe for us all.
Meanwhile, even though the UEE has the power of the military and Advocacy at its disposal, plus the legal authority to take necessary action in Stanton when system security has been compromised, it can’t or won’t muster the forces necessary to stop these attacks. Honestly I’m not sure which is worse. Either way, it clearly doesn’t care. In fact, the UEE’s probably happy it signed away all responsibilities to protect and secure the system.
The entire situation got me thinking. Why don’t these pillars of the empire care? Why is security in Stanton not worth it to any of them? I thought about it for a bit and then it finally hit. Why pay for security if you can get someone else to do it for free? If only there was some kind of public and private partnership that could deputize millions of “qualified” individuals in an instant and direct them to exactly where they’re needed.
Of course, I’m talking about the Civilian Defense Force. An instant army of people like you and me that these four mega-corps are using as a de facto security force in Stanton. Now don’t get me wrong, the CDF has done some good around the Empire, particularly in coordinating supplies following natural disasters. But Stanton’s always been special, and this is no different. The CDF being deployed in Stanton is nothing short of corporate welfare on an epic scale.
These are wildly successful companies offloading their security costs and risks onto us. That means some CDF volunteer, and not one of these mega-corps, is paying the insurance claim on a destroyed ship. That means using public funds to finance the CDF, which then in turn compensates the brave people who are actually out there fighting for Stanton. Not that those payments are undeserved. It’s simply a cost these companies, not the public, agreed to bear when they purchased their planet-wide fiefdoms. Ideally, the law overseeing the CDF would be amended to stop the corporate exploitation happening in Stanton. At the very least, the CDF should invoice the mega-corps for the cost of services rendered on behalf of the people of the empire. But we all know it won’t happen. That’s because this goes deeper. Much, much deeper.
This goes beyond the government turning a blind eye to Stanton’s mega-corps’ exploitation of the CDF. I’ve been looking into this for a while now and believe it’s all part of a plan that goes back years. And I’m not the only one to have noticed some strange coincidences. Like how the CDF was created right before the widespread release of regen tech. Somehow our government had the foresight to make dying for the empire as easy as possible just before the concept of death got flipped on its head. Now the trillion-credit question is… did the government share this privileged information with the mega-corps in Stanton so they could plan accordingly or are we to believe it was just luck when they got access to a free undying army?
We need to take a quick break, but when we return, Celia Larabee will join us to try to find out just how deep this goes. She has uncovered evidence that potentially ties Stanton’s mega-corps to Amanda Xiang, the lawyer and pro-militia advocate who, along with ex-Advocacy agent Bryce Balewa, is responsible for championing the CDF. Was the CDF really their idea or did mega-corp credits and influence really drive its creation? Plus, we’ll dig into the murky financials of these mega-corps to highlight some interesting accounting that bloated their security budget to make it appear like they were addressing the issue. That and more with Celia Larabee when Plain Truth returns, right after this.