SEEPromotion? Heck yes! And why does my mouth taste like a gym sock?
Oh. Yeah. Hypersleep. Got the wakey-jitters.
Through a disposable plastic face mask I see there is a green flashing light on my right. I raised my arm, but it was sluggish to respond, late to the button and really hard to press.
I am rewarded with a soft chime and the door slid smoothly back, flooding my vision with silver decking, battleship grey walls and too many bright shiny lights in my face. I stripped the mask from my face. The air that floods in is stale, outer-space cold and slightly tin tasting.
And right in my face was an automated hospital drone.
“I’m up! I’m up!” I blurted at the medical robot, waved it aside, and took my first shakey step out of the Cryo Chamber. Darn that floor was cold.
My ears became attuned to the soft hum of distant machinery. A cursory glance around revealed a basic Cryo room with access doors to either end leading out to tight corridors with little headroom. Standard Corporate Satellite design. Hey, why not ruin a perfectly good hallway by stuffing in as much machinery as possible?
“Can I get a robe!?” The robot chimed a positive note and glided away, returning quickly with a deep red paper robe.
“Great.” I sighed, shrugging it on. “Now get me some coffee. And it better be Earth Columbian. And real. Not that fake moon dust crud.” Rank hath its privilege. And one of them, as the new Director of Corporate Satellite at Callisto was… My thoughts trailed off as my eye landed on the heavenly sphere out of the nearest porthole.
The planet was red. Not the white spotted icy blues of Callisto. Ancient desert sand red with thin atmosphere. Dang it! Mars! Somebody’s head was gonna’ roll.
“Where is the current Corporate Head of this Satellite?” I asked the retreating robot.
“Here. You are the current acting Corporate Head of this Satellite.” the air beside my head replied. Corporate AI, no doubt.
“Where are the other Executive Personnel?”
“You are the sole surviving member of the latest arrival of Red Corporate Executive personnel and are therefore the de facto Corporate Head of the Satellite.” the AI replied.
“But Mars of all places! Why are we here?” Everyone knows Mars is a no-go zone. Way too much fighting over it, for years. Heck, half the surface is a radioactive ship drive dump.
“It would seem that Earth Corporate Management has decided to do something special here.” the AI suggested. “There is a scheduled call incoming at 0800 from ECM to all Satellites in orbit and I have been instructed to ensure that Red Corporate’s representative takes the call.”
What? Wait. To all satellites? “How many Corporate Satellites are in orbit?” I asked.
“There are one from each Ruling Corporation including ours. Six in total.” was the reply after a tactical delay while the AI scanned and checked for accuracy.
All six of the major Ruling Corporations of Earth are represented here. Something big was up on Mars.
Earth Corporate Management was the global government of Earth and now, as a representative of Red Corporation, one of the six ruling class Corporations of Earth, I was nervously awaiting their call in exactly 60 minutes.
You know how you can be employed at your local store? Which is owned by one smaller corporation or another? And how that corporation is a “subsidiary” of another larger entity? Like if you trace the ownership of all the Earth entertainment corporations – your local tv stations, cable news, online content providers and motion picture producers – back to their owners you’d find every bit of entertainment and time wasting media that is sucking your money and attention is owned by one of maybe 5 Corporations.
Don’t believe me? Look up “Viacom Subsidiaries”. I’ll wait.
Yep. Paramount, CBS, Simon & Schuster, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, BET, etcetera, etcetera, ad nauseum. You think you’re getting different political and social viewpoints by changing the channel or the media? Ha. Think again. And if you think it ends there, you’re wrong.
All those top tier companies are owned by only six Corporations. The 1% have nothing on the Corporations who own everything on Earth. And Earth Corporate Management owned and ran them all.
And they wanted to talk to little old me.
“How many personnel from Red Corporate are currently on board this Satellite?” I’d need an Executive Assistant at least.
“Just you.” it replied.
“Are you kidding me?” I asked.
“Not even a little.” it replied. “I’m not allowed.
SEE CHAPTER 2: A CALL FROM CORPORATE
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