by Max Barry

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by The Resurrection of Yugobatania. . 18 reads.

“In the Beginning After the End”

Part I of “The Redemption Chronicles”

To the victors, comes the spoils. And this was no exception.

Yugobatania lay in disrepair and ruin, having to had go through a lengthy and death-ridden process to revert its fascist ways into a free-country.

In this case, the word “free” is used very loosely - ruthless gangs arose throughout the country, setting up drug trades, trafficking routes, and preying on the innocent. Politicians didn’t do sh*t, being perhaps even more corrupt than the last ones. And wealthy corporations had seized most of Yugobatania under their own self-imposed rule, thus, leading to violent corporate warfare among those who had their own private armies.

All because one man named Solomon had decided that he would be ruler.

Of course, until he supposedly “died”. But the rumors had circled around, and soon people were saying things ranging from him living in Itallitopia, being given asylum by their government, to him living in an underwater base near the Arctic.

But these corporations could care any less. All that really mattered to them was exerting their control over the markets, as well as holding high political positions. Yugobatania became to be known as a “Corporate Bordello” - a very fitting name at that.

Until they came along.

They promised salvation from the ashes, a chance for the citizens of Yugobatania to be reborn again, as the legend of the Phoenix goes.

But why now?

For 35 years, they’ve slipped under the radar, quietly doing their own things. No one even glanced in their direction. But, along as with the rest of everybody else, they seized their opportunity.

“They” were known as O Corporations, or OCorp for short.

No one knew what the “O” stood for, with guess ranging from “Oppressive” Corporations, “Overlords” Corporations, and even “O’Riley” Corporations, taken from a song by a group called The Who called “Baba O’Riley”.

The most commonly accepted theory was that it was for the last name of its mysterious CEO, Mark O. No one even knew what his last name was. He was that mysterious.

OCorp has promised within its early campions after the end of the Circum-Cision War to ”do justice to the wrongs of the past.” And seemingly out of the blue, they had acquired their own private army. OCorp also revealed some of the most advanced technology the world had ever seen.

Exoskeletons, able to increase a soldiers strength and reaction time tenfold.

An advanced neural AI system called Ceba, that in all tests conducted, humans were unable to distinguish it from a real human, thus passing the Turing Test.

Highly mobile and powerful robots, ranging from large mechs, flying fighter drones, to small insect-sized spy drones.

They even developed the world’s first quantum computer, as big as an average desktop computer, putting modern computer systems to shame.

They had it all.

In a rare interview with Mark O, he stated, much to he surprise of everyone in the room, “Unlike the government, we don’t keep secrets from its people. We share it with them, for all to enjoy. We are one of the largest private militaries in the world, as well as the biggest tech company. And we’re willing to help, all for the right bidder.”

And from there, public opinion had swayed to their side, and OCorp quickly gained control of almost all of Yugobatania.

OCorp sent out relief efforts to help the people, and got rid of most of its gangs and poverty.

Yet, there were seeds of doubt planted within many kinds. They seemed awfully nice among the corrupt companies dominating Yugobatania. A little too nice.

Perhaps they were that generous as Mark O claimed.

Only later would the truth of their true intentions be revealed. But by then, it was too late.

This is the story of the men and women who risked themselves to discover the truth behind the fiction.

Code name: Operation Redemption.

The Resurrection of Yugobatania