Content of the article: "Fourth Corporate War in details ( long read)"
Fourth Corporate War
2021 – 2025
Conflict Inconclusive. The global economy almost collapses. The governments of the United States and Japan nearly collapse.
The Real 4th Corporate War, from the tales of Cyberpunk Red.CYBERPUNK RED WORLD BOOK
The 4th Corporate War took place from 2021 to 2025, and involved the two Aquacorps CINO and OTEC. These Aquacorps later hired Arasaka and Militech to fight in the War.
Just like the 1st and 2nd Corporate Wars, the 4th Corporate War began when rival Megacorps use their money and flexed their military muscle to achieve a financial objective, usually fighting over buying out a company or resources. In early 2021, IHAG, a Megacorp that specialized in underwater shipping and tech went bankrupt, this lead to two rival Aquacorps, CINO and OTEC, squaring off for a hostile takeover of IHAG's remaining resources. at first, both Corps engaged in what was known as typical opening rounds of battle; this usually consist of stock manipulations and economic warfare, but as the conflict grew out of hand, both companies began in all out warfare.
The Hot War
After a year of fighting, neither of the Aquacorps were able to gain the upper hand. This led to both corporations taking it to the next level of combat during the war; both of them hired the forces of much larger Megacorps to provide a proper military and resources to conduct such battles. OTEC hired Militech, an armaments and security force based in the United States, during this time the Aquacorp of CINO hired on Arasaka, a security Megacorp based out of Japan. Being the two largest paramilitary Corporations in the world, both Arasaka and Militech had been rivaling for many years on different contractors. They had been itching for a fight for some time now and with the CINO and OTEC corporate war going on, this made it a perfect opportunity for them to settle a score.
As major international Megacorps at the absolute apex of Corporate power in the Cyberpunk world, both combatants were at a military scale equal to many of the smaller nations of WW2, fielding armies with tens of thousands of troops. Both sides also possessed extremely advanced transportation and logistics system, allowing them to strike at each other anywhere on the planet. This combination of sophisticated military technology and lighting tactical movement made it all but impossible for many legitimate nations to stop conflicts within the borders. Small engagements soon flared pitch worldwide, with forces from both Megacorps engaged in major battles that embroiled entire cities. The Megacorps took the fight into the major cities like Tokyo, Yokohama, Washington, Chicago, and Night City. The governments of Japan and US try to take control of the situation. Yorinobu Arasaka, the rebel son of Saburo, didn't side with Militech during the war. Instead he played a role in supplying info to the Government of Japan that helped their nationalization of Arasaka's native offices. During this time Militech was nationalized by US President Elizabeth Kress through the expedient of reactivating Militech CEO General Donald Lundee's reserve commission. Japanese Prime Minister Jirou Kikuchi makes an attempt to control the Arasaka Corporation, but Saburo uses his influence keep the governments hands out of the company.
The End of the War
The Fourth Corporate War had eventually came to an end in 2025. This included a three-year wrap up as pockets of fighting were quelled by both Militech and the national armies in the US. The Japanese government had almost broken down during this period, however by repudiating Arasaka for its actions during the war, the national face was saved to an extent. Shortly thereafter, the Japanese Prime Minister made a public statement that the Corporation Arasaka was to be reduced to a Japan-only company for the next decade. Even after the damage that had been done, the European Union was mostly restored.
In the following years after the war, the world saw many changes. Arasaka had broken into three warring factions. The Bakafu Faction, headed by Hanako Arasaka; the Princess Faction, headed by Michiko Arasaka, Kei's youngest daughter, who is a US citizen and are allies with the new US Government; and the Rebel Faction, headed by Kei's rebel son Yorinobu. Meanwhile, the United States is now a functional dictatorship under President Elizabeth Kress's ongoing State of Emergency.
Hot War Response
in 2022 around the world countries were waking up to the fact that they needed to face the war too. Arasaka and Militech (and their allies and operations) were so intertwined into the world's economic system that there was no country that could afford to stand by and let them slug it out Arms supply, security contracts and subcontracts, showrooms, ammunition manufacture-both companies do these, and every country has one or more of these within its borders. Thanks to the war, any of these operations have become legitimate targets for hostile attack.
It wasn't just the shooting war that bothering governments. The operations of these two megacorporations pump considerable amounts of euro into local economies; for instance, in Night City alone, there's the Militech showroom retail business, the retail ammo and parts business, and the wholesale business done by both corporations, and there are the security contracts held by Arasaka, many of which are filled by subcontractors. With the war on, all of the subcontractors have been summoned to war against Militech, leaving their security contracts hanging. Arms, ammo, and parts sales have plummeted, as Arasaka and Militech conserve their supplies for themselves- it was becoming nigh impossible to procure Militech's special 6.5mm ammo on the street. The effects on local business weren't good; Che Guevarra's has practically shut down its back-room business in arms dealing, and the Taco Hut now only offers cheap Mexican knock-off of good firearms. It begin to be difficult to find ammo on the rack in convenience stores; few people realized that 74% of the ammo sold in Night City was manufactured by Militech.
The Shadow War made it perfectly clear that governments around the world were going to have to do something about the escalating conflict. Logically, the solution would to present a unified front against the warring corps and tell them to stop or face nationalization, but this is politics, the practice of acquiring, maintaining, and wielding power, where logic doesn't have much play. Since Militech and Arasaka are so big, wealthy, and important, efforts have been made on their behalf to let them continue their conflict Both corporations have had their lobbyists working full-time to mollify the growing tide of anger over the destruction that comes with the war; businesses which are tied to or depend upon one of the twain are lending their lobbying efforts as well. Neither side was even mentioning anything about government intervention on their behalf, fearful that such actions might provoke either a world war or make a precedent for unilateral intervention.
United States of America
America wasn't idle during the Shadow War; when the EEC attempted to subvert Colombia, the U.S. answered with covert warfare of its own. The Colombian conflict came out favorably, although the CIA lost more men than it had anticipated.
The U.S. and the Free States are deeply caught in the economic consequences of the Hot War. Only Texas is free from Militech's pervasive economic impact, and even the Texans get most of their military arms and equipment from Militech. This, and sizable bribes, has made these governments reluctant to move against the waning corps.
However, the war's chaos is becoming ever more difficult to ignore. When Los Angeles, Chicago, and Night City are burning, and the sound of automatic weapons fire is coming back to the District of Columbia, state and federal governments must respond. To this end, National and State Guard units are on alert across the nation. Regular military units were also on standby alert; the USAF has put its assets on standby, and now features a daily delta weep patrol through LEO during the western hemisphere's daytime hours. Hawaii and other U.S. possessions are now firmly under military law; anyone caught with weapons will be imprisoned, and resisters will be killed-for the duration of the war, corporate immunity was suspended. At the time it was rumored that the US. was considering the European plan- namely, if intervention becomes necessary, the country will seize and shore up the domestic assets of both corporations.
Japan had put its Self Defense Force on alert readying for the inevitable attacks on Arasaka assets. There had already been plenty of clandestine attacks, and the government was ready to respond with overwhelmingly lethal force if they catch anyone making any more attacks. The Government had issued orders to the effects that anyone caught with military gear or engaged in sabotage or other paramilitary violence would be shot on sight.
The SDF was also doing anti-invasion exercises, preparing for the possibility of a Militech-sponsored Chinese invasion. The only country that took that line of reasoning seriously is China, which suspects the mobilization excuse is a ploy to cover activities against the Chinese mainland.
Despite invasion worries, the people of Japan were enjoying a period of relative peace-most of the violent yakuza and other gangers are gone overseas, hired by Arasaka!
The Shadow War had the nations of the EEC on distinct alert. Their peace had already been disturbed by the OTEC/CINO war, and they know that it was only the precursor of a more violent and widespread conflict to come. To that end, most EEC members had their anti-terrorist forces reinforced and ready to move at any time, reasoning that the threat to tranquility and business is more important than angering either Militech or Arasaka. Any military or paramilitary actions will get a quick and deadly response. At the same time, the ESA readied its forces to move in case of another orbit war and selling payload ling space for putting new satellites into orbit at the same time.
Russia had the advantage of having very little in the way of Militech and Arasaka assets within its borders. Of course, the fact that the Russian governments have never been on good terms with American and Japanese militarizes might have something to do with it. Russia at the time was an acting neutral country, selling weapons, ammo, and equipment to anyone with the euro. The Neo-Soviet Rocket Corps was doing much the same, selling cheap rocket lifers for small satellites at rates that undercut the ESA's African Earth-to-orbit railgun cargo lifters . . . and they were getting plenty of business, as corporations scrambled to plant more satellites in LEO. The money, it is theorized, is going to go to completing the Ural Mountain Gun, the NSRK's land-based, alcohol/steam-powered lifting gun. Of course, that's the good side to the war. On the bad side, there were the effects of the Avgas War.
China was in a strange position, politically. On the one hand, it was worried about all the recruiting going on in Korea and Taiwan; Arasaka could be planning to use those troops against Militech, or use them to harass China.
On the other hand, the Chinese were making money. Their space program was deeply in the black, selling satellite lifters to Arasaka for their ortillery/killsat web. Their munitions industry was making good money; in the past, China's arms had been considered inferior to Arasaka products. Now, they're Still considered inferior, but they became available, and Arasaka products weren't.
China was also watching the Hong Kong situation with the deepest concern; they knew the island is a powder-keg, and it could blow at any moment.
Western Australia is heavily dominated by international corporations and relies on Arasaka troops to stiffen their police and military forces. The war is a major concern there; if Arasaka pulls out its forces, Western Australia is at the mercy of neighboring Federal Australia, and vulnerable to guerrilla attacks from the Abos (who don't like Arasaka or the corps that have been crushing them for years). In return for continued aid, Arasaka has full access to all Western Australian government facilities and Arasaka was using them! The port city of Perth is a major Arasaka staging and fleet area. In return, Militech has contacted the government of Federal Australia and the Koorie Nationalist Front, and was providing the former with naval and aerial assets, and the latter with arms and munitions.
Most of South and Central America was pretty unconcerned about the war, since neither Militech nor Arasaka has any reason to fight there. Chile, Colombia, and Brazil are exceptions. Chile was still recovering from an insurgency. Despite the fact that it didn't topple the government, the uprising did significantly deplete Militech forces in that country. Colombia is still smarting over the mess that came with too many foreign meddlers. Brazil, dominated as it was by Arasaka interest, was eyeing Colombia with apprehension. Brazilian troops are massing to defend their borders as Arasaka attempts to hold onto its main South American asset.
Why Did the War Start
Arasaka and Militech have been contesting each other for domination of the world's arms market for decades. This competition swiftly became a commercial rivalry, turned to good use in marketing, since most people think in black-and-white, good- or-bad terms. By fostering an "us vs. them" attitude, Arasaka and Militech salespeople could elicit an ancient tribal response pattern in their customers. Patrons of one company could be persuaded to invest emotional capitol in "their side", and would cheerfully buy more products from "their" suppliers. It was a proven sales pattern, and both companies milked it for all that they were worth, painting their rivals as threats to "our way of life."
The darker side of this rivalry was that Saburo Arasaka soon came to irrationally consider Donald Lundee a real enemy, a deadly adversary representing the country, people, and even the military force (the United States Marine Corps) that had stolen his glorious warrior's career from him.
For his part, Lundee soon battened onto the rivalry between the two corporations as a method of distracting fellow board members from his secret goal of total domination of both Militech and the world arms market. He could claim that the actions he ordered were to counteract Arasaka "dirty pool", and sales figures always vindicated him.
As time went on, Saburo Arasaka came to identify Militech, and Lundee, as the major source of everything holding him back. He harbored the secret suspicion that they were actively blocking his plans for world domination, and were attempting to bring back the 20th-century rule of the United States … and all the humiliation of his crippling wounds, Japan's losing the war, and the American occupation thereafter, began to gnaw on his mind.
As for Lundee, Arasaka became a foe he could deal with in a primitive and decisive manner-with firepower! He came to regard the corporation as a vast, nebulous octopus with Saburo Arasaka at its center, a sparring partner that could be fought on the battlefield. It was someone he could brag about beating, unlike his occasional triumphs in the boardroom. Whenever Arasaka acted, Lundee was quick to react.
Of course, the real conflict was being fought economically, as Arasaka plunged its assets into weapons merchandising and Militech added an ever-growing line of security subsidiaries. For years, neither company succeeded in significantly penetrating into the other's territory. Finally, in 2021, Arasaka's Asian sales exceeded Militech's, striking a crippling blow to Militech's solvency and morale.
The Shadow War
After years of sniping at each other, the CINO/OTEC conflict provided ample opportunity for Militech and Arasaka to clash. When it finally and inevitably happened, neither Saburo or Lundee were ready to end things indecisively. Each coveted a decisive victory, a smash-up so great that the other side would be forced to back down (Saburo gloated for days about the possibility of forcing Militech into an "unconditional surrender").
yet neither could accelerate matters too far without risking government and market reprisals; too much war would anger governments worldwide and cause business to abandon both corporations. As the Shadow War wore on, Saburo and Lundee became directly involved in assigning missions and sparring with each other in a sort of complicated live chess game.
The Finale Struggle
By the time the Hot War broke out in June, there was no turning back. Saburo Arasaka and Donald Lundee took the gloves off and began directly slugging each other's organization, with the sole intent of defeating each other. In fact, both corporations are so involved that they wouldn't back down or stop the war; if one of them did, they would lose every market they'd ever built up, through a combination of bad publicity and negotiated settlements (not to mention damage suits).
ACKERMAN GREY, D. Firestorm Shockwave. 1st ed. Berkeley CA; R.Talsorian Games Inc, 1997.
Sevile, A. Firestorm Stormfront. 1st ed. Berkeley CA; R.Talsorian Games Inc, 1997.
R. TALSORIAN GAMES. R. Talsorian Games Blog. rtalsoriangames.wordpress.com/cyberpunk. 2018
- I have an idea on what a plot point in the game could be.
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