The term "corporate takeover" received an entirely new definition one day.
Some people saw it coming, but the majority of the population fell right into the grasp of corporate conglomerate as it arose and upended society as it was known at the time. There were a lot of big corporations with a great deal of the world's money in their pockets, and they developed a great deal of influence over a great deal of the world's people. When governments appeared increasingly untrustworthy, people started to wonder if having their countries run by the rich corporations wouldn't be so bad by comparison.
The day came when a sort of corporate coup occurred. Buyouts went rampant, corporate officials replaced those in the government, and before anyone could do anything to stop it, governments and corporations had effectively swapped places. There were questions of whether corporate officials would have the know-how to lead a country, but it seemed that that wouldn't be a problem. All the foreign business gave these corporations a knowledge of diplomacy that certain world leaders lacked to begin with. Furthermore, there were hints of the corporate influence spreading to other countries, which would resolve that difference and put all the new governments on a level playing field.
Money had always talked, but now it made things move more than ever. For a period of time, it looked like everything was going to be okay. Certain domestic pitfalls were patched up, the economy improved greatly, and the country achieved a solid place on the world stage where it had been shaky before. The extra money in people's pockets lead to more spending, and there was a cycle where money went back and forth from the corporate government to the people. Everyone seemed happy for the first time in a long time.
It might have felt like a long time before the abuses came to light, but that was only because the corporations knew where and how to use their money to keep things quiet. Everyone was so blinded by the apparent prosperity of their nation that the whispers of dangerous imperfections went unnoticed. It wasn't until the gap between the rich and the poor became more like a bottomless fissure and the way of life in that country changed significantly that the complaints were finally heard. Suburbs ended up subsumed by the sprawl of cities, and the population became more densely packed than ever before. Exploitation of workers, technology, the environment, and anything a corporation could bend to its needs ran unchecked. The world became a dark, smelly, dirty place where everyone tried to eke out a living but only a few truly got to reap the benefits of their hard work.
Even the hush money dried up eventually, but by that time, it wasn't needed. Everyone was stuffed into the grimy cities, chasing the almighty dollar, or at least anything that could help them approach a passable lifestyle. The corporate security forces that might have once been called an army alternately enforced a twisted justice and bullied others into giving them kickbacks for their "protection." Society became divided into exploiters and exploited. Even people who thought they were largely out of the conglomerate's reach, or at least minor enough to be ignored, felt the impact of skyrocketing inflation and high costs of living. The fingerprints of the rich were everywhere.
As with every sort of undesirable situation, rebel factions began to arise. By necessity, they were small and thinly spread, but there were circles that whispered about reclaiming their lives from the corporate conglomerate that bought and sold them. Some possessed the technological know-how to turn the conglomerate's systems against them, others slipped through high society and worked the system from within. Rumors circulated through tawdry gossip e-news sites, but the majority of the population chose not to believe that change was slowly creeping back into the world.
The question now was whether it would all be too little too late.
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