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Biofixe Lynchings, The

Biofixe logo.
Image from Chris0033547
The logo of the Biofixe corporation

Among the historians of the Civilised Galaxy who study the details of Old Earth's Technocalypse, the 'Bio-Fixe lynchings' are considered to be one of the pivotal events, significantly contributing to the collapse of civilisation at that time. Later analysis performed by various experts before the Great Expulsion suggest that the events that transpired on the first day of Copernicus 541 AT were the likely cause of the Black Rot, which in turn wreaked havoc on Earth's and later Mars's ecosystems.

However, many detailed records of the exact events that occurred on that day have either been lost to time or were distorted during the Technocalypse. Consequently, different theories regarding the events around Bio-Fixe have emerged over the millennia. The most prominent theory is based on various surveillance records, media reports and police reports, which are still available today.

Presumed Chronology of Events

The immune system disorders of 540 AT resulted in the loss of 8 million biont lives. When the cause of disaster was found to be a medical product manufactured by the Bio-Fixe corporation, the company came under sustained attack from all directions. The enormous number of lawsuits for the pain and suffering their rejuvenation treatments had caused, as well as constant condemnation in the media, quickly threatened to bankrupt the once large and prosperous corporation.

In order to discuss various strategies for damage control and indemnity for their affected former customers, the CEO and Board of Directors of Bio-Fixe organized a meeting in Rio de Janeiro. Due to the severity of the situation and in order to minimize the risk of eavesdropping, all of the directors decided to meet in person. For the previous two weeks world-wide protests against Bio-Fixe had become an almost daily occurrence with some of the protests turning violent. For this reason the meeting was to be held in secret in a rented high security office several kilometres from Bio-Fixe's main headquarters, where most of the protests had been taking place.

The first protesters arrived on the scene next to Bio-Fixe's headquarters early in the morning. During the course of the next several hours, more and more protesters gathered around the building while smaller groups appeared around various Bio-Fixe installations and laboratories around the city and abroad. As time went by, the various protest groups became more enraged but police surveillance records indicate that everything was under control. Surviving company records show that the meeting of Bio-Fixe's directors started at 19:00 UTC (Old Earth time).

Approximately 30 minutes later, the time and precise location of the Bio-Fixe meeting was publicly announced on the InterPlaNet by various protest leaders at the main demonstration in front of company headquarters. It is unknown how this information was leaked to the protests' organizers. But they apparently withheld it for as long as possible to ensure that the directors didn't have enough time to reschedule or relocate. The leaked information also included a detailed plan of the building's architecture and security installations.

It is unknown what occurred inside the directors' meeting after the leak. What is known however, is that almost immediately after the protest leaders announced the directors' location, the building they were in came under a massive cyberattack that crippled most of the office's infrastructure. It appears that after the onset of the attack the building's AI became hostile to the inhabitants and locked all the doors within the structure, preventing anyone from entering or leaving and also preventing access to the roof, which contained several aircars owned by Bio-Fixe's directors.

While the building's inhabitants struggled with the ongoing cyberattack, most of the protest groups near Bio-Fixe's headquarters began to move away from there and converging on the directors' meeting place. A large group of protesters, consisting of two to three hundred people, that was on its way to one of the company's minor offices and happened to be not too far away from the complex, arrived first. Surveillance records from nearby buildings and various traffic drones show that over the course of approximately 20 minutes other groups of similar size arrived as well. As a result, the number of protesters in front of the meeting place began to increase rapidly. The estimated number of protesters eventually reached approximately five thousand people, who surrounded the building.

Some protesters began to throw small stones, as well as bottles containing inflammable substances, at the office windows, while the few police units which arrived at the scene looked on. Police video records indicate that other people tried to break into the building using various makeshift weapons as battering rams. But all of these efforts proved futile, because the office was completely armored. However this only enraged the mob even more. After a while the crowd began to scream and chant various death threats against the Bio-Fixe leaders, still trapped within the sealed-off complex, challenging them to come out. And then something completely unexpected happened. Suddenly, and without any warning, all of the building's doors opened at the same time. A cheer erupted from the crowd as several groups ran into the building. What they found there was complete chaos. Electrocuted or otherwise stunned security guards littered the lower floors of the building, while various air & ground combat security drones lay harmlessly on the floors in an apparently dysfunctional state. Many guards and drones were found stuck to the building's floors and walls by the anti-personnel super-glue that had been part of the standard equipment used by the building's security apparatus.

The dumbfounded crowd split into groups that carefully explored the building. A combination of reports from the surviving guards and various audio-visual records from some of the protesters, which were put on the InterPlaNet, paint a picture of several of the disabled guards being brutally beaten and interrogated by some of the protesters. Dozens of offices, which the protesters believed had been used by Bio-Fixe's directors, were vandalized and even briefly set on fire using highly combustible substances. Only the building's fireproof materials prevented these local fires from spreading.

Biofixe Tower under attack
Image from Steve Bowers
The Biofixe headquarters under attack

Eventually, the protesters found the directors on the top floor just below the rooftop landing pad. Apparently they had tried to reach the building's roof, where their aircars had been positioned. However they failed to break through the building's doors, which had remained locked, and had been caught and glued to the floor and walls by the numerous security drones.

Gruesome audio-visual records, which had also been put on the InterPlaNet by the protesters, show the screaming directors being forcibly ripped from the floor, dragged to the roof through the now open doors, and then beaten and hanged from one of the building's solar arrays.

The announcement that the Bio-Fixe directors had been caught and "punished" for their crimes turned several of the protests around the company's installations and laboratories around the world violent. Many protesters took the "punishment" of the directors as a sign to act. In several cases, people attacked and destroyed laboratories belonging to the corporation and set many of them on fire.

Aftermath

The police eventually intervened and managed to disperse the mob. Members of the mob who were recorded carrying out the beatings and murders were arrested. A few weeks after the death of the directors, police units present at the scene at that time came under investigation for failing to prevent the invasion of the building and the lynching of the directors. But due to the chaos on that day the results of the investigation remained inconclusive. Thus the personnel involved were never punished and eventually reassigned to other posts.

Further police investigation tried to discover the source of the cyberattacks which, according to the most popular theory, subverted the turing-grade and turned e's security systems against the building's inhabitants. But neither the source of these attacks nor the source of the information leak have been discovered. The memories and personality of the AI were completely destroyed during the cyberattack. Even though many people believed that an insider managed to infect the building's AI, such a person was never discovered. A popular theory of the time was that someone knew about the time and location of the meeting long before it took place and installed malware inside the AI, which activated at the designated time the meeting was to begin. Other people believed that the AI emself decided to side with the protesters, allowed them to kill the directors, and then commited suicide by erasing emself. People believing in the 'AI murder-suicide theory' thought that the cyberattack had been faked by the AI emself, perhaps in collaboration with the protests' leaders, who denied any involvement with the subsequent attack on the building and the lynchings.

None of these theories was ever conclusively confirmed or refuted. Bio-Fixe itself went bankrupt shortly after the tragedy and ceased to play an active role in Terragen history, except perhaps as a cautionary tale about the importance of quality control.

It is very likely that the protesters accidentally released the contagion that later mutated into the Black Rot. Various pieces of evidence collected and analyzed several weeks later, coupled with environmental simulations, indicate that the most likely source of this contagion was one of the destroyed Biofixe laboratories.

 
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Text by Chris0033547Initially published on 17 May 2015.

 
 
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