((Here’s the second part of the alternate backstory for the ARC short stories that I’ve been writing. Again, I may implement some of the ideas in the future, if I think that they work well with the new direction of the story. Enjoy! Part 1 can be found here.))
ARC: A History (Part 2/2)
Earth, 2115 – Channel 3 News bulletin
Header: Tragedy befalls New York City, ARC responsible
Octavian Rogers: “And there is a good chance of rain up and down the east coast today, predictions are that it might be a hurricane –“
Marie Matthews: “I’m sorry, Octavian, I’m gonna have to cut you off. The ARC positron plant – along with everything within a 10-mile radius – was utterly destroyed just minutes ago. Although an investigation is pending, it is believed that the containment field for the positron plant faltered, allowing for some positron material to interact with the metal guide tubes. The results were disastrous. The casualty list is in the hundreds and rising, and that is ARC personnel alone. If we include civilian deaths, we will easily be in the thousands by nightfall.”
Michael Anderson: “I don’t know if ARC will be able to recover from this one, to be honest. Notwithstanding the huge payouts that the corporation will have to make to the families of lost ones, and repairs to the immediate area, ARC just lost one of their research facilities. That’s billions of dollars of materials, manpower, and research lost. In addition, ARC’s stock is starting to plummet as we speak. Unless they make a bold move soon to attempt to recover, I think ARC is going to disappear almost as quickly as it came…”
Moon, 2115 – ARC press conference
James Varnum, CEO: “I thank all of you for attending. As you may know, Advanced Robotics Creation is in a dire situation right now. With the resignation of Richard Clark, the explosion of the New York positron plant and, most importantly, the death of countless ARC employees and civilians, public trust in the company has dwindled away to almost nothing. To tell you the truth, there are times when I agree with you. ARC has acted rashly with its newfound prestige, and we’ve made some mistakes. But, like any good company, we’re willing to rebuild and rebound to reestablish the rapport with the public that we had a few short months ago. With that, I’ll take questions.”
Reporter: “You mentioned in a recent interview how ARC was going to continue to research positron technology, even in light of recent events. Other companies have abandoned their projects, and the Foundry stopped development of the London plant indefinitely. What research could you possibly be doing?”
Varnum: “ARC is abandoning the majority of its research into sustainable positron energy. However, we feel that there is still a lot of untapped potential with positrons. Although it may not be well suited for a long-term use, there is sufficient evidence of short-term advantages to maintain research. We also hope to take advantage of the biggest liability to a long-term power source.”
Another Reporter: “With ARC nearing bankruptcy, where do you expect to fund this research?”
Varnum: “Like I said earlier, it will take a rapport with the public, particularly with the stockholders. (Laughter) Seriously, though, ARC is looking to expand into new territory, and we feel that these expansions will do wonders…”
Moon, 2115 – Newspaper clipping
ARC’s return to the forefront of technology: A year in review
ARC has been ebbing and flowing the past few years. Not since the early 21st century has there been this much turmoil and interest around a single company. Even with the explosion, ARC has managed to come out on top. Their merger with the Goliath Company, a specialist in Mechanized Assault Weapons (MAWs), has proven to be a prosperous venture. By implementing their advanced targeting systems and mobility subroutines into the reliable MAW weapons systems and engines, they have increased the efficiency of the basic Lion unit nearly threefold. It is believed that ARC has revitalized land combat with this new integrated system, and nations are lining up to backorder the newest Lion and Cheetah models, due to be out by 3rd quarter 2115.
In addition to their growth in the land combat field, ARC has released their new space defense weaponry. They’ve taken positron technology and turned it into a viable combat weapon, albeit a costly and inefficient model. Released as the Hellfire cannon Mk 1, the positron turret has already been used to repel a raid on the moon recently. The only disadvantage is that these weapons are space exclusive – using them in atmosphere would be disastrous.
Some people wonder why ARC has made such a sudden shift to more military technology with the resignation of Richard Clark, but many feel that it is due to the increasing pressure on corporations to provide security detail and resolve conflicts in space until the system for a solar system-wide government body is established…
Moon, 2118 – Newspaper clipping
Space Stations, Mechs, and ARC
ARC’s focus over the past few years has shifted once again, to the stars. The company has been working on space variants of their MAWs, to simply be labeled as ‘Mechs’. The first models, Wolf and Cobra, have been out for a year now, with three more models in production. The Mechs have been lauded for their relative ease for the exceedingly increased difficulty of operating in full three-space without gravity or air resistance. These same problems have also been effectively addressed in the development of effective space fighters. CEO James Varnum stated, in a recent press release, “the militarization efforts undertaken by ARC may have people convinced that ARC has abandoned its tenets of technology and research, but this is not the case. In order for ARC to have developed what it has, the engineers and programmers have had to work long hours and develop brand new systems to extend our basic functions into three dimensions.”
To support his new claim, Varnum announced the design plans for a space station that would serve two purposes. First, it would serve as a way station to provide security detail on both the Moon and Earth. Second, it would serve as a replacement for the New York ARC facility, which had focused primarily on research. By reestablishing a dedicated research facility, Varnum believes that ARC will be remembered for all three tenets, not just one.
Moon, 2119 – Newspaper clipping
ARC Satellite Active
The ARC space station went active yesterday, in geosynchronous orbit around the earth. This research station will focus on engineering of new materials for both military and commercial use, starting with the completion of development into the Non-Newtonian Liquid Alloy Buffer (N-LAB for short) that they hope to use as an armor support for Mechs and Cruisers.
Of particular interest is the implementation of an artificial intelligence known as A.R.L.E.N.E. (Automated Requisition, Logistics, Engineering and Neural Emulation), to assist data collection, processing and interpretation, as well as serve as a repository of knowledge. ARLENE will be carefully audited and regulated by ARC programmers, as it is the first in class for artificial intelligence on a city scale. If successful, variants of the ARLENE program will be used in all ARC facilities, as well as the moon colony.
Current Year: 2120. The ARC Satellite has officially been operational for a year.