The Horizon Business Network New Fiscal Year Special

To: <sexysubjects@xilonba>
From: <duchess@xilonba>
Re: Interesting News Trid

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(A trid is attached, but the GM does not have the time nor talent to produce a video, so you get to enjoy a wall of text)

<<< BEGIN TRANSCRIPT >>>

(Synthesized trumpets unleash a celebratory blast on the listener’s ear, honoring a very black screen. A small pinprick of light appears, rapidly growing into a large, block-lettered logo. “HORIZON PRESENTS” is the first line. The very small text below it reads “The New Fiscal Year Corporate Update”, and even smaller text below it reads “With Isabel Berger.”)

(The logo explodes into a shower of old-timey UCAS greenback currency, shattering the darkness. Isabel, a tall, European Elf with long brown hair, stands in front of a huge monitor displaying arcane charts and graphs.)

Isabel: Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the Horizon Business Network’s New Fiscal Year Special. Let’s dive right into our top story of the night: Saeder-Krupp has slipped once more in this year’s AAA Corporate Rankings. The official report, put out annually by the corporate grading division at Zurich Orbital, cited ongoing legal struggles with the UCAS over the Bioroid scandal bleeding into other countries, as well a shrinkage of its once massive transportation and energy market shares. As with last year, when Saeder-Krupp slipped to #2 behind Mitsuhama Computer Technologies, CEO Lofwyr could not be reached for comment.

Isabel: Renraku Computer Systems, the new #2 contender, put out a press release downplaying the achievement. Quote: “Renraku is dedicated to producing the best value for its shareholders and nothing more, and we believe cooperation among the corporations is the best way to achieve the best quality of life for all corporate citizens. We look forward to working with our partners on the court for more opportunities of continual growth for all of us, and hope Saeder-Krupp’s market share recovers in due time.”

Isabel: Now for our take.

(An intense burst of drums and violins accentuates the change in lighting. A single spotlight focuses in on Isabel, leaving her surrounded in darkness. The screen behind her displays: “Our Take” in large, golden font, which appears to hover in the darkness.)

Isabel: This seemingly innocent press release is nothing but. A German corporation run by a powerful and prideful dragon is not going to take a dip in the rankings lightly, and Renraku is clearly rubbing salt in the wound, here. More unusual is Lofwyr’s lack of comment on the matter. Rumor has it that the silver serpent himself is too busy dealing with the affairs of dragonkind to properly helm his own ship, leaving a power vacuum at the top and a complete lack of direction for the corp. This taunt by Renraku will only stretch his admittedly immense resources even further… or were they ever that immense to begin with? Is it wise to provoke him on unsubstantiated rumors of his draconic relations or personal wealth? Only time will tell which corporation for which this is the beginning of the end, but I’m sure the rest of the big ten can’t wait to clean up after a corporate war, should one take place. This has been Our Take.

(The lighting restores view of the full newsroom, accompanied by the same drum and violin sounds from before.)

Isabel: The other major item from this year’s updated rankings is that NeoNET has cratered from its once lofty position at #3 all the way down to #9. Sources say that the resources required to maintain the new matrix protocols are growing too large for one corporation to handle, and yet NeoNET still refuses to hand full control over to the Corporate Court in order to free up resources for internal investment. Mitsuhama and Renraku’s representatives to the Corporate Court have both issued official statements offering to relieve NeoNET of the “burden”, but they stubbornly refuse. Why?

(Our Take transition, as above)

Isabel: What is NeoNET hiding? Clearly, something is happening in the matrix that they have lost control of, and they’re afraid of losing their AAA status should the full Court gain control of the network. It’s an open secret that the AI independence movement is gaining steam rapidly, and the joint NeoNET-UCAS lockdown of Boston can’t have been profitable for anyone. Is their silence on the matter an admission of guilt for Cognitive Fragmentation Disorder? We can’t be sure, but what we can be sure of is a rocky future ahead for the tech company. This has been Our Take.

(Transition back)

Isabel: Coming up next, we analyze the geopolitical climate. What emerging markets should you develop in next? Find out after the break, but here’s a tip to wet your appetite: Stay out of London. Why? You’ll have to wait and see.

(Commercial break)

(Isabel is sitting at a desk. A digital globe spins above her head)

Isabel: Welcome back to the The New Fiscal Year Corporate Update. In our last segment we touched upon updates to the AAA corporate rankings, but now we’re going to turn our attention to the details that matter more to the smaller corporations of the world, the As and Bs. Whether you’ve reached A status already or are looking to get there, you know that hardly anything matters more to your extraterritorial status than your relationships with the governments you’re interacting with. Be it buying land holdings or negotiating treaties, now more than ever what matters is location, location, location. Today we highlight a few municipalities you should keep a close watch on this year for development opportunities.

(Isabel turns to face the camera on her left. The lighting gains a slight orange tint and she shakes her head and frowns. The globe stops spinning and zooms in on England.)

Isabel: First, let’s talk London. The political upheaval along class lines in recent years caused us to flag them as a place to watch last year. Any government in disarray presents a strong opportunity to shape laws to your benefit. However, recent events that we can’t ignore force us to remove London from our list. In just the last month, we’ve seen loopholes in their government exploited to allow ordinary citizens to interfere with the political process in a meaningful way and block economic development. Additionally, the tunnel under the english channel, a major piece of infrastructure uses for the transport of citizens and goods, has flooded and been unusable for weeks while they try and make the repairs. A government that allows for the impediment of economic progress and can’t maintain basic infrastructure is no government conducive to your business. Stay out of London!

(Isabel turns to face a camera on the right of the desk, and the lighting tint switched from orange to cyan. The globe spins and zooms in on southern China, highlighting Hong Kong. She smiles)

Isabel: But we’re not about to warn you away from an opportunity without presenting a new one, and boy do we have one for you today. Remember how we mentioned political upheaval is good for business? No metroplex tells that story better than Hong Kong. With no less than three major factions claiming to have constitutional authority over its districts, it’s ripe for manipulation. Does that sound like too much risk for you to invest? Well, then you might be surprised at how much the economy is flourishing despite these struggles. For more, we go to today’s Field Report, with my colleague Thomas.

(The globe rushed towards the screen, taking the viewer flying across the Pacific ocean and into the skylines of Hong Kong. As it settles near the streets in a bustling, urban district, the word “Field Report” scroll across the screen in fancy silver lettering, accompanied by a fanfare of trumpets.)

(Standing in front of Swiffer’s bar, a caucasian human with short, brown hair holds a 21st century news microphone, grinning at the camera)

Thomas: Thanks, Isabel! Here in the heart of Hong Kong’s latest downtown district, the culture is thriving. And yes, there are multiple downtowns, all competing to be the new economic heart of this volatile trading port. Just to give you a taste of the exploitable chaos in the region, the location behind me opened just months ago, and is rumored to be the head of an elven organization claiming constitutional rights to a third Tir nation in the area. This is one of hundreds of similar stories, but they all come with the class, cash, and pizzazz of nightlife locations like this one. Now, there are risks. In organized crime, you’ve got the usual issue of warring triads spinning up subsidiaries of A rated corps and occasionally shooting up the ports, but it’s nothing that can’t be handled with a little corpsec intervention.

(Thomas walks into the bar and the camera pans to show the patrons. The place is crowded, but refined, just like Swiffer would like.)

Thomas: But investing in Hong Kong is really an investment in the people here, the people and their rapidly evolving, easily manipulated culture.

(In the background, an extremely handsome Japanese man with long, black hair notices the camera out of the corner of his eye. He puts in an earpiece and places a call. You’d miss it, if you didn’t recognize The Duchess on sight.)

Thomas: If you’ve recently pulled out of a dead end like London and can’t figure out where to invest that money, an enterprising corp in the media, service, or transport industries can’t do better than Hong Kong.

(The screen fades to black, and comes back on Isabel in the studio)

Isabel: Thanks for that report. We’d like to reiterate, while we strongly recommend Hong Kong as an investment proposition, know that no investment is without risks. That report will be Thomas’s last field report with us. He became personally caught up in the triads weeks after filing it and was disappeared. He will be missed.

<<< END TRANSCRIPT >>>

Braun Count: 4 and counting. ;)

- XOXO
The Duchess

The Horizon Business Network New Fiscal Year Special

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