Red Skull: A dark history

I’ve gotten a few questions about the pixelated red skulls adorning some of the 7,777 gear. Been hesitant to address. The circulating rumors are unsubstantiated and pertain to a sensitive subject matter. And any reporting on this matter is limited by ongoing media restrictions. Names of relevant organizations and figures are prohibited. However, all things considered, I think it’s worth mentioning. First, some context:

100 years ago, a tragic event upended centuries of progress and hope. New Damascus was to become humankind’s first inhabited city since the galaxy migrations. Situated on the surface of Mars and enclosed by an atmospherically sound AeroFortress™ glass dome, the city was a feat of science and engineering. One that would give humans physical access (as in, no tars necessary) to 3.14 square miles of urban landscape made in the image of a bustling 22nd Century earth city, an exciting alternative to the sterile dormitories and sparse community centers of the SEEDs. Financially backed by the Index, the New Damascus project cost quadrillions and took decades to complete. Galaxy citizens watched its progress closely—for many, the success of the bubble city experiment represented the promise of a better life.

The Gates Tribunal set the parameters for the experiment’s success. From a 3533 edict: “After completion and habitation, New Damascus must operate for twenty years without catastrophic incident. If achieved, construction of future enclosures may commence.” Unfortunately, a catastrophic incident did occur—derailing bubble cities indefinitely.

On August 8th, 3548, celebrations were underway. 50,000 citizens from across the galaxy were headed to New Damascus. The would-be founding populace of a new frontier. However, upon the first passenger ship’s arrival and disembarkment, a series of explosives detonated throughout the city. One of the explosives, a contained blast with the concentrated force of five meteors, penetrated the dome’s shell dissipating oxygen supplies. Tragically, all 7,754 ship passengers perished in the attack.

A network of anti-capitalist pirates quickly identified themselves as the perpetrators, citing their quest to end the toxic spread of galaxy colonialism. The group had been active for years, agitating and disrupting various Index pursuits. However, the 8/8 was a violent departure from their usual m.o. During the trials of several mid-tier members, it was revealed that a dispute had fractured the organization in the days leading up to the attack. Half its members advocated for the explosives to detonate upon the first ship’s arrival, while the other half pleaded for denotation prior to arrival. With the use of force, the former prevailed. Both factions have been underground and seemingly inactive since the 8/8.

108 [12:40 PM] Earlier this month, The Gates marked the 100th anniversary of the 8/8 with a Day of Remembrance. Public discussions of the tragic event remain solemn, reverent, and carefully censored. Historian Albert Bigone advises: “The 8/8 was an abhorrent act, but that does not negate the valid criticisms of New Damascus. Insidious class divisions, Milky Way contamination, intensifying corporatocracy—all worth our collective examination.” The selection of the founding populace is an especially critical point. 50,000 people paid their way into that bubble. A promise of salvation to the highest bidders. At the time, project leaders insisted ballooning financial demands left them no other option. Bigone, like many others, questions the math: “The Index was ten corps deep in 3548. They were paying for the project, while also contracting their subsidiaries for the build. It was like a snake eating its own tail. The 50,000 spots may have offset some costs, but more likely, they were a means of profit.”

Unpacking the ethical minefield surrounding New Damascus is a daunting exercise. I will leave that to the experts. Instead, let’s address Vogu’s part in all this.

Vogu, an Index subsidiary, was deeply invested in the success of the bubble city. Over 100 years ago, tar ownership was almost as widespread as it is today. However, user standards veered more towards utility and job functions. Vogu occupation tars could withstand extreme pressure and temperatures and their gravity tech was unmatched. They were/are ideal for planetary and multi-atmosphere constructions—like the New Damascus dome. An exclusive contract with the project secured millions of roles for Vogu tars, both during and after construction. Post-build roles included maintenance and customer service. Vogu erected one of the largest skyscrapers within the dome, a symbol of its commitment to the future of bubble cities. Had New Damascus succeeded, Vogu would have benefited from centuries of enclosure commissions.

So. I can substantiate three facts for you. One, Vogu was a significant player in the bubble city experiment. Two, the 100th anniversary of the 8/8 attack took place earlier this month. And three, the ransomware attack that yielded Vogu’s 7,777 took place on July 16th of this year. Any and all connections between these three events are the product of conjecture. Conjecture fueled by a fast-spreading rumor regarding the pixelated red skull icon that appears on some of the 7,777.

The rumor? The red skull is the underground emblem of one of the two factions of the anti-capitalist pirates responsible for the 8/8. Which faction, well that we don’t know. A recent spout of red skull graffiti, sprayed across the alleyways of popular tar hangouts, has some wondering if the tags are the cause or result of recent rumors. The street art usually appears with the text “8/8 We Remember”.

I want to emphasize that the red skull faction info is unverified, as are all the ensuing theories regarding the 7,777 and possible links to New Damascus. I am always weary of wading into the murky waters of conspiracy theory (on the record at least), so my analysis is limited on this one. Fortunately, I think forum speculation will more than make up for it…

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Hello everyone! Welcome to the Tar News Network. It’s Bugle here—your favorite robotics journo and noted Vogu obsessive. I’m creating this community for my fellow tar enthusiasts—for those who will truly appreciate the latest in tar industry buzz and melodrama. As some of you know, my sources among the big retailers run deep. Way deep. If you stick around, expect blazing hot intel on upcoming tar drops as well as unfiltered, heard-it-here-first breaking news on recent corp feuds, espionage, sabotage, etc. Note: This channel is in no way affiliated with my employer Terra Firma Media or its parent company. All scoops and opinions are my own. Not for distro.