Oni2:Truth Number Zero
First off, Oni's universe is very probably set in an alternate history:
- close to ours, but with a bifurcation somewhere around 2001.
Hence geopolitical and technological shortcomings are irrelevant.
Phases and entities
The WCG was formally established well over a decade before the events of Oni, although de facto it had existed on local to near-global scales long before that.
- (in the modern geopolitical landscape, think of the US-centered "globalization" or, on the other hand, the self-organization of Asian countries and federations)
- BGI is basically an extrapolation of today's Mittal: a monopoly in the domain of heavy and not-so-heavy industries, with shares in neighboring fields)
- As for the Network, it is clear that it emerged in response to the unified regulation of technological crime, i.e., certainly after the proclamation of the WCG.
After a minor "arms race", the WCG's TCTF and the Network quickly reached a cops-and-criminals homeostasis:
- On one hand, consistent regulation of technology made tech crime a lucrative, versatile, steady business.
- On the other, the emergence of a global, paramilitary criminal network justified the "Big Brother" abuse.
At this point, the Network/Syndicate probably had a hierarchy not unlike a multinational corporation, with board meetings, strict rules etc. Law within the outlaw.
Conflicts and segregationism within the Syndicate were resolved by means of a centralized executive power and zero tolerance towards disruptive elements.
Thus the purpose of the centralized paramilitary force was also to ensure the cohesion of the Syndicate as a whole. "Don't f##k with the Council. Or else."
A equally important role was attributed to assassins. The multiply redundant Council could easily have an offending element terminated, but not vice-versa.
Ironically, WCG also resorted to the services of these same assassins (among other methods) whenever it was necessary to override the system's rigidity.
Another such twofold entity was BGI: a well-established industry that also happened to be the infrastructural/logistical backbone of the Syndicate.
As an idealist, he was upset by the course taken by the WCG-Syndicate "struggle" (mainly, the "arrested development" of society and the ecological breakdown).
So, he distanced himself from both the WCG and the Syndicate, well-prepared to deal with the consequences (e.g., to fight "fellow assassins" sent after him).
Rather than becoming a hermit, it is possible that he already considered an entreprise similar to the Fight Club (more on that concept later, elsewhere).
Hasegawa wanted to do something about the "dead end" apparently faced by the world at that time (a possible revelation thereof being the loss of Jamie).
Mukade shared those ideals, but had a more complete background and the practical knowledge that Hasegawa lacked (e.g., lots of insider information).
Conversely, Hasegawa (a biologist) had the means/idea/motivation to create the extraordinary entity that would break every balance: the Daodan.
Mukade provided Hasegawa with more or less basic hints on how to infiltrate/contaminate/alienate the Syndicate by means of the Daodan project.
Plan B is that Hasegawa is himself a Daodan (secretly from everyone including Kerr). Hasegawa also inherits Mukade's brain engrams.
Everything went according to plan A. Muro was brought up as a human weapon, and the realization that he was uncontrollable came too late.
New loyalties emerged, starting with Muro's trainers and spreading out to all those who contested or resented the Council's authority.
Eventually Muro slaughtered most of the Council at the very same plenar session that was about to vote the termination of the project.
Only a few bosses survived the initial purge, and the troops and assassins at their command were no match for Muro. Revolution.
Muro was still in his early teens, and Hasegawa naturally became his peer and advisor. The short term goal was to suppress resistance.
The way suggested by Hasegawa was to have it done by freelancers (assassins and hackers) willing to take sides with Muro (Kojiro etc).
The ones who succeeded in eliminating a major opponent were allowed into Hasegawa's ring of honor and selected for Daodan implantation.
This constituted the seed of a technocracy (around Hasegawa). Meanwhile, Muro redefined the morale of the troops. Strikers.
The declared long-term goal was STURMANDERUNG: a biological ultimatum, and as a result a forced hyperevolution of Man.
The cynicism of the entreprise (pollution, anarchy) is rather striking. Muro was OK with it, but Hasegawa was obviously not.
Either way, he does not interfere with what he has started: Muro's New Deal at the Syndicate, Mai being raised at the TCTF as insurance.
Mai's story at the TCTF is pretty straightforward since she's part of a mostly conservative system (however, Griffin is notably overzealous).
Muro progressively repurposed the Syndicate, away from the network of organized tech crime and towards a megalomaniac terrorist group.
Muro's Syndicate (which BTW no longer refers to itself that way) gradually drops secondary developments and focuses on STURMANDERUNG.
The WCG is aware of this loss of balance, but tries its best to conceal the radical, "pointless" alienation of the Syndicate.
It continues to stage/fake small-scale operations against the supposed bottom of the chain (smugglers, drug dealers, etc).
This effectively maintains the illusion that Muro's Strikers, although apparented to terrorists, are still "in the business".
BGI vs Hasegawa
Actually, though, the only remnant of the old-school Syndicate at the time of Oni is BGI and its child companies (Musashi etc).
BGI is not interested in the loss of balance any more than the WCG, and will take action against Muro at the first opportunity...
And there's Hasegawa. Aided by the Daodan and Mukade's engrams he has been progressively making BGI redundant to Muro.
Muro achieves control primarily through a constant reshuffling of the hierarchy throughout the network.
(this is the way it works for today's terrorist networks and for the Fight Club, with or without a leader)
Further enforcement is provided by the Ninja: a network of androids patterned after Mukade/Hasegawa.
Hasegawa surrounds himself with a few expert hackers/killers: supposed candidates for Daodan implantation.
Apart from the Daodan project, Mukade & Friends develops leading-edge technology (WMC, Mukade's gadgets)
This emerging technocracy, and the Ninja corps, leaves BGI with a secondary status and no guarantee of stability.
(not to mention STURMANDERUNG, of course, which is an ultimatum to common sense, and the triumph of anarchy)
Muro's New Deal is part of the general plan sketched out by Hasegawa and Mukade. It's a necessary sacrifice.
Violence begets violence, so that Muro and the alienated Syndicate (bunch of maniacs) feed back on each other.
Muro is lost. But what also happens is that the global network of organized crime is disrupted, irreversibly.
Now comes the other nice part. STURMANDERUNG, on which the sights of the Strikers are set, will not happen.
At the least, the "inversion process" will not be triggered by the STURMANDERUNG pulse as intended by Muro.
At the most, Mukade's Ninja may have carried out "constructive sabotage", i.e., the ACCs will be working better.
Once that happens, Muro and his Strikers will be fundamentally screwed. Wannabe terrorists without a bomb.
Hasegawa and the Ninja will simply disappear, irreversibly sabotaging most of the Syndicate's infrastructure.
The die-hard terrorists will be taken care of, and the rest of the disbanded Strikers will be just left behind.
- (and of course the Daodan won't have been actually implanted to anyone, except Barabas, maybe Kojiro, etc...)
The idea then is that Hasegawa (possibly with a help from "the real Mukade") will take care of the WCG next.
Globally organized crime is gone. Terrorism is gone. Environmental damage is being repaired.
All that destabilizes the "Big Brother" WCG and opens it up to evolution (or revolution).
Hasegawa will thus "soak up wisdom all year long, and then take action."
Infiltrate, manipulate, eliminate, as needed. Like the Daodan.
Unlike Muro (or Mai), Hasegawa has come close to mastering the Daodan, thanks in part to Mukade's wisdom.
- (however, his original personality is occluded by the upgrade and Mukade's patterns: double alienation)
However, he stayed human enough to long for Jamie and to seek out Mai, rather than ignore her. Bad idea.
The objective purpose of the rooftops episode idea was of course to monitor her: is she a threat?
- (purely objective threat: to STURMANDERUNG (fake and real); to society and mankind in general)
- (of course the Daodan was meant to break the balance, but the point is not to let it spin out of control)
The more emotional idea (which ultimately confused Hasegawa and failed him) was to save her.
On the rooftops, Hasegawa was testing Mai's readiness for the truth about the Daodan.
- If she was ready, they wouldn't fight: he'd tell her everything, or at least advise her appropriately.
- If she was not, he'd fight and "lose" and let her have the CD, and Kerr would take it from there.
She wasn't ready. Once he understood that, he intimidated her, fought and lost according to plan (2).
The big mistake then was to not play dead: the (bad) reason was that he had sensed Mai's doubts.
The wish to save Mai took over, and he went for Mai's mercy, not clearly doing (1) or (2) any more.
The rest is history. No one told Mai about STURMANDERUNG or stopped her from blowing up the ACCs.
The most crucial point of Hasegawa's plan failed dramatically, all because of this rooftops encounter.
Eventually, Hasegawa either recovered on his own, or was taken in and reanimated by Kojiro & Co.
- (as for the Old Man, I think it's best if he keeps his distance with Hasegawa throughout it all)