STURMANDERUNG

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Facts

STURMANDERUNG

STURMANDERUNG or Project STURMANDERUNG (never actually spelled Sturmänderung) is the name of Muro's master plan to reprogram the world's Atmospheric Conversion Centers to putrefy the air rather than purify it. The only ingame mentions of the project's name are in the 4 last consoles hacked by Konoko in CHAPTER 14 . DAWN OF THE CHRYSALIS. The related objective page refers to the place as "the heart of the Sturmanderung megacomputer".

Syndicate Mountain Compound

A supposedly secret base that Konoko (or the TCTF operatives) were able to locate approximately thanks to a tracker planted on Muro's plane. Terminal readings mention a BGI truck involved in a collision, but this doesn't necessarily imply a road connection to the outer world, as the trucks may be shuttling stuff from helicopters and cargo planes. Then again, there can be tunnels all over the place for all we know.

ACC modifications

It is not clear why the Strikers needed to modify the "core filtration systems", since a reversal of the airflow and/or electrolysis polarity would be enough to render the WCG's system inefficient and even counter-efficient as stated in CHAPTER 07 . A FRIEND IN NEED. The anecdotal comment on dioxin levels would make it seem as if the modifications were supposed to cause a noticeable extra pollution even before the "pulse" (whatever the pulse was supposed to do).

Low-orbit satellites

The satellites apparently belong to WCG, Muro is only monitoring them and is planning to use them to dispatch a signal to the ACCs in due time. The fact that the satellites are suited for that purpose implies that they are already designed to interact with the ACCs, probably (as Mai's out-of-bounds pulse suggests) to provide the ACCs with actual power (sent as microwaves or whatever) rather than control sequences.

Sturmanderung pulse

The megacomputer (supposedly ascribed to predicting the locations of the satellites) is located next to a silo holding a large parabolic dish, used to send a powerful signal to an array of satellites (referred to as a "Sturmanderung pulse" by the objective page). The nature of the pulse is unclear, but the capacity for it to overload the generators worldwide implies a high-energy radiation (such as microwaves). This would mean that one of the supposed functions of the satellites is energy transfer (the satellites were not overloaded by the amplitude of the pulse, but the ACCs were), and that the ACCs were supposed to receive high-energy radiation from those satellites.

It is probable that the pulse intended by Muro was a controlled power surge meant to trigger the "smuggled parts" in the "core filtration systems" into processing air differently. Since that system was never activated properly, it is not known what the effect would have been. Since the dioxin levels had been rising before the pulse, one would expect a more radical poisoning that can no longer be ignored by WCG or the public.

Muro's plans

Muro's only reference to STURMANDERUNG is "Join me or die like all the others, choking on dead air and foul water", implying that massive worldwide pollution was what it's all about. Muro himself would have been able to survive due to his Daodan Chrysalis, as well as Konoko and the selected "symbiote candidates".

People without a Chrysalis would not survive STURMANDERUNG for long. Konoko speculates that Muro expects people to "sell him their souls for a Chrysalis", which may imply either profit or loyalty considerations. This is somewhat backed up by Muro's "join me", but not really by the "selection".

Interestingly, Muro claims to have followed Hasegawa's ideals when he says "I've accomplished everything our father dreamed of doing". This is a rather disturbing way to think of Hasegawa's project, and it does not sound like pure provocation on Muro's part.

Mai's actions

Konoko's rather confused statements are shared between her "thoughts" (voiceovers) and "intuition" (mission objectives). Remarkably, she refers to "stations", "atmospheric processors" or "generators", even though it's not clear what all this corresponds to. She also expects Muro to "activate" the stations and claims they can't be "disarmed" before he does so (which basically means she'll have to blow everything up ^_^ geyser).

It is probable that she refers to the generator rooms of the ACCs (which probably power the electrolysis process). As for the "too many stations", they are probably the "15 group control stations", which are supposedly covered by the satellites and dispatch the pulse to the 417 ACCs. Another possibility is that she's referring to the ACCs themselves, the things to be "disarmed" being the "core filtration systems".

Having taken the fateful decision to blow up the ACCs "before the atmospheric damage is irreversible", she notices that some of the ACCs will be spared if the pulse is sent before the satellites are properly aligned. It is not clear why the surviving ACCs can't be activated by Muro's men, whether they will be able to sustain human life with all the other ACCs gone, or whether the violent destruction of the ACCs is preferable to the risk of Muro hooking them backwards for a short period.

After defeating Muro and destroying the ACCs, Konoko makes the following statement on the consequence of her actions:

"When I blew the processors, I bought us some time... but at a horrible cost. The dead and the dying now line the streets, but it's impossible to deny the problem any longer. My father's work may prove to be the salvation of the afflicted after all... Mankind as we knew it is doomed. The Chrysalis will change us all. Let's hope it's for the better..."

These few sentences are a golden mine for interpretation and speculation (what did she buy time for? what problem does she mean? who was denying it? how will the afflicted be saved?). One possibility is that she plans to give "Daodan to the people" indiscriminately (as opposed to Muro's elitism). The "problem" would be the one pointed out by Hasegawa (that Mankind was doomed unless it adapted to the polluted world).

The facts remain that Oni's aftermath is the direct consequence of Mai's actions, not Muro's, and that she virtually issued a new deal aimed at dehumanization, along the lines of Hasegawa's dreams (which, ironically, Muro claimed to have honored as well). Her vision of the new world is arguably, since she's totally oblivious to eugenics, anarchy, and other potential issues of indiscriminate "upgrades".


Added value

Name origin

The German word "Sturmänderung" can be decomposed as "Sturm-Änderung", meaning "stormlike change". However, the word "Änderung" isn't a violent change, so the resulting term is an oxymoron. This could just be a case of All Your Base on the part of Oni's writers. However, other interpretations exist. Most notably, "Sturmanderung" can be seen as a near-anagram of Sturm und Drang. The latter was a cultural movement in romantic Germany, marked by writers such as Goethe. The philosophy of that movement was that, e.g., emancipated literature would empower the populations to more political freedom. In a spirit of "counter-enlightenment", the human nature of the protagonists would drive them to extreme emotions and even acts of violence. An example of that movement is the tale of the titan Prometheus by Goethe.

Prometheus the Titan

Titans, and especially the myth of Prometheus, are somewhat relevant to Muro's project: genesis of the Olympian gods, gift of fire to Man, Pandora's box... Does Muro think of himself as some kind of god, and what meaning does he attribute to his gift to the world? Is it hatred of puny, inferior beings, or is it a twisted case of love and compassion?

More on the purpose

Suppose that Muro really planned to eliminate everyone alive who did not already have a Chrysalis: Konoko, himself, the "selected symbiote candidates", who else?. What would be the motives of those of his followers who have no hope for survival? Are they ready to die for Muro's (and allegedly Hasegawa's) elitist cause? Were the Strikers converted to a cult "religion" derived from Hasegawa's claims about an irrevocable environmental disaster?

The suicide bombers ("we're all doomed") and the gratuitous violence displayed by the Strikers definitely hint at some kind of fanaticism and possibly a form of nihilism: if everyone's doomed, aren't they doing the civilians a favor by killing them? if everyone's doomed, isn't STURMANDERUNG a sensible alternative to WCG's futile attempts to avert the apocalypse? If everyone's doomed if not for Hasegawa's Chrysalis, why not hurry its advent?

Profit and control

Then again, it is possible that Muro secured the morale of his troops by plans of selling Chrysalises to the WCG elite (thus making the Syndicate rich and influential; whatever that means in a post-apocalyptic world). In order to enjoy that supposed power, the troops would have to outlive STURMANDERUNG themselves, implying "free Chrysalises for the Strikers". This basically implies setting up a huge Daodan-implanting industry.

It's not clear why such "sensible" Strikers (as opposed to the nihilistic maniacs above) would have taken their Chrysalises for granted. It's also worth noting that the profit/control perspective doesn't fit in well with Muro's words about fulfilling Hasegawa's dreams, or the mention about "symbiote candidate selection", implying that the Chrysalis is reserved to some kind of elite, and not unconditionally extended to all of "Muro's thugs".

It is not clear, either, whether Muro intended to claim control (spiritual or other) over his fellow Daodans or whether he was content with an anarchy of peers, relying on purely physical superiority. What kind of civilization did he mean for the new world ("behold... the future"), and what role did he intend to fulfill after the apocalypse? A ruler and an ideologue, or merely a pioneer? Since Mai stole the initiative from him, we may never know.

Knives

Muro's words about "all the others" make it likely that he viewed regular humans as an inferior species, a la Knives of Trigun, and simply wanted them gone.