The Fall of the F9000 was a controversy that involved the F9000 International Federation of Anti-Gravity Racing, administered by the Overtel Corporation, and other related parties, legitimate or not. The Anti-Gravity Purity Coalition exposed numerous sensitive documents, detailing various acts of corruption within the F9000 Race Commission. The subsequent investigations literally destroyed all parties involved with the scandal, including Overtel itself.
The concurrent fallout by the general public resulted in a global unrest and an economic depression that lasted until the end of the decade. AG racing would disappear as a reputable sport until its re-emergence in the 2180s and the inauguration of the FX300 League in 2197.
Since the birth of AG racing, Overtel Corporation had been obsessed with the sport, and was willing to try and gain control of it, with the intention of commercializing it and "maximising the audiences at any cost necessary". As such, Overtel bought the controlling stake of Qirex Industries in the 2050s and reared it to become the most successful team in the early years of AG racing history. However, this was viewed with suspicion by the Race Commission, as well as Pierre Belmondo, who saw Overtel's influence as a threat to his ideals. Belmondo responded to this by forming the Belmondo Foundation in the early 2100s to protect his ideals for after he moved on.
In 2132, Overtel finally managed to seize control of the F7200 AG Race Commission from the Belmondo Foundation following Pierre Belmondo's death in 2127. Since then, Overtel would evolve the sport to become "better for the spectators watching". In 2152, Overtel announced that the league would be upgraded to the F9000 specification, and held a public contest for the selection of the race track for the league. The first F9000 League season was contested in 2156 to worldwide acclaim.
However, as the competition went on, the sport increasingly became a business ground for interested parties. Once proud teams, such as FEISAR and Piranha, had become virtual pawns in one giant game of business. Numerous resistance organizations were formed to protest the direction AG racing was going in, most notably the Anti-Gravity Purity Coalition. Formed in 2162, the Coalition coordinated numerous publicity stunts in an attempt to undermine all of those involved with the F9000. League participants and sponsors were common targets. This became more common toward the late 2160s. Among them was a web campaign to stop Tigron and Overtel from constructing a track in London that would center around the landmarks with the possibility of collateral damage.
October 2170: Exposure of CorruptionEdit
In October 2170, several members of the Coalition had hacked into the database of the F9000 Race Commission and lifted terabytes of confidential data before they were discovered. Among those files were the details of corruption, deception, illegal practices and even murder that spanned the entire history of Overtel. The Coalition made these documents public before the start of the penultimate race of the F9000 season. Crowds stopped in their tracks and gazed in awe at the revelations unfolding upon the giant screens in shopping malls, city centres and airports around the world.
Natasha Belmondo, the great-great-granddaughter of Pierre Belmondo, recounted this event:
"I knew that day would come at some point. The instant I spotted the news on the screens I opened the channel to my team and asked 'Is this what I think it is?' When they replied in the affirmative I felt a wave of emotion rush over me. I eased off the power, opened the air brakes, coasted to a stop and began to cry. They were not tears of joy or sadness, but tears of relief. Relief that it was finally over."
"For those in the grandstands and around the world who had watched the news unfold in disbelief, the sight of each of the ships in that race sitting idle on the grid confirmed the dreadful truth. This was not some elaborate misinformation stunt concocted by a radical fan group. This was the searing revelation that they, the public, had been the victims of a much larger scam than they could ever have imagined."
In the following days, the F9000 League was suspended pending further investigation. Within hours of story breaking, many of Overtel's board members took the easy way out, with many of them committing suicide to avoid the charges laid against them. Those who opted not to do so were subsequently arrested by U.S. Marshals in the Overtel headquarters in New York City.
At the same time, a media firestorm was developing in the crossfire between companies exposed by the scandal. As accusations were followed by counter-accusations, the teams and their controlling corporate sponsors desperately scrambled for the high ground. But for most, it was too little too late – angry mobs would besiege corporate HQs around the world in the following nights and days, requiring local military forces to move in and enforce martial law in several major cities.
The most extraordinary fallout was from Tigron Enterprises. The company was run by a crime syndicate that had been in power in Russia since the late 2140s. In the investigations that followed, Tigron was exposed as one of the main cohorts involved in the scandals with Overtel. After the company acquired Qirex in 2149, Tigron discovered all manner of illegal activities in which Overtel was engaged while in control of Qirex. During the F9000 League, Tigron used these information to blackmail Overtel into allowing them to flaunt the rules, which was seen as going so far as to fix the races in the later years. Shortly after this revelation, Tigron was shut down and its properties were abandoned. Subsequently, the disgruntled civilians revolted and overthrew the syndicate within the year.
G-Tech Systems was another company involved in Overtel's unlawful activities. Specifically, the company appeared to be financed (illicitly) by Overtel, through its various illegal operations. This was the result of their constant poor performance in each season they competed in the F9000 League, as well as their arrogance to continue in spite of repeated threats by the parent company to withdraw the team. An investigation discovered colossal financial irregularities in G-Tech's accounts. As a consequence, G-Tech became financially crippled after starting to be deserted by its customers, and its resources were auctioned off sometime after the company went out of business.
Other parties (presumedly or somehow) involved in the scandal subsequently dissolved or merged (such as EG-R and Xios, although whether they were involved in the corruption or not remains unknown), or even quit the scene to distance themselves from AG racing. Even so, many of those that merged or quit might still suffer from financial recession as the result of the fallout.
The major fallout during the fall of the F9000, coupled with the subsequent riots all over the world, had a devastating impact on world markets and the global economy. This shock led to a global recession that took years to stabilize, and many more to recover from.