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Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Romdeaux, Aug 25, 2014.
Water could be heard rushing, hot water. The luxury that once was, to many, a common sight. Florian was taking a shower, and though certain areas offered the public showers, they rarely had enough to last more than an hour of usage, so the people had to take showers in under a minute, and pay for it too. Florian slipped on a white coat, his trousers, and his Guardian Jacket. Today like every day fearful of what might happen. "God, have mercy on what may transpire today." This is what he normally said when walking out for work. Living in a compound built by ZetaTech, Florian had coordinated to have an entire street of brownhouses locked down and walled off, with only one entrance- a giant gate made of nano-infused steel. Inside this compound, the lucky few survive in luxury. Mostly scientists, some soldiers, but all under lock and key. Florian was, in a way, ZetaTech's New York baron- he owned the city and had sent settlers out into Connecticut to search for life- and destroy it.
Walking calmly into one of buildings, marked "Security", Florian walked up two flights of stairs to enter what seemed to be a radio room. Now outfitted with laptops and monitors, as well as a traditional microphone hooked up across the city. "Good morning, New York City. This is your benevolent leader, Viceroy. I hope you're all having a wonderful day, today's news comes from my informants. There seems to be a rise in the price of flour and water... Who ever could be behind such a crisis?!" Florian chuckled cheerfully, looking on at the monitors and grinning. "Scream all you like, people of New York. I am spreading my wings, is all. Prices shall return to normal soon- for now, please donate to the Red Cross of New York, they need the help, and anything you can donate- time, money, homemade clothing, is much appreciated. Lay down your arms and join the good fight, to a better future. These price hikes and everything, they are due to those among you wishing for my benevolent leadership to fall. You understand all of you that I am in control here only at the behest of ZetaTech, correct? They could replace me at any time (total bullshit, he's a permanent resident and regional coordinator), so fight against those wishing to go against my glorious rule. There will be bread and circuses for those that obey, hanging ropes for those that go against our Order and our Word. We saved this city once, now we are merely trying to keep it together. Can you not all understand this humble goal?" The people knew he was half-lying, though many believed him due to his sincere work. The Red Cross might have been under his foot, though he allowed them to give medical services and access to supplies at much lower rates than any hospital.
A knock on the door, and in came Florian's boss. A regional overseer from ZetaTech walked in with a crisp suit and a sullen face. "I see you're drumming up support, Hungarian. You make it sound very convincing, truly..." Florian bowed, a smile across his lips. "You ask me to come to this city and turn it into my kingdom- I shall do so. Though my reach may be little in force, the airwaves are mine to control... At least in Manhattan and Brooklyn." The ZetaTech overseer put a hand to Florian's shoulder. "Just know that any more 'experiments', must be approved by us. That's all I came down here to say. The Founder isn't pleased with the number of deaths due to your plans- as great as they are. Your New World device, however, may be put to use. Imagine a microchip, implanted into everyone's wrist or say the back of their hand, that allowed us to activate for each individual person- or perhaps groups in a certain area, the New World. They would be walking, smelling, and breathing a fantasy while living in utter hell." Florian nodded calmly at the suggestions. "I'll use the locals I've saved for the experiments, the old and the sick, if possible. They'd like a few more years of happiness, don't you think?" Florian asked, inquisitively. "I believe you're right, Florian. Again, don't kill 40 in a week... Even if it is to test out a new weapon you don't need to hold a battle royalle literally in your basement." Florian chuckled, nodded. "That was for the adults, not the children. Didn't I kick you guys up a large portion of that money?" The ZetaTech overseer nodded, gritting his teeth. "You're a madman, I should have you hung- yet who would want to kill a true flesh and blood king?" Florian nodded absentmindedly, snapping his fingers for one of his guards on the outside to enter. "Take him away. Throw him to the dogs." The sentences, spoke in his native tongue, would be unintelligable to the ZetaTech overseer. "Tell your boss everything is fine, and then leave, please." The visitor was escorted out courtly, wrote a reply, and was never seen again.
In every building, out of the 8 brownhouses Florian has locked down, each come equipped with a radio that can be turned down, but not off. Spewing the propaganda that everything is safe here, yet that they must be strong to face the outside world. The children are taught mainly in the art of war- however they are also given rigerious educations brought upon by Florian's hired teachers- mainly the poor who once taught at select universities across the globe. Florian was not always coldhearted, though at times the spoken word might enthrall him. Within one of the buildings, the three floors above were converted into barracks for his guards, with supplies being stored in the basement below. There is also a training facility nearby, where the children and teens are taught how to fight, and how to kill. "Your education is the first thing needed to fight this new, mostly uneducated, world. There will be a time when we may relent, yet not in the next thousand years. Hungary, and our kinsmen, will live on in unity and prosperity so long as we fight against the oppressors of this new world. The poor must be brought into the fold regardless of their creed, color, or background for they are the backbone of our economy. We will build factories from the old world, bring it into the new. Help and heal, tear apart any cancers we see in this new world to bring the people back to their former selves." This is an excerpt from what one of the teachers had read aloud to students at 11 years of age, in total, there were 40 of them, all aged 11-17. They lived in the compound, but were trained as soldiers, given Guardian Jackets, the whole lot. The new generation of New York was either sheltered or poor, more or less. The rich lived in the Settlements, Disnai, for one. Florian has hope, yet it is dependent upon his will- for no king can rule without the public liking him. If people outside the compound knew he lived in luxury, they'd probably riot... Thankfully, that has not happened- though there have been rumors of a bounty on his head. Here's hoping it isn't true.
"It was nine years ago... Yes.. Nine years to the day. That girl walked into my bar, ten years old, and shot me full in the head. No matter how hard you get shot, you don't forget something like that... Not in a million years.."
"Old man, who the hell are you talking to?"
She spoke with a voice about the consistency of pumice, with the vestiges of an old New York accent threatening to be apparent. She was tall, maybe five foot seven, with hair the color of pomegranate. Perhaps the most striking thing about the girl was the way she was strong-arming a man, nearly twice her size, into submission. She tied the man to a chair with relative ease and sauntered over the bar upon gagging him. She grabbed a whiskey glass from the end of the counter, it was scratched in a few places and could've been worse for wear, but if could talk it probably would have told you it didn't want to be. She shoved it at the elderly man behind the counter.
"Scotch, on the rocks, sir. And put it on my tab!"
"And I suppose you think that'll fool me into letting you drink, won't it? Listen here, E. We might be facing a world-wide catastrophic disaster for the hundredth year in a row, and you may be an incredibly skilled mercenary who doesn't take no for an answer. But you are nineteen years old and the affects of alcohol on your underdeveloped brain could be dangerous. Besides, it's my bar, and I don't serve minors."
"You're a asshole, Darren, and someday, It'll come back and bite you in the butt! MARK MY WORDS, OLD MAN...MARK. MY. WORDS...."
Eden marched proudly out the room as the finished her sentence. Out of the room and into the alley outside of the Lemon Pop club. The club used to be a rather exciting hangout for young people, but after the attacks on lower Manhattan, it eventually went out of business and fell into decay. 25 or so years ago, a middle aged man, who at the time was fairly important in the counter-movement against the netrunners, took refuge in its walls, and to this day, Darren Korb lives in the disestablished LP club. It was only 9 years ago that He met eden, at the time, a young girl trying to find her next meal. The man who offered that meal was a mob boss looking for the head of Mr. Korb. And so the story goes. What happened between shooting him and her coming to be his adopted daughter, who knows...
Eden spent a lot of time either hunting down money and sleeping, but despite that, in the world she lived in time off was a luxury that a person needed to survive. She marched down the lamp-lit alleys of lower Manhattan, listening to the tinny noise from the city speakers downtown. As always it was that self aware prick from Zetatech, spouting his hypocritical nonsense about "necessary evils" and "for the people". Naturally it was no more than a rich kids camp stealing all the comforts for themselves and leaving millions of people without water and food.
"You're gonna get it one of these days, viceroy, you ignorant hog..."
She sneered into the dark, tasting resent and disgust on her lips. Even after all the world has had to go through, there's still going to be people who think they can take what they want because they have power. People with no morals, families, or kindness in their hearts.
'Someday...this will all be behind us, won't it?'
Location: Outside the Lemon Pop club
Generic asian music played on the speakers in the small restaurant. There were ten tables inside with seven stools right in front of the bar. Cheap, slightly tacky japanese art hung from the walls, which were paneled with a wood veneer. The bar itself looked to be made out of wood with a glass case displaying the wares. The location was set on the outskirts of the nicer part of the city near nightclubs and other hangouts for the better off. Much of their fare was imitation sushi using either processed Pollack or soy proteins. But real fish could be bought with the right amount of money.
It seemed that the Sushi bar would be a losing business proposition, rarely was it ever busy and the ingredients were quite expensive. Catering fancy parties brought in more money, but most business savvy people figured it was subsidized. After all, there was no gambling den or (heaven forbid) a brothel in the basement underneath the building. The bell rang and a young man sat down at the bar. Jack Armitage, the chef stood behind the bar, waiting for a customer. "Irasshaimase" Jack said with a bow as the man ordered a simple maki roll.
Location: Megumi Sushi
Company: 1 customer, 3 staff members who are NOT yakuza thugs
Type 17 Mk. 2 (Most definitely NOT behind counter, 40 rds)
Mineba 9mm (NOT holstered on his hip, 20 rds.)
Katana (Sheathed on display)
Chef's knives (preparing sushi)
It was a pretty nice day. Alex actually had some down time for the first time in a long time (it was about time) and spent the majority of it sleeping in his bed. The "bed" was actually just a mattress and a pile of blankets shoved off into the far corner of his "apartment", but it didn't see enough use to give any reason to upgrade, and Alex was just fine with it. Next to the bed was a small table holding an unlabeled bottle of some liquid, a half-filled pillbottle, and an electronic alarm clock. A pile of clothes was shoved underneath it, composing of jeans, t-shirts, socks, the usual stuff. His dark, faded green jacket with a ludicrous amount of zippers was tossed even further to the side. The corner opposite that and closer to the door was occupied by a small kitchenette, and the corner directly across from the door was where his glorious, shining, magnificent battlestation sat. The thing consisted of a large, black, aluminum corner desk, three mismatched monitors (a small LCD, an ancient CRT monitor, and a plasma screen that could easily double as a TV), four computer towers with perpetually blinking lights, and one enormous chair. The chair resembled one you would find in a dentist's office, with a little more padding. However, this one had a rather peculiar looking harness and helmet attached to it, each with innumerable amounts of wires and bits of plastic and metal on and around it leading down to the computers. These were there in order to help turn his thoughts into electrical signals and, in turn, speed up his ability to steal and manipulate various bits of ones and o's. It was a pretty good setup for what he did, without the need for dermal or (god forbid) sub-dermal implants. His sister would kill him if he did, and he had to respect that. She was serious.
His "apartment" was, in reality, the basement of a real apartment complex. He got the forty by forty foot place because it attracted the least amount of attention, was easy to lug heavy computers to, and the landlord was perfectly fine with accepting rent payments in less-than-legal ways. He had been living there, in the East side, for about seven years. Over that time he got to know the others that occupied the small building. Almost all of them were involved in one illicit activity or another. Assassins, counterfeiters, cooks, even a few hackers were sharing the lot. It was a pretty alright place for someone like Alex.
His sleepy thoughts began to drift to his family, how his mother was doing. He'd been sending her as much money as he could, but it really couldn't account for his actual absence. He should visit sometime, he thought, as the image of his mother became older, and older, and older...
*BEEP BEEP BEEP*
Alex was now laying on the floor. It was cold, and somewhat refreshing from the usually hot air inside the basement. But, it wasn't cool to him. He groaned as he got to his feet. He was wearing his pajamas, consisting of a pair of fleece pants with paw-prints on them and a grey t-shirt. His bare feet padded as he lazed over to the table, and turned off the alarm.
"Hello, Alex. The weather today is cloudy, and in the 60's, Alex. The chance of precipitation is relatively high. You should wear a jacket, Alex. There have been no detected breaches in your security net, Alex. Have a nice day."
His alarm clock was talking to him again. Of course, that was programmed behavior. A simple text message updated every few minutes with information relative to his interests, run through a text-to-speech program. Sadly, programming AIs was a bit out of his field of expertise. Maybe one day.
Alex sighed, thinking about the dream. He didn't know why he'd dream about his normal life. Maybe he ought to sleep more. He considers calling his mother, but instead goes over to his computer and gets in his chair, opting out of using the neural interface and instead pulls out a keyboard and mouse from under the desk. "What do you have for me today, world?"