Alpine City: 2056 (Year Of The Rats)
“Welcome to the Jungle, we’ve got fun and games…” — Guns N’ Roses, “Appetite for Destruction”, 1987
Alpine City, south side, patrol sector 8 … your own little slice of Hell, nestled in Neo-Corp paradise. You’ve been living here for a while … good times, and bad. Gang wars, Neo-Corp “Street Cleaning” operations, ACPD “Justice Sweeps”, designer disease plagues, serial killer sprees — you name it, you’ve survived it. That makes you part of an elite … the 1% of 1% that runs the ragged edge of legal and illegal, of deniable and disposable, of successful and body donor.
That 1% of 1% — your Set — are called Edgerunners. It takes all kinds to do what you do; good, bad, ugly, bold, beautiful, young, ruthless, crazy, cold blooded … it takes all kinds, and you meet all kinds out here on the Ragged Edge.
The Future is Designed in Japan, Stylized in Europe, and Printed On Demand in North America in 3-D
The advent of digital design systems driving house-sized 3D printers means that anything from clothes to auto-cannons is just a few mouse clicks and a some crypto-cash away. Real Money is not in manufacturing … that’s a sucker’s game. Real Money is found in design and style. That’s the difference between a genuine Varparmak hip bag, and something a kid in a Tread Zone whipped off on a sketch pad.
On the other hand, it means that any smart Techie or Street-level Corp can make a decent living “modding” designs and getting stuff into the hands of folks on the Street.
A Pocket Full Of Crypt and Everywhere To Spend It
Currency amongst Edgerunners, must, by necessity be traceless and anonymous. Edgerunners themselves, must, by necessity be traceless and anonymous. Thus, using Neo-Corp managed and maintained banking systems that have cameras everywhere and AI audit routines looking for “dirty money” seems a bit … stupid.
On the other hand, it’s not like you can have a truckload of collected barter stock, either. That just means you spend all your time defending your stuff. Your life, by necessity, is rootless and hyper-mobile. Few Edgerunners ever have a permanent address; if they do, it’s a jealously guarded secret. You might call it your bolt-hole, but your enemy calls it a fixed target.
Waving wads of cash around just attracts attention of the sort that leads to gunfights and medical bills. Some paper currency is OK, but you’re always playing a game of hoping it hasn’t been declared worthless by next Tuesday.
That leaves digital crypto-currency. It’s a faceless, anonymous underground economy that runs via peer-to-peer encrypted transactions to 32-character disposable digital addresses that have no way of giving up the identity of the owner. Flash up your NetHook, enter the destination address and amount, and it’s “wired” instantly. You get a unique transaction ID that is only known to the two ends of the transaction, so you can confirm it was really you that sent the money.
Going one step further are “Crytpo Cash Cards” … one-use-only real-world representations of various values of digital crypto-currency. You get the card, wave it in front of the near-field scanner on your NetHook and the card is dead and the value inside is yours.
This is collectively called “Crypt”, or “Scrypt”. Most places an Edgerunner deals with deal in Crypt/Scrypt. They’d be stupid not to; the government and the corps can’t tax what they can’t see.
Which means that, like most things in an Edgerunner’s life … it’s illegal to use Crypt/Scrypt.
Clearly visible / overtly displayed cybernetic augmentations
Anything added to an otherwise substandard quality item, place, or situation to make it look better than it is
- Mental disorder akin to a combination of megalomania and sociopathy, associated with the aggressive adoption of cybernetic augmentations.
Ubiquitous electronic device used for “hooking up to the Net”. Combines functions of streaming media receiver, calendar, audio-video recorder, instant text messaging, audio-video phone / conferencing, and GPS / urban navigation.
Advanced versions also manage finances, wallet functions, biometric identification services, and health monitoring.
All devices transmit and receive data via encrypted wireless “always on” network connections.
Come in a variety of hand-held or “wearable” styles, colours and brands.
It is considered illegal to disable the “find the device” functionality of NetHooks. This is usually the first thing an Edgerunner does.
Abbreviation for “Compadre”.
Original: Spanish, formal.
Street: Informal – a way of addressing or referring to a friend or companion.
- Tread, as in “step upon” … as in “stepped on and held down” … as in “neighbourhood of down trodden and disenfranchised”
“Some Heads Are Gonna Roll”
Judas Priest, “Defenders of the Faith”, 1984