The Unpublished Neo-Tokyo Fragment
Explanation: this was a very late add-on to Neo-Tokyo for Corporate Enclaves when it looked like we'd be a page or page-and-a-half short. As it was, it turned out we didn't need it. The fact that some of the content is a touch more graphic than Shadowrun usually deals with...well, that may have had a part too. Still, since some of you have shown interest, I've gotten permission to post the text of it here for those that want to see it.
This isn't canon material. Whether or not it's even good material is entirely a matter of opinion, it was written fast and the particular style of it demanded a certain lack of finesse; any and all blame lies solely on me.
OFF THE GRID
Posted by Janus
Neo-Tokyo is built around the wireless network almost from the ground up; it can be very difficult to move around without a commlink and a SIN. Most of Neo-Tokyo's urban transportation network, for example, uses active commlink density to measure and manage traffic flow. If you don't have an active commlink, you can stand at a crosswalk for hours and the light will never change because the monitoring software won't ał?seeał? you.
> Which is a telling reinforcement of the Japanese social stigma against jaywalking.
> Traveler Jones
> On the other hand, it also means no record is kept of your commlink's movement. If you can shadow someone with an active commlink or stay in a group of others, you can move fairly easily without leaving a datatrace on the local grid.
I've attached a few days worth of diary entries from a SINless girl called Ponaki, to give you an idea of being off the grid in Neo-Tokyo.
>>>>> BEGIN DIARY STYLE
I had a dream last night. I was walking down Unodo St., what Kano calls the Canyon because the buildings on either side slope in and it's like you're walking through a big inverted V with this tiny crack of sunlight, and the buildings are all covered by holofilm so they can play advertisements that take up the whole block. Then it started to rain and there was this sheet of water that was coming down the crack and dooshing all the cars and I could see the ads reflected on the water and I thought it was like the theatre grandma told me about. The coverlets where the cars can park sorta under the building were all full so I was standing there looking up at the water and then this car came and I got splashed and I woke up and I was shivering because it really was raining out and a car came by and splashed me and woke me up.
Kano told me yesterday that there were fisherman at the docks that didn't care if you had a SIN; the ones that were too poor to afford cargo-drones. Of course, Kano fried his wetware with any kind of skrag he could get his hands on, but it was a tip worth checking out, so I put on my shades and headed down toward the docks. You have to watch out walking because everybody's on AR and doesn't always pay attention to where they're going, and Kano says its because they have programs that tell them where everyone is and how tells them how to move and stuff, but I don't have a commlink so they can't really see me and they'll bump into me if I'm not careful. Kano says its good to wear the shades because that way everybody thinks I'm looking at AR too. I got down to the docks but apparently the fishermen want to unload in the mornings before the sun is even up and they don't like to hire girls anyways. Shit.
It was a guy today. I was asking for dates around the bus terminal, the one midway between Kabukicho and the highschool where all the girls come when they need money or something. Middle-aged corper waiting for his boss to die so he could move up in the world came looking for a little strange after a fourteen-hour shift and he came up and said he liked my socks. I made him buy me a meal first, took him to this Indian place, the one with the antiseptic wipes, for rice and ghee and beer. He followed me into the bathroom and I let him come between my thighs. He paid and left while I was wiping up and the bitch that ran the place gave me a look as I came out. Fuck her anyway, I got what I came for.
I wish Kano would come back, I haven't seen him since the day before yesterday and the drones at the Cube took our stuff and they won't hurt you but they can report you and then the police will come. I think they look funny ał?cause they're light blue and kinda look like beetles, but Kano says they just look that way to be nonthreatening but they use the same drones for killing rats and cats and stray dogs so you have to watch out.
I love the university campus in the mornings. There's less space than in the park, but you get more sunlight through the trees and sometimes I can hit it up with a boy or girl and get a shower in the dorms. It was cloudy today, though, so I headed straight for the cafeteria and got there just after they'd dumped breakfast. Kano told me the university either can't afford or doesn't care to lock its waste containers, so I had about half an hour to scrounge through soggy noodles and dead soy waffles. We used to eat there all the time but Kano said we needed to move around. I hope I see him tomorrow.
I went to Nikki's the club where Kano likes to buy his skag, and the bouncer knows me, and I let him feel me up a bit to let me into the club without checking my ID which I didn't have. I like the club because it smells nice and the walls and floor and all the furniture are covered by denim, even the lamps, so it's dark and kinda smoky and a little rough but in a good way. There were these boys there and I let them buy me niksticks and drinks and danced with them and kinda fooled with this one guy's dick under the table but then I saw Kano and he was looking pretty pale so I said I had to go to the bathroom and I'd be right back. It took me a couple minutes because the club was crowded but nobody cared that I went in the men's room and there was Kano on the floor sucking this guy's dick, and it was Monimoni, that queen that works for the fucking Yakuza and I didn't say anything but went back and stuck my hand down that one boy's pants and he took me home. His name is Gamon.
He had this really flash apartment down in Kanda, and he had me suck him off like twice times and then he fell asleep. I took a shower there and he had shampoo and conditioner but no soap. I didn't have a toothbrush so I used my finger with his toothpaste. I kinda wanted to soak my clothes but I didn't know if he'd be wanting me to leave in the morning so I just raided his fridge and stole a pair of his socks cause mine were like really dirty. But Gamon was kinda cool about it, maybe because I woke him up with a handjob and he looked like one of those nerdy otaku types that thinks one day they'll find True Love and it'll be some streetwalking whore like me with a heart of gold, and then I asked if I could stay and do my laundry and he said sure.
I'm updating all this on Gamon's home terminal and I don't think he'll mind ał?cause I have to walk around naked except for the socks I stole from him ał?til it's done.
>>>>> END DIARY STYLE
As a bonus, I found my actual notes for this section. Give you an idea of my kind of brainstorming:
- Diary entry
- SINless in Neo-Tokyo (Penniless and off the Grid)
- Focus on street-level color and description
Massive light-blue garbage drones
Cheap restaurants can't afford locks on their cans
Wear shades during the day, pretend to be in AR
Can't enter stores-they know you don't have a commlink
Ghee and rice
Begging just outside the religious district, where the priests and monks cannot see
Buildings clad in a layer of plastic or nano-weave for ad/cleaning purposes; streets of woven fiber-spongy
Fishing/docks-no jobs for SINless
Let bouncer cop a feel to get into a club
Denim and its many descendents...from clothing to carpeting...
Lack of mirrored finish on windows; de-emphasize the crowds (or providing LOS for magicians?)
Distinctive buildings, sometimes given to look like a corporate symbol made physical
Parking coverlets in sidewalk for personal vehicles
Green pieces - faux valleys of bonsai orchards as two rows of buildings slant down a particular street, the trees planted in niches all around
Slipstream buildings that reject the rain...and everything else...
So many older people...