FLUFF: After the heist..

It’s 03:23 in upper Berlin. Despite the late hour, the smog levels are still high, and there’s still a lot of traffic going down the Deutsche Bahn Speedway. This privately owned patch of asphalt and concrete is expensive to use, but it’s the fastest way from the Reinicke city-complex to the Köpenick megaplex.

And it’s also the only major street left in that area that is in good enough to be used by cars like the Mercedes Coupé 3000. And face it, these are the only cars a citizen of Köpenick would see fit to drive, as they speed northwards to the glittering Reinicke complex where the banks and big software companies reside, barely spending a glance at the warzone that is
Kreuzberg.

Far below the speedway, Joan is starting to get desperate. She’s out on the street for 9 hours now, her legs jittery from lack of ice, and her contact still hasn’t arrived. She reaches into her pocket again, feeling the contour of the terastick. She stole it from a nerd at the Airport,  hoping it might contain something worthwhile, something that would allow her to get at least one months supply of ice, and probably a nice room to enjoy it in.

In the end, the data made no sense at all to her, just a few satellite pictures and apparently a bunch of schedules. But when she mentioned some of the company names found on the stick, she got an instant offer for the thing. Now, if her damn contact would already arrive, and take it from her.

Finally she hears a faint cough behind her. „Stef, that you? Where’ve you been all the ti-“ A faint wet sound stops her short. She’s dead before her body hits the ground.

A sample heist: OmegaSteel Personnel Extraction

OmegaSteel Investigation Report – INTERNAL USE ONLY

DESCRIPTION

January 14th, 2061 a series of events occured which culminated in a destabilization of our high-orbit manufacturing site. Production was down for 3 hours. This report will reveal that this destabilization was a concerted action by at least 6 individuals, to provide a distraction during which Dr. Schrock, head of the new materials research laboratory was kidnapped from the Moscow headquarter. His current status is still unknown. It is suspected that this was a concerted effort to extract Dr. Schrock and his knowledge of High-Orbit Manufacturing from our company.

SERIES OF EVENTS


14-01-2061-0445
Guardsman Johnson, OS-#249AH2839, reports a broken computer interface in his weatherbooth at the Remote Storage facility in Frankfurt. Conversation with Helpdesk department reveals that the spare interface unit which should be located in the booth locker is missing. A new spare delivery is scheduled for 14-01-2061-0800. Until then, Johnson is advised to submit security alerts via phone.


14-01-2061-0454
The spare interface unit delivery is ordered with KourierZ. Pickup from AfriCodA is arranged.


14-01-2061-0514
A massive distributed denial of service attack is started against OS-Node #231. Preliminary examination of the attack point to a giant botnet comprising of virus-infected cortical nodes. Researchers have now found out that the virus was spread via a popular vision enhancement software, which superimposed lewd comments into the optical cortex whenever the user looked at a person of another gender. The origin of this enhancement is unknown, it is masked as a viral marketing stunt by Pepsi Cola.


14-01-2061-0520
OS-Node #231 gets switched off. Critical applications are moved to OS-Node #253. Uncritical applications are unavailable until #231 gets active again.


14-01-2061-0523
A Kourier picks up the spare interface unit.


14-01-2061-0601
Motion sensors at the perimeter of Moscow Headquarter pick up three signatures. They are logged, but the report cannot be delayed to HQ Security Central as the relay service has been erringly classified as "uncritical" on OS-Node #231.


14-01-2061-0610
A gang fight near the Warsaw Cyberattack Counterunit (WCC) escalates. Area security raises the alert level to critical.


14-01-2061-0635
The gang fight moves away from the WCC, leaving the front of the building scarred, but all security measures intact. Security announces that the alert level will be lowered to normal after one hour.


14-01-2061-0648
Janitor Services in Moscow Headquarter are alerted of a waste disposal malfunction on floor 3.


14-01-2061-0704
Waste Disposal Malfunction has clogged the major tubes. All floors upwards floor 3 are now affected.


14-01-2061-0758
Kourier delivery of the spare interface at Remote Storage facility in Frankfurt.


14-01-2061-0804
Gang fight in Warsaw destroys a large array of power and communications lines. Emergeny generators and satellite links start up at WCC. WCC operates on 3/4 efficiency now.


14-01-2061-0815
Frankfurt Security logs an incoming phonecall from Guardsman Johnsons booth. It gets disconnected before pickup. 10 seconds later the "all clear" message comes in from Johnsons computer, verified by his interface. Later investigations will reveal that Johnson has been ambushed and rendered unconscious by two persons. One of them then used a compromised AfriCodA interface unit to send a forged "all clear" message.


14-01-2061-0859
Waste Disposal Malfunction in Moscow is ended. Employee monitoring systems log a noticeable drop in work efficiency on all floors previously affected by the malfunction: Employees are flooding into the now-available restrooms.


14-01-2061-0900
Frankfurt Remote Storage drops offline.


14-01-2061-0900
A fire breaks out in Moscow Waste Disposal System


14-01-2061-0901
WCC starts working on bringing Frankfurt Remote Storage online again


14-01-2061-0901
The High Orbit Manufacturing site receives new telemetry data, apparently from Moscow HQ, but it originates in reality from Frankfurt Remote Storage. The station drops into a lower orbit. The slightly larger gravitational pull renders two production cycles worthless. Estimated loss: $49 million


14-01-2061-0902
The heat from the fire in waste disposal system causes overheating of the main server room. More than half of the hardware in the main server room switches off automatically to prevent permanent damage.


14-01-2061-0910
Moscow HQ command control notices the drop of the HA site and starts calculating new and correct telemetry. Recalculation takes longer, as the remaining systems online cannot handle the load.


14-01-2061-0915
Moscow HQ Chief Security Executive, Mr. Pavcek realizes that this is a concerted attack. He orders a building lockdown.


14-01-2061-0916
Building lockdown is overridden by the Moscow Firefight Department, in order to fight the fire in Waste Disposal System, which threatens to take over the whole building if left unattended.


14-01-2061-0920
Witnesses see a group of 5 individuals in Firemen uniforms escort a muddled-looking Dr.Schrock from the building. All enter an ambulance and leave in northern direction.

What is it about

WTO 2060 is a Cyberpunk-like roleplaying setting. Currently, it’s being designed for a future play-by-post roleplaying campaign.

As you could see by the first background notes, the setting tends towards "dark and gritty". The player characters will struggle for survival, living mostly outside the established system. They work for big corporations, governments or the Mafia – whoever offers a job and pays in anonymized money. A typical job might be

  • infiltrating an office tower undetected, gaining access to their core computer systems, download the blueprints for the new sonic toothbrush, cover their traces and deliver the data to the competition
  • Freeing the younger sister of a squatter from an illegal bioresearch laboratory
  • Shut down a powerplant
  • escort a VIP through a gang warzone

Player characters will be specialists of some kind. In their field, they are far better than the average joe. Alas, thanks to some event in their past, they aren’t part of normal society anymore: They don’t have access to normal bank accounts, don’t have a credit chip and especially don’t have any official documents. For society, they don’t exist. This certainly is a hindrance in a lot of ways, but also offers a degree of freedom: If society doesn’t care about you, you can stop caring about societies rules.

Of course, randomly shooting people is a surefire way of making society and law enforcement notice you, but not in a good way.

World Setting Part 1

First Look at the setting:

We’re looking at the year 2060. While nations still exist on paper, most of civilisation is effectively governed by laws and „recommendations“ of the WTO. The interests of companies and their shareholders are more important than those of so-called „sovereign nations“.

Technology has advanced quite far in the past 53 years: The mind-machine interface has been perfectioned. Everyone is able to access the Google Grid everywhere, without the need of clunky interfaces like a screen or a keyboard: Information is fed directly to the optical and audio nerve system, user input is done via a thought-interface. All that is needed for this is a small implant in the skull, connected to a miniature-computer located in the abdomen. These systems don’t store data or have much computing power, but excel in accessing the wifi Grid.

Cyberjockeys boost this by the use of much more external computers, connected with optical cables to their body-systems.

In Europe, coastland china, Japan and the USA the majority either work as data processors for various big corporations – they evaluate, sort, tag and file data that cannot be processed by computer programs – or they are service personnel of various kinds. A trained elite works as programmers, or artificers.

The bulk of industrial production is handled by robotic facilities, same with farming.

The good news: Corporations finally have discovered the need to cut down on pollution, and to sustain the environment. With the invention of micro-reactors and the uranium compactor, a device that compacts the dangerous parts of radioactive waste into „safe“ containers that can be shot into the sun, nuclear energy has become the prime energy source. The use of fossil fuels has become nearly nonexistant.

The corporations and regions that were dependant on these ressources have undergone a radical change and now „sell“ religion instead. This market is now nearly split in half by ChristianShell and BP Muslimics two bitter enemies. ChristianShell is dominating Asia and southern America, while BP Muslimics holds sway in Africa, North America. The Middle East has become an ever greater battleground than ever before, where both corporations fight for domination. Curiously, Europe has been spared this fight, as Atheism has reached a all-time high there, and both corporations are only seen as small franchises.

The average citizen is fed, has decent housing, a 10hours/day job and can afford a virtual trip to Hawaii once a year. (The real Hawaii suffered an outbreak of a still unknown bioweapon that wiped out the whole population in 2020 and is now a no-go area for everyone, heavily guarded by WTO forces.)

People still have dreams of a better future. Thes dreams are nurtured by a whole entertainment industry, in the form of trivid-shows that promise people getting instantly rich or famous or even both by competing in model/singing/wrestling/bazooka contests (Fights to the death are legal in most WTO-controlled areas, if all participants enter the contests willingly and knowingly).

In reality, the future is pretty bleak for most of the population, although most don’t realize it.

more later…