NationStates Jolt Archive

Life, Awakened.

29-03-2005, 11:39
Peace River, Karmabaijan. The shining jewl of capitalism in action. Proof that if people want something bad enough, like a new home on an unhospitable chunk of ice in the outer solar system, they can get it, if they are willing to throw enough money at it. From the underground arcologies below, to the tip of the Milespire, rising high above the city and landing platforms that made up the upper levels Peace River was a magnificent thing to behold. ( (

Unless you were Kaga Kazuo.

5 years ago, Kaga Kazuo was a man that all the major corps in Karmabaijan, hell, in the entire Triumvirate would pay top dollar for. His skill with microelectronics was without equal. KCTS owed him for their market dominating cyberelectronics division. FuchiCyberSystems for their record breaking cyberdecks. TYCS for their advanced neural control systems in their fighters and land combat systems.

5 years ago...before the Day of Days. Before the Awakening.

After that day, where the kid with the fingers of gold, the microelectronics mastermind, grew a full meter and sprouted bony protrusions from his face and joints, Kaga Kazuo was never the same.

The experts explained it as the awakening of the magical energy within Titan, caused by the new life energy brought to the once barren and icy rock...or something like that. Kaga didn't really care. All that Day meant to him was that he was unable to do the work he loved. Most of the Awakened adjusted to their new lives, and Karmabaijan was far from the worst place to be different, a hundred times better than Suunto, to be sure, but Kaga never did. Some say he never accepted his change. Some say his large Troll hands prevent him from doing his work. Most, could care less.

After the change, when it became apparent that he couldn't...or wouldn't be useful as he once was, the corps forgot about him, brushed him under the rug of perpetual progress with a decent severence package and a fake gold watch.

Peace River was a funny sort of place. The rich and powerful lived at the top, and at the bottom, where the Caves of Steel was still a trendy spot to reside. Inbetween, the less rich and powerful lived, not because of some caste system, but because that's what they could afford. But right in the middle, surface level, was the Sprawl. An amalgamation of stores, apartments, squats, streets, and alleys, the Sprawl was the lowest income level of Peace River. No one lived their by choice, unless they were trying to disappear. Kaga Kazuo stood at his door, a door built to accomodate his large size, of course, and stared up at the gleaming tower of the milespire high above. The observation lounge at the top served a mean Gargle Blaster, but that was another life ago. He opened his door and stepped inside.

"Where you been Kaga? We was gettin' impatient wait'n fer yer sorry troll butt."

Kaga startles at the voice from the darkness of his flat. Great, Drek and Drekker. "Oh, uh, hey Dic, Mysh. What brings you around here?"

Dicion Constantinou flicked on a light, revealing himself, seated, ill-fitting suit, cheap obvious cyberware and all, with his bodyguard, Myshra standing close by.

"You said you would make delivery last week, chummer. My client is getting a bit antsy. Seems to think that the advance he gave you is never going to bear fruit."

Dic considered himself a respectable businessman, but he was really just a fixer. A go-between for the exploiters and the exploitees.

"You know this shit ain't like cranken' out knock-off simsense progs or BTL chips Dic. This is exacting work here. Cut corners and people could get hur..."

"I don't give a frak, chummer. You got paid to produce a product, and that product ain't been produced. You get those damn arms done by the end of this week, or Mysh here is going to get Boss Henry's advance back. How's that wave?"

"I got it, Dic. You'll have them. Now get the frak out of my flat."

"Easy their big guy. You wanna get paid, you show some respect. Remember, end of the week." Dic stood up and walked out, Mysh flicking Kaga a wicked stare as they brushed passed and disappeard into the Sprawl.

Kaga sighed as he walked into what was once the bedroom of the flat, a luxury fairly uncommon in this area of the Sprawl, and what was now a workshop of sorts. A rack of arms stood in the corner in various states of construction. Kaga grabbed the nearest and set it on the bench, picking up a set of tools. Lookit me. From top of the industry to two bit knockoff cyber-smith. Hell, I'm knocking off my own designs for some low life ganger so his Street Samurais can beat the ever loving crap out of some other gang's Street Sams. What the hell am I doing?

Kaga toiled long into the night, surrounded by his "work" and the never-slumbering bustle of the Sprawl. When he went to bed on the couch that was too small to contain his large frame, it was to a caccophony of engines, gunfire, and the every day life of Peace River.

Images copyright DreamPod9
30-03-2005, 10:28
Friday. Peace River Police Department, Precinct 29-B-3. Heart of the Sprawl. It took a special cop and special equipment to police these streets. So the government did the only sensible thing. Contracted the work out to the Corps.

"Sargeant Lond! Sargeant!" The lithe woman finally glanced down, reached up and turned off the grinder she was using. She hooked the tool to the workstand next to her, and jumped down off the upper leg assembly of the PRPD ( Tanngnost ( Heavy Gear she was working on.

"What's up, cap'n?" She grabbed a rag from a pocket of her work jumpsuit and began wiping grease from her hands.

"We got a lead on one of the big illegal cyberware rings. Take a look." He hands her a DataTablet.

"Wait. THE Kaga Kazuo?" Recieving a nod in response she continues to read. "Hell, I got his logo over 80% of my 'cyber. Shit never breaks down. So the snitch says he is making unlicensed stuff for Boss Henry's pack of street drek, eh? So take him down, what's the big deal?"

"The big deal is I think we can turn him. He used to be on the right side of the law. Might be willing to go back."

She eyed the captain. "You want to make a move on Boss Henry, don't you?" Another nod. "We gonna get any support? He's got more chrome around him than Akehabara during an overstock sale."

"Corporate says if we can get substantial proof that he is dealing in unlicensed 'cyber, we'll get a lot of support from the top. I need you to make contact with Kaga. See if we can get this set up."

"Guess this means I can't take Herchel out today, eh?" Lond looks up and pats the 'gear on its leg.


Lond stood across the street from Kaga's flat as a bunch of gangers rolled past on their 'cycles. She was dressed in the utilitarian, quasi-military styled streetware that was common in the Sprawl. All armored, of course. One did not walk the streets without protection around here. The light was on in what intel said was Kaga's second room. Must still be making some bank to afford a 2 room box.

She crossed the street when noone was in sight and knocked quietly on the door. There was the sound of a door shutting before the door infront of her opened. Opened to a view dominated by torso, that is. Lond looked up. "Kaga Kazuo, I presume."

It had the desired effect. "How do you know that name?"

"I know a lot of things. Is it safe to talk here?" She pushed her way into the flat.

"Yeah. I sweep it daily. Who the frak are you?" The question reverberated with barely hidden threats of violence.

"Customer looking for an upgrade. Your mark is on most of my mods." Lond's blue eyes changed to a full chrome mirrored face. "Came to talk about your new employer. Doesn't seem he would be able to afford you, with what you used to pull down from KCTS."

"I don't do that anymore. That was a lifetime ago....wait, I remember you. Frakking CopCorp. Great. If Boss Henry finds ou.."

"Chill out chummer. I came here to make a deal. We know you are making unlicensed 'ware for the gangers. A ganger to be precise, and we want to take his drekking butt off the streets. Call it Urban Renewal. You help us bring him down, you get your life back."

"I left by choice. I can't do that anymore...not with these hands."

Lond smirked at him. "I'm sure that little Deltaware lab accident had nothing to do with it."

The mood in the room instantly changed. Kaga looked down, sullen. "You can make that go away?"

"Sure can. As long as you play bal...."

There was a knock at the door.
30-03-2005, 17:48
OCC: Is this open?
31-03-2005, 05:16
Sort of, but being as how there isnt anything for anyone else to contribute at this point, not really.
20-04-2005, 09:38
Kaga snapped his gaze to the door. "Ta ma duh! We're humped. That's the fix coming to pick up this week's order."

"Relax, big guy. Play along, and it will all be shiney. You going to cooperate, or does this turn ugly real quick?"

His gaze turned back to Lond. The stare was not friendly, but it relented. "Fine."

"Good." Lond produced a small device and handed it to Kaga. "Tracker. Slip it in the delivery. And you picked me up at The Bender."

The confused look on Kaga's face turned quickly to understanding as Lond unsnapped the top few catches on her jacket. He moved to open the door, as the visitor pounded on it again. Opening it revealed Dic's unsmiling face and a couple strongarms for the crates. Mysh was watching the street.

"Yo, Dic. Got the drekking order done on time, like I said. Gimme a sec to go get the crates."

"Bout damn time, chummer. Swore I heard you talking in there." He leaned around Kaga and looked into the flat. "Who the FRAK is that?"

"Easy Dic. Just some Hook I picked up at The Bender...Guy has to have some fun too, you know. She don't know shit...BTL'd out of her drekking head most of the time."

Dicion eyed Lond for a second, looked her up and down. Hearing the commotion, Mysh turned around and did the same. She shrugged. "Fine. Get the crates."

Kaga moved to his workship, tracker still palmed in his massive hands. Where do I put this damn thing...frak, I'm so humped. What the frak am I doing? He popped the lid on one of the crates and pulled out a full cyber-leg assembly. Popping the heel off, he placed the tracker inside and re-assembled the unit. Kaga stacked the 3 crates and carried them out, where the muscleheads each lifted one and carried them to a van out front.

"Here's your packet. Nice workin' wit ya again, Kaga. Got two weeks for this one." With that, he left.

A moment of silence. Then another. Kaga moved to a cabinet, extracted an unlabelled bottle, and took a troll-sized gulp. He coughed but managed a "now what?"

Lond turned to him. "We track the shipment. What's in the package?"

Kaga picked up the manilla envelope and tossed it to her. "Payment for that order, and specs on the next one."

"This...this is betaware specs." Lond had slotted the datacard into a pocket computer. "You telling me Boss Henry has a gang of betaware thugs?"

"Only some of them. Most of it gets to 'runners. Henry has made a name for himself providing custom blackmarket cyberware. Takes awhile to make it to the end user, but noone else can provide what he does. What I do."

"Don't freak out on me, chummer. This is just the begenning. I'll be in touch. Two days, The Bender, 2100." Lond slipped out the door and vanished into The Sprawl.