Hoi, Chummer. Welcome to The Sprawl.
The future. Dark. Dirty. Dangerous. You’re loners, punks and criminals, marginalised by society through birth, choice or violence. Parasites, living symbiotic existences in the shadows cast by the arcologies, feeding from the scraps dangled by the megacorporations and then scurrying back to the shadows to avoid their dismissive, destructive gaze. Those vast multinational corporations — “Zaibatsus”, some call them — squat over everything, pulling the strings, controlling the flow of money, information, goods, and people. Governments scamper around their feet, begging for scraps. Hydrophilic lubricious polymers and automated cleaners keep their arcologies shining amidst the grey-brown urban sprawl which surrounds them. Corporate financial muscle pushes people around the city like blood. The megacorporations. Humanity’s most successful artificial organism.
Technology keeps changing, shifting, mutating — it’s adapt or die. There’s a sticky film of information smeared over everything, a networked datasphere in service to the megacorps. Buy this. Obey that. Buy More.
See, the corps aren’t satisfied with having it all. They want more, and the only way they can get it is by eating their own. For the megacorporations, espionage, theft, kidnapping and murder are just file folders in the system architecture of success. For you though, they’re rungs on the slippery ladder out of the caustic industrial air the rest of us breathe. Play your cards right and you’ll be set: reputation, money, credibility. Everything you want. Freedom. But one false step and they’ll take away everything. The corps don’t need you. They need people like you. Screw up and you’ll be replaced by the next mouthy punk with too much raw talent and bloody ambition and not enough smarts. Tread carefully. There’s plenty more like you out there in The Sprawl.