A Tale of the City of Neocron
Now normally, I would be having fun here. But this is just crazy now. With the server side patch #136 in place,
all hell has broken loose. Let me just bounce back a bit. About a month ago during beta 3 of Neocron, the city
was invaded by creatures and monsters. Every citizen of our beloved Neocron was asked to come and defend our
prized city. I of course, jumped at the chance and laid a many of monsters down upon the very grounds of Pepper Park.
Like in any real invasion, there's bound to be some casualties of war. I mean there I am firing the big guns, working my ass off trying to hold back and destroy the very evil invading my most loved city. I don't remember her name or what she looked like, it all happened so quickly. There were rounds of serious fire power coming from all over. Plasma beams of green light, flashed from all over as Ray Gun cannons and Fusion Rifles, lit up the night sky. Thunderous echoes of napalm grenades and psi monk's energy blast, ripped through walls and shook buildings. Medics yelled out as they raced to help those in need, uranium bullets fired from slotted assault rifles whisk passed them. Many died that faithful evening and I remember limping back to my apartment, blood dripping from an opened wound. The creatures retreated back into the wastelands and the city and its people worked overnight to rebuild.
It wasn't until the next morning that the news had come. During the battle the night before, I in the heat of panic, gripped in fury and fear, fired a fusion cannon down the hall of Pepper Park killing a 3 star spider.....and a valued citizen of Neocron. I'm told she never really saw it coming and more then likely, was so based in fear that she never felt a thing. This does nothing to aid me, and apparently not the Neocron City Police force. They're after me now, it started this afternoon. I can't even get out of the city. The Cop Bots are everywhere and as soon as I'm spotted, they open fire on me. I've been killed several times now and have tried to reappear in the lower Plaza section 1. There I would try to find someone to aide me in implanting, my implants. I've had 3 cyber chips knocked out and four bone implants. I've spent a total of 8000 in Neocron credits, trying to recovery my back pack.
My only hope now lies in bringing someone to my apartment to imp me and hopefully give me a secret passage out of Neocron. I understand that I'll have to work off the (-31) soul light now hanging over my head. I'm told that I'll have to kill the Anarchy Breeders in Desert City to lower my soul light. But before I can do that, I need to do two things. Heal..and find a way out of the city. It's much too hot here. Her death will cost me plenty, and I still don't know her name.
Life in the big city has many turns, some of which lead to answers while others lead to more turns.
I was still on the run from the Neocron Police Department when all hope had seemed to fade.
Sitting inside my apartment, I tried with great effort to retrace my steps that had lead me to
the dangerous turn of events. As I sat listening to the police scanner, I could hear Neocron's finest,
scrambling to find me. I needed help alright, and needed it quick. I washed my face and hands once more
and after lacing my boots and checking my pockets for change, I headed out into the city checking every
corner and glancing always over my shoulder.
Once outside, I headed to the phone booth to make some calls. I had changed clothing and now made my way out to the overpass to where Plaza 1 was first built. I stood checking everywhere and looking around when a flash of green light caught me and after cutting my health to half, sent me running back to my apartment. There I healed myself and waited. I need a plan and need one really bad. I had tried to listen for Zoned conversation in hopes of seeing and hearing someone from my past. I needed a trusted friend, someone willing to cheat and maybe lie for me. Ten minutes passed, and I tried once more. Heading out doors, I stood watching birds soar high above me. How much I wanted their freedom, their grace. Again I crept around in constant awareness of the zoned conversations. I needed someone I knew.
Staring so much in hopes of finding aid, that I failed to see the fire of liquid plasma catch my blind side, sending me once more to the ground. I reappeared inside my apartment in time to notice that I now needing 6 implants, instead of four. My wonderful life in this great city was quickly coming to a close as I bled on my living room floor. Spitting up blood, I made one last call to my brother VBW. I could hear the tears in his voice as he promised to help me. He dropped whatever he was doing and raced to Plaza 3 where he quickly ran into an old friend of mine. In the past, he was "Foxi-Construct" a kick ass builder who had made me a lot of nice weapons. Today, he has changed businesses and now implants for a living. My brother quickly told "Foxi-Poker" of my troubles and how much I needed help. Foxi agreed and quickly headed to Plaza 1 where he waited for me to show.
My brother helped me outside and together we walked quietly, but quickly to the chosen spot.
I smiled at an old friend standing there and waiting to help. Foxi had lost some weight, but otherwise looked good. He could see much pain in my eyes and a sense of pity in his. VBW kept look out while Foxi worked his magic, putting me back together. With two chips and a combat eye, three bone enforcements and a pint or two of blood, we had plenty of time to get caught up. It was then that Foxi began to tell me about some news he had heard. He never really believed the Neocron Newsletters that were often passed around. In them, I was mentioned for having killed a young female merchant, during an invasion. Word on the streets was that I had gone insane. The young woman was "Jill Haesome" born in Neocron. She was to be married in four months.
Foxi, finished patching me together and told me of a secret door located just outside Pepper Park's exit. He told me that he needed to show me something there. At 25 and running from the police, what choice did I have? I agreed to follow him and to do as he asked. Making my way into the gen rep, I teleported to the exit area of Pepper Park. I waited for him as he asked and together he led me slowly passed a Cop Bot, looking the other way. We came upon a large brown door which led into a brick faced building. I followed slowly hoping that my old friend hadn't set me up. He took me in a room where computer files were stored. Boxes piled high of old files and images stored on digital disc. He then told me that a friend of his had once told him that the Neocron Police Department, were everywhere and saw everything. The citizens all knew of the phrases repeated over and over again on the loudspeakers. But Foxi's friend knew even more. He had once told Foxi, that years ago a Cop Bot had been killed and in the final moments of his life, told of camera use among the city. These micro sized units recorded every movement, of everything happening in the entire city. The images and data was stored on micro digital disc or what the NCPD called "MDD". The room Foxi and I now stood in, contained the disc from the last six months of activity. With flashlights, we searched the room packed with boxes. Each box contained some 24 disc. Foxi's days of constructing, may have been over, but he still had a few tricks up his sleeve. He pulled out a miniature hand held computer, equipped with micro screen and oddly enough a MDD complink. We searched and found the month of June and the date of the 15th. It took Foxi's unit a little time, but it managed to playback the disc with perfect clarity. Although the screen was only four inches, its images still gripped me as it did that faithful evening. Using a remote device he had constructed, he showed me the event from various angles. I watched again as the citizens of Neocron fought and died bravely, defending the city. I was forced to watch many of my friends no longer alive, die their gruesome deaths. It was upon seeing the large spider appear, that Foxi stopped the viewing, locking in on pause. He reached in his back pocket and pulled out another device which looked to be something else he had made. A puzzled look came across his face and I watched as his eyes began darting from one device, to another.
"Jesus fucking Christ Walker!" he said in a low but strong voice. He sat shaking his head back and fourth in disbelief. "Look!" he said, "From the images here, we see that you were indeed firing that damn weapon of yours, all Hell had broken loose, and I couldn't blame you. The next few frames s howed the fusion projectile, leave your weapon and hit the queen spider, killing her. But here's the problem. The flash ends there...a direct hit." I wasn't really following what Foxi said next. There was a lot of idle chatting some of which seemed to be him thinking out loud.
He caught be staring and only then caught himself and started to explained. "Look, right here" he said. Frame 22367 shows the spider being hit. Frame 22366 shows the merchant's stand was empty. Frame 22369 now shows a woman lying on the floor, and as I zoom in, we see a pair of hands, gloved hands pushing her into place. Jesus Walker, you've been framed!!
With evidence in hand and a micro copy of the disc burned, thanks to Foxi's handmade gadget, we headed out from the storage area and made a call to the Mayor of Neocron. There were questions to be asked all right, only it was I who would be doing so. Within seconds, the Mayor upon hearing what I found, removed the "KOS" ban from Van Brett Walker. The call went out over every Network and for the first time in 48 hours, I walked the streets of Neocron a free man, if only for the moment. I gazed up at the skies covering my city and caught the blinking lights of my personal escort. I was coming home.
In the weeks that followed the events now uncovered by Van Brett Walker and his longtime friend Foxi, the city once filled in wonder, began to split at the very seams of its people.
As if an order unknown to those governing, the citizens of Neocron began a silent war within its Zones, bodies and bloodshed flowed. How long and who began this onslaught of events were unclear. Many in the surrounding zones, felt that an announcement that George T. Adams Mayor of the great city of Neocron, who had been found shot to death in his mansion outside the wastelands had set off a string of murders, carried out by several factions.
As it stands now, the death toll had reached 1345 and seems to be growing by the day. Several of Neocrons Cop Bots, sworn to protect the safety of it's people, have been arrested in connection to the deaths of Tyr Simms and Frances Dramy. Billboards lit the Neocron skyline with growing announcements of the importance of remaining calm. Faction have also been fueled by ever growing clans and now street gangs joining, as the city splits in half and divides. Leading members of famed factions have formed new companies of control. These newer and higher powered groups, have acquired super powered armor called "Tangent Power shield" built by the same company who holds the contracts to weapon sales in Neocron. with the newest armor, hunters sometimes known as "Runners" can now blend into the population unseen until they attack. What is still unclear, is how and for what reason?
Foxi-Poker and Van Brett Walker, having stashed the only copy of the MDD clearing Van's name, headed to Diamond Headquarters in Plaza section 3. The Diamond Corporation had invested billions of dollars in land now built under the great city Neocron, their CEO and chairman Richard Moss had once been linked to underground organized factions working out of Tech Haven. So it should have come to no surprise, that Van and Foxi-Poker would start there.
On the very eve of their visit, an already out of control rival gang killed several employees of the famous Diamond Real Estate building. Their bodies along with backpacks, were neatly placed in front of the building for all to see. The media jumped all over the story and for days now, the backpacks have remained.
The building containing files and secret disc, was set on fire. Firefighters were warned to let the building burn. Four firefighters lost their lives to gunshots fired from a crowd of protesters.
Meanwhile, back in Plaza section 1 of Neocron, Albert Richardson attaches a note to the lobby door on medic one, stating that a body was hidden in Pepper Park. The note explained that the person found dead was linked the faction "Black Dragons". The note also mentioned that this person had information linking Richard Moss and a well known builder of weapons, to the death of many people, including a young woman killed by Van Brett Walker.
As the sun faded to dusk, the orange sky now turning brown into black would hide more bloodshed until morning. Riots continue to fill the streets and NCPD warns the citizens of Neocron to stay in their homes. Screams of horror can now be heard as police one call after another, race to sections of the city, now burning in chaos.
The two men sat quietly inside Van's apartment, one leaning back against the leather sofa, the other with his head in his hands. "I don't understand it." Said Van. He looked up to see his old friend now staring out the window, gazing at the crazed city below. "All this time, I've tried to do what's right. I put together my own business and shared it with my family. I never did anything to anyone in this damn city, and yet for a short time it had turned against me." Foxi-Poker had made his way back over to the sofa and sat down. He looked over at his friend with eyes darting, so much hidden behind them. "Van listen, there's been some talk throughout Neocron in the last 24 hours concerning you and your now heightened soul light. I didn't want to say anything, but I feel now is the time. I don't know how to say this, but I think you're being shut out....closed off from the city. Information sent to me, tells me that by tomorrow your ranking amongst the city, will be greatly increased. This is not to pay back to you what you've been through, but to drive you out of the city. I'm hearing things Van, very bad things."
Van Brett Walker continued to sit in his favorite chair. As Foxi-Poker talked, he listened. But unlike before, this new break in information had not caught him off guard. fact is, he had been feeling for the last few days that something was coming. Born poor in the lower section of Dark Metal had prepared him long ago for what was about to take place. Inside his head adventures spun wildly out of control as he tried to recall his ever growing past. His brother and only sister, his remaining family. The business he built up with money earned, was gone. He had sent his sister back to Paris and told his brother to pack. Things were indeed changing now, and not all for the best. "Change often claimed the moments of life's best offer," his mother always said. And on the clear night, he couldn't agree with her more.
"I want you to do me a favor Fox." he said. "I don't want you to say anything, for the first time just listen and obey." Foxi-Poker had stood up, he looked rather sad now having seen so much happen, to a man who's only done right. "I need you to do, what is right for me and to never question me why. My life here is spinning out of order, events tell me it's time to go. I'm leaving Neocron Fox, but not without making my mark." Van walked over to the long table where a vase filled with flowers sat. He pushed the vase aside, almost knocking it completely on the floor. Above the table, hung a ceiling fan equipped with light. He clicked on a remote sensor raising the brightness, as the shutters along the large windows, closed.
He layed on the table and spoke while staring upward barely blinking. "Okay Fox, do it. Do what you do and however you need to do it and take it out.....take out that damn chip!"
The sirens below did little to cover the screaming inside his head. Teeth clenched as sweat began pouring down alongside his face. Rage was coming.Up from a dream state where reality and hope tend to twist together in a knot of confusion, did he begin to awaken. A chirping sound from the other room told him there was a message. Dusting off the cobwebs of a deep sleep, he staggered over and plopped down in his chair. A headache, had been pounding him while he slept. Running his hand over the track light, bought up his mail. Glancing over the junk mail and other assorted messages received by everyone in Neocron, he noticed one message blinking red.
Van: We need to meet right away. There are changes happening now even as I send this to you. 29 more deaths just the morning and many to come. I've tried to contact a few friends of mine hoping against hope to gather something for you, seems everything has been closed down. There are a few who are willing to talk. One such person will not meet anywhere near the city. From what I gather, he's afraid. Also, the City has dropped most of your rank. Your now only a one chevron tank. I know this sounds wrong Brett, but it seems to me that you will be able to do some work in the city. I know your not happy with what's going on, but you'll have to trust me. You can't remain in Tech Haven much longer. With all that's been going on, we need you now more then ever. I received a message from your brother, he's worried. I told him that I didn't know where you were, but I tell by his reply, he didn't believe me. I need to here from you soon man...............Foxi
He read the message twice, taking in everything. There was no mention of his sister and that always meant bad news. He was going back all right and answers he will get. He checked the weapons now stored in the cabinets, by his bedside. Tech Haven may have been a high tech hangout, but space was very limited he missed his own apartment. Ordering room service and a quick shower, he polished two of the weapons he used most and after checking his ammo supply, headed downstairs to the Gen Rep in the lobby. There was a constant audible humming that seemed to be driving him crazy. He hadn't noticed it at first, but there it was....growing.
Teleporting inside the walls of Neocron, placed him just outside Pepper Park. Sporting no law-chip and a trigger finger locked and ready, he walked his way around. He came upon two young men who had been drinking. One of the men was a psi-monk, the other a spy. He paid no attention to them at first, there were other things far more important, flowing through his head.
It was the thoughts of his sister and her whereabouts that held him now. He wanted to find her now and was making plans to meet with Foxi when a sharp stinging caught him blind side.
He jumped back at first and glanced down and over at his health. It hadn't moved. He looked up to see one of the young men shooting at him. The other, not as drunk was asking for help. "Hey Walker" he said. "Where can I sell my junk?" he repeated. His friend was trigger happy and must have been new in town. He could smell them both and could tell they had one too many Cron 55s. "What's with your friend here? Looking to buy it on such a nice evening?" said Van.
"He's an idiot Mr. Walker, likes to pick fights all the time, forget him he'll go away." the one man replied.
He returned his attention back to the man less consumed, and was about to answer his question when another flash, followed by that now annoying stinging feeling hit him again. "What the fuck is your problem pal? You got a death wish? I'll be your genie motherfucker!" He turned to see the psi-monk dancing side to side. "I'm sorry man, it slipped." he replied. "Well, perhaps you should place those dancing hands of yours in your pocket, else someone's likely to get hurt, you understand what I'm saying?"
"Now" he said. "I'll tell you where you need to go and when I do, take you friend with you." Again, another blast came from his right. No damage, but it somehow had pushed something inside him. "That it fuck, lets see if you can outrun this cool sharpened Raygun Cannon!" He pulled it out and pointed it and the young drunk, who was now on the verge of pissing himself. He took off running, and had got about forty feet or so away, before Van Brett Walker who had always been a good citizen and worked hard for his family, pulled the stainless steel trigger. A blast of blue streams ripped from the barrel of the gun and hit the wall to the left of the running fool. The impact alone had dropped this young drunk to less then half health. "Jesus man! Holy Fucking Christ, please no!" yelled the man no doubt already sobering up. He ran further away and tried to duck under some boxes. Van could hear him trying to heal himself. "Still feel like playing fucker?" He yelled, and sent another blast in the direction of his fleeting fool. An indirect hit caught him, slicing his mending health in half. "Oh god, oh god!" he said. His friend was working quickly on convincing Van to spare his life.
"Please man, please. He was only playing and he's drunk, Jesus Mr. Walker...please" Van took off running to where the coward had now hid himself and was looking up for a sign of hope. Van watched the silly drunk, tiny silly coward of a man glancing up for forgiveness. "Stupid little fucker, Don't ever in your life try that shit again, or I swear by God and sunny Jesus, I'll kill not only you, but your friend upstairs, the woman you love and every fucking member in your fucked family!" He turned and walked away, placing his weapon to his side. More clicking sounds came as the coward, tried to heal himself. It was the day's event, and everything that came with it that mounted. He thought about his life here, the city and it's crazed people, the questions still unanswered and now this little shit. He got about twenty more feet away and turned. He could see that drunken shit standing now and was being aided by his friend. His friend had kept his Law-Chip in, but not the other. He thought once more and pulled out his weapon. "Oh, fuck it" he said and fired two shots down the hall to where the two drunken friends, once stood. He looked on as the trouble making psi-monk dropped dead before his friend. "It's on now." he said to himself. "This is just the beginning".
Heading down into storage level 6, he met yet another trouble maker. This one much bigger and taking a bit longer to kill. Van Brett Walker, was home.
My venture into the Pepper Park section of Neocron, offered very little. I had long forgotten about the leads that lead to dead ends, and the fool who had tried to kill me. With Foxi nowhere to be found, I tried to call in a few "paybacks" from some scruffy Tank friends of mine. These boys were well known for hunting in the Outzone, just East of Pepper Park. If anyone offered some word on the streets, it would be these boys. We met inside an ammo store were we could conduct business within the community, without calling too much attention to ourselves.
We talked a few minutes about what was going on and who might be behind it. NCPD's copbot was less then twenty feet away, I'm sure he might have heard some of what we talked about. He didn't seem to pay too much attention, but that wouldn't mean much. These copbots were always listening, always. My two pals offered little considering that they both owed their shirts to me. Two months ago in the Outzone section 3, a clan of mutant flamers had tried to attack them. I had been in my apartment at the time, trying to figure out where large sums of the family were disappearing to. Accounts were put on freeze and at the time, no new money was coming in. I was just about to call my brother, when the call came in from defense forces in the inner city.
Grabbing my weapon and some armor, I quickly teleported to the Outzone section-2 and ran towards the West, section 3 was less then a mile away. Once there, I can see the reports were right. It must have been close to 75 members of the Mutant Tribe Clan there and they had long past reasoning. Armed with flame throwers, they were burning the many citizens trying to protect the city. NCPD refused to assist, citing that the events were taking place well outside
the city's limits. It was up to the people this time. The smell of burning flesh and screams of pain rang in both ears as I tried to focus my attention at hand. Firing several shots from a fusion cannon I managed to take out a few, but not before seeing others die in the flames of destruction.
Kicking in the wooden door of a burned out apartment complex, I raced upstairs being ever so careful of the building's current state of construction. Bricks charred black and wood burned to coal, reminded me that this place could crumble at anytime. Atop the building, I took aim at the advancing clan members burning the people below, and let loose a series of fusion fire power. Several members saw me high above and aimed their flamers. What they must have thought seconds before their death, I do not know. I like to believe it was: oh, fuck!
An hour later, reinforcements came. There wasn't much left and I had spent that time checking the dead members for loot of some kind. Fucking people never carried much, guess they knew it was a one way trip. Medics arrived and tried to save those severely burned, many died later. Two men had thanked me personally. One had just become a father and was so glad to be alive to see his son again. We talk and introduced ourselves and after making sure they were all right, I left. We never really kept in touch, but they would never forget me, I guess.
Once inside the ammo shop, we continued our conversation. They told me most of what I already knew. They mentioned one name that I had heard only a few times before. "Finger, his name is finger, only he spells it with a small "F". The one said. "Yea" the other said. "He's a crazy motherfucker, always leaving crowded sewers and shit. He likes to hang outside the city, away from others. He's been living here for a long time, but says very little to anyone." he continued. I looked at the Cop Bot, looking away but still listening. "Where can I find this "finger" guy?" They looked at each other and back at me with a pair of silly grins and said "where else, out by the parking garage. He's a car jacker man, tries to jack anything that will get him from the city. Check out there, you're bound to come across him."
I tossed them a few credits, treating them to lunch. I checked the Neocron directory and found this finger guy. Sure enough, he was an outsider. According to files on him, he hadn't been in the city in months. Accessing the city files, I found very little on him. He had lived her a long time, longer then me in fact. But there was very little known about him. I decided to take my chances and head outside the huge blast doors in the Outzone. I knew of one such parking garage and while not the type to gamble, I decided to take my chances, roll the dice if you will.
It wasn't long before I had come across him. Just as the boys had said, he was out here. I told him that I had heard of him and only wanted some information. He was another psi-monk and I wondered if he had heard of the other I had killed. As I approached him, he kept looking around. "I'm alone!" I shouted and could see him settle a bit. "You packing?" he asked. "Aren't we all?" I replied. "Well then we have nothing to talk about." he added. I strapped the rifle I had at my side and held up both hands. He put away those one of those dangerous psi spells they carry and waited for me to come closer. "I just need to ask you a few questions please, I need your help." I said. "You need my help?" he answered. "That's very funny, I'm out here trying to help myself, and now you need me to help you?"
I sat down on a locator's base and tried to explain. He looked on and while not much was said on his part, in his eyes I saw a chance, a small glimmer of hope.