Welcome to the World of Hunter//Seeker
This area will serve to describe and list all the people, places, items and technology of the Hunter//Seeker world and the Radial Helix team. The game is set in a homebrew cyberpunk world and the mechanics are a streamlined version of the Interlock rules found in Cyberpunk 2020. Click the links below for more info.
What is the world like now?
Chinese state corporations operate with near-impunity on the West coast of the USA, under World Court rulings. The Asian Concord, dominated by Great China, regulates commerce and much else in East Asia as it seeks to create a a perfectly harmonious society. Civil war rages in Europe between French Islamists, the EuroFed and German separatist factions. Aerodynes coast through megacity clusters of tens of millions of people, many of whom live in arcologies and Monad-controlled megascrapers reaching a kilometre into the sky. Oh yes, Monads. These artificial intelligences emerged from evolved softwar systems during the Third World War and have grown in power to such an extent that they run entire cities and small countries, for purposes unknown. A rebuilt New York excels under the beneficent, polymathematical, post-democratic hand of SERAF-EX, a saint made digital. Research has accelerated under the guidance of these super-intellects, and nations that have submitted to their wiles have prospered. But the great powers have not retreated. Some, like the United States, have waned in power, while others, such as Great China and Arabiya, have waxed and flung their nets of influence across the world.
Open rebellion infects the USA as Free States refuse orders from a Washington that accepted defeat in the last War and grows more tyrannical by the year. The War cost many lives, the Plague Years even more. Nearly a billion died in the chaos of the post-War years as engineered virii and unpredictable mutations altered the human landscape and the animal world alike. Hygiene is paramount in the urban megaclusters and once-nuked ring cities of Bohai, Shanghai, Taipei, San Angeles, Atlanta and Delhi. The internet, once the premier form of intercivilizational dialogue, was shattered during the War; the overnet – partitioned by country, designed for security and commerce only – has taken its place. Everything you say & do, everywhere you go, everyone you talk to, is monitored, recorded and archived in the global Registry. The Panopticon is nearly complete, with only a few privacy zones and freewheeling countries still offering resistance.
Custom-built creatures of genetic engineering called chimerics roam the consumer markets and biolabs of the world, while their soul-less brethren – clonals – are used as parts to repair humanity. New sources of power, from zero-point energy wells to bioreactors to plasmotics batteries, fuel a thirst for travel that takes us to the underpopulated orbital habitats of the rich and famous, even as all 8 billion people on the planet demand a car for themselves. Pharmed Brazilian jungles and forests of biochemical wonders present a cornucopia of drugs, from the life-saving to the pleasurable to the demonic, to anyone who can afford them. Poor and rich alike have embraced cybernetic augmentation; the former to pull themselves up the slippery economic ladder by cloned-muscle arms, and the latter to gaze down upon the masses from their Olympian heights of control.
Phantomic advertisements and virtual reality worlds invade the real, the simulacrum taking the place of the original reality. Your house can look like a mansion, your workplace like a paradise, but when do you start believing the illusions are real? The world is awash in consumer abundance and home fabricators can create almost anything you need in a pinch, but the domain of personal freedom has grown poorer. Suffocating speech codes, blasphemy laws and the threat of terrorist violence silence all opposition. The conservatism of the Salafi, the Evangelist and the Confucianist is made law in every pronouncement of the World Court, which governs most international matters after the collapse of the United Nations. Even now rumours abound that thanks to Monad-inspired psychosurgery the secrets of the human mind are no longer sacrosanct.
At the opposite end of oppression lurks the neo-barbarism of the firebombed school, the thief with his hand cut off, and the massacre of a different ethnic group. Spirituality thirsts, religion organizes, fanaticism explodes a bomb, eradicating tolerance and whole cities alike in a flash of light. Asian and African crusaders of the Catholic Church fight the Ummah in the Mediterranean and the Sahara even as old pagan religions arise in Europe. Power flows to the elderly (now living well into their 90s in perfect health), and is stripped from the rebelling young. Bit by bit, word by word, the world gets materially richer and the soul loses its dynamism and freedom of expression.
But no structure, no system can be stable forever. If the overnet is locked down, the cryptnet can provide what once was free. Hackers, spektrs, infomorphs and reputation servers consume processing mass like whales filtering digital krill, while new fabricated analogue systems reconnect individuals in order to evade the groundscan, the probability mapping and the gait analysis of the police states. If you fight the system, it will erase your life, your wealth and your identity, but blanks fight back through sabotage, counter-surveillance and by shapechanging their way through the photon ocean. Where the Monads twist humanity to suit their alien purposes, the hyperevolved worlds of the cryptnet open new vistas of thought and net life.
Where the state corporations run ramshod over personal freedoms, the hypercorps pursue and overtake them in innovation and the art of business. Withered husks of bureaucracy dictate what you may think, say and do, but there are hacker collectives, thinkspaces, collaboratories, cryptospheres and free states to which the dynamic, the entrepreneurial and the wild can retreat. Phantomics may confuse the real with the simulated but the truth can cut through any hologram or simex. Technology is the shockwave of the future; learn to ride it and live.