These are the five gangs that took a somewhat regular presence in Chiba Station. Each one controls several blocks in the Sprawl surrounding the station, but they chose the latter as their base.
If you ask me, they are just a bunch of misfits, rejects from the normal society, clinging together only because they don’t have anyone else.
Well. I think that would be the closest definition of “family” in our world.
“In the beginning there were flesh and blood.
Now there is only steel and wires.”
A bunch of orphans, born in the most desperate places of the Sprawl.
Each and everyone of them would have died, if not for their putative father.
And the gift of steel and wires.
At the start, there was an actual reason for the development of cybernetics.
The members of the Iron Soul felt the terrible sensation of their body betraing them, their organs failing for some fucked "genetic anomaly". Their life were slowly wasting away and nothing could be done about it. "It's just nature", some doctor said.
“Well, fuck Nature”. That’s their way.
Their life has been saved by steel. And now they will do anything to reach their kind of enlightenment. Happy to sacrifice every single part of their original body. After all, who needs flesh, when you strive for physical and mental perfection?
Some people claim that their practice leads to madness.
“Better crazy than weak, better machine than human.”
If you're looking to augment yourself in Chiba Station, you’ll have to go through them. Their tax for using the cybernetics surgery machinery is not even that high, since they are happy for every piece of weak flesh that is replaced.
But beware. Stay too long with them, and you’ll start to repeat their lines in no time.
“Flesh will betray you, but steel is eternal”.
Against Yourself /
“There’s a time / When the operation of the machine becomes so odious / Makes you so sick at heart / That you can’t take part / You can’t even passively take part / And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels / Upon the levers / Upon all the apparatus / And you’ve got to make it stop”
Heard the tune, man?
What? What ya mean it’s the first time?
Ah, You’re a Newbie! Then let me give it to you straight and simple, man.
They dress like the anarchists and punks of the past. And they have the same attitude.
The STAYs have an excessive and showy style. They are against any form of established order or authority. They despise Corporations, whose interest is only in profit and in the installations with which they enslave the masses.
When I say “any form of order”,I mean it.
Maybe they are the only one lucid, or nihilistic enough, to recognize what we have become.
And they feel the urge to explain it to everyone else. They own a wide-range transmission system called Guerrilla Radio, capable of transmitting their message on numerous frequencies:
Rebel! Set Yourself Free! Fight the system!
Fight the Corps that enslave you!
Destroy your chains, destroy the factories!
Take down the system!”
Their struggle certainly won’t go unnoticed, as these anti-system rebels desperately want everyone to recognize them. And to hear their pretty killin’ vibes. Outside their deafening message of struggle and rebellion, the STAYs can even be useful.
Within the Chiba Station, they deal with musical entertainment and information traffic. They claim that not even a bit of information runs without the STAYs agreeing or not handsomely paid.
Who knows, it may even be true.
“Chiba Station dances to the beat of our music.”
Did you ever wonder what is the first, and most important thing that a soldier needs?
You’re far from it.
First and foremost, a soldier needs a purpose, a reason to fight.
There was a black ops team a while ago. Don’t ask me about their nation, or which war they were fighting for. You should have understood not to ask that kind of question.
They completed their mission. They sacrificed blood, pieces of themselves and even comrades for that. They won, but they didn’t feel like it, as their superiors put a medal on their chest and sent them on a permanent leave.
Like a broken gun, too expensive to be repaired, when it’s just easier to buy a new one.
They were left to rust away, useless.
Until they received a proposal they couldn’t refuse.
A new purpose.
And so they have proclaimed themselves judge, jury and executioner of the Chiba Station.
They have practically antagonized all the other gangs because of their iron fist, but they maintain control of the station. That’s the only thing that matters. Their methods may be brutal, ranging from the mildest night of jail up to the total deactivation of the systems. Brutal, but effective.
Thank them if you can stay here quietly drinking.
But don’t confuse them with the cops of the past. Remember, there is no government to pay them, and however noble in spirit, one does not live by air alone. There is a big difference between public order, and private offenses. If someone robbed you, beat you or deceived you, and you want justice, be prepared to pay for it.
Don’t ask yourself if it’s really justice, then.
It doesn't matter.
As it’s their kind of justice.
The only one that matters.
What’s that face, lil’ scumbag? Seen a shadow move?
You’re not going crazy, ya know. It’s the Zerobytess you’re looking at. They move in the shadows like fuckin’ ghosts. They appear from nothing whenever they smell despair, your damn need for a new Tracks shot, or a good bargain that’s worth their stuff. Then, in a heartbeat they’re gone, the memory of their encounter soon replaced by the effects of Tracks kicking in.
They trade the impossible, ya know. Tracks is the name of the drug they sell. It’s fucking delicious. If you’ve not tried it yet, you haven’t lived a decent life. Zerobytess produce (or steal – who the fuck cares?) good memories, convert them to digital format, and sell them to poor devils, so that anybody can taste a shred of good life once in a while – as long as you’re ready to pay for it.
Word on the street is that Chiba Station Tracks is the best available in the entire Sprawl. Word is also that the finest Tracks can be tasted just by Zerobytes themselves during their private raves. Nobody has gone through the trouble of proving the rumour wrong, yet – looks like it works great to get new people to join the gang. Thinking about it? You sure look like you need some good stuff.
You wanna know what’s curious? Zerobytess were among the first people that settled in the fort after its liberation, and yet nobody who currently lives here seems to remember. What I think is, if nobody manages to tell truth from legend about the Chiba Station foundation, chances are they’re the ones to thank for that.
Zerobytess protect Chiba Station from itself, keep it far from the spotlights and the megacorps power games, numbing its reckless people just enough to avoid the civil war.
The easiest way to do this is to work in the shadows, make other people think of them as vultures thriving in other people’s vices and misery – and not as the people who could potentially control their minds.
These are the strangest people you could find in Chiba Station.
They are not, in fact, that hard to miss.
Entertainers, artists and performers.
I think they are just wastrels and freaks.
They think they are the artistic avant-garde of Chiba Station, and that shows, entertainment and fun are just the beginning of their vast array of intriguing proposals.
One thing is for sure: if you’re looking to have a good time, you have to check out their establishment, Black Paradise. There seem to be a saying:
When anything interesting happens in Chiba Station, it happens in Black Paradise.
You’re going to... remember each night you spend there. Definitely don’t go there if you just want to have a fake whiskey and be left alone.
But as for everything else, their flashy appearance might just be a way to hide something darker.
That they take something from you, make you watch, and give it back, amplified one thousand times.
I don’t know the details. I would tell you to go check out the rumors... Problem is, they are the people who decide what the rumors are, in Chiba Station.