_ Year 2020. Over the years, 
poets and writers have tried 
to imagine what the Future would be like. 

Well, no one has been 
mad or 
enough to get it right. 

This is a Cyberpunk world.
Our world.
We humans, as a species, have always relied on Technology. We were born as animals without fangs or claws, and so we made ourselves spears, swords, rifles and nukes. We were born without any shell or fur, and so we made ourselves shields, chain mails, walls and tanks. We were born defenseless against cold, hunger, diseases. Each time we prayed Tecnology, and our prayers were answered.
And so, in time, we came to worship Technology, believing that if we prayed hard enough, it would solve all of our problems. We were so naive. In our blindness, we didn’t realize that no scientific formula alone will ever be able to solve problems like the social gap, economic inequality and pollution. Because they are born from the flaws of our human nature.
We covered our rotten souls in chromed steel.
We wasted our faith, and forgot our humanity.
This is the Cyberpunk world.
The world we created,
the world we deserve.
Because they told us that companies were destroying the environment, and we looked the other way, happy to pay one dime less in the supermarket.
They told us that companies were violating every human and labour right, and we didn’t care, because we only wanted to waste one more month of our salary buying the latest luxury phone.
They told us that our privacy was being violated, repeatedly, that our votes were being manipulated, our welfare destroyed, and we simply kept scrolling our news feed looking for some more trivial stuff to feel infuriated about.
This is OUR Cyberpunk world.


Mega-corporations now rule the world.
They are massive private conglomerate, holding a near-monopolistic control over multiple markets. They often possess whole districts in the inner City, where they are de facto sovereign. In those blocks you are not a citizen: you are an employee, and if you can’t remember the distinction, a private police force will be happy to remind you.
If they can dictate the law in their private property, they can ignore it anywhere else. Word is that they often possess their own heavily armed private army, and they are not afraid to use it for crushing a political or business competitor.
But that’s not the worst part. They say that these zaibatsu often employ independent operators in order to attack their opponents in false flag covert operation, without showing their hands. Someone says that they outright finance terrorist cells, and direct them towards their rivals.
When two large mega-corporations clash, it’s called Corporate War. Dozens of industrial complexes around the world will be annihilated, whole city blocks will be attacked, and millions will die. Without even knowing what’s happening. Just to determine who will get the fucking monopoly of a market.
It already happened three times, if you are eager to believe the rumors in the Sprawl. And I don’t want to imagine when the next one will happen.
Because we will have to fight for them. On one side or another, aware of it or not.
You will take a job. Just a simple job, just to make ends meet.
And before you know it, you will be running from bullets, your face broadcasted all over the world, holding a briefcase and wondering if it’s even really worth it.
You may think that they are unethical. That they are downright evil.
You wouldn’t be wrong.
But they are not going away anytime soon.
That’s how we live now.
Because mega-corps became this powerful in a very simple way.
We voted for them.
If the most democratic way of them all.
By buying their products.
WE put them in power. And we continue to keep them there.
Fighting them is stupid. As it would be stupid to fight the law of gravity
But you will try, nevertheless, against all odds, isn’t that true?
That’s my boy.
Just leave me the key of your apartment before you go out to waste your life.


Someone says that there was a time where you had actual “rights” as a citizen. Something like the right to a fair trial, to medical help, to protection from crimes and natural disasters.
Right. Forget all about it. 
Today, there are no rights. 
Only services you can buy.
Governments are gone, just a shadow of their former glory. Politicians are mega-corps’ puppets, and public services are simply jokes.
If a booster gang decides you’re a target, beats you up, breaks all of your bones, and steals all of your implants, you’re all on your own. Do you want someone to heal you? Be prepared to pay for it. Do you want someone to investigate, and track them down? You know the drill. Do you want someone to make them pay? You see where this is going.
This is why appearance is so important in the Sprawl. The only way to avoid this fate, is to appear dangerous. If you can be dangerous for real, even better. What’s important is to convince everyone you meet that it’s best for them to look for someone else to mess with. That’s the only way to survive.
It’s the American Dream. Or nightmare? It doesn’t really matter.
It’s just the way things are now.
And they are not changing soon.


In our world, if you want to be taken seriously, you have to dress appropriately. Listen carefully, as in the lawless Sprawl, the difference between looking really dangerous or being just a Poser (an imitator), really is the difference between life and death.
Fuckin’ Corporates like to show, in every single situation, that they are “The Man” (especially if they’re women). They want to demonstrate through their appearance that they are at ease in any situation, whether it’s jumping off an armored vehicle in order to drastically eliminate a competitor, or being in a meeting with the world leaders deciding the fate of the last patch of rain forest.
Ultra-rich people will want to display their social status through their appearance. They will boast elaborate clothes, refined and elegant augmentations that are well integrated in their body and, why not, biogenetic modifications, the frontier of ultra fashion.
Living in the Sprawl means becoming skilled, like it or not, in knowing how to re-adjust and adapt everything. Practical and patched installations, recovered and reworked clothes. Sprawl inhabitants communicate with their appearance that they always know how to solve your problems, from finding guinea pigs for an experimental drug, to moving a stolen nuclear warhead elsewhere.
Those that want to live on the Edge will want to show, with their appearance, that they’re not ones to be taken lightly. If you are in doubt, just ask the medic over there to show you what’s left of the last person who tried to test their patience. Military clothing, practical and resistant systems. With their appearance, they want to communicate that it won’t matter what you throw at them: they will have the last word anyways.


Augmentations (or implants) are beautiful, aren’t they? They give you freaking superpowers, man.
Do you want to dodge bullets? To be able to fry circuits board with your mind?
They allow you to become whatever you want.
But? Come on. You knew that a “but” was coming.
“All magic comes with a price”, said a hustler I once knew.
Every augmentation comes with a price to be paid.
And no, we’re not talking about the thousands of credits you had to pay to obtain it.
Or the goons you had to gun down
Or all the immoral things you will have to do in order to get one.
Every time you decide to augment yourself, you have to be ready to pay.
The surgery will take something from your past.
Something you may think it’s not useful anymore.
That’s the usual way people rationalize this decision.
You’re gonna have to ask a good Tek on the actual details.
One I met in a bar, once told me that the actual process of interfacing your neural matter with the cold silicon is something like buying a motorcycle.
You’re gonna need to dump something in your garage in order to make space for it.
If you have the money to spare, I suggest you hire a very good Tek: he will usually be able to do a better job, since he will throw away less grey matter. Alternatively, it’s best if you rely only on new implants, made by the best suppliers.
Yeah. If you really want to install the implant you just stole from a thug ripping it out from its corpse, and you want to hire the street vendor that took Tek as a hobby in his spare time... Be prepared to lose a lot.
But no matter what you, or how much money you throw away.
You’re always going to lose something.


They call it the “AIDS of the new century”.
Someone says that it comes from an overload of the implant’s signal to the human brain.
Someone else says that we are running too fast, that we’re pushing to the edge too hard, and our biological body simply can’t keep up.
Don’t believe them.
No one really knows exactly why it happens, but everyone knows what it will cause.
Have you ever heard of massacres made by a heavily-implanted guy, covered up by the government?
Yeah. It’s not a rumor. So far, I’ve seen it two times. I was lucky, both times. Others weren’t.
How to avoid it? It’s easy. Don’t augment yourself. Yeah, that could be a little problematic in a society like ours, where the only job that un-augmented people can find is to beg at cross-roads.
A cure? Don’t have one, and if I did, I wouldn’t tell you, I would be selling it to the highest bidder.
Just beware. Each new implant you install is a new step toward Cyber-psychosis. I really hope you won’t have to know what happens when you reach it. I really like you, I would hate to see you dismembered on the street before you kill someone.


“A whole that is greater than the sum of its parts”.
That’s the NET for you.
That’s what you get when you keep adding new hard lines, radio links, cell networks, microwave transmitters and anything else that can transmit information from one computer to another.
It just stops being a simple network, and it becomes a new realm, with its own rules and inhabitants. A realm that is independent from the control of the Mega-corps and the government. It’s the last place where we can experience something akin to a free speech.
For now.
Well, no use in getting depressed now. We have it, and we can use it.
With it you can exchange texts, money, data and photos with anyone you want.
You only need a receiver, and you can always get one easily, even if you are broke.
Just don’t dwell too much on it. That’s is something that only Runners do.
And they hate when someone messes up with their territory.