Thursday, 13 September 2018

Paydata [D10]

Puppet Master by Dmitry Kalinichenko

Yesterday, I spotted this request in the comments of a previous post:
Kash Register12 September 2018 at 20:23I know that you are very good at producing "lists" of things in cyberpunk. So my request is a list of possible types of paydata a netrunner can find in a corporate system while they are there doing whatever it is they do. Paydata being info they could sell that is not specifically part of the mission at hand, but valuable none the less. Thanks in advance!

So, here's my take on a list of 10 potentially valuable files your netrunner may stumble across while illicitly datascraping a company network.

Roll a D10:

  1. A zero-day vulnerability in the software of a concealed long distance link, which exposes a direct line into a secure Korean server farm generating cryptocoin for a jopok black bank. There's only D6 hours until the vulnerability is patched and becomes worthless. Tick tock.
  2. Some admin noob has created a text file that includes the teleoperators' passwords for the company's onsite security drones or patrol bots. How long until the passwords are changed?
  3. Somehow, a copy of the chemical composition of the company's performance enhancing drug of choice has been saved in the wrong folder. The file contains enough information for a competent street-chemist to synthesise the compound, and also includes the latest molecular tweaks that may alter it's current classification status to legal.
  4. A system user has, for whatever reason, secreted a video file in an innocuous looking folder. It's three day old footage of one of the company execs, who can be seen in a number of compromising positions with escorts of varying genders and questionable ages.
  5. Filed amongst a number of marketing PDFs, the netrunner discovers a spreadsheet containing the names, addresses, contact details and 'financial contributions' to a number of prominent politicians on the take from the company.
  6. Unsecured compressed folder, containing the IT department passwords used for software updates to the company's fleet of autonomous and teleoperated delivery vehicles, docked at the nearest company distribution centre.
  7. Someone has left their remote access setup active, allowing the netrunner to utilise the live editing software on an ad-heavy, company sponsored simsense serial, which is extremely popular. Programme in a back door, and you'll be able to come back and spread whatever message you want, live and direct.
  8. A botched satnav update has dumped the favourites list of a company limo GPS into the  main system. Each of the locations appear to be visited routinely and regularly, and many seem… unorthodox.
  9. Numerous internal reports which prove beyond doubt that several popular company products are toxic/carcinogenic/hazardous/dangerous, each report being signed off by the same Quality Control exec.
  10. The netrunner notices that the network hosts a poorly secured peripheral device (meant to be offline when not in use), which holds a number of cypher keys used by the company medical division, to access several high-profile executives' neural processors for injecting software updates.

I hope you find 'em useful Kash!

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Not At All Official But Still Wicked Awesome


Super stoked to discover that R. Talsorian Games have included the Neural Archive in their list of Not At All Official But Still Wicked Awesome Stuff. As a long time CP2020 player and referee, it's cool to be name checked by the company that has given my gaming group DECADES of dark future fun-times.


Follow the link to discover more more cool blogs and sites on the Wicked Awesome Stuff list.

https://rtalsoriangames.wordpress.com/2018/08/28/a-celebration-of-cyberpunk-day-two/

The R. Tal blog is hosting a running celebration of all things cyberpunk, including the new Cyberpunk RED (about which I am more than a little intrigued), the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 computer game, as well as that venerable classic, Cyberpunk 2020.

And speaking of Cyberpunk 2077, here's a must-see link to a 48 minute gameplay walkthrough, jam packed with excellent little details, that's definitely worth a watch.



https://youtu.be/vjF9GgrY9c0

To any new visitors who have found their way here from the R. Talsorian blog, WELCOME and feel free to rummage around in the dark corners. And don't forget to check out the links to the Augmented Reality city kit while you're here - it comes in two great flavours, PWYW POD and a lovely Lulu hardcopy (links to the right; on a mobile device, view web version to see them).

Friday, 29 June 2018

Cape Point | Life In The Hub

The final instalment of our trip to Cape Point, hopefully giving you a sense of the flavour and feel for this unique city. You're a long way from Night City now, my friend.




The Neon Haze - Light pollution is a way of life in The Hub. Every skyscraper in each of the corporate zones is lit by searchlights, every squat is illuminated by fires, every commercial street lit by a multitude of neon adverts. Advertising slogans are projected into the sky by searchlights and ad-blimps, or projected onto the side of Table Mountain. Its never truly dark in Cape Point.

Beneath a Dying Sky - After the war, the weather patterns of the Western Cape were shot to hell. The region is plagued by creep clouds, flash floods, acid monsoons, poisonous smog, torrential rains, extreme humidity, corrosive fog, sweltering dry heat, lightening storms, hurricanes, howling gales, dust storms from inland, ice cold nights and oppressively hot days, yet the sun is dull, shining weakly through the polluted haze, giving an orange cast to everything.
Spoils of War - Refugees from the north flood into the SACR and are collected in state holding camps or disappear into the ghettos. The Cape Republic is recovering from the Emergency, the conflict they wouldn't call a war. This 'police-action' was the result of PAU Colonel N'kosa Mambi's 2024 fever-dream of a new African Empire, that tore across the continent. Eventually defeated by an international coalition of Protocol peace-keepers, N'kosa awaits trial in Geneva.

There is evidence of warfare throughout the region - pockmarked buildings, abandoned city areas, rusting tanks, gutted APCs, aerodyne gunship carcasses, ghost towns, skeletal human remains by the less travelled roads etc. Limited tac-nuke use in 2024, on the Angolan border with Namibia, has lead to the poisonous and radioactive weather fronts referred to as The Creep. Creep clouds are a toxic soup of rads, nanites and biologicals. Many people have begun to exhibit genetic defects thanks to the damaged local environment and are known locally as Twists, and are feared and shunned by both the superstitious and the healthy.

State of the Nation - There are still African rebel movements within the SACR, as well as white supremacist paramilitaries and fringe religious groups, cyber-supremacists, and bio-chauvinists. Civil strife is never far away. Famine and conflict is always ready to bleed into the city streets. Tensions always run high. You're never very far from a fear-gas enshrouded riot in The Hub. 

Sea-borne piracy is also a problem in the region. With simmering unrest there comes a proliferation of smuggling syndicates, as well as illicit off-shore pirate broadcasters, such as Channel Zero and the infamous Suppressed Transmissions. Establishing the veracity of any information is becoming increasingly difficult in Cape Point and the rest of the country.

The old Wasting Plague is still active in the most deprived areas of The Hub. Various biotech transnats are watching and waiting, their patented vaccines at the ready. The area has also recently been subject to what the media has dubbed the New Plagues. Officially blamed on third world transients but most suspect the top bionationals. These contemporary diseases include Viral Huntingtons Disease (VHD), Adaptive and Variable Transmission HIV variants (AHIV & VT-HIV respectively) and Ebola III, not to mention all the adapted and evolved artificial parasites, tailored cancers and nano-induced syndromes unleashed by heartless transnationals and backstreet clinics. Consequently hand sanitisers, inhalers, disinfectant wipes, and other hygiene solutions are  highly desirable, but generally only available anywhere there's money.

SACR laws state that clones, dubs, AIs and other artificial life-forms have no rights, cybernetic regulation is confined to weapons and weapon systems, while private info havens and secure servers are perceived as separate entities and are not subject to Republic law.

The SACR allows the use of Protocol's intrusive GroundScan in it's territories, but only with the correct warrants. Laws change a lot and most law enforcement agencies are corrupt, especially the paramilitary national police known as the Public Security Agency.

Where the PSA don't, can't or won't police, a number of private law enforcement organisations have developed. These contractors include Monarch Law Enforcement, Aries, IntenSecure (small operation), Sentry (Militech), MetaCops (tsotsi funded), Black Eagle Security Group (white/racist) and Arasaka SA. Health and hygiene regulations are strictly enforced, and are some of the most draconian laws currently in place, thanks to recent Biocontrol legislative reforms.

Dante's Streets - In The Hub, street vendors sell anything and everything without permits, with City Filters being the biggest sellers. There are Hyperlife™ auto-cafés everywhere, street traders, impromptu markets, hustlers decked out in dollar store bling, prostitutes, their minders and the down and destitute. Begging is all too common, particularly amongst the street kids; orphans from the war living rough anywhere they can. 

There are vendomats, dataterms, free kibble dispensers, foil blanket dispensers and automated retail kiosks. All this autonomous equipment will be battered, weather stained, and thick with graffiti. 

There are people everywhere; scattered around here and there, some huddled together under blankets or plastic sheeting, some gathered around oil drum fires, others shambling around aimlessly, and at least one poor wretch just standing there shivering and watching the animated signs as if hypnotised. And those animated ads and signs, holographs and the ubiquitous neon will bathe the streets in lurid colour, their incessant drone a constant beat in the background at all times. If you're tricked out for AR, then the world gets even more confusing, unless you're running some heavy-duty filtering. Everywhere, the smell of chemicals, pollutants and human bodies.

In the affluent zones, AI controlled unmanned AV cabs circle with unnerving precision, dropping to street level to drum up trade - they won't travel to certain areas and can't be made to (unless they are hacked of course, which is difficult). Plex or PSA patrols pass through the well kept streets, or wait parked by the roadside, watching for trouble.

The Gangs of The Hub

The top 20 on the PSA list, including gangs from the satellite towns:

• The Hard Time Kids - one of the thousands-strong gangs
• The Cape Flats Boys - another of the thousands-strong gangs
• Thug Living
• The Instant Revolvers
• The Disposable Boys
• The Junky Bullets
• The Jackrollers
• The Magnetic Dog Boys
• The 28s (was a prison gang - they put glo-tat 28s on their faces)
• The AK Legends
• The Scissor Girls
• The Cannibal Cult
• The Twist Society
• The Hungry Loa
• The Shaka Bosses
• The Children of Legba - nu-voodoo and sakawa practising 'dorphers who cook and sell drugs from out of the Warrens
• The Liquid Killaz
• The Right Hand of God (Sub-Saharan Africans, Somalis and local muslims with links to The Burning Light)
• The Tijgerhof Technicals
• The Kid Soldier Soccer Club - smartguns and Sergio Tacchini tracksuits, 70s style


Cartels
The Cape Point Transmetropolitan Hub teems with thousands of faceless hustlers, night operators, retrieval experts, fixers, facilitators, solos, blades and bimbos. Ex-special forces commandos sell their high-end anti-social skills, vying with renegade military clonals and semi-retired combat 'borgs for contracts. Triad thugs brawl with tsotsi warriors and Kombinat assassins. Each of them is connected to the fabric of the netherworld, wired into the splinternets. With a glance, a Nigerian mercenary can scan a passerby, dive into the infosphere's backnet to retrieve a pearl of data about their bionic implants, and have their onboard tac-system formulate a strike strategy that will cripple his target in the blink of an eye.

Trade is the backbone of The Hub, and the transnationals rely on loose laws, immigrants, bleeding-edge technology and corrupt administrations to smooth the flow of business. Smuggling, illegal neotech, dangerous freelancers, and technomads are the lifeblood of the city. The Hub's phenomenal growth was built on the basis of the free flow of people, goods and information after the war. Like Shanghai in the 1920s and Hong Kong in the 1980s, Cape Point attracted the world's most interesting individuals. The glare of neon, the atmosphere of borderline legality and the smell of money lured edgerunners by the kilobyte.

Some will say that the Cartels run the city, with the Russian Kombinat providing a brutal but entertaining sideshow. Others think that the hypercorps are bankrolling the major players, with tacit approval from Government House. And what about the American and Eastern Community operatives sinking their apparati into the bowels of power politics?

Besides the good old-fashioned money-and-politics types, The Hub is also infested with the theological detritus of the world. Add about sixteen major sects and cults - not counting the ethnic groups such as the Sikhs or Druze - mixed with a million and one vendettas, and you've got a potent brew. Pretty much every ethnic group with an agenda has representation here, from Malay dissidents in the Bo-Kaap district to enterprising Chinese importers to dour but reliable Burmese executives. The Europeans have a light presence, but their own infighting keeps them busy.

The Cape Point Transmetropolitan Hub has the highest per-capita rate of implantation in the world, the highest income inequality of any city, the highest concentration of transnationals in Africa and the largest armoury this side of the Congo Conflict Zone. And these are some of the groups that make it move.

The Bhin Xuyen - Vietnamese organised criminal cartel, specialising in human trafficking, piracy and counterfeiting. The group originated amongst the refugee and transient communities on The Raft and in Limpet Town.

The Swanepoel Syndicate - Luis Swanepoel is one of the new, up-and-coming gang bosses competing for the lion's share of the trafficking and smuggling in and out of The Hub. Swanepoel was a pirate off the Gold Coast and would have you put down for just looking at him funny.

The Njombo Cartel - Mabuki Njombo sliced and diced a bloody path to become a Waterfront kingpin by dealing in every vice imaginable, including slavery/skin-trading, organ-legging, human trafficking, prostitution and personality dealing. He is known for preying on the weaknesses of his own people.

The Triads - A vast network of immigrant Chinese and Malay gangsters. A mix composed of fixers, solos, whores, pushers, thieves and other criminals of all kinds. The Triads will involve themselves in anything that will turn a profit.

The Tsotsi Ganglords - These groups run the city’s black market at street level, arranging for the transfer of weapons, illegal cyberware, narcotics and other goods through a series of street markets and underground emporiums. These ‘free traders’ are very loose and consist of collectives of affiliated individuals rather than a unified group.

Hasim Shakur - There's also a crime clan run by Hasim Shakur, an Indian black marketeer who's neck deep in blood diamond traffic, white-collar corruption and tech-theft. The streets are not his scene, but he has friends aplenty in Europe and the Pacific Prosperity Sphere. He currently resides in the gated community hub of Mouille Point.

The Hacker Collective - Not much is known about this group, beyond the fact that there are a number of them, and they all seem to have an anarchic, libertarian view on the world. Some of them hire themselves out on runs; others remain above corporate politics and conduct operations to a plan known only to themselves, although they almost always launch attacks on the government or municipal trash department if they attempt to disperse an autonomous community. The most famous collectives are… [feed disrupted]








Freak Weather Tables (should you need them):

Morning:
1. Ice cold in The Hub: The temperature dropped off the chart sometime last night and it's remained unusually cold. There may even be icicles, hail or patches of frost around. Kids love it! Wrap up warm and be grateful it's not colder.

2. Corrosive fog: Stinking acidic fog blankets the city causing traffic problems, visibility and situational awareness issues as well as making sound travel funny. Roll under remaining LUCK to avoid any acid damage: 1D6/2 and any SP is reduced by a further -1 for each turn the character remains in the fog.
3. Creep cloud: The area is enshrouded in a cloud of nanite, biological and chemical detritus. This shit stinks! The PCs have no idea of the cloud's composition and what problems may occur by hanging around. But they will be triggering the hazard systems of any relatively modern or secure building. Radioactivity? Dangerous nanites? Plague? Characters better be ready for a stint in decontamination. They might get real sick too - roll under full LUCK.
4. The usual: Oh look, it's raining again… <sigh> No significant problems other than getting wet. Again.

5. Corrosive fog: Stinking acidic fog blankets the city causing traffic problems, visibility and situational awareness issues as well as making sound travel funny. Roll under remaining LUCK to avoid any acid damage: 1D6/2 and any SP is reduced by a further -1 for each turn the character remains in the fog.

6. Dust storm: Tons of dust blow in from the interior of the country. Makes breathing tricky; the dust gets into everything; visibility and awareness are reduced (-3) and if it has been raining first,  everything is covered in cloying, muddy crap (this shit is slippery too).

7. Torrential downpour: The usual rain suddenly increases in strength and ferocity with a good inch or two falling in a matter of minutes. Driving becomes hazardous and those without shelter are rapidly soaked to the skin. Visibility is reduced to a couple of meters. The downpour is loud too (-2 Awareness). Lasts for up to 1D20+5 minutes.

8. Torrential downpour: The usual rain suddenly increases in strength and ferocity with a good inch or two falling in a matter of minutes. Driving becomes hazardous and those without shelter are rapidly soaked to the skin. Visibility is reduced to a couple of meters. The downpour is loud too (-2 Awareness). Lasts for up to 1D20+5 minutes.

9. The usual: Oh look, it's raining again… <sigh> No significant problems other than getting wet. Again.

10. Sweltering heat: It's 110° in the shade right now, not a good time to be layered in armour… Add up the SP totals of any head and torso armour. This is the DV for an Endurance check to avoid heat injuries. If the character is without Endurance, they use Resist Torture/Drugs at -2. Heat stroke results in -5 to all skills and 3 pts of damage (no BTM). Oh, and it's miserably hot indoors too…


Afternoon:
1. Extreme UV levels: Despite the hazy light, if you stay outdoors for too long without adequate eye protection, roll a SAVE or be at -3 (-2 with cyberoptic systems) to all tasks involving sight for the remainder of the day. Any exposed skin, including the face will be burned red (1 pt damage, no BTM). Get yourself some goggles, flare-paste, UV shielding or stay inside until it lets up…

2. Glitter-twists: Dead and dying nanoforms carried on twisting air currents catch the dull, orange sunlight, like sparks. This shit sends the superstitious crazy… Can cause an irritating cough if you breath this crap in. Lasts for around 1 hour on average.

3. Lightening storm: A sudden peel of thunder followed by a spectacular lightening show moving in from the ocean or from south of the Table. 10% chance the ionisation of the air monkeys around with implants, cell phones, net connections, smart weapon systems and the like. Lasts for 1D3 hours. 20% chance of city block black outs per hour.

4. Torrential downpour: The usual rain suddenly increases in strength and ferocity with a good inch or two falling in a matter of minutes. Driving becomes hazardous and those without shelter are rapidly soaked to the skin. Visibility is reduced to a couple of meters. The downpour is loud too (-2 Awareness). Lasts for up to 1D20+5 minutes.

5. Sweltering heat: It's 110° in the shade right now, not a good time to be layered in armour… Add up the SP totals of any head and torso armour. This is the DV for an Endurance check to avoid heat injuries. If the character is without Endurance, they use Resist Torture/Drugs at -2. Heat stroke results in -5 to all skills and 3 pts of damage (no BTM). Oh, and it's miserably hot indoors too…

6. Acid monsoon: Sheets of corrosive rain drop from the sky. Little columns of vapour start to appear where the acid does it's worst. Roll under remaining LUCK to avoid any acid damage: 1D6 and any SP is reduced by a further -1 for each turn the character remains in the acidic downpour.

7. The usual: Oh look, it's raining again… <sigh> No significant problems other than getting wet. Again.

8. Extreme UV levels: Despite the hazy light, if you stay outdoors for too long without adequate eye protection, roll a SAVE or be at -3 (-2 with cyberoptic systems) to all tasks involving sight for the remainder of the day. Any exposed skin, including the face will be burned red (1 pt damage, no BTM). Get yourself some goggles, flare-paste, UV shielding or stay inside until it lets up…

9. Creep cloud: The area is enshrouded in a cloud of nanite, biological and chemical detritus. This shit stinks! The PCs have no idea of the cloud's composition and what problems may occur by hanging around. But they will be triggering the hazard systems of any relatively modern or secure building. Radioactivity? Dangerous nanites? Plague? Characters better be ready for a stint in decontamination. They might get real sick too - roll under full LUCK.

10. The usual: Oh look, it's raining again… <sigh> No significant problems other than getting wet. Again.


Night:
1. Creep cloud: The area is enshrouded in a cloud of nanite, biological and chemical detritus. This shit stinks! The PCs have no idea of the cloud's composition and what problems may occur by hanging around. But they will be triggering the hazard systems of any relatively modern or secure building. Radioactivity? Dangerous nanites? Plague? Characters better be ready for a stint in decontamination. They might get real sick too - roll under full LUCK.

2. Arctic snap: The temperature has dropped off the chart excessively cold. There may even be icicles, hail or patches of ice or frost around, particularly after rain. Driving and other movement actions at -3. Prolonged exposure such as staying out all night at these temperatures can result in hyperthermia, pneumonia or frost-bite - roll under full LUCK.

3. Sweltering heat: Unusually for after dark, it's 110° in the shade, not a good time to be layered in armour… Add up the SP totals of any head and torso armour. This is the DV for an Endurance check to avoid heat injuries. If the character is without Endurance, they use Resist Torture/Drugs at -2. Heat stroke results in -5 to all skills and 3 pts of damage (no BTM). Oh, and it's miserably hot indoors too…

4. The usual: Oh look, it's raining again… <sigh> No significant problems other than getting wet. Again.

5. Gale force winds: Extreme, angry winds buffet the city from the ocean. On the coast, great waves crash against the shore. The sound is incredible. Expect some signs of damage when it subsides. All activity in these high winds is at -4.

6. The usual: Oh look, it's raining again… <sigh> No significant problems other than getting wet. Again.

7. Lightening storm: A sudden peel of thunder followed by a spectacular lightening show moving in from the ocean or from south of the Table. 10% chance the ionisation of the air monkeys around with implants, cell phones, net connections, smart weapon systems and the like. Lasts for 1D3 hours. 20% chance of city block black outs per hour.

8. Arctic snap: The temperature has dropped off the chart excessively cold. There may even be icicles, hail or patches of ice or frost around, particularly after rain. Driving and other movement actions at -3. Prolonged exposure such as staying out all night at these temperatures can result in hyperthermia, pneumonia or frost-bite - roll under full LUCK.

9. The usual: Oh look, it's raining again… <sigh> No significant problems other than getting wet. Again.

10. Torrential downpour: The usual rain suddenly increases in strength and ferocity with a good inch or two falling in a matter of minutes. Driving becomes hazardous and those without shelter are rapidly soaked to the skin. Visibility is reduced to a couple of meters. The downpour is loud too (-2 Awareness). Lasts for up to 1D20+5 minutes.





For those unfamiliar with the very excellent Vircades Project blog, may I suggest Richard's outstanding Ruralpunk series of tools and concepts for running PCs through the wild places found beyond Cape Point's city limits. Enjoy!


*with apologies to Richard Balmer once more for bastardising some of his ideas. :)

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Cape Point | Living Spaces

Continuing our look at Cape Point in the late 2020s. The numbers on the left correspond with the Cape Point map listing, the letter and number in brackets [eg: (G3)] are the map grid references.

05. Mouille Point Secure Gated Estates (DX)

These gated communities are suburban housing developments surrounded by fences, tac-drones and cameras and have ubiquitous guards who patrol the streets, instilling a sense of security in the extremely wealthy residents, who pay substantial fees for the protection. The PLECs will fight bitterly for these lucrative contracts.

Rich drug dealers and cartel lieutenants have also begun moving into these developments, and bask in the glow of artificial respectability. There are many such gated estates throughout Mouille Point, Green Point, Three Anchor Bay, Sea Point and Bantry Bay. These areas, connected by the M6 and the M61, are simply referred to as The Points. There are branded security checkpoints on all entrance roads.

07. Waterfront Residential Marina (E1)

A landscape of condominiums, light apartment blocks, parks, fountains and private security 4x4s. Some areas are gated. Waterfront is home to what's left of the middle classes, as well as many Hub corporates. There are small (completely legal, completely safe, completely boring) street markets, roadside cafés, and schools. The south-eastern end is very heavily guarded to prevent violence in the docklands spilling into the area, and there are security checkpoints on all entrance roads. The Marina district operates under a siege mentality - cameras and acoustic gun sensors are omnipresent. Security contracts change regularly, with different PLECs policing the area almost on a weekly basis.

18. The Afrikaner Broederbond Enclave (C5)*

The original Afrikaner Broederbond was born out of the deep conviction that the Afrikaners has been planted in this country by the Hand of God, destined to survive as a separate people with its own calling. 'Blancheville' is the nickname given to this city block. Six fair-sized buildings with their connecting alleys walled, The Broederbond is home to a couple of hundred white people, ranging from infants to grandparents. The walls are sturdy and about 12 feet tall, with the outside decorated with graffiti, gang signs, and race-hate slogans. Rickety bridges lead from rooftop to rooftop, allowing patrols to travel easily from roof to roof. There are motion detector lights and alarms, but the Broederbond is a group of families, complete with children - it has no lethal defences, unless you count the residents.

55. Granger Bay (EX)

These exclusive, secure beach-front apartment complexes are what the sprawling, ramshackle favela slums of Brazil would look like if the residents had millions to design their homes, instead of using scrap plastic and plywood. There are also many expensive, secure private villas scattered along the waterfront.

56. Vanwelt Plaza (F3)

A private, high-tech franchise city-state with its own constitution, border, laws, cops, everything. Owned and governed by Vanwelt Technologies Group. An award winning pocket park graces the roof of the Plaza building. Vanwelt schools are renowned.

57. The Helix Court (F4)

Artistically twisted carbon nano-tube construct, containing apartment pods, hostess lounges, bars and cafés. Clean, subdued but filled with upper-class vice. Parts of the Helix Court structure are still being 'grown'.

58. The Protea Building (E8)

This is a very expensive and safe place to live. The Horizonville area, in which the Protea Building is situated, was built solely with intercon money. The Protea Building was constructed to handle a large amount of monied people who needed expensive apartments. There are a number of similar buildings in the area. There are also speciality shops, parks, leisure facilities, private AV pads, boutiques, vineyards and restaurants, department stores, a golf course, a maglev network and cable car, in fact, everything the hard working executive and their family may ever need, surrounded by winding avenues and lush vegetation with commanding views of the Cape Point bowl. You need a corporate employment number and a credit check just to enter Horizonville.

59. Iziko Skyline Towers (D6)*

The Iziko Skyline Towers are a set of three cylindrical buildings of stepped heights, ranging from perhaps twenty to thirty stories high and ringed with myriad small balconies, sprouting out of a multilevel parking garage (with it's own visitor's entrance, as well as a gated resident's entrance). 

It's easy enough to find metered street parking, and there's an elaborate granite stoop leading up from the sidewalk to the pedestrian entrance. A spot-lit slab of granite next to that entrance reads 'Iziko Skyline Towers' in an engraved script font, and features a stylised 'big city skyline' logo.

Inside, there is a security desk, dark granite flooring, a fountain with a little waterfall and real
trees in planters climbing toward the atrium windows above. Lots of low-slung divans and chairs, and even a little automated coffee bar off to one side. There are three short, wide corridors that each lead to a bank of three elevators - one for each tower. There is another vestibule leading to the parking garage.

Inside each of the towers there is a circular lobby in the middle, with a single set of large picture windows facing out over the city. The individual condos, along with the elevator shafts, form a ring around this central lobby. 

Each condo features one or more of the balconies seen from outside. The lobby's decor is similar to that downstairs, but on a smaller scale. There are more low-slung couches and tables forming 'conversation pits' here and there, giving the residents of a given floor a place to socialise with one another. The condos are entered via a slightly cramped, dim foyer that opens to a medium sized open-plan living room, which is nicely appointed and furnished - bamboo floors and some soft rugs here and there, a couple of curved, contemporary couches forming a vague yin-yang around a thick tempered-glass coffee table, vertical blinds drawn over a picture window on the other side. Big TV on one wall, and a dining table and kitchen with a breakfast bar on the other side. Tasteful art. A couple of doors here and there that lead to bedrooms and a bathroom. Peephole cams are mounted in the doors with a monitor screen on the wall to the right.









If you can't buy or bullshit your way into any of these premier establishments, a discerning punk can always hole-up in such grand piles as sunny, breezy Link Town, cosy Devil's Peak, sea-front Atlantia, or the fresh and always welcoming Warrens.


*with apologies to Richard Balmer for bastardising his ideas. Again. :)

Cape Point | Night Life


Continuing our look at Cape Point in the late 2020s. The numbers on the left correspond with the Cape Point map listing, the letter and number in brackets [eg: (G3)] are the map grid references.


23. The Drome (bar) (G5)

The Drome is the premier night spot for the fixers, street dealers, solos, cutters and the movers and shakers of The Hub's underground. A tunnel of brushed metal surfaces, cold blue neon, long landscape windows with metal strip blinds, awash in the harsh vibe of 'biz' set to a speed metal soundtrack.

28. Visage (nightclub) (E3)

Popular Photonic Wave club with pseudo 80s styling, built inside the defunct Traffic Department building. A dark cavern of dry ice, pulsing lasers, black walls with paint splashes, wonder-walls, chrome tubing, large dance floors, mirror tiles, worn red velvet seats and black ash effect tables and several bars with black gloss tops. The clientele are mainly poseur-types; women go for the classic tight black mini-dress, polished chrome is so awesome, there are glo-tats, light-panelled clothing and neon optics. Visage is staffed by classic 80s chrome sexy 'robots'. Some of the patrons (retros) are starting to go for the look too. The club is a real mix of Schotschekloof Filter players, the Bo-Kaap beautiful and Green Point slummers. Managed by a rictus-grinning, plastic-faced hyperactive calling himself Max Headfuck. 


29. Club Synapse (nightclub) (E6)

This converted warehouse is dirty, faded and dark, both inside and out. All the ground floor windows are boarded over and the upper windows have barred grills covering them. The Club Synapse sign was painted onto the building around 8 years ago, and years of acid rain have taken their toll. The once bright paint is faded and flaking. Kombinat foot-soldiers use the club as a pick-up joint.

The club is open 24 hours a day, with cycling staff shifts every 6. Stay in the club long enough, and you’ll notice the Punk & Bass play list runs on a loop. Security staff also operate in a shift pattern but they never seem to have a full compliment, so security is minimal and, very occasionally, non-existent. The place is regularly closed due to a shooting or stabbing. It is popular with the unemployed and shift workers and is only ever at one-third it’s capacity at any given time. There’s a 5eb entry fee, providing there is someone on the front desk to collect it.

Club Synapse is owned by Amadeus Burundi, a young and moderately well connected fixer who specialises in bringing those with a need together with those who have a solution. Amadeus rarely handles any tangible goods, preferring info and connections. He lives in a cramped loft apartment in Oranjezicht, near the geodesic, rather than above the club he mismanages. Amadeus is on good terms with the Kombinat.

30. Dawala Nights (nightclub) (I5)

Small Xhosa Trance club in a disused police check point that's been extended. Inside there is a gaudy animated holographic waterfall covering an entire wall, which only maintains the illusion of depth when seen from the front, and it doubles as the main light source. Popular with some of the more sociable tsotsi. All manner of narcotics are available here if you know who to ask.


31. Atrocity (nightclub) (G4)

This old shopping atrium has been converted into The Hub's premier Industrial Grind club. The dark interior is decorated with old medical apparatus, Geiger-esque furniture, sickly toxic coloured lighting that pulses through a series of grilled turbines in the ceiling. Body modified dancers gyrate inside dirty glass cylinders mounted on conduit covered metal plinths. Revoltingly exotic joy toys languidly splash around in shallow fluids, inside filthy horizontal tubes that hang over the dance floor and bar area. Biohazard symbols are projected around the main room, along with sinister Cthulhu-inspired symbols and images. Live grind bands perform sets on a grilled stage above the infamous mosh pit. Patrons openly flaunt body mods, scars, sickening tattoos, and horrific implants. Many wear masks and respirators, latex and rubber fetish wear. 'Slaves' on leashes are not uncommon. The club is designed to revel in an alien-ness, an otherness and body-horror. The owner (who prefers the term 'host') goes by the name of Tetsuo Lovecraft and he has large black almond-shaped eyes, pallid grey skin with implanted tubes and bearings underneath. His artificial hair is like the spines on a sick porcupine.

32. Eutectica (bar) (E2)

A reclaimed and modernised tea warehouse built of local stone, with one 3-storey wall replaced with smoked glass. Inside, the bar is spread over two floors and features laboratory style glass, metal and polymer surfaces, spill channels on the metal tables, beaker-like glassware, and brightly coloured vinyl upholstery. This is enclosed within unusual angles, hard shapes, spheroids and interwoven with carbon nano-tube helixes. A resident DJ handles the background music while holographic projections dance and shift the ambience in sync with the tracks.


33. The Athenaeum (nightclub) (H4)

This club's theme is exclusivity, power and wealth. The old Georgian exchange building is stylishly decorated with large, ornate gilt mirrors, monstrous leather sofas, heavy dark wood flooring, slate and granite slab tables, a dark marble dance floor, an oversized and overstated oak panelled bar, high backed chairs, lush red velvet walls and chandeliers. This club exudes decadence, old European quality and is very much about ego. Rich-kids hold court clustered in exquisitely furnished alcoves. Low level corporates come here to pose, boast and act like the mythical Eurozone power-players seen in the popular sims.

34. Brauhaus (bar) (F2)

One of the oldest public houses in Cape Point. Largely run down, the brickwork covered in gang tags, you wouldn’t know this was a bar if it wasn’t for the grime encrusted, flickering Carlsberg neon above the steps that lead down from street level. The upper floors are a mix of low rent apartments and dilapidated squats. The interior is decked out in a traditional bar room style - long laminated wood-effect bar with worn bar stools, table booths, round tables and chairs, a digital jukebox and various sports memorabilia. Three flatscreens are mounted above the bar, showing cricket, news, music or soft porn. The owner, Alzo, is a lethargic, wiry skinhead in his early 40s and can often be found reading a well worn bible, whilst taking hits from any number of bright plastic inhalers with Chinese labels that he keeps behind the bar. He carries a small supply of booze in case the PSA show up, but otherwise he normally supplies various recreational narcotics to his regular patrons.

35. The Five Flies (bar) (E6)

An older free-standing two-story building, its original purpose surely lost to the ages. A big red sign sprouts from a dirty gravel parking lot to proclaim the bar's existence. A number of vehicles, each one sadder-looking than the last, haunt the car park. 

A beaded curtain separates the entryway from the bar proper. Inside it's dim and seedy, and the air is a hazy pale blue from cigarette smoke. The cliché African theme permeates the whole room, with carvings of tribal statuettes and faded posters of various tropical paradises cover those portions of the walls that aren't dominated by eye-searing neon beer logos and ads for King Cobra whiskey. Ceiling fans with rattan blades rotate lazily overhead. A dust-covered plastic parrot on a little brass swing sits on the edge of the bar. An unplugged pinball machine sulks in one corner next to a dart-board that probably hasn't seen a game since the ANC years. Multiple TV sets mounted on the walls are tuned to some kind of brutal game show involving a family of five being chased through a maze by whip-snapping dominatrices with swastika armbands. Off to the side, a barely functional jukebox wheezes through a synthesised cocktail-jazz tune that's clearly intended to induce people to spend money to make the jukebox play something worth hearing.

From the entrance you can see the hallway that leads to the 'fragrant' restrooms, and two other doors that are marked as private. Etta, a mute, skinny, African barmaid with a shaved head, a limp, and a complexion like a grapefruit, hobbles here and there, delivering drinks and scooping up empty glassware where appropriate. On the opposite side of the room, the bar is tended by a huge white man called Brian, bald-headed with a luxurious moustache, a cut off rugby top, and crude, matching oversized cyberarms. And yes, there are way more than five flies in this place.

36. Third World War (nightclub) (F2)

A reclaimed 3-storey office block squeezed between other buildings. The ground floor is painted in a garish camouflage pattern with the name of the club in peeling white military stencilling. The door staff wear olive drab flak vests and night vision goggles; all graftees. The interior is clad in bare concrete slabs, each baring a variety of damage, including bullet holes. Dented metal panels painted in flaking military greens act as tables. Smoke machines enshroud the club in a misty, noisy haze. On the walls there are tattered national flags and large polymer screens showing silent footage of combat - GEVs, swarming drone attacks, burning suburbs, AV gunships in formation, convoys of motorised infantry and tanks, tac-nuke strikes, deltas carpet bombing villages, PA suits hitting a mine field… Animated holos of mushroom clouds detonate in time to the music. The club is renowned for zone-dancing. Third World War is suspected to be part of the Njombo Cartel's portfolio.

37. Rafiki’s (bar) (H2)

This long, dark, narrow space carved out of an old, corrugated polymer industrial unit is a haven for serious wirehead addicts and braindancers jacking illegal sims. There is no bar as such in this neon-tube lit ‘tunnel’; refreshment needs are catered for with a long row of poorly maintained vendomats. Seating is a ramshackle collection of decommissioned office chairs rescued from dumpsters, old car and AV seats and a scattering of disjointed plastic tables. The whole place reeks of ozone, nicotine, teenagers and hash. 

The owner, Rafiki, is a 25 year old hormone locked mixed-race asexual (appearing to be 14 and hauntingly feminine) and a hardcore button-head. They have an office at the back that consists of polymer lean-to’s attached to scaffolding rods with industrial adhesives. They’ll let you store stuff out back, no questions asked (Rafiki’s too lethargic to go and look at what you’ve stashed). Rafiki will accept payment in stimulants if you’re strapped for cash. Rafiki deals in info, sim-stim and softs.

Its rumoured that Rafiki has acquired a 'SQuID' (Superconducting Quantum Interference Detector) on the black market; US Navy surplus; used in the war to find subs and suss out enemy cyber- systems. Visual memories, passwords, key-phrases and the like can be extracted using Rafiki's tweaked SQuID.

38. Storm (nightclub) (FX)

This purpose-built, pale, three layered structure is constructed to withstand the coastal weather fluctuations, being situated as it is toward the far end of the docks where they meet the sea wall. Each layer is separated by glowing blue neon. A simple chrome plate by the entrance bares the name. The thunderous base the club is renowned for can be heard well before you get there.

The inside is dark and steel grey mixed with a variety of blues. Lighting consists of dimmed white light mixed with flashing blue lasers and randomly strobing UV. A huge polymer wall-screen shows images of thick, rolling clouds and stormfronts. Some of the interior walls are slabs of clear or dull transparent acrylic sheet with down-lit water flowing between them. The foyer features wild fountains, as do the washroom areas. Mounted above the dance-floor there is a crackling Faraday cage (which tends to mess with cheaper implants and cell phones). The musical flava here is Euro-Ziet. Storm is famous for it's wildly dramatic foam parties.


39. Apartheid Union (bar) (J4)

Located on the first floor of a poorly built apartment building on the edge of the Woodstock PeeZee, that dates back to the late 1990s, Apartheid Union squats above a grocers shop, a burger hatch and overcrowded flats. You have to enter the noisy building to climb the stairs to the bar. 

The first thing you notice when you pass through the leopard print curtains is the thick pot-haze that hangs in the air. Beyond the smoke, there is a small bar, painted in black, green, yellow and red stripes, plastic furniture liberated from a defunct fast-food joint and garish (but sticky) lino flooring. 

There's a large well lit fish tank dominating one wall, replica Zulu shields and assegai on another and a glowing plastic statue of Nelson Mandela healing a blind woman. A tattered poster of the Archbishop Desmond Tutu, resplendent in purple, smiles down from behind him. The guy skinning up behind the bar is a thin, drawn, bored-looking white man with thick dreadlocks and red ringed eyes. This is Snowcat, the owner and sole staff member as well as the self-appointed chairman of a growing, multicultural group of anti-corporate dissidents who long for a return to the optimism of the early ANC years. They get misty eyed singing reconciliation songs from the 90s.

40. The Factory (nightclub) (K6)

The original building was a small medical centre, but has been converted to house The Factory. The interior is tall and dark, with exposed steel girders painted with hazard stripes and smooth concrete floors. Orange hazard lights spin in the smoky haze. Spark emitters shower glowing orange rain over the crowd. Several deactivated industrial robots stand in salute above the dance-floor. Every few minutes, a large, dirty yellow spider-form robot descends with a pneumatic hiss from the roof, flashing lights on the tips of it's limbs, before being hoisted back into shadow. The entire floor space is the dance-floor, the bars being set flush with the walls. The vibe of the clientele is 'punk-chic' - military style, epaulettes, thin ties, short hair, almost fascist-style fashion. The music played here is a clever hybrid of Electropunk and Ambient Mood-Swing. The club is currently suffering from gang activity, drug dealers, weapons and organised criminals. Another place eclipsed by a geodesic.

41. House of Blue Lights (bar) (L10)*

Where do you go when you absolutely need to guarantee a little privacy for a discussion or a meeting? The front room of The House of Blue Lights is a well-lit but windowless bar with exits on no less than three sides of the building. The Blue Lights does a decent business on the bar service alone. High class call girls with a variety of ethnicity's will be noticeable in the bar area. What separates it from other bars is that in the back area you can rent a guaranteed-private chamber for an important "hush-hush" business discussion. Simply approach the attendant at the entrance to the back area and:

A)Mention to him/her that you want to rent a privacy room, and 
B)Give him/her the "password" you want others to have to give him to be allowed to join you.  This allows parties to arrive at different times and makes it more difficult to figure out who is in what room.

You will then be buzzed through a locked door and can go through a hallway to the room in question. People are not allowed to languish in the hallway (the attendant has an indicator on his/her desk that illuminates when someone is in the hallway and only lets one person or party use it at once), so there isn't really a way to be sure who is in what chamber if you are trying to watch from the bar area. A typical chamber is a small, windowless room similar to a blue-lit train compartment. It can hold about six people. It is fashioned in seamless clear plastic over white acrylic and features two moulded benches facing each other. The benches are more like smooth shelves built into opposite walls, the idea being that there is really no place to hide a bug. Each chamber is insulated, acoustically deadened, and is fitted with a scanning device that illuminates a warning light if something in the chamber is transmitting radio waves. Each chamber is swept for items left behind or other tampering immediately after each use. In short, there's no way to access what is said or done here without smuggling in a recorder of your own. Yes, they have a ventilation system, but they use white noise generators to keep them secure.

The staff is friendly and pleasant overall and have had some training to spot ruses and con jobs aimed at compromising security, but there are a few house rules that will get you thrown out if you don't observe them. They are posted just inside of each of the public doors and are :

1. If you ask questions of the staff as to who is onsite or where they are or when they were here, you will be denied service and immediately asked to leave.

2. Absolutely no cameras or other recording devices are allowed. If you are seen by any staff member with such a device, you will denied service and immediately asked to leave.

3. Absolutely no designation or insignia tying an individual to a media organisation is allowed. If you are seen by any staff member with such designation, you will be denied service and immediately asked to leave. Sorry, open declarations of media affiliation undermine the confidence of the patrons.

In addition, people who try to loiter around the attendant's desk will be asked to return to the bar area. Although The House is a handy thing to have, the need for such privacy is itself incriminating to a degree.  Some corporations have listed being there as a fireable offence. After all, if you were completely loyal, what would you have to hide?  The PSA, (rightly) suspicious that criminals sometimes use The House for meetings and plans, may try to stake the bar area out, but there's not really a way to be sure who is meeting whom. The owners of The House of Blue Lights have successfully sued the PSA and ISS for harassment, and as a result they tend to tread lightly here. Unknown to the majority of patrons, there is a secure puppet parlour and conventional brothel operating on the floors above as a part of The House.

42. The Dispensary (bar) (H6)

You can't see the exterior for the years of fly posters and graffiti artists, so no one knows what this place used to be. This self-service bar is lined with refrigerated vendomats for a variety of beer brands, and legal narcotics dispensers. Soemtimes, there are less-than-legal drugs in the 'mats too. The interior is all reinforced coloured glass and steel frames, the armoured and branded vendomats giving the place a retro-orbital feel. The staff consists of the shift manager and the security heavies, who observe the bar through cameras from an armoured back room. Being this close to the Devil's Peak Projects can cause problems; there are far too many violent incidents here, and the PSA are getting pissed off. Whichever gang claims the bar at any given time is very protective of it. Security only have a remit to protect he stock and the kit. A lot of well-known Projects dealers can be found frequenting the bar.

70. The Looking Glass (nightclub) (G4)

Sizeable macabre-chic strip-club where the dancers perform segments of their routines behind a curved sheet of dark, smoked glass that functions like an x-ray screen. You will literally see everything. Pole dancers perform inside cylinders of the same material. Flatscreens flash up x-ray images, many sexual. The decor consists of deep reds and opulent fabrics. The crowd is a healthy all-genders mix, dressed to impress.

71. Neoshima (nightclub) (C6)

Despite the sensationalist name, the Neoshima is a relatively calm nightclub, catering to multi-national wage slaves in a contemporary Japanese fashion. Chic, Tokyo corporate styling with low tables, burgundy upholstery, chrome edges, curved couches, communal areas, panelled paper screens, idol singers, kanji neon, elegant hostesses and the ubiquitous videoke.

78. Marimba’s (bar) (X11)

Positioned where the M61 cuts through the Bakoven geodesic, Marimba's is a NoGo bar of some repute. As dangerous as it is to get here, the information regarding events in the Suicide District can prove invaluable. Marimba is the man in the know, although now he is in his late 50s, he's thinking of quitting and moving on. He is well in with many local gang lords as well as a number of veteran solos. The bar has a very relaxed atmosphere, despite it's location, and feels more like an informal gathering. Marimba serves his guests from his back-room kitchen. The improvised furniture is littered with bongs, hookah pipes, pills, derms and plastic cups of Marimba's notorious homebrew, which he stores out back in reclaimed 25 litre containers. The furniture is made from painted bottle crates, large cable spindles serving as tables, and beanbags made from packing material stuffed into heat-sealed plastic sacks. Marimba sells some extraordinarily potent skunk too.

*with apologies to the VtfE crowd for bastardising their ideas. :)