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> The Unpublished Neo-Tokyo Fragment, Adult Content
Ancient History
post Jan 17 2009, 12:02 AM
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Explanation: this was a very late add-on to Neo-Tokyo for Corporate Enclaves when it looked like we'd be a page or page-and-a-half short. As it was, it turned out we didn't need it. The fact that some of the content is a touch more graphic than Shadowrun usually deals with...well, that may have had a part too. Still, since some of you have shown interest, I've gotten permission to post the text of it here for those that want to see it.

This isn't canon material. Whether or not it's even good material is entirely a matter of opinion, it was written fast and the particular style of it demanded a certain lack of finesse; any and all blame lies solely on me.
_______________

OFF THE GRID
Posted by Janus

Neo-Tokyo is built around the wireless network almost from the ground up; it can be very difficult to move around without a commlink and a SIN. Most of Neo-Tokyo’s urban transportation network, for example, uses active commlink density to measure and manage traffic flow. If you don’t have an active commlink, you can stand at a crosswalk for hours and the light will never change because the monitoring software won’t “see? you.

> Which is a telling reinforcement of the Japanese social stigma against jaywalking.
> Traveler Jones

> On the other hand, it also means no record is kept of your commlink’s movement. If you can shadow someone with an active commlink or stay in a group of others, you can move fairly easily without leaving a datatrace on the local grid.
> Kemuri

I’ve attached a few days worth of diary entries from a SINless girl called Ponaki, to give you an idea of being off the grid in Neo-Tokyo.

>>>>> BEGIN DIARY STYLE
01/17/71
I had a dream last night. I was walking down Unodo St., what Kano calls the Canyon because the buildings on either side slope in and it’s like you’re walking through a big inverted V with this tiny crack of sunlight, and the buildings are all covered by holofilm so they can play advertisements that take up the whole block. Then it started to rain and there was this sheet of water that was coming down the crack and dooshing all the cars and I could see the ads reflected on the water and I thought it was like the theatre grandma told me about. The coverlets where the cars can park sorta under the building were all full so I was standing there looking up at the water and then this car came and I got splashed and I woke up and I was shivering because it really was raining out and a car came by and splashed me and woke me up.

01/18/71
Kano told me yesterday that there were fisherman at the docks that didn’t care if you had a SIN; the ones that were too poor to afford cargo-drones. Of course, Kano fried his wetware with any kind of skrag he could get his hands on, but it was a tip worth checking out, so I put on my shades and headed down toward the docks. You have to watch out walking because everybody’s on AR and doesn’t always pay attention to where they’re going, and Kano says its because they have programs that tell them where everyone is and how tells them how to move and stuff, but I don’t have a commlink so they can’t really see me and they’ll bump into me if I’m not careful. Kano says its good to wear the shades because that way everybody thinks I’m looking at AR too. I got down to the docks but apparently the fishermen want to unload in the mornings before the sun is even up and they don’t like to hire girls anyways. Shit.

01/19/71
It was a guy today. I was asking for dates around the bus terminal, the one midway between Kabukicho and the highschool where all the girls come when they need money or something. Middle-aged corper waiting for his boss to die so he could move up in the world came looking for a little strange after a fourteen-hour shift and he came up and said he liked my socks. I made him buy me a meal first, took him to this Indian place, the one with the antiseptic wipes, for rice and ghee and beer. He followed me into the bathroom and I let him come between my thighs. He paid and left while I was wiping up and the bitch that ran the place gave me a look as I came out. Fuck her anyway, I got what I came for.

01/20/71
I wish Kano would come back, I haven’t seen him since the day before yesterday and the drones at the Cube took our stuff and they won’t hurt you but they can report you and then the police will come. I think they look funny ‘cause they’re light blue and kinda look like beetles, but Kano says they just look that way to be nonthreatening but they use the same drones for killing rats and cats and stray dogs so you have to watch out.

01/21/71
I love the university campus in the mornings. There’s less space than in the park, but you get more sunlight through the trees and sometimes I can hit it up with a boy or girl and get a shower in the dorms. It was cloudy today, though, so I headed straight for the cafeteria and got there just after they’d dumped breakfast. Kano told me the university either can’t afford or doesn’t care to lock its waste containers, so I had about half an hour to scrounge through soggy noodles and dead soy waffles. We used to eat there all the time but Kano said we needed to move around. I hope I see him tomorrow.

01/22/71
I went to Nikki’s the club where Kano likes to buy his skag, and the bouncer knows me, and I let him feel me up a bit to let me into the club without checking my ID which I didn’t have. I like the club because it smells nice and the walls and floor and all the furniture are covered by denim, even the lamps, so it’s dark and kinda smoky and a little rough but in a good way. There were these boys there and I let them buy me niksticks and drinks and danced with them and kinda fooled with this one guy’s dick under the table but then I saw Kano and he was looking pretty pale so I said I had to go to the bathroom and I’d be right back. It took me a couple minutes because the club was crowded but nobody cared that I went in the men’s room and there was Kano on the floor sucking this guy’s dick, and it was Monimoni, that queen that works for the fucking Yakuza and I didn’t say anything but went back and stuck my hand down that one boy’s pants and he took me home. His name is Gamon.

He had this really flash apartment down in Kanda, and he had me suck him off like twice times and then he fell asleep. I took a shower there and he had shampoo and conditioner but no soap. I didn’t have a toothbrush so I used my finger with his toothpaste. I kinda wanted to soak my clothes but I didn’t know if he’d be wanting me to leave in the morning so I just raided his fridge and stole a pair of his socks cause mine were like really dirty. But Gamon was kinda cool about it, maybe because I woke him up with a handjob and he looked like one of those nerdy otaku types that thinks one day they’ll find True Love and it’ll be some streetwalking whore like me with a heart of gold, and then I asked if I could stay and do my laundry and he said sure.

I’m updating all this on Gamon’s home terminal and I don’t think he’ll mind ‘cause I have to walk around naked except for the socks I stole from him ‘til it’s done.
>>>>> END DIARY STYLE

_______________

As a bonus, I found my actual notes for this section. Give you an idea of my kind of brainstorming:

1,250 words

- Diary entry
- SINless in Neo-Tokyo (Penniless and off the Grid)
- Focus on street-level color and description

Massive light-blue garbage drones
Cheap restaurants can't afford locks on their cans
Wear shades during the day, pretend to be in AR
Can't enter stores-they know you don't have a commlink
Ghee and rice
Begging just outside the religious district, where the priests and monks
cannot see
Buildings clad in a layer of plastic or nano-weave for ad/cleaning
purposes; streets of woven fiber-spongy
Fishing/docks-no jobs for SINless
Let bouncer cop a feel to get into a club

Denim and its many descendents...from clothing to carpeting...
Lack of mirrored finish on windows; de-emphasize the crowds (or providing
LOS for magicians?)
Distinctive buildings, sometimes given to look like a corporate symbol
made physical
Parking coverlets in sidewalk for personal vehicles
Green pieces - faux valleys of bonsai orchards as two rows of buildings
slant down a particular street,
the trees planted in niches all around
Slipstream buildings that reject the rain...and everything else...
So many older people...
Shagreen

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Abschalten
post Jan 17 2009, 01:28 AM
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This was interesting. I think I built this up in my head because I didn't find it all that shocking. I did think that it was a little sad the things that Ponaki had to endure simply by virtue of having no official existence and no money.

While I was one of the first begging to see this fragment, I think I understand why it was cut. It needs a little more polish, but as this wasn't destined to go into Corporate Enclaves, it doesn't really matter now. And while Shadowrun is definitely becoming more adult-oriented, the sexual content probably would've made some hair stand on end. It doesn't bother me personally, but I understand that the target market and audience for Shadowrun isn't just me and me alone.

Anyhow, it was a good read and I appreciate you sharing it with us. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Stahlseele
post Jan 17 2009, 01:32 AM
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it's fron Aunty Ancient, that's about as Canon as it Comes to me . .
well, maybe aside for one fact:
that Gamom boy, the nerdy otaku type . . he has a really flash apartment with enough space to walk around in? O.o
isn't room . . i dunno . . kinda expansive over there in Tokyo? O.o
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Fix-it
post Jan 17 2009, 03:03 AM
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that was a bit more graphic than SR canon usually is. It's not "Unknown Armies" graphic, but that's not a bad thing. personally I found the intro by Janus and the shadowtalk to be more of value than the diary entries.
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Snow_Fox
post Jan 17 2009, 04:26 AM
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yeah interestinmg, but much more graphic than anything I've read in other books. Sort of life of the SINless 2070.
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Pyritefoolsgold
post Jan 17 2009, 04:31 AM
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I can see why you didn't publish this. It's much darker than I'm used to from shadowrun, and included in a published work would clash with the rest of it, even though it's the sort of thing everyone knows is going on in our little world. But I also think it's a valuable addition to our general pool of knowledge and way of thinking about shadow run. It's good to know it's still possible to get through life without having a commlink broadcasting your SIN all the time. The image I seem to get in many current shadowrun books seems to show the corps having won completely, with complete control, and it being impossible to just drop out of the game entirely. I like that that's not true, even though we can see here the costs of doing so.

Also if you guys are writing other things that turn out just a bit too dark for publication, we'd still love to see them unofficially, if possible.
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pbangarth
post Jan 17 2009, 06:54 AM
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It's good writing when a lot of information, setting and feeling comes through in a little bit of text. I appreciate snippets like this, and hope they continue. Whether they are 'blue' or not.

Peter
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Tachi
post Jan 17 2009, 07:30 AM
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That's extremely bleak Ancient. I like it. I understand why some would be hesitant to use it, but personally, I think it fits the street level feel of SR4, just in a garbage strewn, melted plastic, sex-crime victim bound with duct-tape kind of way. I would have published it just for the clash in possibilities and realities that it showed do in fact exist, though hidden, even in Neo-Tokyo. Though, like I said, I understand that some would not appreciate the 'tone', and why. It's visceral.
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Fuchs
post Jan 17 2009, 10:52 AM
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I don't see this as extremely bleak, nor graphic. Just as writting out what SINless means for many - and how many runaways live today.
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hermit
post Jan 17 2009, 11:34 AM
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Agree with Fuchs here. It needn't be Neo-Tokyo anyway - change names, and it could be Seattle, Frankfurt, or Newark.

Slight deviation from topic, on the topic of Newark: how canonic is Nyx Smyth's fairly detailed rundown of the sprawl in 'Into The Dark' or whatever that novel was called?
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mrlost
post Jan 17 2009, 01:23 PM
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I rather liked it. I wish there was more of this sort of in-character short fiction. I didn't find it very dark. Its pretty tame compared to most cyberpunk fiction. I was expecting way worse. Necrophagia/puppet parlor worse. I really liked the day to day detail and the lack of locks on the dumpsters. Reminds me of some friends who used to dumpster dive Trader Joes in college.

Thanks for sharing. I've got it saved, I'll probably use it as an e-handout to my players. Day in the life of SINless. I'm surprised that you didn't use some sort of 2070 or Japanese slang for handjob though.
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Hagga
post Jan 17 2009, 01:27 PM
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Is it just me, or does it not seem very.. "sixth worldy"? Sort of like an account of most homeless today? Or is that the point, that while the environment changes the experience does not?
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Snow_Fox
post Jan 17 2009, 01:47 PM
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plus ca change, plus ca le meme chose.

The only really dark element is that this shows what we, as adults, have thought of and probably had in our games but has not been in print, the actual activities of a girl on her way to be a sex worker. I mean one of the books had the hero was a call girl who ends up fighting vampires (blessedly the title of that drek has fade from my mind) but it didn't go into any such details as AH did here.

There's nothing new cannonical about Newark NJ but the book was based on Newark of today and there's no reason to htink it will improve. RL new Jersey has the highest taxes in the nation and is hoplessly corrupt so a line of politicians have been unable to lower it. So it is not likely to encourage corps from Pensylvania or New York to relocate there to imporve their situation.
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DWC
post Jan 17 2009, 01:55 PM
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Very well done. I like the dichotomy of the "have-nots" being invisible occupants of the same space as the "haves", rather than being on the outside, looking in over a fence topped with monowire and sentry guns.
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DWC
post Jan 17 2009, 02:11 PM
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QUOTE (Snow_Fox @ Jan 17 2009, 08:47 AM) *
plus ca change, plus ca le meme chose.

The only really dark element is that this shows what we, as adults, have thought of and probably had in our games but has not been in print, the actual activities of a girl on her way to be a sex worker. I mean one of the books had the hero was a call girl who ends up fighting vampires (blessedly the title of that drek has fade from my mind) but it didn't go into any such details as AH did here.

There's nothing new cannonical about Newark NJ but the book was based on Newark of today and there's no reason to htink it will improve. RL new Jersey has the highest taxes in the nation and is hoplessly corrupt so a line of politicians have been unable to lower it. So it is not likely to encourage corps from Pensylvania or New York to relocate there to imporve their situation.


Amusingly, New Jersey has been voted one of the worst places in the country to do business because of the massive corporate taxes. It's a heavily democratic state run by an old boys network of corrupt ex-union officials who carried their vendetta with "management" to the state house, who were baffled at their decisions to leave the state instead of continue to be raked over the coals.

I've considered using the state as a backdrop for a Shadowrun cmapaign, since it is littered with small corporate sites, cultural enclaves, and the rediculous taxes and inflating housing prices have created a rapidly widening gap between the rich and the poor. Mix in the mythos of the mafia, the big hair and malls culture of the 80s, the soussurveillance that grows out of the EZPass system, the squalor of Camden under the guns of the USS New Jersey, and a free spirit that looks like Jay and Silent Bob, and you're good to go.
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Snow_Fox
post Jan 17 2009, 02:20 PM
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I missed your location. Yeah, there's lots to run in Jersey caught between Philly and NYC but add on the farm lands of the south part of the state, the wet lands of the pine barrens, Sports complexes and gambling in the frozen swamp of the meadowlands and the rich housing on the Hudson, shielded by the Palisades. The hell of Camden that makes Newark look good and Atlantic City's boardwalk/casinos and the genteele charm of the shore communities.

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pbangarth
post Jan 17 2009, 04:32 PM
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QUOTE (DWC @ Jan 17 2009, 07:11 AM) *
Amusingly, New Jersey has been voted one of the worst places in the country to do business because of the massive corporate taxes. It's a heavily democratic state run by an old boys network of corrupt ex-union officials who carried their vendetta with "management" to the state house, who were baffled at their decisions to leave the state instead of continue to be raked over the coals.


I realize this is a digression from the OP, but what other factors are involved in NJ being voted such a bad place to work? Canada is often chastised from within and without for its taxes, yet international firms like KPMG often select it one of the best countries in the world to do business, even ahead of the US as a whole.

There must be other things going on in New Jersey.

Peter
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Ryu
post Jan 17 2009, 05:12 PM
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Content-wise I like the first, second and 4th entries in the diary the most. How does the town look like, how does not having a `link (active) feel, how does society treat you. The "no comm = no attention" angle for the have-nots is really nice.

I can stand the graphical parts, but they would indeed have no place in an official book. Maturity ratings and all that.
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otakusensei
post Jan 17 2009, 05:27 PM
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Thank you, I appreciate you posting it.

I see why it wasn't included but a good bit of color non the less. I worry that my players are failing to consider the aspects of the setting that don't start off spending 50 build points on resources...
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Ancient History
post Jan 17 2009, 09:45 PM
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Well, I'm glad y'all found it entertaining. As I said, we won't be this graphic in future books...at least for the foreseeable future.
[ Spoiler ]
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Zormal
post Jan 17 2009, 10:11 PM
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QUOTE (Ancient History @ Jan 17 2009, 11:45 PM) *
Well, I'm glad y'all found it entertaining. As I said, we won't be this graphic in future books...at least for the foreseeable future.
[ Spoiler ]

Now that's a great idea, if I ever saw one!

Good stuff. Makes the world seem that much more real to me.
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Snow_Fox
post Jan 17 2009, 10:16 PM
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QUOTE (pbangarth @ Jan 17 2009, 11:32 AM) *
I realize this is a digression from the OP, but what other factors are involved in NJ being voted such a bad place to work? Canada is often chastised from within and without for its taxes, yet international firms like KPMG often select it one of the best countries in the world to do business, even ahead of the US as a whole.

There must be other things going on in New Jersey.

Peter

the taxes are pretty bad- state, county and local, also the income taxes on employees means you have to pay you employees more to compensate them for working in Jersey. It also drives up the cost of living and has areas with a very high crime rate, making them unattractive and lowers the standard of living-not a problemn wityh Canada. also it is surrounds by New York, and Pennsylvania which have lower taxes so better places to go very near by. Philly has the same problem. they have a tax on people who work in the city, so in the last decade you've seen a lfourishing of office parks just outside of Philadelphia's city limits. All the advantages of the metropolitan area and none of the taxes. Unless the address this Philly will be a rotten core surrounded by aflfuent communities.
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ornot
post Jan 17 2009, 10:26 PM
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I really like the fragment AH.

Adds a lot of flavour, although stylistically it would have clashed a bit with the rest of corp enclaves
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Jeremiah Legacy
post Jan 17 2009, 10:55 PM
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It was definitely fitting, but I think I like that as an unofficial web supplement. Having something that explicit in a book would make store owners balk.
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Kanada Ten
post Jan 18 2009, 12:06 AM
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From the journal of Keita Takeshi (19-JAN-71)

It astounds me that our Beloved Corporation (may It profit forever) does not limit the wattage allotted to an executive's life support. At least limit the number of tubes inserted into that withered cocoon of a Director serving only to pump oxygen, amino acids and saline solution in, while suctioning the gurgling wastes out of his putrid highness. The old man cannot even see with his own eyes or think with his mind anymore! I keep waiting for that dry husk of a once human to crack open and have some horrid creature squirm out - but maybe I've slotted to many sims with Taro (Taro! my poor son, if only he could pull his head from those pathetic games and see there is more to life, more to reality, than the phantasmagoria he drowns in. If only his mother hadn't coddled him so... If only I'd...).

Perhaps they do limit our days, our kilowatt hours. Perhaps some formula derived from sales and budgets and bungles. Certainly there's no mention in the Handbook, only vague references to ensuring comfort and contentment into retirement (retirement! ha!). If it's sales, then I am my own tormentor, for was it not my plans and inspirations which have driven our department for these last two years? And that old man bestowing the barest of nods for my hard work. Though it has placed me here, at the right hand, in line for the promotion. Oh, please let him die before some new favorite comes along!

If only those fools hadn't bungled the job! The months of preparation, the paranoia and secrecy, for what? So some hacker with sticky fingers could blow up the entire operation! Did the imbecile really think I'd give him the passkey to our datastore when he only needed to unlock a door? I should have murdered the edentate bastard myself, poisoned his gruel when he still had strength enough to swallow. Now... now it's too late - or too soon, rather. My salary was not completely wasted as the whole episode was blamed on the Competition (may their demographic fall into the ocean); but there won't be a project worth killing the senile fleshsack over for at least another quarter.

I have to stop obsessing over it. In the long hours of the day I find myself browsing the directorship suites and drooling over the persona selections. And, ah: the benefits; how well I know them from the meager crumbs dribbled off the old man's face these many years. These thirty years!

Has it been so long, truly? Am I an old man now, too? My face... My profile shows it still young seeming, but here's a picture of Talo smiling, a spark still in his eyes - how long ago since they've grown dull? And my wife, she doesn't look so young as this collection has her, though always looking away, feigning shyness. Was she planning to divorce me even then, has she been waiting all these years for me to stumble?

I turn off my AR for a moment, trying to catch a glimpse of my reflection in the train windows, just a glimse between the crowded bodies, but there is only the handsome face of a schoolgirl selling me sunscreen or lotion splayed across the many lengths of cars. Who are these ads are for, who sees them? The jostling rythum of the tracks, the people crowded and stinking, the heat and noise are nauseating, and my retreat into AR is swift. The reassuring charts and graphs, the family photos I forget to see, the soft chimes and cool wind all click into place around me.

My wife has taken it in her head to be clever; she whishes to divorce me and earn an unfathomable remittance for her troubles as a domestic. For certainly I have been overbearing in my demands of food, sanitation and sex on a semiannual basis! Her trysts, of course, are to be expected and accepted as some normal expression of her captivity - no matter the humiliation I must suffer. But I myself am allowed no such freedom. How clever of her indeed that to admit an affair of hers would shame me, and to admit an affair of mine would be to grant her an indefinite cash flow!

So I have resolved to be as clever as she. Have my commlink tracked, will she? How nice, she thinks she can see to whomever my company is connected... But it never occurs to her that I would stoop to using an Invisible? Why, because I am racist? Letting one of these dirty faced children pleasure me doesn't lower my stature, but hers! She cannot even perform that simple task, which these nothings do with such alacrity.

This one's face is pretty, too. Not beautiful, but it reminds me of that ill-fated secretary who thought she could earn an extra salary over a few late nights at the office. Poor girl didn't understand the order of things, her place in the world - not like this one (I wonder if she will count against me when it comes to my kilowatt allotment?). This one knows to get her meal in first - though why Indian I cannot fathom. The waiter asks if I'll be dining alone and there's no reason to dissuade him. I order for us both - let whatever garbage my wife zapped for dinner go to waste. The food is too spicy, too brash, like a foreigner; my AR works overtime to tone it down.

When I take the girl in the bathroom, I imagine bringing her home and copulating beside my wife who cannot see or hear her. When we finish, the girl has the same perfunctory look of my wife that I must resist backhanding her in the same manner. I leave her cleaning herself and order a taxi, which arrives before I even reach the door.
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RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 7th June 2023 - 01:34 PM

Topps, Inc has sole ownership of the names, logo, artwork, marks, photographs, sounds, audio, video and/or any proprietary material used in connection with the game Shadowrun. Topps, Inc has granted permission to the Dumpshock Forums to use such names, logos, artwork, marks and/or any proprietary materials for promotional and informational purposes on its website but does not endorse, and is not affiliated with the Dumpshock Forums in any official capacity whatsoever.