Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Why?
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
It's so easy to be the cog, the flywheel, whatever makes the machine run. They make it so easy. There's the quarterly bonus. There's the health insurance. There's the occasional recognition.

“Jones? You done good. We could've lost the Jones account without you, Jones.?

There's the cozy apartment. The posh furniture. The pat on the back. You can have real food, and regular shelter. Buttery beef, peppery pork. Real things. A real life. You get the steady paycheck. You get the benefits. Health insurance. 401k. Job security.

You can have it all. It's as easy as signing on the dotted line.

The view from the mid-level of the arcology. The fat wad of corp scrip in your pocket to buy anything the Company sells, which is everything. There's women, provided they're Company workers and have the paperwork to prove they're clean of this and that. There's the sly looks from the workers, who want to be you.

A Company Man.

The hard and gnarled, grasping hand of the Company.

You're living every adolescent dream. You're busting heads with impunity. You're the Man, licenses and all.

Most importantly, you have backup. If a bunch of steel-toed Shadowrunners show up, help – or a surgeon – is a thought away. There's backup never more than a few minutes from you, or your revivable corpse.

You're cared for, like a boy at Mother's bosom. Just do your job. Advance the goals. Keep to the mission statement. Nothing could be easier.

So why be a runner?

Why have nothing, looking over your shoulder, making security where you can make it? Why exert the effort, when Jones Co. wants you?

Because believe me, they want your skills, runner.
Because when the chips are down, the shit is hitting the fan, and time draws out like a razor between one breath and the next, your heart racing... You're expendible either way.
Because they'll flush you if it makes them a dollar. Because works like 'family' and 'loyalty' and 'duty' are motivators, not constants, and if they need to motivate you by icing what you care about, they will.

So why not pull that trigger on your own dime, following your own rules?

"Your psych eval came back blue seven, Jones. Report for counseling and simsense readjustment by seven, or you'll be considered a security risk."

They're always watching you. They're always judging you. Trying to see into your skull, get past what you say into why you say it. Second guessing you. You've seen shit that'd turn most people's hair white; yours is fiber optic, so it doesn't matter. Easier to clean, doesn't leave traces, changes color at the touch of a button. But with all that shit you've seen, The Company worries. You know things that suuuure, nobody'd believe, but even a whisper could kick public confidence down a point or two, cost the board billions.

So they watch you. They twist your brain, programming you with simsense, and black ASIST and drugs. You're not even sure if your wife is relly what she says she is. You're one of what, a hundred people in the company that works at this level. What's a little Perfect Wife 2.0 reprogramming on a random wageslave, if she keeps Mr. Murder happy and controllable. And your daughter, jesus... Why is she always looking at you, asking where you've been, what you did, and pressing when you give the lie The Company wants? Is it a loyalty test? Are they trying to see if you let anything slip?

Forget vacation, you're on call, and anyway, you might get made.
Your promotion's been delayed a year. Internal politics - you understand. Red Team has to get the pay raise this year so that Carruthers looks good on paper for the bosses.
Peterson and Wilkins, from Blue Team? Best not to ask about them. They've been retired. Why? You don't have clearance to know. But you're sure they didn't disappear on business.

And what about those rumors? Using the Namibian kids as tumor growth beds to test your anti-cancer medication. They say that cell of eco-terrorists you liquidated last month was run by a man trying to get his sons back. Didn't want The Company stealing kids. But there's no evidence for that. Not a bit.

What do you have to worry about?

You're on top of the world. No one can touch you. At the top of your game, and you're only 29. Don't worry about what happens when you get old, and you know too much to be useful. You'll never have to learn to play politics to stay solvent. Cradle to grave, that's what the company's all about, right?

Besides, when was the last time you met an unhappy company man?

Or even one who looked old?
Think your both a bit bent, But then who am I to talk,

Hello my name is Pot, Mr. kettel I pressume?
"They iced my lover."

"They hung my hoop out to dry because of a boardroom coup that deposed my Veep."

"My lover got extracted; the corp thought it wasn't worth the op to de-extract."

"I got sick of the bulldrek."

"My Veep drekcanned my eval and I got out one step ahead of my replacement's tac squad. My replacement? Well, there are positions open, I understand."

"They found out my kid was a Technomancer. I got him out of their research facility, but they fragged him up bad."
The Jopp
Work for a corporation? Gladly - there's justa few problems...

I live in a cardboard box in the barrens
I eat devilrats when i can catch them
I play hide and seek with the ghouls
Runner use me for target practice
Corrupt lonestar use me for target practice
Snotty corp gang punks use me for target practice
You get the picture

Oh, i also dont have a SIN since my corp was driven into bankrupcy by one of the AAA who then fired everyone they didn't need and I lost my home, wife, child and my corporate SIN in the crash...

No, I dont work for a corp...


See, you DO get the point...

Got a gun and a fake SIN for me chummer?
Black Jack Rackham
Just popped in to say, This thread is full of WIN!!!
Prime Mover
Lack of motivation, alternative lifestyle choices,anger management issues......etc. In my mind the shadows have to be full of the disenfranchised and mentally ungrounded the sort of people that make the shadows truly a scary place to work. When you do find a group of people you can trust and aren't afraid to turn your back on you have yourself a team.
For future reference, could you please put more descriptive thread titles?

The question assumes a choice, so let's disregard for a moment all the 'it's that or a cardboard box'. Twist became a Shadowrunner because his other choice was a bullet in the head, so that's pretty straight-forward.

Beyond that, there are a few things that running offers that most other occupations don't. It offers extreme freedom, including the freedom to demonstrate an unpopular political ideology or to support unusual lifestyles. It offers an opportunity to apply extreme and unusual skills at a very high level of excellence. It's challenging and rewarding work. And of course, that's barring other things like how it gets the chicks all hot.
The Jopp
Eer...Hi, im not very used to these "why i turned into a criminal" speech...

Well, it all started in a mitsuhama spell research facility in bellevue - we were researching a means to reconfigure a few spells for medical use and we were pulling some extra hours in the middle of the night to hit the deadline.

This was the same night that haleys comet took a stroll across our sky...

We had managed to get access to batch of very, very expensive reagents and they were also very delicate, requiring a high manastate athmosphere in order to function.

I later found out that the condition I had managed to get was called Astral Hazing.

End result is that i managed to basically kill everything magical within the room (except people that is) as I sucked out all the magic in the room, had i had the chance to leave the room directly i might have managed to save some of the samples.

I was actually a pretty good mage up until then, had a nice life too. I got both sued and fired due to some clause within my contract which put me into personal bancrupcy, not to mention that i have a hard time finding a job within my chosen profession.

That was a few years ago.

Things are a bit different today, most of my magic is gone and im still looking for a cure if there is one - i can hardly use it, i can handle a gun though and as a magical protection expert i can find the most interesting jobs.
Why pay a runner a salary, give him a home, an office, a suit, a wife, and maintain it, when you can pull any combination of highly skilled and desperate misfits from the sprawl and throw them a bone. Sure, they might frag up, but then again, so might your well groomed company man. Some call it bad luck. But on a bad luck day, it's better that the corpse doesn't have a desk waiting for him back at Jonescorp.
It's not that easy when you're born SINless. You probably didn't get that good, scratch that, you probably didn't even survive without some criminal activities:
"I'm sorry Mr... err... Headcrusher, but I've got a report here saying you're suspected in [insert long list of accusations]. You understand that under those circumstances our corporation cannot grant a SIN to you until these cases are resolved."
Thinking about using a fake SIN? Think again. It won't last forever, and you can count on your rivals co-workers to realize that your SIN isn't valid.

You think you're so good that the corp will do anything to get you? You've forgotten some qualities they require from their employees. They'll probably prefer hiring a less who's just out of the corp's school system. He might not have your level of expertise and your talents, but he was built into the corporate mold. He won't question anything, he will act as intended, he will be 100% loyal to the corp. You're just a low-life scum.

But the worse part is when you actually get there.

The first days are difficult. Where you lived, there were two kind of people: the predator and the preys. When you saw a predator, you got your hand on yours. When you saw a prey, you ignored it, or let him know you were better than he. Now you must smile at the prey, and serve him.
Where you lived, there were the quick and the dead. You didn't think twice when someone was reaching for something inside his coat. You've got to shake off these habits now. You're losing your edge. You're actually not as good as you were. You're not wired for this.

The SIN, the job, the house with the garden, the wife, the 1.5 kids, the synthedog. The taxes, the responsibilities, the stress. You can stay cool in a firefight, you can stay cool when 3 security services are looking for you, but now you can't kill the problems, you can't blow your old life to bits and start a new one. You're not wired for this.

So you're at work, patrolling your area, and there comes a guy. A prey, no, a senior manager. He treats you like shit. You can't take it anymore and hit him.
You're back home. Your wife is yelling at you because you've been suspended for hitting that guy and the kids are yelling too, because that's what they do all the time. You've got bills to pay, but it'll be harder since you've been suspended. You don't know what to do. You're not wired for this.

So you do what you know best. You get up, get out, close the door, get in your car, start the engine. Once you're far enough, you trigger the explosives, delete your records, and leave. A part of your brain wonders: Why did I do that?
But you know the answer deep inside your metallic bones and your synthecardium: that's how you're wired.
How can you get sentenced for a crime when you're SINless? (you'll likely get a criminal SIN, but the post didn't say so). wink.gif
The Jopp
QUOTE (Blade @ Aug 28 2008, 02:04 PM) *
So you do what you know best. You get up, get out, close the door, get in your car, start the engine. Once you're far enough, you trigger the explosives, delete your records, and leave. A part of your brain wonders: Why did I do that?
But you know the answer deep inside your metallic bones and your synthecardium: that's how you're wired.


And he blew up his wife and kids too...

Dis boy gots problems, mental ones.
He's not been sentenced yet, he's just suspected. wink.gif
As SINless person doesn't exist for the system and thus can't be a suspect. wink.gif
QUOTE (Grinder @ Aug 28 2008, 04:26 PM) *
As SINless person doesn't exist for the system and thus can't be a suspect. wink.gif

If they haven't sanitised their ops, there's a good chance their *biometrics* exist on a "Jan Doe" cSIN which will come up when the corp takes prints for a system check. You'd have to have had someone wipe you out of the records to not come up as at least a "possible duplicate match".

Though if the corp wanted your talents badly enough, I'm sure they can do something about those biometrics.
Why? I thought it was asking why we live or why we love or why do people go to ice capades? the title was not terribly clear.

Why shadowrun? maybe you're too much of a wise ass to make it in the company environment. Maybe you're bitter because you didn't get the pronosition you thought you diserved. Maybe you were born poor and can't get into the soft corp world since you don't really have any skills beyond cleaning lady and your skill set is more usful for b&E or leg breaking.

maybe you're lazy and getting paid enough to relax for weeks after one night of danger appeals to you more than showing up every day at the office or maybe the idea of saying "Welcome To McHughs? you want fries with that" one more time makes you nuts.
Why do I run? Why do I work as a Middle-Man between the Corps and the 'Runners?

I could say it's because of my childhood... How my Grandfather taught me the tips and tricks on how to survive the unsurviveable, but...

Honestly, I don't know. I used to do it because it was the job shuffled off on me when I got one up on one of the Megas. Then retired nicely, only had to bury a few people to do it, and just kept doing it. It's how I met many friends, met my wife. Insider trading is so beautiful a thing when you know which Corporations are going to be in dire straights and which ones are going to profit on it, especially when you invest at three or four removes. That's how I earned the cash required to retire.

But even retirement didn't last past the honeymoon. The itch to make deals and negotiate was still there. And thank goodness for the wife, just as itchy as me, only for different things...

But then they had to kill her.

I have no illusions, she was a monster. A out-and-out hard-as-the-streets monster. Killed without passion or with passion equally.

But we were both going to give it up, seeing as a little one was on the way. Just concieved. Didn't even have a sex yet.

Now someone has to take up the mantel of monster. For them, and the many others crushed under the uncaring bootheel.

Looks like it's up to me. And I have never, ever shirked in a duty put towards me.
Everybody has to pay the rent somehow.

It doesn't sound like much. But when push comes to shove its the only thing that matters. Worked a corporate job for a while, and your right. The pay is steady. The benefits are good. And hell, for a while I could look out and try to fool myself that I was doing something good for people. You know, keeping them safe from the big, bad monsters in the shadows. But, as with any job, its the little things that get you. It started off with the loss of sick days. After all, no need to miss a day of work, they have drugs to make you feel better. All paid for by company script, of course. Never mind that Horrigan was fragged last month because the meds he was given made him sleepy. Then it was the mandatory surgery. No religious exemptions this time, and the costs for the 'ware would be deducted from our next paycheck for our convenience. And the countless counter intrusion seminars led by suits with less combat experience than a fourth grader. But what really pushed my into the shadows was inevitably my termination. After all the drugs, the DNI based reeducation programs, the continual monitoring of everything that I did at work and at home, they canned me and left me hanging with a several thousand newyen debt for the 'ware. Payable in company script, of course. But that still leaves me with metal bones and no job. The skill set that they encouraged during my corporate school years was specialized. The corp felt that I would make an excellent security guard based on my test scores, so they trained me to field strip a gun. They trained me to shoot, they trained me to kill. And they trained me to be loyal. Which I guess I still am. They really did make me who I am today. The corp gave me new organs to make me faster and copper wiring to remove my fear. But rent is due next month, and I am unemployed. I have to make ends meet somehow.
Why? Huh, what ya'd thinkin' I'm too old to be runnin' the shadows, do ya? Well hell, I probably am. I ain't no damn pointy ear and all this grey is earned boy... not some damn fashion statement. I spent thirty years wageslavin' for those damn shits in their shiny towers. Put up with all the corp ass kissin' I could muster. Hell, half the places downtown probably have some of my work in them.

Thirty years of puttin in security systems and comin up with better ways of keepin shadowy noses like yours out of the corps secrets. Thirty years o my livin and they decide I'm in need of retirement. The kinda where flowers and greivin' family's involved. Guy that came for me said that I knew too much. I was too much a liability. Too bad my pretty wife already beat me there. I didn' have anyone to grieve for me.

Course, corp dumbass that he was didn't think I'd have my own home as secure as any o'those pretty towers I usta work on. Hah wasn't he surprised. See this metal knuckle I got here on this chain. All that's left of him. Keep it 'round my neck as a reminder. Now I just am flat broke. My retirement fund was stolen by those corp flunkies. But how was I to get at it anyways. I was 'pose to've died the same night Knuckles here bought it. I run just so I can save up and actually have a retirement. Either that or a really nice funeral. Runnin's actually gotten me a few to grieve at it anyhow.
Why do I run? It's simple, really. And the hardest concept in the world for a corp busybody like yourself to understand.


I do what I want, when I want. I don't get paid and turn around and hand half of it back in the form of "taxes". If someone comes up to me and starts a fight, I end it. I don't have to worry about whether or not they'll be able to get me fired. More than anything, however, is the fact that I'm not real.

SINless... Heh. Sounds like I should be dressed in white. A real innocent. Instead, I'm not real. I'm a ghost. A meatbody with no identity. If I want to start over, I pack my bags, bribe a bus driver, and cross the country. No problems at all. They can't track me, because I'm free.

Chummer, you ask me why I run. Well, I ask you why you don't. You're obviously smart to have tracked me down to ask me this question. Good with computers? I thought so. Chummer, if you wanted, you could disappear and start running too. Instead, you'll go back to your cushy desk job at JonesCo and let someone else tell you how to live your life.

Why Shadowrun instead of getting a corporate day job?

Cause the game's not called "MonFri", and Roleplaying the day to day life a Cube Farmer isn't much of an escape from my so-called "Real Life" smile.gif

I approve of that response.
Adventure, hmm. Excitement, ha! A shadowrunner craves these things.

The 9-5 life is good for those who can handle the stresses and b.s. that such entails. But there are those who need more freedom than the laws will allow. Each type of life is suited for some people and not for others. Mr. "Plays-by-the-rules" would be dead by sundown out on the mean streets of 2070, and Ms. "Shoots-people-for-cred" wouldn't last a week in the intracorporate shark pit of office politics. There are exceptions of course, but by and large, you are trained to live in the life you are used to. Retraining your own mind is rough and sometimes not worth the price.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Dumpshock Forums © 2001-2012