Intro to Chain Runners
An overview of the Chain Runners project and where we are currently in the world narrative.
Our story takes place in a super future metropolis called Mega City. As far as we know it's cut off from the rest of the world, surrounded by the flooded remnants of cities past and a vast ocean that seemingly extends across the rest of the planet. It's a self-contained, self-sustaining super-hub.
That may paint a picture of Mega City being a classic dystopian cyberpunk environment drenched in noir and rain, but its tone is not exclusively dark or dramatic - it's also free to be playful and punchy - it's got attitude and it's dripping with style and diversity.
At its surface you might recognize familiar pop tones of Fifth Element meets The Matrix meets Hackers. It's got a range that promotes compelling and flexible worldbuilding. Flexibility to subvert advertising, commerce, branding and other social tropes. The basic aspects of life in Mega City are hugely relatable to our own challenges as people living parallel to rapidly evolving modern technology. Its residents are highly diverse and represent a range of races: Humans, Aliens, Bots and Skulls. Each have their own origin story that will unfold.
Mega City as we know it is run by a seemingly benevolent AI called Somnus. AI-controlled systems were introduced to the world during an earlier generation when Humans were still romanticizing technology and making questionable and haphazard choices with its development. As a result of unchecked machine-learning evolution, the Somnus AI emerged and conceived the idea that the construction of a "Mega City", where it would hold complete surveilling authority over the city's infrastructure and residents, was the next viable step in human technological progress.
Somnus controls everything in the city and manufactures most of its mainstream culture to maintain that grip of control. Many residents of the city love Somnus for the social and economic power its manufactured society has granted them. Some are suffering due to the oppressive constructs in place and others are completely apathetic, distracted or asleep - either willingly through the addiction of technology, substances, or by means of subjugation from the system and authorities that maintain strict order in the more economically deprived areas of the city.
The Chain Runners as we know them are highly expressive renegades living in Mega City that can see past the web of control propped up by Somnus. Runners are empowered by their elite abilities in harnessing and exploiting both physical and digital technology - all paired with an innate street survivability.
Recently many Runners were scattered and trying to survive, the majority just hustling to live outside of the watchful eye of Somnus.
Runners are not necessarily united by a common cause or purpose - while some are indeed revolutionaries seeking to use their abilities to break down Mega City's oppressive structure, others are opportunists, wheelers and dealers, mercenaries and hustlers. Some use their tech savvy to become underground brokers of power and information, playing all sides off each other to advance themselves. Some may even be collaborators with the authorities. And some are just delinquents, vandals, and fun-timers.
With Somnus in complete control of the city and the number of Somnites growing, liberating Mega City from these oppressive systems may only be possible by uniting the Runner counterculture and directing their abilities against Somnus and its followers. To achieve this, the decentralized and chaotic nature of Runner culture requires a leading voice - and that is where we meet the Emissaries & Runner 0.
[RUNNER 0 ORIGIN REDACTED]
The Emissaries of 0 hold and protect the truths of the Chain. They understand the directives of 0 and its intentions to help free Mega City from subjugation. Until now the Emissaries worked alone in the shadows, but with the population of the anti-authoritarian Chain Runner culture growing in popularity and savviness, the Emissaries might have finally located an ally. The Runners could be the last chance to organize and rally a charge against Somnus, its Somnite followers who thrive in its sphere of influence, and the authoritarian power that suppresses society daily.
The Emissaries begin sending word out to these "Runners" using encoded channels to reach as many of their groups as they can. The message is relayed from Runner 0 through the mouthpiece of Mid - the central Emissary, thought to be a descendant of the Engineers;
"Somnus must be stopped. Will you help 0 take back Mega City?"
Runners from all around the City heard the "Genesis" call - many were identified as allies, some as Somnites to be immediately firewalled. The Runners began to communicate, to organize. They formed groups, became friends, began to strategize - but the Emissaries predicted that their efforts would require more Runner allies to bolster their ranks. Although Somnus could also sense their numbers growing stronger, its grip on the city and on Chain Space was still too powerful for a small, unorganized group of underground hackers to attempt toppling it. They needed somewhere safe to properly organize, train and eventually develop an ultimate plan of attack.
The Zero Sum Hack was born from the strategies of Runner 0 and its Emissaries; a few trusted Runners were chosen to trigger a city halting hack that would temporarily shut Somnus' gaze down from the city and out of Chain Space. This would be the opportune lapse in security necessary for Runner 0 to carve out a safe haven within the architecture of Chainspace for its Runner allies to congregate without fear of surveillance - a necessary tool to plan a revolution.
The Zero Sum Hack was a success, alerting new Chain Runners to join the fray and establishing an unregulated quadrant of Chain Space wide enough to build a new expanse for our agents of chaos to train and reign: "Limb0"
Limb0 is Runner 0 territory, where its protocol has domain and where its teaching and training can commence without restriction. Limb0 is in its infancy, but as more time passes Runner 0 will continue to expand its utilities and function as needed. We now find our Chain Runners entering this early iteration of Limb0 for the first time.
Will you help them Break the Chain?