Not so much a full church as a comfort zone that costs much
less than a licensed therapist, Our Father ltd. supplies 24-hour call-any-time
hotlines for those seeking spiritual advice or freshers on their tract, 'Grace
of Our Father.' The tract, which can be found for free in just about any hotel
room around the world and is often passed out door-to-door by lay ministers,
gives a price list for various services as well as the basics of Our Father's
The religion is, simply, very easy going if
you can pay the right prices. The number of infractions, however, is numerous.
Everything from murder, theft, and prostitution right down to not scooping after
your dog does it's business, to sneezing over the salad bar, and leaving the
toilet seat up.
Other than this, smaller cult religions
spring up like wildfire every week or so. The different practices and dogma vary
wildly, with some neo-tribal groups seeking a Luddite philosophy, to technocrats
gone mad over the Machine God Autocthonia.
What Tech you Expect to See Day-to-Day
If you're in the corporate world, your desk probably has a
middle-grade computer with limited Matrix access for retrieving files, as well
as a video-enabled phone as well. You probably came to work on the electro-bus
or, if you're wealthy enough, in your own hovercar. Breakfast was rehydrated and
roasted in a fusion oven for a clean, even taste. Your clothes are dropped in a
communal apartment chute, and then spit back up the next day clean, pressed, and
with a faint and pleasant lemony scent from the sterilizer washers in the
basement. Your hair is cut by vending machines on the street with a wide
catalogue of different styles, Omni-V with it's nearly-interactive 3D realism is
the largest creature comfort, and any time you want it, you can take a
'vacation' to the mountains with a VR headset.
However, if you're down on the streets,
life is likely similar to the 1950's. You cook your food, if you've got any that
week, on a gas or electric oven. Your washing is done by old laundromats that're
often equipped with malfunctioning or downright broken dryers. Omni-V is
affordable, if you take one of the lesser sets which offers a scratchy and
distorted image unless you kick it -just- right. But, for relief, you can head
down to your local watering hole for a glass of synthahol and a burger-tasting
lump of tofu shaped into a patty with painted-on grill marks.
Technology, for those who can afford it, can do marvelous things. For those who
can't, however, they're stuck with yesteryear's model as the cast offs from
What People Think of Various Sorts of Cyber
The opinion on cybernetics and very visual bioengineering is
often an individual thing. However, very obvious and 'dangerous' looking
modifications will probably get you turned away at the finer restaurants, and
security will get suspicious if you come too close to the doors. Bulging muscles
or the tell-tale twitch of an Articulate are the warnings signs. More discrete
cybernetic or bioengineered additions, or just those used for nonviolent and
legal purposes, may be viewed with a nod of admiration if the grafting job is
particularly well done.
Cyber is an essential part of life for many
people in a variety of different fields. Whether it's the Cyber Cowboy's skull
jack or an engineer's tool tips, very few people or places discriminate against
What You Like to Eat
With overpopulation as a very real threat to society, the
good food is often expensive and hard to find according to the seasons. Real
fruit, vegetables, meat, and sugar all have a hefty price tag to them (A
one-dollar hamburger would cost close to 70 eGil at a very cheap cafeteria).
But, for a much more reasonable price, you can eat food that tastes almost the
same and is much more nutritional. Many food substitutes are made from soy,
tofu, or other curds, and treated with an array of chemicals for a great taste
and filling sensation.
Cultural dishes and restaurants are very popular, since the soy substitutes
don't give much in the way of variety after you've had the same synthetic dish
over and over. As for where the real thing is served, most any restaurant where
you'd be seated by a host or hostess is likely to have -real- steak, though some
of the lower rung middle-class restaurants offer the synthetics as well.
What's Legal and What Isn't
In this day and age, the government is barely more than a
puppet for the various mega corporations. Local government does very little,
instead paying corporations to provide security for civil matters as well as for
investigation. In return, the corporations pass the debt on to the citizenry. If
your VCR is stolen, you inform the nearest corp representative, they find it,
and they return it to you with a deduction from your next paycheck.
Most corporations only enforce the laws for
themselves, as well as for their employees. For those who still live on the
streets, the 'police' showing up is only likely for the violent crimes, and only
then if there is a corporate representative nearby in the area to notify
security to the crime. Violent crimes include: Attempted murder, rape, assault
on property, rioting, mugging, and so on.
As for what is legal, and what is not, many things are considered illegal but
rarely enforced. Gun ownership without a license is only enforced if the
security need something to arrest you for and nothing else is feasible.
Furthermore, cyberware and bioengineering require certification, but the worse
result is either a hefty fine, or a large bribe for the security officer.
Murder is an arrestable offense, but many
times is not investigated when the murdered party was a Streetie without any
real sway. If caught with the proverbial smoking gun, murderers are arrested
promptly. Corporate citizens enjoy a wide variety of security representation,
similar to modern policing, with an invasive touch in that there are no Miranda
rights, unlawful entry, or unreasonable searches. Still, security officers tread
carefully around most Corporates when investigating, since they could one day be
fired by that person.
Proposition is considered illegal, and Our Father ltd. routinely sends their
security (The Avenging Angels) to roust those working the streets. For the bored
Corporate, many different escort services are available, free of sin.
Additionally, there are no -real- child laws, except for vigilante committees.
Security patrols can be a laugh compared to lynch mobs made up of citizens that
require a real disturbance to get past the jaded exterior.
Where You Live
For the corporate employee, housing is usually provided for
in your employment contract. Many different apartment buildings and condominium
complexes are available for their valued employees, with each person or couple
being allotted at least a two-bedroom apartment. The walls are bonded to neutral
colors, with steel and plastic finish to the various features, so that the
apartment will be ready and spotless for the next inevitable tenant. They
feature a full kitchen, two moderately sized bedrooms with ample closet space, a
living room, and a bathroom with shower cubicle. Those with larger promotions
often get upgraded to more spacious accommodations, with most Managers having
part of the floor to themselves - indoor swimming pools, racquetball courts, or
otherwise can be done with a managerial living space.
When it's time to hit the streets, however,
most of the unwashed masses find their homes in apartments much less grand and
spacious than those afforded to low level Corporates. Tenements are full of
one-room apartments with enough space for a bed and a stove near the corner,
with a few of the 'ritzy' accommodations including a separate bedroom and
kitchen area. Bathrooms are usually one-per-floor and shared by those living
there, with those with extra cash to pay may be able to find an apartment with
their own private shower. Some of those on the Street live in dilapidated
houses, either ones that have been condemned, or built for themselves out of
scrap material in one of the vacant lots. These ramshackle houses are kept far
away from business centers, often by security forces, and disappear in a high
breeze. Still, they're better than nothing, and industrious squatters can
sometimes make a comfortable nest.
However, for the Streetie with a permanent attachment, old, outdated housing can
be found for a high price. These houses are very rarely more than two stories
tall, and most are duplexes to cover the rent costs. A laughable patch of dirt
for the front yard and a fenced-in back are the main lures.
And for the Streetie who's just passing through, hotels are available for cheap
daily rates. If you're staying longer, you can have that one room with bed and
sink for a higher weekly rate, or a monthly one if you're planning to stay but
don't want to bother with apartment contracts.