Culture
Up Cults, Corps, Gangs Fashion Views on Corps The Law

Religion

    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 world view.
 

    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 above.

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 legitimate metal.

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.