THIS BRIGHT FUTURE
"Try to live the future today, get it all wrong..." Fringer saying
Wherein our intrepid players are invited to retrieve a renowned megatologist
kidnapped by nefarious forces and apparently hidden within the vast
sub-culture of NegatifLand somewhere in the howling catacombs of Nuke York.
America has always been fascinated with trends and with trendy people.
Dr. Allen Thaller has managed to become a star by researching both.
As an eminent megatrend-sociologist (megatologist) and a bon-vivant
superstar personality, Dr. Thaller has become a media darling over
the last three months, during which he accurately predicted the rise
of the immensely-popular Shooting Gallery phenomena despite the strong
Green Party lobby and the recent spate of Living Green adverts. Shooting Gallery
is a franchise that allows sedentary middle-managers to go and shoot
real, living, breathing animals (clotis-grown chimerics) in a large
tropical warehouse in their neighborhood. He also defied the cynical
predictions of culture-vultures by managing to invent and popularise
an artificial new 'cool' word - hoolie - denoting a hooligan
or gang member. Largely due to the disdain shown towards him by the
corporate aristocracy and middle classes, Dr. Thaller has become a
cause celebre in the hundreds of sub-cultures which flourish within
the confines of the Undernet.
"I would sell my soul for something pure and true....something like you..."
Dr. Thaller's success has not gone unnoticed. To the chagrin of his
numerous fans, the Good Doctor has apparently been kidnapped by someone.
Rumours abound that he was taken either to Nuke York or Baltimore
and secreted in those cities' under-demolished tenements, there to
be brainwashed by secret agents into predicting corporate product successes.
What was most puzzling was that when Thaller's will was dug up (just a
precaution, you understand), it was discovered that he had provided
instructions to his lawyers in case he *was* kidnapped. Those instructions
clearly state that in the eventuality of his unexpected disappearance,
a contest is to be organized to locate him, with the prize money being
$100,000 and a place on the National Lottery Galaxy Draw. Wow! This is
where the players come in.
Those players not fully ecstatic about the prospect of winning gobs of
money can be integrated in other ways: agents are sent to investigate
this strange behaviour; Great Minds would want to (or be persuaded to
want to) solve this bizarre game the professor is playing; and saboteurs
would jump at the chance to convert the doctor to their cause and have
him predict certain trends.
The players aren't the only ones willing to look. The Federal Bureau of
Security has sent an agent to track down Dr. Thaller and ask him a few
pointed questions (with the aid of cephalograph, aka mind-probe). Digital
Union has sent one of their popular Fireteams to do an expose on Thaller's
work and to unravel his mysterious vanishing. And the people who've got
Dr. Thaller have gotten much more than they bargained for.
The mission to find Dr. Thaller is difficult because of the unfamiliar
cultural terrain participants have to traverse. A few other factors have
been thrown into this volatile mix. Zipperskin, a demented skindancer;
and the Turbohead Sisters, described later.
The story is divided into several parts, the first few of which are
fairly linear but the last few being more unstructured. The story
should proceed as follows: