"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.

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.

"I would sell my soul for something pure and true....something like you..."


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:

  • Players start by asking about Dr. Thaller's background, finding information about him, and learning that his work at the Mnemos Institute was fairly interesting but routine. They may suspect the doctor has been doing some side research.
  • Following street rumours the players will start to search in either Nuke York or Baltimore. The latter will be fruitless, while the former will prove to be misleading, sending the players into an unwanted confrontation with the Federal Bureau of Security.
  • Shaking off the Feds, the players make a connection from the NYU campus radio station to the strange NegatifLand pirate group after a heated interrogation.
  • The way into NegatifLand leads through menacing corridors and abandoned tenement ruins. The players will have to be careful to avoid an ambush by the crazed Zipperskin and to enter the subterrenean world without being caught. Disguise and infiltration will be necessary.
  • Upon entering Negatifland a strange world of tunnel-bazaars, fringer cults, and self-contained communities will be revealed. No-one accepts the players unless they willingly 'deprogram' their supposedly brainwashed minds by implanting themselves with a Skullish.