Simply put, without the Net there would be no human civilization.
In the early years of interstellar colonization, communication was slow as messages had to be carried by spaceships
through the jump-gates and then broadcast within local space to their target. However scientist eventually realized that they
could harness the alien technologies that held the wormholes open to “shortcut” simpler forms of energy at an
even faster rate than the normal travel time of jump-gate travel (near instantaneous depending how far you are from the broadcast
Less than a hundred years after the discovery there was no place in human space that could not be reached by the
growing communication system facilitated by the jump-gates. This system was soon dubbed the Net.
Over the millennia human dependence on the Net has become so ingrained that human culture would fall into chaos and
anarchy were they ever to lose it.
The Net has five primary uses
*Mass media broadcasting
There are three stages of being jacked into the Net:
1. Standard User -
this user is little more than a ghost like avatar with only the power to browse the open-to-the-public Sites and lnfoscapes.
This type of Net use usually poses no threat to the user
2. Programmer - this is the type of user that places a greater portion of his/her
consciousness into the Net. With the proper codes (or via hacking) these users may write programs, get into private files,
and interact with the more dangerous of the security A.I.s. Depending on the risks you take this type of Net use can be very
3. Full Immersion User - Very few non robot or A.I. users can ever
achieve full immersion. This simply means that the Net is your home and you have no physical body whatsoever. It is a dangerous
way to live but a careful F.I.U. can be effectively immortal. However the League of Human Planets has yet to recognize the
rights of F.I.U.s and the destruction of an F.I.U.’s data cannot be prosecuted. F.I.U.s can be given a robot body but
the process is very traumatic for F.I.U.s that never had a body such as advanced A.I.s.
Nearly everyone has a date-input jack. Most civilized worlds implant them at birth when they take DNA sample and
use gene therapy to ensure complete vaccination. At this point it is odder to see someone without a data-input. They are more
common then actual computers. You can do most common things with data-inputs. Surf the net, view entertainment and news. A
simple plug-in even picks up most singles remotely so you can hear what is playing and holo-screens will display what your
registered interest (and latest purchases) are. Commercials are custom made and sent to those who have direct interest. Live
shows are almost unheard of and seeing one cost so much as to unaffordable for all but the richest elite.
Even the most backwater planets have
data-stands. Corporations drop these nearly self-sustaining terminals anywhere they even think a person may go.
Paper is a myth. Miniaturization has afforded everyone the ability to simulate sketches. With only a word
calculations and list are created and revised. Works of art are all digital. Some purest have tried to return to a more hands
on approach. The Corporations hire up and stash any talent they think has mass appeal.
has actually risen since most programs are full audio. Reading is a taxing skill only scholars and technicians
pursue; and many of them have lost any real skill. No longer do student have to type when programs will take dictations and
repeat hours of notes and news. Most people don't have time to stop and read anyway.
Planetary transportation is almost entirely automated
and interstellar travel is left to computer computations. Pilots are nearly extinct as most militaries and corporations move
to remote controlled (less personal danger) for skilled drivers. Once they were children playing video games, now the average
fighter joke is 11 and his career will last till he is about 24. There is still the slim chance of brain-fry as youngsters
try to tap in closer to the machines for a more "real" feel.
Only exploratory or the
rare inspection vehicle is manned by the even more rare pilot. Some corporations have only pilot programs and their man power
is spent maintaining huge fleets of what have become flying computers with vast cold cargo holds.
of this is hooked up to the net. AI, viruses, ghost in the machines. These are all a reality now that corporations spend billions
to study. With so much human interaction and the transference of brain waves it is not uncommon for machines to develop "personalities".
Some have old timers have referred to them as goblins or gremlins. Others just hit the reboot button and hope for the best.
There are programs that translate everything that is seen and heard into digital data
that is the transferred into either imprinted light or sub-neutron particles. These once theoretical little particles are
the energy that makes light travel. When engineers found they could actually input data that moved faster then the speed of
light computers were brought to a level never before imagined. The full potential has still not been reached. For the common
purposes this is irrelevant. Imprinted light is still used for planetary transfers. It is the interplanetary and subspace
transfers that benefit the most from this information.
human brain also has the ability to translate this information as well as imprinted light just like it does normal light.
The programs merely facilitate this transfer. Those who make a habit or profession of "sliding the Net" do so one of two ways.
The most common is to tap in through a computer specially designed for such a thing. The computers give a certain amount of
protection from any wandering viruses but also prevent their user from accessing places that are deemed to dangerous or private.
second way is to knife a line. Computers are custom built so as to bypass security protocols. They are also tailored made
to translate there users consciousness into virtual information. As he thinks of what he needs the computer translate these
into whatever icon has been selected. Voice commands are used for some of the heavy security, but for the most part it is
like an electric dream.
Some hard core knifers put hardware directly into their brain.
They don’t have to worry about a computer despite most computers being the size of your hand. They want to "feel" they
are truly cradled in the net. These users have often formed gangs that work together to satisfy their every need. Fortunately
for most of them their needs are simple. Free food delivery to their home, free utilities and the freedom to slide deeper
and deeper into the virtual sea. Most of them die from malnutrition or dehydration as they forget to maintain their flesh
in favor of their electric bodies. Rumors persist of those who die online go to a digital nirvana or get lost on then net.
Some say that massive brain waves are what cause viruses to form AIs.
As the average knifer lives out a virtual life, communities have developed as complex and large as any real
world country. Recently a new type of neurosis has been identified by those who believe more in the virtual world then in
the flesh world. They put more and more hardware in their brains and forget who they were born as become what they have created.
They often put themselves on life support machines and pay to have nurses keep their flesh from failing. These radicals, while
more adept then most of sliding the net also suffer from sever delusions. They will sometimes take over parts of the net and
override the current icons in favor of a world of their creation. These are called Net-Traps and they can be fun or dangerous
depending on the whim of their creator. There have been those who wage a sort of rebellion against anything they consider
too controlling over the net.
Most people go about their daily lives only vaguely aware
of the war raged between governments, corporations, knifers and the rouge AIs. On occasion their news will be disrupted or
their shopping may be delayed. But like any other distraction it is only temporary. Even the online radicals and terrorist
seem distant. Until it happens to you.
Some online personas and
Alpha cum Alpha - This bounty
hunter organization is known for their unique method of "ruin and capture". The Philosophy is that they make life miserable
for their victims/prey then wait for them to make a mistake in fear or anger. They actually have a fairly successful capture
rate and are known to have the most living prisoners. They have also been known to hunt down the occasional AI.
Blessed Circuits - This cult which never seems to have very many members has managed to hang on for
a number of years. They have two claims to fame, one is that for some strange reason many famous entertainers seem attracted
to them. The other is that they pioneered the "Mind to Machine" process of transferring ones brain waves to computers. They
called it trans-electric ascendance. They have fought long and hard to get registered AI's acknowledged as citizens. They
also boast the largest "Chronal-memory Banks." Despite small numbers they have deep resources including many patents in the
latest computer tech.
BON Richt - This terrorist organization actually works to
counterman any government or corporation that has peaceful dealings with aliens. They have even been known to attack the church.
They sabotage equipment and try to break down communication as well as interior and infrastructure. It is rumored they inadvertently
shut down a jump gate. They lost a large portion of their followers after 2.3 million people were killed. They denied any
involvement. Their numbers have begun to rise again.
Hammer Head - A knife group
the closest thing the net has to a Mafia. These black mail and extortionist have been terrorizing the net for at least three
centuries. They actually control a lot of the online free trade and help to stabilize the free trade process and routes. They
are business men first and fore most. They have been known to hire mercenary groups to protect their interest AND to eliminate
La Ista - This group is dedicated to the "freedom" of all sites.
They have been known to send corrupting viruses to corporate and government sites. They are actually more of a nuisance then
a threat. They are known to take on charity cases to keep their "good" name, but they usually will take a pay off as well.
Slide ON - a free lance person locator company. They do not get their hands
dirty, so to speak. They have the best reputation for locating almost anyone. They were once connected with some government
but have renounced any such ties.
Sport Time Eddy - This once great collection of gambling administrators has seen better times. They
were the largest free trade gambling site spanning several solar systems. They expanded into sports betting when a glitch
(some say virus) gave 0 - 5 9instead of 20-5) odds on a boxing match. Not as many people caught the bet as one might expect,
but the coffers were cleaned out none the less. They have been trying to make a come-back but many small time local gambling
facilities have taken advantage of the situation.
Utopian Bounty Capture - Known
to exclusively hunt down and destroy AI. They have an excellent rate, but not much is known about these knifers. They have
been around for a VERY long time.