And now, in keeping with Channel 40's policy of always bringing you the latest in blood and guts, in living color, you're about to see another first -- an attempted suicide.
-- Chris Hubbock, who shot herself during a broadcast



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 source).


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




*Information Services

*Jump-gate Navigations

*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 dangerous.

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.

Illiteracy 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.

All 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.

The 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.

The 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 groups:

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 competition.

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.



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