Part 7: Computer Room
Good Goddamn, I was dreading this room.
You'll see why in a sec.
LOOK > COMPUTER
Standard sci-fi joke, party of one! (I'm really not making good on my "curb the humor" promise from earlier, huh? Well, I promise to stop joking when it becomes more appropriate to do so.)
LOOK > AREA
ASK > ABOUT COMPUTER
ASK > HOW TO USE
Errr... the part I'm dreading...
Grrrr.... There's a lot, and I mean a LOT of text here, so I'm going to transcribe it all. We can look up ID files like this:
Jordan: No matching names on file
Here's an interesting one.
Incidentally, you get the same thing for JAMIE.
"Jean Jack Gibson"
Runner, Junker Agency
Blood Type: O+
Family: Wife - Alice (deceased), daughter - Katrina, age 18. Officer in Police Science Division since 2015. Wife killed by SNATCHER in bioroid panic of 2046; requests and is granted transfer to Junker agency.
Age: 18 [OP's Note - in the original MSX version, Katrina was actually only 14, making later scenes a bit creepy.]
Blood Type: O-
Only daughter of Jean-Jack Gibson. Won "Miss Seventeen" contest in 2045. Currently a popular model in holographic advertisements.
Dislikes: Identifiable by heart-shaped birthmark on her inner thigh.
...Why would her birthmark be part of public record?
Chief, Junker Agency
Blood Type: B+
Leads special anti-SNATCHER force, "Fox Hound" before being named Junker Chief. Also served as tactical instructor in Fox-Hound special force in 20s. Participated in 2033 Wellington Olympics in Judo
Fox-Hound! Yay, we found another Metal Gear reference!
Engineer, Junker Agency
Blood type: O-
Marrital [sic] Status: Single
Background: Originally member of government science team to combat SNATCHERS before its combination with police team to form Junker Agency. Parents die in The Catastrophe; Harry taken into government custody. [sic] Earns Ph.D. from Michigan State University at age 14. Gains widespread attention for his development of weapons during World War III. Joins NASA following war, and contributes to ramjet engine development team. 3 Nobel Prizes. 1 Fields Prize.
Ph.D. at 14? You're pushing it, Hideo! Hey, speaking of which!
Jordan: Please search for file under last name.
Zodiac Sign: Virgo
Blood Type: Aa [sic]
Personality: 3rd Generation Family Man
Favorite Game: Zabika
Message: "SNATCHER" has crossed the sea! I hope you all enjoy it a lot!
Okay, Time for the data file. This is a LOT of text. I'm doing it in outline format.
A. The Catastrophe
"Catastrophe, The" On June 6, 1996, a mysterious explosion destroyed the Chernoton research facility near Moscow. The explosion released a biological weapon called "Lucipher-Alpha," which had been under development by the old Soviet regime, into the atmosphere, creating the greatest biohazard in history. Within one week, the bacteria spread throughout Eastern Europe and Eurasia, killing 80% of the population there. Six months later, "Lucifer-Alpha," suddenly mutated into a non-lethal form. Northern Eurasia, now an unpopulated wasteland, was designated and remains a United Nations Neutral Zone to prevent unauthorized exploration. Since the disaster, which has become known simply as "The Catastrophe," hundreds of research papers have been published purporting to reveal its causes, but the real reason behind it remains unknown.
B. World War Three
"World War III. (2010 - 2011)" On August 8, 2010, 14 years after "The Catastrophe," war broke out over possession of Northern Eurasia, left uninhabited by the disaster. Conservative Soviet leaders who managed to survive "The Catastrophe" received military support from China and launched an invasion of the region. Nevertheless, Wesetern economic sanctions forced the Chinese to withdraw this support, leading to victory for Western forces. Ending just six months after it began, this conflict has become known as the "Half-Year War".
C. Siberian Neutral Zone
"Siberian Neutral Zone, The" Left uninhabited by "The Catastrophe," the United Nations has controlled the bulk of the Siberian territory for the past 50 years, prohibiting any outside interference. Aftereffects of "Lucifer-Alpha" contamination are expected to prevent any plant or animal life from flourishing there for the next 50 years. In order to prevent reoccurence of something like "World War III," the United Nations has set-up extensive monitoring stations on the borders of the region.
D. Nuclear Elimination
"Elmination of Nuclear Weapons" Beginning with the INF (Intermediate Nuclear Forces) treaty in 1987, strategic and theater nuclear weapons were steadily reduced. The threat of nuclear war was further reduced by the IAEA's (International Atomic Energy Agency) implementation of its "Military-Use Nuclear Material Manufacturing Cessation Accord," which enforced the disposal of all military-use nuclear material at the beginning of this century.
E. Witch Hunt
"Witch Hunts (a.k.a. Bioroid Hunts)" A social phenomenon caused by the SNATCHER problem. A form of group violence involving the lynching of numerous innocent individuals who were believed to be bioroid SNATCHERS in reality. In general, individuals of lower social standing were the targets of the attacks. Named after the medieval witch hunts which took place in Salem, Massachusetts, U.S.A., due to the similarity of the two occurrences. The phenomenon underscored the "North-South" rift of modern society, a form of revulsion at the growing property problem. Well-to-do groups from the north attacked slum dwellers in the southern regions, resulting in great loss of life to individuals who had no connection to the SNATCHER menace. The problem died out when it became clear that SNATCHERS only targeted individuals of high social standing.
II. Concerning Junker
1. Official Name
"Junker". Full Organizational Name: Japanese Undercover Neuro-Kinetic Elimination Rangers
2. Junker Chronology
"Junker Agency History".
April 2047: National Police Agency forms special team to deal with SNATCHER problem.
May 2047: Government Intelligence Agencies establish investigative science team to research SNATCHER activities and devise solutions.
August 2047: Police and Government organizations are formally combined into new agency, called Junker. New group is organizationally overseen by the government intelligence agencies.
"Junker Agency Organization". Staff classifications: Chief (or head), Engineer, OPERATOR, Runner (investigator), and Navigator (support robot). Related group - "Junk Team". "Engineer" is responsible for development and maintenance of all Junker support equipment. "OPERATOR" is responsible for management of data transmitted from the field by "navigators" as well as day-to-day operation of HQ facilities. "Chief" is in charge of judgment of overall situation and assignment of duties to "runners". "Runners" are responsible for carrying out actual investigations of SNATCHER activities with the assistance of "Navigator" robots. This post is exceptionally dangerous. "Junk Team" is responsible for clean-up and data gathering at sites where "Runners" have dispatched SNATCHERS.
Junker Staff (as of Dec. 2047)
Benson Cunningham - Chief
Jean Jack Gibson - Runner
Harry Benson - Engineer
Mika Slayton - Operator
Gillian Seed - Runner (newly assigned)
Lewis Gilmore - Runner (KIA)
Sergio Grazzio - Runner (KIA)
David Johnson - Runner (RETIRED)
Shultz Descartes - Runner (KIA)
B. HQ Facilities
"Junker Headquarters Layout":
Front Hallway; Agency Chief's Office; Engineering Room; Shooting Range (Junker's Eye practice system); Detective's Room (A.I. Computer Jordan); Turbocycle Parking Lot.
C. HQ Data
Address: Konami-Omni Bldg., 150th Fl. MT-732 Port Island Central Ward, Neo Kobe 1229-0715 JAPAN
Konami-Omni Bldg: 165 floors above ground, 35 below.
Height - 630 meters.
Videophone Number: 256-128
D. Junker Bylaws
"Junker Five Bylaws". A Junker's actions are covered by the five bylaws:
(1) The purpose of the Junker Agency is to eliminate bioroid SNATCHERS.
(2) A Junker, even in the course of carrying out (1), must not harm innocent civilians.
(3) In accordance with Civil Code 18, Section 12, "SNATCHERS and the Protection of Citizens' Rights," in the absence of irrefutable evidence that a subject is a SNATCHER, no subject may be physically investigated or restrained.
(4) A junker is required in accordance with sub-section 3 of the investigative code, to assist and support civilian bounty hunters.
(5) In order to carry out (1), a Junker is allowed the use of a blaster, and a navigator, and a turbocycle.
E. Scanning Permit
"Scanning Warrant". In accordance with Civil Code 18, Section 12, "SNATCHERS and the Protection of Citizens' Rights," civilians have the right to deny Junkers permission to directly analyze (scan) their physical person. Direct scanning of a suspect is permitted only by issuance of a scanning warrant by the appropriate court. As such, use of navigators' sensors or other instruments to scan a suspect is strikingly prohibited unless the attending officer (runner) is in possession of such a warrant.
F. Runner's Equipment
a. Junker Card
A personal identification card designed exclusively got Junkers, containing an integrated IC chip upon which is s tored crucial personal information abut the holder, such as their DNA pattern.
b. Junker Coat
A heavy-duty trench coat designed for runners, constructed with alamid fiber fabrics and flexion armor components. The use of two forms of alamid fibers (heat-resisting forms capable of withstanding 800 Celsius, and penetration forms, capable of supporting 50 kg over a 0.1mm area) make the coat's extreme durability possible. Flexion armor installed around vital organ areas helps protect the wearer against physical blows or external pressure. Use of these materials makes manufacture to exact specification of wearer necessary.
c. Junker Belt
Constructed with shape-retaining polymers, ceramics and flexible plastics. The buckle contains a high-voltage shock generator to stun adversaries in emergency situations.
d. Artifical Skin Spray
Developed with protein engineering biochemical technologies, this spray, when applied to exposed skin, provides high-levels of protection, including resistance to heat and physical blows. While oxygen transfer can take place, sweat and other waste matter cannot be expelled, limiting continuous usage of the spray to 24 hours.
e. Junkers Blood [sic]
Runners have adopted the following two blood tranfusion techniques for lowering the risk of death due to injuries suffered in the line of duty. (1) Artifical Blood Exchange. Artificial blood is supplied to an injured runner while their natural blood is withdrawn and then duplicated through bio-genetic culturing techniques. When sufficient quantities of their natural blood are available, the two blood types are swapped once again. While artificial blood can be produced in unlimited quantities, making it useful in cases of massive blood loss, it's ion structure places strain on the recipient's organs, making prolonged use inadvisable. (2) Self-Donation (Personal Blood Bank) Runners collect their own blood through regular donation. This blood is mixed with a nutrient solution, concentrated, and stored at minus 42 Celsius. In an emergency, the blood is flash-thawed and returned to its "owner".
f. Junker's Rush
A type of chewing gum supplied to Junkers with adrenaline crystals incorporated into the gum base. Its use in World War III as an emergency adrenaline supplier gained widespread attention. Use of the gum allows a Junker in an emergency situation to temporarily boost their reflexes, accuracy and strength. Extended continuous use creates extreme depression and fatigue. Its effects are similar to the burst of superhuman power occasionally observed in persons caught in extreme circumstances, such as fires, and other accidents.
A personal support robot designed to assist a Junker with their investigation. Navigators are programmed with the needs of their actual users in mind. For example, runners who suffer from tension relatively easily are given navigators programmed to help calm them down, etc. Navigators are equipped with a variety of sensors to aid in the detection of possible danger. In addition, these sensors can be used to perform direct physical scanning of suspected SNATCHERS if a scanning warrant has been issued. Navigators are programmed to ignore orders to scan suspects if a warrant has not been granted.
A land/air vehicle used by Junkers. Three wheels are available for Ground travel; wheels are retracted during jet powered hover or full-flight mode. vehicle's on-board computer is linked to city's traffic network, permitting completely automatic operation. Manual operation also availabe. On-board computer assists driver during manual operation depending on their flight/driving abilities. Automatic computer-takeover feature installed to help prevent accidents in emergency situations.
The only firearm capable of eliminating SNATCHERS. Carbon polymer/ceramic construction offers very light weight and almost complete resistance to heat, resulting in near-perfect shape retention. Grip and trigger shape are ergonomically designed from cast of user's hand to maximize comfort and accuracy. Neural feedback circuitry adjusts weapons to user's capabilities, allowing nearly unlimited improvement in marksmanship skills.
III. Concerning Snatchers
"Insectors". Spider-shaped probe/security robots used by SNATCHERS. Thread-like sensor apparatus deployed from rear of robot triggers needle gun attack if touched or approached. Micro-jet powered; known to jump.
Specimens recovered for study by "Junk Team" invariably self-destruct, preventing further analysis.
2. Distinguishing Features
"SNATCHER Characteristics". (1) SNATCHERS operate almost exclusively at night and during the winter months. (2) SNATCHERS only snatch VIP's. Their ultimate goal appears not to be the snatch itself, but some secondary effect of it. (3) SNATCHERS [sic] targets are restricted by their physical size. While they can adjust the size of their major body areas, these adjustments are limited. As such, their victims are exclusively persons of 150-180 cm in height. This makes snatching of children, the elderly, etc., impossible. (4) SNATCHER weapons: a mouth-firing laser cannon. (5) Weak point: Thin, slip portions of their skull armor which make head size adjustment possible.
Dec. 22, 2044: First contact. A bioroid's remains are recovered from the wreckage of SRS Flight 4003, which crashed in the Rokko Mountain range.
Feb. 18. 2045: A SNATCHER which had killed and replaced ("snatched") the mayor of Neo Kobe, B. O'Connor, is captured, but self-destructs during transport. In December, Neo Kobe is thrown into a panic over the problem. The "Witch Hunts" take place as people try to uncover and destroy imagined SNATCHERS.
Nov. 3, 2047: A well-known KBC newscaster is revealed to be a SNATCHER and terminated. The remains self-destruct, preventing further analysis.
Nov. 15, 2047: The leader of a prominent revolutionary religious group is determined to be a SNATCHER. During pursuit, the SNATCHER's car crashes, destroying it in the resulting fire.
Nov. 20, 2047: The former president of a biotechnology firm is uncovered as a SNATCHER and terminated. During transport, the remains are stolen.
4. Bounty Hunter
"Bounty Hunter Program". In order to elicit civilian support in the effort to combat SNATCHERS, the government instituted the following reward program: All eligible voters of Neo Kobe were given the right to register as bounty hunters. Registration involves a few simple tests and procedures (firearm license, psychological profile, Junker test, etc.) Actual rewards for SNATCHER termination depend on individual circumstances. Government also provides numerous insurance benefits for those injured or killed while attempting to terminate a SNATCHER.
IV. Concerning Neo Kobe
A. Neo Kobe Data
"Neo Kobe City Statistics"
Total Population: 5.83 mil.
Ethnic Groups: Japanese, 30%; Chinese 24%; American, 10%; West European, 5%; East European, 11%; Hispanic, 5%; Jewish, 5%; Philippine, 3%; Other, 7%.
Unregistrated Population: 1.2 mil (est.)
Total Area: Undetermined
B. Neo Kobe History
"Development of the City" Construction to link major man-made islands of the Inland Sea begins near the end of the 20th century. Plan to link the five major blocks into one large metropolis -- "Neo Kobe" -- is promoted in early 21st century. Plan is completed 10 years later in conjunction with Kobe expo. City launched as a major new "hub" for Asia, and experiences heavy immigration. By 2045, city becomes known as "Neo Crowbar" due to its infamy as the city with the world's highest crime rate.
C. Kobe Bridge
"Kobe Bridge" Complete quarantine of Neo Kobe is launched on December 1, 2047 as a method of preventing the spread of the SNATCHER menace. All land, sea, and air links to the city, except for Kobe Bridge, are cut and patrolled by the military. Passage over Kobe bridge requires a government issued pass and numerous, thorough checks.
The mother computer system which unifies and oversees administration of Neo Kobe. Developed via sophisticated networking of hundreds of separate systems in the city. A high-speed "neuro-computer" capable of mimicking human thought and reasoning patterns. Maintains extensive files on all individuals, corporations, and groups within in the city. Also manages the day-to-day operation of the city's financial, distribution and transport systems. Alpha-One program maintenance is coordinated by Konami Software's Project Development Division, Sub-group #48.
Videophone number 30-1234
E. Snow 9
A crystalline form of pollen created using genetic manipulation techniques. Developed for military use, it disrupts nearly all radio transmissions. It is poisonous to humans. In large quantities, it can cause symptoms similar to respiratory arrest, while even small quantities ccause allergy-like symptoms, such as sneezing and runny noses. Larger than ordinary pollen, the crystals are visible to the naked eye and appear similar to snow, hence the name. The pollen creates environmental problems as well, and vegetation producing it was destroyed in large quantities after the war to avoid them. Nevertheless, it is re-emerging in tropical regions, as well as those sub-tropical regions where water supplies are plentiful, such as near rivers. At present, the only known area affected in Neo Kobe is in the vicinity of the Ina River. As the pollen appeared in Neo Kobe only after the first presence of SNATCHERS was confirmed, the relationship between the two is currently under careful investigation.
A mysterious disease which originated in France around 2035. The first patient in Neo Kobe was recorded in the summer of 2040. At present, between 50,000 and 100,000 residents of Neo Kobe are believed infected. STBO Victims develop fever, joint and muscle pain, diarrhea, lymph node inflammation, tremors and pneumonia, with over 60% dying from the disease. Transmission is via bodily fluids such as blood, saliva and semen and generally spread by sexual contact or hypodermic needles, particularly when unsterillized [sic] ones are used for the injection of illegal drugs. Similarities to the disease AIDS, which emerged some 55 years ago, led researches to believe at one time that STBO was a mutated form of the AIDS virus, but the two have since been shown to be unrelated. There is still no treatment or cure. Public discomfort about the disease and concerns about whether others close to them are carriers has noticeably increased the level of suspicion in the general population, and significantly harmed interpersonal communication. In many ways, this trend has made detection of SNATCHERS more difficult.
G. Liquid Sky
A recently developed, new type of hallucinogen derived from alkaloids. Usage is via injection, either under the skin, or directly into a vein. The drug directly stimulates the user's nervous and lymbic system, creating a strong sense of excitement as well as hallucinations. Additional effects include lowering the user's sensitivity to feelings of worry, doubt or fear. The drug soared in popularity among young people during the late 2040s. Regular use causes changes in brain tissue synapses which can result in impaired nervous function if use is prolonged.
H. Black Market
The underground market in Neo Kobe. Vast numbers of products, both legal and illegal are available at cut-rate prices. Chinese immigrants with excellent business and marketing skills contributed greatly to the market's growth and during its early years. Some experts believe its size now exceeds that of the regular marketplace. The market had mainly served to meet the needs of immigrants from the mainland and illegal aliens, but the wide variety of merchandise and low prices now attract many regular customers from the general population, severely hurting the business of traditional merchants. The largest organization in Neo Kobe in the market is the so-called "Plato's Cavern" area.
V. Concerning Transportation
A linear motor train utilizing superconducting magnets for propulsion. The system was the backbone of transport in Neo Kobe for 30 years after the war, but was scrapped due to the spread of slums in the South, and the introduction of automatic traffic control via central computer. The original plan was for trains to travel in near-vacuum tunnels to reduce air resistance to almost zero, but high-costs and the weak foundations of the reclaimed land in the city prevented realization. The abandoned tunnels of the system still exist, demolition efforts have been hampered by property ownership disputes and the weak foundations.
B. Automatic Traffic System
A system which maintains the entire transportation network of Neo Kobe, including land, air and water routes, via direct computer control of traffic flow by the Alpha-One mother computer system. In particular, the system's ASV (Automatic Safe Vehicle) routines work to prevent traffic accidents and congestion. They have boosted the efficiency of ground transport, in particular, to levels not dreamed of in the 20th century. The system has eliminated the need for public transportation.
C. Black Taxi
A term referring to illegal, manned taxis. The word "taxi" usually refers to government operated, computer-controlled, unmanned vehicles. However such taxis, requiring personal identification to board, only operate in areas designated as "municipal data administration districts". They generate records of where customers board and get out, thus making their use impossible or impractical for many immigrants and illegal aliens. On the other hand "black taxis" require no identification and will go anywhere, making them extremely popular. As such, government officials have decided that the "black taxis", though illegal, have formed such a sophisticated organization throughout the city that they cannot be ignored any longer and plans are being studied which would legalize their operation.
1. Space Development
Plans were made in the late 20th century to develop space resources for the betterment of mankind, but global warming, The Catastrophe, and other factors which harmed the environment speeded [sic] this trend significantly. The construction of the U.S. space station "Freedom" as well as the development of successful fusion-based propulsion represented enormous steps forward in this effort. At present, a helium-3 mine to provide fuel for fusion rockets is under development on the moon. In addition, the "New Promised Land" project to create permanent colonies on Mars is in advanced stages.
2. Mars Research Chronology
"Mars Research Chronology"
Aug., 1988: The Phobos Project. Phobos 1 & 2, launched by the former Soviet Union, explore Mars and its two moons, Phobos and Deimos.
Oct., 1989: Mars Observer, launched by the U.S., studies the planet's atmosphere and soil.
Apr., 1997: Pesta Project. Unmanned probe retrieves data on Mars, asteroids and comets. Project initiated by Eastern European nations, but The Catastrophe forces transfer of the project to the U.S.
Dec., 2005: Construction begins on "Wells Project," an unmanned robot production facility on Mars.
Jun., 2010: First satellite put into permanent Mars orbit.
Jul., 2015: Construction begins on experimental manned base, "Le Guin".
Nov., 2022: Construction begins on Mars space port, "Moorcock".
Jun., 2025: Completion of early manned base, "Herbert".
Dec., 2030: First full-scale Mars base, "Vonnegut" begins operations.
Jan., 2035: Operations begin at "Asimov," the first mine on Mars.
3. Mars Greening Project
"The Mars Greening Project". A project to turn the barren planet into a lush, green world like Earth. Initially, large reflecting mirrors will be placed in orbit to reflect heat radiation back down to the planet. Simultaneously, greenhouse gasses will be released into the Martian atmosphere. By warming the planet, conditions which allow yeast and other bacteria to flourish will be established. Following this, the oxygen given off by these bacteria will be employed to make conditions favorable for higher forms of life. The vast underground deposits of frozen water, the existence of which was discovered by earlier bases on the planet, have moved this project from the realm of fantasy into likely reality. At present, phrases like "Turn the Red Planet Green," and "Mars: The New Promised Land" represent the energy that those involved are putting into the project. Phase one of the project, the installation of reflecting mirrors around the planet, is currently scheduled for 2049. A rocket carrying the first immigration investigative team to Mars, the "Beagle Jerusalem," was launched just last week.
"Biocommunication" Communication without language by mechanically detecting and encoding the organic responses of chemical and other products given off by living organisms. The technique is hoped to provide a way for humans to communicate with other species some day, but logistical obstacles have limited it to scientist's one-way observations at this point. PPET scans of the brains of vertebrates using these techniques have led science to a nearly full understanding of a structure of these animals' consciousness.
"Dreamcorder" A device for recording human dreams. Pick-up of brain waves allows for playback which recreates distinct sights, sounds and physical sensations. However, regulations prohibit playback by other than a counselor or psychologist. Recordings are not legally admissable [sic] as evidence in a court of law.
A museum of living genes, featuring live animals (endangered or extinct species only), recreated through genetic manipulation. Created by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in order to recreate and culture extinct mammal and bird species. Besides caring for living animals, the museum operates a library of frozen genetic samples. Successful birth of a unicorn in '47 (natural delivery) drew widespread attention. The baby unicorn has also been adopted as Neo Kobe's mascot.
2. Robo Musical
A musical performed by humanoid robots. As each robot's expressions and movements are sampled from actual actors, there is virtually by no difference between their performances and that of live actors. The popularity of this art form no doubt lies in the technology's ability to change the performers with a simple software modification, including the ability to inject long dead, classical actors into modern roles. The big hit of '47 has so far been "The Phantom of the Opera".
Genetically engineered marsupials which function as pets or handbags. Their added values of being able to carry around personal belongings led to a huge boom in these animals in the early 2040's . Originally designed for a television commercial, their subsequent widespread media exposure touched off huge sales. Several firms became involved in a copyright dispute over the animals' design, but their popularity waned when the Society for the Prevention for Cruelty to Animals complained of the slave-like treatment many owners gave their "living luggage".
4. Neo Kobe Pizza
A popular food item said to have been born by accident when a Japanese student accidentally dropped his pizza in someone's soup. The floating shape apparently reminded him of the island of Neo Kobe in the sea, hence the name. Scores of different varieties are available by combining different toppings and soups. NEO KOBE Pizza is beginning to gain popularity internationally as well.
5. Retinal Fortune Telling
A high-tech form of divination which purports to read a person's future from the pattern of blood vessels on the retina of the eye. Like fingerprints and voice prints, this "art" gains its popularity from the fact that all individual's patterns are unique.
6. Air Surfing
A sport which is enjoying tremendous recent popularity among young people. When conventional surfing became impossible due to heavy contamination of the sea around the city, a local university's Air Sciences department developed the new board and wave generator. With just moderate protective gear, a board and the air wave generator, anyone can enjoy the sport. Popularity has been centered among young people of the slum districts. As winds and weather have no effect on use, competitions and tournaments have been held year-round in cities throughout the country.
7. Dragon Horse
A sport involving the use of a winged horse developed through bio-engineering. Originally popular among the British upper class, participants compete for the longest time and distance flown. Developed from ponies, these "Dragon Horses" are capable of 50 meters or so of continuous flight. The first official competition took place in Neo Kobe in 2045. The winner, an entrant invited from overseas (Oracion Highlander breed) managed a 30-second flight covering 80 meters.
A. City Isolation Policy
"Neo Kobe Quarantine" The government, fearing mainland SNATCHER infiltration from Neo Kobe, designated the city a contaminated zone and ordered the closure of all land, sea and air links, excluding the Kobe Bridge. The policy was enacted on December 1, 2047. While the policy appears to have so far prevented any spread of the problem to the mainland, it has exacerbated the isolation of the city itself, without contributing to a comprehensive solution to the SNATCHER menace.
B. North-South Problem
Since the 2025 declaration of Neo Kobe as an "immigrant's paradise," vast numbers of foreigners from countries throughout Southeast Asia have moved to the city. Nevertheless, this has increased the asset distribution gap between rich and poor and contributed to the social and ethnic splintering of the populace. The problem is best illustrated by the concentration of relatively wealthy, long-time residents in the city's northern zones, versus the relatively poor, mainly immigrant population centered in the cities [sic] newly reclaimed, southern regions. The trend was spurred by The Catastrophe, which created vast new waves of new immigrants who developed this "underground" society, effectively splitting the city into two distinct groups or cultures, that of the North and the South.
Individuals who have managed to erase all record of their own existence from public and private databases and live without fixed residences. Also known as "freemen". Not to be confused with "homeless" who have been forced into their condition by economic misfortune. In modern, information-controlled society, the lack of computer records of any given individuals tantamount to that individual's non-existence. The recent increase in their numbers has begun to contribute to crime and labor difficulties in the city. Many of the individuals who choose this lifestyle are former workers in computer-related and data management industries. Their presence underscores one of the major shortcomings of society's current dependence on centralized data control and management. Most of these individuals live in regions of the city which are not "municipal data administration districts," or in the old tunnels of the abandoned Tube-Liner system.
D. Immimgrant Problem
The Catastrophe created vast quantities of Eurasian refugees who spread throughout the world creating a massive immigrant problem. Chinese form the largest sub-group, and over 2,000,000 have found their way to Japan in at least five waves. Neo Kobe, touting its status as an "immigrants' paradise" at the time, was the logical government choice as the area for them to resettle. As a result, the Chinese percentage of the population grew to become second only to Japanese, but the majority of these individuals have ended up living in the slum districts of the city's southern regions. Dissatisfied with these conditions and the perceived lack of any government effort to rectify them, they have formed their own "underground" society, which is now far too large of an organization for the "legitimate" government to control.
E. Outer Districts
Neo Kobe can be divided into two distinct areas. those regions where satellite and fiber-optic cable networks are used to manage all forms of data, the so-called "municipal data administration districts," and the mainly slum regions which are not under such control and oversight. Individuals who cannot get personal guarantees or identification invariably concentrate in the latter regions as the lack of such ID prevents social functioning in the controlled regions of the city. No forms of cards or credit can be accepted in these areas; cash is the only currency. While government proposals to remedy the situation have been discussed for a number of years, debate over implementation methods, civil rights and the like has prevented any actual progress from being made. Approximately 30% of the city's total area is officially recognized as falling outside of the municipal data administration districts, and at least another 10% is believed to be similarly beyond government control, though not yet designated as such.
Aw crap, we learned a few new names for Junker staff. Back to the I.D. File!
Honored as the first Junker to die in the line of duty. Killed while attempting to question unidentified Asian male, believed to be a SNATCHER.
Grazzio was found dead at the Neo Kobe Seed Garden, with a small sapling stuffed down his throat. Although Grazzio was pronounced DOA, the tree was saved.
...Okay, that's beyond silly.
Johnson, along with Sergio Grazzio, was investigating reports of SNATCHER activity at the Neo Kobe Seed Garden. Grazzio was killed, but Johnson escaped with a serious wound. he [sic] is currently diagnosed as a "vegetable" with no chance of recovery.
Descartes and entire family were murdered in a bloody massacre at their home in what appeared to be revenge after Descartes eliminated a SNATCHER the day before.
And we're done! [slump] Next update... let's get our gun and navigator!