Blackjack's People #158
Horrors Of The Cyberchild
By Blackjack [Blackjack's Shadowrun Page: www.BlackjackSR.com] [blackjack@blackjacksr.com] [@sr_blackjack]

Posted: 2019-10-08

It’s never fun to see what too much ware can do to a normal person.  So when you’ve got the same thing happening to mere street kids, it can be even more disturbing. 

Bank

Human Cyberware Dealer Gang Leader (M)

Never one to use his own product, most of it anyway, Bank has cybernetics behind his graying eyes and that’s about it.  He attracts his members first through outright charisma, then follows up with wild descriptions on what new ware can do for them.  Even in his late 60s, Bank carries a powerful presence when he stands, still somewhat built after all those years and not through the use of cyberware.

Bank started in the corporate cyberware sales gang, but felt that certain combinations or gear could be used in creative ways to almost requiring follow-up ware to fix that problem, and without arousing suspicion of a hoax.  Reporting his idea to the upper echelons, Bank was immediately fired for what the conservative board considered fowl (and risky), even for a B rated megacorp.  (Thankfully he wasn’t at an A.  A quick bullet would have been Bank’s severance.)

Quickly turning to street dealing, Bank immediately put his plan into effect, drawing in street kids with sub-par, and often ‘used but refurbished’, a cute way of saying they were torn from corpses.  With this basic ware Bank is able to create a huge markup since the members don’t know that kind of shit gear they’re getting.  His plan worked and if, say, a member with a cyber elbow complains of arm pain, Bank is happy to upgrade the kid to a full cyberarm.  As for surgery, it takes place in one of the many back alley places Bank knows of to have the ware slapped in.

Getting to the point that he has either converted or killed most of the market in his small area, Bank is considering just picking up and leaving to another town.  This could be catastrophic to the addicts left behind as most of the drugs administered to control and ease cyberware integration, dulling, among other things, the pain that comes with grinding plate of low grade steelweave digging into a nearby bone.  A bone that, with Bank around, would get replaced.  Without him, the kids will be left to suffer in ways possibly not felt before.

Link

Elf Cyberware Ravaged Street Kid (M)

Soooo tired of the Ledged of Zelda jokes, Link decided to change his appearance rather than his name.  He had surgery on his ears to round them out and various muscle implants to make him look bulkier.  All of his various add-ons are either cosmetic to make him look even more human, or quickness and muscle mods to make him even bigger.  Unfortunately, his elven core is beginning to strain under the sheer weight of his mods, even with spine reinforcement and lacing.  Still fairly quick, Link is unfortunately usually relegated to security duty where at least he doesn’t have to stand all day.  He’s still a killer quick shot and can fight in short bursts, but each hit he takes seem to actually be damaging his subpar gear.   Only 18, Link still carries the feeling of invincibility common among that age group, even if he sometimes falls getting out of his chair.  You just better hope he doesn’t see you closing in.

Coil

Human Cyberware Ravaged Street Kid (M)

The recipient of a fairly good quality mega bone lacing, Coil was cursed with disposable grade bioware to not augment, but replace, his existing musculature and skin.  Coil slowly slipped into a cyberzombie-state, not speaking and always displaying a creepy, but satisfied smile.  When the replacements were complete Coil snapped out of his madness long enough to stand, at which point his flesh and muscles began to slip and sag from their frame, eventually sending Coil screaming to the ground as he crumbled unto a mound of misaligned muscle and bone.  But he was alive, just..disgusting.  And that’s the form he’s been forced to stay in as he cannot afford any corrective procedures.  Able to slip and slop slowly across the floor, Coil isn’t completely immobile, although he has bed sores and infections from the bioware (which he’s been taking tons of antibiotics to keep them from simply rotting).  He now lives in a solitary room off a sewer, ordering in and waiting to die.

Canine

Troll Cyberware Ravaged Street Kid (M)

A frequenter of ‘muscle man’ competitions before his ware began to fail, Canine was ugly and brilliant at the same time.  His poses were accented by the maticuliously maintained shine of his exo-plating, and he always knew that the audience would want more.  He went into debt with Bank to add even more layers of plating, effectively covering 95% of all exposed skin.  But it was too much for his bones to bare, their structure weakened by the constant drilling when the exo-plating was added.  He began to lose competitions, and his debt to Bank grew.  One evening, Bank invited Canine over to his high-rise condo, at which point several trolls pinned Canine to a table and, piece of piece, unscrewed and removed the exo-plating.  All of it.  With Bank satisfied that the debt was repaid, they dumped what they thought was a dead Canine into a manhole.  Cannie happened to land as some gang members were passing, who had been looking to up their game by adding a troll.  They transported Canine to their hideout and brought in a doctor to secure his bones.  A fast healer, the treatment is strengthening his bones as Canine looks forward to what anybody who had a near miss with cyberware and death would do: Get his plating and start the cycle all over again.

Brush

Human Cyberware Ravaged Street Kid (F)

Only 12, Brush’s hell was the result of a pair of naive but extremely wealthy parents who wanted somebody to make their daughter the cutest in the world.  Bank, who was at a low point at the time, approved the sale, but, being the fuckwad he is, installed subpar parts.  She was 7 at the time. 

At first things seemed to go well, and the girl’s smile and expressions, controlled by circuitry wired into her brain, produced the timing and shapes that agents love.  That’s until, during a casting call when she was 8, the ware malfunctioned and contorted her face is a hideous expression of pain.  Brush’s mother went back to Bank, now more an idiot than naive, and the girl was essentially tortured the girl with years of cyberware and bioware that went nowhere.  When Brush’s mother disappeared, apparently ashamed of having such a hideous daughter, the fell into Bank’s ‘care’, which amounts to a locked closet in his hideout.  Bank isn’t shy about explaining she’s in there because she’s just sickening to look at, as Brush hears the words though a crack in the door and muffles her crying as best she can.

Chalk

Human Cyberware Ravaged Street Kid Burn-Out Mage (M)

Bank despises magic.  And when he came across a 14 year street kid old casting minor illusions for cred, he took the child under his wing, inasmuch as he lied that he knew the secret to melding magic and cyberware.  Chalk, eager to do anything that doesn’t involve standing on a street corner (she did try prostitution for a while) she allowed Bank to systematically destroy any sign of essence, and thus magic, from the child.  Bank thought of hideous mods, or maybe full bone replacement, but ultimately went for the head, installing EVERYTHING he could fit.  Sensory enhancements, processors, sim rig…she had it.  When Chalk discovered she could no longer cast spells, Bank cheered.  He then went into a detailed explanation of what he expected from the girl, basically turning her into an errand girl and a constant narcissistic reminder of how he kicked magic’s ass.  Chalk, who can now see, hear, smell and feel EVERYTHING is essentially losing he mind trying to pick out whatever conversation she’s in at the time.  But, in a quirk that Bank may not see coming, the processors in Chalk’s mind are getting better at filtering and focusing her informational deluge.   She sometimes feels hints of her former self, and what it meant to be happy.  These stolen smiles are made well out of the eyesight of her despicable boss.