Well, you’ve got a pocketful of cred and a weekend ahead of you. The weatherman is predicting sunshine. The evening traffic is light and you can enjoy the bustle of the rain-slicked street, reflecting neon signs and streetlights. It is uncanny how cred encourages even the most cynical runner to dust off the rose-coloured glasses.
Then, the lights flicker. Neon signs everywhere flutter for a moment, as if trying to catch a breath. Streetlights dim, gather strength for a few seconds, the dim again. And then, a few at a time, they begin to go out. Traffic lights, billboards, ARO and building lights follow. The street falls in to darkness. A yellow Mitsubishi Runabout enters an intersection and coasts slowly to a stop in the middle of the intersection. Irate drivers scream about grid guide not connecting.
Pale red emergency lights filter out from the windows of nearby buildings. Residents cautiously stick their heads out of their windows to see whether the problem extends beyond their own faulty buildings. Only the dim glow from a few megacorp facilities – Ares, Aztechnology, Shiawase – remain. Curiously, the arcology of Renraku appears greatly dimmed. As you look up you see something rarely seen from the downtown…stars.
You can’t help but suspect that your last job had something to do with this. Hopefully, you can find some way to sell those Shiawase stocks with the power out. Matrix access is completely out.