And we say that with real sincerity. This document describes the aftereffects of the insect-spirit infestation of the City of Chicago that occurred in late summer 2055. As a result of the bug infestation, the UCAS military quarantined the City of Chicago and sealed it off from the rest of the country. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions of people remain in this city under siege, caught within the walls of the Containment Zone and forced to deal with (not necessarily in order of difficulty) a shattered economy, nonexistent law enforcement, food and supply shortages, each other, the effects of the subtactica! nuclear weapon detonated to destroy the primary hive, and the remaining bugs.
TO ALL READERS OF THIS FORUM
You must read this file. I don't know what else I can say to reinforce that. This may be the most important file we.ve ever posted. Yeah, I know some of you who think you.re in the know are snickering at that comment, but I.m serious. Sure, we've posted files that were more important to you, the shadowrunning community. But this posting is important to everyone. It confirms as horrifying reality something that has only been whispered of until now.Insect Totems Are Real. God help us. (And too fraggin' bad if that little plea insults some people.) This is what we know. Around 4 p.m. on the 22nd of August somewhere west of the Shattergraves, a hive of insect spirits in the Chicago area vomited a swarm of spirits that ravaged the city and made it into a war zone. I know that ain't what you've been told. And that.s part of the problem.
Because this is all new to some of you, I'll post the information we have so that you can at least begin to comprehend what follows. What the government says is a lie. The City of Chicago (not even the chunk they're describing) has not been infected with some wild new mutated strain of VITAS. There is no plague in Chicago.at least, none that can rightly be called a disease. The UCAS military has used force to isolate Chicago from the rest of the country because an unknown number of insect spirits have infected the city. These are creatures from the metaplanes, quasi-real levels of existence beyond our own. They manifest in the forms of, and to some degree demonstrate the powers or abilities of, familiar, everyday insects.ants, beetles, wasps, and so on. These spirits, however, cannot appear in the physical world without acquiring a physical host. That be us, folks. They need to inhabit living human bodies in order to be here. An all-too-real Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
Hundreds of thousands, perhaps more than a million people are trapped within the military's Containment Zone. And the government refuses to let them out because the people in charge are afraid. They don.t know what to make of the insect spirits, and they're afraid that the bugs will somehow spread beyond the Containment Zone if the people in charge let their guard down for even a moment. But they're already out here. It.s too late. Check the newsvids and the fastfaxes. At the same time as the Chicago breakout, the bugs attacked almost everywhere else.Manhattan, Philly, Atlanta, Buenos Aires, Istanbul.pretty much anywhere with a population. The thing is, those places suffered a tiny breakout compared to what hit Chicago. And in every fraggin' case the initial reports of insect activity were discredited and dismissed (we.ll come back to that factoid in a moment). Somewhere in this file you'll find references to the Chicago hive as being the largest known hive, certainly the biggest in North America. There's no way to create a reliable estimate of the number of bugs that might be in Chicago. I guess that.s another thing scaring the government pretty good. I know it frightens the drek out of me. Ah, sorry. I just reread the above and discovered I.m rambling. I'm composing this on the fly because I want to get the rest of the file online as soon as possible, but it really does need something to set up the situation. Getting back to the facts as we know them, late in the afternoon of August 22nd, Eagle Security began fielding calls from panicked citizens who claimed that they were seeing giant bugs everywhere. The media picked up the story and even flash-videoed a couple of shots of giant bugs crawling around. Eagle promptly issued a statement accusing an unidentified wiz-kid gang of traveling through the streets and casting illusions intended to panic the city. That, and the fact that the media reports of giant bug sightings died down to almost nothing by midnight, calmed the city enough for people to make it through the night. The city's problems were just beginning.
Early in the morning of the 23rd of August, the city.s newstrid organizations lost their ability to continue to report on the apparent .giant bug. phenomena when local antimedia terrorists blew up a major fiber-optics relay station and effectively blinded most of the dty. By early morning, the government had begun to seal off the city. First, the city government issued a severe air-pollution warning and, in a move that seemed extraordinary for the City that Works, recommended that all citizens stay home. Those who ventured outside were flagged down by police wearing filter masks and ordered to return to their homes. A perceptive few noticed that members of the National Guard seemed to be supplementing Eagle Security. Word began to spread that O'Hare Airport was clearing military aircraft for landing, and by late lunch people had begun to flee the city.
At approximately 6 p.m. the rest of the world heard the shocking news that a new form of VITAS had broken out in Chicago. And that was all we heard. Chicago was blacked out, isolated, all communication into the city cut or jammed. Rampant speculation described widespread rioting, panic, and mass deaths within the city. The UCAS government trotted out expert after expert who explained that this dangerous new form of VITAS spread only by physical contact. By isolating the City of Chicago, the government said, they were confident of containing the Chicago plague. A week later, the media began to report stories of people shot while trying to escape from Chicago by climbing the barricades, swimming for safety across the lake, and even flying in privately contracted rescue aircraft. The Red Cross protested that it was being prevented from sending teams into Chicago, and the World Health Organization also cried foul, as they had been blocked from receiving samples of the new virus. Very early in the morning of September 1st, something unexpected happened, something that the government couldn't hide and was apparently at a loss to explain. Just as the first rays of dawn brightened the eastern sky, someone detonated what all observers tentatively identified as a subtactical nuclear weapon a few kilometers north of the Chicago Core. Dozens of people witnessed the blast.there was no denying it. Rumors spread like the alleged Chicago plague itself. The most prevalent rumor claimed that a corporate strike team detonated the weapon, but even the rumor mill offered no explanation as to why. The blast caused the government to clamp down even further. It pulled the news media out of the area and confined them to a single government-controlled media pool. The government also established martial law in the neighborhoods and refugee camps immediately surrounding the Containment Zone and asked the media to filter all reports concerning the Chicago plague through the government pool.
Amazingly, every single one of the big news agencies apparently agreed. News reports assured the rest of the world that rescue agencies had established regular supply drops into the city and that research was progressing on the nature of and possible cure for the Chicago plague. Eventually it began to seem as if the City of Chicago had moved to some other part of the world and no longer occupied land in North America. And we were told that people continued to die every day. Pirate and indie news-trash shows persisted in reporting that the entire Chicago situation was a cover-up, that there was no plague. But no one was willing to believe them. Not me, and I should have known better. I recognized the signs. All of us on the inside had started seeing odd reports, smuggled files, and other incongruities pointing to the truth. But frag it, we just didn't want to accept that what those signposts pointed to was true. But it is. It is.
We've been lied to, pure and simple. By the government and by the media who agreed to keep their mouths and eyes shut. Why? Fear. Everyone's afraid. Afraid it'll spread. Afraid people will panic. Afraid, afraid, afraid. Like I am. But the fear can't hide the truth that follows, pulled from I'm not going to say where so that I don.t jeopardize the source. All I.ll say is that this post is a fraggin' technological miracle. This truth represents files and captures from what exists of the Chicago net inside the Containment Zone. A small group led by someone named SVStem 05 cobbled together what remains of the Matrix within the CZ and set up a BBS that those people with still-active telecom lines can access. It.s become a source of information, rumors, truth, lies, fear, andjiope for the citizens of Chicago. And we.ve got it here for everyone to see, in the words and pictures of those trapped inside. Spread the file wide, chummers. Make sure everyone sees. Everyone must know.
There are bugs here.
-Captain Chaos (january 21, 2056)
District Size: Approximately 676 square kilometers Population: 610,040 Human: 77% Elf: 14% Dwarf: 4% Ork: 2% Troll: 2% Other: 1% Population Density: 902 per square kilometer Per Capita Income: $500,000 Below Poverty Level: 0% On Fortune's Active Traders List: 3% Corporate Affiliation: 95% Wards: 17 Education: 12 years: 1 % High School: 5% College Degree: 65% Graduate Degree: 29% Hospitals and Clinics: 14 LTG Access Numbers: 1312 and 2312
Two elevated lines currently run through Chicago. Metrorail serves the Northside down to the Noose, and Skytrack handles the downtown area known as the Elevated. The trains of both lines run 24 hours a day, each handling a good chunk of the rush-hour crunch. Though each line of Metrorail passes over or under the Noose, Metrorail officials have closed and sealed all the stations there. The security rating on Metrorail is B. Each train normally has two guards on board. Extra guards are available for each train making its round through the Noose; two additional guards board every train at the stop before the Noose and get off when the run through the Noose is completed. Skytrack began developing a monorail system for the Southside in 2025. Using cash earned in the trideo boom of 2026, the company expanded its original design to create something more like an amusement park than a transit system. Skytrack is supported by sturdy pillars seven stories high. At night the lights of the Skytrack system make the Southside sparkle like a simsense fantasy. Security on the trains and at the stations is A, contracted from Eagle Security.
A single trip on Metrorail or Skytrack is $2. A monthly pass is $75.
Chicago is divided into six broad sections: the Elevated, the O'Hare Sub-Sprawl, the Noose, the Northside, the Westside, and the! Southside. These sections have no political basis, but have developed along economic lines.
>»»(Tcha. Irrelevant. There is now only the Containment Zone. It castrates the Northside along Irving Park Road, slices the Westsidel down Harlem Avenue, and then divides the Core neatly down the middle along 115th Street. Most of Chicago Is outside the CZ, andllonly care about what's in my world now.)««< .Trial (22:15:47/10-02-55)
The Elevated indudes the area of Chicago encircled by Skytrack's cloverleaf and the lands just outside the tracks. The doverleaf stretches from 71st Street on the north down to I 59th Street, and from the lake out to Route 43. The center of the cloverleaf is known as the Core.a fifteen-square-block area formed by the monorail tracks as they come in off one leaf and head out on another. Suburban-style living dominates the Core and the land immediately surrounding it. Almost all the units are owned by corporations for use by their own employees, or they are rented out to other companies. The rest of the Elevated is made up of sleek cement-and-glass office buildings, condos, and shopping centers.
The Core consists of the fifteen-square-block area created by the Skytrack and the ten blocks immediately outside the square. Easy access to the Skytrack makes this prime real estate. The biggest corporations and the tallest skyscrapers rise out of the heart of the clover-leaf. Key companies have buildings in the Core, including Truman Tech, the Chicago Board of Trade, Ares Macrotechnology, IBM, Federated Boeing, UCAS Steel &. Manufacturing, and Fuchi-America. Truman Tower is intersected by Skytrack, with one of the stations located inside the building. The Core is where most of the art looted by the execs from Chicago's museums is now stored. Oh, you didn.t hear about that? Well, after the Sears Tower went down, insurance companies refused to cover art in the Institute and other museums. The sararimen picked up all the best and most valuable pieces, cleverly convincing the current owners that it was better to keep the art in Chicago, even if it was no longer public property, than to transfer it somewhere else. Wanna see some oil paintings? Become a wage slave. The funny thing is, some of the paintings have been stolen from the corps, and now the corps want to get them back. I guess they're not as hyped on the public good as they say. From what I hear, the paintings and statues are part of an .illegal museum" (strange words for strange times) on the Northside. The parents are trying to get their kids off on paintings rather than dreamchips. More power to 'em. Real estate in the Elevated is expensive, but the corps like the fact that the area is rated AAA with Eagle Security.
>»»(The Wall cuts the Core just about in half; the safe place to be is on the southern side. Lots of corps got caught with their proverbial knickers down, so there's a fine stash of corp goodies in the northern half of the Core for any runners enterprising (or crazy) enough to go get them. Ares in particular left a lotta good stuff. See the Bug City section for the gory details.)««< .Council Warz (22:23:56/09-28-55)