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As the 21st Century enters its third decade, the world verges on a monumental shift in technological capability.
Standing on the edge of cultural and societal destruction in the early part of the century, the world of the near future has banded together in an effort to reclaim their fate. Zeitgeists of the old world have given way to The Information Renaissance, a period of pure decentralized and democratized economies of thought, services, and debate. Unbridled freedom of choice, built on the networks of the future, drives the furthering of open education. Data and information are now easily and affordably shared across borders, cultures, and people.
As The Information Renaissance enters its sixth year, humanity's trajectory towards technological symbiosis is ignited with the advent of nano-biotech. Enrichment of the world's energy driven by reformed nuclear fusion, combined with intelligent automation in the manufacturing sectors, creates a boom in technological innovation and curiosity. Before long, entrepreneurs and tech adventurists begin experimenting with low cost nano architecture, creating use cases beyond metabolic normalization and immune support, laying the ground work for a connected consciousness to a digital network. Shortly thereafter, The Founders, a group of highly talented programmers within the American Northeast, build the first test-net of The Simulation.
The Simulation, in it's infancy, was a virtual-by-device (VBD) experience delivered by early headset and screen interfaces. Though early interactions utilized nano-architecture to meld the user into a simulated experience, the bandwidth of low-frequency communications between these biotech devices and the external machines limited the fidelity to clunky encounters in the virtual landscape. Focused on delivering a seamless experience, The Founders augmented existing prototypes of conductive fluid, used in testing environments for specialized surgical applications, and calibrated the alkaline levels to adhere and transmit high bandwidth signals between a user's nano architecture and an input signal. The pieces were in place: the network, the developers, and the connection method. All that was missing was the method of submersion, which came in the form of a joint venture between The Founders and Cerberus, the authority in biotech research in the United States. From their partnership, the two entities created the Digital Pool, a capsule device which would submerge a user in conductive fluid and provide the connection point to a local machine and The Simulation network.
After selling their specialized alkaline fluid formula to Cerberus, The Founders split the profits, and moved the core Simulation code to open sourced repositories, giving it to the world to create, modify, and expand. The group has since disbanded, pursuing their own initiatives into the incredible digital world they created together.
Since that period, The Simulation network and its user base have grown dramatically--but all is not well. The Simulation attracts the creative and the liberated, as well as the devious and the predatory. Mind crime, virtual forms of capital crimes, run amok in unregulated and dark corners of the new virtual world. Funded by a government program to police this new digital dream, major metropolitan areas around the United States form Virtual Crime Task Forces (VCTFs). Their objective is to mitigate the spread of mind crime by policing these networks, and protect the growing user base of The Simulation from other forms of criminal activity, seeping into the new digital realm from the old internet networks.
In the mid-21st Century, Detective Julio Larosa and freelance hacker Rico Teller lead the Boston Police Department's VCTF. Tasked to police The Simulation for these dangerous acts of mind crime, the task force stumbles onto a dark and disturbing world of criminal activity, leading them on a crooked hunt which weaves throughout their reality and the digital nether. As the team emerges from the depths of this violent network hidden in plain sight, Larosa and Rico must make the ultimate decision to deliver vengeance in the face of an undeniably corrupted scheme.