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Rok wydania 1993
Okładka: Keith Birdsong
Ilustracje: Earl Geier
Cytat na okładce:
When corporations go to war even the shadows can't contain it!
A veteran shadowrunner and a novice shaman-wannabe discover a terrifying secret that just might force the corporate shadow-wars out onto the streets!
Sly is a veteran. Shes run more shadows than she cares to remember, and has the physical and emotional scars to prove it. But no matter how violent it became, it had always been business as usual. Until now. Falcon is a kid. He thinks he hears the call of magic, and the voice of one of the Great Spirits seems to whisper in his ears. Hes gone to Seattle, to the urban jungle, to seek his calling. Thrown together, veteran and novice, Sly and Falcon find themselves embroiled in a deadly confrontation between the worlds most powerful corporations. If this confrontation is not stopped, it could turn to all-out warfare, spilling out of the shadows and onto the streets themselves. (From the back cover of the 1st printing) Roc Books, ISBN: 0-451-45302-6 372 pgs.
In this book, two characters, one an experienced decker, one a shaman wannabe, meet up and join forces when the decker is given a data package by an unknown and dying decker in the Matrix. Everyone seems to want this mcguffin, to the point that corporate war may well break out over its possession. And the characters are exactly where they don't want to be: right smack in the middle of it all.
This is a pretty good book. It tells the readers of a kind of overseeing power, the Corporate Court, that keeps things from getting out of hand in most cases. With the governments relegated to the background most of the time, I was wondering whether something like this existed, since it was badly needed. The story also is set in Cheyenne for a significant time, a location no other book has yet visited.
But the book seems to rely a bit on coincidence too much at times in order to move the plot forward or save the characters from the enemy. Help appears exactly when they need it most. And without the sarcastic wit of 2XS, these helpers become much more obvious - and troubling.
Still, it's a good read. Not an excellent one, perhaps, but still good, and it meshes well with the story universe.
by Nigel Findley (1993)
Lost technology from before the computer crash of 2029 has returned to threaten the economic and political stability of the world. A shadowrun goes wrong, and the tech vanishes into the shadows, ending up in the hands of a smalltime fixer. Everyone wants it, and no one wants their competitors to have it. With the fate of nations and megacorps in the balance, and your life worth less than the chip in your pocket, where do you run?
Excellent book. 4 out of a possible 5, for Shadowrun novels.
November, 2053. During a matrix shadowrun against Yamatetsu, a young decker named Louis observes another decker being killed by Black Ice. It's too late to help, but before dying the anonymous decker passes him an encrypted file.
Part 1: Prelude to War
Sly receives the encrypted file from Louis along with the paydata she hired him to steal. She doesn't pay it much attention until the meeting with her client turns into an ambush. Louis was killed shortly after she received her paydata from him, and a face from her past, a black elf street-samurai named Modal, begins searching the Seattle shadows for her. Sly confronts Modal and learns that he's acting as a fixer for Yamatetsu, brokering a 10,000ÂĽ contract on her. She is able to destroy his credibility with the megacorp and turn him to her side. Sly turns to a close friend for information, a wealthy retired decker named Agarwal, who warns her that every major megacorp in Seattle is searching for her, not just Yamatetsu. He also points out signs of an impending corp war.
Falcon's night is off to a rocky beginning. A First Nations ganger in the wrong place at the wrong time, he finds himself being chased through alleys by a rival, all-troll gang, the Disassemblers. Luck swings the other way when he is saved by Nightwalker, an injured shadowrunner. Nightwalker was involved in a shadowrun against Yamatetsu that went sour, and was separated from his teammates in the confusion. Falcon offers to help the runner -- partly out of gratitude, partly due to the irresistible lure of adventure. The two make it to Nightwalker's meet at Denny Park, but it turns into an ambush. They escape, though Nightwalker sustains additional injuries. Falcon persuades the shadowrunner to explain the stakes:
Shortly before the Crash of 29, a corp developed a technique for intercepting and altering fiber-optic communications. The technology was lost in the Crash, and afterward the Corporate Court forbade any attempts to reconstruct it with the Concord of Zurich-Orbital, since the stability of the global economy is in a large part dependent on the inviolability of fiber-optics. Risking reprisal by the Court, Yamatetsu had recently succeeded in re-creating the lost technology. The objective Nightwalker's shadowrun was to steal that tech from Yamatetsu and destroy all records of it -- only security proved too tight. The infiltration teams were decimated and their decker, Cowgirl,was killed.
Falcon takes Nightwalker to a street doc, who patches him up. Against doctor's orders, Nightwalker takes a potentially fatal dose of medication to get him to his next back-up meet at Kobe Terrace Park. Falcon meets Nightwalker's principals, the surviving members of a commando team from Sioux Nation, led by an Amerindian named Knife-Edge. The Sioux runners have picked up on the increased shadow activity in the sprawl, centered upon Sly and the datafile in her possession. Nightwalker succumbs to his injuries and dies before Falcon can get him to a free clinic, but Falcon goes back to Knife-Edge and the Sioux to represent Nightwalker's interests.
One of Sly's few remaining trustworthy contacts is the street samurai, Argent. Knife-Edge's search for Sly and the file leads him to Argent, who reluctantly arranges for a meeting between the two at an empty warehouse on the Seattle waterfront. Sly takes Modal and a pair of samurai from Argent's Wrecking Crew as back-up, in defiance of Knife-Edge's demand that she arrive alone. Wise, because Knife-Edge plans an ambush, not a meeting, to Falcon's dismay.
Part 2: Intersection
More than one ambush takes place at the pier. Knife-Edge's men augmented by ork mercenaries lay a trap for Sly, while Sly's backup carefully takes steps to neutralize the ambushers. Corporate soldiers (possibly tipped off by Knife-Edge's hired ork muscle) also make an appearance, and the meeting quickly turns into a bloodbath. Sly and Modal escape the trap, and are joined by Falcon. Sly finally learns from Falcon just what's in the datafile everyone wants so desperately.
Agarwal spells it out to Sly in black and white: corporate fighting over this technology could easily lead to open corporate war, ultimately destroying the global economy. She really only has two choices: 1) destroy the file, and prove to everyone that she did so; or 2) make the file available to everyone, thereby restoring a level playing field. After discarding the first option as impossible, Sly decides to try for the second. She decides to post the file to the Corporate Court itself, the one system that she might be able to reach that the corps themselves won't risk destroying over control of the technology.
Sly's run against the Corp Court is intercepted, and she is diverted to a UCAS military system, where a military decker tries to coerce her into giving the lost technology to the government. Sly decides that she can't trust the government any more than she can trust a megacorp. She talks her way free of the feds and jacks out, only to find herself in the middle of a war zone. Corporate forces were able to trace her jackpoint, and are attacking in force. Sly and Falcon escape, but Modal is killed.
Part 3: Out of the Bucket
Sly and Falcon turn to Agarwal for help, only to find that he has been brutally murdered. Taking one of his cars, the two fugitives leave the sprawl. "Why be a fish in a bucket when you can get out of the fragging bucket?" Falcon suggests Sioux Nation (his mother was Sioux, and he always wanted to go there), and Sly agrees (because she can't think of anywhere better). They drive across country, using passports forged by Sly on Agarwal's hardware, and eventually go to ground in Cheyenne.
While Sly begins feeling out the local shadow community, Falcon explores the city. By blind chance, he sees Knife-Edge in town and follows him to the Office of Military Intelligence (OMI). Unfortunately, Knife-Edge spots him at the last minute, and sends a security team after him. With an unfortunate feeling of deja vu, Falcon finds himself being chased through alleys by yet another group of trolls. Once again, he's rescued by a chance encounter with a shadowrunner -- this time a Dog Shaman named Mary Windsong. Mary explains the political situation in Sioux nation, where the OMI is beginning to usurp many of the prerogatives of the justly famed Wildcats special forces. Obtaining the lost tech would be the ultimate coup for OMI, vaulting them to the top of the Sioux military hierarchy.
Sly makes contact with a local deckmeister in the Matrix, and arranges to acquire the hardware and cyberprograms she needs for another run at the Corporate Court host. Unfortunately, the OMI is extremely well-connected in the Cheyenne shadows, where it conducts most of its recruiting. The OMI intercepts Sly's contact, and her meet turns into another ambush set by Knife-Edge. She is captured, taken back to the OMI building, and tortured.
Mary senses latent magical ability in Falcon, and offers to help him reach his totem. He agrees, and she takes him on an astral quest to the Totems' metaplane. Falcon meets his Totem, Wolf, and becomes a shaman. Suddenly aware of Sly's extreme pain, Falcon projects astrally to the OMI building and Sly's holding cell. Mary takes control of the OMI shaman with a manipulation spell and frees Sly. Manifesting on the physical plane, Falcon drives the delirious Sly out of the cell and out of the building. Returning to their physical bodies, Falcon and Mary find Sly and carry her to safety.
Recovered from her ordeal at OMI, Sly obtains the gear she needs for her Matrix run from Mary's more reliable shadow contacts. Sly returns to the matrix, defeats the UCAS ice set to intercept her, and succeeds in uploading the datafile to the Corporate Court system on Zurich-Orbital. The corporate pursuit evaporates almost immediately, and the fugitives breathe a sigh of relief. They forget about Knife-Edge, who takes them by surprise and nearly kills both of them. Though wounded, Falcon kills Knife-Edge.
May, 2054. Sly is the proud owner of a 14-meter powerboat, Out of the Shadows, enjoying a leisurely cruise around the Caribbean League. The Corporate Court paid her a healthy reward (low seven figures) for services rendered, which she shared with Falcon and Mary. All the corps have returned to business as usual. Following a purge of the OMI, so has the Sioux government.
Sly (Sharon Louise Young): An attractive woman, 34 years old, green eyes, dark hair. Sly's father was Irish, and she has Amerindian blood on her mother's side (Nootka maternal grandfather). Five years ago, Sly was a professional shadowrunner and one of the best deckers in the business (her icon was a quicksilver dragon). Then she burned her brain on a bad run. It took years to recover physically, and some of the psychic damage never healed. She's still prone to petit mal seizures, or "fugues", and she's terrified of the Matrix. Sly currently works the Seattle shadows as an independent "Mr. Johnson", contracting shadowruns for various principals. Every day, she dreams of making the big score and retiring to the Caribbean League.
Falcon (Dennis Falk): A half-amerind 16-year-old street kid running with the First Nations gang in Downtown Seattle. His father, Rick Falk, was a shadowrunner who never returned from his last run ten years ago. His mother is a full-blood Sioux still living in Purity, Redmond, where Falcon was born. Falcon dreams of moving to the Sioux Nation someday, after he becomes the shaman he's certain he's meant to be. The hard life of the streets is his self-proclaimed vision quest, his search for the Totem that he can't quite hear. Dennis cherishes idealized, romantic notions of heroic shadowrunners, fueled by sensationalist trideo myth and faint memories of his father. Falcon is a skilled driver, trained by the First Nations as a wheelman and filling that role on a number of occasions.
in order of their appearance:
Sly (Sharon Louise Young): retired decker, freelance "Mr. Johnson"
Louis*: 18-year old human decker, trisomy-11 genetic birth defect, creepy personality
Falcon (Dennis Falk): half-amerind, First Nations gang member, nascent wolf shaman
Theresa Smeland: retired decker, owner of the Armadillo bar in Puyallup, Matrix icon is an armadillo (naturally)
Modal*: black elf, retired street samurai, fixer, Cockney accent, deadhead addict
Mr. Johnson*: hired Sly to acquire a personnel file from Yamatetsu
- Nightwalker (John Walks-By-Night)*: salish Amerindian shadowrunner
- Cat-Dancing*: shaman
- Cowgirl*: decker
Sioux OMI (Office of Military Intelligence) commandos:
- Knife-Edge*: team leader
- Van*: sniper
Tiger: Japanese owner and sushi chef at Kamikaze Sushi, wired reflexes
Blake Hood: dwarf, head of Yamatetsu Seattle
Agarwal*: wealthy retired decker
Dr. Mary Dacia (Doc Dicer): street doc, small human woman, red hair, mid-thirties
Argent: street samurai, leader of the Wrecking Crew
Mongoose: street samurai, new member of the Wrecking Crew
Snake*: street samurai, new member of the Wrecking Crew
Thor Jurgensen: Lieutenant in UCAS Armed Forces, Cyberspace Special Forces (CSF)
Moonhawk: Amerindian Matrix fixer (deckmeister) in Cheyenne
Mary Windsong: Amerindian Dog shaman in Cheyenne
Sheila Wolffriend: director of the Sioux Office of Military Intelligence
Cahill*: bartender at the Buffalo Jump
*these characters are dead by the end of the novel.
Seattle Metroplex (Downtown, Puyallup)
- Seattle docks: Disassemblers turf
- Armadillo: decker bar in Puyallup, owned and run by retired decker Theresa Smeland
- Denny Park: backup meeting site for Nightwalker's team
- Kamikaze Sushi bar: Modal's favorite hangout
- First Christian Church: Agarwal's home
- Kobe Terrace Park: another backup meeting site for Nightwalker's team
- Sheraton Hotel: Sly's notion of lying low, in the middle of a law enforcement convention
Sioux Nation (Cheyenne):
- Erewhon: virtual club in Cheyenne's local matrix
- Office of Military Intelligence
- Buffalo Jump: small bar, frequent setting for shadow business in Cheyenne
- Reservoir Park
Caribbean League (St. Lucia)
Points of Interest
Chronologically, Shadowplay takes place a year before the previous novel, Streets of Blood.
Nigel Findley is the author of the novels 2XS (1991), Shadowplay (1993), Lone Wolf (1994), and House of the Sun (1995). He also wrote many of the early Shadowrun sourcebooks: Paranormal Animals of North America (1990), The Universal Brotherhood (1990), Native American Nations 1 (1991), Native American Nations 2 (1991), Neo-Anarchist's Guide to Real Life (1992), One Stage Before (1992), Tir Tairngire (1993), Corporate Shadowfiles (1993), Lone Star (1994), Paradise Lost (1994), Double Exposure (1994), and Aztlan (1995).
p.14: "Frequent retellings of Louis' story on 'tabloid-style' news shows had embellished matters until the facts became distorted into a kind of urban myth: 'Child Grows Up in Matrix.' (Actually, Sly had heard rumors that there actually were children who'd been raised entirely in the Matrix. But, strictly speaking, Louis wasn't one of them.)" The rumors refer to Renny, a child raised entirely in the matrix as part of Dr. Thomas Halberstam's Matrix-born project. See the short story Virtual Realities by Chris Kubasik in the first-edition Virtual Realities sourcebook (p.82). Dr. Halberstam also reappears in the Threats sourcebook (Halberstam's Babies).
p.15: Sly was paid ÂĽ10,000 to acquire the personnel file of Maria Morgenstern. She subcontracted the run to Louis for ÂĽ1,000. That leaves her a ÂĽ9,000 profit margin. Never work for this woman.
p.19: Falcon is being chased by Disassemblers, a troll street gang in downtown Seattle (Seattle p.156, New Seattle p.39).
p.20: Falcon is himself a member of the First Nation gang. Shadowplay is the first mention of First Nation, later referred to as the First Nations (plural) in Mob War (p.40) and New Seattle (p.39).
p.27: Falcon's principal source of knowledge about Amerindian culture and shamanistic magic is an antique book, Spiritual Traditions of the Northwestern and California Intermountain Tribes by H.T. Langland. Can't find it in any online library catalogues, but it might have been an actual book on Findley's reference shelf. The testimonial at the beginning of House of the Sun was written by Holly Langland. Coincidence?
p.31: "Classic angst-rock issuing from cheesy speakers as background music -- something by Jetblack, Sly noted." Jetblack is a Jim Morrison-like musician who faked his own death and went underground after becoming a vampire. He's featured in the published adventure One Stage Before, also written by Nigel Findley.
p.38: the Armadillo is a decker bar in Puyallup (Seattle p.141, New Seattle p.131), owned and run by a retired decker named Theresa Smeland. Theresa mislikes her given name, and prefers to go by her initials "T.S." The sourcebooks hint that she recruits deckers for the Mafia, but that doesn't figure in her appearance in Shadowplay. The Armadillo has an extensive closed-circuit simsense surveillance system which can be operated via datajack from the back office.
p.45: "She remembered getting a call last year from the head of Yamatetsu's local operation, a contract to dig up background on some street op called Dirk Montgomery. Everybody works for everybody, right?" That would have been Jacques Barnard checking out Dirk in 2XS. Small world, huh?
p.47: Falcon's gang, First Nation, is at war with the Bloody Screamers (Seattle p.156, New Seattle p.39), another Downtown gang.
p.59: Firearms aren't in common use among street gangs in 2053: "Like most of the First Nation gangers, he'd bought himself a 'Saturday Night Special' -- a jury-rigged, single-shot zip gun, picked up for about twenty nuyen from a bartender in a dockside tavern. But -- again like most of his First Nation colleagues -- he'd never used the weapon, never intended to use it. Owning a zip gun, carrying it in his waistband, wasn't much more than macho posturing ... a gun was more a prop, like a jacket with the gang colors, not a tool to be used."
p.60: Falcon picks up a Fichetti Security 500 light pistol for ÂĽ450. Lousy deal. List price is ÂĽ400, and with a street index of 0.8 he should have been able to pick it up for ÂĽ320.
p.64: Kamikaze Sushi is owned and operated by a Japanese man named Tiger, whose cybered reflexes make him the fastest sushi chef in Seattle. He has a habit of matching his customers drink for drink, which unfortunately impairs his skill to the point that he has on occasion served his own fingers to customers.
p.72: Jacques Barnard's replacement as head of Yamatetsu Seattle is Blake Hood. Barnard was promoted to head Yamatetsu North America following the events of 2XS (Corporate Shadowfiles, p.152), and eventually promoted again to Chief Operations Officer of Yamatetsu (Corporate Download, p.115).
p.78: Modal is addicted to "deadhead", a drug which blocks out emotion. No fear, anger, sorrow, joy, love, or anything.
p.93: The Concord of Zurich-Orbital is an agreement made by the major megacorps under the direction of the Corporate Court following the Crash of 2029, under which they agree not to pursue or employ technologies that might destabilize their mutually beneficial business interests. Anti-satellite warfare, aggressive computer-viral warfare ... and untraceable fiber-optic eavesdropping. The subject of secret, pan-corporate concords is covered, briefly, in Corporate Shadowfiles (p.102).
p.104: Agarwal collects and restores antique automobiles. Among the dozen cars in his collection are a 2005 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud, a 2000 Acura Demon, a 1993 Suzuki Sidekick 4x4, and a 1991 Calloway Twin Turbo Corvette.
p.125: Knife-Edge, Slick, Benbo, and Van are all from outside the sprawl, special forces from the Sioux government Office of Military Intelligence (OMI). Night-walker, Cowgirl, Cat-dancing, and Marci were all local shadowrunners hired to help them.
p.127: "Argent had a strong -- Sly thought obsessive -- hatred of Yamatetsu, for some reason he never discussed with anyone." That reason would be the death of several teammates in a shadowrun against Yamatetsu's Integrated Services Division in 2XS.
p.134: Knife-Edge describes Argent as, "Another local runner, used to work with a chummer of my brother's, before he got geeked." That would be Hawk, a member of the Wrecking Crew who died in the ill-fated shadowrun against ISP.
p.160: a Barret sniper rifle in action. Modal describes it on p.170: "You ever hear of a Barret? It's old, maybe nineteen-eighties or nineties. But it's the ultimate sniper rifle. It's a big thing. Bolt action, single-shot. But it's chambered for fifty-caliber rounds. Bloody fifty-cal machine gun rounds, mate. It'll take any standard MG ammunition -- military ball, tracer, explosive, SLAP, APDS, white phosphorous -- and it's accurate at a klick and a half. A good sniper can squeeze off three shots before the first hits." The sniper at the pier was probably using "APDS tipped with depleted uranium. The ultimate anti-armor round. The slug hits anything solid -- like armor -- and the kinetic energy pushes the uranium over the activation threshold. It catches fire, and burns at more than two thousand degrees Celsius."
APDS stands for Armor Piercing Discarding Sabot, available in the Street Samurai Catalogue (p.63). I don't know anything about SLAP ammunition (Standard Light Armor Piercing, maybe?). A newer version of the classic Barret, the Model 121, is described in the Fields of Fire sourcebook (p.35), probably inspired by its appearance in this novel. I suggest using ranges for a Heavy Machine Gun for the Barret 121, rather than a sniper rifle. Under SR3, a sniper rifle has an extreme range of 1 km, while a HMG has an extreme range of 1.5 km, which is more consistent with the caliber and Modal's description.
p.174: "The Sheraton's weapons detectors would pick up their handguns, and Modal's Ingram. As in most better-class hotels, the security personnel would simply have recorded that the guests in rooms 1203 and 1205 were carrying 'personal defense devices.' But the matter wouldn't be so routine if the electronics suite were to pick up the AK concealed under somebody's coat." An important point for GMs to keep in mind: runners can go almost anywhere with a pistol, occasionally even an SMG. In Seattle, at least, it's practically expected. But heavier weapons will provoke a response.
p.177: "In 2041, an Atlanta-based corporation called Lanrie -- a small player, its influence limited to the Confederated American States -- infected a competitor in Miami with a tailored computer virus. Somehow the major zaibatsus found out about it. Under the terms of the Concord of Zurich-Orbital, and with the sanction of the Corporate Court, the megacorporations totally destroyed Lanrie. Shattered its financial structure. Destroyed its facilities and assets. Executed its Board of Directors. All as an object lesson. Since then nobody has actually practiced viral warfare."
p.188: Typical contents of a synthleather wallet: "Laminated hard-copy printouts of the personal drek found on anybody's credstick -- driver's license, DocWagon contract, gun license, etcetera drek etcetera..." All this information (and more) is coded on an individual's personal credstick, but it's customary to carry hardcopy as well.
p.191-194: Findley describes Shadowland -- what it is, how it works. Sly considers the possibility that Shadowland is secretly controlled by a Megacorp. If so, she can't trust it. If not, she still doubts whether it can defend itself against a concerted attack by a mega.
p.218: The matrix muscle of the UCAS armed forces is the CSF (Cyberspace Special Forces). The CSF have no qualms about employing lethal intrusion countermeasures. Additionally, they are able to employ some technique -- probably related to Black Ice -- that prevents a decker from jacking out.
p.261: For long-haul cross-country freight, the NAN and Australia are using fully automated trucks with up to five self-powered trailers in tow (100m bumper-to-bumper). These road trains are piloted by limited artificial intelligence expert systems. They often don't use headlights, only basic running lights after dark. Night drivers are advised to be very careful on narrow roads.
Automated freight trucks also make an appearance in the Super Tuesday adventure scenario, Strange Attraction (Steve Kenson, 1996).
p.271: Most minor transactions in Sioux Nation are conducted using hard currency: "Coins made of metallicized plastic, bills of coated mylar."
p.286: In one of life's peculiar little coincidences (arranged by the Author), Sly discovers that Dirk Montgomery is living and working in Cheyenne. He's still there at the beginning of House of the Sun.
p.288: An amusing description of the Shadowrun version of an online chat room: a virtual club. "The patrons of Erewhon reminded her of a group of video-game characters who'd taken a night off and gone out for a beer."
p.292: Sly asks for a Phase Loop Recourser (PLR), a device which used to be effective in blocking the lethal effects of Black Ice. It was also mentioned in Into the Shadows (Whitechapel Rose). As is so often the case, however, yesterday's State of the Art is today's junk. "PLRs don't do squat against the ice they're writing now. Any black ice worth its name's gonna go through a PLR like it wasn't there."
p.304: Mary Windsong uses an unspecified magical technique to take Falcon on an astral quest, hoping to awaken his latent magical powers and help him reach his totem. As an untrained magician, Falcon shouldn't be capable of reaching the metaplanes independently. Perhaps Mary is an initiate practicing a metamagical technique that mimics the Astral Gateway power of a Free Spirit. Or possibly there is a free spirit helping her, of which Falcon is unaware. Or Mary might actually be a Free Spirit in human guise -- this would also fit the circrumstances of their meeting.
p.311: A nasty drawback to a datajack: simsense torture. All of the pain, none of the physical limitations.
p.330: Like Twist in Never Deal With A Dragon, Falcon employs his untested magical abilities in ways that normally require a great deal of training and practice (sorcery, astral projection). Apparently, a shaman's Totem can grant special proficiency in extreme circumstances.
p.370: Off-planet accounts with the Zurich Gemeinschaft Bank are exempt from any taxes or IRS audits.
Sharon Young has a cameo appearance in House of the Sun (Nigel Findley, 1995).
Argent also appears in 2XS (Nigel Findley, 1991), Lone Wolf (Nigel Findley, 1994), and is the main character of Run Hard, Die Fast (Mel Odom, 1999).
Aftermath: Sly posted the fiber-optics manipulation technology to the Corporate Court, where it immediately became available to every AAA megacorp and any decker with the ability to hack into the Read-Only board (since Sly herself could do this after a five-year hiatus from the Matrix, I have to assume that it's within the ability of any reasonably competent decker). This represents a SOTA (State Of The Art) increase -- all secure systems will have to add new levels of encryption and error-detection/correction to any information passed through vulnerable fiber-optic lines. Files will get bigger and transmission times slower, at least until data compression algorithms and processing speeds catch up. GMs can use this to justify the wildly fluctuating file sizes in earlier published adventures.