Friday May 14th 2088

Genjis Noodle Shop

New Detroit

9:21 PM

I felt my stomach rumbling violently, impatient for a bite to eat. Paying attention to the run down streets of New Detroit was not easy on an empty stomach. The messy mop of hair on my head hid my cyber eyes pretty well, but sometimes my hair gets in the way of the datajack in my left temple. My all black casual attire usually went mostly unnoticed. To the naked eye, I was just an ordinary looking guy of Japanese descent wearing a jacket, tanktop, pants and boots that all matched in color. My right arm was replaced by a prosthetic, but the glove I wore over my right hand did a half decent job of concealing it. But right then, my main concern was getting myself a bite to eat. My cyber eyes scanned the area where I was. Hovercars were driving by, with drivers scurrying about their day without knowledge of the underworld I knew best.

There were three worlds as far as I was concerned. The first world, the one that everyone physically lived in, was affectionately known as Meatspace. Meatspace is where the body resided. Where we ate, went to the bathroom, and slept. But most people wanted to escape the neon lights that light up the gutters of this city, but many simply try to cope with the problems of the real world by any means necessary. The second world was the Underworld. Where shady deals happen. It was the underbelly of every major city where mercenaries worked, upgraded their cyberware and operated outside of Remus Securitys laws. Remus owned our city and many others, but the Underworld thrived under their noses. If you wanted something that was too expensive for Average Joe, you could get it for the right price on the black markets. But my favorite world to inhabit is Cyberspace. All it took was one cable plugged between my datajack and any terminal in the city to truly be home. The people in meatspace called people like me deckers. Sure, there were a few other names they called us, but the word decker was one that resonated with us. In cyberspace, anyone could take any form they wanted. Most people used cyberspace as a means of escape, but deckers like me used our cyberdeck implants to affect the data of the physical worlds. Whether or not you were on a deckers good side meant the difference between being left alone and having your data messed with. People like me were capable of that sort of thing. Most deckers relied on the Libra C4N-200 implants for its stock emergency exit program, but I preferred the Kazama DS-550 for its storage space. Besides, the C4N-200s emergency exit program was junk compared to some of the better ones on sale, because it left behind a digital ghost.

I was glad to be sitting on a stool at Genjis Noodle Shop. Sure, it was just a cart. But this cart was my favorite place to get the best ramen in this city. The softness of the homemade noodles after Old Man Genji cooked them. The broth he cooked himself right on the spot. The vegetables and beef soaking and cooking in the broth. Every time I stopped by this noodle cart, I wondered why the old man never tried to open a full restaurant. Things were no different today. The old man looked like he was hitting 70, but age never stopped him from carrying his cart to the same spot every day and hauling it away every night. I could hear my stomach growling even louder as the smell of the delicious broth wafted through the streets.

”Yata-chan, ” Old Man Genji asked. ”How is the job search going? ”

”Could be better, Genji-san. ” I replied.

I tried to take my attention away from my hunger by observing the people walking by. The noodle stand was parked outside an apartment complex in the wrong part of town. The building was in terrible condition and still made of bricks and cement. Just like every other building in this area. The only thing worth seeing was how old buildings still stood the ravages of time. The reddish brown bricks somehow managed to stay together rather than get demolished by the local mega corp. But it would only be a matter of some millionaire making the call to demolish the building. This neighborhood wasn known to guarantee the safety of anyone loaded with credits. If some rich sap were stupid enough to set foot in this area, hed be stripped of his credits. The desperate thugs might even take the mans clothes. Maybe an up and coming gangster might take his life afterwards. I also tried my best not to pay attention to th

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