SHADOWS ANGELUS II
TEN YEARS AFTER: EPSILON SECTOR
Epsilon Sector is a creature of many parts. One of its areas is among the cities brightest, presenting ethnic foods and goods in a high-end luxury shopping district. Most of the rest is a pit of humanity’s worst, encompassing entire districts of crime zones where police activity is rare at best.
Murakami has been dubbed “the next silicon valley” by computer industry experts who note the interesting nexus of software development firms, hardware/software outlets, and a population of energetic youths who represent the next generation of programmers and users. Unfortunately, the proliferation of technology and know-how in this region also gives rise to large amounts of cyber-crime as kids become jealous of their more successful peers or decide to attack authority through the datanet.
Places of Interest
- Murakami Community College: A technical school specializing in computer science and turning out wave after wave of talented young programmers and data architects, the school is considering founding an associated school for robotics and perhaps even teaming up with a hospital or medical college to provide one of the world’s first colleges dedicated to cybernetics.
- The Gremlin: A cybercafé that is very popular with most of the teenagers in the subdistrict. Free datanet access nodes are all over the places as are wall jacks and “freenodes” where users can connect their databands to the net and surf while sipping java. It’s one of the places where the clattering sound of active keyboards is louder than the sound of vocal human communication.
- The Chop Shop: Depending on whom one talks to, this is either a fictitious “urban legend” or an ultra-secret illegal cybernetics installation shop. Word on the street and among hackers has it that the Chop Shop is the ultimate underworld cybernetic outlet, where safe bionic augmentation and repairs are available at “affordable” street prices.
- The Ronins: A youth gang that operates in this region, the Ronins are a group of young punks interested in martial arts and technology in equal measure, often staging impromptu street fighting demonstrations or swarming around examples of stylish technology. Mostly non-violent, the Ronins clash often with the neighboring Ghost Faces in X’inlau.
This region is the public “face” of Epsilon Sector most often seen in holovids about the city—it is clean, brightly lit, and contains many high-end businesses catering to tourists. Restaurants and entertainment of all kinds are found here among several carefully constructed examples of ethnic Asian architecture: pagodas, bridges and koi ponds, waterfalls and torii gates can be found surrounded by flickering plasma screens and garish LED advertisements.
Places of Interest
- Sun Street: An artist’s colony and bohemian shopping area where citizens from surrounding sectors like to come and shop on the weekends. In the many studios lining the streets, a new breed of painters, holosculptors, and graphic designers are in the making. Already a few have made names for themselves in the entertainment industry.
- Raceland: The streets of this subdistrict tend to be long and straight, perfect for a quickly growing population of hot rodders who have taken to drag racing during the evening. After nightfall, the main streets become highly dangerous as souped-up cars and motorcycles contend for the championship in what locals are calling “the Elimination Olympics.” It is so named because of the high likelihood of dragsters fatally crashing during their brief daredevil careers.
- The Pit: The Pit is an illegal bloodsport ring where fighters duke it out for prize money. Most of the fighters are normal people, but once in a while, cyborgs or clades or even stranger combatants are recruited for the festivities. Grudge matches and disputes between citizens with extra powers or abilities are sometimes settled here too. The APD has been looking to shut this place down for quite some time, but has had difficulty due to the high-powered backers of the Pit and its tendency to relocate at random.
X’INLAU (Pronounced “Shin-la-ow”)
This region is the most ethnically “true” of all the portions of Epsilon Sector. Consisting primarily of tight, winding alleyways and small streets that wander through banner-festooned thoroughfares, the citizens of X’ianlau are almost entirely Asian, with any other breed of humanity a distinct minority. Most signs and writing in the region is printed in both Mandarin and Japanese, the two most common languages for the region.
Places of Interest
- Chinatown: A portion of Epsilon Sector is known as “Chinatown,” although that name is somewhat misleading. Ethnic Asians from all over the world have congregated here to form a small pocket within Angelus unlike any other. Sushi bars sit next to Chinese herbalist shops next to Thai hairdressers. Rumor has it that many of the residents practice Eastern magic.
- The Rubbleyard: This operation is a building supply center where the remains of demolished buildings are sold off to local residents for repairing their own homes and businesses damaged by previous upheavals in the city. A curious side effect of this business is that many buildings in the subdistrict resemble architectural hodgepodges, having patched their holes with the leftovers of a dozen different buildings.
- Zimmerman Towers: Once hailed as a groundbreaking experiment in human habitation, this collection of high-rise apartment buildings has become just another feature of Epsilon Sector’s skyline. Residences inside the Zimmerman Towers vary from posh penthouses with their own atriums to identical one-room apartments barely large enough for one person to rest comfortably. There is a host of urban legends about the Towers and a curious rate of turnover—less than half of renters remain there more than one year.
- The Ghost Faces: The largest gang in Epsilon Sector can be found here in droves, patrolling on motorcycles or hanging out on street corners. The Ghost Faces embrace not only a thug lifestyle but also a curious death cult religion. Most of the crimes committed in this subdistrict are related in some manner to this gang.
HANNIGAN (“The Grinder”)
By far the most dangerous and difficult area to police in the sector, the Grinder is nearly 100% lawless. The residents live small, desperate lives in the shadow of larger criminal enterprises and darker things. Violence and brutality is a way of life for the citizens of this region.
Places of Interest
- Sniper Alley: The main street in this sub-district was meant to be a major commercial pipeline as well as a commuter thoroughfare. However, now it is choked with dead cars, burnt out and riddled with bullets. Sections of the street have been mined, and anyone traveling it is subject to serious sniper fire from the various punks and scavengers who live there.
- The Hannigan Junkyard: Just one of several junkyards in the city, this place is special because it contains the remains of many cars, aircraft, and also more than a few police and military vehicles and power armor gathered up over the years.
- The Halloweeeners: A cyber-gang of urban predators, the Halloweeners have an occult theme but rarely engage in any occult activity as such. The gang itself is known to be relatively powerful hand-to-hand combatants but restrict themselves to the occasional turf tussle with the Ghost Faces. APD believes that the staggering rate of missing persons in the sub-district can be laid at the Halloweener’s feet, as they are rumored to practice cannibalism. The gang motto is “metal is better than meat,” and many sport unusual and illegal cyber modifications. Lately, the Halloweeners have been spotted shifting their turf lines deeper into Zericho. Whether this shift is a territory grab or a retreat from something else is yet to be determined.