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  • Writer's pictureLavender Milk & Honey

Maximum Mike - The Voice of Night City (6/6)


Each post will contain 3 stories from Maximum Mike (voiced by Mike Pondsmith)

Is there some hidden truth into them? Some subtle metaphors? It’s your call.


What is the real cause of cyberpsychosis?

- All right, listen up, people.

- I’ve got a public service announcement.

- It’s about the scourge of our age, that Chrome Nightmare that you know as cyberpsychosis.

- It seems we can’t go a day without some boosted lunatic tearing through a crowd of bystanders.

- The story we’ve always head is that it’s a psychological condition, a kind of dissociative violence.

- But is there more to it?

- What if cyberpsychosis is intentional?

- I once heard a theory that, I think merits some thoughts.

- An old friend of mine used to say…

- …that he thought the biggest manufacturers had got together a long time ago and agreed on a baseline failure rate for certain devices.

- Bad code, intentionally inserted into the mind-machine interfaces, to slowly drive people up the wall, a kind of human-planned obsolescence.

- They figured, what’s the best defense against a nutjob with a 23 inch telescoping blade in his forearm?

- Heh, a 26 inch telescoping blade in yours.

- I can’t say he’s not onto something.

- Every time some psycho tears his way through a mall, sales of combat cyberware spike.

- Every time Net64 News runs a story on a massacre, some Arasaka exec buys himself a new yacht.

- Can that be all though?

- It’s no secret that incidents of violent cyberpsychosis…

- …have skyrocketed in recent decades, despite improvements in manufacturing and design.

- But there is something new in the lastest generation of cyberware.

- Get ready for this, kids - it’s the Blackwall.

- You aren’t a ‘runner yourself or a code-jokey, you might not know, but the Blackwall isn’t some mystical border floating somewhere in the deep Net.

- It’s actually complex hardware-software infrastructure designed to keep AIs from accessing your gear, among other things.

- Maybe it doesn’t work as well as NetWatch says.

- Maybe the madness of the deep Net leaks over to our side from the Blackwall from time to time…

- …drive some poor choomba right over the edge.

- And it’s possible it doesn’t really exist anyway.

- Maybe it’s just something the media came up with.

- Look, I’m not saying there aren’t attacks.

- I’ve seen a few myself.

- What I am saying is there’s a million reasons why one human might wanna butcher another.

- Hell, we’ve been doing it for millions of years, even without cyberware.

- Well, let me tell you, listeners, with cyberware it’s easier than ever.

- And on the other side, maybe the corporate media types just came up with the word…

- …so they wouldn’t have to think too hard about it.

- And you wouldn’t either.

- Or course, this is all speculation.

- If I knew what caused cyberpsychosis, believe me, I’d tell you.


Nuking of Arasaka Towers

- It’s been over 50 years since this city was rocked by the nuking of Arasaka Towers.

- But we still don’t really know what happened there.

- Or do we?

- We’re gonna be separating lies from the truth.

- Or at least giving it a damn good try.

- If you listen to the street, as you should, they say that old Johnny Silverhand finally took his final revenge on Arasaka.

- He got together with some of his edgerunner compatriots and gave Saburo a middle finger so bright, it could be seen all the way back to Japan.

- And where did he get the bomb?

- You can’t exactly buy a pocket nuke at the local gun store, even in Night City.

- But the people who back this story say he picked it up from the nomads.

- Who in turn stole it from Militech.

- Well, we know dear old Johnny lead the attack, and I’m pretty sure he saw it as revenge.

- Lord knows he had enough reason to want revenge on Arasaka, but…

- …the truth is he didn’t come up with the plan and he didn’t bring in the nuke.

- The rest?

- Well, Johnny, if you’re out there, why don’t you tell us?


Invisible war between agri-corps

- So, listen up, folks.

- This is Max Mike coming to you with a something to think about.

- It’s no secret that the first bioplagues were released back in the 90s by the old USA…

- …and they were effective.

- I mean, there’s a reason non-synthetic drugs have become the stuff of legend.

- It’s pretty hard to make heroin if you drive opium poppies to extinction.

- But the plagues that came after?

- The ones that killed off the bananas, most varieties of wheat, or more recently, all the cows?

- Where did those come from?

- Now, if you listen to the experts, they were naturally occuring mutations of existing diseases, brought about by climate change and over-cultivation.

- Yeah, like we’ve been hearing that for the last 70 years.

- But here’s the truth.

- There’s been an invisible war going on between rival agri-corps for decades now.

- And the casualties?

- Your food supply.

- So, this started after Biotechnica developped the formula for mageyeast, that’s the primary source for CHOOH2, that stuff you put in your car.

- They learned that if they could control the organism and prevent competitors from growing their own…

- …they could have a total monopoly even without trying to run the refineries themselves.

- Instead they just outsourced that work to Petrochem.

- So, they decided to apply the same strategy to food market and prevent competitors from growing anything that wasn’t a licensed Biotechnica brand.

- They started making terminator crops, resistant to the naturally occuring plagues that ravaged North America during the collapse.

- But if you don’t pay a yearly licensing fee, your crop just stops growing the next season.

- So, what came next?

- Engineered viruses deisnged to kill anything that wasn’t a licensed crop.

- Now, I’ve got friends at Biotechnica.

- You put enough booze into them, so they can’t lie anymore…

- …they’ll tell you that they didn’t shoot first, their European and South Am competitors…

- …started this war.

- And that may be true, but it doesn’t change the fact that every year there are more crop failures, more extinctions, more plagues.

- Biotechnica today spends more money researching biological countermeasures to beat the competition than they do on growing crops or even on marketing.

- So, you might wanna think about that the next time you head down to your local All Foods to pick up your kibble and scop.



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