I almost feel sorry for you chumps.
We’ve been following you for a few days now. We don’t know where he picked you up yet, don’t really care. All we need is a direct line to Ramirez to make him finally listen to our offer. Fucker went dark on us as soon as he cancelled our contract and the last lot of clowns decided it would be good for their ratings to take out the previous stars. Maybe that’s why Ramirez hasn’t told you lot you’re being recorded…
You want to know what this whole story is really about? It’s about us. You all have your parts to play, but when it really gets down to it you’re not much more than extras.
Maybe I should start at the beginning.
We were originally drafted to take part in an experimental new trid show. Full hot sim immersion, REAL shadowrunning, none of that scripted bullshit on the other shows. Naturally the whole thing was very hush-hush. People don’t like it when you broadcast their loved ones and employees being shot all over the matrix. Who knew?
As the season went on we started getting more and more popular. The whole thing was distributed by word of mouth and manual rips- no streams, no node to log on to, just a file you got passed on from a guy you met in a chatroom somewhere. Say what you like about Ramirez, he knows his audience: people ate it up. Turns out the kind of people who like the thrill of watching violent criminals work their magic also get off on having to work for their kicks. It works both ways- they get to feel special just for getting to jump into the action, and we get a distribution network that does the secrecy for us.
Everything was going perfectly. We only hit small corps and gangs, picking our jobs carefully to avoid repurcussions from our previous targets, whos embarrasment at getting their asses kicked by four street thugs was never eased by having said kicking spread all over certain circles of the ‘trix. To this day I haven’t figured out how Ramirez, or ‘Mr Johnson’ as we knew him back then, monetized the whole thing. Trojans in the files, subliminal adwork, or maybe even some kind of sponsorship, all we knew is that he was hitting some serious paydirt. We were rewarded for our jobs, naturally, but aside from the guaranteed regular work we weren’t making much more than your average runners. We brought our concerns, politely, to Ramirez and made sure we recorded the whole thing. All we wanted was a percentage. Not too much to ask, no? No. Not according to that stuck up stiff. “Adequately compensated for your blah blah blah. Plenty of other runners who would bend over backwards for this blah fucking blah”.
So, fuck him, we started monetising ourselves. Sold our stories to a couple of low key bloggers, cashed in on a bit of the paydata we pulled from corp hits, and otherwise made nuisances of ourselves. We were pretty sure Ramirez would see our side of things once he saw the alternatives. So what does the prick do?
Cancels the deal.
What. The. Fuck. We had a good thing going, we really did. All we wanted was a reasonable cut of the action, and Mr Bigshot goes and throws the whole thing away. Last we heard from him was some fucking text message about how we’re “Not cut out for the decorum the work requires” and some crap about “professionalism”. Seriously, who does this guy think he is?
Luckily we all had a few Nuyen set aside for a rainy day, and once I explained to the guys what the score was they all agreed to take a little vacation time from our day jobs to either fuck up Ramirez’s little show for good or get our contract back.