I guess I really shouldn’t have been surprised… 50 years ago the city saw at least as many days of sun as it saw of rain, but the Amexx plants built in 2020 on the western outskirts of the city pumped so much particulate into the air that the weather had gotten grayer and grayer over the last few decades until we only got real sunlight when the winds shifted enough to clear out the valley for a few days… and that never lasted.
Still, I wasn’t exactly planning to spend much time outside. The prefecture wasn’t exactly known for spectacular scenery or green spaces, after all. There had been a few parks from the last century and monuments built after the war, but with the pollution and the constant infilling of any vacant spaces left in this part of the city, the ones that were left didn’t tend to be in good enough shape for visiting them to be worth anyone’s time, and most people here didn’t care about the natural world anymore anyways. Most of this prefecture’s residents were much happier spending their days jacked into a screen somewhere. I wondered how many of them were off exploring some pristine virtual wilderness while the real world around them gradually died away.
The virtual fantasies of the city’s residents weren’t my concern any more than the state of the real world at this moment though… I was here to track down whatever evidence I could of the disappearance of the Prefect. No one had yet been able to give me any good reason why he would have left the newly-opened CyberSys Arcology that had taken over all of the administrative issues for the Prefecture, but the most recent possible hints of his location had led me to District 2. Seeing no use in just sitting around in the aerotaxi I’d taken from the Armscor Security Offices, I grimaced and stepped out into the teeming, rainy, neon-drenched streets of the district.
Not having been in this part of the city before, my HUD ocular implant didn’t know what I was seeing right away, and of course the damn thing still wouldn’t always interface with the net correctly. I stood still as the crowd surged around me and I smacked the side of my head a couple times until the implant connected, throwing up the usual kaleidoscope of colors for all the business that had paid for an ad feed on lower-end models (don’t look at me like that… a PI’s salary isn’t gonna be good enough for the high-end Subarashii tech!). I took a few moments waving away the most distracting ones… the sim-brothel on the corner had really gone all-out with their advertising, and I couldn’t have their virtu-chrome AI dolls distracting me while I was looking for the Prefect. I twitched my ring finger and added it to my implant’s in-built location bank though… something to look into once I was off the clock, y’know?
I knew the Prefect wouldn’t have come here looking for something like that though… on his corporate salary, he could have bought the entire block and all its sim-workers outright. CyberSys might not have the kind of political or military muscle that Armscor or Consolidated had, but it still wielded more influence than most countries had. Scanning through the nearby businesses, all I saw were the usual street vendors and shanties selling scavenged and stolen tech to anyone gullible enough to buy from them… again, hardly a likely place to find the Prefect.
I’d already run a citywide sweep for personal locators before I left the Armscor offices and just like it had been for the last week and a half, the Prefect didn’t show up anywhere. I didn’t expect anything better when I switched on my implant’s individuals filter either, and wasn’t surprised. All I saw was the usual sea of green datafields for the human residents of the District, scattered with the blue of Servos and other cybernetic ‘life’ and the occasional purple of a security force… looking down the alley I saw a few gray fields for individuals who weren’t even in the system- no names or data for them, just confirmation that they were alive. Once you were in the official feeds, you couldn’t switch off your biomonitor and if you died it sent a signal to the local medtechs and security forces if you’d paid for them, and they came and picked up your corpse. I never understood why people would spend their credits on that though… once I was dead, what did I care? My body could just lay where I fell without it bothering me anymore- I wasn’t gonna waste credits on something I wouldn’t be alive to appreciate.
Figuring I might as well send back a report, I cued up my personal Armscor link… nothing. I tried it again, and still nothing. CyberSys was notorious for putting in illegal dampeners when they updated the net in an area- some stupid attempt to draw people away from the metanationals and towards them, I guess… Really, it was more likely to draw in a TAC team from Consolidated who’d just level the building to make sure their signal went through… Companies like CyberSys always thought they were a big deal, and couldn’t fathom just how insignificant they were compared to the metanats. No more important than a drop of rain from this neverending storm would be to the ocean.
Still, Armscor was paying me a fair amount for this job, and if I could pull it off, there was more work in my future, so I couldn’t just ignore the fact that my uplink wasn’t gonna work here. I switched back to the commercial feed and looked through a few of the nearby buildings… more street vendors… cybercafes… some park that hadn’t been demolished yet… there it was- a cybersurgeon’s OR. I stepped over the rusting torso of a last-gen Servo that had been picked clean and opened the door.
No surprise, the cybersurgeon was at least as much machine as she was human… she’d switched out both arms for the tools of her trade, and looking at her ocular implant, I could tell it was quite a few steps above mine. She was reassembling an enhanced-strength implant for one of the construction crews as I walked in, and kept an arm and an eye on that while she spoke with me. Just like I’d hoped, she wasn’t much for conversation- I picked the upgrade, transferred the units, and went through the door to the OR. It wasn’t going to be winning any awards from the local med-guilds, but I couldn’t have afforded it if it had, so that was fine by me.
My feed went out as soon as she disconnected the transmitter, and I dealt with the usual discomfort that went along with any disconnect from the net. I’d heard of some people having a complete breakdown the first time they lost that connection, but aside from the usual feelings of isolation and a deja-vu like feeling of something being off, it hadn’t ever really bothered me much. I looked around the room at some of the cyberenhanced models this surgeon claimed to have worked on… seeing a few celebrities, I kind of doubted her claims, but her work on my implant seemed to be on the level, so a half-hour later I stepped back out into the rain, my connection to Armscor now strong enough to override the CyberSys dampener.
The only place in this part of the district that really seemed like the sort of location you’d find a prefect was one of the small skyscrapers that low-level executives in the metanats liked to build, just to feel like they were better than the masses on the streets below. They were still nothing in the eyes of the corporations, and even this “skyscraper” looked like nothing compared to some of the newer arcologies that were being constructed, but it was at least a way of pretending you’d shut yourself away from the streets, and I knew that was what most of these people really wanted.
I crossed a low-level skywalk into the tech mall that filled the middle levels of the building, and adjusted to the usual glare of blue neon off synth-marble sheeting that always seemed to fill spaces like this. For a building this small it came off as a bit much to me, but for most of the residents of this Prefecture, it was probably the most opulent place they’d ever really have access to- they weren’t exactly gonna get an invite to the Praxis or Subarashii corporate offices, after all. I jacked into the building’s stat-feed and my hardware checked the last two week’s data for any sign of the Prefect, not expecting to find anything more there than I had from anything else so far. To my surprise though, I got a ping from 12 days previously- penthouse elevator access. The corporate chip had registered as the Prefect, but the bio-stat indicator was scrambled enough that whoever this person was, the net couldn’t ID them.
This was definitely worth a look. I overrode the building’s personnel lockout (having access to Armscor tech was one of the biggest perks of my job… there weren’t many locks their implants couldn’t bypass) and stepped into the elevator. Once again, it was done up in synth-marble and blue light, but even without an ocular implant I could have told you it was just a thin layer of sheeting- someplace this small-time couldn’t have afforded that much real stone anymore.
I stepped out into the penthouse staff area- a few Servos were at work in the kitchen and didn’t even seem programmed to acknowledge me, so I just walked past them and up the stairs into the main part of the house. A minimalist dining room filled most of the floor, and I had to admit, for such a small space, they’d done a decent job of it- the ivy growing up the walls was real, and the style definitely similar to some of the real penthouses in the newer arcologies. I wondered why someone who could afford this kind of place would choose to live here- they’d have been better off in a smaller place in one of the newer buildings.
Taking the elevator up a few floors, I stepped out into a living area with a decent view… it was at least above the rat’s nest of wiring and antennae that filled the first few levels of the city. Much more interesting was the man sitting on the sofa across from me. I cued up my individuals filter again, and saw that this was the same person who’d used the Prefect’s corporate chip. The filter also showed a lot more cyberware than you’d have guessed just by looking- both arms had concealed kinetic weapons systems, and Christ, the man had a damn bi-weave chestplate under a layer of synth-skin… obviously he expected to wind up in more than his fair share of fights.
At the moment though, he just watched me enter, and gestured to the seat to his left. I sat, cautiously, wondering what this was all about, and surreptitiously activated a low-band transmitter back to Armscor. Whatever happened here, I was sure they’d want to know.
Outside the window, the rain continued to fall.
And on that thoroughly unresolved note, I present to you my newest build! (Feel free to finish the story in your own game if you like- who is the man on the couch? Is he the Prefect? Is he a CyberSys employee who’s got delusions of grandeur? Is he even a person, or is he a super-advanced Servo? It’s up to you!) I'd argue that, with a "business-takes-over-the-world" vibe like so many Cyberpunk settings have, this is a perfect fit for the latest creator challenge, but it also fits in with any number of science fiction or dystopian themes, so feel free to go in whatever direction you like with this!
From what I’ve been able to find, this is the most expensive lot available on MTS, and by a pretty big margin too. The entire lot value comes in at $2,161,067, and the various apartments available throughout the place range from $532 for one of the shanties all the way up to $16,804 for the penthouse. There are also 17 different units available, so you’ll have lots of different cyberpunk storylines that you can pursue if you like.
I will say though, part of my goal with this lot was to test out my new desktop and the limits of the TS2 game engine, so unless your computer is a similar beast, don’t expect this lot to run smoothly for you. I’m still happy to try to fix problems that arise in your gameplay, but if this lot isn’t loading for you or is incredibly laggy when it does open, I’m probably just going to blame your computer setup in this case. There’s a lot to handle here, and I guarantee a lot of computers won’t be up to the task!
One of my other goals here was to try to figure out a way of making an apartment lot that would feel like a community space as much as I could, without requiring people to have MogHughson’s famed mod. To that end, I found a couple objects that still spawn NPCs on apartment lots, namely the cafeteria stove and the DJ booth, so the street vendors and the nightclub will both actually be staffed when you play the game. Sadly not the case for the bars that are scattered about, but if your Sim hires a bartender and doesn’t have a bar in their apartment, the Service Sim will just go and start working at one of the bars in the public areas. I also opted for “commercial” spaces that don’t really require NPCs to function, like the brothel (basically just bedrooms done up to look like a cyberpunk whorehouse) or the clothing stores (using closet shelving instead of store shelves, so Sims can actually change clothes at them), or even just placing community lot objects like the electronics vending machine or the photo booth around the area.
You’ll also notice that I’ve once again used the trick I discovered a while back for making a functioning private elevator for the penthouse apartment in the skyscraper on this lot. In this case it allows for connecting the penthouse on the top few floors of the skyscraper to the garage at the base, so that your Corporate elites can have easy access to the mean streets of your cyberpunk city. In this case, you’ll need to lock the doors of the nearby stairwell, otherwise your Sims may try to use it instead of the elevator, but once you do, they should route into the elevator correctly. Some of the other areas I would occasionally see my tester Sims making odd routing choices, but that’s hardly a problem unique to this lot, and I’ve never really seen anyone who’s been able to find a good fix to that.
For the penthouse, because of how the game defines boundaries, it’s also worth pointing out that there’s a few areas in the two-story rooms that aren’t actually considered to be part of the apartment in question- ergo, if you want to make any changes to them, you’ll need to do it before you move anyone in to the lot.
As per usual, no CC was used in this lot anywhere, so while you may need to find a better computer in real life to be able to use this massive lot, you won’t have to find anything more in the game itself!
Whether you're actually able to use this lot, or just look at it for inspiration, ENJOY! :cylon:
Lot Price (furnished):
$532-$16,804 (+2M Lot)