Live Hard. Be Happy.
Redmond used to be one of the wealthiest and most successful communities of greater Seattle. It was a major center for the burgeoning computer industry. In 2013, a partial meltdown of the Trojan-Satsop nuclear plant contaminated Beaver Lake and the surrounding area for several kilometers, creating what would come to be known as “Glow City.” Then came the crash of 2029. Redmond’s primary industry vanished overnight. Some eighty percent of local businesses collapsed. Lured by the abandoned apartment complexes and businesses, numerous war refugees and Seattle’s homeless moved in. The Barrens today are practically lawless, where possession of the smallest amount of food or the least valuable trinket can be a reason for someone to kill you. Weekly convoys of armed trucks deliver food to the district’s few stores and charitable shelters, frequently attacked by roving bands of squatters and gangs looking to steal the shipments. The Mafia and Yakuza run Redmond far more than the local government. Since even legal goods are difficult to get, the black market is massive, including daily necessities like food and medical supplies. Yakuza and MAfia recruiters keep their eyes out for promising new talent in Redmond, especially from the local gangs. Working with the syndicates is one way out of the gangs and offers the promise of wealth, respect, and hitting the big time, although most prospective “made men” get nothing but a body bag at the end of the day. The Matrix in Redmond is spotty almost to the point of non-existence in many places, pretty much everywhere other than touristville, which is mostly one big spam zone. There are a few pirate jackpoints scattered around the district but a lot of them are so old and out of date that they’re more likely to fry your wetware than anything you’ll meet in VR.
Vesta choose to be from the Plastic Jungle: Acres of dirty grayish and tattered canopies of bioplastic stretched high overhead from support struts create a near-tropical world underneath, warm and filled with greenery, the rainwater, and (to a degree) the air filtered by the bioplastic netting and the plant-life. There are small trees and bushes, creeping and climbing vines, and exotic flowers in every color of the rainbow, filling the iar with a heady scent. Under the foliage are tents and shelters built out of discarded bioplastic sheeting, scrap wood and plastic, thatching and materials harvested from the jungles. It is a strange indoor-outdoor rainforest on the outskirts of one of the largest cities in the world. Basically, back around the turn of the century, a wealthy agriculturist built a series of massive greenhouses in northwestern Redmond. They stood on land considered too polluted with toxic contaminants to grow anything. The land yielded amazing harvests of food, but most of it was too contaminated for human consumption. So the greenhouses were used to grow tropical plants and flowers until the Crash of 29 when the owner lost his entire fortune and the complex went into receivership. Redmond was slowly abandoned, and nobody bothered to look after the place. Since then, the abandoned agri-domes have become home for much of Redmond’s metahuman population and the various plants and flowers have grown wild. The metahuman squatters are understandably mistrustful of outsiders, especially humans. They are organized into neo-primitive tribes, living off the land. Ironically, decades of land reclamation have managed to clean up the area enough to grow food again. This makes the Jungles targets for Barrens gangs and scavengers looking to steal harvests and food supplies.
Here are a few local spots she may frequent occasionally. All of these places, you’re going to find on the edges of the Jungle, as the further in you go, the more tribal and primitive and metahuman it gets.:
The Banshee – You’d think this place got its name from its crappy Thursday night karaoke sessions with a tinny sound system and drunken patrons who can’t carry a tune in a bucket, but the truth is, I have no idea. The Banshee is strictly no-frills bar: a bar, some strings of LEDs, a pissed-looking ork bouncer, and cheap booze. Its prime appeal is being so unremarkable and low-key enough to do business in, provided you keep an eye on the hungrier-looking patrons
Life-EEZ Appliances – The Life-Eez factory makes domestic cooking and cleaning appliances. Materials and finished goods are generally transported in and out by cargo tilt-rotor. Life-Eez is noteworthy primarily for their employment of metahumans and changelings, which has earned them the anger of various fringe humanis groups, who have picketed and even bombed the factory in the past.
Yoshiro’s – Cheap and greasy Japanese soy food and equally cheap soy beer substitutes served in press-paper is what you get, along with gangers and Yakuza wannabees hanging around hassling customers when they feel like it. Some of those customers consider themselves “shadworunners” but they’re little more than thugs for hire.