This week’s web comic artist’s commentary. Page 25
Welcome to The Lightstream Chronicles web comic and graphic novel. Today, the cyberpunk, crime thriller takes us to a dangerous part of town. Dr. Sean Colbert has descended the 300 + floors to street level in the Mong Kong district.
Unfortunately it is not as charming as Mong Kok district is today. In 2159, despite the fact that it is home to millions of people, as the city has continued to grow upward, DownTown is the result of decades of neglect by the New Asian government. Crime is tolerated within reason and here you will find the nefarious, the aberrant and the deviant. The New Asian social order is predicated on consent, first and foremost. Therefore, some crimes such as non-consensual rape or murder are considered capital crimes. If the visitor to DownTown is looking for illegal experiences such as those stolen from victims of assault crimes this is the place. These are usually obtained from human victims who are “headjacked” to extract the experience. Headjacking is accomplished through a small device that is attached at the back of the head where humans have their implanted “chipset.” The device extracts the experience and all of the victim’s sensations. Even in these bizarre situations some persons consent to being “jacked” for a share in the profits when the experience is sold. If the subject survives the crime, headjacking can result in partial or total memory erasure, and in some cases, death. The experience trade flourishes in DownTown and has made it’s way to TopCity as well.
As Sean arrives at street level, the pristine cleanliness of TopCity is replaced by a dank and decaying darkness. It is not unusual to see transgens, (human/animal genetic creations), more primitive versions of synthetics, and the ever-present security synths. DownTown has a curfew each night at 2300 hours, when everyone is supposed to be off the street. Many of the local establishments are open around the clock to accommodate the patron who is not ready to go home. We will be staying awhile.