Shadowrun - The Titans of Old
As many different ways to live in the Sixth world exist as did a hundred years ago. But just to give a bit of definition to the hazy subject, here’s a breakdown of what life is like for every bracket of the ‘100%’.
On the better days, you might relish the freedom that the world has afforded you. Any belongings that you might have likely fit in the pockets of whatever jacket you picked up at the local charity drive and if opportunity calls you’ve nothing holding you back. Sure, people either stare at you or through you whenever you enter a room. But who cares about those wage slaves anyway? They traded their hearts and minds away for a meal ticket and a warm bed.
On the worse days, you’ll be subsisting off of giant rats grilled over a burning barrel and washing it down with rusty rainwater. With nothing to distract you other than a mind wondering how everything went so fraggin’ downhill…
Things here aren’t a whole lot better than living rough and ready on the streets, but there is one crucial difference. You have a bolthole to call your own. It might be an abandoned pet store, an apartment with a missing wall or a shack on some office rooftop, but it’s damn well yours.
At least, until somebody tougher and meaner than you takes it away that is.
Having a place to call your own means that you can actually store things. Whether it’s behind a loose brick or the old store manager’s safe is up to you. Odds are your place is fairly well hidden or you’ve just made it very clear to your neighbours how much of a fight you’re willing to put up over it.
Regular food sources might still be hard to come by, but luckily soy is cheap and ubiquitous. Maybe if you’ve been lucky enough to get some work you’ll even be able to afford a flavour packet for it.
Now we’re talking! Some place to call your own that wouldn’t immediately be condemned by a public official. It might be a run down apartment, an aging home that needs some work done or maybe even a caravan. You may have some issues with rot, cockroach infestations and faulty electrics but it’s home to you.
At this level, you’re still likely to get by on soy food. But you’ll no doubt enjoy enough cheap takeout to leave your fridge perpetually half full of Chinese while pizza boxes clog up your garbage bins. You’ll almost certainly have a behind-the-curve trid-set to watch your stories on as well, so you can distract yourself from that leak in the roof and the gunfire coming from down the street.
What a lot of people consider to having ‘made good’, you’re either living in a nice apartment or a family home in the suburbs. You probably think about things like getting planning permission for that new swimming pool or joining the neighbourhood watch. If you’re a family type, the kids all go to nice schools that actually have books printed in the last ten years.
You have enough disposable household income to eat out at nice restaurants semi-regularly and share a few drinks with your pals without feeling guilty. Your soy-cooker has a variety of built in styles and flavour settings and you even get away with having genuine fruit available on the kitchen table. Your hot water boiler is even pretty reliable.
There’s a high chance that the cops will actually show up if there’s any trouble in your neighbourhood to boot. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is up to you.
The other side of the gilded fence. Odds are, if some slimy shmuck in a suit is offering you a suspicious amount of money for a seemingly simply job then this is how he’s rolling. Penthouse apartments and grand homes in meticulously managed areas are the standard here, and the amenities match. These homes will no doubt be full of state of the art music systems, media hubs, games consoles and utility machines that make your designer underwear smell of cinnamon and vanilla.
While not all will, it’s perfectly common to have staff on hand. Be it a surprisingly well paid doorman to a maid with a legal SIN and a spotless criminal record. Their dedication to your home being a bastion against the misery of the world affords you much more time to eat imported cereal from the elven nations while watching business forecasts in your monogrammed smoking jacket.
The absolute closest most people are going to come to this is working for someone who leads this life. This is reserved the masters and architects of the ivory tower and they relish their status. This lifestyle covers mansions, personal islands and literal castles. All manned by work force dedicated to making sure that you never have to wipe you’re own arse again. You’ll have gilded drones bringing you your morning paper, a butler to fetch things from the wine cellar and at least three personal assistants to make sure you never miss a meeting that will make you more rich than you already are.
Avert your eyes, chummer. Avert your eyes. This life is beyond all but the luckiest and best of runners. Few are both good enough and long lived enough to make this sort of money and then get away with retiring.