THE WORLD OF ACOUSTIC KITTY
A product of an ancient military experiment and preserved in cold sleep for over one hundred years, Kitty has been rudely awoken into a new reality. Obsessively private and perpetually bitter, Kitty assumes the Skrim identity of Operator - infamous throughout the Wards.
As a stringer, Via pursues her interests in current events and intrigue. Moonlighting as an archaeologist, she follows her obsession with the past and all things retro. After years of research, Via traced the dusty leads to the cold sleep tomb that contained Kitty.
A freelance engineer, and Via's brother, Bitwise is responsible for Kitty's revival and recent augmentations. Often accused by Via of spending too much time Skrimming. It's just part of the job!
Kept busy running Zero Crossing, the legendary nightclub, Shoe might not be the most reliable of Via's friends but is possibly the most interesting and important. She is one of the few to know the truth behind the Operator just as she tends to know the truth of most things in Zentrale.
Artist and activist, Jet operates out of Limbo Ward. He keeps a close eye on Shoe and Zero Crossing and protects both the physical and projected borders of the Ward. His collective, the Jet Screamers, often work with Kitty in redefining the various Folds of Limbo, but remains unaware of the Operator's true identity.
By the year 2084 Zentrale has become a large and largely indistinct city. The city is composed of Wards, each with a controlling interest. These interests are typically corporate but some Wards are privately owned. Each interest is responsible for the goods and services provided to those who live there, but as fortunes change so do the owners and sometimes even the geography of the Wards themselves.
The wide adoption of augmented reality has created a city of parallel and sometimes perpendicular realities. In aggregate these realities are known as the Skrim, but the Skrim has many Folds. Citizens subscribe to or customize their own Fold, which continually paints the world before them - highlighting and sometimes obscuring what is actually there.
A Skrimkit typically consists of a pair of projection contacts, known as Gels, a small wireless processor worn on the person to handle all rendering, network and location services, and earbuds or (for the serious Skrimmer) cochlear implants. Skrimkits vary in quality by cost, but most available for the past several years can insinuate imagery and spatial audio indistinguishable from reality.
While there might be little agreement across the Skrim as to which Fold is the best Fold, there is no question as to which is the most popular. A true consensual hallucination, with millions of concurrent participants, The Sandbox is often the stage for the most exciting games, daring exploits, perverse activity, and hilarious memes.
It can become very easy to forget that the Skrim is insubstantial. The concept of the Shiki was borne out of the desire to physically interact with the augmented world. Daemons that serve as hands within the Skrim, Shikis can run tasks and make decisions on behalf of their owner. While most Skrimmers control one Shiki, the number owned is only limited by the user's portable processor specs.
The longest abandoned Ward in all Zentrale, Limbo Ward is home to many artists, activists, transhumanists, squatters, paranoids, and weirdos. Notable landmarks include the unfinished skyhook anchorage (now claimed by the Jet Screamer collective) and Zero Crossing, the famous nightclub. After the eighth owner went bankrupt on the skyhook, and due to the rabidly difficult-to-monetize inhabitants, Limbo is left mostly to fend for itself.
A simple ground transport, equipped with single wheel and articulated frame. The Ein might be too slow to consider leaving Zentrale, but why would you want to? Perfect for inter-Ward travel assuming you have the proper permits. Assuming you care about proper permits.
Billed as a successor to the popular Ein, the Vimana-class vehicle is essentially a modified Ein with short-range flight capability. Expensive, and illegal in certain Wards, to some the Vimana is a coveted status symbol. Many buy their Vimana with the hope to train for and someday compete in Skrim gaming tournaments.