Webrunner II: The Forbidden Code

The windows of your 85th-story office glow faintly with waves of soft red. SecureTech(TM) glass makes vidspies groan, but it also gives you a headache if you stare through it for too long. Consequently, you don't take much advantage of the view of Night City's sprawl your office boasts.

You're not doing too bad for a deputy security chief, even if your boss is a bit-hyped bear. Your corp, Encoder, Inc., is one of the good guys, though you never know when some larger corp's going to come along and gobble your little cryptography firm up in a single gluttonous stock sweep. Until that time comes, though, you'll do your damnedest to make certain Encoder's cryptocreators can keep working their magic on ICE (intrusion countermeasures electronics--data protection Encoder specializes in creating).

So, you've got a cushy job, an assistant you trust, and only a few minor concerns to keep track of: over 200 employees, any one of whom could be feeding data to competitors; corporate coups and potential extractions of valuable personnel; data poisoning; and, of course, runners who think it's the ultimate to go deck-to-deck with a cryptocorp's security system. If they win, it's worth bragging rights on the Net for months (not to mention mega-Eurobucks for any data they manage to steal). If they lose, they still earn points for guts.

Turning your attention back to the multiple SoftGlow(TM) monitors on and around your desk, you finish running the night's final security checks. Almost time to head back to the world's tiniest apartment and three-day-old leftovers. Leaving the SecureTech glass bleeding endlessly over Night City, you head through the quiet hallway to the express elevator. Only the overecstatic chirps and bleeps from R&D, where vidgames are de rigeur at midnight, mar the peaceful silence of your domain.

So why do you feel like tomorrow will be more than just another day? Much more . . . .


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