CONTAINS CARDS 81-100 of the "SPIN CYCLE."
Fear and Loathing is the fifth Data Pack in the Spin Cycle for Android: Netrunner. The futuristic world of Android: Netrunner is one of vertiginous discrepancies between achievement and poverty. The megacorps that have redefined humanity with the development of custom genetics, bioroid manufacturing, and mind-machine interfacting are at least partially responsible for stabilizing social policies that mire countless masses in overcrowded, unsanitary living conditions. In the shadows of the megacorporations’ towering corporate headquarters, the vast majority experience mundane desperations, fear for their jobs, loathe their limited social status, and fight a daily war for survival.
The sixty new cards of Fear and Loathing (three copies each of twenty individual cards) translate this dichotomous existence to your games of Android: Netrunner. On the one hand, you have powerful and exploitive business entities like GRNDL, a subsidiary of the Weyland Consortium, and on the other, you have the beaten down and fearful masses. But there are other categories, too, and while many people may be driven to silence, the game’s Runners and other spirited individuals, like the investigative reporter Tallie Perrault, are driven to action.
|97||, Power Unleashed||Weyland Consortium||Identity|
by Tallie Perrault for the Opticon Foundation
GUAYAQUIL, NEW ANGELES - The tragic tsunami of last week could have been avoided if not for corporate greed and ineffective governmental controls. The tsunami was the third deadliest ever recorded, and caused trillions of dollars in damages to New Angeles and the surrounding coast. Deaths and damages from the tsunami were reported as far north as Nicaragua and south along the coast of Peru. That other great Mesoamerican engineering project, the Panama Canal, was hard hit, creating devastating delays in transoceanic cargo lines. The Galapagos Islands were almost completely swamped, and there is no way to fully measure the massive ecological devastation. Nunez Colony, the offshore settlement, sustained only minor damage.
While the full extent of the disaster continues to grow, preliminary findings released by the Joint Ecuadorian-US Pacific Oceanography Task Force indicate that a massive earthquake originating from a site roughly 130km northeast of the Galapagos is the cause. This is practically on top of the Geostrategic Research and Neothermal Development Laboratories platform (GRNDL), owned by the Weyland Consortium subsidiary Strata Corp. and put into operation two years ago.
Weyland spokespersons have been close-mouthed as to the nature and purpose of the GRNDL platform, which has been nicknamed ‘Grendel’ by the members of the press and academia. Grendel is located in international waters, but according to publicly-available investor files, its stated purpose is pioneering geothermal and geo-exploitation techniques, including deep-water and deep-earth drilling. According to seismologists from Levy University, there is clear evidence that major drilling operations were ongoing from the Grendel platform leading up to the tsunami.
"There's no doubt in my mind that Weyland engineers have been engaging in risky and reckless behavior at the Grendel platform," said Levy U seismologist Dr. Hugh Bonauto. “I absolutely believe that the recent earthquake was caused by drilling and fracking operations in the Pacific Ocean."
Earthquakes can and do strike without warning, Bonauto said, but in this case there were many warnings, all of them ignored. "A number of smaller seismic events have been recorded in the area of the Grendel platform," said Bonauto. "Weyland-and Grendel-have seismologists and geologists on staff. They saw the same warning signs I did. They must have known what was coming."
GRNDL received multiple warnings.
According to an anonymous source within Grendel, they did receive multiple warnings that such an event might occur. The warnings were subsequently ignored. "We signed on to do cutting-edge science," said the source. "But GRNDL wasn't interested in anything but identifying where to drill. The engineers and the profiteers were running the show." According to the source, the platform site was selected because it would allow relatively easy access to the superheated liquid rock in the Earth's mantle. The fact that drilling down to that mantle might cause "seismic events of unpredictable strength" did not dissuade the Grendel higher-ups from proceeding with the project.
The Opticon Foundation has acquired six internal GRNDL memos labeled "Project Vulcan." The memos date from two years ago to, at the most recent, six weeks ago. Each of the memos warns that drilling at the GRNDL site (or continued drilling in the case of the later memos) risks "a powerful seismic event." Later memos, from the past year, also include warnings that "tsunami-strength waves may be produced, and may cause catastrophic damage to coastal South and Central America, including New Angeles and even the Hawaiian Islands."
"They wanted to hear how to minimize their exposure," said the source. "We told them-all of us-that the only way to insure there wouldn't be a wave was to stop drilling. They said that wasn't an option, they wanted more 'creative' measures. As if we could put a safety valve on the damn planet!"
Weyland Consortium maneuvered to profit from quake.
Over the past six weeks, after the most recent memo, a series of innocuous financial transactions were monitored by the Opticon Foundation. Several Weyland-owned (or part-owned) subsidiaries purchased comprehensive insurance policies for waterfront property covering almost the entire area of the tsunami zone. In several cases, the policies are expected to pay out greater than the value of the damaged or destroyed properties. Federal disaster relief monies are expected to make up the shortfall on behalf of the insurance companies-which themselves are sometimes Weyland affiliates, so the Consortium profits coming and going.
While it is difficult to track the corporate habits of an entity as large and decentralized as the Weyland Consortium, the Opticon Foundation's initial research also indicate a 5% increase year-over-year in raw materials purchasing for construction and relief efforts throughout the New Angeles economic zone. As a proven construction firm with engineering experience, the Consortium seems poised to secure the majority of the reconstruction contracts.