Stim addled net cowboy
Esteban was another Colombian street kid who had to scrape a living like all the rest, but he was always too small and weak to fight his way out of a corner. Sure, he had bigger friends and all, but you can never be sure whom to trust, so he needed an edge.
Spoofing vending machines for food was fine, but that still didn’t put a roof over your head or a door between you and the death squads. Moving up to ATMs was the next logical step, but for that you need some serious know how, so you gotta learn. Sure, no problem for some rich kid in the suburbs, but for Esteban this means getting online and into secret forums where they share this stuff out, and that means getting a TAP. Simple, right?
Wrong kid, they don’t just share this stuff with every script kiddie who turns up and signs in. You gotta have something to trade with, you gotta have cash, or even better; information. How you gonna get that? He needed an edge.
He got the TAP, that wasn’t too hard. Scrimping, saving, some muling, mostly hustling. Got stung for his roll more than once, learned some harsh lessons about who your friends are, but he got the TAP. Hyper reality opened up a whole world of possibilities, a lot of this stuff is out there, you just don’t google HOW DO YOU HACK INTO ATMS. Instead you read about things like transfer protocols, encryption methods, academic papers that explain how this neural interface shit works but never expect you to use it to pay for dinner. How dumb are these folks? They just leave this shit lying around? This Wikipedia thing is fucking amazing when you’re smart enough to see the connections, how these things can be linked, layered and, crucially, exploited. You just need that edge. Fuck those guys on 9chan.
The arm was a shame, but it meant he got away, and the fuckers never tried it with anyone else, after he finished with them. It meant he had to leave town, but what the hell. This city never gave a shit, and the opportunities in New Angeles for a young man of talent were endless. Supposedly.
The first thing he did was blow his savings on a new arm. Sure, he could have gone to a corp clinic, created himself a new identity and been treated by real doctors, but he wanted upgrades that they didn’t offer. If you’re getting a new limb, might as well have some edge included that no one would expect. It’s paid for itself over and over again since. Especially the lock picks.
Next up is getting some real work in, and that means getting a fixer. Mr Li was good to him from the start, as close as a Esteban ever got to a father figure. He recognised talent when he saw it, and had connections all through the underground. Esteban never got too close though, that way leads to disappointment and double crossing.