Mars City Shadowrun
Echo Mirage was a clandestine team of “cyber-commandos” hired and trained by the United States government in the late 2020s. They used the prototype cyberterminals developed by Sony Cybersystems, Fuchi Industrial Electronics, and RCA-Unisys and were among the first “deckers.”
Echo Mirage became famous for combating the Crash Virus of 2029 (unleashed by Thomas Roxborough for personal financial gain). The first assault against the virus was a failure, as the straight-arrow agents could not handle the psychological demands of cybercombat. An executive order recruited and drafted the most brilliant hackers from industry and several universities, and thirty-two men and women survived the brutal bootcamp training program. In August of 2029, the team, armed with the latest technology, launched a coordinated attack against the Crash Virus, and soon four members of the team were dead, flatlined by the lethal biofeedback induced by the viral code. Many others soon followed, either killed outright or driven insane.
Armed with new combat programs, beefed-up state-of-the-art cyberterminals (now the size of a small desktop computer), and a combat AI psych program known as Mirage, Echo Mirage eventually purged the last of the Crash Virus code, cleaning up the last remnants late in 2031. Shortly thereafter, four of the seven surviving members went to the private sector, taking with them the secrets of cyberterminal construction and the first decking utilities.
After the elimination of the Crash Virus, the government ordered the team to be killed, fearing Echo Mirage’s ability to slice through any security. The surviving Echo Mirage team caught wind of this plan and trashed and burned the technology, data, and facility where they worked, leaving the US government with nothing but the theoretical knowledge that cyberdeck technology worked.
Corporations were horrified at the ease with which Echo Mirage cut through their most sensitive systems, and this prompted the development of Intrusion Countermeasures, or IC. Until Matrix Crash 2.0, no other virus had ever had such a widespread and destructive effect on the world’s computer systems. The resulting destruction wrecked havoc on the Internet, causing corporations and governments to rebuild their global network into what is now known as the Matrix.
Much of the technology was bought by Richard Villiers and in 2036 Fuchi marketed the first commercial cyberterminal. The AI known as Psychotrope or Mirage lay dormant for many years until it awoke in 2059.
1. Alice Haeffner was killed in2029 fighting the Crash Virus. Late wife to Kyle Haeffner, the president of the UCAS later assassinated during the New Revolution coup attempt. It is rumored that she is still alive somehow, a “ghost in the machine .”
2. A woman known as “Buddy” was a researcher at the University of Washington in 2027 who gained a massive bi-polar disorder and other personality quirks due to the Crash Virus. Despite this, she remained one of the greatest living deckers and one of the only survivors of Echo Mirage. After decking in the shadows for twenty years afterward, Buddy died in 2052, killed by particularly lethal Yamatetsu (now Evo) black IC while investigating the 2XS affair for client Dirk Montgomery.
3. David Gavilan was the head of Echo Mirage, and is rumored to be the previous identity of Damien Knight, which would explain the Nanosecond Buyout.
4. Ken Roper and Michael Eld left Echo Mirage and formed their own company called Matrix Systems. They created the first portable cyberdeck called the Portal, then both died in “accidents.” Matrix Systems was bought out by Richard Villiers immediately thereafter, and the technology became the first Fuchi cyberdeck.
5. Keith “The Suit” Hannigan was a technician working for Echo Mirage. He worked for Fuchi until 2046, then was snatched by Mitsuhama.
6. Erica Rutledge was the chief technician of Echo Mirage. She became a shadowrunner known as “Static.” She is thought to be either retired or dead.
7. One of the members uses the pseudonym Johnny Clean and often dressed as a janitor in the Seamstress Union in Seattle. He hasn’t been seen since the 2050’s.
8. Rumors persist that legendary decker FastJack was somehow involved with Echo Mirage, but a lack of knowledge regarding his true identity prevents verification of this.
9. Samantha Villiers, under an unknown name or alias.
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