Dark, colossal towers rise up and into a thick hazy cloud bank, gas towers eject their unused fuel into the sky and spinners speed through the night. Far below, at the bar of a mobile liquor vendor, your character pulls his collar up against the rain and wonders how he’ll make the payments on the cat he bought last spring. As he finishes his fifth of Scotch his prayers are answered as Lt. Holden shouts to him from across the busy neon littered street.
At the heart of power in Southern California lies the city of Los Angeles, home to 3 million souls trying to eke out an existence in a rather different 21st Century than anyone expected. With the bands of radiation that once encircled the city and starvation many of the cities former residents either died or left for the colonies. Those that stayed behind ran the risk of disease, reduced intelligence, cancer, and genetic defects to their young. Still, three and a half million did and LA (at least the centre of it) is as thriving as it has ever been. With governments in dire need of commerce, taxes, and citizens since the end of the war it is the corporate dollar that holds sway. The leeway given to such corporate giants as Tyrell, Rosen, & Shimano-Dominguez lets them almost dictate terms to local government, this in turn feeds their ego and multi-nationals now have an undue influence in the political life of Southern California.
With huge corporate blocks dominating the skyline since the pre-war boom of the early nineties Downtown is a world away from the depopulated suburbs or the sparsely inhabited inner city districts. The ring of land inside Harbor Freeway, Santa Monica Freeway, and Golden State Freeway is almost exclusively crowded with huge offices of the worlds major corporations from all over the world. At low, mid, and height level these blocks can only look across at each other across the streets below and see nothing but shadowy figures populating lit boardrooms. While most of these blocks also house it’s workers, they are still reasonably low in population and their immaculately kept corridors are mainly focused on business.
Nearly all of these buildings have corporate spinner pads or at least heli-pads for use by their board members and upper management and spinners are a common site flashing past the windows of the many boardrooms.
At street level the view is slightly different as the streets are crowded by day workers going to and from their workplace or home, always in a hurry and running along clean sidewalks to get their car, Metrocab, Subway, or spinner. The traffic is usually reasonable except on the Freeways and pedestrian traffic is fluid. The street level is exclusively either lobbies for the great corporate towers, or middle to high end business operations such as hotels, exclusive bars, coffee shops, restaurants and the rare supermarket.
Many parts of Downtown are covered by ‘Bubbleheads’ or HPP’s (Holographic Police Presence) which use the hologram of a police officer in a booth. The reason for so many (nearly 100) is due to corporate pressure and to keep insurance rates down. Contrary to corporate fears, Downtown is not where the HPP’s are most needed. The feel of Downtown should be one of slight claustrophobia. The streets are clean, the people look smart and well dressed, and everything is expensive.
A downbeat strip with all kinds of commerce. The most lucrative business is Crazy Legs Larry´s, a down and out crippled car salesman. One of the few arms dealers in L.A. can be found here. Bob, an old war veteran runs the gun market. The entire strip is engulfed in a sharp stench of fried tofu.
A street in L.A. known for its smoky clubs and numerous brothels. A place for all pleasures as long as you have enough creds on your card. The street got its name from the synthetic drug – Ayda. The former name of the street was Hollywood Boulevard but few people nowadays remember the faces of the names in the stars on the pavement.
Chinatown has been flooded with people as immigrants from Asia have moved to Los Angeles.
For those not belonging to a corporation and don´t dare to visit any of the less reliable private clinics, Harewood Hospital is the safest choice. It´s a large structure in downtown L.A. with high security where you can choose different price ranges when you sign up. If you pay premium – you get a private room, a personal nurse and aid from the best specialists in the city.
Should you go for the economy alternative, you better prepare to wait in a room with screaming children and sick elderly people for half a day, while you only wait to get that prescription printed to get your medicine by the doctor. Due to a grant from the city, police officers have free care at Harewood. That is – if it´s a work related injury.
The airport is a city in its own. Here, everyone arriving to L.A. stay at small, cheap hotels. A mono-rail leads to the Nevada-plate – where the shuttles to the off world colonies take off and land. Nevada plate is located close to the radioactive remains of Las Vegas.
The Rep Train
A subway freight train transporting defective replicants from the Tyrell pyramid to the outskirts of town where they are destroyed or picked apart for recycling.
The slum area of L.A. Ruled by criminal gangs where the police won´t patrol. The beaches are sewers and the average life expectancy of the inhabitants is around 40.
The Snake Pit
A decadent nightclub in sector four, owned by Taffey Lewis, a man with contacts both high and low. The Snake Pit is a classic neo-baroque club with expensive carpets gaudy furniture and gilded candelabras with live candles. Clients who appreciate erotic entertainment and can pay big money for it mingle on the floor. To purchase drugs is no problem as the guests openly use opiates.
In the outskirts of downtown, on 1187 Hunterwasser, Yukon Hotel resides. It is known by forces within and above the law for not asking questions. They accept cash payments. Here you can easily obtain both drugs and guns.
The Tyrell Pyramids
Also in downtown, the pyramids housing the Tyrell corporation looms over the rest of the city. The pyramid has over 600 floors and house factories, laboratories, administrative bunkers and conapt for the employees.
Research on Replicants and design of new models are developed and manufactured. The building obeys under Tyrell law and sport a security force of its own. This force have no pull outside the walls of the pyramid. A number of automated security systems guard the perimeter of the pyramid. Among those auto systems is a elektro-field which is activated when unauthorized personell enters a area and don´t have the proper security code.