It's Saturday night in the harbour town...
Century Tavern - A classy three level bar on the corner of George and Liverpool, over the ‘Three Dragons’ Asian foodcourt. The third level is a traditional hangout for freelancers and special ops. The pool tables are solid, the music canned, the drinks cheap and the views sweeping. Persistent rumours on the street say that it’s joint owned by Roxanne Nova and Gary Ottman.
British Lion Hotel - A little corner of the UK, down to the pork pies and open fire. Vast bistro menu and beer range. It is a common hangout for English operatives when downunder. Located on St Johns Rd in Glebe. Some say that Freeda Loays has an interest in the place, but this is discounted by almost everyone. They just don't see it as her style. Lee Tin of NASA, Con Papadopolous of ESA, Chanel DeLarn of Interpol and Haikamura Tanichya of JAB can often be found adorning the bar in the early evenings.
Matchsticks - This nondescript basement club is small, accommodating about 70 to 100 people when full. It is decorated in the style of a “jazz joint” from over a century ago, and features nightly bands. Always low profile, Matchsticks follows a strict “members only” policy. To enter, one must be either a member or the guest of one. To become a member, a candidate must be sponsored by a current Matchsticks member. The doorman, Mister Terrence Webbs, an imposing presence in tailored tuxedo, is a rumoured to be a former special ops assassin with a photographic memory. Matchsticks is located on the old Forest Lodge Hotel site, Arundel St, Forest Lodge. The place is managed, and some say covertly owned, by Rafael J. Rowd of Carpathia (Neon Iczer). Notable for his translucent neon blue cyberoptics and Bauhaus suits. Security is in the hands of Ataturk Bey.
The Cutting Edge - This sleazy cabaret club is always crowded, some regulars and others just slumming. The owner employs a number of exotic dancers and sexy barmaids, each of whom has some gimmick to enhance their appeal. The bouncers are Asians and Islanders. The rear of the club opens onto a narrow alley strewn with garbage and debris. The Cutting Edge is located on the old Bells Hotel site, Bourke St, Woolloomooloo.
Centrotex House is owned and operated by the dry and droll old gumshoe Sam Marlow. Years ago he was a major player in the ‘Eyes of Alexander’ caper. No one knows his real name, but it’s rumoured that he’s a former LA cop who retired and used his life savings to pay for plastic surgery to transform his image into that of his idol, Humphrey Bogart. There may be some truth in this, as Sam is the spitting image of Humphrey Bogart and does run a private detective agency in addition to Centrotex House. His offices are upstairs above the Night Club.
The Centrotex Bar This bar is one of the handful in the city which never closes. The crowd it attracts is of the no-nonsense, mind-your-own-business type. No dancing, quiet music, pool tables, light meals, that sort of thing. Besides its never-ending business hours, the bar is also one of the few places in the city where you can still obtain quality imported beer, and they carry over one thousand in stock - or on special order if you become a regular at the bar.
Metro Cafe - The interior is decorated with a modern European flair. Best on the menu is their monstrous one-pound hamburger, made with a full pound of beef and a choice of extravagant toppings. Mounted against the wall in the rear-most booths are computer links into the information super highway.
The Centrotex Night Club - This expensive establishment is decorated in a disorienting style reminiscent of M.C. Escher's "House of Stairs": a series of cantilevered stairs, angled mirrors, special effects lighting and robotic mannequins placed strategically on walls and ceilings create the optical illusion of bar patrons moving against the laws of physics and gravity. All of the mannequins represent (in)famous characters from the Film Noir era in incredibly life-like detail. The dark and smoky bar serves an impressive selection of liquors, spirits, beers and the more robust cocktails. It also has a multilevel dance floor and a small performance stage.
Roxanne Nova: Roxanne’s past is a shadowy maze of rumours and street talk. It is said that she grew up on the streets of inner city Sydney, was a junkie, a working girl and a back street slasher. Further rumour had her pimp found eviscerated by unknown means. Other rumours abound, ranging from such things as her Polynesian look is a body sculpt to that she is a former Corp highroller whose had a sex change and gone native. Now Roxanne is a rising rocker, whose combination of hard rock, haunting lyrics and moody electronic sitar has earned her a popular following and numerous support gigs. Her first production project, ‘Is It Good Enough?’, peaked at number 39 on the Australian and South Pacific charts. She has considerable media influence, although several leading critics think she is a bit of a 'one-hit-wonder', but as Roxanne says - “such is life”.
Freeda Loays: Freeda Loays is an ageing madam in her mid 40s, refined and genteel with a faded elegance. She is the owner of Loays Lays, a high class health spa and exclusive porn parlour that caters to corporate tastes. Her business is on Crown Street, between Oxford and William. Freeda has a fun and flirtatious relationship with The Associate. His attentions make her feel young again. They are friends who have a good time together. They spend their time at wine and exotic cuisine nights, attending theatre outings and taking long walks in the harbour gardens at twilight. The Associate also gets a great hot oil massage and a spa bath every Sunday.
Blood Bear: Blood Bear is the gang boss of the infamous inner city street guardian gang ‘Fist of Odin’. Of Icelandic and Greek stock, he’s had a major body sculpt and is a towering brutal minotaur, a veritable mountain of muscle and chrome. Wired to the max for melee combat, it's said he can bench press a police patrol vehicle without breaking a sweat.
The Blood Razors: A vampire poser gang that operates throughout Sydney. As a vampire poser gang, they move by night and appear anywhere that furthers their dark purposes. There is no clear idea on their size, although at least twenty members were observed in Woolloomooloo, during a recent turf war. Street people fear them. No one street level will touch them. They're a kick arse gang that are known to employ speedware and loads of cyberweapons (rippers, wolvers, chrome fangs). It is rumoured that they use the old Luna Park site. And it is assumed that they have extensive links with organised crime and even RATI Holdings.
Shadow: Shadow is a street rat and old military scrounger of urban aboriginal stock. He lost his sight in a street fight at age 13 and has had cyberoptics ever since. He is pretty much on edge about being in the dark. He ran with the ‘Death Adders’ for a while, and has a smouldering blood feud with the ‘Blood Razor’ gang lord. During his army tour he befriended Hawk and Tuttle. They’ve saved each others skins more than once. Since he mustered out he has become one of the best fixers in the Sydney shadows. He operates out of a small 3rd floor office in a crumbling old office block, just off the alley behind the Century Tavern.
Hawk: Hawk is an old soldier who specialised in demolitions and combat engineering. During his army tour he befriended Shadow and Tuttle. They’ve saved each others skins more than once. He lost his right arm in a convert raid gone wrong, and full military cyber-replacement was the only option to save his butt. Good thing that Shadow was there to find the gear and Tuttle was attached to his unit as medic. Since he mustered out, Hawk has worked the shadows as a freelancer, offering his specialist services to the highest bidder. He operates out of Shadow’s 3rd floor office in the alley behind the Century Tavern.
Tuttle: Tuttle is a military medic from wayback. A solid doctor with tarnished morals. During his army tour he saved Shadow and Hawk more than once, they owe him. Since he mustered out, Tuttle has worked the shadows as a freelancer, he dislikes the corporations and thinks hospital work is for the under-qualified with connections. He operates a street clinic from a 2nd floor suite in the alley behind the Century Tavern.
Dominic V. Kola: A lean and corp smart Hindustani of some 40 years with a light moustache shading his cheerful features. Of South Indian blood, he has the dusky skin tones, thick black hair, and liquid brown eyes typical of the Dravidian peoples. Dominic is an India of Telegu Hindu and French Catholic decent. Since his early days with RATI Holdings, when he was little more than a power hungry weasel of a man, Dominic has developed excellent managerial talents and has further demonstrated remarkable personal resources in the service of the company and The Great Shadow. In addition to the usual run of corporate wheeling-and-dealing, he has endured brutal police interrogation in Madras, assisted Tamil dacoits in a harrowing flight to Sri Lanka over the Hanuman Bridge with his family and managed illegal entry into the U.S. via the faked identity of the Indian Consulate-General. Dominic is now a force to be reckoned with in the shadows of England and throughout the lingering hierarchies and echoes of the old British Commonwealth. He has a portfolio of diversified holdings ranging from street operations to import / export companies, with a large slice of the hospitality industry.
Gary Ottman: Gary is a crash-hot tech who knows all there is too know about decks, cyber, chipware and the like. He is also something of an affable eccentric millionaire. He’s not particularly phased by threats and is said to know SkullSplitter, possibly from their shared military days. He spends most of his time in Melbourne, but does have a loft above a Circular Quay tech wholesale store in Sydney. He owns both outright. Day-to-day it's managed by Lillith (Netrunner Macinta Toshova) and Cheetah (Nomad Biker Grey Wolf Sanchez). The place is guarded by an impressive collection of electronics. The more physical defences are rumoured to include computerised lasers and even gas. He lets a rough group of local street and speed samurai (The Team) hang out and use the place as their pad.