~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ nerfsdiary.txt - 0rigins ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
wtf - who would have thought id ever write a faggy diary? guess this is what 13h+ of travelling without matrix access does to your brain. whatever. before i die of boredom, i type. so if you, dear reader, got through the databomb on this file with your brain intact: gg, the least u deserve now is some entertainment.
winter 2058, russia, small shithole in the middle of nowhere, hours away from what you would start agruing about as “civilization”. in the warmth of the nearby S-K heavy industry smelters, a man and a woman decide to call their newborn son leonov.
when i think of my childhood, most of my early memories are linked to specific smells. the heavy fumes of the factories. the stench of the lakes. cold metal. mothers pelmeni. but most of all: the fake coffee aroma they relentlessly spray on puke and blood stains in the busses. if you wanted to go anywhere, you HAD to take the bus. even if you stole a bike, gl reaching anything before you freeze or get run over by one of the automated cargo convoys. want to go somewhere? you take the bus. need new clothes? take the bus. “we are sry, drone delivery is unavailable for your location”? take the bus. want to go to a school instead of online classes where matrix disconnects swallow every second sentence and age-old tutorsoft is barely up to date with every seventh fact? take. the. fucking. bus.
by the time i was 15, i swear i must have spent more time on the back row of buses than anywhere else. its where i did my homework, where i read whatever pirated ebook i could get my hands on, and where i learned to calculate the lags of my comlink accordingly to my aim, movement and firing speed so i could still win in competitive shooters. and where i met mishka. when he saw me overclocking a schoolmates shitty old trid for a few bucks, his eyes lit up. he was enthusiastic to find a likeminded tinkerer and offered to introduce me to a “friend”. before i knew what was happening, i was working for a guy named dimitri who must have been 50 or something. today, i would probably beat the shit out of a weird pervert who surrounds himself with underaged boys without any further investigations, but back than i was introduced to a whole new level of… “cyberstuff”. what he taught his little gang was far beyond the automated downloader i had snuck into the librarie's computer systems once. he expanded my knowledge in both code and hardware and i learned more from him in weeks than i had in the previous years.
before long, mishka and i were soldering microchips and writing exploit codes under dimitris supervision. we would win jackpots at gas station slot machines and if one of our “colleagues” got his hands on an encrypted credstick, chances were we could even decrypt it and take the train to moscow for a weekend of cheap cigarettes and (sometimes real) vodka. i missed school more often than not and barely got home, but surprisingly, nobody seemed to care.
for a year or so, everything was good. we hacked, we cracked, we stole, we shared. dimitris small gang had slowly replaced my family and it felt right. some people came, some people went, only dimitri himself never left his basement. until one day, he was gone. we were suspicious of course, but nobody expected the full police raid that followed three days later. our surveillance systems were overwritten from inside our own network: we didnt even know we were watching yesterdays footage when the doors banged open and smoke grenades stung our eyes. dimitri had talked - and we all went to prison for him.
when the weakly americans complain about police brutality every once in a while, i laugh. they wouldnt survive a single day in a russian prison. guards behave like a street gang, constantly beating people up to “maintain order”. sure, you could TRY to play nice, maybe even make a deal or smth, but among prisoners, you are either with or against the authority - meaning you either take the beatings from a bunch of worn down wannabe cop-assholes or from a bunch of die hard serial killers. needless to say, i chose to disobey. and so i was introduced to the vory y zakone, the “thieves in law”. let me tell you this: the old saying about how you go to jail as an innocent and come out as a criminial is completely true. i swore my oath to the vory and began a career in organized crime in prison. small jobs here and there, talking to people, making people talk.. you know, your typical run of the mill ganger apprentice stuff.
as fate would have it, a few month later i heard a rumor. dimitri was said to arrive at the very same prison they sent his whole little kiddy gang to. justice in russia comes when you least expect it. i pulled a few strings and on the day he arrived, he was sent to my cell. dimitri payed the price for talking: i broke his legs several times and earned my first tattoos among the vory.
when i got out of prison a year later, i was already colder than the cement bunker itself, but the moment i saw that one guy i helped in a fight during my 2nd month, standing there waiting for me in front of a car worth more than the salary of every guard here combined, i knew not only that vory really ment family, but also that it was worth it. i was 17 and the only thing i cared about was finally hacking again. but this time, not for a creep like dimitri, but for the thieves in law. in prison, i learned about respect and honor. outside, i learned cracking and bricking. and i began to get REALLY good at it. so good that jobs got more lucrative, but also more dangerous. and so i had to make a return visit to my old cell only two years later. this time, facing three long years in prison.
dont get me wrong, once you have a name on the streets - be it ever so small - and the tattoos to go along with your stories, prison starts to feel more like a hotel room than the cold, unforgiving bunker i remembered from my first stay. and so i met old friends, made new ones, and had my hands on a comlink in no time. i spent more time logged into the matrix than in my imprisoned flesh and had time for myself. time to think. time to learn. time to rediscover video games and become a pro player in both dota9 and medalofdutyfield2. when my three years were over, another face with another car waited for me outside. and job offers got even better this time around.
needless to say, i had to level up my gear. not only was it high time to finally invest in a real cyberdeck, but also into my own “hardware”: the vory gave me access to all the cyberware implants you could dream of - and paid for it in advance. over the next year, i took what they recommended for the runs and then some. cyberware is like a drug. in prison, you train your weakly body for HOURS, every day. and you're still weaker than anybody willing to change his bones for metal. always will be. now i could finally improve my reflexes over night. and it didnt stop at that. i was a full time vory and with trust came access to higher debt limits. when i lost my arm to an explosion in a gang battle one night, i remember my first thought: “my new one will be in chrome”. i was on painkillers… and on kamikaze… but yeah, i think that was my first thought then. or maybe it was “fuck me that was my freaking deck i was holding in that hand there you fucking fucks!”, but the second thought was the one about the new arm then. payment for the battle was not enough to come up with a new cyberlimb AND a new deck in the end, so further down the spiral: better gear, more debt, higher level jobs. which brings us back to the first sentence of this very text file; i heard you americans love stuff like this.
remember, me being without WiFi for 13h? that's what you do after a political assassination: you lay low for a while. no more words on that job, sry, only about the travel and the situation. a friend of a friend flew me to south america for a week first and then, after my little vacation in the sun - lo and behold - seattle, home of… nothing that raised my slightest interest so far. ok fine, its not moscow but at least its a city, isnt it? and the vory do have an enclave there. it will have things to do for a 24 year old thief in law on a planned vacation, thats for sure. maybe i can make good use of my timeout and lower my debts. help a few friends out, you know? nothing big… yet…