You turn the cassette over in your hands, admiring this ancient piece of technology…It looks dusty. There's nothing on the label except the words "PART 1" written in marker. You slide it in your cassette player, which you have, because uhh, you happen to be a vintage technology collector, and have a vast collection of music players, and - Ok, nevermind, that's enough in-universe justification, you are a person who has a cassette player, and that's that. The small machine clicks a few times, and you pray that it works.
There are a few seconds of audio popping, but an unfamiliar voice starts to speak.
THE TALE OF KEN AND LAURA
Our story started in the year 2077, in cyberpunk Seattle, with a 20-year-old oni named Ken. He was a bit of a lazy oaf, living in a small shack between the crowded buildings of Seattle with few belongings to his name. He was simple, though - He didn't mind as long as he had his electric guitar, his most beloved possession. He also had a bit of a memory problem. On top of not being the brightest bulb in the drawer, Ken was quite forgetful, so much that he'd have to leave sticky note reminders for himself all over his tiny abode. Despite his faults, though, he was a very positive and well-meaning, if naive, force to those around him.
Oh yeah, and he was also very broke.
Ken spent most of his time noodling on his guitar and trying to pick up odd gigs for money, under the stage name KAGAYAKU KOE (or K.KOE for short). His friend Kyle, owner of a venue called the Animus, got him a spot on the bill with a few other bands, opening for none other than...Liquid Steel. Grr, that Liquid Steel...The young, famous, electric blue-maned badass rockstar mage who Ken knew only as his bitter rival. A year ago, in a totally awesome guitar vs guitar rock battle, she had blasted him with magic straight through the heart. He just barely survived, having been given a new cyber-heart in the nick of time in the aftermath. From then on, every time K.KOE and Liquid Steel would cross paths, they'd butt heads, but she seemed to gain some sort of satisfaction from it - Always with that devilish grin. Despite Ken's resentment for her, though, there was just something about her that always drew Ken into her orbit, and vice versa...Like the two of them were magnetized.
This time was going to be different, though. Ken was going to knock Liquid Steel's socks off with his performance that night, and he made a point to tell her that just before going onstage. Of course, he was only met with the usual smug, taunting aura, but that didn't stop him from giving it his all. Being the last to open for Liquid Steel, he blasted through his set with all of the passion he could muster. Much to his surprise...Liquid Steel was actually a little impressed. The time came for her to go onstage, though, and it was clear she intended on giving a killer performance to match. And she did. Well, that is, until something unexpected happened.
Ken, up on the catwalks, had bumped into a young woman with pink hair who seemed to be part of security for the show...But wasn't it a bit strange for her to be here with a sniper rifle, of all things? Suddenly, though, it made a little more sense. The show was cut short when a group of gangers busted into the venue with guns, rushing for the stage. Ken, not thinking at all, rushed into action, and clubbed a few of them with his guitar on his way downstairs to help. The woman with the rifle followed suit.
Meanwhile, Liquid Steel herself had already taken cover and started blasting fierce manabolts back at the aggressors. Eventually the room was cleared, and the three convened outside as authorities began to arrive. The pink-haired woman introduced herself as Tripwire, and seemed to have an established relationship with Liquid Steel for whatever reason. LS was...Grateful - however reluctantly - to Ken for helping her out, and admitted the assault was likely linked to her, well...Drug problems. Though Ken had a small internal moment of victory in finally finding a flaw in the revered rockstar Liquid Steel, he was snapped back to reality when Tripwire offered him a job. A job? That means money! Woah! So, naturally, Ken accepted her offer, without asking many questions. Something about her made him feel like he could trust her...
Little did Ken know, that decision would change his world entirely. It would set him on the treacherous path of shadowrunning - Completing dirty work at the behest of anonymous representatives for crime syndicates, corporations, businesses, wealthy individuals, and all sorts of other organizations or factions, all for some good coin. This path would also tie him into a larger, much more nefarious picture, and soon lead him to something that would undo everything he thought he knew: The truth about Liquid Steel.