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Did You Know?
Bits and Pieces from the NR Trivia Collection
#5: Livewire's Contacts & The Short Circuit

by Jens Kreutzer

Two staple cards for the Runner, Livewire's Contacts as the most basic bitgainer and The Short Circuit as a widely-used program fetcher, hail directly from the roleplaying game Cyberpunk 2020, which is the background to the Netrunner world. The character Livewire is described in the Cyberpunk rulebook, version 2.01, pg. 222:

"Livewire is a [n]etrunner who used to be associated with a solo team known as the Devil's Horde, until the team disbanded in 2011 due to a mishap in an operation that killed off everyone except Livewire and one other member. These days Livewire can usually be found in a small shop that he runs out of the back of The Short Circuit, a local bar. It is said that he has access to any program for the right price; and if he doesn't have it, he will make it."

So, as can also be gleaned from the artwork on the card, The Short Circuit is a bar, and the scene depicted on Livewire's Contacts and described in its flavor text might well be right inside it. Livewire is also referred to in the cyberpunk novel Bad Voltage by Jonathon Littell.

Situated next to Night City's Trauma Team Tower, the Barbican Building houses The Short Circuit, as the Cyberpunk Night City Sourcebook, p. 117, informs us:

"This black edifice [i. e., the Barbican Building] contains the main offices of Argus Inc., a company specializing in netrunner software. Argus, which is owned by Livewire, has been focusing lately on developing applications for the many local medical facilities. Well regarded among the netrunner community, Argus programs are considered to be some of the most reliable commercial products on the market. The Short Circuit is a bar set on top of the Argus offices. Favored by many of the city's netrunners and techies, it is highly useful for people looking for help in those areas. The bar's other interesting feature is its rotating floor, which allows patrons to see a panoramic view of the [Night] City below. Although there has been a lot of Corporate interest in the bar, Livewire has forbidden recruiting there because he's had problems with corporations and no longer trusts them (or the people who associate with them). Rough, street-hired bouncers make sure no one exceeds the dress code. In addition to normal booths, there are booths with interface jacks which allow netrunners access to an area in netspace where the bar is represented. Whether online or not, many netrunners use the bar as a gathering place to exchange news and services."

The French version of this card contains flavor text, translating to:

"Enter, enter! Here, you will find everything you're looking for. Illegal programs, authentic proofs, and also virtual parties."

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