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Yoshiwara Sprawl. Even to the denizens of the Sprawls, Yoshiwara's name conjures thoughts of limitless opportunity... for success, and for failure. It is a place of absolute anarchy, where nothing is forbidden and comparisons to Sodom and Gomorrah shame those long-ago cities. Yoshiwara is the ultimate manifestation of the Mediterranean Syndicate's brutal philosophy. It is the Sprawl unchained.
Where Everything Has A PriceEdit
Under Yoshiwara's dome, all rules are suspended, all codes of behavior and conduct void. Even the Syndicate's normally strict regulations, designed to ensure sustainable business and maximize profit, are suspended here, and Legion Security is nowhere to be seen. Here, a simple axiom governs society: everything has a price, and everything is for sale. What a person's life is worth in Yoshiwara is up to that person alone. For most, it isn't worth much.
Contrary to the expectations of outsiders, Yoshiwara's streets are not in fact an endless orgy of violence and depravity. Dionysus Pharmaceutics and Cybernetics has stood without serious challenge as the most powerful force in Yoshiwara for several years, and the corporation enforces its own brand of order on the streets. Namely, that if anyone damages Dionysus property, the more fortunate offenders will simply be shot to death on the spot by the corporation's home-bred enforcers. The less fortunate are given an offer they can't refuse, and usually live long enough to regret their decision.
Dionysus is one of the oldest and most effective subsidiaries of the Mediterranean Syndicate. Smilex, the Sprawl's drug of choice, is a Dionysus product, and the company's own fronts and research divisions were responsible for much of the modern cybernetic wetware employed by the Syndicate. Wilderness Solutions Co., the group responsible for the Satyrs, was one of Dionysus' shell companies. The corporation's research group have an insatiable demand for more testing material and subjects, and Yoshiwara provides the corporation with an ample supply of such resources.
Lesser companies and organized crime organizations - the line is understandably blurry in Yoshiwara - fight over scraps of territory and influence outside of Dionysus in what is in truth simply glorified gang warfare. Only most gangs outside Yoshiwara don't have regular access to military-grade hardware, stimulants that are as powerful as they are detrimental to their users, and body modifications that no sane man would employ.
There are some places in Yoshiwara where no one, even those addled by drugs and hallucinations, go. The laboratories of Dionysus are best avoided save by the people who work there and the corporation's test subjects - anyone who makes the mistake of approaching the Fleshworks tends to be recruited on the spot as a subject for the corporation's latest graft. The Garden is where Satyrs gather, and is best described in vague terms, even to those already accustomed to Yoshiwara's violence, and the unending screams of pain and pleasure from the Garden echo for blocks around. Even Satyrs hesitate to approach the tower called Erebus, a fortress with shuttered windows and sealed doors. Those who inquire too much about Erebus have a tendency to simply vanish.
Amidst all of this, the value of a human life approaches zero. Even here, few people kill without reason, but disliking the color of one's shirt is considered sufficient reason to kill in Yoshiwara. Those living in Dionysus territory, or the turf of other secondary power groups, have a reasonable chance of going to work each day without getting shot, but battle lines and hotspots change frequently.
And yet... there is opportunity here, for those with the drive, will, wit, and luck to survive. It is said that anything in the world can be bought in Yoshiwara, and there is some truth to the sentiment. Do you want a mint-condition Allied Assault Striker? You have a choice of several different colors and different types of mercenaries riding inside for a package deal. Want somebody dead? Can't walk twenty feet without bumping into someone who will break a neck for the right price. Want a pre-teenage girl with her mind wiped and repogrammed via cybernetic implant to be a willing sex slave? If your block's brothel doesn't have one for sale, the manager knows one that does. Want an entire Soviet armored company? The guy on the corner knows a guy who knows a guy who knows a corrupt and ambitious colonel.
Just be prepared to pay. Money, drugs, weapons, cybernetics, young women, blackmail material... all these and more are valid currency in Yoshiwara. Then again, simply taking what you have and getting your head in the bargain might strike your prospective business partner as an even better deal. Don't expect anyone to miss you, either. Miss your money, perhaps, but the life expectancy of Yoshiwara dwellers is understandably and shockingly short. No one here bats an eyelash at someone being knifed to death by a random stranger. Such things are simply ruled "natural causes."
There is no end of opportunity in Yoshiwara, and people flock to the Sprawl despite its reputation. It is a quirk of human nature that Yoshiwara above all other Sprawls feeds upon: no one wants to think that they are simply an opportunity to everyone else.