There has been allot of talking about the various generations of runners and their impact and importance to the world that is the shadows. This is something that has sparked debate, conflicts and even a full fledged war within the shadows to erupt in the late 2050’s do to the murder of a man known as Exodus. I will attempt to bring to clarification what this all means and I will stay clear of opinions and favouring one over an another, as each generation brings something to the table and has made an impact within the shadows for good or worse. This hole game of running the shadows actually started shortly after the Great Information Collapse of 2029, though their are some that would be working long before the crash and even before the Great Tragedy of 2018. Though for the sake of sanity I will focus on the generation that arrived on the scene post 2029 and I will give some information later on about those that worked within the shadows prior to 2029; this generational classification only applies to those that have worked within the Emerald City and not runners of the other cities within the world, Seattle has been referred to as the birth place of runners and hence only this city has the privilege of hosting many of the fields most lethal and dangerous criminals.
So before I continue on with the generations and their descriptions and impact on the world of the shadows, I will go a little deeper into the reason these criminals are among us. The simplest cause for the runners was the Great Information Collapse of 2029, when the entire world wide web would come crashing down do to a multi layer attack from hundreds of hackers from an anonymous guild of these cyber criminals. This combined with a direct attack on the world wide banking structure causing an economic collapse, the weakened information network was left venerable and unable to protect itself from the many viruses that would infect the many servers and as one would fail and burn out it would great a chain reaction sending the viruses to additional compromised networks and eventually the entire system would come crashing down. This would cause a great disturbance in the many operations of the modern world that had become solely reliant on the internet and the computer systems.
As the systems where crumbling one by one, the government would spring into action attempting to curb the collapse they would only further the progress and speed the entire process along and within 30 days the world would be in a information blackout, this would cause power grids to fail and send the modern world into the dark ages for a short period of time. While it wasn’t long before a new system was established and the infrastructure restored, it would have a lasting impact on many innocent lives that would be lost forever as their vital information would be erased and they would be zeroed; leaving them homeless, penniless and without a Social Security Number (This would become the Serial Identification Number SIN). Those that where zeroed would be unable to find legitimate work and would be forced to enter into a life of crime to survive.
Now with all crisis their are those ready to capitalise and the big corporations and governments would now have access to a whole wave of people that would be willing to do anything for a handful of credits that didn’t actually exists. Hence the shadow operator or runner for short, and they would be willing to do the dirty work for these big corporations for a portion of what it would cost the corporation to go about it legally. Same with the governments as runners where cheaper than soldiers and if they are killed in action they have no actual physical ties to any nation. The other reason was out of revenge and a desire for justice that would stem from the Great Tragedy of 2018 when the natives would unleash a magical attack on the United States, Canada and Mexico that would kill more innocent souls than multiple nuclear strikes and it wouldn’t leave the environment scarred thus the fear of a secondary assault would create the Treaty of Denver, the UCAS, the Native American Nations, the Tangier and Free State of California as send the United States into a second Civil War as the south would succeed from the union. All these events and the supposed Nights of Blood would leave many longing for justice, revenge and sense of patriotism that would send them into the great conflicts and shadows to strike a blow to the system they claim stole everything from them. This is how we begin to welcome the earliest of runners, criminals by happenstance and circumstances beyond their control and left with no other alternative besides starving and living in a cardboard box on skid row. These early runners where exploited and used by the companies and governments that suddenly needed them, though these runners who hail from what has been called the Originals, Founders or Founding Fathers generation (circa 2029 – 2053) this generation would strike a fatal blow for all runners and shadow operators to come.
The Founding Fathers (circa 2029 -2053): These runners are considered the originals and the ones that basically wrote the rules of the streets, they entered into a world that was in dire need of their services and they where in need of the work. These runners would have no actual rules to govern them and they would have no actual code of conduct to follow and accept as gospel, these warriors would be fighting against each other, already established organised crime syndicates and basic street gangs; all the while getting screwed over by the people that were hiring them who considered these runners to be expendable and below human status. There where no acceptable guidelines for payment and getting screwed over was considered par for course, the corporations would reach out to the runners with their generic employees called Mr. Johnson’s who would enter known hang outs and order a drink, they would then consume the beverage and turn the glass over and walk out of the hangout (normally a bar) and it would become first come first serve. This would lead to cutthroat actions being taken and internal fighting among the founders as the raced to receive employment, the use of fixers and direct connections would not arrive for many years and those early days where bloody. The life of a runner was short and if the job didn’t kill them it was other criminals biding for there coin, gear and food; this would cause a need for these founders to group together and form a small gang of sorts and the first runner gang or team by today’s standards would be the Wolf Pack followed quickly with the formation of the Old Guard.
Once the runners would begin to work side by side the game started to change for the employer as they would no longer be dealing with a group of random problem children and an organised unit of like minded killers and thieves and by 2031 the independent runner wold have to adapt to the idea of working as a unit or feel the wrath of the angry corporations that just got played by the people they were trying to screw. By 2031 the need for these warriors was high and the corporations had begun to depend on the hiring of these criminals to make sure their profit margins stayed high, though as the demand increased so did the supply of runners but this didn’t stop the teams from demanding even more money from the Johnson. The corporations would try to do damage control and hire runners to hunt runners; though this would end badly for the corporations seeing that within a few years after the formation of teams the runners would begin to craft the code of the street something the white collar executives knew nothing about. This code of the street would end up becoming an unwritten rule that would bind all runners together as one brother and sisterhood (Though this code would end up only applying to those of specific generations. <Remember these were the first>)
With the code enacted the corporations would begin loosing employees and as well all the credits they sent off with their Johnson and security force, this would create a further rift and division between the runner and Johnson as trust issues wold grow though the demand was still there and jobs needed to be done. Corporations would accept the lose of there spokesmen and would create an entire division of expendable employees since it was cheaper to pay death benefits than risk angering the runners and loosing the initial payment and data on the job. The next team to form would be the infamous Brothers Grimm, though many of these runners hail from before this age the team would become very important in the creation of a new classification of runner the Professional versus the Street Level and by 2033 the game would have changed again as the founders would once again rift and be divided between the suit wearing professionals and the combat gear street levels. Today many of the founders can be classified as professionals though back in the early days the division was quite real, and the corporations would rather deal with a criminal that wore a suit and tie, versus one that dressed in combat gear (Though this didn’t mean the Professionals where any less dangerous); both classifications would follow the code of the street and with the professionals dressing like the corporate folk it made it very difficult to differentiate who was who.
This division would cause the corporations to increase the payouts and as well treat the professionals differently thus many who would rather remain casual would forgo the combat gear for the business dress only to make sure they were given a fair deal. Now I have spoken allot about the formation of the teams and their impact on the shadows, though while these runners might have worked together many would freelance and do side line work; it wouldn’t be odd to find members of the Old Guard working with the Brothers Grimm and so on, and by 2037 the Dirty Dozen would emerge onto the scene hailing in the age of the teams. Though individually these runners would still have a great impact on the streets, the lives of the citizens and the laws that we know have in place to combat them; remember these were the first of their creed and the world was not prepared for their actions, their prowess in battle and their causal disregard for human life. This would be hailed the age of Old Seattle also known as the Age of Blood, many runners knew they out classed many of the citizens, guards and corporate soldiers and thus would strike out on their own to create a bloody legacy of their own. One man comes to mind and that is the Digger of the Wolf Pack who would freelance as an assassin and bury his victims alive throughout Seattle, another is Samael who would become the cities Angel of Death as he would strike fear into the hearts of the populace, and another being the Postmaster who would drive around in his 1950’s era postal truck and open fire into crowds of people causing mass panic and chaos. Their are many more from this age to create a permanent legacy but their is no one that created such a disturbance and would send the city into panic than then man known as the Professor also known as the Man in White, this monster of the Brothers Grimm would single handedly reinvent the shadows as he would bring death with him in his wake and he would have no care over who fell victim to his blade, and their wasn’t a security detail that could stop the Man in White; his legacy would grow to epic proportions and it would cause citizens of Ironside to form a cult and begin to worship this man as a God.
The founders would begin to create a legacy for themselves, the city quaked in fear of these powerful runners and the police where powerless to stop them. The Founding Fathers had risen to a status that was of almost deity like status and they were performing feats that would secure their godlike status, Deicide the killer of souls would slay a dragon with a single blow, Medusa turning her targets into stone, Ringmaster unleashing the fires of hell upon entire locations and Stamps walking through vehicle grade fire as if it was a light summer breeze. These would become the tails told on the streets and would inspire and bring forth the need for a new generation of runners to come forth, though it would be the words of the legends known as Fable and Canyon that would truly call for the need for a change. These prophetic warriors would begin speaking of something called a winds of change, a need for the universe to reset and allow for the young to replace the old; for it was Canyon’s words that would become the proverbs of the streets and he would be the man that would actually create the rules for the runners to live by, where Fable would begin speaking of this great change and the need for the founders to pass on their wisdom and teachings onto the new rising stars. This would begin in 2048 and continue to 2055 when the founding fathers would slowly one by one begin slipping back into the shadows with their wealth and only leaving their legacy behind as they would pass the torch to the the aptly named Next Generation; following the teachings of Fable and Canyon they would prepare this generation for their turn in the shadows, warning them of the dangers of fame and of the winds of change that Fable spoke of.
The Next Generation (2053 – 2065): As the founders where slipping into the shadows, they wouldn’t all vanish from the streets until early 2055 and we will come to learn many didn’t leave the city they just slipped deeper into obscurity, watching and acting as the will of the shadows. Many founders would enter various organisations at this time thus keeping themselves involved but out of the direct spotlight; this would hold true for Brooklynn, Benji, Listener, Maverick, Gunslinger and Ducky who would all become part of the cities political or law enforcement system. Though during the early part of this age it would seem as history would repeat itself and the corporations would need to be reminded that even though these where a new batch of younger less powerful runners they were still runners and the rules of the streets have been etched into concrete in blood. These youngsters would quickly follow in the founders foot steeps and gather as teams to protect themselves from the abuses of the corporations and the attacks from others of their generation. It would seem that the second age of runners would be plagued by the same abuses as their forefathers and they too would have to create a new set of rules and guidelines to follow, the biggest adaption they made was to apply the code of the street to only their generation; this would be a hug slap in the face to Canyon who intended this rule to apply to all shadow warriors not specific generations.
Now as for a time line of events for the runners of this generation it will be hard to nail down specific years to specific events as there was a great deal going on and the deckers of both the legitimate and illegitimate world have made short work of many of the data files that verify exact dates. The age of the Next Generation was just as chaotic and bloody as the one of the forefathers, and it would still be hailed as Old Seattle though it would also referred to as The Bloody Legacy. During this age Seattle would go through many changes as technology would advance, security improvements would force the this generation to have to work twice as hard and risk personal injury far more often for half the pay. These runners would now the old proverb ‘If a shot is fired, the run has failed’ though just like how the advancements in technology and the expansion of the west would bring down the golden age of the outlaw, so to would it strike a fatal blow to the runner as they would no longer have the luxury of staying concealed and creating a legacy wrapped in mystery. They would have to forge ahead into uncharted waters and reinvent the rules job to job knowing that at anytime all hell will break loose and the bullets will be flying, it wold be do to there supernatural like skill, advanced chrome and magical prowess that would allow this generation to rise above the challenges laid before them.
One of the first teams to form would be the early Mariners that would eventually become the legendary Wind Runners; though it needs to be said that this team was formed by the legendary runner known as Quickdraw, out of necessity the streets of the Next Generation’s age where very dangerous and the runners during the early age where all acting as superstars and not willing to accept their roles and status on a job. This would make an already dangerous situation very deadly, Quickdraw having worked outside Seattle and knowing the teachings of the founders knew the need for a cohesive unit and a team that can stand as one against any threat or Johnson. The Mariners would be the first of the real teams to form and they would have a huge impact on the shadows just like the Wolf Pack before them, as they would quickly accept and understand their roles the Mariners would become the team to hire since they were far more successful than any other grouping of independently minded operators. The Original lineup of the Mariners would include Quickdraw who would take the reigns as the boss, Nightshade who wold accept the status as his second in command then the remainder of the team would include Electra, Logan, Edge, Wheels, Claw, Switch Doctor, Fraggle, Arrow and Logan; soon other teams would emerge as well but it would be a while before they wold have any real impact in the shadows. The Mariners would remain to be the team to be and as their popularity with the Johnson’s increased so did their popularity with the media and eventually the ranks of this team would exceed it’s ability to gain work as the numbers would rise though the payouts would remain the same. Eventually Quickdraw sensing trouble in the ranks, would call for a division of the membership, it was also apparent that many within the Mariners loved the fame and spotlight while others wanted to stay within the shadows and create a legacy based on their reputations and not their flare.
So in 2058 the Mariners would split into two teams and the new team would go by the name the Pain Brigade that would eventually become known as the Unknown Soldiers; the original line up for the Pain Brigade would include Raptor, King, Claw, Rogue, Malice, Rattlehead and Eagle this team would eventually recruit the runner known as Crazy Glue who would go to become the Mother Hen of the runners and without knowing it she would follow the workings of the founders and especially the words of Canyon. Though for this generation their trials and tribulations wold not end with a division of the teams, they would become plagued by the spotlight and media personality seeking out video evidence of their operations seeing that the people where loving these runners and treating them like superheros, and with the failures of the independents and the actions of another squad to form during this time called the Regulators the television would begin to bring the runners into the peoples homes every week as the new program Shadow Beat would become an overnight success and no matter how much Quickdraw tried to keep his Mariners free from the cameras eye, mistakes happen and eventually even the Mariners would become television stars. This new found popularity would make their lives difficult to say the least, they couldn’t go anywhere without being recognised they where being tailed by paparazzi and reporters who would even endanger operations by attempting to follow the runners while they worked. The other issue would be the rise of posers and wannabes also referred to as the dreamers that would flood to Seattle with aspirations of making it big and becoming an overnight sensation.
These Dreamers would flood the streets of Seattle with their brand new gear, out of town problems and their claims of being the next cutting edge Samurai. They would begin to outnumber those of the Next Generation and for the first time it seemed as if their very lively hood would be at risk, the founding fathers never prepared them for an event of this nature and why would they; this was never something the founders ever dealt with. The runners that came after them where respectful and followed the rules set before them, this wave of Dreamers would become a serious problem as the Johnson’s suddenly had a increased demand and hence they could further lower their fees and quickly return the streets to the chaos of the early ages. This sudden increase in Dreamers was a godsend for the corporate and government clients and they would do everything in their power to keep the migration coming, including sinking millions of credits into Shadow Beat, and other Hollywood projects with sponsorship and funding just to stoke the fires and keep the Dreamers coming all the while sticking it to the actual runners that where suddenly loosing work to posers and wannabes. This would cause a serious problem with some of the independent runners that were facing eviction and starvation do to the Dreamers and on the flip side these newbies would not know nor care about the Code of the Street, they would take jobs against the actual runners as well they would disrespect the actual veterans of the shadows.
Many of the dreamer would hope to become famous by killing someone like Nightshade, Quickdraw, Ripper and so on; they would gather in large groups and attempt to assassinate the now veterans forcing them to defend themselves and killing the dreamers. Even the founders that lurked within the shadows where unable to stem the bleeding and would be forced to take action against the flood of dreamers; now many events would transpire during this time as the Next Generation runners would loose all respect for the dreamers and they would create something called Rookie Hunting Season this was normally in the fall just about when the new season of Shadow Beat would air and the next wave of dreamers would flood the streets. The runners would actually hunt these kids like they where prey, using the hunting as training exercises as they murdered these dreamers in cold blood. The worst offender of the Rookie Hunt would be a man called Mad Dog, he would actually collect there ears and wallets and mail the body parts back to their parents with a post card from Seattle saying “Wish You Were Here”. The trolls would play Rookie Ball where they lined rookies up and slammed them with there clubs and see how far the gore would fly; this might seem harsh and it was but for these runners this was a life or death situation and they hoped the senseless murdering of these dreamers would eventually bring an end to the flood of the dreamers. Though for the Mariners and Pain Brigade this was not something they wanted to partake in nor approved of, but Quickdraw was powerless to stop the indie runners and his trolls from partaking in such events. It’s hard to defend the dreamers when they are trying to kill you nightly.
Well in the late 2050’s everything would explode when a group of dreamers would target street legend Exodus who was the protegee of original Mariner Fraggle and brutally murder him. Exodus was a very honourable man and worked as the guide of the streets, he worked alongside street legend Blaine who gave up the running life to act as an agent of hospitality to the newbies as they entered the city. Exodus was actually looking out for the dreamers and trying to teach the the ways of the streets and the proverbs of both Fable and Canyon, when he was gunned down by a grouping of the same people he was trying to help. Once word got to the veterans of the streets and to the Mariners, Quick was left with no choice but to declare war on the dreamers and so would begin the War of the Shadows (circa 2058 -2059) is the estimated start date of the war, though the exact date is unknown. The War in the Shadows would become a brutal and bloody age where a true rift was found between the runners and even Fraggle would not agree with an all out hunt of the newbies but just seek out the guilty ones. Quick was furious and tired of being hunted by the snot nosed kids, he wanted justice for Exodus and the many others that had fallen victim to the Dreamers.
Once the war started it was not able to ceased as it gave runners like Mad Dog, the Chemist, Joker, the Regulators and others a free pass on killing these problem children and they didn’t discriminant. As the bodies began to pile up this would garner negative attention from the police and the populace would only see the known runners murdering innocent youngsters and not fighting for survival, the media would spin them as the super villains and the Dreamers as the Super Heroes and the streets would become a very dangerous place to be as bullets would erupt on any street at any time as runners hunted the dreamers, the gangs fought for the territory and the police unleashed their newest defence force the Cyber Swat. All the while the jobs where being handed to these dreamers that would inevitably fail or attempt to screw the Johnson, further sculling the reputation of the shadow warrior and causing the clients to re-think their approach. They knew they could hire mercenaries directly from the guilds and gain a total professional soldier and not a street rabble runner, by 2060 the jobs had almost all dried up and the runners where outraged as the dreamers had destroyed everything the founders had built and as well ruined everything they had adapted to the game; in a matter of a handful of years the dreamers had swooped in like a horde of locusts and left the city barren.
This was a sin that could not be tolerated and even those that originally didn’t agree with the shadow war would enter it’s ranks, and even some outsiders that were now entering the city looking for work would join the fight against the dreamers. They would only have their reputations to spare them from the wrath of the Seattle Next Gens, soon these runners would face a new dilemma and that would the changing of the guard and keeping to the teachings of Fable. Though for the Mariners and Pain Brigade they couldn’t focus on the rules of the prior generation they were fighting for their survival, while being called into action to defend to city from alien threats of bugs and toxic’s; they would have to deal with a invasion that would threaten the city and actually attempt to thwart a vile plan to destroy the entirety of the UCAS and the world. This would become an age known as the Winds of Change and it was everything that Fable had warned everyone about all wrapped up neatly in a box, this would last for five years and as the independents warred in the streets of Seattle the Mariners would risk everything to save humanity from certain doom. By the time a new age would be hailed, the Mariners where being called the Wind Runners and being pardoned and praised by President Johnathan Witmore and once again the veterans where hailed as heroes. Though they would forget one very important piece of Fables teachings and that would be to slip into the shadows and allow the new generation a chance to rise and have their impact on the city and the world.
The New Breed (2065 – 2074): Now as this generation was beginning to enter the shadows, they where being hunted to extinction by those of the prior generation that mistook the newbies for the problematic Dreamers that had been flooding the streets. It wasn’t till runners like Fraggle, Blaine, Defender and even the Bar Tender of the Jackal’s Lantern that would actually see something special about these newbies and they would vouch for these New Breeders thus allowing for the generation to begin and give these new runners a chance as well as place to lay low and offer sanctuary from the storm that was brewing on the streets. The New Breed would have very few issues plaguing them besides the lack of work and the abilty to have a major impact on the shadows, seeing that the Next Gens where not walking away from the city they helped build and thus the jobs where being consumed by those of the prior generation and those that would get handed off to members of the New Breed it would normally be a death sentence seeing that the client was expecting to hire the likes of the Wind Runners and the now Unknown Soldiers and not a green horn runner that hadn’t popped his run cherry yet. In order to survive those of this generation would need to prove themselves to the big dogs and hope to join their ranks, now while the Wind Runners wasn’t accepting any new membership the Unknown Soldiers would begin to welcome the new comers. There first new recruit was a runner named Crazy Glue, they have had others but the only other one to have any impact would be a young girl known as Barbie Girl. Though these New Breeders would have very big shoes to fill while being in the Unknown Soldiers. Barbie would eventually just fall in with the others on the team and not really have any major impact on the age, it would be Crazy Glue that wold have the greatest impact on this generation as she was a wise beyond her years and somehow figured out that she needed to unit the New Breed and the Next Generation in order to allow both generations to prevail, though sadly she had no knowledge of the founding fathers and that would have been a hard egg to crack.
During Crazy’s time on the planet she would become the Mother Hen of the runners and act as a peacekeeper between the generations and actually bring an end to the War of the Shadows for a time being in 2069. This generation wold have it’s issues, but the New Breed was less a generation of legendary operations and more a generation of rebuilding and restoring the faith in the runner with the client. Though their are some legendary runners to emerge from the New Breeds early days besides Crazy Glue, you have Nick, Locust, Sawyer, Neo, Scorpion, Baby Girl, Ditto, Mickey and Mind Freak to name a few that would rise to the status of legends of their generation. Though there are others that would come later on and be classified as such, but i am getting ahead of myself here. The biggest problem of this generation was that it was hunted to near extinction in the early days and the jobs were quite scarce so they would have to reach out to independent agencies such as the Human Resistance Movement, Freedom Patriots and Confederacy to find suitable work, though a majority of the time they needed to let go of any morale dilemmas and just do what needed to be done. Though for Crazy Glue the idea of working for the HRM was sickening and she would begin a personal crusade against them, she would also wage a war against a terrorist cell known as Free Bird; this was the fragment agency that the Wind Runners punished during the Winds of Change. Though in her haste she would strike at the time a friendly group of wastelanders known as the Deaths Hand as she and the Unknown Soldiers would mistake the Hand for Free Bird. This is a sin that she would latter pay for dearly with her life, the Hand at one point wasn’t an evil agency bent on world domination and it was the butchering of his people at the hands of the Unknown Soldiers that would send Alexander over the edge and when he resurfaced with the new Hand it would be a force to be reckoned with.
Crazy’s assault on the HRM would not go unnoticed either, as she would cost that cell greatly and cause them to loose countless solider’s in the process, while she believed she was doing the right thing she would cause the events that would ultimately be her downfall. Now as the years progressed the New Breeders where beginning to make a name for themselves besides being wrapped up tightly with the Next Generation and by 2070 it seemed that everything had evened itself out, the war of the shadows was a distant memory and the generations where working together to rebuild Seattle. Though lurking in the shadows was a further plot to destroy them and this would come at the hands of the government when General James O’Brian would begin his conquest to rid the world of the runner threat and bring them into the military to serve as loyal drones of the UCAS. He would get congressional and presidential approval to begin the Runner Rehabilitation project, and acting under Presidential empowerment he would begin to round up the runners and force them into his machines. Well this didn’t sit well with Crazy and the other runners of Seattle as they would formulate a plan of attack against the government and eventual bring down the mighty machine, though this would bring an end temporally to the peoples love of Seattle’s runners and one again cast a cloud over them as villains. Seeing that the UCAS has been fighting a shadow war against freedom fighters claiming them to be the False Flag for decades and this unprovoked attack from unaligned runners was not well received as the people stood behind their beloved general and agreed with the program.
Though the cloud over the runners would only last till 2073 when a new batch a New Breeders would emerge onto the scene and turn the entire game upside down. The arrival of Bilbo, Waldo and Tin Man would change the way the runners were perceived once again. These runners would band together out of need and the desire to operate as a true team of New Breeders and not one of mixed generation, as they where following the words and teachings of the founding fathers. They would also emerge at the same time the Founders where returning to the streets, though not to work but to act as agents of Fables warnings; they would begin to hunt the Next Generation runners that stayed in the game to long and failed to follow the rules laid before them. This would once again spark the divide and the War of the Shadows was once again raging, the bonfire that Crazy had managed to quell was now burning out of control as runners of the Next Gen where dropping like flies; and then it happened on a cold November evening inside the Jackal’s Lantern the Mother Hen herself was assassinated by unknown assailants she was brought down in a hail of gunfire that has been assumed to be either Deaths Hand or HRM related. Though what happened directly after was another great tragedy as the streets wept over the death of the Mother Hen, once friends became bitter enemies as the Unknown Soldiers would blame the Wind Runners over the death of Crazy and thus would cause the War of Friends. The Once Mariners and Pain Brigade would enter into a bloody civil war and cause great devastation to the harmony of the streets, Seattle was facing it’s own problems with the Deaths Hand invading and now no runner was safe.
This would happen at the end of 2073 and it would ring in the end of an era, as the winds of change would blow once again as the blood of the runners flowed through the streets. Many lives where lost but namely Barbie Girl, Logan, Wheels, Electra, Rogue, Blood Strike and Blood Hound would fall victim to the War of Friends. Mickey would fall to the Deaths Hand and the team once known as the Ministry wold be completely eradicated during this period, the independent runners would begin to feel the need to work as a team for protection and would bring the formation of the Devil’s Rejects, and as peace talks where being discussed between the Unknown Soldier’s and the Wind Runners the city was under heavy siege from the Deaths Hand that had begun their invasion. The two once legendary teams would once again merge into one unit that would be known as Helix, though as this age was coming to end, it would be the team known as the Harbingers that would have the greatest impact on the age and their generation as it would be this team that would bring an end to the Founders hunt for the Next Gens and it would be this teams passion, patriotism, and love for Seattle that would send them into a battle they could not win to rescue a friend from injustice and help defend the city during it’s finest hour.
While many fell in battle on that day it would always be remembered as the greatest sacrifice a runner could make, and it would the operation that would mark a generation this was the final stand for the New Breed and they ended with their Fire and Ice job and their Titanic Operation. Now the Harbingers have gone through changes since, but what stands true is that without that original squad the world of the runners would be forever lost. Now when it comes to the generation to come after the New Breed, allot is left to uncertainty as the rules have once again changed and it has been discovered that the generations where not to exist only one at a time, but to work as one cohesive unit and assist each other in the grand scheme of things. Each generation would be faced with it’s own obstacles to overcome but they are to work together to survive, for this was a path forged from nothing and has become bigger then even the runners themselves. What will come of the net generation and will their even be a new generation of runners that is unknown, but for right now The Founders, the Generation and the New Breed all stand united as they forge ahead into uncharted waters.
The Lost Generations (2049 -2053) and (2062 -2065): Now this is more a classification as any other generational guide, being of the Lost Generation just means that a runner doesn’t fit directly into any of the classified time frames for when the arrived on the scene. Though a Lost Generation of the 2049 – 2053 era can be called either a Founder or a Next Generation though that runner actually falls directly in between the generations and the original rules laid forth by Fable didn’t apply to a member of this generation. Well now we know that the rules where misunderstood and the generations where to work together, and it would seem that the Lost Generation would be the missing link between the ages. Their are a few notable runners of this age starting with 2049 – 2053 you have Fraggle, Lost, Chemist, Quick Draw and Mad Dog; though they might have been active during the Net Generation and thus considered Next Generation Runners since they arrived at the end of the Founders era that only means that they were already well established by the time the age would pass For all arguments sake these runners can be either considered Founders or Next Generation though I prefer to call them the Lost Ones. Now on the flip side you have the same situation with runners that emerged onto the scene in between the Next Generation and the New Breed at the time they would have been considered newbies and would have had to fight for their survival during the bloody shadow war but these runners did survive and would go to become legends themselves just lost between ages the few notable runners of this age are Liberty, Hero, Sparrow, and Vagabond; as the above their are others of this generation that can be considered legends in there own right. This generation of Lost Children had the roughest time seeing that they were fighting for survival during the end of the bloody legacy and harking in the era of the New Seattle they had to adapt quickly or die. This generation of Lost Children would create the rules that they didn’t get close to anyone within the shadows until they proved themselves, as they watched to many people die around them; getting close to anyone was a risk they weren’t willing to take until they proved themselves worthy.
The Criminal Elite ( ??? – 2029): This is an age before the founders and I won’t dive to deeply here as their is allot of speculation, rumour and myth behind many that hail from this era, this is a time before the need for runners and before the Tragedy so these people where just criminal masterminds, master thieves, assassins and white collar criminals that managed to stay off the radar and out of prison during a time when everything was in flux. They did have an impact on the rules and they would have a great influence on many of the founders but their true actions are unknown during this time since a vast majority of the records where lost and we are left with speculations. Seeing that many from this era would continue on into the Founders generation it is hard to fully nail down any sort of time line, though it does seem that even this age of runner would follow the words of Fable or maybe it was Fable following their teachings. Seeing I can’t fully verify who is truly from this age I will not mention any names of notable worth , though their quite a few individuals that would fall into this classification and they would truly be a terror to ever see in action today seeing as they would have a lifetime of experience and training under their belt, many of the Founders were trained by those of the Criminal Elite Age; so be very cautious when engaging anyone that claims to be from this generation, they are truly masters of their craft and gods among men.