Secrets of the City
The finding of Amistad
The City of Amistad
The Black Box
March 7th 2065, the world was shocked by the events that surrounded a small area halfway along the coast in the disputed area between Tir Tairngire and California. It was shocked at the size of the explosion that broke open the northern wall of the city. It was surprised by the organization displayed by the multicultural test subjects who orchestrated their escape. But mostly the world was surprised because before then it did not know that the city of Amistad existed.
Early in the afternoon, smoke billowed from the horizon north of California and south of Tir Tairngire. Small military forces were dispatched from both nations, who came upon a sight that astounded them. A great black cube a half mile of each side stood dark and imposing not far from the shores of the pacific, and just outside its northern walls a battle was being waged. Or rather…it had just been finished. The denizens of the city had recently broken out, and by the time military forces arrived, they were standing bleary eyed in the sunlight and assessing their new situation: where were they? How did they get here? What should they do about the armies approaching from either side?
Indeed, the city was a mystery, to its inhabitants as much as to its discoverers. No one knew where it had come from, or how long it had been there. No one knew its purpose or its origins. Or at least no one was saying. The people now inhabiting it claim themselves to be test subjects, but offer no explanation as to what the tests were designed to prove. According to what they say themselves, even they do not know what happened to them before they worked together to defeat their captors (none of whom have ever been found), or where they came from before that. Judging by appearance and known languages, the test subjects were picked up from all around the globe, but for what purpose? As far as they have said, they did not know.
What they knew for sure was that they had one another. Out of fear of the sources massing outside the Black Box, it inhabitants withdrew inside and began to sure up their defenses, occasionally sending small parties out to communicate. Remembering the name of the slave ship whose captives once fought for and then legally won their freedom, they gave the city a name: Amistad. The city of freedom. They believed they would stand as a shining example to the dispossessed and abused in the world. They believed they would be joined by thousands, becoming a spearhead in a new movement dedicated to breaking the hold the megacorps had on the sixth world. They believed that soon the world would show them they were not alone. This promptly did not happen.
Neither Tir Tairngire nor California admitted any knowledge of the city, nor did they order the (slowly growing) armies at its borders move towards it. They knew that doing so could prove an act of war, but it has been speculated that one of the countries is the true reason behind the city’s existence, but did not want to admit to the kidnapping of and experimentation upon thousands of people. The megacorporations had no such fears. Seeing that no government lay any claim upon Amistad, they viewed the situation as an opportunity to gain themselves a free, self-sufficient (if slightly damaged) arcology, with untold research and developments held within. The only thing standing in their way was a ragtag band of confused escapees, right?
The many ensuing difficulties stemmed from two sources. First, the denizens of Amistad, proved to be astonishingly coordinated, and defended themselves competently from the many cursory incursions attempted in the early days after the breakout. No one who was not wanted in the city got farther than the outer wall. By the time the megacorporations realized the necessity for full scale assaults, they began to encounter a second issue: one another. Soon major forces funded by Renraku, EvoCorp, and Ares Macrotechnology realized they were on a collision course for Amistad. The only eventuality was the first true war between megacorps if they did not stop. And so…they stopped. But many did not leave. Rather, curiosity with the city flourished, and with the creation of AmSec, so did the city itself.
The reasons Amistad’s citizens created Amistad Security (or AmSec, for short), have been argued since it first happened. Some say they realized that the world was coming one way or another, so they figured they had best find a way to control the influx of outside attention. Some said that it was necessary for them to remain in the city and protect its secrets. After all, every city needs food and water, and the supplies inside could not last forever. (Of course, this begs a few questions. What is the purpose of building an arcology that is not self sufficient? Where were they getting their resources before the breakout occurred?) Again, no one knows for sure, but what they do know is that AmSec holds a firm grasp on the city that it has no intention of releasing.
AmSec holds tight control of the inside of the arcology, taking care to be aware of who and what goes inside. They fund themselves primarily by leasing real estate in and around the city to megacorps, but to a lesser extent by taxation of goods entering and leaving the area. The abundant energy resources provided by the arcology’s generator, and prospect of finding new technologies within the city make it a desirable location for megacorps who have flocked to the area and set up offices and research and development facilities. Of course, where these powers go, so did workers. Factories mean workers, families, and all the comforts that people with money expect to be able to spend it on. It also means shadowrunners, many eager to find a city where they will have a clean slate and the promise of paid work.
By January 2075 the city is now a thriving hub of progress, research, scum, and villainy that any modern city would be proud to call itself. The search for secrets continues, but AmSec is keeping a tight hold on things. The city approaches its tenth anniversary since the world learned of its existence, and a celebration is in the works. If anything has been discovered, no one is talking. Yet. As it stands, the secrets of the Black Box have yet to be revealed.