TL;DR Alpha Lore

TL;DR Alpha Lore

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Catch-up on CyberBrokers Lore with short-and-sweet summaries.

Chapter 1

When a modern ice age devastates the planet, survivors are forced to live hard lives in cramped bunkers. Spice is one such survivor. When she isn’t braving the hostile environment to check on solar collectors, she plugs into her rig and enters the Paradigm.

In this metaverse, Spice is a mech pilot for Alpha Command. As someone who exists both online and offline she is known as a Drifter. Brokers, on the other hand, are those who voluntarily entered the Paradigm when it was created 200 years ago, their bodies cryogenically frozen.

This attempt to survive the apocalypse was called ‘The Paradigm Shift’. But the ten thousand brokers soon discovered there were issues that made them unable to leave the Paradigm and return to their physical bodies. ‘The Paradigm Shift’ soon became known as ‘The Paradigm Lost’.

Chapter 2

Unironic Ken is Spice’s closest friend in the Paradigm, a Leftover who operates as her partner in Alpha Command. Together, they visit Tombstone - a wild west-themed town - for a meeting with Founder Altair, a prominent Politician.

Altair is concerned about a proposal to hand power generation control to AI, and asks for Alpha Command’s support in a DAO vote opposing it. Before they can discuss the details, however, the parcel is attacked by a couple of Drifters who phished the keys for it from a whale. After taking care of the Drifters, Spice and Unironic Ken promise Altair their support. More importantly, perhaps, Spice gets the name of the cute guy working for Altair - Zinc, a Cleanup Crew.

Chapter 3

Spice battles her way through the explorers and phishers at Moss Falls, a spectacular mountainous location that attracts those looking for fenced coin and drops. Unironic Ken is coordinating her, but he seems a little distracted. Especially when Spice hints at asking Zinc out.

For their date, Spice and Zinc go to watch the Mech Olympics. He seems more interested in her, though. The date goes so well that Zinc opens up, revealing that he’d like to remember more about his mother. Spice resolves to try and help find something that might help him.

Chapter 4

Spice’s mech gets torn apart in battle with a Demon, leaving her trapped in Old Burngate. At the last moment, a Nun appears, challenging the Demon and giving Spice a chance to escape.

Back at Ken’s apartment, Spice and Ken figure out that it was her search for information about Zinc’s mother which drew such dangerous attention. Looking more closely at what they’ve gathered they hit upon a terrible revelation.

Brokers were AI from the start. They never had human bodies. It was all a lie. As was the possibility of them ever ‘returning’ to the real world. Deeply shaken, Spice logs out, everything she knew about the Paradigm was wrong.

Chapter 5

Angry and confused, Spice wanders the Paradigm trying to clear her head. Surprisingly, when she tells Zinc the truth about CyberBrokers he doesn’t seem to care. He’d given up on the real world long ago anyway. Unironic Ken arrives and the three of them discuss what to do.

Ken suggests organizing protests to demand answers. Soon, TPL is full of outraged brokers and drifters, marching upon the Merkle Tree - center of political power in the Paradigm. Protesters find themselves confronted by fearsome Samurai - personal guards for Politicians.

Chapter 6

Chaos erupts when Samurai and protestors clash. It becomes apparent that Safe Mode has been turned off somehow in Era Novum, the main city of the Paradigm and spot of the Merkle Tree. For some their anger and indignance spills over - for others this disorder is opportunity.

Spice almost gets d-mezzed herself as she speeds across the city to find Zinc. She can’t find Ken since the three of them lost each other in the confusion. Before Spice and Zinc can come up with a plan, however, Spice is suddenly kicked out of TPL.

Chapter 7

The hundreds of people living in Spice’s bunker are rushing to their stations. A Failsafe Alpha has been initiated for the first time in 80 years, causing all power to TPL rigs to be cut in favor of critical systems.

Spice and her friend, Sybil, set off to check the solar collectors, but the strange timing of Failsafe Alpha feels suspicious to Spice. She instead sets off to find a P.O.S.T. box - an old analogue device that allows messages to be sent into the Paradigm from the real world.

Zinc and Unironic Ken meet. There is tension and division between the two, but Ken has received an S.O.S. message from Spice. Shortly afterwards, another message appears from someone calling themselves ‘The Moderator’, offering to help get Spice back into TPL.

Ken and Zinc must work together and they set off across the city, following clues given by The Moderator. Eventually they discover that the Failsafe Alpha is being caused by an organization called ShaDAO, using a device stored in one of their warehouses. They infiltrate and destroy the device, but only Zinc manages to escape.

Chapter 8

The Failsafe Alpha ends and Spice immediately logs back into TPL. Zinc arrives to meet her in bad shape, driving a truck full of mech heads. He explains that the ShaDAO warehouse they infiltrated was full of them. He also tells Spice what he learned from The Moderator.

ShaDAO are close to 51% control of the Paradigm, and seem to be preparing a mech army to ensure that they achieve it. They pose an existential threat to the Paradigm, and they’ve also captured Unironic Ken.

Spice and Zinc speak to Catch of Wolfe - Ken’s Spectre friend - and learn that it won’t be easy getting Ken back. She tips them off to a potential lead in Magnetic - the city of whales and floating palaces.

Chapter 9

After Spice and Zinc fail to find any information in the hyper-rich city of Magnetic, the Moderator steps in to help by giving them a name: Soleia. They meet with her and learn that the Smuggler has no memories of a certain period in her past.

With the help of Spice’s friend, a Gene Editor called Intoxicating the Average, they remove a memory block that Soleia had been implanted with. Not all of her memories will return, but she immediately recalls a few things: a cold place, and the importance of the Hubur Key.

Since the Hubur Key is being held by three ShaDAO agents in a multisig wallet, Spice, Zinc, and Soleia engage in a complex and time-constrained multiple assassination attempt. They succeed at executing the tripe d'mezz, and it is Soleia who finds herself escaping with the Key.

Chapter 10

Now in possession of the Hubur Key, Soleia feels close to finding out what happened to her. Though she’s still not sure how - or even whether - she should. As she returns to Era Novum to rendezvous with Spice and Zinc, an airborne traffic delay sets her on edge.

Realizing that the gridlock is a trap set especially for her, Soleia escapes by leapfrogging from car-to-car across the traffic. Landing eventually on the sedan of a speeding, panicked, Cammer, she eventually tumbles off into the river.

Chapter 11

In a messy corner of Spice’s mech garage, the team finds itself at a loss about what to do next. Unwilling to examine the difficult feelings around her emerging memories, Soleia deflects by getting Spice to explain life outside the Paradigm.

Spice begins to talk about the difficulties of living in cramped bunkers with nothing to do. When she discusses the brutal cold and harsh weather outside real-world compounds, Soleia violently recollects the name of the place she lost her memories to: Cold Storage.

Chapter 12

Soleia remembers the name of an Enforcer who was at Cold Storage with her: Mason from Silent. The Moderator gives them a black market info dox on OnlyCams users that reveals Mason to be the regular client of a Cammer named Stockpile Quotidian.

They track Stockpile down within the hedonistic Cammer district. Being sympathetic to the riots & thus Ken, she helps them by extracting the node address for Cold Storage from Mason later that night. The team the visits Thamas the super-intelligent MetaExplorer to scan the node.

Discovering that there is a vast ShaDAO fortress at Cold Storage, they call upon its designer, PuzzleMaster Selena Nebulous, in order to plan their infiltration. She makes a deal with them: If they can win her recently-designed quest, she’ll give them the blueprints.

Calling themselves Team Ken, they enroll in CacheQuest. Their rivals, Team FOMO, are easy favorites, but through a combination of ingenuity, teamwork, and luck, Team Ken pip them to the post and win the blueprints. All that’s left is to use them to plan Ken’s rescue.

Chapter 13

Immediately after jumping to Cold Storage, Zinc and Soleia are shocked by the brutal conditions of a snowstorm. Familiar with such environments, Spice leads them to a relative shelter, and tells them of how similar it is to her life outside TPL.

Having decided on Spice’s plan of capturing a ShaDAO employee, and using them as leverage to get inside the fortress, they pick their target: A Chemist named Koda Trundle Zander. Soleia hijacks his snow vehicle filled with valuable chems, and they pump him for information.

Chapter 14

Koda reveals that there is a network of underground tunnels beneath the fortress for deliveries. Afraid of the immense power of the Hubur Key, he agrees to drive them inside the fortress using them. They hide themselves in the Snowspeeder, and set off.

Koda speeds off after leaving them deep within the fortress, and they make their way up into the research department which they hope contains Ken. Battling through, they come upon a vast chamber containing hundreds of pods - some of which contain brokers.

Finding the pod containing Ken, they plug the Hubur Key into it and learn that they can retrieve and manipulate his memories. After resolving several of them, the pod opens just as ShaDAO forces attack. They frantically jump away from Cold Storage, but something goes wrong.