Saturday, May 9, 2020

Espionage in a Cyberpunk World

In a world where empires rise and fall with the news cycle, where machines gorge on seas of data and produce oceans of information, where a single publicized fact is more devastating than an atomic bomb, information is the lifeblood of civilizations.

In Singularity Sunrise, where advances in critical technologies produce a permanent and decisive edge over rival superpowers, obtaining, securing and transmitting confidential information is a vital strategic mission. With the future of humanity in the balance, intelligence agencies and their contractors are no longer bound by unwritten rules and agreements. This is a dog eat dog world, and no rules are taboo.

Psychic spies are the cornerstone of every intelligence agency. Psychometers can read the history of a location or object with a touch. Remote viewers can send their consciousnesses to anywhere on the planet and spy on meetings and documents. Interrogators can discern truth from lies while questioning a subject. And that's just for starters.

No matter where a psi goes, if he can peer through time and space, if he can penetrate the depth of the soul, there will always be demand for his services. While wards and workings can delay or deny them, the working assumption is that everything committed to paper and every in-person meeting can and will be compromised. Sensitive information must be stored in places where even psis cannot go.

The most secure data vaults of the new century are air-gapped servers. Completely isolated from the outside world, they store information as bytes and bits on massive servers. Remote viewers cannot tap into data banks, psychometers cannot divine information from touching a keyboard. Constructed properly, hackers cannot remotely access them either.

When even computers can't be trusted, operatives with memory chips commit vital information to their organic brains. Unhackeable, unreadable, they can recite information at a moment's notice if needed--or forget it in a flash.

In Singularity Sunrise, espionage operations are focused on accessing and compromising secure data banks and high value targets entrusted with vital information. Without the ability to access them remotely, operators and contractors must rely on more traditional means.

Recruiting agents with access to information and restricted areas. Social engineering to convince people to let them into secure locations. Compromising less-secure computer networks to find a way to access more secure ones. And, if absolutely necessary, direct action.

Operating in the dystopias of tomorrow, every spy and every agent must fly under the radar of the surveillance state. They can't just fool potential human watchers; they must convince surveillance AIs running city- and country-wide surveillance networks that they are who they say they are. Disguises and spy kit aren't enough; they must conceal their physiology, their personal data, their patterns of life. Where Big Data and Big Tech combine, paranoia is a way of life.

If there is no other option but to snatch a target or raid a secure site, there is no margin for error. The slightest mistake will lead to calamity. Without deep preparation, contingency plans, specialist equipment, and an animal mix of cunning and adaptability and sheer ruthlessness, direct action will fail.

And the enemy always gets a vote.

These espionage operations have one thing in common: they all rely on the human factor. They aim to exploit human weaknesses and vulnerabilities, persuade or coerce targets, to penetrate holes in defences and escape without being caught. Which, naturally, leads to actors seeking to replace mere humans with cold machines.

The world of Singularity Sunrise is strange, complex and terrifying. Factions ally with and war against each other, seeking to shape the future of humanity. These players require services that they cannot delegate to their own in-house resources.

Within the private military and security industry, Lithsman Security Solutions is a great white shark. A small team of elite contractors, capable of deploying anywhere on the planet on short notice to carry out a wide range of missions. These include kidnap and recovery, critical extraction, high-risk personal security details, security audits.

And, for the right client with the right needs and the right questions, it offers 'discretionary services'.

Even in a world of AIs and full-body cyborgs, there is no avoiding the need for humans. But will it be enough to prevent the final obsolescence of man?Find out in Singularity Sunrise!

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