The first in the series of the Hacker Chronicles launches 2022!
Ghost in the Shell has been around in one form or another since 1989 and known as known in Japan as Mobile Armored Riot Police The most impressive part of which is the first two Stand Alone Complex Series that has tormented our imaginations of a cyber brain future. In this article I’m gonna focus in on these two “GIG’s” and why I cannot take the GITS Universe seriously post the live action movie and atrocious animation produced by Netflix.
Stand Alone Complex, in the series, is a form of copycat behaviour when the originator only exists by rumour or urban legend. That behaviour, such as a particular form of cyberbrain crime, is copied and copied until the first copycat is seen as the originator.
(Note for this article we are just focusing on the GITS SAC series but there is so much more to this world from the Manga, to Arise, the the shorts/ specials/ OVA’s, to the films… and does include spoilers as well as opinions. I’ve never watched the series in English and never intend to. Other GITS SAC purists will hopefully understand).
There is something about this series isn’t there? Whether it be the way the Major sucks you in to her rich e-sexual complex cyberpunk and cybernetic dystopia, or it be the sweet Russian voice of Origa, or the shenanigans of the Tachikoma… one thing people often overlook is the fact that she is a cop (with her tight lip-licking swimsuit and yoga pants), who brings down cyber-criminals or other cyberpunks like you and me, and apart from her outward and often distracting appearance, she is a military woman through and through carrying out missions that would lesser cops lying dead in the back streets of a burnt out Neo Tokyo.
Japan at this point is a superpower, much more so than the former United States, and with that power comes the responsibilities of Section 9, a secret organisation that almost everyone in law enforcement knows about, and the missions that are too difficult for anyone else take on.
Major Motoko Kusanagi herself is highly intelligent, creative, snarky and funny, attributes that seem to have been missed in the live action film. As much as her other skills allow, she uses her sexual prowess to gain favour of men where in the future she still lives in a very misogynistic Japan, although she is superior in almost every way, her ability to fit in to this society is yet another skill, while behind closed doors she prefers the company of her female sexual partners, no doubt a brave yet subtle route to take for a popular Japanese Anime. Most of the men who follow her in Section 9, simply just know not to fuck with her, unfortunately most others just don’t seem to be all that intelligent. Until we come to the Stand Alone Complex actors who still leave a digital footprint for her team to follow.
One of my favourite moments of the series is when Motoko joins in to meet hackers in a virtual environment all trying to solve the case of the Laughing Man, it’s a great indicator of what a group of hackers might look like now in a virtual environment (Though of course at the time of the anime the technology was nowhere near this level).
To be continued in part 2 desu.
I had no business being there. I never should’ve been there, but it was one of my social experiments gone horribly, horribly wrong.
…and so there i was, rocked outta my fucking mind on LSD, MDMA and enough booze to drown a high school football team. Either that dumb bitch was too fucking clueless to know what she was doing or was just diabolical enough to engineer it. I found myself wandering the streets on the far side of midnight, trying to remember where in the hell the liquor store was located.
Given the chemical composition of my brain and the sheer amounts of combichrist blaring at inhumane levels in my ears, it’s nothing short of a miracle that i managed to purchase more booze without stabbing anyone or alerting police to my condition.
I remember listening to the birthday massacre while smoking a cigarette and retracing my steps, trying to block out the raging demons that had become my thoughts. Finding her apartment building and praying to whatever arcane gods listening that i’d remember what number to press in the elevator. I can’t recall if anyone else had been in close space with me, but i do hope someday they’ll forgive me.
The moment shattered as i tried not to drown in the surreal ass carpet in the maze of hallways as i wondered why i hadn’t severed my skin to leave a blood trail to help me find my way back… and for all of my efforts? …Naught.
The best i would hope for is falling into oblivion away from her, obsessed with the singular thought: why the fuck am i here?
Troping the Bergie Web for a few lame thrills, i dive into the deep for local, state and federal conspiracy to see what my idiot government is up to. Of course proxy and tor are essential. I do some sniffing and find my way into a closed system. On the surface it’s just some oldsckool 2008R2 but quickly i realise I’ve been redirected into a dummy cloud.
I pull back on the dive and do a systems check on my VR trodes. Shock protection check, multiple catch pockets check, i’m ready as i’ll ever be. I hope i get to see her again, the mystery Woman everybody talks about.
Yes… I knew it was a smokescreen. I enter the Virus soup. Lots have dickheads have found their way in. I’m constantly being attacked but most don’t have the tech i’m carrying.
There are fingerprints of her work everywhere here. Evidence of government and corporate corruption, videos of lame sex acts toppled with some of the truly the darkest shit humanity can conjure.
A virus directs my attention to a male cyborg jacking into another male cyborg whilst fucking a cyborg puppy where none of the implants appear to be necessary for survival. Ew… They all just exploded.
Back on the road… I use my polymeric falcighol derivation and fathom my way into the Primarch. It’s just one of many gateways… Most people think this is the be all and end all of the connected world but there is another level and only she will let you in if she finds you worthy. Peeps are calling it the “Golden Trove”.
I know who she is, i say her real name… And i’m booted. FUCK!
The Cunt burnt out my trodes. It’s gonna cost me fifty grand just to get the basics again. Time to see the Dream Weaver… Maybe he can lend me the crypto to get back on top of this. I’ll do some B&E jobs for him, he’s always looking for wet waxors to do jobs on the side. I heard he alone bought down some major corps but nothing like what i saw in there with Machete Girl. She may have burned me the fuck out but she didn’t touch my memory. Perhaps that was on purpose. I have enough info stored to spend weeks sifting through the data burst.
I locate a file… It reads: //meet at the Hijaku Club, your name is already on the door// I sit back in my filthy couch i use for masturbating. Satan H Bomb Christ. She knows my name. She must have been tracking me from the outset. I never thought i tripped any alarms but then again this is Machete Girl we are talking about. OMG i actually get to meet her.
The Hijaku club was the hardest club to get into in Tokyo, possibly the world. It’s rumoured to be a place for billionaires and above, level 8 citizens only.
I sit back in my couch, slip my fingers around my clitoral hood, and think about how i’m going to fuck her.
Undercover of the night…
They looked enough alike to be twins which they were… paternal… tall, compact with a crown of glossy jet black hair. Twenty-seven years ago they had been pulled from a orphanage in Pusan by AKOM a Korean tech giant and groomed for deep cover in Japan. A convenient traffic accident in Kobe, a man and woman with two twin boys killed. Except the twins then survived or more to the point two boys were later found alive in the wreckage. A wealthy patron adopted them and raised and educated them in a proscribed fashion. They were hired and then rose quickly in Toshiba’s R and D which lead to being assigned to Odin’s exclusive back engineering team.
“We got it.” Leif said looking up from his screen. They had been at it for over ninety hours with just three sleep breaks and despite Akira’s and Takeshi’s subtle redirections he had broken into the crypto squirt transmitter’s operating system. It was AKOM’s benchmark setting tech and it was now compromised. As Leif linked to admin, Akira stood to block his view of his workstation as Takashi peeled the flesh toned composite from his forearm and attached to Leif’s data sink. The lab was under a mnemonic lock, any memory of what transpired within was segregated in both Akira’s and Takashi’s mind and irretrievable once they passed the threshold. The only way it could be accessed was by a code word being spoken which Leif did every time the entered but which they never retained. The composite instantly mirrored and internalized the sink’s data after which Takashi deftly reapplied smoothing it to the anterior of elbow.
Tonight, Leif’s co-researchers had oddly begged off so he had decided to solder on himself. There had been a break through today, had managed to backdoor into the operating system of a piece of crypto gear the team had spent the last six months back engineering. It was their first real progress which only added to his surprise as his assistants claimed pressing business at home. It was Leif Odin’s usual stop after locking out of Toshiba’s covert R and D that was located on the second floor of a carefully distressed pachinko parlour two blocks east. He and two of his co-researchers regularly participated in a Japanese timeworn office ritual known as nomikai which involved working their way through a war club of Sake , toasting themselves into near oblivion while stuffing themselves on the grilled chicken skewers.
Ducking his near two meter frame, he entered the Yakitory stand bringing greetings from the owner and two of the regulars. He was something off a curiosity locally, sporting a wild head of blond hair and beard that radiated gajjin, but being in country almost ten years his Japanese was without accent and excellent. He ordered a couple skewers of Yakitory and a masu of sake and slid onto the bench throwing out Konbanwas all around. The Yakitory stand Izakawawas nestled under a train line in the bustling Yarakucho neighborhood that lies in one of Tokyo’s many entertainment districts. For its walls, the owner had strung up coaxial cables to the concrete bridge supports and attached to them thick sheets of dusky painters plastic. From the outside it glowed a ghostly white, reducing the images of those inside to spectral shifting surreal smudges. Heated by a dented orange 20 year old Salamander designed by a defunct Malaysian concern roared like a tame jet engine making it warm at chest level but freezing at your feet next to it was a long table made from a chipped piece of particleboard balanced on two Tokyo public works saw horses making seating for eight , a cooking area with two butane gas rings, one that held a large dented pot kept to a full boil to heat Sake and a small brazier on which the yakatori grilled. It was Leif Odin’s usual stop after locking out of Toshiba’s covert R and D that was located on the second floor of a carefully distressed pachinko parlour two blocks east. He and two of his co-researchers regularly participated in a Japanese timeworn office ritual known as nomikai which involved working their way through a war club of Sake , toasting themselves into near oblivion while stuffing themselves on the grilled chicken skewers.
“Sumimasen.” trilled a very feminine voice. Lief looked up groggily through a veil of rice wine and forced himself to focus. He saw a young girl in traditional geisha mufti, grinning shyly though bone white face paint. “Hai” He managed. She smiled and then showed him a small black sphere that was cradled in the palm of her hand. Deftly taking it between thumb and forefinger, she squeezed it, causing a stud to pop up. Bowing, she depressed it, igniting two ounces of hexogen wrapped in fifty meters of razor sharp monofilament. A soundless flash of white filled his world. Takashi and Akira were two blocks east of the pachinko parlour when the blast rang out. Both men turned and looked back as they practiced due to the near ubiquitous cc coverage in Japan and then continued walking. ** “Morning, Sunshine.” Leif opened his eyes and saw the same white which slowly resolved into a very Japanese hospital room which did not sync with the greetings which though in English had a distinct Dutch lilt. You sound like my grandmother. Lief said in Dutch. Danke said the yet to be identified man. Leif turned his head, pain flared down the length of his body causing him to gasp. “Easy.” Said the voice. “We had to graft almost forty-three percent of your body mass replacement tissue on top of composite scaffolding to replace what was damaged in the blast.” “Blast? That was an explosion last night?”
Three vans packed with HR retrieval and recovery showed up eleven minutes after the blast, screeching to a stop and discharging Rapids in full beetle, Bullpup assault rifles at the ready swarmed toward Akira and Takashi. The response time was thirty seconds faster than AKOM’s predicted. Takashi dropped to one knee as he ripped free a Glock Talon with extended mag and opened fire.
A tan, angular face came into Leif’s field of vision and smiled, exposing a brilliant swath of enamel, his ice blue eyes actually sparkled as he raised his hand palm outward revealing a corporate illuminare tattoo. “Jon Yuan? HR recovery?” Leif read confused. “Got it in one.” Jon said flipping over his hand to grasp Leif’s. “And you’ve been OOC for close to three months since the incident.” “Three months?” Leif asked with dawning horror. “OOC? Out of commission?” “It was a near thing, your two co-researchers had arranged your…near obliteration.” “Takashi and Akira? Who the fuck was the Geisha?” “A Korean AKOM operative, meat puppet, both Akira and Takashi AKOM deep operatives, Akira suicided before we could pick him up, but we gleaned Takashi till he was almost fuckin see-through.” Leif winced. HR was notorious for being enthusiastic. “So how much damage was there?” Lief asked as he pulled up his hospital johnnie exposing an unmarked blameless Expanse of torso. “Quite extensive but being a tier 1 employee has its benefits.” The HR exec said with a wink. “Thankfully the head trauma was minimal, the force of the blast was centred on mostly your trunk and upper thighs. The wire that wrapped the explosive was treated with a hemorrhagic enzyme, so bleeding was a issue. Once they locked you into the medical AI and got you stable, things progressed quickly. Replacement tissue was grown on cartilage scaffolding and grafted using cutting edge antivirals, recovery under a stim net for tissue regrowth and muscle tone.” “Thanks?” Lief said uncertainly. “De nada.” The HR exec said around a grin.”
The cell phone tower was disguised poorly as an Elm sat half in and out of the shadow of a shipping container condo rack. Akira ducked behind it as bullets kicked up quarter sized pieces of asphalt behind him. Pulling the composite from his arm, he slapped it to the metal of the tower, triggering an integral capacitor to discharge, punching to data up and out onto the net. The impact of a soft alloy round spun him onto his back. Stunned he watched the closing Rapid pull out the Zip cuffs.