Intro History Organizations Runners Fixers and Suppliers
Fixers & Suppliers
Runners would find themselves quickly up a creek without the support of various types of people that make their career possible.
There are basically two kinds of Fixers; freelancers that work for themselves (also known as Street Fixers), and corporate Fixers that either work directly for a corporation under some cover title, or work for a "consulting firm" that handles contracting Runs for other companies.
Of the two, Runners are far more likely to deal with freelance Fixers unless they are already well known and established.
Freelance Fixers are the grease that makes the wheels of Runner commerce roll. To those who want a Run undertaken they represent an easy and efficient way to keep ones hands clean and avoid any unpleasant repercussions.
Even still, its the rare contractor that deals directly with a Fixer; there's almost always some degree of misdirection or intermediaries employed for even greater anonymity.
From the perspective of Runners, Fixers are the arbiters of who works and who doesn't. They are the font of jobs and therefore livelihood.
Being a freelance Fixer is a dangerous line of work that requires crack management skills, the ability to correctly assess the capabilities of Runners and match them with the right jobs, and the ability to network with both Runners and representatives of those who want jobs done.
They also have to be on guard against reprisals, and avoid being captured and forced to divulge information about who contracted a particular Run.
Unsurprisingly, they tend to be a no nonsense, slightly paranoid bunch. But taking a cut of every contract can really add up for a Fixer, and they are often wealthy enough to have the best protection money can buy, whether that means cybernetic upgrades, body armor, secure facilities, guards, or some combination thereof.
Corporate Fixers are usually of a similar bent, but make less money. However they are in much less danger than their freelance counterpart, depending on exactly what company they work for.
Corporate Fixers tend to only deal with large jobs that are sensitive enough the company wants to keep it as in-house as possible, and tend to contract with the cream of the Runner crop or else go thru freelance Fixers to get at talent, never meeting with the hired Runners. Many jobs are conducted in this fashion; with chunks being farmed out to several freelance Fixers with the left hand kept in the dark about the right hands existence.
Usually a new Runner will get picked up by a Fixer and do several missions for them, pretty much having to take what they are offered; once they've proven themselves word gets around, and the Runner finds themselves vetted by numerous Fixers, based on the word on the street. At this point in their careers Runners usually have more freedom to take or turn down contracts as they like but they don't have much clout to alter the terms of a Fixers offer for a contract. Those Runners that ascend into fame can pretty much pick their jobs and dictate their terms; its up to the Fixers to decide if they want to pay what the Runner is asking.
There is a host of support industries that either directly or indirectly provide a framework for Runners to exist in.
The most obvious suppliers of use to Runners are Arms Dealers and vendors of other useful gear; without hardware most Runners would be hard-pressed to do their jobs. Black Market sales are alive and well, and in some areas aren't even covert, existing right out in the open.
Another key support industry is cybernetics and other forms of bio-enhancement, both the companies that manufacture them and the Hospital companies that will install and maintain them. A lot of Runners have at least some kind of bio-enhancement, whether it be a simple data jack or synthetic muscles.
General Medical services are also important to Runners; Ambulances don't just come pick up anyone, particularly if you happen to be in a danger zone.
There is a pay in advance policy in the best of circumstances, and if the pickup is in a hot zone, then there is danger pay to contend with as well.
Most successful Runners maintain a membership with an EMT service guaranteeing pickup when called for.
Information brokers are another important supplier for Runners; most Runs require a lot of research and planning and information is a very valuable commodity in the MetaCyber setting. Blueprints, schematics, access codes, patrol schedules are all very valuable to a Runner; and those are just the obvious ones.
In addition to the more prevalent forms of suppliers, there are also more specialized providers, like Erasers who can be paid to obfuscate a persons involvement in anything, producing alibis, removing paper trails, and erasing evidence. There are also specialized Cleaners, who can be contracted to remove physical evidence from a scene. There are all manner of specialized Hackers that can be paid to crack specific systems, contracted to assist a Run remotely, or to oppose corporate attempts to find out more about a Runner, and so forth.
Most transactions are based on creds of course, but some are done in trade. The most established and successful Runner Teams will often have some assortment of Suppliers on staff or at least on retainer, where as less successful and lone Runners contract as they need services.