Around July of 2026 a rumor began spreading through the juve population of Night City. It all began with a series of lightning raids on several yogangs that were supposedly connected to the Eden Cabal. Gangs that ran underground railroads or know resistance fighters were attacked in their hiding places and completely wiped out. Naturally there was a huge outcry at the merciless nature of the attacks and juves everywhere began trying to find out how the cells had been exposed. After several daring datafort raids a group of Wizards found a cryptic memo concerning them. The memo indicated that the intelligence for all the operations was provided by a source only identified as “Shadow Net”. As the raids continued into early 2027 Shadow Net became the boogey man of Night City. What was this seemingly omnipotent intelligence source that was targeting the juve population? Speculation ranged from a super spy satellite launched by the ISA to a deranged AI inhabiting virtual space around the city, but the truth was far more insidious.
Shadow Net actually formed in the early days of 2026. It started as a group of Squats who banded together for mutual protection. They were tired of being the bottom rung of the food chain and decided to use their superior knowledge of the street to become the hunter. The idea was to watch from the shadows and retaliate against potential threats when they were most vulnerable. At first it was just simple ambush tactics. Ten Squats attacking one MegaViolent taking a leak in an alley behind a club, but as time went on the Shadow Net became sneakier. As they watched their prey they began recording movements and following them to they’re secret hiding places. Then it was a simple matter to phone in a tip to local police and have them do the Shadow Net’s dirty work. As time passed the groups numbers also expanded. What started as ten members had grown to a loose alliance of almost a hundred Squats.
In May of 2026 the nature of Shadow Net changed forever, in the name of love. The leader of Shadow Net, a 15-year-old juve named “Raggedy” Andy, fell into hopeless puppy love with Annie Carter, a fellow Squat. Sadly one morning a BuReloc truck sweeping the area picked up Annie. Andy was determined to save his girlfriend but didn’t know what to do. He used the one resource he had in a desperate bid to save her life. Wearing the nicest clothes he could scrounge, and after a fresh bath, he walked into a local CorpSec office and asked to see the supervisor. Andy produced a notebook containing the location of half a dozen resistance cells and information on who was there and what they were doing. In exchange for the release of his girlfriend he offered the resources of the Shadow Net to CorpSec. The CorpSec officer was stunned and didn’t believe until he noticed that one of the cells listed in the notebook had been under CorpSec surveillance for several weeks. After checking the information and two successful raids the head of CorpSec in Night City made a deal with the Shadow Net.
Annie was released and Shadow Net became a spy network for the ISA. CorpSec outfitted the gang with various old surveillance equipment and gear to setup a command center in the basement of an abandoned arcology. Every member of the gang was issued a palm computer for sending data and a small ID tag that could be presented to CorpSec or BuReloc officers to prevent them from being arrested. With the exception of those who operate the command post most members of Shadow Net are individual juves who just keep their eyes and ears open. Since Squats are considered harmless most people simply dismiss them or just completely ignore them. This makes if very easy for them to hear conversations meant to be secret or follow people to locations that are supposed to be hidden. Squats are everywhere in the city and there are more of them than probably any other gang. While most of them despise the corporations that have pushed them into poverty you would be surprised how many became snitches for nothing more than the occasional warm bed to sleep in and protection from being carted away in a BuReloc truck.
To protect themselves Shadow Net has gone deep underground to avoid being discovered. In an effort to protect the location of the command center they have set up several “blind drop” sites so newer members don’t even know where the command center is. With a little training from CorpSec Shadow net has compartmentalized itself so that any one member of the group may only know a handful of other members. This is similar to the cell system used by the Eden Cabal. Only the most trusted cells have access to the Master Cell located in the command center. In total there are roughly two hundred members of Shadow Net spread all across Night City. CorpSec is currently trying to convince the group to spread its operation to other cities in the area in an attempt to increase their usefulness. CorpSec is rather pleased with the results from Shadow Net. They have received a lot of accurate information and it costs them almost nothing to keep the outfit running. Also since Shadow Net operates outside of the ISA info structure they can be cut loose or eliminated if they ever outlive their usefulness.
Since no one has yet discovered the true nature of the Shadow Net they are still something to be feared in the city. It could be anyone or anything. The Eden Cabal is actively searching for the mysterious Shadow Net and has made it a top priority for all of its Night City cells. Until it has been discovered it is urging all members to exercise extreme caution, but to continue resistance activity. Several local gangs outside of the Eden Cabal have also began looking for Shadow Net. Accusations are beginning to fly between various gangs who are each convinced the other one is behind Shadow Net. Networkers and Rads are the usual target, but several Wizards have also faced accusations. The fear of this unseen menace has got the yogang community of the city jumping at shadows.
Written by JohnPatrickMCP