The Menu


So far, we've talked about moving around in the Net. But not all Netrunner activity has to be flat-out Netrunning; in fact, the most useful Netrunner tasks can happen without only minimal interfacing. Most of the time, you're not going to be deep in the Interface at all; you're going to be running around the Street with your gangboys, backing a high-risk play for the big euro. The middle of a firefight is no prefer you to go sleep walking, chombatta.

That's where the Menu comes in. The Menu is a list of commands that you use to tell your deck what you want to do. Each command activates a preprogrammed function of the deck.

The Menu is always present when you jack in; all you have to do is think about it, and it instantly appears, floating like a one-dimensional image in your field of vision. You think the command, and you're off.

Back to the Street. Two of the most important commands of the Menu don't require you to go into the Net at all; you can call on them from Realspace.

The first is LOCATE REMOTE. With this command, your deck immediately scans your immediate area (up to 400 meters), and locates every Remote system connected to the Net. It then displays a list of all the possibilities, their locations and type, on the Menu.

Now comes the second most important command: CONTROL REMOTE. When activated, this command tells your cyberdeck to search its Memory for a program to allow it to take control of the remote you've selected. These Controller programs are designed to take over specific types of remotes; a Viddy Master, for example, will only control a videoboard, while Hotwire allows you to control remote controlled vehicles.

When the cyberdeck locates the right Controller program (which you may not have), it runs the program and attempts to take over the Remote (a roll equal to or lower than the Controller program's Strength on 1-10). If the roll is successful, you can direct the remote to do anything it normally could do as part of it's operation (cars drive, AV's fly, videoboards display desired images, etc.)

This can be a real advantage. Trapped by superior firepower? How about taking over that nearby robo-cab and using it to ram the enemy position? Armored door got your team stymied? Maybe it's computer controlled, and you can open it from inside. Want to spot that Solo team up ahead? Use a TV camera and hidden mike to locate them, then use your Dee-2 program to tell that automated crane to crush their car.

See what we mean? Now, we don't wanna hear you Netrunners whining about sitting at home on a Friday night anymore.

The Rest Of the Menu

LOG ON/OFF: The rest of the Menu commands are designed to be used while in the Net. They are activated when you choose the LOG ON/OFF command on the list This punches you into the Net.

To LOG OFF, you must make a roll equal or lower than 8 on 1D10. Logging off drops you back into Realspace. Some programs are designed to stop you from doing this (after all, NETWATCH would like you to stick around while they talk to you). These programs jam your cyberdeck's CPU, preventing you from jacking out for 1D6 turns.

RUN PROGRAM: This command activates any program you call on, as long as you have it in your deck's memory. The program instantly goes into action, performing it's function as designed (you hope).

LONG DISTANCE LINK: This command is used to transfer between two long distance switching systems (or LDLs). When activated, the deck attempts to tell the Phone Company that the call you're making is a local call (even if it isn't) and shouldn't be charged to your phone bill. A successful attempt requires that you roll a 1D10 value equal to or higher than the Security Level of the LDL you're trying to fake out.

As it comes from the factory, this option is actually designed to tell Internet that this is a cyberdeck signal, requiring that the call be carried on a laser land-line. However, reprogramming this command is one of the first things an enterprising Netrunner does, even before he plugs his brand new deck in.

COPY: This command tells the deck to make a copy of any program or file the Netrunner has access to. You use this, for example, to make your own copy of Saburo Arasaka's little black book (just in case you find yourself dateless in Osaka on a Friday night). A copy is automatically stored in your deck's memory (assuming there is space).

One of the nifty things about cyberdeck designs is that they have terminal-emulation chips included in their construction, making them tiny terminals inside the computer. This design function allows a friendly Netrunner to diagnose and work within his own Data Fortress. It also allows an unfriendly Netrunner to give the CPU of the system his own commands:

ERASE: This deletes any program or file from your personal deck or from any system you are currently in. ERASE is used when you don't have enough space in your deck for Saburo's black book and you just have to have it.

READ: This command allows you to browse the table of contents of any file you may find in a system memory, or through the contents of that file. Most of the time, however, you aren't going to ant to waste time reading the actual contents; you'll just make a COPY and run for cover.

Note: occasionally, very devious types take advantage of this by planting huge files in a system memory with seductive labels like SECRET PLANS TO RULE THE EARTH. The file, of course, contains nothing but useless garbage, but a really gullible Netrunner will invariably dump everything else he has just to carry this treasure back.

EDIT: This command allows you to change, write into, re-write or otherwise alter the contents of a file.

CREATE/DELETE: This command activates a special program called Creator. Creator is used to generate virtual constructs and realities within memory. For more on Creator. check out Virtually There. In the meantime, what you should know is that CREATE allows you to make small objects in Netspace (relatively non functional ones, as guns cause no damage and most electronic hardware doesn't really do anything), and that DELETE allows you to de-rezz the same. Safeguards in Creator prevent you from pg. someone else's creation, however. This is actually a good idea; do you really want to be the guy who accidentally de-rezzed Dream Park Corporation's Virtual Theme Park?

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