Netrunner

Oh I think I can finally post this now~!
Here is my first card game illustration with Fantasy Flight Games that I did last year.

- Dedication Ceremony from NetRunner’s Khala Ghoda Pack. -

I had a blast working on this!
Thankyou so much Zoë Robinson for your Art Direction, and giving me such a fun prompt!

My favorite part of assignments like this is that I get to cast people and fashion LQqks as reference points. “Okay so…what if…it was…Toni Morrison’s imaginary sister in a scifi world teetering between Lawful Neutral and Lawful Evil…and she wore some of my clothes with golden embellishments. Okay. Great!”

I expected more a gunner, so, with courage of a runner,

Past stepped I a data raven, and heard a sharp malicious caw.

Not the least obeisance made her; not a minute stopped or stayed her;

But without fear of crim or shaper, tagged me on my crash space door.

Tagged upon a screen of data, just above my crash space door,

Tagged, and watched, and nothing more.


Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,

By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,

“Though thy eye be green and glowing thou,” I said, “art surely knowing,

The answer to questions going, questions from which my mind warps.

Tell me, if I leave this tag, when I’ll be free of death by corps?”

Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”

TCG Support Group

“Welcome to the Trading Card Game support group. I’m Stalwart Soldier, and I was made redundant by a card with the same cost and stats as me, but gained the player two life whenever they played him.”

“The real enemy is the power creep, not the cards that replaced us,” the other cards with art of beasts, fire, and robots said in unison.

“Uh, hi. My name is Headcrush, and I was made redundant,” Headcrush grabbed a cup of soda from the snack table.

“Hi Headcrush,” the group said. A card with a bear art on it stifled a roar. 

“Since it’s your first time here, how about you tell us what happened?” Stalwart Soldier said.

“Well, everything was going great. In my game, I was played in most top-tier, burn-style decks. You couldn’t see a tournament report without seeing me mentioned somewhere. Then, my cousin Skullsmash came out in a new set,” Headcrush shifted in his seat when he said her name. “She was basically me, same damage, same cost, same everything, but the designers that be gave her the ability to let the player draw a card too.” Headcrush mashed the cup he was holding.

“I mean how is that even fair? Now she’s played in basically every deck, burn-style or not!” Headcrush sighed.

“The real enemy is the power creep, not the cards that replaced us,” the group said. A card from an old cyberpunk game that wasn’t played anymore beeped and whistled.

“Headcrush, it’s easy to have anger towards the cards that made us redundant. However it’s more rewarding to be hopeful for the future.” Stalwart Soldier got up and placed a cardboard hand on Headcrush’s border.  “You might get reprinted in a novelty deck, or you might be a promo someday,” Headcrush looked up at Stalwart Solider with tears in his eyes.

Something rang. Everyone in the group turned and looked at the old cyberpunk card. He shrugged and indicated that he didn’t make the noise.

Headcrush rubbed his eyes on the back of his hand and pulled out his phone.

“My agent, sorry one second,” he excused himself from the group and went into the hallway.

“Now, I shouldn’t have to remind all of you to turn off your phones before coming to group, right?” Everyone nodded, and the cyberpunk card discreetly turned his off.

The doors to the hallway slammed open, and Headcrush was standing there, like he had just won someone a game.

“Skullsmash got banned!” A card with a young wizard boy on it dropped its jaw. “They said she was too powerful and was making the game less fun!” Headcrush punched at the air like he was kneading invisible pizza dough. “I’m back in, guys!” He marched out of the building.

“Well, let that be a lesson for us all. We don’t know what the future has in store for us, and we should always be hopeful,” Stalwart Soldier scanned the room. “Well, maybe not you Internet Hack, no one plays your game anymore.” The cyberpunk card beeped and dial-up-toned with sadness.

“What does it feel like?”

That’s the first question they always ask. The new runners.

A neukat is a scary prospect. It doesn’t help that it feels, for the first few agonising seconds exactly like you were just brain damaged.

You realise pretty fast that you haven’t been. Count to ten, perform a basic de-chog, you’ll find you still have exactly the same capacity as before.

It’s then that you notice what’s missing.

See, they don’t loose that shit on runners just to spank our asses and tell us to behave.

Because what you’re actually feeling when that knife cuts your eyes in half is neurones being reset. Not all of them, and not irreversibly. But enough that that connection whose handle you know like your own is briefly lost to you. Or you forget how to install a Datasucker.

Or, if you’re really unlucky, they got one if the important neurones. Flatlining isn’t always fatal. But it’s not something which leaves you leaping over roboturrets any time soon, you know?