Katherine Debs is a young woman with a foot in three different worlds. Born as a hereditary employee and shackled to a lifetime of debt to Ike Holdings, a subsidiary of one of the megacorporations that took over the world after traditional countries collapsed. Her life should have been one of drudgery, working her hardest to maybe one day raise her station.
But she wasn’t satisfied with that life. Sinking into an underworld of crime and smuggling she joined one of the crews of mercenary ‘independent contractors’ that ran the poverty stricken slums of the Shell that surrounded the Schaumburg Arcology where she was born and raised.
Then, Kat got her big break. A childhood friend gave her a subscription to The Tower of Somnus, a massively multiplayer role playing game that people could play in their sleep with living beings across the galaxy. More importantly, the abilities earned from completing dungeons and leveling up in the Tower carried over into the waking world, making subscriptions expensive status symbols as well as a path to power.
After gaining the subscription and making friends amongst the aliens, Dorrik a four armed lizard person of the lokkel race and Kaleek, a giant otter warrior, Kat began to run into real world troubles. Apparently, a data trove she’d smuggled into her mercenary crew’s base had vital information about the assassaination of a corporate executive, Christopher Haupt.
The Tower provided Kat with a place where she could escape her oppressive day to day life, with beings she considered friends. While she bonded with them, Kat honed her fighting skills and earned paranormal powers, gradually becoming a force to be reckoned with.
Meanwhile, things became more serious in Kat’s waking life with hired, cybernetically enhanced samurai interfering with her mercenary jobs, all the while a mysterious force seemed to maneuver against her.
Unfortunately, everything in the Tower wasn’t as simple as it appeared. Before too long, Kat learned that an alien faction was looking to exploit humans and that they were willing to make deals to empower people in exchange for them cooperating with some sort of unknown plot against humanity as a whole.
Matters came to a head with Kat, her hacking support, Whippoorwill, and her boss, Xander, raiding the headquarters of Steel and Blood, a rival gang that the corporate interests were arming to eliminate them. In a pitched battle, they defeated Steel and Blood and obtained the evidence they needed to eliminate the executives that were seeking to destroy them.
Despite this, the likely mastermind behind the entire debacle, Belle Donnst, escaped. Rather than punished for her misdeeds, she was promoted, in part for turning over ‘evidence’ implicating her own daughter in Christopher Haupt’s killing.
The good news is that Belle doesn’t hold a grudge against Kat. Her major promotion went a long way toward smoothing those ruffled feathers. The bad news is that Belle has a hold over Kat, sending her away to the megalopolis of Chiwaulkee for college all the while explicitly hinting that she will have jobs for someone with Kat’s particular skillset...
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Bio: I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the streets at dawn looking for an angry fix of machine translated light novels, burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of the night