The Zone

A Near Future Sci-Fi LARP

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Why Be A Freelancer?

Life in the Zone is difficult, dangerous and even if you survive it can cause a variety of long-term health conditions and untold psychological damage. So why do it?

The Money

Only 12% of those who enter the Zone ever leave it, but those who do are set for life. The discovery of a new material or scientific principle can be worth millions. Despite their criminal nature the smuggling gangs that control access to the Zone are quite generous with their payouts for such things and the companies that buy them will often pay the freelancer handsomely for additional data once they are back out in the world.


Scientists and engineers who have fallen on hard times or disgraced themselves in some way often see the Zone as a way back into the scientific community's good graces. Some of them find a way to join the teams living in the Zone, or are sent there by an employer keen to put them somewhere out of sight. Others become freelancers out of no better option. They are all hoping for that one big find that will redeem them, in their own eyes if no-one else's.

Laying Low

Although the smuggling gangs will take almost anyone into the Zone for free, they charge wanted criminals seeking to lay low a sizeable fee. Once in the Zone some of these criminals set themselves up as bandits and thieves, preying on everyone and anyone, others work as freelancers to build up enough money to pay off whoever forced them to hide away in the Zone in the first place. The Zone is about the one place you can go where a professional assassin will not follow.

Missing Military Life

For some ex-soldiers who cannot adjust well to civilian life and wannabes who were never allowed to serve, the Zone represents a way to live a life they were otherwise denied. Professional mercenaries for whom the work has dried up, those who have damaged their reputation beyond repair, and those who could never get themselves hired by anyone reputable turn to the Zone as the last reliable source of work.

Conspiracy Theorists

Since the original explosion at Calder Hall, the Zone has been the centre of a vast amount of internet speculation and conjecture. It is rare, but sometimes a conspiracy theorist will enter the Zone in an effort to prove their pet theories true. They often struggle even if they have the skills to survive because the time required to earn enough to survive doesn't leave much time for personal projects, and the areas at the centre of the most speculation are obviously the most heavily guarded, so finding help and support is difficult.

Those conspiracy theorists that do survive have a tendency to drift away from freelancing over time and move into information brokering. Selling on data you don't need is a good way to fund hiring teams to gather the data you do. Despite their somewhat shaky start to their time in the Zone, a conspiracy theorist who survived is usually one of the best ways to find out what's really going on.

lore/why.txt · Last modified: 2022/12/10 09:49 by aettles