The “Bubble”

So lets talk about “The Bubble”. The Bubble is downtown Detroit and is controlled by Ares. Their headquarters are there. The headquarters for their attack dogs, Knight Errant, are there. Along with several other places that Mr Knight tends to frequent. Security here is above top notch. Every building, every crossroad, every streetlight, everywhere you look would likely have a hidden sensor suite or turret. Of course, since this is Ares’ home turf, these suites and turrets are equipped with the best that the megacorp has to offer. Expect the same with both Matrix and Astral security. Ares was contracted to establish all of the hosts in the Bubble and they did not spare any expenses. There is a drek-load of patrol IC and teams of around-the-clock Spiders that can easily move between the hosts. To top that off, the streets are regularly patrolled with Knight Errant officers. Sure these beat cops may not look like much, but they have some of the most sophisticated weapons and armor that Ares can provided. Furthermore, they have HTR teams that can be on their positions in literally seconds.

An additional security measure here is the roaming airborne drones, which are also armed with weapons and sophisticated sensor suites. These have Knight Errants most skilled riggers. They tend to monitor and report back to other teams, however, these buggers can pack quite the punch if cornered. As for the Astral, Ares and Knight Errant have highly skilled mages at their disposal. Many places have wards and barriers in place to prevent entry, and that is just the start. They have a team of full time mages that project into the Astral space and patrol the Bubble. There are also multiple bound spirits that are on patrol and can come to the aid of any other team, if needed. The roads within the Bubble have also been closed to vehicle traffic, with the exception of official Ares vehicles and drones. Vehicles and drones that are not authorized may or may not be warned before they are destroyed. Due to this, travel in the Bubble is by foot.

Runs that pierce the Bubble are highly lucrative … and highly dangerous. Due to this, only the most skilled teams are recruited for these jobs. When they do come up and runners are able to pull them off successfully, its considered a badge of honor that comes with drekloads of street cred. Those that fail … well they are usually never heard from again. To sum it all up … You slip just a little bit, you get fragged in the Bubble. But since most of us seem to have a death wish, here are some points of interest.

Ares Macrotechnology World Headquarters — This is, of course, the big dog in this yard. The world headquarters is a large campus, where Hart Plaza used to be. Hart Plaza was turned into Knight Plaza. This 210 story goliath of glass and steel was built by Mr Knight when he remodeled and expanded. The positions of the glass panes were detailed as such as to reflect sun glare in specific angles as a defense. Around the building as well is multiple barriers strategically placed for the same reason. A few of the buildings next to the mega-structure were converted in to a massive aircraft parking garage and into personal residences of Ares employees. The Crowne Plaza Hotel was expanded and turned into luxury living quarters, again for Ares employees. Each of these buildings are connected to the main headquarters building through underground passageways and skybridges. The lobby, which is the only public place that can be accessed, is a large cavernous area on the first floor. There are multiple sets of doors leading in. My decker confirmed that each of these have embedded sensor suites that check and track SINs, among other things. There is a giant AR directory with all the public information that most normal people would need along with the sets of reception desks. There are a few visible guards here, but you can bet there are a ton more that are not so visible. Towards the back are the elevators and stairs that lead to other floors.

Knight Errant Headquarters — Most people believe that Knight Errant’s headquarters is Knight Plaza itself. Well, that just bulldrek. Its a plaza … with statues and crap. The actual headquarters is an old municipal building on the corner of the plaza. This too went under renovations recently and has expanded to 34 floors. This building is solidly built and not all that flashy. There is a single large door that leads into the building. The hallway leading in is flanked on both sides by guard posts and a receptionist. Not more than 20 meters in is a solid plasteel door. Ain’t nobody getting past that without having the guards let you in. As far as most people know, this is just an administrative building, there are no cells, booking, etc here. Needless to say, there hasn’t been much reported of whats inside there since … well those inside don’t really speak of it.

Cobo Center — The Cobo Center is the personal showcase venue for Ares and its subsidiaries. All the new tech releases, along with the annual Ares Exposition Showcase, is done here. So when a new product is launched and the advertisements are done, they all point to its “official” launch with is held here. It, of course, is owned by Ares, so the security is normally very tight here. However, in between events or small events, the security may be a little more relaxed. But keep in mind that help is only 30 seconds away.

Detroit Opera House — One thing is known about Mr Knight … the man loves his opera shows. He has a private booth that he watches the shows from. From all reports, the booth is connected to a conference room for meetings. Much like the Cobo Center, regular security here can be a little more relaxed except for big shows and big clients. Even though a majority of the downtown, and especially the Bubble, was recently remodeled, Mr Knight kept the Detroit Opera House original … well mostly. It is still quite a site walking into the auditorium, simply breathtaking.

Fox Theater — This is the world headquarters of Street Pizza, which is a chain of fast food style pizza restaurants. The owner, Dan Illitch, keeps the old-world glory and charm of the place. While they dont actually make or deliver pizzas here, there is an branch a few blocks down the street. Street Pizza is one of only a few businesses in the Bubble that are not owned by Ares, its subsidiaries, or related to Ares in some fashion and Illitch is determined to keep it that way.

Riverfront Towers — The Towers are very upscale luxury apartments. They are not necessarily owned by Ares, nor are they filled with Ares suits, but the residents do tend to be drowning in nuyen and influence. Security here is just another amenity for the residents, but don’t get it twisted chummer, they security here is still top notch. There are a total of nine towers here and a “clubhouse”. The clubhouse is where the lobby is, along with meeting rooms and other amenities, and is the only space that is available to the public. In order to access any of the towers, specific keycards are needed.

Knight Errant Downtown Precinct — Now this is the defacto headquarters of Knight Errant. Yeah, the “real” headquarters is there, but that is just administrative stuff. This is where the meat is. Stationed here are upwards to 300 officers and support staff. There are enough cells to hold close to 1,000 inmates … and that is just what we know of. Security here is as tight as its expected. There are many mounted turrets, both hidden and in plain sight, along with the sensor suites. On the reinforced roof, there are landing pads for VTOLs, drone launching racks and support structures for Firewatch and Incident Response teams. Stay away from this place, omae, its not a nice place for runners.

Well thats a tour of the major points of interest in the Bubble. If you ever do go down there, keep your wits about you and don’t frag things up.