William Gibson Wiki

Lupus Yonderboy concept art by Nathan Anderson

"You can't let the little pricks generation-gap you"
Molly to Case

The Moderns are a youth subculture of the Sprawl. Their leader is Lupus Yonderboy. According to him, the Moderns's mode and modus and central kick is chaos.

They seem to be a softhead variant of the Big Scientists who existed a decade ago, and evolved during the year where Case was in Chiba City. They are using technology that wasn't available to the Scientists, like mimetic polycarbon suits that render them invisible, and microsofts that provide them with skills. They are described as mercenaries, practical jokers, nihilistic technofetishists.

Because of their penchant for random acts of surreal violence, some consider them terrorists, but according to Dr. Virginia Rambaldi they "differ from other terrorists [...] in their awareness of the extent to which media divorce the act of terrorism from the original sociopolitical intent".

Some of their joints were dubious software rental complexes that lined Memory Lane. Larry worked in one of them. Molly employed them to help with Armitage's plan but also, unknown to anyone else, she paid them to use their weird connections to find who or what is behind Armitage.

Sense/Net operation[]

According to Armitage's plan, Molly Millions met Larry in order to employ their pranking tactics to infiltrate the Sense/Net Pyramid. Angelo brought to Case a box of diskettes from the Finn. Molly rented a cadre of Moderns and went reconnaissance trips for the infiltration.

For the operation they chose to regard it as an elaborate esoteric joke. They used a customized network of communication: Brood, the link man in New Jersey, bounces a scrambled signal from a chicken wire dish off a Sons of Christ the King satellite above Manhattan (a deliberate humorous choice). In turn, the "Cat Mother" Molly's signals were transmitted from a 1m umbrella dish epoxyed to the roof of a black glass bank tower.

At midnight, the link man gave the command "Mainline". Nine Moderns, wearing surgical gloves, simultaneously dialed MAX EMERG from pay phones along 200 miles of the Sprawl to 9 police departments and public security agencies: their message was that an obscure sub sect of militant Christian fundamentalists introduced clinical levels of Blue Nine into the ventilation system of the Sense/Net Pyramid. Then the pranksters hang up and ran away into the night.

4 minutes later, as NYPD Tactical hovercraft and a BAMA Rapid Deployment helicopter were preparing, the Moderns shot a video into the building's internal video system: every screen strobed for 18" in a frequency that produced seizures in some employees, then a series of images and a newscast about military usage of HsG played back in almost double speed. The employees ended up screaming.

Two Moderns, equipped with chameleon suits, throat mikes and a video camera wrapped in polycarbon, taped the riot as Police Tacticals were spraying foam barricades. One of them, Tommy, later helped Molly on her way out.