There was a city which was mostly navigatable via canals. These canals were narrow lanes of water between tall buildings, shadowed by bridges and balconies and crowded with boats.
In this city, there was a group of people called the Cards. They were rebels in the sense that they printed papers and published websites that said unpleasant truths and plausible lies. They wanted change.
They were largely ignored. The only truly illegal thing they did was occasionally incite an overly violent protest of the issue of the week, and they produced illegal broadcasts on the radio and television.
There were hundreds of these broadcasts in steel boxes in the depths of official buildings. People were hired to listen to scratchy audio tapes and attempt to identify who was responsible, and if that squeak in the background indicated a C-71 military surplus radio, or a C-72 consumer radio. The tapes were analyzed to attempt to identify shadowy figures and there were files on each member.
The tapes were hampered by the bad technology which left skin grey and turned all primary colors into over saturated fuzzy blobs. However, there were some facts that were known.
First of all, there was the leaders of the Cards called the Aces. The Ace of Diamonds was the most visible. She was a white haired woman who tended to wear tight clingy outfits and her tredemark white scarf with a red pointed end that looked like a diamond. She had almost taken on a folklore like quality to some people and there was stories of talking to a woman, and then seeing the scarf. She had been taped once by a survellience camera fighting with knives.
The Queen of Spades was a calm, cold, clear woman with the composure of a statue. She had an odd popularity with porn writers for some reason. She tended to do news broadcasts in a brisk tone of voice and usually worked with the Jacks.
The Jacks tended to be clean shaven men in nice suits with all the personality of a boring news reporter. The Jack of Hearts was a handsome blond man.
The Cards said there was only one Ace in each suit, but they never said if there was one Queen or King or Jack. They did say there was hundreds of the various numbers, and that there may be a two of Spades right next door.
The most colorful one of the group was the King of Hearts. He called himself the Suicide King, and was one of the oldest of the cards. He had a rugged face that had a knife scar on one cheek. In one video he had a scar from a bullet on one arm. He occasionally smoked.
He tended to appear on the television outside on the roof of a building at an indeterminate hour of dusk or dawn. He always jumped like he was going to die at the end of every broadcast. He said that he wanted to help the people who were bleeding.
He had vanished from the news, from the websites, from every piece of Card propoganda.
Men were being shot who fit his appearence with a King of Hearts beside them.
Now, there was a reason to find out who the Cards were.