San Francisco under Japanese OccupationEdit
Key elements for San Fran during the occupation are:
1. It's a very VERY segregated society, with a HUGE amount of racial tension. (The Japs being super racist makes this expected) Most of the metahumans live in the Oakland (Orkland)/Berkeley area, which is the home of pretty much all the anti-establishment movements. Most of the non-Japanese humans live in the surrounding suburbs of the bay area, with varying degrees of security provided by the corps. The government and Japanese Megacorps have a yearly tradition of anonymously sponsoring teams to go into the metahuman communities to "collect ears". Its a very messy situation.
2. The Dwarves of the Bay area all moved out to Diablo Valley, and built themselves a fancy underground city. Very "Lord of the Rings" style.
3. Chinatown got left alone, as a tourist attraction and "an example of the new regime's tolerance and kindness towards other peoples" It does contain lots of Triads who are doing their best to resist the yak's, and by extension, the Japanese government.
4. San Francisco proper has like, super duper martial law of death, and you do not go there unless you have a pass, or they will arrest you and deport you if you're lucky, or kill you if you experience luck typical of a Shadowrunner on an overpaid "milk run."
Now, in 2061, there were some huge earthquakes that resulted in the imperial troops being ordered to abandon San Francisco. Ares was ready to move in with Knight Errant, but General (then Colonel) Keiji Saito beat them to the punch by essentially defecting to form his own state. The important elements of this event are as follows:
1. Saito is even more racist. He has a public political agenda of hate against metahumans, and is pretty much entirely in bed with the Human Nation. We're talking like concentration camps and pogroms here. Part of the fluff in Year of the Comet compares him to Hitler, and they make many deliberate parallels and references.
2. Saito's regime performed major crackdowns on criminal organizations, which was really just a cover for crushing anyone who competed with the Yaks. The local Mafia presence was almost completely wiped out, though the Triads managed to survive in the Oakland/Berkeley area. They got in pretty tight with the resistance movements, and by extension, the pro-metahuman movements.
3. Ares controls Silicon Valley, as they were able to move some troops in there before Saito staged his little coup. Unfortunately for them, they are VASTLY outnumbered by Saito's forces, and have been lucky that he's been distracted so far.
In 2067 or so, Saito gets ousted by a combined effort between Ares and pro-metahuman groups headed by Mothers of Metahumans. So here's what San Francisco could look like now.
Speculative information about modern San Francisco (unofficial)Edit
General Saito's forces, based on the information I can find, consisted of about 25,000 Japanese Imperial marines, equipped and supported by the various Japanese Mega-corps that like having an Imperial presence in North America, and San Francisco in particular. In addition, he has support from the Yakuza, since he was helping stomp out their opposition, as well as having a mutual enemy in the form of the Triads (who aligned themselves with the anti-government metahuman factions). On top of all this, he has the dedicated support of the Human Nation, who hope to finally establish an "ethnically pure" nation. All in all, he has a pretty god damned impressive amount of muscle for the Sixth World backing him up.
Opposing him are Ares Macrotechnology, who had an advanced force of about 2500 soldiers and Knight Errant security (as good as soldiers) deployed to Silicon Valley ready to move into San Francisco after the Japs pulled out. Unfortunately, Saito stayed. They took some steps to try and curtail his expansion, but were mostly saved by Saito getting distracted by other things. As a result, Ares maintained control of Silicon Valley for the duration of the occupation. During the occupation, Ares developed contacts with the SF resistance, which mostly consisted of the metahuman underground and the triads. They also developed contacts with the pirates of the Big Sur. By supplying them Ares convinced them to move their operations up the coast. Ares is one of the biggest Megacorps in the 6th world, and if any of them are equipped to fight a small war (or a big one, for that matter) its Ares. They have the expertise, the right personnel, and the ability to equip an army of partisans with top mil-spec hardware. And there just so happens to be an army of very pissed off meta's right outside of San Francisco.
However, regardless of whether Ares decided to pull out the stops and crush Saito hardcore, or they staged a more resource friendly corp-funded partisan rebellion, one thing is for sure: the fighting would be absolutely devastating. Just Saito's Imperial Marines number 25,000. That’s half the number of soldiers we have in Iraq right now, and Iraq is a significantly larger area than what were talking about here. In addition, Saito is a ruthless commander who doesn’t give two shits about collateral damage. He is very much of the "If you terrorists bomb something in my city, I will flatten a neighborhood somewhere in your ghetto" type. Saito also maintains significant local air superiority, as he has captured the three largest airfields in the area.
So, with that in mind, here are the key elements of "modern" San Francisco:
1. Ares and the resistance groups threw down with Saito's forces like nobody's business. Eventually, they came out on top. Unfortunately, the whole region got to spend some time as a warzone, and tens of thousands died. Worse still, even after the battles were won, many metahumans went on a rage induced rampage as vengeance for the years of brutal oppression under the Japanese regime. Luckily for everyone, the CalFree government was quick to get back on its feet, and with the help of what was left of Knight Errant, managed to get the rioting under control.
2. Large parts of San Francisco were completely devastated by the fighting, and while many areas are being rebuilt by the corps, both old and new, many others still look like something from eastern Europe. Additionally, due to the fighting and changes in government, the lines between the nice parts of town and the slums are no longer so clear cut. With so many people displaced by the fighting, and so many areas reduced to rubble, the population has almost completely re-distributed itself. While the rich used to live in SF proper, and the metas lived in Oakland, and the poor humans in the burbs, now things are a bit more mixed up. Many smaller corps, hoping to profit off of the chaos, bought up large pieces of bombed out real-estate and are developing them aggressively. This has resulted in a weird dichotomy, with super-new, slick, planned communities and corporate enclaves surrounded by an apocalyptic war torn cityscape.
3. While the Japanese mega's took some losses in the fighting, they aren't ready to back out of San Fran yet, and they still maintain strong holdings. Their biggest effect on the current situation has been to convince the CalFree government to contract the services of Lone Star Securities to help supplement the local law enforcement. While the public line is that Lone Star is needed because the situation is just too chaotic for Knight Errant to handle alone, the truth is that the Mega's aren't happy with all of the local law enforcement to be owned and operated by one of their major competitors. While the two organizations occasionally butt heads, Knight errant concerns itself primarily with silicon valley, Sacremento, and most of the other major cities in CalFree, while Lone Star focuses its efforts on the San Francisco bay area.
4. Most of the major resistance movements no longer resemble their original selves. Many lost their leadership, and sometimes membership, in the fighting, and without the unifying purpose of opposing the Japs, drifted apart. The Metahuman Peoples Army (the largest) in particular suffered quite badly in the fighting and is no longer a major player in the SF underground. Other organizations have changed focus now that the city is no longer under an oppressive government. The October 25 Alliance has completely abandoned violence, and now focuses on its humanitarian endeavors.
5. Even with all of the new money coming in, as well as two dedicated security companies, most of the area around San Francisco operates in near anarchy. For the people outside of the new developments, security comes from whatever criminal organization holds sway in the area, and help and services come from the same places they did during the days of the occupation. The People's University, and the October 25 Alliance (you can read about them here and there in a few books).
6. The Yakuza were hit pretty hard, but there are still a lot of Japanese in the city. In addition, due to the often violent racial backlash against those of Japanese descent, the Yaks get more and more recruits every day. The Triads on the other hand have had a Major resurgence. Though chinatown suffered heavily in the fighting, it is almost completely rebuilt, and remains the stronghold of Triad power. Unfortunately, their relations with the Trogg underground didn’t survive completely. While some of the Triads were fighting and dying on the front lines, many others hung back, ready to swoop in and pick up the pieces. Predictably, this worked out quite well for them, and these Triads are now the power players in the criminal underground. This has lead to strife between the big Triads, and the other, smaller Triads who feel just as betrayed as the meta's. (in many cases, they are one and the same)
7. The Triads control most of San Francisco, including Chinatown and the area around the bay bridge, and the Yaks control south SF and the area around the San Francisco International Airport. (there are commonly clashes in Daly City) Most of the rest of the bay area falls under control of the various gangs. While there are a few larger gangs, most of them fragmented during the occupation or during the fighting, and it hasn’t been long enough for any real consolidation to occur. This means that most of the territory in the bay area is controlled by a nearly endless cavalcade of small time gangs. Despite this, there is less inter-gang violence than you might expect, as while most of these gangs aren't eager to merge, they often splintered off of the same organization, and remember working together during the occupation. This leads to a higher degree of cooperation between the gangs that one might otherwise expect. Some theorize that this cooperation might lead to a new face in the world of organized crime within the next few decades, but that remains to be seen. This is not to say that there isn't plenty of gang violence in the area. Its just that it often ends with a fist fight, and one side ends up spending some time in the free clinic. Sometimes a gang does get wiped out, but it can be dangerous to take things to that level, as the bay area gangers are no strangers to banding together to fight a common foe, and a gang that gets too aggressive might just find itself facing down every street thug for 50 miles.