Original webcomic by Yuumei (Wenqing Yan)
PG 13 Genre: Cyberpunk, Dystopian, Fiction, Psychological
Living under an authoritarian regime is not fun. Extensive censorship meant no Facebook, no Youtube, and no porn.
Fortunately for Vance, being a hacker makes scaling the Great Firewall a walk in the park. With the free web at his fingertips, Vance should be happy but he’s not. Maybe there’s something missing in his life that porn just cannot replace.
Maybe it’s a girlfriend.
So it’s not weird at all to hack into the university to assign himself a hot female roommate, right? That’s just taking fate into your own hands, or something along those lines, right?
Too bad fate had other plans in mind and Vance is dragged into a crazy conspiracy to overthrow the government by his most-definitely-not-female roommate.
College is meant to be exciting, but not this exciting. Between failed dates, failed grades, and maybe not quite failed hacks, Vance will slowly come to question the morality of his actions and the true price of freedom.
Is this what democracy looks like?
Part 1 of Chapter 0. The chapter is actually very long so it's split it into many parts. It has a much lighter atmosphere than the intro.
The intro is a scene from after the revolution began, now we're going back in time to see how it all started. Stick along for the ride!
Sometimes problems can be turned into opportunities.
Remember, kids, you should never trust strangers on the internet!
Now what could Robin be possibly up to?
The bait here is referring to the social engineering technique of baiting.
And yes, Vance is eating Red Cow Crunch with Red Cow.
Yes, that is a Red Cow brand pony plush that they're licking....
2 Girls 1 Horse is a parody of the infamous 2 Girls 1 Cup (If you don't know what that is, don't look it up, you're better off not knowing) and the horse is referring to the Trojan Horse malware.
Frey is in cyberspace stealing government documents! Near the end, the glitchy text says Zero Day, which is a type of computer exploit that has yet to be discovered or fixed by the masses. This allows Frey to go undetected by the antivirus programs because the pattern of his attack isn't in the antivirus data base yet.
The quote "Bodies upon the Gears" is from Mario Savio's speech during the Free Speech Movement in 1964 at UC Berkeley (which happens to be where I went for college.)
This scene was inspired by a personal experience I had as a child in China. Like in the story, I was in the car with my dad when a group of street children came begging for money. My dad immediately locked the doors and explained to me that these kids were known to stab and rob people when the passengers open the window to give them food or money. And like in the story, my dad also grew up in extreme poverty, having to eat rats for survival in his childhood, but instead of sympathizing with the street children, he believed that anyone can pull themselves up like the way he did so there was no need for charity.
There is no moral to take away from this situation. I can't say what would have been the right thing to do at that moment, but I did gain a better sense of the class struggle that existed and still exists. I want to show how ignorant and spoiled Vance and Alex were, and the kind of country that Frey and Robin wants to change.
This is the final part of Chapter 0
Thank you all for reading my comic, and special thanks to all my friends who have helped me with various aspects of the story. I really couldn't have done it without everyone's advice and constant encouragement <3
Continue to the next chapter here