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At the beginning of time in this parallel world called Phaenon, the demons of the Last Circle, after centuries of fierce combats, were finally conquered by the humans. Against the Infernal Hordes of the demon Astaroth, one man showed exceptional courage and intelligence. Kushulainn was his name.

In order to help him conquer Evil, all the wizards from the Ancient Times decided to seal their souls inside his legendary sword Barkaya'l. In this way they gave the weapon a magical power sufficient to eliminate Astaroth forever. But the spell would keep them prisoners within the blade until the demon died or the blade was shattered.

At the head of the human armies, Kushulainn decimated the Infernal Legions. Hacking away daily at multitudes of incubuses and succubuses, he covered Phaenon with their foul blood. At the height of his combats he hunted down Astaroth and confronted him in singular combat.

Their duel lasted seven days and seven nights. In the morning of the eighth day, the humans finally dared to come near. Astaroth was lying there, inanimate, on the dirty ground. But Kushulainn had disappeared. They called out for him, searched in the rubble and the surrounding forest, without any luck. Hurriedly they made a cage of Apylande and locked the demon inside it. Then they threw it in a pool of cooling lava. The golden prison slowly faded into the depths of the ground.

No one ever saw Kushulainn again, nor ever found out what happened to him. His exploits were sung and his name was blessed a thousand times. He became a myth, a legend, until finally he was forgotten. Several hundred years later the only thing remaining of humanity's savior was a vague recollection, something about an ancient hero, although people wondered if he ever really had existed.

Once the combat had ended, Kushulainn had collapsed from exhaustion and fallen into the river Dray'n. The river then carried him to the land called Mahahaleel. When he regained consciousness, he realized that he had failed at his destroying Astaroth and would never again be able to combat him because the demon was now a prisoner within the bowels of the earth. Astaroth had the advantage of being immortal.

Kushulainn retired to the sanctuary of Mahahaleel with his legendary sword Barkaya'l as his only companion. There in that timeless island he has been waiting for a thousand eternities for someone to come and request the magic sword, in order to take the combat up again with Astaroth. Only then will he be able to find the tranquility that comes with death.

No one knows where Kushulainn's Sanctuary is. The only thing said about it in the Book of Nout is, to get there, one must cross the territory of the Tormented Souls. There is where the spirits wander, the ones that Kushulainn liberated from Astaroth's grasp yet who can still not forget their torment. Since that time they have been protecting their liberator's sanctuary, so that his rest may be peaceful.

Millions of years later, while Kushulainn was still waiting for the one who would be worthy to carry Barkaya'l, the demonic spirit Astaroth was once again wandering the surface of Phaenon.

The planet is going through a terrible glacial era, and the extinction of its only sun has rendered all life on the surface of Phaenon impossible. In order to survive the eternal night and permanently freezing temperatures, the population has taken shelter in five cities, each encased in a crystal dome.

At the time of your arrival in this universe, a gigantic central computer known as Ix presides over the city of Omikron. In its virtually infinite memory are concentrated all of the data from the entire galaxy, collected by its numerous sensors. Using this information, Ix is better able to manage the interests of the human race.

Ix was installed in the heart of the city in a sprawling palace inhabited only by the machine. While constructing the building, the men dug down and accidentally uncovered Astaroth's cage. The demons that had followed their master to his prison instantly took possession of the unlucky workers who had liberated them. Then, they discreetly dispersed themselves among the population where they progressively captured souls or took on a human form in order to spread death more quickly.

But Astaroth, Prince of the demons, had bigger plans. He secretly seized the Ix computer and swore his revenge. He would conquer not only this planet, but also spread his reign over the entire universe, to avenge himself of those who had chased him away.

In order to reach his goal, he would need to reconstruct his former power that had been reduced to nothing in the centuries he had been locked away. For this he would need souls. Millions of souls. But not those of the shadows of humans who roamed this world. Faded and withered, they would never bring enough strength. No, he needed souls from another universe, a parallel universe.

Astaroth had his servants build him a Reservoir of Souls. The souls gathered there would endure the most excruciating pain, and from their infinite suffering Astaroth would amass his strength. But, in order to attract souls from another universe, he needed to lure them into a trap. So he came up with Omikron. Through Dreamcast consoles and computers using this game, he could trap players from our dimension by feigning to ask for their help. Once they accept to put their soul in the body he offers them, they can cross the breach. Then a demon can capture them, suck out their soul and bring it back to him.

Just a few more souls are all that is needed before the Reservoir of Souls will be full and the Prince of the demons can finally step out of the shadows to dominate the entire galaxy. Later, he will even be able to conquer the parallel universes that provided him with his stock of souls.

At this time, humanity is stagnating in a sort of lethargy. Having reached an advanced level of technology, people have begun to live mindlessly and to fall progressively into a state of opulent decadence. In Omikron, where the adventure takes place, the population was concerned only with living a good life, thus turned a blind eye to the secret plot that was unfolding in the bowels of the city.

From the strange Legatee Angus Reshev, plenipotentiary of a totalitarian government, to Tolric Graem, High Priest of the mysterious religion of the Green Book, to Cliff Humboldt, chief of a private police using every possible method to track the movements and activities of the citizens, everyone seems to be pursuing some obscure goal.

The Trusts play an essential role in the life of the city. Long standing rivals, Tetra Inc. and Khonsu Ltd. are waging a merciless war against one another for a commercial monopoly, despite the fact that no one really knows who is behind them and what they stand for. They have become so strong that not even the law can touch them.

They are also in charge of organizing retreats on the far planet of Euralys. Due to overpopulation, every individual over the age of 40 is required to leave Phaenon and go into retirement on Euralys. But who knows what really becomes of these people? Are they really on this paradise planet? And if so, why hasn't someone ever heard from a friend or relative who has left?

While in the disturbing city of Omikron, people continue to live a good worry-free life, underneath Ix's palace, Astaroth, the Prince of Darkness, pursues his evil work. In order to continue gathering more and more souls, Thagout, the most malicious of all demons, was named general of the Infernal Legions. Soon his master will have recovered his former power.

Boz was the most famous pirate on the Multiplan. He knew the network by heart and got a sly pleasure from foiling Ix's attempts to identify him. All those in Omikron who have touched a Multiplan terminal, even if only once, know who Boz is. His courage, freedom and audacity were always an example for all pirates, until one night when his world turned upside down.

While Boz was working on his computer, destroying some business programs in the Trusts' computers, a demon broke into his apartment and leapt upon him. The struggle was short. The incubus played with Boz like a cat toys with a mouse before killing it. Boz fell to the ground. He who had never believed in Demons now felt his mouth opening in order for the demon to suck out the light of his soul. He knew that if he didn't act he would stay in hell forever.

As usual, pure luck gave him a final chance. A neighbor who had heard the struggle came to see what the noise was about. Just as he walked in the room, the demon turned to look, giving Boz time to move away. The demon jumped upon the neighbor and devoured his brain.

When he had finished, he turned back to Boz's soul, now floating in a corner of the room. His battered body was lying in pieces on the floor. "I've only got one chance!" Boz realized. Before the demon had a chance to understand, Boz slipped into the terminal's Transmaterialization compartment and was sucked in by the network, or rather, into the network, where he has become Boz, the virtual being.

He can never come back. From then on he could move around at will among the various stations of the network, in the printed circuits of terminals, between the lines of programming code. He got access to all information, all reports, all secrets. Distance and time no longer meant anything to him, he became "the Rider".

Yet his life was not made any easier as a result. The demons would not give up trying to capture his soul and shortly thereafter Astaroth unleashed virtual demons to hunt down Boz in the network. Then Ix discovered a parasitic life form within its programs. Ix created thousands of computer viruses to suppress Boz.

In spite of these enemies, the Rider is still there and continues to help the pirates and all those who would be free. He has become chief of the Awakened and runs a guerrilla army against the Trusts, the state and the demons. While awaiting victory he continues to spy on transmissions, to destroy codes and ruin programs, and to escape from those who want him dead.

Virtual Boz

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