Edge of the Night
You patch in the last connection, making sure your wristplugs are tight. You slam down the “GO” switch. Instantly, your mind is filled with the grey white static of the drop to “on line.” Then, with a sickening, falling sensation, your hurtle forwards into a maze of shifting neon shapes and spinning grid lines.
You’re in the Net.
The Net is basically a vast “potential space” constructed by linking together phone lines and fiberoptic control cables. The lharaGrubb Transformation algorithms that govern Net reality generate this space as a “wire-skeleton” topography of grids and shapes. Individual computer systems appear as ICONS or constructs created from millions of tiny “bits” of color and light, which, like video images or halftone photographs, can only be distinguished as individual parts by close examination. Navigation through Netspace, the actual communications lines of the Net are represented as an endless blue-white lines between connections. When an individual line must be located, programs within the Netrunner’s cyberdeck locate the required lines or access points, and identify them with a bright red beacon light.
Net locations are not a static value. Systems, computers, LANs, and WANs are assigned an address when they come online. Some of the addresses are routinely assigned to specific systems in order to facilitate ease of access. Whereas pirate, military, and black systems will hide their address or disguise it. The lharaGrubb Transformation algorithm only compensates and “maps” addresses at face value.
Any place a computer can be turned on and hooked into the NET is an extension of the NET into this universe. The Net is, as far as anyone can tell, potentially infinite—if you can link a computer to this communications web, you will automatically create a new section of the Net around that computer. Thus, new areas are created all the time, as more computers are hooked up and logged onto the Net.
Theoretically, you could put a radio/Net link into a long range spaceprobe and extend the Net into deep space. While information travels at the speed of light the connections still have a delay. This could mean the difference between a hot run and winding up a salad. lhara and Grubb theorized that an alien intelligence with a lot of power and a knowledge of Earth computer—tech could link to the Net over interstellar distances. Probably, it could not actually do anything; the best solution would be to beam a link to an orbital satellite, downloading a copy of the alien Al into the Net at this end, then move freely about the Net.
Some netrunners claim this has already happened
Net combat will be handled using the Run Dot Net rules as described here.