Looking for the old UG and its stories?
Click here!

Disclaimer: All characters are trademark of Marvel Comics, unless otherwise noted.
The Underground has been releasing stories since 1996.

Current Writer: OPEN
Frequency: Undetermined

Duke Stratosphere

The Duke.

Duke Stratosphere. Legend has it he's one of the most prolific cyber-hackers in existence. His archetype is state-of-the-art, his skills beyond "master programmer".....there are even stories that he has a continuous cyberjack into the 'Net, existing in both the real world and in C-Space AT THE SAME TIME.

You get whispers on the binary streets of the matrix. A gust of programmed wind effect may just be a glitch, or it could be the gust of the Duke, riding his behooved friend Chaos through the drooping grid patterns and psychosomatic techno-imagery made real in the ethernet.

According to the rumornets, he's right up there with avatar-greats like Dot 33, Broken Haiku, Shiva Blue, Firelight and that Cochrane kid who lit up the net like a nuclear firestorm right before his first death. The covert, never-seen feeds say he's saved the cyberverse from the Domino Crash, whatever the shock that was.

Now, you could ask Mr. Bongo what the Duke's deal is. I mean, the info-dealers in Myridia claim that Bongo is in fact a first-hand witness himself to the Duke's greatness, and the spud himself is always ready to talk about the living legend who patterns his archetype after romantic concepts like King Arthur, Camelot and the Knights.

Or you could try to ride the bitstreams of data, and hope you don't drown in bandwidth. You could glide in-between loads of code and info, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Duke before you surf yourself into a tailspin. Try to outpace the Duke himself on his own turf to learn the answers amidst the ones and zeroes so you can go back to the hacker bars and the cyber-streets and the techo-clubs and brag about how you hung with one of the greats. Stuff like that never gets old.

But whatever you do, you didn't hear this from me.


DUKE STRATOSPHERE - He was an infrequent supporting character in Doom 2099, he had at least one story in 2099 Unlimited ... and man, he's just a really awesome character. The Duke is a hacker in the Cybernet, 2099 VR version of the Internet, and his skillz are L33T! Patterning himself as a horse-riding heroic adventurer, Duke perpetrates daring raids on corporate databases and interacts with a diverse online community of friends, foes, and neutrals.

The Cybernet is a rich, fascinating place, so stories about Duke Stratosphere should have serious atmosphere going on. Basically, it'd be the 20th century Internet combined with a Massively Multiplayer Online RolePlaying Game ... and on a lot of fun crack.

Submissions and/or proposals go to: Editor-in-Chief David Ellis, or Assistant Editor Jason McDonald.

Check out the site that started it all, the Ghostworks 2099!