Escape From Tomorrowland
|Escape From Tomorrowland|
|Horizon Group||Rival Runner|
|Casualties and losses|
|Pulse burnt a point of edge to smackdown.|
In which the runners steal a bunch of 5th World media from Horizon by breaking into Virtual World Disney's vault.
During the events of Evergreen Kingdom, an old physical vault beneath the titular amusement park was unsealed by runners. Along with a roller coaster model and a horror which shall not be named, some old media previously thought lost in one of the Matrix crashes was discovered which made it's way into Horizon-Disney's hands. One avid trideo pirate, Jesse Pop, has gotten wind of this and knows from experience what happens next - the properties will be digitized and stored in a virtual vault, specifically the Foundation of Virtual Disney World. Wanting the files for himself, Jessie decides to contract a team of runners from the Haven; unfortunately Jessie isn't the only one after the files, and another Mr. Johnson has sent a powerful technomancer runner in just ahead of the team, who has managed to establish control over the Master Control node by the time they arrive.
The runners are contacted individually by their fixers and provided with a MARK to Jesse Pop's rogue host - Jesse is there to greet them when they arrive, dressed in full pirate regalia of course, and explains what he wants from them, providing them with a list of files (with one in particular being circled as a "must obtain" piece of media which a client has offered to pay a lot of money for). He also warns the team that they're likely not the only people after the files, and they should expect trouble. Rather than negotiate with a bunch of nerds, he just kicks open a virtual treasure chest full of money transfers and offers them 30 grand apeace to get the job done. The runners accept this proposition, and begin their preparations at once.
While Cricket puts her affairs in order, Master Morty puts his Prime Datahaven Membership with The Helix to work, hopping onto the datahaven and looking for information on the Virtual World Disney host - an excellent search roll and a bit of luck, plus some purloined paydata he's picked up from previous jobs, gets Morty access to a post from a runner going by the handle "Kaleidoscope", detailing how the paradigm seems to be a mishmash of different eras of Disney World and that people going inside tend to appear as various mascots and have to play their role; it also says that they've placed an anchor there as well as a note saying "taking a dive, will have more soon", confirming that they will have competition.
Meanwhile, Pulse hits the 'trix to search for rumors about the host's Foundation, confirming the information Morty obtained from other hackers as well as finding a cryptic warning saying only "don't go into the sphere". Sharing that with the others, he proceeds to call up Cecelia Cross, since he needs someone to take care of his dogs Exception and Framework while he's under - Cecelia is feeling nice and agrees to do so, only to receive another call from Vip3r shortly thereafter asking to make use of her techno-batcave underneath E-Vue (established in Snake! Kernel! Panic!, and now staffed with the former otaku freed during the events of Awake, Dear Heart), which she allows in exchange for a chip.
Now equipped with a hacker cave to do their work from, the team make their way over to E-Vue and have a brief encounter with Vee-Jay (as usual, the runners are disrespectful and attempt to skip the line, with only Pulse waiting politely and endearing himself to the bouncer)before being shown inside and down through a secret set of stairs to a room lined with valkyree modules (half of which seem to be currently occupied) and staffed with technicians and medical staff. Taking their drugs, they all get settled in and hooked up to the equipment before jacking into VR. In order to locate eachother once they're inside, the team establish a code-phrase ("It's a magical place") so that they can identify eachother without breaking character.
Rezzing onto the Horizon Global Grid, the team have little trouble locating the Virtual World Disney destination host; paying the exorbitant entry fee (as well as getting themselves digital Fast Passes), they are each equipped with a Mucky Mouse personal IC and allowed into the theme park. The hackers fan out to look for the Foundation portal - Cricket indulges and gets some simsense churros, while Pulse, having never been to an amusement park before, decides to go on some of the rides, spotting a rabbit hole in a parkland section from the top of the roller coaster. After enjoying the offerings of the park for a short while, they make their way there, hopping the virtual fence (to Mucky's protests) and each managing in turn to get a mark on the portal and enter the Foundaiton.
Inside, Morty finds himself - to his great consternation - in the costume of the Hunchback of Notre Dame ("Of course! Of course I wouldn't be the prince!"), inside of a certain pirate-themed ride. Deducing that he's in the slave control node once he makes contact with one of the chains, he makes his way out of the ride and starts wandering through the streets of the park, noticing that everything seems to be in black-and-white. Meanwhile, Cricket finds herself near Space Mountain in the suit of an anthropomorphic grasshopper (a-la A Bug's Life) - grinning, she immediately embraces the villain persona, cackling about her evil plans and summoning her "minions" (spirtes) to accompany her. She is able to determine that the ride is in fact the archive node that they're searching for, and that one will have to ride it to fetch files, but the line is a long one and she cannot wait around without causing a scene, so she starts to make her way towards the rest of the park to look for the others. Also meanwhile, Pulse (in the guise of Aladdin) and Vip3r (costumed as Sir Hiss from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, to her immense satisfaction), find themselves in the tunnels below the monorail (i.e. the scaffolding node), quickly managing to locate and identify eachother before going topside and emerging near the central castle.
Cricket and Morty's paths converge just to the north of the castle, and they are able to identify one-another using the code-phrase. Making their way towards the castle, Morty's matrix eyes (which have been acting strange ever since the events of The Deepest Dive) manage to spot a moving splotch of colour in the black-and-white world - the Foundation denizens seem to take no notice of the technicolour figure, but Morty watches as they whisper something into the ear of one of the castle guards, who suddenly becomes colourful himself as he makes his way inside with the mystery figure. On the other side of the castle, Pulse manages to spot the same figure exiting shortly thereafter and making their way towards an ominous white sphere on the horizon (the EPCOT center, and the null node). The four of them meet up and begin to talk in-character about what to do, settling with locating the portal node so that they have a path to escape this place before getting back to the archive.
Wandering down Main Street USA, the group manage to blend into the paradigm and not provoke any undue attention from the denizens, nor the host sculptor who is working away in the scaffolding node. At the park entrance, they find a colourful ticket at the booth, and that the ticket agent has also been afflicted with strange technicolour-ness. Pulse approaches to ask a question and determine that the booth is the portal node, but not wanting to chance leaving an anchor and provoking the ticket taker's ire they simply leave and make their way back towards the castle. En-route though Pulse feels something moving beneath his hat, and takes it off to find a small monkey with a red fez carrying gold lamp which runs off - he proceeds to chase after it, followed at his heals by the rest of the team, eventually managing to catch the monkey and rub the lamp. This produces the expected result - a huge blue genie emerging - however since the paradigm is that they're in a theme park and not an animated movie their reaction to this ends up provoking variance from the Foundation.
Taking a close look at the "genie", Cricket and Vip3r are able to confirm that it's actually a fault sprite (sent by Kaleidoscope to styme the rival runners and establish control over the MC node while they skim the dox of the null node and make their way to the archive). As reality begins to crumble around them and turn into a fantastical musical number/acid trip sequence, the hackers realize what's happening and that they need to make their way towards the castle (the master control node) and perform a Calm the Beast action; the world doesn't make that easy for them however, as most of the black-and-white scenery falls away, leaving only the nodes and the faint data trails between them in the form of scattered pieces of pathway floating in a technicolour void. Hopping from platform to platform using their enhanced physical abilities to treat reality like a video game, the runners reach the castle and begin their ascent, climbing to the top of the bell tower while avoiding the genie's assault to find a colorful bell-ringer (a crack sprite) waiting for them there guarding the node.
A pitched fight ensues with the sprites, with Morty swinging from the bell tower and Vip3r using her hypnotic powers to try to sway the genie's actions, while Pulse gets into a wrestling match with the bell-ringer and Cricket directs her "minions" in battle. From their elevated perspective, the runners catch sight of the storm of colour with a humanoid figure - Kaleidoscope - at the center leaving the null node and making its way towards the archive while their battle rages on, and with the Power of Friendship (and Matrix magic), they manage to work together to overcome their foes - Pulse tossing one from the top of the tower to their Disney Villain Death while the two technos manage to diffuse away the genie's firewall and take him down, dissipating the sprite into the colorful void.
While Pulse catches his breath and Morty works to Calm the Beast and make the Foundation stop trying to murder them all by frantically ringing the bell, Cricket and Vip3r spot Kaleidoscope and the Resonance-infused swirl of colour surrounding them, determining that it's a hyperthreaded suit of complex form buffs, and manage to teamwork a Kill Complex Form test to siphon away a bit of their power before they vanish as reality begins to reform around them. Coming up with a clever plan, Pulse risks altering reality to a) create a new Star Wars-themed ride that will both draw the Foundation denizens away from Space Mountain and create a flood of people heading in Kaleidoscope's direction that will hopefully slow their progress, and b) creating them a magic carpet to get to the archive node in style. The first trick works like charm, though the second nearly provokes variance again until the team sing their hearts out, which is enough to convince reality to ignore their bulldrek and go back to sleep.
With the power of flight on their side, the team are able to beat Kaleidoscope to the archive node, however they find that there is still a short line of Foundation denizens there. Cricket gets up to make a speech about how the world will soon be theirs, and Vip3r uses her hypno-powers (puppeteer) to gently encourage the denizens to join up as the grasshopper's minions and keep watch for her enemies. The sprites and the charmed denizens keep a sharp eye out, however it is once again Master Morty who's eyes manage to spot Kaleidoscope, veiled in enough Resonance so as to be nearly imperceptible to the rest of the world, making their way past the line and into the ride. He points this out, and (waiting patiently in line as usual) calls out the line-cutter, with Cricket directing her "minions" to chase after them and teach them a lesson. Inside the ride however, they find the rival techno ascending to the roller coaster cart, the front of which speeds off and leaves the rest behind in the form of a massive machine sprite.
Morty uses his rope swinging skills to catch onto the speeding cart as it zooms down the tunnel, leaving the rest of the team to fight the big boss monster while the Foundation works to detect something amiss, the denizens panicking and the ride slowly coming apart around them as it barely misses the threshold to trigger variance again; working together, they are able to just barely overcome the sprite while Morty attempts to slow Kaleidoscope's progress, eventually being puppeteer'd to let go of the speeding cart. They rush through the tunnel on foot and arrive at the heart of the archive node (a virtual laser show) just in time to see the rival runner plucking out files - Cricket and Vip3r prepare to work their mojo while Morty readies his hammer program, however Pulse has no desire for a straight-up fight with this person and proceeds to smackdown a sucker punch right to the gut while they're surprised. The others line up behind him to play hype man, and Pulse lays down a truly GOD-tier intimidation check to convince their foe to hand over the files - they do so, minus a single late-60's B-movie that they seem very intent on keeping (and which, since it's not on their list, the runners see no reason to begrudge them) - before vanishing in a cloud of technicolour smoke and leaving them with their prize.
With Jesse's data in hand, the runners decide to beat a quick retreat, making their way out of Space Mountain and using their magic carpet to quickly return to the portal node, where the technicolour ticket agent has vanished, leaving them free to leave. Morty and Pulse are able to make their Exit Foundation rolls and leave the park, however Cricket and Vip3r find themselves stopped at the gate, with a mob of Foundation denizens turning towards them and readying their torches and pitchforks - frantically making another attempt to escape and pulling it off by the skin of their teeth, returning to the grid as the park gates slam shut behind them.
Waking up in the Valkyrie modules, the hackers take stock of their various injuries and have the extent of their brain damage assessed by the medical technicians before returning to Jesse Pop's host, where they hand over the stolen paydata and are paid in full for their efforts, along with an offer of alternate remuneration in the form of electronics or pirated media.
- 30,000 nuyen
- 3 karma
- 2 CDP
- Optional Contact: Jesse Pop (C6/L1 Fixer) for 6 RVP or 12 CDP
- Optional Gear Reward: Electronics, Hardware, and Trideo Shows
- Optional Contact: Vee-Jay (C2/L2 Bouncer) for 3 RVP or 6 CDP
- Optional Quality: Closer @ Chargen price
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
"Foundations are just plain weird. Somebody's fantasy sure, but so far not mine. This one was all about the most popular theme park in the world; and I hated it. Stuck in the body of the Hunchback of Notre Damme. Go figures. Couldn't be the Prince just one time in this miserable life? Guess not. But we did what we came to do, with only a bit of competition to sneer at. Good crew, but for some reason I get the idea that they don't trust me. Trust me? Come now, I'm definitely a man of my word. And when I become a God, you can trust me to remember you to..."
"Ghost, foundation dives feel amazing. Hated the cheesy ass paradigm this one had, but just being able to feel the raw matrix like that was incredible. We got the job done clean and I don't even have brain damage to show for it. The crew was solid, a far cry from most of the meatheads on here who can barely use a commlink. Vip3r's forms were novahot, Pulse scared the hell out of that other runner, and Morty... I gotta give him credit. For an ego-tripping piece of drek wannabe god, the guy slings some pretty solid code."
Sure was nice to actually have some purpose on a Foundation dive. Hah. Uh, bitter digs about past runs aside, being on a proper dive felt great. Morty still gives me the creeps, but I gotta admit he's a damn good hacker. And this was my first time actually working with Pulse and Cricket, and, really? There are few people I think I would rather have been down there with. I'd be happy to work with either of them again, which is great, because I know I'll need Pulse's help in the future.
I haven't been in a Foundation for a long time, and the ones that I was in before had a Paradigm that I knew about beforehand. This was something else entirely. Playing a role and working with a team while in one is tough, but it wasn't a bad thing. Plus we got a hold of the data... at least once that other decker was dealt with. It reminded me a lot of when I was working as a Spider for NeoNET. That wasn't fun.