Little Fish in the Koi Pond
|Little Fish in the Koi Pond|
In which Ca1yps0 gets a line on some parts for a deck and takes a well-deserved vacation
Flash in his capacity as a mentor to Ca1yps0 in the art of hardware, contacts the mermaid with an opportunity, telling her that the he has a lead on some deck parts that could be used to create a Kitbashed Sleeper, due to some of the part's connections with the Resonance. The fellow otaku says that he's got a line on a plane from SeaTac to Neo-Tokyo for her and that it's going to be at the airport at 8 AM the next day. Ca1yps0 thanks Flash and signs off, summoning a Level 9 Companion sprite to watch the White-Eye that is trapped in her cave. Before resting for the night, the technomancer asks if the White-Eye wants anything and she requests a BTL chip. Ca1yps0 gives her a simple chip and rests. The next morning she takes her food truck out towards the airport, before realizing that she has forgotten to ask where Flash got this information. Calling up her mentor once more and asking about where he got access to the plane, Flash tells her that he got a call offering the plane and the info about the parts that Ca1yps0 is looking for. Realizing that this is obviously a plot by Cecelia Cross to get her on board. Arriving at the airport, Ca1yps0 is brought onto a luxury sub-orbital aircraft and they head towards the Japanese Imperial State.
Party in the JIS
On the flight, Cecelia explains that they are going to a meeting with Mitsuhama Computer Technologies about the parts that have been stolen from a research facility recently. The parts are only going to be in the JIS for another 48 hours. Ca1yps0 is appalled to be working with MCT, but agrees to the meeting at the very least. After spending the flight enjoying the luxurious lifestyle that Cecelia Cross enjoys all the time. As they arrive, Ca1yps0 is wheeled out and brought into an MCT car and brought to a rose garden in a beautiful MCT-owned park where they meet with four of the oyabun that own shares of MCT. It is explained to Ca1yps0 that there is a young man, Yoshisune Ato, who has stolen the deck parts that Ca1yps0 is looking for, and killed his uncle besides. The oyabun want this person, a recently emerged technomancer, to have his brain scorched such that he cannot handle being on the Matrix at all. While Ca1yps0 is obviously disgusted at this idea and doesn't want to do it, she doesn't have an outburst right away. Cecelia agrees to the job on the runner's behalf and the two guests leave the garden.
In the car heading to the hotel, Ca1yps0 explains that she won't do the job that was asked because the technomancer probably didn't do anything wrong. Cecelia asks how many people the mermaid has to save before her bleeding heart will be satisfied and drops her off at a fancy hotel where a large suite has been paid for.
Grid on the Go
Ca1yps0 moves to the suite, ignoring the glances from the other people staying in the hotel, and gets into the large tub where she begins to dive into the Matrix. Searching for information about Yoshisune. She finds out that he was the network security for a few MCT subsidiaries, and the uncle who was killed was a researcher doing research into the "cure" for virtual kinesis. She also learns that Yoshisune's persona is that of a blue dragon. Within the unfamiliar grid she takes a moment to familiarize herself and take in the grid as a tech-savvy tourist might do. Looking around for a sign that she's being followed and sees a suspiciously large koi in the pond that she is sitting in. Finding that the Koi is a hacker who is hiding her persona using the Wrapper program, Ca1yps0 is invited to a host where this person says there's a club that enjoys Ca1yps0's streams and want to talk with her. As the koi swims away in the Matrix, Ca1yps0 notices that their name is "Priscila", the same as one of her old otaku friends from her Ex Pacis days.
Worried that she may be being pulled into a trap, Ca1yps0 follows Priscila back to a host and manages to get access to it, slipping inside, she sees that the host is being repurposes, with bits of code being stripped away and reformed. In the center of the host, the technomancer sees Priscila talking with another figure, an octopus-like persona with pure white eyes. Remembering the few times that she had seen the Whites, she recognizes the data security specialist of Ex Pacis, the formerly Dissonant technomancer Taranis Lú. Taranis spots Calyps0 in the host and they have a conversation. Explaining that he was Dissonant for a few years after Crash 2.0 and had been destroying hosts from the Foundations. However he fought through the Dissonance and managed to return to his Resonance and become a teacher at Kyoto University. Thanking Taranis for the discussion and getting his commcode and permission to use the Rogue Host that they were inside, Ca1yps0 leaves and tries to track down the host where Yoshisune has been leaving messages.
The mermaid finds a host and dives into it, quickly finding that it seems to be a scheduling host for the Japanese Imperial Family. Since she has been maintaining a Static Veil over her companion sprite, she is forced to spend some time using Cleaner in order to clear her Overwatch score. Between that and her tracing of data trails back to whomever is being messaged by Yoshisune, her resonance signature is left in the host, but she quickly leaves and heads to the market in order to find the Imperial retainer. Cecelia sends a car to help facilitate Ca1yps0's trip around Neo-Tokyo and she finds herself in Toyosu Market, where she finds the retainer and, without approaching him, hacks his commlink and discovers that he is Yoshisune's lover and that the two of them are planning on eloping and escaping the JIS on a houseboat that is being docked tonight.
Fish on the Boat
After spending some time returning to the hotel and preparing for the night, she heads to the docks and finds the houseboat that Yoshisune is hiding out on. Diving into the polluted water Ca1yps0 touches the side of the boat and uses her skinlink to get a direct connection to the ship's sensors, and finds Yoshisune stepping out of the shower. Sending a message to his commlink, the mermaid spooks the young technomancer and he grabs a harpoon gun. Coming out on the deck and taking a shot at the small drone that Ca1yps0 was using to try and communicate safely, until the mermaid revealed herself. Ca1yps0 tries reasoning with Yoshisune, and tries to explain that she is also a technomancer, but when attempting to grab his ankle to attempt to prove it and create a DNI conversation, Yoshisune is spooked and fires the harpoon gun again, this time hitting Ca1yps0 right in her tail and causing her to take significant damage.
Panicking from the idea that he may have killed someone and they are bleeding out in the water, Yoshisune helps Ca1yps0 onto the deck and gets a medkit. Ca1yps0 explains that she's here on behalf of MCT but isn't interested in doing the job she's been given. Instead offering to set Yoshisune and his lover up with contacts in L.A. and get them some nuyen by buying the parts that he stole, as well as the houseboat. Once his lover arrives and the two of them discuss the situation they agree to let Ca1yps0 buy their boat and the the parts, and accept her assistance in getting them to L.A. Ca1ypso calls up a few of her contacts and manages to secure them a place of safety and a way to arrive after getting rid of the houseboat on international waters.
Getting the parts and leaving the docks, Ca1yps0 spends much of the night partying at clubs, despite being a foreigner and an elf besides. When she returns to the hotel there is a CATco car out front and Cecelia informs her of another meeting with the oyabun at 9 AM, but first they have another stop to make. Cecelia brings Ca1yps0 to a shady part of the city and out front of an unmarked biosculpting clinic. The Cross heir has called in favors and has a mundane individual who has been biosculpted to look like Yoshisune, so they have someone to present to the oyabun. Returning to the rose garden, the oyabun are presented with the individuals, but Ca1yps0, confronted by the awful action of giving this innocent person to an undeserved fate, spills to the beans to the oyabun that is also Yoshisune's father that the real Yoshisune has escaped Neo-Tokyo and will be safe. This leads to that oyabun to stab the false Yoshisune and claim that his "debt of honor" had been repaid.
Ca1yps0 takes the body of the biosculpted Yoshisune away from the rose garden and gives him first aid to prevent him from dying from the stab wound and she and Cecelia share a tense plane ride back to SeaTac, where Alexander-James Brodrick Johnson III is waiting to greet them.
Ca1yps0 returns to her cave, and releases the Sprite back into the Resonance, approaching the White-Eye, she is presented with the chip that has been edited, and, after analyzing the chip for what has changed, is confronted by the fact that the White-Eye has managed to turn this BTL into a God Chip, one of the brainwashing tools used by Ex Pacis in service to Deus.
Can buy the Kitbashed Sleeper Can buy the Evo Aquavida 2 Taranis Lú (4/2 "College Professor") (5 RVP) Deck Builder (4 RVP) 5 karma (5 RVP) 2 CDP
- Ca1yps0, moments after being shot by a harpoon gun.
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Well, this was quite the couple of days... I never thought I'd visit the JIS, or work with MCT, but I suppose that there's a first time for everything. They were as reprehensible as I thought (I mean seriously, meeting in a rose garden, they had to be taunting Cecelia and I with that one), and what they asked was somehow even worse than anything I'd imagined - doing that to someone, it was just unthinkable. I'm glad that I found another way, but it was messy and nearly got some poor innocent man killed just so some idiot kid (who by the way called me a demon several times and shot me with a goddamn harpoon, the bastard) can go off and have his Romeo and Romeo fantasy with Empress Shiawase's errand boy... I dunno, I wish them all the happiness in the world I guess, but it would have been a lot easier to just do what they said. I don't think I could have lived with myself if I'd done something like that though.
I was glad to meet with Taranis - I admit he frightens me a bit, but I suppose I must frighten others just the same. Still, his experiences were enlightening, and his story inspiring. I hope that I can take some lessons from him and apply it to my own struggles, perhaps even help the White Eye as well. These deck parts too... there's so much potential in them, I can feel it when I hold each circuit board and processor in my hands, and combined with these plans from Flash... I just never thought I'd have access to something like this. It's going to take time to put it together, but I can kitbash together something with a spark of the Resonance and create something really special here - keeping something like this out of the hands of MCT makes all the struggle and compromise worth it.