Reality 6.0

Achievement Locked

“We’re willing to make a counter-offer for the disk, but we want to discuss it in person.”

Call disconnected

“Dammit! Call them back.”

“All right, Mr. Johnson: here’s your disk. No one made any copies.”

Secret Sessions
}} Restoring data integrity
}} 0.........100%
}} Estimated recovery: 83%
}} Displaying data

Date:          24 June 2048
Session Start: 22:15
Session End:   02:10
Performers:    JetBlack       .. Vocals, Lead
               Andy Winters   .. Bass
               Bill Winters   .. Drums
               Sandy Ingraham .. Synth
Staff:         Delphia Miller .. Lead Engineer
                              .. Assistant Engineer
                              .. Producer
Playlist:      {3 files found}

Date:          25 June 2048
Session Start: 21:50
Session End:   02:25
Performers:    JetBlack       .. Vocals, Lead
               Andy Winters   .. Bass
               Bill Winters   .. Drums
               Sandy Ingraham .. Synth
Staff:         Delphia Miller .. Lead Engineer
                              .. Assistant Engineer
                              .. Producer
Playlist:      {4 files found}
The Jury Is Rigged
//Sentinel Home Security Networks
//A Division of NeoNet LLC

]]loadfile sensor.log date:20721006 time:1200 id:3
//Accessing sensor.log
//Displaying security camera #3

“Okay, there it is.”
“That old thing? What is that, some sort of music reader?”
“Yeah, something like twenty, thirty years old. Lucky the motor didn’t burn out.”
“Huh. You Frankensteined the hell out of it. Is that a rubber band?”
(laughs) “Yeah. Had to use that to hold those two cables together. Took me long enough to splice one into the other, didn’t want it coming apart.”
“The heck is that thing you’ve got running under the case?”
“Found an old signal converter. Thing wasn’t meant to read data this way; that little gizmo just reads the raw data from the disc, feeds it back into the compiler.”
“So how long did it take to pick it up?”
“Not long; they still had some basic file-location stuff at the start, told me what was there and where to go.”
“Geez, this is just… this is old-school, man.”
“You have no idea.”

>Begin recording

Okay, everyone on? Good.

Status report: Target has left the bar, is hiding in the junkyard next door. We’ve begun a sweep, but there’s a lot of cars here — no telling where he’s at yet.

Whatcha got, Nick? Dammit, just a devil rat.

Okay, you and Mitch head that way. Leonard, you go astral.

Dammit to hell! Okay, Len, fine, we’ll do this the hard way. Damn junk everywhere. Try not to trip again.

Think we’ve got something — crap, what’s that?!

>link 32a5 offline

Crap, was that lightning? Dammit, there’s a mage here! Len, get over there!

>link 828f offline
>link 2e92 offline
>link 9cd2 offline

There you are! I see you!

(rapid gunfire)

Aaaaah! Come on, step up! I’ll fill you wi

>link 7ea9 offline


Endel313: So, what’s going on?
CodeMedicine: Geez, be glad you weren’t here tonight.
CodeMedicine: These four guys came in. Well, one girl, three guys. One of ’em’s this big-ass troll, but half his head’s blue, yeah? He’s got these big chrome arms, looks mean.
CodeMedicine: Little Japanese guy, watching everything, taking pictures with this old camera. The kind that uses film.
CodeMedicine: Girl’s wearing this weird lookin’ coat — I think it’s that Victory stuff, with all the frills and such. Has these big-ass goggles on, lots of lenses all over ‘em. ’Link looks like it’s got pipes on it.
CodeMedicine: Another little guy, walks right up to the bar, asks for Zipper.
Endel313: I’d’ve figured the girl would’ve asked. She’d be more Zipper’s type.
CodeMedicine: lol
Endel313: k, so what happened?
CodeMedicine: Well, see they go up there, ask her some questions. She gets all nervous, like.
CodeMedicine: So we figure, they need to back off. Couple quick texts, we get into their ‘links. I got the talker. Opened up all his spam filters.
Endel313: jeez
CodeMedicine: Yeah. Well, he says something to her, had this weird echo to it. She starts tellin’ em what they wanted. They just look at each other, then split.
Endel313: Still got that access ID?
CodeMedicine: Yep. Doubt it’ll be any use by tomorrow, though.

Party Crashers

>>NovaTech Systems(TM) NuEyes v8.03
>>Video Capture 2072/10/04 21:50 PST

>>geotag: Seattle Barrens, North Docks, Warehouse 18B
>>tags: Nabo, concert, world tour

A young ork chica wearing a too-small Nabo t-shirt. Bloodshot eyes, may be drunk and/or high. A lanyard around her neck prominently displays a backstage pass.

A hand enters the view, holding up a small glass ampule: medical-grade Novacoke.

Some words are exchanged. The girl reaches up, snags the ampule, drapes the pass over the arm.

>>2072/10/04 21:53 PST

A massive troll, wearing a Nabo shirt and a security pass. Polished black horns curve to points straight ahead. Arms are crossed, obscuring the face on the shirt.

A hand enters the view, holding up a small glass ampule: medical-grade Novacoke.

The vial is taken, examined closely. The troll says something.

>>run: speechrecog v3.4
>>result: "You have ten minutes." match probability: 95%

>>2072/10/04 21:54 PST

An office-turned-dressing-room. Oversized couch, bearing three orks: one male, two female. Females are barely-dressed. Male looks drunk and/or high.

A hand enters the view, holding up a t-shirt. Male takes the shirt, scribbles on it with a marker. Nearby, a human male picks up a discarded commlink.

A hand enters the view, holding up a small glass ampule: medical-grade Novacoke. The offer is refused.

Legwork Sans Legs

Transcript of commcall
{{1}} Yeah, I think I got somethin’ on that disc you asked about.
{{2}} Let’s hear it.
{{1}} You heard of Nabo?
{{2}} Who hasn’t? Ork from the Barrens, likes to sing, gets picked up by a talent scout, free money.
{{1}} That’s the one. Anyway, I remember hearin’ him laughin’ with his pals over some e-mail he got, wanted him to buy an old music disc. Said somethin’ like “I didn’t know Elvis was still recordin’”.
{{2}} Interesting. Hang on — isn’t Nabo having a concert over by the docks this week?
{{1}} Yeah, Tuesday in fact.
{{2}} Any chance you could get me and my friends in?
{{1}} Ha! It’s been over-booked for weeks, omae. You’d have a better chance muggin’ someone for their ticket.
{{2}} Duly noted.

Entry-Level Work
From: Johnson, M
To: {{Name Withheld}}
Subj: Job Offer

Met with the assets offered by <<tag:smiley>> Smiley; was expecting six, but only four showed up. Nonetheless, the offer was accepted. Gave advance fee (5,000¥) and code for disposable commlink, as instructed. No estimate on delivery, but under the circumstances that’s acceptable.

I expect no further contact until time for delivery.

Addendum: Negotiations on fee did not go as expected. Delivery fee will have to be increased to 10,000¥. Still within our budget, even after Smiley’s fee.

M. J.

From the personal file of the above sender:

Well, the job was about as straightforward as any I’ve had to give before: Find out who’s trying to sell off my employer’s data-disc, get said disc (and any copies of the data), and bring both back. Pity I had to up the fee — 10 grand should be enough, but they pushed for more. Had to bring it up to fifteen before they started grinning.

The big one — according to the files, a fomorian named Wallace — seemed to be a little eager to drink. Good thing he was kept busy negotiating, or my tab at Infinity would’ve been enough to raise a few eyebrows.

Still, every runner team needs to start somewhere, and Smiley’s been good in the past at finding newcomers who need a good point on their résumés. Hopefully, these guys won’t botch the job.

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