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[ Olympus | Scarecrow | Sound and Fury ]
Bileet Underworld 93:ssa. Show time Wed Jun 30, 2071 23:30 PST.
[Viesti ilmestyy samaan aikaan Helixiin (LEO), Mosaic Data Haveniin (Vladivostok), Nexukseen (Denver), Whampoa Data Haveniin (Hong Kong), ja puoleen tusinaan muita merkittäviä varjoverkkoja.]
// stored media file :: date not available //]
[// Kanji-D audio-to-text transcript enabled //
I’m not going to say that if you’ve received this file, I’m dead — even though it’s probably true. ThThat would be a cliché, and I haven’t made my career out of pandering to clichés. I will say, though, that it’s probably best if you don’t come looking for me.
I’m recording this message before I go. I’ve got it rigged so it will attach itself to the files I’m sending out and shoot them to hundreds of preprogrammed Matrix nodes — including a few that are very secure and have been instructed to spam all the major and minor media outlets. This is big stuff, and I’m not taking a chance on having it get lost, squelched by the corps, or spun into something completely different. Somebody’s got to know what happened to Italia Rodgers. To Bill Pulaski. To Cherise Washington. To all the ones I couldn’t identify.
Since I am probably dead, I feel safe enough now revealing my secret. It might help you understand why this story was so important to me. You see, it was personal — I’m a technomancer. Have been since I was jacked in during the Crash all those years ago. It was my little secret, my little “edge,” as it were, and as far as I know, nobody ever figured it out. So now you know — and maybe if I’ve managed to build up any credibility over the years by means of my work, you’ll realize that we’re not bogeymen. We’re your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers, your family. Maybe when you see this you’ll respond to these atrocities I’m about to reveal, and make sure they end. Cherise Washington was only 14 years old. Think about it.
Just in case there’s somebody out there who doesn’t know who Jane was, her description kind of depended on how you felt about her. To the people she helped, she was a “crusading journalist,” putting herself on the line to dig up the truth and expose it to the light of day. To those she messed with, she was a “muckraker,” a “snoop,” or “that fucking meddling bitch.” Knowing her, she was probably proudest of that last one. But whatever you want to call her, she didn’t scare easily.
I’ve just had a plum job dropped into my lap — the kind of thing we journalists dream about. A couple of shadowrunners I’ve worked with in the past have contacted me about a friend of theirs who’s gone missing. They’ve got some suspicions about what might have happened to her, and they think it’s a lot bigger than just one woman. That’s why they want me along — to report on what they find, if they find anything. When they mentioned that the woman they’re looking for is a techno- mancer, they had my full attention. They don’t know about my little secret, and I plan to keep it that way. These runners aren’t the only ones who have suspicions about what’s happening to us. There have been too many rumors flying around for some of them not to be true.
I’ve been doing some poking around. The woman we’re looking for is named Italia Rodgers — she goes by “xStatic” in the shadows, but my new employers figured I’d have a better chance of finding her if I knew her real name. I’m feeling a real kinship with her: we’re both about the same age, both widowed young, both in a dangerous line of work. In the end, it didn’t matter, though: she didn’t disappear while she was on a job. From what I can gather, she’d told her roommate she was heading out to see a trid show, and never came back. Sounds like more snooping is in order. Might have to call in a few favors.
This is getting curiouser and curiouser. I’ve called in more than a few favors at this point and will probably need a few more before I’m done. Italia Rodgers isn’t the first alleged technomancer to disappear — in fact, there seems to be quite a crop of them, though I’m running into cover-ups right and left when I try to track them down. A high school student in San Jose, a freelance game programmer in Boston, a clothing sales clerk in Austin—and not one of them has hit the major media, except for occasional buried stories that disappeared fast. One of my favors was to a friend in law enforcement, and he tells me that the missing-persons reports have been mysteriously relegated to the bottom of the priority list, if they haven’t been lost com- pletely or altered so they don’t come up in database searches. But that doesn’t give me any leads on where they might be — or even if their disappearances are related. I wonder how many more there are ...
I’ve had a break. If I was a religious woman, I’d be giving thanks for my affiliation with KSAF, since they do seem to dig up stuff that nobody else can touch. Seems that some folks who don’t want to be named have been tracking some strange Matrix-related anomalies out of an old hospital in Denver, and they think it might be related. I don’t know how reliable this bit of intel is, but it’s all we’ve got so we’re going with it. My employers and I leave for the Mile-High sprawl tomorrow.
We’ve got a couple more local people in on the job now — my employers say they can be trusted, so I’ve got to believe them if I want the story. Might be for the better anyway, now that I’ve seen the hospital in question. The place looks pleasant enough from the outside, but preliminary recon indicates that it’s actually more like a fortress than a hospital. A little discreet snooping around the local shadow community bears this out — rumor is that the place is owned by Mitsuhama, though you’ll never see that in any of the official documentation. There are also rumors that MCT is using the hospital for some kind of experimentation—and given that the place is completely offline, I’m betting I know what kind. We’re going to finish our recon today and with any luck go in tonight.
We’re in. So far no problems — my friends are good.
Still no problems — our hacker has managed to spoof their security system well enough that I don’t think they’ve seen us yet. Don’t know how long that’ll last, so we’re moving fast. This place is creepy. If there’s any action here, it’s down below.
Whatever's going an, they're hiding it well. Multiple redundant levels of security, and it looks like the stuff we're looking for is in the basement. I'm going to keep quiet for now, just in case. I'll come back on when I find something.
Oh God, oh God… where do I start? I've got to do this fast. Hiding now — don't know how long before they find us. Most of my team is dead — I'm holed up with our hacker in an unused office- Recording this while he tries to get a Matrix connection up and running. Gotta get this out. Okay ... need to calm down. Objectivity. How the hell can I be objective when —
Okay. Not much time. Facts. Italia Rodgers is dead — or she might as well be. ThThe rumors were right — but they didn’t go far enough. Experimentation is exactly what they’re doing here. ThThey’re doing it on technomancers, or suspected technomancers — hard to be sure which is which. I’m attaching a vidfifile to this, along with some of their progress reports that we liberated — these need to get out too, because my words can’t do it justice. You won’t understand what this means until you’ve seen the fifiles—seen these people strapped to beds with parts of their brains exposed — machines humming and electrodes poking out from various points—their eyes wide open. The looks of terror in their eyes — if I get out of here, they’ll haunt me until I die. And that’s not everything, either. ThThey didn’t stop with these people’s heads. Look at the girl in the vidfifile — it’s hard to tell with everything they’ve done with her, but I’m fairly sure she’s Cherie Washington, the 14-year-old missing girl. I can think of no other word to use than “vivisection.” I don’t know what the hell they’re trying to do, but they had her laid open like a Christmas turkey, and the electrodes weren’t just in her brain—they were in her chest as well. Her heart, her lungs. Maybe someone can analyze the fifiles and fifigure it out — I don’t have time now. I made the mistake of trying to tap into the facility’s network and got hit with mental feedback like I’ve never experienced before. Screams. Begging for help—or for death. Nearly knocked me out. Would have, if one of my guys hadn’t slapped me a good one. I think maybe I just stood and stared for awhile, horrifified at what I was seeing. Fortunately my headware camera was running, taking in everything I was seeing. Everything you’ll see now.
You got it? Is it up?
Oh, thank the spirits. Let’s shoot this out now, before they catch it and shut us down again.
<louder muffled sound>
They’re coming. Is it out? Okay. We’re not getting out of here. ThThey’ve got us sur rounded. If there’s any justice in the world, my files will get out to the people who need to see them. If you receive this, please pass them on. Don’t let the corps squelch this. Don’t let them get away with it. Don’t—
Ohgodohgodohgod ... my head ... noooooooo!
// end attachment //
System message: Wed Feb 25, 2071 10:33 am
Meidät hakkeroitiin 23/02/2070 05:46:26.
Systeemi ajettiin alas 23/02/2070 05:46:42.
Tämän hetkisen tiedon mukaan hakkeri ei ehtinyt saada mitään merkittää mukaansa. Kaikki arkaluontoisemmat nodet on toistaiseksi suljettu.
Tarkistakaa kaikki omat tietopankkinne ja lokinne. Raportoikaa mahdolliset anomaliat ylläpidolle.
[Koska pelinjohdolla ei ole käytössään mukaa AR-matrixia, jolla luoda maikeita virtuaalisia kohtaamispaikkoja 'runnereille, niin emme saa ShadowSeata täysin eläväksi. Sen sijaan joudumme tyytymään tähän. 'Tämä' on välähdyksiä siitä, mitä ShadowSea on ingame. Mikään kohta ei yritä olla yhtä laaja tai kokonaisvaltainen, kuin pelin sisäinen vastineensa. Työmäärä olisi pienenkin alueen kattamiseksi olisi valtava. Sen sijaan netissä oleva ShadowSea antaa kohokohtia ja maistiaisia siitä, mihin hahmot törmäävät todellisessa nodessa. Jos kuvittelee, että kaikki mikä on siellä on makeempaa, isompaa ja monimutkaisempaa, niin aletaan olla aika lähellä.]¨
[Kuten arvata saattaa, pelinjohtajan kommentit ja metaohjeet ovat hakasuluissa ja boldattuna.]
[Osa tiedosta saattaa olla myös merkattu [Meta]-tagillä. Silloin kyseinen osuus ei ole suoraan ShadowSea:n kamaa, vaan jotain mitä hahmot oppivat yhdistelemällä omia tietojaan satunnaiseen ShadowSean selailuun.]