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View Full Version : [Game] H+: The Singularity (IC)


Jay 2K Winger
06-23-2013, 08:59 PM
://the.respite|timecode:xxn.00.01.21.0945

Beatrice (http://i.imgur.com/IYu7FEm.jpg) waved a hand and a section of her data haven partitioned off, black walls extending upward and downward into infinity. She laced her fingers together, the sleeves of her robe covering her hands as she turned back to the figures arrayed nearby. "This should suffice for your palaver," she says, in a soft alto. "I'm sure I don't need to remind you that the Respite's TOS still applies."

Four members of The Flow all nodded their understanding. Three of them had opted for something approximating anonymity, using basic off-the-shelf avatars. One of them had covered his face with a scarf/mask (http://i.imgur.com/CxFcQKo.jpg), while the other two wore helmets and outfits that made them look robotic (http://i.imgur.com/orQFsp1.jpg). The fourth's avatar wore loose robes of his own, but open to the waist, revealing a gleaming figure of light, vaguely androgynous, with highly stylized facial features. "Of course not," Zero Shade (http://i.imgur.com/qW9jz7h.jpg) replies, even his voice modulated to add to the faint androgyny of his avatar. "You may need to remind our counterparts when they arrive."

They stepped into the darkened partition, within which a long slab of a table was set with eight chairs divided to each side. The Flow took their seats, and had scarcely done so when a slot snapped open on the other side of the partition. Three figures made their way in, one wearing a hood and asymmetrical cape (http://i.imgur.com/PpzwkeJ.jpg?1), a helmet or mask underneath obscuring his face, the whole thing black with yellow trim. The next had to turn sideways to get his massive bulk through the opening, for he stood twice as tall as anyone else present, his avatar a green-skinned brute (http://i.imgur.com/NQqLB8Y.jpg) covered in armor and cybernetics. The third was a woman, her avatar likewise green-tinted, her hair seeming to consist of cables and fiber-optics, which stirred in a non-existent wind, her lips painted a metallic color, twisted in a sardonic smirk (http://i.imgur.com/U0LHDBA.jpg).

These three took their seats at the table, staring at The Flow, and then a fourth figure emerged from the slot in the partition, light seeming to distort around him, a static filling the air as he folded his gloved hands behind his back. He wore a coverall that seemed to be made of plastic or rubber, but over this was a leather butcher's apron. His head was a featureless black shape, until an AR screen snapped into being in front of the 'face,' displaying a monochromatic image of a bespectacled man with an empty grin (http://i.imgur.com/E1ywYTo.jpg). The partitioned closed up, isolating them within. "So," Ink said as he took his seat with the Crashers, "you summoned us here, Zero. What do you want? As if I don't know."

"You must stop what you're doing, Ink," Zero Shade said flatly. "The consequences if you succeed will be dire."

"Precisely," Ink's smile seemed to grow wider. "The status quo will be upended and from the chaos will emerge a better world."

"A better world for whom?" This came from The Flow member in the scarf. "There's no guarantee that it will even the scales--"

The Crasher woman hissed. "Silence yourself, 'Dog," she spat.

The scarf-wearer tensed, but Zero Shade raised a hand. "We will accord ourselves in compliance with our hostess' wishes. This is what amounts to a peace talk."

"Zero's right, Becca," Ink chuckled. "But I'm sorry to tell you, old friend, that we will not be deterred by mere words. You expect us to sit idly by, and paint the walls in this world and meatspace with graffiti and hack the AR grid to drop 'truth-bombs' like you? You've been doing it for years, and to what end? What have you accomplished? Nothing."

"And yet, by disrupting the data flows and crashing markets and mainframes," Zero Shade returned, "all you have accomplished is causing the Corporate Court to put a bounty on your heads. You have people afraid of your actions. We make the people, both great and small, ask questions. Questions that get answered. There's a reason we're called activists, while you're called terrorists."

The other three Crashers seemed to bristle (inasmuch as one could tell with the masked one), and the towering brute slammed a metal fist on the table as he rose to his feet. "I won't sit here and listen to you preach your insipid soft ways!" He roared, and from the armor on his shoulders extruded glowing barrels and apertures. Light glowed within them--

--and then one whole side of the partition vanished, as the Lady of the Respite strode forward, eyes ablaze. "You will not cause violence in my haven," she stated, with cold flat fury.

"I am Hellborn, construct," the brute snarled. "I have broken the security protections of Tyr, and crashed K-MG five times running. I am not afraid of--"

Beatrice snapped her fingers, and light crashed down onto Hellborn's avatar. All those present shielded their eyes as Hellborn let out a brief scream that cut off abruptly. When their vision cleared, the brute was gone. Beatrice turned her gaze to Ink. "Consider this a warning," she told him. "If you or yours acts in this manner again, you will not be welcome in my haven ever again."

"Hellborn has ever been an impulsive sort," Ink smiled. "Pardon the breach of protocol."

"I will not," she said. "Just take care it does not happen again." With that, she turned and walked back out, the partition snapping shut behind her.

The two spokesmen looked at each other. "Ink, one last time, I ask that you reconsider your course of action. There is no way to predict what will happen, by its very definition."

"As you've said, Zero," the renegade hacktivist shrugged, "everything else we've done has only galvanized the megacorps, and only made the people more afraid. What other course do we have? We won't be passive like you." He rose from his seat, and beside him, the hooded man and Becca stood as well. "We will do what we must. As will you, I'm sure."

He turned, lifting one hand and tapping it on the partition wall, which slid open to let him out. "We will stop you," Zero Shade warned him, "if only so that we may be more certain of what may happen if you were to succeed."

"And it is because we both want the same thing," Ink said, his AR screen swiveling around his avatar's featureless head to look at him, "that I hope you will be spared the worst when the Singularity comes, that you may join us in a better world." His screen winked back out as the Crashers took their leave.

://sprawlfeed|timecode:xxn.00.03.13

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"--BOUNTY NOTICE--BOUNTY NOTICE--TYR INDUSTRIES IS WILLING TO PAY TOP CREDIT FOR ANY INFORMATION THAT LEADS TO THE APPREHENSION OF THE NET-THIEF KNOWN AS 'NiteShayde.' IF YOU OR ANYONE YOU KNOW CAN PROVIDE INFORMATION REGARDING NiteShayde's WHEREABOUTS-- WHETHER IT IS INTERLINK OR REAL-WORLD-- CONTACT TYR SECURITY: @TYRSEC-900 OR INTERLINK 'TYR', SUBSTRA 'SECURITY', HASH 'BOUNTIES.' REWARD NEGOTIABLE, NOT LESS THAN 10,000C--END NOTICE--END NOTICE--"

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[real-world].[the hub].[ping's noodles]|timecode:xxn.00.03.15.1045

The restaurant is small, but then most places of businesses are in The Hub, given pressures of real estate space. But there are a couple of tables and a booth or two, plus the basic lunch counter. Ping himself was always at the counter, periodically barking orders back to the steamy kitchen in Xiaglot*, then turning and pointing a finger at passersby: "You look like you could use a pork bun!" Ping's Noodles is always busy, and he doesn't take reservations for seats.

...unless the Shinsen-gumi pay him a visit. It always pays to be nice to the Shinsen-gumi. Two burly men with the glowing nano-tats common to the group stood with arms folded while an older man with a prosthetic thumb (not uncommon among the kyodai of the family) ate his noodles and otherwise waited for the representatives of the Toshioto Clan to arrive. He was called Mr. Taoka.

[real-world].[the hub].[alleyway]|timecode:xxn.00.03.15.1045

"Come out, liddle burd," the Slavic-accented voice calls out. "It will be much simpler and less painful for you if you just give up."

Dani had tried to avoid any major confrontations with the Red Bratva when this particular group had started tracking her. But that time had passed. They had quite efficiently cut her off and herded her into this alleyway (on the opposite side of The Hub from Ping's Noodles), which was still rather expansive. But they'd also sealed off either end, with men on the ground, as well as augmented snipers up high to prevent her from going up and over the dragnet. It looked like a confrontation was unavoidable.

And then, just when Dani might have been ready to start doing her Carrie thing from her hiding place, gunfire erupted at either end of the alley. Shouts and yelling filled the air, and if Dani looked out, she'd see the Bratva fighting with a gang she might have seen about The Hub in her time here: the Hub Scraps. To their credit, despite being outclassed (materiel wise) by the Bratva, the Scraps were taking them down, probably as much due to surprise as anything else.

Even the snipers appeared to have been taken out. But that's when Dani's hiding place would have been ripped open by two massive metal claws. A towering security mech (http://i.imgur.com/DKsp0EX.jpg) stood there, and then AR displays of a roaring mouth flashed into being around its featureless head, accompanying the bellowing roar that it emitted--

--just before a monoedge sword sliced through its neck. The mech staggered back, another roar issuing forth from its chest--

--which is when the same sword punched through its chassis, puncturing its central processor. Alarms started sounding and the sword was withdrawn. Dani would glimpse a man wearing a face-mask and covered from neck to toe in tough clothing. He glanced at her and sketched a salute. "One sec," he said, before quick-stepping back and then delivering a mighty kick to the stricken mech's main chassis, sending the thing flying into the middle of the alley, where its main body ripped apart from a small explosion as its power core overloaded.

Satisfied, the man flicked his sword and then slid it back into its scabbard at his side. "Blaggin' Bratva," the man muttered. "Bad enough we have to deal with them, they wanna bring a megacorp Zorn mech in here? Slag that." Then, as if remembering his manners, he thumps his forehead. "Sorry, what am I thinking. Jinchu Daisuke. You gonna be all right?"

://noafence.mesh|timecode:xxn.00.03.15.1045

New messages (3)

[--1--]
yo noa u scope that nu syz simtek 10?? shway innit?? mite git me 1 if i cud pay 4 it. anyway. u goin 2 the bard livefeed 2nite?? --gu$tav

[--2--]
You told me to let you know if someone managed to jailbreak the Tyr DRM. Might have something for you. His name's Kenstern. Brad Kenstern. Couldn't get much else. Shoot me some creds if this info works out. --Lem

[--3--]
--// keep an eye out // crashers have been more active lately //--
--// word is they're targeting the flow's network // members and contacts both //--
--// might be planning a big action // something public // possible high bodycount //--
--// let me know if anything hits your feeds // mr. universe //--

** Xiaglot is a creole/pidgin language spoken among most heritage Asians in the Sprawl. It's a mix of just about every Asian language. This is not to say that the original languages aren't still spoken, but given cultural mixing and melding over the years, Xiaglot exists so that people can still talk in a language that isn't the common tongue.

Kara
06-24-2013, 12:11 AM
Danielle St. Claire remained silent and motionless as she scowled at the man in front of what remained of the refuse bin she'd been crouched behind. Her senses were still keyed up since, mere moments ago, she had been about to fling everything in the alleyway within her mental range that wasn't bolted down, as well as ignite anything and everything combustible as possible. She briefly considered seeing if she would be able to get her mind's fingers around the sword of this otaku-looking jackass and running him through with it, but reconsidered. He wasted her enemies, which made him either an idiot or a bigger threat (though if he was from the company, she'd already be dead). Dani supposed she might as well see what he wanted, and if there was anything useful to be gained from this situation before making a move. Besides, she knew what got her in this mess but she had no idea what was going on now.

Getting the Bratva on her heels had been a fluke. She'd been crashing in an abandoned apartment in the neighborhood for almost 2 weeks, and the Reds were offering their services to most of the businesses in the area. Which meant there were some thugs casing the streets with deep pockets ripe for the picking (though in the The Hub, deep pockets weren't all that deep). Thanks to those bastards at Tyr putting a damn price on her head she'd been laying low on the net, which meant she needed to get money the old-fashioned way and steal it by hand. It was just rotten luck the Bratva thug she mugged turned out to be a streetboss with a freaking mech for a pet.

So now this. Putting a cigarette in her mouth, she stood up and eyed the man in front of her. "Dunno who the hell you think you are," she snapped as the cigarette suddenly sparked, seeming to light itself, "but I don't recall askin for any help."

Mytical
06-24-2013, 02:10 AM
"My apologies Mr. Taoka." As if from nowhere a soft voice is heard and the two goons are a bit startled to see a petite oriental female sitting at the table. Mr. Taoka doesn't even really bat an eye, as he had dealt with the Toshioto clan before. "I hope I am not late. My grandfather sends his regrets that he is currently too ill to travel."

Jay 2K Winger
06-30-2013, 06:33 PM
[real-world].[the hub].[alleyway]|timecode:xxn.00.03.15.1047

"Didn't need to," Jinchu replied as he made a few signals to the other Hub Scraps, who started dragging the dead or unconscious Bratva out of the way. "It's what we do-- stop syndicate pok gai like them just doin' whatever they feel like doing."

For a moment, it appears like he's watching that cigarette spark up by itself (though it's difficult to tell with that visor/mask of his), but he then adds, "Just think of it like us doin' ya a solid. No trouble, no charge. You need any help with somethin', just ask around for the Scraps, it'll get to me."

He is about to leave when suddenly another Zorn mech drops out of the sky with pavement-cracking force, its clawed hand lashing out and grabbing Jinchu by the front of his shirt. The gang leader has just enough time to mutter, "Aw, blaggin' hell--" before the mech hurls him through a dumpster. The Scraps all shout and start to converge on where he landed.

Then the mech turns its head toward Dani, emitting a droning siren noise before a heavily digitized voice declares, "TaRgEt WiLl SuRrEnDeR iMmEdIaTeLy."

[real-world].[the hub].[ping's noodles]|timecode:xxn.00.03.15.1047

Mr. Taoka gives a millimetric smile as he stirs the noodles in his bowl, then gestures with his chopsticks. "I took the liberty of ordering your favorite green tea, Kiki-san. My condolences for your grandfather's health. Family is important."

He eats a mouthful of noodles, then activates something on his prosthetic thumb. For a brief moment, an AR screen materialized in the air, but he adjusted his thumb, and instead a stream of data uploaded itself into Kiki's comm-link. "The man in the packet is Heinrick Molier. He is... conflicted. He has some objections to our client's practices. As a result, he has stolen some information from our client's databanks and intends to dispose of it somewhere on the Interlink."

Mr. Taoka pauses to take in the last of his noodles, and continues, "What that means, we are not certain. He may choose to sell the data to the highest bidder, or cache it in a data haven. While our client could easily prosecute, such activities would bring the nature of the data in question to light, and they do not wish it made public. Hence, we find ourselves trying to find Molier and the data he has stolen."

He lifts his bowl and drinks the broth, sighing a bit as he taps his chopsticks against the bowl, making a ringing sound. Ping looks around, and Mr. Taoka gives him a nod, calling a thank you in Xiaglot. Turning back to Kiki, he concludes, "Your Clan's assistance in this matter will not go unrewarded."

Mytical
06-30-2013, 06:42 PM
Kiki nods. "As for the data, my specialty is removing difficult people, but our clan has people who can find where the data is. I will.. end his conflict, and they will return the data to you. I will send grandfather your regards. Oh..and you might want to retrain your guards. Not only did they let a blind woman get this close to you.." she puts their weapons and belts on the table. "They let her disarm them." She gives a nod, and her and the packet are gone just as suddenly as she appeared.

Kara
07-01-2013, 09:00 AM
"My hero," the youth scoffed as she watched the Scraps rushing to the masked man's landing spot.

"TaRgEt WiLl SuRrEnDeR iMmEdIaTeLy," the mechanical voice repeated its command louder.

"I heard you the first time," Dani said, glaring up at the drone while blowing smoke at its AR displays. "Why don't you make me?"

The security drone roared in response as it swung one of its arms towards her. She jumped, drawing a large combat knife as she landed midway up its arm. She jabbed the blade into its elbow joint as she tried not to get thrown off the arm. Sparks shot out as Danielle yanked the knife loose, but before she could do anything else the drone swatted its arm into the side of a building. "Oh goddammit!" she cried as the wind was knocked out of her lungs. She managed to hold on with her free hand, though her head was spinning a bit. The drone raised its arm above its head, and Dani dropped on its shoulder as it smashed the injured arm through the wall. "That really hurt, you bloody bastard," she said, and then drove her blade into an unarmored area at the base of its neck, flinching as the shower of sparks burned her skin. The robot let out another mechanical roar and grabbed her with its good arm. She struggled in the clawed hand, but it was no use. She decided maybe carrying around a freakin sword wasn't such a stupid idea after all, considering that her augs didn't work so well against non-human opponents. The drone held her at eye-level with its AR display, she could see the lens of its eye behind the row of jagged teeth it was projecting.

"TaRgEt WiLl CoMpLy WiTh CaPtUrE," the emotionless voice said.

Dani laughed. "Comply with this!" She focused her mental energies, and the AR display flickered as the lens in its face cracked. Shaking its head, the snarling mouth reappeared as it slammed her into ground. She cried out as she coughed up a small amount of blood. "Oh... he-hell..." she gasped trying to see through the muddle of stars that obscured her vision. She was pinned to the ground under the drone's hand, though she wasn't sure she could move right now if she wanted to.

The drone leaned forward, probably scanning records trying to identify her. A waste of time, since none existed. Not anymore. "TaRgEt IdEnTiFiCaTiOn NeGaTiVe. PrOcEeDiNg WiTh CaPtUrE."

"I'm not done yet," the girl said. She could feel her knife still lodged in the drone where she had left it. She screamed to keep the world in focus and drove the blade deeper into the mechanical body, feeling through the wires and circuits with her mind until she found her target and forced the knife through it's main processing unit. The drone flailed its arms as it shut down, flinging her down the alley. Dani hit the ground hard, and her body rolled into a wall. She shakily tried to lift herself up, but her damaged body finally gave in and she collapsed and blacked out.

Jay 2K Winger
07-01-2013, 06:13 PM
[real-world].[the hub].[ping's noodles]|timecode:xxn.00.03.15.1051

Mr. Taoka impassively regarded the weapons being deposited on the table, before his eyes flicked to the two Shinsen-gumi members flanking the table. They were hastily babbling apologies and pleas for forgiveness in Xiaglot as Mr. Taoka tapped his prosthetic thumb on the table as if in thought. Finally, he chopped his hand through the air, and their burbling ceased as they both straightened to attention.

"You have shamed yourselves, allowing yourselves to be disarmed," he says in Xiaglot. "In shaming yourselves, you shame our family." (Syndicates with an Asian bent such as the Shinsen-gumi often do consider themselves a family.) "You will be... reprimanded for this."

Through all of this, Mr. Taoka has been calm, his voice level, hardly a flicker of emotion on his face. He nods goodbye to Kiki just before she vanishes again.

[real-world].[the hub].[toshioto clan safehouse]|timecode:xxn.00.03.15.1132

When Kiki gets back to her Clan with the information packet, all that can be determined about Molier's whereabouts are that he fled S-YZ's compounds in Wah Sing Ce District toward poorer areas. He'd been spotted briefly in Beggar's Reef, but current intel suggests he's holed up in the Hub somewhere, but likely using a falsified ID tag to avoid detection.

Any attempts to learn what the data he stole contains comes up negative, as it's been classified to a level that only the project manager (Molier himself) and the S-YZ Board could access it. Even the project (Project Schwarzschild) is classified to a degree that only the name is known.

They are able to determine that Molier is a fan of the music casts in the Radbeatz substra of the Interlink, and in particular of The Bard.

[real-world].[the hub].[hub scrap hideout]|timecode:xxn.00.03.15.1148

When Dani resurfaces from her blackout, she finds herself in a rather spacious flat. A cursory examination would reveal that it was actually several apartments, but with some of the non-load-bearing walls torn out and even some floors and ceilings knocked out with crude stairways erected. Graffiti tags suggest that this is where the Hub Scraps hang out. Some computer equipment is set up in a few places, some bunks and cabinets here or there, and an entertainment area.

If Dani checks herself out, she finds that her burns were indeed superficial, and the lingering scent of a quick-acting burn-salve is on them. There are a couple of med-stim patches on her neck and sides, but her clothes are otherwise left alone. There are aches and soreness, of course, but it seems the Scraps took her somewhere safe and patched her up.

A noise pipes up from a nearby Scrap, who looks like a girl just about Dani's age, wearing a hoodie over her shaved head. She's noticed that Dani's awake. She calls out something in what sounds like a modified version of typical thieves' cant, and a small group of Scraps that had been clustered around another bunk move aside to reveal Jinchu Daisuke, stripped to the waist as a man-- presumably the Scraps' medic-- peels a couple of med-stim patches off of Jinchu's back.

"Thanks for takin' out that other Zorn," he remarks as he tests his arm's mobility. "Guess that makes us evened up."

Dani would be able to see the telltale signs of strength and agility augmentation along his arms and chest. He's still wearing that visor-mask of his, even now. But those would probably be of less import to her, given that his bare chest also reveals the turquoise-glowing ideograms and stylized dragon nano-tats common to the Shinsen-gumi.

Kara
07-01-2013, 11:41 PM
Danielle scowled at the man. The old scars on her back where she'd taken multiple canings for disobedience during her conditioning with the Shinsen-gumi started throbbing at the sight of the tats. She'd heard of the Scraps, but didn't remember anything about them being part of that clan. One more reason not to trust them, she reckoned. She sat up on the cot, wincing at the soreness in her back. "We'd have to owe each other something to be evened up. So don't assume I owed you anything for the Bratva, or that me taking that other drone out was any kind of favor to you lot. 'Sides, someone with certain kuh wu connections doesn't need anything from me."

Mytical
07-02-2013, 03:37 AM
It was not much to go on, but the Toshioto clan was not known for taking EASY assignments. Though she was skilled in the interlink, she much preferred the real world, but the Hub was a huge place. It would be like looking for a grain of rice in a field of hay. She did have one lead, however, the Bard. So this individual liked the Bard..time to do some watching, unnoticed. After letting her clan know to scour the streets of The Hub, she goes into the interlink to see who is watching the Bard and where from.

Jay 2K Winger
07-02-2013, 09:10 PM
[real-world].[the hub].[hub scrap hideout]|timecode:xxn.00.03.15.1152

"I saved you from that first Zorn," Jinchu says calmly, at her bridling about the 'evening' of things. "You took out the second one. That's what I meant."

The mention of connections to the Shinsen-gumi, however, makes the other Scraps start making some angry noises. Jinchu grimaces a bit, looking down at his tattooed chest, sighing. "Everyone, quiet." The Scraps settled... just.

"We're not connected to those syndicate bakayaro." He scratches absently at the tattoos on his chest. "I won't deny, I used to belong to them, enough that I got these, but when I found out they were working with the megacorps, I cut myself out of their dealings." He glares down at the glowing tats. "And believe me, if it were possible for nano-tats to be affordably removed, I'd've gotten this drek off of me a long time ago."

He waves off the medic as he stands and turns around, pulling off his visor as he puts on a fresh shirt, but not before Dani would see a pretty significant scar-- a brand-- on his back. More ideograms, more Shinsen-gumi, but this one would have been easily identified as meaning "traitor."

His shirt on, Jinchu puts his visor back on and starts to equip his other gear. Without turning, he says to Dani, "We only patched you up because it was the decent thing to do. You want to leave, feel free, Dotty can show you out, and we'll stay out of your life."

"Hey, boss," another Scrap says, pointing to something on their AR display by some of the computer equipment. "I pulled this off of those Reds. I think the Bratva were trying to cash in on a bounty." This Scrap, a young man with a black visor obscuring his eyes, turns his head and glances at Dani. But Jinchu shakes his head.

"If there's a bounty on this woman," the gang leader declares, "then it was issued either by some rich slaghead up Altman way or similar, or by the megacorps, and we're not having anything to do with them." He looks to Dani. "There should be some grub around here. Feel free to take what you need, and Dotty can show you out--"

That's when a high-pitched wailing noise filled the air. Someone yelled from a lower level in the hideout. "It's the Reds! They found us--" Before the voice was cut off by the sound of a pulser firing.

"Мы нашли тебя!" a voice roars out, and then again: "We found you!" The Slavic accent makes it clear who it is.

The Scrap with the black visor flicks between AR screens until he comes across one that appears to have a security feed, and the man goes white. "Slag! It's not just the Bratva, they have Kaschey with them!"

Instantly, Jinchu yells, "Everybody scarper! Get out of here and get to the safehouses!"

Kaschey is an infamous Bratva enforcer. Every syndicate has their precision instruments-- people that can be in and out without drawing notice, for low-impact work. Kaschey is not a precision instrument. He's the Bratva's equivalent of the nuclear option.

Jinchu picks up his sword and draws it. "I'll buy you all the time!" Then, his face splits into a manic grin as he leaps to the lower level, shrieking with mad laughter. Nearby, Dotty and Black-visor stare a bit, before she shakes her head, "Crazy blagging bastard."

[real-world].[the hub].[toshioto clan safehouse]|timecode:xxn.00.03.15.1159

It's clear that Heinrick Molier took care to cover his tracks, probably for just such a situation as this-- having either corporate security or their syndicate friends hunt him down. Molier does have a couple of family members-- a sister and uncle-- back in Wah Sing Ce, but a quick check with the Shinsen-gumi reveals they've already interrogated them and turned up no information. Molier's uncle hadn't heard from him in years, and his sister barely even knew what he did for a living.

Some further searches done by Kiki and the rest of her clan would turn up a couple of leads in the Hub, however. Molier might have been spotted down by the Gaffer Club. It is believed he might have hired some protection, but what is unclear. The Gaffer Club is known for having a large number of thugs for hire and other similar mercenary work.

://meshcrawl/search#molier|timecode:xxn.00.03.15.1159

Kiki's search on the Interlink, however, might be a little more helpful. While Molier's taken care to hide his tracks, it's impossible to completely mask one's trail online. He's been a busy boy, posting on various forums about The Bard-- under the rather anonymous handle of "Beatzfan865"-- and generally just being a fanboy about it. It seems that Beatzfan865 will be attending The Bard's upcoming livefeed, however.

Her search might also take Kiki to the Tech section of the Interlink, to the substra dubbed "Future Shock," and further to the sub-substra "AI Advancement." He's been posting in forums there, and it seems there's talk of "digital evolution," and similar themes. Molier-- under the handle "Laplace-7"-- is commenting on the dangers of "unsupervised digital evolution," and the risk of another Amp Incident occurring about it. This has gotten Laplace-7 in some heated arguments on the forum with supporters of AI rights.

It's worth noting, however, that the forums where Laplace-7 is posting are known to be frequented by the Crashers or their supporters...

Kara
07-03-2013, 05:29 AM
Dani was out of the room before Dotty and the visored Scrap could turn back around to offer her an escort. "To hell with all this," she muttered as she shoved her way down the nearest hall. She'd had her fill of tangling with the Reds for one day, and if even half of what she knew about this enforcer was true, a quick exit was definitely in order. Especially if the filthy son of a bitch was after her bounty.

That thought stopped her dead in her tracks. The guy with the tats was right, there was a bounty on her. But Danielle St. Claire was beyond dead, she never existed. As far as the entire sprawl was concerned, she was no one. The only identity she could even claim as her own was the one on the Interlink, and she was practically untouchable there. But in the real world, as anonymous as she was, if a Syndicate somehow got on her trail...

"Dammit!" Dani cried as she wheeled around and started heading toward the sound of fighting. If the Bratva somehow knew something, or thought they knew something, her only option was to make sure they kept their damn suspicions to themselves. And taking out the biggest muscle they had to flex would probably be persuasive enough. If not, well, she'd burn that bridge when she got to it. For now, she just hoped tat-guy could wear Kaschey down before he got ripped apart to make it easier for her to finish the job.

Mytical
07-04-2013, 03:56 AM
Well there was one way to try to track him down. It might work, or it might not, if not she plans on going to the Bards live performance. First, however, the problems with Mercenaries is that they seldom will be very loyal. It was time to see how loyal the mercs are. For this mission she takes a long silk scarf, a Sai, an a couple of smoke bombs. Should be what she needs for this.

She makes her way to the Gaffer Club, and assesses the place. It will be tough, and she will need to get to the back, but .. well you can't make scrambled eggs without cracking some shells.

She took the lookout first. Slipping behind him, throwing the scarf over his mouth, and pulling back..a quick application of a pressure point on the neck, and he won't be raising any alarms anytime soon.

Next was the two guards at the door, it appears the mercs did not want to be disturbed. Too bad. Unfortunately even a Ninja can make a calculation error. She had managed to get close without being noticed, and whipped out the scarf to tie around one, and pull him to her to knock him out. However, she was just a second too slow to throw the Sai (handle first) at the other guards throat. He managed to let out a yell. That was not good.

No going back now, she burst through the door, to find the ones inside either scattered (if patrons) or ready for her. One smoke bomb went down, to even things up for her. It was a hectic fight, they came at her at all sides, unable to fire any weapons because they had no target.

A swift kick to the stomach of one, gave her a chance to do a spin kick off his back taking down another. She barely managed to dodge a pool stick, and deliver a blow that not only broke the stick, but the hand holding it.

"Get out of the smoke you idiots!" came a roar from toward the back. "Fight them where we can see them!". Good thing that the smoke disoriented direction, because a few ended up running into each other in haste to follow the order. A twisted neck for one, followed by a low blow for the other, made sure those two were dealt with. Things went sort of quiet. When the smoke cleared, only two people remained standing. Kiki, and the boss of the mercs

"I will ask once, and once only. Where is Molier?"

Jay 2K Winger
07-04-2013, 06:28 PM
[real-world].[the hub].[hub scrap hideout]|timecode:xxn.00.03.15.1154

"Dammit, don't go back there!" Dotty cries out as Dani darts back into the hideout. "Kaschey's a monster!"

"Slag it," Black-visor mutters. "She wants to get herself killed, let her. We need to get out of here and call in our own heavies to get Daisuke out of there, that crazy bastard."

The hideout is already turning into a bit of a warzone. There are Bratva men all over, shooting at or fighting with the handful of Scraps that defend their turf. But the biggest source of her attention would be Jinchu Daisuke, sword in one hand, pistol in the other, facing off with probably the largest man Dani has ever seen. He is easily eight feet tall, if not taller, and he is heavily augmented. Dense slabs of muscle cover his body, and that same immensity is present in his cybernetic forearms and lower legs. He wears only a pair of tough mil-spec pants and a thick belt, leaving his chest-- covered in Bratva nano-tats-- bare. Probably the most fearsome part of him would be his face. At some point in his career as the Red Bratva's unkillable killing machine, his face had gotten blown off. Literally. Raw musculature and bone shows, and his mad eyes stare out of his sockets, his mouth perpetually bared in a rictus skeletal grin. All this is shown beneath a clear plastisteel face-mask that had been apparently riveted to his skull.

Everyone on that floor is giving Kaschey a wide berth, and the huge man simply advances forward as Jinchu fires pulse after pulse from his pistol. Jinchu's aim is impeccable. He's aiming at Kaschey's face, head, and neck, but Kaschey's mask is apparently impervious to small arms fire. If a shot threatens to go above or below or graze to the side of his mask, Kaschey just twitches his head in that direction and the blast spangs off the mask instead.

Realizing this strategy isn't working, Jinchu quick-steps back, adjusting his aim at something further south. But Kaschey moves fast for a man his size, closing the distance and grabbing the Scrap's pistol, crushing it in one massive fist and tossing it aside contemptuously. Then Kaschey's fist comes down like the wrath of gods, and it's all Jincu can do to get his sword up in time to block the swing, being pressed into a desperate crouch at the force behind that fist.

Dani would have time to see all this before a Bratva thug spots her, calling out, "Там она есть!" He raises a gun in her direction, declaring, "Получите ваши руки вверх, маленькая птичка." It's clear he intends for her to surrender. A couple more Bratva start making their way over, also aiming weapons.

[real-world].[the hub].[the gaffer club]|timecode:xxn.00.03.15.1221

The merc leader takes in Kiki's appearance and swears. "Aw, frack. You're one of those clan ninja." He shakes his head. "Look, I don't know who you're talking about. Lotta guys have come in looking to hire some muscle--"'

Suffice to say, Kiki makes a threat, and then shows the AR picture in the information packet in her comm-link. The merc leader peers at it. "That guy. Hired three of my best. Told them to meet him at Ellis Plaza later, they'd get further instructions then." As if in response to any comment about his crew's loyalty to their clients, he adds, "We ain't gettin' paid enough to tangle with fuckin' ninja. Syndicate or corp-sec muscle, sure, but ninjas? Slag that."

As Kiki starts to leave, however, she would notice three valet bots-- humanoid mechs used for various mundane tasks-- arrayed in the alley that she had entered through. Their heads all cock in unison, but in different directions. A synthesized voice-- not anything remotely similar to the standard vox that valet bots have-- speaks out from the bots as well, but it switches which bot with every other word.

"Greetings." "I'm afraid--" "that I--" "--can't let--" "--you interfere--" "--with our--" "--business further--" "--Toshioto Kiki."

At which point, the bots would suddenly leap into action. The hacked bots-- their speed overclocked by the hacker's action-- move with incredible speed, and spring off the walls of the alley in an attempt to disorient the ninja. At last one of the bots comes in at an angle from behind, and even though Kiki dodges the strike, she would feel and hear the sizzle and hum of a hard-light blade. The bots' hands are making 'blades' with their hands, and the hard-light blade is formed from energized particles, making an effective weapon.

Chanlin
07-06-2013, 10:33 PM
Noah scanned over his messages with a somewhat detached feeling. He always seemed to feel that way lately. He wasn't entirely certain if it was because of his relative isolation in the real world, or because of his double life.

(ooc note: 7 = t, 5 = s, 3 = e)
Reply to Message 1: gu$stav - I wud, bu7 N0 backwurd compa7 makes i7 hard 70 jus7ify 7h3 3xpen53. I kan7 mak3 7h3 5h0w. Mi73 n07 b3 5af3.- Noa

After reading the second message Noa will forward a small amount of creds to Lem for keeping her in the loop.

Reply to Message 2: Thanks. Will check it out.

Noah does not reply to message 3 but sets up an automated program to put some feelers out monitoring data flow of known Flow data hubs. The program is a simple sniffer that will alert him to any odd traffic. He will also do what he can so mask the sniffer program and make it look like simple junk code.

He also sets up a second program to simple mine any data attached to the name Brad Kenstern. No hacking involved, simply a program that will compile any files, data etc related to the name to be sifted through later.

Afterward he will log into the interlink as The Bard to begin preparing for the night's show.

Kara
07-09-2013, 11:47 PM
"Yeah, yeah," Dani responds without even glancing at the men closing in on her where she stands on the stair rail overlooking the floor below. She's focused on the fight on the ground level, studying the massive Bratva for any weakness she might be able to exploit. The three men continue to advance toward her, finally coming within sensory range of her augs. Without taking her eyes off the fight below, she reaches out with her mental energies. She finds what she's looking for, and sparks the bullets of the guns pointed at her. The weapons explode in their hands, leaving the men to collapse, screaming on the ground. "Idiots," she mutters, then finds a grenade that one of them is carrying on his belt. She turns to look at them and flashes a smirk as she watches the pin pulled and tossed away by an unseen force. She then jumps off the rail to the floor below, slowing her descent as she drops and landing gently on her feet.

"Hey, jackass," she calls. Kaschey looks at her, still trying to crush Jinchu under his fist. A second later there is an explosion upstairs, raining flaming debris all around them and Dani's smirk resurfaces. She takes hold of the fire all around, increasing its intensity and drawing it to her, finally surrounding herself in raging, swirling flames. "Lookin' for me?"

Mytical
07-14-2013, 04:05 AM
Kiki just barely managed to dodge yet another sword, as she was cursing trying to avoid the three machines. Her Sai was useless against metal, and they were just as quick as she was. She was losing, because she could not hurt them, but they could hurt her. She fled through another door, and was out on the street, the machines not far behind.

As she fled the machines, she ducked into another building hoping to lose them, and come across the oddest site. Somebody covered in flames, but that seems not to be harmed by them. Of course being blind all she knew was that there was fire, and somebody was in it, her other senses told her that. Then one of the machines burst through the wall, and the other two were not far behind. She was caught between whatever THAT (the person on fire) was, and these machines..she pulled out her silk and prepared for death..she would go out fighting though.

Jay 2K Winger
07-14-2013, 09:44 PM
://noafence.mesh|timecode:xxn.00.03.15.1135

New message (1)
[--1--]
lol wot. simtek 10 IS bckwrd compat, slackbit. wut evr. u shud dl the rec after the bard livefeed at least. schway beatz. l8rz. --gu$tav.

://meshcrawl/search#brad kenstern|timecode:xxn.00.03.15.1136

Searches on Brad Kenstern would turn up some dividends. He was a code monkey, often contracted to various small corps that in turn were contracted by megacorps to do all the grunt work of getting their systems and warez and so on working. The upshot of being effectively a sub-sub-contractor to megacorps is they didn't care much about him, being an interchangeable cog in the machine, and he got access to all manner of interesting code.

Naturally, what he did for them was compartmentalized so that, in theory, he didn't know specifically what he was working on, but the bright ones have ways around that. And Kenstern, as it turns out, is very bright. He'd found a chink in the Tyr DRM, all right, and his information was now for sale to anyone who could pony up the credits. There was a bidding war going on, because Kenstern wasn't just putting it out there for free.

It turned out that The Flow had taken an interest in this, of course, with their interest in the freedom of information. Naturally, it seemed the Crashers were also taking an interest.

Some more checking would reveal that Kenstern lived in The Hub, just a few blocks from Noah's flat.

://flow.meshnet|timecode:xxn.00.03.15.1159

Checking on The Flow's network would definitely reveal that the Crashers had been more active. Hellborn and L0ki and their cronies were hitting the servers and hubs hard, looking for any weaknesses, and some of the low-tier Flow activists had been cut off. Their systems were compromised by Crasher agents and viruses, and the activists themselves had either gone off the grid to lay low, or had... been laid low, as it were.

Thus far, however, it seemed that the Crashers hadn't yet targeted NoaFence. Noa's sniffer would definitely detect Crasher agents looking for her, but their agents had indeed not detected the sniffer.

://clubset/radbeatz#the pulse|timecode:xxn.00.03.15.1215

When The Bard turns up at The Pulse to prep for the show, Kelly Haberdasher (http://i.imgur.com/dyXB81L.jpg?1) is waiting, in her usual Interlink avatar. "About time you showed up," she complains. "We got some major prep to do before this feed, you know that? We're expecting record log-ins and downloads for this."

Typical worrywart behavior. But she means well, and she does right by The Bard.

[real-world].[the hub].[hub scrap hideout]|timecode:xxn.00.03.15.1220

Dani would find it hard to spot a weakness in Kaschey. Some pulser blasts had clearly struck him during the initial assault, but these had just left some reddened patches on his flesh or slight scorching on the metal parts of his body. When they had built him to be their ultimate deterrent, the Bratva had clearly gone all-out. Still, nothing is ever invincible for long...

Kaschey turns that gruesome face toward Dani as she challenges him, and just cocks his massive head as she surrounds herself in flames. He turns to face her, a laugh rasping its way through his grinning mouth. Nearby, Jinchu bristles. "Hey, don't look at her, I'm your opponent!" He moves with speed, intending to swing that sword of his down at Kaschey's back--

--only for Kaschey to swivel with faster speed and catch Jinchu square in the fast with one massive metal fist. The Hub Scrap leader goes down hard. This finished, Kaschey turns back to Dani. "Я дам вам преимущество. Забастовка меня где угодно," he declares, and spreads his arms, another laugh rasping out. It seems he is offering Dani the first blow.

That's when a ninja came diving through the window, sliding to a halt to one side. Three hacked valet bots come through the wall after her, and pause as they take in the sight of the battle. The surviving Bratva and Scraps look at the bots, as do a recovered Jinchu. The bots all cock their heads in different directions, and that voice speaks up again, once more switching between bots every other word:

"This is--" "--an unexpected--" "--scenario indeed."

One of the bots suddenly lets out a squawking sound as its body is bisected diagonally across the chassis. Its left shoulder and arm and its head fall to the ground, and the rest of the body shortly after. The reason for this is revealed moments later, as Jinchu's sword is vibrating in the wall. The Hub Scrap Gang leader is back on his feet, rolling his shoulders. He takes in the sight of the flame-wreathed Dani without apparent surprise (though how could you tell behind that mask), then the ninja. "I'll deal with the bots, I guess. I think she can handle Kaschey..."

Mytical
07-15-2013, 05:23 AM
Kiki through out the silk, swirling it around one of the bots.. SHE might not be able to hurt it, but she thought they just might be able to hurt each other, she spins one of the machines around. It collides with the other, slowing both down and making a tangled mess. It won't take them long to untangle themselves, and shred her silk..leaving her with just her Sai, but she had bought time.

"I am Kiki Toshioto of the Toshioto clan, you will find I am not so easy to kill." She didn't know who was friend or foe, but she was going to go down fighting either way. Honor demanded it.

Kara
07-16-2013, 01:12 AM
Danielle is so focused on her target that she barely notices the random appearance of a ninja into what had become an all-out battlefield. However, her ears perk up at the mention of the Toshioto clan. It's bad enough this mess with the Reds has blown up as much as it has, but now there are 2 people tied to the Shinsen-gumi involved in it. "Christ," she mutters, "this day just keeps getting better." The company erased her life, but her past still doing its best to haunt her. Oh well, she'll deal with others as needed. For now, she has bigger fish to fry. Big, hulking, ass-ugly fish.

"All right," she says. "I'll go first." She mentally wings a barrage of fireballs at him, not expecting them to do much damage. She knows his augmented body can be burned, so she wants to see how much heat it will take for him to feel it. Unfazed, he laughs and crosses the room at a much faster speed than anyone would think his huge body could manage. Dani leaps to the side, holding out her arms and releasing a steady stream of blistering flames at him. He's on her in an instant, grabbing her with his massive hands despite her body being surrounded by fire. She can smell burning skin, but her opponent is still undeterred. He slams her against the wall, nearly extinguishing the flames around her from the force of it. "Wipe that grin off your face," she says as she looks up at him and spits blood on his mask. "I'm just getting started beating the piss out of you." She can feel the fire raging on what's left of the floor above. The fire on the ground floor wasn't the only one she stoked with her augs after the explosion, and now she can feel the weakened structure above her and Kaschey. She screams, and as the flames around her body intensify, the floor above starts to give and pieces of flaming debris begin raining down. The giant's grip loosens as he's caught by surprise and Dani is able to free herself and roll under his legs, scrambling away just as everything above where she was pinned comes crashing down in a huge fiery mass.

Tyg3rW01f
07-18-2013, 07:17 PM
[real-world].[the hub].[intersection five blocks from hub scrap hideout]|timecode:xxn.00.03.15.1220
Tyger, a 5' 9" tall, 150 pound Average Joe (http://www.gavinrothery.com/storage/HarrisonFord_BladeRunner.gif?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVE RSION=1317505760185), had been zooming along the streets at a blistering 120mph when he first saw the flames. At the red light, he checked the holo-map on his dash. Son of Eh, Squirrel's gonna kill me. THAT's the address on the package!

Five minutes and fifty blocks across the Hub earlier...
John "Squirrel" St. Helens (http://plutopress.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/wallace-shawn.jpg), Comet Delivery Services main dispatcher, a short, balding 2nd-generation Sicilian, handed his best delivery man, Tyger, a flimsyplast envelope and a delivery receipt.
"Deliver this to that address and use caution. If you pull that off, fine, if not, you'd best not bring the officials here again."
Putting the envelope in a pocket of his jacket (http://www.sporttour.com/upload/Tour_Master_Sonora_Air_Jacket_Hi-Vis_Yellow.jpg), Tyger grinned, "I'll have to use a few double-backs, then." Tyger slung his leg over his Akira 750 (http://fc08.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2010/188/a/2/Akira_Fan_Art___Kaneda__s_Bike_by_ChristianPearce. jpg) and strapped on his helmet (http://www.xbox-skyer.com/images/xbox360/haloreach/armory/operator.jpg).
"You know your job is to get this done and back here quickly!" Squirrel protested vehemently.
"Well, yeah, but driving for the sake of the officials is boring." With that, Tyger roared out of the delivery garage.

Chanlin
07-20-2013, 11:11 PM
://clubset/radbeatz#the pulse

"Relax Kelly. I've got this show all worked out. I could practically run it on auto and sleep through it..." he snickers at an anticipated exasperated stare. "I would never do that to you of course. I have a new song to debut at the end of the show. Call it an encore for the fans." This is as much a statement as a question, but he's fairly certain Kelly will not say no.

://noafence.mesh

Once the sniffer returns its results Noa will work on purging viruses from what systems he can and adding layers of security where possible. She will also fire off messages to her Flow contacts.

Message: You need to plug a hole in your buckets. I've cleaned your place up a bit, but those damn things are spilling water all over the place.

[real-world].[the hub].[Kenstern's Place]


After the show as The Bard...

Noah will send his drone over to Kenstern's place and knock/ring the door bell (or whatever else is appropriate.

Jay 2K Winger
07-21-2013, 09:10 PM
[real-world].[the hub].[hub scrap hideout]|timecode:xxn.00.03.15.1222
PCs & Allies-- Dani, Kiki, Tyger, Jinchu
Enemies-- Kaschey, two Bratva, two hacked 'bots

In the midst of the chaos, especially once fire started getting thrown around, most of the remaining Hub Scraps had bolted. The surviving Bratva, seeing their towering enforcer being turned into a towering inferno, had largely fled, although two voices could be heard shouting in the Bratva lingo a couple of floors above, and boots were pounding as they came charging down to meet the fight.

Dani's firestorm engulfs Kaschey as he grabs at her, roaring in fury as the heat sears and starts to char and burn even his augmented skin. He is like a force of nature-- one cannot stop an avalanche, or plead for mercy before it.

Of course, with her augs, Dani is not unlike a force of nature herself. Between the pain of the fire burning around him, and then the crushing weight of the floor above collapsing on him, Kaschey is pinned down. Even so, Dani could see the rubble shifting. He was not dead, and was probably working to free himself. At the very least, she had bought herself some time.

Meanwhile, the two remaining bots had indeed freed themselves from the tangle of the silk scarf, the blazing energy blades still sheathing their hands as they cut it apart and then swiveled to face Kiki and Jinchu--

--or rather, where Jinchu had been standing. The Hub Scrap leader had charged toward cover, grabbing a fallen assault rifle in passing, and was now popping off a couple of salvos toward the 'bots. The gun was only armed with standard bullets, which mostly just struck the 'bots chassis and did no damage.

"'Hoy, Toshioto-san!" Jinchu calls out, switching to Xiaglot: "<Keep them distracted for me while I get my sword!>"

And outside, the roaring motor of a really fast motorcycle can be heard approaching...

://clubset/radbeatz#the pulse|timecode:xxn.00.03.15.1220

"I know you got the skillz, Bard," Kelly sighs. "I'm just worried. There's been some buzz about ... well, infoterrorists or something making some kind of statement tonight during the feed." She flaps a hand dismissively. "The Pulse wanted to shut down the feed, but I convinced them to keep it online. They're working on getting extra security for the show."

She adjusts her hat. "But, that's for me to worry about. I'll go yell at people and make sure everything's set up on the Pulse's end, you just worry about getting the beats ready." She starts to walk away. "Buzz me if you need anything on my end."

And like that, The Bard has all the time he needs to himself, for about five, maybe six hours until he should get back to do the show. Meaning that the man behind The Bard can take care of some other business....

[real-world].[the hub].[kenstern's flat]|timecode:xxn.00.03.15.1245

Kenstern's flat had a door buzzer. When it is activated, there's a pause, and then an AR screen appears in front of the door. A scrawny man with a mop of frazzled hair and an unshaven chin glares out. "What the frack do you want?" the man, who can probably be assumed to be Kenstern himself, demands. Then he squints at something. "...the fuck is a drone doing here...?" Then his eyes widen further. "I know that tech... that's a Tyr mil-drone!" The AR's visual cuts out, though audio can be heard: "Go away, nobody's home!"

Tyg3rW01f
07-21-2013, 10:37 PM
[real-world].[the hub].[hub scrap hideout].[exterior]|timecode:xxn.00.03.15.1222

One of the fleeing Bratva saw Tyger. Aw, s***, the delivery man thought as the man ran toward him.
"Off the bike, Comrade! Now!"
"No," Tyger scoffed, and buried his tacti-hawk (http://www.gggaz.com/uploaded_images/Tomahawk/BattleHawk-OD.jpg) in the man's lower jaw, severing the jugular and carotid arteries in a hideous spray of blood... just as more people exited the burning edifice.
Tyger looked at this, ripped loose his tacti-hawk and said, loudly, "Well, crap."

((so, who wants to be the lucky ones to witness the mess?))

Chanlin
07-27-2013, 10:03 PM
Before heading out to Kentern's place, knowing he has time, Noah sets up a program that will allow him to automate the Bard's show and Avatar should he need to become NoaFence when trouble hits. He will also set up a monitoring program for the show that should alert him if trouble hits. (ooc: up to you J2k if the alert works)

[real-world].[the hub].[kenstern's flat]|timecode:xxn.00.03.15.1245

Noah hits the buzzer again. "I'm not with Tyr..." he says pleadingly. "Please I just want to talk."