The runners all seeming well rested meet back together in Barnabus’ condo. Having been exhausted they find themselves having a late afternoon breakfast. Kid Mercury and Dragonfly continue to work on the two commlinks for several more hours before they are successful at getting one of them up and running.
The commlinks’ OS and other software where badly corrupted. Kid Mercury reports that the commlink operating system was replaced with a full sim environment only accessible through a direct neural interface. Dragonfly chimes in that she found BTL code embedded in the environment as well. The two studied it together and excitedly geekily report that it is beyond what any normal BTL would do. Where the hot and latest chips out of Hong Kong would be like a shotgun blast to the brain, this is acupuncture. It involves sensory prodding to specific points in the brain that could cause unknown effects. This is decades beyond the public stuff, probably more like military psychotropic IC. So what we have here they conclude is an interactive AR program way ahead of its time out on the streets. The environment created is an overlay of grass and trees with butterflies and little birds flying around and singing. A ‘Zippity-do-da’ – esque song floats in the background. It’s all bright and cheery. There is something else though. Kid Mercury having stripped out the BTL code is confident that the next needed clue is going to come through interacting with the AR environment.
Mr. Smiley makes the plunge. Using the trodes he took off a dead chiphead he links up with the one of the commlinks that Dragonfly and Kid Mercury repaired. The world through this program is all bright and cheerful, that you can’t help to smile. What BTL addict wouldn’t be happy here? Smiley closes his eyes and walks around the condo. Realizing another subtly of the programing. The music is coming from a fixed point in the city. Facing in that direction, you see that even the meanderings of the birds and butterflies flow in that general direction. The group hits the road to find where the music is coming from.
The music is coming from a fixed point. Following the music, leads the ‘runners to an abandoned building back in the Englewood district of the CAS. With spray paint, the building is tagged “Happiness is only a smile away”. Inside, the place is trashed and smells of urine and body odor. Through the commlink Mr. Smiley instead sees a palace with walls overlaid with paintings. From a sim-rig connected to the commlink, the smells are replaced with jasmine and sandalwood.
There’s a computer in this building and it interacts with the AR Program. The computer, in the a female voice, welcomes the runner to her happy world. It then offers ‘friends’ to help the runner on their way through the world. Mr. Smiley reluctantly accepts the friendly request and a cuter than cute rabbit and bear cub appear in his AR view. They scurry around on the commlink’s AR environment like a cute little pet and take simple commands.
Chipheads are zoned out in various states around the building as the runners at Barnabus’ suggestion systematically make there way through the building. Some have gotten as far as the alley before sitting down and petting their virtual rabbit/agent. One man is face down on a mattress inside the building, oblivious to the rest of the world. They just smile at the runners, and don’t take any action against them.
The group calls for Kid Mercury and he comes up and starts taking apart the computer to see if he can gain any information. A few seconds later the place is overrun with Chipheads. Mr. Smiley notices through his AR interface that all of them have ARO overlays that make them look like demon’s that the chipheads are trying to vanquish. With every hit the chipheads smile. The group fights off chipheads and it feels like an eternity as they just keep appearing through the one of four doors. Slider has a spirit block one of the entrances with fire, but that doesn’t even stop them it just means you have chipheads on fire trying to attack them. The fight seems to be going well until Dragonfly’s Doberman drone gun turret suddenly spins around and shoots up Kid Mercury with stun rounds while he is trying to continue working on the computer. The surprise attack takes him down in a burst of gel rounds. After a while no more chipheads appear and the group goes back to working on taking the computer out of the room. Right before completing that work the doberman once again goes crazy spraying bullets everywhere. Everyone dives for cover and it eventually runs out of ammo but the triggering mechanism continues clicking off as the turret continues spinning around. Dragonfly jacks in to the doberman to discover the targeting software has been completely trash with lots of foreign code she doesn’t recognize. She takes the drone back to her car and disables it. Eventually with the use of a magic finger spell and some ignite heat spells the group gets the computer bolted down away from the room and literally pulls the power cord out of the floor. They take it and Kid Mercury back to Barnabus’ condo so he can rest. Dragonfly goes to work repairing the software damage of a drone. 5 Hours later Kid Mercury awakes mostly refreshed and goes to work on taking the computer apart. Meanwhile several individually fixed meals later, multiple hours of trid watching, and some grumbling about life in general the commlink Mr. Smiley has begins beeping at 10pm on the dot with a message saying “Come Smile with Me.” He activates the trodes and discovers the environment has changed. After receiving the message, the background music and location of the music changes to “Calling all Angels”-esque style. Outside in the sky, a bright AR star can be seen. The music leads in the direction of the star.
Once again the group piles into cars and starts following the music and the star. Via GPS approximation, you find yourself being lead to Stout and 26th Street in the CAS, near the Hub. The most significant corporation in that area is Karakuchi. Barnabus has some trouble with his car as it swerves out of his control and he fights to get it back. Sadly it slams into a fire-hydrant and gets stuck. Dragonfly following behind in her own car finds a shadowy alley way to stick her car in after making sure everyone was okay. Mr. Smiley points out that the star is very close and to the north. He then goes to work summoning a earth elemental to help free the SUV from its trouble as water continues to gizer up. Once the vehicles are all sorted the group makes there way further north. Finding some chip head/hobos in the alley as they pass around.
Arriving at the area, you find the AR star hovering above a two-story office building. The building is indeed the Karakuchi Corporation. It looks fairly quiet, allowing your deviant minds devise where you would stake out the building before a B&E if you were the mastermind behind these crimes.
Next door to the Karakuchi building, is a late-night coffeehouse with approximately 30 people sitting outside enjoying caffeinated concoctions. They all seem normal and happy people.
Entering any alley proves difficult, as there are dozens and dozens of squatters occupying them. It’s like a convention of the homeless and they seem to be enjoying the company .
Most of the ten cars parked in the area still have a driver and occasional passenger. They seem to be enjoying themselves as well, but waiting for something. They occupy their time by listening to music or watching the trid.
They don’t have to wait very long. A group of about a dozen people walking down the sidewalk, stop in front of the Karakuchi building. It’s an odd mix of different gang affiliated street punks. No guns are visible, though a few might be carrying some clubs or knives.
One woman stands out from the group. She is nicely dressed; carrying a silver- colored walking stick. She waves it in the air, then points it at the building.
Through the AR Program, she becomes overlaid with chain mail and the stick becomes a sword. A female voice speaks over the commlink. “Once again we are called to defeat the corrupt, and once again we shall be victorious.” With that, hundreds of agents flood the matrix; crashing security devices around the area, then focus in on the Karakuchi System.
While this epic war goes on in the matrix, in the real world, things get a little quiet. The people at the café and the squatters become focused and somber. The doors of the Karakuchi building open up and the group on the sidewalk head towards the building. Slider and SSR jump into action simultaneously. SSR fires to shots into the woman that was talking while Slider dumps a Stun ball near her. The woman they will later come to know as Tina drops almost instantly while the gangers hit with the stun ball stay up but are obviously moving slower than they had been. With that a fight is on and the runners are way out numbered. The gangers move out and attack the runners with clubs and guns. Barnabus gets a wallop as he is ganged up on by three punks with multiple gang affiliations. Sliders air spirit goes to work attacking every ganger he sees incapacitating them with noxious breath. While SSR continues shooting them down with gel rounds. Two of the gangers almost like robots move over and try to get the female leader away from the fight. SSR having none of that takes them down along with a ganger that tried to shoot him. It seems like the fight is over before we know it as suddenly like a puppet master removing the strings all the gangers, chip heads, and the coffee shop goes suddenly collapse and start twitching and convulsing.
The runners move in quickly and pick up Tina (removing her gear) and head off into the shadows.
A lone security guard makes his way out of the building as the runners drive off with their prize in the trunk.
Okay please use the comment area below to finish the story. SSR has asked for Slider to call the detective so he can get to the seen of the crime. I wanted to roleplay that out along with anything else you want to do with interacting with the Don. So consider this next part of the game play by post. Also consider posts done in the order they are posted.