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178263 2014/03/17 (Mon) 06:01 No. 178263
Bored. Bored, bored, bored.

I am so damn bored. I spin in my chair, away from the dark neon-lit cityscape, and back to my console. Still compiling. It was compiling an hour ago, it's still compiling now. Contract work- working on an icebreaker for a client, for whatever purpose they wanted it to be. Probably something along the lines of breaking into their company's personnel records, given the specs of what they wanted.

They actually wanted me to run their company's network myself, but they couldn't pay enough. And they weren't my friend, just a guy who happened to know a guy who knew a guy who knew me.

Hell, I can't even remember his name. I'll call him Sam.

I stare blankly at the console.

**********
icebreaker-17-3-74.c 45% compiled
**********


Bored, I tap in ./meirin.pl and wait while the results of the Gatekeeper program I wrote come back.

1 detected intrusion attempt
1 failed intrusion attempt
0 successful intrusion attempts


Well, at least this is a little bit interesting. Meirin provides me an IP address, but all it does is trace back to one of the cyber cafes that are ubiquitous here in Neo Gensokyo.

You pays your yen, you gets your computer, and you keep your anonymity, I sigh. Sure, I could go and hack into their not-particularly-subtle videorecording, I could find out which computer in the cafe that IP address led to, and I could find out who did it.

But I check the logs, and it's such an amateur hackjob that Meirin didn't even bother to sound an alarm for it. Almost not worth the effort.

But my eyes flick up to the top of the screen. 48% compiled.

Christ, this is going to take all night.

I lean back in my chair, and stare, upside down at my roommate, who's passed out on her bunk, next to her deck, neuroharness next to it. She never elected for the direct-jack implant like I had, old fashioned 'Chouli.

Of course, that means that direct neural feedback attacks that aren't stopped by her own personal ICE don't actually burn her synapses out but... it's just such a watered-down version of the Net.

I used to do it old-style like that too. But the direct neural jack provides for faster reflexes, a more intuitive grasp of the ICE and breakers... and portability. She's stuck wherever her deck is, tethered to a certain spot in meatspace if she wants to go into cyberspace. Me, however, give me a jack, anywhere, connected, no matter how tenuously to the Net, and I can do anything.

“Bleaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaugh,” I say, trying to wake my roommate up, and to express the depths of my boredom. I could jack in tonight, but my rig's already hard at work, and connecting with that kind of load would just feel like swimming through molasses. I could pause the compiling, but then it'd take even longer, and the client's already bitching about how long this is taking. So I said three days and it's day five, take a chill.

And then the building's rocked by what feels like an explosion. Patchy falls out of her bunk, and slams her head on the floor. It passes in an instant, and she's on the floor groaning. I swivel instinctively to my console, and let out a breath of relief- it's still running, and my shit's still compiling.

Outside the window, there's the sound of sirens. And then I see it.

The KE-International skyscraper is listing, and there's billowing smoke and fire coming from the side of it.

I turn to Patchy. “No,” she says.

“Yes,” I say, a grin coming across my face.

“No, goddamnit, don't do it.”

“I'm gonna do it.”

“Don't you do it.”

I pick up my nanofiber gloves from the windowsill and start putting them on. “Gotta do it.”

“At least go out the door like a normal person!”

I laugh, and fling open the window to our tiny, dingy apartment, letting the night air in, letting the sound of the sirens in, and letting myself out.

Patchouli pokes her head out the window and glares down at me, to where I'm sticking to the concrete like a gecko, due to the fancy gloves I have. “I swear to God, if you get yourself killed and can't pay your half of the rent, I'm going to murder you.”

I give her my best smile, and give her the victory sign with my free hand. “Won't die. Scout's honor.”

She grunts. “Yeah, whatever. Don't expect the window to be unlocked when you get back.”

“Aww, don't be like that, baby, you know you're my girl,” I reply mockingly.

“Yeah, whatever. Shoo. Best get moving before SPLICE shows up.”

She's right. I better get going, KE-I's security is phenomenal, and I won't get this kind of chance to sneak in among the chaos again. Hell, I might even get something I can fence at Ske's. I'm sure he'll be thrilled to move whatever it is I get.

I slide down the side of the run-down building I live in, and drop to the neighboring rooftop. There's several ways to get there, but only two will provide the kind of speed I need to beat SPLICE.

[ ] Go via the roofs. It'll be faster because I can avoid the crowds, but if I do get seen, it's kind of conspicuous.
[ ] Go via the ground. Sure, I might have to push through some crowds, but that's both the positive and the negative- it'll take longer, but I can melt into the crowd if some yahoo with facial-rec software spots me.

And I am...
[ ] Tenshi Hinanawi (FlappyAngel)
[ ] Suika Ibuki (TinyAndDrunk)
[ ] Ichirin Kumoi (CLOUD_SERVER)
[ ] Hatate Himekaidou (czecherboard)

Handles are merely suggestions, and you can pick your own, if you so desire. Of course, that one won't be a strict 'majority wins' vote if I think it sucks.

2014/03/17 (Mon) 06:18 No. 178266
[X] Go via the roofs. It'll be faster because I can avoid the crowds, but if I do get seen, it's kind of conspicuous.

Might as well go in style, and uh, hey, we're robbing some sort of big company anyway, we'll be in trouble enough.

And I am...
[X] Tenshi Hinanawi (FlappyAngel)
I like Tenshi, and while I never played Flappy Bird it's still pretty funny.

I'm thinking this is some sort of shadowrun-esque setting? And, well it doesn't really seem appropriate for /th, more like /other if it's an alternate universe like that, but meh.
2014/03/17 (Mon) 07:33 No. 178267
[X] Go via the roofs. It'll be faster because I can avoid the crowds, but if I do get seen, it's kind of conspicuous.

And I am...
[X] Tenshi Hinanawi (FlappyAngel)

Christ that is a terrible code name but Tenshi is da bes.

Rev up that cyberpunk.
2014/03/17 (Mon) 08:17 No. 178268
[X] Go via the roofs. It'll be faster because I can avoid the crowds, but if I do get seen, it's kind of conspicuous.
-[X] Use some cloth or similar to wrap your head in order to fool facial recognition softwares. Or a balaclava, if you actually have one.

Tenshi seems popular. No preference myself among the given choices, but if we're going with her, can we change her handle to IHatePeaches or something? Just not FlappyAngel, please.
2014/03/17 (Mon) 08:34 No. 178270
[x] Go via the roofs. It'll be faster because I can avoid the crowds, but if I do get seen, it's kind of conspicuous.
[x] Tenshi Hinanawi (P_nor_NP)

Alternate handles:
FlatJustice
HeavensFeel
PeachFuzz
DriveMeCloser
SwordOfSwagger
ScarletAngel (only to annoy Remilia)
2014/03/17 (Mon) 09:02 No. 178272
[X] Roof
[x] Hatate Himekaidou(czecherboard)
Because why not.
Also, I think this is a Deus Ex crossover.
Step it up, THP.
2014/03/17 (Mon) 09:12 No. 178273
[x] Go via the roofs. It'll be faster because I can avoid the crowds, but if I do get seen, it's kind of conspicuous.
[x] Hatate Himekaidou(czecherboard)
2014/03/17 (Mon) 09:45 No. 178274
[x] Go via the roofs. It'll be faster because I can avoid the crowds, but if I do get seen, it's kind of conspicuous.
[x] Tenshi Hinanawi (FlappyAngel)
2014/03/17 (Mon) 10:09 No. 178275
[x] Go via the roofs. It'll be faster because I can avoid the crowds, but if I do get seen, it's kind of conspicuous.
[x] Hatate Himekaidou(czecherboard)

Tenshi's boring.
2014/03/17 (Mon) 11:22 No. 178276
[X] Go via the roofs. It'll be faster because I can avoid the crowds, but if I do get seen, it's kind of conspicuous.

No preference for our heroine... but if we pick Tenshi, let's pick something other than FlappyAngel.
2014/03/17 (Mon) 12:08 No. 178279
[X] Go via the roofs. It'll be faster because I can avoid the crowds, but if I do get seen, it's kind of conspicuous.
[x] Hatate Himekaidou(czecherboard)

Hatate just feels like the one best suited for this kind of story. (Although I was sure we were Remilia at first because of Patchy as a roommate and a "gatekeeper program" called "meirin" i.e. Meiling.)
2014/03/17 (Mon) 13:02 No. 178281
[x] Go via the roofs. It'll be faster because I can avoid the crowds, but if I do get seen, it's kind of conspicuous.
[x] Tenshi Hinanawi (ReaLMaso)
2014/03/17 (Mon) 13:03 No. 178282
[X] Go via the roofs. It'll be faster because I can avoid the crowds, but if I do get seen, it's kind of conspicuous.

[x] Tenshi Hinanawi (HeavensFeel)
I like F/SN
2014/03/17 (Mon) 13:47 No. 178285
[X] Go via the roofs. It'll be faster because I can avoid the crowds, but if I do get seen, it's kind of conspicuous.
[x] Hatate Himekaidou(czecherboard)

I have to agree, Hatate seems the most fitting for something like this.
2014/03/17 (Mon) 14:26 No. 178287
[x] Go via the roofs. It'll be faster because I can avoid the crowds, but if I do get seen, it's kind of conspicuous.
[x] Tenshi Hinanawi (FlappyAngel)
2014/03/17 (Mon) 15:39 No. 178291
[x] Go via the roofs. It'll be faster because I can avoid the crowds, but if I do get seen, it's kind of conspicuous.
[x] Suika Ibuki (TinyAndDrunk)

Suika is the best.
2014/03/17 (Mon) 17:34 No. 178301
[X] Go via the roofs. It'll be faster because I can avoid the crowds, but if I do get seen, it's kind of conspicuous.
[X] Tenshi Hinanawi (HeavensFeel)

THP needs more Tenshi
2014/03/17 (Mon) 18:12 No. 178309
>>178266
In a sense, but it's because Shadowrun and this occupy the same written niche- that of Neuromancer-inspired cyberpunk. Yes, I decided to write this because I'm reading Neuromancer right now. Hence the term "deck" for some of Patchy's equipment.

>>178272
Surprisingly, Deus Ex didn't figure into my planning for this story at all. There were three main things I was working off of when I planned this one out, but one of the other ones are spoilers.

As far as names go, I'm leaning towards HeavensFeel, even though I'm not a fan of Nasuverse stuff. I just feel like the masochist stuff is overplayed for Tenshi.
2014/03/17 (Mon) 23:47 No. 178317
[X] Go via the roofs. It'll be faster because I can avoid the crowds, but if I do get seen, it's kind of conspicuous.
[x] Hatate Himekaidou(czecherboard)

I couldn't resist such a strange portmanteau.
2014/03/18 (Tue) 00:16 No. 178319
I suppose I'll call it for Tenshi, please wait warmly for updates.
2014/03/18 (Tue) 01:40 No. 178324
>>178301
THP has plenty of Tenshi damn you.
Ah well. Perhaps another day my lovely.
2014/03/18 (Tue) 02:53 No. 178332
>>178324
You say that like I could ever pass up a chance for Hatate.

[X] Go via the roofs. It'll be faster because I can avoid the crowds, but if I do get seen, it's kind of conspicuous.
[X] Tenshi Hinanawi (HeavensFeel)

I hit the rooftop with a roll, to keep the kind of momentum I need. Roll under a HVAC duct, vault over an air conditioning unit, and launch myself off the roof, across a narrow alley.

The narrow alley's one I'm familiar with- the dim neon lights, the worn-smooth cobblestone, and the close-packed electronics stores. In one of those, among the haze of smoke, incense and voices, is my preferred fence.

'Ske always gives me a decent enough price, but the amount of bitching I have to hear from him beforehand... well. It's almost a ritual for us now.

But those thoughts are wiped from my mind as my shoes contact the next rooftop, grit and dirt underfoot, and I'm back to running. I fiddle through the small satchel I grabbed as I jumped out of the window, and pop a small silver bullet in my ear, then leap to the next building.

One press, it beeps once to power on, a second beep a moment later as it boots, and a third as it successfully connects to the city's Net, breaking into the numerous wireless hotspots around me, seamlessly handing me off between connections.

“Ping Taters,” I say to the machine. It's still called a phone, because of century-old convention, but it does so much more. It's a portable, relatively low-powered computer. I say 'relatively' because it's still more powerful than most of the equipment available to your everyday Sam.

Of course, that means it's expensive.

Of course, that means I stole it.

The phone softly pings as it awaits the connection from the other end.

As I'm in mid-leap, flinging myself at a taller building, gecko gloves outstretched, Taters picks up.

“'Sup, Feel-you-up?”

My response to her customary mangling of my handle is cut short by the “Oomph” I make when I impact the side of the rough building and start climbing up.

“So I'm guessing you've heard about the KE-I building explosion, then,” she says.

“You know it, Taters,” I respond. “On my way there already.” Taters and I have been good friends for quite a while- she's the one who catches me up on trouble when I fling myself headfirst into it. She also hates being called Taters. So I do that as often as possible.

“It's Czecherboard,” she replies.

“The Czech Republic doesn't even exist anymore, Taters, and you've never been there anyway.” I blow my blue hair out of my eyes, and hoist myself up onto the rooftop here, only a block away from the KE-I building. A reasonably high vantage point on the chaos, but not so high as to be conspicuous. “Whadda we got on the wire?”

“SPLICE is on their way, obviously. Can't let a megacorp have its secrets exposed just because of one little explosion. But it'll take them time, even by helicopter, to get there. All that's there right now are some very confused policemen, and they're just now starting to build their barricade.”

“Any other runners headed this way?” I ask.

“Think Cloudy is, but she's probably coming from the other side of the tower. Anyone else is probably too far away.” Cloudy is CLOUD_SERVER, another runner you know from late-night Net sessions.

“Aight, then. I'll run in, grab something, get out. You got a fileserver set up for me already?”

“Yep, got a 2tbps link set up, address is in your phone. Don't worry about space. Grab whatever you can. It'll get traced in the next hour anyway, so I'll be moving it quick.”

“Love ya, Taters,” I respond.

“I bet you say that to every pretty girl,” she says.

Well, I kind of do have a reputation. The connection closes, to prevent any trace to Taters from the phone. The phone will obviously be traced almost instantly when I connect anywhere in the building, but that's not a big deal, so long as they don't see me. The SIM's a burner and I've manually 'adjusted' any tracking hardware in the device. With a small hammer. The tiniest hammer. With the tiniest of smashing.

Alright. Time to get this run started. It's not often I get to run both physical and digital at the same time.

[ ] Find the tallest building you can closest to the skyscraper and launch yourself at it. Break a window somewhere, and you're in. Sure, you'll set off alarms, but so did the explosion, and really, which one's more important?
[ ] Hop down to ground level behind the barricades and slip in through the front door. Probably easy access to anywhere in the building, and probably the easiest way to access the underground sublevels, if you want to go down instead of up.
[ ] Write-in.
2014/03/18 (Tue) 02:58 No. 178333
[x] Find the tallest building you can closest to the skyscraper and launch yourself at it. Break a window somewhere, and you're in. Sure, you'll set off alarms, but so did the explosion, and really, which one's more important?
Ground floor probably has eyes on it.
2014/03/18 (Tue) 03:21 No. 178334
[x] Find the tallest building you can closest to the skyscraper and launch yourself at it. Break a window somewhere, and you're in. Sure, you'll set off alarms, but so did the explosion, and really, which one's more important?

This is Tenshi we're talking about; what other option is there?
2014/03/18 (Tue) 03:29 No. 178336
>>178332
>Tenshi and Hatate partners in crime.
This is fine too.
2014/03/18 (Tue) 03:46 No. 178338
[x] Find the tallest building you can closest to the skyscraper and launch yourself at it. Break a window somewhere, and you're in. Sure, you'll set off alarms, but so did the explosion, and really, which one's more important?

What's one more alarm among the dozens that must be going off right now? Going through the ground might mean bumping into evacuating staff or some of the policemen.

Of course, we might bump into the people who set up the bomb if we take that route, but I think it's better than going through the ground floor.
2014/03/18 (Tue) 04:01 No. 178340
[x] Find the tallest building you can closest to the skyscraper and launch yourself at it. Break a window somewhere, and you're in. Sure, you'll set off alarms, but so did the explosion, and really, which one's more important?
I'll give this story a shot. Why not dabble in cyberpunk Gensokyo?
Considering the other story I'm following is Luminous's Grimdark Escapades II: Electric Boogaloo, this might be a good change of pace.
2014/03/18 (Tue) 06:41 No. 178344
[x] Find the tallest building you can closest to the skyscraper and launch yourself at it. Break a window somewhere, and you're in. Sure, you'll set off alarms, but so did the explosion, and really, which one's more important?
Yup, I think the police and security have their hands full with other stuff already.
2014/03/18 (Tue) 07:59 No. 178345
>>178272
>>178309
VINDICATION. This ain't no Deus-Ex, it's a shadowrun!


[x] Find the tallest building you can closest to the skyscraper and launch yourself at it. Break a window somewhere, and you're in. Sure, you'll set off alarms, but so did the explosion, and really, which one's more important?
Ground floor probably has eyes on it.

>runners
Is another inspiration Mirrors Edge?
2014/03/18 (Tue) 08:40 No. 178347
[x] Find the tallest building you can closest to the skyscraper and launch yourself at it. Break a window somewhere, and you're in. Sure, you'll set off alarms, but so did the explosion, and really, which one's more important?
2014/03/18 (Tue) 10:58 No. 178350
[x] Find the tallest building you can closest to the skyscraper and launch yourself at it. Break a window somewhere, and you're in. Sure, you'll set off alarms, but so did the explosion, and really, which one's more important?
2014/03/18 (Tue) 12:13 No. 178353
[x] Find the tallest building you can closest to the skyscraper and launch yourself at it. Break a window somewhere, and you're in. Sure, you'll set off alarms, but so did the explosion, and really, which one's more important?

We're going in, grabbing what we can find, and out before anyone can figure out that the alarm wasn't related to the blast. We don't have time for doors. Besides, doors are for peasants.
2014/03/18 (Tue) 15:37 No. 178357
>>178345
Actually, Shadowrun was using "runner" that way well before there were even computers that could run Mirror's Edge.
2014/03/18 (Tue) 16:34 No. 178358
>>178357
I think the word "runner" has been connected to cyberpunk(ish) settings since "Blade Runner", so yeah.
2014/03/18 (Tue) 18:44 No. 178359
>>178345
Not really an initial inspiration, no. Though I will admit that the beginning of yesterday's updates was shaped by my music player deciding to play Still Alive. As >>178357 and >>178358 said, it's pretty common cyberpunk parlance.

Though the origin was even earlier than Blade Runner- like most of the terminology of the genre, this one originated (at least, it's the earliest use of it I've seen) in Neuromancer.
2014/03/18 (Tue) 18:59 No. 178360
Actually, Blade Runner predates Neuromancer by two years.

Fun fact: Gibson was around one third of the way through the novel when he saw the movie, and thought he was doomed because everyone would think he had copied the setting and visuals from it.
2014/03/18 (Tue) 20:16 No. 178363
>>178360
Well, you learn something every day. I thought they were the other way around in chronology.
2014/03/19 (Wed) 02:42 No. 178378
[x] Find the tallest building you can closest to the skyscraper and launch yourself at it. Break a window somewhere, and you're in. Sure, you'll set off alarms, but so did the explosion, and really, which one's more important?

Down on the ground level still seems uninteresting. That's not even where the explosion happened- and so nothing down there was probably cool enough to either A: explode or B: get blown up by someone. And obviously that means that I'm not going to bother down there.

Besides, this way I get to fling myself at another building.

I get a good runup to the lip of the building, and launch myself off, landing in a near-perfect roll on the next building over. I say near-perfect, because when I landed, I managed to stick the landing so well, I surprised myself, slipped, and fell right on my ass.

A couple of rooftops later, I stand on a residential block that houses KE-I employees, and stare up at the marred, still smoking structure.

It's like most of the other skyscrapers- a square needle, tapering at the top to a single point. KE-I is emblazoned near the top, just before the tip, in bright red neon.

KE-I stands for Kaguya Eternal International. They're a corporation that specializes in anti-aging and human longevity treatments. It's rumored that the CEO has had some radical, invasive surgeries done to her, and she's survived for the last four centuries, from the corporation's start as a herbal medicine shop.

Which is obviously bullshit. I think they've just got her corpse cryo-frozen and are waiting for the technology to bring her back from the dead. That, or they've already got the technology, and the current powers-that-be just find her a convenient figurehead.

That said, they're an integral part of the Eientei Group, a powerful research-and-development cartel. It's their fault that meds cost so much, and why most people have to make do with black clinics.

But all that's secondary. The feel of the rush of wind through my hair as I fall towards the mirrored side of that skyscraper is a great feeling- makes me think these gloves were the best thing I ever bought in my whole life.

And then I hit the side of the skyscraper pretty hard, and rethink my life choices over what is probably going to be a nasty bruise. I always bruised like a peach.

A good twenty stories above me, I see an open window. In the window that I'm currently hanging on, is just your standard cubicle farm.

Of course, I could always climb all the way to the top. See if someone's trying to evacuate from the helipad. But that's about 50 stories from here, and while I climb fast, it's still a long way. However, the top tends to be where leadership is, right? Never met a bigwig that didn't want to look down on the city from above.

Makes me wonder how many of them die of long falls.

[ ] Break in here. One net connection's as good as any other, right?
[ ] Open window means something's up. And it'll even delay alarms that I set off. Of course, it'll take longer, and they might have cleaned anything interesting from the network in that time.
[ ] Go for the top. Bigwigs means big data, and even though SPLICE are coming with their helicopters, I think I can make it before they get here. Maybe.
[ ] Write-in.
2014/03/19 (Wed) 03:11 No. 178381
[X] Break in here. One net connection's as good as any other, right?

I have the feeling that we'll bump into another group of runners if we take the open window, which will only make our lives messier. While that's PLOT friendly, I'd rather score something now. And while the juiciest peaches are at the top of the tree... that's a long way to fall.

Or be thrown off. Result's the same, whatever happens...

I got my hand on Neuromancer because of this CYOA. A bit confusing at times but it's pretty nice. I also just got the Blade Runner ref in the starter post's picture...
2014/03/19 (Wed) 03:22 No. 178384
[x] Break in here. One net connection's as good as any other, right?

Also, the sooner we break in, the more likely security will be to think that this is closely related to the explosions. ...Right?
2014/03/19 (Wed) 03:45 No. 178385
>>178381
It's subtle, isn't it?

I just finished Neuromancer today, actually. So there's that.
2014/03/19 (Wed) 07:07 No. 178395
[x] Break in here. One net connection's as good as any other, right?
2014/03/19 (Wed) 08:53 No. 178396
[X] Break in here. One net connection's as good as any other, right?

This seems the best choice.

So just how advanced is tech in neo-Gensokyo? This is obviously the sorta-standard transhumanistic, cyberpunkish society, but in what ways has tech advanced, other than computers? Is space travel for the average person more than a pipe dream for example?
2014/03/19 (Wed) 09:37 No. 178398
>>178396
We'll get to that soon. I have plans, and that one I've provided for specifically. Hell, it was actually related to my original name for this story.
2014/03/19 (Wed) 11:12 No. 178402
[X] Break in here. One net connection's as good as any other, right?


Going by Shadowrun experience, sometimes more paranoid corps add extra security measures to wage-slaves computers just because they're more easily accessed, but eh. We can bypass that, right? It's not as if something terrible would happen to us this early.


Oh, and for those of you not up to speed on your cyber-lingo, something worth knowing is that "ICE" stands for "Intrusion Counter (E-something, I forgot)". Basically it's aggressive anti-hacker programs.
This is mostly from Shadowrun experience, but there are two main types.
White ICE and Black ICE.
White ones will hunt you down and kick you out of the system. Often trying to tag you so you can be traced if you log in again.
Black ICE on the other hand, are net equivalents of the Terminator. They will hunt you down, kick you out, follow you all the way back to your deck (and brain) and keep attacking you even after you've left the system. They are definitely para-legal (corporations use them all the time because they write the laws, everyone else could have a hard time explaining one), because it's the equivalence of chasing a robber all the way back to his hideout just to shoot him in the face after he tried to rob your house.

So yeah, I was slightly paranoid as soon as I saw the title. Even more so since SPLICE just said that there's a specific reason behind the title.
2014/03/19 (Wed) 11:22 No. 178403
[X] Break in here. One net connection's as good as any other, right?
2014/03/19 (Wed) 12:44 No. 178406
>>178402
>original name for this story
Implies the title was changed.
2014/03/19 (Wed) 13:00 No. 178407
[x] Open window means something's up. And it'll even delay alarms that I set off. Of course, it'll take longer, and they might have cleaned anything interesting from the network in that time.

I wanna meet the group that caused the explosion...
2014/03/19 (Wed) 13:30 No. 178408
What are the chances that whoever caused the explosion is the same group that wants the icebreaker program that's compiling right now?
2014/03/19 (Wed) 17:40 No. 178412
[X] Break in here. One net connection's as good as any other, right?

Even if this doesn't yield much of use, it's still a first test to see what kind of electronics they have running here.

>>178402

Intrusion Countermeasures Electronics, if Google is to be believed.

Now I'm going to have to find some cyberpunk literature, since it's about the only "-punk" I haven't gotten into yet.
2014/03/19 (Wed) 18:03 No. 178413
>>178412
Actually, I checked it up in the Shadowrun rulebook and "ICE" is just the common name for it. The term is actually just "IC", meaning "Intrusion Countermeasures". It's just pronounced "ice" because it's easier.
2014/03/19 (Wed) 22:41 No. 178416
>>178412
What "-punk" literature or style have you gotten into?
2014/03/20 (Thu) 01:30 No. 178421
>>178416

Most retro-future stuff hits a good note with me. Steam/tesla, bio, and recently cyber are my big ones (thank you BioShock) but they're mostly in the art and aesthetic sense; I'm actually in the market for literature, if anyone has recommendations.

My tastes are on-and-off in general, so I kind of pick up and lose interests.
2014/03/20 (Thu) 02:16 No. 178423
>>178421
You could try Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan series (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leviathan_%28Westerfeld_novel%29).

It presents an alternate history where biopunk & steampunk technologies have been developed and takes place around WW1. Germany is a "Clanker" country (uses steampunk mechs for warfare) while Britain is a Darwinist country (uses bioengineered animals for warfare). The artwork is interesting, though I've heard the story is kinda so-so.

It's a
2014/03/21 (Fri) 08:47 No. 178475
It's a what?
2014/03/21 (Fri) 23:04 No. 178501
>>178475
It's a nothing. That was just something I forgot to backspace away.

You can read it for free on epub by downloading an Epub plugin for free if you use Mozilla Firefox.

If you're looking for more of a scifi bent, then there's also Scott Westerfeld's The Risen Empire. It has extensive uses of nanotech and is essentially about a space nation where in order to advanced to the highest ranks, you first have to die then get resurrected.

The combat scenes are pretty interesting though I didn't care as much for the romance portions.

You can read it for free on Epub I believe: http://www.epubbud.com/read.php?g=4XQBCQHC&p=1
2014/03/21 (Fri) 23:07 No. 178502
>>178501
For the Risen Empire story, you don't have to download a plugin to read it for free or anything. You can just click on the little page and click on the right facing arrow to start reading.
2014/03/22 (Sat) 01:03 No. 178507
[X] Break in here. One net connection's as good as any other, right?

Lights off, no movement. Works for me. I take one hand off the glass, make a fist, and punch it.

A dull thump, no cracking, no nothing.

These plastic imitations are so much more irritating to break in through. So I put both my hands on the window, splayed out to get as much grip as I can, and start trying to jump and kick the window in. Still nothing but dull thumps, no spiderwebbing or anything. So I relax again, and go back to hanging off one hand, while I dig through my satchel on the other.

I've got a small gun in there, old Russian surplus, and the ammo's got to be at least four decades old. But untracked ammo for untracked guns is hard and expensive to come by, and I've only got a few. And a gunshot would be slightly more conspicuous. So I'll hold off on that option until I have to.

So, my hand closes around a multitool that I've got- this thing's saved my bacon in so many different circumstances. I feel around the edges of the window, to see if there's anywhere I could stick the screwdriver in and jimmy it out of its frame.

Still nothing. The damn thing's near-perfectly flush. All the cuts they make and they don't skimp on the windows? This is bullshit. No latch on the other side that I can see to open it with either, so I can't just cut through a tiny bit and open it myself. Guess they don't want the cubicle drones to get suicidal on their dime.

But my multitool has one other function that might be helpful in such a situation: it's a heavy chunk of steel. So I bash away at the window, finally getting hairline cracks for my hard work.

And then I realize that my gripping hand is still on that window. Shaking my head at the near-fatal stupidity I engaged in, I slide my hand over to the next window, brace my feet wide below it, and continue smashing away.

The glass never actually shatters, but I manage to dent the plexiglass in enough to just push it inwards. Glad I learned about the glass- I can't just jump out of a closed window to effect a quick escape if I need to.

I slide in, across some chump's desk, into one of the cubicles lined up on the window. Better than being one of the ones in the middle who sees nothing but fluorescent lighting all the time, I suppose. Just another division they make among themselves.

It's dark inside, nothing but the thin moonlight through the windows and the red LEDs of readied emergency lights, punctuated by an occasional green or amber LED from a console or monitor somewhere. Quiet, but for the muted sirens outside, and the sound of helicopter blades. Seems like SPLICE might finally be showing up.

Or it's the media, they love this sort of thing.

I check the console of the desk I slid across. I must have hit it somehow jumping into the cubicle, so I walk to one of the interior ones, and tap the power button.

It smoothly powers up, with the monitor loading the OS into memory.

Still Windows, after all these years. The network boot prompt comes up.

Enter credentials:
Username:
Password:

Or, press Ctrl+Alt+Del then swipe ID card.


Well. Hmm.

[ ] I could just jack in to this console, it's got compatible ports. And by that I mean “a port.” I could probably interface with an old COM port if I had to.
[ ] Mash some random credentials. Like username “admin” password “12345”. That's like the kind of combination some idiot would have on their luggage.
[ ] Search the immediate area for a swipe card. If I can find one of these, I can prevent alarms until I start moving large amounts of data, instead of setting them off on immediately upon cracking the login.
[ ] Write-in.

The first option's obviously the fastest, but then I'll have to dodge their digital security. Can't imagine it'd be too hard. Second option's a shot in the dark but hey, they were incompetent enough to have things explode, right? Finally, the third is the digitally sneakiest, but physically least so. I'll dodge all of their digital sensors, sure. But if they have motion sensors that I haven't set off somewhere or lasers, this might just trip them. And then they'd know where I am physically. And that is BAD.
2014/03/22 (Sat) 01:38 No. 178508
[X] Search the immediate area - quickly - for anything that looks useful.
-[X] If nothing turns up, jack in.

You'd think breaking a window would set off some kind of alert, especially since they went to the trouble of installing really good windows. Unless it's the devious silent alarm...I'm thinking check a few drawers but don't waste time on a thorough search, especially not near anything that looks like a main door or office.

>>178423
>>178501
Thanks, I'll have a look.
2014/03/22 (Sat) 02:38 No. 178509
[X] Search the immediate area - quickly - for anything that looks useful.
-[X] If nothing turns up, jack in.

Least problematic of worlds. Then again, our presence here is problematic, so it's all relative.
2014/03/22 (Sat) 02:44 No. 178510
>>178413
Well, like I said, this isn't really Shadowrun-inspired. In Neuromancer, it's "Intrusion Countermeasure(s) Electronics", and, well, getting iced has multiple meanings behind it anyway.
2014/03/22 (Sat) 03:06 No. 178511
[x] I could just jack in to this console, it's got compatible ports. And by that I mean “a port.” I could probably interface with an old COM port if I had to.
Keep smashin', get grabbin'.
2014/03/22 (Sat) 04:58 No. 178515
[x] Mash some random credentials. Like username “admin” password “12345”. That's like the kind of combination some idiot would have on their luggage.

This feels so dumb that it has to be the right answer.
2014/03/22 (Sat) 07:49 No. 178517
[ ] I could just jack in to this console, it's got compatible ports. And by that I mean “a port.” I could probably interface with an old COM port if I had to.
2014/03/22 (Sat) 08:56 No. 178519
[X] Search the immediate area - quickly - for anything that looks useful.
-[X] If nothing turns up, jack in.

Might be some lazy or forgetful slob who forgot their card, but if not, there's nothing else for it.
2014/03/22 (Sat) 10:33 No. 178520
[X] Search the immediate area - quickly - for anything that looks useful.
-[X] If nothing turns up, jack in.

Go through drawers, check the paper bin if they've been dumb enough to print something with useful info without shredding it (happens more often than you'd think) and so on. No need to move around the room.


>>178510
None of which are good, so paranoia still valid.
2014/03/22 (Sat) 18:49 No. 178525
[X] Spaceballs Reference
I can't not vote for this wiht that Spaceballs refernce, you know.
2014/03/22 (Sat) 18:51 No. 178527
>>178525
Wow jesus I really should've checked that post for errors before hitting reply. Yeesh.
2014/03/22 (Sat) 22:31 No. 178532
>>178527
It was pretty awful and you should feel shame.
2014/03/23 (Sun) 12:35 No. 178547
[X] Search the immediate area - quickly - for anything that looks useful.
-[X] If nothing turns up, jack in. .
2014/03/24 (Mon) 02:30 No. 178552
[X] Search the immediate area - quickly - for anything that looks useful.
-[X] If nothing turns up, jack in.

>>178508
Devious silent alarm eh?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GERkAnxuMrk
2014/03/24 (Mon) 03:46 No. 178553
[x] Search the immediate area for a swipe card. If I can find one of these, I can prevent alarms until I start moving large amounts of data, instead of setting them off on immediately upon cracking the login.
2014/03/24 (Mon) 12:30 No. 178561
[X] Search the immediate area - quickly - for anything that looks useful.
-[X] If nothing turns up, jack in.

It'll take a couple extra seconds to search the immediate area, but the payoff would be well worth the small risk.

I lift up the keyboard. No written password there. An office full of corporate retards and I get the one that doesn't write their password down. Though, now that I think about it, that wouldn't help me without a username anyway. So I pull out one of the drawers and upend it. Pencils, pens and paper spill out, with a couple pictures that I don't bother looking at.

The next drawer is completely empty, but the third, emptied out onto the floor, tumbles out an absolute torrent of magnetic swipecards and a credit dongle. I pocket the dongle, because depending on whose money this is, they may just very well be paying for my upgrades out of the goodness of their heart. Bless you, noble soul, for your donation.

I look at the pile of swipe cards and sigh. There's no way all of these work. If there were one or two or three, I could try them all.

But this many? Fuck, man. This is just the worst. I'll take one.

I grab a card, hit Ctrl+Alt+Del on the keyboard, and swipe it. Nothing. Well, can't say I didn't try. Stupid idiot keeping all these non-working cards.

Next step is to find an open port on the console- happily, there's one right on the front. I grab the plug from the back of my neck, and pull out the cord with it, unspooling from a tiny reel that I had implanted with the deckless augments. Sure, I could have eschewed the cord entirely, and actually, I still do have a wireless transmitter in the plug, but a cord provides better EMSEC every time.

I pop out a small universal converter from my pocket, slip it on the end of the plug, and jack in. With one last look around, to make sure that nobody's seen me physically, I activate the link.

The Net is hard to describe to someone who's never seen it, but think of a city, with your skyscrapers and smaller buildings, and large thoroughfares and smaller side streets. Now make all of those bright neon colors.

Any user can filter it any way they want, but I've always preferred bright neon colors- anything that's not immediately connected I have dimmed anyway, and a giant golden brick of unsorted data's just nice to look on. Of course, I could do all this without all of the Tron lighting, but why would I, if I've got the chance?

It also allows for a good abstraction of concepts, which is important to speed for runs. I'm not going to be coding any new tools on the fly, so I don't need a command line every time.

But here I am, jacked into the console in front of me in meatspace. It's all dark save for the dim red glow of authentication systems, as the console has blocked all of my standard passive probe protocol initially. Not a big deal, but there's no easy way around the authentication.

That's not to say that 'through' isn't an easy way as well.

I reach out my hand- I find it easier to keep grounded if I keep my physical form in the Net, and it provides the minimum of disorientation if I need to jack out in a hurry- and my standard suite of obfuscation and spoofing protocols spreads out, at the ready. I'm going to be traced eventually, since I'm on their network physically, but the longer that takes, the better.

Finally, the last touch. My password cracker appears in my hand, thin blue bar's glow overlaid on the red authentication barrier- a very sophisticated piece of software that I totally did not write myself. It's one I got off of 'Ske, and while I've modified it heavily, I haven't felt the need to write it from scratch.

The cracker slides into the authentication barrier, and tries a few common logins, slowly, before it goes all-out and trips every alarm the system has.

Of course it doesn't work. It never does. The blue bar's soft glow brightens to full intensity as it bruteforces through the authentication.

Then I hear it. Beep.

A familiar sound, the sound of my Trace Tracker. It has many options, and I can always check it to see the status of the trace. But a simple aural cue suffices most of the time, and it speeds up as the trace gets closer.

There's a significant delay before the second beep- I've got at least a couple of minutes at this rate.

Traces tend to include two parts: a digital part, where the ICE, when it finds you, will do its best to fry your brain through the link. Of course, there's security on my end of the link, but no security's perfect. As evidenced by the fact that I'm cracking security right now.

The second part is physical- when the ICE finds you, it almost always also finds your physical location. Of course, by the time the ICE finds you, the physical location is mostly just to dispose of the flatlined, brain-dead body.

The red authentication barrier dissolves, and the corporate network brightens before me.

Multiple paths lay ahead of me- one leads to a large, angrily pulsing red-and-black cube. I'd love to go for that one, but I can see the massive amounts of static near it that indicate the presence of hostile ICE, and if my probe programs aren't lying to me, that's only an estimation of that server.

It's airgapped, and there's no way I can get to it without physically jacking into that system or one connected to it. Nothing in the immediate vicinity of my location or easily accessible seems to be. This might be a result of the damage, or it might be intentionally airgapped for security. Either way, I'm interested.

Next we have a large, absolutely massive green mound of data. Likely financial records, transactions, boring stuff. Decent enough security, but so much data that there's no way I'll have time to sift through it on the run. I could set up a feed from it to the server Taters set up, sell the data later, but I doubt there's anything revelatory in it.

Near that, on a direct-link, we have the digital equivalent of Rome: the security system. There's two main ways that a network can set that up- like they have here, a near-direct link to all connected systems, allowing for extremely fast ICE response times, but also extremely fast to be accessed by outside agencies like me. The other type is less centralized, but much slower. If I can get in there, I can significantly degrade their response time, both digital and physical. Hell, I might even find something nice- some systems have their camera network wired directly into the security system, and I might even be able to control physical security from there.

The downside is that all of that is just prep work that takes time, I won't find any interesting data in security systems normally. But it can be useful. That time I spend cracking the system will be time not spent finding interesting data, though. And direct-connection systems tend to have some nasty, nasty ICE protecting them.

Finally, we have, connected through this floor's intranet, through all the other floor intranets that are still intact, one odd chunk of data on a server. My automated probes have highlighted it bright gold, indicating data that doesn't match the standard patterns- it's well-encrypted, but not in a secure location. The encryption is good enough that my probes can't even get a read on what the data might be, as there's no associated metadata.

And that's strange.

The ICE around it doesn't seem particularly strong, either.

A beep indicates that I've got to make a choice, though. Time's a wastin'.

[ ] Go for the airgapped data. Even though I'll be plowing through the hard ICE for literally zero data payoff, I might be able to get a clue as to where I'd need to jack in to access it.
[ ] The financial data seems like a good start. I like money. Money is great. Please give me money, magical corporate data ATM system.
[ ] Security system. I've got enough time to be prepped, and this'll give me easier relocation options when this connection gets traced.
[ ] The odd data. There's just something alluring about the unknown, isn't there?
[ ] Write-in.

If you're interested in what the trace tracker sounds like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRWhrZrQIVM&feature=player_detailpage#t=337

I also cannot recommend playing Uplink enough if you're a fan of cyberpunk and hacking in general- while it's of course unrealistic for the computer-related things, it keeps itself fun and interesting. It doesn't hold your hand, and it can definitely be unforgiving. It was also one of the main reasons I wanted to write this story. It's definitely the second of the three major influences.
2014/03/24 (Mon) 13:04 No. 178562
[x] The odd data. There's just something alluring about the unknown, isn't there?

If this isn't a leading choice I don't know what is.
2014/03/24 (Mon) 13:25 No. 178564
[X] The financial data seems like a good start. I like money. Money is great. Please give me money, magical corporate data ATM system.

I'll bet you nything that whoever cracked open this skyscraper's also after this mystery data.

Besides, who doesn't like money?
2014/03/24 (Mon) 13:59 No. 178568
[x] The odd data. There's just something alluring about the unknown, isn't there?
Gimme dat plothook.

>Uplink
>unforgiving
Psh. You just gotta be careful about clearing logs until you clean out your first big bank account, and then you get every upgrade at once and faceroll the rest of the game.
2014/03/24 (Mon) 14:15 No. 178570
>>178568
Well, doing that does kind of change the whole progression of the game, so yeah.
2014/03/25 (Tue) 01:34 No. 178593
[x] The odd data. There's just something alluring about the unknown, isn't there?

When you put it that way...
2014/03/25 (Tue) 02:28 No. 178594
[x] Security system. I've got enough time to be prepped, and this'll give me easier relocation options when this connection gets traced.

Easily accessed, lightly guarded shiny. Yeah, that's hacker-bait. Don't bother with it.

If we go for the security systems, we can see what's going on with that broken window situation and maybe help them out remotely as well as ourselves. An enemy of an enemy is a friend, yeah?
2014/03/25 (Tue) 03:42 No. 178595
[X] Security system. I've got enough time to be prepped, and this'll give me easier relocation options when this connection gets traced.

All of these come off as risky options.

-The airgapped data is behind at least two hacks, assuming we find an access point quickly and don't get ICEd in the process.
-The financial data seems like "payout later" and probably doesn't have anything to do with our immediate mission.
-The security system could buy us precious time or even control, at the risk of spending time and effort to even get to it.
-The unknown data is a roll of the dice.

If we can get into the security, even just the fringe, that might be an alarm or whatever we don't have to deal with later. I agree that the shiny seems like bait, though.
2014/03/25 (Tue) 04:08 No. 178596
[x] Security system. I've got enough time to be prepped, and this'll give me easier relocation options when this connection gets traced.

Let's not fall for the bait, shall we?
2014/03/25 (Tue) 09:22 No. 178599
[x] Security system. I've got enough time to be prepped, and this'll give me easier relocation options when this connection gets traced.

Deal with security first.
2014/03/25 (Tue) 10:40 No. 178604
[x] Security system. I've got enough time to be prepped, and this'll give me easier relocation options when this connection gets traced.
2014/03/26 (Wed) 03:20 No. 178626
Will there be any more character molding or does chargen begin and end with who we're piloting?
2014/03/26 (Wed) 03:40 No. 178631
>>178626
I, uh. Please rephrase that, I cannot parse it.
2014/03/26 (Wed) 04:26 No. 178632
>>178631
I think he is asking whether or not we can continue exploring character(ization)options or if what we've got is what we're going with (Tenshi).
2014/03/26 (Wed) 05:06 No. 178634
>>178632
Well, that's a good question. I had planned to have this story stay with Tenshi as the main character. What do you guys think?
2014/03/26 (Wed) 05:14 No. 178635
>>178634
I prefer consistency, myself. It's not like your representation of Tenshi is anywhere near canon anyway.
2014/03/26 (Wed) 06:01 No. 178636
>>178634
>>178635

Pretty much this, yeah. I quite like this Tenshi anyway, more characterization than just "I AM MASOCHIST BEAT ME UP PLS"
2014/03/26 (Wed) 07:33 No. 178639
>>178636
I personally loathe that characterization of Tenshi. My headcanon of Tenshi is that she's rash, impulsive, and doesn't give things all that much thought.

But for all that, she's entertaining and generally a decent person, all things considered.

...Man, she kind of reminds me of Archer now that I think about it.
2014/03/26 (Wed) 10:30 No. 178645
>>178639
My headcanon is basically the opposite. Judging by her non-story win quotes in SWR, she's a calm, perceptive, and well-read person who seeks more experience in the world beyond her books. She has good advice for those that might take benefit from it (Reimu 'bending her ways') and harsh judgements for those that never will (Yuyuko spending all day eating).

The 'punish me' line is almost universally taken out of context; she's drawing attention to her opponent's desire to deal the punishment, rather than admitting her own desire to receive it, in an effort to point out that she's complying with Gensokyo's tradition of starting a fight as a way of introducing yourself to your neighbours.

She's not some brash upstart and she's not a masochist pervert; she's a smart young woman who just happens to be a bit lonely, reaching out to people in the manner that seems most readily accepted.
And it drives me mad that I seem to be the only person who seems to see her this way; almost every fanwork I've encountered is either I MUST FIGHT ALL THE THINGS or HIT ME HARDER YUUKA-SAMA.

Your Tenshi is okay too, though. Reckless and sociable fits the story and setting, and that's more important to me than my own personal tastes.
2014/03/26 (Wed) 19:33 No. 178657
>>178645
Wasn't Tenshi rather cavalier about earthquakes and rock slides that could've killed people, which she started?

For someone who wants to experience the world outside her books she's pretty bloodthirsty.
2014/03/27 (Thu) 00:53 No. 178658
>>178657
Pretty smalltime compared to some of the other bosses.
2014/03/27 (Thu) 03:30 No. 178660
>>178631
Yeah, that was phrased incredibly poorly. I'll try again.

Right now, Tenshi seems good at everything we're given the option to do. Is that always going to be the case? Will we be able to pick strengths and weaknesses or anything like that?

>>178645
On the other hand, blacktewi.jpg. Sometimes people need a flat character for terrible jokes, and there's no point in getting mad at that.

This Tenshi is pretty cool, too, though I'd like more detail on her. And everything else, since we're barely into the prologue mission.
2014/03/27 (Thu) 04:23 No. 178661
>>178660
Well, so far, all she's done is a bunch of HARDCORE PARKOUR in which she literally just flings herself at walls and hopes her fancy expensive nanotech gloves work. And, for the most part, they do.

Her other main area of expertise shown so far is, well, hollywood hacking. And that's kind of important for the main character in a story like this. That said, she's hardly the best, she didn't even write the program she uses for her password cracking shenanigans. Quite frankly, even real hacking is pretty simple if you have the right tools. Security at most places is shit. I should know, it's what I do.

As far as picking strengths and weaknesses... I really haven't given that too much thought. Picking that sort of stuff blatantly seems a little too gamey for me, I normally just let it flow organically.

Anyway. I hope that's what you wanted answered.
2014/03/27 (Thu) 04:26 No. 178662
>>178660
No matter which version of Gensokyo you're in, Tewi is always incredibly sexual.
2014/03/27 (Thu) 07:17 No. 178665
>>178660
Where did that came from?
2014/03/27 (Thu) 10:52 No. 178667
>>178561
[x] Security system. I've got enough time to be prepped, and this'll give me easier relocation options when this connection gets traced.

Beep.


Beep.

Damn, that noise is glacial when you've routed through every server in the world. I like that kind of beep.

I hope we don't get distracted from the shiny data afterwards, though.
2014/03/27 (Thu) 13:53 No. 178669
>>178667
The only way that data could possibly be worthwhile is if someone on the inside placed it for a hacker to pick up and we're scooping it up before their man. That's so unlikely.
2014/03/30 (Sun) 08:38 No. 178708
[x] Security system. I've got enough time to be prepped, and this'll give me easier relocation options when this connection gets traced.

While I'd love to make this a simple smash-and-grab operation, just stealing a bunch of financial data or whatnot, that'd be a waste.

What I have is the opportunity to get something more, something they're trying to keep secret. Something exploded, be it a bomb, innocuous electrical fault that just failed spectacularly, or a gone-horribly-wrong experiment. I'm hoping for the third one. The third one sounds much more fun.

I glide towards the dark blue of the security system, across the bright green lines of data flow, and stop before the static, before the ICE systems.

Taking a deep metaphorical breath, I stride into the beginning of the static, and find myself inside a dark room, lit by a single dim strip on the ceiling.

Well, this is simple and disappointing. What we have here is one of the basic forms of non-lethal ICE- a simple capture trap, meant to corral newbie runners and hold them digitally while physical security closes on them.

Beep.

Physical security's going to be a while, if the trace tracker's anything to go by. The main downside to this trap is that I can't jack out at any given time. But it's simple, an application of cryptographic force will tear a hole that I can just walk out of, without even having to burn a virus.

So I start that up, and a small tear starts to form and become larger. It's nearly large enough for me to leave now, and I can see the green lighting of the data flow outside.

And then something jumps in through it.

In retrospect, I should've expected this- a capture trap is too simple of ICE to be left on its own. The time it takes someone to break out gives the next piece of ICE time to activate- and it just waits until the capture trap is breached. If the capture trap isn't breached, great, mission accomplished. But if it is, this jumps through the breach and tries to kill the intruder.

The light flickers out, and the ball of darkness that jumped through charges straight at me, giggling madly as it goes. Unsettling. The tear is shrinking again, as the capture trap rebuilds itself, trapping me in with the giggling black ICE.

Beep.

And what's even better, is that I'm on a time limit. Great.

I dodge the charging blackness, and it screams past me, stray fragments of data spattering on me, freezing cold blots of inky darkness being combated by my own personal ICE. It works but is slow- if that should engulf me, I'm as good as flatlined.

And what's worse, as the tear closes, it gets darker in here, and the black ICE becomes harder to see, and harder to dodge.

My heart is racing, both digitally and physically, but I clamp down on the fear, hard. The adrenaline rush twists my face into a ghastly smile. Oh, but I've missed this feeling.

[ ] Burn a virus to tear down the capture trap. It'll probably speed up the trace, but I've got more than enough time. Right?
[ ] Jump for the tear anyway, and let the capture trap catch its own ICE. Great if it works, awful if it doesn't- if I get caught in the tear, I won't be able to maneuver.
[ ] Try to illuminate the area with an electronic flare- the beacon should be contained by the trap, and then I can fight the ICE in the light.
[ ] Write-in.

Beep.
2014/03/30 (Sun) 09:28 No. 178709
[x] Try to illuminate the area with an electronic flare- the beacon should be contained by the trap, and then I can fight the ICE in the light.
-[x] Immediately try to make a tear at your own light. The darkness ICE should try to put it out and get ripped apart in the new tear.

Is this acceptable? Not sure what our offensive options are, here, outside of the Bom.. virus.

This seems like the sort of thing that might work, anyway.
2014/03/30 (Sun) 14:51 No. 178720
[X] Try to illuminate the area with an electronic flare- the beacon should be contained by the trap, and then I can fight the ICE in the light.

Fangs out.
2014/03/30 (Sun) 17:36 No. 178721
[x] Jump for the tear anyway, and let the capture trap catch its own ICE. Great if it works, awful if it doesn't- if I get caught in the tear, I won't be able to maneuver.
Nothing bad will happen, I can feel it. I can feel it in my bones.
2014/03/30 (Sun) 18:32 No. 178724
>>178709
I'm totally flexible with anything- either it'll be workable or not. I feel like I didn't do a particularly good job with describing how the cyberspace world works, and as a result I don't think this update was very good, but it wasn't getting any better. So I decided to post it anyway so we could get through it instead of me rewriting it endlessly.

Also, while I didn't really think of the virus as a Bomb, that's actually a fairly accurate image of how it works.
2014/03/30 (Sun) 21:52 No. 178731
[x] Try to illuminate the area with an electronic flare- the beacon should be contained by the trap, and then I can fight the ICE in the light.
2014/03/31 (Mon) 09:04 No. 178744
[X] Try to illuminate the area with an electronic flare- the beacon should be contained by the trap, and then I can fight the ICE in the light.
2014/04/01 (Tue) 08:29 No. 178783
That spoilered beep sent a small feeling of dread. Something tells me it skipped a few proxies and got quite a bit closer.
2014/04/01 (Tue) 11:20 No. 178789
>>178783
I don't think so. In the update it's one beep every 5 paragraphs (or 6 line breaks) and the spoilered beep is no exception. But it was pretty chilling, yeah. Nice effect.
2014/04/07 (Mon) 10:02 No. 178908
Is this dead? ;_;
2014/04/07 (Mon) 10:34 No. 178909
>>178908
No, no. I just got swamped with shit this last week. In fact, you posted this as I'm writing the update. Should be up in a couple hours.
2014/04/07 (Mon) 12:19 No. 178910
[X] Try to illuminate the area with an electronic flare- the beacon should be contained by the trap, and then I can fight the ICE in the light.

Fighting in cyberspace can be a confusing affair. A fight can be had from the command line, but unless you've got all of your shit in perfect working order, you'll be slow and beaten every time. The keyboard just isn't fast enough of an interface anymore. Sure, it used to be that you could start a hack, go make some coffee and a sandwich, and you'd either be in or not, and if not, you try another tack. Intrusion was so easy back then.

But now I can set up a fight any way I like, within limits, of course. The most important thing is preparation, having my programs set up beforehand. Then I can map them to whatever I want. Like my fists and feet.

So, it's dark. I wish I could say that I was a zen master, and I practiced fighting blindfolded for years and could do so in my sleep, but I'd be lying. Light's a nice thing to have. I reach up to my virtualized chest harness, and detach an electroflare from the shoulder rig.

One tap on the power button, and with a blip beep it activates, and floods the room with light. Enough time for me to see the ICE bearing down on me, enough time for me to fall backwards, flat on my ass, and watch it rush over me. The dark splatter tingles and tickles, and before I can get to my feet, the ICE is on me again. I evade with a lucky roll at the last second, and throw the electroflare at the ICE.

It bounces off, and the ICE looks at it questioningly. I can't imagine how it sees this fight, but the flare is definitely new to it. But it hesitated. I take advantage of the momentary hesitation, and fling myself to the feet, and flex my hands. Not real, but they feel just like it.

I launch myself at the ICE, arm cocked back for a wide, looping haymaker, in the most dramatic way possible. Faster than reflex, it dodges my fist easily, smirking as it goes.

But that's okay.

The fist was a feint- the knee to the gut wasn't. It staggers back, stunned- a bit of buffer overflow will do that to ya, poor thing. I smile, and save the pity for later. I reach to my appendix holster, and pull out a gun- small, targeted injections of arbitrary code.

The first bang beep and flash produce a small flash of light as it skitters off the black wall of the trap, missing the ICE who's got enough still to dodge. It's recovering from the buffer overflow, but it's still sluggish.

“Fine, that's just fine. You can dodge one, sure. But what about ten? Or twenty?” I ask the ICE, not even sure it can respond. With a click, I flip the toggleswitch on the gun from semi-auto to full retard, and start spraying in the ICE's general direction.

It snarls, growls, and screams, as it writhes under the assault. After a few seconds, I decide to let up, and the ICE is lying there, inky darkness leaking from multiple holes. The holes are fringed with green, but are closing slowly, ever so slowly. Eventually the ICE will put itself back together from this. But that's okay. I've got just the thing. beep

I reach for the other side of the chest rig, and detach a small grenade. Messy, but deletion will be an almost entirely certain thing. I pat the ICE on the shoulder, and stick the grenade in its mouth. It whines at me piteously.

That taken care of, I go back to the rift I was making to escape, and enlarge it enough to escape. Then, I turn and watch as the rift closes. When it's closed, I flip the remote detonation switch.

A muffled thud beep is heard. I stretch my arms, popping my sockets in that familiar way. A lot of coding involved in that for almost no payoff. Still worth it.

Now, beep looking at the security system, there's still a little static left. Probably just one more chunk of ICE.

[ ] Power through that bit of ICE. It shouldn't be too hard, and I think I've got enough time for this.
[ ] Withdraw for now, relocate physically, and try to jack in somewhere else.
– [ ] Go in an upwards direction.
– [ ] Go in a downwards direction.
– [ ] Stay on the same floor.
[ ] Write-in.

beep
2014/04/07 (Mon) 12:40 No. 178911
[x] withdraw upwards

It will give us a few precious seconds extra when the man inevitably comes marching in.
2014/04/07 (Mon) 13:01 No. 178912
The ending beep is the only italicized one. Is that significant?

If I was going to vote to withdraw, I'd say down. Since the enemies are coming from the top. But I'd rather

[x] Power through that bit of ICE. It shouldn't be too hard, and I think I've got enough time for this.

Nooooow is the time to start dropping viruses.
2014/04/07 (Mon) 14:47 No. 178915
[X] Withdraw for now, relocate physically, and try to jack in somewhere else.
– [X] Go in an upwards direction.

"Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed!—tear up the code!—here, here!—it is the beeping of that hideous ICE!"
2014/04/07 (Mon) 16:20 No. 178916
>>178915
I <3 you.
2014/04/07 (Mon) 23:45 No. 178920
[x] Power through that bit of ICE. It shouldn't be too hard, and I think I've got enough time for this.

Hey OP, I've been thinking, would it be possible for us to 'capture' ICE code, and study it for weaknesses/use for for ourselves? Obviously run-of-the-mill examples like poor Rumia would be pointless, but higher-level stuff might be more interesting.
2014/04/08 (Tue) 00:58 No. 178921
[x] Power through that bit of ICE. It shouldn't be too hard, and I think I've got enough time for this.

Joining the bandwagon.
2014/04/08 (Tue) 02:15 No. 178923
[x] Power through that bit of ICE. It shouldn't be too hard, and I think I've got enough time for this.

>>178920
So, kinda like Shadow Pokémon in Colloseum/XD?
2014/04/08 (Tue) 03:20 No. 178928
>>178923
More like XCOM autopsies/generic RPG 'defeat an enemy to learn its weakness' stuff. Maybe with some 'loot bodyparts to alchemy up new weapons' thrown in.
2014/04/08 (Tue) 10:58 No. 178934
>>178920
Not a bad idea. I'll think about how to implement that sort of thing.
2014/04/08 (Tue) 11:36 No. 178935
[X] Power through that bit of ICE. It shouldn't be too hard, and I think I've got enough time for this.

Just found this story.
Yeeeeessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss.
2014/04/08 (Tue) 12:59 No. 178937
[X] Power through that bit of ICE. It shouldn't be too hard, and I think I've got enough time for this.


We're already dedicated to getting our hands on this stuff, so we can't back out now.
Even if they trace us, we should have just enough time to bug out while they kick down the door.
2014/04/08 (Tue) 14:52 No. 178942
>>178935
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3cO1l_U7RQ&feature=player_detailpage#t=100
2014/04/11 (Fri) 01:25 No. 178963
>>178937
Yeah, staying in the room with the window we've already brutalized should let us escape faster.

Though, I suppose, since they have our location, they might shove a spotlight on the window... Nah, couldn't be.
2014/04/23 (Wed) 06:15 No. 179228
Pardon the delay! Busy, busy weeks. Also, I need pictures of Tenshi in a bodysuit for... reasons.

[X] Power through that bit of ICE. It shouldn't be too hard, and I think I've got enough time for this.

Fuck it. The trace is closing in, but I can power through that ICE before it gets to me. And then I move, jack back into the system, and Bob's your uncle.

Confidently I stride forward into the ICE, and nothing happens, just a mild tingling feeling. Odd. Normally the last-ditch ICE for something important like this hits like a goddamn sledgehammer, without any trickery or subtlety.

Whatev- beepbeepbeepbeepbeepbeepbeepbeep fu- beepbeepbeepbeep -ck

In desperation, I reach up to the back of my digital neck, try to tear out the cords there, but I'm stupid, and this is a digital representation. Moving here and moving my actual body are two entirely different things.

Scrambling as the beeping indicates that the system's black ICE is currently hitting my own systems and winning, I mash in the emergency abort codes. Everything goes black, as the emergency protocols activate the physical connection jettison.

--

An indeterminate time later, I wake up, prone, face down on the thin, gray-yet-speckled-with-various-vague-colors carpet. Something smells like cheap burned plastic, and as I rub my hand over the back of my neck, I realize it's the smell of my implanted deck- the whole cord itself jettisoned and caught alight. There's probably some significant damage done to the implants.

Fuck.

Fuckin' goddamnit shit. I do a quick diagnostic scan, still prone on the carpet, not wanting to move for the sorest neck pain I've had in a long time. The port I was using is completely burned out, electrical burns soldering the connections completely closed. It's last-ditch style stuff, to keep black ICE from frying my brain and flatlining me. Half the storage is quarantined for God only knows what reason, and I'd really, really like to have that removed physically as soon as possible. But this isn't the place and I haven't the tools anyway. Good news is that the black ICE doesn't seem to have hit my brain, as I'm not dead. Backup port is probably still working, but it's specifically wired to be completely separate from all the other hardware on the implants. So I can't run a diagnostic nor can I use it to download data directly. Anything I take now will have to be sent to Taters' fileserver. If I even can.

And then it gets worse.

“System says it flatlined 'em,” a voice says, muffled by layers of cubicles.

Nobody responds, but from the footsteps, it's two people, probably three. And if I know anything about corporate security, I can only hope they're 'shoot first, ask questions later'. If they catch me, they'll 'put me to the question' in classic Inquisition style.

Silently, still prone on the carpet because everything's still painful, I reach down into my satchel and pull out the old Russian pistol. Loud, unsubtle, but effective.

I push myself up to my knees silently, and nearly topple over again as a wave of vertigo overcomes me. This is not good. The footsteps are closer, casual, confident. They're expecting to find a body.

I'm no slouch in a fight. One on one, I could probably take a corporate security goon. But they're armed, they have stungloves, and they fight dirty. Of course, I think, gripping the pistol, so can I.

And then the pistol slips out of my gripping gloves.

The gloves that were interfaced directly with my implants. Oh, fuck. I pick it up again, but there goes the plan to extract from the window. I've got to get to ground level to extract now, or have a miracle.

[ ] Lay here and play dead, wait for your moment.
[ ] Slip silently to one of the nearby cubicles.
– [ ] And then nail them while they look in the cubicle you were in.
– [ ] And hope and pray they don't find you.
– [ ] And attempt to slip out unnoticed while they're distracted.
[ ] Write-in.
2014/04/23 (Wed) 08:19 No. 179230
[X] Slip silently to one of the nearby cubicles.
– [X] And attempt to slip out unnoticed while they're distracted.

They are going to notice if we play dead
2014/04/23 (Wed) 09:42 No. 179231
[X] Slip silently to one of the nearby cubicles.
– [X] And attempt to slip out unnoticed while they're distracted.
Oh. We seem to have fucked up.
2014/04/23 (Wed) 12:56 No. 179234
[X] Slip silently to one of the nearby cubicles.
– [X] And attempt to slip out unnoticed while they're distracted.
2014/04/23 (Wed) 17:11 No. 179268
[x] Slip silently to one of the nearby cubicles.
– [x] And then nail them while they look in the cubicle you were in.

This went tits up fast. I'll compound the last bad idea with another bad idea.
2014/04/23 (Wed) 17:26 No. 179269
[X] Slip silently to one of the nearby cubicles.
– [X] And attempt to slip out unnoticed while they're distracted.

This is pretty much a worst-case scenario. Unless these guards are idiots they'll start a search almost immediately after finding no body. A dramatic exit isn't an option, and a gunfight isn't much better, especially with a "loud, unsubtle" weapon. (Note to self: get a good suppressor.)

Trying to sneak out is the best of bad options.
2014/04/23 (Wed) 19:31 No. 179277
[X] Slip silently to one of the nearby cubicles.
–[X] And then nail them while they look in the cubicle you were in.

I think we lost the chance to be stealthy when we got hit with the ICE and blacked out. Now it's time to cut our losses and bust out by the fastest route possible.

They're coming from the direction of the exit, meaning we have to take the long way round, and also move slowly to not make any noise.
They can easily get to our cubicle, see that we're not there, and rush back to guard the door before we manage to sneak out.

If we assume that they're not going in guns at the ready, since they're just expecting a corpse, we should have the initiative when they get to our cubicle.
The problem is that as soon as they look, they're going to know that we're not dead. (No corpse and a burnt out cable. It's obvious that we managed to ditch before being flatlined.)
That will put them on alert, and if they're smart (or at least well trained) the first thing they'll do is cut off any escape routes. Then they'll call in the situation to whoever is in charge so that there will be more people on the way to make sure we don't get away, and after that it's just search and destroy.
I'm assuming that there will be others coming since picking up a corpse is one thing, dealing with an unknown number of infiltrators is another.

We should shoot them just as they get to the cubicle we were in. Once they've seen it, we've lost the element of surprise, and if we have to have a shoot out, I'd rather we even the odds as much as possible first.
We can also do a fighting retreat towards the door by killing one, or maybe even two, of them in a surprise attack and then shoot some more to make anyone left keep their head down while we run for the door.
If we manage to kill or incapacitate all of them, we might even be able to make it out the window. It's the shortest route out of here, but also the riskiest, since we'd be a sitting duck on the wall.
2014/04/23 (Wed) 22:35 No. 179282
>>179277
Window isn't possible with our techno-gloves no longer working.

Truly this is an example of why you don't get cocky, kid.
2014/04/24 (Thu) 00:00 No. 179284
>>179282
I'm kinda miffed we got baited into frying basically ALL of our abilities, making it impossible for us to acquire the obvious plot token.
But it's the prologue, so we'll probably survive. Technically.
2014/04/24 (Thu) 00:54 No. 179286
>>179284
It's cool. If we don't have any tokens, the plot hooks will save us. Being fried and eaten makes for a fine story.

There's always the possibility that we were never meant to escape the prologue intact in the first place.
2014/04/24 (Thu) 01:35 No. 179288
[X] Slip silently to one of the nearby cubicles.
– [X] And attempt to slip out unnoticed while they're distracted.

In the words of many a great man, WELP.
2014/04/24 (Thu) 01:54 No. 179289
>>179284
The only things fried are our storage and our primary linkup. Secondary's still going.

All that's changed is that we've made extraction harder ...and that the data transfers we make from now on are traced.
2014/04/24 (Thu) 04:06 No. 179290
>>179289
We lost the gloves, too.
2014/04/25 (Fri) 06:14 No. 179298
>>179284
Dunno, what if Tenshi's a decoy protagonist? :V
2014/04/25 (Fri) 06:55 No. 179299
>>179298
I hope not. Falling from Heaven is such a perfect start for her in particular.
2014/04/25 (Fri) 08:24 No. 179300
>>179298
If she was, then who would the real protagonist be? Hatate?
2014/04/25 (Fri) 09:15 No. 179301
>>179298
I wouldn't bother reading any more.
2014/04/25 (Fri) 16:18 No. 179315
>>179284

In pretty much every game ever, the protagonist starts off at level one with zero items and abilities. This is all pretty standard procedure here.
2014/06/14 (Sat) 11:56 No. 180316
?
2014/06/16 (Mon) 20:07 No. 180402
>>180316
?x2
2014/06/29 (Sun) 07:54 No. 180648
[X] Slip silently to one of the nearby cubicles.
– [X] And attempt to slip out unnoticed while they're distracted.

I groan inwardly, and lever myself up to my feet. Quietly I crouch-walk to one of the cubicles across from the one I was in- and I wait.

They're quiet- but there are always telltale sounds. The sound of metal clearing leather. The sound of clothing moving back into place as hands grip well-formed, expensive, precise chunks of polymer and metal. Miniature railguns- while they look and sound like chemically-propelled handguns of old, like the one in my hand, they have significant upgrades in the penetration and accuracy department.

Of course, overpenetration is a bad thing, if you're worried about collateral damage. Corporate goons tend not to be.

“Nobody here,” I hear one of them say. Voice like he's been smoking for years, like broken glass grinding on rocks.

“Look,” the other one says. “A cord.” They've found my burnt, jettisoned cord- proof that I was there and not flatlined. Goddamnit, I should've picked that up. I could've tried to pass it off as nobody being here.

The two of them grunt, and I hear their footsteps going off in different directions. Neither of them are coming my way, but they'll cover the whole floor eventually. Hiding's not going to work. I could wait for one of them to come by and maybe I could surprise him, unexpected knife to the throat and all. Then a twinge of a headache starts, and I nearly fall over again.

Nope. Not going to get into a fight like this if I can avoid it.

I peek over the edge of the cubicle, a risky, stupid move that I shouldn't have tried and I know it, but I'm lucky enough to have them both facing away from me when I do it. They seem like normal enough humans, no SPLICE or anything extra-lethal like that.

Head down, hand on gun, other one out for balance, I start to sneak out of the mass of cubicles as silently as I can, before one of them thinks to get thermal imagers up here.

Five minutes later, my heart is pounding in my chest, my head is throbbing, and I'm covered in a thin sheen of sweat. I nearly flatlined, and my body is making its displeasure known. But they haven't seen me. And I'm almost to the stairwell. A few more steps, and I have my hand on the handle. Turning it will make a sound for sure, but calling the elevator would make more when it arrived.

I turn the handle as slowly as I can, when I hear a voice on the other side of the door. “...sign of them. We'll keep looking.”

This tells me two things: first of all, they were smart enough to post someone in the stairwell in case I tried to sneak away that way.

But that's not the worst of it. No, not by a long shot. The voice is female, professional, and chillingly familiar. I've probably not met her, though.

I've met one of her sisters, once, and it ranked among the worst experiences I've ever had.

That voice is the voice of a Reisen- one of KE-I's premier products, a cloned... well, soldier is too narrow a term for their skill sets. Made from the finest of gene stock, given extensive training in anything that might crop up, a Reisen makes the perfect infiltrator, assassin, bodyguard, what have you.

And there's one on the other side of that door. I risk a peek through the stairway window- another incredibly dumb decision, but another one that doesn't screw me. She's on a phone, but she's blocking the down stairwell.

I could kick open the door, and hope I could fly past her before she wrecks my shit, maybe even kick her down a flight of stairs to give me a little bit more time. And there's no way she won't hear the door opening, no matter how quietly I do it, with those huge-ass rabbit ears of hers.

On the other hand, that elevator is sounding more and more inviting. Because she's not between it and me.

[ ] Take the elevator.
– [ ] Up. They can beat me to every floor besides the roof, most likely.
– [ ] Down. There will probably be an unpleasant welcome at the ground floor, but I'll deal with it as it comes.
– [ ] Further down. The basement's a stalling tactic, but I need to get some breathing room, somehow.
– [ ] Mash a random button. It doesn't matter, I'll be hitting the emergency stop and climbing out through the roof of the elevator. I mean, I assume there's a roof panel. There's always one in the movies, right? God, I hope there's a roof panel.

[ ] Take the stairs.
– [ ] Try to sneak past. This is an exceptionally dumb idea.
– [ ] Go in hard, give her a kick, and then run:
– – [ ] Up.
– – [ ] Down.
– [ ] Go in hard, but don't try to engage her in hand-to-hand. Instead, try to out-HARDCOREPARKOUR her. She may be a genetically-engineered killing machine with superhuman reflexes and incredible training, but I've been running on walls and jumping off roofs before she was born. Probably.
– – [ ] And go up.
– – [ ] And go down.

[ ] Write-in.
2014/06/29 (Sun) 14:03 No. 180653
[x] Take the elevator.
– [x] Up. They can beat me to every floor besides the roof, most likely.

Oh my god it's back.
Oh my god Reisen is a certified, mass-produced badass. She probably passed quality control and everything. I want one.
2014/06/29 (Sun) 14:48 No. 180654
[x] Take the elevator.
– [x] Up. They can beat me to every floor besides the roof, most likely.

Doesn't seem like we're in a state for much acrobatics. If we make for the roof, we might be able to recover in time to make a daring escape when we get there. Assuming they don't have a way to stop the elevator partway. If that's the case, we'll just have to try climbing out.
2014/06/29 (Sun) 16:00 No. 180655
[X] Take the elevator.
– [X] Up. They can beat me to every floor besides the roof, most likely.

All the other elevator directions are what people might expect an intruder to go.
2014/06/30 (Mon) 12:36 No. 180666
[x] Take the elevator.
– [x] Up. Twenty stories above me. The one with the open window.

I think we've got a better chance with MYSTERY OPEN WINDOW than the roof.
2014/06/30 (Mon) 13:06 No. 180673
>>180653 here
Changing to >>180666
Forgot about that.
2014/06/30 (Mon) 17:30 No. 180674
>>180655 here, changing to >>180666
2014/07/01 (Tue) 19:51 No. 180684
[x] Take the elevator.
– [x] Up. Twenty stories above me. The one with the open window.
Open window heck yes
2014/07/01 (Tue) 20:16 No. 180685
[x] Take the elevator.
– [x] Up. Twenty stories above me. The one with the open window.

Hopefully we'll kick somebody through the window for style points.
2014/07/02 (Wed) 22:39 No. 180696
I know I voted for it, but I like how we're ignoring the "they can beat me to any floor except the roof" part in favor of praying there are other intruders who haven't been subdued for us to meet up with.

Nevermind the fact that the elevator makes noise that Reisen can probably hear long before we can. Or that they might be able to stop the elevator.
2014/07/04 (Fri) 02:24 No. 180702
So, question. If the elevator is so traplike and we really just need to make time for ourselves and get rid of people...

[x] Call the elevator, lean in and send it to the roof, leave before the doors close and go back into hiding.

This sends the decoy up, forces them to investigate it, and should give us breathing room back on the floor we're in, maybe even let us either shadow them up and then they'll get sloppy on the return (unlikely that they will check an area they've just previously checked or gone through).
2014/07/04 (Fri) 03:33 No. 180703
>>180702
Unless the Reisen hears the elevator and decides to chase after it by forcing the doors and climbing the shaft.
In which case we'd have our back to closed doors with no elevator behind them.
2014/07/17 (Thu) 03:39 No. 180966
[x] Take the elevator.
– [x] Up. Twenty stories above me. The one with the open window.

This is a bad idea. This is a really bad idea. A list of ways that this is a really bad idea is running through my head, as I reach up to surreptitiously press the elevator call button. What if the elevator makes a sound on being called? What if the lights give it away? What if the elevators are being monitored?

Then I look around, hear the Reisen's muffled talking in the stairwell, hear the grumbling of the grunts as they search the cubicles for me.

All of these ideas are bad. This is the least bad. Maybe.

I press the button and cringe.

No sound, but a soft glow on the call button. Please don't look over here. Please. I plead to whatever god will take my case, pray that I'm not just a sacrificial character in the beginning of a story. That'd be such a terrible way to go. Patchy and Taters finding out about me from the BBS, or, if I'm really unlucky, the 'evening news'.

They televise executions when they can for 'dangerous hackers', you know.

I can't hear anything other than the pounding of my heart and can't feel anything beyond the pounding of my head. I don't dare look up at the elevator number display for fear that that'll somehow make the goons do the same.

Maybe one peek.

As I look up, the elevator dings, and the doors slide open. The moment is frozen there for the moment of time the ding takes to dissipate.

Then, the sound of shouts, the sound of people wheeling on their heel to face the elevator, and worse than all of that, the sound of the stairway's door handle been pulled.

I completely disregard any idea at evasive maneuvers and dive headfirst into the elevator, and slam my face directly into the side of the elevator.

Shortly after my face impacts, magnetically and chemically accelerated slugs slam into the same wall around me.

Blinded by the pain in my face and the report of gunshots, and hurried by the fact that the Reisen can't be more than a few feet away, I mash the highest floor number I can. I can adjust it later.

As I frantically pound the 'Door Close' button, the gunfire stops. That's not a good sign.

That means precisely one thing. They stopped shooting because someone's in the way.

I catch a glimpse of rabbit ears as the doors slide shut, so slowly shut, in my adrenaline-hazed perception.

She's not going to make it.

I'm going to escape.

As I say this to myself, a hand slips in between the closing elevator doors. My heart sinks as the doors slide back open.

She's a vision of purple hair, immaculately trimmed suits, a soft, inviting face twisted into a malicious grin. “Going my way?” she asks.

I reply the only way I can think of: I introduce that soft face to the hard butt of my pistol. She grunts, and steps back.

I mash the Door Close button again. As she steps forward again, caught off-guard by the vicious impact of a pound of steel right on her nose, I catch a glimpse of blood and rage.

Followed by the doors closing.

Of course, it's almost never that easy. So I drop prone to the floor of the elevator, as the barrage of slugs once again opens up on the elevator, tearing through the air of where I was.

Then the elevator starts moving, and the bullets stop coming.

And I see all the blood on the wall and floor. My blood.

No time to worry about that, I think, as I hit the button for... shit, what floor was I even on?

I can't go twenty stories up if I don't know what goddamn floor I'm on!

I check the elevator's current floor. 45. I probably went a good three or four floors before getting up. So, call it 63?

Hell, I don't even remember if the open window was twenty stories up.

Fuck it. 63 it is.

Okay. Time to figure out where all this blood came from. I pat myself down, coming away dry except down the front of my chest. I follow the blood trail up, and up... and the pain confirms what I suspected from the location of the bleeding: I broke my goddamn nose.

Shit.

The elevator slows, and the bell dings again as it reaches the sixty-third floor of the building. I press myself against a wall, hoping to gain a second or two of surprise before I get perforated by the security team that was obviously dispatched up here.

The doors slide open and the first thing that happens is that I get punched in the nose.

The nose I just broke.

The second thing that happens is that I'm flung bodily to the floor, and someone jumps on top of me.

The third thing involves my gun skittering away. I really, really wish my gripping gloves worked.

Fourth and finally, a forearm is thrust into my neck, restricting my movement, and a gun into my nose, restricting me from wanting to move.

The nose I just broke.

Needless to say, this has been a painful excursion so far.

Groggily, as my eyes focus on my assailant, all I can think of is 'there's no good place to get a nose job done anywhere in the alleys'.

My second thought is 'Hey, she's got a hood on.'

She doesn't look like one of the hired goons or a Reisen. Silver hair, a single braid, and a simultaneously angry and astonished expression.

Well, first impressions are the most important, right?

Say something.

[ ] Write-in.
2014/07/17 (Thu) 03:56 No. 180968
Expect next update by Saturday. I'm going to see if setting deadlines publicly and in advance will kick my ass to properly writing regularly. It did last time I tried it.
2014/07/17 (Thu) 09:22 No. 180974
Sayaka!

[x] Write in- "you're my backup?"

>pray that I'm not just a sacrificial character in the beginning of a story.
Excellent fourth wall
2014/07/17 (Thu) 10:21 No. 180978
[x] "Thanks for not just shooting me, I guess."
>>180968
An exhibitionist, eh?
2014/07/17 (Thu) 18:17 No. 180983
[X] "Maybe we should get out of the elevator, before it gets called somewhere."

First impressions take a backseat to not getting dragged back down.
2014/07/17 (Thu) 21:45 No. 180987
>>180978
More like 'it's harder to ignore my deadlines when I'm not the only one who knows about them.'

>>180974
Never not steal things from other people's posts to put in the story.
2014/07/18 (Fri) 08:27 No. 180994
>>180974

Sakuya. Sayaka is in a different verse with magical girls.
2014/07/23 (Wed) 00:27 No. 181029
[X] "Maybe we should get out of the elevator, before it gets called somewhere."

I want to say something about her day being as bad as ours has been, but breaking a three-way tie is more important?
2014/07/23 (Wed) 00:38 No. 181030
>>180968
WHERE THE FUCK IS THAT UPDATE
2014/07/23 (Wed) 03:19 No. 181038
>>181030
Oh you thought I meant last saturday well you see I meant next saturday and I am apparently kind of a shitler and everything I've written for this update so far sucks donkey dick, and quite frankly I'm not sure when next I'll be updating this. I don't want to do it sporadically so I think I'm going to let this lie until I can actually do consistent updates.

Sorry. I thought you guys deserved to know at least, though.
2014/07/23 (Wed) 03:32 No. 181039
>>181038
Thank you for telling us!

[spoiler]You will never be able to do consistent updates.
2014/07/23 (Wed) 03:38 No. 181040
>>181039
I did it before and I'll do it again!

just... uh... maybe not for this story.
2014/08/19 (Tue) 10:30 No. 181612
>>181040
So it's dropped, then?
2014/08/21 (Thu) 09:08 No. 181648
If it's the vote that is the problem, I'm pretty sure all of us would rather have something than something that sticks with our dialogue choices.

Letting voters choose exact dialogue: Not Even Once
2014/08/26 (Tue) 00:02 No. 181742
>>181648
Your dialogue choice for this update was irrelevant anyway. You wouldn't have had a chance to say it anyway. I know full well the dangers of allowing anon to pick dialogue.

That said, this story is being put off for other reasons, namely 'because it sucks and I suck at writing it.' I know this is terrible and awful but I'm throwing ideas at the wall for stories until something sticks and I can stick with it.

Sorry, broheim.
2015/02/19 (Thu) 04:55 No. 184135
I can't remember my fuckin' trip for this story and it's not relevant anyway. Also, the fuck was I saying in >>181742? This story's fucking awesome and I know it.

ANYWAY WELCOME BACK TO THE NET, NERDS
2015/02/19 (Thu) 04:57 No. 184136
[X] "Maybe we should get out of the elevator, before it gets called somewhere."

“Hey, you th-” I manage to get out, before she thrusts her forearm deeper into my throat, cutting off what I was going to say.

“Shut up,” she hisses. “Bad enough that I have to come here to pull your ass out of the fire. Worse that I have to listen to your crap today.”

“Have we met?” I gasp out.

“We have now,” she says, as she stands up, releases her grip on me, and steps out of the elevator. “Well? Come on, then! They'll be upon us in less than a minute.”

I groan, and drag myself out of the elevator. The door tries to close on me several times, proof that the elevator's being recalled. The girl's digging through a satchel, and pulling out small silver cylinders. “What are you do-” I say, before she cuts me off with a forceful jerk of her hand. She tosses one of the cylinders to me. It beeps softly- she pulled the pin already!

“Throw it and close your eyes!” she says. Bewildered, I do as she tells me, and hurl the cylinder towards the stairway door. In midflight, the door opens as the grenade sails through it- and a colossal BANG deafens me, and I can see the bright flash even through my eyelids. She grabs me roughly by the wrist, and drags me off to a cubicle near the window. The open window.

Shit, at least I got the floor number right.

She shoves a package with straps into my arms. “Put this on!”

“But the hack-”

“Bit late for that now, eh?” she says, smiling as she puts on her own. Oh, Christ. I see where this is going. There's shouting and more banging as the stairwell door flies open, and more corporate goons pile into the room, with at least two Reisens, maybe more.

She mounts the windowsill, and launches herself off, flying out into the night sky, unsupported. And then her parachute opens. She's BASE jumping in a packed metropolis. She's goddamn insane.

...I'm going to be BASE jumping in a packed metropolis. Of course, I could just, you know, give up and submit to the goons, but hey. The jump's probably better odds. Oh God, the jump's better odds. I'm so fucked.

I get my arm through one strap, and continue to fumble with the other as I topple out of the window. “Fuck!” I shout, as I fall, and pull the ripcord, all my weight landing on one shoulder as the parachute deploys. Now I'm just hanging on for dear life, hoping that I'm following my mysterious savior, and not getting perforated by the Reisens behind me.

Supersonic slugs fly past me, with the odd not-quite-a-gun crack of corporate railguns. They don't give one single fuck about collateral damage. Fuck, I didn't even get to steal anything!

The wind blows my hair all around, and I can't see shit, Captain. I should really have buzzed it. Especially if I knew I was going to be stuck in such a clusterfuck of a run.

I land on top of a rooftop somewhere, and hard. That's easily some cracked ribs, and I lie there, groaning.

Footsteps pound over to me. Either that's my savior, or I'm right powerfucked.

Hand's soft, so it's probably my savior. She drags me to my feet, and then pulls out a knife. “Hey, whoa,” I say, as she ignores my protests and cuts the strap on my parachute. She then drags me forward again.

“Gotta lose the parachutes, chummer.”

The sheer absurdity of it makes me break out laughing. “C-chummer?” I stammer out between guffaws. “Nobody actually talks like that!”

She turns to me and glares, but I can see a bit of a blush on those pale cheeks. “Shut up and hurry up, then!”

The two of you run into a rooftop access door, kick it down, pounding down some building's access stairwell. She kicks open a door on a nondescript office, interrupting an intimate moment between a boss and her secretary.

The boss inhales to scream, but my savior has a gun already pointed at them. “Scream and die. I don't care. Just get off the fucking desk, I need to use your computer.” The two turn an even paler shade of white, and scramble out the door behind me, pulling clothes together.

The secretary trips over his pants, and slams his face on the wall.

Heh. At least I'm not the only one with a broken nose tonight, buddy.

My savior sets her gun down, and starts tapping away at the computer. I look over her shoulder, and she types in a username and password- and what's more, gets it on her first try. I'd heard of digit-implanted password crackers for keyboard-based cracking, but holy shit, I didn't think it was anything more than vaporware. “How did you do that?” I say.

“Hacked it, of course. You're not in any shape to do any cracking, not after you nearly got fried. Besides, I can't let you on the net right now. Got the blackest of black ICE tracking your digital signature- even if they don't know who you are, they know what you smell like. We'll fix that later.”

“Who are you?”

“Sakuya, professional infiltrator, time traveler, hero of the populace, savior of your sorry ass,” she replies, not taking her eyes off the display set into the desk for a moment.


“Got a handle?”

“You wouldn't know it.”

“Aw, come on!”

She sighs. “Every time. C204, then.”

That's an odd one. “What'd you go to the K-E building for?”

“The fuck you think?”

“Same reason I went? Big explosion, big megacorp, lots of fresh data?”

“Something like that,” she replies, and finishes messing with the terminal by mashing the Enter key with finality. “Alright. We gotta go.”

“Why'd we stay here, anyway?” I say, gesturing broadly to the building that we're in. The parachutes are probably a dead giveaway to our location.

“Had to throw some more chaos into the mix. Otherwise, SPLICE would be up your asshole digitally before you even knew it. Did you know that K-E keeps a lot of experimental ICE in airgapped systems in that skyscraper? Did you know that tonight, in addition to two parachutes, I also brought along a spool of cat9 cable? Did you know that, with the proper authentication codes, that ICE can be utilized to attack K-E's network?”

I stifle a laugh. “Jesus Christ, you must have planned all this out well in advance.” Then something hits me. “Did you cause that explosion?”

She smiles. “No. But we need to go. Might have covered your digital trail, but we've got to cover your physical one. Also, call up Taters. Tell her to shut down that server, you're not putting your data there.”

“Whoa, hey, says who?”

“Says me. You ain't going on the Net until we fix your shit. And I know just the guy. Besides, SPLICE is probably going to be in your apartment in under an hour. You don't want to be there when they get there. Trust me.”

“Wh- hey! All my shit's there! And 'Chouli! I gotta warn her!” I tap my earbud to call 'Chouli, but there's no answer. Not even Taters will answer. Something must have fried my phone. Great. Just great. Where am I going to steal another?

The smile and the warmth fades from her face. “You got bigger problems, Tenshi.”

“How the fuck do you know my name?”

“I know lots about you. I went into that building for data. However, I also went there for you. And I will not have you throw this away.”

[ ] Fuck you, I'm going to go warn 'Chouli. And get my shit.
[ ] Fine. Let's meet your 'guy'.
[ ] Write-in.
2015/02/19 (Thu) 06:28 No. 184137
[X] Fine. Let's meet your 'guy'.

Well, if she knows us, we easily can inform Chouli later I guess
2015/02/19 (Thu) 06:31 No. 184138
[X] Fine. Let's meet your 'guy'.
-[X] But only after someone gets a call off to 'Chouli.

holy shit this thing is back

Gotta at least try to save the patch. Granted, if some random chick calls patchu and says she's about to get fucked, she may not believe her, but at least we tried.
2015/02/19 (Thu) 11:10 No. 184139
much hypercompetence
such exposition
wow
2015/02/19 (Thu) 17:17 No. 184140
>>184139
HI CRIX
2015/02/19 (Thu) 19:40 No. 184141
[X] Fine. Let's meet your 'guy'.
-[X] But only after someone gets a call off to 'Chouli.

I KNEW I WAS RIGHT TO NOT STOP WATCHING THIS THREAD
2015/02/19 (Thu) 19:41 No. 184142
>>184141
oh and I like how this whole update was reminding us we were retards repeatedly
2015/02/19 (Thu) 19:58 No. 184143
>>184142
NAH BRUV THAT'S JUST YOU
2015/02/19 (Thu) 21:03 No. 184144
[X] Fine. Let's meet your 'guy'.
-[X] But only after someone gets a call off to 'Chouli.
2015/02/19 (Thu) 21:36 No. 184145
>>184140
wow I got compared to crix
I need to go puke
2015/02/20 (Fri) 05:25 No. 184147
[X] Fine. Let's meet your 'guy'.
-[X] But only after someone gets a call off to 'Chouli.
2015/02/21 (Sat) 09:34 No. 184155
lez do it

[X] Fine. Let's meet your 'guy'.
-[X] But only after someone gets a call off to 'Chouli.
2015/02/28 (Sat) 06:09 No. 184170
[X] Fine. Let's meet your 'guy'.
-[X] But only after someone gets a call off to 'Chouli.

Just leaving her to rot is non negotiable
2015/03/09 (Mon) 07:11 No. 184207
Rereading this again I have to ask: is the cyberpunk here more Cyberpunk 2020 or more Shadow run i.e. is it more like traditional cyberpunk or something that blends cyberpunk and magic?
2015/03/11 (Wed) 01:09 No. 184213
>>184207

We don't need your labels dragging us down man. We refuse to be a part of The Man's oppresive system. Why can't we just let this story float along it's merry path like a butterfly...man?