The Let's Play Archive


by gatz

Part 11: The TransTech Raid

Update 10 - The TransTech Raid

Sorry, Renfield. Others in the thread don't like you as much as I do.

Well, maybe you'll change your mind. I'm always here to serve you, Master. Let me know when you need me.

Back to this Sarcophagus quest. In order to solve some of these quests involving multiple items, we have to play by the hidden rules of BloodNet's terrible UI. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but we have to drop the Sarcophagus.

You might think we have to drop the dirt, but no. That would make too much sense. We have to use to dirt inside our inventory to affect something not in our inventory.

With that done, Resting in Renfield's apartment will restore Stark's health as well as everyone else's. I've never actually rested before, and I'm not doing it now.

There are two more places we should go before we get to the main event. I probably should have done this earlier. We're first going to go visit Stark's old gang.

You used to be a Flux Rider, Ransom? Guess we'll see if old loyalties hold.
Good seeing the old gang, isn't it, Stark?

Location posted:

You suppress the memories you have of these streets where, as a young man, you loitered as a member of the Flux Riders.

Those were bad times. Loitering is a most unforgivable act.

Oona Flyte posted:

An eighteen-year-old girl's face reflects a cynicism that should only come from decades of disappointment.

Apparently, conditions haven't improved for the Flux Riders.

Sorry, freudian slip.

I'm out of touch with the underground. I'd appreciate an update.
Name it and it's coming up on the boards and in the WELLs. Lots of rumors tapped out; a few have rhythmned. Some say the Star Chamber's debating a reboot of the entire New York network. Shut it down and restart with a whole new set of PLUrads, Miltons, and icebreakers to flush a supervirus. Others are texting about resident bugs in the core architecture, bugs planted by some of the original programmers to bring the system down if it got out of hand. I doubt that one. If it were true, what took them so long? Of course there are more Incubus rumors. The total paranoids claim the matrix is going sentient, that it's spawning a consciousness deep within its AI routines. This happens every few years. The underground gets itself wired up tight and waits for the big thing and then nothing happens and everyone goes back to their breathers and desktops. Rumors are just vapor. You need something solid, try the Black Aggotts, a nasty rage gang that sometimes hires out its muscle.

Incubus could be a self-aware AI? Or is this just a rumor?

Aren't you Flavo Bob's younger brother? You're a dead ringer for him.

I just want to tell you how I'm feeling.
Flavo and I used to hang as Riders. That jack could rig. When we were kids, we scrounged a Blasron casing from a scrap heap and begged and stole enough chips to patch together a motherboard. Spent a lot of hours hacking on that thing. What's Flavo do these days?
Sold out. Worm analyzes data for TransTechnicals. Listen, you're a former Rider. You look like you're still street. I can do something for you. I got an Azrael. You need it, I trade it for a 16TB memory chip. I do the dragon so the Azrael don't turn me, but I always need the storage. Interested?

This is a worthless trade. You'll see why soon.

Yeah. You need this later, it's yours if I still got it.

I don't think we've seen anyone with a bindi yet. It's time to fix that.

Why not.

Give Object posted:

The Data Spider is placed in the inventory of Ransom Stark.

Keep your cloaks up in the matrix, Stark.

We'll have to visit Sid & Nancys, some time.

Fat inspector gadget is clearly the leader of the Flux Riders.

Still have some spark in me, I hope.
I know what you do got, and that's an over-the-edge 'too on your face. Hope that's not permanent.
It'll come off. I just wear it to impress women, Hondo. Look, I came here for a reason. When I was a Rider we helped our own. And helped out former members. Are you new breed still loyal?
Still stands. What do you need?
I know some of you spread your wings in the net. I'm into something heavy, and I need to know what the buzz is these days about c-space.
Yeah, some of us skate the ice, but not lately, too many cheap shots and trip wires. Piercy Kat, she flat-lined two weeks ago on a shimmy into a VaporMart cluster. Shoulda been a no-lob job for Piercy, but she's leaking spit right now. Two weeks ago, Reba and I patch-decked to the Melville Stack to add a tangent to the Queequeg sub-stack and were almost freight-trained by an angular hypermorph. Too small to be any type of cluster I've ever seen, but it was too complex to have been mind-linked.

Try again, in english this time.

Belong to the Company?
Who else? Except the Company's got the shingles bueno y bueno. Cages are proliffing like rats. ICE systems are taking heavy payment and some have multi-redundancies. You ask my advice, I'd keep my brain in this plane.

Oona mentioned the Black Aggots. They're hiding out in the bad ass Strawberry Fields. You don't want to get on their bad side.

This place is weird.

Weapons handy, boys and girls. Those are the Black Aggots, and they are mean cusses.

I don't understand the name. Maybe they're trying to be edgy by making a name that sounds like black faggots.

Location posted:

You walk into a nightmare of revving engines, garish light, evil, totems, and rage gangers with a passion for breathers and bashing. Once a symbol of love and brotherhood, Strawberry Fields has become a battleground, with the IMAGINE mosiac marked off as an arena.

I'm glad the writers had the courage to regard evil in the same vein as revving engines.



There's really going to be a fight here? Here of all places?
Yeah. Stick gonna crush with Ox Chaos of the Rutting Pigs. Ox's a breaker. My cousin Stive saw him tumble with three jacks in a whiskey dive a few months ago. He broke 'em, man. Cleared the place. Nasty business.

She's the cousin of Stive? Why did the writers feel the need to make that a thing?

And your buddy Stick's gonna fight this guy?
Stick no circle candy. He bash with anybody. My money ride on him.

You've seen the type of intelligence this place attracts. What does that say about Stark? Let's talk to that guy in the middle of the ring. Stick.

Knock 'em dead, champ.

That guy on the left is the leader of this mensa meeting.

Shock Maraud posted:

A hulking rage ganger casts a menacing glare at you. The scents of beer, opium, and motor oil swirl around him.

I'm not the heat and spare me the bad ass routine. Do I really look like someone you want to tangle with?
Hah! You're damn lucky I already got a fight lined up, or I'd smash your ugly, pasty face in for you. Wouldn't turn your back on us while you're leavin,' if I were you.
Hold it, big boy. I'm not here to rumble. Oona Flyte of the Flux Riders says you sometimes hire out as muscle. That true or is Oona just talking?

Unsurprisingly, Stark says this even if you didn't visit the Flux Riders and talked to Oona.

Yeah, some of us do a job here and there, if the price is right.
What kind of figure you talking?
Ain't always money. We're waiting on a guy right now, a rich guy named Van Helsing, promising us a proprietary data base from Rimbus drugs. We can synthesize weeks' worth of partying with the information in that dbase. All we got to do in return is kill a guy for him. Van Helsing hasn't told us the target yet; we don't work till he delivers the data base. Boy, I feel sorry for the bastard when we get hold of him. I'd kill my own father again for that dbase.
You've got a job then?
Looks that way. Less you can come up with that data base sooner than Van Helsing. It's in a Rimbus cluster with an address "antibody." I don't give a damn who I get it from, long as I get it. Van Helsing's supposed to deliver it to us here two nights from now. If you can beat him here with it, I'll work for you. Otherwise, I off this guy for Van Helsing. Seems fair to me.

As I'm sure you can guess, the target is Stark. Just talking with him gives us another time limit: we have two in-game days to bring Shock that dbase -- if that amount of time passes, Van Helsing supposedly gives him the dbase -- or else he'll send assassination squads to kill us. It takes the form of an ambush any time when you travel to any location on the Manhattan map. If we bring the dbase to Shock, he wants to join us. If we refuse, he'll send his guys to kill us. If we agree, he'll leave in 3 days and send his guys to kill us. If you ever play the game, don't bother talking to Shock. The only reason to do it is to get the well address, ANTIBODY, which you can just go to without hearing it from Shock himself. The same thing goes for any other well.

Anyway, let's rudely interrupt those two lovers sucking face.

Expecting something to happen on the mosaic?

You gangers made Strawberry Fields into an arena?
Freaking, you bet. Two go into the circle, man, and only one comes out walking.
Somebody should run you out of here.
What d'ya say, man?
Never mind. Enjoy the fights.
Count on it.

What does the other one have to say?

What's to be loose about, sister?
Everything. This city's so intense. Don't you grind on the moon's reflection in a puddle of blood? You gotta love the colors swirling and swirling in the poison-pink clouds, the heat of a July thermal inversion. I bet that's what it's like to be in a womb. This city can be so, so, so beautiful.
Well, I know what I like.
Hey, you got any vasopressin? I'd do anything to get my hands on some. Anything.
Like pay for it maybe? Pay 1,000 dollars for it?
I got a thousand dollars. I got it right here. Right. Here. You want to sell me some vasopressin for 1,000 dollars?

No and we're leaving.

It's best to get some better protection before we fuck TransTech.

We're buying kevlar coveralls for everyone, and selling some old armor, including the now useless museum coveralls. We've seen buying and selling - there's no reason to show it again.

This has been looming for a while. Let's recap the reasons for going here:

I can't imagine a company that would put this statue in its lobby.
I never did like coming to this place. No matter how many times I've been in here, that statue still gives me the creeps.

Keep that statue in mind. We're immediately accosted by a security drone.


The Star Chamber is pleased to welcome two new corporate entities--Algernon Empathics and General Enzymes--into cyberspace. Their data clusters activate as of 9:00 a.m. eastern time. This week, Pandemic Broadcasting debuts a new series of interactives, expanding the Anachrony Zones and Virtual Amore series. Notional Labs announces the promotion of Kyp Voytek, Mikhail Raneri, and Sid Lazerton to executive risk management positions. Security Chief Paine discloses that unsanctioned use of cyberspace has risen sharply in recent weeks. He assures the Star Chamber that network security is on priority alert for all activities which threaten the profitability of the company.

We first heard about Notional Labs from Larry Owen, and then fromTimmy Goldfarb. We'll have to see if we can get into their office.

All three of these people will be gone by the time we leave this screen.

We already have clearance, but let's hear what she has to say since it's not expensive.

And you're not exactly looking to get in for a job interview, am I right? Then you're going to need more than a clearance to get where you want to go. Give me the money now. I don't have time to waste.

Transfer Money posted:

Elaine Bigelow receives 100 dollars. You now have 116330 dollars in your account.

Well, like I said, you gotta do more than get clearance to really have access to anything around here. You gotta be one of us, if you know what I mean.
I'm not following you.
Your only real chance of getting in and staying alive is if the system recognizes you as someone on the inside. And that means more than a badge. It means your uploading a copy of your cyberidentity into the system. Now I've got friends who can hook you up with the right people for this kind of thing. You can find 'em in the Central Park camps. You're probably going to get sent to somewhere in SoHo. And you better start saving up your virtual pennies for it. It's gonna cost you big.

We already did that. Chances are you already visited Central Park before getting a TransTech badge to get in here. BloodNet tries to cover its bases, but does a fairly poor job at it. Elaine leaves the room, but there are two more people Stark can bother.

Don't let me stop you.
You better believe it, I won't. I'm not going to even stop to talk to you. You don't even have clearance. If you think I'd put my butt on the line by talking to you, you're crazy.
Relax, I didn't even--
The more you talk to me, the more trouble I'm in. TransTech doesn't tolerate intruders. You know what they say, "TransTech owns New York. And she's a nasty landlady." So watch it.

I think that's the closest we're going to get to one of those Alex Jones types in BloodNet. Too bad this guy's fear is understandable, while Alex Jones is fucking crazy. Let's talk to the last one.

Then she leaves BloodNet entirely. I don't get it. We're going to exit into the next screen.

We travel between sections of TransTechnicals with this screen similar to the main menu. We'll hit them from bottom to top. We can still be attacked when traveling between areas, but the chance is a lot lower with the precautions we've taken.

Three items are visible.

Buzzsaw: This high-tech weapon projects a laser beam to deliver nanomachines into a target's bloodstream. The nanomachines are designed to sever capallaries, causing internal bleeding. Lethal if enough strikes are made.

You're fucked if you're ever hit with this. There's a bug with the gun where the damage multiplier doesn't stop when you exit combat. When you reenter combat against another enemy, the damage starts up again with the multiplier where it was previously, and it goes up from there. This isn't worth using because it takes too long.

Nanoblast: This high-tech weapon projects a laser beam to deliver nanomachines into a target's bloodstream. The nanoblast consists of of three nanocharges and a detonator programmed to link up with a target organism and explode. Requires four hits to be lethal.

and 4 Nanoblast Micromissiles: Three nanocharges and a detonator for a nanoblaster. Four hits are required for the nanoblaster to be lethal.

Four hits is three hits too many. It doesn't help that the ammunition is really expensive. Contrast that with the sawed off shotgun: one hit is lethal, and ammunition costs $25 from a vendor. We'll be picking up all three of these items, by the way.

There are two people working in the lab here.

Cara Watson posted:

Hovering near Dr. Framp is a young woman who you assume is the doctor's research assistant.

She's very happy to tell us off. Will the good doctor do the same?

Dr. Framp posted:

An old man with a cybernetic head plate looks up from his work and winks at you with his one good eye.

But, I didn't . . .
Don't you know anything about quality control? Do you have any idea what can happen if you inject malfunctioning nanocircuitry into a human body? Believe me, uncontrolled enzyme release would be the least of the problems. The governing AI is exceedingly complex. If it were bug-ridden and went rogue inside a host body it could violently disrupt any part of the body's chemistry. That vial of plasma on the table contains nanomachines that when injected into a person can diagnose and repair any electronic implants or prosthetics the person might have. If those machines were malfunctioning, they might remake a person's organs.

So you're saying I should steal it? Fine.

After a search, three more items are revealed.

Service Nanomachine: A vial of plasma. You read the label and learn that it contains nanomachinery designed to service electronics that have been implanted in the human body, particularly electronics that affect the brain. The plasma must be injected into a body to be effective.

According to Dr. Frank, this could be of use to fix someone with a malfunctioning implant. Barque mentioned that Larisa's psych implants were malfunctioning, so it follows that this is one of the items we need to cure Larisa Mayne's madness. One of the items. We don't have the other two. Braque mentioned that she was suffering from a "mild depressive condition", so we need to find some anti-depressants. The item description of the Service Nanomachines said that it must "be injected ... to be effective", so it sounds like we need to get a syringe. Auntie Personnel only carries the syringe.

Wireless Effector: Circuitry designed for the wireless transmission of information.

This doesn't have any implimented function.

Blood-Producing Nanotech: A vial containing nanomachinery capable of synthesizing human red blood cells.

Bertrand Foucault wanted these.

This is why we need the electronic lockpick.

Good thing the other two in the room don't care.

Location posted:

The air is stale in the cluttered storeroom, but you hardly notice in your rush to search the shelves for technology that might be useful.

There's a Fiber Optic Cable and a Praxis 3000 on the ground.

Fiber Optic Cable posted:

The expensive and carefully guarded cable manufactured by TransTech and used at the Company's discretion in linking approved cimputer systems to the network.

For Kimba West.

Praxis 3000 posted:

This decking unit is a product of cutting-edge cyberspace technology.

Hakim needs this to put broken minds back together.

A search reveals an Azrael Soul Box, which will go right into Stark's decking unit, and a Level Four Cloak, which we'll trade for the WELL address of the new york bank. We just found a shit ton of quest items in two consecutive rooms, and we got them with hardly any trouble. BloodNet tries to be an adventure game, but it doesn't really know how to handle adventure game quests. The Azrael soul box was also a quest item for a shitty trade I'm not doing.

Our next stop is Bill Dougan's office. I'm sure Walter Macalaster won't come up in the conversation at all.

Location posted:

The office is ill-lit and gloomy. The metallic walls and floor and the molded plastic furniture are devoid of softness. You are comfortable in the low light, but shake your head in wonder over how you once worked in a place like this.

And the man and the chair and we should talk to him

Bill Dougan posted:

A middle manager sweats in his cheap suit. His hair is unkempt, his breath is bad, and his nervous facial tic acts up when you converse with him.

If you're Bill Dougan, I think you do have time. Your name is on this lien against St. Patrick's Cathedral. I want this whole matter resolved. Now.

Again, we weren't given any item.

Listen, just calm down, fella. I can't do anything about it. The whole thing is McCalaster's doing. I acted as little more than a clerk on this thing. If I had the power to get rid of the whole matter, I would. Hey, my grandmother was a member of the parish years ago 'til she was afraid TransTech would raise her rent if she kept going. Believe me, buddy, if I had the power McCalaster had, this whole nasty business wouldn't even be taking place. That guy shouldn't be in such a position of power. He's just plain incompetent. Many's the time I've thought of finding a way to ruin that guy.

Perhaps later we can tour the Episcopal parishes of Westchester County.

So you're saying . . . .
I'm saying that if McCalaster were out of the picture and I was in, I could help you.
You want I should knock him off?

Such a hero. Add murderer for hire to Stark's list of faults, including attempted rape.

Oh, God, no! McCalaster is a slithering snake, true. But even he doesn't deserve that. Actually, I had something more cruel in mind. Let me say this: McCalaster would be nothing without his wife who's a TransTech biggie and who bought him his job. Now, McCalaster has had more than his share of flings. If I were to have evidence of his tawdry affairs with one of his harem, I would gladly deliver it to the old lady and crush McCalaster like a bug. Then we could take care of this St. Pat's business.
Any tips on where I can catch him in the act?

We know already. He's at the hellfire club. We were just there.

All I know is I've heard him talk about some exclusive mid-town club he belongs to. He's always bragging about how they would never let someone like me within ten meters of the place, how things go on there that would scare the hell out of me. That's all I can tell you. Hope it's enough to work on.

From talking to Dougan, Walter's office opens up. Only half the W lights up, for some reason.

You're that trash from the club. How dare you show your face in here! Why are you tracking me? Get out!

We can talk to him again...

I warned you. I will not be stalked like a hunted animal. I know your name. TransTech security will find you. You won't get away with this!

Nothing ever comes of this. Strangely, at this point in the game, Walter is, at the same time, always in his office and always in the hotel. A search reveals a lapel pin that we'll take. Occasionally, NPCs will prevent us from searching, but not here.

I wonder if the dialogue with Emily Esaki will be any different now that we've already visited the Hellfire Club.

Location posted:

The office of a TransTech executive is dark, vast, and intimidating. It is clear that the owner of this office does not wish to make visitors feel welcome.

Emily's at her desk.

Ransom Stark.
Ah, yes. I'm Emily Esaki. Monty mentioned your name to me. In fact, we just spoke on the holophone. Said he'd seen you at the Met and given you his Hellfire Club invite. I honestly don't know why I keep giving Monty guest invitations. He just keeps giving them away to strangers. Well, I guess I'll be seeing you at the club. Along with God knows who. For all I know, Monty's been dropping invites out of airplanes. Well, I'll see you at the club. Until then, I must get back to work.

She sticks around the office, but we'll see her at the Hellfire Club if we go there again. If we search the room, there's another lapel pin. We're not going to bother doing that - we only need two. One to get in and one for that guy at the club who wants it.

The last available location is the security office. It turns out that this location is essential, and we only got it by talking to Phracktle K. Oss. If we would have talked to Garrick, with Rymma in our party, before Phracktle K. Oss, he would have been mad and wouldn't have given us the location. Then we would have broke the game.

If we talk to him again...

You got stones, boy, comin' back around here. Dumber than you look. I ran a holo-identity check on your image captured on surveillance during your last little visit, and you know what you register as, boy? Top of the cybercrackdown list. You're a wanted man. And you're gonna be a dead man.

Oh, combat. Let me spare you all of this.

We win with one shot to the torso.

The machine pistol uses .44 rounds. It counts as a jury rig weapon, and I've never gotten it to fire properly. The only other noteworthy item we get is the TransTech Security Cloak. This is needed to get into TTHEAT, not an essence. Even though, in both cases, it will only say that we have incompatible hardware.

The TransTech Security Cloak is listed in the game files as being below the level one cloak. I'm really not sure if it's any better or worse than the level one cloak, because I only use it to get into TTHEAT.

After a search, which we couldn't do before the security director was dead, we find another pile of quest items.

Tackett's Essence: Deirdre Tackett's essence chip, a backup file of her cyberspace identity made by TransTech during her days with the Company.

We need this for a later quest.

Wrath Ray Plans: The design plans for a Wrath Ray gun.

This was offered as a trade reward, but it's not worth using for reasons previously discussed.

There's the Tackett Associate List, which we need to bring to Chuck.

Tackett Associate List posted:

Known associates of former TransTechnicals employee Deirdre Tackett, Ph.D., subversive and cybercriminal: Ludwig Sampson, Ph.D., former TransTech colleague; Ransom Stark, victim of Tackett's neural experimentation, may be mind-controlled and dangerous. Tackett has taken in five orphans, harmless, with the exception of the eldest girl--skilled programmer, may have observed Tackett's code.

Next is a Cybercrackdown List

Cybercrackdown List posted:

10 Most Wanted for Cybercrimes against TransTechnicals: Deirdre Tackett, Hakim Maghsoudi, Garrick Fizz, Ransom Stark, Lenora Major, Sis Konfigg, Lazlo Greene, Charley Flyer, the cyberidentities "Zeus" and "Elvis".

We've heard of all these people except for Lazlo Greene, who's location we've now unlocked by reading this list. It doesn't make sense. If TransTech knew where he lived, why wouldn't they just go and get him?

The last item is a Dragon Soul Box. We need this to get Phree Taught's sleeping gas.

We might as well pay Lazlo Green a visit, while we've got him on the mind.

Location posted:

The smell of dirty laundry and rotting food overwhelms you. The windows are sealed shut. The only well-maintained object in the room is a top-of-the-line computer system.

Lazlo yells at us as soon as we enter.

Relax. I'm not the heat. If I was TransTech, I wouldn't have let you live this long, would I? Besides, if you're who I think you are, I'm on your side. In fact, we got something in common: first class rankings on TransTech's cybercrackdown hit list. You're a wanted man, friend.
I knew it. I knew they were after me. That's why I never let anyone in here. No one. Not the sushi delivery man. Not census takers. No one. But they've been tracking my every move, haven't they? I knew it.
Tracking every move? Sounds like you never leave this place.
And with good reason. Do you know what awaits us out there? The filth? The poison? I've done everything I can to protect myself in my apartment. But now your mere presence here is contaminating me. You've brought the radiation in on your clothes. I can feel it wreaking havoc on my nervous system.

He's like Howard Hughes mixed with (a more rational) Alex Jones. I guess I spoke too soon when I said Daryl was the closest we get.

Hey, if you want, I can leave.
We can talk only if I can be assured of my safety. See, every minute I spend talking to you is another minute spent absorbing the radiation you brought in from the Big Room. I see that you have an Insul Suit with you. I've been trying to get my hands on one of those. Don't have the kind of money for one. Looks like a real beauty, too. Would you be willing to part with it?

Remember, we got it from Lash Givens.


Take Object posted:

Lazlo Greene takes the Insul Suit.

Now we can talk. You look like the type who can understand the scope of this thing. See, few in this city ever realize what they are--drones who spend their days laboring for TransTech and spend their nights on the quest for more of the consumer goodies TransTech spits out in our faces, spending the money they've earned sweating for TransTech. Don't you see? We are all enslaved to the Corp. Bound to the silicon microchips we all work to create. If we cut ourselves on the circuitry, we bleed, but we bleed the toxic blood of the diseased half-human who chokes on the polluted food TransTech shoves down our throats and on the filthy air they belch in our faces. All to keep our bodies sickly and our minds slow. Right now, my only means of spreading the word of truth is through my interactions with others in the net, in my cyberspace messages of truth that hang over Manhattan like the great zeppelins of old spreading the empty promises of advertising lies. For years, I've been spreading the message of TransTech's plans for conspiracy, but now I have proof.
Well, what is it?
When some poor wretch's identity has been dispersed in cyberspace, bits and pieces of that consciousness remain in the net, namely the decker's distinguishing characteristics and skills. I think TransTech's managed to go so far as to devise a way to exploit the cyberdead. They've found a way to attach these pieces to intact consciousnesses.
Man, to be able to do that. . . . Imagine how you could enhance your own mind.
And body. And imagine how TransTech is going to clean up these remnants of deckers past and use them to conquer the masses. Ever think of that? Of TransTech building a race of superhumans with the intelligence and memory to gather and retain huge amounts of data, and with the strength to take it from others by force? It's only a matter of time before the Corp starts killing deckers at will in the net for their skills. Now, some are saying that TransTech is manufacturing these pieces, but I don't believe it. I think they're being stolen from deckers that don't make it. This could be the end of information freedom as we know it. Now, I've managed to hack my way into TransTech's Notional Labs. I've discovered records there of what they're calling the Morph Spawner program, the program that permits the absorption of the skills of the cyberlost. It must be destroyed. I need you to go in and get it.

If we do find Morph Codes at Notional Lab's cluster, MOZART, this will let us use them.

Why don't you just deck in and get it yourself?
My God, I would never hook my brain up to the system like that. Do you realize that your mind is at the mercy of TransTech every time you put yourself through that virtual strip search? Mind you, I've hacked into more places than you'll ever know, but I refuse to deck. You want to risk it, I won't talk you out of it, because I need you to go in. I've got the code to the part of Notional Labs' cyberspace that has it--BLACKWOOD. If you value your safety in the net, you'll get it.

From talking to Lazlo, we now have access to the Notional Labs office at TransTech. I don't know why. He didn't tell us any more information about where it was in TransTech HQ that Timmy Goldfarb or Larry Owen did.

Like we should really even waste our time with a guy who's afraid to deck into the net.

A search reveals a gas mask. This is a quest item. We could have bought one earlier, but this one is free. Anyway, there's cyberspace access in Lazlo's place, so it's time to visit some of these WELLs we haven't seen so far.


Sure they are.

This is after a search. Most of these are just non-essential text files.

Jason Von Senden's Records posted:

You read security's file on Jason Von Senden. Important excerpts: "Personality schema dotted with disorders including intense flashes of paranoia . . . mood swings frequent . . . given to wildly violent harangues during which syntax reveals textured mosaic of neurotic impulses." "Is phenomenally gifted programmer, but instabilities made him deletable when task group was dissolved."

We met Jason at Central Park. He said he'd have some information after we give Kibma that cable.

Tackett's Security Records posted:

With great interest you read Security's file on Deirdre Tackett. Important--and surprising--excerpts: "Since her association with the Company ended in 2084, Tackett has joined the underground . . . using her genius to evade discovery by the Company. "Tackett's value to the Company is without question. A major design influence on cyberspace core architecture . . . research on extending human interaction with cyberspace yielding promising results at time of disassociation with company." "One of a handful of people who could possibly have played a role in development of the Incubus program, should Incubus in fact exist." "Tops Star Chamber's rogue techs list." "Apprehension guidelines: bodily harm approved if necessary, but brain tissue and fundamental essence matrices must be preserved for cyberspace dissection."

Incubus. What could it be?

Stark's Security Records posted:

With great interest you read Security's file on you. Excerpts: "Executive Star Chamber identifies Stark's continued existence as dangerous to the Company's power and profits. Formerly a cyberspace sentry for the Company." "Onset of Hopkins-Brie Ontology Syndrome necessitated termination." "Condition apparently controlled with aid of neural implant." "Implant almost certainly obtained from Deirdre Tackett." "Disappeared into warrens for several years. Recently reemerged as a rogue operative. Armed and dangerous. Probable possession of cyberspace deck. To be taken alive if possible, dead if necessary."

Armed and dangerous.

Braque Picaro's Records posted:

You read Security's file on Braque Picaro. Excerpts: "Subject is ninety-four years old, but maintains the energy of a man forty years younger through the intercession of designer narcotics and implant technology." "Reputed to have made fortune as a software fence and arms dealer . . . a willingness to trade in any illegal commodities". . . "Convicted in 2065 for computer bank robbery. Served four years in prison." "Currently travels the globe as a gambler in the company of two young people, Larisa Mayne and Griff Spater."

Bank robbery? Maybe that's something he can help us with if we credit Braque with curing Larisa.

Kimba West's Records posted:

You read Security's file on Kimba West. Important excerpts: "Deleted from the Company's Domicile subsidiary when development of Prometheus chip made her design group expendable." "Psych profile indicates moderate will and malleable emotive schema. Despite participation in Company training seminars, she has turned disgrunt . . . . Currently agits in Great Lawn camps." "To be under close surveillance."

What is this prometheus chip? I swear it doesn't ever get resolved.

There's also a Data Cage Key. It's the only item we'll bother to take with us, since it's required for a quest and the only one of its kind. That's all that's in this cluster.

There's another piece of Charley Flyer's mind in here. C.Flyer.persnlity Searching the area reveals the Rimbus Database.

Rimbus Database posted:

An enormous database of Rimbus Pharmaceuticals' extensive product line.


This is the well that requires a specific TransTech essence. Now we're going to go back to TransTech and check in on Notional Lab's office.

This is what one of those TransTech security ambushes looks like. This time it's a little different, though.

A security guard and a security drone (whatever that is) immediately retreat from combat. Does anyone find it weird that the TransTech guard uses the same portrait as the Hellfire club's guard? If the writers weren't so bad, I would have said it had to do with that same private security company having a monopoly in the "free" market Rothbard loves so much.

This is a little weird. There's one security drone to fight, but it's invisible.

It's somewhere around where the cursor is.


Uh, yeah, sure. We're from security. Don't mind that fight we had with the security guards a second ago. Even if we say no, there's no apparent change in the outcome. The dialogue is different, but it doesn't matter anyway.

Great. Listen, I know you've been having trouble with your system today, but when you can, I'm going to need a little information on some angels who have been presenting real problems lately. Track down these names--Major, Fizz, Stark--and keep checking on that Tackett thing. I have to redesign ICE almost daily because of these guys.
Can you tell what they're after?
Whatever they can get their hands on. I don't know what these people think. Some information is just not for everyone's eyes. I was on the original team that designed the matrix, and now all our work is being sabotaged. We built the net for the Company, for maximum efficiency in regulating the vast amount of data TransTech has to control. The Company's a miracle of modern technology, and it's all because of our vision. Anyway, please bring me those files. If I know the state of their systems and the general location they're modeming from, there's a chance I can prevent them from uploading into the net and doing more damage to my work.

Sure, we'll be right on that. What does the other person have to say?

Noelle Conway posted:

A woman sits at her desk. She manipulates a cyberspace deck and is apparently interfaced with the network.

You can see me?
You're a little pixelated, but I can make you out. Who are you? Are you with Labs?
Uh, yeah. I'm new. How can you . . .
How can I see you and still be in cyberspace? My deck has a perspectival filter as one of its modalities. It records my surroundings and creates a virtual replication in cyberspace. It can also archive up to fifteen cyberspace areas so that I can perceive up to a dozen locations at once or view the same virtually rendered object from a potentially infinite number of perspectives.
Yowza. I'd be careful with that. Sounds like it could mess with the brain's reality processors. The Company will use you until they ruin you. Believe me, aren't many thinks worse than Hopkins-Brie Syndrome.
Thanks for the concern, but I know what I'm do--hold it. Right . . . just a little . . . more. There we are. Sorry, I'm texture mapping the interior architecture for some new c-space structures while we talk. I'm also sending c-mail to my mother in Colorado. Uh, oh, looks like the files I ordered from Pragmatics are coming up. I need to free another four perspectives. If you don't mind, I need to concentrate.

Anyway, in the room there's a 32 TB Memory Chip, which will go into Stark's deck, and a second Level Four Cloak, which will also go into Stark's deck.

We need to search the location for more items, but Noelle won't let us. She's not around at night, so rather than murder them and take a big humanity loss (which I'm sure Stark would love to do), we'll come back later.

Wow, that was a hell of an update. That took a while to write, so forgive me for the wait.
Main Quests
Chuck (Electric Anarchy) wants us to get the TransTech list of Deirdre's associates
Mother Mary (Cathedral) wants us to Investigate Bill Dougan
Kill Abraham Van Helsing
Visit the Red Crosse Knights (175th Street)

Side Quests
Collect the other two pieces of Charley Flyer's mind
Penn Martinez (Houston Rovers) will help us with complex computer code
Hakim (Houston Rovers) needs a Praxis 3000
Coover Tristan (Kafka Conspiracy) wants us to non-violently steal a multi-channel transmitter from the Icon Robbers and bring it to him
Cyril Thorpe (Cafe Voltaire) wants us to put something he calls "the possession" next to his physical form
Zeus wants to throw down at NYU
Kimba West (Central Park) wants a Fiber Optic Cable
Larisa Mayne (Plaza Hotel) needs a cure for her madness
Bertrand Foucault (Plaza Hotel) wants a blood-synthesizing nanotech
Find out what's up with the two pieces of the amulet we are in possession of

Tit for Tat
Phree Taught (Electric Anarchy) will trade sleeping gas for a dragon soulbox
Phracktle K. Oss (Electric Anarchy) will pay us $10,000 to kill the TransTech security director
Sis Konfigg (Doom Pilots) will trade a Level Four Cloak for the well address of the New York Bank
Wyche Gibbons (Museum of Modern Art) will trade $4000 for the book, Mystics of Catal Huyuk, from the New York Public Library

HOPE is Deirdre Tackett's personal WELL Held Tackett's journal
NOUN is Greenberger Phonomes (what's that?) WELL Held the Babel Code and a piece of Charley Flyer's mind
MEDIUM is Cyril Thorpe's personal WELL
TTHEAT supposedly holds TransTech records on "half the people in the city." We need a specific essence to get in
ZARATHUSTRA is Ludwig Sampson's personal WELL Held Sampson's text file
MAJOR is Lenora Major's personal WELL Lenora created a TransTech security imprint for us
MOZART is Notional Lab's WELL. It supposedly holds morph codes

New Locations Gained
New York Public Library (in Times Square)

PurpleXVI posted:

In a callback to pages and discussions past, it turns out that Wondermark is as dismissive of post-modernism as I am.

And a lot funnier about it, too.

I feel like you're opening a can of worms with that image, but it is pretty funny.

Main Quests
Bring Chuck (Electric Anarchy) the TransTech list of Deirdre's associates
Incriminate Walter McCalaster for Bill Dougan, in order to help Mother Mary
Kill Abraham Van Helsing
Visit the Red Crosse Knights (175th Street)

Side Quests
Collect the other one piece of Charley Flyer's mind
Penn Martinez (Houston Rovers) will help us with complex computer code
Bring Hakim (Houston Rovers) the Praxis 3000
Coover Tristan (Kafka Conspiracy) wants us to non-violently steal a multi-channel transmitter from the Icon Robbers and bring it to him
Cyril Thorpe (Cafe Voltaire) wants us to put something he calls "the possession" next to his physical form
Zeus wants to throw down at NYU
Bring Kimba West (Central Park) the Fiber Optic Cable
Find more shit for Larisa Mayne (Plaza Hotel) to cure her madness
Bring Bertrand Foucault (Plaza Hotel) the blood-synthesizing nanotech
Find out what's up with the two pieces of the amulet we are in possession of
Bring Shock Maraud the Rimbus Database
Meet Emily Esaki at the Hellfire Club
Lazlo (Lazlo Green) wants to destroy the Morph Spawner from the BLACKWOOD WELL

Tit for Tat
Phree Taught (Electric Anarchy) will trade sleeping gas for a dragon soulbox
Collect $10,000 from Phracktle K. Oss (Electric Anarchy)
Sis Konfigg (Doom Pilots) will trade a Level Four Cloak for the well address of the New York Bank
Wyche Gibbons (Museum of Modern Art) will trade $4000 for the book, Mystics of Catal Huyuk, from the New York Public Library

HOPE is Deirdre Tackett's personal WELL Held Tackett's journal
NOUN is Greenberger Phonomes (what's that?) WELL Held the Babel Code and a piece of Charley Flyer's mind
MEDIUM is Cyril Thorpe's personal WELL
TTHEAT supposedly holds TransTech records on "half the people in the city." Contained security files and a Security Cage Key
ZARATHUSTRA is Ludwig Sampson's personal WELL Held Sampson's text file
MAJOR is Lenora Major's personal WELL Lenora created a TransTech security imprint for us
MOZART is Notional Lab's WELL. It supposedly holds morph codes
ANTIBODY is Rimbus Pharmaceutical's WELL. Contained a piece of C. Flyer's mind and the Rimbus Database
BLACKWOOD supposedly contains a Morph Spawner. We need a specific essence to get in

New Locations Gained
Sid & Nancys (W. 125th Street)
Walter McCalaster's Office (In TransTechnicals)
Lazlo Green (Times Square)
Notional Labs (In TransTech)