Lost in the Sauce
|Lost in the Sauce|
In which Cricket journies into the heart of darkness, confronts her inner demons, and achieves a victory over the Dissonance.
Cricket has been struggling with the Taint of Dissonance she picked up recently after dabbling a bit too much with forbidden techno-magic, and is finding it difficult to survive without calling on it's power, particularly the aid of an extremely strong but temperamental F12 fault sprite made up of digital void wasps which she refers to as 'V01D'. At the same time, a fellow bug-themed techno named Chitin who's further down the Dissonance well has taken a keen interest in her. This can only lead to good things.
Cricket is at the Iceberg Hotel, recuperating after a bad encounter on the Matrix during which she became Scorched. While resting, she hears a buzzing sound and realizes it's on the Matrix, managing to spot out a wasp-like sprite which is lurking nearby; upon noticing it, the sprite buzzes over and delivers a file to Cricket before de-rezzing. Wary but curious, she examines the file and notices a familiar signature on it - the file itself is seemingly gibberish, but begins to make more sense to her the more she looks at it...
Knowing the message came from Chitin, Cricket fears she might be walking into a trap, but feels drawn to the power that the Dissonance holds. After a conversation with Barracuda, she goes to Zenny to get hooked up to some medical equipment and drops into VR, casting her living persona out onto the Emerald City Grid before switching to the public Redmond grid and seeking out an old host where she knows Chitin and her crew have a hidden hideout. Using her access, she slips into the Foundation without issue, finding a swirling Dissonance pool inside the well there. Steeling her mind, she dives into it.
On the other side of the Dissonance pool is the realm of Human Malice, which at first appears to be simply a dense fog of black code that enshrouds Cricket entirely. Wandering through, she eventually realizes she's in a recreation of the Iceberg Hotel, and soon comes across one of the denizens of this place in the form of a shadowy simulacrum of Barracuda. The gang leader acts much harsher than his usual self, berating Cricket for her perceived faults and telling her she's useless and needs to pull her weight; Cricket angrily counters that she's given more to the gang than anyone, earning herself a punch from Shadow Barracuda which she swiftly returns, poofing him from existence with a rage-fueled data spike.
Continuing on up the floors of the hotel towards the roof, Cricket next encounters a shadow simulacrum of Zenith. The runner berates Cricket as a kid who's in over her head and who isn't ready for the big leagues of shadowrunning, and this time she doesn't hesitate before lashing out, spiking the doppleganger into the dirt. She keeps ascending, next encountering Millipede, her old roommate and best friend from Redmond who she hasn't spoken to in a while. Millipede bitterly accuses Cricket of selling out the Neo-A cause that they used to fight for, and Cricket has little to say in response except that she needs to do what she's done in order to survive and continue to fight the good fight - she doesn't have it in her to spike her friend, bitterly telling them to leave her alone, and the shade acquiesces.
Finally reaching the roof, Cricket encounters Chitin, standing amidst a swirling swarm of void wasps. Chitin gives Cricket a speech on the Dissonance, encouraging her to draw upon her darker emotions for power and help remake the Matrix into what it was always supposed to be. Cricket finds herself tempted, however after everything she's seen she isn't ready to believe that the Dissonance is the answer to her problems - she tells Chitin that she doesn't need it, and the angry swarm of void wasps starts to close in on them. In response, Cricket compiles up a new sprite, a F12 swarm of deathspiral butterflies called Sp1ral, to do battle with V01D while she clashes with Chitin. The two nearly kill eachother as the titanic sprites fight it out, until a rift in the sky appears and begins to pull Cricket into it, leaving Chitin behind in the Dissoannce realms as Sp1ral covers her retreat.
Finding herself in an ocean of code carried along by Faulty, a sprite she has encountered before, towards the shores of New Haven. There she wanders about, seeing the society of sprites there and learning the tale of their war against the Dissonance; her wandering takes her to the edge of a deep canyon, where she finds an avatar of Black Hat standing by a bridge conversing with a powerful sprite guarding it. Cricket and Black Hat have a chat about her ideals, and the paragon encourages her to continue to fight the good fight.
Emerging from the Resonance Realms with newfound purpose, Cricket goes to find Barracuda and gives him a hug, apologizing for being so out of it recently, before going to give Millipede a call and begin to reconnect.
- SG4 discount
- 8 karma
- 12 CDP
- Optional Contact: Chitin (C4/L2 Dissonant Techno) for 5 RVP or 10 CDP
- Optional Contact: Faulty (C4/L2 Free Sprite) for 5 RVP or 10 CDP
- May buy off Taint of Dissonance @ chargen price (5 karma)