The Sound of Silence
|The Sound of Silence
Techno Script Kiddies
|Casualties and losses
In which the runners play babysitter for a young technomancer while he attempts to submerge in order to get some peace and quiet.
A resonance veil has appeared on the Emerald City Grid in Auburn, drawing in technomancer pilgrims from all around to experience the rare phenomenon. One of them is a young man named Michael cursed with the Faraday Himself quality, who is hoping to use the veil to help himself submerge and acquire the Quiet echo. Unfortunately many of the other emerged folk on the grid take issue with his presence and the constant, irritating static he creates messing with their weird internet magic, so he’s forced to reach out to his mentor M4rqu15 M4cr0 for help – the fixer contacts Flyboy to take care of things and provide protection detail, who subsequently hires Sc4rl3tt as his matrix backup for the gig.
Michael asks the runners to meet him at the Clone Zone Mall in Auburn at their earliest convenience; Flyboy picks Sc4rl3tt up in Bellevue and the two head there in her Charger, and upon arrival they’re greeted by the nervous young man (as well as a doubling of the local noise rating, causing some issues with the team’s electronics as they reconfigure things). He says they should probably get going right away and asks if they have a PAN that he can join; Sc4rl3tt boots up her brain to slave everything to it, and moments later detects an incoming data spike which her firewall bounces back. Concerned, they ask him to fill them in on the particulars of the job (which he does, see above), telling them that there are people who take issue with his presence on the grid around such a rare and unstable thing as a resonance veil, which is why he needs the protection (especially when he attempts to submerge, leaving his physical body vulnerable to attacks in meatspace).
Not a whole lot, other than drive around looking for a matrix phenomenon that 1/3 of the party can’t perceive. Flyboy is mostly relegated to taking directions from his technomancer backup, who perceive the AROs around them as subtly adopting patterns as everything comes into sympathetic resonance; they proceed to follow these patterns around Auburn and find spots where the concentration of power is strongest so that their new pal can take a deep dive into the resonance realms.
Getting onto the highway, Flyboy’s persona comes under attack as they drive deeper into Auburn – he puts up a valiant defense, but ends up dumped from his vehicle suddenly and without explanation. Turning the vehicle wireless-off and jacking in directly, he manages to resume control without crashing before the vehicle can be remotely controlled. He also manages to spot the cookie file placed on his RCC and remove it. Sc4rl3tt studies the resonance signature left behind and starts getting some bad vibes from the subtle wrongness of it, and a matrix threats roll confirms that they’re dealing with Dissonance.
Learning that, Flyboy calls up his Ares Roadmaster and has it come to their position, keeping a close eye on the icon while his RCC stays slaved to Sc4rl3tt’s brain to benefit from its firewall; there are a few unsuccessful attempts to hack it, but they don’t manage to trace them to the source. Continuing to follow the resonance veil, they find it a sweet spot near a monorail station where Michael drops into VR. Sc4rl3tt quietly castigates Flyboy for getting her into this while he drives around the block, both keeping an eye out for signs of trouble. By this point everyone is in VR and on the Emerald City Grid.
A surprise ambush is launched at Flyboy, who is swallowed up by a sudden Electron Storm. Sc4rl3tt spots the fault sprite responsible, data spiking it into oblivion before managing to locate the silent running icon responsible for it. Unfortunately they are in a crowded monorail train, so rather than continuing hostilities and potentially endangering innocent bystanders while combatting the unstable dissonant they elect to take the stealthy approach and follow them to their destination (Sc4rl3tt manages to run silent well enough that they aren’t spotted on the grid, while Flyboy’s driving is subtle enough that they aren’t noticed in the meat).
After a little while the train comes to the end of the line, discharging its occupants just as Flyboy’s Roadmaster arrives with the munitions (untraced and unhacked, thanks to the removal of the cookie and a strong infusion of sleaze). About at this point Sc4rl3tt notices the incipient corruption of the resonance veil as the dissonant uses the Contaminate echo on it, changing the AROs around them into glitch-y, kludged together aberrations, and decides that it’s time to stop fragging around.
The dissonant remains on the train, having commandeered it, locking themselves in the conductor’s compartment’s rigger cocoon while in VR for protection, leaving the train station nearly empty. Their new sprite finally manages to spot the pair of runner’s icons and launches its attack while they start slinging spikes around. Both Flyboy and Sc4rl3tt resist the first wave of attacks, but they follow up with a L7 dissonance spike that just manages to get through the latter’s firewall, leading to a brief but nightmarish hallucination as she’s hit with dissonance-laced biofeedback.
Sc4rl3tt follows this up with a powerful data spike while Flyboy flies a rotodrone up to the train and unloads on it with ADPS fire. The combination is too much even for a techno with a pain editor, and they manage to overwhelm their foe, killing them and forcing their sprite back to whatever dissonance realm it came from. With the station’s alarms blazing, they decide to beat a quick retreat.
Escaping the scene of the crime, the team heads out into the surrounding D-zone to find another sweet spot with the veil as the dissonance washes away and the phenomenon returns to relative stability. After a few more hours, Michael wakes up from successfully passing through the Great Firewall – the noise coming off of him has also stopped, since he’s picked up the Quiet echo. Breathing a sigh of relief, he offers his sincere thanks to the runners for their help, along with the small amount of cash he has to give. Sc4rl3tt recomposes herself after her brush with insanity (managing to make her edge check to avoid picking up a Taint of Dissonance for herself) and offers some words of encouragement to the young man, telling him about 01 and saying that he doesn’t have to take the journey on his own. Flyboy concurs, noticing that a bit of the resonance seems to have rubbed off on him from the experience.
Silence is Golden quality at chargen price
Reverberant quality (free)
M4rqu15 M4cr0 as a 4/1 contact
Seeing the Truth of the Dissonance
Sc4rl3tt: Make it 300, just to be safe.
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
Hmm, I need to have words the the M4rqu15 about proper running fees, that was entirely not worth the headache I put Sc4r through. Still, glad I had her with me, the dissonant freak woulda fragged me 5 ways to Friday if it weren't for her. Still, not all bad. Think some of the well rubbed off on me, everything feels....quieter all of a sudden, except for the number of sprites. There's definitely more sprites around now.... Ohwell, sure it's fine.