The Den Games Network Forum RPG
Page 12

Game Masters:
virtualoctopus, CKW, Wesforce, Nyerguds


"Relax, Overmind... And try to think damn straight!"
The gobbo said to himself.
An ICE-esque thing had took hold of transys and begun to enslave people at his desire.
He would have been enslaved if it werenīt by his blabber mouth.
But now, they knew about Vega.
Overmind had lost his weapons... and his own deck. He had not even a laptop. His utility by now was only to be a mr-fix-it-all midget McGyver.
But he had wired the shift-a-vator.
"Wow... At least, i have a quick transport under control."
He sighed with relief. But. What was he going to do? Escape... or fight.
If he escaped, he would leave Vega at her mercy... And if he fought, he would have no weapons.
In a situation like this, he wished that Jade were alive, or at least, that her second-in-command, Wolf, were there.
He stared at his right pocket.
At least he had the vidphone.
He knew it was risky... but hell, they would had already located the misworking shif-a-vator... and possibly him.
He phoned Vega, hoping that the communication jamming would not be an impediment...


There was still hope. Even if she knew she was gonna be squid food. Veronica saw the burst transmission, blurried with interferences.
And saw him, Overmind, the Black Ace.
At least, she was not gonna die alone...
"Vega... I apologize. I had to lie about my actual position. Look. I got captured. But I managed to escape... at the cost of my deck."
She gasped... without deck, Overmind was a mery goblin grandpa.
"But I discarded what is going on."
She gasped. She was not caring about her current situation.
"The VOES, it has got will on its own. And it is rearraging this place. It is the one who is behind this whole mess."
Vega stared... hopelessly. First... her dignity had been destroyed... and now, a crazy IA was running the place.
Too much. She was going to fall down.
Overmind cutted off.
"Vega!? What happened!?"
He looked worried. She, barely containing the urge to cry told him.
His face went really sad.
"I see... Well, there is nothing much i can do now... but as soon as i got some equip, i will do a big noise just for u!"
He winked.
Vega quickly snapped out of the shock.
"Overmind, look. There is an experimental weaponry lab in floor 237... and in the nearby, experimental computers. You can snatch some interesting stuff there. But unless you got somehow the permission, the shift wonīt take you there. And, if you want a deck, there is a factory of decking pieces in floor 26. And experimental software in floor 127."
Overmind smiled.
"Thanks for the info. And about the shift... there is no problem with it. I have managed to re-wire one. What I most fear is that the security must be tight there."
Vega thanked the heavens for that. At least Overmind could move and do something. It worthed the try.
"Call me again if you need info of Transys."
She winked, and cutted the connection, fading back to reality.


She stared at the robogoth ganger.
"No thanks, madam. I think i still have ideals. But I will cooperate with you... if that is gonna take us out."
The water looked deep and dangerous.
"Looks like... if we want to reach some other place... we will need to cross all of that...pool"
The ganger tipped her.
"You scared of getting choked? Donīt worry... I know CPR"
The ganger licked her lips.
"No... It seems that they were breeding krakens in aquaculture..."
"Krakens, gigantic squids. Never seen them before... But I am pretty sure these shadows down there are Krakens."
The robogothgirl showed her ego, once again.
"Bah... I like fried squids."
Emmie stared at her.
"Donīt be so sure you can win against those things. Smaller ones can choke a horse, and bigger ones... a whale."
Whale... that was frigging big... and strong. Belinda gasped.
"As if it werenīt enough... "
Emmie gasped again. And started to chant.
The light of the astral sword lighted up the surroundings.


It was half an hour later. Tank could feel something. A dull pain. Obviously the anasthetics and sedatives were wearing off. He was still blind, however.

He could feel the cold touch of something metallic against his skin. Obviously he was being operated on. Maybe by something like whatever had given those guards the blue cybereyes.

Tank tried to move, lash out, and get free before he became one of those mindless slaves. He couldn't.

The shackles and sedatives still held him down. He would have to wait.

He couldn't even see what was being done to him.

The operation continued.


Mary watched as Chance's picture appeared, and fizzed out.

Damn. Interferance. This isn't going to work.

Jessica and Barkah looked on expectantly.

"Ok. I don't know what we do next. Any ideas?"


A Blackwatch man grabbed Vega's wrist - The one with the Wristphone on it, and yanked it up, hard.

"No talking." The Blue eye said, loud in the confines of the crowded shift, filled with the civilians from the bar. He pushed Vega back with a rought hand to the chest, snapping the wristphone off with a twang of snapping Nylon.


The concussive roar of the double detonation turned every head in the room.

The Blue-eye reacted with chipped speed, twisting his torso sideways simultaenously bringing an arm up to knock the gun aside. It almost got there.

Instead the arm received the entirety of the double-blast. KevlarIII-weave jacket sleeve, bone and flesh blasted in all directions as the arm was shredded, pellets blasting through the non-arm and clipping the man's head, scalping the top and side of his head, flinging his beret against the wall.

He roared - The wounds he'd received seemed only to make him mad. With his one good arm, he drove the IWS Rifle he'd been carrying back into Deadeye's chest, barrel-first. It caught him a nasty blow, jabbing painfully between the ribs - The guard was Strong.

Horrifically, the gun stayed there, stuck into Deadeye's chest. He fell back, as the guard examined his arm - Just a bony stump rising from his elbow, now...

Without thinking, Deadeye ripped the Rifle from his chest in a gout of blood. It wasn't a serious wound - No bones were broken. The thin muzzle of the gun had just broken the surface of his skin.

He flipped the gun over in his hand. Smartgun circuitry in the handle interfaced with the receivers in his hands. His vison switched immediately from the grainy black and white of his cheap eyes to the colour, hi-res of the guns camera - Giving him an excellent view as the thing jumped in his hands, a five-round burst perforated the man's front from groin to neck, ripping through his Armour Jacket at point-blank range.

The Dead Blackwatch slumped, still looking at his hand. The Blue eyes faded to black.

Deadeye examined the top-range rifle - Top-mount transparent magazine - 70-round capacity, 65 left - Caseless explosive-fragmentation rounds.

There was an under-barrel grenade launcher - Bullet-trap grenades, looked to be non-lethal, like Riot-Foam canister grenades.

A voice behind him, murmuring from the civilians. Could this man really lead them to safety?

Their reaction was unspectacular. No-one moved. They all stared at him, silently. You could have heard a chip drop in that room...


Overmind's Shift finally stopped.

"Enterinzzkzkk Shopping Levzzzzzzz 2. Have a nicek dayzzzz" Uttered the butchered control panel.

He stepped out into the darkened, desolate mall.

Water swirled around his sneaker-clad feet - Cold. It stank of organic matter and Ammonia, like fish had living in it.

The door began to swoosh shut behind him. Thinking quickly, he flicked a screwdriver from his pocket, and jammed it at the base of the door. The door's proximity sensor were unable to close with the door obstructed.

Overmind smiled at his quick thinking.

Peering into the darkness, over the water-covered floor just he could see a large group of people who had just clambered out of a shift-shaft in the opposite wall, like the shift he had just left, in the corner under Tower two.

There was a woman in a long black et gown, holding a fulsome woman a bit too closely than might be expected of a casual aquaintance. Said woman appeared to have some kind of glowing sword stretching from her arm...

Behind them were a motley group of around fifteen people. They seemed to mostly be gangers of some sort...


Jessica picked up her duffel bag, which she had dropped when the crazed woman had inspected her. Her assault rifle was still there, it was also still without ammunition. She needed to find some 7.62mm ammo if she was going to be combat effective. She looked around the room, nothing. There had to be some way to get out of here, back to the outside world! Jessica wondered if the runners who had gone into the vent were still alive, and whether they knew that Mary was up here, if they came for their friend Mary then Jessica would be saved too. They seemed like nice enough people.....


The green-eyed technician - Wearing simple beige overalls and a beret with the Transys Neuronet Logo, looked nervously left and right.

People with guns stood left and right. Metahumans, magic-users, Shadowrunners. For the man who'd grown up with corporate presence controlling his life - He worked, but he worked hard - It felt like the gates of hell themselves had opened.

For frag's sake, the animals had just BLOWN SOMEONE TO PIECES!.

He was expecting to die in the next few seconds. He didn't buy into that 'Death before dishonour' crap from the simflicks. But he knew whatever he saw, whatever he heard, whatever he did and practically whatever he thought would be heard by his boss upstairs.

Tell them what they want to know.

The man blinked, as if given a reprieve from a death sentence. In a way, he had been.

"Okay." He sighed, then he started speaking extremely quickly, hurriedly.

"The shifts are all voice-activated. You go in, say where you want to go. If your voice is logged as authorised for the floor you want, you go there. But tell me one thing - Who are you, and what are you going to do wth me?"

"What the frag is going on here?" Crystal asked the more bemused than scared man, ignoring his question for now.

He regarded her coldly.

"Not that I should bother telling you. I can see you wouldn't understand if I explained to you." He told her. Sitting on the floor, cross legged, he looked at everyone in turn - Crystal, Raven, Chance, Ash, Alanya, Wirecat...

"This is the start of something this world has never seen. A miracle, you might call it. The birth of a new life, one never before seen on this world."

"Funny." Chance said. "All I see is a Mall full of dead people and killing machines."

The Technician Green eye shook his head.

"Not just a mall. The whole building. Yes, there has been death. But the ends justfiy the means. We desire peace. We desire brotherhood."

"Peace and Brotherhood meaning what exactly? Cybereyes for all?" Crystal muttered, bored.

"Ignorant fool. You have no idea what has been done to me. What I can feel now, what I can see..."

He looked up again, and the tears in his eyes sparkled in a flicker of a far off fire light.

"Its beautiful..."

Crystal felt something akin to a religious conviction in his voice, not that that meant much to her. She just looked at the man and saw a Key, and wondered what floors he was authorised for...


"You know," Red said to Silvia, "you seem awfully nice to us for someone that's just been shot."
Silvia smiled. "Yeah... I know. I'm a bit... antiparanoid or something. I dunno... it's just who I am. Not naieve, mind you. I'm just a quite calm person unless someone really pisses me off."
She paused for a few seconds, thinking about what she just said.
"I think it's got something to do with my dragon half... most dragons are like that."

Red frowned. "I'd be pretty pissed off if someone shot me."

Silvia shook her shoulders, and walked towards Damocles.
"So... you have any idea where we have to go to find Polt? We've been wandering around here long enough I think. I'm pretty sure we won't find him here in Hydroponics."
"The stairs Brandon talked about are right over there." Damocles answered.
"Oh. So, do we go up, or down?"


Chance motioned the others to gather close so that they could discuss plans without the wierdo green-eye hearing what he was saying.

"Well," said Chance "Miracle or not, this party is long past its bedtime and we're going to need our hardware to properly crash this one. Now, I doubt whether we'll be able to find the van without getting lost, so I'll do an astral walk to seek out the vehicle."

"But that thing's inanimate, Chance. How are you going to find it?" Ash asked.

"It should show up well enough... We've had enough adventures in Raven's van to leave behind some spiritual essence in it. After I get its position, that should make it a lot easier for me to guide everyone.
There's a problem though... This man's valuable... We'll have to use him to get the shiftavators working. But then, I don't want to bring him swimming with us... Too many ways to lose him down there. Anyone wants to stay here and guard him? I will need to go with the swimming group later when I have located the van's position, and if possible, I'll like to have Ash along for company."

"Now, you guys go make up your minds. I'll be having a little head-trip over there..."


Five minutes later, Chance's eyes popped open and he sat up unsteadily. He turned to the others.

"I've found the van... But there's something else you have to know. There's someone or something down there, I can't tell where exactly though, that just doesn't seem right..."


Eva looked worried. "A miracle. Something that the world has never seen before."
So close the meaning... She could feel that there was something BIG there. Having being nurtured as an artificial being made her felt empathic with those words. SHe could be described that way.
She grabbed the cyber-zealot. And shouted. She looked way too worried... and upset. But there was no peek of insanity in her aggresivity, in fact, the aggresivity was letting know she was suspecting something, and something terrible.

"What kind of human invention is it? The one wich is above you. The one wich is inspiring you to tell this! The one who is cybering everyone and altering the environment."

Everyone wondered about what did she mean with that.

Finally, Crystal urged to ask.

"What do you know of this... Eva? What are you suspecting. You look no psycho... but you are upset and afraid... What thing is so terrible to make you afraid?"

Eva stared at her.

"I think something terrible happened. Something- or worse, someone- that was created by the human kind has took consciusness on its own. But that IT is extremely influent and powerful, and hell knows what megalomaniac desire is impulsing It to make changes and cyber people, to control them."

The green eyed technician wondered how such a dirty ignorant runner could figure out so quickly.

She is not a common runner. She is an artificial being, an experiment created by humans, to be the perfect biological weapon ever crafted. She is the BWG model 2.One of the original BWG.
Finally, VOES had discovered Eva's disguise-for good or bad.


There was another thing Chance had noticed too:

In the parking garages, there seemed to be some kind of mass activity going on.

Although drones, being dead, had no aura, they created 'dead-spaces' of astral space which were noticeable to the casual observer.

There were many of these 'dead spaces', as well as humans. Damaged humans who appeared to have lots of cyberware - Their emotions in flux. Turmoil between aggressive hatred and god-worship.

Chance had been wondering how they'd get into the car parks so full of enemies, when suddenly the humans and their drones started running, leaving the room, for no reason Chance could see.

responding to some kind of emergency?


"There's some kind of gathering going on down there. Drones and men. Probably our blue-eyed friends. But they mostly seem to have left in a hurry. If we're gonna go, we better go now."

Crystal zipped up her drysuit by way of acknowledgement.

"I'm ready. So what's the plan - Jump into the water here, swim down to level one, I'll blow through the large doors. Who's gonna look after the Prisoner?"


"I will." Wirecat replied. "You know... gotta watch after Sarah."
He put her hand on Sarah's shoulder. She was standing with the rest of the group, but she looked quite pale.
"She's still not feeling too well. And I'm not all that comfortable in water since my mutation."


Crystal slapped Wirecat on the shoulder. What was meant as a friednly gesture instead got Wirecat's back up, awkwardly.

"Hey, no offence meant, mate." Crystal was quick to point out. "Maybe I don't know you too well. But good luck, anway."

"Umm, thanks, I think." Wirecat replied. "Ah, we're all a bit tense, I think. Being trapped in a city-sized building which is being controlled by the digital antichrist and having swarms of death-machines tends to do that to you."

Eva, Chance, Crystal and Raven waited for Alanya to put on a drysuit, then they rigged her up with a tank. A few minutes of checking each others suits later, and stashing their clothes behind the counter in the shop, they were ready to go.

"You okay?" Crystal asked Raven. The two were the only ones wearing a wetsuit as opposed to a drysuit. No suit would form an air-tight seal around the holes they'd had to cut for Raven's arms or Crystal's tail.

"Yeah." Raven winked, shouldering his jet harpoon. "Time to get wet."

The five bounded over the side, into the water.

Snapping on UV diving lamps, the experience of swimming through a flooded mall, complete with swarms of tropical fish, floating bits of rubbish and corpses could only be described as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Using the maps inscribed into the malls, they swam their way to the large parking elevators.

They swam down a large aisle - The shops either side alternatively smashed and looted, or locked down, in cases with people still trapped within, drowned.

Raven found his extra arms gave him a boost, swimming. He went ahead of the others, watching the path ahead. Communication was difficult, but they managed to improvise some sort of sign language.

He paused at a corner, waiting for the others to catch up with him. He took some time to gaze at the assorted brightly-coloured tropical fish swimming by, sparsely illuminated from above.

It all went dark as a large shape blocked out the light for a moment.

Raven jerked his head up - But it had gone.

The others caught up with Raven, who managed to gesticulate wildly enough that he'd seen something. Eva and Crystal shined UV lamps and only illuminated A shoal of fish. Chance tried Astral perception, but since the water was teeming with millions of micropscopic lifefores, he didn't see much past the hazy millions of tiny auras.

He shrugged, and the five swam onwards.

They came to the small service door that Crystal planned to blow through, affixing one of her magnablast charges.

Eva casually fell to the rear while the Exploives specialist worked, swinging her UV lamp around in one hand, her Jet Harpoon weapon in the other.

When she caught a glimpse of metal, she knew what was happening.

Its coming for me. It knows what I am - It was only a matter of time.

She threw the lamp at Chance - It hit him, making him jerk around just in time to see the large Steel Squid lunge from the gloom, towards Eva...


Raven turned to watch Eva grapple with a metallic array of tentacles. The woman was dragged off, still fighting, into the depths. After a moment of bewilderment Chance gave the group a thumbs up. If Eva couldn't take care of herself, what chance did they have of helping her? They continued on.


Jessica was starting to really worry. She didn't any chance of outside rescue, if Jessica was going to get out of this it would have to be by her own efforts. Only problem was, Jessica's efforts would never get her far. No ammo. Jessica Hayes looked at the others. Mary seemed calm enough, although that might not mean much, she might have only resigned herself to this cyber recruitment.


Peter looked at the civillians. They were all watching him intently, like cattle regarding a human. Humans brought food but also death. They didn't know whether DeadEye was their butcher or saviour. All except the teenage girl, she admired him from where she was sitting. She had faith in him. That faith had awakened a long lost sense of purpose in Peter Stephenson. The urge to protect the weaker. Peter snapped the shotguns barrel shut as he loaded another two shells into the breech then he picked up the guards assault rifle and inspected it. The nodes in his palm interacted with the weapon. The clip was almost full, the weapon was functional. Peter began to look for an exit, there had to be a quick way out of here.

A door swished open as a green eyed techincian stepped forth and looked for the guard. The tech walked over to Peter, seeing him holding a weapon, assuming he was the guard. Peter kept his back to the technician. The technician said.

"Why are you out of uniform? We request another subject......This one appears suitable."

The technician grabbed a person with an unkind grip and wrenched them onto thier feet. The person squealed in pain and surprise. The person began begging and screaming for mercy, yelling at Peter to save them. The crowd just sat there, turning their heads from the begging civillian to Peter. Peter knew this was the time to rally the crowd, he could win them over if he acted now!

"You might want to let of go of that subject."

The technician did so immediately. He turned and asked, completely unaware of Peter's true identity.

"Oh? You have a more suitable one then?"

Peter smiled.

"Yeah, me."

The technician froze, confused. Peter levelled his newly acquired assault rifle and aimed it at the technician. The techs eyes widened as he finally realised his situation. The man turned and ran for the door he had come on from, he needed to warn the blue eyed warriors of the armed psychopath in the holding bay.
He never made it. Peter blew the man's legs out from under him before taking careful aim and lodging a single bullet in his skull. The man's arm's flailed for a final horrifying moment, reaching for the back of his head. Then the Micro-Explosive core of the rifle round went critical. Chunks of bone and brain splattered in a concussive POP! of skull shrapnel. All motion stopped immediatekly.

Peter lowered his rifle and looked around, the noise may have attracted unwanted attention. His gaze settled on the crowd. They remained seated but at least they watched him with what looked like adolation. They were his now, they could try to make a concerted escape now!

That was when Peter's eye's flickered and shut down. Thankfully, still holding the assault rifle Peter could still see and in glorious colour too! Unortunately, Peter would have to resort to pointing his gun at people to see them. The last thing he wanted to do to these people...


Eva was slowly being dragged away...
"Frag... Must... must reach EMP..."
She muttered, mentally, while holding a satchel.
The EMP grenade. Only one remaining... but it was now or never.
All the difficulties to smuggle that grenade-first in her underwear, and when nobody saw her, in a satchel attached to the drysuit.

A low sound, and a concusion wave following a cracking blue light were the signs of the detonation.
Even if the EMP was not powerful enough, the concusion would do fine.
In a matter of seconds, Eva had made an EMP harpoon with the grenade, and fired it towards the main body. The squid dazzled and turned, and let Eva go.

But she had been dragged a while away... Luckily, the UV tipped off where her teammates were.

She patted Chance's back. She was meaning. "Thanks for the support, fraggers, next time i will let the squid swallow you instead."

She also added mentally.A metallic squid? Yeah, right. I think you have not fully realised who am I.


Wheezing, Varos leaned to a wall, still floating in mid air due to a levitation spell.
The rope had been cutted by the lift, that also squished the poor fools that were climbing it.
No rope meant she had to make up something on the go.
Consecutive wall kicks were doing fine, if it wasnīt by her bare feet (the high heels would only hinder her) and the draining effort that it was, even for a dragon.Fourteen floors in a row was impossible. So, she thinking straight, decided to alternate between levitation and wall jump. While she were jumping, her magic could recover, and vice-versa.
"Phew... Just two floors more..."
She muttered, She was now hearing the echoes of the conversation of the robobitch and priest.


Wirecat saw Tami running towards him.
"Did you see that?" she said.
"Tami? Aren't you with the others?"
"They didn't have goblin-sized suits. It's always the same, dammit. Us gobbo's always get discriminated."
"Yeah, well... little I can do about that." Wirecat replied. "So what did you see?"
"A blue flash, in the water."
"You mean, an EMP?"
"Yep. Which means they're fighting drones in the water."
"Not good..."

Wirecat turned around, clawed his hand into the green-eyed technician's uniform and pulled the man towards him.
"Tell me, fragger... what different kinds of drones are there in this place?"

Wirecat carefully wached the man's aura. There was something odd about it... subtle, unpredictable mood changes... as if he was exchanging ideas with something else... something that was in no way part of his own mind.

What? This fragger has a direct link with the 'big boss'!

A sly cat grin appeared on Wirecat's face.

That means we might be able to trick him.


Damocles looked at the stairs.

"Polt is up. I have been there. Secret floor." He made for the staircase, leaving the other four runners behind.

"Wait?" Silvia still hadn't quite got used to Damocles's disjointed way of speaking yet. Although she usually grasped the main ideas behind what Damocles was saying, he quite often - whether deliberately or accidentally - simply left out some of the most important details.

"So. Where is this secret level? I know it's up, but are you sure Polt's there, and will it be dangerous?"

Damocles looked at her quizically for a moment.

"Can't remember."

Silvia felt the anger well up inside her for a moment, before pressing it down. The calm, almost icy dragon temperament helped her through moments like this.

"Yes you can. You're trying to string us along here again Damocles, and I think we all deserve to know if we're going to run into a horde of psycotic robots - or another squid. Brandon and me, we got you out of that squid tank, so don't repay us by leading us to our deaths. How are we going to get to this secret level, and what's there?"

"There are some guards. Not many. Not more than we could deal with them, if we have weapons. I am almost certain the master's there, unless they have moved him since I tried to free him the first time.

"Which was?"

"Two days ago. After I arrived."

"Ok. How are we going to get up there?"

"We will have to use a shiftavator. Somehow. There will be some kind of control room around here, or on next level."


Silvia turned to Brandon. "You know where that room is?"
"I'm not sure... Probably on the next level."
"And these secret floors?" Silvia asked. "You know anything about that?"
"No, don't think so..." Brandon replied. "Unless..."
"Unless they're unused storage levels... they're between some of the floors, but they're not included in the level map, since they can only be accessed by cargo drones anyway."
"So they have no normal shiftavator codes?" Red asked the guard.
"No... the drones have their own kind of security code. But I'm not sure if that's even a sound. Might as well be a radio signal or something."
Red smiled. "If we have a control room... who cares?"


The technician panicked when VOES' answer didn't immediately appear in his head.
What do I tell him?!

There is something wrong. I can't predict this one... he doesn't think like any kind of metahuman. He thinks like a cat. And I don't know how cats think.
Tell him what they probably already saw.

The pale technician opened his mouth.
"Th-there are 0ctopu5-drones... Small body, one wheel, with gyro-stabilizers to keep them up-right, and with tentacles."
Wirecat didn't reply. He just looked at the technician with his cat-eyes... the eyes of a predator, ready to kill.
The technician was sweating. Like any potential prey, he instinctively recognised the gaze of the cat-man for what it was.
"And the R0ll3rs... they're big cylinders, with spikes on them, on the rolling side. They move with internal rotating weights."
"Go on..." hissed Wirecat. "Water drones, please."
Those were not amongst what VOES had allowed him to reveal. The technician desperately called his master for help.

The water drone I sent was a Steel Squid. Don't tell him any details.

The technician would've sighed in relief, if it wasn't for Wirecat, who was holding him firmly with one claw, and had the other one ready to rip through the man's throat.
"It's a Steel squid." The technician said rapidly. "They're like 0ctopu5 drones, but in water, adapted to swim. More streamlined."
"Is that drone armed?"
"I don't know!" The guard said. He was almost hyperventilating, and Wirecat could read the fear in his aura.
"Reeeealy?" Wirecat stared at him. A cat, playing with his prey.
"Really! I mean, it must be able to crush people with the tentacles, but for the rest I don't know!"

Perfect. Wirecat thought. And now...
"Who controls this whole place?"
"VOES!" the technician screamed, terrified. He was sure that Wirecat would kill him, no matter what he said.

Wirecat relaxed, let go of the technician's uniform, and smiled. All of the sudden he was completely calm.
"Thank you."
He turned to Tami and Sarah, who both looked somewhat shocked by the interrogation.
"Silly me... I could've known." He smiled at Sarah. "It was in the brochures, remember, dear? The 'Virtual Octopus Expert System', the superprogram that controls the entire building."
Sarah returned his smile. "The thing about which they said 'You'll feel safe in his hands'? Yeah. I feel much safer now."


Mary looked at her watch. It was 10:30pm. They'd been in here for two hours.

Looking across the turbolift, she observed Jessica playing with her gun. It didn't have any ammunition, and nonetheless she doubted what good it would do in the probably bulletproof walls of the turbolift. Smashing the controls wouldn't help, either - they'd still be stuck here, until someone let them out.

And Tank was gone, to god-knows-where, with the green-eyed woman. Mary seriously doubted she'd see him alive again, given the reckless slaughter down in the mall, and Tanks unsubmissive temprement.

She sighed, and wached Barkah struggle with his sword, somehow still on his person, trying to pry open the doors. It wouldn't work - or at least it hadn't for the last two hours.

Mary thought she could deck into the turbolift controls - if she had a 'deck terminal and cyberdeck - and that of course required her to be outside the lift. It seemed totally hopeless, and the covering of confidence she'd put on was slowly ebbing away.

She fiddled with her wristphone. Fat lot of good it would do, with the calls in the Arcology almost completely jammed. Only someone very close by could stand any chance of getting through, and finding anyone helpful that close would be difficult.

Two or three floors up, in the Hydroponics stairwell, a Miss Silvia Ulane-Serthedal was wearing a wristphone.


The armed forces team were inside the building now. It had taken them several hours to wait for their decker support to open the large blast doors on the monorail track for them, but they were past that now, and edging towards the first of three interior monorail stations. They had met no resistance, which was an unexpected blessing.

Suddenly, the heavy metallic clang rang out, as the blast doors slammed shut.

"What the frag! I thought support had them open... Shit! My comm's dead!"

The comrades of the speaker looked at him uncertainly, and checked their built-in headcomms.

Something was jamming them.

The VOES slid it's peices into position, and continued the game.


Crispin Polt worked like a madman. He was a madman, of course, but that wasn't important.

The brute of an ork infront of him was awake, but Polt didn't care. He wasn't moving about, which was good, and if he tried something, well, he could have his subordinates in here instantly, or just jab him with one of the many needles. Pretty needles.

This large, ugly cyber-device was almost completely fitted now. Like most other cybers, it could draw sufficient power from the bloodstream, and only needed batteries for backup.

It was built into the back of the neck, sweeping around the collar to the front. It wasn't ungainly, just big, and would only have fitted on an Ork or Troll, so it was useful that he had managed to procure this greenskin. He had more experimental devices, for the other captives, but this one would be the masterpeice.

This one was going to be his weapon, his way of striking back. He'd been here too long, and, some faulty chip in the blue cybereyes was letting him do this.

The huge, electronic brain controlling this was going to have a hell of a problem when this was working. All he needed to do was to finalise it's controls, and he had a means of escape. Along with the small contigent of cyber-staff he had subverted, they could get out, finally.

Crispin Polt jabbed the Ork quickly into unconciousness once again, and flipped out his previous cybereyes, slotting purple replacements into their slots.

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