Eight Zero had been contacted by someone claiming they could help.
Down the rabbit hole she went.
A technomancer that didn't use and abuse sprites was always of interest to watch if you were a Free Sprite. One seemed to have taken a shine to Eight Zero and offered her the chance to learn more about herself and her powers by opening a gate to the resonance realms - since it was abundantly clear that she wasn't about to let another technomancer help her find her way down to submerge.
Eight Zero had been given a location in the middle of nowhere. Here, you could hear the hum of the Matrix much louder if you listened properly and there was a lot fewer competing signals. Hesitantly, she met with the Sprite who had left the message for her in the guest node and agreed to go down the rabbit hole.
Find a place to pass out so she wouldn't wake up with a crick in her neck. Try not to get irritated at the sprite and data spike them out of spite.
Down the rabbit hole they went.
First, it was a glowing cloud of light and sound and sensation - here the hum was nearly deafening. Eight Zero had to fight to gain control of it all. Encouraged by the sprite, she found the path after several futile attempts to treat this place like a regular host. Then, with the help of a search engine, she managed to find herself in the middle of. . . Mayberry. Circa 1930. Or was it 1950? It was a strange amalgamation of things, but it didn't seem to phase Eight Zero. Certain parts of the illusion pointed her to the library. It seemed they had quite the volume on her there! As Eight Zero went to retrieve it, well. It's never easy, is it? Three boys ran off with three books, each of which seemed like it could be the one Eight Zero was looking for.
She summoned two sprites - the first reminiscent of Benny the Cab from 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit?' though much more helpful and adorable, the second a duplicate of the Wells Fargo stagecoach. She tasked them with chasing the boy with the blue book and the boy with the black book. She chased the boy with the red book herself.
The boy with the red book took her on a wild chase. The book only had Eight Zero's history with her resonance, a very cold, measured example with how good they were with the resonance (spoiler, they weren't good at all.)
The boy with the blue book was found by Benny. This book was a record of Eight Zero's involvement with the Haven (at least the mark it had made on the Hum). Benny was rewarded with a chocolate malt for his trouble.
The boy with the black book was chased down by the Stagecoach. The Stagecoach driver tried to shoot the kid, but Eight Zero wouldn't allow it. There was a long drawn out argument between the kid and Eight Zero. This was the book that contained the moment Eight-Zero feared the most.
The choice was made. Eight Zero would face it to better understand herself and have help from the free ones on how to get better access to the hum again, even though she'd burned so much away.
It was not pleasant, but Eight Zero prevailed.
Eight Zero is unflappable - but understand sprites a little better. She's connecting with the hum better each day.
She might even have faced the thing that made her into what she is.
Submersion discount of 1 karma