In which Sp4rks has an encounter with Null Sect and makes friends with a technocritter.
Sp4rks has had a lot of work lately - including defeating a xenosapient AI in cybercombat and liberating a team of runners from indentured servitude with S-K - and has been taking some time to rest and relax.
A Jungle of Iron
Sp4rks gets a call from SegFault's Team to come hang out at a club Downtown called Iron Jungle. Having his anthrodrone watch his place in Touristville, he dresses up in his snazziest outfit and heads out, making sure to bring his drugs with him. Driving from Touristville into Bellevue, Sp4rks is stopped at the SIN scanner by the KE officer manning it as his fake is flagged for additional inspection and he is selected for a "random screening"; the pawn manages to spot out his hidden compartment containing his drugs, and Sp4rks proceeds to offer him a 500 nuyen bribe to forget the incident and allow him to move along.
Arriving at the Iron Jungle, he meets up with SegFault and her crew (in disguise, since they're still laying low), proceeding to do drugs and have a good time with his fellow runners. While out on the dance floor with SegFault (and hallucinating on aisa), he notices some odd vine-like iconography in the club's host as well as a strange persona running silent in the AR shadows; taking a closer look on the matrix, he sees some unfamiliar programs running in the persona's array. Keeping an eye on it, he does his best to relax and enjoy the night off, running into his contact Isadora Windthrope (who tells him she's been getting some portents of doom and asks if he's been feeling any bad vibes about the place), as well as Amelia Novak (who invites him and his totally-not-robo-girlfriend out on a totally-not-date to the Plastic Jungles the next day).
SegFault notices some odd glitching with Sp4rks' persona (which he's been having some trouble with), as well as a strange vine-like mark on his arm. He manages to erase it (feeling some odd pain in the process), and notices a similar one on her persona which she is unable to get rid of - even rebooting her persona doesn't do it. Growing increasingly concerned, he ushers SegFault and her crew out to the team van and hooks her up to a medkit in preparation to remove the mark himself; he fails in his first attempt (taking a point of psychotropic biofeedback in the bargain which induces further hallucinations and paranoia), but manages to erase it on his second try, though SegFault ends up with a strange vine-like bruise on her wrist. Looking around on the club's host, Sp4rks notices the strange persona receding into the Foundation portal, and decides against pursuing a xenosapient AI of unknown capabilities on his own, electing instead to make sure SegFault and her team make it back to their safehouse.
A Jungle of Plastic
After a restless night of jumping at shadows, Sp4rks wakes and prepares for his trip into the Plastic Jungles, outfitting his anthrodrone Kaizen to come along; the two have a near-encounter with barrens gangers en-route, but manage to arrive without issue. Amelia shows Sp4rks around and takes in the sights and smells of the coming spring, and notices Sp4rks' discomfort at the sight of some creeping vines which have taken over an abandoned building. He does his best to distract himself and enjoy the afternoon out, doing a bit of scavenging of old electronics with Amelia, and the two of them come across a stray dog which takes a keen interest in Sp4rks.
Sp4rks feeds the dog some soybars he picked up at Stuffer Shack, but notices that while the hungry creature eagerly consumes the treat, it seems almost more interested in the RFID tag in the wrapping which blares AR advertising out into the static of the otherwise-sparse public grid; taking look on the matrix, Sp4rks sees that while the dog isn't wearing a collar or any other sort of device, it seems to have some sort of icon which is attempting to connect to the Matrix. Curious, he examines it further and determines (with the aid of his technocritters knowledge and the fact that he has recently become Reverberant) that the dog is in fact a mongral, and it seems to have taken a keen liking to him.
Enjoying the rest of the day, Sp4rks is tailed around by the stray and ends up letting it follow him home. His paranoia and anxiety about the mysterious AI recede in the face of such cuteness, and he resolves to get a pet care autosoft for Kaizen as well as a better place to live with an actual yard so that it has somewhere nice to play.
- One mongrel (domestic dog) as a pet
- Animal Empathy quality
- 2 karma
- 10 CDP