[ESC] Gated Communities

edited April 2014 in ESC
You finish supper and take care of Ray, then log into VR, heading for the Usenets.

Ada advises as you log-in, walking into the Lobby and forward into the VR room:
Bloo is ONLINE
DJ Geocities is HIDDEN
endy is ONLINE

Anyone else on your "roll call"?

Tonight, the Usenet room is set up as a set of comfy couches with a huge 3-D screen. BrokeNL and endy have small game controllers in their hands and it appears they're playing a heavily modded Streetfighter.

Bloo is watching, looking at their wrist-screen, appears to be waiting for something. Maybe bored. Fighting games, not Bloo's bag.


  • FieryRed and Anonymouse are also on my role-call. They — minus Geo — make up the big planners for our community. Geo is basically a good friend of ours who left to pursue a career in music, so we let him in. I hop over the back of the sofa and plop down next to Bloo. "Who's winning?"
  • FieryRed is ONLINE
    Anonymouse is ONLINE

    "Me, natch!" BrokeNL says with a grin. endy shrugs his agreement. BrokeNL is playing as Chun-Li, endy is Ryu.

    Out of the backroom walks both Anony and Fiery.

    "Hey there, MrE!" Fiery calls a greeting. She's dressed in a nice pair of jeans and a t-shirt that randomly displays funny messages. Right now it says: "SITH ACADEMY". She's got red hair, hence the nick. She's a bit older than you. Her avatar is pretty much exactly how she looks IRL. She gives you "the point", which is her guyish greeting of pointing at you to say hello. She's not much on touching, even in VR.

    Anonymouse heads over to hug you, squealing, "MrEeeeeeeeeeee!" She kisses your cheek, then steps back, "Bloo said you booted some corps last night? Good job."
  • I watch the match for a while until Fiery and Mouse come out of the back room. I nod at Fiery and give Mouse a quick squeeze when she kisses my cheek. "Hey ladies — yeah, some corpsec contractors rode into Geo's concert last night on Mizu's invite. Any of you fine peeps seen them pop in lately?"
  • Bloo looks up from the viewscreen, "Nope. Been watching. Patty has been on, but she's barely left the lobby. Billy has been AFK all day." Bloo's given them "insulting nicknames". Bloo must be rather annoyed.

    "Tell us about it, MrE." Fiery asks. She's bored of the fighting game action. Not because she doesn't like it. She's way better than endy and BrokeNL. Their skills bore her.

  • Hmm... I wonder what that's about. I look over to Fiery and lean back in the comfortable couch. "Patty was playing the part of an undesirable, so I did what any self-respecting hacker would do — swiped the public profile of some schmuck developer with his face plastered everywhere, and convinced her to get in close. Then I booted her, rode the connection back to their lobby, and pressed her for details."

    I bring up a console to turn on some light music for myself, and continue with the story. "Apparently she and her "partner" were hired on as consultants to "find loopholes" in their security... I told her she could come looking for me out here — not here here, but on the usenets here — in exchange for not romping her work files. She seemed to take offense when I called her a suit though — ISPs must be getting desperate if they're hiring on people who don't believe in the work."
  • BrokeNL lets out a whoop and screams, "FINISH HIM!!!!" as he executes a couple moves to knock out endy.

    endy replies quietly, "Wrong game, mang."

    "I should have the together," Anony comments wryly. "Like a Virtua meets Streefighter meets Soul Blade meets... I dunno, what else?"

    "Throw in Mortal Kombat, natch!" BrokeNL says excitedly.

    Fiery raises a hand, "Quiet, game junkies! MrE's talking about real stuff here." They hush a little, because Fiery. She gives you a nod, "Cool. Glad we blocked that. But giving one of them usenet access? You gonna mole her?"

    "Or mooooore!" BrokeNL says with a laugh, suggesting you have "ulterior motives" with his tone.
  • "Oh I didn't give her access," I reply, matter of factly, "she's on her own in that regard. I'm just dropping breadcrumbs so we can get an idea of exactly what kind of resources we're up against."

    I'm a little amuzed by how much of a cult following these retro videogames have... We have rooms where you can go delving in a real dungeon, or beat yourself into oblivion if you really want, and walk out unharmed – but these guys still want to play the oldies... I guess some things are just classics, in spite of their flaws.
  • Bloo looks up, "She just moved out of the lobby!"

    Fiery looks over at Bloo, and you can see she's tapping into the feed. She says, half to herself, half to you. "She's... hunh, interesting. This Patty." She looks at you, Raleigh, "What was she like?"
  • I shrug, "a mid-thirties nobody. A little offended that I called her a suit, and nervous as hell that I knew her real name. She may or may not think I'm actually a girl... If she starts pinging usenets, any of you feel like coming along to see what she's up to?"
  • Fiery answers right off, "Yeah, I'll come."

    Bloo nods, "Me, too. And, she's headed towards a usenet on movies right now."
  • Movies? "Why do people think everyone on usenets are criminals?" I bring up my console, and link in Bloo and Fiery. "Let's go to the movies!"
  • Fiery and Bloo follow you out. Please go here.
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