In the Shadow of a Dragon

Through a Rose Colored Display Link

Mr French was asked to bring his new associates to Marcels restaurant to meet with his old friend Don Casquilho, Don of the Casquilho mafia. Don Casquilho was interested in the new “business” Mr French had gotten himself into and made them keenly aware that they should keep the interests of the family in mind should those interests ever cross with their “work”. In addition he wanted to offer them a job. There had been a double murder at LuCom Corporation and the family had been implicated. Dean Costello, a mob hacker, had been arrested for the crime, his girlfriend and a security guard were killed and the companies data was ransacked. Dean swore he was innocent and Don Casquilho believed him and was not going to stand for an attack on the family like this. He wanted things cleared up. When asked who might be moving against the family, he told them the triad had been causing trouble. He suspected them. He gave them a false ID for the law firm they had hired to represent Dean so they could get in to talk to him. Mr French negotiated some access to the mob forgers for fake IDs as part of the deal.

Visitning Dean Costello in jail they found that most of the evidence the police had was circumstantial. Yes Dean was seeing Alice and he had a large reputation for wooing women to swindle them. But he claimed he loved this one. Yes, he was seen at LuCom, he dropped off flowers earlier in the day. Yes, he had no alibi for the time of the murders. His matrix persona was logged at the company host just before it was crashed, but he swore that wasn’t him. What he hadn’t told anyone was that during the murders he was messing around online and playing “Switchboard” where purely for fun he was hacking delivery schedules and moving around deliveries. Those logs could prove he was online at his host at that time, but unfortunately he had accidentally redirected a shipment of the family drugs to a flower shop in Seattle. He would be in big trouble if the mob found out, so he could not use that alibi. He told them he had a worm installed on Alices comlink that could track it if it came online and was being used, he gave them access to his flat to retrieve it from his host. They did, but Lily spotted a white squirrel Agent program poking around in his host when they got there. It had stolen a file on mob hackers and fled, but she lost it in the matrix.

Visiting LuCom they found police AROs marking it a crime scene and a police blimp overhead. All of the computer AROs and cameras in the neighborhood were down, that was strange.

Hitting contacts, Mr French talked to Knight Errant detective Jack Diamond who was watching LuCom from the coffee shop across the street. Diamond was a hard case, but it became clear he thought something was fishy. His hands were somewhat tied by protocol, but it seemed he didn’t mind if the runners found something that fell into his lap.

Friday night Alices comlink came online and they tracked it to Happy Canyon mall in CAS sector. Travelling there they found a U shaped mall with a chinese pagoda in the middle. A large party full of chinese was going on. Triad. Uh-oh. The signal was coming from Red Wire electronics on one end of the mall. There was only one door into Red Wire. Inside they found two dead triad guards, it appeared one had been shot in the back of the head by the other who had then shot himself in the datajack (ouch). It looked like they had been slotting BTL and one of the chips was still slotted in the first dead goon. As they looked around, one of the goons comlinks on the desk started blinking. Mr French noticed some triad heading their way, led by a tall skinny troll with mystical symbols on his horns. Then both goons comlinks bricked before their eyes, Lily saw a white rabbit agent program on the matrix fleeing. They tried to flee out the front but a barrier spell was blocking it. An earth elemental manifested and beat the crap out of Sereth who was knocked unconscious. Lily went for her drone but she spotted a bunch of Knight Errant cruisers screaming into the scene. A gun battle between cops and triads broke out. They managed to deal with the crew at the store and flee in the chaos, but Lily grabbed the BTL chip and the fried comlink. Alices comlink was nowhere to be found.

Investigating the chip and the fried comlink Lily found it as extremely advanced BTL, maybe military grade, but she couldn’t quite understand how it worked. The fragements of comlink code she was able to recover were somehow linked to the BTL through the matrix, again, very odd code also that she could not quite understand how it all fit together.

Their only lead was the BTL. Lily slotted it. Happiness ensued, bright sunshine, green grass, pastel floating flower, happy music, cute little animals. The bluebird on her shoulder whispered “slot this program”, “slot this program”. She really really wanted to but resisted, the BTL seemed to have a component that could control the user and the matrix link would be used to send commands. She was high, but she noticed all the animals seemed to be heading south. They followed, Lily high the whole way but barely resisting the incredibly strong urges of the software. It led them to an abandoned building in a bad part of CAS sector, the Englewood district. On the wall was graffiti with a large happy face and a logo “Happiness is only a smile away”….



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