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"To Thine Own Self Be True", Part One

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Week Twelve

July 11th, 1996
Avg. Rating: 3.1 out of 5

Saturday May 13th, 2043, 0100 hours

[Note: Rook had spent the afternoon previous to Gipetto's calling rummaging through the computers at Fusama. In addition to what the team already knew, he discovered dossiers on them all...the party members, Morgan, Ferguson, everyone. All of the team members were classified as "unemployable". He also learned that Morgan had come to the USA three years previous, from Brazil, and was wanted on numerous accounts of child molestation and treason].

After receiving the call from Gipetto, the team agreed to all meet at the Torch Club to discuss this new situation. From there they all went to Rook's new apartment, and decided on two courses of action: Alex and Rook would go to the Space Needle, with hopes of implicating Morgan and his Voodoo Lords in acts of treason and domestic terrorism; Derek, Drake and Bug would go to Fusama to be sure it wasn't an ambush.

Rook's plan was to blow up the Seattle Space Needle and make it look like it was Morgan and his gang who had done it. He hoped that this would increase the pressure on them as NERCC began to take a more active interest in their apprehension. Rook and Alex went to the Space Needle just prior to closing, planted some home made explosives on the top floor, sprayed the walls with Voodoo Lord graffiti ("The Blood is the Power", etc.), and hurried back to street level to watch the show.

The explosion was actually quite spectacular- flame jets and glass shot out of the side of the rotating restaurant, and all manner of debris was blown clear and landed on the street. Alex and Rook waited around for the media crews.

Channel 12 arrived first, naturally, in a sleek black helicopter. Channel 91 was the next to arrive, driving an old run down van. As they exited the van, Rook and Alex attacked Brad Soothie and his cameraman, easily rendering the two of them unconscious. They painted "Blood is the Power" on the side of Channel 91's white van, positioned the two men in the shot, and set up the camera to broadcast live from the scene before making their way back to Fusama. Channel 91's news audience was treated to quite an example of just how destructive the "Voodoo Lords" could be.

As they were leaving, Rook listened in on the NERCC frequencies and overheard them say, "...Field unit, Bloodhound has been dispatched, will arrive shortly". (Bloodhound was the code name of one of NERCC's top anti-terrorist operatives; Bloodhound and Rook had crossed paths before).

Back at Fusama, Bug, Drake and Derek hadn't found anything out of the ordinary - the warehouse was still unoccupied and undisturbed. By the time they finished checking everything over carefully, Alex and Rook had returned. The team began its wait for Gipetto. Alex set booby traps in the rafters of the warehouse, while Derek sat calmly and meditated. Rook hacked into the Ono-Sendai database to check the serial numbers of the computers and equipment; it had all been "lost in an industrial explosion". Drake spent her time thinking about all the things Granny had told her, and performing small rituals for protection against Morgan. Bug simply waited to see who would come when it was meeting time (0800).

Around 0700, someone tried to enter the warehouse. Alex opened the door remotely, and in walked Baal. He was a teenager, with a cyberdeck under one arm and miles of fiber optic cable under the other. His long, unkempt hair was black, and he sported a large nose ring. When Alex slammed the door, Baal dropped his cyberdeck on the hard warehouse floor, and then began reassuring it that it would be okay (apparently its name was Alicia). Baal introduced himself (at gunpoint) as the team's new decker, hired by "some strange dude", Gipetto. Gipetto had asked him to replace the fiber optic communication lines Rook had previously destroyed, and to aid the team during a run they would be sent on. Baal got to work on the cables while everyone waited the remaining few minutes until 0800.

At 0800 Gipetto called, this time on the computer screens of the equipment in the warehouse. After much prompting by the party, he explained the details behind the recent developments: there were 4 Gipettos, each identical clones grown by Vitae Industries. Number One was the one speaking with them, Number Three was the one they knew, Number Two was killed by Vitae ("They said he was trying to escape, he said he was going for a walk"), and Number Four was still at Vitae. Gipetto One told the team they could continue to work for him, under the same conditions as Number Three, and their first mission would be to "rescue" Number Four from the Vitae clone labs.

As he was talking, Rook traced the call to the boardwalk where Gipetto Three sometimes hung around. He hurried over there, but Gipetto One was nowhere to be found. Rook checked in the sewer tunnels, and found a small black box directly beneath the spot where the signal originated. It was seamless and apparently magnetic- as soon as Rook removed it, Gipetto One told the rest of the team that "he had to go now", and would contact them later with the mission details. That was where the session ended.

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When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.
-- CS Lewis