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> IC: EVO Company TransHuMan, Working for the TransHuMan
DireRadiant
post Nov 23 2007, 10:04 PM
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EVO Corporate Offices West Tower, ~ 0800 PST Seattle Wednesday January 21st 2070

"Welcome to Seattle GITs Matt." with a polite nod, really more of an entire head bob, at the chair extruding itself from the floor the floating ball of manifesting ectoplasm indicated where the latest EVO Aleut Prime Executive school graduate was to seat himself. The 150 centimeter hovering eyeball blinked, then continued, "You may call me Wotan, you understand that's not my True name of course! I'm the Task Force Leader and I wanted to get a good look at you, the real you, before we took a brief tour of our assigned area. That chair will keep you protected while we go for a quick tour. Ready?"

The manifested eyeball winked out and waited expectantly for the young elf to transition before continuing, "Catch me if you can!"

"Weeeeeeeeee!" screamed the spirit as is zoomed out of the tower into the Seattle morning air.
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DireRadiant
post Nov 24 2007, 07:30 AM
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Station 6 Clinic, ~2000 JST Tokyo Wednesday January 21st 2070

Only 17 autopsies to go. A whirling collection of telescoping articulated arms with high speed saws, laser cutters, suction straws and sensor tips worked in concert with an army of self propelling insectile drones in rendering the bodies in the order proscribed in vivisection texts since the time of Leonardo.

Adone monitored everything idly, concentrating on the preliminary tox analysis and genetic screens. Individually there wasn't anything spectacular, but it became clearer why the Crash Cart system agents had flagged these cases for CTB attention.

It wasn't often you got a set of 19 genetically identical 7 year old girls all dead as the result of a release of the latest commercial military grade blood borne nano cutters.

19 so far.
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Konsaki
post Nov 24 2007, 02:51 PM
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EVO Corporate Offices - West Tower, Seattle, UCAS
~0800 PST, Wednesday, 21 January 2070

Matt Freewind – Trainee

Walking into the room, the young man was greeted by a cheerful though professional sounding spirit. Looking over to it, the floating ectoplasm eyeball motioned towards the only chair in the room. Taking the not so subtle hint in stride, Matt moved over and listened as the spirit continued even before he sat in the chair.
As he set himself in a comfortable position on the unusually cushioned chair, the elf made a few mental notes of what was being said. ‘So this thing is called Wotan and it’s going to be my boss…’ he thought to himself as he got comfortable. He knew what his new boss wanted, to see his spiritual form in the open, not an unreasonable request. Leaning back, the trainee named Freewind relaxed his mind, body and spirit; releasing his astral form from its physical container.

The spirit could see the scene as it happened from its vantage point across the room. The aura the trainee had around his body seemed to pull in on itself until none shown, but then out of the corporal being ebbed out a form one couldn’t mistake as the host’s spirit. It looked nearly like Matt’s physical form, from except a glowing green with bright blue lines of mana running along his exposed skin and dark red runes on his long duster and pants.

Finally making the jump from physical to spiritual, the elven mage opened his eyes to the room, viewing it in the dull base colors the real world showed in but also seeing the myriad of colors the swirling mana and ambient emotion signatures gave off. His moment of looking adjusting was broken short by the quick words of the spirit, which jarred Matt’s vision in its direction just in time to hear Wotan scream joyfully and zoom out of a nearby window into the Seattle morning.
‘It wants me to play tag now?’ the elf wryly asked himself as he went from a still hover over his own body to a breakneck speed instantly. Almost instantly he was outside the tower looking at the panoramic view of the Seattle bay line from his height. Quickly, he broke his view of the sight and quickly swung his sight all around looking for any sign of the flying eyeball. By pure chance the glowing green entity saw a glimpse of it turn the north corner of the tower. Not wanting to waste any more time, he shot after it as fast as he could.

Making the quick turn, Freewind had to reorient himself as he saw the spirit had shot directly down towards the ground, dragging the following mage behind it. They flew down the many stories of the tall tower, the ground looming closer and closer. ‘This is going to be a really weird way to play chicken…’ he quickly thought with a tone of disbelief. Luckily, his guess was correct and just before the spirit would have driven itself into the neigh-impenetrable earth it turned a 90-degree physically impossible reorientation.
Matt caught up a little with the inside curve he was privy to in that instance, but it didn’t close enough for his taste. Really, it was just enough for Wotan to laugh loudly and yell back, “Come now, Trainee! You have more in you than his, right?? A new burst of speed shot the spirit across the courtyard, though the many people walking towards destinations Matt cared little about. With a quick snarl, the young mage increased his own speed in effort to catch up.
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DireRadiant
post Nov 24 2007, 08:48 PM
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Station 6 Clinic, ~2300 JST Tokyo Wednesday January 21st 2070

Almost midnight and the preliminary analysis was complete. 19 genetically identical little girls, identical except for the normal phenotypical expressions and the changes expected from environmental factors. Their masses varied by only 5 kilos and their height only by 2 centimeters, well within the expected norms. There were some differences, one had a few nano tattoos, still actively playing out the smiling scene of the latest pop child star act, most of them had short hair, but there were enough in long pig and pony tails to differentiate them. The hair color differences were a result of different levels of UV, acid rain, and not a few Glamour Girl make up kits.

Earlier today, according to the Crash Cart ERT reports, so close together at 1649 as to not matter, these 19 girls had simply fallen over, and their respective families had responded as expected.

Nanocutters were a nasty business. As soon as they had been detected the lab had gone into lockout till the nano suppression systems had come online. Other then the fact they were nano cutters, there wasn't anything special about them, which was special in and of itself, commercial cutters were required to contain taggants. It was impossible for these to be more then two years old, and for some reason over 50 percent of the effects had been focused on neural matter. Which turned the brain pan into soup. A perfectly normal soup. If you could call it that.
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BlackHat
post Nov 25 2007, 08:38 PM
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Station 6 Clinic, ~2400 JST Tokyo Wednesday January 21st 2070
Dr. Adone - Medical Examiner

As the night grew late, the robotic laboratory systematically opened and explored the remaining children. The room was littered with AROs, and data seemed to be dripping off of the operating tables faster than humanly possible to gather, much less, to process. Dr. Adone, and the swarm of nanites forming two mesh networks over his brain, however, had little trouble keeping up with, and regulating the flow of complex medical information within the laboratory's node. Dr. Mori and Dr. Akers had finished their medical analysis and submitted them to be incorporated into Dr. Adone's finial report. Each was now gathering material for further tests, on both the recovered nanites and the genetic information, which were expected to go on for at least another two hours. From his vantage point within the laboratory's remote operation node, Dr. Adone could see his students' fatigue beginning to set in. It had already been a long day, but, like most of the work done at the CTB, it could not wait until morning. Adone, however, was feeling fine, and much like his students, his interest in this case had grown over the last few hours. He reminded himself, however, that his students would require rest soon. The majority of this case would probably fall to him, which was, quite honestly, where he felt most comfortable with it being.

CrashCart was waiting for the initial report with some urgency, and, although it would satisfy the usual questions about the time and cause of death, it created far more questions than it answered. Adone could not imagine that his findings would put anyone at ease - least of all, the parents of these children. However, empathy had never been one of his talents, and it certainly was not the job assigned to him at the CTB. Attempting to understand the emotions of others often left him frustrated and confused at their lack of reason. No, Adone would do what he did best - and provide the answers only he could provide - to analyse the situation and produce medical and scientific facts and evidence. It would be someone else's job to frame those facts in a way that the parents, and others within Evo's heirarchy, would accept.

Actually, "parents" was a surprisingly accurate term, in this case. Despite being identical (within expected thresholds), the genetic template that each of the girls had in common seemed to be a match against all 38 of the parents on file. The odds of this happeneing in nature, were astronomical - although not so high that Adone left the calculation out of his report. The results of the first pass of genetic testing confirmed this. Although the parents were as genetically distinct as expected in Evo's Tokyo-branch, they had some commonalities, and when compared against any one of the girls, would pass a paternity test.

The fact that no gene modifications were requested during these children's pregnancy suggested that the parents didn't know that their daughter had at least 18 identical twins in Japan - or that their child had been tampered with, which was the only explanation Adone currently had for how this could have occurred. Genetic tampering that didn't appear in Evo medical records was reason enough for concern. The elaborate level of design, that must have went into this to insure that typical genetic screening would not have detected it, suggested that it was done by someone who knew what they were doing. Your typical splicer or baby-stylist would not have been able to do something like this.

Adone understood that this knowledge would come as little comfort to the parents. In fact, this information would only worsen the effect - and have a greater impact on their future work-performance at Evo. Adone knew little of the protocols in these situations, but suspected that very little of his report would make it to their ears. This was fine.

The cause of death was almost as disturbing. The nanites were not commercial-grade, and didn't carry any identifying tags. That is not to say, however, that they left no evidence. The concentration of effects on the brain was not random, and suggeted a targetted attack. This, alone, might not have been suspect as part of a normal nanotechnological examination (as attacking the brain is a good way to kill anyone), but an interesting phenomenon in the girl's genetic sequence made them both stand out. Although each girl's DNA had gone under normal mutation and environmental changes, each possessed a particular strand of code related to neural mapping that was unchanged between them. That code, Adone hypothesised was going to be key to unlocking this mystery.

In VR, several dozen windows were begging for his attention - most simply monitoring the corpses strewn about the lab, or the various results that were still pouring in from the autmated tests. In one of the windows in the forefront, Adone's agent-program was running a fairly exhaustive and time-consuming (although not particularly difficult) search, matchings the children's genes (with and without the interesting neurological expression) against those of all known Evo employes (starting with those closest to Tokyo and expanding outwards). If there were more than 19 such girls, or even other candidate parents that were somehow connected to this, Adone believed that their genetic information would also have to fall within normal boundries of that of the parents of any of these girls. If there was another child out there, she was certainly dead by now, but it was still important that the CTB track her down, and identify the parents that were chosen and integrated into this effort.

Two other prominant windows displayed his collegues working. Dr. Akers was on the other side of the lab beginning some tests using VR simulations to attempt to decypher what the result of that particular neurological mapping might be. While not nearly as conclusive as regrowing a clone from the genetic information abundantly available in the laboratory, the simulation would be a lot quicker and would provide a hypothesis before dawn. Dr. Mori was next-door, in the cybertechnology lab, running tests on the nanites (now rendered innert by the nanite-suppression system). Dr. Adone had requested a detailed analysis of the nanite history and ultimate trigger, as well as any more information that could be gleaned from thier instruction-set. He knew they could not have been more than a few years old, however, the children did not appear to have been given any cybernetic augementations (and their medical history showed nothing of the sort) suggesting that within three months the body would have filtered them out naturally. That constrained the time of exposure significantly, but he was hoping Dr. Mori could shed further light on how the nanites got into the girl's bodies.

Having established the time of death as well as the cause of death, Adone's remaining concerns were discovering how and why the children were attacked, and whether or not there is any further threat to Evo or its employees. His subordinates and automatons were making headway on those investigations, but before Adone could lend his significant ability to any one of these experiments, he had to complete his preliminary medical report, and forward it on to the proper individuals. In hot-sim, that didn't take long at all. He packaged up the complete preliminary report - highlighting the new findings that he found interesting enough to warrant his (and CTB attention), covered all of the typical medical bases, and submitted a formal request for authorization for further medical investigation into this case. Having taken all of the biological samples he could imagine needing, Adone also signed off on having the corpses disposed of, archived for study, or returned to the parents at the descression of those who make those sorts of decisions. It certainly wouldn't hurt his follow-up investigations to have them on hand, but it would certainly raise attention if they were treated usually.

It wasn't the fact that these girls were attacked that had him concearned. That had already happened, and, at least in the literal sense, could not be undone. However, presumably, what made these girls targets had been recovered and could be reused if it was of value to Evo. It also wasn't the fact that there could be more than 19 girls in this line. Any girls that had not been recovered and brought to him were certainly just as dead, and it was unlikely that their bodies contained anything that unique. What concerned him, and convinced him there was danger, was the idea that someone - potentially someone outside of Evo, or operating without proper authorization - was not only capable of orchestrating such a large-scale and complexly concealed genetic program, but was capable of executing it across Japan without being discovered. At least, it wasn't discovered by anyone other than the person who had the motive and means to shut that program down. If Evo was taking credit for neither the creation of these girls, nor the cancellation of their experiment, it meant that there was definitely a potential threat that would warrant a full investigation - as well as the purely scientific value in discovering what genetic information was so important that someone went through all of this.

That was just it, though, whoever coordinated the attacks targeted the brain - not the DNA. Surely a highly mutagenic attack would have irrevocably destroyed or changed the girl's genes, rendering that particular sequence unusable and probably masking the existence of 19 identical girls. Instead, the attacker simply destroyed the expression of that sequence in the girls, individually. Their brains stopped functioning in the way that they were designed to - but those designs were left scattered throughout the corpses. While genetically predisposed to the intuitive processing and collaboration of data, Adone did not want to jump to any conclusions, or construct any theories until he had information to back it up.

The final product, including attached scanner data, genetic information, nanite details, and intense mathematical computations was considerable in size. It may have only taken his team a few hours to compile it into a form someone outside of this field might make sense of, but he figured it would be days before its contents could be fully digested by anyone interested in having all of the available facts. It wasn't sent to CrashCart directly. There were channels these things needed to go through, but his part in that data-flow was complete - he could now focus his attention, and his laboratories resources, on a much deeper analysis.

Quickly catching up on Dr. Aker's simulation-work, involving applying only the common neurological mapping to a controlled-example in an attempt to detect the effects of the change, Dr. Adone began creating his own models. 19 distinct neurological models, one based off of all neurological mapping information available within the children's genetic blueprints as well as that contained in their seven years of medical history. He also created a hybrid model that attempted to average out all commonalities (removing environmental factors, and typical mutations among clones). He hoped this model would be more representative of the intended result rather than the actual experiments.

It was going to be a long night spent writing code, crunching numbers, and forging new ground in genetic research - and Adone could hardly imagine a better way to put his time to use.
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DireRadiant
post Nov 27 2007, 05:14 PM
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Redmond Barrens, ~ 1000 PST Seattle Wednesday January 21st 2070

"I can see you're wasting away." Wotan eyed the new recruit, warily. Abandoning the scene of the teenaged dwarf slowly fading out of life as the BTL mindlessly ran it's preprogrammed blissful course the bloated eyeball blasted through the miasma of woe and started elevating and aiming for the towers in the distance. "Back to the office."

Moments later, back in the high West Tower Office. "Remember we don't have jurisdiction!"

"Your first assignment is to design a plan for efficiently using your resources for monitoring some of that activity we saw today. You can make a presentation after lunch. You can use this office, or the one next door."

"I have to go to a meeting. You are lucky, you could just plug in, but I have to go in person! Well, off to Alaska. See you after lunch Matt."
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Feshy
post Nov 28 2007, 08:51 PM
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Approximately 90,000 feet above the atlantic, ~11:00 GMT Wednesday January 21st 2070

Outside the transparent ceramic portal, the plasma fires had mostly subsided as the craft neared apogee. The hard, clear surface was a miracle of materials science, keeping at bay both the near vacuum and the hot, corrosive plasma that formed in the craft’s shockwave – all while remaining nearly transparent from the near infra-red to just short of the ultraviolet. The practical aspect was that the incredible pressures and temperatures the ceramics could withstand allowed globe-spanning transportation in a matter of hours. As impressive as that aspect was, the aesthetic aspect was perhaps more spectacular still.

The view through the window was as breathtaking as the scarce atmosphere beyond. The ocean was a reflective blue of a hue so complex it was hard not to imagine the mysterious depths it concealed. Above that, clouds lay like shining, rippling sand on the bottom of a stream. Near the edges, the ripples where larger and more pronounced, with spaces between, leaving the impression of smooth, white pebbles strewn along a shore. Above it all was the light blue haze of wavelength-dependant Rayleigh scattering, fading into a rich, deep darker blue and finally to the black of space.

Steffen Piers, however, gave it no more than a momentary glance. True, he could instantly recall every minute detail, re-living the experience down to the slight tingling feeling of microgravity, if necessary. Also true, that Piers was a veteran of these types of flights – there was always somewhere, usually far away, that his talents were needed. Neither of these was the reason for his disinterest, however: distraction was.

Having successfully cleaned up the mistakes of his predecessor in Morocco, it was now time for Piers’ next assignment. Because of his success, this time he was being given first pick at available postings. He had only two days to choose, however, and the choice was difficult. There were three openings, and all three had their own appeal.

The first possibility was Gang Intelligence. This is the assignment my father would have chosen, he thought. It was a promising assignment – with hard work, he could help to bring about a positive change for several neighborhoods. He could be the hero, as his father was, to hundreds in a downtrodden area. Piers, though, didn’t have the same need to be recognized as a hero that his father did. Plus, the assignment had some downsides as well: He’d have to think like a ganger, and possibly even be a ganger for a time. That didn’t appeal to Piers either. More importantly, though, gangs where symptomatic. If the gangs were causing trouble beyond their usual supply of narcotics and low-level violence, then there were deeper troubles afoot. It would be better to be the one to get at the source of the conflagration than put out brush fires. That was the point his father, in his eagerness to help, sometimes missed.

The second possibility was Internal Affairs. It was in a country whose language he didn’t speak, but that hardly mattered. He could learn enough of the basic language on the flight over to be effective, and modern linguasofts were also sufficient. Internal Affairs was important work, too. It was impossible to root out corruption elsewhere in the world if your own house wasn’t clean. It was, however, very delicate work. Piers could handle delicate, but when you are IA, every interview is a sore spot. No one likes to rat out a friend, or be under suspicion. Every person you talk to makes the problem worse, even after you solve it. Piers needed information to work, and the best (even if least reliable) source was people.

The last possibility was a Diplomatic Operations assignment. Very little information was given about this post, and the possibilities were wide open. This made comparing it to the other two difficult, as they were more known quantities. It would be a difficult decision.

Piers mentally connected to the craft’s local network, and branched out with a few terse messages. The connection was AR only; the satellite coverage was pointed downward from here, and he wasn’t near any of the more permanent low-orbit settlements. During this phase of the flight, there was only the sparse AR halo intended for space jacks, high-priority transmissions, and emergencies. Piers’ job was high priority.

He had two days to make up his mind if he needed it – but he’d be in London before next morning. He’d be taking the first sub-orbital out from the Atlanta hub, his current destination. His belongings – those that he did not carry with him – would be arriving by cargo ship from his previous location shortly thereafter.

The rains of London would be a welcome and familiar change from the deserts of Morocco.
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Redjack
post Nov 28 2007, 08:52 PM
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Dr Alton Memphis; Early Morning of Wednesday, January 21st; EVO Suites, NYC, UCAS

Alton woke to the gentle sounds of Gaelic music sung over half a century ago. He'd heard the song Ebudea literally hundreds of times but something about it lulled him peacefully from his sleep. He sat up in the monstrous bed that dominated his 31st floor apartment. "Lights" As the light filled the room, he quickly corrected. "Low luminescence."

He picked out his favorite G.H.Marcone suit, musing for a moment how they could weave the ballistic cloth into the design in such a way as to be very stylish and afford protection. Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

As he stood to his full height and stretched, he smiled a deep smile. I can barely reach the ceiling.. That is the first measure of success.

Once he was dressed and had confirmed the location of his new office, he replied to a few ongoing conversations that had updates awaiting his attention in the matrix. He confirmed his breakfast appointment with Dragan and headed out, signaling elevator #3 he would need it.

When he reached the bank of elevators, several humans and a elf were boarding another elevator. He waved them on. Elevator #3 arrived an opened its gargantuan doors. He stepped in, finding himself alone. "35th floor" The top floor of the EVO Suites served as a mall of sorts. There are several restaurants and lounges overlooking nearby buildings. He selected Pour Amour de Monice.

He spotted Dragan easily. The venerable ork sat at a table in the middle of the room and was looking over a printed copy of the Wall Street Journal. The old ork noticed Alton easily and nodded as his junior approached. "Good Morning Alton. Have you settled in?"

"Yes, very well. I thought the training program was nice."

He old ork smiled at the novelty, "This is the real thing. Today you will meet your team. Did you read up on their bios?"

Alton was a little puzzled. "Yes. The team list is small. I expected considerably more."

"Since this is your first assignment, it is more task based. You also have at your discretion the use of contractors and deniable assets, should the need arise. As we discussed previously, your charter is very mailable. Given your unique attributes, you will assume more of a hands-on leadership as well."

Alton shifted uncomfortably in his seat. He had expected that given some of the specific elements his own custom training program. The in depth nature of his magical training was totally unexpected. It was not something he had discussed with the recruiter.

His plate of eggs arrived that time delivered by a lithe human girl, no more than twenty. The plate was really a platter and contained nearly a dozen chicken eggs scrambled as well as several links of sausage and toast with orange marmalade. Made from real oranges.

Alton ate most of his breakfast in silence, reflecting on his mentor's words. Near the end of the meal, after he downed nearly a quart of milk, he continued. "Your guidance is always appreciated. Do you have any further thoughts or words of wisdom before I embark on my first day here in New York?"
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BlackHat
post Nov 29 2007, 01:04 AM
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Station 6 Clinic, Tokyo
20:00 JST Thursday January 22st 2070
(11:00 GMT Thursday January 22st 2070)

Dr. Adone - Medical Examiner

It had been a long night. Adone hadn't slept. Dr. Mori and Dr. Akers had set up their initial experiments, before calling it a night, and Adone had spent the night alone in the lab making calculations, and adjustments - as well as finding himself drawn towards unrelated work, scientific articles, and other contributions in the moments when all he could do was wait for results.

That wasn't entirely accurate. Adone was not completely alone. His advanced agent program worked as tireless as its master running numbers and symbols against the ocean of data Evo maintained on its employees. The spiral pattern of its progress artificially lit up the room in AR iconography.

In the morning, when his students returned, Adone began to feel the effects of the night's work. The reminder of the hours that had passed seemed to call forth the hunger, thirst, and other biological needs that Adone had been keeping himself too busy to notice until then.

Curt, impersonal greetings were made between the three doctors as they began to gather their bearings and return to their work. Adone took a walk around the lab, gathering and injecting himself with a couple of nutritional supplements he always kept on hand. In this case, they were functioning as replacements - but he would eat and rest before the day was done.

At the end of the day, the results were mixed. Dr. Mori had finished his analysis of the nanites, and although he had a reasonable amount of data collected - very few questions were answered. Dr. Akers's models were progressing, but it would take more time before anything could be inferred from them. Dr. Adone's models were farther along, and had required 20 times the work to get there, but had no more answers to offer.

The three scientists had taken a break for dinner, where, as usual, discussion had revolved primarily around work. Afterwards, Dr. Mori and Dr. Akers headed back to their quarters early, and even Dr. Adone took the opportunity to rest and regain his vitality for a long weekend.

A few hours later, he was awakened when his agent program returned the results of it's search. With fresh eyes and a fresh mind, Adone broke his fast by tearing into the data - and there was plenty of it to go over. 168 results. 112 Evo employees with parental matches to the genetically identical girls. 56 men, married to the 56 other, female, results. On file were birth records for 56 children. All girls, born around the same time, all over the world. The 19 he took apart the day before were located, in and around, Tokyo, but the others were spread out around the world.

It didn't take long for Adone to pull their medical records and personal histories from the Evo network. 51 death certificates, rather than the 56 he expected to find. Adone took the time to verify that the agent had not missed them in its search. All certificates were dated yesterday. Not all of the autopsies were in, but it appeared that none of the other girls lived in close enough proximity for their simultaneous deaths and identical genetic makeup to raise any red-flags as it did here in Tokyo. Those reports that were in matched his findings, however, including the destroyed brains.

That did appear to leave five of these girls unaccounted for. Each of the missing girls belonged to parents that had left Evo at some point in the past, including one scientist who had gone through a handful of SINs. Their CrashCart contracts had been retracted when their benifits packages were revoked - which would explain why the girls were not recovered if and when they died.

The other thing this told Adone was that it had become less likely that the girls were Evo research. If they were, their parents' change of employer would have been slightly more complicated. The girls certainly would have been relocated, and kept within the company.

Still, this gave Adone a number of new leads. He began by constructing an addendum to his preliminary report, including this new information, the detailed nanite report, and the genetic variations found in the files for the other 37 girls. The fact that the attack was executed at a global scale was impressive, but it also meant that the Tokyo branch of Evo was not being targeted , specifically. These girls were certainly the targets of the attack, for the reason given in his previous report, but because the girls were not Evo property, it did not appear to be a terrorist attack against Evo. In fact, other than the effect on their parents' work, and the CrashCart costs associated with the death of a child - the financial impact on Evo was minimal. The breach of security was significant, but, scientifically, nothing appears to have been lost - but the attention drawn to that specific genetic sequence may turn out to be scientifically valuable. The key would be in discovering what effect those genes had on the brain, and why someone

In short, his previous analysis holds. For completeness, Adone put in a request for someone to interview each of the 51 pairs of parents who still work for Evo, looking for information that could explain what was special about their children, or shed any light on how someone could have genetically interfered with their child before birth. Commonalities could be compiled, assessed, and referenced in his upcoming experiments. In addition, it might be worthwhile for someone to attempt to track down the 5 families that left Evo, and verify that their children were also lost yesterday.

Additionally, Adone put in a formal request for additional resources. He and his lab would begin work on a batch of clone-brains, as well as a genetically modified embryo that would begin a natural development. Simulation results should be complete before either of the organic experiments, but the additional data provided by an artificially grown clone-brain and a naturally grown child would allow a complete study - although it would take as long as seven years for the program to complete.

After sending out the flurry of messages to the appropriate parties, Adone began to look over the medical histories of the 51 girls. He didn't know if the data would shed any light on what made these girls not-unique, but if there was a pattern there, he was determined to find it. His agent program ran along side him in VR, but even the most advanced Evo programming could not keep up with Adone's calculations.
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Konsaki
post Dec 1 2007, 05:02 PM
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Redmond Barrens, Seattle, UCAS
~0955 PST (GMT-8), Wednesday, 21 January 2070

Matt Freewind – Trainee

After the quickly ending game of tag, the pair had made their way through most of the Seattle landscape, mainly sticking to areas known for their gang-like activities or areas that might spawn one later in time. The amazing speed of astral transportation made this possible, since one wouldn’t be able to perform this feat otherwise. Since some of the major details of the real world, like words and color, are muted in the astral realm, the duo mainly examined the astral security each gang seemed to employ, if they did at all.
Still, that didn’t stop the spirit, Wotan, from halting the EVO Trainee at random spots to inspect situations like the one they were currently examining. In some random alley in Redmond, a lone female dwarf lay sprawled amongst the trash and grime. From what he could see, a dumbfounded glazed over look on her face made some sense with what he saw on the astral, her damaged and mal-aligned aura. “What do you see??, the plain question came forth from Matt’s new supervisor.

Taking a few seconds to really look into the scene to look beyond the topical view, the young mage examined it in more depth. During that time he made a couple of notes to add; the girl was completely out of it, her face was glazed over in pure bliss while her aura showed a mixture of pain and joy. The last thing he considered, which threw it all together, was the small cable that ran from her datajack to a pretty crappy commlink in her hand.
“It looks like she’s locked in a BTL right now. Probably an S&M one due to what I can see in her aura?, the elven mage replied. Not receiving a reply from the spirit to his side, Matt turned to see Wotan looking more at him than at the girl below the floating pair. “I can see you’re wasting away?, was the reply the spirit finally came out with.

The mage quirked his eyebrow a bit and raised a hand to examine it. He saw a little fading at the edges that showed that he had spent a good amount of time in the astral plane but nothing to really be worried about. Still, he shrugged it off as Wotan being safe with a mage it had never worked with before. “Back to the office?, the spirit finished as it moved off in that direction.


EVO Corporate Offices - West Tower, Seattle, UCAS
~1000 PST (GMT-8), Wednesday, 21 January 2070


The feeling of melting back into his body was actually a relief to Matt. Even though he didn’t mind flying around the astral plane, he always felt more at home in his physical body. Whenever he thought about it though, he always shrugged it off as the fact he didn’t have to worry about fading away in his physical body. At this moment he had little time to think about it at all though, as he opened his eyes to see the floating eyeball which his new supervisor had as a form.
“Before we continue any farther, I want to remind you of this important fact. Remember we don’t have a jurisdiction! We have no lines we can’t cross, no place we have to stop at?, Wotan made clear to the elf sitting in the chair before him. Matt just nodded in acceptance, knowing this from the training he had received over the past two months, along with his life before working with EVO.

"Your first assignment is to design a plan for efficiently using your resources for monitoring some of that activity we saw today. You can make a presentation after lunch. You can use this office, or the one next door", the floating spirit continued with. "I have to go to a meeting. You are lucky, you could just plug in, but I have to go in person! Well, off to Alaska. See you after lunch, Matt", he finished before flying out through the same window the pair had flow out a couple of hours before.
Seeing his supervisor leave, the elf just leaned back into the chair he was still sitting in and let out a sigh. ‘So I’m supposed to keep track of most of all that…’, he thought with a little distain. ‘Glad they have an easy job set up for me’, he sarcastically added before running a hand through his long green hair. “Whatever… Time to make my brain hurt?, he said with a grin tweaking at the edge of his lips.
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DireRadiant
post Dec 4 2007, 09:29 PM
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Royal Observatory Greenwich, 1 Stockwell St, Greenwich, SE10, ~ 2000 GMT Wednesday January 21st 2070

The one thing in the park it would be hard to lose track of would be the time. The park was the scene of the Navy Orphans and Widow's fund ball, the afternoon fete had wound down, the hand made stalls covered up, and it was time for the planetarium ball. Tonight's special presentation being the full sensorium production of the night time scene from EVO Mars base on a live feed. In attendance were the core KnightsBridge and mane of the older Chelsea regulars, a smattering of continental overnight visitors, and the Tartan Army contingent from Edinburgh. The event required a physical presence to experience, and EVO limit of only 3000 special new trode sets had created one of the hottest tickets in the Isles.
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DireRadiant
post Dec 4 2007, 09:30 PM
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PIERS - London ~ 1500 GMT Wednesday January 21st 2070

Asterix winked his gallic eye under his blond eyebrow and twirled his blond pig moustache as his large oversized nose bounced over his smile. The winged helmet on his head stayed on during the maneuver. A black tee, red pants, a green belt with a gold sword completed his ensemble. Despite the cartoonish appearance of his icon, the fluid movements betrayed the amount of processing the representation was consuming as it presented the task parameters.

"Right, I'm Asterix, the London Diplomatic Group Program Manager. That means I'm your boss. When you aren't hauled off on some insane project managers pet idea, you'll be doing the routine tasks needed by our London Embassy. Like tonight! You'll be going to Greenwich and attending the gala there. Keep your nose to the ground, eyes on and hands off the ladies, and see how many other operatives you can spot in the crowd."

Tapping his bulbous nose, Asterix continued, "I'm also setting somebody to look for you, so you need to come up with a tight cover and maintain it. You'll need to pass the smell test!"

"After that party, I've got your calendar scheduled for the next month, you'll be busy. watch out, you're bound to gain a few kilos of you don't add some physical regimen of your own to your schedule."

"And don't forget to keep receipts for the Form 946B dash J!"
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DireRadiant
post Dec 4 2007, 09:51 PM
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Volusia - London ~ 1500 GMT Wednesday January 21st 2070

Asterix winked his gallic eye under his blond eyebrow and twirled his blond pig moustache as his large oversized nose bounced over his smile. The winged helmet on his head stayed on during the maneuver. A black tee, red pants, a green belt with a gold sword completed his ensemble. Despite the cartoonish appearance of his icon, the fluid movements betrayed the amount of processing the representation was consuming as it presented the task parameters.

"Ah, good doctor, feeling as well as you can I trust? Good good. Tonight you are attending a social event at Greenwich, so you must dress as best you can. Don't shoot any of our guests from the emerald isle. I am assigning you a test. They've sent me some hot shot and I need to have a test run. The time it takes you to discover him will determine who I assign him to. Hmm, yes, I guess I gave a bit away, well, well, I won't tell if you won't. Besides, I might be lying!"

"You'll be there as part of the official entourage for the Ambassador Sung Ching, so try to stay in the background."
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DireRadiant
post Dec 4 2007, 10:01 PM
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Prometheus & Mariko - London ~ 1500 GMT Wednesday January 21st 2070

Asterix winked his gallic eye under his blond eyebrow and twirled his blond pig moustache as his large oversized nose bounced over his smile. The winged helmet on his head stayed on during the maneuver. A black tee, red pants, a green belt with a gold sword completed his ensemble. Despite the cartoonish appearance of his icon, the fluid movements betrayed the amount of processing the representation was consuming as it presented the task parameters.

"How's your liver? Eh, never mind. You are going on a date tonight, both of you. Have fun!"

"Ah, not really, I need you two to give magical cover for the little exercise tonight, keeping Sung Ching protected, and backup just in case one of exercises tonight doesn't go right."

"So -look- like you're having fun!"
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Scope_47
post Dec 4 2007, 11:58 PM
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Dr. Elena Volusia's home, London, Wednesday January 21st 2070

Pain was a strange companion - coming in waves, like a fire burning in zero G. It rolled over its victims, but without consuming them utterly before receding only to hit them again. She lay in her bed contemplating this and for a moment did not realize that she was no longer dreaming... part of her wanted desperately to return to unconsciousness, but the pain wouldn't subside. It only got stronger, like a virus threatening to devour its host. Finally she forced herself to move - every muscle groaning in protest as she rolled onto her back. Without opening her eyes, she sent the neural signals to her arm to load a syringe. Just as the pain was becoming unbearable, her cybernetic limb managed to find her left arm with the needle.

Pepperment. Her arm tasted pepperment - cool and soothing as it rushed through her system. synthasia Finally she felt as if she could breath, and for a moment she just lay there. The pain didn't stay away for long though - it returned as a pale imitation of what it had been... merely a dull aching whisper rather than the insane wailing of its previous form.

Dr. Elena Volusia sat up and rubbed her neck with her left hand as she stretched a moment. She reached over and gently brushed away the film that had threatened to seal her right eyelid shut. She opened her eyes finally and looked over at the clock on her nightstand. 0400. Good and decent people would still be in bed. I'd still be in bed if it weren't for them. At least the sleep regulator means I can get a good night's sleep before the meds run out. I should check my dosage... the mixture must have been weak this time. In Dr. Elena's vision her DNI brings up the dosage levels of the chemicals that she had mixed from her medical supplies. It claimed that she had already exceeded the maximum recommended dosage. A Yiddish curse escaped her lips - she'd have to adjust the mixture yet again to cycle out the drugs she'd built a tolerance to.

Finally, she made her way out of bed - the occassional muscle spasm sending jolts of electric pain shooting up her spine. Perhaps a hot shower is just what I need...

She walked over to the bathroom - her cybernetic systems quickly correcting the uneven gait caused by her derformed leg - and started the shower. Before she got in, she noticed her reflection in the bathroom mirror. The left side of her face was of course the pleasant woman she had always been, shoulder length raven hair framing her angular elven features. The right side was particularly hideous this morning. Elena sighed and ran her metallic hand over the lumpy right side of her head - temporarily smoothing the intermitten whisps of hair that escaped the scales on her scalp. I can't beleive it... I'm bloody molting... it's going to be one of those days, I just know it.

* * * * *

Elena took a long shower, it was 0630 by the time she had finished her morning routine and gotten dressed. She hadn't received any assignments, so she first busied herself by preparing several doses of a new drug mixture. After that, she pulled up the morning edition of the London Times in her AR. Most of it is horse-drek, but mayhaps they let something slip through... one may always hope.

* * * * *

By the time Asterix called at 1450, Volusia had been working for quite a while on her personal projects, had lunch, taken another injection, and gone back to her projects. She answered the call using her own Matrix Icon rather than a video feed - jacking into VR to have a proper conversation. If it weren't for the fact that no secret is truly safe on the matrix, I'd spend far more time here. Its the only place I can truly escape torment - poetic irony I suppose that the danger lies in that which seems innocuous rather in that which is tormentuous. But that is the life our evolution hath wrought. Her icon was an elegantly realistic Elven woman dressed in the attire of a surgeon from the nineteenth century, long and flowing auburn hair seemingly always dancing in the wind even though the grassy meadow that she had loaded to be their chat-space had no such wind. She pursed her perfect lips into a smile as she spoke to the toonish viking before her "Good afternoon Asterix, to what do I owe the honour?" Some found it maddeningly proper, but English was a second language for Volusia, and she'd learned the Queen's varient rather than the more common form.

"Ah, good doctor, feeling as well as you can I trust?" Asterix's smile seemed genuine enough.

"You know me, I don't let feelings get in the way of the job. Thank you for your concern though. It's charming... really." As if he really gives a damn. The one truly universal constant is human apathy.

"Good good. Tonight you are attending a social event at Greenwich, so you must dress as best you can."

"A social event. Excellent. I'm assuming that I should avoid the spaghetti-strap dress or anything else that might frighten small children." The doctor's humor was darkly dry, but accurate none-the-less.

"Just don't shoot any of our guests from the emerald isle." Asterix chided. My, he is in a good mood today. I'd love to see his psych profile one day - an interesting read I'm sure. I wonder what has him in such a tizzy.

"I won't say I wouldn't dream of it, but I certainly won't act on said dreams, sir." Volusia's icon grinned widely, emoting clearly that it had been a moment of jest rather than an expression of a serious desire.

"I am assigning you a test. They've sent me some hot shot and I need to have a test run. The time it takes you to discover him will determine who I assign him to.

"I presume that your use of the masculine pronoun is due to a choice of linguistic perspective rather than a telling clue."

Hmm, yes, I guess I gave a bit away, well, well, I won't tell if you won't. Besides, I might be lying!" Volusia couldn't decide if he was trying to be funny or was worried that she'd psychoanalyze his reply. Certainly it shouldn't be too hard. Run a data search on all the faces I spot and watch for any inconsistent behavior. Hot shots are normally quite full of themselves, so he'll probably be hiding in plain sight.

"Regardless, we'll see how well he holds up. It's not exactly my expertise, but that should make it a more fitting test given that his targets are unlikely to be specialized in ferreting out others. I presume my own cover is already in order?" This could be fun. I dislike dealing with people, but sitting back and looking for someone sounds like an interesting diversion for an evening.

"You'll be there as part of the official entourage for the Ambassador Sung Ching, so try to stay in the background," Asterix replied.

"Excellent. I'll stay in the background as well as an Elven lizardling may. Hiding in the shadow of an important personage will help immensely." Dr. Volusia's icon smiled pleasantly as she added "Take care of yourself Asterix. Whatever is bothering you can't be that bad, so buck up chap."

With that, the connection was broken. Elena decided to stay jacked in for a little while... she needed to do some digging before she got ready for the evening, and time dictated doing it jacked-in rather than via AR. Besides... I could stand a little break from reality as grim as it is...
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Cthulhudreams
post Dec 5 2007, 01:00 AM
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Prometheus - A private airfield, somewhere in south africa ~ 1155 GMT Wednesday January 2st 2070

Prometheus rubs his temples as he is hustled through immigration at a private, and undoubtedly Evo controlled airpor towards the huge blacked out Boeing. With his possessions in a sealed orange diplomatic bag, and an Evo official passport sticking out of his top pocket progress is quick, the anonymous functionaries do not even have the right to ask questions.

Undoubtedly some CEO for a major Evo subsidiary was being moved with all the usual pomp and paranoia. Some CTB executive knew that he was due to ship out to england tomorrow and decided that he could reinforce the security detail, so Prometheus had been dispatched for 'additional magic protection', but the head of the security detail, a rather unpleasant man called Russ, had made it clear that he was to sit in the corner and be quite.

Atleast it will be a short trip he thinks as he notices the mages standing by, presumably with Kami to propel the plane ever faster. VIPs couldn't be made to wait. I've never been able to sleep on planes.

As he slips through the entryway he is stopped and his identity validated by a security minder, who curtly informs him "Don't open the bag, stay on bottom deck unless otherwise instructed, and don't cast any spells and summon any spirits. We've got the situation in hand." Prometheus gives the man a big, toothy grin, then nods and steps past the minder, following the stewardess into business class, and ordering the first drink.

Prometheus - A private airfield, somewhere in england ~ 0200 GMT Wednesday January 21st 2070

Prometheus stares moodily out the window VIP-special Boeing passenger jet, past the thin film of drizzle running down the window, watching the motorcade glide onto the runway as the lead elements of the security detail walk down the stairs and onto the tarmac, surveying the area. The bright orange diplomatic bags clutched close to their chest clearly show impressions of firearms inside. The customs & immigration official dragged out of bed for the occasion eyes them blearily as he processes their E-passports.

Sloshing the remnant of his drink in his glass, Prometheus watches as the bigwig himself is hustled from jet, across a small expanse of tarmac, and then into one of the armored limos. Guess thats my cue. He knocks back the last of the drink, gives the pretty stewardess a goodbye wave.

As he clears the doors and starts to strolling down the stairs a sporty back BMW glides up next to the stairs. The driver leans over and opens the passenger door, and his commlink starts the mutual proof of identification with Prometheus, while the official verifies his passport. When the gods of electronic identification have satisfied themselves, Prometheus drops his bag in the boot and slips into the passenger seat, and the driver reaches behind him and handing Prometheus a print edition of the times.


Prometheus & Mariko - London ~ 1500 GMT Wednesday January 21st 2070


Prometheus glances over at his companions icongraphy as the 'zany' gallic icon gives him an overview, his mind already slipping back into a very familiar gear, rattling off the basic questions automatically, ticking off the points on the fingers of his faceless suited icon.

'Who is in charge of the security detail? Do you have a threat and risk profile, and if so where we can get it? Are we acting as part of the ambassadors entourage with his close personal protection detail? If that is an option, I would strongly prefer it."
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Feshy
post Dec 5 2007, 05:50 AM
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London Space and Air Port ~1500 GMT Wednesday January 21st 2070

Thanks to some fortunately minor takeoff delays, Piers had only just landed when his ears chimed the incoming call indicator. Fortunately, if there was one thing Piers did well, it was multitask. He connected the AR feed to a window low in his vision to leave room for the AR directions the airport was beaming in several languages to guide new arrivals.

"Right, I'm Asterix, the London Diplomatic Group Program Manager. That means I'm your boss. When you aren't hauled off on some insane project managers pet idea, you'll be doing the routine tasks needed by our London Embassy."

Piers frowned, careful not to let his subliminal gesture of displeasure reach the conscious level that would animate his icon into a similar response. An AR call was an unfortunate way to meet a new boss Piers thought to himself. So much potential information was lost when the meeting wasn’t face to face – nervous quirks, subtle personality shifts, details about his (or her!) personal life creeping into his work appearance… at least there would be opportunity for those observations later.

Piers turned left, following the glowing arrow in his field of vision towards the vehicle waiting area. Though his attention was split between the commcall and his surroundings, he was able to move deftly through the crowd, picking up small details of the other travelers as he went. He strode around the large family who’s ticket stub, barely jutting out from a carry on, showed their destination as a historic site in the CAS. He briskly passed an unfaithful local businessman, returning from a flight from Hong Kong. Would his wife smell the exotic perfume and recognize it for what it was? Did she already suspect? These, and a dozen other details and questions flitted through Piers’ mind without serious thought or distraction. The commcall continued unabated.

“You'll be going to Greenwich and attending the gala there. Keep your nose to the ground, eyes on and hands off the ladies, and see how many other operatives you can spot in the crowd.?

Piers’ icon – a nearly unmodified stock ‘generic agent in a suit’ icon – nodded a slight affirmative. A test? thought Piers as he stepped adeptly around an oncoming luggage cart. Surely, that was unnecessary at this point in his carreer. It took effort this time to keep the deepening frown from being reflected in his icon’s composure.

"I'm also setting somebody to look for you, so you need to come up with a tight cover and maintain it. You'll need to pass the smell test!"

Piers’ icon shifted to a slightly more relaxed stance, and the artificial lighting in the node glinted off its dark sunglasses. Ah, now it makes sense he thought to himself. The exercise wasn’t a questioning of his own skills, but a method for him to evaluate the abilities of his future teammates in the field. It also explained why he was unable to review the corporate files of his teammates before arrival – it was best to get an unbiased assessment.

Piers smiled expectantly at the news that his schedule was already filling up – busy is the way he liked things now. Dedicated work was simultaneously a way to forget her – and to remember her.

He at last reached the vehicle waiting area, and climbed into a waiting company car. It was empty; it had been remote piloted (or more likely autopiloted) to the airport to await him. It was a little too “economy? for his taste, but it would only need to last a single day. His own vehicle should arrive by morning. He placed his sparse luggage in the trunk and merged with the traffic exiting the airport.

"Watch out, you're bound to gain a few kilos of you don't add some physical regimen of your own to your schedule."

"And don't forget to keep receipts for the Form 946B dash J!"


Piers had to give a quick affirmative, and end the commcall somewhat too abruptly lest the frown that had been growing finally breech unintentionally into his persona. His new boss had left an uncomfortable feeling in the wake of his call. What could his file possibly say that would indicate he would put on weight? And why the reminder not to forget to cross his t’s and dot his i’s? Piers wouldn’t forget receipts. Piers never forgot anything.

****

A London Hotel, 15:45 GMT

Piers looked around the rather sparse room. He was accustomed to the practical, not the opulent, so the room’s sparse and generic aesthetic didn’t bother him. Still, he hoped it would not take long for them to assign him quarters in one of the EVO corporate housing areas in the city.

He had reviewed the telecom call twice more, but with the bland and controlled interface of matrix personas, and only voice inflections to work from, little new information about his new assignment presented itself. It was, however, time to get to work. He needed to find someone else to be for the evening.

Though Piers had no special computer knowledge, finding a list of the more public attendees at such a well-publicized event proved to be within his meager capabilities. He scanned the names and standings of the guests, looking for his mark. A few looked passable, and with a quick scan of the first few search results on each name, choose the most appropriate of them.

Next, he opened two of his four small pieces of luggage. In one case lay, neatly folded in static-resistant bags, a few suits of a rather plain cut and dark color. His mind worked over his idea for a new identity, sketching out a rough persona and filling in the details as he went over the personality in several mental passes. The suits he looked at where a bit dull for what he had in mind; he looked into the second and smaller of the bags he had opened.

He pulled from the disguise kit a few festive bits of trim for the suit, and a few other items he would be needing. He reminded himself that the key was to avoid anything obvious – that would only draw attention to himself. In fact, the best disguise would incorporate hidden elements for observers to discover on their own.

And speaking of hidden elements to discover, there was another task that needed to be done to complete the disguise. Long gone were the days when a few latex prosthetics and some skill could change your identity. These days, electronic deception was required as well. The nature of the task reminded Piers that it was sometimes good that his lead decking contact worked outside the EVO structure. He checked the time, and using the algorithm the two of them had developed, decoded the appropriate destination node. The text looked like any other of a thousand spam messages flooding every part of the net at any given time, but Piers knew it wouldn’t escape Dorian’s notice.

Knowing it would be a short while before Dorian set up the virtual meeting, Piers went back to his ensemble. “Add a few small scars, but cover them incompletely with makeup? he said, as he worked. He didn’t normally think out loud, but there was the matter of an accent to consider – that would take practice. His first attempt sounded close to the general feel of the local populace, but that wouldn’t do. He needed a specific region to make it believable in his mind. He practiced by repeating the personal details he was inventing – his girlfriend’s name, her annoying dog, his persona’s secret crush.

It took only a short time to perfect it while he worked on the subtly different shading with makeup. He was often amazed at how much a face could change with only an expression and different highlights – large changes where unnecessary and attention getting. With his fake persona perfected came the real work of the disguise. Piers began attempting the accent as if spoken with a slightly different accent. He added unconscious pauses when reciting the names and specific facts. He invented a whole new set of names, dates, and facts for his persona, ones he never planned to reveal, but ones that nonetheless would leave subtle and distinct results in his performance. Before he had finished, the incoming encrypted call icon flashed in his vision. It was time to talk to the man who would assemble the second part of his disguise.
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DireRadiant
post Dec 5 2007, 09:12 PM
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Prometheus & Mariko - London ~ 1500 GMT Wednesday January 21st 2070

Asterix wrinkled his bushy yellow brows in concentration, then answered, "That's entirely up to you. I'm giving you an Indigo Foxtrot code for your operation, valid for 24 hours. That'll let you assign yourself to the protection team as a pair or separately. That should also allow you to use any standard corporate cover identities should you choose to do so."
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Andrew
post Dec 5 2007, 09:47 PM
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Mariko - London 0900 GMT Wednesday 21st January


Mariko arrived at the London offices of EVO after a trying journey on the underground. She reminded herself of her training at the CTB . "Whenever possible blend in to the crowd, don't stand out unless you are supposed to, be unobtrusive" , she new it was good practice and it avoided the traffic but the crowds on the underground where so scruffy and lacking in style.
She looked up at the office building so this would be her base of operations in her first job and her first time in the office.
I had been nice to be back in London for a few days she hadn't been there for four years , it hadn't changed much the rain was still dirty and the traffic was still awful. The In Night Clubs had changed and her new apartment in Canary wharf was a big improvement over the cheap hotels she remembered from her holidays here .

Arriving the receptionist directed her to an office , setting up on the computer system she dicovered a virtual meeting scheduled for 15.00 and spent the rest of the day reading up on EVO Security briefings for London , and the fashion and society gossip columns .

1500 GMT Virtual meeting

Her virtual persona was still the EVO Default , she hadn't had a chance to configure it and at least it couldn't offend.
Seeing her bosses persona for the first time , she smiled . Reading those books had been fun as a child. She wondered where Obelix was.
The assignment sounded interesting not only was it a real job but it was a social event she would have loved to attend anyway.
She listened carefully to her partners questions and the answers ,it seemed he had done this before.
When he had finished she 'turned' to Prometheus "We should discuss our plan , I prefer to meet in the real world if you don't mind this is always too artificial for me"
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Cthulhudreams
post Dec 5 2007, 11:28 PM
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Prometheus & Mariko - London, EVO CTB Office ~ 1505 GMT Wednesday January 21st 2070

Prometheus nods to Asterix, taking the response as a dismissal. 'I'll get in touch with the team leader as soon as possible.' then he turns to Mariko 'I haven't had a chance to scout out a place for a good soycaf, but assuming your at the EVO cafeteria looks okay? 5 minutes?' while composing a brief email to the protection detail leader

'My new partner and myself have just been allocated by CTB as a temp. additional magic coverage for your VIP for the Greenwich event. I'd like to have a chat about how you see us fitting into your team, maybe over a Soykaf? I'm at the evo offices. Give me a buzz.

Regards,

Prometheus'
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Andrew
post Dec 6 2007, 07:40 PM
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Prometheus & Mariko - London, EVO CTB Office ~ 1505 GMT Wednesday January 21st 2070


I will see you in the cafeteria in 5 minutes.

Prometheus & Mariko - London, EVO CTB Office Canteen ~ 1510 GMT Wednesday January 21st 2070


Arriving in the Canteen Mariko takes a corner booth screened against casual eavesdropping . Sitting so that she can see those entering the canteen , as taught in basic training.
When Prometheus arrives she waves him over to take a seat. She already has a Hot Chocolate on the table in front of her. When prometheus sits down she greets him enthusiastically
"Hello , I am Mariko it looks like we'll be working together. How do you want to do things at the Ball?
I was thinking that we could mingle with the crowds that way we could keep an eye on the ambassador and still be free to check out anyone suspicious in the crowd.
I haven't had a chance to check your file so can you tell me about your speciality?
I'm a mage with a concentration on Illusion and mental manipulation spells.

She finally pauses for Breath
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BlackHat
post Dec 6 2007, 11:21 PM
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Station 6 Clinic, Tokyo
08:00 JST Friday January 23st 2070
(23:00 GMT Thursday January 22st 2070)

Dr. Adone - Medical Examiner

Another night spent working beside his agent. Adone and his laboratory computers spent hours comparing the 51 files (and what little data was available on the 5 other girls) against one another. By the time Dr. Mori and Dr Akers arrived in the morning, Adone had made only one strong connection. Each girl had scored well above average on their standard spacial recognition and manipulation tests. Comparing the results to those of their parents, Adone confirmed that the aptitude would have been statistically improbable, given the range of scores withing the parental gene pool.

So, was that it? The mysterious genetic sequence appeared to have an affect on the spacial reasoning centers of the brain, but that didn't tell Adone how, or why this experiment was different from the hundreds of others that are in various stages of Evo R&D or production. Transgenetic echolocation? React? Synch? A few treatments that could enhance spacial reasoning came to mind, immediately, but did not seem interesting enough to warrant a world-wide cover-up of the experiment. Still, he began running the genetic sequence through a new search pattern, looking for Evo genetech projects with any matching properties.

Even if it wasn't Evo science at the center of this, Evo employees were being targeted - so it was possible that the experiment was based on Evo experiments, and may share some common elements. He began his search with partial data from IR&D efforts that were canceled before they were complete, but the search algorithm would eventually make its way outwards, covering complete projects, as well as genetic treatments currently marketed by Evo. Adone didn't expect that this whole mystery involved a genetic treatment currently on the market, but if it shared any data with it, it might be a valuable clue.

Rather than filling them in on his progress in the last 10 hours, Adone set the other doctors on the same tasks he had been doing. It wouldn't be the first time that someone else noticed something that had escaped him, but Adone was principally interested in seeing how their notes compared to his own for educational purposes.

Having reached the end of a number of his leads, and still waiting for a response from his superiors regarding the case, Adone decided to spend his day relegating his attention to a number of other projects and experiments that he had not properly paid attention to since the girls arrived.
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Scope_47
post Dec 7 2007, 12:27 AM
Post #23


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The Home of Dr. Elena Volusia - London,~ 1500 to 1800 GMT, Wednesday January 21 2070

Dr. Volusia's icon flew through the public data depositories in a flurry, the small hunchbacked agent program hurrying after her taking notes as she collected her data. To an onlooker, the data-searches may have seemed incredibly, madly random, but Elena's madness was born of a purely scientific methodology. Before long, she had limited her sample size from more than ten thousand to be measured in the hundreds. It would have to do. Retreating from the matrix back to her own commlink, she began to put coallate what she had found and formulate the parameters of the experiment at the gala. So long as my psychological assessment of Asterix's comments are well-founded, I should be able to locate him with method one, but methods two, three, and four should provide an experimental control in the event that the original hypothesis is flawed...

She considers for a moment, and then decides that her collation required far too much data-crunching for her to proceed unassisted. "Igor, come here" she beckoned to her agent. The hunchbacked icon approached hesitantly, and Elena's icon quickly struck out with a scalpel - representing her edit program - to disembowel the hapless Igor. After a moment of rummaging inside his programing, she stitched him back up and ordered "Proceed with Experimental method one, report findings to me." The newly recoded Agent replied pathetically "Yes Frau Doktor" and charged off back into the matrix. With that, Volusia recollected her data and deposited it into a hastily constructed GUI interface. There is a distinct possibility that they will have agents there as well... though if the dragon answers the invitation they may not proceed with their schemes for fear of reprisal... I should be cautious.

Volusia looks longingly back towards the outlet to the matrix... if only it were safe to stay... this is the only place I can be free of what they did to me... free of the pain... and that face. Her icon lets out a long sigh as she jacks back out of the virtual world.

The first sense that returns to her is that same, familiar pain - nearly overwhelming her other senses at first before retreating back to the dull ache that the medication reduced it to. Then her vision and the feelings of her limbs returned, and she found herself sitting once more at her work bench. Silently, she removed her cybernetic forearm and replaced it with the medical attachment on the table - sitting the hardware kit attachment back in its normal resting place. I should prepare a few more vials for the road just in case I need them at the social.

After some more work, she stands and checks the chronometer in her AR. She had to start getting ready. Fortunately her earlier shower had gotten rid of the molting scales - leaving in their place shiny new scales that had yet to be tarnished by London's acid rain and fog. She took a few moments to decide what to wear Asterix's agent may be looking for people trying to oust him, so I should avoid any of EVO's standard issue clothing...

After proper consideration, Dr. Volusia settles on an outfit - an elegant three-peice charcoal german skirt-suit with a neo-classic cut. She combined it with a starched off-white Victorian-collared dress shirt with faux-pearl buttons, and of course her favorite pair of knee-high leather boots - just tall enough that only those who were looking for it could see her hideous right leg. Thinking a moment if they have agents there, I may be in danger... they might know that I know... , Dr. Elena dons her armored vest before putting on her shirt. She put her commlink into the inside pocket of the vest and ran the cable under the vest up to her neck where she plugged it into her datajack just behind her left ear. Then she pulled her hair free of the cable and let it down again to cover the datajack. She sighed in relief once she had managed to force the right boot onto her deformed leg and zipped up the side. The pressure of the leather against her leg helped to ease the pain if only slightly. It's the little things that count, as they say.

Before she put on her jacket, she considered her weapons for a moment... The machine pistol may be too much... but the Miroku Hi-Power could give me away... then again, I am part of the EVO ambassador's official entourage, so an EVO subsidiary manufactured weapon would make ample sense regardless of other affiliations. Nodding to herself, she staps the concealed holster into place and deposits the pistol and spare clip into their proper positions. She walks over to her dresser as she shrugs on the suit's jacket.

Dr. Volusia did not often wear makeup or jewelry, but tonight was of course a special event. She opened the small box and rummaged around until she found her silver accessories. First, she pinned a silver Star of David to her lapel A little hypocritical of me, but it was my father's... besides, if one of them sees it their reaction might give them away. Then she pulled out her silver earrings. A frown crossed her lips - the scarring on the scaly right side of her face twisting it into a much more threatening expression. With a sad sigh, she pulls one from the box and puts it in her left ear before returning the other to her jewelry box. Unconsiously, she rubs the reptillian nub that served as her right ear while she pondered what necklace to wear. Settling on one, she puts on a silver chain with a teddy bear charm. She completely ignores her collection of class rings and moves on to makeup. Plum lipstick and a little blush were all she used - preferring a minimalist appearance. She never used makeup on her scales obviously. Looking into the mirror, she regarded herself a moment before loading a reptillian eye image to her right cybereye. At least this way it looks like I mangled myself on purpose. Then she took a small pair of scissors and cut away the few whisps of hair escaping the scaled portion of her scalp. Finally satisfied that she looked as presentable as she could, she applied a minor amount of sweat-pea body spray and checked the time.

Volusia pulled on her black leather gloves - the sort with a corsetted wrist rather than elastic - and headed out the door with plenty of time to have a quick dinner before meeting with the rest of the entourage. I wonder how many children will run for cover this time... she thought with a caniverous grin as she locked the door behind her... the teeth on the right side of her mouth looked like they belonged in a velociraptor rather than an Elf. As Dr. Elena Volusia walked out of the building, she was still crunching data in her AR through the DNI.
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Feshy
post Dec 7 2007, 11:10 PM
Post #24


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An unknown node, somewhere in the matrix. 16:30 GMT

Piers looked across the virtual room, and saw an odd mix of ancient rustic wood and state-of-the-art holo equipment. He wasn’t sure what stylistic effect the owners of the node had been going for, but he felt they had failed at whatever it was. He was sure, however, that the owners would not have any idea this conversation had taken place on their network.

Standing face-to-face with Piers’ generic agent icon was Dorian’s latest persona. He seemed to change them every few days, and Piers often wondered how he found the time. This time it was something novel, as it usually was: a bioluminescent houseplant in an etched titanium pot. The plant waved a greeting to the agent, and Piers was impressed at how clearly the animation expressed the greeting while still managing to look as natural as a plant blowing in the wind.

“I didn’t know they had reliable wireless in the desert? said the plant, turning grey and withering slightly at the word desert.

Piers was, as usual, impressed with the hacker. He hadn’t told Dorian the location of his previous assignment. “Actually, I shipped out this morning, for London. That’s what this is about, actually. My new boss thinks I should pass a ‘smell test’ of some sort? said the agent persona, wrinkling its nose.

The plant chuckled – rustled? in response. “And which of your perfumed talents are they placing before the noses of EVO’s finest?? the plant questioned.

“There is an event that I am supposed to attend while under cover. The event is tonight – the Navy Orphans and Widow’s Fund Ball in Greenwich.?

The plant’s leaves stuck straight out suddenly at odd angles. “That’s the classroom they’re using to test you in now? Chummer, I wish I had your luck sometimes. I could stand a test like that.?

Piers was so momentarily confused that he forgot to remind Dorian of how little he would like the rest of his job – did he just wish out loud that he could attend a large, social gathering? He worried suddenly, as it seemed so contrary to Dorian’s nature. Could it possibly be someone impersonating the normally reclusive hacker? Then he remembered the EVO Mars sense feed. Of course, what techno-geek worth his salt could resist that! Piers realized. Piers worried less now about Dorian’s motivations, and more about his own. Was such a small change really cause for him to worry like that? Dorian was one of his oldest friends. Was this work just making him paranoid?

The plant before him relaxed somewhat, and continued. “Well, old friend, I suspect then what you need is for me to make sure your electronic stink doesn’t cover up the aroma of whatever scheme you’re cooking. If so, you’re out of luck. If I could’ve gotten in to that Gala without causing problems, I would have done it already. They’ve got that place locked up tight, and unless you’ve got some sort of authorized account, there’s nothing…?

Piers interrupted; his agent icon held up a gleaming stylized key card. It was textured gold except for the red embossed hemisphere of mars in the center. The plant froze mid sentence; Piers smiled. A green frond grasped one edge of the card and pulled. The card stretched, then split down the middle – but both halves looked identical to the whole.

“Well, now we can see what I can do!? exclaimed the plant enthusiastically as it spun on its titanium base. “What did you have in mind, exactly??

Piers explained his plan in all the detail he knew his analytical friend would desire. It took some time to cover everything thoroughly. When they had finished, Piers’ icon reached for a non-existent data jack – a universal signal to disconnect. Before he had, however, the plant rested a leafy appendage on his jacket covered arm.

“One more thing, Piers.? There was a long pause, followed by “If you get to see it…the Mars feed…?

“I’ll tell you every detail I can remember about it? said Piers warmly.

The plant managed somehow to grin – Dorian knew Piers’ recall capabilities. The strange wooden and high-tech room as well as the tall potted plant dissolved into a thousand swirling pieces of silvered confetti as Piers disconnected.

*************************
Piers’ rented hotel room

Piers sat up carefully between the suitcases as his senses focused on the ‘real’ world once again. He was pleased that so far his plan hadn’t run into any undue complications. As he expected, the lengthy break in cyberspace allowed him to look at his disguise and wardrobe with fresh eyes. He made a few minor adjustments that he wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.

With the makeup job complete, and the suit ready, Piers began to get dressed. Piers moved to the third suitcase, one as yet unopened. He broke the VIP “do not search? seal, and ran the static strip down the side, releasing the electrostatic zipper. From inside, he pulled a plain armored vest – the extra options tended to add bulk that wouldn’t be appropriate for the disguise. Next, he chose one of the two identical pistols towards the back. They were larger than his trusty Miroku, but the large Ares made gun wouldn’t give him away as an EVO employee as easily. He quickly inspected the well oiled weapon, ensuring that nothing would stick or jamb if it was needed. He pulled two clips from underneath the weapons in the bag, and verified the rounds matched the markings he had made on the clips. He slid the clip of explosive rounds smoothly into the handle, and tucked the clip of electrical discharge rounds into a special slot on the vest’s back. If there’s time to take them down alive, there’s time to change clips he thought wryly.

After sliding on the stiffly pressed pants and buttoning the loose, small-buttoned shirt, he reached for the holstered weapon. He slid the concealable holster up into the nook under his arm, where it would be disguised by the stiff jacket. He knew it wouldn’t pass a pat down, but it didn’t need to. It would, however, be difficult to spot – an important consideration at a public gathering. Guns could make people unnecessarily nervous.

There were just a few other accessories to take. He dropped a flash pack into a nearly empty cigarette box he kept for such occasions. He stuffed the expensive respirator in the suit jacket, with one strap protruding slightly, as was the current style. He verified that his skillsoft was loaded properly. This time he left the CTB signature glasses behind– he didn’t need them anyway, and they would be a certain giveaway. With a thought, he set thousands of nanites to work re-structuring his palms and fingertips to match the design that Dorian had already completed and sent over the ether.

Lastly, he pulled on the suit jacket, and stepped in front of the mirror. The accents and highlights he had added did well to disguise the suit’s normally stiff, dull lines. Piers decided it was sufficient to convey the effect he was going for. His face, however, was a different story. He looked like his ID badge, but with a few smudges of light and dark, a few scars, and a gelled spiky hairstyle. That was expected, though, and now came the moment of truth – when Piers would find out if his disguise would hold up as he had hoped. He closed his eyes, relaxed, and counted backwards from six. Then, in rapid succession, he went over every detail he had invented for this new persona, feeling each triumph and tragedy as if it were his own. Then, he opened his eyes. Staring back at him in the mirror was a complete stranger – yet one who was intimately familiar. The subtleties of emotion, expression, and stance changed the metahuman perception in ways far richer than mere makeup and latex could.

The disguise would do nicely.

With that complete, he set his standard issue motion detector to alert him via commlink if his room was disturbed. He re-sealed the third bag and carried it with him down to his waiting rented car, stopping only to hang the do not disturb sign on his door. He would arrive a bit early, but that was good. It would give him time to integrate himself in with his unwitting host’s entourage.


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Cthulhudreams
post Dec 9 2007, 10:41 PM
Post #25


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Prometheus & Mariko - London, EVO CTB Office Canteen ~ 1510 GMT Wednesday January 21st 2070


Prometheus, a big dark olive green ork in a charcoal grey bespoke suit and a completely shaved head, sweeps his eyes over the cafeteria, catching sight of the enthusiastic waving from the japanese atleast I think she's japanese girl in the corner. He nods amicably to show he's seen her, then orders himself a coffee, rubbing his scalp whilst thinking about the upcoming mission. He briefly changes his perception to the astral and assesses his new partner.

When he walks back to the table and his offered hand and introduction of 'Prometheus, pleased to meet you' is met with a stream of rapid fire verbage he is slightly taken aback, but keeps his face an phlegmatic mask. She's so new the shiny hasn't rubbed off yet.

"It really depends on what the existing security team has got and how they are running things. If they don't have magical protection as is, one of us gets to stand so close to the ambassador you can smell his breath to make sure it is impossible for LOS to be broken, and the other one has a bit more flexibility. If he has a mage already its a different question. We won't know until the detail leader gets back to us.

As for your second point, I'm a mage. I'm good at astral investigation and over watch, and know an eclectic mix of spells, but with an illusion thrust like you.

What I want to know is what the hell we are doing VIP protection for, and why we are being inserted in the last minute. Its bizarre busy work, unless you think something is going to down, and in which case why not tip your hand?'
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