Seedy Gamer

questcompleted

Club Wyldside buzzed electric in the humid, midnight hours. Psycho-trance music pulsed through the speakers. Strobe lights sent colorful patterns dancing across the room. Upstairs, the dance floor was packed. Downstairs, summer break parties were scattered around the lounge.

“Vodka tonic,” Valencia Estevez told the bartender. She watched the bioroid wheel away to fix her drink and pulled a PAD from her courier bag to check the time. Where is he?

Valencia was on to something big. She had been making daily runs on Weyland’s deep space exploration subsidiary for over two weeks. Their central servers were lightly defended, but Gagarin’s internal operations were not what worried her. It was the pace at which this corporation had been expanding. She simply couldn’t keep up.

In a few short weeks, they were able to land multiple contracts with a team of international commercial bankers. They invested in internal tech start-up programs, advertised heavily, and donated to the Sensie Actors Union on a regular basis. Most worrisome, they amassed a mysterious super server under the watchful protection of at least two known private security forces.

It was to this end that she sought help at a seedy club deep in the heart of Old SanSan. She arrived around midnight to meet with an anonymous runner who was said to have engineered a powerful new server-busting tech. A ‘cyber-nuke’, as it had been described to her, that dug to the heart of a server and detonated.

The bartender returned with her drink. Then another. By 1:15, Valencia was on her last nerve and had run out of patience. How unprofessional. The annoying patrons surrounding her at the bar were dancing, laughing and chugging drinks. She sat staring over the bartender’s head, reading the international news feed coming in on the holoscreen. With a sigh, she downed the last sip of her drink, packed up her bag and kicked the stool out behind her. What a waste of my time.

She turned and came face to face with a stout little man carrying a satchel of his own.

“Valencia Estevez?” he asked.

“We were supposed to meet at twelve,” Valencia shot back. How long has this guy been standing here?

The man looked like a caricature out of an old cyber punk movie. He wore a black leather trench coat that almost touched the floor. His left hand was heavily modded. He had a hologram projector implanted into his right temple, and he wore a comms device in his left ear. His sharp nose dropped down to a pencil thin mustache and goatee. His beady eyes pierced through Valencia.

“Come with me,” he said after a moment. “I have something you might be interested in.”

With that, the man whipped around dramatically and made for the back of the club. Curious and wary, Val hoisted her bag onto her shoulder and followed suit. The pistol concealed beneath her dress gave her some solace. They spoke not a word as they made their way back to who knew where. The stranger pushed open two double doors that read ‘Employees Only’ and lead Val through the kitchen. Dark and abandoned by that time, the sterility of the stainless steel and the gleam of razor sharp knives on the walls didn’t help Valencia’s nerves.

Past the dish pit and through the pantry, they entered a hallway of small offices and break rooms. A bioroid janitor wheeled past, polishing the floors and paying them no mind. Valencia glanced over her shoulder and watched it retreat into the kitchen and out of sight. Oblivious, she bumped into the odd little man she was following, who had stopped to fish something out of his satchel. Val felt her hand move toward the pistol strapped to her leg.

“No need for that,” said the man, producing a small ring of keys from his bag. He held them up proudly. “You ready?”

When the door opened, Val’s tension released and her hand moved away from the gun. She stood in awe. Before her was the most elaborate rig she had ever seen in her life. The walls of the room were a galaxy of blinking lights from dozens of pieces of hardware. Libraries of external drives, memchips, boxes of software and hackers’ logs from all over the world filled the shelves. At the heart of more than 15 holoscreens and keyboards sat a mint condition Obelus console.

The door slid closed behind them, shutting out the fluorescent light from the halls and leaving only the glow of the rig to illuminate the room. The man dropped his bag near the door and settled into a black leather chair. He pulled a thick blue-silver memchip from the Obelus and handed it to Val. Deeply engraved into the back were a barcode, serial number and the word ‘Singularity’.

“You can call me Whizzard, Ms. Estevez,” the man broke the silence. “Let’s get started.”

*************************

Singularity is a card I’ve always had an affinity for, ever since I first used it in an All-In Maxx build. It can bust up big servers, like Mumbad Virtual Tour/ SanSan City Grid, and dangerous servers, like Prisec/ Psychic Field. It’s a fun include in casual Anarch.

In this game, Gagarin started to get ahead of me spamming assets, and there was one mystery server in particular that I knew had two Prisecs attached to it, so I was leaving it alone. Suddenly, Wyldcakes fed me Rebirth and Singularity in the same draw, so I switched to Whizzard, dropped the nuke and began turning the game around.

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