The Dark Earth

MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS

SESSION ONE, PART TWO

>>INCOMING MESSAGE<<
>>VPN NETWORK 3399<<
>>FROM: L@dyKill3r<<
>>TO: HICKS<<

>>INCOMING MESSAGE<<
>>VPN NETWORK 3399<<
>>FROM: L@dyKill3r<<
>>TO: ROAN<<

>>INCOMING MESSAGE<<
>>VPN NETWORK 3399<<
>>FROM: L@dyKill3r<<
>>TO: SHERMAN<<

…My handle is L@dyKill3r. I have sent you this message in an attempt to make contact and meet with you. 30 hours ago, I was a witness to what looked like your abduction. I was testing my live video feed capabilities when I saw what looked like a morph in a black sack being carried out of the home that belongs to your ego ID. In fact, after realizing what I was witnessing, I did a search for your ID. It was nowhere to be found. There was no longer any trace of you on the mesh. You were not to be found anywhere. But then, after 24 hours you suddenly appeared on the mesh. You came back into existence! Now as if all of that isn’t odd enough, here is the weird part; this didn’t just happen to you. At exactly the same time, there were two others who also “fell out of existence” after having a black sack carried out of their homes. At exactly the same time, the three of you came back into existence and just walked into your homes. It was as if nothing had even happened. I’m sending this message to you, and to the other two as well, because I would like to know what is going on. I want to know where you were taken and why? If the three of you somehow know each other and this is just something that you do…then ignore my request. But, considering that I can find no evidence or trace of social interaction between the three of you, I doubt that this is a stunt between friends. If this is something else, if this is something that you also have questions about…then we need to meet. I might have some answers for you. Please consider meeting with me and the others. I’m sure that there is a lot we all would like to know.

>>END MESSAGE<<
>>ATTACHMENT: SECURE MEETING INSTRUCTIONS FOR VR LOCATION<<

The message from L@dyKill3r was indeed intriguing to the group. None of the three had any recollection of what happened to them. This message from L@dyKill3r promised the only lead that any of the three could find. So, all three egos decided to meet the AGI in the VR game, Wyrmwood, as per the attached instructions of their message. They loaded their avatars into the game and made their way to the meeting place, a secured in game VPN known simply as The Rangers Guild. It was there that L@dyKill3r was first made aware of the fact that all three egos had had their memories erased. All three of them had been wiped clean of 24 hours.
Sherman immediately made it known that he did not like this and that he did not trust L@dyKill3r. It was obvious that the only thing keeping Sherman here and even talking to this group was his own need to know what happened to him. If there were no answers to be had and had the other two not experienced the same thing, Sherman would have disconnected and disappeared before ever accepting a meeting with the AGI asking too many questions.
Roan seemed to stand back and take in all of the information. She was confused and not at all sure what was happening. But, she knew that someone had to pay for her missing 24 hours. If working with these amateurs was going to get her the answers she was looking for, then she would do it. She would do it all while keeping a watchful eye on all of them.
Of the three of them, Hicks Ender seemed the most eager to do anything in order to find out what happened. So eager in fact, that he agreed to let L@dyKill3r, an unknown AGI that he had only just met under the most dubious of circumstances, load himself up into his cyberbrain and poke around for hidden information. Maybe being a pleasure pod made him more acceptable of strangers probing him, maybe he just really wanted answers. In any case, L@dyKill3r was only able to locate the tell-tale signs of psychosurgery. He was only able to confirm what they already knew, the three of them had had their memories wiped by what was looking more and more like a professional.
But, even this small success was enough to encourage them. They had some proof that SOMETHING was going on. Maybe it was the excitement of discovery or the overwhelming desire for answers, whatever the reason, Roan decided that she would allow her brain to be operated on by this AGI. Roan wanted answers sooner than later.
The group decided that the best plan would be to work their contacts and find someone who would allow them the use of their lab. It wasn’t long before they were able to secure the facilities needed for the procedure. It was only moments before Roan was up on the table and L@dyKill3r was jacked in and remotely operating the overhead surgical tower. Sherman watched as Roan’s stack was accessed first. Then from her stack, the bio connections of grey matter and living cells. A local anesthetic kept Roan from feeling any pain. Well, would have anyhow. As L@dyKill3r operated the surgical arms that probed Roans brain, there was a slight miscalculation. Then there was a spark. Then there was a shower of sparks that flew off of the surgical arms as L@dyKill3r lost control of the tower. As the emergency protocols kicked in, the surgical arms retracted and the tower raised back up into the ceiling. Roan was left convulsing on the table. Her body tensed and shook for the next 30 seconds. It seemed like an eternity. Sherman, not knowing what to do, stood there and watched helplessly. Fortunately Hicks did not have to witness the spectacle as he was off retrieving some gear in a secured locker that L@dyKill3r had set up.
Roan finally rolled over and sat up on the sterile operating table. The back of her head still had smoke coming off of it. She knew immediately that things had not gone well. She could tell that she was not at full strength, she was weaker. If it had not been for the pure strength of her Fury morph, she may have been much more badly damaged. Being the soldier that she is, she never even brought it up. She put herself on that table. It was no ones fault but her own.
Now, whether it was shock or just a momentary psychotic break or something else entirely is completely unknown, but after witnessing everything that had just happened to Roan…Sherman inexplicably said, “I’ll do it”. He volunteered himself, his brain, to be accessed and searched by L@dyKill3r. He was obviously desperate to find out who had abducted him and why. Fortunately, the procedure was uneventful. Unfortunately, the procedure didn’t offer up much more information than what the group was already going on.
Fortunately, there was another lead. The warehouse. Review of the Nectar security spimes showed the moment all three abductees were dropped off back at their homes. Following the video in reverse allowed them to see where the vehicles originated from. It was a warehouse in the industrial section of the Blue Lotus district. That’s where they would head to next.

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