Thursday, August 25, 2016

Let's Go Crazy

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life. Electric word, life. It means forever, and that's a mighty long time! But I'm here to tell you there's something else...

Back to the main Scrap Pile (minus Magi, who was off doing something else), the team had a chat with that hacker they borrowed from the Lizard Moll. The Angry Beet, by the way, had passed his first interview and was scheduled to go in for processing in a couple of days.

First off, the hacker reported that there was a whole section referred to as the "Bionet" which wasn't connected to anything outside the building and so out of her reach. She did have information on the people who worked there and much of the process. Subjects were given dimethyltryptamine and placed in special sensory deprivation tanks referred to as "hibernation couches." These were then plugged in to the Bionet, which somehow completed the process. From the description, it sounded like they were talking about the weird sub-basement Ghost Lad had found on his scouting mission.

They decided that they needed some more information, so they found the lab manager, Flavia Golden, and sent Disco out to "take one for the team." According to her credit card statements, Dr. Golden spent a lot of money at Evil Gnome Games, so Disco bleached his hair and started hanging out. Eventually, he did run into her and, after somewhat awkwardly convincing her that he was interested in both women and role-playing games, scored a date.

This led  to drinks and eventually back to her place, where Disco was able to distract Flavia by telling her he was really into "sciency stuff" and would love to hear more about her work. So she took him down to her basement, where, beyond a second locked door, a chamber of nightmares awaited.

First, there was a hideous walking corpse with vinyl-like skin which Flavia introduced as Wesley Willis. Wesley was supported by a framework of hydraulic pumps which hissed and spurted fluids as he moved. The rest of the room was filled with gurneys, tanks, and an assortment of medical and other electronic equipment. Two of the gurneys had bodies covered with sheets on them.

Flavia took Disco to the closest of these and asked him if he was into rock & roll. Without waiting for an answer, she pulled back the sheet, revealing that she had the corpse formerly known as Prince, dressed in full purple regalia, in her basement. She said she was just waiting for something called "Kilmer fluid" to soak in and toughen up his skin like Wesley's, before she started working on him.

Doing his best to disguise his horror, Disco got Flavia to come back upstairs and have a few more drinks. Finally, he got her talking about her job. The Bionet was actually a cybernetic hive mind generated by the antrons. By manipulating this network, they had been able to bring the whole hive under control. The conversion process simply plugged subjects into the hive, not so much controlling them as imprinting its priorities on them.

Having gathered the information he came for, Disco risked a lightshow to make Flavia sleepy. It worked and, while she muttered something about him being sparkly, she didn't seem to notice anything amiss. Disco left a fake phone number and made his escape.

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