Difference between revisions of "Oni2:Caged Birds"
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Revision as of 08:06, 29 November 2019
Genre-wise Oni is for the most part an action and science-fiction title. But when you look more closely at the story - especially into the green console pages and reading between the lines - it is also a detective story and drama. Since action is more suited for movies, games and other visual mediums the prequel and sequels in their written form concentrate less on action but the others, forenamed genres. Oni CB is meant to close story gaps while exploring possible past events.
Special notes are set in bracket signs .
- 1 Intro
- 2 BioCrisis
- 3 Standoff
- 4 A pact with the devil
- 5 Marburg
- 6 Green Village
- 7 Gray mass
- 8 Iron Demon
- 9 Avatara
- 10 Resettlement
- 11 Kerr takes Mai to TCTF
- 12 [to merge elsewhere] Science prison
- 13 [to merge elsewhere] 64 equals 20
- 14 Daodan implantation / Biosafty concerns
- 15 Sturmänderung
- 16 Maria (Hanna) joins TCTF
- 17 Sytropin and food control
- 18 Mai fake OP (Maria, Kerr fool Griffin)
- 19 Pest control (assassination plans for Muro)
- 20 Corruption of Hasegawa by Kimura
- 21 Ego hybrida Mukade
- 22 Shinatama
- 23 Jack
- 24 Churi
- 25 Muro, Ryu, Tomo, Kimura vs. Strikers
- 26 Traton
- 27 Kumo
- 28 Griffin, Mai and the reindeers (indoc)
- 29 Victor
- 30 Vendret
- 31 Muro in the Camp
- 32 Friendly rivalry with Ryu
- 33 Muros's missions with Traton and Daodandroids
- 34 Saomi, GATC Z
- 35 Alliance with BGI, Sarai
- 36 Churi, Sledgehammer bar
- 37 Car bomb, death of Tomo
- 38 Furies
- 39 Further assassination attempts from Z
- 40 Death of Pensatore
- 41 Death of Hasegawa
- 42 Exil of Traton
- 43 Dispute with Ryu
- 44 War against BGI
- 45 Peace treaty with BGI
- 46 A matter of trust
- 47 One life for all
- 48 Green Village talks
Flashbacks of TV news, images of blogs are shown.
"World Coalition Government finally installed"
"Global markets stabilize after political earthquake"
"Growing world population exceeds ecological footprint two times"
"Pesticides contaminate more and more farmland"
"Class 3 and 4 toxins on the rise"
"Air soon unbreathable in major metropolises"
"Secret decon fails, whole nature at risk"
"World sinks into BioCrisis"
"State program for Atmospheric Conversion Centers"
"Independent scientists criticize ACC effectiveness, just a public sedative"
"Organized high-tech crimes reaches all-times high"
"WCG establishes a new police force"
"TCTF begins work against cyber criminals"
"Boarder skirmishes in the Middle East to be soon settled"
"Horrible bio attack in Suez, Egypt"
"Science prisons meant to ensure global peace"
"Journalist warn against political coordination"
"Activists call for March of Nature"
"Grad student dies - murder or mercy"
GRAD STUDENT DIES - MURDER OR MERCY ?
NEO TOKYO – A horrible scene unfolded yesterday at the Fuji Region Wilderness Preserve. Jamie Kerr Hasegawa, environment activist, top grad student, mother of two was found dead. Her grief-stricken husband, Prof. Hasegawa, is being held suspect for murder or homicide. Officials from the Center for Disease Control, however, attest that Hasegawa shot his wife to give her a merciful death. Mrs. Hasegawa had apparently contracted a new fatal viral infection that caused complete cellular breakdown. Investigators fail to identify the DNA trace of the virus which has the CDC in a panic.
The Hasegawas had embarked on an unauthorized investigation to uncover the truth behind the WPS territories and the government’s supposed land reclamation project. According to Mr. Hasegawa they had gone into the Fuji Region Wilderness where his wife brushed her leg against a little thorned twig of a flowering shrub. They went on with no concern. Within minutes of taking the diminutive injury the little scratch became a swelling wound then changing into a large ulcer. The intense pain overwhelmed Mrs. Hasegawa, the wound infections spread away from the scratch and lanced slowly the ulcers. Mr. Hasegawa applied antibiotic hypos but in less than an hour and wailful waiting the whole leg tissue was wracked wildly by deep chaps. By now it was clear that the virus would cause a total breakdown of the nervous system because of its all-devouring raging. The internal tissue was going to liquefy and bleed out. Mr. Hasegawa stated that it was an unbearable scene.
Name: Jamie Hasegawa.
Death cause: unknown.
Her corpse was examined in one of CDC's own labs. Biosafety level 5 was written in big, fat letters at the corridors. It was in a dark red, blood-like color.
This was the first time they had to use the lab for a real case.
The white suits were running with just electricity which the boots received via inductive coupling from the ground - it was the same wireless technique to power smartphones.
Tubes were not needed anymore as the CO2 was filtered internally. The carbon was captured and the oxygen brought back.
At the gates there were disinfection means. A soft-and-yet-strong blazing rain of particle beams was fired from all directions. The cold plasma shined bluish and killed every possible pathogen on the suit's surface.
They were four, all clustered around the long, metallic table.
When they unzipped the body bag, they stood in a moment of shock and horror.
Nobody has seen such a scene before. The corpse named Jamie had demineralized, porous looking bones, liquefied organs and melted skin.
Her eyes were missing and the mouth wide open.
It was as if she screamed silently.
"From now on we will triple-check our suits before we enter this room", murmured Curtis.
He pointed to Hanna. "When we know how to deal with it send a sample to BSL-4 in Marburg."
"We also have two dead rangers. How did the husband survive?", she asked.
Jefferson: "Maybe only direct contact with blood is contagious. He said he had his gloves on when he applied the hypos. After the head shot he has kept distance. - The ranger rummaged the backpack. It was stained with blood. Probably it happened when she looked for dressing material."
Curtis: "Whatever it is there's a high public interest in getting this cased solved. Walker stands under high pressure to hand over our results to some high-ranked WCG member. Of course Homeland Security is involved as well."
Hanna: "No time to lose then. Laser, TH and CT scans were all done in our absence by the automatic. Time to look what's really inside. I going to open her with a T cut."
Curtis noticed a deformation under the skin. He shouted, but it was too late. "No. Wait!"
The decomposing body had built up some gas. Sprays of liquids splashed over the crew's suits. An alarm went off. Hanna dropped backwards.
Jefferson and Curtis stood in front of white-metallic lockers.
Curtis explained their further actions. "This time we will use the exosuits. Every movement will be transferred to our robot avatars inside the lab. Are you familiar with the procedure."
Jefferson nodded. "Yes." -- "But say how is Hanna doing?"
Curtis entered the exosuit and pulled down the visor. Metal fixations snapped. "Still in quarantine. Martinez has brought her stuff to her room and is monitoring her. There seems to be really an infection but don't ask me how."
Jefferson: "Yea, I checked the suit again. The air pressure test was negative. The MEMBRANE system is intact. Short, the interior showed no sign of damage."
Hanna's quarantine room was in a white gray. It almost looked like one of TCTF's maximum security prison cells. She sat in the corner on her bed, the back leaning against the wall and the legs drawn to the chest. Hanna hold a pen-shaped device in her left hand. A beam of blue light flowed over the other hand. It looked all red and dry, interrupted by yellow patches. The pen moved back and fort but her glassy eyes couldn't find a sign of recovery or at least a subtle change and so she continued.
Curtis' avatar stood in front of Jamie again. He looked a last time at his suit's head-up display ensuring himself he didn't forgot something.
"It's the fourth day, 8 pm, I'm hereby finishing the physical examination. Jefferson and I will finish the preliminary report this Friday. - You can close the back now."
Jefferson took a water hose and sprayed on Jamie's opened backbone. With the other hand he applied liquid nitrogen to freeze the water protecting the remnants from further decomposing.
Martinez was entering Hanna's room without a safety suit. "Your analysis has finished. It's MRSA."
"Worse enough if you asked me", replied Hanna. "The itching makes me crazy. Please tell me your got something."
Martinez: "Yes. You should get into the lab's CP chamber."
Hanna: "Right now?"
Martinez was determined: "Sure, why not, there are no more activities. The case is closed."
Hanna: "That was fast. And I thought I was the motivated one..."
Martinez made a sign to leave the room. "Walker wants to see you after the treatment, he will give your the details."
Hanna nodded. "Okay."
Martinez: "So here's the plan: leave your clothes near the entrance. Go to the mark at the center. The robot will sterilize your upper skin layer with cold plasma."
Hanna: "I see, full body disinfection."
Martinez: "And that's not all. Your strain is quite persistent. In the following the robot will spray you with a mixture of specialized phages and CRISPR-CAS inhibitors."
The two reached the lock. Hanna: "Where did you get the substances from so fast?"
Martinez blinked. "Those were made in advance." He closed the lock behind a Hanna hungering for answers.
Hanna was entering Walkers office. "Hello Arron."
"Hey Hanna, how are you doing, all good I hope."
Hanna took a seat. "Yes, thanks to the extra treatment, I guess."
"Martinez said the inhibitors and the phages were made in advance. What's the meaning of this?"
Walked: "We had to cook up a story. Due to the WCG's Secure Technology Act machines such as the molecular printer aren't allowed for medical use, just research."
"Uh... That's ... unorthodox of you. I understand that you were under pressure. But why was my treatment also affected by this situation?"
"Well see, I'm not a friend of their propaganda, actually I just want to stay neutral. So, they got keen on getting replacement for me. For their taste we were too slow and didn't deliver. They now have their pretextual argument. It's only a question of time until they kick me out."
"But we did what was possible in that short time, right?"
"Yeah... Anyway, it wasn't what they wanted. They had their very own opinion what the Wilderness death case should have been. I quite pushed you to do the initial tests, that was a mistake. After your accident, slash, illness, I ordered the rest of the team to strictly follow protocol."
"Well, accept for my own recovery."
"They are withdrawing us from the case. -- I'm so tired of that political bullshit. But my hands are tied. I want you to make a difference."
"You are getting replaced and our team likely rearranged. What can I do if I'm losing my position too? Do you have a last ace in the hole?"
"Officially your MRSA never happened, you will transfer to Green Village and eventually continue to work on the case."
"But I like Atlanta."
"The WCG had acted strangely for some time. They are holding back on the research in live sciences. By now we effectively run out of drugs of last resort. I need you in Green Village to get us new weapons against superbugs."
Hanna was openly amused. "You want me to do espionage on antibiotics?"
Walker: "I just want you to make sure that we have the means to cure people from raging infections. Plain and simple."
Hanna: "How's the wilderness case connected to this?"
Walker: "Whatever killed her, it's very dangerous and an unknown threat. It will be a good test against new counter-measures that you need to find. Green Village is the ideal place for it, a far better choice than any CDC facility."
Hanna: "Green Village, above all other ... the world leading bio research center. How can I enter a GV lab - or any other lab - now that I have a persisting MRSA in the deeper skin layers?"
Walker: "I will let the team work out a solution. We will find a way."
[Skipping his doctor title in disrespect.] "Mr. Hasegawa, don't you think your demand of dropping all charges is highly exaggerated?"
Hasegawa: "No. Not at all. It seems you want to sweep everything under the table. The CDC is a capable institution. No results mean something hold them off. I'm burning to know what's the reason for this and of course what killed Jamie. I'm sure others want to know it too. She was eaten alive by the infection. It's unlikely the CDC found no traces. If we really want to do that farce, no problem. The eco activists will be happy to place it into the right light for you."
"... Is this some kind of blackmailing?"
"How that? I thought you are in the right. It's not me blackmailing you. It's the other way 'round. The WP sectors should be free to access but by cloaking them with the Wilderness Preserve Act you cut a common right and turn it into a juristic weapon against oppositionists and any independent scientist who wants to take the probes with his own hands. You don't even allow fly-overs of these areas... You are the ones that are blackmailing us. Actually I don't care which way you want to go. However, it would serve both parties to not waste time on this farce."
One of the men bent over to whisper the other into the ear.
After a moment of thinking, he replied aloud. "Right now the courts are overloaded. It might be indeed possible to shorten this issue. We will call you next Monday about the details. Until then we insist that you don't leave the town."
A pact with the devil
Hasegawa was on his way heading home, a home that missed a certain someone. How would the kids live with this? How would he?
Jamie's brother stood in front of Hasegawa. He met Hasegawa to hear of his latest meeting and to give solace.
Hasegawa: "It's final now. As expected. I'm leaving university."
Kerr: "Unbelievable that they are doing this to you. Is there nothing we can do?"
Hasegawa: "It's okay, I can work elsewhere. I believe everybody will miss Jamie more than me. She was such a happy nature. I got a lot messages from my older students that shared courses with her. Hell, even from Yamato."
Kerr: "The guy you had an argument with for using uncertified equipment?"
Hasegawa: "Oh yeah, that was a really stupid story. I wanted him to tell me where he got it from. I ended up following him to a Syndicate location. The day ended with me buying stuff from them too. You could smell that metallic D-sprays aroma in the air, and with all their paranoia I figured it would be better to not just ask a ton of questions and leaving them without some credits."
Kerr: "What did they sell you?"
Hasegawa: "A pistol. I did so to de-escalate the situation."
Kerr: "You mean it was that pistol. That Jamie ..."
Hasegawa: "I did it to prevent worse. I should have got rid of it. Who could have thought that it would end that way..."
Kerr: "I know you couldn't stop the infection. Nobody could. But did you really had to shoot her in the head?"
Hasegawa grabbed Kerr at the jacket: "She was screaming in pain, the face was all distorted. Crying, bleeding, dying. She was literally dissolving before my eyes. Skin and organs melting away. I had to do something, Kerr! Something!" He slammed the other man against the wall.
Kerr broke free. "Don't throw me around, I'm not your enemy. - I'm just as mad as you are!"
Hasegawa made a step backwards. "So? Are you? This doesn't look like to me..."
Kerr: "That's bullshit! Don't mistake my inner anger for having none. It also hurts me! You ass!"
Hasegawa realized he did wrong. "Shit. This is all wrong." He turned to a trash container and started kicking it.
"How could the shit happen! -- Shit! Shit! Shit! -- It was a mere fucking plant! A PLANT!"
Hasegawa lifted the half-filled plastic container over his head and threw it to the other side of the allay.
He rushed after it continuing kicking. "This is all SHIT!"
"JAMES", Kerr yelled.
"Let's find the true cause that killed her. Let's find a cure. Let's kill what killed her!"
Hasegawa stood perplexed yet ready to punch or kick someone in the face. "Huh... Yeah! Killing sounds great! I'm really in the mood for it."
A bypassing granny jumped a little when she heard that sentence ripped out of context.
Hasegawa: "Uh, I mean..."
Kerr had followed Hasegawa's eyes and noticed her reaction. His dark expression was possibly meant for his friend but by having turned around the old lady stood to him face to face. She looked like she would freaking out any moment. She pulled at the leash of her Hachiko.
Kerr: "We maybe should discuss the details at another location."
Hasegawa glanced after the old lady as she was all concerned to gain distance with little hasty steps, still pulling at the dog leash.
Kerr: "I need some sake now. Let's get to Cocoro at the 50th."
The two entered the main street.
After some minutes Hasegawa started mumbling. "It affected her whole body. Every system..."
Kerr: "Apropos system. I can't believe the WCG didn't use more resources to find the cause. I followed the CDC report, there are no conclusive results. Either, for some reason, they don't care, or, they are just incompetent."
Hasegawa: "Too bad there is no cure for THAT."
Kerr: "It must be something new."
Hasegawa: "If the system cannot detect the threat and heal itself, it must evolve so it can."
Kerr: "What about your artificial, re-programmable immune cells?"
Hasegawa: "I never finished that research. The university had kept me quite busy."
Kerr: "It definitively has potential. We just need to find a way for the re-programming to happen on the fly."
Hasegawa: "Detection and computation might be problem."
Kerr: "Your phone has more processing power than Apollo's board computer and ground control combined."
Hasegawa: "Haha, yeah, but that's not a good comparison. Computer tech was at its infancy at that time."
Kerr: "My point is they got to the fricking moon with that little. And today we are wearing supercomputers all around that can connect with all kind of gizmos and even greater supercomputers."
Hasegawa: "Actually, it's a shame. We are able to fly to the Moon but can't grow a damn kidney."
Kerr: "That's not quite right. Today you can, at least in the lab."
Kerr: "No, really, last year I was to the annual NextGen science congress. Bertram Navarre showed some throughout tested prototypes for transdifferentiation of any cell type."
Hasegawa: "And? Why didn't I heard of it?"
Kerr: "Soon after the congress Bertram disappeared. Nobody knows what happened to him."
Hasegawa: "I thought they are only after rough elements. I have a very bad feeling about the WCG's moral compass. - We will not make our project rely on silicon transistors. The final product must be independent. Something that cannot be taken away so easily. It must be one hundred percent biological."
Kerr: "For development we will definitely need a lab."
They had reached Cocoro's.
Hasegawa just kept walking. "Looks like we cannot ask the private sector for one. Nobody sane will grant us the means if they cannot make money with it due to some crazy TCTF science act. - Well then, screw this, we are going to the Syndicate."
Kerr had been already on the stair cases to Cocoro but then sighed, turned, and followed Hasegawa. "Don't you think that's a bit too dangerous?"
Hasegawa: "To go on with your historic comparisons: We are not like Wernher von Braun. We are not creating a weapon program."
Kerr: "Who are you trolling here? Von Braun wanted to build space rockets. You know how that turned out."
Hasegawa: "Yes but with enough creativity every technology is dual-use. We will be extra-cautious."
Kerr: "I hope so. Because there are still Muro and Mai that need you. I would a very bad uncle if I had to tell them that their dad died too because I supported him in doing something stupid."
Hasegawa went to the old Syndicate location. A rotten block of concrete, shattered windows and car wracks.
Nobody was there except for some strange kids playing soccer.
"Hey, yo, where are all the guys that do business here?"
"What business. There's no ... busi-i-ness. This is our yard, go away, old gramps!"
"Don't fool me, brats. It's this place. - I was here some months ago. Just tell me where I can find them."
The leader of the pack directed him to a gate at the opposite side of the yard.
"There. Go there."
Hasegawa hesitated. The entrance was dark. No light shined at the end. He turning his phone light on and went in.
While stepping further and further he noticed that all side doors in the passage were blocked by planks.
For a moment there was an electric noise. Only to be followed by nothing and darkness.
"Shit, they fooled me." He stood in front of a bricked wall. This was a dead end. Hasegawa turned around to leave again.
In the distance he saw a figure. It did not move, it was like he or she was waiting.
Hasegawa's face was turning pale. Was this a trap? He moved cautiously forward, caring that he would not fall over some scrap in the dark. The phone holding over the head, with the other hand he was holding the bag tight.
Five meters to go. The figure had turned clearly visible. The other man made sign to stop. "That's far enough James Hasegawa."
Hasegawa: "What? From where do you know my name?"
Thug: "We do remember our customers."
Hasegawa's mind was racing for an explanation. They must have installed some cameras and scanners in the passage.
"Well, that's good, I guess. Then you know we can make business together again. I'm trustworthy and I've money."
Thug: "Possibly. - Say, what happened to the gun we sold you?"
Hasegawa: "I can't use it anymore."
Thug: "Aha. So you want new one?"
Hasegawa: "No, I want to sell you something."
Thug: "Be honest. Are you sure it's not that gun you want to sell back to us?" The thug checked his datapad.
"No, you are not even wearing it right now. Is it hot?"
He took another look on Hasegawa's profile. He frowned. "You killed your own wife with it? You had recently contact with the cops? Do you want to pull some crazy shit here?" He drew his own gun.
Hasegawa: "No, wait, hear me out!"
It got late and Hasegawa hadn't come home yet. Kerr figured to pick the kids from daycare and waited at their home for news. But Hasegawa did not appear that evening. They were all nervous - the kids as their mom had died and their dad did not return, and Kerr as he knew what people Hasegawa went to. Kerr decided to make pizza, big time.
Hasegawa kneeled down as the Thug had told him.
Hasegawa tried to talk himself out. "I'm doctor of genetics. Check your pad! I'm developing new technologies. I need you as a partner. I swear!"
"Shut up", the thug shouted. "Why do I always get the crazy."
Hasegawa noticed how the Thug get nearer while approaching from the back. He thought the thug would shoot him any moment. He panicked.
Hasegawa let himself fall behind while spinning 180 degrees.
Before the thug could adjust his aim the gun had been kicked out of his hand.
The gun felt sideways, few meters away.
They were both starring into one another's eyes.
"What now?", the thug asked?
Hasegawa had hiding something in this hand what he was exiting the passage. He thought that it would now save his life.
"This is a data cube. It contains my works and plans. Here take it."
"Sure", the thug murmured. He snapped with his fingers. The kids from before were swarming into the place. They had been hiding in and between the car wracks. They were holding arms, more exactly their arms were prosthetics, some kind of rifles.
Hasegawa realized what he sensed before. It was their unnatural movements while playing soccer. They were some homeless the Syndicate took in to make them living weapons.
The little killer cyborgs had them surrounded.
"If he starts moving, shoot him", the thug commanded. He slowly picked the cube from Hasegawa's hand. "Now then, second round. I must insist that you kneel down and don't do some stupid."
Hasegawa looked one more time at the weapons pointed at him and figured that he had run out of options.
The thug gave him a hypo. "Use it."
Hasegawa hesitated but then followed the command. In the next moments his mind went black, he fell to the ground.
The next day Hasegawa was still missing so Kerr decided to go to the funpark with the kids to get rid of that tension.
Hasegawa woke up again. "Hello sunshine", a familiar yet unpleasant voice said.
He felt still dizzy.
The thug emptied a bucket of water on him. "Sorry, we are out of coffee."
He fixed three thumbnail-sized devices to Hasegawa's head, neck and chest.
"We are checking your data right now. Until validation you will answer our questions. Consider this to be you job interview. A little note of warning: if you lie to us or don't answer questions I will use this VDG. - And for not following my orders in the first place, here's a taste of it."
A blue lightning stroke Hasegawa. His entire body was shaking.
The thug checked his data pad, monitoring Hasegawa's oxygen level, pulse, brain curves and dancing heart rate.
As the curves started to normalize the thug continued. "Are you working with the TCTF?"
"No", Hasegawa gasped and continued to breath heavily.
The Thug watched his pad. "Are you sure? The curves are inconclusive..." He zapped Hasegawa another time.
Hasegawa unlocked the door and went through.
Kerr saw him from the kitchen and dropped the pizza cutter on the table. "Where have you been, James? Your phone was off, I called you a dozen times. Me and the kids were worried."
Hasegawa just stood there, stoic.
"I got the lab", he finally said.
Kerr noticed his red eyes, he figured that the toll must have been high.
Kerr crossed arms. "What happened to extra-cautious?"
"Shut it, Kerr."
Hasegawa took off his jacket - slowly, every muscle was hurting.
Kerr ignored that rude behavior. "For the sake of your kids, put a smile on. Or you will scare them even more."
Hasegawa let himself lean at the side of the living room door frame for a moment.
Muro played within his karate holo game. "HA. HA. HA." Punching and kicking thin air, practicing self-defense.
Mai was watching her shows on a tablet.
They eventually noticed Hasegawa. "Daddy, daddy, where have you been?" "Don't leave us again!"
"Daddy had important things to do. But now I'm here again."
Kerr watched the scene from the kitchen, it had a wide glass window to see the living room.
"What have you two doing the days?" Hasegawa asked.
Muro was prompt to tell his dad proudly. "Uncle Kerr was with us at Heiwanomori."
Mai added. "We were running all the puzzles. You could climb everywhere."
"We had a big pizza." Muro made a circle with his both arms. "So big."
Kerr and Hasegawa were sitting in their array of fused containers and ate instant ramen.
There were screens in the background running legions of numbers and status messages. In the visuals one protein folding followed another.
"This feels like a science prison", Kerr complained.
"You know one from interior?" Hasegawa asked.
"No. But I imagine it to be like this."
Hasagawa finished his bowl. "I don't think so. They are probably not living in containers if the TCTF keeps them for years."
"We need more processing power."
Thug: "This is the third time! - Give me something to make my boss do it."
"We have the building blocks for the re-programmable immune cells but miss the computational means to combine them in a stable way."
The container walls can be sunk in the ground so that multiple containers can create a connected spaces to work in.
The containers themselves can be sunk in the ground and replaced by others that are the same in look and labeling. These false containers are meant to slowdown unwanted visitors and help the sci staff to become evacuated.
[Kimura wanted to see Hasegawa and Kerr in person before granting more power.]
Kimura entered the container doors. He was wearing a black suit as if he came right back from a funeral. A sense of danger was immediately in the air.
"Hello doctors... how are things progressing."
The presence of the thug was suddenly very welcome but he left the three alone.
Hasegawa tried to bring him back. "Hey Timmy, who is this?"
But to no avail.
"Timmy?", Kimura asked.
Kerr nervously laughed. "That's just how we call him. He refuses to tell us his name."
[Merge "self-directed evolution" notes with this chapter.]
[Hasegawa and Kerr ask for more and more resources. Eventually, after a demonstration of their abilities and some early Daodan building blocks, Mukade provides them the necessary resources. First he steels a sample of Jamie's remnants and then he makes contact with Pensatore and forces him to join the Daodan project. Pensatore realizes flaws within the Daodan concept and proposes an alternative for humans' self-directed evolution.]
(actual chapter notes)
Kimura organized a sample of Jamie's remnants to test the pathogens against Hasegawa's artificial immune cells.
Jamie's sample is too much degraded. So Kimura looks for a better one.
While Hanna was flying to Russia she received messages from Curtis.
"You wanted me to contact you when we know the source of your MRSA strain. I must warn you, it could be an emotional burden if I tell you."
"Hey I'm no sissy like you."
"Charming as always. Well then, here it is. The strain was from your dying mother in the hospital. There wasn't much left of her immune system, easy game for germs. You were there during her last moments. You hold her hand? Right? Maybe the day before you cut your finger somewhere."
"I peeled potatoes."
He laughed. "That's the world we are living in now, watch out for the killer potatoes. ... Ah ... Sorry."
"It's okay, Curtis. I asked for it. -- Thank you for telling me the truth."
The chat continues with Hanna being told that something happened to the sample that was send to Marburg.
The fact that the sample was stolen from a high-security lab leads to conclusion that the Syndicate or another highly criminal group looks for a bio-weapon.
Hanna used this conclusion in the meeting with Green Village's human resource manager. The director suspects her to be part of that group as her time of arrival seems an unlikely coincidence. They decided to give her a position in hope to learn more about that terror group.
[1 - At a later time Kimura also succeeded in stealing a sample from Green Village. The incidence has no connection to Hanna whatsoever so her monitoring is set to standard like that of other GV employees. A nuclear suspicion remains.]
[2 - Hanna visited Walker during her limited days of vacations. She left him messages with reference to GATC, a direct hint to the letters of the genetic code. "Look for GATC." The anti-espionage section of WCG misunderstood this as a reference to GATC, the merc company that partly destroyed GV in an later airstrike. Right after the cataclysm the WCG was in panic and put Hanna due to that misunderstanding on their terrorist execution list. Can Konoko save her?]
[3 - Konoko went to GV in search for her father. Unfortunately, her presence marks the others sci inmates also as terrorists. WCG had jumped to conclusions after finding out that Hanna, Bertram and the others had been using secret communications means. This made the WCG send military into the area.]
[4 - Green Village try to receive outside help by releasing SLD data for mass production. The androids could be used to do outdoor work in the highly toxic environment. The idea is to make technology available to the people so they survive the black season while the civilian support them with things that Green Village does not have. The WCG is raging that their prestige sci prison leaked technologies they kept 30 years secret from civilians and the Syndicate. Meanwhile BGI also entered the quarantine zone of Green Village...]
[5 - META increases SLD production -> Traton plot -> Avatara -> Mind Seal]
Hanna arrived in the east Russian sector. Average temperature of chilly zero degrees and bleak tundra landscape were not an expected welcome. What made people even live here?
A full-size SUV was waiting for her. She saw the driver in front of the car waving a hand. There was no need for that, nobody else was around in this cold wasteland. The man was wearing a thick jacket, open, for him the temperature must have felt still quite warm.
"Welcome to wild wide east, Ms. West." Cold hands were shaken.
"My name is Blake. I will be your driver for today." He put the suitcases into the trunk.
The car started to move through crackling ice and mud.
"So you are American too? What brings people here?" Hanna asked.
Blake threw a look over his shoulder searching eye contact. "Money. Ms. West. Money."
"Haha, what did I miss? Is there gold in this region?"
"In a figurative sense, more than you think." He smirked.
"A driving job doesn't seem a well-paid job to me. So what is it?"
Blake was driving out of the airport area. It was the last turn before the road became linear and frightening long. Next to them was a pair of new train rails. He let go the steering wheel and changed into autopilot mode. Then he turned around with his entire seat.
"To be exact, I'm a transfer agent working for Green Village. I make sure their personal arrive at their destiny. When you applied for that job and got invited, you already have become a VIP. And anything that involves Green Village also involves money. A lot of money."
"Green Village, the WCG's prestige research complex", Hanna thought aloud.
The man laughed. "No kidding. You will see it for yourself. - Actually, take a look, right there." He pointed at Hanna's window.
"This city you see was built for their support. Here live the families of technicians, construction workers, soldiers, etc."
"Yes, the complex has its own defense ring. They have chosen this bleak area for multiple reasons. The complex is far enough from urban regions in case something happens. This city just lies outside the quarantine zones."
"Outbreak of a plague. A nuclear incidence. An invasion."
"I thought it was about ecological reasons."
"Yes. That too. Multiple reasons, you see. - After global warming really started to kick in with the meltdown of permafrost and methane hydrate, this area is becoming more habitable."
"Yes, on average the world is heating up."
"The thing about Russia is that it is not going to be too hot. It just starts to get comfortable, like Canada. The WCG has chosen Green Village to be the central place for preparing the land for new generations."
"What about the bio crisis?"
"The colder temperature have kept xeno hybrids away. And the toxin levels are here less grave. Good enough conditions to revamp these latitudes."
"Totally. Right now all this half-dead rusty-green grass and stray trees doesn't look very inviting."
Blake nodded. "Well, true, you really have to think in decades here."
Hanna: "Are you saying the climate and bio crisis poses such a threat to WCG that they are looking for new grounds?"
"Let's be honest. Humans only change when they fall flat on their faces. Damage and pain tells them what to avoid, not intelligence. They are ... inert masses. Not a hundred little girls with protest banners crying in front of some institution will change that. People may protest for political and economical independence, for a stable climate and plastic-free oceans. But they don't really want to change themselves."
"Isn't this the fault of our representatives? Every political party is promising their members the heaven on earth just to vote them into power. In their own ideological blindness they can't do the math for the true costs."
"You said representatives. Who is voting them into power? It's them. Now don't talk about lobbies, that just excuses. General speaking, all the people drive with their car to the discounter, fly with airplanes into vacations, ship around the oceans, buy annually a new smartphone that kicks off cascades of server interactions whenever making a simple online search - together with all the other electronic entertainment devices that incorporate rare earth elements which in turn leaves toxic mining sides behind. And then they demonstrate to save the eco-system. The single individual might be smart but the society is brain dead. What a joke."
Hanna: "I'm surprised you didn't mentioned the Amazon forest."
"Oh please. It's such a long-burning issue, it bores everybody to death. The dangers have been known for decades. Bla. Bla. Bla. The protests have become purely symbolic."
"Symbolic for what?"
"For our all hypocrisy. - Why do they even protest? Think about it. They consider themselves as too weak, no, as too comfortable, to get up their own asses. They ask their representatives to create laws to force themselves do the right thing."
"You are generalizing a lot of things. - And you don't think the politicians are to blame?"
"Of course, they too. They want to become re-elected. Especially politicians that have no other profession. Right there a contradiction of being a representative. But the real power comes from the people. Right? And what do they do with it? Little."
"It's fascinating how you can throw just everything together, oversimplifying. People are not not a unified thing, they are always groups of people."
"I am? Turn it around. Did you ever had the feeling that fighting politicians over details in talk shows are a gain for our society? The average Joes don't have the time to differentiate or to reflect. In a society of specialization they are not meant to think, but to work. Therefore the slogans must be simple. On top of that the politicians use a language to sound well-read, smart, trustworthy while covering inconvenient truths in a flush of phrases. Don't blame the WCG. The peoples vote the shit the governs them. In any system. We fight, disagree, lie, and hate each other. And therefor representatives act the same. A fine human nature we have there."
"From all your talk I assume you think of people as a collective are dangerous, stupid animals."
"Are we not? - Our so humanistic societies regularly start new wars. And climate change will not improve the situation."
"No hope in sight then, huh?"
"Planed or not, economic-wise globalization made the WCG adapt the European model. That is former states are now so much interconnected that a war between the regions – trade wars, resources wars, or any other wars – will damage everybody's economy. You can say about the WCG whatever you want but they keep the nationalists in check and prevent a nuclear holocaust. It's probably the only thing that the WCG is better at compared to all other systems. This interconnected global community renders the red button pointless."
"For an employee so close to the gov you are quite criticizing them."
"Hey, in this car I can say whatever I want."
"Interesting point right there. What about ideological dissidents and other people that are strongly obliged to their own conscience?"
"Victims of their own hypocrisy. It's never healthy to stay in a burning house. Just leave it. You know the WCG is not everywhere. That what the WCG is not, Africa is. Go there, maybe."
"Haha, you are impossible. You said climate change accelerated. Isn't Africa becoming a desert?"
"That means more waves of refugees, the WCG will get a thousand million new inhabitants, distribution problems, civil wars."
"Exactly. The WCG territories can barely keep their own issues under control. And now external factors heat up the system too, figuratively and literally. - People got so inflexible ideas on how a good life has to look like. Sharing resources with others, especially with new strangers, endangers those ideas. Existential fears promote hate and therefor violence. That's why our representatives have decided to make it difficult for refugees to enter our territory. The death and torment of the refugees was known to the politicians. And when that information was presented to us, the very most of us gave a damn. - The situation was already bad and it is getting worse."
"Basically you are saying, we cannot save ourselves by political means and social consensus anymore."
"What is fueling human survival and prosperity? Innovations and the exercise of science. The harnessing of fire, the creation of the wheel, the use of electricity. - We need every good scientist to break through these crises. If you really join us, you will be part of the elite, actually saving lifes."
"What about the non-WCG states?"
Blake smirked. "You cannot save everyone. When we have saved ourselves we can export our knowledge to them. Question is can you stay professional in the meantime and do what is necessary? Of all things that Green Village is, it is also an actual prototype of a self-sustaining village meant to withstand most difficult conditions. But we need your help to finish it. Can we count on you?"
"I became scientist to improve our lifes, that's also what I'm here for today, of course I will help you."
"Welcome to the family."
"Hey, wait a second. You lulled me in. You wanted to know my political beliefs. Was there anything you said your own opinion?"
"Calm down. This was just the political bullshit protocol. Terrorists don't write on their forehead that they are one. Only the most utterly ideological tinted blockheads and for those we have a special place."
"Damn, how I hate this."
"Hey, you passed. Don't be mad."
Green Village came into view, including its defense ring. Reason enough for Blake to reveal further details about the facility.
"Remember our talk about ideological blindness. Green Village is also a sci prison. The inmates themselves are unable to play a stabilizing function yet they can be of use."
"Aren't you too fast with your evaluation? I could still change my mind."
"No, you will not. Walker said I can trust you and he was always honest to me."
Blake: "She's somewhat naive but still usable. We will continue indoctrination and monitor her for additional six month on the top of the standards time frame."
"Good, good." The head of HR said. "I reviewed your talk with Ms. West. Sometimes just I don't know what side you are standing on. By chance, you are not a double-agent?"
Blake put up a bored face as if he was tired to hear such stupid questions. "In order to let the candidates make honest statements I meet them at their wavelength first and then get to business. Stabilizing someone's mind can be a delicate matter. That's what we transfer agents also do. We give memetic support when needed. As for this facility, we usually trash-talk about everyone else, point out discrepancies the candidates dream of repairing themselves, hailing their intelligence, and that they had been chosen to join the ultimate elite. We ignite the spirit in them to save the world - like their professors did at university, the good old times. Feeding them up with new ideals. Making them true WCG defenders. - Intelligent people are so easy to catch with their own hubris. I actually lost my best friend to such a facility." (Nobody believes him that story but it is the truth.)
"Ahahahaha. Aww, what pitiful story, Blake. Okay, that's enough, get out before break out into tears."
With a simple "Sir" Blake went for the door.
"But keep your WCG bashing to a minimum", it echoed from the HR.
Blake had exited the office. He grounded his teeth. "Paranoid asshole. - Suspecting me of double play."
Mention suspicion here that Hanna may work for terrorists since she just arrived after the Marburg incidence.
As part of her indoc Hanna is shown the underground machines for cloning plants and animals.
GV acts as digital Spitzbergen. They record the genetic, epi-genetic and anatomic information of any organism. The all-embracing data sets are the foundation for insilico research, for generating and altering new organisms. That way the villages can fully restore or alter their host eco-systems may it be due to climate change or after any other global catastrophe like asteroid impacts.
GV's infrastructures to cope with worst case scenarios are later abused by GOP to participate in the Black Season war. [Leviathan, Behemoth, etc.]
[Pun on smart concrete and the Bioc. Mention Dakosta, GOP and GATC briefly here.]
Kimura uses a construction worker to get into GV and steal another sample of Jamie. By doing that he discovers a interesting story behind the Bioc concrete. But besides being interesting the Bioc has currently no real value to him. Kimura cuts lose ends by disposing the construction worker.
[Direct followup story of Kimura's revelations about the Bioc and GATC. A technology they secured for WCG after causing a massacre.]
Griffin knew that after the war they couldn't stay mercs forever and hence used the TCTF Blackops as an exit strategy for himself and GATC members.
However, their new lives are not so peaceful as expected. Organized crime is increasing.
After one of Griffin's close friends got almost killed by an Syndicate attack he owns the situation by putting his own life on the line again.
He got intel that Syndicate and Yakuza planned to take over an Iron Demon that was waiting at the docks to change ship.
[BGI is a PMC and manufacturer of military material. Their close connection of the Syndicate made it relative easy to let them take over their Iron Demon.]
They wanted to destroy a police school, TCTF facilities and housing blocks. Griffin pulled together all his GATC/Blackstars resources to regain control of the Iron Demon and forced the local groups to agree on a no-kill deal. As reward for the dangerous operation Griffin is supposed to become the next regional TCTF commander.
[During the years the symbiotic relationship grows stronger and stronger. Griffin's philosophy is that the Yakuza are simply the smaller evil. He know of the historic structures of the Syndicate and that their organization is still growing. One day they will have invaded every part of economy and society making it impossible to remove them. So the deal with a Yakuza is in fact a delaying tactic. Mai is his ace to bring the Syndicate down. A fact that he shows to Takahashi.]
Hasegawa and Kerr test their invention against ordinary infections and the sample. But the results are suboptimal against Jamie's pathogens.
The sci have more ideas on how to improve their tech. Kimura sees the potential and is willing to support them.
To realize their plans Kimura seeks out another expert, Pensatore.
First visit and "recruitment".
Pensatore discussed with Avatara their current state and why AIs were strongly needed within the WCG when they received a message that their project was going to get another financial partner. The professor was supposed to welcome the suprise visitor. They got so much money that Pensatore was ordered to arrange the tour through the labs himself to show their gratitude.
Kimura claimes to be a tech-affine billionaire leading one of BGI's companies and asked Pensatore to explain him the Avatara project and its evolution by his own words. [Kimura is the anti-batman ;-)]
“Life and intelligence are emergent phenomena so we came to the conclusion that your approach better should be bottom-up: Studying the smallest units first, the behavior of atoms and molecules and later DNA and entire cells. Eventually, entire organisms. Bacteria, insects, humans.”
“Our interdisciplinary team of theoretical biologists and computer scientists had worked on Avatara for more than a decade already to finally fulfill the promises of AI research that had been made in the past. We really don’t want to see another AI winter.”
“During the first years I constantly remembered the running gag of fusion energy – that it is always 30 years away. But now we are really closing in on AI.”
“The teams took their time to review old textbook knowledge and corrected it where necessary. We simply didn’t wanted to fail just because of inaccurate basics.”
“You maybe remember the hype from the human genome project. It was said that the one reference genome will revolutionize the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of most, if not all, human diseases. Doctors will cure diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetes and cancer.”
“As we know today, that was a foolish thought for various reasons. Even if you have the whole sequenced genome you are still missing more than 50 percent of the raw information to understand the more complex diseases – the other half being the epigenetic information layers like DNA methylation and histone modifications.”
“On top of that you have to watch out for dynamic factors like microbiome and virome – all the other cells inside the human body that are part of him but don’t derive from his own genetic codes.”
“When all data of a level was reviewed we increased the abstraction of our models. Superficially, you may think of them as onions with their layers or hollow Matroschka puppets made of wood. The more layers our model had the more complete and live-like is got.”
“The usual way for our abstraction – reduction of complexity – was to determine the normal and exceptional conditions of before-named smallest units.”
“For living organisms we eventually assumed a lot of normal conditions and shifted focus to neural sensation and its processing. This allows us to run the simulation with exceptional condition like disease, immune reactions, intake of nutrients and cell growth only when wanted to.”
“Intelligence doesn’t pop up into existence by plugging together enough hardware. If you really want to understand it, you have to simulate cell growth and learning processes as well.”
“So, to cut a long story short, we simulated most simple lifeforms and their environment first, then increased cell count and complexity again for higher cognitive abilities.”
“Single cell sims were mostly used to study metabolisms, gene networks and signaling pathways. On level of colonies we included emergent phenomena like quorum sensing – chemical communication among bacteria. Next we needed to incorporate the microbiome and virome before accurately simulate the lifecycle of whole populations of microbes. For our biologist this was interesting for studying the effects of transposomes, immune systems like CRISPR CAS and symbiotic relationships.”
“I had to wait three more years before further complexity could be added. We were so close to simulate organism on level of an animals and create AIs on their level.”
“Eventually Avatara reached the mental capacities of a human child. Naturally, it had become more than a simulation of living cells. By now it had experienced its very own evolution insilico.”
“It’s kind of funny how much time and resources we needed to create and understand complex models and simulations just to safely reduce the complexity again for specialized working modes.”
“For instance when you really only want to use the visual pattern recognition you can turn off the molecular and genetic layer. This gives you more computation for the actual problem solving and not the support structures. And note Avatara is just a tool to create even greater AI, right now we are working on self-optimization.”
“I wish I could have given you a shorter explanation of our project but you cannot simply create an strong AI by ignoring 3.5 billion years of evolution."
Kimura smirked: “It’s okay. I know two other guys with a similar scope. You should meet them. I think you all will make a great gang of crackheads.”
Pensatore: “Excuse me?”
Kimura hit Pensatore on the shoulder: "Oh come on, why don't you show me your mad scientist cave, uhm sorry, lab, where all my billions are transformed into new technologies. It's behind that door, right? I can already scent the innovations behind it."
Pensatore was perplexed. How did he know? What was up with that attitude? Was it because that man was so insanely rich?
The Prof. tried to roll with it.
"Please don't be disappointed. We haven't yet any laser sharks."
[Kimura regularly uses Kumo's black money pools for his own purposes. Kumo tries to keep money for himself, not passing it to the Controllers. But the Controllers and Kimura know of his actions and make him pay anyway. Kimura is in charged of the Network's espionage and counter-espionage so he takes the freedom to inflict disciplinary actions against such subbosses.
Kimura created a dummy corporation to get in contact with Pensatore and the Avatara project. He made the WCG oversight believe that he was a new financial partner in research matters. To the outside world his setup was just a branch of the globally operating heavy machines specialist BGI which produced military equipment for the WCG. Not only would Kimura accelerate his own project but also the research of WCG which he would steal later again for the Network and Syndicate. So this all, though having an ironic dimension, was a win-win for both.]
[Pensatore shows Avatara to the VIP. The robot is in a hall to test his spatial awareness and locomotion. Kimura ask the robot for a sparring match. The outside world is a dangerous place and a highly valuable piece of self-aware tech better knows to defend himself. Pensatore thinks that his guest looks for military application since the source of money is BGI. Kimura is impressed how fast the AI can adapt to his attacks and confirms that Avatara has great potential. This thought is also mirrored by the later SLD project.]
[Kimura invites Pensatore to his company to give them advice for HPC architecture. Eventually Kimura decides to force Pensatore to permanently participate in the Daodan research.]
The prototypes must be based on real DNA.
Kimura wanted to manipulate Hasegawa to get Sturmänderung finally running.
"Imagine you eventually created your Daodan prototypes and your kids get lethally ill and you cannot help them - just as you couldn't help Jamie - because you used someone else DNA. Then what? Shoot them in the head? Don't let that happen Hasegawa."
-> Muro first superhuman. Will attract rough elements. But why not use this as a chance to control these elements.
"Muro can lead them. No one can fight him. If they try, they will fail."
H: "Lead to what?"
Ki: "Independence? A better world? Were everyone has a Chrysalis, where no one has to die just because thorny brushes.
They will do whatever he says. Well, not just everything. You have to bait their self-interests.
Thing is, pack your plan in an attractive wrapping and they will buy it."
"Let's say we take over the Syndicate. How does that help us to deliver the Daodan to the people."
Kimura: "Create the necessity, make the people welcome it."
Let us work us out the details later.
Kimura: "Well then, the ACC, we can repair them and render the WCG obsolete. [Lookup geyser's notes?] With them out of the picture we can distribute the Daodan."
"Or if the ACC repair spectacularly fails, God forbid, the WCG will be no help to the people, but the Daodan."
"This or another way the Daodan could be given to them, no more interferences."
They finished the Daodan Chrysalis.
Avatara, an AI Pensatore helped creating, gets suspicious about his master's behavior and traces his whereabouts after a longer phase of absence.
The TCTF was about to raid the warehouse they usually work at. So Kimura sent Syndicate troops to evacuate them.
Hasegawa is evacuated, while Kerr hid(?) with the other prototype. He told the TCTF as soon as possible to save Mai.
Kimura escaped with Hasegawa in a van that uses a dynamic transponder signal and a kind of artificial cephalopod camouflage.
Kimura killed the thug to cut lose ends. In a desolate backstreet he called a special waste disposal service.
"Yes, express option please."
Hasegawa: "You guys are sick."
Kimura: "Come on, James. You know what you were into when you entered that warehouse."
Kimura told Hasegawa to find Kerr later. In the meantime they discuss and plan Sturmänderung.
Kerr takes Mai to TCTF
[to merge elsewhere] Science prison
Because of shortage in manpower Hanna can't do the research she intended to do herself. Instead she is instructed to monitor and evaluate the work of "sci" inmates.
During Hanna's first medical checkup one of Navarre's sympathizer injects some tiny neural links that attaches to the cranial nerves. The recorded patterns of inner monologues and actual talk are used to first map her voice and then filter out overfluent signals such as those of breathing. The sci listen to her inner monologue to find out more about her motivations and more importantly whether she can be trusted. They later reveal to her that by means of the neural links they can not only hear but also talk with each other silently.
The general director states that they allow the sci relatively great freedom within the research complex to foster results. That is to use their full potential and to not lose the arms race against the Syndicate. On the other hand outgoing communication and traffic at the gates happens under "extreme" standards. Transports can take days to pass the customs.
Green Village has a military defense ring, followed by a ring of customs, and situates everything else in its center. The complex was under construction for three decades and still isn't finished. During the last decade construction workers has been replaced by robots and SLDs.
By the physical dimensions Green Village looks more like a city, though its population counts only 5000. This number includes the 2000 sci, 500 workers and technicians, 500 overseers and certified WCG sci, and 2000 in military service.
When Hanna thinks of the inner security as too weak and therefore reasoning the director as being naive she can hear a laughing but can't recognize its origin.
[to merge elsewhere] 64 equals 20
Hanna and the inmates work on ideas to provide the CDC with new life-saving technologies. They plan to smuggle the information through Hanna's cells, encoded in DNA. (The 64 codons can code only for 20 amino acids.)
Also known as "plan 6420".
Daodan implantation / Biosafty concerns
In the new lab.
[Kimura long-term plan was to get Kerr and Mai. But monitoring and managing the doctors (Hasegawa and Pensatore), the boys (Muro, Ryu, Tomo, others spare part candidates) and the overall situation required his full attention. -> Birth of ego hybrida Mukade.]
Maria (Hanna) joins TCTF
Sytropin and food control
Daodan growth get suppressed.
Mai fake OP (Maria, Kerr fool Griffin)
Pest control (assassination plans for Muro)
Corruption of Hasegawa by Kimura
[After Hasegawa spend so much time with time in isolation with Kimura and Pensatore, Mai would have been potential disruptive for Sturmänderung. Hasegawa might have not be willing to sacrifice Muro if he regains Mai and thought that they all could become a happy family again. So Kimura changed his mind and ignored Mai's and Kerr's fate for the most part.]
Ego hybrida Mukade
[re-indroducing a character from Oni's dev phase]
[Mai's training. Accidental Daodan spikes.]
Muro, Ryu, Tomo, Kimura vs. Strikers
[sends killers after Griffin, Takahashi saves him]
[relavation that the Yakuza protect Griffin]
Griffin, Mai and the reindeers (indoc)
Griffin plans to replace Kumo with Victor.
in return Victor is supposed ignore Neo-Tokio and therefor Griffin.
The plan requires Kumo to be put into a weaker position first.
So Griffin takes Mai to a flase-flag opperation to.
After Vendret saves Daya from the burning house, she successfully defends Kumo from Victors attack.
Muro in the Camp
Friendly rivalry with Ryu
Muros's missions with Traton and Daodandroids
Saomi, GATC Z
Alliance with BGI, Sarai
Churi, Sledgehammer bar
Car bomb, death of Tomo
Further assassination attempts from Z
Death of Pensatore
Death of Hasegawa
Exil of Traton
Dispute with Ryu
Muro reveals Sturmänderung to the Strikers
War against BGI
Peace treaty with BGI
temporary, they build new Iron Demons
A matter of trust
Hanna went to Neo-Tokio to learn more about the Daodan project. As a former CDC employee she is tasked to evaluate Mai status of bio-safty.
But as a member of Green Village she has a second identity outside of the science prison by default and therefor also acts as Mai's psychologist.
Years after Mai's faked OP Griffin pushes Hanna (Maria) to leave.
[Don't forget Griffin is kind of a monster. The minds of war vets and agents can become wicked.]
On top of their conflict a question of trust emerged.
Griffin is in the top 10 of TCTF commander having one of the biggest black budgets worldwide. That's because he is in charge of the entire urban region of Tokyo while having established Black Ops division and unified all the other TCTF departments there. TCTF Controller Tamte has a hard time doing his duty as Griffin himself is often directly involved in black ops or related affairs which Tamte often has no clearance for. Maria tries to help Tamte out with information which Griffin got to know of one day.
[Fun detail: The committee grants Griffin's spending on his elevator knowing that he has put his life most front in the battle against organized crime and the Syndicate.]
Griffin was furious. How could Maria have a higher level of clearance than himself. He, a regional commander of the Technology Crimes Task Force.
Tracy: "This clearance is connected to our highest technological domain."
Griffin: "What kind of bogus is this? You are aware that the damn first letter of TCTF stands for technology? Right? It should be within my clearance to know what she knows."
"Afraid, not. We can only tell you she is a specialist and also meant to evaluate Konoko's status of bio-safty."
Griffin figured there was his chance. "So, when Konoko's status is determined, Maria's job is done."
Well, yes, that and it depends on how she thinks of the overall situation."
After Konoko's 17th birthday her bio-safty status was determined. One week later the report was sent out and Griffin called Maria to join him for a meeting in another district.
They passed Yakuza controlled blocks set in the light of dusk. Maria and Griffin watched the scenery. "A few years back we couldn't have taken this road." Explained Griffin. "To extreme were our relations. Sure, per statistics these are still criminal hotspots. But after laborious work and ... harsh negotiations ... things got far better." They passed a generator of the city dome shield. "We even created a new exit strategy for the Yakuza. Those who are willing to leave their clan can work here and re-socialize." Another car passed them, another one was behind them. They were some clan members. "You have no idea what it took us to get this far. - You seem unable to see the bigger picture. So I decided to show to you. Not that it makes a difference. The damage is done." Maria felt uncomfortable. "I'm supposed to comment this? Or congratulate you? Actually I'm pretty sure you just insulted me." "I know of the plan you and Kerr cooked up. I know of the faked OP."
Maria didn't say anything. She just starred at the streets which had become "relatively peaceful".
Griffin continued. "Today, I'm trying to tell you that you don't belong here. The Yakuza is one thing. But the Syndicate is an entire other level of danger and disgrace. We need Konoko someday to stop them."
It was night. Griffin's car came to a hold at an old corner of an industrial complex inside a hangar. It looked all dead. Perfect for cliché-ish gang meeting.
There were other cars parking in a circle, the lights on.
In the middle was a truck. It's loading ramp was down with four open barrels.
They exited the car. Some thugs were chatting and laughing. Others just seemed to wait.
Griffin grabbed her at both shoulders. "Hanna", he said in a very strong tone.
Maria replied afraid. "Yes?" Then she realized. "Oh shit."
Griffin had baited her." Exactly. You were not honest." He dragged her in the middle of the circle where the truck stood.
"Here are your two options of today. Accept your transfer or end in a barrel."
They stepped closer. She red the letter, "Biowaste disposal. 55 gallons (208 liters)."
"That's a joke, right?" Hanna asked.
"Take a closer look."
The smell of scruffy flesh was biting their noses.
There were two filled barrels with dead bodies. At the side they read two lines written with blood.
Apparently, the contents were two dead TCTF agents.
Griffin took a taser and turned to Hanna. "Now then. There is an empty barrel. We did such a long trip here. You should at least test it. It will surely help you make decisions." He pulled the trigger.
Electricity danced through the air.
Hanna: "Griffin, what the hell is this?"
"I do what I have to", he replied and pulled the trigger another time, aiming for her belly.
Hanna went to the ground, overwhelmed by pain. "Help her in."
One TCTF was obviously concerned of further actions. "Sir?"
"In that state, she won't make it on her own. Now!"
The TCTF packed her into the barrel and closed it.
"Undercover mission can end badly if you don't inform your commander in charge. You know how I lead the departments. You know our house rule, my rules. I told you often enough I set them up for good reason."
He took a baseball bat and started to hit the barrel. "Unpleasant things can happen if you aren't honest. You endanger your colleagues, you endanger the mission."
Hanna screamed. "Griffin. What the fuck are you doing?! - Kyyyaaaaa."
"That's right Hanna, that's you in a barrel if the Syndicate gets you! - In fact, they have barrels for all of us! For you because you know Mai. And for me because there is A 10 MILLION BOUNTY ON MY HEAD!" Griffin hit the barrel even harder.
At Takahashi's side a thug tried to pull his guns and looked greedy at the Yakuza boss who hold him back and shook head in a disapproving manner.
Griffin continued in his rage. "And for my all of my agents, to send them in chunks back to TCTF and make and example out of them. - They even have a barrel for Takahashi-san because he turned against them and did not let them take over this city."
There was a water truck nearby. Griffin took a water hose and filled the barrel at a damaged spot on top.
"You may say secrets, but trust is equally important to keep us alive in this business."
Hanna started to panic. "Let me out, you sick bastard."
"Trust, loyalty, motivation, determination. I don't see any of this in you."
Griffin continued to hit the barrel.
"EVERY - TIME - YOU - TRIED - TO - SABOTAGE - MY - ACTIONS"
The barrel started to overflow. Griffin kicked it down.
The barrel rolled over the scene, losing water everywhere, slowly ending at Takahashi. He stopped it with his foot. "Is that it?"
Griffin threw him a sign so that Takahashi knew it was his turn.
He took out two plasma pistols. "Let me make sure she understands your message."
Bam, bam, bam. The barrel started to burn everywhere and moved again. The thugs had fun kicking it forth and back.
"Haha, that's awesome." Takahashi and his men laughed.
"Takahashi!", Griffin demanded.
The Yakuza boss understood. He switched to rapid fire and cut a hole into the water truck.
The barrel cracked at all sides and broke under the clashing wave. Hanna was half rolling half diving through tons of water. As soon as the wave died she fought for air.
They gave her time to recover.
Griffin stepped in front of her and pointed the bat at her. "Tomorrow I await your transfer request." Griffin and his bodyguards took the car and the transporter with the dead agents.
Takahashi crouched down to Hanna. "This might be an awkward moment but let me ask you. Do you want to work for me? I could need some insights into this guy and the TCTF. What do ya say?"
He pulled on her hair so she would reply to his face.
Hanna was crying. "You are all sick."
Takahashi released his grip. Hanna's head smashed under its own weight onto the watered asphalt.
The man reloaded his plasma pistols and aimed at her.
An moment of lethal tension passed.
"You should be grateful that Griffin let you go so easily."
Takahashi holstered his pistols and made sign to leave.
They all left her alone.
Hanna was slowly standing up. Clothes soaked with water. Beaten up. Wounds of burn. Bleeding scratches. A laceration at the forehead. And yet the night could have ended much worse.
[It follows an extra scene. It should be told in retro view (flashback or told memory) to not destroy the impact of the lines above.]
Hanna wanted to leave as well until she noticed that she stepped on something.
A glass-cracking sounded. Hanna picked up the item to just realize it was one of the empty energy cells Takahashi left behind.
Engraved she could read a two-liner.
"Manufactured by BGI in WCG region 49"
"Certified for TCTF equipment and armory"
'Where did Takahashi got this? From Griffin?'
[Besides the obvious question and its implication, long-time Oni fans know that BGI is supposed to be a shady organization and a connection to the TCTF might spice up future events.]
[Another scene should follow indicating that time passed.]
Griffin and Takahashi were eating at their usual location. Their men were waiting outside.
Two thugs on a bench, left side from the door. One was smoking.
Two TCTF stood in uniform at the right side.
They were making sure that no one else went through that door - no civ, no Yakuza, no police, no others than Griffin and Takahashi.
Griffin: "You almost shot Maria - or Hanna - or whatever her real name is. What was that for?"
Takahashi: "Don't take that too serious, Griffin-san. I couldn't let you act all big in front of my men and me doing nothing."
The food was served.
"Finally." Griffin was hungry.
He had ordered sashimi - raw slices of trout. Takahashi had his fish on ice served as ikizukuri - in few cuts, still alive.
Griffin: "Are you doing this on purpose. Showing me what tough guy you are?"
Takahashi smiled. "What are you talking about? I just like fresh fish."
"That's barbaric", the Commander declared, then swallowed a piece of trout fillet.
"You say this is cruel, I say it is honest." The Yakuza took the middle from the fish. The head was still twitching, trying to get oxygen.
"He sees his death coming, he knows who his murderer is. -- You seem to prefer your food to be killed in your absence, letting someone else do the job. This is kind of dishonest - to you and the animal."
Griffin was aiming with the sticks at his opposite. "You should know me better. - I just find it gruesome to inflict unnecessary pain."
"Says the raging man with a baseball bat."
Griffin took another piece. "Necessary pain."
Griffin's wrist gadget was lighting up. He put one finger to the ear to better hear the incoming message.
Maria tried to withdraw her recommendation for Mai's bio-safty status. The commander had precautionally revoked her TCTF network usage rights. Her message would remain on their TCTF server without an error being shown at Maria's terminal. But he didn't think she would actually try to betray him another time.
"Bitch! This stupid bitch!"
"Speak of the devil", the Yakuza concluded.
"I thought she learned something. But no."
"Maybe you shouldn't have electro-shocked her. Her mind seems so mislead and fragile. Who knows what state it is now. Do you what me to fix it?"
Griffin slowly leant back as if he was considering the offer for a moment.
"No. You will not kill her. - For now I've everything I need, she won't be a factor."
"For now?" The Yakuza took another piece of living sea bass.
"You know Griffin, this is just not about Mai anymore. Your ace in the hole is also mine. Sure, my men do make more money without the Syndicate around. They trust my judgement and power and your IT specialist helped us to prevent the worst. But the Syndicate is still the top of the food chain and if they decide to send a team of crazy super mutants and we don't have even one to fight back - what then? I would be lying to myself if I'd say my men's loyalty or trust is limitless. - I cannot approve such unnecessary risk."
Takahashi went for the head of the sea bass.
Griffin smashed the plate with his fist. The entire table trembled. Shards of ice and smashed flesh were flying through the air. Takahashi wiped over his face.
After a pause Griffin stood up and went for the door.
The commander turned his head to the Yakuza just before he exited the location.
"Keep your hands off her."
It was Hanna's last day in Neo-Tokio and she had send her second report to Green Village. In a mix of relief and new nervosity she was on her way to the airport.
In her mind she was already at the science prison, far away from Griffin's monstrosities, there at other monstrosities, but at least she would be with Bertram and the others. A smile was playing on her face.
Her driver received a call.
After five minutes the car stopped. Two men entered and took seat so they were looking each other face to face. The group taxi continued.
Hanna nervosity was rising.
As they passed the last ramp to Vansam she knew something was off.
"Hey, were are we you driving at?"
The man behind the wheel didn't replied. The other two also remained silent.
The car was back at the periphery of the older parts of the city.
Finally one man resolved the situation. "In the light of recent events Takahashi-dono wants to give you a present, so that you don't forget us. There is only one condition. You must get it yourself."
"What if I don't want it", Hanna asked rhetorically.
"You cannot reject a present from Takahashi. This would be too much of a dishonor."
They exited the car. Hanna looked down the street looking for an escape.
The men were in their twenties and in good health. She would never succeed in running away from those two.
One made sign to her to enter the store the taxi stopped at.
It was a tattoo store, motives and equipment were hanging at the walls.
[Blake is Maria's watchdog from Green Village. He is tasked to secure her transfers. Originally, he should have the name Barker. A pun on his watchdog function.]
Griffin was sitting at his desk and received a call. "It's me, Blake. I'm waiting here at the airport. Maria hasn't arrived yet. We just missed our check-in. Do you know where is she?"
"Don't tell me he did?" Griffin had a horrible suspicion.
"Who - did what?", Blake asked.
The Commander felt uncomfortable to let police forces search Maria and just find her dead body at Takahashi bringing up even more trouble.
"Damocles", Griffin commanded. "Check Maria's last known position, find her."
The inhouse AI showed transaction data and CCTV footage. In fast forwarding sequences Damocles' acts of conclusion were visible on Grffin's desk screen - it was as if he could watch the AI thinking. Maria had called a taxi and was on the way to the airport. Her red dot on the city map moved like a snake through a maze. Then two men joined the car.
"Keep tracking. Send the final coordinates to me and Blake. When we are on the road coordinate the traffic flow."
[Takahashi's men gave her neuromuscular blocker so she was paralyzed but felt all the pain, to further intimidate her, and to discredit her in front of Green Village. A connection to the Yakuza would make it impossible for her to continue work at the sci prison. The visible tattoos were made by sprays of color and aggressive lasers - not like the ones used for removal. It had to be done quickly before the Griffin could show up. The invisible, medical tattoo was connected to an old Syndicate ID. The body scanners at the airport would detect it and store the information inside the TCTF database. Takahashi invested some money so he would later have access to this information. Besides kicking Maria out of the Daodan program therefor destroying her remaining link to Mai, Takahashi wanted to know where the program was located. He hoped that the information is valuable enough as a reinsurance in case the Syndicate visits him in person. After the cataclysm Takahashi offers to switch sides and give Kumo the information in order to spare his life. Kumo was pro-BGI and defied Muro's ideological goals. Kumo sends a team to Green Village to retrieve Daodan Chrysalis for his own purposes. When the Yakuza realized how bad the situation was for just everyone they started in undermine the power of local Syndicate forces again. They helped out GATC to rescue Griffin from an attacked hospital.]
A month had passed. Griffin and Takahashi were back at the Yakuza controlled restaurant.
"Don't smash the fish again."
"Don't tattoo my agents."
"Ha! You wouldn't have lost a tear if her taxi had crashed and burnt in an unfortunate accident."
"These are exactly the kind of talks we shouldn't do."
"Calm down. I followed your rules very closely. I didn't killed her and I didn't inflict unnecessary pain."
With a resigned sigh Griffin buried his face.
Takahashi filled a cup of sake and placed it near Griffin.
"The other bosses really liked the photos - especially those of you and your helplessly looking face."
Griffin put on a grumpy expression and drank the sake.
"On the plus side this strengthened my position, well, that I'm still good enough to talk to you. Just leave me that victory. It's good for all of us. - Come on. Just forget about her."
Griffin took the bottle to fill another cup. "Politics are the worst."
Takahashi took back the bottle. "Is this your qualified assessment as a govvy man?"
"Elections are coming up. We got information that the Syndicate tries to keep mayor Nobu in power. He has always been an opportunist. Under his next term and influence we expect Syndicate capital to be used to take over important IT infrastructure in this area. It will increase hacking attacks, tech smuggling and reduce our detection rate in cyber crimes and our - both - security." Griffin was pointing meaningful to Takahashi and himself.
"Aha. Well, elections are the times of smear campaigns. I would be very surprised if it would be any different this time."
Griffin was covering his face again. "Uh, I need more sake."
Takahashi laughed cordially. "Haha, sure thing."
One life for all
Feng was cleaning the blackboard with a dry sponge. Board after board after board. Calculations, graphs, models. Tabula resa.
Small clouds of chalk dust formed just to fade again. He stopped to feel the chalk on his fingers. Behind him the banks where empty, except for one seat.
The man cough slightly. Feng turned around. "Oh, a visitor. I didn't noticed you coming in. - What's the name?"
"I'm still thinking of it. But in this room you can call me something new."
"Serious, a nickname?"
Feng saw how "<< SomethingNew >>" popped up above the other man's head. "Hmm, this is against rules and not tolerated. - As far as I know."
"Is this always that empty here?", New asked.
"It's Sunday, I locked to room and the world is falling apart. Choose one."
"I'm sorry do you want me to leave again?"
Feng continued cleaning the board. "Since you are already here why don't you tell me what you want."
"Shin asked me to look for support. Her big sister is in trouble."
"Do I know that Shin?"
"Then why did you made it sound like that I know her?"
"I'm still learning the nuances of human language."
"Is that a joke? Is it because I'm Chinese? Are you pulling here a Chinese room experiment joke?"
"Good guess. But no. That wasn't my intention. - I'm an AI and I want you to believe me."
Feng had finished the board and walked up the stairs to New. "In a Chinese room experiment you actually try the opposite."
The professor took a seat next to the young man who replied. "I've read your estimation."
"I do a lot of those. Be more specific."
"Quote. We stood before a new world war and Mai Hasegawa made herself the tipping point. Her intervention happened at the perfect time. By starting the apocalypse herself she basically saved us. We can righteously blame her for the mess. It will avoid more casualties, giving the opportunity to immediately start rebuilding. With her we don't need to hate and destroy ourselves, we just need to hate and destroy her for justice and calming pain and suffering. She can be the scapegoat. To appease any critics we can point out that she was a rogue agent. Apparently she joined her brother Muro, head of the Syndicate, to destroy the world as we know it. End of quote."
"What about it? She pushed the button. What normal person would do that?"
"You are aware that this is not the full story."
"Shin does. And she's mad. That's why I'm here."
[Feng is WCG's most acknowledged sci consultant. He has ALS, therefor bound to the wheelchair and chose to live in Green Village among the sci inmates. He enjoys discussing with them in VR as his speaking capabilities are limited by the sickness.
Avatara had seek out Feng asking him to change his estimation in hope the WCG would stop their manhunt on Mai.
Shin is about to hamper crisis management if Mai is accused for genocide. In worst case Shin will go on a rampage if Mai gets executed for false claims. Mai's sister SLD might become herself a global threat so Avatara tries to stop that from happening.
He argues that Mai is no fully developed person as she was educated by TCTF. She is a living weapon wired to prevent Muro and nothing else. It's the TCTF's guilt that she became what she is now.
Feng tends to agree with Avatara but the WCG won't let go their scapegoat. (Mai fights against her Blackstars friends until they defect to her side. GATC planned to use her as a leverage against WCG to recover the sovereignty of USA.)
The AI recaps that human are still too emotional and run into self-destruction.
Pensatore thought him that humans strive to become better, leaving their negative sides behind, but the fall of his own master to wrath makes Avatara doubt.
He waits up to the last moment to act. Mind Seal is not something he wants to do.]
Blake was entering the lecture room. "We had a security breach."
Feng walked slowly at the boards up and down. Instead of chalk drafts there were multiple simulations of planet Earth. "And?"
"You know this doesn't happen, not in GV. But the invader accessed every system, no matter how trivial or important it was. So that included your VR. - I just thought of stopping by to see how you are doing."
"I never heard of a VR becoming lethal. This is not Star Trek killing people behind exploding computer terminals."
Blake looked at the board. "Anyway, I just noticed someone logging off just when I joined. - You worked with him on political prediction models? The WCG has quite bunch of those."
Feng stared at the projections. "There are powers we were not aware of. This is something new."
"And what is it?"
"I'm not sure yet but I'm thinking along the lines of neural networks and quantum supremacy."
The lights in the room were flickering. Eventually everything broke down.
In the darkness Feng was thinking. "Thanks god this was just a friendly visit."
Feng was back in his room, back in the wheelchair, back in his useless body. His very own prison.
Green Village talks
After the cataclysm and GV's partial destruction the surviving sci discussed the release of Daodan technology.
Bertram's final speech:
In many areas medicine is technological still in the stone age.
We know there are substances in plants that old cultures knew to be effective and we did not systemically studied them up to this date.
We lost the race against multi-resistant bacteria.
We can do full body simulations to accelerate in silico research and drug discovery but we chose not to.
We are able to fly to Moon and Mars but we are not able to print or grow new organs.
As long as we have to cut the human body open and destroy tissue and bones to repair target regions as that long we should not be satisfied by our success.
It's a shame. It's depressing. And it's a wonder that we can name ourselves doctor and not turn red.
Now look at the Daodan-Chrysalis. A quantum lead in every aspect.
On the other side is the Black Season, driving us into extinction. Because in our panic we started to tear ourselves into pieces over the remaining resources.
Konoko entered the hall. Her aura was burning in a mysterious purple, radiating pure power. Starving eyes stared at her might.
In this darkest night we need to ignite this flame of new hope, guiding us back onto our way.
This is not the time to do nothing. This is not the time to just die here.