Date: 4th October, 2177
Mood: So so so happy! I got to see Fae Ling Moon! She played her new anthem and the lights were amazing and I only missed the last two songs because of rioting, and Alt spoilt it a bit but we did good business. I didn’t get to kill anyone so it went much smoother than the last Fae Ling Moon concert I went to, it’s sooo annoying spending an hour hiding in a gutter avoiding the Goliath stompers just because some ugly dude put his hand up your skirt, but this time I had to lug all those stupid books around in my backpack so I guess that’s probably almost as annoying.
Outfit: Someone had to carry the books in disguise, in a safe container, so guess who got the job of lugging them around in a Landoseru? But that was cool really because it means I got to wear my schoolgirl outfit, the one with the white leg warmers and the little sailor shirt. Sooo retro! Pops didn’t want me wearing the skirt so short but I told him the story about that the ugly dude I shot, and he seemed to relax. But then he told me not to shoot anyone! Honestly, there’s no pleasing some people! Most of the guys I worked with were more than happy with my schoolgirl outfit and they always wanted me to be shooting more people! Pops made up for it by looking after the backpack most of the time, so I went off dancing with glowsticks and this really suave water bottle I bought at the New Horizon airport when I was coming back from a brief bit of wetwork on an oil rig. It looks like a piece of an alien, it’s by this accessories company called Gigerized, it really suits Disaster Parties! But even with the weird alienhead bottle I still looked really conservative, Disaster Parties are soooo crazy.
News: Now that Pops is back online we get a constant stream of ranting about the news, and now that his knee is cybered up I can’t short circuit the ranting by unplugging the power cord behind the fridge. I guess next time he has to take cover in a firefight I’ll appreciate that he doesn’t grunt and groan about it, but his decrepit joints did give me the occasional respite from his obssession with facts and social commentary and all his other weird obssessions. I’ve noticed Coyote is really into this news stuff too, and I bet from the dozy look in his eye that Ghost is surfing a whole bunch of news sites. Boys! Always worried about such trivial things! Like whether this new glut of cyberpsychos with cheap cybered workups is something to do with Sentech’s work on the docks, and all these accusations of corruption flying between corporate reps in the High Council. Like, who knew? A corporation was corrupt! Pops thinks I should be worried that Arasaka have withdrawn from the Indo warzone, since that means they will have more corporate Solos to send hunting me, which is like, a little from column A and a little from Column B, because how can little people like us know anything about what they’re doing, and if we can’t know why would we care?
Well anyway, I was thinking that but then I remembered something I read from that psycho Dialectical Ephemeralist visionary prophet chick, who said
There are some arenas so corrupt that the only clean acts possible are nihilistic.
And I started thinking about what I could do about that Arasaka contract. Nothing yet, but I don’t like having people out to get me, and sometime I’m going to have to do something about it. That pscyho prophet chick also said
In any agenda, political or otherwise, there is a cost to be borne. Always ask what it is, and who will be paying. If you don’t, then the agenda-makers will pick up the perfume of your silence like swamp panthers on the scent of blood, and the next thing you know, the person expected to bear the cost will be you. And you may not have what it takes to pay.
I know what the price is for what I did, and I guess I don’t want to be the one who has to pay. So I should pay more attention to what Arasaka are doing. Maybe they’ll mistake hiding for the perfume of my silence, and I’ll get to kill a few of their panthers…
Oh yeah, and the News also had a thing about rumours of some mutant kid who can access the Husk without a cyberdeck, how cool is that? Ghost told me not to believe anything I see on TV but hey, he was lapping up that news about Arasaka in the Indo Zone. I wanna find the Husk boy and see if he can hack me a year’s free nail designs just by thinking about it … I bet Alt would pay a lot to get access to that kid …
Speaking of Alt, we decided to give back her diaries. Well, we decided to sell her back her diaries. We’re not as stupid as Coyote looks, Dear Diary! Alt wanted us to meet her at a Disaster Party that was planned for an old overpass, and that’s when I discovered that Fae Ling Moon was playing there. Fae Ling Moon is soooo cool, she’s so cute and energetic and she does these awesome trance anthems with these great light shows that are coordinated to match the music and the mood of the party, which she can somehow judge through some kind of cyber connection she has. Which has got to be sooo illegal. She often plays Disaster Parties too, because the crowd energy is really intense and she can up the sympathetic cybereffects. This time was no exception, she was really beautiful and everything was amazing. The old flyover was from back in the time when hover vehicles were new, and people weren’t allowed to drive their AVs freely wherever they want, so they had to travel on these big roads that were like half a tube and half open to the air. The roads are still there but no one uses them anymore, so it was the perfect place for a disaster party. The party crew set up their speakers and stage on one side of the road, and then all of Fae Ling Moon‘s lightshow was projected against the arc of the closed side of the tube, and we could all dance and have fun in the road beneath it. The Disaster Party crew made sure to bring fast-packing stages and sound, so when the Disaster starts they can flee, but it didn’t affect Fae Ling‘s show – she was still great.
Alt affected Fae Ling‘s show though. When she arrived she hacked Fae Ling‘s lights and system, so when she flew in in her AVs she sent this wave of lights through the performance and jacked the music. That’s rude! But then her lackeys handed out these drugs to everyone, and once the party was really going – and after she met us – she did some stupid hacker thing that gave her control of all the neural systems of the people on the drugs. Then she triggered some kind of light show on Fae Ling‘s set that made all the drugged audience start twitching and spazzing. I think she did it just to impress us, and I think Ghost things she’s a stupid show off.
But hacking other people’s cyberware is a big deal, and it would be really cool if Ghost had some power to do that. So I asked her, and she gave Ghost some software she said he can use to hack the cyberware of our enemies. We had a chat, see, before the Disaster started and the Party started turning violent. She made a deal with us – that she will give us anything we want if we can find her sister Samantha, the girl in the video. She is sure that Samantha is still alive and she has some ideas about how to start looking for her. That seems to be the reason that Lima came to New Horizon. She said she won’t pay us for jobs we do in the search for Samantha, but she’ll let us take any money or gear we find on the jobs, she’ll give us as much time as we want to look, and if we find Samantha she’ll give us anything we want.We didn’t get to find out fully the limits of what that means, because our polite little chat was broken up by a rival Disaster Party coming to crash the events, and that’s when the shooting and the rioting started. Fae Ling Moon wasn’t bothered of course – her bodyguards are ex space marines and well used to sudden violent evacuations, she didn’t even break her last song as she was leaving. But we had to scamper fast, and we didn’t have time for pleasantries at that point. But we’re pretty sure Alt has a lot of money and influence, and whatever we want is going to be doable. Especially when you think about how unimaginative Coyote and Ghost and Pops are! (Though even Alt can’t bring Pops’s daughter back … though she could probably make him a clone …)
Alt also said she’ll pay us living expenses and medical costs if we get shot doing work for her. It’s a bit of a rough deal but we all want to do it. I think we all must have something we want from Alt.
My reasons are obvious – I want Arasaka’s contract off my back, and it will take a powerful hacker to make that happen. But Alt also hooked me in with her first job for us. There was a truck driver called Hog who was doing some kind of drug running for Lima, and he went missing a few days before we iced Lima. It turns out he got suddenly declared cyberpsychotic and taken to a high class cyberpsychosis treatment centre on Deck 1. Alt can get us in, and she wants us to get Hog out for questioning, and also the cybershrink who’s been treating him. This facility on Deck 1 is the facility that recycles cyberpsychotics and prepares them to become Full Body Reconstructions, these full-cybered android cops that have got to be seriously mentally damaged. If we can get out one of their cybershrinks, we can sell him to another corporation for huge money. Plus, we get to kill the rest of the cybershrinks on the way out.
I’ve got a debt to repay to that profession. I don’t like them, and I don’t like the way they decide who has a soul and who hasn’t. I think I’ve got something to tell that profession: that there’s a cost to be borne, and maybe this time I’m the swamp panther, and they’re the ones that are gonna be expected to bear the cost.
What do you think, Dear Diary? Is it time we got nihilistic?