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Unread 07-03-2009, 09:18 PM   #1
Astral Harmony
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Default Into the Data Dump 1

Episode 1: "Mmmm...nun guts."

"His AvaID is Nun_Gut_46821," Paingrieve said. She was all business as usual in the mornings when her brain was freshly rested. "It sounds kind of macabre, but when you switch the first letters of each word, you find out what this guy is really interested in. Particularly, he's searching for guns that existed way back in World War II. If you ask me, he's one of those rich idiots who has more money than he knows what to do with, so he unwisely spends it on pointless collections. I doubt the ass even knows which end you're supposed to keep away from your face."

The machines connected to Paingrieve begin to boot up all at once, providing lots of pointless data, the results of various boot up tests and whatnot. "Your objective is a transaction list for an old website that deals in these probably no-longer lethal relics. You can search forever in Centralpha and you'll probably only find some of what you're looking for, but with that transaction list, Nun_Gut_46821'll know where every old gun that has ever been sold through that website has wound up. He's actually already paid the full asking price in advance and is offering more for this list. He's an idiot, but he's a generous idiot, which makes him my personal favorite kind of customer. I'd like you to log into your Avatars and dive right into the Data Dump, heading for this website. Needless to say, I'll guide you straight there when you're ready to deploy."

A large blue holographic window opens up before the Data Hunters, giving them the basic information. "There shouldn't be much in the way of protections and the Endgame*, so it should be a smooth, easy pile of cash. Do you have any questions before you head on out?"

-----

Terminology: Endgame - In 2104 A.D., Endgame was the most bizarre and serious network virus to have ever come about, created by a brilliant and maniacal hacker named Joshua Wester. As fanatical about role-playing games as he was about ridding the world of technology, Wester unleashed a viral program called Endgame onto the Internet. The virus rapidly replicated itself across nearly the entire world wide web in the form of fantasy monsters that attacked and destroyed all kinds of files, but that wasn't all. Endgame was poised was destroy everything from the stock market to satellites and beyond.

Wester's powerful virus was defeated by...the craziest of things, a counter virus called Legion. What's so crazy about it? This counter virus was created by Joshua Wester as well. Legion functions in nearly the same way that Endgame did, except the fantasy monsters created by Legion attack and destroyed the fantasy monsters created by Endgame.

How or why is left up in the air, but the Internet rose up from the ashes as the Centralpha Network. The Data Dump is pretty much the only proof that this whole crazy large-scale incident ever occured. Endgame and Legion monsters still exist in the Data Dump. Legion monsters are non-hostile to AvaIDs, but Endgame monsters are always hostile to any AvaIDs. They can be defeated by AvaIDs, and function like mobs in standard MMORPGs. Legion and various protections keep Endgame in the Data Dump and out of the Centralpha Network and prevent them from replicating and destroying files. This is good, because Endgame monsters no longer have the power to No Act (render permanently comatose) people in the real world by destroying their Avatars.
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Unread 07-03-2009, 11:28 PM   #2
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Lovelace rubbed his hands eagerly, partly because of the reward, partly because of the involvement of weapons. "You know, I could probably give Mr. gut the specifications for and sketches of most of the rifles in WWII... though of course, the pay wouldn't be as good. So let's do this. The procedure looks standard, I'm assuming it won't take long to transfer the data once we've found it?" He scanned the information on the screen intently, fiddling with the black glove on his left hand. "What's the likelihood that he's employed other hunters that'll get in our way? I don't think we'd have a problem, but I dislike complications."
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Unread 07-03-2009, 11:32 PM   #3
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Corpse_Hand cracked his virtual knuckles and his body-suit shifted to a slightly darker shade of blue. He had an odd habit of tweaking with the color whenever he was idle for too long. This whole job sounded too perfect and while Paingrieve normally gave them some pretty solid jobs, Corpse was always bothered when really rich folk wanted something done.

"What's the likelihood that he's employed other hunters that'll get in our way? I don't think we'd have a problem, but I dislike complications."

And someone beat me to the punch, fantastic, John thought to himself.

"I agree with lover boy over there," Corpse added. "Hell if I were some rich dude collecting shit for the sake of it, I'd hire as many people as I needed to make sure the job was done, and I could care less about any accidents that might occur so long as I got what I wanted. I don't mean to imply that our employer is a giant douchebag but there's always the chance, right?"
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Last edited by Arcanum; 07-03-2009 at 11:38 PM.
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Unread 07-03-2009, 11:55 PM   #4
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“Don’t worry about it, I think we can handle any other group that is sent. Plus… if there are other groups that means we will have a chance to increase our reputations, and destroy the ones of our competitors.” Citadel stood up and started to walk around.

“I will have to say that the chance of meeting another group is extremely high if not assured. This guy can afford to send as many people as he wants. It is insurance, if one group fails the others will still be there.”

Citadel tore off a chunk of rock off himself and started to toss it up into the air. “Well, anyway, this group can handle it.” He chuckled to himself a little.
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Unread 07-04-2009, 12:44 AM   #5
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Aeroz lets out a yawn. "Well if I was the guy I'd just send out the info to anyone willing to do it. Not like he cares who makes it back" giving a shrug "Then again this guy also paid up front so he cant have much foresight." Over all he was just disinterested. Not like it matters, they were gonna do the job anyways and he is already as prepared as possible. "Lets just get this over with. Maybe the next guy will ask for something abit more interesting"
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Unread 07-04-2009, 07:18 AM   #6
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In the real world Kasper woke up to the sounds of idle chatter and mission briefing. He'd had a long night and he twitched himself up, smacking his face a few times before diving into Cevere, who much like his counterpart was slightly tired looking and just a little bit annoyed,

"Gun guy, website, possible competition, we should get moving if Pengrieve is right then we might even have speed runners as competition. Speedy little creeps could have done a didge and dive for that information by the time we get there if we keep up this noise. I'd hate to think one of those quick creeps grabbed it and delivered before we even got there. Shall we be off gentlemen?"

He was a hacker of course so he obviously wasn't going to head in first. One too many desperate situations with sloppy firewalls to save his skin to ever do something that stupid again.
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Unread 07-04-2009, 09:15 PM   #7
Astral Harmony
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"You're right to have suspicions. I'll admit that I definitely have them as well." Paingrieve said. One of the holographic blue screens grew large enough to be read and showed data on Nun_Gut_46821. The 3-D image of the Avatar itself was kinda Transformer-like, modeled from an M1 Abrams tank. All of the personal data was available, as was the date the AvaID was registered in Centralpha. "This is a relatively new client, having only had his AvaID registered four days ago. I'm certain this is the first time he's ever worked with Network Eyes and Data Hunters, so it's very likely that he did hire additional eyes and hunters to secure this file. This could be big, if you think about it. If the mission can be pulled off, we can probably expect additional missions with considerable rewards to not only come from him, but from anyone he may choose to recommend us to. So it's almost a given that anybody would accept this mission."

It was time to head into the Data Dump. The transfer from network to network was the same as always. Down your Avatars flew through a virtual tunnel. And once again the warning came. "Warning," stated the monotonous female voice. "There is a threatening presense of Endgame viruses in the Data Dump. I repeat, there is a threatening presense of Endgame viruses in the Data Dump. Please return to the Centralpha Network and disconnect all access to the Data Dump. I repeat, please return to the Centralpha Network and disconnect all access to the Data Dump."

"Audio and video are still possible," Paingrieve's voice came with a sigh. She remained in the Centralpha Network as usual. "I've been trying to make it so that stupid message would stop playing, but no avail. Everybody who ever travels into the Data Dump has to hear it everytime they do so."

Suddenly, a rush of data began to rush towards the Avatars, heading back towards the Centralpha Network. An immense amount of lag began to occur. "Ugh, are they still doing that stuff? Hang on, I'll plop you down somewhere before you wind up in lag purgatory or something."
It was a strange place where Paingrieve redirected the party. There were strange loops in the bright green grassy terrain along with waterfalls and robots aimlessly wandered around. "Looks like there's another mass copy of vaccinated files from the Data Dump to Centralpha again. We'll have to wait it out until they're finished. Sorry but I couldn't find a nearer server than this one. It's the Spin Server for some MMORPG called Sonic the Hedgehog Legends."

There was the sound of fingers dancing on keys and then Paingrieve continued. "I guess it was a great idea and was initially very popular, but now the game only has an ever-thinning cult following. Currently, they've kicked out all the players while the bulk file transfer is happening, so the server's empty. Should only take about twenty or thirty minutes. Oh, and I guess this deserves repeating, but don't worry about the ingame monsters. Remember, you're not bound by the rules of the game, yourselves being hacked-in AvaIDs and all. If anything, the same lag that forced me to put you here is placing any possible rivals in the same disadvantage. So just relax or hell, even log out and get a bite to eat. I'll let you all know when the bulk file transfer is done."

Last edited by Astral Harmony; 07-04-2009 at 09:21 PM.
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Unread 07-04-2009, 09:49 PM   #8
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Strangelove sighed and leaned back. "Fair enough. Wonder what they're copying this time? But anyway, I'd take the time to log out and read some Machiavelli... but I hardly know you guys. Don't know your interests, your personalities and, most importantly, your abilities and competences. And while I don't care much about the first two, the latter two will most likely be vital in the near future. So let's revisit pre-school and introduce ourselves like good little data hunters. Perhaps we can have some show-and-tell afterwards. Anyway, I'm Strangelove. Good at analyzing stuff. Good at making strategic decisions. I can't make you listen to me, but once in a while I might make a suggestion worth considering. Oh, and I'm a calldown. I can blanket ban and, more importantly, I can drop nukes. And I like doing so. Like it a lot. If one or two of you hang around to stop EGs from slicing my lungs out, I should be able to soften up big hordes at worst and wipe them out at best. Bonus points for anyone who can guess who I modelled myself on."
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Unread 07-04-2009, 10:43 PM   #9
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Cevere stared at the tanky individual who happened to be their employer while he itched his pale skull. It was an interesting setup for an Avatar, but seeing as it wasn't very human it didn't really meet up to his tastes. He would be just a little hesitant even if the Avatar was attractive since he had a few odd times between folks who took the internet into the real world. It was just a little fun kicking ass outside of the net, but also a little annoying. He rubbed his eyes a little tiredly, shaking his head violently to get fully into reality...or at least whatever he would call this taking a moment to think about the info,

"Future profits seem to be worthwhile, time to get down..."

He felt the sudden shock of the drop but it didn't really bother him. The entrance warning drifted into the back of his head, after having to cruise into there so many times it was barely even registering, the lag though that shocked him back again. There was always a bit of a shock that the world wasn't entirely ignoring whatever was left of the Data Dump. It was giving him an idea for an anti-user move though. An old technique but one he might just be able to use.

In the new server he found an odd sort of amusement. He remembered Sonic the Hedgehog. He remembered being little and finding the ancient ancestor to all portable entertainment devices and it had a sonic game in it. These days he didn't hear much of it, but memories were fun,

"Hmm quaint location, I might even try to get this game around to some interested folks. After I check it out under correct circumstances of course. If it isn't fun then there is no reason to spend unhealthy amounts of time advertising and playing between coding and studying."

He looked over at Strangelove and grinned lightly. He had a father who liked ancient things, hence why he had that old Sega handheld. The appearance was almost ridiculous, and the ID gave it away almost immediately,

"Dr. Strangelove or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb. A part of me expects to see you shooting up a Nazi salute or desperately choking yourself in a moment."

He took a moment to bow to everyone else with a gentle flourish of his arm as a few firewalls took off around them. Three or four different looking versions of themselves and himself walking around outside and the whole menagerie and disappeared,

"I am Cevere. I am a hacker. I can make firewalls to stop people from getting in, or to let a select few in. I can infect enemies with clever little items that can bring them under my control or make them almost useless in battle. I also can make copies of us in case we need a little distraction. They are worth nothing in battle, but they look real, and they hold my little infections so they can be quite a good first league. I am good at negotiations, I am good at messing with enemy morale, I am good at helping keep up our own, or so I been told. I am glad to meet you all. Especially you two cuties."

He grinned deviously as he shot soft winks toward Corpse_Hand and Aeroz. He hoped they didn't take it personally, after all he was just messing about.
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Last edited by Overcast; 07-04-2009 at 10:56 PM.
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Unread 07-04-2009, 10:55 PM   #10
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Arcadian hadn't said much during the mission briefing, she was thinking and Jennifer was multi tasking by sending out some extra calls before logging out of her dispatch job. As they materialized in the grassy area, she looked around and lit a cigarette. Would be a nice place to relax with all this nice weather, but only a brief respite for us. She snapped back into virtual reality and noticed everyone was introducing themselves. She stepped forward a little, towering over most, if not all, of the other hunters. "I'm Arcadian Broad and I'm a slayer. If you want someone deleted, I'm your girl. I have an assortment of bullets that do things from decay and corrupt date to small explosions, and I also have my sword which can emit a beam of destructive power. As a slayer, I'm more of a one on one or small group person, and since we are a team, I will trust you all to have my and the other slayers' backs if we get into a large group scuffle."
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