Chapter Two - Wire Tripping Through the GridIf Dare bothered to patch his version of Hackmaster the process of door bypassing would take nearly five minutes less time.The Family FunCapade Festival facility was located near a chemical factory in the industrial district of Neo Tokyo. The sky overhead was obscured by clouds of acrid smoke, but the massive FunCapade clown mascot on top of the otherwise featureless concrete building was illuminated by a powerful halogen spotlight. Vera was wearing a form-fitting infrared masking stealth suit that looked exactly like the cool Predator stuff from the movie "Predator". Dare was wearing an oilskin duster and dark clothing and carrying the case containing the hacker console they had provided him with.
"We have to be careful," Vera said, holding the breech in the chain link fence open for him to crawl through. "There are AI controlled killdroids in here."
They crept to a security door and Dare set to work using his hacker console and its little pop-up vidscreen to bypass the entry codes. Vera covered him, firing a shot from her flechette pistol at a patrolling killdroid before it could spot them.
His brain screaming with Ampstims and Speedboosts, Dare was a hurricane of brute force access on the console, waiting with drug boosted reflexes as the entry program ran slowly through a series of numbers. His nervous hands were a blur at his sides as the progress meter reached twenty-percent. Then it reached forty-percent. Then fifty-percent.
"That's taking a long time," remarked Vera, watching for any more killdroids.
"I'm doing it as fast as I can," said Dare, pretending to be making it go faster by hitting keys on the console.
Finally it finished and the door clicked open, allowing them into the hallways of the Family FunCapade Festival facility.
They ran through several corridors avoiding office workers who were burning the midnight oil and roving killdroids that sometimes got stuck walking into a wall or randomly fired their pistol at a cleaningdroid. Passing through the red security level corridor, Dare paused at a large window that overlooked a massive production laboratory. Inside the lab were five rows of cloning vats, each filled with green fluid and a strange overweight man with huge feet and a bulbous growth on his face.An army of clown mascots, but at what price our humanity?"That's what we're here for Dare," said Vera without stopping. "If we can infect their formula for their clonal mascot clowns with a mutagen virus we can make them go insane and attempt to eat children having birthday parties."
"That's awful," Dare said.
"That's business," replied Vera. "The birthday party entertainment business is a ten trillion dollar a year industry and my company's parent corporation, Helix Medical and Sinister Medical Research, wants total control over it."
Dare shook his head and they continued towards the main access room, which was where they could get access to the main servers. This would allow them to bypass most of the security and leave only a simple datawall between Dare and the information he was tasked with recovering.
TOTAL WRECK - crazy-eyed hound is covered in cobwebs, has a vespiary on back, graffiti on side and savage thirst for boat fuel. Frankly, I'm in over my head. He's in room 115 at Motel 6, yours free. 555-2851
Yes, it's the perfect form for surviving a car crash. But it's also the perfect form for so much more, like surviving the trauma of reading any news headline in 2016.
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