Locked Thread  RSS Chrome Symphony - Chapter 5

# 13337 7 years ago on Sun, Apr 17 2016 at 9:31 am

Shell woke up around 9 am. It was a typical hot late springtime morning in City N. She got out of bed, washed her hair and face, brushed her teeth, and began polishing her metal body with a generous amount of "Uncle Bezo's 100% Ultra-Fine Chrome Polish".

After polishing herself to a brilliant shine, she gave herself an approving nod in the mirror and got dressed. She switched on her television monitor and watched the news. A reporter was giving a breaking news report:

"There are unconfirmed reports that the Adept phenomenon has returned. We have been hearing numerous accounts of adepts suddenly regaining their abilities, which were suddenly and unexpectedly lost two years ago."

Shell sprang to her feet. "What?" she shrieked. She continued to watch the news report. Shell remembered the wedding ceremony from the previous summer, where the bride, the president of Crest Corporation, was finally able to style her hair differently because of the loss of her Adept powers. The bride had to cover her left eye for most of her life due to the nature of her powers. Shell remembered how different she looked at the wedding and, for this reason, that wedding presently came to Shell's mind.

It had been over a year since Shell last saw the president of Crest and her husband, Atlas. After Atlas had become Jess's head of security, the two later decided to get married. Shell attended the wedding along with her freelancing partner, Duncan. Lieutenant Renk had been Atlas's best man and there was an incident where Duncan ate half of the wedding cake. The ceremony had been broadcast live and was like a modern day royal wedding. Shell had not seen Renk since the wedding.

Snapping out of her reminiscent trance, Shell switched off the television monitor and headed out the door. On her way down the hall, she was greeted by her neighbor, Chester. She smiled and waved at him as she headed out.

Shell was on her way to meet Duncan at their usual place, the doughnut shop near the former site of EMA headquarters. Shell had been the faithful corporate type until EMA headquarters was destroyed two years ago. The incident had started a chain of events that left Shell somewhat traumatized but allowed her to meet several interesting people along the way, including Duncan. Now that Shell was a freelance hacker like Duncan, she lived a live of greater freedom than she previously had.

Shell arrived at the doughnut shop and waved at Duncan, who was sitting in his usual spot in the back of the store. She sat down across from him at the table.

"Did you hear that the adepts are getting their powers back?" asked Shell.

"Yes, and they're just as baffled about it as they were when their powers disappeared," replied Duncan.

"Crazy," said Shell. "Nobody's been able to come up with a workable theory."

Duncan ate a doughnut while Shell ordered a cup of coffee. "So," said Shell, "We have any new jobs lined up?"

Duncan shook his head. "Not right now," he replied. "I have been researching something else, though. There's a radio signal coming from somewhere out beyond the moon's orbit. It hasn't been traced to any known satellites, stations, or spacecraft."

"Oh?" said Shell. "What kind of signal?"

Duncan shrugged. "It's almost like random noise but it has pseudo-random characteristics," he replied. "I was up half the night analyzing it. There's something peculiarly familiar about it but I don't know what."

Shell scratched her head and sipped her coffee. "Odd. Do you know when it started?"

Duncan shook his head. "I have no way of knowing. I only discovered it last night."

Waff-O! waffle

RP Character: Shell

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# 13338 7 years ago on Sun, Apr 17 2016 at 10:21 am

Duncan laughed. "Maybe I should try to see if my electro-ether abilities have returned. I haven't attempted to use them for over two years."

Duncan munched away on another doughnut as he sent Shell some data.

"Here," said Duncan, with his mouth full. "I'm sending you a recording I made last night of that radio signal. It got really strong for about 20 minutes and then faded back out."

Duncan sent the message:

Have a listen, Shells n' Cheese!

Maybe your analysis can yield better results than mine.

Zip dippity doo,

- DuncanDonuts

Duncan finished the doughnut. "Anyway," he said, "Dr. Thameh wanted us to meet someone tonight at the Velvet Room."

Duncan sat back in his seat and looked around the store. "Y'know, I'm going to have to skip our usual meetup tonight," he said, "but we've got a new... well, not really new... client. She's going to be at the bar tonight, if you'd be so kind as to consult with her in my absence. I've got another job going so forgive me for not being there in person."

Shell nodded. "Alright. You sure you don't want to meet for dinner tonight?"

Duncan shook his head. "I'd like to, really, but I'll have to skip it this week. By the way, the person you're meeting goes by the name "Jax" and she's an A.I. android like Dr. Thameh. Bug Elise if she's working tonight and she'll show you to her table if she's already there. She'll be expecting you."

Shell listened to the recording and shrugged. "That stuff just sounds like static to me, by the way."

73's, KD8FUD

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# 13340 7 years ago on Sun, Apr 17 2016 at 10:49 am

Shell finished her coffee and stood up.

"As usual, this has been nice. Time for me to make my usual rounds, run some errands, and then scour the 'net for any useful information. By the way, Kel might start joining us here in the mornings."

Duncan nodded. "Works for me," he replied.

"I'll meet our client tonight. Until tomorrow morning, then!" said Shell.

Shell left the doughnut shop and took the transport train tubes to the shopping district. She spent the day running various errands with her former co-worker, Kel, before heading home and preparing to meet Jax at the Velvet Room that evening.

Waff-O! waffle

RP Character: Shell

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# 13344 7 years ago on Sun, Apr 17 2016 at 12:25 pm

Duncan left the doughnut shop some time after Shell and retired to his house. He had recently undergone some upgrades and a newly-developed life extension treatment based on the nano technology used by the President of Crest Corporation. Since the loss of the Adept Phenomenon, which had appeared to resurface, the nano machines that Jess used had stabilized and were easier to replicate in the laboratory.

Duncan contacted Dr. Camay Thameh, the lead scientist for Firewall:

Dr. Thameh,

I have recorded an unexplained signal coming from some location
 behind Lunar orbit.  My direction finding skills are not up 
to par but it seems it's somewhere just beyond the Moon's position.

I would suggest having your astronomers scour the area to see 
if anything might be out there that could emit a beacon.

From my analysis, it appears to be pseudo-random noise but I would
 like to get a second opinion from Firewall.  Perhaps your 
supercomputers can discover anything I have missed.  I had theorized 
that it may be an archaic, low-bandwidth digital encoding but that 
seems unlikely.

Duncan moved over to another terminal and began his day's work, processing server logs and identifying possible system intrusions for one of his clients.

(This post was edited 7 years ago on Sunday, April 17th, 2016 at 12:25 pm)

73's, KD8FUD

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# 13345 7 years ago on Sun, Apr 17 2016 at 1:21 pm

Jax entered the door of The Velvet Room, an upscale-looking bar and restaurant in an otherwise dangerous-looking part of town. She had been sent by Dr. Camay Thameh, the lead scientist of Firewall, in order to observe and report signs of any return of the Adepts phenomenon.

A well-dressed, silver-haired woman noticed Jax and walked over to her from the bar.

"Do you have a reservation," asked the woman.

"Yes, I'm Jax from the Firewall organization. I'm here to meet Shell Lockheed and Duncan Sorenson," she replied.

"I see. Right this way," said the woman.

Jax was shown to her table and took a seat. "I was informed of your reservation," said the woman. "Firewall set up this meeting yesterday. I let them know that we usually rent private rooms for such meetings but Dr. Thameh insisted that a booth would suffice."

"You know Dr. Thameh?" asked Jax.

"Yes. By the way, my name's Sophia. Sophia Weiss," replied the woman. "If you're with Firewall, I suppose it's acceptable if you know that I also go by the name Elise," she added.

Jax nodded. "It is nice to meet you."

"Oh, one more thing," said Elise, "Mr. Sorenson won't be here tonight. Miss Lockheed should arrive shortly, however."

"Understood," replied Jax.

"Come to the bar to order any drinks," said Elise.

Jax waved her hand in a polite but declining gesture. "I won't be ordering any drinks," replied Jax. "I am an A.I. using this android body."

"Beg your pardon," replied Elise. "I should have picked up on that. Still, if you do happen to need anything, just come up to the bar."

Jax nodded and sat at the table, patiently waiting.

After a few more minutes, a cyborg woman with pale blonde hair entered the bar. Elise pointed out Jax's table from the bar and the cyborg walked over to Jax.

"Hello," said the cyborg. "I'm Shell Lockheed, your contact."

"Pleased to meet you," replied Jax.

Shell took a seat.

Jax looked around the room briefly and leaned over the table a bit. "Okay," said Jax, "As you know, I'm with Firewall. My job here is to observe for signs of adept powers. As you may know, my timing may have been perfect since the news was full of reports this morning that some adepts have regained their abilities."

Shell nodded. "Yes, I heard that," she replied.

"We're trying to identify the source of the adepts phenomenon," said Jax. "Some theories have linked it to a remote source. The working theory has been that a special medical nano-technology has been responsible but Dr. Thameh officially dismissed that theory when the phenomenon suddenly vanished two years ago."

Don't find fault, find a remedy -- Henry Ford

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