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Flood: Unless you've been living under a Zionite rock, you know that I discovered that the data flowing through the apparently massive "Oligarch Network" found in the distant Machine no-fly zone has also been feeding into a network here in our very own Matrix. That network is owned by the Ouroboros Corporation, a manufacturer of various and sundry electronic devices. Since it is unlikely that the Oligarch Network is some sort of home-shopping channel for virtual electronic appliances, the obvious conclusion is that the Ouroboros Corporation does more than just provide city vendors with automatic martini shakers and other conveniences.

Of course, you're not actually listening to any of this; you're simplying heading at full speed toward the bright green dot on your display.

Operator: Augustine Uris is a network manager at Ouroboros--seems like a good potential source of answers to some of our burning questions. Ouroboros tends to have a pretty heavy security detail at their offices, and we're not supposed to tip our hand just yet, so we're just going to case the joint a little, and see if we can pick up on a way of getting at Augustine Uris without alerting the whole corporation. Normally we'd just wait for him to kick back at home, but Ouroboros even wires up the homes of their important employees.

[Friendlies: Bluepills, Ouroboros Security]

Ouroboros Security: Everyone's on edge... Something big must be going down, I can smell it! This is my chance...

Ouroboros Security: Fine. Don't invite me. I didn't want to go anyway.

...

Ted Warren: I just know they're goofing off right now...

Deadra Warnock: Yep, party at Gemma's tonight, Augustine! Don't let Warren find out, and remember to bring the you-know-what!

Augustine Uris: No problemo! I've got it covered, cutie.

Operator: A secrety party, eh? Could be just the place to get at Augustine Uris. Too bad we have to tell Flood about it...

Deadra Warnock: Hm-hm-hmm... So much to do...

Computer: Network status: Peach

Flood: Hmph. I'll have you know that I'm always invited to the parties that count, operative; I could care less about those cheap booze-ups you underlings are always wasting your time on.

The party is being held at the apartment of Augustine Uris's co-worker, Gemma Quay. She's low enough on the totem that her home is unlikely to be monitored, and blurry eyewitness accounts will only confuse any investigation.

Don't worry; this won't require any social skill. Break in, make some noise, and get Uris.

Operator: Sweet, we're actually getting paid to do this, this time.

The code stream I'm seeing here has party written all over it. Should be a snap.

[Friendlies: Bluepills, level five bluepill]

Scot Whitfield [level five]: Britteny Marano! Wa-- wash this!

Are you washing?

Operator: There's always gotta be a hero...

Britteny Marano: Who am I? Guess! Come on, guess!

No! Here, watch again...

Deadra Warnock: Oh, come on! He hasn't said anything to you?

Gemma Quay: Defin-- Definitely not!

But... I just think it's because he doesn't want it to be-- to look like he's taking advantage of his position!

And I respect that.

Colton Hentzel: No, I'm just... waiting for the right time to make my move.

It isn't the right time yet.

Gemma Quay: He's a gentleman.
Deadra Warnock: It's hopeless!

Augustine Uris: Hey, I didn't know you were coming. You must know Gemma, ri--

A-hah, verrry funny.

... You're serious. Okay, okay. Just don't hurt anyone, please.

Augustine Uris: Whatever you say. You're the boss.

Scot Whitfield: You bashtard! C'mere! [attacks]


Operator: Huh, that guy actually put up a semi-decent fight, for a desk jockey. He must aerobicize.

Britteny Marano: Oh, he's faking it. He just does that to get attention.

Don't be an enabler.

Flood: I don't need the details, operative. Just bring him in--alive.

Augustine Uris: ...

Operator: So far, so good. Drop him off in there, and our job is done.

[Friendlies: Club Guards, Succubus, Blood Drinker]
[Heroes: Ookami]


Zaragoza: Another of these?
Manuel: Is this a good idea? There are so many moral implications...
Zaragoza: Variety once in a while would be nice.

Clarissa: I work at an office during the day.

It is very interesting.

Baucis: Three more of these tonight, and we're already behind schedule.

Ookami: A weakling. I'll have to be careful with him.


Augustine Uris: Actually, this is exactly what I expected.

Flood: All fun and games for you, isn't it, operative? Well, maybe you didn't notice, but that drunken brawler you ran into at the "party" wasn't the average bluepill. I've done a little research on your agressive boyfriend, Mr. Whitfield, and now I want you to go look around his apartment.

Operator: It's Flood. I'm not even gonna ask.

Hm... Picking up a couple signals in that apartment.

[Hostiles: "Bluepill", Cypherite Ravager]

Scot Whitfield: They're after Ouroboros, all right. Hah, I gave that operative a little surprise, though. Bet they didn't expect some nine to fiver to give--

Epeios: You idiot! What'd you risk your cover for? Veil's gonna--

D*mn! You've been followed!

Operator: He was a Cypherite?!

Great, now Flood's gonna gloat...


[Mission End]

Flood: Nonsense. There's no need for me to rub it in, operative. I'm sure the shame of allowing a narcoleptic thug to spy on you is burning your cheeks right now.

I'm not surprised that the promise of the information we're after within Ouroboros is already attracting unwanted attention; I am a little surprised that someone's actually bothered watching you.

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