Gone Phishing

GM: Simone/Gretchen
Player: Phisher
Synopsis: Phisher takes it upon himself to run a time-specific datasteal to get some dev notes on recent simsense special fx techniques from a Renraku-owned Realizm Simulations trix outlet. The post-production process data is not supposed to be stored there, but is being temporarily held due to negligence on the part of an unnamed employee. In the span of time it takes the person in charge of the data to get a cup of soykaf, Phisher is in and out without a trace, paydata in hand.

Denver is hibernating tonight apparently. Not much happening in the shadows, so what better time to scrounge for some paydata during the lull? The Denver offices of Realizm Simulations are pushing a new series of advanced sims lately, a clear ripoff of the John Bomb action series: the acting is disgraceful, but their fx work is top notch. Nabbing some of their tricks of the trade might pay off if one were so inclined…

The Matrix icon known as Phisher adjusts it's conical asian motif hat, and stands up it's rickety boat, picking up it's push pole. The icon looks like a traditional Chinese fisherman one might see off the coast of Hong Kong. Having decided that Realizm would be tonights target, Phisher adjusts the heading on the boat and smoothly heads to the LTG, as beams of light arc out from the bow of the boat and begin interacting the the LTG.

The local grid denies the Chinese fisherman's attempts to ply its waters.

A small Oriental-style gate with intricate carvings atop lattice work blocks the way. The beams of light fail to grant access, and the fisherman is halted from illegally accessing the stepping stone before reaching the actual host system.

With a frown, Phisher twists his wrists, revealing neon buttons on the push pole of this boat, taps a few times and sends the command again.

The gate must have been jammed? The matrix is buggy sometimes… But following the fisherman's second attempt to gain access to the local telecom grid where Realizm Sims sets up shop in the digiverse, the antique-styled carved wooden lattice parts, allowing access through a gentle reed-filled marsh.

Returning the push pole to it's natural state with the twist of a wrist, Phisher eases the boat forward and through the gate. Pulling off the main traffic through way and nestling amongst some reeds, he reaches down and pulls a fish from his nets and sets it lose into the water, sending it on it's way to locate the target host.

«Plot» Gretchen says, "This is a Renraku owned and operated 'neighborhood' LTG, featuring access to a variety of their media outlets and trix retailers. The Realizm Sims host is through one more 'door'."

The scaled representation of the trix-sniffing software returns, imparting an understanding of the location of the RSims host access point. The sim outlet is a very neo-Tokyo/Hollywood mashup in terms of visual appearance, with dramatic and powerful characters portrayed in looped animations of fan-favorite scenes out front, like animated mannequins, while suitable backdrops frame the approach to the host's datacenters. Icons drift to and fro, casual trix-surfers stopping in to browse the merchandise, but all is well in the digital world, and the host is available to be interacted with.

Steering up to the RSims host, Phisher reaches into the nets and pulls out a different kind of fish, tossing it over board before it flickers to life and "swims" up to the node, stopping just short and sending little clicking noises beaming across the access point.

The next fish that is loosed into the matrix promtply returns with the appropriate access point data, and nestles its way back into the nets to be released again for subsequent tasks.

The glitz and glam of Tokyo nightlife merge with the glossy sheen of modern Hollywood to even greater extents within the host, providing a near endless supply of distractions, from setpieces featuring comedy to drama to leather and chrome gun-fu action. A world of high-tech pop culture entertainment awaits, and countless icons flit between locations, browsing, purchasing, and consuming the digital offerings that Realizm has on display in their slew of fully realized three-dimensional trid and sim trailers here.

Now inside the RSim host, Phisher sets down the push pole, and picks up a simple looking bamboo fishing pole with a hook and line hanging off the end. He drops the tackle into the "water" beside the boat amd the line takes off as if he had hooked a fish, probing amongst the network traffic, searching for files related to the John Bomb ripoff title and it's post-production editing.

Why the Realizm Sims retail host is holding onto post-production fx technique data, one may never know, but all that matters is that it's here, and Phisher's utilities have sussed it out.

The line pulls taut upon detecting the data store in question and stops releasing line, causing the Chinese fishing boat to drift toward it in a fully animated sequence that takes less time than the blink of an eye. In the mind it unfolds over the course of a slow tour of the virtual sales floor, and the ultimate destination ends up being a small helpdesk that represents the behind the scenes wageslaves who maintain the host for the bigwigs.

Grinning widely as the line pulls taut, Phisher tugs on the line to pull the file from its hiding place while reaching into the netting again. This time pulling out a strange looking angler fish. Tossing it over board, its own "fishing pole" begins to pulse, sending out radar types waves in all directions, attempting to locate anything nasty lurking in the dark.

«Plot» Gretchen says, "There is a trash tar baby attached to the files you're after (R4). Something thrown together at the last minute to help prevent the sim programming techniques stored here from being stolen. The impression is that the data is only intended to reside here for a brief window of time, like someone set down their briefcase while stepping out to make a cup of soykaf, and will be moving the data along shortly."
«Plot» Gretchen says, "The tar baby is specifically set to counter Read/Write utils."

As the radar pulses from the angler fish bounce back, the fish returns rapidly to Phisher and it's mouth opens, a stream of data entering the fisherman's eyes. Reaching down into the boat, he stands holding a primitive looking barbed spear for stabbing fish. He stands in the boat assuming a throwing position, targeting the IC attached to the file.

The barbed spear arcs like a laser ripping the IC off the file as the spear tip penetrates its protective functions and overwrites its code. The icon becomes a tasty looking fish that is pinned to the floor by the spear, wriggling about as it is suppressed. Phisher turns his gaze back to the file, time to move fast. He tugs on the line again trying to land the file into the boat.

Customer and employee icons drift, mingle and linger at their own pace, though none pay the Chinese fisherman any heed. What's garnering all the attention are the virtual displays that connect consumers to the download links for their media of choice, and the spearing of the tar baby-wrapped data is as simple as snapping one's fingers. The trap code unravels, signified by the small gate into the helpdesk area opening to admit entry in unison with the popping open of a Tron-neon-detailed file cabinet icon.

Thanks to the digital conversion from Realizm Simulations' proprietary iconography into Phisher-specific interpretation, the paydata is pierced and drawn into the boat, and none seem the wiser. Biz carries on as usual, with cheesy action trailers playing out beside meetcute moments looped from the best Japanese romcoms from last fall.

All is calm in these waters, no IC rushes to apprehend the fisherman, nor any personnel avatars.

Satisfied with his catch, Phisher sets the fishing pole back down inside the boat and picks up the push pole. Again twisting his wrists, the sides of the pole open up to reveal a neon keypad. He presses the keys in a specific pattern, and the boat begins to pick up speed moving backwards over the exact path it came, fish jumping out of the boat and splashing about causing concentric circles to wash over where the boat has been as he attempts to gracefully exit the system.

«Plot» Gretchen says, "You've got the data and are free to do as you please. Mission successful and wholly uneventful. Time to cash out!"
«Plot» Gretchen says, "You didn't even trigger the first step in the sheaf. Ghost."

The logoff command sends the icon of the unassuming Chinese fisherman back to his point of origin, and the transition from trix to meat is graceful indeed. With the data broker only moments away, it's a simple matter for Phisher to make the handoff in person and receive a bit of certified cred in exchange. Maybe Denver IC-breaking isn't all it's cracked up to be. Either that, or Phisher lucked out. Whatever the case may be, mission accomplished, and the decker's rep in the Denver shadows will surely only grow from here.

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