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Now, me no big city doctor...

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Description

Deep within the Central Node of Freeside lurk the Dragon Friends on their toughest assignment yet: gain entry into the Voss Saito compound and secure Johnny’s freedom or die a twitching mess as Mr. Sour’s toxins take hold. Hing finds new ways to upset Dave.

Synopsis

Having locked Margrave Rinselbottom - the receptionist at the Freeside public node - in the employee lounge, Freezo steals his access card and handbag from the reception terminal. His access card does not grant access to the central node, but does allow access to the Security floor, where Freezo and Philge unnuccessfully attempts to convince the guards that they are "door repairmen". Serial Nightvale harangues the security guard with references to her supposedly influential husband and they are given access to a higher clearance terminal, which Philge connects to.

Mail Chimp continues attempting to persuade the guards that Freezo is her son, "a sick young boy" who wants to see the central node before he dies. Freezo and Mail are escorted down to the node. While they are there Philge receives a Matrix alert that the head of Voss-Saito security, Mr Terminal, has taken emergency direct control of the Voss-Saito compound and is instigating a purge of the entire Freeside matrix. Philge responds by attempting to send out a bogus alert of her own, but Mr Terminal blocks the broadcast and Sirius-8 calls Philge to warn that their connection may be being traced.

Mail Chimp attempts to distract Cedric but fails and he begins to raise the alarm when Mail Chimp shoots him with her as-yet unannounced laser eye. Freezo activates the Haywire Cube, shutting down the security system. Bobby and Baston rush through the Voss-Saito compound to the airlock, although they do not quite reach it before time runs out and the alarms reactivate.

Philge decides to try jacking into a terminal while already in the Matrix; she does so and collapses. She arrives in a secret second layer to the Freeside matrix created by Julian Fairbanks, which is protected by an ICE system based on Julian himself. Philge informs the ICE that the Haywire Cube has been deployed; it replies that Julian had prepared a plan involving the Haywire cube, but it was not aware he had started to go through with it. The cube will disrupt the environmental stabilizers that keep Freeside in orbit and completely destroy it in 60 minutes, as revenge for the fact that Julian was not permitted to live in Freeside even though he built it. Philge states that she will destroy the AI to save Freeside, but the AI states that it would welcome being destroyed but the disruption cannot be reversed. Philge grabs the AI and exits the Matrix, causing the AI to be stored on a USB stick which she connects to Serial Nightvale's personal port.

Freezo and Mail return to the reception where they let Margrave out of the lounge and head for the Voss-Saito compound when Mr Terminal makes a public announcement listing the names of the Friends, showing photos of everything they had done so far, and inviting them to meet in the main hall of the Voss-Saito compound. He sends a car to pick up Freezo, Philge and Mail from the node, and guards to collect Baston and Bobby - and kills Serial Nightvale by overloading her Matrix connection, causing her personality to be stored on the USB stick together with Julian's.

Freezo, Philge and Mail enter the car, but Satoshi, Lauren and Laura step forward to fight the guards to allow Baston and Bobby to reach the airlock (although Baston fly-kicks one of the guards along the way). When the airlock doors open, Mr Terminal is revealed in person. He offers to set them free with no consequences if they hand over Johnny Playstation. Bobby attempts to bluff Mr Terminal by claiming that Johnny is not in the cryocell but is with Philge and Freezo; Mr Terminal calls his bluff by emptying a clip into the cryocell, mortally wounding Johnny.

People

Dragon Friends

Non-Player Characters (NPCs)

Bestiary

Places

Themes, tropes and running jokes

  • Philge collapsing in real life while being directly addressed by a powerful AI is likely a reference to Neuromancer where this happens to Case several times; there it's referred to as "being flatlined", although it is not actually fatal.
  • Kung Fu Baston

Quotes

  • "The Make-A-Wish people said that you were too young and too ill?"
  • Guard: "What's wrong with you?"

Freezo: "I.. ooo.. I.. um.. my.. my blood.. is cum."

Dave: "I HATE THIS SHOW! I HATE IT SO MUCH! WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ALL OF YOU!? YOU CAN'T JUST KEEP SAYING '<NOUN> IS CUM!' '<VERB> IS CUMMING!' FUCK'S SAKE!"

"<Gerund> is cumming. But the point stands."

  • "And in front of you, you can see a giant device that is beaming a concentrated beam of what seems to be like white-hot energy... *decorum collapses*" "Just out of curiosity, was that written down or did we just infect your brain?"
  • "Is there a Matrix inside the Matrix?" "It's a double deep-dive!"
  • "Hypothetically, what would it do? Oh, me know the word 'hypothetically!' in double-Matrix! Cool!"
  • "He rolls an 18, meaning as he whips out his Cobra... that's NOT rude! Don't laugh!"
  • "He says, of.. um, I don't know.. yea, he says of.. um, what are the hackers that are with them? The specific ones?" "It's Satoshi Nakamoto, Laura Norder, Lauren Order and Mail Chimp." "Fuck, this is a dumb podcast."
  • "And then you hear some beeps and boops and her head explodes." "...... Did you check with Dave before doing that?"

Table Talk

  • After Dave describes a group of security guards as having "Daft Punk-style visors", Benny's background music for the battle shifts to a variation on Daft Punk's "Get Lucky".
  • Freezo's line, repeated far too many times, is actually "...a very ill young boy".
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