𝕊𝕨𝕒𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕊𝕥𝕣𝕖𝕖𝕥 ℂ𝕠𝕞𝕞𝕠𝕟𝕤 ℕ𝕠𝕧𝕖𝕞𝕓𝕖𝕣 𝟠𝕥𝕙, 𝟚𝟘𝟞𝟜 𝟙𝟡:𝟚𝟘𝕁𝕒𝕔𝕜𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕀𝕟... >
𝕃𝕠𝕒𝕕𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕃𝕒𝕓𝕪𝕣𝕚𝕟𝕥𝕙... >What separates reality from abstraction..?
Information manifested as waves like Delilah Amano was nothing more than an extra current amongst the jolts of electricity courses through lines of transmitting data. As more and more nodes were picked up by her scanning pulses, the Labyrinth that surrounded Delilah only became more elaborate. She has a thousand choices of what leads to pursue and sift through. The titanic nature of the digital maze often struck her with awe, but Delilah didn't have time to waste now. In the masses of useless informational nodes that she found, Delilah could only hope to continue to expand her search across the zone, looking for any manner to help Mackwell, Cass, and Taryn as they dealt with whatever impending threats were imminent at the Old Rail Stop. Every so often, the trance-like focus of dancing through the cyberscape shattered from Delilah's mind, her attention instead drawn to an echoic voice booming in her surroundings."Well, thanks for the help, Amano. Too bad Matrix surfers such as yourself can't manipulate reality as you do the Labyrinth."
Mackwell's words seemed to shake the very fabric of Delilah's simulated landscape. She didn't stop gliding through the virtual streams of information as she pondered his words, but she felt herself hesitate in responding. Of course, this hesitation was likely undetectable outside of Labyrinth, but eventually she offered a short comment in response. The static in Mackwell's helmet parted, but only for a moment to deliver one line in that resonant and mechanical voice that did its best to mimic Delilah's own voice through multiple conversions."Oh, what's the difference..."
Just as her voice cut off the line once again, a new wave of nodes appeared on the horizon of the sea of white data contrasting the static sky of the cyberscape. Finally, some color offered respite to the netrunner's blinded sight. Delilah raced towards them, her formless shape gliding effortlessly along the Labyrinth's coordinates. It took only nanoseconds for her to reach and beginning scanning the vulnerable information that her spider scripts grasped throughout the city, but even in the minute time, Delilah realized something was off. A normally unnoticeable variable had changed in the time she arrived at the nodes. Their location was moving. More specifically, she noticed the three nodes that had appeared throughout the city at the same time had all been moving along the roads. They were vehicles of some kind, and Delilah's cyberdeck predicted that they all had the same destination."I— uh... There's a set of three vehicles in transit, predicted to be following a tracking chip inside whatever vehicle is nearest to Monica... That's—"
This time, the static that usurped Delilah's voice was abrupt and clearly not meant to occur. The line between her and Mackwell had been severed entirely as Delilah's attention was redirected altogether. The Labyrinth that surrounded her began to quake as dozens of new alerts erupted around the city, most around or heading towards Central Square. "Oh shit,"
was all Delilah managed as she surfed through the nodes, first looking into the cameras around the venue and taking in the scenario.
Delilah had no idea how to react, but her her brain seemed to work autonomously in Labyrinth. That was why she was here and not back in the real world. Before she could even recognize what she was doing, Delilah was surfing Response Squad databases and triggering a false VIP-life support request. Help was on the way for her fallen boss, but Delilah couldn't help but feel dread in her stomach. Was that really all she could do?
An alert crossed her vision that covered the cyberscape entirely. A danger warning prompted from her cyberdeck, alerting Delilah to a missile of some sort that impacted the suites as the assassin made his escape. Again, her attention was split away from the urgent scenario.”Della, I’ve got a live one here. I managed to catch one of these Knights escaping with the crowds, and subdued him. He won’t talk to me, but he knows more than he lets on. I figure you could have a little fun digging around in his brain.”
This time it was Richter Gamble's voice that boomed in the cyberscape.”What the fuck is even going on out there? Is this shit really happening?...”"Campbell should have a jumper on him soon. I'm tracing the wireless signals in his cyberware now. Hopefully that'll tell us where he's headed..."
Delilah paused, realizing that was not what Richter was worried about. Campbell had just stood out in her mind as a first priority. This job really was getting to her."The Knights? The Knights are assaulting the Rail Stop. Did Rott show up?"
A mechanically distorted sigh escaped Richter's communicator. "Wait, you took a hostage? Yeah... Uh—... I'll see what I can do."
Those final words that escape the communicator seemed distant. The campaign's Labyrinth overseer was beyond frazzled as she extended herself between the number of tasks at hand, but then a moment of calm seemed to rush over her. There was a certain decisiveness that any successful netrunner needed. It separated the strong from the weak in the Labyrinth. In fractions of fractions of seconds, one's mind needed to be able to completely shift from one idea to the next. Delilah had become quite adept at acting as such a conduit of the flowing mind.
Her perspective began to change. Well, it was really more of a ripping or shattering of the conventional idea of perspective. Even in the hyperspeed that governed the cyberscape, one conscious wasn't enough. But could there even be something more than that?
Delilah tried desperately to pull herself into more than one place in the Labyrinth's data mazes. Sweat poured from her limp body still trapped in reality.
Then, everything went dark.