Here's a game Ocelot ran a while back, set in Panama City. Players were Joseph Kilcoyne (Galen O'Gara), Adam Luther (Ryan Gross), Amy Luther (Jody Morris), and Brant Clabaugh, as [deleted for security reasons]. See Virtue's character file for an idea of just how poor everybody was in this game. Millennial Girl Productions contains the programs she wrote during and after the game. Please note that this narrative is entirely from Virtue's point of view, and as such, some facts may be distorted and/or incorrectly remembered.
[TRANSCRIPT of INTERVIEW with Jody Morris, aka Joann Jenkins, full name Jody Ann Jenkins, apprehended 6-2-22 by Interpol in London for Class 3 Data Theft. Subject left Interpol custody 6-3-22, and it is believed that unknown parties electronically tampered with detainee records, securing subject's release. Subject is currently at large, whereabouts unknown.]
JENKINS - My name is Jody Ann Jenkins. That's J-E-N-K-I-N-S, comma J-O-D-Y. Middle name A-N-N. I am twenty-two. [1/1/00 CONFIRMED] My NorCal SIN is 9842-2104-524-6015. [CONFIRMED] My most recent home address is 210 Via Sonaja . . . that's Tambourine Way, I think. Oh, uh, Panama City, Panama. Right now, I'm staying in a boarding house in [DELETED]
Well, there are three things I hate about Panama: the weather - hot , the security - none, and the crime rate - high. I think they tie together somehow.
[4 min 3 sec DELETED]
Um, RELEVANT events start on March 21, 2022. That was a Monday. Every Monday we eat at [DELETED]. That Monday it was me, Galen, and [DELETED]. Ryan got there a little late, and when he walked in he looked real bad. What? Ryan G-R-O-S-S, aka Jitters, J-I-T-T-E-R-S. I think Galen's last name was O'Gara.
[Ryan Gross, aka Jitters, CURRENTLY WANTED by Panamanian authorities for questioning re: net crimes in Panama City region and Class 2 Data Theft. Galen O'Gara CURRENTLY WANTED by Interpol and British authorities for questioning re: possible Irish Republican Army activities. Details appended.]
Anyway, Ryan came in and said he'd just come from Chinga's apartment, and Chinga was smeared all over it. No, I am not making a joke. His name was really Chinga. No, I didn't know his real name. It's not kosher to ask that right out. Chinga was Ryan's friend, and if he never told Ryan his name he sure wasn't going to tell it to us. I heard he worked for the Columbians.
Ryan went through Chinga's place, looking for some sign of who'd killed him, or why. He found both, too; a vacuum-sealed packet of coca leaves and a cold-eyed suit heading down on the elevator as Ryan was going up. Corpse [possible slang term for CORPORATE] vanished, but the leaves didn't; real coca leaves, the kind cocaine came from back before the norteamericanos did that biowarfare thing all over South America.
[PRESENCE of alleged coca leaves unconfirmed, though American LEDiv agents report small quantities of what appears to be naturally dervied cocaine now appearing in Miami and Cuba; the source is unknown. Details appended.]
About ten minutes later we decided that Ryan had to vanish for a while.
[DELETED] took the leaves out and started asking some questions. Galen and I went over to Ryan's place to pick up his stuff. Galen's walking, and I'm on my bike about twenty feet back, and I notice there's this guy following Galen. He's got a big armored trenchcoat on, and since it's ninety degrees out and about as sticky as the inside of a microwaved grapefruit, I figure it's either A) armored or B) concealing a weapon of some sort or C) both of the above.
So I run him over on my bike. It's a 1964 Raleigh nine-speed, solid steel frame, and I knocked him flat. He reaches out, quick as a snake, and slashes my front tire with a mean-looking stiletto. Then he gets up and goes right after Galen again, can you believe it? Real single-minded type. So I nailed him with a bottle I picked up out of the gutter. Plastic, you know? The square kind that doesn't break, recycles easy and weighs about three pounds. That's when he reached in his coat. And I'm not stupid, so I took off and caught up with Galen. I didn't think anything of it at the time, except to congratulate myself on my ingenuity. I guess that was stupid, because he turned up later. But I'll get to that.
So we get to Ryan's house, and we're packing his socks in a duffle, and we look up and there's this suit standing in the doorway, and it's the same suit that Ryan bumped into on the way up to Chinga's. And he wants to know where Ryan is, and who we are, and why we're packing up his stuff.
So we give him some bullshit line about how Ryan's dead, and he owes us money, so we're cleaning out his place 'cause he's kinda incapable of paying us back, and it looks like the suit buys it. He says his name is Gilbert, and he'd like to talk to us about what happened to Ryan, and he's looking at us funny the whole time. He's just this little guy, you know? A real nerd. Galen tells him to fuck off. Kinda forcefully. And he leaves.
The next day, Galen's out with [DELETED], asking questions about the leaves. Ryan's kicking around my place, bored out of his skull 'cause we won't let him jack or go outside. I'm just finished hacking the PCA [Panama Civil Authority], paying my rent and utilities for the year, when my door gets kicked clean off its hinges and a shotgun goes off and Ryan's flying across the room.
I run for the bathroom. The window in there's pretty small, but I can squeeze through a keyhole if the alternative is two barrels of double-ought buckshot in the face.
Desgraciadamente, the guy displays his reptilian quickness again and nails me in the leg with some kind of gel round and ties me and Ryan up with strip tape. We're on the ground, Ryan's screaming, I'm screaming, and the asshole takes off his shoe and one of his dirty socks and stuffs it in my mouth!
What? It was that guy, the one I pegged with the bottle. He gets on the phone and he says, Hey, Gilbert, I caught them. And does Gilbert want to come up and ask Ryan some questions? And would Gilbert mind if he took the girl with him afterwards?
Shit, yeah. I was scared.
Next thing I know, the guy's face is on the floor next to mine. The guy is still standing up. Not for long, though, because he's painting the walls red with what's left of his head. He comes down on top of me like a stone wall, and then Galen's there, untying us.
I don't know if the guy was dead, but he'd have been better off if he was. We get the guy's wallet and PDA and take a look, and it turns out he's a licensed bounty hunter, and he has files on me and Galen. MO, history, psyche profiles, SIN, arrest records, you name it. [CONFIRMED identity of victim, John Hopper, licensed NorAm bounty hunter and skip tracer]
And that's when I see that Trinity's got a 10K bounty on my head. [CONFIRMED]
Hell. We were pretty damn stupid. We talked to exactly the wrong people. We got together with [DELETED] and talked to [DELETED] about the leaves.
[5 min 21 sec SECTION DELETED, EYES ONLY ACCESS CODE]
[DELETED], and we go to have "dinner." We end up in the back room of this really posh Japanese restaurant. There's this table, and there are four big Japs with submachine guns in each corner. So we sit down at the table, like they say, me and Ryan and Galen. And that Gilbert guy comes in, and tells everybody to put their guns on the table.
And we eat. Well, nobody eats, really. They serve up these live lobsters, and even though nobody has much of an appetite, there's no way I'm going to eat fucking live, raw lobster. I don't care how much it's worth. No way.
A big wall screen comes on and there's a Japanese guy there--
Yak, yeah, I figured. You guys are real quick.
What did he look like? Kinda [DELETED].
Anyway, he comes on and starts yakking in Japanese. Yakking, get it? Punny, huh?
[3 min 2 sec DELETED]
Gilbert translates. He wants the leaves. And, like I said, we were stupid, and [DELETED] had them on him, and he hadda hand them over. At this point, very rightly, I figure we're all dead. No way they're going to let us out after this. The goons' guns come up, and they move so they don't mow each other down, Polish-firing-squad-style, and I'm wishing I hadn't told Jesus to fuck off, because it looks like I'm going to be meeting him in a couple seconds.
And then we hear, "DEA! Get down!"
The door disintegrates. Literally. I mean, it was blown into dust. In the cloud is this dude in royal blue clamshell armor with "DEA" in big yellow letters on the chest.
Galen flips the table over and starts shooting at the DEA guy, who's shooting at the goons, who are shooting at us. The Gilbert guy gets caught in the crossfire and goes down. Then the wall -- the fuckin' wall! -- gets blown in, and more DEA guys come in. More shooting. More screaming. Galen gets hit a couple times. I fall down and make like a corpse. Ryan falls down and starts whimpering. [DELETED] hits the floor, but somehow, he doesn't look all that surprised.
I found out later the DEA raid hit right when the Columbians blasted their way in, looking for the leaves. Chinga worked for the Columbians, you remember.
The smoke clears and we're huddled under the table. The DEA guys head out down the stairs, mostly ignoring us. Well, Galen was down, and Ryan was crying in a heap, and I was pretending I was dead. We pick ourselves up and go for the hole the DEA guys blew in the wall. We can't go out the front, 'cause the shit's way too thick out there. And we're mostly out when the last DEA guy -- this is why I fucking hate LEDiv -- the last DEA guy grabs [DELETED] by the collar, throws him down the hall with the other DEA guys, sticks his head back in the door and throws a frag in. Turns out fuckin' [DELETED] had gotten collared by the federales and was cozy with the DEA the whole time. Well, not exactly cozy, but they were sweet enough on him to want to ask him a few questions, if you know what I mean.
Well, needless to say, we took the hole pretty fast. It was out of the figurative shit into the literal shit, because it led down to the sewers. Panamanian sewers. We're crawling around down there, covered in muck and slime, trying to decide whether to dungeoncrawl or wait until the shooting stops and go back upstairs.
Then I get the bright idea to crawl back up through the hole and get my deck. "It's armored," I say. "Maybe it survived the grenade." And, amazingly enough, it was intact. I'm going towards the hole with it when this arm goes around my neck from behind.
I freak, and I swing my deck up and break it over the guy's head.
Nothing doing. It's that Gilbert guy. He's taken hits from DEA, Galen, the goons, and a frag. He's still alive. He's pissed. He says, "I'm going to kill you," and he throws me down the hole. I land on my face in a foot of Panamanian sewer water and I have just enough time to stick my head up and take a breath when Gilbert lands on my back and pushes me back down. He stands on me, and while I'm drowning, he takes hits from Ryan and Galen, pops his wolvers, steps off me, and kills Ryan. Just like that. It's like he's doing Tai Chi -- it's that smooth and easy.
[Subject GILBERT belived to be a Gemini FBC, whereabouts currently unknown. See attached surveillance photo removed from premises].
Yeah, that's him. That's the fucker.
I don't know what happened next, because I ran. Right back up the hole and out of the building. I'm crying, covered in muck, coughing up huge lungfuls of sewer water, soaked to the skin, running right past DEA and the federales and [DELETED] and the Panamanian police, and nobody did a damn thing to stop me.
Panamanian police picked Galen up later when they were cleaning up the carnage. He wasn't quite carnage yet, but he was close. Woulda ended up in the body bank if someone hadn't stepped in and paid his bills.
Can I stop now? I need to use the bathroom.
[TRANSCRIPT of second interview with Jody Morris, aka Joann Jenkins, full name Jody Ann Jenkins, apprehended 6-2-22 by Interpol in London for Class 3 Data Theft. Subject left Interpol custody 6-3-22, and it is believed that unknown parties electronically tampered with detainee records, securing subject's release. Subject is currently at large, whereabouts unknown.]
JENKINS - Again? I just told you all this! My name is Jody Ann Jenkins. J-E-N-K-I-N-S, comma J-O-D-Y, comma F-U-C-K O-F-F.
Yeah? Fuck you, too!
[6 min 37 sec DELETED]
Middle name A-N-N. I'm twenty-two years old. [1/1/00 CONFIRMED] My NorCal SIN, as if you didn't know this already, is 9842-2104-524-6015. [CONFIRMED] Most recent home address is 210 Via Sonaja, Panama City, Panama. Present transient address is [DELETED]
Okay, so after I got out of there, I went and paid two bucks for a room by the Fish Market. After I cleaned up, I hacked until I found the police reports about the firefight at the restaurant. Then I hacked hospitals until I found Galen. He was plugged in, mostly dead, and some guy name of Panama Jack was paying his medical bills.
I figured anybody paying Galen's bills might be willing to hear the story of the injuries that required the bills from somebody who was there, so I went to the hospital and talked to the man. PJ was a gringo from the U.S. of A., a white seersucker suit kinda guy who had his finger in a lot of pies. He asked some leafy questions, too, and I told him what was going on.
Hah. He was about as far from a guardian angel as you can get. He was buying a free enforcer by patching up Galen, and he bought me, too, though I never did any netrunning for him. He told me what was what, which was basically, "You're working for me now, and if you don't like it, Pablo and Franco here will twist your little head off."
I happen to like my head, despite all the damage you assholes have been doing to it, and I signed on the dotted line. Galen had even less of a choice than I did, because in addition to paying for Galen's brand-new arm, PJ put in a little extra something to make sure Galen didn't skip out. A little something explosive.
Our first job was when PJ sent Galen to assassinate the Panama City Chief of Police. I heard he was on the take, but he wasn't doing any giving to make up for all his taking, if you get my meaning. Me and Galen end up going to our "appointment" in a giant mid-seventies aircraft carrier-looking sedan. I had to drive the damn thing in through the wrought iron electrified gates, past the guards with Cuban machine pistols. I put it into Park and wait to see whether Galen comes out or the policemen on duty fill out a "shot while trespassing" report on yours truly.
Galen told me later that he went in with a dinky little pistol, and said it was his new arm that was setting off the metal detector. He goes in to deliver his important message from Panama Jack. Just him, the Chief, a big teak desk, and a guard with an Uzi.
He draws down on the Chief. Perfect bead. The guy's practically dead. All he has to do is pull the trigger.
His gun jams.
Now it's him, the Chief, a big teak desk, a jammed pistol, and a guard with an Uzi who's bringing said Uzi up into a position where he can make punk pate out of Galen. I'm not entirely clear on how he got out of it, except it involved diving over the desk on top of the Chief, getting the Chief's pistol from him while the guard showered the teak desk with bullets. I think he took a couple hits, but he ended up shooting the Chief and the guard and running away.
Meanwhile, I'm sitting with my legs stuck to the melting vinyl of the CVN Virtue, listening to Panamanian pop and trying to look winsome and airheaded whenever the gap-toothed guard looks at me. There's a commotion inside, and the guard goes away, so I start the engine just in time to see Galen burst out of the front doors.
He gets about two steps when this robotic thing bounces out of the bushes and takes him down like he's a crippled zebra on Wild Kingdom.
See, nobody bothered to tell us the Chief kept cyberhounds.
I've got a Panamanian polymer one-shot in my bag, but I can't shoot the damn thing because while it's chewing Galen's meat arm off, he and it are thrashing around on the ground and there's no way I'll be able to nail it without shooting Galen. And since he's already experiencing significant physical trauma from the cyberhound, inflicting additional bullet wounds doesn't seem like a good idea at this point.
What I do get out of my bag is a little goodie called an EMP grenade, one of a pair which I bought at extremely inflated prices from a guy named Ronnie Watts, who I hope falls down his trapdoor some day and breaks his neck, because he was a dick about selling them to me.
I throw the grenade at the dog. It goes off. The car shields me from most of its effects, but the dog is right on top of it. Lassie falls over, Galen falls over, the radio fritzes out, and the electric gates start fizzing. I get Galen and what was left of his arm and we get out of there. On foot, of course, because the car is dead.
And, after I go through the totally disgusting process of finding, picking up, and carrying Galen's severed arm, it turned out that the doctors couldn't reattach it because the damn dog had swallowed a three-inch section. Murphy's law, I guess.
Galen goes to the hospital again. When he gets out, we're even deeper in debt. So, bright person that I am, I figure I'll put my netrunning skills to good use and earn us some extra cash so we can maybe buy our way out from under Panama Jack's meaty gringo paw. I'm reading the ads, and I see somebody wants a programmer to do some coding for him. "Hey," I say. "I can do that, no sweat." After all, I'm a hot-shit datathief, right? I can take care of myself, right?
I call up the guy and he arranges a meet at the Panama City Public Library. I figure that's as safe a place as any, 'cause it's "Public." Since Galen's still kinda banged up, I don't want to tell him what's going on, because he'll insist on coming along and end up bleeding all over the nice clean Library floor and probably screw the meet, 'cause it's obvious he's a damn meatboy and God knows this corporate guy will crap his pants when he sees him.
I get there and I'm waiting upstairs in the reading room for this guy to show. He's late, and I'm kinda bored, so I go in my bag and start doing some coding, just for the hell of it. So, of course, I don't see Gilbert coming up behind me until he puts his hand on my shoulder and says, "Hi, there."
'Course it was him put the ad in the paper. I'm a valuable commodity, you know, seeing as how Trinity's willing to pay 10K to have me shipped in a little box back to the compound.
He says something like, "Now, you know you're coming with me. The question is, are you coming the easy way," and he lets his wolvers out just a little bit, just enough so I can see the tips poking out, "where I kill you here and drag your body outside, or the hard way, where you walk along quietly like a good little girl?"
"Hard way," I say, like I got much of a choice. I gather up my stuff and he puts me in front of him, and after I give him some shit he just knocks me down and starts carrying me out of the place by my belt. So I'm hanging there, I can't breathe, I'm turning purple, and on top of this my pants are giving me the wedgie to end the world, and I think, Shit! Why the hell didn't I tell Galen where I was? Then I think, Hey, wait a sec. Maybe I can.
So I reach into my bag, real quiet-like, and I get hold of my cellphone. I manage to open it up and speed-dial Galen's number. I can't hear whether he's picked up, or even if it's ringing, but I say, real loud, "So, GILBERT, what possessed you to set up a meet at the PANAMA CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY? You know, if GALEN catches you here, or if I scream, the COPS are going to blow the shit out of you, me, and all the LIBRARIANS--"
Gilbert's not an idiot. He's probably got enhanced hearing. And a radio link. And his own implanted phone. And an "idiot-netrunner detector." So he stops and rolls his eyes at me and throws me and my bag all over the floor, and gets hold of my cellphone and crushes it. Then he wraps my hands up behind my back with striptape and picks me up by them and carries me across the lobby, flashing some kinda ID at the security guards. That's it, I figure. Even the fuckin' cops are on his side. No chance. Jesus, here I come, one way or the other.
Then Galen comes in the front doors, just like in the movies.
Gilbert throws me away and his wolvers come out and he and Galen start to do that testosterone-laden action hero circling shit, with the security guards standing there not sure who to shoot. And Gilbert just eats Galen alive. He is totally unstoppable. It's like Galen jumped into a Cuisinart -- hack, bleed, hack, bleed, hack, and all the blood is Galen's.
Finally, Galen gets smart and decides that he doesn't want to end up as cutlets on the floor of the Panama City Public Library. He heads out towards the door, and starts blowing the crap out of Gilbert with his shotgun as he goes. The cop grabs me, I knee him, he lets go, and I'm out the doors. And either one shot hits Gilbert in his brain or he decides Galen's DPU is a bit too painful to keep taking, 'cause he falls down.
We run. Galen ends up in the hospital, again. PJ has this big mess to explain away to the cops, and not only did I fail to make any money, we're WORSE in debt.
So, after Galen got out of the hospital, we got together and decided we wanted out.
This is how we did it.
I took my deck out of its case and we packed it with C-6. The idea was, we'd set up an "appointment" with Panama Jack, and after the discussion was over, we'd conveniently leave my deck behind, where it would blow up, taking PJ with it. I think my notes are still in my bag, if you want to look at them.
We got the appointment, and we went in sweating. I left my bag with my deck-bomb in it under the sofa in PJ's office, and I went out on the pretext of using the bathroom. What? Oh, yeah, Galen's cyberbomb. Well, we tried to find out exactly what PJ had put into Galen, but we didn't get anywhere. We figured that when PJ died, whatever it was would either go off or it wouldn't. Either way, Galen wouldn't have to worry about it any more.
I went outside. Unfortunately, Franco followed me out. Franco's one of PJ's matched set of goons. Pablo and Franco. They're both about seven feet tall and four feet wide and look like a pair of giant Mexican Mormons when they're dolled up in suits, which they usually were. Anyway, Franco's giving me the eye, and he looks like he's thinking seriously about causing my head to part company from my body, and I'm thinking seriously about causing my body to part company from the room, when there's an explosion from the office.
At that point, I was pretty sure that Franco was going to pop my head clean off. However, he decided to run to the side of his master, who, along with Pablo, was dripping in small messy globs from the ceiling and walls of his office. Galen was on his way out when he detonated the bomb, blowing him into the hallway opposite the door, but he was mostly all right. He blazes past Franco, who pulls out what looks like a PVC tube out of his pocket and points it at Galen.
But nothing happens.
I don't know quite what happened at that point, because I was running on sheer panic. I know we got to the car and were partway to the airport when Galen started shaking. See, what PJ had put into Galen wasn't a bomb. It was a nanite, and when Pablo woke it up with whatever was in that tube, it was hungry. And it started eating his nervous system.
When the plane took off, he was having trouble walking. By the time we got to England, he couldn't even hold his head up.
He's in a wheelchair now. Doctors say he has something that's not quite Parkinson's. He can't talk, eat, or breathe without a respirator. He's got family in Ireland, and they take care of him. I send him money sometimes.
Me? I'm sitting in a fucking wooden chair in a little concrete room telling the story of my life to two Interpol assholes who are a little too happy about using their fists.
[END TRANSCRIPT of INTERVIEW with Jody Morris, aka Joann Jenkins, full name Jody Ann Jenkins, apprehended 6-2-22 by Interpol in London for Class 3 Data Theft. Subject left Interpol custody 6-3-22, and it is believed that unknown parties electronically tampered with detainee records, securing subject's release. Subject is currently at large, whereabouts unknown.]