Trying something new this week – moving recaps to my blog for easier reading. These recaps are from Ma1nfram3’s perspective, largely, and may not completely represent the episode. 😉
Episode 16 VOD
We rejoin MMFEC at the Under 10 Championships in an industrial district of London. Elsie and Cromwell have sprung for VIP tickets to the fight, putting them close to the ring where Cromwell’s childhood friend Pip will be fighting Queen Clobber.
Ma1nfram3, Fang and Mordecai stay in the gallery, keeping a vigilant eye on the proceedings (Except Fang, who is busy fawning over augmented fighter Midas.)
Pip manages to hold his own during Round 1, but takes a significant beating during Round 2 and nearly goes down. Cromwell, concerned, finds his way to the ring and lays a hand on Pip, using his newfound bear spirit powers to take Pip’s wounds as his own. Pip only barely registers that something has happened, but is re-energized and manages to take the win in Round 3. The crowd erupts, and in the chaos Pip and Cromwell exchange a dizzying array of meaningful looks before parting ways.
The Shark Cruiser
Back in Seattle, the gang tends to their various pets. Ma1nfram3 receives a package from an old friend, Danni, who now works in Marketing for Ares. Dani has recommended Ma1nfram3 (“anonymously”) for a beta of a new drone product. The whole exchange is a bit fraught for Ma1nfram3 and sets her on edge, but she decides it best to take the drone – though she’ll have to learn how to pilot it first, and leaves it powered down in a secure location.
Fang gets home to discover she’s missed several meetings with her parole officer while out of the country, and is essentially grounded until she can straighten that situation out.
Eventually, the gang returns to the Rapid Rabbit, where bartender Oz shares that there is a mysteriously abandoned stick shift van in the back alley, strongly implying one of the MMFEC folks should liberate it from its current situation. Upon investigation, the van is discovered – with an airbrushed painting of a shark that looks suspiciously like Sharky, boasting glow-in-the-dark highlights. Mordecai adopts the van as his own the old-fashioned way, and scrapes it out of the alley while he and Sharky attempt to re-create the final scene of “Grease” at half-speed.
Elsie receives a note from a corp wishing to acquire MMFEC’s services, and the group arranges to meet their new Johnson at a fancy downtown supper club. Mordecai is left outside when he decides to roll up onto the curb in the Shark Cruiser. The team, dressed to the sixes or sevens, heads inside and meets a very drug-addled Horizon Johnson who – with a mild amount of derison – books MMFEC for an on-site run troubleshooting problems at Horizon’s soon-to-open Sunset Island resort. They will have 1 week to troubleshoot the mysterious ride glitches before the park opens officially.
Vacation, All I Ever Wanted
Fast-forward to MMEC checking into an opulent resort suite (Fang still grounded!). This should have elicited happiness but managed to depress the hell out of Ma1nfram3 (“Is what happy families have?”) and Elsie (“I’ve never seen a happy family.”) Cromwell turns the laughter of children into fear by cannonballing from several stories up into the hotel pool.
Once the team shakes off their melancholy, MEC (minus Mordecai, who is brooding in the hotel room because he believes theme parks discriminate against metahumans of lesser height) heads into the park to scope it out and “research”. The malfunctions Horizon is tracking are random, so the best chance of catching one is setting up surveillance at a few of the rides. The team is drawn to the physical+virtual rides. Ma1nfram3 sets up shop at Westward Ho!, while Cromwell and Elsie continue on to Little Planet.
Cromwell and Elsie are enjoying Little Planet when the ride suddenly lurches to a stop. Across the park, Ma1n gets a notification that Little Planet has been removed from the grid. She jumps immediately into the Matrix and finds the Little Planet portion of the Horizon grid surrounded by a mysterious domed forcefield of code.
That Escalated Quickly
Ma1n works her way through the dome to discover a technomancer’s persona in the center, surrounded by sprites. The mancer is mad as hell and seeking revenge for something. Ma1n’s attempt to engage the mancer verbally fails dreadfully. Mysteriously, the mancer knows Ma1n’s friends are on Little Planet (though Ma1n tries to protect them by denying knowing them) and the mancer releases the restraints on Elsie and Cromwell.
Elsie’s reflexes save her, and she manages to grab on to the restraints and hold on. Cromwell, on the other hand, plummets to the ground, only managing to attack the ground and soften some of the concrete before impact. He takes a massive blow. Meanwhile, a troop of Corp Scouts remains secured in the ride.
Ma1nfram3 is caught off guard – she didn’t expect this to go violent so fast, since all previous malfunctions were harmless. She is also deeply angered, because this technomancer is threatening to punish innocents in pursuit of revenge. All she can do is throw everything she’s got at the technomancer, keeping her distracted from further damage at the ride.
Shortly before this sequence of events occurs, Mordecai decides to astrally project, and is able to find Ma1nfram3. He goes to her unresponsive side and confesses some things that she is unable to hear, and then decides to check on Cromwell and Elsie, who are in extreme danger. Mordecai begins levitating Elsie to the floor and summons the Spirit of Man to cure Cromwell. But the healing is interrupted, and Cromwell slumps back to the floor. Meanwhile, ride repair drones are sent by the technomancer to attack Cromwell, and Elsie has to take them down with her sidearm.
Ma1n and the technomancer are locked in a battle of wills. The technomancer won’t listen to any reason, and wants to see Horizon suffer. Ma1n won’t back down, becoming increasingly angry. Eventually, the technomancer decides to escalate her attack, and releases the Corp Scouts from the ride. Mordecai manages to catch them, but Ma1nfram3 is INCENSED and will not stand for this use of innocent lives as a sacrifice.
She knows her deck has taken a lot of damage, but cannot find it in her to reboot and let the technomancer off. If she has any chance at taking the TM out – and Ma1n DID deal damage – she has to stay. She marks the technomancer (on the matrix, as a large, gaudy theme park hand stamp) and doubles down for one last attack, doing more damage, but not enough to end the technomancer. A data spike sends Ma1nfram3’s deck sparking, bricking it and kicking Ma1nfram3 violently out of the Matrix, suffering her first dumpshock in a while.
Near-unconscious, Ma1n barely overhears a conversation Elsie has trying to coax the Corp Scouts off of Mordecai’s barrier and onto a slide — when Elsie says “You could have been part of the solution, but you’re part of the problem”, Ma1nframe bursts into tears.
Shortly afterwards, the ride system is returned to the grid, and Horizon’s threat response team rushes in to provide medical care. This fight is far from over, but MMFEC must heal first.