*****PRIVATE: Ice, ThunderStone, WhiteTyger >>>>>[What is the nature of your relationship with the samurai known as Ronin? As far as I can see he has no place with your group. I am aware of the fact that LaSalle asked you to turn him during the operation that destroyed SIR as a business entity, but surely he is now deadweight in a magical group. Please clarify this matter for me if I am mistaken.]<<<<< -- Kirk <15:26:57/07-10-58>
*****PRIVATE: Kirk >>>>>[You want a black ops asset, and we will provide that, but I would thank you not to question the manner in which we do so. Ronin is now a part of the service provided by our group. If that is not acceptable, perhaps you should look elsewhere.]<<<<< -- Ice <19:30:02/07-10-58>Message no. 3
*****PRIVATE: Faerie >>>>>[Breaking the normal channel, but waddya gonna do. Emergency sort of thing.
Find out from Cowpoke what he knows, get copies of the footage he mentioned, whatever, but _quick_. If Lynch is killing people like they say he is, then CP might be next. As much info as he's got, and can you look into it yourself? Try to find out where Ronin got to, and maybe I'll try to bust him out. -- Ice ]<<<<< -- <11:14:41/28-FEB-59 NZT>Message no. 5
>>>>>[And if you can't take the crap, stay out of the bathroom.
Hope... I read somewhere that there's this philosphical line of thought or something that believes that the only reason we consider hope to be good is because it was the last thing out of the box. Like death came before that, and if there'd been no hope of recovery, death was the best thing that could happen to sufferers of the earlier scourges such as plague and so on, so if death was last out, we would have thought that was the best thing. And if there was something beyond hope, then we would hate hope as the worst of the things out of the box. "Hope is bad," we would think, "because most of the time it results in disappointment". So what would be beyond hope? Fatalism, maybe? Withdrawal into the mind?]<<<<< -- Faerie <15:45:17/02-27-59>
*****PRIVATE: Cowpoke >>>>>[Ronin was a friend of a friend. I need all the info you've got about what happened... data, footage, whatever. But quick, because if Lynch is killing people, and you might be next. Plus I might need a decker to help me find where he did go, and false modesty aside, if you've found out this much, maybe you could find out more. Interested in some work?]<<<<< -- Faerie <15:46:54/02-27-59>
*****PRIVATE: Michael Morningstar >>>>>[You looking for work, or looking for workers?]<<<<< -- Faerie <15:48:02/02-27-59>Message no. 6
*****PRIVATE: Faerie >>>>>[Hey man, everythin' I got is freely available, I didn't break no protocols nor no laws, Lynch comes lookin' f'r me, he'd better have himself a full an' justified warrant cos i'll shovel his ass if he ain't. All I done was to put it all together.
Trafficam and Media shots of the scene, overhead flyby cam from the action report teams, reactive follow throughs to GridSec Traffic Control, and monitoring systems, Central SecStore for malls, appartments and security monitoring for local businesses, none of it high security shenanigans. Find the route, find the monitors, fond the stores. Simple really.
Like I said, I don't know Ronin, but I hear he was around, and then he wasn't. Seemed kinda funny ta me, an' then that Ravelin starts up on this Lynch done him in kick. So, I followed through. Th'only stuff I knows for a fact he's been into recent were the buses. I reckoned that if Ravelin could find out, others could. Hey presto, badguy and Fed, only the Fed walks out. Looked like Lynch, same walk, same basic shape and the moves were all there, but, I ain't no character judge. I stuck it all together and left it to those who do know. I don't know Ronin, but I figured others might.
If'n that's your buddy's pal, I reckon it's safe that he's no longer part o' this world, and has passed on to greener pastures - if'n you get my meanin'. The Fed was covered with crap, and limpin' fit to bust, I figure he got hismelf a real bad hurt in there, but he were smilin', so you gotta figure he got his mark. Check out his legs, the black suit hides most of the blood that should be around, but th'armour's shredded - only blades'll do that - again, I don't know if'n Ronin were packin' but that ain't no animal hit. Sides, about th' only thing that'll get through that kit the Fed's wearin' is a blade or a serious bullet. Ya gotta know where ta hit it. Armour spec is at >>LTG/RTG<< It's serious stuff, which again means it ain't no animal, whoever did that knew it were a weak point. You figure it out with your buddy, s'th'only way to know, is ta figure could Ronin have done that? Did he have the kit ta do that? Would he have known how to do that. Most people woulda gone for a body hit, an' prob'ly lost their blade doin' it - this one went for the weakest part of the armour - leg joints, groin, armpit... He knew where ta hit, an' how.
Now, there ain't no centralised monitoring for the sewer system and storm drains, they relies mainly on pressure, seismic readouts an' reports from locals, I couldn't find nothin' that tol' me what happened in there, an' I can't read no seismic printouts - they're jus' squiggles ta me.
Condolences if'n you recognise th'other figure in the clips. He dain't come out - nowhere. I looked f'r near on 48 hours to find somethin'.
Work? Well, I'm a looker me. I look, I find, I piece it together. I ain't one o' yer fancy fly-by-night jocks, I'm simply a slugger. But, if'n you got yourself some information you want locked or snuffled outta the 'trix, well I might be interested in earnin' a crust'r two.]<<<<< -- Cowpoke <23:08:22/02-27-59>Message no. 7
>>>>>[Thanks, Doofus. Inevitability, belief in fate, fatalism. Man, I'm >>>>>depressed. But what is this, a freakin' therapy circle?]<<<<< -- Faerie <16:38:49/02-27-59>
*****PRIVATE: Cowpoke >>>>>[If you can find out where he is, it's worth >>reasonable amount<<. I'm authorised to offer a >>small amount<< nY advance to keep you interested. Acceptable?]<<<<< -- Faerie <16:39:56/02-27-59>Message no. 8
Sat, 28 Feb 1998 01:25:58 +0000
*****Private: Faerie >>>>>[Well, yeah. I guess it's acceptable. But I gotta tell ya, it ain't gonna be quick. If'n the Feds have got him, they ain't announced it on the news, an' that means somethin' I think. If he got away, he's sure to be real sick somewhere. Mebbe even The Fed killed his butt and left him down in the sewer for Rat bait.
I don't mean to depress ya or nothin' just appraisin' ya of the facts.
Lookk, I'll poke around, I'll see what I c'n sniff out f'rya. If'n what I find is no good to ya, then ya don't hafta to pay. OK?]<<<<< -- Cowpoke <01:24:03/02-28-59>Message no. 9
*****PRIVATE: Cowpoke >>>>>[It isn't my money I'm spending, but that's cool. And I doubt he got away, even if he was real sick, he should have been able to contact my employer by now.]<<<<< -- Faerie <15:41:56/02-28-59>Message no. 10
Sun, 1 Mar 1998 16:17:25 +0000
*****PRIVATE: Faerie >>>>>[I've found a bit more to add whatch'ya already know.
+++++Include Paramedic Oversight cam.mov
As y'c'n see, three stretchers came out of the sewer following the arrival of the paramedics. I still can't identify the Federal agent, though I reckon it's Lynch. You might have a better way to verify that. The three stretchered figures are, in my opinion dead. There just ain't the rush and intensity you'd expect from a medical team that's got a live patient. If ya use the condition of the Fed as a clue to the fight in th'sewers, then it's reasonable to think the guy on the third stretcher that's brought out, might be the one yo'r searchin' for, 'cause he's in a similar mess, and badly cut up. If that's Ronin, then I reckon he's dead. I can't find anything on the Court circuit that hints at a pending case, there's none of the intensity around the DA's office that'd be associated with preperation of a Federal case against a captured terrorist - which is how the perpetrators of the bus incidents are bein' described. There's also a lack of investigation on the streets centering towards th'identification and accumulation of evidence to a particular case. Lone Star and the Feds are still concentrating on the search for the missing girls, and the hunt for the other scags. Ya c'n take that as further evidence towards th' demise of the person you seek. Though the investigation would still be ongoing, I reckon it's safe to assume it wouldn't be so headless. It don't matter how strong or honourable Ronin was, he'd sing like a bird in the hands of the Feds.
The lack of publicity surrounding th'event is also a good hint that whoever they brought out of the sewer is dead. Corpses ain't as newsworthy, and I found a byline in one of the papers that a federal agent killed some of the perps of the Tacoma hostage situation in a cross town pursuit. Nothin' further to that seems to say there was nothing worth followin' up, which wouldn't be the case if there'd been a survivor. I can't access any hospital records that'd indicate someone from the sewer other than the Fed survived, though I can confirm the damage done to the Agent in the vid clip was from razors. His leg's badly slashed, and he suffered multiple contusions and several minor fractures, including a nasty infection from the sewage covering his wounds. As y'can witness y'self on the S'land node, Lynch is alive, but your buddy hasn't answered any calls. Another sign that he didn't survive.
Sorry to provide you with this information, and I know it's not conclusive, but I reckon there's enough evidence to be safe in thinkin' that Ronin's dead, and that he was killed by Lynch, though in "the execution of his duty as a Federal Officer."
Do what you will with that info. If I c'n find anything else out, I'll ya know.]<<<<< -- Cowpoke <15:57:31/03-01-59>Message no. 11
*****PRIVATE: Cowpoke >>>>>[Lynch was evasive about Ronin...
+++++Inlcude file re:ronin.msg [The one in which Lynch was evasive about Ronin.]
Sounds to me like he didn't want to lie (for some reason of his own, probably some cheesy honour thing), but he didn't want to tell the truth either. Any further luck? And how much do I owe you?]<<<<< -- Faerie <16:23:03/03-03-59>Message no. 14
Wed, 4 Mar 1998 01:19:08 +0000
*****PRIVATE: Faerie >>>>>[Curious. There's two possible reasons for this besides your thoughts on the cheesy honour thang that Lynch is into. The first is evasiveness on the side of caution. Yor askin' about someone, and maybe Lynch don't know you from Adam, so, to protect his hairy ass, he's not sayin' anythin'. Or, he's tryin' to draw ya out, find out what's happenin' afore he talks to ya straight.
OK, There seems to be some doubt cast on the assumptions made from the cam recordin's, I'll go over 'em again, and get a pal to see if'n he c'n pull somethin' out of 'em. I'll also see if I c'n find somethin' else out from other sources. I ain't much of a jock but I'll keep peggin'. If Ronin's alive, I'll find him.
So far you don't owe me squat, I ain't exactly achieved anythin' yet. Tell ya what though, if'n you want to indulge in one of this node's favourite passtimes, y'c'n buy me a beer - jus' kiddin'. I'll dig around some more and see what snake crawls outta the rocks.]<<<<< -- Cowpoke <01:16:32/03-04-59>Message no. 15
*****PRIVATE: Faerie >>>>>[I've had the pictures analysed that I pulled outta the traffic grid, and what little surveillance I could find. The results were inconclusive, it's possible that the figures on the stretchers could be dead or alive, it's just not possible to determine.
So, I followed up on morgue entrants, ran a global scan for John Doe's on the day of the bus attacks. I checked through the mortuary reports and obituaries. I ran a datacheck on the Federal Court system for pending cases, and checked again through the accessible datastores of the DOJ to see if any activity surrounded the hijacks and whether there was a possibility of pending action from the case. I checked the hospital records for entrants that fitted particular wound profiles. Lynch is registered, the man spent a couple of days in a Nanite bath, he got himself cut up pretty bad, but I can't get any details. Nobody else is registered as havin' been entered that day at the same time, with any of the wound profiles that I c'n get from the films, neither were any entered into the morgue. Of the three bodies pulled out of the sewer two turned up in the morgue. The third seems to've disappeared.
OK. What's left? I've checked as far into Federal datastores as I dare go without setting off alarms, and nuthin'. I've checked with a few people on the street both in the area of the sewer, and around the sites where the buses were taken. Nuthin'. I've asked a few questions of people who know Lynch, to see whether this sort of thing has happened before. Nuthin'.
Nuthin'. Nada. Zip
Now there's two things I c'n see from this. First, Lynch or the Feds have got Ronin tied up in a cell somewhere and they're burnin' his mind dry for information. Or, an' this might be the worst of it, they're reprogrammin' him. I've heard of it bein' done afore. Usin' drugs, simsense and a combination of nutritional and sensory deprivation techniques they can twist a guy round until he don't know where in th'hell he's comin' from. If that's the case, then Ronin will return to the streets somewhen in the next 12 months. Only it won't be Ronin anymore - if'n ya get my meanin'
There's one other possibility. I'll keep diggin' at this, mainly because i'm kinda puzzled myself now. A guy can't just vanish into thin air. Anyways, there's somethin' else you might try. If you c'n get hold of somethin' that Ronin had around himself regular like, it might be possible for a Psychic or Mage to find our if he's still alive. Mebbe even find him for ya. I don't know the details behind it all, but I'm told it's possible. I only know of one person who might be able to do it, but they're in Boston lookin' for work, an' I don't know when they'll be back.
Don't know how much help that all is to ya, but rest assured, unless you find yourself an easier way, I'm still lookin'.]<<<<< -- Cowpoke <00:33:12/03-06-59>Message no. 17
>>>>>[What does one do when the wetware no longer functions in the violent >>>>>and amoral way for which the cyberware is designed? One leaves >>>>>Renraku. And then what? Like a masterless samurai of Japan, a Ronin, I >>>>>have no refuge, no direction.
A deep sea fish, brought up from the depths, will explode from an internal pressure so much higher than that around it. I feel the pain of that fish, for after five years in training and two as an active Renraku company man, I have fallen out into the real world. I cannot withstand the lack of forces pushing me around, down, under. Help me, please, there must be someone who understands this feeling, who has shared this experience. I have the abilities but not the iron discipline not to use them, and I fear what I could become.
I need work, I need money, but most of all I need guidance in this new world where I have found myself.]<<<<< -- Matthew Van Holde <19:09:55/04-29-57>
PLAYTHING OF A CRUEL GOD... Jaimie Nicholson, New ZealanderMessage no. 18
Kris Maxwell <kmaxwell@***.umd.edu>
Tue, 30 Apr 1996 12:03:41 -0400 (EDT)
*****Private: Mathew Van Holde >>>>>[I can offer you a job. Nothing that your company skills need be used for. I can offer you a place to stay and food as well, until you get on your feet again. Contact me at >>encrypted<< with your decision. This is a one time offer friend, don't waste it.]<<<<< -- Blademaster <12:57:54/4-30-57>Message no. 19
I feel I must apologize for and explain the delay in my reply to your generous offer. I got involved in an unfortunate... altercation near the docks last sunday. I have not been able to reach a terminal for the last week.
But to business. I am willing to receive your offer. I will make the requisite contact, soon.]<<<<< -- Ronin <11:08:21/5-3-57>
PLAYTHING OF A CRUEL GOD... JAIMIE NICHOLSON, NEW ZEALANDER
If you enjoyed reading about Ronin, you may also be interested in:
These messages were posted a long time ago on a mailing list far, far away. The copyright to their contents probably lies with the original authors of the individual messages, but since they were published in an electronic forum that anyone could subscribe to, and the logs were available to subscribers and most likely non-subscribers as well, it's felt that re-publishing them here is a kind of public service.