Encryption Protocols Engaged
Eagle: All right people, we have every indication of an Indigo-6 level event. We need to start pulling resources on this right away.
Crow: Is this Astraeus? Has she finally gone TITAN?
Eagle: No, she continues to be helpful, and may prove a valuable resource. This is Legba.
PrivateDick: Shit. I just saw what Aeryn just posted to the Eye. So, the “heads of Nine Lives in Exile” came to beg us to help them get their criminal empire back because it’s become a Vittrad-infested hell-hole.
Eagle: A reasonable summation, but perhaps not sufficiently thorough. As you know, our best guess is that Vittrad spreads through the human desire to dominate and control others. Those infected realize they can symbolically consume the egos of other people and control them. Those tendrils of control last until the infected controller dies, whereupon the infection jumps along those tendrils to every victim. There were an estimated 5,000 lapriye fanatics left behind on Legba with a seed of Karl’s ego inside them, but there were estimated millions of ego slaves running on their server farms. All it would take is a handful of fanatics willing to die and we might be looking at literally millions of Vittrad infected egos on that rock.
Crow: I’ll direct your attention to contingency-56 in the files. That might be adapted to this situation.
Eagle: According to Bertrand Theo, the Nine Lives spokesman who came to Aeryn for help, they tried something like that already. The ship was shot down before it could deliver its payload even though other ships were permitted to dock.
Indigo: If i might float a theory, it may well be that there are some of those aforementioned “puppets” infiltrated into other factions of Nine Lives. The infected on Legba may have known the attack was coming.
Eagle: Once given the relevant details, Astraeus ran some simulations. Aeryn’s sister Lorelei reports Vittrad sufferers on Mars experiencing similar dreams of incense, fire and blood. Based on earlier estimations of the “range” of Vittrad’s signal, Astraeus theorizes somewhere around 4 million infected egos on Legba. With so many infected in proximity, she considers it highly unlikely that there is any sense of sane individuality there anymore. Legba is very likely a voracious gestalt intelligence of incredible power, and it’s likely that they’re seeding puppet egos throughout the system by the hundreds and thousands.
Crow: So… even if we do manage to nuke the rock, the problem merely propagates. Remember when we thought ourselves lucky that Vittrad was so difficult to spread?
Watchword: So… what do we do? I mean… we can’t nuke it, we can’t let it exist, what do we do? This thing will eat us all if we don’t fix it fast.
Crow: All right. With apologies to the good Father, I’m going to take point on this discussion. I’ve just looked over the relevant files. First order of business is resource assessment and mobilization. Second order of business is tapping our crows like Indigo here for viable containment strategies. Third order of business is testing those strategies small-scale on one of the other Vittrad outbreaks. Fourth order of business is scaling those strategies up and applying them to Legba without concern for moral scruple or collateral damage. The objective is total containment and wholesale sterilization.
PrivateDick: That’s… well, all good to SAY, but do we have ANY viable containment strategy? Indigo?
Indigo: Actually… we may… although as Crow points out it is currently entirely untested. We have at our disposal a small number of sentinels attuned to the so-called Cerulean Signal, and it appears that the Ozma agent Cerulean Wave Soft Sunlight is recalling all of their Cerulean resources to aid in this endeavor.
PrivateDick: … shit, Ozma’s coming in as an ally on this one?
SilkRoad: Not an ally, exactly, but certainly a collaborator. News from Saòirse’s forks indicates that she’s made contact with the supposed oligarch financier Noor al’Quraini and secured ostensible Ozma cooperation and resources independent from our Buddhist whale friend. And that’s not all. While I’m piping up here, I should confirm that Dr. Ilya Fero is infected with Vittrad in all her iterations. Tari has been keeping a copy of her in a ghostrider module for months, and this copy has volunteered to aid us in experimenting in ways in which the Cerulean Signal might suppress or cure the infection under the right experimental circumstances.
Indigo: Oh… fascinating. I’ll want to see the results of any experiments she runs.
PrivateDick: So, hold on, isn’t Ilya sleeved in the orbital station of Thought?
SilkRoad: Yeah. The copy of her in orbit above our heads is apparently going crazy trying to cure herself. Our local version of her and Saòirse worry that she’ll start connecting up all that spare processor capacity on the station to bootstrap her intelligence in ever more desperate attempts to understand her infection.
Crow: All right, add a Gray-5 threat to the mix. When it rains it pours.
SilkRoad: Yeah, but that’s the thing. We have a cooperative copy of the good doctor willing to help with that “scaling up” you mentioned. The current plan is to fork Saòirse and Ricky and other Cerulean types and see if their power scales up anything like Vittrad does on increasing scales of forks of Ilya until we have an actionable plan to do a dry-run on Thought before scaling up further for Legba.
Crow: All right. Everyone knows I don’t trust the Cerulean Signal, and right now my brain is full of alarm bells about dramatically increasing the numbers of them that exist, and I’m reminded that our current problem stems directly from the unanticipated results of killing Karl using them, but frankly I don’t see any other viable plan.
Eagle: Astraeus has also volunteered to contact some of the millions of people she has repatriated to habitats in the main belt. We have potential resources, ships, manpower.
Das Frettchen: Hello. I just joined this little chat a moment ago at the invitation of my old friend Crow here. I’ll be working with local Martian forks of Saòirse on similar experiments using the various Vittrad sufferers monitored and corralled by Ms. Lorelei Taft-Crowley. I should also make you all aware that a certain Dr. Mikhail Eng has engaged the services of the Gulag Archipelago server to upload a sophisticated basilisk hack into the mind of Dr. Fero’s copies on Thought and Phobos. They were also recently informed by our own SilkRoad of Ilya’s potential infection and are therefore inclined to accept. We may be able to co-ordinate the Venus server’s actions against Thought with this other group’s actions on Phobos. It also happens that they have a native Cerulean Signal receiver among their number who might prove useful in this endeavor.
Eagle: Now we’re using basilisk hacks as weapons? I’d almost be more comfortable if she was simply assassinated.
Das Frettchen: Ah, but then, good Father, she wouldn’t be motivated to kill all of her other forks before committing suicide.
Eagle: I… am not sure that’s necessary. But at this point, I don’t feel like I’m in any position to raise moral qualms.
Das Frettchen: Excellent. In that case, I will reach out to our fellow proxies on the scum swarm and we’ll begin co-ordinating resources and plans.
Crow: All right. While Eagle and Das Frettchen arrange our Cerulean Signal experiments, I’ll be point of contact for logistical resources. All ships, all manpower, all weaponry, all equipment and materiel that we might be able to muster, send the details to me and I’ll start working up a containment and action plan. First order of business is we’ll need a base of operations in the main belt close enough to Legba for physical assault and access. Last time we used Ceres because it worked with our team’s cover as Ultimates mercenaries and one of the sentinels had contacts with the Hidden Concern. There’s no way a mobilization of this size could operate out of Ceres without being obvious. I’m going to recommend we use Extropia. Enough ships come and go every day from that port that an uptick in traffic will have a better chance at remaining undetected until we’re ready to move. This should make up for the increased distance to Legba compared to Ceres. There are also sufficient body-bank resources available for sleeving of personnel, and no appreciable regulations surrounding weapons and other materials that we might wish to procure locally. This will all be enormously expensive, of course, so everyone contact your Factors and start pulling funds.
PrivateDick: I’ll connect with pr0n on the Archipelago to coordinate our intel gathering in light of our mobilization.
Watchword: I’ll watch the mesh and social media with some pre-prepared memes on hand to provide social support for movements in and around Extropia, and to squash any legitimate news of our activities there.
Crow: All right. We have a plan of action. Let’s start working. We’ll check in again in 12 hours.