Shadows of Baltimore

Mt. Auburn Cemetery

While camped out at the Tent City, Elan and Five receive a job from the listserv they were referred to Tom Faller through. A fellow runner has come across a file they want decrypted, and handed it to the runners for a 3,000¥ reward if they can break it. Cautious at first, Five decided to have one of his sprites do a little legwork and see what he could find about the file. Elan and Five decided to head to Jack’s Carryout to try the deep fried naga claws. Five ate the greasy claw, then headed to the bathroom to evacuate his bowels and meditate.
The file had an unusual decryption algorithm, using code that Five had only seen used in AI architectures. After a few attempts, his Crack sprite was able to decipher it (being of a creature of the Matrix itself). Five had his Sprite encrypt it using a unique Resonance algorithm and gave it back to the Johnson who asked for it, keeping the actual copy for himself. Once 5’s sprite had finished his tasks and dissipated into the fabric of the matrix, the file became corrupted, leaving the Johnson with no viable way of obtaining the data. Five proceeded to obfuscate the file while he and Elan mulled over its contents: A list of names, each seemingly unrelated. Alan Gregory, Dolores Henderson, Tiffany Sanders, Walter Johnson, Douglass McCarthy. As they dug deeper, they found some had worked for Pixil Corps, a cyberware manufacturer. About half of those on the list had died at varying times, some as recently as in the last few days. They found an obituary for one of the deceased, and decided to pay their respects at his funeral. Before they left, Five and Elan decided to investigate Tony’s, where days before Elan and Holli had put down a DSPC hit squad. Five’s sprite barely managed to get inside Tony’s system unnoticed. There he found that Tony had indeed kept a record of their files on his computer, and rather brazenly at that for someone so paranoid. Also in Tony’s files, the names of those on the list. Odd, was that no previous records or background checks turned up in their files.
Five and Elan arrived at the old overgrown Mt. Auburn cemetery at dusk, as an irritated a group of crows voiced their disapproval. Thus exposed, Elan attempted to get close to a pair of suspicious looking men in suits observing the funeral services from a distance. 5ive noticed that no one had attended the funeral, except the priest and grave-digger, a rather pitiful looking character with a somewhat severe looking case of scoliosis. Elan and 5ive found that the others who had perished on the list had been buried at Mt. Auburn, a common thread. Elan suddenly realized that many of the graves in the older sections of the graveyard had been disturbed, and as he ventured into the brush found himself being ambushed by two ghouls dressed in the fragile remnants of the clothes they were buried in years ago. One of the ghouls dug its claws deep into Elan’s chest. Remembering all the zombie apocalypse movies in the 10’s and 20’s, 5ive flipped his light panel to daylight and managed to distract the ghouls long enough for Elan to whip out his sword and systematically remove limbs and heads. Terrified and wounded, the runners retreated to the Tent City to process everything. Before leaving, a gravestone caught Elan’s eye, marked “Dolores Al-Khartoum Born: — Died: September 5th 1835.” It had been vacant for some time.

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