The well-cropped purple-haired male who stood in the place of Dawn seemed studious and aloof.An intense shrewdness froze to his expressionless face as plain and effortlessly as if it had been painted on.He listened, but he made no particular note of a desire to participate right away.A lot of questions were on his mind.A lot of variables to calculate.Many mentioned by some of the others.
Which planet was this?
Are the NPCs on this planet loyal to the General?
What security systems are in place?
What sort of weather can they expect?
What terrain can they expect?
What access will they have to the technology?
And above all, how much power does the General have over the simulation?
In additional to all of these questions, which Dusk was in the process of ascertaining based on various evidences throughout the room, a more interesting revelation came from one of the members.An unfortunate admission from one of the participants that left a sour taste in his digitally reproduced mouth.Three of the participants were "family".They were connected to each other.What sort of competition was this that stacked the odds so firmly against him?No matter which one of the three won, they all won.Of course they would team together.He hid the bitterness behind his studious gaze.
The only allaying factor to the bitterness was the obvious lack of Force connection in the simulation.It left several of the members feeling like a fish out of water.Whereas Dusk, who had no Force connection in the real world, had no sense of what was missing.Rather, as a man born of the digital world and with a layer of custom tech between him and the simulation, the tables were reversed.In a simulated world, there would exist latent functions and toolsets that could be exploited.That was the Force of a simulated world.
But he would play by the rules, for now.Not least of all because the cost of cheating would rid the entire point of his participation: the reward.But Dusk was nothing if not cautious.He certainly would not encourage his counterpart, Dawn, to allow any invasive cerebral simulation without some sort of defense.Already, the CyberNerv system controller was cloning network logs and commands in real-time.
Dusk half-suspected that the organization running the simulation was, in fact, counting on this. After all, the opponent of the simulation was a man who had hacked and re-written aspects of the simulation at-will.It was obvious that simply throwing regular participants, with limited access, at the General in a simulation that was life-or-death was a suicide mission for anyone involved.What better way to counter a man who has broken the system than a man born and bred from cyberterrorists and subsequently sharpened by metropolitan cybersecurity enforcement?
And what of the family?This variable burned in Dusk's mind.More than the details of the planet.More than minor aspects of the simulation.Why was a chunk of the participants connected?It made little sense for a competition.But there were too many possibilities and not enough information.It was a puzzle that Dusk would have to simply attempt to ignore for now.
A key question was presented: Would Dusk go alone or stick with the group?Obviously, it made little sense to go alone with no information.It was pointed out clearly that they would need to acquire weapons, let alone supplies.It was in nobody's best interest to go alone at this stage.But the endgame might prove to be a different story.
"There is still too much information that we do not know." Dusk said, sternly."We do not have any information on the target or the extent of his grip on this simulation.Best case scenario, he has no access to network events describing the arrival of new participants.Worst case scenario, he knows precisely where we have spawned.
Probability is high that every non-player character will pose as eyes and ears for our target.If you allow me to tag along, I will find a way to circumvent this threat.But you will need to keep me protected."
- Lucinda Larr likes this