My Enemy

Nanosecond 2.0

The files you found in the Black Hole indicate a plan by Renraku to manipulate the Novatech IPO. Specifically it is a plan for a second Nanosecond Buyout, destabilizing the IPO sufficiently to give sufficient power to Renraku to force a very favorable merger, and ending Novatech as we know it. Renraku appears to be heavily leveraging itself towards liquidity and marginal debt. Perhaps they are not as weak as the Woman in Blue suspects. That said this is a vulnerable position for them to be in.

The big trading houses all use very sophisticated VI’s to orchestrate massive-volume instantaneous market trading. As far as I can tell what you saw in there was itself some sort of mega VI designed to analyze the behaviors of the big traders, and generate the market conditions required to get each of them to do exactly what the VI wants them to do. So if a company is sensitive to a large volume of open put orders it would generate them in order to trigger that company to devalue that target stock.

If the big trading houses all become bearish about the IPO it will tank, forcing the syndicate to exercise the full value of the reverse greenshoe, and keeping prices low, giving them a poor long term prospect. Exactly the result I was expecting in fact, though not the method I would have guessed. Since Novatech has acquired a vast array of holdings they will either likely divest or merge.

Simply knowing this is valuable of course, we could buy put options at 2 nuyen a share, and make 3 nuyen each should this plan actually work. But we could do better. With the stolen code, and the right talent we could create our own trading VI, not as sophisticated, but it only needs to out-think one opponent, rather than 100.

I can’t meaningfully predict how much money could be made in such a way. I would guess many millions. If we do this right we will all have a seat at the table, any table, in the future.

I have my ears open on the talent front, I have a few ideas, but need to do some research before I present options.

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Operation Black Hole

The Man with the Plan’s persona is emotionless as he waits for everyone to join the matrix meet, he launches into the situation without pleasantries.

“We are looking to do a favor for the Woman in the Blue Dress.” (Common knowledge 8 or 6 with a corp specialty, or knowledge corp 4). We go in a pull a file off a secure host in the Cavilard Research Center." His presentation software flashes with the following details

  • The file we need is on the “executive” host. Which is not mainstream matrix connected. There is a system the can bridge the unit in the facility, but it would require physical access to control.
  • Unrecorded visits from Corp Lux Aerodynes happen on a semi regular basis. A researcher there was overheard to say that they were working on something that would put Renraku back on the map. This is unverified (though the Woman in Blue’s interest might indicate they are on to something).
  • Russel Overland Freight is responsible for transporting in and out supplies. Sometimes the deliveries are made using Armored Transports.
  • They were having a constant problem with false security alarms caused by the Air conditioning unit, rumor has it this led to the disabling of the security sensors (motion and thermal).
  • Applied Security Concepts provides most of the local security, and the quick physical and matrix response as well. Shifts change at 5am, 1pm and 9pm. Applied Security has recently had major layoffs and asset sell-offs. Officially this is an effort for a leaner force, suspicion is the executives are planning to dump the staff and sell their contracts to one of the big firms, Lone Star or Knight Errant. Morale is at an all time low.
  • Before ASC was contracted there was a scandal with a high profile bit of game software ending up in the hands of Transys Neuronet. The Director of security was handed a Tanto, and refused to honor his failure. They say the guy disappeared into the shadows.

“We were in negotiation with a decker to buy a system map of the matrix host, before he reportedly got scragged by Aztech. The computer system was a pre-arcology fiasco model. More accurately it was supposed to be one of the most advanced models of it’s day, and possibly one of the Ultra-violet hosts that make up the Renraku Black Hole.”

“Our goal is to get in to the Executive host and pull the file requested by our friend. We also want to find if the system actually connects to the semi-mythical Black Hole. If it does, and you think you can survive, go as deep as you can manage.”

“The best scenario would be to be invisible. Quiet and slick. The Lady in Blue is willing to pay 175k for completion, and a 75k bonus for doing it quiet. Oh there is one more thing, the run needs to go off at exactly 2am Tuesday August 26. So you have three days.”

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War is Bad for Business

“Thanks for coming over guys.” Eliska places out a tray of prepack but high quality hors d’oeuvres. “I have been thinking about this for awhile, and recently have come across some information that makes me think it is time to act.”

“You guys will have totally noticed the increase in gang violence recently. Almost impossible not to. Earlier tonight the Fetid Vikings machine gunned a choir practice in Bellevue because the younger sister of one of the leaders of the Leopard Hearts was there. This in retaliation for a Leopard hit against the father of one of the Vikings in a hospice facility. They are killing families.”

“Lone Star has requested that the governor roll out the Metroplex Guard, or even appeal to the UCAS Army for widespread intervention. You have to know how that ends, half the city becomes downtown militarized zones, the whole city goes up in a flash of war.”

When the hors d’oeuvres are done she leads you from the dining room, through the living room and to the bar, “Would you care for anything?” When drinks are made she continues. “This all started with a some folks calling themselves Elven Fire, whose name was scrawled across the wall at the jump house bombing. A week later Seoulpa Ring Lottery out of Redmond, with the Leather Devils acting as bagmen, had their secret matrix account cleared out, with a dumb-frame of a elf in green and black wreathed in flames where the cred shoulda been.”

“Turns out NewsNet had received a message shortly before the Jump House hit that saying the city would be cleansed by the searing heat of an Elven Fire. Apparently it was filed under cranks.”

“Then the actual hits started. Smaller gangs getting hit, drive-by’s stash house robberies, by Elves in black and green, but with the ancients symbol if present, wreathed in flames, and other times some form of stylized EF.”

Eliska leads you out to the south terrace, with a magnificent view of the nearby glitter and shine, the distant decay, and the steady glow of Mt. Rainier, seeming much closer than it is. “About three weeks ago the Ancients rivals the Meat Junkies got hit, then the Tigers, and Emerald Dogs. Since then there has been reports of conflicts with the Red Rovers, the Hellhounds, Holloweeners and Black Rain.”

“The Ancients claim they are not Elven Fire, and the smaller gangs either out of belief or fear have not struck back, but the bigger gangs have started hitting Ancients operations hard.”

“Now there are a lot of reasons to take action, but I think it is fair to add one bit of disclosure, the fact that the entire Cara’Sir to Seattle smuggling run is shut down, everything from refugees and outcasts to guns, medicine, and fetishes dried up, is making some people I know very uncomfortable.”

Eliska leads you through a different door to leave the Terrace than you took to enter, entering the media room, where she motions for you to sit, but herself remains standing. “Anyway until last night I didn’t have any angle to take. That is when a local runner named St. John, his companion, and six business associates, who appear to be members of the Hanabira-gumi, an affiliate Yakuza group from the south end, were sitting at a corner table when an Obvious Hitman", she emphasizes the words, "Big Elf, White Crewcut, Ancients colors walks in and just hoses down the table. He drops a v-note that says “Even those the Authorities fear are not spared the heat of the Elven Fire.” Dude vanishes, St. John and the yaks are gone, his companion, who I have identified as Lucinda Tangier made it out, though in what shape I can’t tell. “

“Now analysis of the video produced some interesting facts. Bone structure indicates that the apparent elf hitman is only 20% likely to actually be an elf. Plus he was obviously wired. The ancients are well known for great hardware, but I have never heard of them being deep in the cyber arena. “

“I have made contact with a Lone Star Lieutenant, head of special tasks in the south end. He can provide off book analysis and has some contacts in the Governor’s office. He believes that if you can keep him apprised that you are making progress in figuring out what is going on, that he can hold off the Metroplex Guard for a little while. I don’t love that part of the deal, but frankly, we are too close to this thing boiling over to not accept any delays we can.”

“Can I count on you guys?”

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The Man With The Plan’s Condo

(Large portions copyright Fasa 1992)

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What's this thing do again?

Friday July 18th 2064, 10:30 pm.

“Hello, this is Mr Johnson, an associate of mine and recent employer of yours, Mr Johnson, recommends your skill and professionalism at the highest level. Therefore I do hope that you are available at short notice, as I have an emergent situation and little time to respond.

An individual approached us with the opportunity to purchase a rather intriguing and unique prototype, and all related research. We agreed and settled on a price and a delivery plan. Minutes ago said individual contacted me to say that he had lost control of the goods in a gang war-zone in the Redmond barrens just southeast of Touristville. Once onsite he can direct you to the location of the goods.

If you are on site within an hour I am willing to pay 15k for your time and good faith effort at recovering the prototype. Should you confirm (absolutely, suspicion is not sufficient) it’s destruction I will pay an additional 15k, but if you recover the prototype and the plans and deliver them to me I will pay an additional 30k instead. "

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The Milk Run that was.

Dragonfly cufflinks. Non-standard.

In Japan dragonflies symbolize “martial success,” due to similarity in the sound of the word “dragonfly” and “victory” in Japanese. As a seasonal symbol, the dragonfly is associated with late summer and early autumn. More generally, in Japan dragonflies are symbols of courage, strength, and happiness, and they often appear in art and literature, especially haiku. In ancient mythology, Japan was known as Akitsushima, which means “Land of the Dragonflies”.

Suit. Pseudonym. Sabotage. Standard. Target Gaeatronics.

“Gaeatronics. Powering Seattle . . . Naturally.” Gaeatronics is an A-rated multinational corporation owned by the Salish tribe, with headquarters in Olympia in the Salish-Shidhe Council. The corporation is the largest one in the SSC and is primarily known for power generation, usually by eco-friendly means.

Payment cash and non-voting Shiawase Atomics NW stock options. Non-standard. . .

shiawase: fortune; good fortune; happiness
Shiawase Corporation (シアワセ, “happiness”), headquartered in Osaka, Japan, is the third largest corporation in the world and the largest Japanese corporation. It is generally considered the first megacorporation. . .

. . . and cliched.

Operation – Milk Run. Results: Milk Run.

Update: Additional operation.

“As I said before:”

Lie. News reports confirm border crossing incident story. Operation in diplomatic enclave. Target: Tablet in Council Island Hotel.

Welcome to the Council Island Inn and Spa, a rainforest hideaway in Seattle’s Council Island Diplomatic Enclave on the sparkling shores of Large Lake. Our Duwamish-themed resort, only 10 miles from Seattle International Airport, offers casual elegance. . .

Street violence before operation. Null Threat.

First team still on play. Silenced gunfire undetected over festival celebrations. Panzer suffered central motivator damage. Took subject alive, completed objective. Avoided detection on exit.

Abnormally smooth operation.

What-ever can happen will happen if we make trials enough. -De Morgan.

Assuming no more than Aleph-naught possibilities of course.

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You know what a greenshoe is right?

“The Novatech IPO will be for 4 billion shares of stock at 20 each, with a 25% reverse greenshoe. They will get 18 a share from the underwriters (this is a larger than average fee due to the mild perceived overvaluation of the stock). ZO and CC both refused to underwrite, and the CC arranged a consortium of A class money managers to underwrite as a syndicate, since there was no entity large enough to do it that both wanted to and that Novatech would accept. Total value of the company is theoretically 400B (very likely an overvaluation). With liabilities listed at only 200 billion, that makes the debt to equity ratio of look very good.

The IPO is for 80 Billion, with a 20 billion reverse greenshoe, yes that is a large greenshoe. They get to keep 72 billion of that if all goes well, and if prices go up up up it also means existing owners increase their personal wealth considerably, debt to equity looks better etc.. If things go badly though and the full greenshoe is excercised they are down to 52 billion cash. Yes they get that stock back, but if the price is low and they try to resell it it will just drive the price even lower.

So if the price closes at 15, they get a market valuation of 300B, they would need to sink all 50 bill into debt settling to keep the 1 to 2 dTe. Given shrinking revenues and a tapped credit market, where Novatech is paying rather high interest rates for the size of their company, it will be vital, as their only strong indicator, to keep dTe at near optimum levels. I am not sure how much cash they ‘need’, but if they close at 18 or better they will be very happy, below 15 might well cause them to liquidate, though such would be nearly unthinkable in a natural market.

Of course, the modern market is far from natural. . ." The Man with the Plan breaks into a smile as he says that last part.

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WOW

So the brains came up with what we needed to do, and apparently it was go into the sealed by the freaking UCAS Military and insert some code into a production facility (oh and pay went from 30 large to 75, that puts the run at 100k plus for 3 days work, I think I will take a year off). Oh and the gangs all here, Full compliment of 9 folks for this one.

The underground is humid and stinky, but what can you do. We made it in pretty easy, came out in the parking garage, scouted around till we took control of an elevator that took us up to the target floor. We passed some folks, probably refugees, we avoided them (Biz is biz, but I feel like we could have done something). Weld through a sealed door on the floor we want and low and behold poison gas (well we assumed it was poison, better safe than sorry) starts leaking out. Moments later the wall starts shrieking, not like an alarm but like something from a nature sim (weird, even weirder how to they record what it’s like to be a wolf?). Legend and Rook are off in dreamland, and wolf crashes the elevator (seriously, how do you even do that?), oh and some other elevator comes up to start sniffing around where we had been.

We climb a level and drop off on the waste management floor to get some hazmat suits. We had heard about the robo tentacle panthers, but seriously, WTF. Might of been cuz we had em outnumbered three to one but they really weren’t that bad, short controlled bursts, that how you do it. After giving up the hazmat suits the Wizzes did wizzy stuff and we went in as is. Seemed to work ok. Other than getting hung up the barnacle bugs on the walls, this was pretty short and pretty simple. Up to the next floor and into another Vater. Everything’s going fine till Link starts flashing that legend is experience heart palpitations. Rook plugs into the system and the elevator comes to a stop, 6th floor. Next thing you know Legend’s Link goes flatline and Rook opens up with the shotgun on the elevator control panel and we pry open the doors and head out.

Next thing you know it’s all gunfire, I was moving ahead when it started, and didn’t really get a clear shot until Rook filled the place with smoke and we bailed. Tonic went down first, a spell of some kind; heartrates all over the Link went erratic for a moment, then Gut Punch, to smg fire. Night Hack dropped two before they got him, and Hydroid took out the enemy wizzer before she went down. Sparks (got her name this time) lit the place up with a giant blast of fire, but it didn’t do much other than get her torn open (wolf carried her, I saw the wound, it’s a wonder she survived).

Gut Punch and Sparks are likely gonna spend some time in the ICU. Tonic needs medical attention too, but he’s not critical, so he’s stuck in the waiting room. So far we haven’t seen Hydroid or Night Hack. I will keep scanning the shadows, their some money with their name on it lying around. Everybody else was pretty ok. We weren’t heroes like some others, but we were legends tonight. Maybe what we can provide will help someone else. Maybe what we did in there will help the people inside. I hope so.

**Update 17-2-60. Gut punch woke up today. The Dr says Sparks is past the worst danger, but keeps insisting that if they could use all the procedures available to them it would improve her odds. The Medmage says her aura remains strong, and that he is certain she will pull through.

No sign of Hydroid. The video feed is gruesome; it broke my heart when we were watching it again. She took about 30 rounds in the upper body, and redlined on Link. I know she was more machine than girl, but I don’t think she made it. She is one of the nicest people I have ever met (don’t hear that about a lot of milspec death-borgs). How did she get mixed up with us?

No sign of Night Hack either, the footage is less conclusive, it looks like he is going down as the smoke fills the area, link loses him, but that could be a connection problem (we lost link moments after that anyway, interference). He was the most deadly man I ever met with his bare hands, I never saw him touch an enemy more than twice.

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This isn't what I signed up for (is it?)

What a day. Team Alpha extracted the Patient 19 (apparently the embryo, not the pregnant chicka), in the morning. The op went smooth, one nurse vulcan pinched, not even a car chase getting out of there. Total milk run. The lowborn (I should have paid more attention and gotten their names) along with Night Hack are responsible for keeping her safe and from being wizwatched.

We were still on recovery from the hijacking down in Covington last night, still not totally sure what was in the truck, when we got the go order. You wanna play in the big leagues you don’t get breaks I guess (Though Rook seemed to have this timeline well laid out, we could ahve maybe gotten a bit more warning). Legend, Gut Punch, Hydroid and myself (Team Beta as we are so affectionately called) were joined by Team Alpha Luminaries Rook and Tonic (I swore I thought his name was I-D), for the new years festivities.

The plan: ambush the medical team sent to recover the target, and neutralize her PCP. Walking through two corporate tac teams to do it. Started going pretty well, truck full of guys crashes into the wall after hitting the zap-strip, window goes down to an explosive shotgun round and NSIX is pumped inside. The guys outside the van started shooting back, supported by a drone. I couldn’t get a shot on the drone, but did take out the driver of the van before he could get it rolling again. Hydroid took some fire, then Legend turned the drone and it started cutting down the corpsecers. The two guys in front of the building shot themselves alla Tonic (creepy, even creepier that he posted it on the net). Guess he was too focused though as something came of the netherworld and from what I saw on Link (I was already on bugout order) some glowy buffalo dog gasses him and then comes trotting into the street, Tonic in his mouth. Hydroid recovers the puking wizboy and we are ghosts in the night.

Rumor has it as soon as Rook and Legend figure out what is in the head (did I forget to mention the head in the bowling bag, the Dr was neutralized the hard way) we move again, heres hoping they take a while to crack that thing.

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