Neuromancer, part 2
Sunday June 5th 2022 by SocraticDev
(last updated: friday 2022-06-17)
chapter 3 (part 2 - The shopping expedition)
By the end of chapter 3, Case would have connected to cyberspace, to the Matrix.
Matrix: "Has its roots in primitive arcade games. Early graphic programs and military experimentation with cranial jacks."
cyberspace: "A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts..."
Molly and Case gets to integrate a new team member: the Finn. Unofficially, behind Armitage's back, they consult the Finn to scan their bodys. Have they gotten new implants they weren't aware off? Molly goes first and confirms a list of known implants. The Finn reveals, about Case:
"Guy's a virgin. Some cheap dental work, is all."
They also discuss Armitage's identity and goals. The Finn reveals that Armitage is just following orders. From whom? He doesn't know. But he knows the orders are not coming from a government, the japanese mafia, or japanese big conglomerate (zaibatsu).
Molly brings Case over to Manhattan for a real breakfast. In fact her main objective is to visit the Finn.
Case notices that Molly is at home in the Sprawl. The Sprawl, also known as BAMA (Boston-Atlanta Metropolitan Axis), is a urban area where the Matrix and data are flowing. Especially in a few blocks of Manhattan and a century old industrial area of Atlanta.
"her Sprawl wasn't his [...] She'd led him through a dozen bars and clubs he'd never seen before, taking care of business, usually with no more than a nod. Maintaining connections."
Case have a hard time remembering his trip back home from Japan. Only airports and some shopping trips with Molly: Narita, Schipol, Orly. He remembers a train trip with Molly to their final destination:
A large empty room. "Blank walls, no windows, a single white-painted steel door. The walls were coated with countless layers of white latex paint. Factory space."
Armitage adds precision about Case's mission. Specifically about his new pancreas and treatment of his impaired nervous system.
Armitage explains that, during surgery, fifteen toxin sacs containing a mycotoxin have been "bonded to the lining of various main arteries". The sacs will slowly desintegrate and release a toxin similar to the one Case had been plagued with. Toxins that had destroyed his nervous system.
Only after the end of this mission would Armitage provide a remedy to this predicament.
Case is held hostage to this new dependency.
chapter 4 - the heist
In chapter 4, the duo enters action by setting up and executing a heist in Sense/net building. Case immersed himself in the Matrix for a good 9 days, but the action is considerably shortened into a tight chapter. Armitage mission was getting hold of Dixie Flatline: a 'construct' stored in the Sense/net building's library.
A construct is "A ROM recording of a personality which allows for a reconstruction of that person."
Case remained in the loft hooked to his Sendai and SimStim. A SimStim is a way to embody another person; to feel his sensations. Case embodied Molly who moved thru the Sprawl to prepare and execute the heist. He can feel what she feels, sees what she sees. But cannot communicate with her; tell her what to do.
For 9 days, he stayed in the cyberspace or under Molly's skin.
At an electronic marketplace, Molly met with Larry. A shady personage who put her in touch with the Panther Moderns.
The Moderns is "a global group of teenage hackers and pranksters, who can be purchased by outside groups."
They will assist Molly creating chaos at the Sense/net building in order to steal the construct of Dixie Flatline. A notable trait of the Moderns is their camouflage suits; they can blend with their surroundings like chameleons!
Molly got badly hurt during the heist. To escape the building, she had to numb her pain with endorphines. Then she went under surgery.
Back to the loft, Armitage received the construct from Yonderboy (the leader of the Panther Moderns) against a thick stack of money as payment.
Younderboy tells Armitage why he wouldn't count the money:
"You'll pay. You're a Mr. Who. You pay to stay one. Not a Mr. Name."
Despite this, Yonderboy delivers a message to Case. A name.
chapter 5 - Tessier-Ashpool
We will learn more about the power behind the operation for which Case has been hired in chapter 5.
Molly had commissioned the Panther Moderns to investigate Armitage. After the heist, its leader Younderboy presented Case with the answer: WINTERMUTE. Back to New York, Case and Molly visit the Finn to continue their clandestine investigation on Armitage.
"Wintermute is an artificial intelligence. Based in Berne, it has swiss citizenship. Wintermute is running Armitage, but, because AIs aren't allowed autonomy, both Molly and the Finn assume it's Wintermute's owners, Tessier-Ashpool S.A., who owns the mainframe and software, who are pulling Armitage's strings."
Tessier-Ashpool S.A. is a law firm, a shell corporation set up to represent and protect the interests of the Tessier-Ashpool family. This family owns Freeside: "An enormous space colony in orbit above earth".
This family is composed of dead family members who are frozen and brought back to life in alternance to manage the family affairs.
Back to the loft, Case connects to Dixie Flatline. He notices the construct doesn't have any short term memory. It is a ROM. It is a finite collection of memories. Dixie was Case's mentor when he started his career. His memories are useful to Case to learn new informations about the Matrix and Armitage.
"Read Only Memory. A type of computer storage that is more or less unchangeable. The construct of Dixie, for example, is ROM—his personality is already fixed and cannot be developed. Contrast with RAM."
chapter 6 - Armitage
Plugged into Dixie Flatline, Case digs into Armitage's past. He discovers Armitage was colonel Willis Corto. USA had sent Corto and his crew to attack Russia in an operation called "Screaming Fist". It was basically a death trap because it was known that Russia had the power to defend themselves against this attack.
Long story short, colonel Corto was disfigured and severly maimed. He testified before Congress about the betrayal. After this, he was involved in random missions, such as contract killings. Finally involved with a crime in France, he ended up in a psychiatric hospital with a schizophrenia diagnosis.
He was cured by an experimental therapy, disappeared, and now he is Armitage.
At the end of chapter 6, Armitage calls to announce they are going to Istanbul.
chapter 7 - Riviera
The Finn, Case and Molly meet again in Istanbul for a kidnapping mission.
Their target is Riviera. Riviera has a specific skill. He can project lifelike hologram; create illusion and hallucination in others. How? He got one lung replaced by implants that give him this power.
Helped by a local "guide", Terzibashjian, they captured him in a market while he was out at the market to purchase his drugs.
Armitage tells them to pack for their next destination: the Freeside.
"An enormous space colony in orbit above earth. Home to, among other institutions, the Villa Straylight and the Tessier-Ashpool family."
At the end of the second part, Wintermute reaches out to Case by making pay phone rings: "Hello Case... Wintermute, Case. It's time to talk.[...] Don't you want to talk, Case?".
End of second part