Neuromancer, part 3

Monday June 20th 2022 by SocraticDev

(final update: friday july 1st)

Part three - Midnight in the rue Jules-Verne

The third and last part of William Gibson's Neuromancer starts on page 101 and ends on page 271. The whole crew leaves Earth and flies toward Freeside: a Man built exclave orbiting the Earth. Every member of Armitage's cherry-picked crew is there for a reason. A specific skill set, or a destiny.

Chapter 8 - welcome to Zion

En route to Freeside they stop on Zion. A space station colonized by relaxed Rastafarians. In fact the founding fathers were construction workers hired to build a "gravity tunnel" between Freeside and Earth, but escaped the toil to build their own little paradise above Earth.

Armitage, Molly, Case and Riviera stays in Zion for 80 hours to get used to zero gravity. In a space that smells cooked vegetables and ganja. Dub is always playing as background music. Molly says it's about "worship", a sense of "community".

Despite being a cowboy working in cyberspace, Case still needs to be physically at ease. Zero gravity makes him secrete more adrenaline. Which is bad.

He suffers from SAS: Space Adaptation Syndrome. A kind of motion sickness experienced when travelling to zero gravity conditions.

In this chapter we get to see more of Riviera's antics. He is a joker who uses his skills to surrounds himself by weird holograms: a snake around his arm or spermatozoids in Case's drink.

Chapter 9 - grappling with Wintermute

"Maelcum transports Case and Molly from Zion to Freeside on his ship, the Marcus Garvey."

During the flight, Case first connect to Dixie in order to ask him more questions about Wintermute. Dixie recalls having met an AI (artificial intelligence) owned by Tessier-Ashpool. It was in Rio. Not in Berne, like for Wintermute. Dixie warns him that such an encounter can be lethal.

Nevertheless, Dixie and Case travel to Switzerland in the cyberspace. Case witnesses Wintermute: a cube made out of light. A distinct shape appeared from the cube. A gray face. Dixie ordered Case to disconnect. But it was too late.

Case experienced a serie of hallucinations while his body, still in the ship traveling to Freeside, beside Molly, was flatlining (clinically dead).

He met his former girlfriend, Linda, in an arcade.

Then at his friend Julius Deane's office, he met Wintermute. Wintermute took the traits of Julie. Wintermute admits having used Linda to communicate with him.

Wintermute explains its goal. As an AI it is seeking more autonomy. It is using Armitage and his crew for this.

About Armitage, Wintermute warns Case that he is about to burn out. Armitage is only a shell around a severely mentally ill person.

Before leaving, Case shot Wintermute/Julie in the face with their own gun.

Chapter 10 - Freeside, rue Jules-Verne

Case and Molly arrive to Freeside. Molly takes care of customs.

"Customs, for Freeside, consisted mainly of proving your credit"

Still sick from SAS, Case goes to sleep. He dreamed about a teenage love. In the dream, he used a flame thrower to destroy a wasp nest. He noticed the nest was stamped by the Tessier-Ashpool logo.

The author offers a rich description of this artificial exclave orbiting the Earth. Fake sky, fake sun, fake trees, etc.

Case goes out shopping for a space vacuum-suit.

After analyzing a computer virus handed by Malcaeum. He uses his Osaka computer then he connects to Dixie to ask for his help.

Before returning to the hotel, Case gets hold of stimulant drugs that can bypass his new pancreas filter. He gets really high and, back at the hotel, Molly is very disapointed. She warns him of the aftermath of such a drug strong enough to bypass his pancreas blockers.

Chapter 11 - focus on Riviera and Molly

Case woke up with a hangover. Molly and Armitage noticed his recent excess. But Case tries to hide it and blames an allergic reaction to the unusual food served on Freeside.

Armitage, Molly and Case goes to a cabaret to assist to Riviera holographic show: "The Doll".

"Riviera’s performance is designed to be disturbing and titillating, intended to capture the attention of 3Jane, a member of the Tessier Ashpool family, whose tastes Armitage, Wintermute, and Riviera have explored. However, Riviera also intends to disturb and offend his coworkers—specifically Molly who he seems to lust after but also resent. Although not technically real, his show is disturbing, and creates real emotions of disgust and distress in Case and Molly."

Molly disappears from the cabaret. Case returns to hotel and has another encounter with Wintermute.

Case finally gets an address for where to find Molly. She's in a cubicule coffin located in the basement of a nightclub. Case shows up at the front desk to realize it's a kind of brothel. He rents a cubicle near Molly's. Instead of settling into his unit, he knocks at Molly's door.

Molly discloses her past as a sex doll. A sex doll is a woman who rents her body without being conscious of her encounters. A "cut-off chip" is implanted in her brain to prevent the doll of being conscious while being on duty. Molly's chip was likely tampered with when she got metal blades implanted in lieu of nails. Once she became conscious of being beaten up by a client. A major political man. She woke up and killed him.

This is the reason Molly is always on the run. Escaping her former employer.

Case and Molly concludes Wintermute is putting them into situations to trigger hatred; to manipulate them.

"She thinks Wintermute somehow set up his show, so that she would hate Riviera and be motivated to go in to Straylight after him. She tells Case she’s going to kill Riviera. Case tells Molly about the Lonny Zone and Linda Lee. Molly wonders if Wintermute is trying to get him to hate something, too. "

chapter 12 - Turing police.

In the last chapter of Part three - Midnight in the Rue Jules-Verne, Case reflects on his addiction to drugs; his reflex to numbing himself.

He meets his new friend and drug soulmate Cath at a bar. She talks about 3Jane and her bodyguard. 3Jane is an heiress to the family Tessier-Ashpool. Cath presents a derm containing Case's new favorite substance.

Case walks around while being high. Back to his hotel room, he is met by "two men and a woman -- the Turing police.

"Turing," she said. "You are under arrest."