Sunday July 3rd 2022 by SocraticDev
(final update: sunday july 10th 2022)
part four - The Straylight Run
Case and Molly executes their mission: a run in Tessier-Ashpool's Villa Straylight. It becomes clear who their employer is: Wintermute. Wintermute is an AI trying to increase its power. By law, AI are not supposed to be autonomous. By getting humans into situations, Wintermute defies the law to achieve its goal.
chapter 13 - Turing, you are under arrest!
Back to his hotel, Case gets arrested by the three French "teenagers" he had noticed earlier. They are not teenagers, but members of the Turing police. A law enforcement agency dedicated to enforce laws linked to artificial intelligence (AI).
"They explain he is under arrest and the charges 'have to do with conspiracy to augment an artificial intelligence'."
While being escorted outside his hotel, the police agents get attacked and killed by various elements of the urban landscape. Case escapes. He knows it was Wintermute setting him free.
"Michèle, Pierre, and Roland escort Case out of the hotel. As they walk across a footbridge, an autonomous microlight swings down out of the sky, partially decapitating Pierre. Case makes a break for it, and although Roland chases after him, a gardening robot falls from a tree, killing him as well."
chapter 14 - the chinese virus
Case and Molly start the mission.
Dixie encourages Case to use a virus: the chinese virus.
"Back in the matrix, Dixie explains the virus to Case. It’s a slow virus, so slow the ice won’t even notice it."
Trying to jack into Molly, Case is blocked by Finn/Wintermute. They teach Case how to make the mission a success.
"The Finn/Wintermute explains that the head is a “ceremonial terminal,” and that Molly needs to speak the “right word at the right time,” when the virus has made it deep into the system. The virus is necessary, but without the magic word, the mission will not be completed. Wintermute doesn’t know the word, and can never know the word. After it’s spoken, he will cease to exist."
Finn/Wintermutre informs Case, before letting him leave, that Armitage is starting to lose his mind.
chapter 15 - in the Villa Straylight
Case is finally able to connect to Molly. While moving around the Villa Straylight, she tells him the story of Johnny. Johnny was her boyfriend. She found him dead at her place. The Yakuza had him killed as a vengeance because she had killed one of their men.
"I knew Johnny was up there. But this little guy, he caught my eye, as he was coming out. Didn't say a word. We just looked at each other and I knew. Plain little guy, plain clothes, no pride in him, humble. He looked at me and got into a pedicab. I knew. Went upstairs and Johnny was sitting in a chair by the window, with his mouth a little open, like he'd just thought of something to say."
Molly never had another boyfriend after Johnny.
Molly enters a room where a man was. His name was Ashpool. Molly was interrupting his suicide attempt. By alcohol and pills.
Ashpool keeps Molly in respect by pointing a gun at her. He explains he had been frozen for the last 30 years. Villa Straylight computer system had woken him up. In turn he had his daughter, Jane, unfrozen.
During his explanation he fell asleep. Molly took his gun. Exploring the room, she discovers he had killed Jane as she lay dead in his bed.
Molly takes out her fletcher, puts it in single dart mode, and kills Ashpool with a shot between the eyes.
chapter 16 - Armitage losing his mind
Case gets a call from Armitage. He is next door, in his ship. Armitage sounds like he had lost his mind. He questions Case about Wintermute: "Does he appear as General Girling?".
Molly's broken leg is starting to hurt.
Maelcum receives an order from Zion to abandon the mission and come back. He offers Case to bring him back to Zion. But Case refuses to abandon Molly.
Connected to Dixie, Case learns that another Tessier-Ashpool heir, 8Jean, is alive in Australia. He was to fly back to Freeside having learned about Ashpool's death. His arrival would coincide with the moment when the chinese virus, Kuang, would have had breached Tessier-Ashpool's core.
Armitage/Corto video calls another time. He is acting up, wanting to escape. He thinks he is in an airplane and can eject above Finland. He is truly delirious.
"Case screams and even cries, but he’s unable to do anything. Maelcum, checking a wall monitor, tells Case that Corto is gone. The hatch separating the escape pod from the rest of the ship was slightly open, meaning that it shouldn’t have been able to eject, given it would not be airtight and Corto would die. However, Wintermute overrode the ejection failsafe, allowing Corto to launch even though it was unsafe."
Wintermute killed Armitage. Letting him eject into space.
chapter 17 - goodbye Molly
Armitage gone, Case worries about the toxin sacs attached into his body. Wintermute assures him it will take care of it after the mission's over.
After the mission's over, Wintermute will disappear by fusionning into a greater being. Who/what? Wintermute doesn't know yet.
Hurt, Molly walks around Straylight. She encounters various holograms generated by Riviera.
"Molly continues down the hallway, passing more holograms—scenes of torture, monsters, and finally a little diorama that Molly has to bend down to see. In it, a cluster of feral children surround a soldier, feeding on him. Disgusted, Molly stands. She recognizes now more than ever how disturbed Riviera is, but also that his dysfunction is what drew 3Jane to him and convinced her to let him into her fortress. "
"Molly continues to walk. She approaches a gash in the wall of the tunnel: the entrance to 3Jane’s world. She raises her hand to her mouth and kisses it—a goodbye kiss to Case. Then she descends the staircase."
chapter 18 - Molly fails at the mission
Molly fails at the mission of getting the magic word out of 3Jane. Molly collapsed entering 3Jane's lair. Riviera had joined force with 3Jane. So Molly is basically held captive by him and Hideo, 3Jane's bodyguard.
Case, Maelcum and Finn/Wintermute have to take matter into their own hands and be there when 3Jane will have to utter the secret word to the automaton head.
They have to act fast because 8Jean, the other living Tessier-Ashpool heir, will soon be back to the Villa Straylight.
chapter 19 - the master's return
Case and Maelcum take advantage of the Villa's staff expecting their master, 8Jean, returns. They easily get the hatch's door opened since the staff thought it would be their master's ship docking.
On her end, Molly still tries to get the word out of 3Jane. No success.
chapter 20 - back to Linda
Case jacks in a different reality. He ends up on a beach, on gray sand. He finds a woman sleeping. She is Linda: his former girlfriend.
Case realizes this world is a simulation generated by the other AI; not Wintermute.
chapter 21 - refuse the illusion
On the beach, Case meets the other AI: Neuromancer. It embodied the shape of a boy. Neuromancer invites Case to stop his mission and stay within it, with Linda.
chapter 22 - everyone together
Case and Maelcum reaches 3Jane's lair. They are confronted by Hideo who shoots arrows at them. Maelcum gets injured from one.
3Jane and the crew move toward the Villa's core.
Without Riviera who had been poisonned by 3Jane.
chapter 23 - at the core
"Case flips into Molly’s simstim; Molly is choking 3Jane to get her to say the code. Case jacks out. He turns towards 3Jane and tells her to give them the code. He threatens her, warning her that if she doesn’t give up the code, she’ll be trapped in Straylight forever, and nothing will ever change for her." https://www.litcharts.com/lit/neuromancer/chapter-23
coda: departure and arrival
"Wintermute won, combining with Neuromancer. They spoke together from the platinum head, explaining they erased the Turing records and all records of the crimes Molly, Case, and their team had committed. Money was deposited in bank accounts for both Case and Molly, as well as accounts belonging to Zion. Even Case’s toxin sacs were taken care of—the new entity had gotten deep into his brain and taught it how to dissolve the bonds on the toxin sacs itself." https://www.litcharts.com/lit/neuromancer/chapter-24