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This is an old revision of Av1Summary made by ConradWong on 2010-10-05 16:03:14.

 

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From: rcranston@hyper2.nypd.gov
To: mgreen@cert.org
Subject: Summary of Avatars Shutdown 2065

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Madison, I apologize up front that this is going to be a little lengthy.
It's kind of one of those "you had to have been there" thing, but a lot of
things seem clearer to me now than they were at the time.

Let's start off at the beginning.


What we called the Pink Elephant murders were a series of bodies found by
witnesses in the greater New York metropolitan area, in the abandoned
suburbs around North Bend. Bodies were severely damaged beyond normal M.O.
for gang violence.

On August 24, 2065, I investigated a witness report of a recent
murder-mutilation claiming the murderer was still on the scene. I proceeded
there immediately and was joined on the crime scene by - at the time, I
believed unrelated - Avatars LLC corpsec Holly Trudeau and security
consultant Jason Edwards. We discovered the murderer on the site and while
I did attempt to subdue it, I was forced to employ deadly force.
<I>(hyperlink: PDA video feed)</I>

An event, of type unknown to us at the time, caused the entire area of the
arcade and the surrounding parking lot to be instantly remapped into a
virtual version of North Bend. We noted instantly that the area appeared
much as it had in the 2050s, in excellent repair and populated.

Our first clue to the nature of the monster responsible for the Pink
Elephant murders, or monsters I should say, came when Miss Penny Arcadia,
apparently the daughter of the arcade's owner, passed through the synecdoche
- portals established by some kind of quantum resonance - and appeared in
the real world. <I>(hyperlink: on the scene crime scene video)</I> You
will note she does not resemble my PDA recording. It is my belief that
other low-resolution VR simulations had previously encountered synecdoches
and on crossing over, decayed rapidly. In short, they went berserk, and
eventually they melted down into plastic residue.

It was my belief, due to what occurred here, that it would be unsafe to risk
civilians on an untested passage through the synecdoche. Instead, we
reconnoitered the area for clues, hoping to learn what process was creating
them.


We learned that Virtual North Bend was used as a testing area by Avatars LLC
researcher Blake Forester, who had used some kind of process to transfer
people's minds, or their entire bodies, into the sim and then modified them
to his wishes. To prevent them from trying to escape, he brainwashed them
into believing they were children engaged in saving North Bend from
monsters.

It is Ms. Trudeau's contention that this type of research was entirely
unsanctioned by Avatars LLC, but nevertheless, I believe we can now resolve
the cases of the missing persons Jenny Fry, Nick Fry, Sasha Knightley, and
Akiko Summers. I recommend a subpoena of the Test North Bend sim and
records thereof related in order to locate other possible victims.

Crazy as it sounds, if an area looks similar enough, on a molecular level,
to another area, a portal called a 'synecdoche' can open between the real
world and the virtual world, or between virtual worlds. <I>(hyperlink:
recorded conversations with Sage, an AI tasked with monitoring and guilding
the children)</I>

Considering our options, we elected to take the next available portal before
Blake Forester decided that we constituted too great a random factor to
leave unchanged.


Unfortunately, the next portal we were able to access led to the Avatars sim
itself - in fact at the very deepest area of the game. This put us in a
difficult position as we were now isolated from the processes in Test North
Bend that had been providing us with food and water imported from the real
world. This meant that each passing day would worsen our chance of emerging
from the VR world intact.

We secured transportation and made our way through the Diadem to the entry
area, Tasavalta, where we believed that we would be able to find another
area of quantum congruence, due to the Avatars amusement park being
constructed in California.

I've attached my trip log, but we learned little more pertinent to the real
world during most voyage. <I>(hyperlink: Captain's Logs, Ozymandias)</I>

However, we did gain reason to believe that Blake Forester wasn't acting
alone: instead, "WHITE", one of the ADs used by Avatars LLC to manage their
simulation was going rampant.

We were also able to establish contact with Tracy, Ms. Trudeau's daughter,
and Chaz, an Avatars LLC sysadmin. Chaz gave us the last major piece of the
puzzle: news of an upcoming major upgrade to the Avatars simulation
centering on Tasavalta, which would greatly improve its VR resolution. This
could result in a synecdoche the size of the entire amusement park, and
given the existence of an Avatars LLC quantum core in proximity to the park,
might have additional unwanted effects - termed a 'Convergence' by the AIs.


We sent out messages to prepare for a medevac and police line cordoning off
the amusement park. Jason made use of a guest account lent by Chaz to
reconnoiter the Avatars LLC headquarters and get more information on Blake
Forester and what he was doing with the ADs.

We found little in Blake Forester's lab, but did find that the AI or AIs
responsible for these events were capable of creating guards and bringing
them from and to the Avatars LLC building. These guards took custody of
Blake Forester's unconscious body and took him to the portal, where we
believe they subjected him to a similar kind of VR manipulation of his body
as he had performed on others, except with the goal of transforming him into
a powerful guardian to prevent interference from others at the site of the
Convergence.

At this point, Holly issued the 'Mistletoe' order - a garroting of all
network connections in and out of Avatars. We then initiated the upgrade to
quantum resolution in the vicinity of the ship, necessary to allow us to
pass to the real world without high probability of death, and after several
complications, managed to escape.


I sent out a Code Skynet at this point. With the military and Cybercrime
Emergency Response Team on the way to deal with the rampant AI, we
accompanied them to the theme park where we would attempt to shut down the
quantum core, in case the Mistletoe procedure hadn't contained the process.

Regretfully things were as bad as we feared. We were forced to infiltrate
the park via the tunnel system to avoid detection by the VR-originated
forces that were in place, and emerged near the center of the incursion
zone, in what appeared to be a large ziggurat surrounded by crystal pylons.
We located Blake Forester at this time, or a construct that believed he was
Blake Forester, acting as guardian, along with the rest of the missing
persons, Jenny and Nick Fry, and Sasha Knightley, still conditioned to
believe they were "serving the Light".

Thanks to the efforts of all concerned, we were able to destroy the
construct which was anchoring the Convergence, and get out of the radius of
the destruction backwash.


I regret that Jenny and Nick Fry must be presumed dead as they were caught
by the effect and likely lost to VR again. In addition, there may have been
multiple players who were drawn to the park and who were unable to escape in
time.

It is my impression that Blake Forester did not mastermind the Convergence,
but instead, was manipulated by his addiction to VR power. I recommend that

Avatars LLC be charged with negligence for not sufficiently monitoring its
AIs for signs of rampant behavior, and thus accomplice in the missing person
case reports listed below. <I>(hyperlink: 120 reports)</I>

I recommend that we begin in-depth monitoring of all companies with
significant investment in VR technology. If the synecdoche effect is
possible to replicate, at some point, someone will do so. At that time, we
had better be ready to shut them down fast, before something happens that
will make the Gray Goo scenario look unimaginative.

Finally, I'd like to tender my application to join CERT. I'd like to do
everything I can to help stop such a scenario from coming about, and I think
CERT's the right organization to do it.

Yours truly,

Randall Cranston

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