Episode 21: In the Belly of the Beast / Must Scream

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Episode 21: In the Belly of the Beast / Must Scream

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Section 10’s Tilt Rotor lands at HQ. They are battered and bruised. They lead Elina out. She is still not sure what is going to happen to her. The landing engineers inform the group to go to Kobotai’s office immediately. There just doesn’t seem to ever been a break. They enter the lift.

The door opens and they enter Kobotai’s office…and they see the personnel of Section 9.

“Had a good vacation?” Motoko asks.


The group share information. Togusa recaps the total conspiracy…
The Japanese government proposes project Demigod – a way to bolster the JGSDF numbers while not comprising neither authority or recent public opinion of AI controlled androids killing humans. Two corporations approached the project: Phyrine Biomechanical Technologies and Sagawa Electronics. The latter’s project was dubbed Golem and involved a program that allowed ghostless androids to be run by one master program implanted in a human cyberbrain. It was under control of a Takehiro Mokushi, once an executive of Sagawa, recently found brain wiped, acting as a Janitor in a Newport hospital. He hired on an outside team consisting of five people Sagawa never directly contacted. One of them included the “inside” source only known as Manji. Their location and motivations for what would come later is not known.

Phyrine’s project was dubbed BAAL, which stands for Biomechanical Auto-independent Artificially intelligent Life form. Its details are still not known. The Biomechanical prototypes encountered in South America were developed much later so the original BAAL project details are still not clear. However, it seems unlikely Phyrine could still have the overhead to continue the project. Their motivations in this conspiracy are not clear but money and revenge for placing Phyrine into the red seem likely. Sagawa appears innocent in the matter and look to be victims in this story, manipulated by the five-man Golem development team, which later became the terrorist group “Legion”. Their location is not known. They were solely responsible for the ghost hacks of both the fake Section 10 and the fake terrorist group Mark 13.

Here is when things get interesting: Section 9 investigated their sources within the Japanese Government. Aramaki was handed a communication from the new Prime Minister and the Chinese government. Their surveillance satellite data confirmed the limited Japanese data that revealed the Railgun that struck the Missile platform originated from the American “Thaddeus” orbital defense network. However, the AE insists it never used it. For now, both governments will believe them because if the AE is pushed against a wall, they can accuse either country of asking for the encounter. It is possible someone used a lower ranking command key to forge a higher one. The obvious suspect would be Colonel Holden, a figure in banishment in Japan, but with more authority than his rank suggests. However, evidence pointing to this is nowhere to be found. Holden was once employed with Phryine when it was supposedly still a public corporation. If he is still working there, then the evidence may be there.

One final question involves the nuke theft. Holden was escorting the NEST team into the crash zone. Now, one final point involves Section 9. Section 9 and 10 clashed at the zone. But if a UN NEST team under escort of Holden was approaching to handle the situation, why did Section 9 infiltrate the building?

…Because Japan intended to steal the nukes anyway…maybe just to determine if the Nukes were real or to verify the country of origin. However, Section 10, under control of Legion, stole them. It seems unlikely that BAAL wanted or needed the nukes. The crash would have created the situation. Legion just took the initiative. But they are not longer connected to Sagawa and have not tried to ask for ransom. They REALLY do have a cause. But what? Turtles? No one knows that that means.

Section 9 took this opportunity to investigate Phyrine. Using their sources, they compared their data with Section 10 and compiled a list of all the ex-employees of Phyrine. There was a major efflux of personnel about five years after Demigod was cancelled. Phyrine was then taken off the public market…and it vanished. It seems there was a direct intention to remove evidence from online records. Major assumption pointed that Phryine folded when it lost all its money on BAAL. If it’s still running, where is it getting its money? Ishikawa figured that out just recently.

It seems Daymen Marketing (a front for Phyrine before and after it vanished) also has its name on several Elite Gambling lists. This is not some online casino site but high-profile betting locations where companies bet on the price of world resources like oil and agriculture. Daymen apparently made something between 4.5 and 5 billion yen this way. The listing shows a “Day-mark.” However, this is short term and recent losses after World War IV depreciated the value of this business. Entries for Day-Mark ended 15 years ago. The last recorded entry shows 500 employees at Phryine. That was 20 years ago. The last employee that left was 15 years ago. They have found 250 employees using Section 10’s database and their own search.
However, things get interesting. Every single one they found not only share the mindwipe of Phryine’s location but something else interesting:
The Demigod project was killed in September of 2006.

Yuriko Hirooka October 15, 2009 30-01 Research and Development
Michiyo Yanagida Sept 11, 2007 Room 35-10D, Administration
Fumiyo Kohinata Sept 21, 2009 1-03, General Services
Misato Nakamura October 2, 2006 25-10, Public Relations
Misuzu Takagi Dec 31, 2010 5-01, Cafeteria
Yuuto Arima Shigehiko Sept 11, 2009 Room 35-10B, Administration
Ayaka Izumi Sept 12, 2007 Room 35-10F, Administration
Nattsu Tanabashi Sept 12, 2007 Room 35-03, Administration
Kimiko Tachibana April 22 2010 Room 10-12, Biomechanics
Tatsuo Endo December 29, 2010 Room 30-Alpha, Applications
Kanji Tsuda December 29, 2010 Room 30-Beta, Applications
Takehiro Murata Sept 22, 2009 1-03, General Services
Yuji Shinoda August 4, 2010 Lobby
Hiroshi Abe Sept 11, 2007 Room 34-1, Administration
Mitsuo Katagiri October 2, 2006 25-12, Public Relations
Naomi Nishida August 6, 2010 Lobby
Yuki Ichinose Sept 12, 2007 Room 35-20, Administration
Mayu Suzuki December 29, 2010 Room 30-Gamma, Applications
Io Shinoda October 2, 2006 25-11, Public Relations
Shirô Sano Sept 12, 2007 Room 35-2, Administration
Shiro Miyasaka Sept 12, 2007 Room 35-1, Administration
Takeshi Ôbayashi Sept 12, 2007 Front Desk, Administration
Shirô Namiki December 29, 2010 Room 30-Alpha, Applications
Sakae Kimura Dec 10 2010 Room 10-16, Biomechanics
Bengal Kenichi Sept 12, 2007 Room 35-12, Administration
Nagira Kenichi December 29, 2010 Room 30-Beta, Applications
Ishii Yoshimasa Sept 12, 2007 Room 35-14, Administration
Kondo Kôichi July 9 2010 Room 10-05, Biomechanics
Yoshiyuki Omori Sept 12, 2007 Room 35-13, Administration
Masahiko Nishimura Sept 12, 2007 Room 35-16, Administration
Satomi Achiwa Dec 31, 2010 5-01, Cafeteria
Denden Atsuko Kohata December 29, 2010 Room 31-Omega, Applications
Yutaka Matsushige December 29, 2010 Room 31-Omega, Applications
Daisuke Ishizuka Sept 11, 2007 Room 35-10B, Administration
Toshihiko Sakakibara March 5, 2007 20-04, Industrial Relation
Yoshikazu Ishii April 22 2010 Room 10-16, Biomechanics
Terumi Yoshida October 2, 2006 25-11, Public Relations
Tsutomu Kitagawa Sept 11, 2007 Room 35-10G, Administration
Makoto Itô Dec 31, 2010 5-01, Cafeteria
Yusuke Iseya March 5, 2007 20-05, Industrial Relation
Tetsuya Azuma January 1st, 2007 2-01, Loss Prevention
Kumiko Aso January 10, 2008 Base 2, General Services
Luna Kozuki March 5, 2007 20-05, Industrial Relation
Akira Terao January 11, 2008 Base 2, General Services
Kotaro Azuma January 1st, 2007 2-01, Loss Prevention
Hakase Kanako January 10, 2009 Base 1, General Services
Midori Azuma Dec 31, 2010 5-01, Cafeteria
Fumiyo Kohinata Sept 12, 2007 Room 35-10F, Administration
Kozuki Hakase June 10, 2008 27-25, Product Testing
Hiroyuki Miyasako June 10, 2008 27-26, Product Testing
Akubon Jun Kaname January 1st, 2007 2-01, Loss Prevention
Barashin Hide Sept 19, 2007 Room 35-20, Administration
Toshi Nishijima Dec 31, 2010 5-01, Cafeteria
Kamijo Mitsuhiro Oikawa January 1st, 2007 2-01, Loss Prevention

The Cafeteria personnel went last. The first to leave were administration. This included all department heads, supervisors, and upper management. It even included board members. The next point of interest is where they worked. The first thought was the building was really only 35 floors. So they checked out all 35-floor buildings in Etorufu…that tanked out. All the ex employees say they “believe” the building to be about 60-65 floors. A search of that lead nowhere as well, leading to think maybe the building is concealed in someway. Section 9’s next task is to investigate the brain wipes of these employees, searching for anything that was missed while also trying to sniff out the possible spy in Section 10 HQ. Section 10’s duty is to find Phryine Biomechanics. The answers are there.

The building is cloaked. Phryine owns the four surrounding empty buildings and use them to drape a visual barrier over the sky, blocking out the HQ from satellite. The group tracks back, of all things, the food influx to discover a lack of supplies going into the four surrounding buildings. When the four surrounding buildings also show identical power drains, it becomes clear.

Kobotai instructs the group to go in force with an A-4 loadoat. Stealth balanced with firepower is recommended. Discover the truth and uncover evidence implicating Colonel Holden. He also adds a point of foreboding: It’s a real possibility that no one outside of Phyrine has been above the 35th floor of this building in 20 years…so god knows what they are going to find. Elina Clarke has developed a virus that will wipe out Techno organic higher brain functioning. She will also accompany the group to help in whatever they need.

Section 10 approaches the building. When they drop below the shroud, they find a 65 level cathedral-shaped tower. It looks ominous. The craft land and the group approach the entrance. A receptionist greets them inside. Greg and Ben and Elina sneak in under Thermoptic while Sharron fakes his way in. When he leaves for the bathroom, the other two sneak into the lower levels. However, it seems perfectly obvious they are under surveillance. Sharron is attacked by the receptionist. It seems she was hacked but she doesn’t have a Cyberbrain. On the second level, Greg, Elina, and Ben are pinned down as technicians and computer geeks all pick up weapons and attack. Sharron joins them and they dive into the elevator to escape. On a higher level, more employees turn to attack. Could they all be ghost hacked? But by whom. They all agree they must fight there way to find Enoch Phyrine.

They push past level 35. They reach a level that has totally been converted into a techno-organic landscape. The walls breathe, tubes flitter about. The group finds and enters Enoch Phryine’s executive office. There they find him dead. He has been dead for almost 20 years…and it looks by natural causes. A hundred employees break through the barriers below. Greg finds that the entire building has been shifted up to a secondary sever on level 55. They push to the upper level. There they find a small octagonal room with wires leading into a larger cylinder. Lifting the sheath shows a huge beaker full of brain tissue. This is BAAL…it was an organically grown computer with telepathic abilities mean to mind control ghostless bodies…either clones or dead soldiers.

BAAL immediately takes control of Sharron, who attacks Ben. Ben has the syringe. They fight. Ben manages to hold down Sharron long enough for Greg to hit him with the plug gun. BAAL then hijacks Ben but not before Sharron slams the syringe into the cylinder, killing BAAL’s higher brain functions.

“There will never be waste. What is a soul without a purpose? One must justify their existence”

Looks like BAAL just wanted to justify its own existence…maybe get revenge for its dead master. In the files Greg accesses, he finds data linking Phyrine with Colonel Holden as well as proof that BAAL orchestrated the strike on the Chinese missile platform. However, there is no information on Legion or Section 10’s Ghost hacks. Legion is still out there…and they still have a Nuclear Weapon…
Creator, Ghost in the Shell D20 RPG