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The City: 131: Rosario

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The Daytrippers dove for cover.  “What the hell are you doing?” Rosario asked.  She was one of the few left.  Ingmar shrugged.
“I didn’t want them to boot Dawn.”  They heard more shots, ringing through the air.  It was almost morning, City time.
The cops moved in.
They heard the sound of tiny padding feet, first one, then more, a herd of cats.  The gunfire stopped.  “What the hell?”  They heard a woman say.  The Cat Lady stood up, hands above her head.
“Those are mine.  They are a prototype AI I’ve been working on.  You see…”  Connie booted her.

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The City: 126: Marcus

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Marcus was the first sentry to fall.  The roads to the Bay were clogged with abandoned cars, and the zombies were lurking everywhere.  They wandered around earlier in the day, but now they hid. They lurked in backseats and under bridges, waiting.
The Cat Lady summoned a small army of her artificial intellegences to scout ahead, but the zombies left them alone.  They weren’t alive.  Marcus wondered if they were the only living people left in The City.
The one that picked him off had wedged itself underneath a storm grate.  When it burst out, he stepped in its path.

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The City: 124: Aiguo

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“Where the hell did you get a boot gun?” Dawn asked.  Ingmar blushed and couldn’t meet her stare.  Aiguo came to his rescue.
“It doesn’t matter how he got it.  If he can fire it, we have a chance of stopping this guy.  We just need to find him and shoot first.”
“With the tower destroyed, Underwood will likely retreat to the beach house until things are settled.”
“But there is a city full of zombies between here and the bay.”
“I can get you there,” Dorothy said.  “I specialize in unlikely accidents, and I’ve been clearing routes all day.”

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The City: 123: Neva

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“His motive is to take down Midas and let the world go with it,” Neva said.  “The question remains, how do we stop him?”
“Underwood is only in control of the situation as long as he remains logged in.  If we can disconnect him from the system and shut the City down, the backups will restore most of the damage he’s caused.”
“If he’s in control, isn’t he invincible, though?”
“Not from a boot gun.”  Ingmar slid down the embankment and into the hidden section of the park.  Renee and Dorothy followed.  “Get me a shot, and I’ll boot him.”

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The City: 122: Idris

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“Wait,” Idris said.  “are you saying that this guy will have that much control over the economy of the entire world?”
“For a start,” The Cat Lady said.  “The City intersects with every major computer system on the planet in some way.  Given enough time, he’ll be able to hold every man, woman, and child on Earth hostage.”
“But this will destroy Midas.  Why’s he doing it?” Dawn asked.
“To show the world he’s done it.  Or perhaps revenge.  Babbage’s real name is Simon Underwood  He was a security consultant about the time I quit.  Midas fired him shortly afterwards.”

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The City: 121: Jemma

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The Daytrippers were talking in circles.  Even if they did have a good idea of what Babbage was doing to The City, thanks to The Cat Lady, they didn’t know how to stop it.  If the virus even could be stopped.  It had already spread so far throughout the system.
“Do we even need to stop him?  Let’s just find a way to escape!” Jemma said.  The Cat Lady scowled at her.
“In addition to the massive amounts of fraud and data mining he’s already committed, Babbage is making himself the sole proprietor of a fifth of the world’s economy.”

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The City: 100: Darien

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“Have any of you tried to log out today?”  The Cat Lady asked.  Darien raised his hand.
“The door to my apartment was locked.  There’s no public space anymore either.  It’s like we’re trapped in here.”
“I thought so.  He’s trying to maximize the number of infections and overload the system.  That’s what the hole in the sky is.  An overload.  And it will happen again.”
“But why?  What’s his end game?”
“His virus is malware stolen from my AI cats.  They observe The City and learn.  His zombies are slow, but learning, and soon The City will be theirs.”

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