Harley, Leo, Kristin, Fredrich, Eybi, and Olivia are escaping out the back door of a Chicago club after Dylan, the mysterious person they were meeting with, tells them to run to the Hitachi Building five blocks away, as it is their only hope of safety from the Men in Black that have tracked him (and them) down.
Pushing Fredrich in a wheelchair, they manage to hail a cab, only to have to dump the expensive wheelchair in the process of getting to the cab in a hurry (much to Fredrich’s protests). The cab takes off, moving its way through traffic, but is quickly followed by an ominous black sedan.
They pile out of the cab, their brand new tattoos still itching as they race for the door, with Leo the last one to enter as he covers their backs…
A Few Days Ago…
Olivia is sitting in Kristin’s restaurant (Aria’s) before opening, drinking a cup of coffee and getting ready to go through her morning routine when she notices a strange icon on her desktop:
Olivia has no idea how it got there or what it does. After much fussing, Kristin just double clicks the icon and gets the following message:
The rabbit hole goes very deep indeed, Olivialice. Gather these fellow travelers before it is off with their head.
Aria Kristin Reese
Whether you know it or not, the five of you are all looking for the same thing…Otherscape. And you are not the only ones looking. And those groups are looking for you as well.
Put together the group and I will help you find Otherscape and your answers, although you may have to believe several impossible things before all is said and done.
If they do not believe your impossible things, show them this:
chunk of SVR display code
“I’m not strange, weird, off, nor crazy, my reality is just different from yours.”
The SVR display code ends showing a two dimensional, but oddly real feeling image:
In the meantime, Leo is sitting on his park bench, part of his normal everyday routine. He notices that there is someone there that has been there for the last few days and when Leo gets up, he is followed. Now aware, it does not take Leo very long to disable the man and question him about who he’s working for. The answer is The Dire Wolves, a well known Romanian brother and sister who run an extensive criminal organization, usually making their money providing hardware and manpower to other groups. The man also suggests that he was following Leo because of Leo’s daughter and concern that Leo might be too close to something. Ironic that the concern may been the thing to actually trip the proverbial wire.
Harley is going about her normal day as a social worker and being strongly encouraged to go home for the night by her boss. When she gets out to the parking lot, she is harassed by a known stalker, an abusive husband looking for his wife. When Harley tells him that it’s no good asking, he pulls a gun and attempts to kidnap her (poorly). He’s never been gun level violent before and after Harley subdues him, she finds a small microchip attached behind his ear. Maybe that had something to do with it?
Back at Aria’s, Jenny Garland arrives with a large crystal she bought in an attempt to help find Kristin’s missing boyfriend and head of their coven Jeff Branson. The new ritual with the crystal opens up a very small rift where they can see the “donut in the sky” again. Is that where he is, or is this Otherscape thing just showing up everywhere?
Leo attempts to track down Fredrich Wagner, who is a VR/web expert and might be able to help track down the people looking for him. But when he arrives there, Fredrich is gone. Not missing, like Harley or Kristin’s boyfriends, but kidnapped by some men who seem to have the ability to keep their key info from showing on camera.
Olivia starts calling and tracking down the people on the message she was given. After some general distrust and confusion, they realize they are all currently in San Francisco. They are prompted by the same mysterious person who left the Drink Me icon – an address for a VR cafe suddenly shows up on all their devices. THey decide to go there. Once they clean out the scragglers in the cafe, they are greeted by a disembodied voice possessing the various VR machines, who seems a bit perturbed that they took so long to get there. He tells them his name is Dylan, and that he can help them with some of their problems, but first, they are going to need to drive outside of San Francisco and rescue the kidnapped Fredrich Wagner from persons unknown. The voice, who seems to be quite good with computers, makes available a rental van and a wheel chair for our heroes, who are left with figuring how exactly they plan to attempt this rescue…