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Crisis In Infinite Plexes - Third Wave


“We found it. We bleedin' found it.” Trump sits down gracefully on the floor, cross-legged. “I don't generally like to do that much shooting, Max.”

“Simon. I'm Simon right now.”

“Yeah, 'course.” 

Three days straight of sneaking, spying, charming, cheating, meshes, meetings, double-crosses, demolitions and then one final quick-cut, hand-cam, techno-soundtracked gunfight. The mooks guarding the penthouse had been outfitted with Hades Cortexes running Guillotine and Plague mods, Spectrum Corp combat tech and that perfectly nasty mix of cold professionalism and crass thuggery. It was as tough as a dystopian, hypercore, noo-mo omniist mythical quest should be.

Who hired the guards, who rented the penthouse, who transported the target here on what occult schedule are all just figments, names and licenses of phantom businesses and agencies, made-up mixed-metaphors like a steady autumn evening rainfall of fabricated data spun like spiderwebs from secret agendas lurking deep in the Grid, whoever is really running things since the Fall of Legacy. All that matters is the object on the table in the middle of the tangle of corpses, a faintly glowing cube like from that old-time movie The Avengers, the port to the most powerful and sophisticated surveillance node in Omegatroplis and maybe the Universe, The White Room.

“You gotta wonder though, who did build it?” Trump asks while Simon stalks the room injecting each of the bodies with Entropeez, dissolving the Cortex links at the synaptic level, just to be sure none of them can be remote-activated. Zombies are in another cycle of popularity lately, and that extends beyond a third reboot of The Walking Dead franchise into some grisly paramilitary applications. “Do you figure it was Horsebreeder?” 

Simon, a designer Polysonae identity running in Max's head on the Horsebreeder-engineered Omega Cortex, shrugs. Simon is about completing the mission, solving for x, while it's Mick who's more about the y's/whys/wise. And it will likely take an appearance from Marshal for the final hack into the Room. Likely the toughest Mesh he's ever run, Tatterdemalion-level work, and for that to be anywhere close to a potential possibility then Max is likely going to have dose on Plex...


Callan rejoined them at the table. He nodded. The scrape of chair-legs on the wooden floor as they shuffled to make room, Dex grabbing an extra seat from the table beside them, the prospector seated there nodding his assent. The man seated at the table Callan had left started to re-shuffle the cards. The bartender glanced at them, frowning. Everyone tense, these strangers in town, except the man with the cards who was grinning. Callan poured himself a shot from the bottle on the table, the scrape of the whiskey sliding down his throat.

“The gentleman's name is Mister Brogan Mirk, a man of property and interests in a number of businesses, resident of the Canyon for over a decade,” Callan said in a low voice, the music from the piano further masking their conversation. “Once I began buying drinks he started to relax, and once he started winning he started talking.” 

“I'm not sure that directly questioning the locals is the safest route to our destination,” Darius said.

“Everyone here knows why we're here, preacher,” Wraith said, glancing at the glances they were constantly receiving from all the other patrons.

“So long as we can keep things friendly,” Dexter said. “For now,” he added with a look to Mags.

So Callan recounted what he had learned from Mirk. The tale as they had heard it was broadly true – Sugarcube had gotten into it with this Logollos fellow and had gotten gunned down. Mirk had known Sugarcube from prior visits to Omega – the drifter had even stolen one of Mirk's horses once but then done some gunwork for him to settle the debt. Logollos had been good for business though, so Mirk had been on the fence when the showdown approached, to the point where he actually refused to place a bet on the outcome. 

Another shot and Callan leaned in close to the table. “Now I reckon you'll agree with me that this is where the tale turns conclusively from tragedy to mystery...”

Mirk, one of whose business interests involved gunsmithing, claimed that the revolver Logollos used in the duel sounded different from a regular weapon. Furthermore, Mirk, who also had interests in the Canyon's funeral business, claimed that the corpse buried in Judgement Grotto was not Sugarcube's. The actual body was, apparently, delivered to an associate of Logollos', of whom Mirk knew very little other than that he was renowned for breeding horses.

“And now if someone could kindly lend me five dollars?” Callan asked.

“Excuse me?” Dexter asked.

“Now that losing is no longer profitable I need to win my money back,” he said with a wink.

Mags tossed him a wrinkled bill. “And we need to dig up Sugarcube's grave, and if he's not in residence then we need to track down this horsebreeder.”


Jiro answered the door and raised his Alien Revolver. The sights auto-scanned the figure standing there, analyzing for evidence of cloning, shape-shifting, holographic disguise, and other standard forms of deception. The gun beeped.

“Mostly normal,” Jiro confirmed and lowered the weapon.

Mackenzie smirked. “That's the nicest thing anyone has ever said about me.”

“I thought we were supposed to be Code White,” Jiro said, moving aside so Mackenzie could enter the apartment. 

“I wanted everyone to be safe, in case the object was what I thought it was,” she said, taking a seat on the old, ratty couch. 

Jiro sat down beside her. Despite his gruff posture, the kid had missed his friend. “So it wasn't? We're safe?”

Mackenzie looked at him. “On the contrary.” She began talking about the Plureality research that she had stolen from Omega Station 12, about a theoretical state of existence called the Metaplex, and how it had been hypothesized that objects and possibly even entities could originate from within this 'place' and travel to our universe. Mackenzie had suspected that what Magnus had discovered was one such object, and that meant there was an assortment of hypothesized risks associated with coming into contact with it – hyperdimensional infections, psychocellular mutations, and/or being tracked and targeted by Plex entities. That's why she had initiated Code White to keep everyone separated and hopefully safe until she could maybe figure out what was going on.

Jiro rarely understood Mackenzie when she talked about this Plureality stuff, or Omega Magic or Neo-Linguistic Programming. He knew though, and had seen enough weird things, to take her and it seriously. She had told him once about how she had shot and killed a man, part of her program, who had learned too much about it and had become too dangerous. So he listened closely.

“Now I was just going off the pics Mag had sent, and comparing it to diagrams and equations in the research, but I eventually discovered some patterns occurring in the geometry of object that were transcribable as a code.”


“I think the object is a transmission from the Metaplex. I've managed to turn some of it into English...” Mackenzie pulled out her phone, tapped open a text file.

“And if it is, Macks, then it could be a danger? We could be in danger right now?”

She paused. “You're right, Jiro. I'm sorry. I was excited by what I figured out and wanted to share it with somebody. I shouldn't have-”

“Stop it, doofus. I'm glad you came by. Besides the bank account is almost empty and the landlord is finally starting to notice that there's never any adults around the apartment.” They shared a smile. “Alright, so what's this thing saying exactly?”

“It reads kindof like a mix of surrealist poetry and those bizarre junk emails... Like the first line is 'Beware the horsebreeder'.”

Jiro frowned. “Mackenzie, you know I'm a polyglot, right?”

“Yes, Jiro. You know seven languages. And you're ambidextrous and can play the trumpet and hold your breath for over five minutes.”

“The name of that man you told me about, the one you shot...” Jiro's tone was very serious. “There is a type of horse called 'Morgan', and the Dutch word for breeder is 'fokker'...”


Aqua stared at Bishop's unmoving body and watched as a man stepped out of the conductor's booth. Stepped over the body and turned to face her. 

Aqua felt very afraid. She stood up though, faced the man. There was something so strange about him. They faced each other in the aisle of the subway car, like a showdown.

“You're him, aren't you?” she asked.


“The one Max talks about. The one he shot and killed. The one who haunts him. Who chases us, who's always messing with us.”

The man stepped forward. Aqua reached down and picked up her gauntlets, began strapping them on. The man kept walking forward. The lights in the car flickered. From her headphones on the seat she could faintly hear a new voice speaking. The man approached, Aqua raised her fists, strained to hear what the voice was saying over the sound of the subway hurtling through the endless tunnel.

The man approaching, the voice repeating: This transmission is coming to you.