Avenger Posted September 1, 2001 Share Posted September 1, 2001 I have some...unfortunate news to report. But report I shall, all the same. Some of you here helped me, and I feel you deserve to see what your aid has brought me.I have found and apprehended Chiraben.The two of us battled again last week near Osaka, Japan. The battle was epic. It was like something out of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, complete with the bamboo forest. A carpet of green was under our bare feet. We glowered at each other, sizing each other up while maneuvering through wrist-thick stalks that touched the sky, both of us moving at cheetah-speed. It seemed somehow appropriate for our final battle to happen here, on a field where centuries before, honorable men of the sword had come to resolve their differences. We had a chance to exchange some brief words while we fought, clashing and drawing away, screaming insults, threats and veiled information at each other as we plotted tactics in our head. He tried to unnerve me, telling me that he had raped Jenny before he killed her. The claim was obviously a pathetic fabrication, but this tells me something important; and that is that he somehow got intelligence on me. He wouldn't have known enough to make that comment or how it might potentially have affected me if he didn't know who I was and why I was following him. Someone is supplying him with dangerous information because they want me dead. One guess as to who that might be.I digress. At the speed both of us can move, I can't imagine that the fight and the conversation it encompassed lasted longer than ten seconds. When all was said and done, I had taken one of Chirabens hands. He managed to stabbed me. I suffered a punctured lung. It is with great regret that I report that we both retreated at nearly the same time. I had little choice. If I did not receive medical attention immediately, I may very well have died. Chiraben was at half combat-effectiveness because of his missing hand, and though I wanted to finish him off, I knew it would have to wait for another day. I fled to the home of an ally of mine to be healed. Apparently, Chiraben has yet to find a way to get his hand back.But that is certainly not the end. Yesterday, I finally achieved victory, as shallow and empty as it was. I finally apprehended Chiraben in a squalid fishing village in western Peru. Untainted by Project Utopia's "reform", this is a place where children still die of malnutrition and the water is still brown. Here, living like a pauper and sewing a torn fishing net, I finally found Chiraben. Only there is no more Chiraben. Not as far as Miguel Espinosa is concerned, anyway. And who the hell is Miguel Espinosa? He's a Hispanic man in his late 20's with a thin moustache, greasy black hair and the build of a bodyguard. He's a pretty jovial, albeit slightly reclusive fellow who likes salted Herring more than anything else in the world He isn't terribly bright. He lives in a shack made out of discarded bits of wood, with a dirt floor and a bed of straw and old cloth to sleep on. Up until a few days ago, he also had glowing green eyes that tended to bulge a bit. Of course, Miguel Espinosa didn't exist a week ago. Before then, he was a nova named Chiraben.Miguel Espinosa doesn't know who I am and he's never heard of data corruption encountered... But he did hear about the unfortunate death of "that nice girl" Jennifer Landers, and he really likes those nice Project Utopia people who worked so hard to clean up Mexico. He looks forward to the day they come to Peru, so he can meet Ricardo Montoya-Bernal. Miguel Espinosa and Chiraben share physical characteristics, fingerprints and genetic code. They have the same scars. They're the same age. They both have flat feet and they both are missing their left hand. The only notable differences between Miguel Espinosa and Chiraben is that, for starters, Miguel Espinosa isn't a nova.Miguel Espinosa does not have bulging green eyes. He doesn't have claws that could tear through steel. He isn't powerful enough to lift a dumptruck. He doesn't have a node at all.He does, however, have a big fucking scar on his forehead where the Pineal Gland and M-R Nodes both happen to be.The other notable difference is that Miguel and Chiraben have different thoughts, different memories and different pasts. When Miguel tells me he isn't Chiraben and that he's never murdered anybody, he is telling the truth, because to his knowledge, he isn't Chiraben and he hasn't murdered anyone. His past is a mnemonic fog. All any of us can gleam are very generic flashes of memory, flickers at best. They could have easily been manufactured. Enough memories for a simple baseline fisherman with no cares, but not enough to stand up under scrutiny. This man is Chiraben. Someone has lobotomized his node, erased his memory and given him a new one. The questions, then, are why -- and who.I'm reasonably sure that whoever did this to Chiraben, it's the same person or people who ordered Jennifer dead. data corruption encountered..., if I may be so bold as to quote the common parlance. I'm willing to be that his superiors wanted me to disappear and gave Chiraben the resources and intel to do it. When he failed to kill me, they marked him as a liability. So why, then? Why go to all the trouble when they could just kill him? In the nova age, dead men sometimes can tell tales, and I'd wager that they didn't want a corpse around to release any "sensitive" information. This in mind, I'd guess that either through force or through deceit, they erased his memory (and did a very good job, I add), implanted false ones and (this is the part I know Chiraben wouldn't have willingly signed on for) lobotomized his node. From there, they dropped him in a cultural backwater and washed their hands of the matter. Why let him live, then? Excellent question.If he lives, they have done their job so thoroughly that there is no possibility he could damage them in any conceivable way. If I come gunning for him, as I am sure they assumed I would, the problem will take care of itself. His living serves their purposes in that if I had come storming in like the warth of god and slaughtered him, his body would have been tossed into a coummunal grave or burned, thus eliminating any evidence without so much as a coroner's certificate.As I started this off saying, what a hollow victory. At last, I have the executioner by the tail. Long have I battled and far have I traveled in seeking retribution, and now all I find is a simpering, idiot monkey no more guilty of crime than a child. Miguel Espinosa happens to be borderline retarded.This isn't what I wanted. I wanted a fair fight. I wanted a battle of honor. I wanted to earn justice. And instead, it is handed to me. I know this has got to be a very special, fond farewell fuck-you from data corruption encountered.... They've got my bio. They knew this would kill me. Something given has no value. Chiraben has been given to me, and now I don't want him. This is sickening irony. I bet those motherfuckers are laughing their sick fucking asses off, right now as I type.Chiraben has been taken into custody. I'm still debating what I want to do with Miguel Espinosa. Currently, he is at one of our strongholds, alive and unharmed, though very much confused. He is no longer a priority, however.If someone did indeed erase Chirabens memories, they would have had to do so only through viewing those memories themself. Erasing a mind is not like erasing a hard drive. Which means that somewhere out there, there is a person who knows everything Chiraben knew. My goal now is to find this person, whoever they are, and to find the people who comprise data corruption encountered.... What happens then, I'm sure you can guess. I'm declaring war on data corruption encountered.... There will be a reckoning.--Avenger Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Please sign in to comment
You will be able to leave a comment after signing in
Sign In Now