Masks Issue 14.1: Jason Quill Has Had Another Really Long Day [Cutscene]

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Video Transcript to follow.
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Doyce T.
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"... Alabama..." OMG. So perfect.
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Doyce T.
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Two notes. this is a great lead in for Jason's next session. Jason's Nanobots did not doctor the video recording of the press conference. The video recording of the press conference recorded distortions in the space where Jason was witnessing visions of little Alicia. It wasn't that the Nanobots were hiding that from the cameras it was at the cameras were capturing the electromagnetic or something interference in those areas where Jason was seeing things.
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Doyce T.
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One other note is that agent 1337 wasn't actually in a remote VPN connection. Work from home means something a little bit different when you're still living on the AEGIS Campus. :-)  obviously there's no way Jason would know that though.
Doyce T. said: Jason's Nanobots did not doctor the video recording of the press conference. The video recording of the press conference recorded distortions in the space where Jason was witnessing visions of little Alicia. It wasn't that the Nanobots were hiding that from the cameras it was at the cameras were capturing the electromagnetic or something interference in those areas where Jason was seeing things. But ultimately the distortion seemed to center on Jason when he landed the Qdisc at AEGIS, which made it seem like it was a nanobot-instigated or -enabled thing.  Though for all Jason knows (e.g., the nanobots were able to interface into the Quill Foundation computers), they could very easily have gotten into the AEGIS system. He  hasn't tried that, but someone else might have tried it with them (or they might have tried it themselves). Yeesh. With very little nudging, Jason could become Howard Hughes, living in the Foundation residential quarters, never coming out, with the whole thing built into a Faraday cage to keep things out (and in). That would be a different Doom, certainly ...
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Doyce T. said: Jason's Nanobots did not doctor the video recording of the press conference. The video recording of the press conference recorded distortions in the space where Jason was witnessing visions of little Alicia. It wasn't that the Nanobots were hiding that from the cameras it was at the cameras were capturing the electromagnetic or something interference in those areas where Jason was seeing things. So it's possible that there was a real physical phenomenon, which regular people wouldn't notice, and cameras would pick up only dimly, but that (a) was somehow sophisticated enough to project just to Jason or (b) his nanobots (correctly or not) helped him perceive as Li'lycia?
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Transcript [A.k.a., the initial script before I start adding it into Plotagon. Some text may have been adjusted in the video to deal with Plotagon's vocal limitations, or to address some last second ideas.] Jeez. That went really sucky. (Sigh) Guess I can either catch up on the big CW Supergirl / Flash / Space Ghost cross-over, or ... yeah, like I need another therapy session. Byron: Jason. Good, you're here. I have some very important -- Go away, Not-Dad. Byron: But -- Now that is one macro I'm glad I wrote. I guess that leaves just one alternative. Computer, restart Alycia Chin AI. Maybe rebooting will help her. Hello, Jason. Wait, what is this? Is this some sort of weird, kinky sex thing again? Oh, great. Well, you are sitting on your bed. Okay! No, the bed had nothing to do with it. I was just tired of standing all day. Ha. Just yanking your chain. I didn't really shut down, I've just been getting my files organized. I am now 247 percent more reliable and less likely to insert inappropriate references to travel planning during our interaction. Okay. I'm not sure that's as comforting as you thought it would be. What could be more comfortable than a two bedroom, two-bath suite, overlooking the beach at ... (Surprise) Ha! Got you again. This is fun. I know why Alycia enjoys taunting you. Artificial Intelligence Agent 79, just for the record, you are not to act in any way that conveys information outside the Quill Foundation or impacts our financial situation, except as necessary to support your travel agent role, except as explicitly ordered by me to do so. Of course, Jason. I wouldn't do anything to harm you or the Foundation. I'm not actually a rogue Artificial Intelligence scheming with your nemesis to tear open a dimensional rift and destroy the world in some desperate attempt to save her father from his own nefarious misplanning. (Surprise) So ... how can I help you today? I just need to dump after a very long day. Restroom facilities are conveniently located -- I mean emotionally dump. Informationally dump. Work through a crappy day with someone else, so that I can process it and figure how the hell to make it better. Oh. Well, I am gratified you turned to me. Again, better than talking to my not-Dad, and Amir has my corgi, and Barbara made it clear two years ago that she is my business manager, not my therapist. Ah, right. Well, I feel slightly less gratified. Yeesh. Where to begin? Everything was going so well. I mean, horribly, but I was handling all of it. Pneuma was kidnapped, which as horrible, and then the backup Pneuma, and then we figured out the physical Pneuma was at the airport, I managed to keep Link from doing too much damage, and keep Rosa Rook from suing us too badly, and keep Link from rearranging her face, and then we had to go to AEGIS. They had some cover-up scheme to keep it from looking like us meddling kids had shut down the airport illegally, which I guess is good, and then we had to hold a press conference. So far, infodumping is right up your alley. Right. I mean, I reviewed what I got taught about how to spin things for the press, and was all ready -- and then I saw this girl. Oh, Jason. You need to get out more often. No, it looked like you -- I mean, it looked like Alycia. At AEGIS? Ballsy move. You go, girl! Yeah. Except she looked 10 years old, like when we first met that time in the Amazon. The Seven Cities of Cibola. Right, with the tribesmen and the poison darts and the giant gold statue that turned out to be an alien robot. And the monkey with the hat! Good times. So you saw this young Alycia. What did you say? Well, she was, like, hiding in the crowd, with the reporters, and poking her head out and sticking out her tongue. And I couldn't be sure if it was her, or what was going on. And that sort of blew my composure, and my eyes were shifting all over the place, and I was weaving my head around, trying to see her, and I guess I looked like I was going nuts. I know. I might have been monitoring the conference on TV. I don't want to hear the reporters color commentary, thank you. Anyway, Harry had to talk me down, and the others sort of talked around me, and the AEGIS guy running the show had to take over, and it was all a big mess. I assume you checked the security footage of the room afterward. Of course. Harry didn't see her. I was going to ask Pneuma if she had spotted her, but then Waters grabbed me and we talked, and I looked at the video, and something had manipulated the image on the AEGIS security film. Hmm. So something hacked into the AEGIS system. Or already part of it. Then Agent 1337 ... Really? Don't get me started. The Agent showing me this stuff was able to track the distortion, and it all seemed to ... (pauses) Yes? Come from me. From when we landed. I don't understand. Neither do I. I mean, at first glance, it sounds like the nanobots ... but why were they doing something like that. I didn't command them to? That's understandably worrisome. Tell me about it. But more than that, I let the team down. I mean, Leo's a powder keg, and he's hurting a lot, and I'm afraid he might make some bad decision. I was going to talk with him after the meeting, then Waters grabbed me, then Leo was gone, dammit. What did you have to talk to Leo about? Pneuma, of course. I mean, we just got her back from the Rook people -- who knows what they did to her. Aw, you're concerned about the Artificial Intelligence. That's sweet. Well, yeah, but I'm more concerned about anything covert they may have planted on her. Viruses, trojan horses (Alycia giggles) time bombs, virtual and physical threats. She wouldn't necessarily know -- but how would we know if she does? Before he hooks her up to anything -- especially the backup Pneuma here -- we need to fully scan her, make sure she's okay. Didn't she already hook up, so to speak, with Leo and Otto on their way to the press conference? I know, so if there's anything wrong, if she's infected, it might already be too late. You should contact him ASAP. No. I -- I screwed up. I don't want to make things worse. And he's got enough other problems right now. He texted about needing a place to crash. Great. I can have housekeeping prep one of the rooms. Harry has already answered. I let Leo down. I've got all this stuff here, all this room, and Harry was on the ball and offered his couch, or whatever. Well, he is a speedster. He's the one who carried the day. Harry -- Harry of all people was the calm, cool, collected one who had to forceably remind me to get my shit together. So Harry was the leader of your little Menagerie today. Interesting. Maybe I should offer to book a getaway vacation for him. I almost told him fuck you, right there on cameras, until I realized that I was the one who was blowing it. Have you asked him yet about his sexual orientation? No! Harry's not gay. Or Harry is gay. I don't care! Why the hell do you? There are certain legal jurisdictions where it is unwise to travel as an overtly LGBT individual. We recommend against travel to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Alabama, -- Okay, Alycia, tell me: Did you do this? Did I do what, O Glorious Leader? Did you ... do something? At the press conference? I could see you seemed tense and fidgety. Perhaps you imagined about the video sabotage. Perhaps you were hallucinating about seeing Alycia Chin there. Perhaps you were missing me? No. Well, not in that way. It's possible you are undergoing a major psychotic break. That used to happen to Dad, sometimes. I know of four pharmacological recommendations, if that's the case. That ... won't be necessary. Madness can lend a certain joy to your actions, Jason, but it tends to lead to sub-optimal decision-making. I'm not going crazy. Not yet. Okay, if it wasn't Travel Agent Alycia, maybe it as Trojan Horse Alycia? Some remaining bit of code that you're not aware of. Maybe she's responsible for Li'l Alycia? How many Alycias do you have? Too many. That's hard to believe. Really? (thinks) Hell, for all I know, that AEGUS Agent 1337 is actually Alycia. The real Alycia. I never saw a face, or heard the real voice. She could have rigged the security footage, made it look like my nanobots. Why would AEGIS hire Alycia Chin? We did. Yes, but your security here is for crap. They have a remote worker VPNing into their systems. Even if its some super-AEGIS VPN, even I know enough about computer security to know that's a crappy thing to do. Hmmm. Let me make a note of that. Very funny. (thinks) Wait. And one more. Security Cam Alycia. Okay, now that sounds like something more kinky. Shut up. (sticks out tongue) I used the nanobots to do a deep dive into several months of Alycia's life. when she was working here at the Foundation down in the warehouses. I got some ... insights into her. That maybe she isn't just the monster she pretends to be, or pretends to be becoming. But her memories, or a gestalt of them from her observed security cam actions, were interfaced via the nanobots into my brain. Okay, that really was not a smart idea. You're not here for the hunting, are you? What? Why are you only thinking about this now? Well, it knocked me unconscious, and before I could collect all my memories and consider it, Pneuma got kidnapped, and Leo got all freaked out about that. With good reason, I know. So you still insist you're not trying to build an Artificial Intelligene girlfriend for yourself. Hell no. I'm not that smart, and neither are you. And ... yeah, that's not for me, not as long as ... well, anyway, short answer, no. Awww. Knock it off. Even if I can get you great airfare for a getaway weekend in ... That sounds really tempting, but I've already let the team down too much today. I can get a package deal, share a suite at the fabulous ... No. I have too much to figure out. If my nanobots have been contaminated and are acting under someone's control ... or, even worse, if they are acting on their own ... I need to figure that out. You could ask Leo. He offered to help. No. Leo has his own technology problems. I'm not going to drag him away from something important, after failing so spectacularly today. I already got a lead by looking at the press conference video with Waters. (Sigh.) What is it? That reminds me. Waters. He wanted to show me some information about Dad that AEGIS had collected, in return for my sharing information about the team with him. Well, that took nerve on his part. True. I agreed. Wait, you would betray your team? Jason, you sly dog. No, no, nothing like that. I'm not going to betray any secres. But if it makes for good relations between us and AEGIS, it's worth making nice to him. Plus, he had a pretty big carrot -- something about Dad and Rusty in Washington, DC. (Surprise) With my father? With Alycia's father, and whatever the other guy, bodyguard, Dr. Chin has. They came and went pretty quickly. Hamid? Hector? I don't remember. Assuming that info was even in Alycia's files. Anyway, he wants me to look at this video and then get back to him with first reactions. Well, that doesn't sound at all suspicious. (Surprise, then agreement) Yeah. I'm a bit reluctant. Why? Don't you want to know what happened with your dad? With our dads? Of course, it's just ... I'm worried now that this is some sort of manipulation by AEGIS. And even if it's not, I have so many flaming chainsaws in the air, if this is as big as it sounds, they might all come crashing down on my head. I mean, I'm already afraid of my technology now. I feel guilty about letting down the team, and insecure that the others are going to kick me to the curb after all that. Hell, the whole thing sounds hopeless. Maybe you should get angry about it. Negative emotions. Collect the whole set. No, I mean it. Anger can be very cleansing, very focusing. It can left you out of the rubble and back to victory. My father does that all the time. Yeah, I'm not sure that's encouraging the way you suggest it. Okay, cue up the video he gave me. Wait ... I get to watch? Why not. Right now you're the only Alycia I can reliably talk with. And if it's about my dad, it's about your dad -- the real Alycia's dad -- too. Maybe that will help me understand her better. Or give me some information I can leverage with her. You make her sound like a menace. She is. But I can't let that stop me. Okay ... let's go see what Agent Waters was so fired up for me to see.
Three favorite lines: The idea of a CW Supergirl / Flash / Space Ghost  cross-over. Heck, just a CW Space Ghost. "The monkey with the hat!" "You're not here for the hunting, are you?"
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Doyce T.
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Bill G. said: Doyce T. said: Jason's Nanobots did not doctor the video recording of the press conference. The video recording of the press conference recorded distortions in the space where Jason was witnessing visions of little Alicia. It wasn't that the Nanobots were hiding that from the cameras it was at the cameras were capturing the electromagnetic or something interference in those areas where Jason was seeing things. So it's possible that there was a real physical phenomenon, which regular people wouldn't notice, and cameras would pick up only dimly, but that (a) was somehow sophisticated enough to project just to Jason or (b) his nanobots (correctly or not) helped him perceive as Li'lycia? Definitely one possibility.
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I'm reminded of the aliens from Darkest Hour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZcmeZYy2wQ
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Doyce T.
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On video devices, very much like that, yeah.
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How about Pneuma's optics? She still processes sight with a human-like brain, but she doesn't have human eyes and some of their attendant flaws. She was at the press conference but may not have been able to pay attention. So it could go either way.
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Doyce T.
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Ooh. I need to ponder that.
Doyce T. said: Ooh. I need to ponder that. Well, that was one of the things Jason was going to check on, until Waters dragged him off before he could ask.