21st December 2071
The testament clearly stated that Fuller will lose access to his money if he ever is convicted of a felony. I had the sinking suspicion that he really wasn’t at fault for the accident, that the grid malfunctioned, as stupid and unrealistic as that sounds. But it was the best thing we have, so we talk to the medtechs that were the first responders. They are all pretty tired of having to tell the story and they all are like, yeah no, the guy was clean, had a concussion, no-one tampered with anything. I don’t get the feeling that any of them are lying.
When Sam and I leave the last of the medtechs, a dwarf starts running after us, yelling about Fuller’s party and Zach. Turns out he has met Zach there, he’s a fan of the VR stuff Zach does and he wants to meet him. Weird, but okay. He probably thinks that we’re Zach’s bodyguards or something.
We collect Zach and go off to Casper’s house (or rather his parents’ house). Where we get to meet Slinky, the AI Casper kind of created by accident. It’s just an animated lightbulb on a spring saying stuff like ‘Slinky good boy’, not that impressive, but it is an AI. And he got the money for working on this project from Fuller. Bingo. Felony: committed.
Only problem: Zach isn’t down with hanging Casper and Slinky out to dry. I’m not a fan either, but if that’s what the Mallards want… So we go talk to the Mallards once more, they talk among themselves and we reach an agreement: we blackmail Fuller with Slinky into paying the 1.5 million nuyen the Mallards own their insurance.
Fuller lets us come in no problem, he remembers Zach and he’s always up for having people around the house. Let’s face it, the guy is the posterboy for ‘rich white male privilege’ and he doesn’t waste much thought on how other people live, but he’s not an asshole. Instead of blackmailing him, we just talk. Once Zach has stopped bringing up Fuller’s mom and how disappointed she would be (…dude, why…don’t talk about peoples’ mothers), he listened to us. He never stopped to consider that other people might not have insurance willing to drop tons of money on each and every health problem. He pays ridiculous amounts of money for stuff like his parties, his cars, his sunfish for fuck’s sake (Flatty, for the record) and doesn’t even know how much. So he’s actually willing to make life better for the Mallards and just like that, they’re 1.5 million nuyen richer.
Fuck. Yeah. We left, feeling really awesome about ourselves.
One day later, we get a call from Zach that we’re compromised and we better run and hide. Ten minutes later, he calls again and says that things are fine. No idea what happened. But I do trust Zach when he says that it was a false alarm. The kid probably panicked over something and I know that feeling. He’s a bit ‘I need to save the world’ for my taste, but on the other hand, he’s eighteen. Life will cut him down soon enough, but if he can keep hold of some of that goodnaturedness while losing his hero complex, good for him.