Thursday, October 31, 2013

304: Lightminute Prisoner

ENTRY 304: Lightminute Prisoner

For his crimes, Roger Murderkill was given a sentence of one million lightminutes. His ego is recast between receiver stations roughly 18 million kilometers apart on a continuous circuit that will take almost two years to complete. He experiences approximately one second of time for every sixty seconds of real time that passes; confused glimpses in his brief respites between farcasts. When his sentence is up, the lightminute prisoner will have experienced a little over 11.5 days of subjective time - and re-enter transhuman society after almost two years of real time.

The brief media buzz that surrounded the lightminute prisoner has already died away, except for the hardcore conspiracy theorists. The specifics of his crimes, trial, and even the authority that gave out the sentence are maddeningly vague, with many of the citations in the news feeds lacking or contradictory, and the punishment itself unusual in that there are considerably easier and economic ways to achieve the perceptual time dilation. Most of the conspiracy theorists (except for the Tortured Artist adherents) suggest that the punishment is symbolic, and done to send a message across to someone - although whom that may be is not clear. The only one that might be able to shed any light on the subject is Roger Murderkill.


Morph: Infomorph
Skills: Academics: History 30, Art: Calligraphy 35, Hardware: Electronics 20, Hardware: Robotics 25, Infosec 30, Interests: Experimental Perception 50, Interests: Library Science 40, Interfacing 40, Language: Native English 90, Language: Russian 85, Medicine: Nanosurgery 45, Networking: Criminal 25, Networking: Media 25, Perception 50, Profession: Librarian 60, Programming 35, Research 66
Disadvantages: Social Stigma (AGI, Prisoner)

Using Lightminute Prisoner

Someone wants Roger Murderkill out of the way. They have gone to considerable trouble and expense to see that he is incarcerated in a very specific way, working around the moral, ethical, and legal objections of various habitats and governing bodies who have turned a blind eye to why a transhuman ego is being treated in this fashion. That alone raises red flags for conspiracy theorists and watchdog groups - this could have been done quietly and more efficiently using long speech (see entry 019) or other time perception-altering protocols. To do this and advertise it in the media, even with misleading and planted stories, suggests that someone is monitoring the lightminute prisoner, waiting for someone to make their move to free, kill, capture, or communicate with him...and there are no shortage of groups that want to do all of the above.

The stats given above assume that Roger, whatever his supposed crimes, is predominantly a patsy designed to draw out the real players that his captors wish to identify and intercept. Gamemasters might also make him a political prisoner of a Jovian Republic schism, a dangerous exsurgent criminal that Firewall cannot house for any length of time because of his psi powers, a criminal mastermind faking his own death, the victim of an elaborate revenge that sees his life destroyed slowly, a researcher testing cumulative light-decay and translation errors on transhuman egos, or the newest inductee into an eingerost (see entry 058) cell trying to free him from his mortal trappings.

Catching up with the lightminute prisoner requires calculating his routing, something any PC's muse could do given a few minutes with the software tools available to them and enough information on his schedule so that they can arrive at one of the receiver/rebroadcast farcasters ahead of him. Once there the PCs can hack the software or hardware to redirect Roger's route or isolate him, or use a time dilation protocol to try and communicate with him in the one second he is cognizant. There are no safeguards preventing Roger from communicating with anyone, though he is typically too disoriented to do so.

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