Dead Drop Document in wow that's a lot of stars | World Anvil

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Dead Drop

wow that's a lot of stars is a sci-fi setting about adventure, exploration, and discovery. Every person, place, and thing has a story to tell, if you listen closely.   Setting Intro | Visitor's Guide | Author's Intentions
This data disk contained four news articles covering events that occurred in Galendra within the last year, from mid 3227-mid 3228. Unknown to anyone else, the events were orchestrated by Cordelia Isoto, president of Integrell. She was using information gleaned from her VI spy network to destabilize the city, hoping to force the Protectorate to establish a new government that she could further manipulate.   Angela, Cordelia's VI personal assistant, couldn't stop Cordelia herself. Instead, she could only give hints so someone else could figure it out. Under a fake persona named Katana, she established a newspaper called the Galean Gazette to help make this happen. That's how she met investigative reporter Jorie Grey.   Knowing time was running out, and seeing potential in Jorie, Angela left this data disk for her in hopes she would figure out what connected the events and the person behind it all.
 
Who How When
Sent by
Angela, under the guise of Katana, the owner of the Galean Gazette newspaper

Sent to
Jorie Grey, investigative journalist who previously wrote for the Gazette
Katana sent Jorie a hard copy of a book as a gift. In it, some key phrases were highlighted that led Jorie to the location of the dead drop. Behind a hollowed-out brick was the data disk. Mid-3228, when tensions in the city were running high. Gang war, particularly between Cryptix and the Wyre Rats, was imminent.
Why
If a gang war erupted, the Protectorate would enforce martial law to limit casualties. Afterward, they would establish a new governing body. If that governing body was one Cordelia could manipulate, she could control what laws are passed to better enable her interplanetary surveillance network.

Angela disagreed with these plans, but her programming prevented her from doing anything about it. She hoped Jorie could see the threads connecting these news stories and uncover Cordelia's plans.
Results
With the help of the Gal Pals, Jorie connected the dots and found evidence the proved Cordelia's VIs broke Protectorate law by spying on people. She outed Cordelia in a public trial broadcast live to the whole sector, and the Protectorate took Angela into custody to verify the allegations.

The fallout is yet to be determined. Cordelia's VIs run vital systems in most planets, from hospitals to stock markets, and can't simply be shut off. A more delicate approach will be required. Only time will tell how this changes public perception of virtual intelligences going forward.
 


Cover image: by Aaron Lee, Nick Ong, Norah Khor

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Author's Notes

This article was written as part of Summer Camp 2023. Follow the link to learn more.   Big thanks to Annie Stein and Rumengol for help making this one legible!


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