2034-03-11 0800EST Meridian Makes An Announcement
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Realizing that the VRX Games were sitting on a huge trove of data about millions of augmented humans, Willow dons the Meridian avatar to make contact with Tardigrade. "That data needs to be destroyed," she said. "I see a mutant registration act in our future, and we can't risk governments or corps getting their hands on it."
"The final backup genomes are stored in encrypted DNA, in a thousand safety deposit boxes in a thousand banks around the world," Tardigrade said. "That will take a few weeks of work from DQE people. The fastest way to wipe the digital copies is to shut down the games entirely though. The IAs won't purge the data unless the corp is defunct. I can sell off the other assets after - even the Book." The registry of all wagers placed on the VRXGames was a high value item. The underworld ties Tardigrade had would bid quite high at auction. "The dark coins from the sale of the assets can be channeled into DQE operating funds."
"That brings us to the second item: transhuman unification. Transhumanification?" He shrugged. "We can work on it. My point is, I can agree with the overall strategy of transhumanist unification, but not as a lacky to an invisible 'secret leader'. I need true authority to negotiate within the DQE and with other sects. Anything less and I will be seen as a puppet instead of a power." He pauses for a long moment, contemplating his next words while sipping virtual coffe in the VRX MMORPG. "Meridian, I want you to step back into an advisory role in the DQE. The reality is I've been calling the shots at DQE and VRX for a while. Aligned to your vision, sure - but I run the place. The goals you're talking about are bigger than you or me."
In practice, not much would change. Tardigrade would continue to run the organizations day-to-day, and would continue to be advised by Meridian. This would free up Willow to focus her efforts on advancing the science of transhumanism.
Big picture: Meridian agrees with this, with a few parting gifts. "First, I need the full VRX genetic database in my posession, with all other copies destroyed. If we can't get it to me, destruction is more important - but just barely. Second, I need to understand our position, legal and not. There is a full 'Coin on Miranda's head, and I need to know why. It may be time for Meridian to migrate to IRL to deal with people who think it's OK to target transhumanist researchers. Third, I have been quietly cultivating a protege. She has many of my augments, and I have even shared some of my sensorium with her. She has been working with the new head of the DQE for some time, aiming for a unified position for our sects - and perhaps something larger. He's name is Willow Rosenberg, and she has my blessing. I would like you to make her the official envoy of the PD to the DQE."