Leena Raxxxxx (yes with five Xs), pornographic actress, agrees to be in a film with Vinny (see notes from Black Friday), but first Donner has to do her a favor. Her sister’s boyfriend, Alan Markstrom, has gone missing and her sister fears the worst. Donner, Kyoko, and Sirusen investigate.
Alan has recently become addicted to BTLs and lost his corporate job as a result. The team find him dead at a rent-by-the-hour hotel in Touristville on the outskirts of the Redmond Barrens with a chip still slotted.
The chip in question bears only one marking: β-ECKS imprinted on the side with none of the usual colorful designs that tend to decorate BTL chips. Donner copies the chip data and leaves it at the scene for the police to worry about.
The team discover that this is no ordinary BTL, and it’s got “Super-Secret Corporate Research Project” written all over it, metaphorically speaking. The team also find out that the Vory have been distributing the chips. Vory goons try to scare them off the investigation, but cool it after Kyoko calls in help from her Yakuza contact.
Alan’s dealer tips the team off about a new shipment coming in later that night, but violence erupts when Sirusen is discovered. Sirusen is badly injured during the fight and is forced into debt with the Yakuza in order to pay his medical bills and bribe the hospital workers not to report his injuries to the authorities.