Neuromancer

Neuromancer

by

William Gibson

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Henry Dorsett Case Character Analysis

Case, referred to almost exclusively by his last name, is a former console cowboy, born and raised in the Sprawl, but now living in Chiba. Case looks out for himself and his own interests, and this continually gets him into trouble—he has no moral qualms about ripping off employers if it will make him richer. Although this has backfired time and again, he continues to jilt those who pay him, and the novel opens with Case nervous that his supplier, Wage, who he owes money to, has put a hit on him. Case is only in Chiba because, after stealing from another former employer, they poisoned him, ruining his nervous system and preventing him from connecting to the matrix. Case moved to Chiba in hopes of finding a cure, but ran out of money before he could heal himself. Case is an addict. Addicted both to drugs and to jacking into the matrix, his relationships and even his work always come second to feeding his hunger. Case dislikes his body, which he often refers to as “meat,” and so seeks escape in stimulants, alcohol, and cyberspace. Early in the novel Armitage hires Case and fixes his nervous system, taking him along on a mission that spans the globe and sets its third act in space. Case begins a sexual, if not romantic, relationship with Molly, Armitage’s hired muscle. Although they never clarify what they are to each other, a major turning point for Case is when, although he is given the option to withdraw from the mission and save himself, he decides to continue for Molly’s sake—a rare act of selflessness and display of empathy. A few of Case’s other girlfriends appear throughout the novel. A teenage girlfriend, Marlene, appears in a dream, and Linda Lee, his most recent ex, appears physically in the beginning, and digitally throughout the text. The AI Neuromancer frequently tries to use Linda and her likeness to manipulate Case, although its attempts fail—he loved her, but she does not have a lasting hold on him.

Henry Dorsett Case Quotes in Neuromancer

The Neuromancer quotes below are all either spoken by Henry Dorsett Case or refer to Henry Dorsett Case. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of Neuromancer published in 1984.
Chapter 1 Quotes

A year here and he still dreamed of cyberspace, hope fading nightly. All the speed he took, all the turns he’d taken and the corners he’d cut in Night City, and still he’d see the matrix in his sleep, bright lattices of logic unfolding across that colorless void….The Sprawl was a long strange way home over the Pacific now, and he was no console man, no cyberspace cowboy. Just another hustler, trying to make it through. But the dreams came on in the Japanese night like livewire voodoo, and he’d cry for it, cry in his sleep, and wake alone in the dark, curled in his capsule in some coffin hotel, his hands clawed into the bedslab, temperfoam bunched between his fingers, trying to reach the console that wasn’t there.

Related Characters: Henry Dorsett Case, Armitage / Corto
Page Number: 4-5
Explanation and Analysis:

For Case, who'd lived for the bodiless exultation of cyberspace, it was the Fall. In the bars he’d frequented as a cowboy hotshot, the elite stance involved a certain relaxed contempt for the flesh. The body was meat. Case fell into the prison of his own flesh.

Related Characters: Henry Dorsett Case
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 2 Quotes

“Our profile says you’re trying to con the street into killing you when you’re not looking.”

“Profile?”

“We’ve built up a detailed model. Bought a go-to for each of your aliases and ran the skim through some military software. You’re suicidal, Case. The model gives you a month on the outside. And our medical projection says you’ll need a new pancreas inside a year.”

Related Characters: Henry Dorsett Case (speaker), Molly (speaker), Armitage / Corto, Wintermute, Riviera
Page Number: 28
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3 Quotes

“So what’s he got on you? How’s he got the working girl kinked?” “Professional pride, baby, that’s all.”

Related Characters: Henry Dorsett Case (speaker), Molly (speaker), Armitage / Corto
Page Number: 47
Explanation and Analysis:

“The matrix has its roots in primitive arcade games,” said the voice-over, “in early graphics programs and military experimentation with cranial jacks.” On the Sony, a two-dimensional space war faded behind a forest of mathematically generated ferns, demonstrating the spacial possibilities of logarithmic spirals; cold blue military footage burned through, lab animals wired into test systems, helmets feeding into fire control circuits of tanks and war planes. “Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts… A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding....”

Related Characters: Henry Dorsett Case
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

This was it. This was what he was, who he was, his being. He forgot to eat. Molly left cartons of rice and foam trays of sushi on the corner of the long table. Sometimes he resented having to leave the deck to use the chemical toilet they’d set up in a corner of the loft. Ice patterns formed and reformed on the screen as he probed for gaps, skirted the most obvious traps, and mapped the route he’d take through Sense/Net’s ice. It was good ice. Wonderful ice. Its patterns burned there while he lay with his arm under Molly’s shoulders, watching the red dawn through the steel grid of the skylight. Its rainbow pixel maze was the first thing he saw when he woke. He’d go straight to the deck, not bothering to dress, and jack in. He was cutting it. He was working. He lost track of days.

And sometimes, falling asleep, particularly when Molly was off on one of her reconnaissance trips with her rented cadre of Moderns, images of Chiba came flooding back. Faces and Ninsei neon. Once he woke from a confused dream of Linda Lee, unable to recall who she was or what she’d ever meant to him. When he did remember, he jacked in and worked for nine straight hours.

The cutting of Sense/Net’s ice took a total of nine days.

Related Characters: Henry Dorsett Case, Linda Lee, Molly
Page Number: 59
Explanation and Analysis:

The Panther Moderns allowed four minutes for their first move to take effect, then injected a second carefully prepared dose of misinformation. This time, they shot it directly into the Sense/Net building’s internal video system.

At 12:04:03, every screen in the building strobed for eighteen seconds in a frequency that produced seizures in a susceptible segment of Sense/Net employees. Then something only vaguely like a human face filled the screens, its features stretched across asymmetrical expanses of bone like some obscene Mercator projection. Blue lips parted wetly as the twisted, elongated jaw moved. Something, perhaps a hand, a thing like a reddish clump of gnarled roots, fumbled toward the camera, blurred, and vanished. Subliminally rapid images of contamination: graphics of the building’s water supply system, gloved hands manipulating laboratory glassware, something tumbling down into darkness, a pale splash….The audio track, its pitch adjusted to run at just less than twice the standard playback speed, was part of a month-old newscast detailing potential military uses of a substance known as HsG, a biochemical governing the human skeletal growth factor. Overdoses of HsG threw certain bone cells into overdrive, accelerating growth by factors as high as one thousand percent.

Related Characters: Henry Dorsett Case, Molly, Armitage / Corto
Page Number: 62
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

He coughed. “Dix? McCoy? That you man?” His throat was tight.

“Hey, bro,” said a directionless voice.

“It’s Case, man. Remember?”

“Miami, joeboy, quick study.”

“What’s the last thing you remember before I spoke to you, Dix?”

“Nothin’.”

“Hang on.”

He disconnected the construct. The presence was gone. He reconnected it. “Dix? Who am I?”

“You got me hung, Jack. Who the fuck are you?”

“Ca—your buddy. Partner. What’s happening, man?”

“Good question.”

“Remember being here, a second ago?”

“No.”

“Know how a ROM personality matrix works?”

“Sure, bro, it’s a firmware construct.”

“So I jack it into the bank I’m using, I can give it sequential, real time memory?”

“Guess so,” said the construct.

“Okay, Dix. You are a ROM construct. Got me?”

“If you say so,” said the construct. “Who are you?”

“Case.”

“Miami,” said the voice, “joeboy, quick study.”

“Right. And for starts, Dix, you and me, we’re gonna sleaze over to London grid and access a little data. You game for that?”

“You gonna tell me I got a choice, boy?”

Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 7 Quotes

“Thing is,” he said, “do you think he knows he was Corto, before? I mean, he wasn’t anybody in particular, by the time he hit the ward, so maybe Wintermute just...”

“Yeah. Built him up from go. Yeah...” She turned and they walked on. “It figures. You know, the guy doesn’t have any life going, in private. Not as far as I can tell. You see a guy like that, you figure there’s something he does when he’s alone. But not Armitage. Sits and stares at the wall, man. Then something clicks and he goes into high gear and wheels for Wintermute.”

“So why’s he got that stash in London? Nostalgia?”

“Maybe he doesn’t know about it,” she said. “Maybe it’s just in his name, right?”

“I don’t get it,” Case said.

“Just thinking out loud….How smart’s an AI, Case?”

Related Characters: Henry Dorsett Case (speaker), Molly (speaker), Armitage / Corto, Wintermute
Page Number: 95
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8 Quotes

As they worked, Case gradually became aware of the music that pulsed constantly through the cluster. It was called dub, a sensuous mosaic cooked from vast libraries of digitalized pop; it was worship, Molly said, and a sense of community. Case heaved at one of the yellow sheets; the thing was light but still awkward. Zion smelled of cooked vegetables, humanity, and ganja.

Related Characters: Henry Dorsett Case, Molly
Page Number: 104
Explanation and Analysis:

Case didn’t understand the Zionites.

Aerol, with no particular provocation, related the tale of the baby who had burst from his forehead and scampered into a forest of hydroponic ganja. “Ver’ small baby, mon, no long’ you finga.” He rubbed his palm across an unscarred expanse of brown forehead and smiled.

“It’s the ganja,” Molly said, when Case told her the story. “They don’t make much of a difference between states, you know? Aerol tells you it happened, well, it happened to him. It’s not like bullshit, more like poetry. Get it?”

Case nodded dubiously.

Related Characters: Molly (speaker), Aerol (speaker), Henry Dorsett Case
Page Number: 106
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9 Quotes

Case brought the gun around and looked down the line of sight at Deane’s pink, ageless face.

“Don’t,” Deane said. “You’re right. About what this all is. What I am. But there are certain internal logics to be honored. If you use that, you'll see a lot of brains and blood, and it would take me several hours—your subjective time—to effect another spokesperson. This set isn’t easy for me to maintain. Oh, and I’m sorry about Linda, in the arcade. I was hoping to speak through her, but I’m generating all this out of your memories, and the emotional charge….Well, it’s very tricky. I slipped. Sorry.”

Case lowered the gun. “This is the matrix. You’re Wintermute.”

Related Characters: Henry Dorsett Case (speaker), Wintermute (speaker), Julius “Julie” Deane (speaker), Linda Lee
Page Number: 119
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10 Quotes

“Real motive problem, with an AI. Not human, see?”

“Well, yeah, obviously.”

“Nope. I mean, it’s not human. And you can’t get a handle on it. Me, I’m not human either, but I respond like one. See?”

“Wait a sec,” Case said. “Are you sentient, or not?”

“Well, it feels like I am, kid, but I’m really just a bunch of ROM. It’s one of them, ah, philosophical questions, I guess...” The ugly laughter sensation rattled down Case’s spine. “But I ain’t likely to write you no poem, if you follow me. Your AI, it just might. But it ain’t no way human.”

Related Characters: Henry Dorsett Case (speaker), McCoy “Dixie” “Flatline” Pauley (speaker), Wintermute
Page Number: 131
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 11 Quotes

He vomited over a rosewood railing into the quiet waters of the lake. Something that had seemed to close around his head like a vise had released him now. Kneeling, his cheek against the cool wood, he stared across the shallow lake at the bright aura of the Rue Jules Verne.

Case had seen the medium before; when he’d been a teenager in the Sprawl, they’d called it, “dreaming real.” He remembered thin Puerto Ricans under East Side streetlights, dreaming real to the quick beat of a salsa, dreamgirls shuddering and turning, the onlookers clapping in time. But that had needed a van full of gear and a clumsy trode helmet.

What Riviera dreamed, you got. Case shook his aching head and spat into the lake.

He could guess the end, the finale. There was an inverted symmetry: Riviera puts the dreamgirl together, the dreamgirl takes him apart. With those hands. Dreamblood soaking the rotten lace.

Cheers from the restaurant, applause. Case stood and ran his hands over his clothes. He turned and walked back into the Vingtiéme Siécle.

Molly’s chair was empty. The stage was deserted. Armitage sat alone, still staring at the stage, the stem of the wineglass between his fingers.

Page Number: 141
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12 Quotes

He bought a mug of Carlsberg and found a place against the wall. Closing his eyes, he felt for the knot of rage, the pure small coal of his anger. It was there still. Where had it come from? He remembered feeling only a kind of bafflement at his maiming in Memphis, nothing at all when he’d killed to defend his dealing interests in Night City, and a slack sickness and loathing after Linda’s death under the inflated dome. But no anger. Small and far away, on the mind’s screen, a semblance of Deane struck a semblance of an office wall in an explosion of brains and blood. He knew then: the rage had come in the arcade, when Wintermute rescinded the simstim ghost of Linda Lee, yanking away the simple animal promise of food, warmth, a place to sleep. But he hadn’t become aware of it until his exchange with the holo-construct of Lonny Zone.

It was a strange thing. He couldn’t take its measure.

“Numb,” he said. He’d been numb a long time, years. All his nights down Ninsei, his nights with Linda, numb in bed and numb at the cold sweating center of every drug deal. But now he’d found this warm thing, this chip of murder. Meat, some part of him said. It’s the meat talking, ignore it.

Related Characters: Henry Dorsett Case (speaker), Julius “Julie” Deane (speaker), Linda Lee, Molly, Lonny Zone
Page Number: 152
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 13 Quotes

“You are worse than a fool,” Michéle said, getting to her feet, the pistol in her hand. “You have no care for your species. For thousands of years men dreamed of pacts with demons. Only now are such things possible. And what would you be paid with? What would your price be, for aiding this thing to free itself and grow?” There was a knowing weariness in her young voice that no nineteen-year-old could have mustered. “You will dress now. You will come with us. Along with the one you call Armitage, you will return with us to Geneva and give testimony in the trial of this intelligence. Otherwise, we kill you. Now.” She raised the pistol, a smooth black Walther with an integral silencer.

Page Number: 163
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 14 Quotes

“…Remember this?” And his right hand held the charred wasps’ nest from Case’s dream, reek of fuel in the closeness of the dark shop. Case stumbled back against a wall of junk. “Yeah. That was me. Did it with the holo rig in the window. Another memory I tapped out of you when I flatlined you that first time. Know why it’s important?”

Case shook his head. “Because”—and the nest, somehow, was gone—“it’s the closest thing you got to what Tessier-Ashpool would like to be. The human equivalent. Straylight’s like that nest, or anyway it was supposed to work out that way. I figure it’ll make you feel better.”

“Feel better?”

“To know what they’re like. You were starting to hate my guts for a while there. That’s good. But hate them instead. Same difference.”

Related Characters: Henry Dorsett Case (speaker), Wintermute (speaker), Lady 3Jane Marie-France Tessier-Ashpool
Related Symbols: Wasp Nest
Page Number: 171
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 16 Quotes

He closed his eyes. He saw the sacs of toxin dissolving in his arteries. He saw Molly hauling herself up the endless steel rungs. He opened his eyes.

“I dunno, man,” he said, a strange taste in his mouth. He looked down at his desk, at his hands. “I don’t know.” He looked back up. The brown face was calm now, intent. Maelcum’s chin was hidden by the high helmet ring of his old blue suit. “She’s inside,” he said. “Molly’s inside. In Straylight, it’s called. If there’s any Babylon, man, that’s it. We leave on her, she ain’t comin’ out, Steppin’ Razor or not.”

Maelcum nodded, the dreadbag bobbing behind him like a captive balloon of crocheted cotton. “She you woman, Case?”

“I dunno. Nobody’s woman, maybe.” He shrugged. And found his anger again, real as a shard of hot rock beneath his ribs. “Fuck this,” he said. “Fuck Armitage, fuck Wintermute, and fuck you. I’m stayin’ right here.”

Maelcum’s smile spread across his face like light breaking. “Maelcum a rude boy, Case. Garvey Maelcum boat.” His gloved hand slapped a panel and the bass-heavy rocksteady of Zion dub came pulsing from the tug’s speakers. “Maelcum not runnin’, no. I talk wi’ Aerol, he certain t’ see it in similar light.”

Case stared. “I don’t understand you guys at all,” he said.

“Don’ ’stan’ you, mon,” the Zionite said, nodding to the beat, “but we mus’ move by Jah love, each one.”

Page Number: 192
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 18 Quotes

“Wintermute won’t be the first to have made the same mistake. Underestimating me…He talked with me, Molly. I suppose he talked to all of us. You, and Case, whatever there is of Armitage to talk to. He can’t really understand us, you know. He has his profiles, but those are only statistics. You may be the statistical animal, darling, and Case is nothing but, but I possess a quality unquantifiable by its very nature.” He drank.

“And what exactly is that, Peter?” Molly asked, her voice flat.

Riviera beamed. “Perversity.”

Page Number: 219
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 20 Quotes

He refused her arms, that night, refused the food she offered him, the place beside her in the nest of blankets and shredded foam. He crouched beside the door, finally, and watched her sleep, listening to the wind scour the structure’s walls. Every hour or so, he rose and crossed to the makeshift stove, adding fresh driftwood from the pile beside it. None of this was real, but cold was cold.

Page Number: 235
Explanation and Analysis:

“No,” he said, and then it no longer mattered, what he knew, tasting the salt of her mouth where tears had dried. There was a strength that ran in her, something he’d known in Night City and held there, been held by it, held for a while away from time and death, from the relentless Street that hunted them all. It was a place he’d known before; not everyone could take him there, and somehow he always managed to forget it. Something he’d found and lost so many times. It belonged, he knew— he remembered—as she pulled him down, to the meat, the flesh the cowboys mocked. It was a vast thing, beyond knowing, a sea of information coded in spiral and pheromone, infinite intricacy that only the body, in its strong blind way, could ever read.

The zipper hung, caught, as he opened the French fatigues, the coils of toothed nylon clotted with salt. He broke it, some tiny metal part shooting off against the wall as salt-rotten cloth gave, and then he was in her, effecting the transmission of the old message. Here, even here, in a place he knew for what it was, a coded model of some stranger’s memory, the drive held.

Related Characters: Henry Dorsett Case (speaker), Linda Lee
Page Number: 239
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 21 Quotes

“To call up a demon you must learn its name. Men dreamed that, once, but now it is real in another way. You know that, Case. Your business is to learn the names of programs, the long formal names, names the owners seek to conceal. True names...”

“A Turing code’s not your name.”

“Neuromancer,” the boy said, slitting long gray eyes against the rising sun. “The lane to the land of the dead. Where you are, my friend. Marie-France, my lady, she prepared this road, but her lord choked her off before I could read the book of her days. Neuro from the nerves, the silver paths. Romancer. Necromancer. I call up the dead. But no, my friend,” and the boy did a little dance, brown feet printing the sand, “I am the dead, and their land.” He laughed. A gull cried. “Stay. If your woman is a ghost, she doesn’t know it. Neither will you.”

Related Characters: Henry Dorsett Case (speaker), Neuromancer / Rio (speaker), Wintermute, Marie-France, Michèle
Page Number: 243
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 23 Quotes

He came in steep, fueled by self-loathing. When the Kuang program met the first of the defenders, scattering the leaves of light, he felt the shark thing lose a degree of substantiality, the fabric of information loosening.

And then—old alchemy of the brain and its vast pharmacy—his hate flowed into his hands. In the instant before he drove Kuang’s sting through the base of the first tower, he attained a level of proficiency exceeding anything he’d known or imagined. Beyond ego, beyond personality, beyond awareness, he moved, Kuang moving with him, evading his attackers with an ancient dance, Hideo’s dance, grace of the mind-body interface granted him, in that second, by the clarity and singleness of his wish to die.

And one step in that dance was the lightest touch on the switch, barely enough to flip—

now

Related Characters: Henry Dorsett Case, Molly, Wintermute
Page Number: 262
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 24 Quotes

HEY ITS OKAY BUT ITS TAKING THE EDGE OFF MY GAME, I PAID THE BILL ALREADY. ITS THE WAY IM WIRED I GUESS, WATCH YOUR ASS OKAY? XXX MOLLY

Related Characters: Molly (speaker), Henry Dorsett Case, Johnny
Related Symbols: Shuriken
Page Number: 267
Explanation and Analysis:
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Henry Dorsett Case Character Timeline in Neuromancer

The timeline below shows where the character Henry Dorsett Case appears in Neuromancer. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Case sits in the Chatsubo, a bar in Chiba, Japan, that primarily caters to expats. The... (full context)
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
The conversation in the bar quiets, and Case overhears a drunken man claim that the “Chinese bloody invented nerve-splicing” and can easily fix... (full context)
Addiction and Dependency Theme Icon
Reality and Perception Theme Icon
Case has been to every neurosurgery clinic in Chiba, and knows first-hand that they cannot repair... (full context)
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
Addiction and Dependency Theme Icon
Ratz tells Case he saw “your girl,” Linda Lee, last night. Case responds that he doesn’t have a... (full context)
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Addiction and Dependency Theme Icon
Case’s employers used a mycotoxin to damage his nervous system so that he would be unable... (full context)
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After his firing and mutilation, Case moved to Japan, hoping to find a cure in Chiba, but his money ran out... (full context)
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Case takes a pink, octagonal stimulant pill as he sits in a café. He reflects on... (full context)
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Case remembers meeting his ex, Linda Lee, in an arcade. He’d immediately fixated on her, and... (full context)
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Back in the present, Case is high. He spots Linda Lee, who joins him at his table, offers him a... (full context)
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Seeing Linda fills Case with “lust and loneliness.” Watching her shiver and sweat, Case worries about her. Discovering she... (full context)
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Case leaves and wanders through Night City. He he senses his professional and personal “walls were... (full context)
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Case stops in a shop window to examine some shuriken, which he sees as “the stars... (full context)
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Self-Interest vs. Human Connection Theme Icon
...is 135, but remains healthy through serums, hormones, and an annual reset of his DNA. Case meets him in his office, and tells Julie that a friend told him Wage wants... (full context)
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As he walks, Case suddenly realizes he’s being followed. He catches his stalker in a window—it’s Molly. Spooked, Case... (full context)
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Case returns to the Chat looking for Wage, but doesn’t find him. Back outside, he senses... (full context)
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Case decides to throw out the cobra and rent a gun, which is now available. Case... (full context)
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Case enters the Chat with a pistol in one pocket and his flask in the other.... (full context)
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Wage asks who told Case that Wage was after him. Case doesn’t answer but gives Wage his flask, which he... (full context)
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Returning to his coffin in Cheap Hotel, Case realizes Linda Lee stole the RAM in his Hitachi, important files that she will probably... (full context)
Chapter 2
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Molly has taken Case to a room in the Chiba Hilton Hotel. She suggests he drink a cup of... (full context)
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Armitage offers Case a deal—he says they’ve made a profile of Case that says his reckless behavior will... (full context)
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The next day, Sunday, Molly takes Case to a clinic in Chiba. He has decided to work with Armitage in exchange for... (full context)
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Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
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Molly has worked for Armitage for a few months, but when Case presses her for information, she explains she’s just a working girl with no true allegiance... (full context)
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Case wakes up on Wednesday, three days later. His neck and spine hurt. Molly is lying... (full context)
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Case wonders why Molly isn’t with Armitage, back in the Hilton, and she straddles him in... (full context)
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The next day, Case goes to talk to Julie. Molly follows along, under order to watch him. Case wants... (full context)
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As Case leaves, Julie says he spent the war in Lisbon. He wasn’t fighting, and jokes, “wonderful... (full context)
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After seeing Julie, Case finds Wage and pays off the last of his debt with money gifted from Armitage.... (full context)
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Molly wants to go see a fight, and drags Case with her to an arena by the water, where holographic representations of two knife fighters... (full context)
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Suddenly, Linda Lee rushes past Case. Reflexively, he runs after her. A boy trips him and tries to stab him, but... (full context)
Chapter 3
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Molly, Case, and Armitage fly to the Sprawl, Case’s home, via Amsterdam and Paris. Case wakes up... (full context)
Technology and the Body Theme Icon
Identity and Personhood Theme Icon
Later in the day Armitage arrives. He plans to hire someone to secure the room. Case observes Armitage’s face, which he describes as “handsome,” if “inexpressive,” and “a conservative amalgam of... (full context)
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Case asks if Armitage was ever a cop or security guard, but the man doesn’t answer.... (full context)
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Case and Molly go outside to sit in the sun. Case asks if she knew about... (full context)
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After breakfast, Molly takes Case through a series of bars and clubs on the East Side of Manhattan, ending in... (full context)
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Molly dismisses the Finn but stays in the room with Case. She tells him she’s had a look at their to-do list; their next mission is... (full context)
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Case wonders again what Molly has “dissolving inside” of her. Molly explains that she’s loyal, and... (full context)
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...about Armitage. No one with his name took part in Screaming Fist, but she hopes Case will have better luck. Case wonders what else is on the to-do list, other than... (full context)
Addiction and Dependency Theme Icon
On Wednesday, eight days since he woke up in Cheap Hotel after his surgery, Case sits on the floor in his new apartment in the Sprawl. It’s time for him... (full context)
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Slowly, “symbols, figures, faces” appear. Case prays as a gray disk appears in his vision, prays as it expands. Suddenly, he... (full context)
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Five hours later, Case takes the electrodes off and returns to the loft. Someone is requesting entry to the... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Case sits in the loft and considers the simstim. He explains that cowboys had seem simstim... (full context)
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Case connects to cyberspace, then flips a new simstim switch, which jolts him into “other flesh.”... (full context)
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Case switches between cyberspace and Molly’s sensorium. He realizes how little he knows about her—only what... (full context)
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Case asks his computer to look up the Panther Moderns, which he assumes are a youth... (full context)
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Two days later, Case meets a Modern in person, when one delivers a package from the Finn. Although the... (full context)
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Over the next several days, Case is sucked into studying the data company Sense/Net’s ice, or digital defense system. He forgets... (full context)
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Although Case has hacked the Sense/Net ice, Molly must go in and grab the physical disk housing... (full context)
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Case watches Molly’s simstim. She takes an elevator to the basement, where she stuns a security... (full context)
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Case activates his second program, which attacks the Sense/Net research library. It deactivates several alarms and... (full context)
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Case flips himself back to Molly’s simstim. She places three endorphin dermadisks on her wrist, the... (full context)
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...limps back to the elevator, and takes it up to the lobby. Through her eyes, Case sees panic like he’s never seen before: the Sense/Net employees try to escape as the... (full context)
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Jittery, Case leaves the loft. Molly is in surgery, and he’s alone. He thinks about his toxin... (full context)
Chapter 5
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Case meets Molly as she emerges from a back alley hospital in Baltimore. He delivers Yonderboy’s... (full context)
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The Finn tells Molly and Case a story about the Tessier-Ashpool family. Finn’s colleague, Smith, a fence who came to the... (full context)
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...to be made up of clones that rotate in and out of commission. Molly gives Case a paper with coordinates and entry codes for a database of Armitage’s. She asks him... (full context)
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Case returns to the loft, passing a holographic advertisement for Freeside, with a T-A logo in... (full context)
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Back in the loft, Case turns on the Hosaka and connects the construct. Dixie exists as a mental presence “exactly... (full context)
Chapter 6
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Together Case and Dixie access Armitage’s data. Dixie scans the files, reporting they’re mostly “video recordings of... (full context)
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Two hours later, Case jacks out. He had the Hosaka present a précis. Although it was full of holes,... (full context)
Chapter 7
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Molly and Case arrive in Istanbul. They fly separately from Armitage, whose identity Case has not yet revealed... (full context)
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The next morning, Armitage calls Case, telling him to expect a visitor named Terzibashjian. Case tries to ask Armitage for more... (full context)
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Case, the Finn, and Terzibashjian take a car to the grand bazaar. Terzibashjian gives more backstory... (full context)
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The three men enter the market, and the Finn points out a taxidermy horse. Case has never seen a horse before. The Finn says he saw one once in Maryland,... (full context)
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...the bazar to buy his favorite drug cocktail. Molly is watching from a rooftop, and Case, Terzibashjian, and the Finn make their way through the alley until they spot him. Terzibashjian... (full context)
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The Finn and a hired hand transport Riviera to the hotel where Case and Molly are staying. Terzibashjian takes off, but only after Molly chastises him for getting... (full context)
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Molly and Case drive to a museum, walk around, and talk. Case begins to tell her about Armitage’s... (full context)
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Molly and Case approach a pond. Molly kicks a rock into it and says that Wintermute is like... (full context)
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Case tries to change the subject and asks Molly about Riviera. She’s read his profile and... (full context)
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Back at the Hilton, Armitage instructs Case to pack for Freeside. Case examines Armitage’s face for hints of Corto, but finds nothing;... (full context)
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In the hotel lobby, waiting to leave, Case examines Riviera. His face is beautiful, and Case suspects Chiba surgeons sculpted it. He resentfully... (full context)
Chapter 8
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Case, Riviera, Molly, and Armitage fly into space. Riviera creates illusions as they fly—including a giant... (full context)
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Case has never been to space before, and briefly experiences space adaptation syndrome (a sped-up heartbeat... (full context)
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Case arrives in Zion and struggles with SAS as Molly and a Zionate, Aerol, set up... (full context)
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Armitage and his crew stay in Zion for eighty hours, enough time for Case and Molly to acclimate to zero gravity, and for him to brief them on Freeside... (full context)
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Case greets Dixie and asks him how he’s doing. Dixie responds that he’s dead, and that... (full context)
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The Zionites confuse Case. Aerol tells him a story about “the baby who had burst from his forehead and... (full context)
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Case watches Riviera inject himself with an intravenous drug. Riviera performs a kind of show as... (full context)
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Armitage briefs Case, Molly, and Riviera on Freeside. Freeside is the shape of a “cigar,” most of the... (full context)
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As Case and Molly sleep the next night, a Zionite named Maelcum wakes them, and invites them... (full context)
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...the Founders of Zion still survive, and they are old and frail now. They tell Case and Molly that they monitor many frequencies, and they heard the voice of Wintermute (whom... (full context)
Chapter 9
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Maelcum transports Case and Molly from Zion to Freeside on his ship, the Marcus Garvey. As they fly,... (full context)
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Case asks Dixie if he’s ever tried to crack an AI. Dixie has—the first time he... (full context)
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Although nervous that he’ll meet the same fate as his mentor, Case asks Dixie to help him investigate Wintermute. Together they travel through cyberspace to the Zurich... (full context)
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A gray face appears on the front of the cube, and Dixie tells Case to back off; he reverses, but the cube follows him. Dixie tells him to jack... (full context)
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Case enters the arcade, he finds Linda Lee playing a game, and puts his arm around... (full context)
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Linda offers to take Case home, but the arcade begins to crack and vibrate, and she disappears. The arcade is... (full context)
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Case walks to Deane’s office. The door is unlocked, and on Deane’s desk is an antique... (full context)
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Wintermute/Deane apologizes to Case for conjuring Linda, explaining he’d tried to communicate through her, as he’s “generating all of... (full context)
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Wintermute/Deane wants to talk to Case. He explains what he is—an artificial intelligence who has been arranging things for Armitage. He... (full context)
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Done with the conversation, Case shoots Wintermute/Deane in the mouth, his head exploding like a real man’s would. (full context)
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Case wakes up, back on the Garvey. He can hear Maelcum and Molly talking above him.... (full context)
Chapter 10
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Molly and Case easily pass though customs into Freeside. Freeside is a giant tube, and sunlight shines from... (full context)
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Molly and Case check into the Intercontinental hotel. From his balcony, Case watches three French teenagers hang-glide. Molly... (full context)
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Case struggles to sleep, mulling over his encounter with Wintermute, and Linda’s death. He thinks of... (full context)
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Case finally falls asleep and dreams of a summer when he was fifteen, living with a... (full context)
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Molly covers Case in bronzer to help him blend in with other tanned Freeside tourists. It doesn’t look... (full context)
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...day is to work out in the low gravity at one end of Freeside, while Case is going to buy a vacuum-sealed space suit and return to Maelcum’s ship. (full context)
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Back on the Marcus Garvey, Maelcum gives Case a steel cassette that a man delivered to him earlier in the day. Case recognizes... (full context)
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Case jacks in to talk to Dixie. He lays out what he knows—that Wintermute and the... (full context)
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Case returns to his hotel. He wants to get high, and wanders up to the hotel... (full context)
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Back in her hotel room, Cath’s partner Bruce gives Case a derm. Despite his modified liver and pancreas, it works. Case returns to his hotel... (full context)
Chapter 11
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At dinner that evening with Armitage and Molly, Case has the worst hangover of his life—his hands are shaking, and his brain is “deep... (full context)
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Case asks Armitage where Molly has gone, but Armitage doesn’t answer. Case asks why Riviera did... (full context)
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Case returns to his empty hotel room and calls Maelcum, asking to be connected to Dixie.... (full context)
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Case waits by the phone, staring out at the glass wall of his balcony. As he... (full context)
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Zone/Wintermute observes that Case can’t “keep too good track of [his] women,” which angers Case. Zone/Wintermute then admits he... (full context)
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Case sits on the bed before looking for Molly. He is experiencing a new emotion: rage.... (full context)
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Case places his chip against Molly’s door, and it miraculously opens. Unsure who has come to... (full context)
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Molly explains to Case that Riviera’s performance disturbed her because it reminded her of when she worked as a... (full context)
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...would hate Riviera and be motivated to go in to Straylight after him. She tells Case she’s going to kill Riviera. Case tells Molly about the Lonny Zone and Linda Lee.... (full context)
Chapter 12
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Case wanders around the bar district. He stops at one and buys a beer. As he... (full context)
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For years Case has been numb. But now, “he’d found this warm thing, this chip of murder.” He... (full context)
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Cath finds Case in the bar. She mentions Molly, and how she “walks like Hideo.” Case asks about... (full context)
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Looking up at the sky, Case watches the constellations of the hologram shift into the face of Linda Lee. Looking around... (full context)
Chapter 13
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The Turing Police (who Case recognizes as the three French teenagers he had seen around the resort earlier) are disturbed... (full context)
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The three police officers, Michèle, Pierre, and Roland, begin to interrogate Case in his hotel room. They speak with each other in French so that he cannot... (full context)
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Pierre wonders how Case knows the name Corto, Case lies and says Armitage mentioned it. The police reveal they... (full context)
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Michèle explains they have tracked Case across the world and into space. They know about the Sense/Net riot, and so can... (full context)
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After being strip searched, Case gets dressed. He realizes his anger has dissipated. He thinks of his toxin sacs, but... (full context)
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Michèle, Pierre, and Roland escort Case out of the hotel. As they walk across a footbridge, an autonomous microlight swings down... (full context)
Chapter 14
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Case takes a train to the dock where Aerol takes Case to the Garvey. Unfortunately, the... (full context)
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Case jacks out for a moment, telling Maelcum he’s starting his mission, and to grab his... (full context)
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Back in the matrix, Dixie explains the virus to Case. It’s a slow virus, so slow the ice won’t even notice it. Dixie laughs in... (full context)
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Case switches to Molly’s simstim but finds himself crashing through the Finn’s metal table. The Finn... (full context)
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The Finn/Wintermute explains he’s trying to help Case, and that he needs Case and Case needs him. Case wonders how Wintermute is so... (full context)
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The Finn/Wintermute takes Case through a reconstruction of the Villa Straylight. He leads him to a “perfectly square room,”... (full context)
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Before releasing his hold on Case, the Finn/Wintermute tells him to watch out for his “other lobe,” warning “one burning bush... (full context)
Chapter 15
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Back in the matrix, Dixie tells Case he was brain-dead for five seconds. Unconcerned, Case switches to Molly’s simstim. Wintermute has accessed... (full context)
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Case flips to the matrix, watching Kuang grow. Case tells Dixie he was right—Wintermute is kept... (full context)
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...killed the Jane in his bed. Molly looks at the woman’s face; through the simstim, Case sees the face transform into Linda Lee and back. He realizes Molly cannot see this, as it... (full context)
Chapter 16
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Dixie connects Case to Armitage, who is phoning in from the ship next door. Armitage looks “utterly crazy.”... (full context)
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...Wintermute, approaches her, and leads her up a ladder. As Molly climbs, she talks to Case, telling him she had always expected to die on this mission, that’s she been “on... (full context)
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A message flashes in the corner of Molly’s vision for Case from Dixie. He explains General Girling trained Corto for Screaming Fist, and that Wintermute has... (full context)
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Case jacks out. Back on the Garvey, Maelcum informs Case that Armitage/Corto is acting weird and... (full context)
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Maelcum smiles, and tells Case Maelcum owns his boat, and so can make his own choices. He’s going to stay... (full context)
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In the matrix, Dixie tells Case that Armitage/Corto wiped his Hosaka, almost wiping Dixie and Case’s computer as well.  Dixie passes... (full context)
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Armitage/Corto’s insane face pops up in front of Case. He’s video calling from the other ship. Armitage is gone, and Corto is all that’s... (full context)
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...an airplane, and so can eject himself, however, he’s in space and will surely die. Case recognizes this and tries to get Corto to open the lock between their two ships.... (full context)
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Case jacks out, and Maelcum helps him put on a vacuum suit and cross the gangway... (full context)
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...However, the seal isn’t working, and so Corto will die if he takes off. Panicked, Case tries to open the door to the bridge. Corto talks to him through the door,... (full context)
Chapter 17
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Back in the matrix, Case watches Kuang expand and tells Dixie that Wintermute killed Armitage—ejecting him into space with his... (full context)
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Through the simstim, Case watches Molly work her way through Straylight. He considers different types of insanity—he understands Armitage/Corto,... (full context)
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Case flips to the matrix. Dixie tells him Kuang is working well. As they talk, the... (full context)
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Case wonders why Ashpool killed himself, and the Finn/Wintermute gives him an abbreviated version of the... (full context)
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Case wonders who will help him with the toxin sacs after the mission is complete, as... (full context)
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...and walks away, Dixie calls out to him. He wants to make sure he, like Case, gets his payoff. He wants to be erased. (full context)
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Case flips to Molly’s simstim, watching her walk though Straylight. Case can feel the pain in... (full context)
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...Molly are a series of holograms. The first is a cluster of caricatures—Molly, Armitage, and Case. Molly’s is hyper sexualized. Armitage has tiny screens in his eyes playing a Siberian snowstorm.... (full context)
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...3Jane’s world. She raises her hand to her mouth and kisses it—a goodbye kiss to Case. Then she descends the staircase. (full context)
Chapter 18
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Case watches Molly enter 3Jane’s lair. At the bottom of the stairs, Molly sees a boy... (full context)
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Case jacks out. Maelcum stands over him, looking concerned. He tells Case he screamed a few... (full context)
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Case resists—his job is to track and pilot the virus—but The Finn/Wintermute explains that the Hosaka... (full context)
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Case jacks into Molly’s simstim as Maelcum navigates the Garvey towards Straylight. 3Jane is telling Molly... (full context)
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Case jacks out. Maelcum, will bring a gun to Straylight, just in case. Case checks on... (full context)
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Case jacks out. Maelcum navigates the Garvey, which is still attached to the Haniwa, to the... (full context)
Chapter 19
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Case and Maelcum enter the Villa Straylight. Case carries Dixie’s construct and his computer as he... (full context)
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Inside, Maelcum and Case pass a screen. The Finn/Wintermute appears and tells them to lock the doorman in a... (full context)
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Case flips to Molly’s simstim. 3Jane is bandaging her head and broken eye. 3Jane tells Molly... (full context)
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Case jacks out. The Finn/Wintermute is still on the wall screen, and announces that he’s arranging... (full context)
Chapter 20
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As Case rides in the cart with Maelcum, he observes that he’s “lost his anger again. He... (full context)
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At first, Case sees nothing—only a gray void. Then he is on a long beach. He walks along... (full context)
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Inside the shack is a woman, who offers Case food and her blankets. Case rejects her, instead tending the makeshift stove in the corner,... (full context)
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Case recognizes the woman in the shack as Linda and curses the AI who recreated her... (full context)
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Case turns towards Linda, telling her, “you aren’t anything.” He recognizes this isn’t real, that he’s... (full context)
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In the morning, Case wakes up alone. Inside the bunker, he finds a torn shipping container filled with packets... (full context)
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In the afternoon, Case walks down to the water and throws his clothes in to clean them. Linda approaches... (full context)
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That night, Case and Linda talk and eat. This Linda has Linda’s real memories. She tells him about... (full context)
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As Linda talks, Case draws closer; soon they’re kissing, and then they’re having sex. The sensation he has with... (full context)
Chapter 21
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Dub wakes Case the next morning. Case feels like he’s on drugs, although he hasn’t taken anything in... (full context)
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Case asks the AI its true name; Rio is just its Turing code. The AI says... (full context)
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Case doesn’t want to stay; Neuromancer tells him it’s his choice. Linda touches Case’s shoulder and... (full context)
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Case travels through a gray place, through voices, and finally, he’s back in the Straylight library.... (full context)
Chapter 22
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The broken-down service cart sputters back to life and brings Case and Maelcum down the hallway towards 3Jane’s lair. Case tells Maelcum the situation inside: Molly’s... (full context)
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Case and Maelcum descend the steps to 3Jane’s room. At first it appears empty, until suddenly... (full context)
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Case realizes that Riviera doesn’t know about Molly’s simstim, although Hideo and 3Jane probably do, having... (full context)
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3Jane orders Hideo to help bandage Maelcum’s wound. As Hideo works, Case tells 3Jane they’re running out of time. Riviera tries to interrupt Case’s plea, but 3Jane... (full context)
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...Molly raises her hands, which are bound, and asks 3Jane to take her restraints off. Case asks 3Jane if Hideo will get Riviera, even blind, and 3Jane affirms that he will.... (full context)
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Case, Maelcum, Molly, and 3Jane make their way towards the core of Villa Straylight. Maelcum carries... (full context)
Chapter 23
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The group has made it to the Straylight’s central room, which houses the robotic head. Case jacks into the matrix, and greets Dixie. The Kuang is ready. It’s almost like a... (full context)
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The Kuang breaks into the beach where Neuromancer had trapped Case earlier. Case suddenly knows every detail of the place—like the number of grains of sand... (full context)
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Case asks Neuromancer why he killed Linda, but Neuromancer explains he didn’t, and neither did Wintermute.... (full context)
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Case flips into Molly’s simstim; Molly is choking 3Jane to get her to say the code.... (full context)
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Case jacks in. He rides Kuang above a neon city, T-A’s data. He calls out for... (full context)
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Case returns to Straylight just in time to hear the robotic head promising to pay Zion... (full context)
Chapter 24
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Case wakes up in a suite in the Hyatt. Molly is gone. He finds her note,... (full context)
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Case considers the shuriken. He thinks about stars and destiny, and about how he never even... (full context)
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...platinum head, explaining they erased the Turing records and all records of the crimes Molly, Case, and their team had committed. Money was deposited in bank accounts for both Case and... (full context)
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Case thinks about his time inside the matrix, staring down into the heart of the T-A... (full context)
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In his hotel room, Case turns to get a drink, but is surprised by the Finn’s enormous face on his... (full context)
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Case packs up his things. He considers putting the shuriken in his bag, but changes his... (full context)
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Case spends most of his new money “on a new pancreas and liver […] a new... (full context)