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Armitage, Molly, and Case go to the Sprawl, an American urban zone and the center for data exchange. Molly and Case share an apartment, and Case gets a shuriken (ninja star) from Molly as a souvenir of Chiba.
Armitage visits the two and gives Case the old good-news-bad-news routine. The good news is he's got Case some beyond state-of-the-art console gear. The bad news: he's surgically implanted toxic sacks into Case's arteries, and if Case doesn't finish the job in time, the sacks will dissolve and dose him with the same mycotoxin that destroyed his nervous system before.
Case unpacks his computer gear. When Molly joins him, he asks her if she thinks the toxin sacks are real. She tells him it doesn't really matter either way.
Molly and Case have breakfast before she takes him to the hideout of a fence called the Finn.
There, she buys an off-the-grid privacy room. She lets Case in on all that she knows about Armitage and their job. Their first job will be to steal a computerized personality recording of the Dixie Flatline, a.k.a. McCoy Pauly, Case's former teacher. They'll need to break into a company called Sense/Net to get the construct.
Molly has also looked into the mystery of Armitage. Apparently no one named Armitage took part in operation Screaming Fist, and the man they call Armitage doesn't look like any of pictures of the guys who did get out. Something's fishy.
As if the plot thickening wasn't thick enough, she asks Case to use his hacking skills to dig up information on Armitage behind his back.
The eight days have passed. Case jacks into cyberspace and cries tears of joy. If you've ever been away from the Internet for more than a week, you'll know exactly how he feels.
The Finn shows up at the apartment, and he and Case pretend like they've never met. The Finn's there to take Case's stock computer and crank it up to eleven. He also hints that after he's done Case will be able to use his console to jack into Molly's mind. Dun dun dun.