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During his chatlink with Sorrento, head of IOI, Parzival is taken on a tour of their virtual headquarters, allegedly a replica of their actual offices in Columbus, OH.
Sorrento offers him a job, which means state-of-the-art equipment and a buttload of money, all to help find a video game Easter egg.
Parzival convinces IOI to up the offer: 50 million dollars upon finding the egg, Sorrento's job as head of IOI, and he'll get to be called, "El Numero Uno" (14.65).
Of course, Parzival was just kidding around. He tells Sorrento to "go fuck a duck" (14.74) and gets ready to leave. Well that was rude.
Sorrento has one last trick up his sleeve: he'll wire 5 million to Parzival's account, simply for a walkthrough up to the First Gate.
Wade considers it, but declines, not wanting to sell out.
Before Wade can log out, Sorrento has one last last trick up his sleeve: he knows Wade's true identity. His full name and where he lives. He threatens to detonate a bomb planted in the stacks where Wade lives if he doesn't give them the information. Uh oh.
The villainous Sorrento asks, "If your mother were still alive, what should she want you to do?" Um, we think she'd want Wade to take the money so she could use it for drugs. Sorry, Wade's mom, but it's true.
Bringing his mom into it really gets Wade mad. Believing they're bluffing, Wade logs out of the chat.
Nothing happens. He's safe! Whew.
Wade decides to log back in and contact Art3mis, tell her what happened.
As he's getting ready to put on his gloves, BOOM. The bomb actually goes off.
Safe in his stalker-van hideout, Wade tries to decide what to do next. Things just got real.