Case sits in a loft and jacks into his simstim (simulation stimulation). Using it, he can access Molly's sensory data. He sees what she sees, feels what she feels, smells… well, you get the point. Case finds the lack of body control irritating. You know, it's like when you're watching someone else playing a video game and they just won't play it like you would. Only more frustrating.
Molly finds her way to a booth where a man named Larry is working. Larry is a member of the Panther Moderns. He sees Molly has a "rider" (Case) and refuses to do business with her until Case jacks out of Molly's consciousness. Molly tells Case to beat it.
Case looks up information on the Panther Moderns. They're a cybernetic street gang that uses media manipulation as a tool for their terrorist acts.
Two days later, Case meets his first Modern when one shows up at the loft with diskettes from the Finn.
Case gets to work, spending the next nine days plugging away at Sense/Net's ice (Intrusion Countermeasures Electronics). He doesn't eat, hardly sleeps. Funny how the stereotype of a hacker actually predates the existence of the hacker, isn't it?
The heist to steal the Dixie Flatline's construct begins. Molly (codename Cat Mother) is in the lobby of Sense/Net. Case, codename Cutter, is in the loft to make sure his icebreaker (hacking program) works. They are joined electronically with Brood, their liaison with the Panther Moderns.
Case's icebreaker lets him through the Sense/Net's security gate. Meanwhile, nine Moderns dial police departments and security agencies. They register a fake terrorist attack, claiming that Blue Nine, a psychoactive that produces acute "paranoia and homicidal psychosis" (4.58), is in Sense/Net's ventilation system.
Molly steps into an elevator and promptly knocks out a guard.
The Panther Moderns send out a message through Sense/Net's video system. This time they claim HsG is in the ventilation system, a biochemical that would basically cause everyone's bone cells to collapse. Naturally, panic ensues right around the time the NYPD arrive expecting Blue Nine to be causing, what else, a panic. Commence chaos.
Case digs deeper into Sense/Net's databanks, installing a subprogram that will change key commands in the system.
Two Panther Moderns sit in the lobby, wearing chameleon suits so they can't be seen. They watch the riot cops fight off the crazed workers.
Case flips into Molly's consciousness. Her ankle is broken, and the pain is so great it forces Case out of her mind. When he jacks back in, Molly shoots herself up with endorphins to dull the pain. Case realizes Molly got into a fight with three security guards. She's not doing so well, but the guards are doing worse.
Molly limps her way through the Sense/Net library. Thanks to Case's program, she's able to use his codes to unlock the locker containing the Dixie construct. She takes it and hurries out.
In the Sense/Net lobby, the chaos has grown. The two invisible Panther Moderns help extract Molly.
Lupus Yonderboy, the Panther Modern leader, meets with Case and Armitage. He informs them that Molly is with her medical team and she has the goods. He the demands payment, which Armitage is reluctant to hand over.
Case goes for a dawn walk. Lupus delivers a message to him. The message is simply, "Wintermute," and it comes from Wintermute. The plot gets thicker yet again.