First Timer

“Hey, Dee,” Ace said. “That was a great run. You sure this is your first time?”

“Yes,” D-99 said. “Though I have observed many streamed recordings.” Dee’s voice was a bit odd. Almost synthetic, like bosses in the Raid sim. Ace guessed she was disguising her voice. It wasn’t unheard of in the Raid community. Some people just needed that extra bit of anonymity to feel safe.

“Well you’re welcome to run with us any time, Dee,” Zee said. “We’ve been down a verse slot ever since J-19 went AWOL.”

“And Jet was never that good,” Ex muttered.

El threw out an ‘offended’ emote. “I liked Jet.”

“Hey!” Ex replied. “We all liked him. He was good people. Still is, I hope. But he always seemed distracted. Not a good trait in a verse slot. You have to be on top of things, not just run macros all night.”

“You have my assurance I will not become distracted,” Dee said. “I am excellent at focusing.”

“Yeah, we could see that,” Ace said. She threw a thumbs up. “You were reacting to spawns before I even knew they were there.” She laughed. “I’d accuse you of hacking. Except, y’know, that applies to all of us these days.”

“Wouldn’t it be possible to upgrade the Raid simulation?” Dee asked. “It appears to be rather old.”

“People have talked about it,” Zee said. “But the code base is pretty deeply encrypted. Nobody knows the original designer, even if they’re still around. I don’t think there’s anyone alive that could start the thing from scratch.”

“Perhaps,” Dee said. Her logout timer abruptly appeared over her head. “I will message you again soon.”

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