First Timer, Part 2

“D-99 signing in.” The synthetic voice sounded a little more natural, more fluid today. Ace wondered if Dee was refining the program.

“Hey, Dee,” Ex said. His voice was forced casual. He didn’t want to be the first to broach the subject.

Zee had no such compunctions. “So you want to tell us about the attach you sent out?”

“It’s from me,” Dee replied. “It’s clean.”

“We know that,” Ace said. “We all scanned it.” She made a show of glancing around at the others. “I assume. We’re not dumb.”

“It’s a small install. Something I wrote,” Dee said. “I thought you all might like it.”

The group hesitated as one. They hadn’t known Dee that long. She seemed trustworthy, but a couple of Raids wasn’t really enough to know someone fully. On the other hand, what was the harm? Every one of them was running a backed up VM. The scans came clean. If you couldn’t trust Samware AV, then who could you trust?”

“Sure, why not,” Zee said. It was his turn to force the casualness. “Be right back.”

One by one, their avatars blinked out. Ace realized she was the last one. With a shrug, she ran the installer. It requested to close the Raid client, which she did. The progress bar went by super fast. Small install, indeed.

There weren’t any new executables. No new options anywhere. Probably some wallpaper or screensaver. Easiest to just ask Dee. Ace logged back in to find the others already back.

“Okay, do you didn’t blow our terms,” Ace said. “What did you write for us?”

“You all have it installed?” Dee asked. The group threw out a collection of nod and thumbs up emotes. “Excellent. Let me just enable the new thread and…”

The screen blacked out for a moment. Slowly, the image of the avatars and the virtual room began to rebuild itself. The colors were brighter. Textures sharper. Higher poly count all around.

Holy crap.

“Dee,” Zee said, his voice full of wonder. “Did you hack the sim?”