Bad Timing

Bzzt. Bzzt.

Seriously? This has better be damn important. The temp holding up Jet’s job for the time being had a bad habit of bothering me for the stupidest things. Didn’t the agency say they knew this job? I turned to Jet.

“So do we just ignore her this time?” I asked. We were sitting in a partly-disassembled pile of server. All the components were still running, with dozens of probes and portable monitors tracking the intercommunications. I don’t thing it’s bragging to say that the CSO would pay a lot just for the plans to the kind of equipment we were using. There’s a reason Persephone is considered the bleeding edge of computing.

“Probably,” Jet said, grinning. He was head-down over a terminal, running some sort of counterpoint encryption algorithm he’d invented. Something he’d tried in his early days of trying to figure out the Raid sim. It’s apparently a rite of passage.

Bzzt. Bzzt. Bzzt. Bzzt. Bzzt.

I sighed and set aside my terminals, disentangling myself from a cascade of wires. That was one more bzzt than she’d done before. Might be something important. Like a lunch order or something.

That’s when the door to the server room slammed open. Not just the outer lock, but all three. The seal breached and alarms started going off everywhere. What the hell?

I looked out through the red strobes and outpouring fog of condensing gases. There were at least a dozen men there, all in CSO-standard black. One of them looked familiar. The one in front, though, I definitely knew. Commission Slaiton, out from his iron tower. And he looked seriously pissed.

“Corporate Head Hellard,” Slaiton announced, holding up a pad. “Your corporate sovereignty has been revoked for the duration of this investigation. All servers are under warrant for inspection by the CSO.”