Maze of Twisty Passages, Part 2

Now that Dee was doing whatever she was doing, Ace could see the maze shifting around them. The group was following her directions: left, right, sometimes up or down. It seemed to be reacting with a purpose. Probably an intelligence, from what Dee had told them. Ace had to get up and turn all the lights on. It was seriously starting to creep her out.

She had been pondering the implications of everything Dee had told them. Apparently self-aware programming, something like a real AI? Which included Dee herself, if she was to be believed. For now, Ace was just telling herself this was a really cool run. Which it was. She’d think about the implications of all this later.

And the urgent, do-or-die deadline on the whole thing? It just made a good story. Added some tension. Nothing really at stake. Just like any other Raid.

A deep thrumming startled her, vibrating her floor with the bass. It sounded like a roar or a moan, resonating from untold depths in the earth, or maybe an ocean. Nothing about it made her feel less creeped.

“I’m guessing this is working?” Ace asked.

“Looks like,” Zee said. “Dee’s changing all sorts of colors but seems to be getting brighter, too. And I guess she knows what to do with the information. Somehow.”

“You all did hear that, right?” Ace asked.

“Um, no,” Gee said. His voice was shaky. Nerves? Or just too many stims?

“All quiet here,” Zee said.

El shook his avatar’s head.

“Well I heard something,” Ace said. “I think something’s -”

Everything on the screen suddenly splintered and her speakers roared and whined at their limits. The image was suddenly nothing but writhing colors and shapes. In the midst of it, things that were maybe eyeballs and tentacles.

But her toolbar was still up. Her group list showed the others on and good to go.

Time to rock.

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