Delilah’s Reasons, Part 3

“I see,” Dee said. “I understand now.” Her avatar turned to look at Jet.

“Um. What?” Jet asked.

“Explain to the dimwits, please?” Gee added.

“It is a simple situation,” the other Dee said. Her voice continued to echo and warble oddly. Ace couldn’t help but think it was designed just to be unsettling. It was successful.

“The Raid simulation was designed to add an unpredictable, ever-evolving element to its core infiltration protocols,” Dee said. “Something that all fixed defenses have struggled to match. Thus, my counterpart has come to an obvious conclusion. It needs a human on its side.”

“Precisely,” Creepy-Dee said.

Jet barked out a laugh. “Nice theory and all, but I’m kind of on these guys side. Friends, right? Even this Dee here. She’s at least not as creepy.”

“You have yet to hear my offer,” Creepy-Dee said.

Ace’s speakers went silent. So did all the others, guessing by the random emotes of exasperation being thrown around. Save for Gee, who simply presented a middle finger down the hallway. What the hell now? Were they going to have to try to fight without coordinating?

Several minutes passed by. It occurred to Ace only now that having a back-up text comm in the Raid sim wouldn’t have been a bad idea. But gamers never used those these days. Too much else to concentrate your hands on. She had no idea what to do now. She couldn’t just log off.

The speakers suddenly came back on with a crash like thunder. Creepy-Dee really liked to be dramatic.

“It is decided,” Creepy-Dee said.

“Sorry, guys,” Jet said. His voice was shaky. What did he mean?” His avatar turned to start walking down the hall. “Okay, Dee-Prime, or whatever you wanna be called. Let’s get this over with.” And then he vanished.