Rudely Awakened

Bzzt. Bzzt. Bzzt.

I woke up slowly, blearily, and with the vicious beginning of a hangover. How long had I been out? And why was my alarm clock using such an annoying sound? I fumbled around trying to snooze it.

It was probably five minutes before I realized it wasn’t my alarm. But my terminals were in other rooms. I kept them out of here specifically to keep from being bothered while I slept. Wait…

The buzz was coming from the old telecom by the door. I had disabled the damn thing within days of moving in. If I was in this room, I did not want to be bothered by anyone or anything. So much for that.

I launched myself out of bed with a burst of anger and slammed a fist onto the ‘answer’ button.

“Who the hell is it?” I asked. My brain was still reconstructing the scenario in which I had fallen asleep, otherwise I might have been less angry. Or at least more genuinely curious.

“Um,” said the caller. “Is this Hellard? I’m trying to -” The voice was young, female, and cheerful enough to put me on edge.

“Yeah, it’s him. Me. Whatever. Now can I ask why you woke me up?” At this point, sense was starting to trickle back in. Largely with a vague sense of dread that things weren’t normal.

“This is Sat – er, Secminion Satasha of the CSO,” the caller said. “We kind of have a situation and we wanted to, maybe, get you in the loop?”

Oh, right. That.