Satasha’s Gambit

Ace had only been asleep a few hours when the emergency tone on her phone started going off. Which was funny, seeing as she was pretty sure she had disabled it. Emergencies were one thing, but those Raids had been exhausting!

She fumbled around in the dark to turn it off, but just wound up knocking it onto the floor. Great.

“Lights,” she said. The room lit up obligingly. One of the few minor luxuries she had in her little loft. The phone was still buzzing and emitting its piercing tone. Funny. It was actually an incoming call. Weird glitch. Also, she never got voice calls. She hit the button for speaker mode.

“Hullo?” she grunted.

“Um. Hello. Is this designation A-25 I’m speaking to?”

Crap! How the hell had someone traced her? Raid links were proxied all to hell. Thing is, this didn’t seem like an official call. The speaker was young, girlish-sounding, and very uncertain. Also, if it had been the corps they would have just bashed in Ace’s door and hauled her away.

“Who’s doing the asking?”

“I’m – er – I’m Satasha Morgan. I work for – well, I’m currently…” The girl trailed off, then spoke all in a rush. “I’m trying to help Dee and I really, really need your help and the help of anyone you can contact in the next hour or so.”

Wait – this was that voice from the sim! God, Ace had been hoping that the whole thing was a weird Raid spawn or something. Some storyline somebody had written up. But now a person was calling her? She guessed it could still be a hoax, but far less likely now.

“Okay. I’ll bite. We’re still helping Dee. I got kicked out of her sim variant. Haven’t heard anything from her since. The rest of us have all just crashed. We ran pretty hard back there.”

“I know,” Satasha said. “That’s why we need you. All of you. Everyone you know that Raids. Everyone they know, too.”

Ace punched a button on her archaic coffee maker, hoping it would still work. Stims were out, but caffeine was the next best thing. “What do you need us for?”

“We’re going to do something a little risky,” Satasha said. “And we need a distraction.”

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