Satasha’s Gambit, Part 2

“A-25 signing in,” Ace said. It was pure habit. She was the first one here. A few minutes early, as seemed right for her role in all this.

“J-33 signing in,” Jet said as his avatar materialized. Also on edge. Also early. “Hey, Ace.”

“Glad you’re on the right side again,” Ace said. She hoped she put enough fun in it. It wasn’t clear how much hurt he’d been through over the weird thing with Dee-Prime.

“More than you know,” Jet replied. He sounded enthusiastic. More like Gee than himself. Guess there were all sorts of new things going on. “So when do we roll?”

“Time’s just about right,” Ace replied. “We should be seeing folks soon…” She trailed off into silence punctuated by a gulp of really bad, really strong coffee.

The silence lasted another five minutes. Nobody else had logged in.

Five more. Ace’s coffee was gone and she was bouncing her leg. What had she expected? Most of these folks had no wire in this. They were off sleeping, working, living their lives, whatever. What did Dee mean to them, anyway?

“I don’t know if this is going to -” Ace started.

“G-28 signing in.”

“L-91 signing in.”

“X-19 signing in.”

“Z-76 signing in.”

“U-89 signing in.”

“I-11 signing in. H-22 signing in. O-9 signing in. F-24 signing in. W-5 signing in. Z-15 signing…”

The voices began to run over each other until it was an indistinguishable rumble. Ace’s screen filled up with avatars and remote chat-probes. More than she’d ever seen in her life. More Raiders than she’d even known existed.

Hell. This was going to be a fun night.