Fair Warning

“I appreciate your giving the tour,” I said. Slaiton and I were walking back slowly to the server room we’d left Satasha in. The man had been adamant at keeping an eye on both of us. For the first half hour, at least. Once the hour mark hit and Satasha was still working, I convinced him it would do us both good to stretch our legs.

And damn, the CSO server farms were big. This was just a single third-tier backup and it had taken us most of an hour to walk the thing. Hopefully enough time for Satasha to finish whatever her plan was. If she had one. She hadn’t been clear on that point.

“There was no way I was going to let you just walk around here alone, Hellard,” Slaiton said. “I think I can at least trust my own employees. CSO vetting is pretty strict. Unlike corporate heads.”

I forced a congenial laugh. “I’m sure your minion is doing just fine, Commissioner,” I said. I had a lifetime of experience in biting my tongue.

The door to the server room slid open. Satasha was still here, holding a data pad. Sweat was matting her violet hair. She glanced sidelong at us several times as we came in. Probably trying to look busy.

“I have a report for you, sir,” she said to me, walking straight past Slaiton. I’m sure he was annoyed, but legally I had first access right to the security report. I smiled and took the pad.

Plan in place. Something is about to happen that is going to make the Commissioner really, really mad. Really. Hopefully won’t trace to us. Can’t be sure. Be prepared to improvise.

Wasn’t I always?