Pingback, Part 2

Ace raced through the long-forgotten panic routine she’d put together years ago. She had it written down somewhere. Had bits of it memorized. When she’d started all this, she would practice weekly. But nothing ever happened with the Raid sim. It was too secure, right?

Oh, god. Where was her flee kit? What had she been thinking of, running Raids from inside the CSO policing radius? Just to get faster ping and crow about victory. And now she had maybe five minutes before her door got kicked in.

Screw the flee kit. She’d pick stuff up on the way. No-Man credit chip in her pocket had enough on it to get basics. Burn the rig on the way out. Ace was halfway through the routine when her phone rang. She nearly threw it out the window in a panic. Some little bit of hope made her open the line. She didn’t say anything. Just waited.

“Ace,” said Dee’s familiar voice. “I understand the CSO has managed to triangle-trace due to the high Raid traffic. I’m sorry.”

“Dee?” Ace said. “You’re okay? Did it work?”

“Better than expected. I would like to thank you. I will send you an address. Please come as soon as you can.”

“I’m kind of on the run here. I don’t think I can stop -” Ace began.

“There may be a solution. Come to the address and see. I do still recommend you scrap your terminal.” Her phone popped a message with a local address. Still in-city, but a ways out from CSO radius.

“No way I wouldn’t,” Ace said. “I’ll trust you the rest of the way.”

She hung up then whispered to herself. “Please be right.”