Ulla Vangelis – Leslie
Reggie Carlisle – John (Beta)
Trae Mowaka- Jesse
Jack Nash – John (Prime)
GM- Tod Foley
Trae turns and bangs on the RV loud enough to wake everyone inside. “Mister Nash,” he says, “we are in danger. There is a Strike Team in the area.” Opening a visual to Nash, Trae taps his wrist to indicate the six violet blades of his tattoo. The drone slowly descends below the treeline. There’s a very tense minute while nothing happens.
Reggie decides to tries astral-projecting himself out to do some recon. A little transparent ghostly image of Baby Reggie moves out into the surrounding forest, searching for this alleged strike team, and finding nothing but the sleek black drone. It’s flashing a digital pattern on its external screen: SKULL SKULL HALO. Reggies snaps back to his body in the jar and tells Trae what he’s seen.
Trae thinks for a bit, and then sends his own drone up, moving it out to hover over the CRABB drone in the woods. Using the onboard lasers, he fires a series of blasts into the ground just ahead of it: DASH DOT DASH DASH.
The other drone rises and tips its wings left then right, then turns and goes back to the city. Trae follows along with his smaller drone as far as he can. Trae sits silently for a while. “Apologies,” he finally says, “We are NOT in danger.” He explains what happened: his klatch (or a version of it) exists in this reality, and they’ve picked up his signal somehow. “Skull Skull Halo” is code for “Is that you? Identify.” Trae’s response was affirmative, and the wing-dip meant “Acknowledged.”
Nash asks “Would they help us?” Trae guesses that if nothing else, their existence might make it easier to get into the city. After that, it’s anybody’s guess. There’s a whole round of theorizing about what they might do, or whether this affects their plans to head toward the power plant, and eventually they decide to stick to the original plan. No matter what CRABB and Wolfram are up to, these kids would be safer with the Clan.
It’s time for Ulla’s watch, and Trae stands outside until she comes out. Trae asks Ulla if she would let him insert a backdoor in her neurocomputer that could be used by his drone in case of emergency. Ulla has to think about this. “You’re a bit frightening,” she says, “and I don’t frighten easily.” Trae tries to explain that he was raised to be connected, mentally, with others like himself, but says if Ulla doesn’t wish to do that, he understands. “Do you miss it?” she asks. He changes the topic. Finally she looks at him and touches his arm reassuringly. “Okay,” she says. “I’ll trust you.”
They face each other, Ulla opening up her defenses and Trae initiating a connection – but not before both of them secretly set up secret failsafe sequences. Trae ensures that the connection can only be accessed from one direction; he doesn’t want Ulla in his head.
When the connection opens up, it hits Trae like a lightning bolt of pure multidimensional information, coming at him from more angles than his DNI system was designed to handle. Trae’s system is powerful and super fast, but Ulla’s is off the charts. Ulla catches a glimpse of something no one else on the team has ever seen: a look of fear crossing Trae’s face. He barely manages to secure his own processor from overload as he inserts his access function, and cuts the line.
His eyes dim again as he catches his breath. Ulla checks to make sure he’s alright, then looks at him with a slight smirk. “Yeah,” she says. “It’s a little scary in here.”
Trae stands up silently, and walks back inside without a word.
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