Red Alert 2

After another minute, Duran tried reconnecting to his personal computer.  His hard drive was almost full now, but his computer had successfully loaded up the new software.  A single prompt appeared in the air in front of him, superimposed over his vision.  It was just an empty line, waiting to be filled with a password.

Reaching into the air in front of him, a keyboard materialized in a flash of orange light.  The fingers in his gloves tingled as he touched the keys, sending little electric shocks to mimic actually touching something.  Duran typed in “Little Green Men.”  It was the name of the bar where he’d seen Yellow for the second time.  Their first date.

Dots filled in the password box as he typed.  When he was finished, the keyboard disappeared.  Nothing happened.  Duran reached forward again, trying to summon the keyboard, but it didn’t appear.  Maybe he’d done something wrong.

Then the orange box exploded into a geometric fireworks display.  Dozens of tiny boxes shot out, each one exploding again and sending off two or three more braches.  Everything was connected by a glimmering web of yellow lines.  Duran touched one of the boxes.  Names appeared next to pictures.  He touched another box, and another.  The entire resistance network was on here, along with dedicated encrypted channels to contact them.  No wonder Yellow hadn’t wanted this to fall into enemy hands.

Duran saw familiar faces.  He knew some of them from his short stint in the resistance.  Now they were the old guard, the leaders and the middle management.  Hopefully they’d remember him, and forget that he’d abandoned the cause.

Pulling a pair of glasses out of his pocket, he tossed them to Blackstone.  The old man caught them and put them on.  With a couple taps of his fingers and a flick of his wrist, Duran shared Yellow’s program with him.

“Here, help me sort through this.”

“Wow,” Blackstone said.  “This list contains everyone I know in the resistance, and then some.”

“We need to contact the cell leaders, especially those around Lewisnclarke.  Ares Corp. has a base there.”

“Why there?  Don’t they have other bases?” Blackstone asked.

“Yeah, but see that bright yellow square there?”  Duran clicked on it to blow up the details.  Yellow’s face appeared, and a location.  “The Lewisnclarke base is their biggest, and it’s also the closest to where Yellow was.  They must’ve taken her there.”

“You hope,” Blackstone said.  “You don’t even know if she was taken alive.”

“It’s a risk we’ll have to take.  Now let’s get to work.  Start with the people you know.  I’ll do the same.”

Duran and Blackstone scooped up all the wireless bandwidth in Gent’s bar and starting making calls.  Duran braced himself.  Slicing robots in half was easier than repairing burned bridges, but he didn’t have a choice.  The going was slow at first, but once he convinced a couple of his old contacts, they helped sway others.  The resistance was split right down the middle.  Duran hoped they’d cobbled enough people together to hit Ares where it hurt—and save Yellow in the process.

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