boat.JPG (35789 bytes)            The boat ride to the coast turns out to be uneventful, and the wireheads dock at a port a few miles south of LAX and they wait. They sit there motionless for three, five, ten minutes. Y.T. has had enough. She jumps onto the pier (expecting resistance and almost disappointed in finding none), and starts walking towards the airport.

            This stretch of road running adjacent to the docks is all but deserted, with mostly run-down buildings hilighting the real estate. This is why a smart-looking brick building catches her eye. It is three stories of plain brick walls with little aesthetic beauty, but its clean appearance and intact structure make it stick out like a diamond nestled in a pile of coal.

            Y.T. walks over to get a closer look when she is surprised to see a familiar little jellybean car parked outside the entrance. She is further shocked to see an even more familiar female face step out the front door, with two obvious government agents in tow. For a moment her mind can not put the picture together, like seeing the Metaverse superimposed on reality. But yes, that is her mother surrounded by Feds, far, far away from the office. yt_mom.JPG (39925 bytes)

            "Audrey, what are you doing here?" her mom begins. Y.T. is still so stunned at her mother's appearance that she forgets to reprimand her for using that name in public.

            "I was making a special delivery for RadiKS. I would ask you the same question." Y.T. is glad she hung on to Enzo's dog tags, as she has developed a habit of twirling them around her fingers while she is thinking. Her eyes nearly bug out of their sockets as she sees her mother fiddling what looks to be a similar accessory.

            "Mom, are those Uncle Enzo's dog tags?" she asks.

            "Audrey, it's time for you and I to have a little chat. Boys, do you mind giving us some privacy? Thanks."

            "Mom," Y.T. says, "I don't know what you've gotten yourself into here, but I can help. And please, call me Y.T."


Gosh, I wonder whose tags Y.T.'s mom is wearing?

Curiosity killed the cat, but not before he wound up having to read fourteen pages of Neal Stephenson plot filler. Take me to that fight between Raven and Enzo instead.