"That's sweet of you to offer, Y.T.," her mom says, "but these Feds work for me. Don't you boys?" The two agents turn slightly and give an almost imperceptible nod. That is about as personal as they will ever get.
"Then what's going on here?" Y.T. asks.
"Well, all this time I've been telling you about my job in Fedland I wasn't being one hundred percent honest with you. I do work for the government, but as an undercover agent, not for the EBGOC. That's just my cover; do you understand so far?"
"Yes," Y.T. says.
"Much of my time is spent tracking criminal hackers in the Metaverse," she continues, "so that for the most part I stay in Fedland at my normal workstation. Everyone there still thinks I'm just an applications programmer, working on unnamed "projects" just like everyone else near the bottom of the food chain.
"Sometimes, however, I do more field work, and lately I have been consumed with the case of a man I now know you are familiar with: L. Bob Rife."
"Wow. Six degrees of separation and all, huh?" Y.T. says.
"Fewer than six. I feel I must take this opportunity to let you know that we have been following Rife and the activity on the Raft very, very closely, and that I am well aware of all your activities."
Y.T. swallows hard. "All?"
"Yes, all, Y.T. When this is all over, you and I are going to have a serious sit-down about this Raven fellow. I will not have my only child cavorting around with a murderous psychopath intent on bombing the U.S.A. You, my dear, are grounded!"
"Aw, Mom!"Y.T. pleads.
"I mean it, Audrey. No video games for a month. And the only deliveries you will be making will be delivering your homework to class every morning. Do I make myself clear?"
"Good. As for these tags I'm wearing, yes, they do belong to Enzo. I have been- um - working very closely with Enzo on this Rife case, and the Mafia has been very cooperative thus far in helping the Feds. But...there's more."
"You know," Y.T. says, "I've been wondering about why Uncle Enzo has been taking such a special intrest in me."
"Well, you might want to start thinking of him as someone other than an Uncle."
"What do you mean?"
"Y.T. please, mother."
"Fine, Y.T. - Enzo is your father."
"It's true. Sixteen years ago I was on a covert ops mission to infiltrate the Mafia, and my deep cover was a little too deep. I fell in love with a young, idealistic entrepreneur with a craving for pepperoni, and we became inseparable. Before I knew it, I was with child. We could never really get married, of course, and the relationship suffered when I busted eight of his superiors. On the positive side, that led to rapid upward mobility for Enzo. He has always kept an eye on you, even though we can rarely see each other. He loves you very much, Y.T."
Y.T. does not know what to say. In a way, she always knew Enzo was her father, and it all makes sense. Still, it has been too crazy a day to let anything sink in for awhile.
"Listen, Y.T." her mother says, her finger pressed to an obvious transmitter in her ear. Your father and Raven are right now engaged in a bitter duel at LAX. Blood has been shed and we don't have much time. Let's go!"
Please continue reading, and head for LAX.