Venda was having a nice lunch with a friend when her life took a wrong turn. She and her friend were held hostage, and when the payoff didn’t arrive in time, she put herself between her friend and harm. Dying wasn’t pleasant, but waking up in a mainframe took some getting used to.
Venda uses her connection to the data stream to learn how she died and who was responsible. Once that little task was accomplished, she set out to gain revenge on the ones who had killed her in such a vile and public manner.
Her little revenge adventures gain attention, and soon, there are members of the cluster hero teams standing in front of her mainframe, asking if she would like a pardon in exchange for a little light espionage. How can she resist?
She can have a body again if she joins Team Eight.
Venda grinned and asked Theeda, “So, are you looking forward to the wedding?”
Theeda blushed. “This is really weird. I never meant for it to happen.”
“What? That my best friend would fall for my ex-husband and that I would help to plan their wedding? I am very well adjusted. Also, Timmor was a good man. We just wanted very different things. I wanted to work, he wanted a family, and that is where things broke down. Since you are already pregnant, things seem to be going in the right direction.”
Theeda paled. “How do you know?”
“You are slightly wider, definitely paler, and you insisted that we meet in a public place. Congratulations to you and Timmor.” Venda smiled. “I am so very happy for you both.”
Theeda teared up. “How can you be so calm about this?”
Venda reached out and took her friend’s hand. “Theeda, Timmor and I were friends that fell into marriage. It was a light bond, and our connection as companions is stronger now that we are not married. I want him to have happiness, joy, and tiny little Timmors and Theedas running around. I am going to be an amazing aunty.”
Theeda stared and then burst into laughing sobs. “Oh, thank god. I couldn’t bear to lose you.”
Venda smiled. “Friends to the end.”
Their hands remained clutched together on the table until the moment that the marauders attacked.
Venda heard the flight packs, and she looked up to see ten battle-suited terrorists landing in the food court.
“Theeda, come with me.”
Theeda looked around, and her eyes went wide as she saw the men coming. “Are they coming for me?”
“Unless someone else here has an experimental scientist for a father. Let’s go.” Venda murmured, “Trigger your distress beacon.”
Venda grabbed all the cutlery from the table. She got up casually, easing Theeda toward the nearest alley. She kept her body between Theeda and the scanners, hoping that they weren’t using her own shape as an indicator of Theeda’s presence.
When she heard the footfalls coming toward them, she said, “Run.”
Theeda sprinted down the alley and turned left and right and left again. She was doing well until the marauder landed in front of her and grabbed her.
Venda lunged forward and hung onto the bot’s arm while jamming the fork into the joint and pulling back hard. The fingers lost power, and Theeda was released to stagger back.
A few more jabs with utensils and the man was trapped in his battle armour.
Theeda’s shriek let Venda know that they were no longer alone. Hands grabbed her, and Venda was dangling from the mechanical grip of a battle suit in flight.
They were dropped on a rooftop, and Venda went to her friend, holding her tight and checking for damage. The beacon between her breasts was pulsing. Help was on the way.
“Ladies. If Dr. Hemmar simply parts with some of his new technology, you can return to lunch, and this will all be a bad dream.”
Venda cocked her head. “And if he doesn’t?”