“Of all the time to lag! I really ought to yell at my service provider”, Save said angrily as she entered the room. “First I miss my tram, and then I run into the ProxI Expo. No! I do not want to try on your latest skins. No! I do not want to buy a reskinned dress for 150 bucks.” She paused and noticed how silent it was; the club was empty. Well, it was usually empty, but she at least saw Timbre. He was a Vegetable, what else did he have to do?

“Hello – anyone there?” She moved to the back of the lounge, glancing around at the various bottles and glasses at the bar. The chairs were stacked up on the many tables, and the displays were black. It was silent, all except for her steps, and a faint, steady beat; it was one of Timbre’s classics, way before his digital imprisonment. She did not know the full story, all she knew was that he had a bad accident, and that it left him in even worse shape. She stopped, turning to a small door; the sound of humming came from the other side. She approached the door and knocked loudly.

“Earth to Timbre, Earth to Timbre. Are you there?” There was an abrupt stop to the humming, followed by the sound of footsteps. She stepped back as the door opened, looking at the taller man who exited. Timbre stood about half a foot higher than Save, with a lean build, darker skin and a black beard. His bald head reflected the light, and his copper-hued eyes, although gentle, could bore right through you. He tiredly smiled to her, and motioned for her to come inside.

“Sorry about that. This new project is getting to me. It is my first album in a while, You must know the stress”, he said. He grabbed a cup of liquid from the table beside him; it looked like green tea. He took a sip, and placed a pair of headphones around his neck. The virtual monitor before him shifted as he got comfortable. “So, what brings you here? You usually do not want to hang out.” He asked, absently dusting off some crumbs from black shirt, and gray cargos.

“I was looking for Shift, but, a small break from the outside world is not so bad. Especially after a merchant tries to sell you crap. It is amazing how much they up the price on a few bits of data. I could do better.” Timbre laughed lightly and nodded.

“I wouldn’t know, I have been here for the past few days. Work is about all I got left, it keeps the mind strong”, he said in mock laughter. “So. Tell me more.”

“I sent you a copy of the files. But, uh, I found this woman who had a job. Apparently a contact of hers suggested me” she said, going into the full details. He nodded as he listened, checking over the package he received.

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