It wasn’t what Anne had expected.
If you’d asked, she couldn’t have told you exactly what she’d expected. But whatever it was that she’d been expecting, she was certain that this wasn’t it.
There weren’t any supercomputers around. No noticeable security system or even guard dog. The place seemed normal — which made it vulnerable.
The vestibule opened into the living room, where a lady was watching sports.
“This is a party?” Anne asked.
“Yeah,” David said. “Why?”
“Doesn’t seem…” In that moment, Anne realized that she didn’t really know what she was talking about. She didn’t get invited to many parties, you see. Being the chick who built the giant death mech had put a bit of a damper on the whole ‘having friends’ thing.
But still, it all just looked so normal.
“We’ve got booze, weed, and as soon as the game is over I’m going to turn on obnoxiously loud music. So yeah, it’s a party,” the lady sitting on the couch said. “Mud,” she said, raising her hand up to shake Anne’s.
Mud’s hand was big, like the rest of her: the size came half from muscle and half from fat. Either way, Anne knew she could kick ass. Anne’s, specifically.
“Your friend’s cheeky,” Jeanine said, giving Anne the once-over.
“What’s–” Anne began to say.
But David said, “Jeanine, would you check on Marja?”
Jeanine sighed. “Sure.”
She walked out of the room, leaving Anne, David, and Mud.
“What do you do?” Anne asked Mud.
“Whatever I need to to kick your ass,” she said, not taking her eyes off the television screen.
“Charming,” Anne said.
“Ricky still hasn’t called?” David asked.
“No.” Mud took a sip of beer.
“That’s strange,” David said. “Not like him.”
“Yeah.” Anne brushed her fingers through her short red hair. “Strange.”