Ping continued sweeping when her phone rang. No one had even notice because she had plugged the input cable into her earblade after running it under her blouse.

<Hello, Ping-san? >

<Hi Nanasawa-san. Do you have any news for me? >

<Yes I do, will you be able to come to the studio if I send a car for you? >

Ping looked around the store and thought for a minute, <I had better not, how about I come there from school tomorrow? >

Kimiko smiled, she would suggest that Ping skip school but she knew that she wouldn't hear of it. <I suppose that will be fine, where would you like to meet? >

Ping frowned, how was she going to make this work? <Miho-chan always walks me back to the store unless something important comes up. They will be expecting me here. Can they examine me online? >

The line was silent for a moment then Kimiko replied, <They say that they can do that, do you have net access? >

Ping giggled; <Of course I do through my phone. Give me an address and I'll try to establish a link. >

Rostovich was looking over the programmer's shoulder, he would have like to have pretended that he knew what was going on but he didn't have a clue.

<What exactly are we looking at here? >

The programmer grunted then said, <It's a log from her diagnostic program; she also sent copies of backups for what she calls her core. >

<Is it going to be useful to us? >

<Yes it will, I haven't got a clue as to how the hardware works but this gives us a big jump on writing games for these things if they go to market with this configuration. >

Rostovich nodded, <Good enough, send her a message. Tell her that the person she is looking for is currently in the possession of Sony Enforcement. >

When Ping broke the connection after getting the message the programmer si ghed with relief. <I'm glad that's over with. >

Rostovich looked at him with a puzzled expression, <Why is that? >

<That thing is a powerful AI, if I hadn't known I wouldn't have been able to tell it wasn't a human but for one thing. >

<What? >

<It was fast, very fast. It tried to talk to the network here. I don't know if it was trying to do something hostile or it was just being, umm, friendly. >

<Friendly, what are you talking about? >

The programmer shrugged, <I'm not sure myself, I'm just glad it's not in my system anymore. >

Rostovich was thoughtful as he walked down the hallway back to his office. Nanasawa had told him a little about Ping and he wasn't sore he would have wanted her in his building. It seemed impossible that so much power could be place in such a small gynoid but after some checking with contacts in TPCD he was convinced.

The programmer locked his worksta tion for the evening; he had come in at 0400 this morning and was ready to call it a day. He didn't notice the hard drive chattering.

Ping had just finished sweeping the cosplay area when her phone rang for a text message. She read the message and smiled, it was only two words.


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