“Hold up,” Aurelio raised his hands in a ‘whoa’ gesture. “Say that again, so you can hear what it sounds like.” Jenny shook her head.
“Oh come on,” she said. “We both know what Dana was capable of. Is this really that surprising?”
“But, Satan? THE devil himself is real.. and he gave Dana Sharp a project?” Jenny nodded. “Then…,” Aury grinned. “…is she in Hell? Oh man, I hope she is.” Jenny shrugged.
“No idea, but I’d say that’s a good guess. Anyway, let me finish,” Jenny took a deep breath and stared into Aurelio’s coffee-brown eyes. “I figured out how to do it.”
“Do what?” Aurelio’s brown eyes narrowed.
“The project she was working on. I know how to finish it.”
“Do you want to finish something for Satan?” Jenny nodded with a broad grin.
“She has two Uniques, both Sols, in her lab that have never been born into a body. The project’s goal is to birth both of them in the same universe.
“I know you’re smarter than she was, but how do you have it figured out after a couple of weeks when Dana couldn’t?” Aury asked. Then his eyes widened as he realized another possibility. “How do we know she’s actually dead, and not getting you to finish her work from the shadows?”
“The answer was at the tournament. I’m sure she realized it; if she was still alive she’d have done it herself.”
“The tournament?” Aurelio asked. “What’s the answer then?”
“Wonder,” Jenny smiled.
“Wonder? The Calavera from CyberRiot?” She nodded eagerly.
“She’s a Unique born naturally in the AlterNet. She let me run some tests, and I’m pretty sure I can duplicate the process that gave her consciousness using the two souls…” Jenny paused and met Aurelio’s eyes again. “…with your help. And, Oren’s.”
“Hah, good luck with that; no one’s seen Oren since the tournament. What do you need from me?”
“My badge? What badge?”
“You better still have it!” Jenny reached out and gave Aury a gentle shake. “Your mod badge, from when you worked for Dana. She has a private office in her lab that I can’t access without mod priveledges. I’m sure it’s full of helpful info, maybe even some leads on Oren. She always kept a close watch on him.”
“GUYS!” a sudden shout made Jenny and Aurelio jump in their seats. They turned to find a tall, pale teenager in black clothes; he sported a prominent widow’s peak. Then, Jenny turned to stick her tongue out at Aury before she greeted the newcomer.
“OREN!” she shouted using the same tone he did then followed it up with a giggle.
“Great news,” Oren said; he stood up straighter and puffed out his chest. “I’m celebrating my 18th birthday by having a derby tournament. I want you guys in it: say yes.” Aury and Jenny’s different answers came out at the same time.
“No,” Aury said.
“Yeah!” Jenny jumped out of the couch to hug Oren.
“Great! Help me spread the word: the winning team gets their own server.”
“No,” Aury repeated.
“Yeah yeah, Jenny already said yes. This is gonna be awesome!” Oren waved his hand at the air to open a tall black portal. “I can’t wait to tell my mom I have friends!” he jumped through the portal; it closed behind him leaving Aury and Jenny alone again.
“His mom?” Aury asked. “Did we know he had a mom? I mean, of course he has one but do you know who she is?” Jenny shook her head and sat down next to Aury again.
“No, but if you find your badge, I”ll bet Dana knew.”