Incoming message from hub 24
From: Cylink regional hub #24
To : Brian CY-4A5E, Wendy CY-4A01
Data: Katherine CY-50FE absconded voluntarily with enemy at 2213 today. Pursuit forced CY unit over All Saints Road node #F258E2. Node activated CY unit defence plan #3. Biological unit will terminate by 0430 unless it returns to hub or active node before 0300. No tracking data available after node #F258E2. Report data concerning CY-50FE.
From: Wendy CY-4A01
To : Cylink regional hub #24
Data: Katherine CY-50FE left home node at 1703 on bicycle. She has been avoiding contact with 4A01 and 4A5E recently: assumed teenage angst. Location unknown, will report if seen. No data in 50FE’s room.
Brian handed Wendy a clean plate to dry. They both hesitated for a moment when the download came in. Wendy sent the reply and, somewhat mechanically, dried the plate. The washing up carried on uninterrupted.
Later, as the couple got ready for bed, Brian pretended not to notice the solitary tear rolling slowly down his wife’s cheek.