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Title: Defcon Z Author: Matt W

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  • eris
    Re: Title: Defcon Z Author: Matt Wood

    Originally posted by HighWiz View Post
    If only we still "dressed up" for the B&W Ball...

    Originally posted by AlxRogan View Post
    All you would have to do is gain about 30 pounds ;)
    Fat suit. Or even just some judicious padding. I assume you are referring to that aging factor? I have a feeling Wiz will be fit and trim in his coffin.

    Leave a comment:

  • AlxRogan
    Re: Title: Defcon Z Author: Matt Wood

    Originally posted by HighWiz View Post
    If only we still "dressed up" for the B&W Ball...
    All you would have to do is gain about 30 pounds ;)

    Leave a comment:

  • HighWiz
    Re: Title: Defcon Z Author: Matt Wood

    Originally posted by eris View Post
    Halloween costume material for sure, regardless of contest outcome.
    If only we still "dressed up" for the B&W Ball...

    Leave a comment:

  • eris
    Re: Title: Defcon Z Author: Matt Wood

    Originally posted by HighWiz View Post
    This story made me laugh out loud.

    Halloween costume material for sure, regardless of contest outcome.

    Leave a comment:

  • HighWiz
    Re: Title: Defcon Z Author: Matt Wood

    This story made me laugh out loud.

    Leave a comment:

  • eris
    Re: Title: Defcon Z Author: Matt Wood

    Wise advice from DC 101 as usual, don't be a dick.

    Good Luck!

    Leave a comment:

  • eris
    started a topic Title: Defcon Z Author: Matt W

    Title: Defcon Z Author: Matt W

    Cat opened her eyes slowly. Everything was blurry, smoke everywhere. Her ears were ringing, but she could still hear moans from the survivors. She tried to focus on her surroundings. Smoke, blood, and bodies were everywhere, strewn across the massive room. She tried to push herself up, but as she put pressure on her arm, pain shot through her right wrist. It was shattered. Then fear coursed through her when she couldn’t see her sister anywhere. “Where’s Maggie? Maggie!” she screamed. Her eyes were burning from smoke and tears.

    Maggie, her 18 year old sister, was coming with Cat to her first hacker conference. Cat had been coming to Defcon for the last five years and her little sister had been begging to come since she was 14. They had flown out to Las Vegas together just yesterday to attend Defcon 42. It was supposed to be the biggest, most exciting Defcon conference yet. They thought it was going to be the perfect weekend.

    It started out just as they’d planned. The flight was smooth all the way from New York. They touched down at McCarran International Airport right on time and caught a taxi to their hotel, a new mega-casino and resort called the Treveno. As they rode down the Strip on the way to the hotel, Maggie was giddy with excitement. She’d never been to Las Vegas or a hacker conference before.

    Cat and Maggie were checking in when the heads up display on Cat’s glasses lit up, “Call from Dad.” She tapped the side of her glasses and answered the call, “Hey dad. What’s up?”

    “I see you guys made it to your hotel in one piece.”

    “Dad! I disabled the GPS on these things so you wouldn’t be tracking our every move.” Cat looked to her sister and rolled her eyes.

    “I know you did, kitten, but just because you and your sister are two of the best hackers of your generation doesn’t mean the old man doesn’t still have a couple tricks up his sleeve.”

    Cat tapped the side of her glasses again and saw that the built in GPS was still disabled. “You hacked the hotel didn’t you.”

    Her dad chuckled. “Guilty as charged.”

    “You know dad, just because you work at the Cyber Command doesn’t mean you have a blank check. You can still get in trouble.”

    “Says the pot to the kettle. Just promise me you’ll be careful and watch out for your sister.”

    “I’m always careful, dad. You know that. And Maggie’s a big girl. She can handle herself.” Maggie mouthed thank you to her older sister. But Cat then turns her back and whispers, “I promise dad.”

    “Thanks darlin’. Love to you and Mags. You two have a great time.”

    Cat taps the rim of her glasses once more to end the call. “Can you believe him? He’s been to a hundred of these conferences, travels around the world to god-knows-where and HE’s worried about US.”

    Maggie says, “Yeah, but you know how he is. He says he worries because he knows too much.”

    “I know, I know. ‘Ignorance is bliss.’” They both start laughing.

    “Hey Cat!”

    Cat turns to see her old mentor, the High Wizard. “Wiz! Holy shit, you look awesome! Last time I saw you, you looked like death warmed over.”

    “Yeah, well I got better.” He smiled.

    “I can see that. Hey Wiz, this is my little sister Maggie. Maggie, this is the High Wizard. He’s one of the organizers of Defcon. ” She looked at her friend. “You’ve been coming here how long?”

    “Too long.” Wiz took Maggie’s hand warmly, “Cat’s little sister? The same little monster you said hacked your ‘impenetrable fortress?’”

    Maggie beamed with pride. “The very one!”

    “Well, this is an honor. If you’re half the hacker your sister is the world is in a lot of trouble.”

    Maggie shook her head, “Oh no. I’m a white hat. Only the bad guys need to worry.”

    The High Wizard grinned, then turned his attention back to Cat. “So, are you two coming to the big demo tomorrow?”

    Cat answered, “Wouldn’t miss it. But I read up on it and it doesn’t really seem plausible. Injecting nanites into your brain stem? Seems like overkill just so you can literally ‘plug yourself in.’”

    “Oh there’s a million possibilities with this technology,” Wiz replied. You’re just reading what’s been leaked by one of their investors. This will be much more than an immersive gaming application.”

    “If you say so,” Cat said skeptically. “I just know that after working 14 hours straight, I want to unplug from everything. I don’t think I’d want little robots swarming in my head all the time.”

    The Wiz grinned again. “All right then. I have some things to attend to.” He took Maggie’s hand again, “Maggie, it was a pleasure meeting you.” He turned to her sister, “Cat, I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts after the demonstration.”

    “You know me Wiz, I’ll give you all my thoughts whether you want them or not.”

    The High Wizard nodded and walked off into the growing crowd in the lobby.

    “He seems nice,” Maggie said as she watched him disappear into the crowd.

    “Yeah, and smart as hell. Still, something seemed off.”

    “Off? Like what?”

    “Well, for one thing, the last time I saw him he was nothing but skin and bones. He’d been diagnosed with some muscular disorder. Today he looks like he was never even sick. And, I don’t know. He just seems different.”

    Maggie shrugged off her sister’s concerns. “Well, I for one am ready to go to our room. I want to shower up and get pretty for the parties tonight.”

    Cat nodded in agreement. “Yeah, you’re right. Let’s go.”

    Two mid-level hackers were sitting in their room at the Trevino, drinking beer and bragging to each other about their abilities.

    “Dude, I’m telling you, I can do it. It wouldn’t be that hard.”

    “I don’t know man. I read the encryption was unbreakable.”

    “Dude, I’ve got this new algorithm. It can break any encryption. Once I get in, it’ll be a piece of cake.”

    “Man, where’d you get this ‘algorithm?’’’

    “Dude, I’m not telling you. I’ve gotta have some secrets. But watch, tomorrow after the demo, I’ll be famous.”

    The other hacker shook his head. “Man, don’t you know if you’re a good hacker, you’re NEVER famous.”

    “Whatever dude. I’m going to blow this thing a part. You’ll see.”

    Later that night, Cat and Maggie went to the Avión Ball Room for the first of many parties that night. As they entered the double doors many heads turned as they were two of the most beautiful women in the room that night. They walked through the crowded ball room toward the bar.

    After ordering their drinks, they scanned the crowd looking for familiar faces, Cat seeing an occasional acquaintance and smiling in their direction. After a few minutes, Cat saw The High Wizard sitting at a table in the corner talking to an older gentleman, who was rather plump, gray and balding. She took Maggie’s hand and they made their way to the table.

    “Hey Wiz, seems like a good party to start the night.”

    The older hacker looked up, at first seeming irritated then smiled as he saw the two beauties. “Cat, Maggie, please join us.” Cat and Maggie sat down at the table with the two men.

    “Ladies, I’d like you to meet Dr. Erik Blystad. He’s one of the inventors of the nanotechnology that will be demonstrated tomorrow.”

    Dr. Blystad stood and took Cat’s hand. She couldn’t believe how gentle his grasp was. “Madam, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” He turned his attention to Maggie, this time taking her hand in both of his. “Miss.”

    Maggie was the first to speak, “Dr. Blystad, it’s an honor. I’ve read about your work and it’s amazing. Will you be demonstrating it live tomorrow?”

    The doctor beamed with joy. “Of course! This demonstration will show major break throughs we’ve had, not only in nanotechnology, but in physics and medicine. You won’t believe the things we’ve achieved my dear.”

    “For instance?” Cat spoke up.

    “Me,” said the High Wizard.

    Cat looked at him, confused. “You? I don’t understand.”

    Wiz smiled and stood up. “Look at me Cat. You were dead on when you said I looked like death warmed over the last time you saw me. They’d given me 3 months to live. There was no cure I was told. But I met Dr. Blystad and he started treatments with his nanobots.”

    “Wait, what? I thought these things were created so that you could interact more efficiently with technology.”

    “Ah, that was the original intent,” the Doctor interjected. “But we discovered through our work that the nanobots bond with their hosts in ways we couldn’t have imagined. They actually will rebuild damaged cells.”

    Cat and Maggie turned their attention back to Wiz. He smiled and nodded in affirmation. “I’ve never felt better, Cat. I feel 20 years younger and I can go for days without sleep. I just don’t seem to need it.”

    “That’s amazing,” Maggie spoke up. “But what are you demoing tomorrow then, and why at Defcon?”

    “Can you think of a better place?” Dr. Blystad answered. “You have some of the best minds in technology from around the world here. By introducing my nanobots to this community, it will open up even more possibilities.”

    “Or a Pandora’s box,” Cat said.

    Maggie playfully smacked Cat’s arm. “Cat, you’re always so cynical.”

    “Don’t get me wrong, the technology is amazing, and Wiz, I couldn’t be happier for you. I’m just not sure that this is the best venue to be demonstrating it.”

    The doctor half smiled and said, “I assure you madam, there is nothing to be concerned about.

    At 10 AM the next morning the room was packed. It was the largest ball room that they had at the Trevino, but it was standing room only. Luckily for Cat and Maggie, they had friends in high places, so they had a front row seat for the demonstration. Sitting in front of the stage they could see some of the latest and greatest hardware, with huge screens for the crowd to see. Both were wishing they could get their hands on the technology in front of them.

    A few minutes after 10, the High Wizard strode out on the stage. “Okay everyone, please settle down and listen up.” The crowd quickly started quieting down. “All right, I’m not going to give some long winded intro to who our featured guest is. If you’re sitting out there, you probably already know who he is. Ladies and gentlemen, Dr. Erik Blystad.”

    The crowd stood and gave a thunderous applause for the doctor as he came out on stage. The High Wizard stepped back and let the doctor wave and take a couple of bows. After a few moments, the applause started to die down and the doctor said, “Thank you. Thank you for the warm welcome. I am honored to be here today to demonstrate what I believe will be the biggest breakthrough in technology this century.”

    The doctor continued his speech, giving a brief history of the research and a 10,000 foot view of the technology involved as the two hackers sat about half way back. One was listening when he noticed the other working intently on his tablet.

    “What are you doing?”

    “You’ll see in a few minutes.”

    “Come on man. Let me see.”

    The other hacker let him glance at his tablet. “What the hell is that?”

    “I’m running the algorithm I told you about. I’m trying to crack the encryption code up there. I scanned it and there’s a mini-network connected wirelessly up there and in a couple minutes, I’ll be in it.”

    “Then what?”

    “I’m going to plant a little surprise. Nothing serious. Just a little worm that’ll show everyone I was there.”

    “Dude, are you nuts? If we get caught, we’ll get kicked out of here…or worse.”

    “Relax dude, we’re not going to get caught. We’ll be long gone by the time the figure out what I’ve done.”

    Dr. Blystad concluded his speech and said, “Now, ladies and gentlemen, what you’ve been waiting for.” The doctor took a step to the side and motioned to a chair in front of the tech sitting up on the stage. The Wiz walked casually over and sat down. The screens lit up and the crowd could see the start screen for the latest and 100th version of, “Call of Duty.”

    Cat looked at Maggie and whispered, “I knew it. Pander to the gamers first.”

    Then, the game seemed to come to life on its own. No one apparently was using a controller. The doctor spoke up. “What you see ladies and gentlemen is the High Wiz controlling this game completely with his mind, thanks to the nanotechnology we have injected into him. He can run, jump, turn, and shoot just by thinking it. Just imagine what other applications this technology can be used for.” The crowd cheered in response.

    After a few minutes of avatars running around and shooting each other on the giant screen, the game ended. Another screen came up and it appeared to be a simple terminal window. Suddenly commands started appearing on the screen. Again, the doctor spoke, “What you’re seeing now is his mind telling the computers exactly what he wants them to do, right down to the commands you see in front of you.”

    Cat and Maggie looked at each other again and Maggie whispered, “Where do I sign up? I want some of those little bitches so I can fuck some shit up.” Cat had to bite her lip to keep from bursting out laughing.

    Suddenly a troll avatar jumped up on the giant screen. Some people in the crowd started to laugh, but the doctor seemed annoyed and confused. He looked to the Wiz who was sitting motionless in the chair, just staring straight ahead. The doctor walked in front of him and snapped his fingers, but there was no response. Cat noticed the concern on the doctor’s face and how oddly bland The Wiz’s eyes looked. Almost like he was….

    Blood started dripping from his nose and eyes. The drips started to turn into a stream. The doctor leaned over and grabbed the Wiz by the shoulders, “What’s wrong with you?”

    Suddenly the blank stare turned to one of fury. A blood curdling scream came from the High Wiz as he reached up and ripped out the doctor’s throat.

    Some people screamed, some sat in stunned silence, while others started to run for the exits. An armed guard who was standing near one of the doors rushed up to the stage. He pulled out his gun as the Wiz stood and looked over the doctor’s flinching corpse.

    “Freeze right there!” the guard shouted. Wiz started walking toward the guard. “I said freeze!” The Wiz let out another wail. The guard shot. Once, twice, three times in the chest. Each shot knocked back the Wiz a foot or so, but he kept coming, unfazed by the shots. He started to run toward the guard when another shot rang out. This time the guard shot him in the forehead. The Wiz dropped to the floor.

    While others were panicking and streaming toward the doors, Cat and Maggie ran up to the stage. The guard was already kneeling by the Wiz’s body.

    “God damn. I ain’t never seen anything like that in my life,” he said and looked over to Cat and Maggie as they approached. Then Cat saw something she couldn’t believe. The Wiz’s wound to his head sealed up and stopped bleeding. His eyes suddenly opened and he gurgled a quiet growl.

    Cat and Maggie stopped in their tracks as the guard looked back down at what he thought was a corpse. The Wiz reached up and grabbed the guard by the back of the head and jerked his face down to his. He ripped into the man’s face with his teeth. The guard screamed in pain and horror as the Wiz proceeded to mangle him.

    The two women backed away slowly, horrified but unable to run. Finally Cat grabbed Maggie’s hand, “Come on!” They turned and started to run for the exit. Maggie turned her head and saw Cat’s former mentor start to rise up off the now dead security guard and set his sights on them. Maggie screamed and the women jumped off the stage to head for the nearest door.

    The crowd in the giant ball room was still substantial. There were too many people and not enough exits. Cat and Maggie ran into a wall of frightened people.

    Cat looked back to see the Wiz attacking another person. The unfortunate victim yelled and tried to fight off the former hacker turned monster, but the Wiz was too powerful and was ripping into his flesh.

    Maggie grabbed Cat’s arm and yelled, “Cat look!” She pointed toward the stage where the Wiz had killed Dr. Blystad and the security guard. The guard was standing there, his face was mostly gone, one eye dangling from its socket, but he was upright and moving down off the stage. “What the fuck!” Maggie yelled.

    The mutilated guard ran for the closest person he could see with his one good eye. He grabbed a petite girl with rainbow colored hair and tore into her with his teeth. Her friends tried to pull the bloody hulking guard off of her but he wouldn’t let go. Finally, after she went limp, he turned his attention to one of her friends. He tried to beat the guard off of him, but he seemed too strong and started ripping him apart.

    The crowd continued their panicked exit out of the few doors in the room. On the other side of the doors more security guards tried to fight their way in, but couldn’t get through the crowd.

    The monster formerly known as The High Wizard had moved on to other victims, ripping into each one. Cat and Maggie looked around the massive room. They knew there was no way to get out through the people trying to squeeze through the exit doors. Cat saw a door with a cypher lock on it. She grabbed Maggie’s hand, “Come on!” and pulled her to the door.

    Cat pulled out her tablet and a small cable. She plugged it in to the cypher lock on the door and in a few moments, they were inside a utility closet. Cat slammed the door shut behind them and Maggie found a light switch and flipped it on. Cowering in the corner were two young male hackers. One appeared to be crying. Maggie kneeled in front of the weeping young hacker. He was sitting with his knees up, hugging his legs and rocking back and forth. “It’ll be ok fella. We’ll be all right in here. The cavalry will be here soon.”

    “That’s not why he’s crying,” the other young hacker said. “All this is his fault.”

    Cat and Maggie looked confused. Cat said, “What? How can this be his fault?”

    “He wanted to make a name for himself. He broke the encryption they were using during the demo and planted some worm.”

    Now Cat looked angry. “Worm! What worm?”

    The young hacker looked down at his friend, “I don’t know. Something he found on the Dark Web.”

    The crying hacker kept rocking and crying and was starting to whisper something to himself. Cat walked up, kicked him in the shin and shouted, “What did you do?”

    Meanwhile, Maggie cracked the door open slightly. It wasn’t just the Wiz and the guard attacking people now. The girl with the rainbow colored hair was now up and apparently infected and going after people. Then Maggie saw there were others. It looked like something from a zombie movie. Bloody, mindless monsters going after every living being in the room.

    Cat was still trying to interrogate the distraught young hacker. She knelt next to him and slapped his face. “WHAT DID YOU DO?”

    He turned his attention to her. His face was red. “I don’t know. I thought it was just a little worm. I found it on this site on the Dark Web. It was just supposed to pop up that troll on the screen, then just jump to other hosts and do the same thing.”

    “What was the name of the worm? Think dammit!”

    “It was called Crimson Rouge.”

    Cat stood and tried to think. She’d never heard of this worm. “Maggie, have you ever heard of a worm called Crimson Rouge?”

    Maggie thought for a moment, but nothing came to her. She shook her head and said, “No, but Cat you should look outside. It’s gotten worse out there.”

    “I’m not opening that door…and neither are you! Dammit, just let me thing for a minute.” Cat tapped the side of her glasses a couple times. An image of her dad appeared in front of her eyes.”

    “What’s up Kitten”?

    “Dad, just listen. A worm somehow infected nanites in a person here. He went berserk and started attacking people. Somehow, the infection has spread to others. My best guess is the infected nanites are transferred from a bite and gets into the other person’s blood stream. The shit is hitting the fan here dad.”

    “Do you know the name of this worm?”

    “Yeah, it’s called Crimson Rouge.” There was a long pause. “Do you know it?”

    “I know it. Yeah, Kitten this is bad, very bad. Are you and Maggie safe?”

    “Yeah, we’ve locked ourselves in a utility closet. I don’t think they can get in here.”

    “Ok Cat. Don’t move. You and Maggie stay where you are. I’ll call you back in less than a minute.”

    Cat tapped the side of her glasses. Maggie asked, “What did he say?”

    “He said he’s heard of it and it’s bad.”

    “What else?”

    “He said he’d call back.”

    Just as she said that, her glasses lit up, “Call from dad.” Cat tapped the side of her glasses. “Got you on speaker. What have you got for me.”

    “Okay, girls listen. We have a solution here. Something we’ve been working on. Do you and Maggie have your tablets?”


    “Good. I’m going to send you each a file. You’ll need to run it from your tablets.”

    “Why do I have the feeling there’s more to it?” Cat asked. “And what’s this ‘file’ supposed to do?”

    “Okay, here’s the catch. You can’t do it from the closet you’re in. You have to be fairly close, a few meters at most, from the people who are infected.”

    Cat said, “All right, we can do that. But what will this do?”

    Another pause, “It’s going to make the nanites vibrate.”

    “Well that’s awesome if I want to teach these bastards to dance, but how does it help?”

    “You’re not getting me Cat. They’re going to vibrate at an incredibly fast rate. The result will more than likely make their host explode.”

    Cat’s jaw dropped. “You’ve got to be shitting me.”

    “No, I’m not Cat. That’s what this was designed to do. It’s still in the experimental phase, but we’ve run hundreds of tests. This will work.”

    “Awesome,” Cat said sarcastically. “Look dad, Are you sure Maggie and I both need to do this? I can manage.”

    Maggie stomped her foot, “You’re not doing this alone Cat!”

    “It sounds like from what you’ve said, the infection is rapidly spreading. I don’t think one person can cover enough area to get everyone. It’s too bad there aren’t more people with you that can help.”

    Cat looked at the two young hackers who’d been hiding in the closet with them. “We just got a couple volunteers.”

    “Okay, good. I’m sending the files to you and Maggie now. Just share them with your friends. All you have to do is run that file. It will take care of the rest. And Cat…”

    “I know. Take care of Maggie.”

    “And yourself. Keep moving and don’t let those things get too close to you.”

    Cat and Maggie’s tablets chirped. Each looked down to see that the files had arrived.

    “We’ve got them dad.”

    “Okay good. Remember girls, please be careful. I love you both very much.”

    In unison, “We love you too.”

    Cat tapped the side of her glasses to end the call.

    Cat looked to the two young hackers and said, “Okay, I know at least one of you has a tablet.”

    The one who was still standing said, “Yeah, we both have them.”

    “Okay then, you heard the call. I’m going to transfer these files to you and we’re going to go out there and end this.”

    The hacker sitting on the floor started shaking his head, “No way. You bitches are crazy if you think I’m going out there.”

    This time it was Maggie who lost her temper, “Listen dip shit. This is all your fault. We should kick your ass out of here on principle and let those guys eat you alive.”

    His friend looked down at him, “Dude, she’s right. We have to help them.”

    He looked up and nodded. Slowly he stood up and steadied himself. “I know. You’re right. Give me the file.”

    Maggie and Cat hooked their tablets up to each of the two hackers and shared the file that their dad sent them. It only took a moment.

    Maggie spoke up, “All right, what’s the plan.”

    Cat walked to the door of the closet and cracked it open. She looked out the small crack and could see that it was total mayhem. If it was possible, it looked like things had gotten worse. People were running and screaming. Even more zombies were now chasing after every living thing. And it looked as if there were several small fires throughout the room. They could hear an occasional gunshot, meaning at least one or two security guards had made it into the ball room.

    Cat closed the door again. “It’s chaos out there. I think the only thing we can do is just each of us make for a separate corner of the room and fire off this app dad sent.”

    The hacker responsible for all this said, “That’s one shitty fucking plan babe.”

    Cat got up in his face. “You got another one dick? Let’s hear it.”

    His friend started to snicker. He glared at him, “What’s so damn funny?”

    “Heh, that’s his name. Dick”

    Cat looked back at Dick. “Figures.”

    They all crowded near the door. Maggie gripped the handle. “On three. One, two, THREE!”

    Maggie jerked the door open and each of them ran for a separate corner, bumping into panicky people on the way. Maggie saw a huge bloody man in a kilt racing her direction, she ducked under his arms and kept running. Cat was headed to her corner and glanced back to see that Dick was being chased by four bloody and tattered zombies. She’d lost the other hacker, wishing she’d asked him his name for some reason.

    Cat and Maggie made it to their destinations and tapped the file that their dad had sent them. At first nothing seemed to be happening. It was still utter chaos, people and zombies running around the room. Cat saw the High Wiz and he spotted her. He ran toward her, when he got within 3 meters he stopped. He started to moan, then shake. The shaking started to become violent. He let out a high pitched scream and exploded in front of her eyes.

    More and more of the zombies stopped running and started shaking. Their moans of pain grew louder. Maggie thought out loud, “Oh, this can’t be good.” All at once all the zombies blew up. Bone, blood, cartilage and organs flew everywhere, knocking down virtually everyone and everything left in the room.

    “Maggie! Where are you?” Cat screamed for her sister. She could see other survivors rising up, trying to clear their heads, trying to figure out if this was real or some gruesome nightmare. “MAGGIE!”

    “Cat! Over here!” Maggie was half sitting on the floor still, clutching her side.

    Cat ran to her sister and tried to help her up. Maggie winced in pain, “Don’t. Just let me sit here for a minute.”

    Cat could now see why Maggie was clutching her side. There was something that looked like a bone protruding from it.

    “Oh my God, Maggie!”

    “I’m okay. It’s not that deep. It just hurts like hell.”

    Cat again tried to help her sister up. “Let’s get you to the hospital.”

    “Okay, good idea.”

    Maggie put her arm around Cat as they headed for the exit. Cat said, “So, what do you think?”

    Maggie laughed a little and said, “Best fucking conference ever.”