The Tone grows louder, more intense with the intruder's proximity. All eyes turn toward the main console. Dreff's encounters have their own visual syntax: icons on the left, text log scrolling up the right. You can see the ice appear very abruptly, then begin to unfold, like digital origami. Each subroutine in turn strips out and swings itself toward the intruder, speed without acceleration, one after the other. With Dreff, it's rarely a single subroutine, and the first ones are always meant to sting.
This time there are four of them--four subroutines, big and black. And wham. Wham. Wham. Wham. Every single one of them hits home. When the last one strikes, the graphics go dark; the Tone stops. The text log scrolls up a few more lines and then it too stops.
No one moves.
No one believes it, really. Even Dreff refuses to crow. But he breaks the silence with a voice like a rusty nail: "Scan technician, report." Bob sees everyone's eyes turn to him, waiting. He swallows and focuses on his console.
"Um. Scans show--." He pauses. "There's something really funny going on here." There is, too.
Everyone waits. They wait patiently. No one, not even Dreff, really believes that they have just seen Habeas Punter take the full brunt of a Liche. It wasn't-- It was too-- It just isn't *subtle* enough.
It has to be a trick.