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“Hi,” says the kid as Welch passes him.

“Hello,” says Welch. He smiles.

Around the corner there’s a pair of them–twins? “Hi,” says one, and “hi,” says the other.

“Hello,” says Welch. “Hello.” He starts to walk around them, but they block his path. Awareness prickles his back, then; Welch spins in a panic, but the scriptkiddies are already surrounding him.

“Hi. Hi. Hi.”

“Hello. Hello!” Welch gasps, trying to keep up. He can feel himself slowing down. “Please–stop–hello!”

They close in without hurry, their eyes empty but for a cool curiosity.

“Hi,” they say. “Hi hi. Hi.”