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“We were brothers, Worm,” snarls Smithfield. “Do you remember? The hazing, the drinking, the house, the nights–God, the nights–”

“We were rented friends.” Walmsley sighs. “Not that I’d choose this, but you and the rest of IT are in the way.” He smashes a glass paperweight into Smithfield’s hand. “Development will have those rack servers.”


“Give it up, Smithfield!” Walmsley roars. “You’ve lost! We’ve taken Shipping, Receivable, HR–there’s no rescue coming! Now tell! Me! The password!”

Smithfield opens his mouth, and Northwood bursts into the meeting, silk tie around his bleeding head, battlemouse whirling so fast it keens.