Mrs. Kurtz, fit the eigth. On Hold.

The beginning of a scream--the kind of scream that makes people call the cops--

She exhaled. As if her breath were a loaded weapon and she wasn't ready to fire it yet.

"Yeah, you might say there's a problem."

The voice was pretty well disguised. If she hadn't heard her "service engineer" warming up, she wouldn't have known it didn't belong to a woman. "Yes?" he said, feminine, educated, confident, and more than a little pressed for time.

"Yeah. Aliens."


"Aliens." Mrs. Kurtz resurrected her South Carolina childhood. "Aliens have taken over my computer. Your cable modem line was what done it. I know it. Nothin' ain't workin' no more, and I hold you folks responsible." She paused and reloaded her lungs. "Now put your fucking manager on the line, you little piece of shit! You didn't put me on hold. I heard you change your voice."

She could hear his blood freeze.

A third voice mumbled, "Oh shit."