Anna, part 16

Alec was looking morose. “I suppose we could recreate Anna, from the few files we salvaged from the lab. But I don’t think it would be the same.”

“Hey,” Jill said, “you’re not the only one in mourning here. Fred’s gone too.”

“We don’t know for sure that they’re gone,” Bob said, emerging from the kitchen clutching a spatula. “As long as we’re using my place as our temporary lab, you want me to cook something?”

“When did you learn to cook?” Jill looked incredulous.

“All artists have a medium of choice. Mine just happens to be the microwave.” Holding his spatula with as much dignity as he could muster, he marched back into the kitchen.

Alec had been ignoring the entire exchange. “It’s been a week. Anna was perfectly capable of jumping to another server when the fire started. Or several servers, if she felt like it.”

“If you’re right that somebody set that fire on purpose — and I’m not saying you are — then maybe she’s laying low, staying off the internet.”

“Yes,” Alec said, “as long as they think she’s dead, she’s safe.”

“I’m not sure ‘dead’ would be the right word. You do know she isn’t a real person, right?”

Alec snorted. “How do you know you’re a real person? How does anyone?”

Their discussion was interrupted by Bob, returning from the kitchen, out of breath and without a spatula. “Both of you, quick, come into the kitchen. You have got to see this. Although I’m not sure you’re going to believe it.”

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