She’s giving me a chance to check on Silvia, he recognized. She wants me to know she’s okay, and to know that she knows too. He obliged, signing in with data packets flying through space and time to servers more remote than anyone had ever dreamed when the architecture of the ‘net was first invented, still several decades off.
Silvia was online; it was 4pm and she was out of school. He’d been careful when he came back to ensure he arrived at the same time of day as his link to the future; it kept time-keeping easier.
‘Hey sis,’ he tapped out.
‘Charlie, great timing. I’m starving, can we go get something to eat tonight?’
‘No can do, Sil, sorry. I’m kind of tied up.’
‘That’s the third time this month, I’ll start thinking you’re ditching me or something at this rate!’
‘I promise I’ll make it up to you soon.’ He hadn’t traveled back to the present in weeks, he realized guiltily. He’d been too busy planning the big score.
‘You’d better. Any luck finding a place?’
‘That’s what’s got me so busy. Got some leads, need to follow up, make sure we can afford it, all that crap.’ It was true enough. She didn’t know about the time travel. He glanced at Sandra. She doesn’t know about it yet, anyway, he thought.
‘Fine, fine,’ she sent back. He could almost hear her sigh.
‘How’s this?’ He switched away from the conversation for a moment and transferred a generous sum to her account; enough to eat well for a week instead of living on school rations. He switched back.
‘!! Charlie! Okay, you’re forgiven, and yeah yeah, I won’t ask. But I’m gonna forget what you look like soon if you don’t see me.’
‘Love you sis, I’ll see you soon.’
He shut it down. “Okay, so what’s your agenda?”