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Getting Warmer

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Shaw cradles the receiver and fishes for a pen, but the message is short.

"Please. Wait."

"…okay," says Shaw, and watches pedestrians.

"Unable. To. Connect," says the Machine.

Shaw restrains herself from punching the payphone. "Just tell me where you need me to be."

The address is across town, in an ASI dark zone. Root's slumped next to a payphone, eyes glazed and forehead dripping sweat. Shaw can see her pulse racing, her shirt crusted to her shoulder with old blood.

"Shaw?" she croaks, as if this can't be real.

"It's okay," says Shaw, dragging her upright. "We found you."