Y.T. is chilling at a truck stop and waiting for her ride, which was arranged by glass eye dude. She also has to go meet him in the Metaverse, so she finds a public terminal and plugs in.
The guy's name is Ng. His Metaverse house is, like, a mansion, and modeled after a Vietnamese villa from before the war.
Ng's avatar is a fifty-ish Vietnamese dude. He has a geisha massaging him, which is strange since physical sensations in the Metaverse don't translate into the real world.
Even weirder, Ng occasionally pauses conversation to make weird noises with his mouth (whistles, beeps, and so on). As they talk, Ng explains that his car is under voice command, and since he's coming to pick up Y.T., he's driving at the moment.
Back in reality, Ng's gigantic van pulls up. Y.T. hops in and meets the real-life Ng, who is suspended in webbing. She can't see much of his features—which makes sense once he explains that he got caught in a fire while fleeing Vietnam.
Thanks to his tech skillz, he managed to integrate his body with his van and hook physical sensation components in as well, so he actually feels the stuff in the Metaverse, like the geisha massage.
As they drive, Ng explains that they're going to Long Beach so that Y.T. can buy some drugs.
Oh, and this is happening in a Sacrifice Zone. Which is bad news. But they've got back-up: nonhuman systems. Y.T. suspects that this means Rat Things.