“Automatic, computerized, and self-regulating,” says the Sergeant. He walks to a TeleType machine. “I, uh, I listen for a little bell, right here. Ding-a-ling! That means a message is coming in for the Wildfire team.”
“Precisely!” says Stone, “an MCM communication. I’m expecting one.”
“Yes sir,” replies the sergeant, “top priority. Ding-a-Ling – – I push a button, and all five level control centers are notified the same time you are.” He pauses. “The bell hasn’t rung, sir.”
“Thanks for the tour, Sergeant,” says Stone, scowling. The others follow him out of the control room.
In the corridor, a woman dressed in red holds out her hand. “Doctor Dutton?” she says. Dutton hands over his eyeglasses.
“Will you follow me, Doctor Leavitt?” says the woman in red. “And may I have your glasses, please?”
What for?” asks Ruth.
“They’ll be treated and returned to you, Doctor,” says the woman in red.
“Well, they better be, or I’ll need a white cane,” replies Leavitt.
In the men’s locker room, the men are changing into red work clothes.
“Who picked Leavitt?” asks Hall. “Talk about the Odd Man Hypothesis, which we haven’t yet, she’s really an oddball.”
“Were lucky to have her,” replies Stone. “She’s the best equipped of us to double up for Kirke in Microbiology.”
“When dressed, the team will proceed directly to Conference Room Seven,” says an announcer. A sign on the exit door says “CAUTION: REMOVE ALL ARTICLES FROM YOUR PERSON.”