“-crash, Mancheck. It was a fluke!” says General Sparks, standing up. He walks to the wall map, pointing. “That plane was only over the WF area for two minutes, at twenty-three thousand feet! It’s a routine training accident, I betcha. Pilot error!” Sparks turns to his assistant. “Let’s go,” he says, and the two leave the control room.
Manchek walks over to Lt. Comroe, who is leafing through some files.
“Check with Wildfire message center Delta Five. Make sure everything there is nominal,” says Manchek. “Send me word on scrambler at Big Head crash base.” Comroe picks up the phone.
At Delta Five, Captain Morris types commands into a terminal. “Checklim program completed,” he says to the other technician. “All circuit banks nominal.”
A teletype machine prints:
MACHINE FUNCTION ON ALL CIRCUITS WITHIN NOMINAL LIMITS
“Same thing on the MCM console, Captain,” says the sergeant.
“Just a minute, Doctor Robertson,” says the Vermont Senator in a voice-over, while the TeleType machine remains on-screen. “You’re saying Stone’s ninety-million dollar facility which you recommended was knocked out by a sliver of paper?”
“No,” laughs Robertson, also in voice-over.