The helicopter lands. Before the rotors stop, General Sparks, Manchek, an Army Captain, and another Lieutenant walk toward a table in front of the operations tent.
On the table is a radio and tape recorder.
“Alright, Lieutenant,” says the Lieutenant, pointing at the tape recorder. The other lieutenant plays the recording.
PILOT VOICE (V/O): Albuquerque Center, Albuquerque Center, this is Air Force Five Six One.
CENTER (V/O): Go ahead, Five Six One.
PILOT VOICE (V/O): My air hose is coming apart! Like, it’s dissolving!
CENTER (V/O): Five Six One, have you – – ?
PILOT VOICE (V/O): Everything made of rubber — is coming apart! — I feel funny…
The Lieutenant shuts off the tape player.
“It’s a fluke,” says General Sparks. “A vibration effect, maybe.” He turns to the Captain. “Let’s get up there.”
“Has Wildfire been informed?” asks Manchek.
“You mean the germ people?” asks the Lieutenant.
“Yeah,” replies Manchek.
“It went out to them on the scrambler about an hour ago,” replies the lieutenant.
“Well this, they can’t ignore,” says Manchek. He follows General Sparks to a waiting Jeep.
Back in Wildfire’s Microchemistry department, the four scientists and the MIC-T are working with microtomes, mass spectrometers, and amino acid analyzers.