Stone finishes typing in the program parameters. A bell-shaped graph appears on the monitor, showing the acid-alkali tolerance range is only between 7.39 and 7.43 of pH.
“Excellent,” says Hall. “The graph’s practically straight up and down. That means that Andromeda can only exist within a narrow range of pH.”
“A very narrow range,” adds Stone. “On either side of the tolerance range, no growth, nothing, right? It’s exterminated.”
Hall punches the intercom button. “Dutton, our troubles are over,” says Hall.
“Look at your console!” says Stone.
“It grows within a narrow range of pH,” says Hall.
“A very narrow range!” says Stone.
“If your blood’s abnormal, if it’s too acid, or alkaline, Andromeda can’t survive in the body,” says Hall. “So breathe as fast as you can. Go into respiratory alkalosis.”
Dutton starts taking deep, rapid breaths.
“That’s fine!” says Stone. “That’ll shoot your blood chemistry to hell.”
“It’s what happens to the baby when he cries too much, or the old man on Sterno,” explains Hall. “How do you feel?”
“Okay,” says Dutton. “A little dizzy, but okay.”