“How do I get into the core?” asks Hall.
“Through that service port,” says Stone, pointing into the far side of the patient quarters. There’s a stainless-steel door between the two patients.
“Go ahead,” says Stone. “I’ll ride shotgun for you from Main Control. I can’t monitor the lasers here.” Stone leaves the observation room.
Hall pushes an intercom button. “Karen, get me a scalpel!” he says, and climbs into his isolation suit.
“THERE ARE NOW FOUR MINUTES AND THIRTY SECONDS TO SELF-DESTRUCT,” says an announcement.
Karen meets him in the exam room.
“Cut it off!” shouts Hall. “Cut the panel off!”
Karen turns and drops the baby in Jackson’s lap. Jackson looks at the baby, puzzled.
“Karen, cut it!” Hall holds out the plastic “train” of his suit, and Anson begins knifing through the material. “Come on, hurry up!” says Hall, as the cut gets wider.
Hall peels off the helmet and the rest of the suit, then steps into the exam chamber. He heads for the portal.
“Hey, Doc!” shouts Jackson, “Ya ain’t leaving us here, are ya?”
Meanwhile, Stone gets back to Main Control. He presses an intercom button on the control panel.
“The lasers are tuned for small animals, Mark,” says Stone. “You can make it if you’re not hit along the spinal cord.”
Hall pulls the hatch of the portal inward. A decayed polycron gasket falls to the floor.
“THERE ARE NOW FOUR MINUTES TO SELF-DESTRUCT,” says an announcement.
Hall climbs into the tunnel.