while later, the guard who accompanied Alec said he was no
longer needed and could leave now. Alec gave a long, sad look
at the Chrome, which seemed to be no longer attending even to
his presence. Turning to leave, he saw that General Gomez was
watching him, waiting by the door.
...umm, Alec, your cooperation has been commendable. Now uhmmm,
just one more time, I would like you to report to the café
tomorrow by noon," the general oozed through her gleaming
smile as Alec drew near.
general, my final exam is at eleven and…"
is," the general said interrupting in a confiding tone,
"your country needs you right now Alec. Now you know, and
I know, even Dr. Crink knows…unless you’re around, that
thing remains unresponsive. We’ve gotten more video and EM
data in the last three hours than in the last three days. And
I’m hoping it will revive again tomorrow when you
I…I was going to say," Alec stammered, "that the
earliest I could get here would be around one-thirty
one-fifteen would be more like it." The general smiled
and winked. "I’ll have someone pick you up as soon as
your exam is finished."
plan," Alec agreed under his breath, recalling the tangle
of traffic and reporters earlier that day. The general gave
him a wan pat on the back as he started to descend the stairs
to Monty’s office.
found Monty tinkering with his experimental hydroponics garden
when he entered his office. Without delay, he asked Monty to
lock the door and then open the Chinese cabinet. Without a
word, Monty bolted the door and rushed to the cabinet.
are you up to Alec?"
not sure, yet, but I have a hunch…You have recordings from
the patio TV since the beginning, right?"
bet I have recordings," Monty said as he reached for a
stack of disks. "Video and audio."
I just need to look at those experiments that Dr. Crink
conducted the first couple of days—you know, the ones
with all the geometric figures."
fumbled through the stack of disks and withdrew one and
inserted it into a player on a lower shelf of the cabinet. He
touched a couple of buttons and the monitor showed scenes of
me how this works, OK Monty?" Alec watched as the big man
jabbed his finger at various controls.
forward…fast reverse…freeze…and zoom."
Thanks Monty. I just need to look at a few pictures…I think
I should…" Alec’s voice trailed off. Monty watched as
Alec learned the controls and displayed various scenes,
sometimes, freezing the image, sometimes zooming for extreme
close ups of the Chrome’s face or the monitor that Dr. Crink
looked at occasionally as he paced to and fro.