“Listen up. We gotta problem.”
“Colonel.” came the answer.
“The Remote. For the English Patient. It’s been stolen.”
“Stolen? How’d that happen?”
“None o’your goddamned business!” snapped the Colonel.
There was a short silence from the Listening Station.
“OK, Colonel: whaddya want me to do?”
“You gotta listen-in from there. Make sure she don’t get up to anything Unauthorized_”
“You mean she knows the damn thing’s gone AWOL?”
“Sure she knows!” slammed the Colonel. “She, freakin’, took it!”
The line went quiet as the implications sank in.
“You on the Black Line?”
“You gotta tell me the channel and stuff for that Remote. The codes. For listenin’ in.”
“Sure. Keys with Cassie. Tell her ‘Red Cell’.”
“Red Cell. Got it.”
“I’m headed right over. Be there in a half-hour. Now get listenin’ in. Anything outta the ordinary, get Cassie on it.”
“Cassie. Sure. That all?”
The line went dead.
Within two minutes, Mac was listening in.
But all he could hear was Verity’s voice repeating the same sentence, over and over, more faintly each time.
Until it faded away into an inaudible whisper.
He reached into his pocket for his private line. Time was of the essence.
Sure enough, within ten minutes he heard the voices of his two comrades, over the Remote line. There were the sounds of a short struggle. Other voices.
Then Verity crying.
Dome picture, thanks Corbis Images, and PBS Architecture page: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/buildingbig/dome/fullerdome.html