The close walls glowed white and featureless. Even the corners were rounded, and the light was so even it was disorienting. Peter arranged everyone into a circle, cross-legged and facing inward.
Then he spoke and the lights went out.
He talked to them in the darkness, softly. "We give off no electromagnetic radiation, even light. We must keep our masks on despite the air, which is pure nitrogen. There are no toilet facilities, and nothing to eat. We are going to remain in place, with minimal motion, for an indefinite time."
"How long is indefinite?" one of the women asked.
"No more than five days," Peter said.
"Five days! We'll die, we'll suffocate. We can't live five days in here."
"Hopefully we won't have to, but we can, and if necessary, we will," Peter replied.
"I'm afraid," someone said, a muffled voice without identity.
"So am I," Peter said. "But we will face stranger things than this."
"How will we know when we can leave?" Peter recognized Rover's voice.
"Thatcher will come to get us," Peter said. "Meantime, we are going to learn patience."
Keywords: peter, will, five, even, voice, days, how, indefinite, going, light
All text © 1986 Rob Swiggart. "Portal : A Dataspace Retrieval" is available courtesy of the Author's Guild Backprint Programme. ISBN: 0595197841All programming and software © 2002 Salim Fadhley. Released under the GPL. Code available on request.
Updated: Sun Apr 14 2002
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