Chapter no 47

Quantum Radio

Ty, Nora, Kato, and Maria marched out of the conference room, into an open area where disassembled cubicles were stacked like dominoes. Marines stood in rows, rifles ready, staring as if they were watching death row inmates take their final walk. Ty wondered if that was what this was. He was scared. He knew Nora well enough to know that she was too.

They rode the elevator down one floor in groups: Helen, Bishop, Richter, and Ty first, accompanied by four marines.

At the lab level, they waited in a similar open-concept office area as above. Two dozen marines were massed here as well. It was as if the entire building was filled to the brim with armed troops now.

The elevator opened again, and Nora, Kato, Maria, Colonel Travis, and four marines accompanying them stepped out.

Bishop led the combined group to a set of double doors that he used his palm and retina to open. Beyond was a narrow corridor with labs on both sides. Wide windows provided a view inside.

Travis motioned marines forward until the corridor was filled, then closed the double doors.

A boom shook the building. Then another, and finally a third blast. Two seconds of silence followed. Then faint pops of automatic gunfire punctuated by smaller explosions. A battle.

Travis pressed a finger into the earpiece in his left ear and touched the mic on his lapel. “Report.”

He listened, then turned to Bishop. “We’ve been breached.” “Breached?” Bishop’s voice was rising. “As in—”

“Unidentified combatants on the above-ground floors. They’ve overwhelmed our forces. They’re clearing the floors—”

“Call the Pentagon!” Bishop shouted.

“Comms are down,” Travis said. He motioned to the closed double doors. “Elevators are offline too. We’re barricading the stairwells. We’ll make a stand in the outer room.”

Bishop pointed at Ty. “We’re activating the radio right now.” He marched down the corridor, past the window that looked into the clean room lab with the radio. The three suited figures were still standing around the table, waiting. Bishop used his palm and retina to unlock the door, which opened with a pop.

He motioned the three people in suits to exit, then reached out, ushering Ty through the doorway. Ty turned and signaled for Nora, Kato, and Maria to follow. Richter, Helen, Travis, and three marines from the corridor squeezed in.

A boom shook the lab, releasing white dust from the ceiling. It reminded Ty of that dust cloud in the stairwell in Geneva, of lying there after the blast, body aching, lungs gasping for air. He felt dizzy, as if the present were slipping away.

A hand gripped his arm. Someone was saying his name. “Ty.”


He grabbed the hand on his arm and squeezed until he heard a yelp. It was Nora’s voice, crying out in pain.

That snapped him out of it.

She was staring at him, brow furrowed, speaking slowly: “Are you okay?”

He felt another hand on his upper arm, strong, gripping but not clawing into him. Kato.

“I’m fine,” he breathed out, trying to regain his bearings. He was in the lab. The quantum radio sat on the metal table before him. Looming. Waiting.

“Enter the code,” Bishop said. Gunfire sounded nearby.

In the outer room.

“Do it now!” Bishop shouted over the pops of gunfire. Ty stepped toward the metal table.

More white powder fell from the ceiling, blanketing the room, the tiny particles filling in the symbols on the dial on the quantum radio.



Ty stared at the device.

He reached out and picked it up. The metal was cold. The device was the thickness of perhaps two quarters fused together and fit easily in the palm of his hand. Like a medallion a person might wear around their neck.

“Ty!” Bishop shouted. “Type. The code.

Mentally, Ty reviewed the thread that ran through the four genomic matches. Each had a life’s work.

For him, The Theory of Everything. For Nora, The Birthright.

For Kato, The March of Humanity. For Maria, Worlds & Time.

The theme was there. A thread that ran through them.

Birth. March. Worlds and Time. A theory of everything. “Do it!” Bishop yelled as the wall behind him exploded.

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