“I understand,” Phillip said, “but that’s not going to happen. You can bank on that.”
“I worry about everyone, of course,” Chloe said. “It’s our nature. But I happen to worry about you just a little bit more.”
“And you can’t afford to do that,” Phillip said, smiling grimly. “We’ve got to handle this on our own.”
Chloe sighed. “There’s no way I can convince you?”
“It’s nothing personal,” Phillip said, grinning genuinely now. He stepped forward and gave Chloe a gentle hug. “For what it’s worth, lady,” he said, “I had a blast.”
She returned the hug. “I’m glad,” she said. “We’d better get going. Daniel will probably think we’re making out in here or something.”
“He can dream on,” Phillip said. He opened the door for her, and she stepped out into the hallway. “I’ll go check on Ben, and be right back up.”
The monitoring room was still dim; Ben was seated in front of the large plasma screen, and did not acknowledge Phillip’s presence. The screen itself showed only the blue ‘no-signal’ field.
“Are you all right?” Phillip asked.
“It doesn’t make sense,” Ben said. “I’ve gone back over it a dozen times. The plasma’s getting the right signal from the DVRs, and the DVRs are getting the right signal from the switch box. Everything’s working perfectly.”

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