Ill try seamans said but its going to take a while

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“I’ll try,” Seamans said, “but it’s going to take a while. You don’t write that kind of program overnight.” “I need it overnight, Tom,” Elliot said. “I’ll call you back in twenty-four hours.” 3. Inside the Coffin IN ONE CORNER OF THE 747 LIVING MODULE WAS A sound-baffled fiberglass booth, with a hinged hood and a small CRT screen; it was called “the coffin” because of the claustrophobic feeling that came from working inside it. As the airplane crossed the mid-Atlantic, Ross stepped inside the coffin. She had a last look at Elliot and Amy—both asleep, both snoring loudly—and Jensen and Irving playing “submarine chase” on the computer console, as she lowered the hood. Ross was tired, but she did not expect to get much sleep for the next two weeks, which was as long as she thought the expedition would last. Within fourteen days—336 hours— Ross’s team would either have beaten the Euro-
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66 Japanese consortium or she would have failed and the Zaire Virunga mineral exploration rights would be lost forever. The race was already under way, and Karen Ross did not intend to lose it. She punched Houston coordinates, including her own sender designation, and waited while the scrambler interlocked. From now on, there would be a signal delay of five seconds at both ends, because both she and Houston would be sending in coded burst transmissions to elude passive listeners. The screen glowed: TRAVIS. She typed back: R OS S. She picked up the telephone receiver. “It’s a bitch,” Travis said, although it was not Travis’s voice, but a computer- generated flat audio signal, without expression. “Tell me,” Ross said. “The consortium’s rolling,” Travis’s surrogate voice said. “Details,” Ross said, and waited for the five-second delay. She could imagine Travis in the CCR in Houston, hearing her own computer-generated voice. That flat voice required a change in speech patterns; what was ordinarily conveyed by phrasing and emphasis had to be made explicit. “They know you’re on your way,” Travis’s voice whined. “They are pushing their own schedule. The Germans are behind it—your friend Richter. I’m arranging a feeding in a matter of minutes. That’s the good news.” “And the bad news?” “The Congo has gone to hell in the last ten hours,” Travis said. “We have a nasty GPU.” “Print,” she said. On the screen, she saw printed GEOPOLITICAL UPDATE, followed by a dense paragraph. It read: ZAIRE EMBASSY WASHINGTON STATES EASTERN BORDERS VIA RWANDA CLOSED / NO EXPLANATION / PRESUMPTION 101 AMIN TROOPS FLEEING TANZANIAN INVASION UGANDA INTO EASTERN ZAIRE / CONSEQUENT DISRUPTION / BUT FACTS DIFFER / LOCAL TRIBES {KIGANI} ON RAMPAGE / REPORTED ATROCITIES AND CANNIBALISM ETC / FOREST—DWELLING PYGMIES UNRELIABLE / KILLING ALL VISITORS CONGO RAIN FOREST / ZAIRE
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67 GOVERNMENT DISPATCHED GENERAL MUGURU (AKA BUTCHER OF STAN— LEYVILLE) / PUT DOWN KIGANI REBELLION ‘AT ALL COSTS’ / SITUATION HIGHLY UNSTABLE / ONLY LEGAL ENTRY INTO ZAIRE NOW
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