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Mercer asked, alarmed. “A trillion particles blowing through the detectors,” said Dolby. ” Volkonsky hooted like an ape. Everyone ignored him. An image appeared on the central panel, the Visualizer. Dolby stared at it, entranced. It was like an enormous flower—flickering jets of color radiating from a single point, twisting and writhing as if trying to tear free of the screen. He stood in awe at the intense beauty of it. “Contact successful,” said Rae Chen. “Beams are focused and collimated. ” Cheers and some ragged clapping.

Crawley watched with a shudder while teaspoon after teaspoon of sugar crystals slid into the blackness of Yazzie’s coffee, five in all. “It’s been such a pleasure for me personally to work with the Navajo Nation,” Crawley continued. “With Isabella almost up and running, this is truly a moment of celebration for all of us. ” He leaned back with a friendly smile and waited. “The Navajo Nation thanks you, Mr. ” Nods and murmurs of approval went around the table. “We’re grateful for all you’ve done,” Yazzie continued.

They walked up to it, and Hazelius swiped a card through a slot beside the metal door, then placed his hand on a palm reader. After a moment a husky female voice said, “Afternoon, sugar. ” Hazelius smiled. ” Ford placed his hand on the warm glass. A bar of light moved down it. ” Hazelius chuckled. ” “That’s Isabella. ’ Isabella, on the other hand, has a real voice. Our engineer, Ken Dolby, programmed it. ” “I don’t know. ” The voice rolled out like honey. “The man says cool. ” The metal doors swished open, revealing an elevator cage that ran down the side of the mountain.

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