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Fontaine burst into the conference room at a full sprint. Brinkerhoff and Midge were close at his heels.

“Look!” Midge choked, motioning frantically to the window.

Fontaine looked out the window at the strobes in the Crypto dome. His eyes went wide. This was definitely not part of the plan.

Brinkerhoff sputtered. “It’s a goddamn disco down there!”

Fontaine stared out, trying to make sense of it. In the few years TRANSLTR had been operational, it had never done this. It’s overheating, he thought. He wondered why the hell Strathmore hadn’t shut it down. It took Fontaine only an instant to make up his mind.

He snatched an interoffice phone off the conference table and punched the extension for Crypto. The receiver began beeping as if the extension were out of order.

Fontaine slammed down the receiver. “Damn it!” He immediately picked up again and dialed Strathmore’s private cellular line. This time the line began to ring.

Six rings went by.

Brinkerhoff and Midge watched as Fontaine paced the length of his phone cable like a tiger on a chain. After a full minute, Fontaine was crimson with rage.

He slammed down the receiver again. “Unbelievable!” he bellowed. “Crypto’s about to blow, and Strathmore won’t answer his goddamn phone!”