Twelve Hours...

"We have to go through everything again. We're using new technology. There must be a glitch. Or we must have missed something. Dear God, we had to miss something. Don't call anyone until we're sure, Anton."

"I've no intention."

What purpose would it serve?

"Has anyone else called about this?"

"No."

"Is it possible we're the only ones who know?"

He couldn't answer as it dawned on him that this was in fact a distinct possibility.

"Anton?"

Michael's voice was trembling. Anton could tell he was on the verge of panic. He was a delicate soul, Michael, and alone in this world. As best as he could tell, he and Mary were the only friends he had. Anton reached up and ran his hand over his smooth head, then said: "You're right Michael. Let's look at the data one last time. Maybe we misplaced a decimal somewhere."

"We didn't, Anton."

Was he weeping?

"Stay calm, Michael. You have to stay calm."

"How, Anton? How? I can't bear the weight of this."

"Pray we're somehow just plain wrong, Michael."

Because if we're not we're twelve hours from catastrophe.

Michael hung up, and Anton began reviewing the data for the last time.


* * *