Alternity, Page 7
“How was the walk, my friend?”
Wally rubbed his hands together in the new warmth of Dr. Alan Earhart’s office. “It was cold.”
Earhart stared at the red hands of his most talented graduate assistant. “Gloves are usually called for in weather like this.”
“I forgot them,” Wally replied as he walked to his desk adjacent to Earhart’s tiny office, which rested behind a pair of makeshift walls in a corner of the elongated room. Wally’s workstation was at the front of one of two neat rows running the length of the room that looked out upon a gigantic cube of gleaming chromium which was the focus of all of Earhart’s efforts of the preceding six years.
Dr. Earhart removed his spectacles and stood up from the papercluttered desk which had a computer monitor set on one corner. A framed black-and-white photograph of a young Earhart and an equally young woman was set on the opposite corner of the desk which took up most of the office’s floor space. He exited his office and walked to a standing position a pair of feet from Wally’s desk. “Out with that little tart again?”
Wally looked up from his own cluttered desk, and the computer he was booting up. “The tart named Stacey? We just had dinner in the Student Center.”
“Ah, yes, dinner in the cafeteria.” Earhart pulled his gray ponytail over one shoulder to rest it on his chest, crossed his arms on that chest, and leaned against the wall that stood between his desk and Wally’s. “I’m curious: has anyone asked you what we’re doing here?”
“Not really,” Wally told him.
Alternity, Chapter I: