Earhart smiled at his favorite assistant. “Pre-empted, I am. On December Seventeenth, Nineteen-Oh-Three, Orville and Wilbur Wright flew a heavier-than-air machine for the first time, ushering in a new century and a new age.” The first cup of champagne passed from Earhart’s hand to the nearest lady present. “And I would like to think that we’re trying the same thing here. So let’s celebrate both anniversaries!”
“And drink twice as much!” someone from the back of the gathering called out, prompting only a single supportive laugh.
Twelve more cups were filled with the bubbly, and the merriment of a holiday party spilled over the crowd gathered at one end of the double rows of desks. One of the two women, one named Judy, peeled away from Dwyer, who was paying an inordinate amount of attention to a bosom normally protected by a white lab coat, and approached the Wally sitting in his chair against a wall and accepting the last cup filled by Earhart. “When are you headed home for the holidays, Wally?”
Wally glanced up from his cup at the rouged lips that seemed very out of place in the laboratory, even among the red cups being held and raised at regular intervals. “On Friday. You?” He set his cup on the desk at his side.
Judy smiled. “On Friday. You’re from Chicago, right?”
“Sortuv. Oak Park.”
Judy ran a hand through a side of brown hair. “Boston. Ever been?”
“Never. But I would like to some time. What’s there to do?”
Judy’s smile turned amused. “Oh, I don’t know. You sort of find out when you get there.”
Alternity, Chapter I: