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"The election's over, honey. Let me know when they give you another leave, and I'll make the time for you. You can always come along on one of my trips."

Lisa smiled as she glanced away beyond her father's shoulder, and happened to catch sight of Katzberg standing awkwardly, hands-in-his-pockets, on the edge of the dance floor. "What are my options?"

"Well, state secret," the president glanced around himself, "but I might be headed to Warsaw in March."

"To have a summit with President Egorov in a neutral setting."

The president smiled around his sigh. "It's too bad you'll be leaving us. Whichever you have, great political instincts or good connections with my staff, you'd be an asset to us mere Earthlings."

Lisa beamed upward. "A combination of both, daddy: I knew the right person to ask the right questions." She threw a smile to the watching crowd. "Though I don't know if I would be such an asset: I haven't yet learned how to speak out of both sides of my mouth."

Goodall frowned at his daughter for the first time that evening. "What is that supposed to mean?"

"Well Father, will all due respect, I don't think you're fooling anyone with these declarations of patriotism as the motivation for the SCP. Anyone with a brain knows mankind fouled up and the only thing to do is start over."

Goodall gripped his daughter's hand firmly. "You don't know that all hope is lost."

"Sorry, daddy, not all hope is lost, but all reason to hope is." She looked away across the dance floor as she said this, again involuntarily making eye contact with Katzberg.

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