Second Variety

on me?”

“Yes.”

Hendricks pondered. A circle of claws waited quietly around him, gray-metal bodies on all sides of him. “Is everything all right in the bunker? Nothing unusual has happened?”

“Everything is all right.”

“Will you come up to the surface? I want to see you for a moment.” Hendricks took a deep breath. “Come up here with me. I want to talk to you.”

“Come down.”

“I’m giving you an order.”

Silence.

“Are you coming?” Hendricks listened. There was no response. “I order you to come to the surface.”

“Come down.”

Hendricks set his jaw. “Let me talk to Leone.”

There was a long pause. He listened to the static.

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