"I don't really see where this problem has anything to do with me," the
CIA man said. "And, frankly, there are a lot of more important things I
could be doing."
Ford, the physicist, glanced at General LeRoy. The general had that
quizzical expression on his face, the look that meant he was about to do
"Would you like to see the problem first-hand?" the general asked,
The CIA man took a quick look at his wristwatch. "O.K., if it doesn't
take too long. It's late enough already."
"It won't take very long, will it, Ford?" the general said, getting out
of his chair.
"Not very long," Ford agreed. "Only a lifetime."
The CIA man grunted as they went to the doorway and left the general's
office. Going down the dark, deserted hallway, their footsteps echoed
"I can't overemphasize the seriousness of the problem," General LeRoy
said to the CIA man. "Eight ranking members of the General Staff have
either resigned their commissions or gone straight to the violent ward
after just one session with the computer."
The CIA man scowled. "Is this area Secure?"
General LeRoy's face turned red. "This entire building is as Secure as
any edifice in the Free World, mister. And it's empty. We're the only
living people inside here at this hour. I'm not taking any chances."
"Just want to be sure."
"Perhaps if I explain the computer a little more," Ford said, changing
the subject, "you'll know what to expect."