Chapter 6

Verbena frowned at the phone.  Still busy.  She had called the hotel numerous 
times to get a hold of Al.  She was sorely tempted to get a bellhop to ring 
the room.  Al had left his cellular behind on the insistance of Beth.  They 
needed the privacy, and the hotel phone was as good as any, she had insisted.

Al had relented again, although reluctantly on this one.  He knew they would 
be back soon, so what was a day or so without a phone?

Verbena had gone to the Waiting Room and checked on the Visitor.  So far, he 
or she was awake, but had said nothing.  Verbena had tried questioning Ziggy. 
 The computer had thrown some gobbledygook at her about not being able to 
identify the Visitor until Al stepped into the Imaging Chamber and they 
locked on
to Sam.  She had tried to get the Visitor to speak up, to at least get a 
gender, but the unknown person remained dazed and unwilling to do anything 
but blink.

At least we know Sam is alive, she comforted herself.  She tried Al's room 
again.  Busy.  She was getting frustrated now.  No wonder Al smacked the 
handlink so much.  She felt like smacking a few things now herself.  She 
tried again.  Busy.  She slammed the reciever down and left her office. 

As she passed through the Waiting Room, she stopped by the bed that held the 
current guest.  The body was facing the wall.  Repeated attempts to get the 
guest to turn around had failed.  Verbena checked to make sure nothing had 
changed, then went on to the Main Control Room. 

The Head Programmer, Gooshie, was at the large console, typing commands into 
Ziggy.  His wife, Pulse Communications Expert Tina, was under another 
console.  Now that's a strange pair, she thought to herself.  She could never 
figure out how the two of them ended up with each other.

Tina looked like your basic bimbo blonde, but she knew more about computer 
hardware than Verbena ever would.  The fact that she was attracted to 
Gooshie, who looked like your average mega-nerd, and knew more about the 
software than anyone else present, baffled Verbena.  Must have something to 
do with their passion for microchips.

She turned to Gooshie.  "Anything yet?"  she inquired hopefully.

"Well, we have narrowed it down to the late 1980's."

Tina chimed up from inside her console.  Her voice was muffled and echoed, 
"Yeah, it's like, he is so close to us this time. But, we, like, can't get an 
exact date without the Admiral."

"Keep working.  We have to find a way to reach Sam and let him know that 
everything is okay.  He must be worried by now."   And hopefully not in 
danger, she prayed, but didn't voice those thoughts.

She reached for the phone on the wall.  She rang Al's room again.  Still 
busy.  The bellhop was starting to be a good idea now.