The weather was changing.
Like a mournful harbinger of impending conflict, the katabatic wind let out a plaintive howl and gusted hard against the Delta Forces shelter. Delta‑One finished battening down the storm coverings and went back inside to his two partners. Theyd been through this before. It would soon pass.
Delta‑Two was staring at the live video feed from the microbot. You better look at this, he said.
Delta‑One came over. The inside of the habisphere was in total darkness except for the bright lighting on the north side of the dome near the stage. The remainder of the habisphere appeared only as a dim outline. Its nothing, he said. Theyre just testing their television lighting for tonight.
The lightings not the problem. Delta‑Two pointed to the dark blob in the middle of the ice‑the water‑filled hole from which the meteorite had been extracted. Thats the problem.
Delta‑One looked at the hole. It was still surrounded by pylons, and the surface of the water appeared calm. I dont see anything.
Look again. He maneuvered the joystick, spiraling the microbot down toward the surface of the hole.
As Delta‑One studied the darkened pool of melted water more closely, he saw something that caused him to recoil in shock. What the . . . ?
Delta‑Three came over and looked. He too looked stunned. My God. Is that the extraction pit? Is the water supposed to be doing that?
No, Delta‑One said. It sure as hell isnt.