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Chapter 27

The three went up the elevator in an inimical silence. Leggen had eaten only part of his dinner and had left his wife at the dining area without adequate explanation. Benastra had eaten no dinner at all and had possibly disappointed some woman companion, also without adequate explanation. Dors Venabili had not eaten either and she seemed the most tense and unhappy of the three. She carried a thermal blanket and two photonic founts.
When they reached the entrance to Upperside, Leggen, jaw muscles tightening, entered his identification number and the door opened. A cold wind rushed at them and Benastra grunted. None of the three was adequately dressed, but the two men had no intention of remaining up there long.
Dors said tightly, "Its snowing."
Leggen said, "Its wet snow. The temperatures just about at the freezing point. Its not a killing frost."
"It depends on how long one remains in it, doesnt it?" said Dors. "And being soaked in melting snow wont help."
Leggen grunted. "Well, where is he?" He stared resentfully out into utter blackness, made even worse by the light from the entrance behind him. Dors said, "Here, Dr. Benastra, hold this blanket for me. And you, Dr. Leggen, close the door behind you without locking it."
"Theres no automatic lock on it. Do you think were foolish?"
"Perhaps not, but you can lock it from the inside and leave anyone outside unable to get into the dome."
"If someones outside, point him out. Show him to me," said Leggen.
"He could be anywhere." Dors lifted her arms with a photonic fount circling each wrist.
"We cant look everywhere," mumbled Benastra miserably. The founts blazed into light, spraying in every direction. The snowflakes glittered like a vast mob of fireflies, making it even more difficult to see.
"The footsteps were getting steadily louder," said Dors. "He had to be approaching the transducer. Where would it be located?"
"I havent any idea," snapped Leggen.--Thats outside my field and my responsibility."
"Dr. Benastra?"
Benastras reply was hesitant. "I dont really know. To tell you the truth, Ive never b............
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