“You don’t look much like a scientist. Are you sure this will work?”
Armelle gave Vančura a scornful look and finished buttoning her lab coat. It didn’t quite fit, but no-one would notice, unless they looked closely.
“I look a lot more like a scientist than you do, that’s for sure. Stop standing like that!”
“Like…” She eyed him for a moment. “Like a big cat. You look like you’re always waiting to pounce on somebody. Scientists don’t do that.”
With a shrug, he relaxed slightly, letting his shoulders droop slightly under the lab coat. She made a face, then nodded.
“Now you just look like you’re asleep, but it’ll have to do. Here, carry this and look subservient. Eddie, you… just follow me and, for heavens sake, don’t talk. One word from you and they’ll know we aren’t scientists.”
Eddie looked hurt, but at least his lab-coat fit, so he just looked like an affronted – if slightly scruffy – technician. Armelle inspected him one last time and adjusted the box she had handed to Vančura. It was some random piece of heavy equipment that had looked mildly portable, but he didn’t look like he even noticed the weight.
“Okay, let’s go. And let me do the talking. I may not be familiar with this place, but at least I won’t ask them if I can ‘do something to that thingy’ or something like that.”
After checking them over critically, she yanked the chair out from under the knob and opened the door. Peering out into the hall, she glanced both ways, then stepped out. In an instant, she assumed the attitude of a harried and somewhat annoyed technician. The other two trailed her, trying to keep up, and barely succeeding.
“Could ya slow down a little, mebbe?”
She didn’t look back.
“No. I’m in a hurry. The head technician wants the main off-shunt capacitors on the STAd checked immediately. We can’t waste any time. Besides, you don’t hear Vančura complaining, do you, and he’s carrying that equipment.”
Eddie frowned at her, then glanced at Vančura questioningly. The big man shook his head.
“She’s getting into character.”
Eddie stared at Armelle’s back.
“She’s a character, awright.”
End Chapter 17– Part 1
Just so you guys know, slightly scruffy doesn’t even begin to describe Eddie. Fortunately, for some reason connected with our social memory, the impression created by a white lab-coat is one of credibility, authority, and intelligent concentration. All things Eddie has nothing to do with, but the lab-coat will distract you from that.
Want to read the previous installments? They’re right here!
Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three,
Chapter Four, Chapter Five, Chapter Six,
Chapter Seven, Chapter Eight, Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten, Chapter Eleven, Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen, Chapter Fourteen Chapter Fifteen