Bob's a technician. He spends his three weeks on shift, collects his paycheck, goes home to Mary and the kids for another week, then starts all over again. He doesn't take the heat, he doesn't shoot the moon--just works it nice and easy. He flips all the right switches, he asks no questions, and he doesn't look up when the security door opens behind him.
He figures one day that'll be the death of him, but hey, that's what life insurance is for.
Today, though, it's just Director Vallejo, right on schedule. He can hear her signing in with the guard at the door. He relaxes a bit but keeps his eyes on the console. She's very good (Bob respects that), and she doesn't have a lot of patience for negligence. Eyes front, he reaches under the console for his clipboard. He hangs it over the back of his chair. Bob's just a technician, but he's a good technician.
"Good morning, Scan." She always calls him Scan. He's not even sure she knows his name. Bob respects her a lot; she's a professional.
She's flipping through the clipboard, but there's nothing to find.
"Awful quiet night."
"Yes, ma'am." She hands him the clipboard and he stows it. She moves on to the other techs in the Room.
Bob works in the Security Room for the Pacifica wing of Roar-Sol. He's a scanner--he runs scans and take measurements of all security events in situ. He can recognize about fifteen different runners by their cortical scans alone, about the same number of--
There's a Tone. It's not loud yet, but it's continuous. The whole room bustles for a brief instant. Then it gets quiet. The Director has stepped to the center of the Room, hands on the back of the chair reserved for the supervisor-on-site.