(They both start to make their way across the main plaza, toward one of the spokes. It is labeled TATE WING on an overhead archway in large, slightly art-deco metal letters)
PETE: So… this is, like, where you work?
PHINEAS: Not “like,” Mr. Rodney… it is where I work.
PETE: That’s what I said.
PHINEAS: Well, your English leaves something to be desired, and I hope you won’t make things so… colloquial when you’re called into supervisory.
PETE: Uh huh, whatever…
(he glances up at the archway as they pass under it.)
So, who’s Tate?
PHINEAS: One of the pioneers of time travel. Each of the wings are named as such: Tate is supervisory, the Berg Wing is research and development, the Carmen Wing is training and housing, and the last wing is off limits to all but the highest level personnel.
(they continue to walk and talk down a wide hallway, still populated with various people in various dress, but a little more sparsely. There are small rooms on either side of the dome shaped hallway with people going in and out.)
PETE: What’s that one called?
PHINEAS: It doesn’t have a name, exactly…. we just usually call if Wing Four, or the Quad.
PETE: Aw, man!
PHINEAS: What now?
PETE: That’s a stupid name! It should be something cool and, you know… like the future! Like Paragon 6 or XL Blast-Laser or… or…
PHINEAS: It is always so interesting to see the past’s perceptions of the future. Tell me, if you were to meet George Washington today… what do you think he might think of the world you come from?
PETE: (after a short pause) I never thought about that.
PHINEAS: And that is precisely why you will be going home, and soon.
(They enter a door on the far end of the hallway, adjacent to the other side doors, that opens into an office that is the perfected version of 1960s futurist architecture. They take a seat on two gleaming white pod chairs next to a woman in full Egyptian regalia.)
PHINEAS: Are these seats taken?
WOMAN: No, go right ahead, Phineas.
PHINEAS: (smiling politely) thank you, Miss. Oh, and this is my, erm… unwitting accomplice for the present, Mr. Pete Rodney.
PETE: (reaching out a hand) Nice to meet you.
WOMAN: Likewise. I’m Cleopatra.
PETE: Yeah, you sure look like it.
CLEO: No… I am Cleopatra.
(PETE looks at PHINEAS almost pleadingly, as if to ask “really?”)
PHINEAS: You’ll have to forgive him, Miss… he’s not really supposed to be here.
CLEO: Ah. A stowaway, is it?
PETE: Uh, yeah… (he’s blushing furiously now)
(she motions him closer to whisper in his ear, which gives PETE an illicit thrill)
So was I, a few years ago… don’t let them send you back, whatever you do!
(PETE rockets back into his own chair, bolt upright and very nervous when he realizes again he’s only in shorts and a thin undershirt)
PHINEAS: What did she tell you?
PETE: (regaining his compsure a little and grinning)
I bet you’d like to know.
(a woman in a serious looking suit pokes her head out from the door leading into the inner office, her severe features framed by faux wood paneling.)
WOMAN: Cleopatra, we’re ready for your disciplinary hearing. Please come in.
(CLEO rises from her seat and goes to head in, but not before sharing a knowing wink with PETE. As the door closes, PETE leans back in the plastic chair and smiles.)
PHINEAS: In case you haven’t noticed, she’s not one to be looked up to. She’s here to be reprimanded.
PETE: Is she going to be sent back to her time if she did something really bad?
PHINEAS: Well… no. She has dangerous knowledge of the future. We couldn’t dare risk it. Besides, she’s supposed to be dead in her time…
PETE: Right, because your little… thing…
PHINEAS: The Omni. As long as it gives the green light, all is well.
PETE: So she’s supposed to be here?
PHINEAS: (with a sigh and groan) It would appear so.
PETE: So… how do we know I’m not supposed to be here, too?
PHINEAS: I suppose we’ll have to figure that out in your meeting.
PETE: But as of right now… it’s a green light, right?
PHINEAS: (pulling the Omni out of his jacket pocket and glancing at it)
Currently, yes, but….
(Suddenly a red light lights up the entire screen of the Omni, blinking angrily. PETE cranes his neck to see.)
PETE: What’s up? I see red!
PHINEAS: Quiet! (he studies the Omni a bit more, looking over it and seemingly through the door they just came through, his eyes hard and focused.)
We’ve got an red light… and it’s here.
(almost immediately, people, including CLEO come barreling out of the inner office, loaded for bear. PHINEAS and PETE are hot on their heels as they all make their way back to the central hub, chatting worriedly about the situation.)
PETE: I can’t hear a damn thing anyone’s saying; will someone PLEASE tell me what’s going on?!
(CLEO turns around to help)
CLEO: Sorry, kid.
PETE: (a little perturbed) It’s Pete.
CLEO: Sorry, Pete. There’s something going on down at the hub, and–
PHINEAS: (butting in) Cleopatra VII Philopator, don’t you dare! He hasn’t been evaluated and we can’ go risking giving him knowledge–
CLEO: (cutting HIM off) Oh, Phineas, stuff it! Come on, Pete, we’ve got to hurry.
PETE: But what’s going on in the hub?!
CLEO: We think… someone’s trying to break into the Quad.