Scene: Just another day in DC

SCENE: Four men stand in an empty waiting room smiling and cooing at newborn babies through a large picture window into the post-natal nursery of George Washington University Hospital, Washington DC. One is casually dressed, and with scant regard for the polished linoleum, wearing golf cleats. Two are wearing well-cut suits, the fourth a military uniform of exalted rank.

BLUE SUIT: "Look at that one on the left. Isn't he cute?"

UNIFORM: "Wow, I love that little guy... girl. I think that's a she. Look at that one over there yawning. She's smiling! Awwww... looks like a little angel!"

GREY SUIT: "They can't smile when they're this young. It's gotta be gas or something."

CASUAL SLACKS & GOLF SHIRT: "This is our constituency, our real constituency, you know."

GREY SUIT: "I think you're right, Rickie."

CASUAL SLACKS & GOLF SHIRT: "Don't call me Rickie!"

GREY SUIT: "What then, Richard Bruce? We can't call you Dick, that's what everybody calls the boss. But I agree with you, these little guys are our future."

CASUAL SLACKS & GOLF SHIRT: "Don't piss me off, Donnie."

BLUE SUIT: "Can we get back to business here?"

UNIFORM: "That'd be nice. I'm due for drinks at the officers' club."

GREY SUIT: "So... this thing really went off?"

BLUE SUIT: "It's a fact. Never seen anything like it."

UNIFORM: "You were over there...?"

BLUE SUIT: "Hadda see for myself. Kannenberg's lab looks like it was flipped upside down and inside out and stuck in a furnace hot enough to turn glass to water. All at once. When it cooled off, the whole shebang hardened up on the ceiling like gooey fudge."

CASUAL SLACKS & GOLF SHIRT: "And this Furlonger guy? We can't find him?"

UNIFORM: "Carl Furlonger. All we know is he left the country after Fermi handed him his ass, and nobody's heard shit from him for a coupla decades since."

GREY SUIT: "Doesn't anybody know anything? Someone's gotta have something... what about getting hold of SARTRE?"

BLUE SUIT: "Our records on that period seem to be misplaced. We have credible hints that Furlonger ruffled feathers at the University of Chicago, got himself axed and blew town. Period. Finito. That's all we got."

CASUAL SLACKS & GOLF SHIRT: "And this Pavlov. Sounds like a goddam commie to me... like the guy who invented the dogs."

GREY SUIT: "Unlikely... Rickie. Our sources say the family had decorated ancestors in the Continental Army, at Valley Forge."

BLUE SUIT: (grumbling) Goddam commies probably inserted them as sleeper agents on the Mayflower...

UNIFORM: (hastily) "But at least Pavlov's partner spilled his guts... didn't even have to work the little pencilneck over. Guy's supposed to be somewhere in Canada, but the trail's cold. The Canucks don't think he even crossed the border."

CASUAL SLACKS & GOLF SHIRT: "So he's still Stateside."

UNIFORM: "Anybody's guess. He could be anywhere! It's been weeks now."

GREY SUIT: "We've got to get our hands on that fucking device!"

CASUAL SLACKS & GOLF SHIRT: (suddenly serious, speaking as to an invisible political rally) "The future of this great nation depends on it. And on these cuties, eh? Coochie- coochie! Really, we're doing this all for them. That's why we've got to get that thing and weaponize it. To protect them. The eggheads tell us they think we could blow the damned commies back to the stone age with it, no sweat. And I can't think of anything that'd protect these little guys better."

AGREEMENT ALL ROUND: "Yeah. We need this bomb for the kids!"

BLUE SUIT: "We've alerted all of our agents. We'll find him."

GREY SUIT: "Good. That's exactly what we're paying you to do. And sooner than later."

UNIFORM: "I've got to go. Triple martinis call my name."

BLUE SUIT: "Shaken, or stirred?"

UNIFORM: "I don't give a shit!"

GREY SUIT: "Coochie-coochie-coo! Gawd. Them cute little angels!"

The motley group drifts away from the window. One of the angels, expression curiously wise, follows their progress with a newborn's grey eyes. Then blows a spit bubble. The accompanying sound is of a tiny, angelic raspberry.