"Is it true that there was something, something in the ocean water brought to shore by the hurricane?"
"Those reports have not been confirmed."
"And the lights in the sky?"
"There is a coordinated effort being undertaken by the relevant agencies--the FAA, the Air Force, NASA, the OFCM--to understand what those lights, the lights that some have reported seeing over the Forum, whether those lights were, strictly speaking, real and whether they had any relationship to the... incident."
"What about the video?"
"We're looking at that now. General, I think you can better explain."
"Yes. Thank you, Mr. President. Since, as we all know, the incident began during the video, we have naturally made it a priority to investigate what connection, if any, the video had with events. Whether the observed anomalies were in any way related to what happened. We've got the very best people working around the clock on this."
"What is it that you're looking for?"
"We have to explore every possibility, including the possibility that there may have been some sort of kill switch or other communication embedded in the video."
"Are you saying that the video caused the incident?"
wouldn't say that, no, not based on what we know right now."
"What have you found so far?"
"Our preliminary analysis has found that, in addition to the obvious anomalies, there are certain unaccountable redundancies and seemingly useless surpluses in the data stream. Simply put, there's more information, more code, than there is output, audiovisual signal. We've found subtle fluctuations in both the audio and visual signals, fluctuations so subtle that they would be imperceptible, at least consciously. And these fluctuations appear to be non-random."
"What's the significance of this?"
"We cannot say at this time."
"Where is this analysis being done? Who's doing it?"
"I'm afraid I cannot reveal that information. But top people. Signal engineers, cryptologists, linguists."
"Yes. One of the very low-pitched, sub-auditory sound signals exhibits non-random rhythmic patterns and timbral qualities consistent with speech."
"You mean a message?"
"Not necessarily. More like speaking in tongues."
"How soon will we have more results?"
"As I said, our analysts are on it now. But this is delicate work. You can imagine the challenges of trying to study this video when the point is to determine whether watching it causes an overpowering hunger for human flesh."
"Has Representative Paul made any comment?"
"We have been unable to reach him."
"What about reports that the... the reports of... of--"
"--yes, the reports of activity as far north as Gainsville."
"As far as I know those reports have not been confirmed."
"But, General, the scale of the fires--"
"Task Force authorities are investigating the matter."
"Has there been any news from Mayor Buckhorn?"
"Nothing new, no. Mayor Buckhorn is still monitoring the situation from aboard the Carl Vinson."
"From the Stadium?"
"Look, can we stop it with these kinds of questions about the Stadium. I think everyone here knows what happened at the stadium. In fact, I watched it on the monitors with you. As I have said, if anyone is still alive at the Stadium, you will be the first to know. Otherwise, let's please move on."
"What is the long-term strategy?"
"Well, we're only 36 hours out. Until we make some progress in determining how these... these bodies work, both physically and collectively... the nature of Post-Necrotic Metabolic Persistence Syndrome... For now, we can only hope that the Wall will continue to hold."
"What about Team Six?"
The General looked to the President. His jaw tightened. Something seemed to well up in his eyes. Not tears. Lava.
"We have lost contact."