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"Right, John." And they left the FBI office for the Los Alamos airfield.

Chapter 27 Standoff

Jack, Steven, and Jim watched over the Internet in horror as they realized that Metafire had hijacked the Shuttle Discovery. They could look out of their capsule's window and see the Metafire Two capsule with its huge cavern attached. Yet they had no way to simply board her. A join of this kind required the cooperation of both capsules. If one capsule refused to effect the join, the join could not be made.

They turned their capsule toward the Discovery when they heard that it was opening its cargo bay doors. They reported the exit of the Metafire One colony, with Russian capsule attached. It was hard to see, almost twenty miles distant, but Jim Edenfield had made a telescope-type arrangement of camera lenses. Although Metafire One was acting on the dark side of earth orbit, the Shuttle bay lights gave away the activities.

"I still can't believe how fast these guys are!" Jack made the comment to the others.

"We have their Internet message. They have hostages in both vessels. In fact, the broadcast Internet traffic from Metafire Two is that they have hostages too!" Jim was back on his terminal working hard to keep abreast of all relevant information. "The tug has been ordered to come to us. We'll have more room to move about once we're joined with it."

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