Artie angrily slammed his Farnsworth shut. "Where are they?" he grouched to Claudia. "I keep calling them and they won't answer!"
"Maybe," Claudia said without looking up from her computer, "they're busy."
Artie glared at her. "Too busy to answer me?" He made some indistinguishable sound and paced around the room. "They always answer. I remember a time when Myka answered in the middle of sword fighting." He paused. "Granted, she yelled, "Not now, Artie!" and hung up, but she still answered."
"Yeah…" Claudia trailed off. It was obvious she wasn't listening.
"Claudia!" Artie stormed over to her. "Your fellow agents are missing in action! Are you even listening?"
She nodded, then looked up at him. "They're in Chicago, right?"
Artie sighed and pushed his glasses up off his face. Claudia was tiresome. "Yes, they are in Chicago. Why?" he asked. "Are you looking for a little trip?"
"…No." Claudia frowned and swiveled her laptop so Artie could see the screen. "And I don't know about you, but I keep up to date on my social media. Weird stuff's been going on in Chicago today." She paused. "As in, police were reporting on a fire, and in the video, you can hear a guy in the background taking some madness."
He looked at her. Then at the computer screen. Then back at her. "What kind of madness, exactly?"
"Oh you know, stuff about a tunic and a match box."
Artie's massive eyebrows dipped into his field of vision. "So what does that mean?" he asked. "Gimmie that." He reached over and stole Claudia's laptop, even as she protested it. "How do I do this?"
"Pass it back," Claudia said with almost a groan. Artie handed it back to her, and she began to madly type. "Oh…"
Claudia squirmed slightly in her chair. "You sent Myka and Pete with Shadrach's tunic, right?" When Artie nodded, she continued. "And that artifact protects the user from a fire?" Another nod. "With possibly a brilliant blue force field kind of thing?"
"Yes!" Artie said, glaring at her. "Do I need to continue stroking your ego? I know you know a lot about the artifacts in the Warehouse! What about it?"
Claudia turned to face Artie. She looked slightly panicked, which although it sent Artie's heart racing, he didn't let on. "Yeah, the police just issued a report saying there is a woman trapped in the fire, and they think she's a terrorist." She paused.
"What? Is Myka still in the fire?" Artie's eyebrows rose again.
"Apparently," Claudia said, turning back to the computer. "They think she set off some kind of bomb, because she seems to have a "charged, dangerous force field" around her. They're concerned for her safety, because they can't get her out."
"What?" He grabbed the laptop again. "It must be Shadrach's cloth! I gave it to them in case John Orr's match box had a fit!" He paused. "It was kept in a neutralizer bath for so long I guess…" He trailed off.
Artie sighed and yanked his glasses back down onto his face so he could see. "I guess," he said slowly, "that it may not be fully operational anymore."
Claudia glared at him. "What do you mean, 'not fully operational'?" she asked. "Do you mean to say she's stuck in a force field that no one can get her out of, but it's not actually working completely?"
He paused. "…Yes." He pushed the laptop back over to Claudia, then scurried over to his own. "Of course, whichever part of it isn't working would have a different effect. If the heat was getting through, she would be getting burnt. If the smoke was getting through, she would asphyxiate. And if the house fell down on top of her and the force field didn't stop that…uh, yeah."
"Uh…yeah, that's...yeah." Claudia sniffed delicately. "How about we take a little trip to Chicago?"
"Already booking the flights."
Dawson sighed and looked up towards the roof of the ambulance. "Alright, Pete, I really do need to check your vitals!" She waved the blood pressure cuff at him. "Your partner is in good hands. Right now, you need to be looking after yourself."
"Myka should be in here, not me!" He struggled against the restraints. "Come on, she was out of it! She's obviously hurt! I'm fine!"
Dawson pursed her lips. "Pete, you are not fine. You have smoke inhalation, as well as I am pretty concerned that you hurt your head." She paused. "What's the date?"
She nodded. "Date."
"Fine," Pete said, "it's July 24th 2012. And before you ask, its president Obama, I'm in Chicago but live in South Dakota, and yes, you are cute."
Dawson turned bright red. She liked it when guys called her cute, but in the back of an ambulance was not quite the place she liked it to happen. Plus, she already had Peter Mills. "Okay, Pete, we just need to get you to the hospital."
"How many times do I have to tell you?" Pete asked. "I'm fine!" Under his breath he added, "And if you hadn't strapped me down, I probably would have teslaed you by now."
Dawson looked at him strangely. "Okay, so I realize people from South Dakota can be a bit isolated, but I know for sure you don't have Shadrach's tunic. I don't even want to know what kind of move a tesla is."
"Never mind," Pete said grouchily. "I vote you just get me checked into the hospital. As soon as this is over, I can go back to saving my partner."
Dawson gave him a tight-lipped smile. "Your partner will be out of the fire before you're even checked into the hospital completely," she said. "I can almost guarantee that."
"Almost?" he asked, pulling lethargically at his restraints. "You better get her out or you won't just have me to speak to, but the government, too."
Dawson was about to reply, but then the ambulance pulled to a stop and Shay swung open the back doors. "We're here," Shay said. "We're going to take you inside and the doctors will take a look, alright Mr. Lattimer?"
Pete sighed. "It's Pete."
Dawson gave Shay a look. "We've been…discussing how worried he is about his partner. I was just about to ask him about his previous comment about having to answer to the government." She turned to face Pete. "Are you a terrorist?"
"What?" Pete tried to sit up, but was held back by both the straps and Shay. "No! Why would you even think that?"
Dawson gave him a steely look. "Your partner seems to have detonated some kind of energy bomb." She pointed to her radio. "Yes, this informs me of a lot of things. Again I ask, are you a terrorist?"
"Dawson, let's get him inside," Shay said, her voice cold as she contemplated the man. He looked like he could be a terrorist. "We'll let the police interrogate him. They're a lot harsher than you and I."
"You don't believe me?" Pete asked as the girls got him out of the ambulance. "Fine, but you want proof I'm not? Look it under my belt. Just look."
"Excuse me?" Shay tried not to laugh as Dawson glared at Pete. "Mr. Lattimer, that is not appropriate!"
"What? No! No, not like that!"