In an abandoned office, Wellsey picked up a phone and jabbed buttons on it fruitlessly. June sat in a revolving chair, stroking the trilobite that sat on her lap, twiddling its antennae.
“So we’ve given up on finding the Prime Minister, then?” Wellsey snapped.
“What’s the point?” June said. “What’s the point in any of it?”
Wellsey, usually a kindly and laid-back sort of fellow responded to this by pushing a computer monitor off a desk and kicking it in two before it hit the floor.
“There will be no existential crises during life-and-death struggles!” he barked. “Keep it for later.”
June made a face and sighed. “Yeah, I guess. Well, let’s get on with it. We were finding the Prime Minister because it would be a PR problem or something?”
“I think,” Wellsey said. “Not sure. It was minutes ago, but it seems much longer.”
“I know, right?”
June placed the trilobite on her shoulder and stood. “All right,” she said. “Look, we need a plan. We have been reacting when we need to be acting. We have to do something.”
“If we’re going to save all the trilobites.”
“Hear me out,” June said. “I don’t know who’s outside trying to get in. NSW cops, AFP, ASIO, the Army… Oh, wait it turns out I do know who’s trying to get in. When they get in, they’ll try to save all the people, and probably get into a battle with the ninjas when they do so.”
“Yes?” Wellsey said uncertainly.
“And while they’re trying to save the people, who will be looking after the trilobites?”
Wellsey screwed up his eyes. He looked first at the ceiling and then at the floor. “No one?” he ventured.
“Which is a bad thing, because…”
“Because we have a duty to those trilobites,” June said. “We brought those creatures into our time and now they’re our responsibility. Oh, I see now how we were wrong to play Gosh.”
“I don’t say the other word because I’m extremely religious.”
“I didn’t know that.”
“Didn’t come up before.”
Wellsey scratched his chin. “Okay, I see where you’re coming from. Might not be a bad idea to try, I guess. Give the tourists huddled in the caferteria something to do – track down the trilobites. But what about the carnivorous trilobites? The man eaters? You’re an expert, you can tell the difference. But what about the others?”
“I have a plan,” June said.
She leaned over and whispered in Wellsey’s ear. What she said could be heard by no one – unless they were sitting on June’s shoulder. Wellsey listened quietly for about ten minutes.
“That’s not a very good plan,” he said.
“I haven’t finished,” June said. She whispered in Wellsey’s ear again, and he smiled.
“Oh, yeah,” he said. “Yeah, that could work. But…”
Wellsey never completed his thought. Suddenly the room got very hot, then very cold. The lights dimmed, and a wind arose from nowhere. With a flash a stranger appeared from thin air, dressed in a silver jumpsuit.
“Behold! I have traveled through the streams of time to bring a warning from the future!” he proclaimed.
Which probably would have been more impressive if he had not just materialized facing the wall, with one foot in a wastepaper basket.