“So,” said Gordon, over the sound of breaking waves, “You want to tell me what’s going on?” They were out in the middle Lake Michigan now, Gordon having tied a load of scrip to the doors of the motorboat rental office while the sugar cube broke the encryption on one of the speedier models, and were following a course that Invisible Rockmore dictated, making slight course corrections along the way.
“A supposition, Gordon,” said Invisible Rockmore, not needing to shout.
“That’s like a hunch, right?”
Gordon Littlejohn was late to work the morning of the fifth because of the EMP bomb that went off two blocks from his apartment. At six fifty-nine a.m., a utility truck disguised as an official State vehicle disintegrated under the pressure wave of a conventional explosive while every unhardened electrical system within a kilometer of the truck’s secondary explosion, unseen by the naked eye but well felt by everything that conducted current, had its useful properties scrambled by electromagnetic pulse. As a result of the EMP, none of the electrics in Gordon’s apartment, including his alarm clock, functioned properly anymore. Heavy sleeper that he was, the rattling of his windows was mistaken for an errant compost truck and Gordon had responded by rolling over in bed and grunting a bit. When the sun’s rays finally pierced Gordon’s cheaply veiled windows to tap dance on his eyelids, it was ten o’clock. Rockmore was definitely going to count this as an occurrence.