Monday. Six pm. Tension encases Beth like a static field, charged but invisible.
The countdown hits zero. ON THE AIR lights up in fire-alarm red. Beth starts speaking. "Welcome to NOVA’s Science on the Edge. With me today is anthropologist Fabio Felline from the University of Montana. Dr. Felline, tell us about your work."
The young postdoc sits rigidly, a hand clenched on each thigh. Beth understands: he’s live, on national television. She smiles to reassure him.
The moment draws out. His lines are on the teleprompter, just off camera, but it looks like he’s too nervous to remember that. The man from the National Office of Truth in Media—part of the new president’s War on Misinformation—is starting to frown. As if that’ll help. Asshole.
The flustered postdoc’s eyes widen; he’s found his teleprompter. He clears his throat and answers. "Well, Beth, my team studies DNA to figure out how our ancestors spread around the globe."
Beth lets the original script roll down her tongue, to stop...
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