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gulfnp > Eileen Reed - Ground Zero > Part 7
"Art Bailey, ma'am," the man said, and held out a firm, square hand.

"The Truth Team Commander," Eileen said, shaking the hand and gesturing to a chair. "Still no Lowell."

"Nope, he's still out of it," Art said, and sat in the chair abruptly. Eileen looked at the droop of the shoulders and the cast of the eyes and realized Art was more than distressed- he was completely exhausted. The man should have ruddy skin tones with all those freckles, but he was a shade closer to gray.

"Tell me about the Game, Art. I want to find out who killed Terry, and the best way to do it is to find out what happened."

Art nodded. Eileen had thought that with the blond hair Art would have blue eyes; instead, they were a deep and opaque brown. The color gave a somber expression to the otherwise round and cheerful face.

"All right, where shall I start?"

"Tell me everything that happened today. Just start when you got up and go through everything," Eileen asked. Art shrugged his shoulders and nodded his head. He put a hand to his lips and pinched the lower one. Major Blaine was a lip biter. Art Bailey was a pincher.

"My day started at four-fifteen, I got up and showered and fixed the coffee for Meg and me. She gets up at five to get the kids off to day care at six-thirty, so I always get the coffee made and feed the dogs before I leave at four-thirty."

"You do all that in fifteen minutes?" Eileen asked.

"I'm a time-and-motion kind of person, Miss-"

"Reed. Call me Eileen."

"Eileen. I read this book when I was a kid, it's called Cheaper by the Dozen, you ever hear of it?"

"I think I saw the movie," Eileen said, amused.

"Yeah, there was a movie too. Anyway, the dad and mom were time-and-motion-study experts. And the dad would experiment with how quickly he could get dressed in the morning-b.u.t.toning up his vest from bottom to top, for instance, because it was faster. I do the same thing-that's one of the reasons I'm in this job."

"Okay."

"So I have everything ready to go, I'm out the door in fifteen minutes flat, the only thing I slow down for is a kiss for Meg. And I'm in here thirty-two minutes later-that includes the drive, parking, going through the retinal scanner, badge check, capsule doors ..."

"I know, I know," Eileen said, and Art chuckled rustily.

"An amazing amount of work to get in here, isn't it? I hardly notice it anymore, actually.

"So I have to open up the Gaining Center, which means I go through a checklist to see that all doors are closed and locked, all the terminals are shut down, all the printers are empty-"

"You check all the doors?" Eileen asked sharply.

"Yes, there are three. And I sign a doc.u.ment in each door along with the time, to verify that I've checked it. The lists are changed when the sheet of paper gets full-I know where you're going with this," Art said, holding up a hand as Eileen opened her mouth to speak. "There should be lists going back to the time th

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