The lobby was unremarkable, if you ignored the far wall, papered in a regular black-on-white pattern of two-inch tall numbers. In front of the wall, a desk; behind the desk, a woman of that indeterminate middle age I still think of as older than me, despite what my mirror reports.
She was on the phone, finishing one call as I entered and switching to another line with a remarkable bray of "Irrational Num-bers," in an accept that combined an Upper Midwest rasp with the slight over-enunciation typical of most Edgers. She gave me a look that implied I was underdressed for the lobby, tucked the handset under her chin and averred, "Deliveries go through the gate, loading dock, South side. Follow the signs," returning her attention to the telephone immediately after.
I just stood there and waited, studying the wallpaper. I found "3.1415" at the upper left and it started to make sense, in a Far Edge way. Finishing her call, she looked up and realized I was still there. "Can I help you?" she asked, in a tone that implied that she couldn't, wouldn't and I was dim for not realizing it.
"Um, Miz...Mandelbrot?" (That's what the sign on her desk said, YVONNE MANDELBROT, OFFICE MANAGER. The Fate's jest or more Edger humor?). "I'm from the Lupine? To meet Findlay Michaels?" Couldn't keep the questioning tone out of my voice. I felt as if I was back in grade school.
To find out what happens next, you'll need to read the current exciting chapter of Frothup: Dropping In at I Work On A Starship!