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balanced crates, and the technicians seemed determined to try and stack a few more on top. Ivanova felt as if she were the only one who saw the impending disaster as she shouted. "No, that's... don't touch... watch out for the..."

Her warning was truncated by a loud crash as the crates toppled over. The technicians scurried to get out of the way instants before the stack came crashing down. "Never mind," sighed Ivanova.

What was truly amazing was that none of them seemed the slightest bit surprised that the tower of crates had tumbled down. Nor did they seem at all put off by the unnecessary duplication of effort as they began restacking the boxes.

She was about to try and stop them, and then she noticed off in another direction that a loader was being overloaded. She saw the back wheels starting to lift, and the oblivious IPX techies were shoving more boxes atop it to try and save time and prevent multiple trips.

"Don't put it there, not there," she pleaded, "anywhere but..." and she realized in a distant and amazed manner that she couldn't remember the last time she had pleaded for anything. Was this what she had been reduced to? Not just traffic cop, but a failed and desperate traffic cop?

And then it became moot as the loader, its center of gravity thrown off, tipped forward, spilling everything. "-there," completed Ivanova, with the air of someone whose entire life had descended into complete and utter misery.

"You should see your face," came a voice that sounded filled with all the amusement that Ivanova found impossible to discern in this situation. Dr. Franklin drifted in to stand nearby; he seemed to be drinking in the insanity with barely concealed glee. She realized that the source of his glee was she herself, and she considered it to be somewhat
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