The voice that woke Anne was quiet, almost apologetic. She came awake immediately, unsure of how long she had slept.
"Anne," asked Dr. Garvin. "Are you awake?"
Anne looked around the office. Had she fallen asleep? She remembered clearly coming into Savoy Laboratories for an internship. She'd had an interview, been offered the position, and then? It got a little hazy from there.
"Yes, Dr. Garvin," said Anne. "Did I fall asleep? I didn't mean to."
Dr. Garvin gave her a kindly smile. He was an older, graying man in his late fifties. "Don't worry about it, Anne. I'm sure you've had a long day. Are you ready to start work?"
"Today?" asked Anne.
Dr. Garvin smiled again. "No time like the present. The workday is just beginning."
Anne looked at the clock. Dr. Garvin was right. It was ten minutes before nine in the morning. How early had her interview been? For some reason, she couldn't remember the answer. She wondered if she had hit her head and passed out.
Anne looked up from the couch at her new employer. "Dr. Garvin, you look tired. Maybe you should take the couch." She stood up.
"Thank you, Anne," said Dr. Garvin. "I might just do that. I was here all night. Why don't you report to Dr. Andrews? He'll tell you what he wants you to do."
Anne nodded and walked out of the office. She threaded her way confidently through the labyrinth of cubicles that led from applied psychiatry to prototype control and testing. No one had told her how to get there, but to Anne, the building just seemed so logically laid out that it couldn't possibly be anywhere else. She waved at the receptionist, "Good morning, Jessica. Dr. Garvin told me to report to Dr. Andrews today. Is he in yet?"
Jessica, who had just gotten in and was still hanging up her heavy winter coat, looked up surprised. "I'm afraid I don't know yet, Miss... ?"
"Turing," said Anne, "Anne Turing."
Jessica came back to her desk and sat down. "You'll need special clearance to go back there. Have you been issued an ID badge yet?"
Anne nodded. Reaching down into her tank top, she pulled out the cord with the bright red badge granting her access to all areas of the facility.
Jessica's eyes widened a little in surprise. "What are you going to be doing here, Miss Turing?"
Anne smiled. "I'm going to be an intern. I'm a chemistry major at Farraghut University."
Jessica leaned forward conspiratorially. "Anne, can I give you some advice?"
Anne smiled warmly at Jessica. "Sure. I'm certain I can use all the help I can get."
"The dress code is pretty relaxed here," said Jessica in a stage whisper, "but it's probably in your best interest to wear a bra to work."
Anne nodded and looked down. Wearing a lime green tank top, short black skirt, and black knee-high socks, she really hadn't dressed very appropriately for work. What had she been thinking? "Thank you, Jessica," she said demurely. "I'll be sure to do that in the future."
Before reporting to Dr. Andrews's office, Anne ducked into the ladies' room. She frowned at herself in the mirror, wondering if there wasn't some way to make herself look more demure. She debated undoing the twin blonde braids that made her look like she should be handing out hot cocoa in the Alps rather than working in an office. Some instinct kept her from doing it.
The frown stayed as Anne thought about the conversation with Jessica. The receptionist had looked surprised at being address by name. For the life of her, Anne couldn't remember where she knew Jessica from. She shrugged. The receptionist couldn't be more than a couple of years out of college. They'd probably gone to school together at some point.
Dr. Andrews smiled broadly when Anne came into his office. "Ah, Anne. It's good to see that you're up and about. How are you feeling?"
"Fine, Doctor," said Anne. "Dr. Garvin sent me here to work with you today. He's feeling a bit under the weather after working through the night."
Dr. Andrews nodded. "Excellent. Anne, that's a lovely accent you have. Where are you from?"
"Northern Virginia," said Anne in her precisely clipped tones. "I grew up in a little town nobody's ever heard of--Turing."
"Just like your last name?" asked Dr. Andrews.
"Yes," said Anne. "I suppose that it is."
Dr. Andrews nodded, grinning broadly and made a note on a yellow legal pad on his desk. Anne waited expectantly for him to tell her what she should do. Dr. Andrews said, "Why don't you take that desk over there."
Anne nodded and took her seat. She looked over expectantly at Dr. Andrews again. He said, "Oh, you can answer phones. And, would you proofread this paper, please?"
Anne took the manuscript he handed her. When she handed it back, he looked it over. "Were there any mistakes?" he asked.
"You mistyped Planck's Constant as 6.226E-34 joules on page six," said Anne. "That was the only typographical error in the piece."
"The only syntactical error?" asked Dr. Andrews. "Were there any other errors?"
Anne nodded. "You misrepresented Colby's work on page 33. Your use of his empirical data is correct. But, your conclusions are contradicted by Armin's findings in his piece on conductive crystals."
Dr. Andrews. "I didn't mean to contradict you like that. Please elaborate on why Dr. Armin's work contradicts my interpretation of Colby's findings."
Anne nodded and launched into a lengthy explanation linking the two papers. Dr. Andrews scribbled furiously on his legal pad, asking Anne to explain in a number of places. At one point, he asked, "Did you deduce that all by yourself?"
Anne shrugged. "Yes, Doctor. It just seemed like common sense."
"Thank you, Anne," said Dr. Andrews.
There was silence for a few minutes, broken only by the doctor's scribbling. Then, Anne asked, "Doctor, did I do something wrong?"
"No," said Dr. Andrews, with a broad grin. "In some cases, you'll want to judge how fragile a man's ego is before challenging him like that. And, you did just invalidate about two months of work, but you did very well."
"Thank you, Doctor," said Anne. She wriggled in her seat, pleased with herself.
During the day, a stream of doctors and administrators came to Dr. Andrews' office. They often chatted with Anne for a few minutes before lowering their voices to a whisper. Some were more vocal, as if Anne wasn't even present.
"Are you sure she's not too perfect? I mean, there isn't an inch of her you couldn't bounce a quarter off of, she's so toned," a man named Alexander O'Neil from marketing asked Dr. Andrews. Anne realized they were talking about her and stopped listening.
Most of the day, Anne had very little to do. When Dr. Andrews noticed her sitting at her desk, staring idly into space, he said, "Anne, if you're bored, you should avail yourself of the SCIEX article database or the Internet."
Anne smiled. Access to SCIEX meant that the doctor genuinely wasn't angry with her for ruining his research paper. She wanted to jump up and kiss him, but something told her that would be contextually inappropriate.
When work ended, Dr. Garvin gave her a ride back to her dormitory. He walked her inside and up to her floor. It was winter break and no other students seemed to be on campus. Anne was a little surprised to see that the doctor had a key to her room. She turned to ask him why that was, but he said something Anne didn't register and she was asleep.
The next few days were more of the same. For the first three, Anne was happy to come to work every day, spend most of her time reading scientific articles, and answer the same questions over and over again for the steady stream of scientists coming to Dr. Andrews' office. Sometimes, when Dr. Garvin came by, she took naps. No one seemed to mind. Every night, Dr. Garvin gave her a ride home. Every morning, he picked her up.
It wasn't until Monday that she first became concerned there might be something wrong with her.
"Dr. Andrews," she asked, "is today Monday?"
"Yes, Anne," said Dr. Andrews. "Why do you ask?"
"It's the strangest thing," said Anne. "I can't remember the weekend at all. Dr. Garvin took me back to my dorm room on Friday. I fell asleep right after he dropped me off. Then I woke up and he gave me a ride to work this morning. Could I have slept through the whole weekend?"
Dr. Andrews shrugged reassuringly. "I suppose it's possible. Maybe you were just very tired."
Anne laughed. "I suppose that's it. Thank you, Dr. Andrews. I'm so relieved. Would it be inappropriate for me to thank you with a kiss?"
Dr. Andrews sighed. "Yes, Anne. I'm afraid it would."
"Oh," said Anne. Her face fell.
They worked in silence for a few minutes. Then, Anne said, "Dr. Andrews?"
Dr. Andrews looked up. "Yes, Anne?"
"I seem to be missing a lot of memories, not just this weekend," said Anne.
"Oh?" asked Dr. Andrews. For the first time, Anne saw him look concerned.
"Yes," said Anne. "It's strange. I remember that I'm a student at Farraghut and a chemistry major. But, I can't remember ever taking a class there. My own dorm room doesn't look familiar. I can't remember if I have a roommate or a boyfriend or any friends."
"Oh, dear," said Dr. Andrews. He was frowning.
Anne started to get upset. "Dr. Andrews, did I make you mad?" she asked, concerned at his reaction.
Dr. Andrews stood up. "No, dear. It's fine. Don't you worry. I'm going to get Dr. Garvin. Stay here and keep the door closed."
Anne leapt out of her seat as Dr. Andrews turned to go. She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him passionately on the mouth, gratitude and relief expressing themselves through her lips. For a couple of seconds, Dr. Andrews kissed her back. Then, he pulled away. "Anne, are you all right?"
Anne nodded. "Sorry, Doctor. That was inappropriate, wasn't it?"
Dr. Andrews hugged her. "Don't worry. I'm going to get Dr. Garvin."
Anne nodded as Dr. Andrews left. As he walked down the hall, she closed the door behind him. Then she picked up the phone and called Jessica, the receptionist.
"Jessica," she said. "I think something is seriously wrong with me. I need to talk to someone."
"Is it something medical?" Jessica asked.
"Yes," said Anne, "I think so."
"I'll put you through to the infirmary."
A few seconds later, a man's voice came on the line. "Yes, infirmary. Can I help you?"
Anne said, "I hope so. Something is wrong with me."
"All right," said the reassuring voice. "Can you come down to the fifth floor?"
"No," said Anne. "I can't."
The voice immediately sounded concerned. "You physically can't leave where you are?"
"No," said Anne. "I really can't."
"What office are you in?" asked the man on the other end of the phone.