The Book hurriedly made a televideo connection - voice only, again - and Tallie heard it speaking to somebody she couldn't see.
"Your containment tanks have been contaminated with excess phlogiston," it said. "You must vent them now!"
There was the sound of a great lever being pulled, not altogether smoothly. A quavering voice came back over the line. "Were they? Are you sure?"
There was a pause. "Who is that, anyway? Maude?"
The Book hung up. On the main screen Tallie saw a big hot cloud of gas burp upward from one of the laboratories. It gathered into a roiling bubble that happened to be in Captain Scarlet's way. The unstoppable bullet that was Bonnie Scarlet grazed the bubble, which deflected her two degrees from her trajectory and aimed her straight at the hovercar over Cornelius Zappencackler's roof.
No one was paying much attention to the bubble: so no one saw it open one large quivering eye and, apparently not liking what it saw, dive right back into its chimne