The sound of the telephone is muted, discreet, almost apologetic ... as though calls received at such an early hour of the day can only bring bad news. Kat looks up from the newspaper and frowns slightly. Just past 6:00 a.m., so probably not a local caller. Swan, perhaps, calling from Los Angeles. Or Vladimir in Moscow; it's two hours later there, and after their last series of talks, hearing from him wouldn't be unexpected. She puts down the paper, rises, and walks to the desk, lifting the phone receiver just as the next ring starts.
Hello? Dr. Norte speaking.