The jerry-rigged device looked like an old-fashioned touch-tone telephone and, to any bystander who happened too be in the lab at the time, that’s exactly what it was.
Dr. Liu however, knew that hidden inside the contraption, were electronics that represented the heights of international scientific cooperation. They crossed disciplines: chemistry, string theory, and biology were all at play there, in one way or another, in addition to several more esoteric fields …
The microbiologist looked into the microscope and answered the ringing phone.
“We are here, we are here, we are here!” came out of the receiver in a tinny chorus.
Cheeky buggers! Who knew that amoeba had a sense of humor and read Dr. Seuss?
She would have to persuade these organisms to stop horsing around and answer some questions. If she couldn’t do that in the next few minutes, what with sub-atomic trans-universal phone rates being as exorbitant as they were, Dr. Liu’s career would end up in a trench she wouldn’t be able to dig herself out of.
On the other hand, if the shoe were on the other foot, if she were a microscopic trans-universal being under scrutiny by a mere human, she might also be unable to resist the urge to tweak said human’s nose.