Sorry,” she said, “I got out as fast as I could, but I had to stay and socialize. Protocol, you know.” “Explain protocol,” Nell said. This was how she always talked to the Primer. “At the place we’re going, you need to watch your manners. Don’t say ‘explain this’ or ‘explain that.’” “Would it impose on your time unduly to provide me with a concise explanation of the term protocol?” Nell said. Again Rita made that nervous laugh and looked at Nell with an expression that looked like poorly concealed alarm.