“I have something here,” said the radioman.
Joe covered the distance from the control room to the radio room in a heartbeat. “Let’s hear it.”
The radioman spun the volume dial, and Joe bent an ear to the Morse code: XDA FQY.
“FQY?” one of the planesmen called aft.
“That’s right,” Joe replied, looking over his shoulder at the man in the control room who’d asked the question. “Radios on the eight megahertz frequency, and XDA says they’re in Alexandria. Turn north and get the air wing fueled up. Send the confirmation.”
The radioman nodded and set to his Morse key.
Cannon scribbled the reply down on a pad of paper on the table next to the radio set. “They’re about a hundred miles southwest of here. Half an hour and they’ll be on the ground. Do you have a portable radio that works in the eight megahertz band?”
Masaracchia stared at him blankly. “Thir’y-one meter band,” Iseabail clarified.
“Aha.” Masaracchia nodded and dispatched one of the other monks with a few words.
“I didn’t know Latin had a word for radio.” Cannon leaned back in the chair and put his feet up on the table.
Masaracchia looked to his left, in the direction of nothing in particular. “Conversation in a dead language sometimes makes for new vocabulary.”
“None of them speak Italian?” said Burr, leaning against the wall.
“It may have escaped you,” Masaracchia said, “but we’re in Egypt.”
“And Egyptian monks get together with outsiders enough that they need to know a common language, but those outsiders are from somewhere besides the home office so often that Italian wouldn’t work?”