Thane Rosenbloom is a professor at an unnamed university, where he is the head of the department of computer science. Posing as journalist Peter Emery working on a technology story, Philip and Charles Duluth visit Rosenbloom, to obtain information on ARPANET.

Rosenbloom describes what he’s working on as “a handshake that introduces distant computers to each other, in virtual space.” Duluth later gets the entry code to the university's computer room from Rosenbloom's office so that Philip can attach a computer to the ARPANET and download its information.