“Red or green, easy choice, right? I mean, he got the wire count down to two.” Morgan spoke.
“What? You want him to just flip a coin? Why don’t you go switch with him?” Thomas spat back.
“No, I’m good right here.”
The two men stood behind blast proof glass surrounded by paramedics, firemen and police officers. Across the street from their safe nest loomed the city’s network intranet, with in it were enough explosions to level the building and destroy all network capabilities. At the center of it all stood one man and the central wiring for the explosions.
“Okay Nick, 2 wires left. Cut the wrong one or cut the right one, your pick.” Nick spoke to only himself.
“Hey bud, how’s it going in there?” Thomas’s voice coughed through the radio.
“I could really use a beer.” Nick answered as sweat sprinkled his blast mask with every breathe.
“You got it kid, the beers on me when you get out.” Silence followed Thomas’s words.
Nick’s nervousness ended at his wrist. His hand gripped his wire cutter with steadiness and determination. The cutter floated from the red to green wire as time ticked down.
“Walk through it Nick….” Again, speaking to himself. “Triple cylinder explosives use one primary wire and four overlay wires. Down to two. The red wire seems to lead out to satellite explosives, while green focuses around this device.” Sweat continued to leave his body.
“Kid’s got 2 minutes.” Thomas turned to Morgan.
Outside the two men began recommending people move further back.
“Chief, he can trace one of the wires, right? If it goes to a satellite explosive, don’t cut it.” Morgan didn’t break his gaze on the building.
“Negative, without knowing how long the cable is he could waste what little time he has.”
“I picked my wire.” Nick’s voice shot anxiety through everyone.
Inside Nick held the green wire steadily and with purpose. As the timer reached 1-minute Nick kissed the wire with his cutter. Snip.
No explosions rocked the building, everyone was still breathing; everything was still counting down.
“Shit! Overlay wire!” Nick shouted through his mic.
“Shit.” Morgan and Thomas both said to themselves.
“Nick! You’ve got 30 seconds to find the wire to shut this down!”
Nick barely had time to listen, dropping his cutter, he kneeled and gripped the under panel on the explosive. Prying it free he ripped it off and dove into the nest of wires he previously called home. Getting annoyed by his thick gloves he removed them allowing him to finely navigate the nest.
“Red, red, green, no, blue, no, yellow, yellow, black, purple.” Nick shouted at the explosive.
“30 seconds Nick, plenty of time. Get it done.” Thomas’s voice didn’t bring joy.
“Come one, come on!” Nick continued to furiously rip threw the nest of wires. “Brown?” Nick stared at the wire as if it were not real. “Brown wire! Brown wire!” He screamed through the mic.
With his death grip on the brown wire he reached for his cutters. In the fury of diving through the nest, Nick kicked them out of reach.
“Is the wire cut? Nick? You’ve got 15 seconds.” Hope dashed from Thomas’s voice.
The time ticked down as Nick froze in fear. His one weapon in this fight was removed. The tool that would save his life lay inches away from his grip. Letting go of the wire would mean death as it would get lost in the nest once more.
Anger filled Nick’s eyes as he ripped of his helmet. He wasn’t going to die this way. Diving into the nest, Nick bit down hard on to the wire. 5 seconds ticked as Nick continued to gnaw and bite his way to safety.
2 seconds. Nick’s teeth slammed together as he bit threw the wire. The timer stopped.
Beer never tasted so good as it washed over Nick’s lips. Thomas, Morgan, and Nick all sat drinking their tensions away from earlier that day.