Friday, August 27, 2010

Liability

"A Lightning Warning has been declared: Lightning has been detected within ten miles of the facility. All personnel shall cease explosive operations and secure the work areas."

The yellow lights started flashing in the bay. "Aww man," he muttered, "I was just about done, too. Oh well."

He packed the detonator and timer back into its small black plastic sleeve and screwed the cap down over it. The C4 bricks had to be unwired, but that went quickly enough, you just pull the small explosive initiators out and put them back in the monogrammed cigarette case. Sigh. The bricks themselves slid back into their pouches under the false bottom of his laptop bag. He snuck back out of the missile assembly area by the same old ventilation shaft he had come in by, remembering to loosely re-thread the screws back into their holes on the grating. He'd be coming back another day. He dropped out of the ceiling into the same boring old broom closet he’d picked his way into, and had to pick his way back out. Sigh. Walking back down the hall toward the cafeteria, he greeted the engineer he'd duped into letting him come for a plant tour.

"Find the bathroom, sir?"

"Yes, thanks. Much relieved now. What do we do when that lightning warning sounds?" He tried to hide a grimace.

"Oh, not much until the storm clears. Our kind of work can be a little dangerous around high voltage, hehe!" The engineer thought he was being clever.

"Well, I'd really like to learn more about your operations, here, and how GloboTec's processes can streamline your data processing." Back to the same old cover story.

"Alright, Mr. Stock, we'll set up a follow-on meeting with our IT director. He's on vacation right now, but he should be back in a week." The engineer made a note on his pad.

"Thank you. Do you suppose the weather will be better then?" He looked down at his laser wristwatch. He had three minutes before his detonator would make an embarrassing little sizzle and beep. "I must be going, though. Thank you so much for your time!"

The engineer showed him to the lobby, and he had just stepped out into the warm rain and wind when he heard the inevitable beep-beep-BEEP-PHOOT! down in his bag. Stupid non-disableable detonators. He walked to his Aston Martin DB8, and climbed down inside. The seatbelt light blinked at him.

This new "Safety First" policy was ridiculous.

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