In the nick of time

It was getting harder and harder to focus.

Leah shook her head free of the fog as she scrambled to connect the wires. She didn’t know which was worse: taking short shallow breaths or long deep ones. Which would use more oxygen? She couldn’t remember. All she knew was that she had about four minutes of oxygen left. And if she didn’t reconnect this red wire the entire city will be decimated shortly after.

It was frightening to think of the millions of people who could die here tonight. Innocents who had nothing to do with anything. Yet it was her job to ensure that the madman Dr. Boris didn’t have his way with the world. But first . . . reconnect the red wire.

It was getting harder and harder to focus.

It took Leah forever to find the disruption in power in this maze of a generation plant. Dr. Boris left clues as to the location of his . . . interference, but it was a rigmarole of bogus directions. No figure. By the time she found the damaged disconnected wire, her oxygen tank was only a quarter full.

The red wire was burnt to a crisp when she found it. It seemed there was a tiny explosion that disrupted the operations. The whole city was in a black out, but the frightening thing was that the plant was set to blow if not recharged in the next . . . three minutes, she checked her watch.

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It was getting harder and harder to focus.

Leah had to strip the red wire carefully, and prime and prep the internal fibers for re-splicing. Then she had to strip the connecting port and clean it of any debris or particles lodged in there during the initial explosion. Now that both ends were prepped, she was ready to reconnect the red wire. Her hands shook, though she wasn’t sure whether it was from the lack of oxygen, the adrenaline coursing through her veins, or the gravity of the situation.

One man for a million people, she grimaced.

When did we start bending over backwards for the villains? When did we even start having villains? Her watched alarmed and jolted her back to the present. One minute remaining. She had to reconnect the red wire and find her way out in the next 58 seconds. Her hand shook so violently, she had to hold it steady with her other hand. Slowly, carefully she slid the red wires into the port until she heard and felt it click into place.

All the red lights overhead switched off for a second casting her temporarily into darkness before they were replaced with bright fluorescent glows.

Leah threw her equipment into her kit, slamming it shut. “It’s a go Diego,” Leah panted into her comm. “Did you get that? It’s a go. Start her up,” she repeated but all she heard was static. “Diego? Tower? Anybody?”

She was on her way out of the building whether Diego restarted the system or not. She needed air, and she needed to get as far away from this place as possible.

“Well done my little pretty,” came the eerie slimy voice of Dr. Boris and Leah’s skin crawled. “Unfortunately for you, your team is currently indisposed at the moment.” His maniacal laugh made her shudder with fear and disgust all at the same time. “If I were you . . . I’d run!”

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