Rich rolled over onto the side of the bed, then stretched across the nightstand to shut off the skin-crawling shriek of the alarm clock. After a few deep breaths, he labored to take the ten steps to the bathroom, the weight of too many cheeseburgers and beers now pressing on his tired knees and back. The face in the mirror felt like a car crash witness standing there and watching. Are you judging me?
The cold water quickly woke the 45-year-old Hoover Dam engineer. But all the soap in the world couldn’t clear the scent of the night before from his crotch. It was a sharp smell of cherries and cheap perfume.
What was her name?
Rich pulled open the drapes to the site of a thirty-foot tall dancing woman on the AR screen of the hotel across the street. She stared into the room, teasing with her wink, her arm barely covering her left breast.
Thanks for visiting Primm. Come back soon. The receptionist was too sweet at an hour like this. How could someone be so sunny before the sun had even come up?
Primm, Nevada, the perfect place for people like Rich – running from reality. It’s not even a town. It’s just five casinos on the border of Nevada and California, surrounded by mountains, deserts, and solar panels. After the divorce, Rich’s ex-wife took the house and left him with the truck, which he slept in often. The lawyers emasculated him to the point where blowing paychecks at the blackjack tables felt normal. And at least once or twice a week, he tried pushing the memories of his former life out with the embrace of an anonymous warm female body.
Rich loaded his truck and slid into the front seat. He said the word ignition, and the truck turned on. Then he said, “Work.” A red light flashed on the top right corner of the dashboard screen. The vehicle didn’t have enough juice for the hour and a half drive to the office, “Dammit. Go to the nearest station.”
The truck backed out of the parking lot and traveled two blocks to a Tesla Electric Station. Rich hooked up the cable and went into the mart for his regular cheap breakfast sandwich, coffee, and Kang Yang water. Twenty minutes later, he was back on the road heading north. His Cube flashed an advisory. A female voice filled the cabin of the vehicle.
[SARA]: The National Weather Service is issuing a heat advisory for Southern Nevada. Temperatures are expected to reach 126 degrees Fahrenheit today, with a heat index of 135. The weather service is advising that people stay indoors until sundown. Make sure to reduce your exposure to the sun.
It won’t matter to me. I work underground.
“Cube, what’s the news?”
A different female voice began speaking.
[Anchor] You’re listening to KNV. News for New Vegas and the Southern Nevada Region, I’m Estelle McDonald. Legislators in Carson City are now in the second week of the extra session as the fight over the Emergency Water Rights Bill continues. State Senator Allen York was on the floor yesterday fighting for the votes to pass the controversial bill.
[AY] This bill is right. It’s about our survival. The Western states have turned on each other, and now we’re all fighting just for a few drops of whatever water we can squeeze out of the ground. We must ensure that what is for the great state of Nevada stays in Nevada.
[Anchor] Lawmakers are expected to vote on the bill again by the end of the week. Meanwhile, water levels at the pipeline are again running low. Construction of the Lake Michigan Pipeline is ongoing. Many believe once it’s finished, many water problems for the region will subside. In other National news, the city of Miami and much of South Florida are bracing themselves as Hurricane Caru is slowly moving over the Bahamas, now a category three storm. Some forecasters believe the storm is still likely to turn north. Rumors on the second web dispute those claims and show that the storm is likely to strike directly over Miami.
The truck’s electric motor hummed as it coasted on the slow lane of Highway 15. Just off to his right, Zoom Trains shot by like rockets. The five-car passenger light rail rolled over the desert terrain back and forth between Vegas and Los Angeles.
This moment, the long drive to work, was the part of his day he hated most. There was too much time to think. Time slowed with each passing mountain, making it harder to keep thoughts of his ex-wife from making him want to punch through the windshield.
Forty minutes later, his 2060 Ford Electron started stalling as it climbed the final hill before reaching the city.
“Come on. I don’t need this.”
Rich banged on the dash, yelling, ‘get there.’ The truck labored to the top of the hill. Once over the horizon, the glittering lights of New Vegas rose from the desert, sparkling like a neon Christmas nightmare. The sun was beginning to crawl into daylight, with beams reflecting off the higher towers and the half dome roof, a massive pearl-white dome made of nano-fabric covered most of the Strip, protecting pedestrians from the dangerous heat.
Scattered across the valley were more than a dozen smaller half domes, each about three to five square miles covering the wealthier neighborhoods from the sun’s most intense rays. Not all neighborhoods had the money to cover their people, though.
The truck turned on Interstate 11, east toward Hoover Dam. It drove through a couple of towns and past the rigid red cliffs of the region, finally arriving at the power station employee lot a few minutes before eight. Rich checked in and then stepped into the service elevator that began a long descent into the bowels of the dam.
The elevator ride down took five minutes. The humidity thickened the deeper the elevator dropped into the dam, making each breath feel heavier. Once at the bottom, the grated steel doors slid open into a tunnel barely six feet in height and four feet in width. To the left was a metal doorway to one of the spiraling metal staircases, nicknamed the spiral to infinity.
Rich walked fifty feet in the opposite direction to the first control room. The doors to the compartment were five-inch thick steel doors controlled by touch-screen sensors. After putting his stuff in a locker, he picked up one of the station radios and tried calling his partner. It was an internal system connected by sensors throughout the dam since radio and wireless signals couldn’t break through the concrete. The radio crackled, “Devon, this is Rich. Where are you? Out.”
There was no response. Three more tries later, still silence. Maybe Devon hadn’t arrived yet.
Rich gathered his utility belt and clear pad and headed down another set of stairs toward one of the bypass tunnels. Hoover Dam is close to eight hundred feet of impressive engineering and millions of tons of concrete. On the outside, it’s an aesthetically beautiful sculpture of human ingenuity. The inside is dark, cold, and moist, like entering the intestines of a mechanical dragon.
Inside the Bypass Tunnel was a pipe roughly thirty feet in circumference. On either side are two walkways lit by small yellow bulbs every twenty feet. Water shoots through the pipe every few minutes, making the room rumble. Still trying to contact Devon, Rich walked down the half-circle tunnel to a door that reads Station 17. The steel door opened into a dark room.
“Lights.” Said Rich.
Three light fixtures turned on, barely illuminating the room with a dim yellowish hue. Rich walked to the back of the room and connected his clear pad to the wall unit for a diagnostic check. The room was a fifteen-by-ten space with a refrigerator-sized generator on the side of the room. Silicon pipes extended from the back of the generator, running in a series of zigzag patterns along the wall. Engineers installed these in the early 2030s as the lake’s water level dropped to record lows. When that happened, the Damn couldn’t generate electricity. They were disconnected in 2055 after the Nevada Pipeline finally came online.
Rich decided to pass the time doing mental exercises he learned from his therapist. He thought they were silly, some neuro-reprogramming of emotions. He tried picturing something that brought him pain and tried making disruptive sounds while picturing funny scenes to erase the old images. But if it worked.
Get out of my head, you crazy bitch. Get out! Get out! Get out!
He paced the room as he flung his arms into the air. He hated doing these exercises but wanted to get past his fury. He turned a third time and stopped. From the corner of his eye, he could see a dark lump stretched across the back wall, hiding behind the generator’s shadows.
He pulled a small light stick from his pocket, flashed it along the wall, then dropped it and fell backward.
Devon? Hey, Devon?
Rich picked up the light stick and pointed it to the corner of the room. The color in Devon’s face was gone. It had congealed into a pool of blood that oozed out of the side of his head. Devon’s eyes stared back at Rich. The man’s last moment was shock and anger.
Oh God, Devon, what the hell!
Rich stood frozen. Thoughts of his life, his ex-wife, and last night’s hooker vanished. His friend of ten years lay murdered on the ground. Pain and fear overwhelmed him until the sound of a voice jolted him to the present. A male voice, low but clear enough, was coming from the tunnel outside.
Oh shit! The killer is coming back.
Rich slowly opened the door to the bypass tunnel. Trying to stay hidden, he glanced first to the left, then the right. At that moment, the giant pipe began to rumble with the sound of running water.
Did he hear things? No. His friend was dead, and someone did that. A few seconds later, the voice echoed from the Arizona side of the Damn. Rich couldn’t see the person, but they were walking in his direction. Rich thought of making a run for it, but he didn’t know if someone was waiting on the other end of the tunnel. He didn’t know what sort of weapons they had. Anxiety started to take over. It was like being trapped in that damned room with all those lawyers and my ex-wife laughing at me. Rich carefully closed the door and looked everywhere for a solution.
There’s no way out. Devon, what do I do?
Those cold eyes stared back with no response. The despair made the room spin. Rich stared at Devon one last time, figuring he was about to join his friend when he saw something behind the body.
Rich pulled out an electric screwdriver and began undoing the bolts on the ventilator shaft cover. He got two bolts off and yanked the panel over just enough to squeeze inside. Going in head first, he couldn’t pull the vent back into place, and he just realized his boots had left a couple of marks in the blood. The voice was outside the door.
Rich crawled as fast as he could the twenty feet to the edge of the vent, where it broke off in two different directions. They’ll see the open vent. They’ll see the boot marks in the blood.
OH SHIT! I left the clear pad at the control panel.
The killer was now inside the room. Rich squeezed himself into the next shaft as quietly as he could, unable to look backward, though he stopped to listen, “Sister Rachel, this is Brother Mark. Over. Sister Rachel, this is Brother Mark. Over”
Rich held his breath.
“Brother Mark, this is Sister Rachel. Have you secured the device in the last control chamber? Over.”
“Almost. I had to clear the area of any witnesses. I am going to the device now. I’ll contact you once I set the circuits. Over.”
“Great. I’m setting up the final explosives now in the stairway. Over.”
Rich felt his elbows scrape across the ice-cold vent shaft as he pushed forward. He couldn’t see how far forward it stretched but knew there was no time to stall.
What the Fuck!
The killer had ripped the vent cover entirely off.
Noise be damned. Rich crawled as fast as he could, breathing hard, silently praying that the killer would come around the corner and shoot him from behind. He made it to the next break in the air shaft, turned right, and heard no one behind him. A voice echoed back in the room when he continued his crawl.
You won’t get away, you Fuck. I’ll find you.
Two minutes later, Rich arrived at a vent opening. He looked through the tight slits into another dark space. Unable to unscrew the bolts to the vent panel, there was only one option.
Gotta use my ass.
Rich started gyrating his hips and bumping his rear into the vent cover until he heard a snap. He kept pushing – another snap. Within a minute, the cover broke off and fell to the floor. Rich wiggled his body through the vent and found himself hanging. It was too dark to tell how far the fall was if he let go.
There was no strength left to pull himself up when he realized this was the emergency escape tunnel. If there was flooding in the damn, this was the way out. But it’s been a long time since he had been in here. Oh shit. The memory raced back. That fall was at least 20 feet or more.
Rich’s grip on the edge began to loosen. There was no choice at this point. He closed his eyes and let go, trying to keep his feet together as he dropped. A bolt of pain shot up through his spinal cord to the base of his head. Rich lay on the floor, trying to figure out what the pain was telling him.
My back is OK, and I can feel my legs. Can I stand?
He tried pulling himself up, only to fall back against the wall. He saw his left foot dangling, his ankle shattered, and twisted ninety degrees in the other direction. Wait a minute, “lights.” The space he was in lit up under those wretched yellow bulbs. He looked around and realized there were pipes along the wall he might have used to shimmy down instead of falling.
Rich fought the dizzying pain. A part of him wanted to stay put. They’ll never find him here. But eventually, the Damn’s security would.
What did he hear about a device? Were there explosives mentioned?
Rich grabbed the first aid kit from his utility belt. First, he injected himself with a freeze anti-inflammatory gel that kept the swelling down. Then he injected a numbing solution, which he figured should last about 30 minutes. Then finally wrapped his ankle in a self-sealant air bubble for support. While waiting for his ankle to feel better, he remembered something. Rich searched his pockets and found a small blue pill in his shirt. It was the Fade Pill the hooker gave him.
What was her name? No thanks, sweetie. I can’t get a boner with this stuff, but I’ll keep it for later.
He popped the pill and waited a few minutes for a brief euphoria to wash over him. The pain faded. Rich stood up and saw his foot not respond to his command but wasn’t bothered by it. He had a new sense of confidence.
Rich leaned against the tunnel wall as he hobbled toward the control room. He figured from there; that he might make it to the elevator. About fifteen minutes later, he reached a metal ladder bolted to the wall. About thirty feet above him was a latch. The control room was on the other side.
Mark and Rachel. Those are the only names he heard. Rich was trying to devise a plan. That Fade pill worked great at getting one to take action, but try and keep your thoughts straight, and you’ll just begin talking gibberish.
Rich pulled the latch to the open position and then waited when it made a clanking noise. If someone was on the other side of this latch, they were now waiting to pluck that person away easily. The Hoover Damn engineer pushed open the lid and looked around at an empty control room. Within a few seconds, he was up, making his way down the hallway.
The elevator light was off. Dam it—rich dreaded climbing up the stairs on a shattered ankle.
A ten-foot-tall steel-grated door opened into the spiral stairway. Rich walked up the first step when his ankle began to throb. It wasn’t excruciating pain but a sign that things would get worse.
Shhhhhht! Crack. Crack. Pop
A radio crackled above Rich. He looked over the edge of the stairway but couldn’t see anyone. The radio popped again. They had to be a few stories above him.
“Brother Mark is that you?” Rich climbed back down to the floor and leaned against the door without opening it. “Brother Mark. Are you there?”
The radio crackled, “Sister Rachel, we got a problem.”
The voice on the other end sounded flustered, “Sister Rachael, we have an intruder. Someone found the body, and they started crawling around the air vents. We need to eliminate the threat.”
Rachel sounded resolute and calm, “Brother Mark, get a hold of yourself. We’re on a mission. We can’t deviate from that position. Go to the device and begin the countdown. I’m just about finished. And we can do a quick sweep of the area and kill whoever is roaming around. Stay focused and get to work.”
Who are these people?
Rich pushed gently on the door, trying to open it quietly. It wasn’t this noisy when he opened it. A small clank reverberated in the hall, and the door creaked slightly. Rich took off down the hall and back toward the control room without thinking or looking. The pain started to expand in his broken ankle. Now wasn’t the time for the meds to give in.
A loud bang reverberated from the stairway. Rachel had two healthy feet and was moving fast. Rich pulled open the latch to the emergency line he had come up from and squeezed his way through. With each step, the pain in his ankle got hotter and sharper. He grabbed the lid and began pulling it down, and, for a brief moment, he locked eyes with Rachel’s rage-filled glare. Her gun pointed right at his face when he slammed the lid closed.
As fast as he could, he locked the lever and held it using all the strength he could muster. He felt Rachel trying to pull it in the other direction. She’ll have an easy shot between his eyes if she gets it open. He hung on, pushing all his weight off a broken ankle to keep the latch shut.
BANG. BANG. BANG.
Stupid bitch. That’s four inches of steel. Shoot a cannon at it; you won’t hit shit. Rich didn’t feel any further pressure, but he knew Rachel was trying to find some way to get leverage. He knew he had to think fast.
Rich reached over to the back pocket of his utility belt. He had a spool of carbon-fiber cable.
It should be strong enough. Rich quickly tied one end on the latch and wrapped it around the wall grip. There was enough wire to wrap it between the two points five times.
It’s gonna take a lot to move that.
Rich started climbing down the ladder, looking at the latch with every step. Halfway down, he saw it move. The wire should hold. Rachel must have gotten one of the large wrenches.
He climbed down faster, reached the bottom, and started heading in the other direction. Rachel must have gotten frustrated because she started banging the lid with the wrench, cursing in a high-pitched scream.
The emergency tunnel stretched from one end of the dam to the other. Rich’s hobbling got worse. He used the wall for support as each step got heavier. But his hopes rose. The second control room and a way out were at the end of the tunnel.
The walls shook, and Rich dropped to the floor. Was the device a bomb? Did it just go off? The explosion sounded like it came from above. The generators are about four stories above him. If they blew those up, the dam would be compromised.
No, no, don’t think about it. If the structure takes even one explosion in the midsection, it’ll bring the whole thing down. Rocks and water would crush me if that happened.
At the end of the hall was another metal ladder that led to the opposite control room. Climbing became a slow and laborious process at this point as the pain shot up his left leg, making it useless. Rich pressed his ear against the latch, fighting the desire to pass out.
Was Mark in this room?
He grabbed the latch and started pushing it toward the open position.
“Sister Rachel, we’re ready.”
Rich felt the cold latch start to slip into the open position. His sweaty fingers tightened around the metal, fighting the desire to start shaking. The pain in his ankle now felt like someone was hammering a spike through it. A muffled female voice responded.
“Good work, Brother Mark. We are one step closer to reaching our ultimate goal.”
“I know, and I wouldn’t want to be with anyone else but you as we finish,” said Mark.
There was a muffled noise between the two. Rich struggled to make anything out. Soon he heard Rachel’s voice again.
“Brother Mark, this is a glorious day,” again, there was silence until Rich could make out moaning. He leaned up against the lid and heard the couple having sex.
Twisted assholes. Terrorists gotta fuck, I guess.
At this point, the meds had worn off, and Rich could no longer support himself on that ankle. He had to lean on the right foot on a thirty-foot ladder. He was hoping the two would finish quickly and leave. Rachel’s moans reached a high octave and then silence.
“Brother Mark, today will be a day to remember for generations.” BANG BANG BANG.
Rich felt his heart drop into his bowels. His fingers almost lost their grip on the latch. Those were gunshots.
Did someone come into the room and shoot them? Did they shoot each other?
A few seconds later, the door in the control room shut, and the alarm buzzed as it locked closed. Rich pulled open the latch and prepared for anything. Mark’s body lay on the ground a few feet away. Three shots. One to the back of the head and two to the spine.
Rich labored to get to the door. He noticed Rachel’s clothes were still on the floor. There was little time to think. He grabbed a metal bar from the corner of the room and then smashed the digital fingerprint panel. Then he pulled a screwdriver from his belt and shoved it into the broken panel, sending sparks and locking the door permanently.
A glance around the room led Rich to an open metal suitcase in the corner next to the clear screens. Inside sat a dark gray half sphere, about the size of a volleyball. Along the side of the device was a panel with three screens. Each one had three sets of numbers, all counting down. There were no wires, no switches.
“Hey. Are you in there?” Rachel was pounding on the door. “You’re a squirmy little shit. It doesn’t matter. You’re going to die in there. There’s no way out. Did you see our beautiful device? That thing will incinerate this entire structure and make humankind pay for all the damage it has done to this planet. And you can’t stop it.”
“Fuck off, you crazy naked bitch!”
Silence. Then the door rattled a few times as she pounded harder while screaming. She stopped, and her voice became eerily calm, “Listen. We’re gonna die down here. There’s no stopping that. But, let me in, and I’ll make the last few minutes of our lives glorious. Come on.”
Rich was already climbing into the latter toward the emergency tunnels. Just before he closed the latch, he yelled out one last time, “No. You can die down here, you crazy bitch.”
The lid closed with a thud, and the latch rattled as Rich slid it into a locked position. Just as it closed, he could hear the woman losing her mind as she shot at the door.
If these people got in here and blew part of it up, then set up another device, they must have had inside help. They also have to have a pretty good idea of the tunnels. There was no time to think. Rich had to get to the vents. From there, he could crawl up to the cable line tunnel, where there were at least a couple of options to escape.
Anxiety became Rich’s greatest ally. He forgot about the pain in his leg and hobbled back to the vent as fast as possible. The opening he dropped from appeared higher than he remembered. He looked to the left, and the pipes ran along the walls.
Stop thinking. Let’s climb, you shit.
His body tightly hugged the pipes along the wall. Each pipe was about an inch in diameter, with just enough space between them to shove his good foot in for leverage. If he missed, he would fall again and possibly break his other leg. He shimmied his way to the top, looked over, and realized the vent opening felt further away than it appeared from below.
Don’t think. Come on, Rich.
With one hard lunge, he pushed himself off the pipes and up toward the open vent, grabbing on with his left hand. His body swung hard when his right hand missed the edge. Two fingers were all that kept him holding on.
One finger falls off. One more swing. One last try.
His right hand grabbed the edge, his knuckles white as he held on tightly. Rich got scared that he had no strength left to climb up.
What the? Did Rachel break in and get to the Emergency Tunnel? Was that her gun?
Rich yanked his body up with one swift motion and swung his legs up and through the opening. He started crawling as fast as he could but didn’t hear anything else. No, it couldn’t be her. She couldn’t have gotten into the tunnel.
Focus. You secured both entrances into this tunnel.
The distance to the vent opening felt further than before. Last time, Rich wasn’t fighting excruciating pain that was starting to make the tight space begin to spin. Once at the vent, he wiggled his way out, forced to crawl through Devon’s blood. Rich got to the door and listened for any sign of movement. Once outside, he started heading back toward the first control room but stopped at another metal ladder along the tunnel wall. This one will get him up to the wire tunnel. Halfway up…
BANG. BANG, BANG.
Rich felt a sting on his left leg. One of the bullets struck, but he couldn’t tell how badly. At least it was the injured leg. Running down the tunnel was a naked woman pointing a gun at him. Rich climbed on one leg as fast as he could.
Rachel was shooting on the run and missing. Rich got to the top and fought with the lever to open the door. Her footsteps were close, but she was on the other side of the thirty-foot water pipe.
The door jammed. Come on, you shit!
BANG. Another shot hit the left leg. He pushed harder and punched the door open. Rich threw his body through it and locked the door behind him. Again, he heard Rachel cursing as he escaped.
Rich checked his leg and saw that both shots had gone through him, and he was bleeding heavily. The Wire Tunnel was like all other tunnels, poorly lit, but he was alone. Rachel had to figure this was the next place, and she was probably running toward the other stairway to get to him.
A part of him wanted to give up. His body felt heavy, and his left leg was useless. Rich laughed out loud.
Move! You shit! If you’re gonna die, it won’t be by that bitch.
Rich hopped ahead until he arrived at one of the Damn’s wall openings. The original builders added these to relieve pressure on the wall if water got into the tunnels. Rich had another idea—one last chance. He walked back and busted a half dozen light fixtures with the last of his tools in his utility belt. It created a dark space within the hall. He then started unscrewing the wall opening panel. Every few seconds, he looked down the hall expecting to see Rachel.
With the last screw, he pushed the panel out and heard it fall down the side of the Damn. He made sure to spread blood along the wall to make it seem he had climbed out. Rich then slid back into the dark, hoping this would work.
A few minutes later, Rachel arrived. Rich stared at her breasts and smiled; too bad, pretty girl. He saw that she was carrying her gun. She cautiously walked forward and then disappeared into the darkness. A few seconds later, her pale skin appeared at the wall opening. She stared through it and cracked a slight grin at the sight of the blood.
Come on, you piece of shit. Climb up and take a peak outside, just for a second.
Rachel obliged. She climbed on the ledge and crawled to the edge. Rich tried to be quiet, but with each hop closer, he got more excited. He leaned forward with both hands, shoving her by the buttocks. She slipped forward and was halfway out the opening. He grabbed her feet and finished shoving her out. The woman screamed the two-hundred feet to the bottom. Rich climbed up, wincing in pain, and peaked over the side. He saw her body lying on the concrete below.
Time is ticking.
The tunnel reached the Arizona side of the Damn and another set of stairs. Rich put on a rubber strap to slow the bleeding in his left leg. His arms burned now, having to carry so much of his weight. There’s only so much a body can take. Thoughts from the night before crossed his mind. He remembered complaining of his back hurting when he asked the hooker to do all the work.
What was that woman’s name? Was it Sherry? Was it Elaine? Cute girl.
It took another 20 minutes before Rich reached the bottom of the stairs. Still no explosion. Just ahead was a door that led to the outside.
Oh, God. The sun. The sky. Outside. Finally, the outside.
Usually, Rich enjoyed the solitude of working in the dank darkness of the damn. That timer is still ticking. He pushed it open to blinding light. The dry heat of the Nevada sky felt welcoming. What time is it?
It took him a second to realize his Cube was working.
Holy shit. Nine hours had passed.
Rich looked up at the top of the Damn and saw a trail of smoke scattering over the sky above the river. He turned on his Cube.
“What’s happening at the Damn?”
A female voice relayed the latest news.
A terrorist group has taken over Hoover Damn. There was one reported explosion with casualties. The group says they have a mini-atomic device.
Rich looked up again. There are probably snipers fixed on him now. He squinted at the bridge a thousand feet above and waved his hands.
Please. Don’t shoot me. Rich ran to the end of the building, climbed down to the platform below, and hopped along the penstocks.
CUBE, call the police!
The female voice responded, “All the lines are busy. Shall I keep trying and notify you when we get through?”
He stepped off the platform’s edge and fell feet first into the river. A burning pain reverberated through his body. A minute later, the icy water helped numb his extremities.
Rich struggled to swim with the current to the boat ramp.
He grabbed the ledge when the river grabbed him and pulled him away.
To hell with it. Give up.
A hand grabbed him and yanked Rich up to the dock. He lay on the ground looking up into a beautiful blue sky and a dozen men staring down at him.
I’m an engineer! There’s a bomb! There’s a bo…
“It’s OK, Mr. Elliot.
Rich was in and out of consciousness as the men took his body onto a truck and back to the top of the mountain. He passed out, wondering if he would feel anything in a massive explosion.