On Hold


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I'm getting back into writing after a long break.

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I tapped the mute key on my terminal.

"Boris! Where's the QS-19 document safe?"

The sleepy NCO looked up from his morning tea. All our shifts had been rearranged by the crisis.

"Nineteen? Sub-basement. In the vault."

"Seriously? Okay…" I unmuted the mic. "Mr. Secretary, please transmit confirmation code."

A tense few seconds passed as a progress bar filled before blinking green.

"Hold, please." I bounced the SecDef back into the departmental call queue, and sprinted for the door, thankful for the emergency-relaxed dress code that let me wear sensible shoes that day.

Who puts emergency plans in the sub-basement?

I waited for the elevator, ignoring standing orders to use the stairs when on alert. Leaving the SecDef on hold for too long is a career-ending move.

Fourteen floors lower, the room somehow still lit with archaic LED strips, I struggled with a rusty keypad and retina scanner embedded in an unimpressive gray-painted steel door.

Finally, a sad little speaker beeped, and the door swung inward.

Comments (1 so far!)

Robert Quick

Robert Quick

Very good follow up. The details are effective as are the observations and thoughts of the narrator.

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