June 2, 2008

The Vignette: Tuesday

"Do you know how to use one of these?"

Anderson was holding a small silver key up to Harrison's face.

"Yes, sir."

"Show me."

Harrison pointed to two keyholes embedded on the console, located about ten feet apart.

"When the counter hits zero, I put in my key and I turn it."

"Turn it how?"

Harrison held his key up in the air and demonstrated: 90 degrees, clockwise. Anderson nodded approvingly.

"Then what happens, sir?"

Anderson didn't even look at him. Harrison waited for a response and his expectant stare was beginning to make Anderson very unsure of himself. While the bright, earnest Harrison would forever remain inscrutable to the prosaic Anderson; in this moment Harrison finally had the Colonel all figured out.

"There's a reason we're the only people left in the building. Isn't there? You're not just surrendering. You brought me down here to hit self-destruct."

One. Sirens wailed.