Two Men on a Mission

Two Men on a Mission (March 2019, Week 1, Day 4)

“We don’t really have time for you to screw this up, Mac.”

“Do we have time for me to figure it out, then, or should I just walk away?”

The two men glared at each other while the countdown clock continued without care for their quarrel. Mac popped his chin and returned to his task while Sam went back to checking his screen. 

“It has to be this one?”

“Jesus, Mac, are you asking or telling?”

“I’m asking my higher power, thanks, not Jesus.”


Mac took a deep breath in and held it before tugging on the cog he’d identified. The room went silent and dark for a moment, and Sam muttered something unintelligable. Just when Mac thought he might pass out, the lights returned and an automated voice said, “Sequence Halted. Waiting for input.”

Mac exhaled and grinned at Sam. “I got the right one, Sam. Now it’s your turn. Oh, and we don’t really have time for you to screw this up.”

“Funny. Shut up and let me work.”

Mac turned away from Sam and checked out the room. He’d only had eyes for the alarm system when they’d entered, and it would take Sam another few minutes to figure out how to offer up new commands. The walls were covered in images in unexpectedly vibrant colors. He’d never given thought to what these people might be like – it was easier to work if he didn’t – but if he had he wouldn’t have imagined these images. 

It seemed odd to him for them to have decorated this control room. Back home any room similar to this one in purpose was stark and gray. Distractions are Disasters Waiting to Happen was on the lintle of every doorway, after all. The idea of all this color in a room that was so integral to the safety of these people was incongrous to Mac.

“I’ve got it – I can get in.”

“What do you think all these pictures are for, Sam?”

“Why in the hell do you think I’m thinking about pictures? Distractions are-”

“I know, I know. I wasn’t looking while I was working, but I’m curious now.”

“Head down, Mac. We’re not done yet.”

Mac nodded as he moveed to Sam’s side, ignoring the smirk on Sam’s face. “Do your bit, then.”

Sam entered a string of code and hit enter with an unnecessary flourish. The light in the room changed from a soft white to a rich purple that made the two men look like cartoon characters.

“Is that what you were trying to do, Sam?”

“Shut up and wait.”

Mac folded his arms and went back to looking at the pictures. In a few moments, the automated voice spoke again. “Bio-systems adjusted.”

“Is that what you were trying to do?”

“Yes, Mac. You wanted to be able to leave this room, right? Or would you rather stay here with your pretty pictures?”

“I never said they were pretty, Sam. I just wondered what they’re doing here.”

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