If he was careful he would still be alive in the morning. Just one small slip, one careless move, and he would be history. No one would care if he was the best at disarming explosives. If he became a statistic his name would be listed with the worst and not the best.
The explosive devices had two components but he only knew where one was located. He disarmed the first explosive quickly after the dogs stopped and pointed. Their noses and tails lined up and he left them frozen in place. This was not a time for them to be friendly and wag their tails. He motioned for their trainers to take the dogs away. If he did this alone he could concentrate.
The first explosive was one of the first generation with wires, homemade and predictable. He clipped a few wires and took a deep breath. The second explosive was more modern but well within his expertise. He had recently worked with an explosives expert and taken workshops. He felt competent but without being too smug. He practiced over and over until he could take them apart in his sleep. At the workshop he discovered that he was chosen especially for this task. As long as he was alive this was his job.
Somewhere close, there was a third explosive that no one else had noticed. He couldn’t explain why he knew it was there. He only knew he couldn’t see, hear, smell, or feel it.
Sweat was running down his face into his eyes. His knew his vision could not be impeded without disastrous effects. His hands also had to be dry. He looked around for a volunteer, someone to mop the moisture from his face and his hands.
His partners were standing behind buildings, protecting themselves from flying debris. They had no intention of being in harm’s way. The administrators had retreated to cozy rooms away from immediate danger. They excused themselves by saying they had tons of paperwork that had to be filled out. An obvious lie, they were afraid the explosives could kill and maim, even if they weren’t close to the scene. Besides, he was required to fill out his own paperwork. In the office that was one of the standard jokes. If you don’t have time to do the paperwork, blow it up.
Daylight was approaching. The street lights were coming on and the sun was setting. He hated working under pressure but he had no choice. Cursing under his breath, he began searching again.
Two hours later, when he opened the door to his house he could tell something was amiss. His computer ‘s lights were blinking rapidly, talking to another computer or android. His computer became very quiet and all lights went off. Someone was in the room with him. He drew his gun but it was too dark to see. He shoved it back into his holster.
“Hello,” he said calmly. “I know someone is hiding here. Please show yourself.”
In spite of endangering himself, he turned the lights on. At first there was no movement, then a man stepped from behind a door. Another movement, and a woman stepped from the closet. “Don’t you think you are being foolish?” she asked. “Where is your gun?”
Her partner said, “How shall we kill him?”
(to be continued)