It was the impact, more than anything else that always surprised Hunter. The searing, biting, kiss of hot steel that tore into his chest. The bullet went straight through his body and hardly slowed him down.
He rammed into the officer and heard the gun go off again, but didn’t feel a thing. They both toppled over; and as they hit the ground Hunter bashed his forehead into the officer’s. He heard a blood-curdling crack as the grate of the catwalk cut into the officer’s skull. There was little doubt he was dead.
Kendrick helped Hunter back up and he stumbled towards the bomb detonator. There was blood, and more importantly air gurgling out of the hole in his chest. As he limped away from the body he noticed a bloody patch on the officers stomach; the second gunshot had somehow hit him instead.
They reached the bomb again and with shaking hands Hunter set to work. The mechanism was simple; a slow charge fast drain circuit would set off all the bombs at once, and that was activated by the simple alarm clock rigged to go off in less than a minute. There wasn’t much time.
“Two wires,” said Hunter. “That’s all it’ll take—there should be two wires that go from the clock to the circuit. One’s a control wire that keeps a constant cycle going between the clock and the cells, if the cycle gets interrupted its game over. The other wire delivers the charge necessary to release the energy. Feasibly it’s a red wire and a black wire.”
“Then we have to cut the red wire,” Kendrick reasoned. “Its simple probability red is power, black is the control.”
“Unless whoever did the wiring had an ounce of intelligence,” panted Hunter. “In which case they would have switched the wire colors.”
He carefully lifted the clock off the top of the cell. Sure enough, there were just two wires running from it into a hole; one was green, and the other blue.
“Or they could try something completely different and throw the old coloring system out,” said Hunter. They now had about thirty seconds left.
He couldn’t breathe. Granted, not being able to breathe for thirty seconds wasn’t too bad, but if it was going to be his last thirty, he would have preferred to be doing something else, like not spending his last half a minute trying to gasp a few breaths.
“Aright,” coughed Hunter. “It has to be the same set up, just with different colors. But which is which?”
“It has to be the green wire,” said Kendrick. “It makes the most sense. Cut the green wire.”
“But on what basis?” Hunter was sweating hard. “It could just as feasibly be the blue wire. The chance is fifty-fifty. So we’re left with a simple dilemma: green, or blue.”
“Then cut the green wire,” said Kendrick. “Its mathematically correct.”
“But mathematically,” Hunter’s whole chest was seizing up. “Either one is possible.”
The clock showed only ten seconds.
“Cut the green wire Hunter.”
“Green… or blue…”
Beads of sweat rolled off Hunter’s forehead as his cutters paused on the green wire.
“Blue wire.” He said calmly and cut it quickly. The counter timed out and stopped, significantly lacking in an earth-shattering boom.
“Blue wire,” Hunter coughed.