The phone call

by Randal L. Schwartz
originally published at 08:39PM on Wednesday, October 31, 2007

“Uh… huh… uh… Hello”, Jim stuttered into the ancient phone, barely remembering how to hold such a device.

“What is your operational clearance?” barked the voice on the other end of the phone

“My what?”

“My next instructions depend on understanding what I am and am not allowed to say to you. What is your operational clearance? Red 3? Green 2? Answer me immediately.”

“I’m afraid I don’t have any clue what you’re talking about. I just stumbled into this place, and bumped into this button on the wall, and everything lit up like crazy!”

The voice on the other end uttered a series of expletives, followed by “So, son, you aren’t military command, or trained in the operation of the CXP remote post? Just a civilian?”

“No.”

“Then you’ll have to listen very carefully, and do exactly as I say. We don’t have much time, and I don’t have anyone in the area I can send in to help you. Not in time, anyway.”

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