The London Incident
By Jennifer R. Povey
Copyright 2011 Jennifer R. Povey
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Clarissa Johns faced the transparent shield that separated her from the reaction chamber. Sooner or later, they had to test it. If they waited much longer, she would lose her funding, and with it her place in history.
If it failed dramatically, she would turn the Ealing facility, and half of Ealing, into a large crater. She herself would be vaporized. The tension was visible, in her slender form, in the way her fingers curled inward.
The chamber crackled with energy. She studied it for a moment, only then checking the gauges and indicators around her. She believed in this, but there was still that niggling fear. Finally, she spoke to Sam, the facility's artificial intelligence. "Sam, your opinion on our status?"
"I have a green light, Clarissa," Sam said in his rich, deep voice. It had probably come from a starving actor.
"Green light, roger." She tapped her ear. "We have green light in control."
Everyone who could be evacuated from the building had been, in fact, they had emptied the area to the maximum predicted blast radius. "Green light. Area clear."