“Wanna go another round?” Jim asks his wife still out of breath from the previous round. “What? This was the third, aren’t you tired?” She rolls over and smiles at him.
Sensing she was giving the go-ahead by the way her hands moved up and down his thighs, as Jim got under the covers, the phone rings. Neither of them pleased with the sudden interruption.
He was barely home. His work kept him away from home most of the time and at awkward times too. It was not the typical nine to five job; he had to be at work when he had to be at work, which recently, was almost at all times. He had a good work ethic which was why he was promoted to the foreman on the ‘Boulder Dam’ project.
As a foreman on the ‘Boulder Dam’ project, Jim was close to his family, but his work had a fair share of pulling him away from his loved ones. He missed so many of his son’s school events and football games, it might as well have been single parenting.
In these tough times work is very hard to come by and even harder to keep once you get it. This phase of the project has no room for error, and Six Companies will incur steep fines should the workers not meet the deadline.
At close to six feet five inches tall, Jim is heads and shoulders above most of the men he supervises and works with. Jim was called down to one of the diversionary tunnels on the
Nevada side because his evening crew had dug into a problem.
‘Big’ doesn’t seem to be the right word to describe the diversionary tunnels considering the fifty feet of space above Jim’s head as he takes a look around. There are four of these such diversionary tunnels, two on either side of the Colorado River. When complete, they act as conduits allowing the river to move around the site where the dam will sit during construction.
Once on site, his crew boss Sam approaches him. At this hour of the night, there are no niceties, just straight to the problem at hand.
“What do you want to do?” Sam asks.
“Is that why you called me when I was busy with…..we’ve been over this already, this is not my call, I’m sure they didn’t plan for this. They are sending someone from Six Companies down to check the tunnel tomorrow” responds Jim.
“That is why I called; there’s been a change, they said they would have someone down in thirty minutes,” Sam replies.
Thirty minutes later, a man in a black suit, black tie with a black hat makes his way into the diversion tunnel. He had an ominous aura surrounding him. He introduces himself to Jim and is escorted through the tunnel.
“These tunnels were scheduled to be lined with concrete in a few months according to schedule, but we found this.”
Jim shows the man in black a section of the tunnel. A small opening in the tunnel leads to a long passageway that opens up into an enormous cavern the size of an aircraft hangar. The size was unbelievable
“This should have been identified when they were taking samples and surveying the land” Jim turns to the man in black.
Concern and worry present on his face. A mistake he quickly corrects.
“Listen, I don’t want to lose my job over this. I can have my men do whatever is needed to keep to the schedule”. Jim pleads with the man.
Men and women have been known to lose their jobs over less significant issues than this while working on this project. Jim did not want to become part of the increasing statistics of men who lost their jobs due to ‘incompetence’ as the tabloids would call it neither did he want to go home and explain to his wife that he was out of a job.
Both men make their way back to the diversion tunnel and head out.
“W….w-well what do we do about this?” Jim asks, nervous at the anticipated response.
The man in black with an absent look as though lost in thought turns away from Jim for what seemed like an excessive amount of time.
“I’ll have a crew come and seal up the passageway leading to the cavern tomorrow. I expect that should allow the diversionary tunnel to operate as intended. When will you be ready to line this diversionary tunnel with concrete?” The man in black asks.
“We are scheduled to begin in a few months; you know what will happen if we go over the deadline.”
“Yes, I do. I will personally make sure that this tunnel is ready for the next phase when the time comes. Instruct your crew to continue work according to plans. My crew will be here tomorrow to assess and seal the passage up. Remember, you report to me and only me.”
And with that Jim had a huge sense of relief. His job was intact, and his crew could resume work. Jim never again thought of or mentioned that passageway; he never had too. True to his words, the man in black had his crew show up the following day, and within a matter of weeks the passageway was sealed, and the Boulder Dam project was back underway, but more importantly, Jim kept his job.
June 28th, 2015
Cape Canaveral, FL
Launch Complex 40
Air Force Station
The fireball could be seen from miles away. The SpaceX, Falcon 9 rocket was intended to carry a Dragon spacecraft loaded with more than 4,300 pounds of scientific equipment, supplies, and station hardware, but within minutes, the entire payload had erupted into a fiery explosion right on the launch pad.
Unknown to the world, hidden in a special section of the cargo compartment were six astronauts. They had their compartment thrown clear of the launch pad and engulfed in flames. Ten miles from the launch site two men with binoculars were safely watching the explosion. “Unbelievable, how could this happen!? We planned for years to make the necessary preparations. Our contacts helped insert the cargo into the launch. We even screened and sifted through to find suitable personnel.” One man says to the other.
“Now we have to start over.” The other man responds
“I’ll inform the others.”