by Max Barry

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by The Resurrection of Yugobatania. . 6 reads.

“Explosive Matters”

Jock Anderson had been anticipating this moment for a while. For ten years, he had worked in OCorp’s Engineering Division, slowly working us way up to today. He had become one of the higher-ranking engineers in his department. And now, he was being assigned outside the confines of his office. For he was going to OCorp’s first of its extensive Harvester Oil Rigs - a project that he himself had created. He was waiting on a helipad on the roof of the Engineering Building, waiting anxiously for the helicopter that would take him to the Harvester.

An hour later, it arrived, its rotor causing a huge uproar of wind on the helipad, almost blowing his hard hat away. Boarding he, he flew off - off to the Cascade Ocean, where Harvester 001 was being built.

Mr. O had assigned him to oversee its construction, and to ensure that everything would be ship-shape.

Fast forward 10 hours later, and they finally arrived. Harvester 001 was a fairly standard looking oil rig. It had living quarters, control and pressure valve rooms, a helipad, and of course, a massive drill, which extended almost 35 miles underground. It was the only thing in 200 miles of civilization, but the workers kept themselves company.

Jock was given a tour of H001, and he was stationed in the main control room. There, he met the staff running H001.

A man in his mid-50’s walked up to him, extending his hand.

“Roger Mikel, Director of H Triple One, nice to meet you. You must be Jock.”

“The pleasure is mine Mr. Mikel,” Jock replied.

“Please, just call me Roger.”

“Roger that, Roger.”

Roger introduced Jock to the other staff members, and took him into the room where all the oil pressure levels were watched over.

“Now, this is our oil pressure and temperature room. It’s where we -“

“Monitor the oil levels and pressures, yes, I created this room Roger.”

“Er...well, why, then do I really need to give you a tour?”

“It’s charming, but no.”

“Suit yourself.” Roger left the room, as well as some of the other staff. Some of them were on their lunch break, others just needed some rest. That left him and a young lad in the room.

“Roger runs a tight ship here,” the kid said, munching on some chips. He had his feet placed up on the console he was monitoring. He was inexperienced, but well-meaning.

Jock walked over, and grabbed the chips from the kids hands, tossing it in a trash bin.

“Hey, what you do that for?”

“Well I intend to run a more tighter ship.”

A rapidly flashing light on one of the monitors caught his attention. He walked over to it.

It was one of the oil pressure and temperature gauges.

“What is it?” the kid asked.

Scanning it, his eyes opened wide, as he knew what it meant.

“H001...the oil temperature has reached past its normal ratings. Pressure has reached over maximum PSI.”

“ don’t mean...?”

They both stared at each other for a moment, both realizing what was happening.

Harvester 001 was going to blow. Which it did, as a large explosion rocked the oil rig. The room vibrated violently, klaxons blaring in the room. The control consoles started flashing lights of all colors, indicating something’s very band was going down. Jock and the kid fell to the ground, and various stacks of papers and folders as well.

How could he have not foreseen this? The blueprints were perfectly fine, unless...

Jock was too much in shock from the explosion but his mind radicalized a crazy idea...sabotage.

But by who? And if so, why?

He’d need to find out answers later, as there was a more pressing matter to attend to. An explosive one at that.