by Hydrargentium

Cannon felt the urgency like a wadded up rag pushed into the base of his skull. He fiddled with the bare leads, trying to remember the diagram in the instructions. Not for the first time, he felt like shooting something — stupid, stupid, stupid, losing that sheet of paper. Next time, he was going to get them to stencil stuff like that on the inside of his arm.

He glanced at his wrist. A big, ruggedized wristwatch, all gunmetal and rubber on a velcro strap, brooded like a black tick against the shiny steel of his skin. Its readout dolefully counted out the seconds at him, backlit in purple Indiglo. The fact that he had only a couple-hundred seconds left on the timer made him want to smash the damn thing, scrape it off his arm.

He swallowed, breathed through his nose, and stared at the control panel once more. Five wires, no jackets for colour coding, and he had to connect the correct pairs of wires, in the correct order, to disable the alarms and open the access door in front of him. Easy as hot-wiring a car, if the car was actually a flying saucer.

The tick-watch on his wrist chirped at him, and the display flashed yellow a few times. Less than two minutes, and he had to get through this door and secure the central control zone before his team mates hit the front entrance.

His view of the wires began to blur, each wire becoming one and the same with the one beside it. Cannon shook his head. No time for anything but the thing he was good at.

The control panel exploded in a shower of sparks when he blasted it. There were no alarms that he could hear, so he figured he’d knocked that out, but neither had the door opened. He must have taken that system out as well.

Not that it really mattered to him. Doors, even big heavy ones, weren’t really meant to handle Cannon.

Taking a step back, he pushed his fists together in front of him, and aimed at the door. Both arms glowed up to the elbows for a moment, and then the blast released. The door, its frame, and a large chunk of the surrounding wall were gone, replaced by blackened chunks and wisps of oily smoke.

Cannon cocked his head to listen, and then smiled as he stepped past the smoldering threshold. Still no alarms.

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