Monday, January 7, 2013


Rudy looked at the clock. Five minutes until two o’clock.
            Five minutes until it all began.
            When he had signed up for this assignment, this was not what he had been expecting. Having graduated with an electrical engineering degree, he had originally hoped to find work in a lab.
            Instead, Rudy found himself the lead technician in a manufacturing plant.
            The position itself was not much of an issue. While unglorious, it paid very and allowed him more than a little free time to pursue his own interest.
            The problem was the nature of what was being manufactured.
            Originally, he was told that the company produced ‘customized modular mechanical systems for a variety of government applications’ and Rudy had just accepted it.
            Once he had been familiarized with the controls and protocols, he had been left mostly to his own devices. It was during this time that he started to more rigorously examine the production manuals. It didn’t take him very long to figure out what exactly the ‘customized modular mechanical systems’ exactly were, and it horrified him when he did.
            They were building firing pins.
            When he had found out, it made him sick to his stomach.
            Rudy didn’t consider himself a coward, but he had always held to pacifistic ideals. A descendant of Quaker settlers, Rudy had always taken the ‘love thy neighbor’ credo very seriously. The idea of helping to bring about the end of not just a one, or tens or hundreds or even thousands—but to help bring about the end of tens of thousands of lives was simply too much for him to bear.
            The clock struck two. It was time to start the start up procedures of the manufacturing lines. It was time to monitor the power levels in the furnaces. It was time to check and double check and triple check all morning procedures.
            But Rudy, instead, chose a different course of action. He had been mulling it over, but now his mind was made up.
            Rudy put on his hat and coat. He grabbed his briefcase and walked over to the emergency shutdown controls. He threw them all.
            He then calmly walked out the door, down the hall, and to the time clock. By the time he was punching out alarms and shouts could be heard from all over the building.
            Rudy simply headed out the door and never looked back. 

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