Hot Summer Read: 'The Burning Wire' by Tom Bower

The supervisor looked up at the board. A high-voltage cable went through the substation and headed west to deliver juice to parts of New Jersey. "Yes, but it's not online. It's just running through a duct there."

"But could you splice into it and use that for supply to the diverted lines?"

"Manually? . . . I suppose, but . . . but that would mean getting people inside MH-Ten. And if we can't hold the juice back until they're finished, it'll flash. That'll kill 'em all. Or give 'em third-degrees over their entire bodies."

A pause. "Hold on. I'm calling Jessen."

Algonquin Consolidated's CEO. Also known, privately, as "The All-Powerful."

As he waited, the supervisor stared at the techs surrounding him. He kept staring at the board too. The glowing red dots.

Critical failure . . .

Finally the supervisor's boss came back on. His voice cracked. He cleared his throat and after a moment said, "You're supposed to send some people in. Manually splice into the line."

"That's what Jessen said?"

Another pause. "Yes."

The supervisor whispered, "I can't order anybody in there. It's suiĀ¬cide."

"Then find some volunteers. Jessen said you are not, understand me, not to shed load under any circumstances."

Copyright Jeffrey Deaver 2010 Published by Simon & Schuster

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