Tell Tale 14
First it was red. Then yellow. Now it's red again. Why can't Shailu make up her mind?
In her 30 years of service as lead of the elite bomb disposal squad, Shailu had never been in an accident. Somehow, she has always escaped the grim explosion that takes away life or limb. But today was different, she was not diffusing some RDX. Shailu had been assigned to diffuse the primary charges in an armed thermonuclear device.
Earlier the police had got a phone call about a bomb and they had located the device. The device had been moved it to a ship on the Bay of Bengal to minimize impact on the population. Now she had 5 minutes and a nuke to diffuse.
It is not everyday that you get to neutralize a nuke. The thermonuclear device was not state of the art. It is a 2 stage fusion reaction. First the conventional explosives detonates and creates an implosion, and compresses the Uranium 235 to a critical mass. The U235 fission is the primary. The x-ray emission from this primary fission is then focussed on to the fusion fuel, (typically deuterium) which then fuses to release huge amount of energy. Shailu, a conventional UXO (Unxploded Ordnanace) expert, was asked to diffuse the explosives that start the primary fission.
She removed most of the sheath and metal and was looking at the wiring. She deciphered the circuit board and all she needed to was figure out which wire she had to cut. The Red or the Blue. Shailu smiled. If it had been a movie, the audience would be sitting on the edge of their seats waiting in suspense to know about the wild guess the actor makes. It took her 30 seconds to find out that she will need to cut the Red wire and short a transistor to diffuse it. But Did Shailu want to diffuse it?
She had a 30 year itch. She had not seen an atomic explosion. The world had not seen a terrestrial detonation of deployment capacity fusion bomb. She had not even been in the vicinity of any explosion herself. Obviously she could not see this explosion if it detonates. She would die from the initial gamma ray burst, even before she could see a single spark. Red or blue?
Shailu felt very very naughty that day.