Agent B. Jones had been captured by the notorious terrorist named “Colonel Z” after he was caught rummaging around in Z’s office, looking for information that would send the criminal to jail without parole. Two of the Colonel’s cronies walked in and pulled out knives. Jones fought the man’s two goons but within fifteen minutes of karate action, they bound him hand and foot and forced him to sit on an uncomfortable old wood chair.

The “Colonel” or “Z” walked into the room to interrogate Agent Jones. After Jones declared the 5th Amendment on all the terrorist’s questions, Z looked at his goons and said, “You know where to take him – the ‘cellar’.” Strap him to the ‘bomb’!”

The two men looked at each other simultaneously with wide eyes. Agent Jones was only slightly startled. One of them said eagerly, “But Boss, you know what that could mean?”

“Indeed, I know what that could mean, but that outcome depends on Mr. Jones here. Untie him and drag him into the next room, so he can meet the ‘Destroyer Engine’ and cuff him to it.”

Even Jones had heard of Colonel Z’s “Destroyer Engine”. Z told Jones, “I want you to see how the ‘Engine’ works.” Jones just smirked and stared at Z, who backhanded him, knocking down. “Don’t make that face again.”

The Colonel told his goons to unlatch the hatch that covered the three-foot-tall cylindrical weapon. Once opened, Z turned on many gadgets that made the machine function. He told Jones that once it turned on, it couldn’t be turned off. Then, he put his hands on the large timer and set it to “30 minutes”.

“You have exactly 30 minutes to make a decision. Once I press the timer, your decision is to cut a series of 4 cords that sets every criminal in jails free across the country, or if you don’t cut all four cords, a deadly gas will come out of the vents above you, and you will die. Personally, I would rather see you live and cut the chords so I can see a lot of old pals and renew our acquaintances., but the choice is up to you, Mr. Jones.”

The Colonel pulled out a device and pushed the timer on. Then he hands a pair of scissors to Jones, which he puts in his left hand. The Colonel conjured up some evil laughter as he and his cronies walked out of the cellar.

“Make the right choice, Mr. Jones!” The Colonel said as he burst out laughing with his thugs.

When they were leaving, Jones began examining the machine, looking around in the weapon for anything that could disable it. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make heads or tails out of the complex machinery. He sweat so much because a decision had to be made: to cut the chords that released all the prisoners from jails all around the country or keep his hands to himself and let the gas end his life.

At 3:00 minutes left, he heard a door close upstairs and footsteps coming towards the cellar door. Feeling an array of hope, Jones yelled, “Hey! I’m down here!” Then he heard a pair of heavy shoes walking down to the cellar, and Jones told him not to come in because of the gas he had decided would be his option.

The man looked at Jones with a confused look and said, “I’m from the electric company. This “Colonel Z” has not paid his electric bill in over 6 months. So, I’m turning it off right now. The first item I’m starting with is this machine you’re tied to.”

At 10 seconds, the man tried lifting the heavy weapon, found an electric cord, and pulled it out.

The timer stopped at 1 second.