Volunteered

“This is an Omega-Level alert. Attention. This is an Omega-Level alert.” The automated voice coming from the speaker sounded calm and impassive. The message continued to repeat.

A supervisor stuck his head in the room. “Let’s go everyone! Twenty minutes. This isn’t a drill. Move it or get volunteered.”

He knew better than to ask the supervisor, so he turned to his neighbor. “Volunteered for what?”

His neighbor looked at him with disbelief. “Is this your first Omega?”

“I just started two weeks ago.”

“Oh. They should have told you about this in orientation.”

“There was just so much information.”

They both kept packing. “Well, the slowest people preparing for evacuation get volunteered to stay behind to serve as the token contingent that must deal with the Omega event.” He paused to stare at the new worker. “It’s practically a death sentence. So hurry.”

They grabbed a few essential files and several back-up flash drives.

“I know I should know this. But there really was a lot we went over in my training. What’s an Omega event?”

More disbelief. “Really? You don’t even know that? The heroes are coming. It always ends the same way, with them destroying the base. We leave some stuff and people behind to keep up the appearance of a fight. We relocate and keep working without having to start over. You didn’t learn anything, did you?”

They threw the last of the essential stuff from their work areas into a bag and headed for the door. The supervisor came back.

“Times up. Anyone still next to their station is volunteered. Everyone else, let’s go.” There were a few curses and even some crying from those who had to stay behind. They made it to the transport and headed to the new base.

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