Today’s Coffee Break Read

The Vault

The newly elected President tried to hide the slight shiver of apprehension, waiting as the huge vault was unsealed. There was no breeze this far underground and the whir of the system that ensured pollutant filtered air was the only sound apart from the slight squeak of shoes on the flooring.

The efficient aide tried to offer a reassuring smile as the huge door swung open.

“If you would step this way, please.”

Inside the vault, the air seemed less than fresh with a slight metallic tang to it. The walls were lined with sealed storage units, each with a display, declaring the careful environmental conditions being maintained within and all silently monitored by the AI which controlled the entire facility.

In here their shoes no longer squeaked as the special tiles underfoot absorbed all the sound. But this was not their destination and the President was led through the outer vault to the entrance that it protected.

The aide nodded towards the device set on the wall beside the door.

“I’m sorry, but you will have to confirm your identity. Facial recognition agrees it’s you but the system needs iris-scan and handprint confirmation before it will unlock.”

The president felt one eye developing its usual irritating tic, unavoidable under pressure and hoped that would not affect the iris scan.

There was a slight click somewhere and the aide was smiling again.

“It seems it really is you.”

Not much of a joke but it helped ratchet the tension down a little as the final door opened and they could enter. Except they couldn’t.

“I’m sorry, but you’ll have to do this bit alone,” the aide explained. “No one else is allowed to see. I’ll just pull this sliding screen across the door you can open it again soon as you are done.”

Alone in the vault, the President walked to the plinth on which sat a box file. Even that required a thumbprint to yield its secrets. Within was a lengthy document. Page after page of detail, the war and the politics that had caused it; invasion and resistance; treason and assassination. The unvarnished reality that had shocked the world and lay behind the events millions had seen on their TV screens.

With a feeling close to awe the President turned to the final page and read the words.

Now she knew how it must end.

Now she knew what was going to happen in the last episode of ‘Game of Thrones’.

E.M. Swift-Hook

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