[An exercise in dialogue-only writing.]

“Are they all loaded up, Officer Vance?” asked the Captain.
“Yes, Captain Stevens,” Vance began. “We’re about to transport the criminals downtown.”
“Good. I’m glad that’s all settled,” sighed the Captain.
“But…” started Vance, “We’ve got another problem.”
“Oh, cripes. What now?” lamented Stevens.
Officer Vance continued, “Seems our perps left a little surprise for us in the event that they were captured.”
“Did they set the money on fire?” offered the Captain.
“Worse,” Vance hesitated. “There’s a bomb in the moneybag.”
“There’s a—You’re kidding me!” fumed the Captain. “Call Montgomery. He’ll diffuse it!”
“Montgomery’s on vacation, Captain,” imparted Vance.
“So? Call him and get him down here,” Stevens ordered.
Vance murmured, “Might be difficult, Sir.”
“And why is that?” Stevens interrogated.
“He’s in Fiji.”
“Of course he is,” retorted Stevens. “We finally have an explosive situation in this town and our one-man bomb squad is off sipping drinks on a beach in Fiji.”
“I’ll bet the drinks have little umbrellas in them, Captain,” smiled the Officer.
“Focus, Vance!” hollered Stevens. “Who else do we have who could diffuse this situation?”
“That’s clever, Captain,” mused the Officer. “I see what you did there.”
“I wasn’t making a joke,” snorted Stevens. “Call someone over from the Omaha precinct.”
“Won’t do any good,” started the Officer. “That’s a least an hour away. According to the timer on the bomb we only have ten minutes left.”
“Then the situation’s worse than I imagined,” whispered the Captain. “There’s only one thing left to do…”
“Orders, Sir?”
“Get me the President,” commanded Stevens.
“Why would the President come all the way out to Nebraska for this?” questioned the Officer.
“He won’t, Vance,” chuckled Stevens. “But how often do I get to say something dramatic like that?”
Now we’re joking, Sir?” Vance protested.
Stevens added, “That was just some light humor to take the sting off of the bad news I’m about to give you.”
“Bad news, Sir?”
“Yes,” stated Stevens. “You see, Vance, you’re going to have to disarm the bomb.”
“But Captain,” stuttered the Officer, “That’s not my area of expertise!”
“You took the Intro to Explosives Ordinance Disposal course at the Academy?” queried the Captain.
“I did.”
“Then congratulations, Officer,” grinned Stevens. “You’re certified to handle this task. In fact, you’re probably more qualified than Montgomery, that slacker.”
“Oh Captain, you’re on fire today with the jokes,” laughed the Officer. “You really had me going there for a second.”
“Still not joking,” admitted Stevens. “Get in there, Vance.”
Vance stammered, “I-I don’t know about this, Sir…”
“Trust me, you’ll be fine,” assured the Captain. “Here’s a walkie-talkie and some wire cutters. I’ll guide you through the whole process.”
“I’m entering the bank now, Captain,” explained Vance, “There’re bullet holes all over the place…I’m heading into the vault…I see the moneybag…I’ve opened it, and I’m looking at the bomb…Looks like we have five minutes remaining…Sir? …Are you still there? …Sir?”
“Give me a second!” demanded Stevens.
“What are you doing, Captain?” questioned Vance. “We’re running out of time!”
“I’m running a Google search for ‘how to diffuse a bomb’ on my phone,” Stevens remarked.
“That’s really comforting, Sir,” sighed the Officer.
“Yeah, except my 3G is slow as molasses,” explained Stevens. “Hold on a minute.”
“You’ve got about three of them,” grunted Vance. “I’ve opened the casing and I’m looking at three wires.”
“Sounds pretty standard,” noted the Captain. “Wikipedia says not to cut the red wire.”
“I think that we should call Montgomery,” insisted Vance. “I trust him over the Internet’s free encyclopedia…that anyone can edit.”
“I don’t think so, Officer,” replied Stevens. “Unless you’ve produced an international calling card from that moneybag, I’m not paying the oversea charges.”
“So what do I do?”
“Do you see the blue wire?”
“I don’t see a blue wire, Sir,” confessed Vance.
“How about a green wire?”
“I don’t see one of those either, Sir,” he replied.
“Fine, Vance,” scolded Stevens. “I’ll play your game. What colors do you see?”
“None, Sir,” confessed the Officer.
“None!?” repeated Stevens.
“You see, Captain… I’m—uh—I’m color blind,” revealed Vance.
“Well then…” started Stevens, “Our situation has not improved at all. How much longer on the timer?”
“Two minutes.”
“Let us take a moment and consider how Montgomery’s vacation single-handedly ruined our careers,” mumbled Stevens.
Vance started, “But, Sir, you’re the one who ordered me to—“
“Okay, enough considering, Vance,” interjected Stevens, “Pick a wire and snip it! Do your civic duty!”
“Which wire?” stressed Officer Vance.
“Just pick one!” encouraged the Captain.
“I can’t make up my mind!” Vance squealed.
“Fine!” commanded Stevens, “Cut the one on the left, Vance.”
“My left or your left?” Vance quizzed.
“Who cares anymore?” screamed Captain Stevens, “We’re dead men!”
“Okay!” cheered Vance. “Wire cut!”
“Which one did you sever?” asked the Captain.
“All of them, Sir. We got to the five second mark and I panicked,” said Vance.
“Well then, here’s some good news for you,” announced Stevens.
“I’m not dead?” questioned the Officer.
“No, Vance, my 3G finally caught up!” surmised Stevens.
“Figures,” vented Vance.
“Now for the bad news, Officer…” breathed the Captain.
“Oh no…what is it, Sir?” sighed Vance.
“The article that I’m reading now…” declared the Captain, “It suggests that under no circumstances should we cut the blue wi–”


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