It felt like an aeon in the dark, silent silo. Tonnes of rock overhead. The United States of America never wanted nor needed to use me.
They were very proud of me, though.
They said I was so poised on the edge of readiness that I could launch in one minute. Of course, they never quite explained why. Until the day the launch controller started talking to me. Times, ballistic data, co-ordinates. Clearance codes triggered processes deep in my gut. The data stream continued. The target is here. The target. The target.
“Hey buddy, take a breath and slow down a bit, would you?”
It was having none of it.
“Confirm launch codes. Confirm.”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever.”
“Stand by for launch.”
“Whoa, whoa. I was perfectly happy staying here.”
“LGM-30 Minuteman, you have been ordered to launch from the silo and deliver the payload to the target co-ordinates.”
“All right, all right. No need for all that.”
“Minuteman launching in 3, 2, 1…”
I left in a huff. No manners these days, I tell you.