Disclaimer: The Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea characters are not mine, just borrowed for this story.

Reviews are always welcome.

Part 2/5 in series

Light at the End of the Tunnel

It was all a blur really, the events of the last few days – hell, it could have been weeks for all the prisoner knew. The last clear memory was being injected with something; but was that before or after the memory of being bashed on the head? His whole body hurt, not just his head and the thirst was just awful. Cautiously he flexed his fingers, then his wrists and finally raised each one of his arms. No chains, cuffs or other manner of restraint. Slowly, he opened his eyes. The room was dark, but there was enough light peeking under the door to show there was nothing in the room except the cot on which he currently resided.

Captured, again. It seemed to the prisoner that this scenario was becoming far too frequent for his liking. What was it this time? Some rogue agent? Alien? Science experiment gone awry? The People's Republic? No, those weren't the things that were going on just before everything blurred together. 'Scientists' did ring some sort of bell, but not the usual creature feature that seemed to be becoming a common occurrence aboard Seaview.

He remembered they were doing research on weapons, and Nelson left for a conference while Seaview remained to continue the tests. That was awhile ago. It was starting to come together. The memories remained fuzzy regarding how he came to be in this small cell.

His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of footsteps. Rattling of keys announced company. The man in the cell slowly sat up as much as his protesting muscles would allow. The room tilted slightly but soon came back to right. The lock clicked, and the room was bathed in a brilliant white light as the door swung open. He shut his eyes tightly to block out the sharp pain that the light brought.

Two very muscular, black-uniformed guards entered the room. Without a word they marched over to the cot and stood at either side. Cracking his eyes open slightly, the prisoner could see another figure standing in the doorway, but the contrast of the light hallway and darkened cell prevented him from making out any features that would give away her identity.

The figure at the door eyed the captive for a moment before issuing a single command: "Bring him." They roughly hauled the prisoner to his feet. The woman who issued the order turned sharply and two guards to drag their prisoner down the hallway behind her.

The prisoner tried to walk under his own power, but was not as successful as he would have liked due to his disoriented state. Observing his surroundings as closely as possible, he noticed that the corridor was sparsely populated; in fact in the many turns he saw no-one else. The guards manhandling him kept their eyes on the woman leading them. They never looked around, never slowed their pace.

Maybe his theory about the People's Republic was correct. The woman certainly looked like she could work for them. She too was dressed all in black, but unlike her comrades, her uniform was made of leather. Her long black hair was pulled back in a braid. The woman also never looked around, never spoke, just kept the steady pace going.

When the prisoner thought they couldn't possibly continue walking, the group came to a large room. Just before entering, the prisoner caught a glimpse of two figures down another hall. Suddenly it clicked. He remembered how he knew one of those two people, and the events that led him to this current predicament. Oliver Shaw was here.

The ceiling was high, and one wall was lined with bookshelves filled with old and thick books. There was an enormous fire place on another wall. The stone work was rather impressive, and the heat from the roaring fire filled the room. The carvings and paintings on another wall were aglow from the firelight. The last wall was lined with a bar decorated with fine crystal glasses of various shapes and sizes. Each cabinet was filled with bottles of various liquors and wines. In the middle of the room, on the Persian rug and under the expansive chandelier, was a large mahogany table. Three high-back wood chairs were placed on both sides, and one chair at each end. The table had place settings at each end and candles placed in the center.

The prisoner was roughly pushed into one of the chairs at the end of the table and his hands bound to the arms of the chair with rope. When that task was complete, the two guards exited the room through the door they used to enter. The woman moved to stand just off the prisoner's right shoulder. There was nothing to do but sit there and wait. Wait for what? The man did not know.