Here is another chapter! I hope you readers like this story. A special thank you to lexibob1 for your review! Incidentally, I've never actually put dry ice in a punchbowl, but I've heard that you can do it. After all, it's just carbon dioxide. I'll have to try it sometime!
Devon gasped as the floor level of the FLAG building collapsed. Because there were several levels underneath it, the floor collapsed inwards on itself and disappeared from sight.
"There goes a perfectly good three billion dollars," said Frank, his associate, standing as close as possible to the yellow Do Not Cross police line.
Behind them, the police were straining to evacuate the giant crowd that had been gathering."What are they destroying the floors for?" asked Bonnie, "How can they even survive inside the building?"
"They must have calculated precisely," said Devon, "That might have been what the giant tank was for-to hold up the inner levels."
"Devon, I'm sick of this," said Bonnie, "We're helpless out here, since they revealed that weapon of theirs."
"They must be extremely confident that we will not approach them," Cheng the assistant pointed out, "If the trigger is somewhere on the premises."
"But," said Bonnie, "It means our death as well as theirs if we set that thing off."
Devon shivered. "All we can do is wait for Michael and Kitt, and some reinforcements from the National Guard," he said, "Together we should all be able to come with a plan to take these people down."
"The temporary FLAG headquarters is also trying to find a solution," said Frank, "It was a little hard getting all of those employees out of their beds, but once they heard about what was going on they were more than willing to put in some overtime."They all looked towards the FLAG building, lit up in the night by the many tall stadium-style lights focused on the building by the miniature army of policemen. The building was smoking, or rather dusting. All the smoke was in reality settling dust caused by the collapse of the floor in on itself.
"All we can do it wait for Michael, and hope that our people inside are alright," said Bonnie.
"For all we know, Violet is the only one left," said Devon, "We still haven't been able to make contact with anyone else in the building."
"Forty agents were inside," said Cheng, "And we have only been able to contact one of them! What is going on in there?"
"We don't know," said Devon, "That's just the problem. If we knew what was happening, or what those men are after, we would be one step closer to taking them down…"
Inside the weapons room, the shaking that had started with a rumble quickly turned violent. Things started to fall off the walls, and Violet was thrown off her balance, landing hard on her left arm. Quickly curling up, she placed both arms over her head to protect that part of her body. Within seconds, the shaking herself up, Violet looked around the room. It was a miracle that none of the weapons had fired!
Well, almost. That was about the moment when she realized that none of the weapons in the room were actually loaded.
She turned to her comlink.
"Karr, what's the status of the building?" she asked.
"The ground level has been demolished," Karr answered, "The first level underground is damaged, but the other six floors appear in good condition."
"Ok," said Violet, "I'm in the weapon's room. I'll be back momentarily." Quickly placing about five or six guns on the movable table that held the ammo, Violet also grabbed an odd assortment of smoke bombs and tear gas and wheeled it all out of the room on the table.
"Girl, two men have entered this level." Karr announced.
Violet was about to reprimand him for calling her 'girl', but at that moment she turned around.
Two men were at the far end of the hallway, staring right at her.
She let the weapons door behind her slam shut.
"Hey, you!" called one of them.
Violet gulped. Both men were dressed in dark attire and brandishing what appeared to be some futuristic version of the rifle.
"Put up your hands!" called one of the two slowly did so, and watched as they slowly walked closer and closer to her.
"A whole cartload of weapons! That should be handy," one man said.
"How did you get down here?" The other asked.
"Um," said Violet, gulping.
What was she going to do? These men had guns and were likely going to harm her. And all she had for protection was the cartload of weapons directly in front of her.
Duh, thought Violet.
With a quick movement towards the table before her, she grabbed some tear gas and threw it at the men.
"Hey!" they called, and quickly covered their heads. Violet had two choices: either run past the men and let them take her precious weapons, probably guaranteeing her demise, or defend herself.
"Please please please let this be the right decision!" she prayed, and took the opportunity to quickly load one of FLAG's standard guns.
Aiming it at the men's arms, trusting in her marksmanship that her aim would not be lethal, she shot them. They fell one by one, and lay unmoving on the ground.
"Oh no, I killed them!" she said, dropping the weapon, "I actually killed someone! I'll never trust myself again!"
"Foolish human," said Karr through the comlink, "You only tranquilized them."
"What?" she asked.
"Do you really think the weapons that FLAG builds are going to be lethal?" asked Karr.
Violet was silent.
"I highly suggest that you place them in the FLAG prison," said Karr, "They should stay captive until FLAG can regain control of the building."
Violet walked to the two men, and felt their pulses. Sure enough, they both had a heartbeat.
Kneeling down, she took off away their personal radios and any weapons they had, and placed them in the room antecedent to the one that held Karr. Both had two knives, the one big gun, and a smaller gun in their right pocket.
Worst of all, they both had an access badge that allowed them into all areas of FLAG except the green areas such as the prisons and the kitchen refrigerator. How had they managed to get those? Something definitely was not right. The more she saw, the more she realized that this must have been an inside job. She threw the badges in the weapons pile.
The prisons were further on down the hallway, beyond the weapons room. Violet could never understand why the prisons and the weapons room were so close, but then again, she had not been consulted in the making of the facility. Slowly dragging the two men one by one, Violet unlocked the prison door using the high-security card that she had taken from the conference room. There were several prisons, but FLAG hardly ever used them, and so they were empty right now. She threw the men into one of the larger prisons, Violet ran back to the weapons table she had left by the weapons room. She rolled it into the room that held Karr.
"Okay, I need answers," she said, rolling the table into a corner.
"To what question?" asked Karr, opening his doors.
"For starters, both intruders had badges. How did they get them?"
"I am not aware-"
"And why am I the only member of FLAG left in the building? Where did everyone go?"
"I do not have the ans-"
"What are these strangers after?"
"I do not-"
"And why do they keep blowing up the building?"
"They have been imploding the building," Karr corrected, closing one door and keeping the other open, "And I do not know the answers to any of those questions."
Violet grumbled. "Fine," she said, "But what am I supposed to do, pick them off one by one and interrogate them? There are over one hundred and seventy of them!"
"That idea seems reasonable," said Karr, opening his closed door and closing the open one, "Two more men are currently heading down to this level. Why don't you start with them?"
Violet groaned, and grabbed the gun. Cautiously stepping out into the open, she spotted them walking down the hallway.
"Freeze!" she called.
Startled, one actually dropped his gun. The other trained his on her. She shot, and he fell to the ground.
The one who had dropped his gun gasped, thinking that his pal was dead. Training her gun on him, Violet came closer.
"Alright, Mister," she said, coming close enough to step over his fallen friend, "Why are you here?"
The man gasped, but did not answer.
"Answer me," said Violet, "Or I'll blow your head off!"
"So you are the one who was left behind," said the man, looking her over, "That was all a mistake. And I see that you must have taken down ten and twelve," said the man, taking a glance at his fallen companion, "That's why they haven't come back yet, because you took them out."
"You number your friends?" asked Violet.
"They're not my friends," said the man, "They are numbers ten and twelve. They won the raffle and got to come down here first."
"A raffle?" asked Violet, confused, "What did you come down here for?"
The man stared right at her. She stared back hard.
"Tell me," she said, coming close to his face and lifting up the gun to be level with his head, "Why are you here?"
Suddenly, something shocked her entire body. With a gasp she fell to the ground, and as she did she involuntarily pulled the trigger. The tranquilizer flew upwards as she fell and lodged itself in the chest of the enemy before her. His face displayed surprise as he fell backwards, and the knife that had been meant for Violet fell from his outstretched hand onto the ground.
Violet stood up, surprised. She automatically turned to the part of her body that had felt the paralyzing shock first: it was the wrist that held her comlink.
"The heartsource program faintly shows weapons," said Karr through the comlink, "I knew he was going to use it. You should have seen that coming."
Violet didn't answer; she was too busy regaining her breath.
"Well," she said after a few minutes, "That's two down. I'd better get these to the prisons before anyone else decides to come down here."
"Not enough time," said Karr, "Three more are on the way."
Violet stood up and grabbed her gun. "Bring it on," she said.
"Michael," said Kitt, waking up his pal, "Michael!"
"Gosh, Kitt, I was in the middle of a good dream," said Michael sleepily.
"Michael, Devon is calling," said Kitt.
"Put him through," said Michael, yawning.
"Michael," said Devon, his voice coming in slightly wrinkled, "They have destroyed the entire building."
"What?" asked Michael, instantly alert.
"The levels above ground, that is," said Devon, "For all we know, the underground levels might be intact. We assume that is the case because the intruders are still within the building."
"Gotcha, Devon," said Michael, "Have you found out who has access to the building plans?"
"Not yet," said Devon, "The staff at the temporary FLAG is working on that. We are also busy trying to figure out what they are after. We think whatever it is might be in one of the code blue rooms."
"Code blue rooms?" asked Michael.
Kitt intervened to alleviate his confusion.
"Rooms with content that is unknown to Devon," said Kitt, "There are currently three such rooms: one on level six is only accessible to a select group of scientists, and allegedly contains sensitive and possibly defective equipment, and two are on level seven. One of these two is only accessible to the Board, and is said to contain important data in the form of paper files, and the other was put in place by the late FLAG board of director's chairman. Its contents are unknown. It is worth noting that all three rooms can be accessed by specified agents acting as guards."
"Hmm," said Michael, "Devon, are you sure they are after something in one of those rooms?"
"There is nothing else worth stealing," said Devon.
"Alright Devon, hang tight. Kitt and I will be there as soon as we can." said Michael, "If only this night would pass fast enough!"
Violet walked into the room that held Karr, pushing the weapons cart in front of her. It was no longer held with FLAG weapons, but the ones left behind by the men she had assigned to the prisons. Instead of dragging the men all the way down the hall, she had taken all the ammo off of the cart and piled it with the heavily unconscious intruders, and on the way back to Karr she gathered all the weapons, radios and badges that she had left out in the open and brought them into the safer room.
"Man," she said, "Those guys just keep coming! And I came across several girls, too. How many did I put in prison?"
"Ten," said Karr.
"What?" asked Violet, "Dang it, this is going to take forever!"
She walked over to look at the heatsource program, still open on the computer.
"It looks like they are still mostly concentrated on underground level four," she said, "What do you think, Karr? Should I risk taking the offensive?"
"You may if you want," said Karr, closing his open doors, "I have been monitoring the radio frequency that the intruders have been using."
"You have?" asked Violet, sounding impressed.
"They will not come down anytime soon," said Karr, "They believe this hallway is haunted. In fact, they keep referring to you as a ghost."
"Really? I only took out ten people," said Violet.
"That does not matter," said Karr, "What matters is that every person they sent down here has not come back to the upper levels."
"Hmm," said Violet, "If only a few of them are seriously scared by ghosts, this could work to our advantage."
"How so?" asked Karr.
"I think there is some dry ice stored in here," said Violet.
"Yes," said Karr, "They keep it for the machines that keep me immobilized. But why would you want solid carbon dioxide?"
Violet walked over to the Tupperware container holding the food Bonnie had given her. Taking out the food and placing it onto a plate, she stored it in the fridge and then proceeded to rinse out the Tupperware container.
"I'm going to use put the dry ice in water and use it to fog up the hallway," she said, "It will give the place a creepy feeling. Always worked on Halloween! Dad liked to put the stuff in the bottom of a punch bowl, but he always told us that we weren't allowed to touch it."
"You do realize that these intruders are professionals," said Karr, "They will not be afraid of you for long."
"Yes," said Violet, "But as long as I am the only FLAG agent here, I might as well make them as afraid of me as possible."
"Noted," said Karr.
Violet walked over to the small cabinet that probably contained containing dry ice, but as she walked, she suddenly heard Karr slam both of his doors closed.
"Girl, wait!" said Karr, opening and slamming his doors again.
Violet turned towards him. It was obvious he was slamming his doors to get her attention.
"What is it?" she asked. His scanner was fluctuating rather violently.
But before Karr could answer, there was a small explosion, closely followed by two others.
Violet ran out into the hallway.
"Girl, come back!" she heard Karr yelled.
She looked out into the hallway. There was green mist rising from the end close to the stairway.
"The heatsource program indicates that is a poisonous gas," she heard Karr say faintly through the comlink, "Close the doors and get as far away as you can."
With a gasp, Violet closed the first door and headed to the room where Karr stood. But the room was spinning.
"You are already exhibiting effects of the gas," said Karr.
Violet stumbled to the chair. Was it her imagination, or was there a green mist coming through the door?
"The gas is entering the room," said Karr, "It is permeable through the steel walls."
"Impossible," said Violet, her word coming out as a slur.
She looked around the room. What could she do? There was a blanket in the operator's room. If she doused it with water and covered her face with it, it just might help prevent the gas from killing her.
Violet stood up, but found herself on the ground. That was strange, she must have fallen."You are already losing power," Karr pointed out, "But the gas cannot enter my frame."
She stood up, and saw that Karr had one of his doors open.
"Get in," he said.
Violet looked at his open door, uncomprehending."Get in if you desire to live," said Karr.
Should she get in the vehicle? Should she trust him? One thing that Cindy had pounded into her head, the first night she began working here, was that Karr lies. Cindy had also told her that Karr has tortured his occupants before.
Should she get in? Sure she could die out here. But what if Karr was really working with the intruders and this was all a ruse so that his guard would become his prisoner? If only she didn't have this sudden headache, maybe it would be easier to make this decision!
"If you do not get in my cabin soon, you will die from the poisoning," Karr pointed out.
Violet looked towards the door. The green poison was now fully visible within the room.
It was now or never, and headache or no headache, she had to make a decision.