Episode 8: Russian Roulette
The intricate tunnel system had led both Liz and Jenna to a certain exit but there was an unexpected complication on their tale in the form of Marcus who was now under the influence of a sketchy ADP (Advanced Digital Personality). Now, after his injury, he had reverted to an old implanted set of memories that in theory should never be possible but definitely was proving to be a problem for the girls.
Liz Hunter scrambled up the long dark tunnel that led upward. The stairs were made of bent rods that had seen better days. This exit hadn't been accessed in ages. She made it to the top of the ladder and unscrewed the latch holding the door in place. It was hard to see anything in the pitch black and her fingers were not as nimble as usual. She figured the fear must be making her jittery. She cursed as the latch broke off in her hand and she threw it to the ground in frustration hoping to hit Marcus with a lucky knock on the head, but to no avail.
She would tell the lock had disengaged but she had to use her back to push open the heavy oval door as if she was exiting an old rickety submarine. The opening led to an area that had to be 50 feet outside the gates of the facility. This was quite a relief. Getting out had been of paramount importance. She reached down and helped Jenna through the opening who had been clinging to her heels helplessly. It was obvious this gal was not someone who handled stress in the field well.
It was as dark as midnight outside. The sun had set ages ago and this would only help their departure giving them more of a stealthy option in hiding places. This made Liz, who had remained emotionless for the last hour, find a bright spot in her heart she didn't know she possessed.
"We have to get out of this area as quickly as possible, Liz said. "The facility has the entire perimeter monitored, but there is a blind spot." She pointed to a dense forest that reminded Jenna of the place where the headless horseman or Jack the Ripper might reign.
"In there? Are you kidding?" Jenna West said, her fear obvious.
"It's either that or get capture by Echelon's men." Liz shrugged. "Your choice."
Jenna heaved a heavy sigh. Why couldn't escape be easy?
Phoenix Gray had cleverly evaded Marcus and made it to the top rung of the latter, but he could hear Marcus pounding up the stairway behind him. That Mac truck just wouldn't die. He pulled himself up and vaulted out of the hatch like a professional gymnast and tried to secure it, but found the latch broken. He cursed but didn't dally too long. He knew Marcus was not far behind. Phoenix ran towards the woods looking for cover and discovered the tracks of what could only be human footprints. Jenna and Liz's tracks in the mud, it had to be. He followed the direction the tracks were leading and sprinted at an amazing pace. Within seconds he was no longer visible by the lights of the Facility.
The strike team comprised of Trust and AS (Alpha site) agents filed into two military vehicles. They stealthfully found access points around the Facility to enter the compound. They were professionals and didn't trigger the surveillance of the secret agency. Shayne Michaels and Candice Kent led the team on the north side. The two exchanged knowing glances that spoke volumes about their previous relationship.
"I can't believe you're nosing in on my mission," Candice said.
"It's not like I went out looking for the job, honey. Your scientist friend brought it to me." Shayne was the cocky and annoying type. He enjoyed tormenting Candice.
Everyone in the team exited the vehicle and fanned out. Shayne and Candice came upon the point in the military schematics showing a hidden entrance. Candice spied the broken latch and held her firearm at the ready. Shayne motioned silently that he could hear someone climbing the access ladder. They held their positions as Marcus shoved the heavy door aside and jumped to the ground.
"Freeze!" Candace's voice rough and controlling.
Shayne hefted his semi-automatic in position. It was then he got a good look at the subject.
Marcus was still flashing back and forth between killer mode and his own personality. He was huffing from the exertion of the climb combined with the near electrocution. Sweat dotted his face and his eyes were wild and dangerous.
"What happened to you?" Shayne noticed the black sunburst pattern on Marcus's chest where the live wire had met his skin.
Marcus's eyes returned to normal and took in the situation. His sheer willpower had compelled the killer personality to retreat.
"Take me into custody," Marcus said in a moment of coherence. "Before it's too late." Suddenly, he collapsed to the ground. Candice and Shayne came to the side. When he regained consciousness seconds later his voice had dropped to a lower, more evil tone. He grabbed Candice by her ponytail and disarmed her. Now she was his prisoner.
"Six against one," he said with a laugh noting the positions of the other agents. "I guess that's fair odds."
He pressed the gun to Candice's temple and smiled. "Who wants to play Russian roulette?"