Without warning the Ops center doors flew open and Marcus, head of the special projects division, strode into the room with a scowl on his face.
Maya winced as she saw him enter the room. Marcus was an imposing and mercurial individual at the best of times, when he was angry it was infinitely worse. If he’d returned a day early without notice and was in a mood, that really can’t be good she realized. Setting her tea down quickly, Maya leaped up and approached the door. “Sir, if we’d known to expect you tonight-”
“Nevermind! We have a breach, find it.” the man snarled, interrupting and pushing past her to stare at the wall of monitors.
At this instruction, fingers danced across keyboards and eyes scanned monitors. For several minutes, techs called out as each area was checked and cleared. The tall man stood waiting, becoming more agitated with each passing moment that no intruders were found. By now his mouth was drawn and his brow furrowed. If anyone were close enough, they would have heard him quietly whispering as his eyes darted back and forth behind closed eyelids… but of course none dared. Finally, the man’s eyes snapped open and he said “The Level 4 lab. It’s her. Alert security to meet me there… and lock the facility down!” With that, he turned to storm out of the room as quickly as he’d arrived.
Maya began to inquire who he meant, but the question died on her lips. Instead, she quickly said “Yes sir.” just as the doors were closing behind him. She summoned security and shook her head, as the Level 4 lab appeared quiet and deserted. “Check it again” she sighed, as she returned to her seat and picked up her mug. She’d learned to not question the eccentricities of the special projects team; it was too far above her pay grade to worry about. At least, that’s what she told herself. That was more tolerable than admitting how spooked she actually was about what they did.
Elsewhere in the building, Elena’s eyes snapped open from her meditative trance. “Fck, fck!” She swore. Beside her, the Imp whirled around and said “Wha- What is it? What’s wrong?” Elena, heart racing, said breathlessly “It’s him. He’s in the compound, and now he knows I am too!”
From across the room, Max turned ashen. "No, he can’t be. You told us he wouldn’t be back until tomorrow… you’re supposed to be protecting us!”
Elena gave a pained look. “I am! Hiding from security technicians is one thing but I can’t hide us from HIM. He wasn’t supposed to be anywhere near here. Hurry up, we only get one shot at this!”
Max attempted to work faster, with shaking hands. The object was already visible, softly glowing and surrounded by wires. Max was splicing and rerouting wires as quickly as possible to be able to remove the core without tripping any of the security systems for as long as possible.
Then, from outside in the hall, alarm klaxons began to wail. Elena knew they now had just seconds to get what they’d come for and escape, or Sam’s death would be all for nothing.
Sam… the very name made her heart ache, and she choked back a sob as grief and anger welled up inside her. No, she thought viciously. I won’t lose it, I can’t. It’s our only chance.
Realizing subtlety was no longer relevant, Max muttered “screw it!” and shoved a bare hand into the enclosure and just ripped the object out. “I’ve got it!” yelped Max, narrowly avoiding losing several fingers as the security panel slammed into place.
The Imp was already moving toward the door. “Raven is inbound, eta 2 minutes to the evac point!” he said hoarsely. Elena shook her head and replied “We don’t have 2 minutes. What other-“ Elena froze in mid-sentence as a terrifyingly familiar piercing pressure suddenly blossomed in her brain. “Too late” she breathed, with a sinking feeling. “He’s already here.”