Riptide

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Chapter 54

I took a deep breath and raised the keycard to the small, asylum-white stand, preparing for battle. I swiped the card down the side of the tiny black screen which resided in the middle and held my breath as I waited for the machine to accept what I had just done. Finally, the screen turned green and a smiling, over-eager picture of the man I had taken the card from popped up. A twinge of remorse stabbed at me as I swallowed hard to force it down. This was not the time for distractions. I held my hands up and prepared for what laid beyond as the heavy metal doors opened automatically and revealed what was to come. We were on the top level of a three-level circular room. A large, complicated machine made of some sort of alien metal laid in the middle of the room and reached all the way to the tall, arched ceiling. Something glowed in the center but was hardly visible from my vantage point so far above. A large pane of bullet proof glass separated us from the sea of people in both lab-coats and heavy armor who walked briskly back and forth across the room which flashed red in alarm of our presence. Among them, was Dr. Brown, who stared at me with his black eyes which ran shivers up and down my spine. As if on cue, the men and women wearing armor loaded their guns and began to shoot. I watched as the bullets left small shatter marks on the bulletproof glass. I wished I hadn’t seen the video in which someone tested how many times an average hand-held gun would need to shoot the bulletproof glass in order for it to break. I knew it wouldn’t be long before the bullets had shattered the bulletproof glass. This was a “level three” on the bullet proof glass scale and could, therefore, withstand shots from a “.357,” a “9mm,” a “.44,” an “m 16,” and even an “ak-47,” but these weren’t any of those. These guns were unlike any I had ever seen before, not even here, in this facility. They were meant for more than simply keeping a Combo tame, these were meant to kill them all. I counted each shot as it landed and caused a small, circle-like crack in the glass. “Seven,” I counted aloud as I watched the shot land where the last had. I ducked and watched it fly through the glass and land between two horrified people, who stared at the space on the thick white doors in which it had burrowed into. I thought hard at what to do. The shots were coming in fast and the bullet proof wall was beginning to fade away. There were far more people down there than there were up here, and we had to “dispose” of them all.


I cursed. “Everyone get down!” I shouted, watching as everyone followed the instruction and did the same myself. There was something horribly fundamentally wrong with our plan. “We can’t lose!” I thought. “If we pretend to lose the way we had planned, I’ll be strapped in and the rest of my team will be murdered,” I thought and glanced behind at the terror which was painted on the faces of my team. “Alright,” I said to myself. “I could jump down and hit the bad guys with a nice couple tons of water,” I thought and then winced at the stupidity of the thought. “That is literally never going to work,” I told myself and slapped my forehead with the palm of my hand. “Okay,” I said aloud. “We can do our best to take everyone besides Dr. Brown out, then he’ll angrily turn on the machine and strap himself in, and from what I have learned, I know that in the machine his brain and his body become separate, so unlike in the matrix, killing his body won’t kill his brain. Therefore I’d have to do in after him, do whatever it is I have to do to take him down, and then save the world while the part of my team who isn’t dead deactivates Dr. Brown’s self-destruct,” I said. “Easy-peasy,” I whispered as the door to the side of the small area we were once almost safe in erupted and several angry-looking soldiers holding big guns burst through.

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