Level 4, an undisclosed area, is the location of a Sub-Operations Center that lied beneath FBI Headquarters, not yet operational. The entrance was protected by a 10- foot sliding door made from Tungsten alloy. A palm vein biometric unit, the finest in high-end security, was the key to opening it. Inside walls were made of concrete thirty meters thick, able to withstand a nuclear blast. Equipped with monitors and telephones, it served as an emergency communications outlet to coordinate with other law enforcement entities during an emergency, for situations just like this. Only the top directors and some senior agents knew of its existence. She was among the chosen few.
Alex stepped out of the elevator and began having second thoughts. Worry. She was about to die, violently. Alone. “Why am I doing this?” she thought. “Who said their lives are more important than mine? Gina needs to rip this damn thing off!”
She risked her life many times during the most daring missions that no other human being would ever muster enough courage to face. Never had she imagined her life ending in an underground bunker. There was no one to blame. Nobody to take out her frustration on. All she could do is scream. Pound on the wall as hard as she could. Scream until her throat gave out. Cry every tear her eyes could squeeze out.
Settling down, breathing easily, she thought about her friends still inside the building. Helping Gina fulfill her destiny then came to mind. This was the job she signed up for. “My life to save millions...just another day in the office,” she thought.
Alex punched in the access code and pressed her palm against the glass reader. Her identity was registered and the massive door slid open. Footsteps echoed like conga drums as she walked inside the deserted station. The door needed to be locked to contain the blast. Hold up! Her family won’t see her again. She had to say goodbye. Pulling out her cell phone, Alex turned on the camcorder and swiped over to selfie mode. Five minutes left on the clock, vastly ticking downward. She had to make it fast.
“Hi, Gina. I’m addressing you first because I know you’ll be the first to find this message. First off…I, umm, haven’t much time to talk so…I won’t be coming home tonight.” She directed the camera to show the bomb on her wrist. “They got me Gi. They planned to get one of us...and they got me. I’ve been able to escape the most dangerous and complicated booby-traps the world has ever heard of…can’t get out of this. People are still in the building...not to mention thousands more in the city. I can’t let them die”
Losing her composer, Alex wept, which got mixed in with her last words. “I’m so sorry, (sob) for forcing you to forget about your past…telling you to drop everything and just come home. That wasn’t for you… (sob) it was for me. I missed you Gina, (sob) and I was miserable without you. I knew you were hurting inside but…I was engulfed in my own hurt…I was selfish. But now, (sob) I understand why you left…and look at what you are now. You’ve always inspired me...and I was so lost without you.”
She closed her eyes and fought her face from frowning. Not much time left. “Thank Dad for making me tough...teaching me how to never accept defeat. Thank Mom for her drive and independence that molded us to the women we’ve become. Tell her, (sob) she’s my favorite superhero. Oh God, how I wish I could see you all one last time, (sob) but at least we’ll share eternity in Heaven...one day. I love you so much…and I’ll carry that love with me always. Goodbye.”
Alex stopped recording and pressed the big red button against the wall. As the gigantic door closed, she tossed her phone out to the hallway. Looking for a place to hide, she crawled underneath the motherboards and took a seat. Resting her back against the steel, a sense of peace came over her. She felt vindicated to release her demons before death, something most people fail to do.
She then closed her eyes and recited Psalm 23:1-6 in a whisper, “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he
leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will
fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for –”
Three zeros flashed on the clock. Whiteness filled the room. Silence. Pleasant. She never felt her body succumb to the flaming dragon that devoured the entire level. Her ears never heard the horrific destruction contained in
the massive walls. Heavy machinery got shredded to scrap metal. Alex accomplished her last goal. Her friends were safe. Besides dying peacefully, she also died a hero.