Chapter 17: RESPITE
Quinn exited the elevator with Zepas, first. Everyone else hurriedly followed. The two men were the last ones off.
Stuart tapped on Brad’s shoulder to stop him and turned with him to face the elevator, “We need to destroy this thing to stop the AFU from coming down here.”
Brad agreed with a nod, “What did you have in mind?” he asked.
Stuart phased out a grenade in each hand, “Ready?” he replied.
Brad phased out grenades as well and tossed them in the elevator as Stuart activated the elevator to go up and toss his in as well. They both stood there a few seconds until they heard a loud explosion.
Stuart playfully hit Brad on the shoulder to tell him, “Great. Hopefully, it’ll buy us some time.”
Brad phased off his suit, “Alright,” he said, “Come on.”
Stuart phased off suit as well and left with Brad.
With Kimberly and Stacy close behind, Zepas indicated for Quinn to stop and put her down.
Quinn gently land Zepas down as the ladies joined him, “Hang in there.” he said.
Stacy examined the wound, “I could probably help her in my lab,” she said, “That’s not really an option now but, there’s another one on the next level down. We just have to…”
Zepas deactivated her helmet and shook her head, “I’m not going to make it,” she said, “At least I’m not going to…die…in a…prison.”
Brad and Stuart came running.
Quinn looked at the men, “She’s gone.” he said.
“Damn.” Brad replied.
Kimberly stood, “I don’t want to sound cold but,” she began “What will Ravens Eye do to Brad, Quinn and I now?”
Stuart shook his head, “Nothing,” he answered. “Now, they’ll get rid of any bodies and deny any accusations.”
Stacy stood up, “We may as well go check on the survivors.”
Quinn opened a nearby door to carry Zepas’ body in to another room. When he stepped back out, the humans were waiting for him.
“You alright?” Brad asked.
Quinn began to walk with everybody as he spoke, “I actually feel a little bad for the Anunnaki. I’ll admit that I was a tiny bit nervous with them out of that cell but, when they went down after helping us, I felt somewhat different. I realized we were lucky to have them on our side and when I saw the female needed help, my police instincts automatically kicked in to go help her. It didn’t matter to me she was an Anunnaki.”
They all entered the conference room to see a small table was also in there now. On the table was a small stack of papers and a pen. Gina and Lilly were facing each other in separate chairs.
Gina looked at Stacy and then got up to grab her by the arm. She then looked at Brad, “I need to speak to both of you, now.” she said, taking them to a side room.
Brad became worried Gina had learned of Lilly’s identity, “What’s this all about,” he asked, “What’s wrong?”
Gina faced Brad and Stacy, “I need you to tell me the truth,” she said, “Where did you find that girl?”
“In a weapons container,” Stacy answered, “By the testing range.” She laughed, “Why?”
The whole time, Brad nodded in agreement. He couldn’t lie as well as Stacy.
Gina reached into her pocket and pulled out a piece of paper to hand Stacy, “I got some paper and pencil for Lilly to draw. It was in order to get her mind off things, especially if this whole thing doesn’t turn out so well. She drew that.”
Stacy unfolded the paper and she and Brad saw it was a very good representation of the incubation room.
Stacy shrugged, “So she’s a very good drawer.” she said.
Gina took the drawing, “Have you seen her draw, do you know what this is? I asked, and she said it was a room she saw.”
Stacy looked at the drawing, “I’d say it was the incubation room. It’s near the testing range and we did unlock all the doors at first to let any survivors in,” she said, “So.”
“So,” Gina continued, “My orders for full disclosure applied to any authority figures, not civilians. Who knows what she saw. She can tell everybody. We may have to kill her.”
Brad stepped between Stacy and Gina, “Hey-hey, relax,” he assured, “She’s just a little girl. For one, she likely doesn’t know what she saw. Two, who exactly can she go to and tell?”
Stacy spoke, “I saw the incubation room, it’s totally destroyed. We destroyed it on the way down so it wouldn’t fall into AFU hands. We’re fine, no one can accuse us of anything. “
It took a moment for everything to sink in but, eventually Gina had a change of heart, “Alright,” she sighed, “You two are right. I need to get a hold of myself. I need to stop thinking like a Raven’s Eye employee and just be human.”
After they all stepped out, Brad went over to Lilly, picked her up and walked out in to the hall so no one could hear, “You are lucky,” he said, “From now on, forget about this place. If someone asks you to draw, draw a horse or something. If they ask where I found you, say you were hiding in a box. Alright!?”
Lilly nodded and meekly answered, “Yes, sir.”
Brad walked back into the room and sat Lilly at the table next to Gina. He grabbed the pen and a sheet of paper to place in front of Lilly, “Go ahead,” he said, “Draw something,” he then looked at Gina, “We’re fine. I told her to forget whatever she saw here.”
Gina nodded and then looked at Lilly somewhat concerned.
Brad looked and saw Lilly drawing with incredible speed and accuracy, like a robot. He immediately stopped her by holding her arms, “Not like that,” he said, “That freaks people out here. Go a lot slower,” He turned to Gina, “Genetic enhancements.”
Gina adjusted her seat toward Lilly, “Her parents must have been very well off.” she said.
Brad suddenly understood why Gina suggested killing her. The truth was that genetic enhancements did increase speed and accuracy but, not at the levels Lilly was displaying. He and Lilly were just lucky his answer was acceptable.
“Brad, Stuart,” Stacy called, “Over here.”
The men joined her.
“What’s up?” Stuart asked.
Stacy began, “We may have lost the ground floor but, beneath us we still have some of those rooms and equipment. I didn’t say anything before because the ground floor had more capabilities and it was still safe. We can still use the communications relay and sensors, we just need to go down there.”
“Might as well,” Brad said, “We can’t do much just standing here.”
“Agreed,” Stuart said, “Let’s go.”
On his way out, Brad waved for Quinn and Kimberly to follow.
They all took stairs to the very bottom level and followed Stacy to a room with a giant table/monitor.
Kimberly walked over to another desk with a monitor and sat as she put on its earphone.
“Why stairs?” Quinn asked.
Stuart answered, “The lower levels are for emergency use only. It’s to cut down energy consumption and be more efficient with what we have.”
Brad studied the giant map as Stacy manipulated the it on the monitor, “What’s the situation?” he asked.
Stacy refocused the map and answered, “AFU are all over the elevator and starting to dig. It looks there’s an AFU gunship now outside.”
Kimberly spun around to face everyone, “You guys better hear this.” she said, then putting it on loud speaker.
“My name is Captain Orox,” he said, “I know you’re all in the lower levels. If you can hear me, my offer is this – any aliens will be unharmed. Humans are to be exterminated on sight as rapidly as possible. Only if you surrender without further resistance. Resist and I cannot guarantee anyone’s safety including alien lives. Any human caught then will suffer a slow torturous death.”