Chapter Twenty Three
“Will, I’m sorry,” I whispered, mirroring the words he had said to me in the last moments of his life. I hoped he had seen that I tried. That I had found his killers, even though I couldn’t stop them.
I wondered if Grace would take on the task and avenge myself and Will but then I changed my mind and hoped instead that she would stay well away and live her life. I now knew just how deadly a meeting with Tobias could be.
As my body rushed down the pillar I looked downwards. My vision was blurred by the speed and force but from what I could see it was clear I wouldn’t have a comfortable landing. Even a big pile of pillows would kill me at this speed.
I closed my eyes and was glad whatever sick plan Tobias had for me had failed. It felt like revenge and it felt good.
My body rushed closer and closer to the ground. I tried to count down the seconds to the end.
Somewhere along the way something changed. I no longer seemed to be traveling as fast. Rather than accelerating, it felt as though my body was slowing its descent. I could feel friction in the air, as though another force in the tube was slowing me down.
It was as if the gravity was lower at this point in the tube, although I could still breathe so this must have been a unique concoction the TethTech lab rats had cooked up.
Eventually my body came to a stop and I could see into the laboratory with the dolphin. I could see the scientists working inside but they seemed oblivious to my presence. I was still upside down so I rotated round to stop the blood rushing to my head. It felt like swimming and being suspended in a large jelly.
As I turned myself around I pushed my arms down to help and this moved my entire body up the tube slightly. It seemed that through pushing my arms down I could travel up the tube. I experimented by pushing my arms upwards and this allowed me to move down the tube.
With my new found motion, I slowly pushed my arms upwards to work my way down the tube. I was scared that too much motion would cause me to drop out of this low gravity area and once again plummet to my death so I edged downwards with caution.
It didn’t take me long to reach the ground level, where I saw that the room had now been filled with TethTech guards. There didn’t seem to be any police.
Nevertheless, TethTech was a base for military R&D so they seemed to have plenty of their own guards available. More than enough to stop me and the seven bullets I had remaining.
They were clad in black jump suits, with circles that showed similar transparent body armour to that which Tobias was wearing. On their heads, they wore helmets that covered their faces. They were holding guns that I knew from police training could fire fifty rounds in seconds. If Tobias had issued an order for me to be killed, then it would take these men no time at all to do so.
Next to the window that showed the guards I could see a control panel on my side of the tube. Suddenly it made sense. This was a private means of travel for Tobias. He could spy on his tower and then get to any room quickly by jumping in the tube.
I looked upwards to see if he was following me but he was not. Perhaps the tube can only hold one person at a time? I thought. However if this was Tobias’ personal transport route, then one thing was certain. He knew I wasn’t dead.
Tobias looked down at the tube in shock. “You’re a brave one Emmie Keyes,” he said.
“Sir,” said the guard, who had now reached the top floor. He had blonde hair that flowed over his head in two directions and stopped around his shoulders.
“Well done Jacobs. You finally made it to the top, whilst she’s on her way to the bottom!” said Tobias.
“But how sir?” replied Jacobs.
“Look down there.”
Jacobs looked into the tube but couldn’t see Emmie. “Try it now,” said Tobias, as he showed the guard one of the holes in the side of the tube. At this angle the guard could see Emmie floating down the tower.
“I think I can take a shot Sir, would you like me to proceed?” asked Jacobs.
“No!” shouted Tobias. “The chamber contains a special gas that allows me to travel safely. If you shoot it, it will explode and damage the structural integrity of the whole building.”
The guard took off the visor and said. “Ok. The rest of the men are on the ground level. She won’t be able to get out. I’ll alert the authorities for their support as well.”
“Are you mad? The world’s media is assembled outside. If it looks like there is another attempt on my life, the stock price will nosedive. Getting kidnapped once was a great PR stunt. A second time would be career suicide. No, use the guards we have.”
“Yes sir. I’ll also position men at each of the floors so she can’t exit the tube at any point.”
“Your move Emmie. Escape at the bottom of the tower or at the top but I’ll catch you either way,” he smiled. “One more thing. Activate the Kull twins. I think it’s time they gave an encore.”