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The Steel Virus

By A. Inoue All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Scifi

Blurb

“What do you mean, ‘we’ve been found?’” Catherine held her phone in her left hand as she pulled on real clothes over her pajamas. From the other end of the phone, the security chief, George, answered, “Someone snooping around the ground level, trying to pick into the security box to the supply lift. Had all kinds of gadgets and signal emitting things we turned off. Probably too late, though.” “God damn it. Just...just put the alarm on and get everyone over to the cafeteria.” “Everyone? Will we all even fit?” Catherine shouted, “YES! EVERY EVERYONE!” He tried to speak, but she continued in a more calm tone, “Get all those workers living on the first few floors to their cafeteria. We can get everyone down here to fit up there; we have a quarter the staff they do. Notify the security team that monitors them so they can direct them all for you if you need the help.” “Yes, Ma’am.” Catherine hanged up the call and finished throwing her clothes on. It was going to be a long night.

Chapter 1

A quarter mile underneath the northwestern forest reserve of Rio Bravo, several workers went on a long elevator ride down to the main research facility area.

They brought with them several supplies from closer to the surface, where everything was recycled. They had been talking amongst themselves in Kriol on the long trip down.

All four had no clue what was going on past the gates. They only moved the crates and boxes back and forth.

Once they finished and grabbed the return load, they waved the receiving staff off.

Today, the staff consisted of just a slightly short but sturdy middle-aged man.

John grumbled to himself as he began to lift the boxes to scan, “Why did Carl have to get himself et...”

He sighed, shook his head, and tried to forget about his friend.

The scanner beeped a pleasant tone for each box that passed along on the belt. A faint green tint of light lit the floor around John each time as well.

“This is going to take all day!” he complained to no one.

For a moment, he wished his voice could be heard, but the camera watching him would only see him flailing about. Besides, no one would be watching anymore. And he knew it because he’d been on security duty before. There were walls of screens to watch, all of which were left muted.

After two dozen boxes were placed up on the belt, John sat down and took a breath. He looked at the pallet where the only the heaviest were left.

He was not looking forward to lifting those.

“Goddammit.”

John got back up and grabbed a long box sitting in front of the large and heavy ones he was avoiding. He placed it on the belt and went back for another just like it. But this time, there was a bad beep. And a red tinted flash of light.

“SERIOUSLY?”

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