Nov 16, 2010

V Files - Chapter 5: The Lab Chase

by Sama Khawaja

Destiny quickly grabbed the rusted ladder rung and twisted one foot around another to steady herself. If she hadn’t acted fast, the sinister darkness would have been the end of everything. But it seemed that the tunnel had no end. What if it just went on and on? A never-ending centipede? What if-
Her heel suddenly made contact with a metallic floor and instantaneously, a neon green glow bathed the room. Well, more like an enormous high-ceilinged cave completely bare save for an oblong glass tube in the middle surrounded by control panels. Destiny slowly strolled up to the tube and placed a hand lightly on one of the panels.
‘Amazing, Alicia!’ came a sophisticated voice.
With a sharp intake of breath, Destiny looked up to see Alicia and Samuel on the other side typing away at a keyboard protruding from the tube. And floating in the orange liquid that now filled it was…
‘Destiny’s abilities have no limits,’ Samuel murmured in awe which echoed in the cave.
Destiny blinked and suddenly, everything vanished: the scientist, the liquid, the figure in the tube…
Puzzled, Destiny turned to walk away.
‘Is that a good thing, Samuel?’ echoed a worried voice.
Destiny swiveled around fast, her heart beating a tango and shuddered as she saw her lifeless body floating in the glass tank once more with a gas mask covering her face.
‘She needs to be controlled, Alicia,’ Samuel assured Alicia. ‘We don’t want to fail. The October Report is by far the most accurate. We need to continue down that path.’
‘I don’t want to do this anymore,’ Alicia choked as she stared, mesmerized, at Destiny. ‘Shears is…mad…’
‘You know what’s at stake if we don’t,’ Samuel said gruffly but his voice was beginning to crack.
‘DESTINY!  A little help here!’
Chi’s voice broke the spell and the memory trickled away like grains of sand. Destiny stretched out a hand to the now empty test tube as if trying to will it back. Then, on second thought, she withdrew it and turned heel towards the ladder. Her team needed her. This will have to wait.
Upon reaching the surface, the wall opposite her suddenly collapsed as Tito came hurling through it.
‘Where’ve you been, fool?’ he thundered and sprang to his feet to glare menacingly at the hissing gaggle of deformed mutants on the other side. The GroundUnders.
‘I’m here now, aren’t I?’ Destiny snapped as she whipped out Ebony and Ivory, her twin Browning FN HP-DA automatic pistols that fit snugly in her hands as if their extensions. She stepped through the hole and crossed her arms to shoot incessantly. A battle cry was heard as Chi jumped up from the crowd to hopscotch on their heads and then somersault to Destiny’s side.
‘So what’s the plan?’ she panted and took on a fighting stance.
‘Get out of here alive!’ Destiny snapped through gritted teeth as she slammed a nearby mutant in the face with the butt of her gun.
‘Did you find the file?’ Tito hollered over the brawling as he smashed two GroundUnders together.
‘Not yet!’
‘Maybe now would be a good time!’
Without hesitation, Destiny sprinted to the upturned filing cabinet and scanned the files spilled across the shabby floor. Her eyes suddenly spotted it. Upon grabbing the November file, her eyes wandered to the file underneath and froze. She unintentionally allowed her hand to ghost the cover of the faded file.
‘The October Report is by far the most accurate,’ Samuel’s voice echoed in her head.
A window shattering cut through her thoughts and she glanced up to see a sleek Fenrir motorcycle purring like a kitten in the middle of the room.
‘’Bout time you showed up, River!’ Tito rooted and hurled a GroundUnder out the window.
‘Where’s Destiny?’ River asked calmly as he unsheathed his gigantic blade from his back, his sea-green eyes hardened at the sight of the GroundUnders closing in on them.
‘Here!’ Destiny called, the file clutched tightly in her hand as she swung herself onto the back of River’s bike. ‘Move! Move! Move!’
River whirred the bike to life as he spun it 180 degrees to shoot out the way it came in. The rest of the group followed suit and at the same time, Tito hurled a grenade from his vest at the summerhouse. One minute, it looked solid. The next, a mushroom explosion was sending pieces of it flying everywhere. The team skidded to a halt to watch it smolder away in the cold gloom of the night.
‘Pretty,’ Chi commented and placed a hand on her hip. ‘Think they’re still in there?’
‘The more the better,’ River muttered and turned to Destiny. ‘Want me to take that?’
‘Huh? Oh, sure,’ Destiny said, still dazed as she handed him the file marked ‘October’. 


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