The Day In the Life of a Security Guard

 

  The blonde haired woman dressed in black, held the binoculars to her eyes, they were a technological invention, but useful. According to reports the facility itself wasn’t above ground, but buried underneath. A rundown building slightly larger than a shack was the only visible permanent structure. Forty foot out it was surrounded by an iron chain fence and numerous traps, the single point of entry a small guard shed at the northern edge, with four sentry towers and a roaming patrol. It had been a clear ploy, but she found it and now she had a way through. She’d have to be fast, reinforcements could get there, in under ten minutes. She dropped the binoculars, and turned to the black sedan parked beside her. It was time.

********

 The office was hot and close, the air conditioning had long ago given out, and the small fan sitting on one of the two desks did nothing more than push stale air and pungent smell of sweat around. A plain, solid metal door lead outside, the door facing it was almost invisible in the dim electric light. Its slick white metal, almost seamless lay flat against the wall. A TV, its rusty antenna badly bent, sat on the desk closest to the counter that ran down the centre of the room. It was showing a re-run, an old day time soap.

 The only noises were the inane chattering of the talk show host and the buzzing of the fan, and the occasional flicker of lights. The TV hummed and crackled, and the picture jumped and died.

 “Bloody hell.” Bowser raised a meaty hand and whacked the side of the TV. “It’s gone again.” Kay raised her head. “It’ll come back up.” She lowered her head back to the dog-eared copy of A Brief History of Time. It was the third time this morning that the tech had started to act up. It was getting worse no matter what Doctor Mordon said. They all knew it. She started to read again.

 “You’re alright, you’ve got that book.” Bowser lent back on his chair, stretching as it creaked below his mass. “Where’d you get it from any way?”

 “Doctor Mordon lent it to me.” She slowly turned a page. “It’s an interesting read.” Bowser lent across her desk and took the book. He flicked through, skimming. “Bloody hell, Kay, that’s heavy reading.”

 “But interesting,” She caught the book as he tossed it back to her. “Careful, don’t damage it.”

 “Don’t damage it.” Bowser laughed. “You read it anymore, and it’ll fall apart all on its own, - you’ll be wanting to join the scientists in our little hole next.” He nodded towards the white featureless door. Kay laughed “I think my father would disown me. He doesn’t even like that I’m stationed here.”

 “Well it is the crack of the arse of no where.” Bowser stretched again and turned the TV around, tugging on the exposed wiring, as though it would make a difference. “Bloody waiting.” Kay sighed, running her fingers through her cropped hair. “Look, why don’t you check the perimeter and see if Baz and Chez have finished their rounds.”

 “Alright, Lt.” Bowser gave the TV one last prod, which mangled the antenna even more, he stood and opened the left draw of his desk and pulled out a radio and a Glock. He clipped both to the security belt that hung low around his waist. He manoeuvred round the desks and swung the counter up and lumbered through, it thudded closed. “Alright, I’ll leave you to read.” He opened the heavy steel door that lead to the outside, a brief crack of electrical lightening illuminated the office, bringing the smell of burnt ozone. “I’ll also check on Merry.”

 “She’ll kill you if she hears you calling her that.”

 Bowser laughed as he squeezed out the door. “Only if you tell her.”

 The TV briefly flickered back on, it was now showing an old science program, the three scientists, two men and a woman were excitedly discussing the possibilities of the HadronCollider. It was funny to think that it had been almost thirty years since the Incident, had they had any idea what they’d set in motion. And now they were trying to reverse the damage. She absently touched the knife, strapped to her arm, well hidden beneath her bulky security ribbed jumper. Kay shook her head, and settled back in her seat. She began to re-read the page she’d start, it really was fascinating.

 Her radio crackled to life, Kay jumped, the block of wood beneath her chair shifted, and the chair listed to the side. “Damn.” She put the book on her desk and stood up and grabbing the radio from the desk. She pushed the button “Kay, here.” She released the button, shoving the block back under the chair leg.

 “Hey, Kay, Merrick here. Doc Mordon is coming through the gate.”

 “Roger that.” Kay sat down on the chair, the block held. “Send her up.” She glanced at her watch, non-digital that’s why it worked. Mordan was running late. “Not tired of Bowser yet?” Merry laughed. “I told him to go bother Barry and Chez or else I’d file a nine-ten on his ass.” The radio popped and spat interference. “Jesus, it’s bad today isn’t it. My radio’s already shorted out twice.”

 “Yeah, that’s why Bowser’s restless.”

 “Well, he was at Downs the last time those crazy bastards tried to get in, - they made an awful god-damn mess. Two of them took out a company. They always seem to know when the tech’s acting up.”

 “Well at least they don’t seem to have realised what’s here. I just wish that headquarters-”

 The door thudded as someone pounded on the outside, the buzzer must have failed. The interference was bad today. She was lucky the lights were still on, and that the fan was still working.

 “I’ve got to go, Doctor Mordon’s here.”

 “Alright, stay frosty. Merrick out.”

 The radio fizzed and went quiet. “Hell.” Kay pressed a button, the radio remained silent. She opened her one working draw and tossed it. Standing she moved over to the control panel and pressed a button releasing the outside doors catch. The door squealed as it opened, clanging as it briefly locked in place. Doctor Mordon stepped through bending her head to avoid the low hanging lintel.

 “Hi Doctor.” Kay smiled as she stood beside the counter. “You’re late today.”

 Mordan barely glanced over at her. She was dressed in her normal all black attire – she must have been as hot as hell walking up from the gate. A bead of perspiration formed and ran down Mordan’s cheek, Kay shook her head, looked like the heat was finally getting to her.

 “I require access to the facility.” Mordan stared at the secure door ahead, she didn’t even glance at Kay as she quickly reached into the satchel carelessly slung over her left shoulder, and pulled out a security pass, holding it across the counter. “Here.”

 Kay reached for the card, Mordan let it slip through her long fingers, dropping it into Kay’s hand. Kay frowned. This was more like the time when Mordan had first met her, and the tech was acting up.

 “I’m really enjoying that book you lent me.” She nodded her head to the book she’d left lying on her desk. “I love light reads.”

 Mordan glanced at her, and then at the book, the spine or it’s cover wasn’t visible from the counter. Her eyebrows lowered and her lips twitched, another drop of sweat rolled down her high cheek. “As do I.”

 “Alright, this looks fine.” Oh god, it wasn’t Mordan. Her knees locked against the abrupt surge to sink to the floor. Her hand was steady as it reached out and gave the pass back. She smiled, it felt like a rictus skeletal grin. “Give me a second and I’ll let you through.” She fumbled under the counter reaching for the gun that Bowser kept hidden under the desk, grasping the Glock with a cold, damp, hand.

 The outside door squealed open as Bowser yanked it, silhouetted in the outside light. Mordan flickered, and let loose a curse that would never have passed her lips.

 “Bowser, she’s a Luddite.” Kay had the Glock in her hands, she raised it already firing and Mordan suddenly wavered, and then it was a blonde hair woman standing there wearing Mordon’s clothes, a snarl twisting her face. The imposter raised her hand and flames flared from the fingertips of her left hand, she tossed a ball of flame at the open door.

 Bower disappeared. She could dimly hear Merrick shouting, and the long wail of the facility alarm.

 The first shot caught the Luddite in the chest, a kill shot. The second shattered on something that wasn’t there. The third shot never left the gun as it misfired. The pretender smiled and slowly raised her hands, flames running wild along her arms. Oh God, she was going to destroy everything. The gun clicked as Kay pressed the trigger, again and again. The woman lifted her hands higher, an inferno began to swirl around her.

 Kay dropped the useless gun and threw herself over the counter, the heat seared. She couldn’t stop screaming. She hit the Luddite chest-high staggering her, throwing a wild punch at her head. The woman caught her hand, a burning flame seared down her arm. Blistering. The sickening sweet smell of cooking flesh surrounded her. The woman laughed, as she drew Kay towards her.

 Kay smiled. She was close enough, the flick knife her father gave her was in her hand, she stabbed up and under the rib cage, the woman’s eyes widened, she stabbed again, and again. As the fire burned and consumed.

 ********

Shades of greens, browns flowed together, patterns formed and fractured, as brilliant blue flashes danced amongst. The sky. It swirled above her a mad dizzying whirlwind that moved in time to a mournful high pitched dirge. Why was she looking at the sky, she was in the office. No she wasn’t in the office. She was lying down, outside, something tightly wrapped around her, a silver blanket. She couldn’t move. It didn’t hurt. There was a strong smell of badly cooked meat.

 “Dad, daddy.” She couldn’t hear her voice. She felt numb.

 “Kay, it’s alright.” Merrick loomed over her. She reached out a hand that hovered just above Kay’s face “You’re alright, you took her down, everyone’s alright.” She looked over her shoulder, her face pale. “Chez, get the spare morphine, and shut off that damn alarm. Bowser, call HQ – tell them we’ve got an eight-twenty.”

 “Shit. Merrick, the radios are still out.”

 “Shit, shit. Okay, get the truck going, Kay, come on, Kay.””

 “It’s alright.”

 “What, don’t talk.” Merrick bent her head closer, filling her sight.

 Kay coughed, she still couldn’t feel. “It doesn’t hurt, where’s my dad?”

 “Oh god, Kay. He’s not here, remember he’s in Memphis. Oh god, Kay.”

 Sound and vision slowly disappeared into the numbness.

 

Comments   

 
#1 Tony O’Neill 2012-11-24 11:17
Hello, Emma. Just playing around on the site and came across this. Thought it was very good,but couldn't work out whether it was a self contained story or part of a larger piece - whichever way, think I got the drift of it, a post-Hadron Collider accident, Day of the Triffids type thing. Thought the characters worked well, but would like prequel and sequel stuff. A couple of minor inconsistencies (e.g. TV showing a soap or a chat show?) but easy and enjoyable to read.
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