So, I have another story for you! Again, it's mega long (I can't seem to write short stories now :/) so I've split in two. Next time though, I promise to have a story that's not over 2000 words!
It didn’t start the way it was meant to. Tom shouldn’t have got involved. There weren’t meant to be any casualties. But then, nothing turns out the way it’s meant to on this planet. I’ve learned that much.
I sat in the car, my hands crossed over my lap. A flowing lab coat was draped around my shoulders and a pair of tight black shoes squeezed my feet into unnatural shapes. My boss sat in front of me. “Look, this is an easy mission. Just get in and get out, with our guy of course. You’ve got your card to get into the lab, and we’ve already disabled the security systems to give you clean entry. Just get him out of there. I hate to think what they’ve being doing to him...experiments, most likely.” The car jolted to one side and I pressed my hand onto the fabric to steady myself. The boss leaned forward, a smile passing over his lips. “Relax, Trill. I’ve studied these...creatures long and hard. They aren’t the smartest in the universe and they have no idea we’re after them. It shouldn’t take too long, and, I know you will, but be careful, ok? These people aren’t smart but they’re prone to violent outbursts.”
I smiled, a laugh bubbling on my lips. “I’ll be fine. This will be a cinch after the war. I’ll go in, get the hostage and get out. No casualties, if I can help it.” I glanced at the screen that separated us from the driver. I could see a sea of road in front of us, spilling out like a wave. “How long until we get to the research facility?”
“Not long now. Just enjoy the ride, Trill. This will be your last time riding in one of these babies. Relax.”
I sighed and loosened my muscles a bit. It felt odd in these strange clothes, much different from normal, but I guessed I could get used to it. I shifted my position and scratched an itch on my arm. “Thanks, Wal. For everything.”
Wal grinned and leaned back into his seat. “No problem. I do it all for you, you know.”
I laughed. “Sure you do. Now, go over the plan one last time...”
Wal opened his mouth to say something, when the car suddenly veered off to the side and ground to an unsteady halt. “That’s you,” the driver said, his voice gruff. He sounded like he had been chewing sandpaper.
Wal turned round and nodded. “Thank you. How much is that?”
“Eight twenty-five, please.”
Wal pulled his wallet out and picked out a twenty. “There you are. Keep the change.”
The driver’s mouth opened and then shut again. He swivelled around in his seat, and stayed silent. Wall glanced at him for a moment and then shrugged. “Did I give him too much do you think?” he whispered, his voice low and soft.
“No, you were fine. I’ll see you Wal.”
Wal smiled and patted my shoulder. “Just be careful Trill. I’ll be watching from the base, alright. I’ll pick you up once you have him.”
I smiled and opened the car door. “I’ll be alright, Wal. I always am.” I squeezed out the gap onto the pavement, and before I could blink, the taxi had disappeared round the corner.
I watched the empty road for a moment before turning to face the lab. It was white and sloped at one side, pointing up at the baby blue sky. Windows dotted the wall at seemingly irregular intervals and there was a strong smell of disinfectant. A wave of nausea rolled over me, like it always did before a mission. I pushed it to one side. I would deal with it later, after this had been dealt with. I rolled my shoulders and took a small step forward. Nothing happened. I wasn’t expecting anything to, but I still felt I had to check if they knew me. If they knew who I was, and then stepped forward, a myriad of soldiers and guns would be pushed into my line of sight, all shouting in low voices, “FREEZE!”
But nothing did happen, so that was ok. I stepped forward again, and again, slowly dissolving into a long, confident stride. I approached the steel front doors. There was a huge plaque above them that read GRISHEMHEIM RESEARCH LAB. RESTRICTED ENTRY. I read it, my eyes struggling over the gigantic letters, and then my hand swung out and pushed the door open.
I stepped inside the clean, modern building, my hands plastered at my sides. People scurried this way and that, like ants on an anthill. They were all dressed in identical coats, copies of the one that I wore. The reception was bustling on my right; on my left was a corridor. And in the middle was a great white tiled expanse, men and women skimming its surface, their feet flying so fast they barely touched the ground. Their eyes were narrowed with focus and purpose. I could feel beads of sweat glistening on my forehead. I wiped it, taking the blue liquid off my head, and onto my pristine sleeve. I had to concentrate. I was a spy, not a toddler. I had to focus. I straightened my back, wincing as my bones squelched together, and puffed up my chest.
I started walking forward, my eyes pinned in front of me. My body was angled to the left - the corridor was where I needed to go, where the lab they were holding our man in would most likely be. I turned into towards it, and smiled at a man coming towards me. He smiled back, and gave me a thumbs up, like I was the most natural thing in the world. Well, I guess that’s what I looked like at the time. I was wearing a wig, and a nametag on my lab coat said Beth Anderson. She had worked here until a month ago, before she had... mysteriously disappeared.
I looked around me. The corridor was curved in an arch above my head, like a tunnel. Doors lined the sides at sporadic intervals. I could hear bangs and fizzes coming from inside the rooms, and bitter smells coated the doors like slime. I ducked my head and kept walking. I knew the lab the hostage was in - No 394 - but whether I would be able to find it was another matter. The place was huge, a labyrinth of halls and giant chemistry sets. Each corridor led off to another three, and another three after that. Wal had told me why. Only those with knowledge of the building could find their way about, and newbies were given a map. Robbers had no chance of escaping. However, this didn’t cause much of a problem for me. Wal was picking me up once I had finished with my rescue. I wouldn’t have to escape.
I turned a corner, and felt the soft flesh of a man’s chest bump into my arm. I glanced up and smiled sheepishly, copying the expression I’d seen other people do.
The man I had bumped into smiled, showing a row of gleaming white teeth. He had curly red hair and the ghost of a beard on his chin. His face was thin and long. I glanced at these for a second but it was eyes that really held me. They were a deep blue colour that shimmered in the glaring fluorescent lights above. I felt my heart contract, and for a moment my mind was filled with images of us dancing. I pushed them out of my head. I was here a mission, not a dating spree.
“Sorry,” I repeated.
The man shook his head. “It’s fine,” he glanced at my name tag, “Beth.” He smiled, and I felt my heart contract again. “Are you looking for something?”
“Eh...n-no, yes.”I took a deep breath. “I’m looking for lab 394. I have entry.” I pulled a key card from my pocket and he nodded.
“I’ll show you. It’s just round the corner. Follow me. Oh, and I’m called Tom. Tom Marley.” The man smiled again, and made off down corridor, his long legs brushing the tiled floor. I hurried after him.
“You don’t have to show me. I can find it myself.”
Tom glanced at me. “I’d rather show you to be honest. I have some work to do there myself. This way.” Tom turned into a narrow corridor. It was tiny, barely wide enough to fit one person, and there were no doors lining the white-washed walls. Instead, there were signs, each warning that it was restricted entry and trespassers would be arrested.
I felt a bubble rise in my throat. This was the right place, but I was here with someone else! That wasn’t part of the plan! Wal was going to kill me. I closed my eyes for a moment. I could fix this. I could...get rid of the guy in the lab. Yeah. Kill him. That was the easiest way to do it. And if he resisted...well, I had my gun...