Part 002: Glorified Babysitting
Jason wasn’t familiar with the layout of the subbasement and was thankful that the designers felt the need to put in signs pointing towards every room of importance. Despite the signs, Jason still found himself turning back more than once to put himself back on track, but he eventually found the cafeteria.
The door screeched as he shoved it open and entered the stainless-steel room. He shielded his eyes before reaching for the light switch and flooding the room with fluorescent lighting. His steel-heeled boots echoed with each step as he crossed the room, passing by the vacant tables and empty buffet and into the kitchen.
Except for the quiet clinging of pans dangling over the stove, disturbed by the light breeze of the quietly buzzing air conditioner, the kitchen was completely silent. Jason yanked on the handles of the fridge and set about gathering what he needed for a simple bologna sandwich; bread, bologna, and mayonnaise.
He cobbled together a quick sandwich and took a few bites as he returned everything whence it came. He took the time to wipe down the counter so the morning staff wouldn’t have to, then snatched a can of cola from the fridge before heading back to the door.
Being slightly more familiar with the route made the return to his station a lot faster for Jason than the trip to the kitchen had been. He even made a note of where the restroom was. Jason shifted his soda to the hand with the sandwich in order to draw his keycard from the retractable lanyard on his belt. He pressed it to the scanner, and the door to the containment room slid open.
A blast of air greeted Jason and he was thrown back into the wall as an invisible force crashed into his chest. His knees buckled and he tossed the food aside so he wouldn’t land on it, he barely got his hands beneath him to catch himself before his face hit the floor. He doesn’t hesitate; as soon as he has his balance he springs back to his feet, his hand reflexively finding the gun at his waist and bringing it up in front of him. He aims down the hall to the left, to the right, then straight ahead into the containment room.
There’s nothing to see.
He checks the halls a second time, slower than the first, to ensure he didn’t miss anything, then focuses on the room in front of him.
The lights are off. He distinctly recalls having left the lights on. Keeping his gun aimed at the dark room, he raises his hand to his radio and clicks the button.
“This is Jason, Sub 3, something weird is-“ he pauses, then grimaces. “Fucking battery.”
Jason taps his finger nervously against the side of his gun, weighing his options. Investigate, or flee. He could enter the room, find the light switch and see what the hell just hit him. It felt heavy and hard, and fast, like a cannonball; but it couldn’t have been as he’s quite certain if it had been he’d be dead. He knows there is a phone in the security room next to the elevators. If he went for it he could call upstairs for support.
Do I need support?
There hadn’t been any noise on his return trip from the kitchen, and none on his trip there. If someone were trying to sneak around they would have had to have been extremely quiet; every sound travels through the empty halls so easily that someone on the other side of the facility could hear him scratch his nuts.
Jason inched closer to the door, keeping his eyes and gun trained on the darkness beyond it. He extended his left hand to the panel by the door and pressed a few keys to pull up the access menu. It shows that no one has entered or exited since he left. The door has remained closed and locked.
Damn it, Jason thought. He rubbed at his chest briefly before pulling his flashlight from his belt and holding it up under his gun. He clicked it on and carefully stepped forward into the room.