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Old 03-05-2017, 05:28 AM   #72
Icelander
 
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default The Spy Who Loved Himself

As soon as the two guards have gone back down the side tunnel, O'Toole slowly lowers himself down to the gore-spattered floor of the charnel room. He feels the beginnings of a headache coming on, but his breathing is slow and regular. With an effort of will, O'Toole avoids thinking about the blood and rotting flesh all around him, controlling his nausea enough to allow him to wait in the close, foul-smelling room until he feels absolutely safe.

Out in the main corridor, voices are discussing what to do. The man addressed as Warden Tyrrell is agitated and irrationally angry, loudly demanding that the others split up and find him his Queen. Many of the others, including a man named Vaughn, are urging him to return to the main complex, as someone named Tucker requires immediate medical attention.

Vaughn: "We've got no way to treat him here. Supplies aside, this kind of injury requires more know-how than I got. The boy will die if we don't get him to a doctor right away. Burns like that are nasty. And Gordon would never forgive me if I let his boy die here."
Warden Tyrrell: "Then you take him back and the rest of you can find my Queen!"
Arden: "It'll take two just to carry the boy back. Three more, minimum, to carry the wounded traitor and wheel that ---hole Berrocal back. Unless you don't want them interrogated. And that doesn't leave any for security, from the Monster, from lizards, from rats or worse. Sir, it's just the six of us here ambulatory, including you."
Warden Tyrrell: "We can shoot the prisoners and Vaughn can take the Tucker boy back. The two of you can carry him. Leaves the three of us to search here. Randall should be in the barracks upstairs with his team on a coffee run, we can call him down here too."
Arden: "Sure. But sir, do we know that the Queen was ever here?"
[silence]
Warden Tyrrell: "----! She could be anywhere, with these fools trying to draw our attention to the one place she isn't!"
Arden: "Ayup. If you don't mind my saying so, sir, I think shooting the prisoners is a mistake. Get them someplace we can talk to them separately. I bet we'll learn whether she was ever really here and maybe even where she went."
Warden Tyrrell: "Oh, they'll tell us all right. Knights, we're going back. Quickly and then we'll round up enough knights to lock the barracks and this place down tight."

O'Toole only heard the last exchange faintly as the guards had passed the side tunnel and while he can hear that the Warden keeps talking as the guards walk south, he's too far away by now to make out what he says. All O'Toole can tell is that he's angry about some "hillbilly, redneck ----", but O'Toole can't figure out whether said hillbilly redneck is someone they've already killed or captured or if they're still looking for him. As the noises of the guards recede, O'Toole has time to think about what to do next. Considering that the guards seemed to feel that roaming these halls was unsafe in small groups, O'Toole isn't eager to explore them alone. And according to the Warden, the barracks are occupied with guards.

At least the Coast Guard would be coming now. All O'Toole had to do was remain hidden. But not in this nasty little room, with its rotting body parts and gag-inducing stench. Also, it would probably be awkward to explain if the Coast Guard found him here. Better to be somewhere where he could claim to be trying to help the other DHS men. Hell, if it wasn't too risky, maybe he could even see where the guards stashed them and call it in when he had radio contact again. That way, even if Townsend got sore about things, looking at the bigger picture, anyone could see that O'Toole had done the right thing.

As O'Toole moved down the side tunnel, he heard very faint gasping in front of him. Shining his Blackberry in that direction, he can see a crumbled human form lying in the tunnel in front of him, about ten feet from the main corridor. There is a trail of blood behind it and it's trying pathetically to crawl deeper into the side tunnel. In the light, O'Toole can tell that this is the woman he sent out to the lights. She turns her face toward him and tries to say something, but only blood comes out at first. She wipes some from her mouth and starts again.

Woman: "You... you said... friends."
O'Toole: "...Yeah... I must have been wrong."
Woman: "Help me. Please."

Putting on plastic evidence gloves, O'Toole moves closer, using his fingertips to lift the rags away from the bloody stomach of the woman. He can see bad wounds in front and from the blood in back, he suspects that there are exit wounds too. His eyes narrow in surprise as he can see that the wounds in front look like they'e been healing for a day or two and the skin around them seems to be developing the same disfiguring skin condition that he notices on the face and other areas of the woman. The wounded woman racks with painful coughs and spits something out. O'Toole does a double take when he sees that it is a small deformed metal object. He starts backing away.

Woman: "Don't leave me!"
O'Toole [while backing away]: "Just going for help. You just wait right here. Someone will be along to rescue you presently. Everything is going to be all right."
Woman [crying]: "I'm so scared... It hurts."
O'Toole: "Don't worry. Paramedics will be here before you know."
Woman: "Really? ...Thank you, thank you! God bless you!"

O'Toole walks away, not looking back at the woman. Then he sets out in pursuit of the guards, taking care to remain far enough back to avoid detection. As they passed through the tunnels, O'Toole recognised the route as the one he'd taken earlier from the G Wing cellars. The guards weren't talking much anymore and O'Toole was following the far away glimpses of light from their flashlights, remaining at all times out of direct line of sight. Finally, he can hear them opening the blast doors to the cellars of G Wing. The keychain O'Toole took from Reyes doesn't have keys for the cellar doors, so those are probably only given to team leaders or something, but that's of minor importance. Picking the lock wasn't too hard, anyway. O'Toole makes sure to wait until he's sure that the guards ahead have left the cellar before doing so, however.

Emerging into the cellars of G Wing, O'Toole can see that not much has changed since he was here last. The supply closet is still closed and O'Toole wonders if the three guards they stashed there are still in there. Moving next to the closet, O'Toole starts feeling around with mental tendrils in there. He doesn't find any bodies, but on the floor are some cut ropes, cords and strings. As he does, O'Toole can hear voices on an upper floor.

Guard Mike Seward: "Did you hear that?"
Guard Marty Simpson: "Not again with that. There's no one coming from the tunnels."
Seward: "Then what was that sound from the cellar?"
Simpson: "Nerves. Just nerves."
Seward: "You know the traitors could have keys. It's one ----ing floor."
Simpson: "The lizards don't. Or the rats."
Seward: "Unless they got the key from the traitors."
Simpson: "Even for you, that's paranoid."
Seward: "The Shadow Government and lizard people are trying to kill us, but you think the idea of them picking up a key is far-fetched?"
Simpson [groaning]: "Right. We'll check out your damned door."

As the two guards walk down the stairs, O'Toole sprints back to the still open blast door. He goes through it, into the tunnels, finding an abandoned room close by to hide in. He didn't close the door behind him and once he's found a hiding place he's happy with, he can hear the guards loudly arguing about the open door. Eventually, they walk through it, one of them with a shotgun held in front of him and the other with a rifle. O'Toole focuses his will on the door after they've walked a few steps beyond it. It slams with a heavy thud. Both guards jump in fright.

Simpson: "Jumping Jeebus!"
Seward: "----! They're trying to lock us in the tunnels!"

The guards run toward the blast door and eventually manage to get it open again with their key. They quickly enter G Wing again, shouting for support, saying that the traitors were just there and probably went running for the ground floor.

After waiting a decent interval, O'Toole decides to creep inside again. This time, he opens the blast doors with infinite slowness and is gratified to hear little or no noise. Trying to find out if the guards are still there, O'Toole focuses his mental energy on lifting himself under the stairs, taking a look through. Two guards walk down the stairs, looking for him, but don't see him levitating under their feet, looking at them through the steps. Finally, they go back up. O'Toole lets himself glide back down and catches his breath. His head is pounding and his nose is bleeding. He reaches for some painkillers from the medikit that former Green Beret convict, Chase Taylor, made them take from the guard barracks. Without anything to wash them down with, O'Toole manages to swallow several aspirin, some ibuprofin and a couple of Tylenol.

O'Toole can hear guards shouting one floor above, calling for a full sweep of G Wing. Before guards arrive, O'Toole has found a corridor that leads west, toward the unused wings. Bleeding from the nose, O'Toole half-runs the length of the corridor, just managing to duck into a stairwell on the other side before anyone sees him. O'Toole is now in the stairwell of C Wing now and he can see that it is certainly abandoned. Appparently there is no money for maintanance or sweeping in the abandoned wings. There's a flickering light from an 'Exit' sign, but no overhead lights.
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Last edited by Icelander; 03-05-2017 at 10:14 PM.
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