Exploits of a Midnight Traveler (Part 23)

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Across the threshold was a study in nightmares. Bodies lay strewn about, broken dolls left to lay where they had fallen.  Sightless eyes welcomed us to the chaos. The Caleb part of me felt horrified, and froze me where I stood. The L 157 part of me calmly stepped over the corpse of someone she knew and took stock of the situation. We crossed the room and checked for any sign of life. There was none.

Seven bodies. Neither the doctor nor Genevieve. A scrap of paper lay on the floor by an outstretched arm. I reached down to pick it up. It was crumpled and torn, possibly during the struggle that had taken place here prior to our arrival.  Basel. No address, no other words. I knew because L 157 knew that was a town in Switzerland on the border with Germany. Were we about to cross the border into Germany?

No sooner had these thoughts crossed my mind than L 157 or Julie, went about the room collecting weapons, silently regarded those slain with either a sigh or a grunt. Not all the bodies were ours. That came as a relief. It was possible either the doctor or Genevieve had survived and run to Basel. Or both. I pocketed the few weapons, and we turned to leave.

Outside, the eerie nothingness of silence gave way to slamming car doors and stampeding feet. I reached out and pushed on a section of wall nearest the mirror that hung on the far wall, causing it to swing outward. We stepped in and closed it with a soft click, just before the stampeding feet made it into the room we just left.

The bio nanites calmed me as I made my way through the darkened passage, unblinking as the shouts were accompanied at times with bullets firing into the plaster walls. Caleb would have snapped then, more than enough horror to experience in one night. But, I, strengthened now by three, took it as a given that the Senator and his men would never give up their quest to get what they came for. A few of the bullets passed close by me in the dark, and on I crept led by instinct not of my own, to the end of the passage, where we turned right and then climbed a ladder up.

There was a hatch above me in the dark. The Caleb part of me hesitated to reach up and grasp the mechanism needed to turn and unlock the door. I shook my head to rid myself of any lingering fear and reached up. The round lock was about the size of a standard steering wheel for a semi truck, and it was stuck tight. Located about two and a half feet above my head, I had to reach up and pull left with both arms while steadying myself on the ladder, perhaps fifteen or twenty feet above the floor in the darkened passage. New sounds made their way down the passageway as the men found the hidden door.


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