Awoken – Chapter V

From Random Words, Random Stories by Christopher Occhiuzzi


Arriving at the lab’s security gates, my escorts go through the typical routine: ID badges are shown and approved. Then the plump, not-so-bright security guard – who probably didn’t finish high school – looks at me in the back seat and nods.

“ID please,” he says. His gruff, short tone suggests we’re disturbing his much-needed beauty sleep.

Remembering what I was told, I stay quiet and smile cordially. After a few awkward seconds which felt a lot longer, Mrs. Szabo answers with annoyance.

“First of all, it’s not your place to question what we do and who we bring in here,” she snaps. “Second of all, Dr. Fearman is awaiting us.”

The tone and arrogance of Mrs. Szabo barely registers with the security guard. He shrugs his shoulders in a “what the fuck do I care” motion and opens the gate. As we start to drive in, I glance over and notice the guard put his hat over his eyes, cross his arms and lean back.

Well, at least it would be easy to break in here if I had to. Security is most definitely lax. But, then again, with people like the Szabo’s running around, perhaps they don’t need to worry about the front gate so much.

The main structure is exactly how you would picture it. A large industrial building with tinted windows, large steel doors for entrances on each wall and a distinct coldness to the design.

The front entrance features a covered walkway, but we pass that completely and drive to the back of the building. Mr. Szabo parks the car and we make our way towards a back entrance. Remember what I said about lax security at the front gate? Well, forget that completely.

A key card tap on a security pad exposes both a retinal and fingertip scanner. Mrs. Szabo does the honours and the doors slide open, exposing a long hallway with enough width and height to drive an ambulance through.

Walking down the hallway, I notice there are no windows on any of the doors. However, there are cameras above each entrance and beside each is one form of hazard warning or another.

A few seconds later and a most disconcerting observation hits me: there are no other people around. I know hundreds of people work here, but not one of them is in plain sight.

We continue walking down the hallway and about 30 doors pass before we arrive at our destination. This door is like the others in that there aren’t any windows, but there isn’t a warning sign like the others. I’m guessing it’s a meeting room or an office space.

I’m right. Mrs. Szabo hits her key card against a security pad and the door opens. Waiting inside is Dr. Fearman. Dressed in a lab coat and looking more like a doctor than that fateful evening when we first met, his unshaven face and shoulder length dirty blond hair is unmistakable.

Looking quite content with himself as he sits behind his large oak desk, Dr. Fearman extends his hand and greets me. “Glad you could take some time to join us today, Kevin. We’ll try not to keep you too long.”

I shake his hand and take a seat in front of his desk. Dismissing the Szabos, Dr. Fearman sits down and smiles. “I guess you’re wondering what you’re doing here. Well, we need your help Kevin and so does your friend Mr. Kelsey.”

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