"I said, what is going on?"
"I honestly don't know?"
"That's bull, and you know it."
"I... I was told something might happen tonight. I thought I would have time to warn you. That's why I brought you out here, but..."
"Who are you working for," he challenged, grabbing her arm tighter.
"I'm not working for anyone, I have no idea what is going on, and," her voice broke, "I've never been so confused in all my life."
More shots rang out and screams could be heard.
Holding the gun in one hand, Scott went into his inner pocket and pulled out his phone-like device with the other. He checked it was switched it on, but there was nothing.
"It's dead, the signal must be jammed. Who on earth has the skills to do that?" he wondered out loud.
"Hannah," a voice shouted out down the corridor, "Hannah, where in the hell are you?"
"Tucker," she cried, "I'm down here!"
They heard footsteps thundering towards them and Scott readied his aim, pushing Hannah behind him. Tucker came running around the corner and Hannah pushed Scott to one side and ran into his arms.
"Hannah, thank god I found you!" he said squeezing her tightly.
"What's happening in there? Scott asked, impatiently.
"Briggs was shot but he's okay. I saw you leave the room together, so I told Briggs and he got his men to distract them long enough for me to escape and come find you. They're looking for Hannah and he wants you to get her out of here right now. We don't have long."
Hannah pulled out of Tucker's grasp, her face white with shock. "They are after me, but why, what have I done?"
Scott said nothing, but nodded to Tucker.
"This way," he said and set off running down the windowless corridor in the opposite direction to the hall. Hannah discarded yet another pair of expensive shoes and followed him, alongside Tucker. In silence, they passed through several panelled doors, now running on plush carpets, which helpfully absorbed the noise of their escape.
"Scott, where are we going?" she asked, as they went through double doors into a Spartan concrete stairwell, the air rigidly cold. The sound of her last words echoes around them.
As they set off down the stairs, the lights went out and Hannah shrieked, then rushed to cover her mouth.
"Damn!" shouted Scott.
"I can't see anything." Tucker said.
"Wait a second..., we might get lucky!"
Scott was right. A low humming noise started up, sounding as if it was coming from the floor below. Just then a single, weak bulb came on above, throwing an eerie blue light over them.
"They cut the power, but not the backup. There's one of these lights in every emergency exit and stairwell. It won't last long; I reckon they'll try to cut them before the generator runs out of fuel. Let's go!"
With Scott leading, they bolted down the first flight of stairs. Hannah held onto to the metal handrail for support. Suddenly they heard a door bang open further up.
"They're down here, " a man shouted, from several floors up, followed by the sound of thunderous footfall.
"Come on let's move," Scott urged.
The three of them flung themselves down the stairs, taking two, three steps at a time. Someone above fired a shot, the bullet ricocheting off the metal hand rail and puncturing the wall. Scott turned sharply to see a large, piece of concrete fly out and hit Hannah in the face, barely a centimetre above her eye. As her hand rushed up to her face, her legs stumbled on the bottom step. He lunged for her and she reached out to steady herself by grabbing a handful of his shirt. In the blue light, he could see her blood trickling down the side of her face.
YOU ARE READING
The NumberedScience Fiction
Imagine the second you're born, a consultant removes you from your mother's grasp and runs a battery of genetic and physiological tests on you. Thirty minutes later they give you a score out of one hundred which denotes your level of perfection. If...