Administration was a wasteland.
Enzo had been hiding out in the security center for the past fifteen minutes, sitting in the dim white glow of a bank of flat-screen monitors assembled on the far wall. He'd locked the door and set the single window to opaque, so no one could spy on him. He was planning his route. Unfortunately, he had no access to any kind of monitoring equipment for the level above, as it technically wasn't a part of Syberia Installation.
So now he was trying to figure out how to get the hell out of Level One, which was largely just Administration, Processing, and Reception. There were a lot of computer mainframes and offices up here, as well as a small living quarters complex for the bureaucrats and security personnel that needed to be on-call at all times. Enzo was studying everything that stood in between him and the exit in the Reception area.
It wasn't looking good.
He was glad that he'd been able to pretty much bypass Level Two, which was basically just storage, without any real trouble.
Unfortunately, there were huge blind spots, as a lot of the cameras had been either damaged or outright destroyed in all the fighting. While the previous level had been nearly vacant of the Altered, this level was rife with the ugly, smelly bastards. He'd seen dozens of Mutants, Harvesters, and Slugs roaming the halls, combing through the area for corpses. It seemed like they were gearing up to mount an attack or break out of the facility...or both. It made sense. Besides himself, as far as he knew, there were no living humans left in the installation.
Everyone who was still alive and functioning as a human being was above him now. There was one problem. It seemed that the only way actually out of the installation was one of two ways: ventilation shafts that ran from the bottom levels directly to the surface, the method through which they drew in fresh oxygen, or the front door. No vents, maintenance hatches, security tunnels...nothing led out otherwise. Syberia Installation was, for all intents and purposes, a closed structure. Since he hadn't suffocated, he had to assume that the vent ducts were still working and thus would be exceptionally difficult to navigate.
Enzo had briefly toyed with the plan of going all the way back down, shutting down the vents shafts and just climbing out, but decided that either A) That would be more difficult than just cutting through everyone between him and the surface here or B) Part of him really wanted to kill the jerkoffs who had stolen him. And, well, he supposed he still wanted to rescue the others. The biggest problem was that his only way up and out into the abandoned mines was presently locked down, and there seemed to be little he could do about it.
He'd briefly toyed around with the idea of blowing it open, but he didn't want to bury himself in rubble, nor was he convinced there were enough explosives left to tear a hole in the no doubt very sturdy vault-like door that served as an ingress to the facility. The Altered were getting smarter, and they seemed both diligent and thorough in their hunt to destroy anything that might be used against them. So that left him one option.
End the lockdown.
Unfortunately, that meant finding the appropriate keycard. He'd found the actual function to end the lockdown within the security station he'd crawled into, and had tried the keycard the would-be assassin had had on him, but apparently it wasn't high enough. So he had to find a better one. That was what he was presently doing. He'd just managed to use his very limited knowledge of figuring shit out to activate a tracking program in the workstation. Apparently, high enough level keycards came with the ability to be tracked.
He wondered who had instituted that policy. Maybe they kept losing them or something. Enzo initiated the program and scrutinized the results. A topographical map appeared on the screen. He frowned, studying it. All it showed him was that he was going to have to make a bit of a trek. He was at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, the keycard he wanted was at the bottom left-hand corner of the screen, and the way out was smack dab in the middle of the top of the screen. A triangle, the corners of which were about as far away from each other as you could get with who knew how many lethal alien mutants in between him and his destinations.
YOU ARE READING
The sixth novel in The Shadow Wars. Enzo Rains could be a poster boy for the average twenty-fourth century mercenary. (If they made such a thing.) He's paranoid, entirely self-reliant, and does everything in his power to earn his next paycheck. His...