Chapter 16: Endgame

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The elevator came to a halt.

Enzo stepped out first, playing his light across the flat, gunmetal gray walls and stacks of crates. They'd come to a disused storage bay. There were no lights on, but nothing smelled of decay or the reek of the Altered.

"Looks clear," he said, stepping deeper into the bay.

His footsteps echoed into the lonely darkness. All around him, he became aware of a growing white noise: the muffled shriek of arctic winds. Finally. They had, in fact, come to the surface. It felt like a breath of fresh air, even in this dusty old room. It was clear that Dark Operations had hid the secondary lift inside of an area they'd likely shut down. The lift itself was hidden behind stacks of crates that the trio had to navigate to find the way out. The narrow alcoves created by the stacks sent Enzo's instincts into overdrive.

It felt like there could be anything hidden in the gloom. He made himself calm down. There was a very good chance no Altered had made it here. Even if they had, he was sure he'd smell them. He'd become accustomed to the scent over the past several hours. No one spoke as they kept moving, listening for any other sounds above the winds and their own movements. After another moment, they finally came to the exit.

They gathered by the door.

"So, what's the plan?" Enzo asked. A moment's silence passed. "I assume you have a plan."

"I didn't really get a good look at the place when I came in. They just kind of hustled me through," Lee replied.

"I've got something of an idea of where we are," Eve replied. "So, there's three primary buildings. The first is the weather station itself, that's where the hangar is at. The second is the control tower, it's its own structure. The third is storage, where the primary elevator was. We shouldn't need to bother with that. I suggest we first make for the hangar in the primary building and see if there's any way off this rock."

"Okay, but what about Fielding and the Alpha? I mean, I feel like we can kill Fielding...probably, without too much trouble. But what about the Alpha? We don't really have big guns or explosives or anything," Enzo replied.

"That's a good point," Lee murmured.

"Well...um..." Eve stopped speaking, falling deep into thought. Suddenly, her face lit up. "Okay! I've got it! When I was looking through the files in the Control Room, I saw that Dark Ops had a plan to destroy the storage area, so that they could have a cover to ship more building supplies into the underground while pretending to rebuild the warehouse. The official story would have been some leftover mining charges accidentally got set off. The mining charges are in the warehouse. So we use them to kill the Alpha."

"How?" Lee asked.

"Lure the Alpha into the warehouse after wiring it to blow," Enzo replied.

"Okay...you two, go secure the ship. I'm going to go set the charges," Lee said.

Eve looked like she wanted to argue...probably to argue that Enzo should be the one to do it, but he spoke up instead. "Good luck."

"Thanks. You too," Lee replied.

They opened the door and stepped out into the snow.

The cold was an immediate and painful thing. They were in near whiteout conditions. A storm was raging, making the whole thing even more difficult.

"What's where?!" Lee called.

Three lines of poles, each with a brilliantly glowing aquamarine light set atop it, led away from the building. Eve pointed towards the rightmost one.

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