Chapter 17: Not Here, Not Now

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The warden's office was at the end of the hall around the corner, no more than ten meters away. Devon readied the pistol she had permanently borrowed from the corpse of a guard, making sure to keep the gun out of the water. She peered around the wall, gun outstretched and slowly slicing the angle of view as she waded out. The water was still rising and now reached above her waist.

Two guards stood watch in front of the electrically locked door. She had three shots left and didn't want to waste them on henchmen.

One spotted her and nudged his buddy. They both raised their weapons.

"Hey! Stop!"

Devon ducked under the water and watched the bullets break on the surface. She waited until she heard a muttered "shit!" and the sounds of empty magazines hitting the water as they reloaded. Then she moved.

An old wooden desk floated out of an office, as did a door that had fallen loose. Devon kicked off the floorboards to land on the raft of the door, then ducked her head and ran along the wall to the floating desk. She leapt and spread her arms like wings.

The guards raised their freshly loaded pistols as she fell on top of them. One click each. Amateurs. Didn't pull the slide back. Before their fingers pulled a second time, her arms crashed into their necks and clotheslined them into the water. One took a boot to the chin while the other had his throat stomped.

Threats eliminated.

She caught her breath and ran her fingers through her soaking hair. The water hadn't quite reached the intercom that controlled the door lock. Devon pounded her fist onto the metal door.

"Warden, open up!"

No answer. She turned her fist on the red button to activate the intercom, pressing as hard as she could, as if that would make him answer faster.

"If you don't open this door, I will raise the dead and send them against you. And trust me, there are many, many bodies I could use."

Static. A dark laugh. "You're not lucid enough to pull off that bluff."

"Oh, that so? Maybe, but would you like to find out? I have a broken moral compass and it points to you."

Devon was bluffing of course. No matter how angry she felt, she couldn't make herself believe that the dead could come to life. It was hard enough work to believe that they'd stay dead, and not turn on her while her back was to the entire compound. She couldn't even entertain the thought a second longer for fear the men under her boots would wake and grab her ankles.

Don't think about it. Don't think about it.

Elymas didn't answer. If she didn't produce zombies, he wouldn't. Devon shook her head and lowered her voice, whispering conspiratorially into the speaker of the intercom.

"Warden, think about this. You're stuck in here with me. That's what you wanted, right? To share our dreams together? Well, here I am."

Nothing. Devon pressed the button again, unsure of what to say, then noticed the panel for the intercom and grinned. Her green eyes sparked.

"If Tamesis IS dead, you've made the worst mistake. What do I have to lose now? You've made me a terribly desperate woman, Warden. I will take you down with me."

A disgusted sigh from the speaker. "And how's that, Inmate? You're out there. And I'm in here."

"Afraid of me, are you? That's cute. But here's the thing: if you don't let me in, I will take this panel off. The water will rise and touch the wires I'm going to rip out with my bare hands."

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