"A myth is a way of making sense in a senseless world. Myths are narrative patterns that give significance to our existence." ~Rollo May
Panting, V.C. pushed open the door to exit the stairwell. After only three flights of stairs, she could feel her heart pounding.
Maybe she should start running again.
Pondering that, she stepping into the hallway.
It looked exactly like a regular old office building where salaried workers go to die,wasting their lives working on meaningless tasks. Checkered carpet covered with hallway, complementing the mint green paint that colored the walls. Oak office doors lined the hallway, each engraved with a personalized plate.
The only thing out of place in the picture was a 6 foot four Navy SEAL kneeling on the floor, methodically measuring the distances between each air conditioning vent and the one thermostat.
Shaking his head in disapproval, he jotted down something on his OSHA clipboard and rose from the floor.
V.C. couldn't believe it.
He was actually doing the job of a real live OSHA agent. And probably more thoroughly too.
She didn't know what to do first: make fun of him, or take a picture.
She opted to do both.
"You know that you don't actually have to. . . you know. . . your fake job!"
Jack whirled around at the sound of her voice and clutched his clipboard to his chest. The guilty look in his eyes faded at he stared back at her.
"As long as I'm here, I might as well chart down the violations. Besides, I didn't read the Regulations Handbook for nothing."
"Wait, wait, wait, wait. You actually read that?! It's like a 500 page manual! What was the point of that?"
Holding up his hand, Jack began to count on his fingers, "One: You should always know about your undercover identity. Two: If someone asks you about your pseudo-profession, you'll have an answer. And three: It's never a bad thing to know about rules."
"Yeah, so you can break them. . ." V.C. mumbled under her breath, quiet enough so Jack could barely hear her.
Tucking his pen into his breast pocket, Jack straightforwardly asked her what she had found out. Smiling triumphantly, she unfolded the blueprints and handed them to Jack.
As he looked over the prints, she related her last hour touring the facilities. A couple of engineers strolled down the hallway and Jack pulled her into a nearby office.
As it turned out, it was the former office of Doctor Pauline Sanchez. V.C. read the nameplate as she was pulled inside and the door slammed shut.
Tilly had mentioned in passing that one of their researchers had left them a few months ago and V.C. deducted that 'left' was code for 'deceased'.
V.C. stumbled to regain her footing and knocked a water bottle off the desk. The metal container clanged onto the floor with a ting. It rolled away and V.C. scurried after it.
It was one of those doubled-walled 'keeps cold for 24 hours' sort of bottle with a SuperNova logo painted on the side. V.C. had heard good things about them.
Maybe she could relieve the dead doctor of the bottle.
After all, Doctor Sanchez wouldn't be needing this one. . .
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Eridanus Flooding (WATTY 2018 WINNER)Mystery / Thriller
Commander Jack Rhodes is a retired Navy Seal. Well. Retired isn't what he would call it. More like fired. Yes. Fired would be the correct choice of word. No one retires at the age of 32. When a mission went wrong, leaving Jack as the only survivor...