The double doors in front of us were just doors but there seems to be a menacing force behind them. It makes no sense that everything else in this corridor is demolished but this door barely hasn’t really been touched. I mean did have some blast burns and smoke damage but other than that they are intact.
“Thats weird,” I squeak out.
As I reach for the handle, a noise waffs in from down the corridor to my left. Nell grabs my arm and lets out a little whimper. Reassuringly I smooth her knotted hair and rest my hand on her shoulder, as I aim the flashlight down the hallway in that direction. There is nothing there that wasn’t there before we reached the door, just debris and rubble.
Panning my flashlight around the hallway slowly, when something scampers very fast to escape the beam of light. It is crawling on all fours like an ape but it is about forty yards away from us. When the light hit it’s eyes, it let out a horrific shriek. I have never in my life seen or heard something like this creature. It was completely naked and had teeth that were about four inches long. I couldn’t hold the light still enough to get a really good look at it.
“What the hell is this thing?” With that thought, I didn’t want to sit around to find out.
I turn the handle to the door, it is unlocked but something is blocking the door from the inside. Pushing as hard as I can against the door, Nell was burying her face into my back. The creature was getting closer, I can hear its long claws ticking over the tile and crashing over the rubble.
Nell starts to scream, “Hurry Celeste, it’s getting closer!”
I shine the light back down the corridor and it is trapped behind some filing cabinets about 20 yards from us. I push Nell away from me as I back away from the door and run at it full speed and all of my weight, it gives way finally. I grab Nell by her arm at the same time the creature lunges for her, missing her head by about six inches. I slam the door closed and try my best to barricade it back up. BANG! It is trying to get in. I push up and down on the locks that connect the two doors together.
“That will hopefully hold it for awhile” I say, while I look for a light switch.
I find a LED control panel to the right of the door. It is still working, so I scroll down to where it says “Lights”. Hoping that since there is power to this panel there should be power in the room. With a little prayer I push the designated button and the lights started to flicker on, one by one. There is a table in the middle of the room that illuminates from underneath. It glows with a calming blue and Nell seems to be mesmerized by it. She glides across the floor as if she’s being pulled in by a tractor beam.
Track lights on the ceiling blink to life and shine down on some maps, in glass frames, hanging on the walls. I walk over to them to see exactly what they were maps of. They are of the surrounding area and evacuation routes to neighboring cities and one for the ship’s routes, that one caught my eye.
Three ships that went to three different destinations, Anoka, St. Andrews, and one just called The Island. I have never heard of a place just titled The Island.
Turning from the maps, I walk back over to the table in the middle of the room. It is huge, probably about ten feet across and four feet high. After looking at it for a moment I realize that it is a hologram table. I remember seeing one once on a trip to the Capital. This one though looks different.
I search the table for a switch or something to turn it on but nothing. Going back to the door to see if the control panel turns it on but didn’t find anything. “Nell do you see….” I cut myself off because I just now notice that she has been standing in the same place at the table since we entered the room.
She is standing on the opposite side of the table staring at some kind of mark on the top. “I’ve seen this mark before” she says.
“Where” I asked kneeling down at her side.
She lifts up her raggedy sweatshirt and there on her ribs was the same exact mark. Pulling her shirt down really fast, she took a step back away from me.
“Nell you are not in trouble or anything. I just want to know where you got that mark?” She picked her head up and looks at me with those piercing blue eyes and said,
“I don’t remember.”
The tattoo and mark on the table reminds me of an ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic. The table didn’t have that mark in the production process, it was etched in with a sharp object. There are no bodies in here so everyone must of left the mark during the evacuation. I look the table all over one more time and there are no more marks on it but that single one.
As I stand opposite of Nell once more I see that she is holding her hand above the etched mark. An ethereal haze starts to come out of her hand and onto the engraving. When I was about to ask her what she was doing, the table started to hum to life. A hologram of the Unites States opened across the smooth surface of the table and she drew her hand away.
“How did you know to do that Nell?” I ask puzzled.
“I don’t know how I did it but something told me that’s what I had to do.”
“Oh, “something” told you to do that huh?” I said with an annoyed tone in my voice.
“Please don’t be mad at me. Look!” as she pointed her finger at the image.
The map started to turn red, state by state, until it reached California. There are states in the middle of the country that were not completely covered but I know they would be soon. Nell then waves her hand at the image of California and it starts to zoom in closer to closer, until I realize that it is on the building that we are in. She moves her hand to the right and now we are looking into the exact room we are standing in.
There are two heat signatures inside of Command Center and I look at her still amazed that she is controlling this piece of high tech equipment. Nell just gives me a little smirk, without looking up, but then her face goes white. I look back at the image and see why she got so scared. There are other heat signatures outside the room in the corridor.
That thing is still out there and now there are four more heat signatures.
“We have to find another way out.” I whispered to Nell.
Her attention is still on the image moving her hands in and out through the entire building as if memorizing it.
“Nell, we have to go.”
Her head snaps up and she points to the vent down near the floor.
“We can get out through there. It will take us out of this room and if we go straight we will end up at the other end of the building!” she said with the biggest smile I have ever seen her make.