We ran as fast as our legs would carry us up the long sloping corridors of the base, working our way towards the summit. We managed to avoid all the soldiers running to help the squad trying to fend off the vampire invaders by ducking in and out of various rooms along the way.
As much as I didn’t want to believe him in the lab, Private Skinner was right. The pain in my stomach was starting to subside. The buzzing in my brain that told me vampires were nearby had relented but I didn’t know if that was because the virus was wearing off or if it was because we were just getting further away from the machine gun fire and screams behind us. The pessimistic realist in me suspected the latter.
‘You’re not going to get out of here,’ said Captain Stein, finally breaking his silence as we slipped into an empty dormitory to keep out of sight of another squad of soldiers going to meet their maker.
‘It’s only a matter of time until Commander North hits the button to lock down the base. Every security door will close and you’ll be trapped down here along with the rest of us.’
Captain Stein had been keeping far too quiet to not be hiding something from us. He knew the procedure all along and was biding his time waiting for the lock-down, but I suspected that we were close to the top of the base. We had been sneaking around for a while and I thought Captain Stein was trying to put us off as a last resort.
‘But won’t that trap your men in the same rooms as the vampires?’ asked Agent Simpson.
‘That’s right. When they turn, they’ll feed on the soldiers but all we have to do is leave the doors locked and wait for them to starve. Then we can pick them off one by one.’ There wasn’t a hint of regret in Captain Stein’s voice.
‘That’s life, Agent Simpson. Can you think of a better option? Another more humane way of getting rid of them? God knows these guys won’t be able to kill all of them.’
Agent Simpson didn’t say anything. She just stared at Captain Stein like her eyes were burning a hole in his head. ‘I thought not,’ he snarled.
‘Come on,’ said Doctor Owen, ‘we’d better keep moving. We’re nearly there.’
Private Skinner picked up the pace and we kept up with him until we turned our last corner. We found ourselves in the main hangar, where we had entered the base only a matter of hours before. Ahead of us a cloud-filled red dusk sky peeked through the open door at the top of the ramp leading out to the summit.
With a metallic clunk, the door to the summit started to close and a loud repetitive siren started to wail.
‘There it is,’ said Captain Stein, ‘we’re now on lock-down. You may as well turn yourselves in now.’
I heard a gravely voice behind us bellowing over the siren. ‘Captain Stein, what the fuck is going on?’
We spun round to face Commander North, who was standing with two soldiers. All three of them were armed to the teeth and had itchy trigger fingers.
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