Ace was not proud of what it took to drag Samantha’s unconscious body through the hospital’s parking garage. In fact, if asked she would never tell, and leave it to the asker’s imagination. She would often refer to this segment of her life as her dark period. Samantha was kept locked in a small room with a slit for a window. Ace would feed her but never communicated with her.
As the months went on, Ace became more mobile. Eventually she removed her cast herself and began the long arduous task of physical therapy. After a time Samantha stopped pleading for her freedom and they lived in silence.
When Ace could walk again she took to running during the evenings. Since her escape, VIG had plastered her photo on every news media channel that could fill 30 seconds with it. Most ran her story for days, “Deranged Hospital Escapee Kidnaps Government Agent”.
The months turned into years. Ace was tired; tired of hiding, and tired of being alone. Samantha’s cell had gotten an upgrade. It fit more like a bedroom, and the two began speaking in short sentences.
One morning Ace awoke to find a small note on her nightstand. She instantly noticed it was out of place and upon further inspection recognized her own handwriting. There were three words on it, “Save him. Ace.”
She flung her covers back and stormed across her secret hideout to Samantha’s room. She nearly busted the door down as she entered, scaring Samantha from her bed.
“How did he die?” She screamed.
Samantha cowered on the floor by the bed.
“How? When? Answer me!” She screamed again.
“The heavy machine forced him out of a window,” Samantha cried.
Samantha began crying, “The future…”
Ace turned away and slammed the door, locking it behind her. Samantha’s waking could be heard through the steel door. Ace walked slowly across the cold floor until she reached her computer terminal.
She began searching for the same keywords that brought her to find the orb. She found another facility, once run by a facility until it was bought by ISO-squared and shut down for unethical testing circumstances. A marketing ploy she thought. Something in her gut told her to check it out.
She gathered her things: a flashlight, handgun and tactical vest she’d bought from a military surplus store. She missed her old gear.
She made her way down to a later 90s model pickup truck and removed the tarp from it. She climbed in and pulled the keys from their storage in sun visor.
The truck started without issue. She pulled out of the parking garage and made her way out of the city. It was going to be a long drive to Pennsylvania.
At first it felt like breaking and entering as she slid the large metal door to the side. She paused a moment as the screech echoed down the concrete halls. She flicked on her flashlight with her left thumb and drew her pistol. It was 3 a.m. and there were no lights.
The layout was similar to the facility she’d met Wyatt in. She followed signs toward the main computer room. She checked her corners as she entered the large room. Two staircases edged the sides of the room. To her right was what seemed to be a control booth with large glass windows separating the two rooms, and directly across from it hummed another orb.
Her pistol quickly found its place in her holster as she sprinted to the orb. Etched in the dust on the orbs panel was her handwriting: Do it, Ace.
She took a deep breath and reached out for the orb. Inches from her palm wrapping around the smooth metal casing of the orb, a hand reached from the dark and latched onto her vest, yanking her away and tossing her across the room.
She shattered through the glass of the control room and bounced off an old computer terminal. Ace was dazed as she tried to pull herself up from the ground. The hand wrapped around the back of her neck and lifted her.
She saw her attacker for the first time. It was the heavy machine, only this time he was different. Before he hand been a behemoth of machine, and now he was slick, small red LEDs accented his shape. He threw her again, deeper into the control booth.
She slammed against the rear wall of the room, cracking the drywall. Her tailbone crashed into the ground as the heavy machine made his way to her. She drew her pistol and fired at his head. The bullet’s ricocheted off his helmet, destroying whatever they hit next.
Her pistol clicked empty. He was towering over her. The machine reached down for her. Just before his fingers could wrap around her she slithered between his metal legs.
With running speed she clambered from the ground and over the first computer terminal. The heavy machine spun and jumped after her, smashing through the three rows of computer terminals.
He stopped at the front of the room. Ace was gone. His head lifted. She was in a full sprint across the main room. Heavy burst through wall of the control room, running after her. His feet made loud thumps as he gained on her.
She wanted to pause when she reached the orb to see how far ahead of the machine she was, but she didn’t. Her palm slammed onto the orb, the pressure from her skin skidded against the spinning metal.
Light enveloped her, and just as Heavy reached her she vanished in an explosion of particles. His momentum carried him through the orb and it’s terminal. A crash of metal and wires and sparks spilt across the front of the room. Heavy lifted the orb from the ground, examined it a moment and crushed it in his fingers.
The particles rushed passed her eyes, burning and drying them. She was cold and hot and sore everywhere. The space around her ripped open as someone might rip open a plastic bag. She flung hard, slamming into a tile wall.
The whole room shook and in that moment she realized she was in an elevator. She coughed up mucus and spat it on the ground. Condensation had built up on her sleeves. She wiped the water onto the ground as she stood.
The elevator was moving, but none of the floor lights were illuminated. The car slowed. Before the doors opened a gunshot rang out. She drew her pistol and the doors opened.
Landon stood before her firing down the hallway. He turned and fired at the glass. As he sprinted toward the damaged glass Ace dove from the elevator car and tackled him away from the pane.
They tumbled across the ground. Landon rolled and stopped, his gun aimed at Ace.