Episode 4
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Submitted By Lamp on 12/10/03
CC Fan Fic Project, Lamp, Episodes 

 

   Out of all the things that could have been behind that door-a jail cell, an interrogation room, a firing squad-this was not what I had in mind.
 
   What I noticed off the bat was the large metal gun cage spanning the left wall. It could hold about 20 rifles, but there were only 5 inside. A steel footlocker held five pistols to compliment the rifles. On the back wall there was a metal door like the one we just went through, and on the right wall there was another metal door with a square wooden drawer to it's left and a desk with a desktop on it's right.
 
   I immediately opened the gun cage (unlocked, surprisingly) and took a rifle for myself, then passed out the pistols to everybody. The rifles were emergency rifles; designed for short skirmishes they used a closed belt system that could hold fifty rounds, but they were cheap in design and lacked a way to reload, giving them the "emergency" title. These rifles however were high-grade plastic, oddly rectangular and rather large, plus the clip box had a viewing window so I knew about how many rounds I had left in the rifle before it was useless. The pistols were your normal pistol design except for the exotic drum magazine that was simply a hollow circle with a line down the middle extending from the trigger of the gun. The magazine didn't have a way to eject and lacked a way to see if the clip was even loaded (apart from the chamber bullet), so I hoped if I ever got into a fight that I wouldn't need to rely on my sidearm.
 
   "We aren't going to use these, are we?" Happy said.
"Hopefully not," I said, "But we need them. Let's see if we can find someone who knows what's going on and get them to talk."
"What makes you in charge now?" CKM said.
"What, you got a better plan?" Frank said. "It's a good idea; I'm sick of being left in the dark. Aren't you?"
"Well, yeah," CKM said, "But if this is just some elaborate precaution for some secret mission or something then I don't want to hold my superior officer at gunpoint. Not the best first impression, you know."
"Good point," I said, "But if we are being singled out for treason or something and we don't go in with guns, then we die. Much bigger risk, you know."
"All right," CKM said, "But I'm rear guard."
"Rear guard?" Happy asked.
"Yeah," I said, "He'll make sure no one comes from behind and kills us. I'll take point-the guy up front-Frank you cover CKM, Happy you cover me. All right?"
Everyone nodded.
"Good. Happy, check the computer quick. Everyone else make sure they have what they need."
 
   Frank and CKM each took a rifle and checked to make sure everything was in order while Happy looked through the computer. I covered the two doors.
"Frank, you ever used a rifle before?" I asked.
"A few times, not often. I know the basics though."
"Good. CKM you know how to use one right?"
"You think I'm an idiot?"
"I'll take that as a yes."
"Hey guys," Frank said. "Is anyone else wondering why they pretty much gave us guns, or at least sent someone to collect us?"
"Sure am," I said. "But we're planning on finding out, so I'm not worried about it now."
 
   "Guys, I think I got something," Happy said. Me, Frank and CKM all went to the computer and leaned in. "There's nothing on here about why we're here," Happy continued. "But if I'm right then this program will sound the base alarm. We could pull it if you want, send the guards in a panic."
"No," I said. "We need everyone calm if were going to take someone alive to question."
"All right," Happy said, "But there's another thing; this computer has access to all the doors, plus a floor plan of the base."
"Print out the floor plan and unlock all the doors," I said.
"Gotcha." There was a brief pause, then a ding from the computer. "The printers unplugged," Happy said. "Plug it in while I open the doors."
 
   Frank looked behind the desk for the plug and fit it into the computer tower. As soon as it was plugged in it started printing, but not the floor plan.
"Looks like some type of map," I said, "What's with this, Happy?"
"Qued document from the printer, there might be a few of these," Happy said. There indeed was one more, one much more interesting. Sadly however, we did not pick up on it.
"Some mission timeframe," I said. "Doesn't involve us, this might go with the map." The next document printed was the floor plan.
"Here we go," I said, snatching it with my hands. "Looks like this base isn't that deep, we should be able to search through the entirety of it in thirty minutes. I don't think we need to though, there is a staff room right behind this door here." I pointed to the door beside the desk.
 
   "Happy, unlock that door, leave the other one locked. Do you know how to use a rifle?"
"Well I guess," Happy said. "But I can't really lift that thing, let alone aim it." I knew what he meant; the standard emergency rifle was twelve pounds. These were lighter, but they still were pretty heavy."
"All right, use the pistol," I said. "Everyone, on the door."
I stacked up on the door first as pointman, followed by Happy, then Frank, and finally CKM.
"The door's unlocked?" I asked Happy.
"Yup," he said. "Ready when you are." I took a deep breath, then opened the door.
 
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   When he volunteered for a military exercise, Jay was expecting a long run, a few hours on the target range, or at most a mini-survival situation. He did not expect to be shown in through a secret passage to a secret barracks, and asked to relax in the officer's lounge. It was a nice change of pace from the gloomy exterior of the base. The lounge wasn't that big but it had a pool table, a pre-war video game cabinet and a mini-bar, more than enough to keep him occupied. After a few hours, he soon realized however that the door was locked, keeping him trapped in. He tried bashing the door, shooting it with his sidearm, even contemplated trying to pick the electronic lock before yelling out his frustrations and retiring to the couch. It was a military exercise, he told himself. There has to be a way out. Indeed, there was a way out, and it came in the form of four men out of uniform busting through the door and throwing him to the ground before he could even draw his sidearm. This was turning out to be a far worse experience than any survival simulation he could think of.
 
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   "So what do we do with him?" CKM asked.
"I thought we already went over this. We interrogate him," I said. We locked the soldier back in the staff room, now without his sidearm. The question now was what to do with him.
"Well we can't exactly just beat the guy up," Frank said. "What if he doesn't even know anything?" Frank had a point. If he was like the guards who showed me in then he was just as confused as we were.
"I'll go in and talk to him. Frank, come in with me and make sure he doesn't do anything stupid. Happy, sift through that computer again, see what you can find out."
"All right then," Happy said. "But no promises."
"No promises," I said. Happy sat down at the desk.
"What do I do?" CKM asked.
"Something," I said. CKM sighed and sat down against the gun cage.
"Ready Frank?" I asked.
"Sure am," he said.
"All right, on the door," I said. Frank stacked up behind me.
 
   The guard was laying on a sofa, hands in his face.
"Hey," I said, "Wake up," He turned over and sat up. Frank stood against the door.
"So what exactly do you want from me?" the guard said.
"Aren't you going to tell me your name?" I asked. I kneeled next to the guard.
"It's Jay," He said. "What do you want from me?"
"Jay, do you see this thing in my hand?"
"Yeah, it's a gun."
"Well do you have a gun?"
"You took it, remember?"
"In that case, I have a gun, and you do not have a gun. So let me ask the questions, since I have the gun, or else I shoot you with the gun. Do you understand?"
"C'mon, you wouldn't kill another soldier, would you?"
"How do you know I'm a soldier?" It was at this point that Jay started to understand.
   "All right then, what do you want to know?" He said.
"Lets start with a simple question. Where exactly are we?"
"Like, this base? Or down here? Because I don't exactly know where down here is."
"I find that hard to believe, since you happen to be down here."
"All right, let me give you the full story. I was deployed at this base for about a week with some thirty other guys from my division. They ask me if I wanted to do an exercise, and they showed me down here for the first time and locked me in this room. Then you found me."
 
   From his short time in police work I found it hard to think he could come up with this on the spot. Then again if he knew something then he was likely telling me a rehearsed cover story. But his story did fit; if this was an evaluation of me and the others than that would explain the gun case and the lack of someone to greet us. I came up with a quick plan. I looked over at Frank and put a finger over my mouth.
"That sounds a lot like a cover story," I said. I stood up and began walking around the room.
"Well that's all there is."
"I don't think so. I think you are lying to me, and you know more. A lot more."
"I don't know anything!"
"Shut up!" I put my gun against the back of his head. The guard, needless to say, shut up.
"Now, let me ask you one more time. What do you know?" I looked over at the game cabinet.
"I don't know anything, please." The guard was a little shaken up in his voice. I pulled my gun from his head, but kept it on him.
"All right then, you don't know anything." I walked toward the game cabinet, back away from the guard. "You just were sent down here on a stupid exercise you don't know the point of, because there wasn't a point, now was there?"
"I don't know, please I don't know." I opened up the game cabinet's back. Standing out was a small black disc not attached to anything.
"In that case, I really don't have a use for you." I shot the microphone.
 
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   In a room deeper into the complex, all hell broke lose. The sergeant was dead, the mic popped from the gunshot, and these guys were only going to go deeper into the complex. When command said they were sending the best, they didn't expect the best to be insane.
"Someone send a squad down there!" a captain ordered. "And kill them before they kill anyone else!"

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