Sunday 29 July 2018

Aberrant - The Eruption

Told from the point of view of my character, Chrissie Walker aka Lisa 'The Phoenix' Moore, the Aberrant story index is here.
Forget what you read in the news profiles and on Wikipedia, I promised you the true story of how Hyperdrive and I Erupted.
It was 23rd March 1998, not a few days later. I had the day off and my brother and I were working towards some form of reconciliation; I'd come to his office to meet him for lunch. His idea, but now I can feel Benedict's fingers all over it. Especially seeing as Adam showed up as I was waiting, with a package from Benedict for Pete.

As my brother came down the stairs, a group of masked, armed men burst through the doors. All of us in the lobby area were swiftly tied up and put in a room. More hostages were led in soon after. 

It didn't take Adam long to free himself and then me. We manage to take out the two guards by surprising them, and tied them securely before untying the other hostages. Adam took the guns, surprised I wasn't prepared to carry one. We snuck back into the lobby. Seeing a clear route, we hurried the hostages out of the room to hide them in the lift shafts: there was space for them all below where the lift would settle, and it seemed very unlikely they'd be found by the intruders - who we suspected to be part of a group known as EM Tek.

The package from Benedict was sheets of paper covered in gibberish writing, that served as cover for a useful toolkit. As Adam slung it across his back, I saw him rubbing his forehead as if nursing as headache as bad as the one that had been bothering me all day. Neither of us were going to back down, though: there were too many people in danger in the building. 

We left the hostages. Pete joined us as we carefully climbed the stairs, but after we were shot at and he was nearly hit, he admitted he couldn't cope, he was too afraid, so we took him back to the lift shaft to look after everyone there. The stairs seemed too dangerous, so we used rope and other items in the toolkit to allow us to navigate the lift shaft and ventilation shafts as we made our way around the building, doing our best John McClane impressions until we reached the top floor. A helicopter circled overhead: we found marker pens and wrote in as large font as we could manage, backwards, to get their attention. They circled closer, and we could make out a return message that, with a bit of pointing, we realised was a radio frequency. As luck would have it, there was a radio in the toolkit.

The helicopter was from MI5. They didn't know much more than we did, but were excited to have us inside and active, even as civilians. We continued to explore the building, running into the occasional patrol. We avoided those we could, but ended in a fight with one and Adam shot a man. I raced over as he fell, but there was nothing I could do for him. We hid the body and continued - Adam a little shaken (to be honest, I was a little shaken: I saw death regularly, as a nurse in A&E, but I'd never seen a friend cause the death, even though he hadn't meant to).

The building should have been a busy office block; the empty rooms were eerie.

We took water and snacks from vending machines back to the lift shafts. It didn't seem to matter how much I drank, my head still felt like it was splitting in two.

We eventually made our way to the server room, and this is where we found what the bad guys were up to, hacking the server. We knocked out the few people here, and (with the help of the MI5 guy on the radio) shut down what they'd been doing - which was when the rest of the bad guys stormed in, shooting. 

We fled, running awkwardly and in fear, the stresses of the day building to a crescendo, our heads pounding like we were about to give birth to Athena, and it was all too much when...

When something happened, like the universe arriving within. I felt myself rise as though bathed in phoenix fire - as though the heart of a phoenix as the flames flooded the building, green flames healing everyone, even the guy Adam had shot and we'd left for dead. Storm clouds gathered outside. Adam was going through something similar, his newfound power shoving foes backwards, away from us and crushing - imploding - the weapons held by bad guys throughout the building (as red flames flickered from me to melt them beyond recognition once he was done).

The release was phenomenol.

As I sank back to the floor, a man stepped from the shadows, introducing himself as Montgomery...

We awoke in a strange holding cell. Montgomery returned to us and explained it was now 15th April. He told us about the arrival of Novas and that we'd Erupted before the others, before the explosion of the space ship, but that we should keep that very quiet.

An uneasy truce arose between us.

His facilities were good, but we were prisoners there, and we never felt any regret for deserting and rejoining Benedict at the first opportunity (just some disappointment and minor betrayal when, years later, I learnt they were friends and Benedict had been behind our kidnapping). 

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