CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and SEVENTY-SEVEN
“Sir,” Vince said. He went back to taking pictures. “I’m done with photos. I’ll set up back there so we can get the entire scene.”
“Thank you,” Seth said.
Alex dropped down to him.
“The easiest way to do this is to be fast,” Seth started.
“Yes, sir,” Alex said with a soft smile. “I have done this before.”
Seth gave her a quick look.
“Of course, you have,” Seth said. “Please forgive an old man’s arrogance.”
Alex grinned at him. Her grin slipped as they began the grisly work. Seth found a wallet on the first man.
“If you can set it like this, we’ll take a photo of the remains and the identification,” Seth said.
“Good idea,” Alex said. She pulled a pocket knife and a clump of keys out of the young man’s pocket. “They seem so young.”
“Teenagers,” Seth said. “They’re always teenagers.”
Alex nodded. They continued the rest of the work in silence. When they finished, Vince took a series of photos. They waited while Vince sent the images to the cloud. He gave them a nod.
“Where is our next tunnel?” Vince asked.
“If it is a replica, the exit to this room would be …” Seth looked from wall to wall. “There.”
He pointed to the wall they’d come from. Along the floor was a square sized hole.
“It should go to a chamber behind this mechanism,” Seth said. “Do we have gas masks?”
“In our packs,” Alex said.
“Including mine?” Seth asked, taking off the pack.
“Yes sir,” Vince said. “Our Sergeant packed your backpack last night.”
They rummaged through their backpacks and came up with gas masks.
“Handy,” Seth said. “The chamber next door is should be gas. Let’s put this on in case we trigger it.”
“Good thinking,” Alex said.
The belly crawled into the next chamber. Margaret and Pierre led them to the “off” switch. They stood up in a chamber with two more bodies. One of Troy’s drones hovered over them.
“The air is clean there,” Troy said.
They took off their gas masks and got to work on the bodies. With Vince taking photos, Alex and Seth found identification for the men. Vince took photos and video. They waited while he sent them to the cloud.
“They really came after this tunnel,” Seth said, mildly.
“Make the story about the nuclear detonator seem more probable,” Vince said.
Alex nodded. Vince looked up to indicate that the images had been sent.
“After you, sir,” Vince said.
“The next tunnel always looks like nothing,” Seth said. “But it could be anything. When I say anything, I mean any thing — flooding, crushing walls, ceiling dropping, anything. The more unlikely, the more it’s possible to happen.”
“Yes, sir,” Vince said.
“Do you think they could do ceiling drops or …?” Alex asked.
“It’s unlikely,” Seth said. “Given these conditions. I’ve seen the most unlikely things in the most unlikely places. You’d be surprised what can be rigged up. So mind your ‘p’s’ and ‘q’s’.”
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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