Randy Augsburger
A Top Secret super-collider accident hurls a 26 mile circle of rural Colorado including the college ... Show More
Adventure, Dystopian, Sci Fi, Sci Fi Western
Colorado, sci fi, time travel, native american, College graduation, resort town


Cigarette smoke floated in thick layers across the control room. The ventilation system was making an odd whirring sound and didn’t seem to be moving much air. No one was going to take the time to report it. Who would they call anyway?

Arch Stanton sat at his console cluttered with empty coffee cups and candy wrappers from the vending machine pecking at the keyboard. “I can’t do anything” he said turning toward Ned Franks the facility chief.

“Anything, anything at all” Ned muttered as he ground out another butt in his overflowing ashtray and picked up his phone. He punched in a series of numbers and after a moment he said “code green, it's’ a lockdown… confirm ” after a few seconds he nodded and slammed down the phone.

Arch stood and he immediately felt the weight of six pairs of eyes land on him. He was low man on the totem pole, the outsider, the guy who was only here because they needed him, the guy who hadn’t drank the company kool-aid.

“Gotta hit the head” he said and started for the door.
He walked up and grabbed the handle and looked back at Ned and the rest of the crew scattered about the control room with it’s flashing red lights for what seemed like a full minute.

Everyone knew what was happening , a runaway reaction, a mini meltdown, no one could stop it and no one could leave.

He waited a couple more seconds and was about to say more when Ned punched the button and the red light next to the handle turned green.

“Thanks be right back”

“See that you are” Ned said looking at him over the top of his glasses.

Arch hurried down the plain grey corridor that curved slightly to the left fluorescent lights buzzing overhead, he wanted to run but knew he shouldn’t. He imagined that he could feel the corridor vibrating as he hurried along.

The head was just a few doors down. He slowed as he approached the door and looked back.
Nobody watching, so far so good.

He walked past the head to the next door and opened it.

His quarters.

Everyone thought he was crazy requesting the room next to the showers and restrooms but it worked as a good excuse to get to his room. It always did.

He reached under his bunk and pulled out a duffle, his bug out gear ,opened the locker and strapped on his 1911, then checked and loaded it, then he tucked two spare magazines into his belt. It would have to be enough for now.

Arch cracked the door and looked out at the empty hall.
He slipped through the door and headed away from the control room at a fast walk.
The elevator was a long way to go and there was little time to get there.
After a couple hundred yards of curving corridor the elevator came into view.
He tried not to smile because he knew he was a long way from being out.

As he walked up to the doors there was a ding and they slid open.
Arch drew his pistol and dropped to one knee.
The doors opened fully and Stu Higgens head of base security stepped out.

A broad smile creased his face. “Gonna shoot me now after all we been thru?”
Arch stood and holstered his pistol.

” I wouldn’t of dragged your drunk butt outta that place in Kabul if I was gonna shoot you now.”

Stu shrugged and said “You know I was never in Kabul” mock sincerity on his face.
” If I was there the company never would of hired me for this job. “
“Too big of chance I might KNOW someone here and it would keep me from doing the job they paid me to do.”

“What job?” Arch said” killing everyone in the complex?” his voice getting hard.

“They hired me because they knew I could do what needed to be done” Stu said as he punched the elevator button.

“Well you woulda capped me too if you didn’t owe me right?”

“We’re not gonna go there , my stuff is up on the surface in the warehouse.
Are you sure you can get us out of the security door?”

Arch grinned “I’ve been adding bits and pieces of code to the security program every since you told me about the GREEN protocol, the door will open.”

“Almost there” Stu said as he shifted to the back of the elevator.
Arch glanced up at the floor indicator counting down. As it reached ground level he felt to muzzle of Stu’s pistol press against the back of his head.

“Don’t” Stu said.

“You Son of a..... “Arch started to say as the doors opened.
Outside stood a security guard weapon drawn pointed at Arch’s chest.
“Well I guess they hired the right guy “ he said to Stu

“Let's go” Stu said and they walked out of the elevator.
Stu looked over arch’s shoulder to the guard. “Cuff him while I cover you.”
The guard holstered his pistol and took out his cuffs.
Stu stepped back and to the side and let the guard get behind Arch.

Next thing Arch heard was a “thump” and the guard collapsed onto the floor.

“Never trust anyone “ Stu said
“You coming?” and walked past Arch toward a Jeep with” AU mining” stenciled on the side.
“Toss your bag in the back. I got some extra food an extra 870 and a couple AR’s.”

Arch still stood by the elevator gaping at him.

“ listen I pay my debts , it had to look real.”
“ I’m sure he was under orders to suspect me also”

Arch slowly walked to the Jeep and opened the passenger door.
“So are we just going to leave him here with what’s coming?”

Stu Sighed and got out of the Jeep.
“Okay Mr. nice guy, help me strap him in the back seat.”
They struggled to drag the guard, his name badge said “Cooper”, to the jeep. They got him in the back seat and belted in.

“This type of thing happen to you a lot?”

“You drive.” Stu said” I’m a better shot . And to answer your question yes and no”
“ I mean having to do hard things like locking 45 men in a tomb, things like that are part of the job. That is what the company hired me to do here.“
“You don’t want to know all the stuff I done.”
“ Now this secret undercover partical accelerator of God only knows how many miles across”



“It’s 26 miles across” Arch said “And why will we need a better shot? Planning on shooting someone?”

“I know that, it was just a figure of speech. Anyway never heard of needing this kind of security at a place like this.” Stu said as Arch got in the driver's seat and started the engine.
“We might run into trouble at the outer perimeter with the regular security guy.”
“Anyway how are we gonna get out of here ?”

Arch smiled “We’ll just use your access card .”

“But everything is disabled in a code green”

“You just don’t know who you are dealing with do you?”
Arch drove up to the steel overhead door. “Give me your card”

Stu handed it to him and Arch rolled down the window and swiped it.
The red light flashed green and the door slowly started rising.
“You know” said Arch “The funny thing is I couldn’t hack my own card but I was able to access anyone else’s.”

“You know the company “ Stu said “ pretty thorough but in this case they hired the wrong spook.”

“Wrong for them ,right for us” Arch said “ how did they overlook the fact that we knew each other?

“I told you I was never in Kabul and I certainly was never drunk on assignment.”

Arch drove thru the door and just snorted.
The sun had just peaked over the ridge to the east.
So this is what morning looks like he thought.
“How many guards out here? “ He asked

“Only one at the gate” Stu said “He’s a local so he shouldn’t be a problem, but you never know.”

Arch drove toward the gate. “We have about 10 minutes I figure till everything flies apart”

“That's it?” Stu said “you could've told me sooner”
“Put the hammer down we’re gonna just blow through”

Arch floored the Jeep and it bounced down the washboard road. Cooper moaned in the back seat.
“He doesn’t see us yet” Arch said

“Just keep going ,bust the gate”

The jeep hit the gate with a crash.

“What’s that guy doing? Arch said “He isn’t even gonna try to stop us”

“Slow down “Stu said” as he turned around in his seat watching the guard post”
“He’s locked down”


“Green protocol ,I’ll bet he ends up being gassed and then the door will unlock”
Stu said.

“I can’t believe it’s come to that” Arch said as he drove down the bumpy road ,slightly slower now. “ got to hurry to the middle”

“Why the middle?” Stu asked

“Safest place during an event , at least that’s what the safety material said.”

“You’re the only one who ever reads that stuff, you know that right?”

“Hey “ Arch said “It just saved your butt”

“Yes it did” “looks like we’re going to town.” Stu smiled

“Schofield” Arch said as the ridge behind them started to glow purple.

“Schofield” Stu echoed.

Log in to add a comment or review for this chapter Chapter updated on: 6/4/2016 1:55:16 PM
  • ela leo commented on :
    6/4/2016 4:51:23 PM
    Gripping from the start, good job! I look forward to the rest of your story. Please check out mine (which has a longer set up); and let me know what you think!