I'm dragged from sleep by ragging alarms. My flight or fight instincts kick in and a struggle against the cuffs strapping me to the table. I know it's useless, but I keep yanking against them.
From the corner of my eye, I see something move. My head whips right, cuffs momentarily forgotten.
Dr. von Wen is speed walking towards me. One hand holds a bag the other fumbles around in it. I tense up, expecting him to produce a weapon from the bag.
Instead, upon reaching the table, he triumphantly pulls a key from the bag.
An explosion echoes from somewhere outside my door. Dr. von Wen drops to the floor. A few seconds later the cuffs spring open. I move to slide off the left side of the table, but Von Wen is faster. He's on his feet again and he's grabbed my arm.
The urge to try to claw his face with my free hand surges up.
"I know you don't think you can trust me!" He yells over the alarms, "But you have to!" When I make no move to follow, he adds, "I can tell you your name! I'll tell you anything you want to know, within reason, but right now, you have to trust me!"
I slide off the table to stand next to him and he hands me the bag. Without another word, he grabs my hand and yanks me forward.
Though something inside me urges me to resist, I allow him to guide me like a child through the building.
After exiting my room, we pass through a few more doors. Now I can hear the screams echoing through the building, mixed with the smell of smoke, and something else. A smell familiar from the time I woke up on the floor.
The sound of gunfire chases us down the twists and turns. Dr. von Wen opens a door as gunfire and scream erupt from inside.
Dr. von Wen allows the door to slam shut and he starts off again, this time running at full speed.
Now shouts and orders of direction follow us down the twists and turns.
We pass many rooms with windows, and from the red smears I see, I'm glad Dr. von Wen is dashing down halls.
Suddenly, Dr. von Wen turns left into a small cubby and opens a door. He ushers me in before sliding in too.
"We're almost there, just a little farther. Take this chance to catch your breath. We'll move on once they pass," he whispers in my ear.
I want to ask who they are, but the shouted orders and clamoring of feet on tile floor is right outside the door.
I barely know him, but I grab his arm in a death grip and bury my head in his shoulder. Dr. von Wen merely wraps his free arm around me.
Soon, we can no longer hear the feet over the alarms. We stay there for another minute to be sure they're gone, and Von Wen cautiously opens the door to peer out. He gives me a quick nod and I slide my hand into his. He takes the lead, slipping out into the corridor.
von Wen doesn't run this time. We quickly creep down each hall, Von Wen peeking around each corner before we venture into it.
von Wen is peeking around a corner when our escape once more goes up in smoke. A shout comes from behind. "Captain! Out here!"
von Wen takes off, like a jackrabbit spotted by an owl. I almost fall, trying to regain balance from the sporadic take-off.
We round corner after corner, all caution gone. The goal is now to get to the exit as fast as possible.
We pass a scientist rushing in the opposite direction, barely avoiding a collision. von Wen doesn't even slow down. He continues to barrel down the hall with me in tow. The scientist is not so lucky. Though we didn't collide, she still loses her balance and falls down. von Wen begins turning the next corner as one of our pursuers, a military man, rounds the last one we came from.
He's content to follow us, but he spots the woman. He stops his pursuit just long enough to raise his gun and open fire.
I don't see the shot, but I hear it.
They don't stop to think when they come across some scientist, but they have to get their captain's attention about us? Why hadn't they just shot us?
von Wen comes to an intersection and pulls me right. Immediately, he slides to a stop almost falling down at the wall of military men all pointing guns, only broken by the one in the center standing there. Most likely, the captain. von Wen circles around, going for a last-ditch effort to escape, but our pursuers flood the intersection. Some dropping to their knees, but all pointing guns.
von Wen continues to circle, but slower. We're surrounded, and he's trying to keep me more or less blocked off. I notice the red exit sign behind the wall of soldiers we had run into. I assume they are the first group of pursuers.
von Wen slowly backs me towards a wall and stands in front of me. The best he can do to shield me.
"Game over Doc," the only man not holding a gun calls. "Hand her over."
von Wen doesn't move. The alarms seem to become more frantic, blaring a warning to escape now. I don't know who these people are or what they want, but I have a vague feeling that if they get a hold of me, it'll be far worse than whatever happened here.
I grab the back of von Wen's lab coat. He spares a second to look back at me. His face is ashen.
He knows who they are, the voice whispers.
Refocusing on the soldiers he calls back, "No."
The captain crosses his arms. "I don't think you understand the gravity of the situation here Doc. You're outnumbered, and that wasn't optional."
Von Wen shakes his head. "No."
The captain walks forward, rubbing his temples. "Doc, doc, doc." Suddenly, he stops. Turning to his men he snaps, "Someone turn the alarm off! I can barely hear myself think!"
A soldier in the backline drops from sight. The captain glares in his direction, von Wen and I momentarily forgotten. Seconds later the alarms shut off. The lights are still going, but the sound is gone.
The captain turns back to us. "Now, where were we? Ah, yes. The girl." He walks towards us again. He stands in front of us, but not directly. He stands off to one side so he can still see me behind von Wen. "Now listen, Doctor...?"
"von Wen. Doctor von Wen," von Wen tells him.
The captain smiles. "Ah. Doctor von Wen. I must admit, I was rather hoping to run into your boss instead. Speaking of which, where is he?"
"Shame," the captain remarks, frowning. "My men have already cleared it out." His eyes move to me, and the smile returns. "Hello there, sweetheart." He holds out a hand. "Why don't you come over here? My men and I are going to take you somewhere safe."
It's a trap, the voice whispers. Kill them. They deserve it. Look at what they did. Images from our frantic dash flash through my mind.
I don't trust myself to speak. The voice keeps encouraging their death, and I'm fighting myself to remain still. I shake my head.
The captain's smile fades. "Very well."
von Wen jerks left, and I almost fall forward. I look at him and see that a soldier has grabbed his arm. My mind registers the hand on my arm, but I don't react fast enough. I'm yanked right and the voice screeches for blood. I fight against obeying it. I struggle to break my captor's grip.
I hear a gunshot and von Wen's movements stop. He falls forward. I watch as red blossoms on the back of his lab coat and begins to consume it. The red fills my vision and everything goes black.