Now that the director and doctor are at a relatively safe distance Sanjiv feels it prudent to roll, as carefully and slowly as he can manage, the corpse back into its original position. While doing so he wonders if movement was meant to trigger a discharge but didn’t because something, somewhere failed. Perhaps following the initial charge that ended the corpse’s life, is the thought that crosses his mind. It sounds plausible, possible.
“What is that? Are we safe?” Dana questions while continuing to feel more than a tad highly strung even though the corpse is back in place, face staring toward the concrete ceiling above just as it had been when they first discovered it upon entry into this room.
At first the response which is offered by the middle aged man who had once been Dana’s friend is little more than a shrug. Thankfully, he follows it up with an honest, “We should be but it’s not a definite. As for what it is. It’s… I don’t know what it’s called but I know what it does.”
“What does it do?” The doctor asks taking the words right out of the director’s mouth. She remains far too curious for her own good, Sanjiv thinks. He can see it in her face and hear it in her voice. Had he not been present there is a good chance she would have killed herself.
“It’s what killed him.” Is what he offers as his initial honest reply. It’s met with an, “Impossible.” from Ginetta who sounds most displeased with the suggestion that she has incorrectly termed the cause of the man’s death. She’s a trained professional with nearly a decade of experience under her belt. She doesn’t make sloppy conclusions and is outraged by the insinuation, which is evident from the expression now carved into her features.
“I assure you, it’s not. Seen it activate first hand, should’ve killed me when it. Certainly killed the guy it was surgically grafted into though.” Back is Sanjiv’s blunt nature. Dana doesn’t think it’s out of place on this occasion but queries, “One of those you’d been tracking?”
“Yeah, I got my hands on him and boom, massive electrical discharge.” Sanjiv snaps his fingers on one day for added affect. “If I didn’t know any better I’d have said he had a transformer under his shirt. He didn’t.” A half laugh, forced, escapes from the back of his throat recalling the events.
“What I found was that the chip was unstable, purposefully, and could be fired more than once. Thankfully, it didn’t get me. I was lucky. Since then I’ve seen a few here and there but…”
“So this hasn’t been a constant found in everyone you’ve tracked? Is the interjection which comes from the director.
“No.” Is the answer that is delivered by Sanjiv who not only shakes his head as the single word passes his lips but who shows no signs of irritation at having been interrupted.
Throughout this exchange the doctor has stayed quiet. Dana wonders why and soon realises that Ginetta’s eyes are staring intently at something. To begin with the director had thought the younger woman was lost in consideration as to what her fate could have been but that isn’t it at all.
“What is it doctor?” The director finally asks unable to surmise as to what might be the source of her interest.
In response Ginetta’s arm raises. No words pass her lips. Instead, she points toward something. Sanjiv turns to seek out what might be the cause of such a reaction in the young, to him, woman.
His eyes probe for a time but as yet have found nothing of note. However, the same cannot be said of Dana who has located exactly what has elicited such a response from Doctor Ginetta Panarello.
“Sanjiv, do you see what we’re seeing?” Is the question which is issued unto the middle aged man, and that very nearly contained several stammers as it was uttered.
“No. What is it? Where is it?”
“There.” Dana appears alongside him in an instant and effortlessly indicates, certainly much better than he feels the doctor had been capable of, a pulsing red light at the back of the dead man’s skull.
By looks of things its origin point is a section of the panel carved into the rear of the corpse’s skull. To recess the circuitry in the way that it is a hole must have been carved in the man’s skull. From this awkward angle and the scar tissue present, it was done a good while prior to his death. Still, now he’s seen the pulsing light he can’t unsee it and feels it important to state, “We need to go.”
“Why?” Ginetta has no clue as to why she utters the single word query but it’s too late, she has and feels foolish for it.
“Best route for quick extraction?” Are the words the doctor catches Sanjiv saying next. Her brow furrows in confusion her he is not a part of the strike team and clearly has no comms link to utter into. So who is he speaking with? Surely it cannot be the director. She is many things but an encyclopaedia of abandoned buildings and the best routes for extraction seems doubtful a question that it would be worthwhile issuing unto her.
To compound Ginetta’s confusion there is nothing but silence left to hang in the air around the trio. She was convinced the director would say something because of the presence of the pulsing light that has to be part of some countdown. Then it strikes her; shouldn’t we be running? That wasn’t uttered aloud? Why? I don’t want to remain silent I want to know what is happening!
“All are optimal but I suggest you act fast, I read incursion ripples.” The Doctor Tabar AI replies.
“From where? How? Give us numbers and more to go on than that dammit!” Dana feels the tendrils of irritation crawling higher.
The doctor currently could not care less about the context of the conversation for she is so utterly perplexed by who and where this female voice she can hear, but has never heard previously, is coming from. It’s why she does a quick pirouette only to conclude she is none the wiser now compared to prior to her performing the manoeuvre.
“I cannot other than to say incursion ripples are present.”
“Shit!” Is the exclamation Dana utters under her breath. Right after she switches to her directorial bark and orders, “Commander, we need to extract immediately. There is an imminent threat.”
“Director? Confirm but we have no pings to say there is…”
“We have contact! Contact left!” One of the strike team members roars cutting the confused commander off. He’d been ready to carry out his superiors orders but never got the chance to issue orders to those under his command. Now guns are firing. The flares of muzzle flash accompanying the ringing detonations as metal projectiles are hurled from seemingly out of nowhere. The strike team fire back; all members focused on the one side, the left side.