The Asylum looked even scarier in the dark. Its tall, imposing walls looked even more tall and imposing in the limited light of night. The darkness itself was made even greater by the giant lights that ringed the top of the walls and the towers. Which made it that much easier for Deborah to creep along the wall.
“It's along the north wall, located halfway between the third and fourth towers.” The image of the ghost of David Engera appeared in a small corner of the glasses, his voice as clear as crystal as the recording of their conversation earlier that evening. It was odd that the ghost's voice and image seemed to ease her fears as she found the giant “block of stone” that Engera had directed her to.
“There are six stones shaped like small crosses around the perimeter of the stone,” the ghost said. The stones were there, one directly over the center of the stone, one directly underneath it, one to the left of center and one to the right, with the last two at the bottom left and bottom right corners “Press them in this order:”
She pressed the top one twice, bottom one twice, then the left and right ones twice in sequence, followed by the bottom right then bottom left. There was no noise as the massive stone moved out almost an inch, then slowly rolled up and out of the way. “It won't be open for long, so get through it quickly.”
Deborah obeyed and was inside just as the stone door lowered back into place. Looking back, she could see through the fake stone, confirming that it was just a fancy, but very secure, vent covering. “The ventilation system was reinforced, supposedly to prevent excess sound, but instead it should allow you to crawl through the ducts without being detected, for the most part. Just don't say much or they will hear you.”
She slowly began her crawl into the depths of the Asylum, taking care not to say much of anything, but fearing her every movement was being telegraphed right to just the wrong people. Within a few meters she stopped at an intersection and mentally told the glasses to continue the playback.
“The first intersection you come to is the main part of the security net. You can't see them, but hundreds of lasers crisscross the intersection, waiting for someone to break them. Do so and the entire building will lock up tight. Just to make it more difficult, the system pulses in random patterns, so you can't simply deflect it with a sequence of mirrors.”
“Show me the lasers,” Deborah whispered as quietly as she dared. The glasses obeyed and soon the pulsing movement of the lasers became visible. The show was neat, in and of itself, but she wasn't there to watch.
“Now there's a keypad located to your right. Punch in 6186320320 into the pad and it will deactivate the lasers for a few moments. It will also disable the automatic locks for the doors, so if you do trip the alarm, you'll still be able to move through the facility.”
Sounded easy enough, but there was no keypad on the right hand wall of the duct. Nor was it on the left. Deborah began to get a bit frantic, and began looking around desperately. A moment or two passed before she spotted the pad, on the other side of the wildly flashing lasers. “Crap.”
End of the line. Nowhere else to go without alerting everyone within 50 miles of her presence. Deborah laid up against the wall of the duct and sighed. Back to the house was looking to be her only option. She couldn't imagine going back, waiting for L’lorne to come back, if she came back, and being alone during it. Really alone now that Engera had moved on to where it is he was heading. She wondered about that while watching the lasers and their seemingly random flashing patterns.
Random patterns. Almost as random as the data stream she had looked into. No, she couldn't do it again, could she? They wouldn't leave a hole in the pattern, that would be ridiculous. But then, having someone capable of predicting when the hole would form is pretty ridiculous. So maybe, perhaps, she could.
Quickly moving into a crouch, she began watching the lasers. She relaxed her eyes and let them wander over the bouncing light beams. The thought that perhaps a hole wouldn't form for hours, or even years, were pushed to the back of her mind, and she focused on just the lasers. Minutes passed, her legs began to cramp, her eyes began to bug and get tired, but she held firm. Any moment now, any moment.
NOW! She didn't even have time to think about what she was doing, her muscles simply acted as she jumped forward. The lasers flashed around her for a moment, then ceased for the briefest of moments as her body flew through the intersection. Her body landed with a dull thud on the other side and she froze, sure that the alarm would flash, that she hadn't made it.
Nothing. The lasers continued to bounce between their various emitters and receivers, as if she had never been there before. Deborah allowed herself a slight chuckle and she keyed in Engera's code, shutting down the lasers for good. She had done it, this time without any prompting from L’lorne or anyone. She crawled away from the intersection and followed the rest of the instructions as Engera's recording directed, more than pleased with herself.
The room beyond the vent plate at the end of her journey was so brightly lit, she barely moved to enter it. There had to be someone inside if it was this bright in there, yet there was hardly any sign of them. She strained her ears listening for even the slightest sound of a person working inside or a joking guard, or something, but nothing. How could it be so bright and no one inside?
As Deborah went to scratch her own head in a bit of frustration, her fingers tapped against the glasses, and she suddenly remembered she was still wearing them. Only a few days ago she had never worn glasses, and now she was so used to these, she forgot she was wearing them. Didn't help that they did everything possible to make themselves so easy to use. With a smile, she pulled them off and stuffed them in her pocket.
The room was, as she suspected, actually nearly pitch dark. The only lights were those of the machinery and that wasn't likely to give her away. With a solid kick, she knocked out the vent cover and stepped into the room.
Deborah looked up. “L’lorne!”
1. What kind of person is Lcorn Llorne? What does she look like (in your mind)?
2. What kind of person is the Deborah Ignigus? What does she look like (in your mind)?
3. Does the setting seem fitting? Would you like to know more?
4. Does the time line for this sequence, from Deborah waking up to this meeting make sense?