Project New Dawn Chapter Three

            “Widespread blackouts have caused panic across the globe, though authorities are none the wiser to what is causing the electrical outages,” the newsreader told the public, “Also, famous astronomer Gerard Black was killed in a tragic car accident on Thursday, and in other news, Emergency COBRA meetings have been held in Number 10. However, no official word on why the meetings have been held. In related news, the US Ambassador to the UK was seen leaving Number 10, Downing Street.”

            UKFM Radio station blared in the background as I shot another alien on my Gamebox. I was barely listening as I concentrated on the oncoming aliens and trying to avoid Kobe, who was stalking me somewhere nearby.

            “Has your Dad spoken to you about the incident yet?” a voice spoke into my ear. The headset allowed me to hear the voice of Kobe crystal clear.

“It’s been a week now. Dad hasn’t said a word about the incident or Uncle Charlie,” I told him.

“Well, some people are saying it was a zombie,”

“I’m not so sure now,” I replied.

“You were sure last Sunday,” Kobe returned, he was adding to all the conspiracy theories I had heard flying around school. I was now the hero of our school, apparently, as everyone had heard about it. I shot another alien as Matty disturbed me, kicking my foot.

“Stop wriggling your legs, Lexi, it’s annoying,” he whined, using one of my most hated nicknames. I was lying on my belly, in front of our large TV in the living room, while Matty sat on the sofa reading. Sometimes Matty is great like he was at the camp, then others he acts like a baby. He always gets his way with our parents. Take now, for example, in a moment he’ll call mum or dad then I’ll have to go elsewhere.

“If I’m annoying you that much, go read in your room,” I looked back at the ten-year-old and glared at him. He looked at me over a dog-eared copy of Harry Potter and stuck his tongue out.

“That’s so mature,” I grunted at him.

“You’re fifteen, but you act like an eight-year-old,” came the reply and I heard laughing through the earpiece.

“He’s got a point,” Kobe told me.

“Kobe shut up! The day I act immature, is the day I lose my marbles,” I returned fiercely.

“Well, you’ve lost your balls, so why not your marbles?” an adolescent voice broke me from the conversation I was having with Kobe. I stared at the boy, with his wide blue eyes and innocent look; all the girls loved him and thought he was the perfect little angel.

“Since when do you know about my balls, Bucky?” I retorted referring the little bucktooth; his right front tooth was slightly above the other, “At least mine have dropped Lil’ bro,”

“Grow up,” he murmured his inadequate comeback.

“Alex, can I have a word please?” I heard a voice from the study and knew now was the time.

“I’ll be back shortly,” I told Kobe and paused the game; I then left Matty alone and squared my shoulders’ to face my father in the study. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not scared of him, but Dad can be overpowering sometimes. He looked at the door as I entered and I got the picture, so pushed the door closed.

“I want you to give me a report on everything that happened last Saturday evening,” he ordered. Like a good soldier, I stood to attention and told him everything that had happened, but left out my theories and suspicions.

“Once Uncle Charlie had finished with the police officer, I was released,” I finished the report after ten minutes with a few guiding questions from my dad. He looked at me pensively.

“Do you think he was rabid?” he asked, confusing me. He did not usually ask questions like this.

“I could not tell you, Sir, but, at least, the martial arts lessons paid off,” I said, trying to lighten the mood a bit. He fixed me with The Look, and I wilted under the stare.

“Now, what did you make of Uncle Charlie?” He asked as a sound disturbed us. It sounded like ringing.

“Dad, the phone is ringing,” Matty shouted at us from the front room.

“Answer it, then,” dad shouted back.

“It’s the landline,” was the reply, but Dad was immediately on his feet, so I followed him into the front room. The phone was like an antique, something he liked to keep but was rarely used and had never rung before. I ignored it and put the headset on.

“You know you’re supposed to protect me from the brat,” I told Kobe as dad answered the phone.

“Hello,” he growled into the mic.

“Bros before hoes,” was the return.

“Whatever,” I mumbled, getting ready to sit back down again but the look on my dad’s face stopped me. He went from bright red to ashen grey in seconds.

“How long have we got?” He asked the person on the other end of the phone. I looked at Matty, who gave me a questioning look, “Is it confirmed?”

“What’s going on?” Mum entered the room, looked between Matty and me expecting trouble, and then looked at her husband. I watched as some kind of realisation dawned on her face before she too looked worried.

“Are you positive?” He asked for a final time; he sighed at the answer before putting the phone down. He stood for the moment, with one hand on the phone with his eyes closed. I knew the position well; it usually meant he was thinking and planning. Then, his eyes snapped open his eyes focussing on Mum, “Annie, I need you to go get the emergency bags. Mathew, I want you to grab a couple of rucksacks and pack some entertainment for a long journey. Alexander, I need you to say goodbye to Kobe and stay here,”

“Why? What’s going on?” I demanded, knowing I was acting like a child as I stared down at him. Matty was beginning to look frightened, as Dad never used our full names unless we were in trouble. But this time, he used them with a sense of urgency.

“Just do it,” he snapped back, causing Matty to jump and immediately scurry from the room. Mum had already left so I turned to the TV and switched off the Gamebox.

“Kobe, I’m out! I’ve got family shit to deal with,” I told him and glared at my dad, daring him to say something.

“No problems, I’ll see you Monday,” he returned as my dad paced over to one of the cabinets and pulled out a key from around his neck. Unlocking the cabinet, he routed around until he found a manila envelope. He ripped the top off and pulled out what appeared to be a plain white credit card in a lanyard. Then, I noticed it seemed similar to a hotel key with a black strip down one side and a series of numbers on the other side’s corner. He put the lanyard over my head, took out four more cards, without lanyards, and placed them in my hand.

“These are very important; the key in the lanyard is the master card. It will activate the systems and get you into any room. I want you to keep it on you at all times, even when sleeping. The other four have limited access to the Control Room except the last one, marked 0005, which has access to all the security rooms and the armouries,” he explained. Still, I stared at him, unable to decipher anything he was saying. It was almost like he was speaking another language; Tobi was like that too sometimes.

“What’s going on?” I finally found my voice, enough to ask him.

“Never mind that,” he snapped back angrily, “Emergency lighting will come on as soon as you enter but to get the power properly going you will have to go down to level one and turn the generator on. For everything else, there is information in the safe in the COs room. The code is 0813,”

“Dad…” I started to say, but he would not let me finish. He just kept making me repeat the numbers until they were firmly fixed in my head. By this time, Mum had returned with two camouflage green holdalls and then surprised me by handing over a military issue SA80 Assault Rifle. Common in the British Army, not so common in a civilian household that was nowhere near a military base. Dad took the weapon from her, checked it over, took the magazine out and put it back in correctly, all with military precision. I knew he had worked for the military once. However, I thought he was a civilian contractor. Matty returned with our school backpacks, one on each shoulder, and both looked stuffed to the brim.

“Everything is ready,” Mum said then came over to me, kissing me on the cheek with eyes glistening with tears. She was muttering about loving me and that she would miss me, and then it was Matty’s turn for the same treatment. Whatever was happening, my parents were beginning to worry me.

“Can we grab Kobe and Mac? Wherever we are going,” I asked but received no answer from them who were still hugging Matty tightly.

“Where are we going?” a confused Matt asked, almost on the verge of tears himself. However, like my question, he was also ignored. A vehicle horn startled us all, causing Dad’s head to come up. Everyone looked at the front door when the horn sounded again. Dad grabbed one of the holdalls and indicated the other as he began to usher everyone towards the door. I quickly grabbed the bag and took one of the backpacks from Matty’s shoulder. Dad readied the rifle, switching the safety off as he opened the door cautiously and looked out. I looked over the shoulder and saw a dark blue minibus at the end of the driveway. On the side ‘Glynick Primary School’ had been painted, but I wondered, for the hundredth time:  “what the hell is going on?”

“Is everyone ready? Good,” Dad didn’t even give us a chance to answer before he shoved us outside, striding purposefully towards the bus. The bus’s doors opened with a squeal; a broad-shouldered black man stepped out wearing combat fatigues. Sergeant Kelly was one of my dad’s oldest and closest friends. The Sergeant opened the rear, so both Matty and I shoved our holdalls and backpacks on top of several other military holdalls and rucksacks including a vintage Paw Patrol backpack.  Looking up, I saw faces peering over the back seat and pressed against the window.

“We don’t have time to pick up everyone; these are the established twenty,” Kelly told my dad.

“It’s confirmed then?”

“Latest telemetry and secondary confirmation has the object at sixty minutes away,”

“Does this coincide with the infection?” Dad looked concerned.

“Brass seems to think so,” Kelly responded.

“We have enough time to get there,” Dad stated, as Mum wept nearby. Then, he seemed to notice that Matty and I were lingering. He snarled, “Alexander, Mathew, why are you just standing there? Get on the bloody bus,”

“It’s OK,” I murmured to Matty, who appeared terrified and I led him to the front of the bus. We climbed the stairs, and as I stood at the head of the vehicle, I was surprised to see it occupied with children and young adults although I think I may have been the oldest. The youngest appeared to be no older than six or seven; then I realised I recognised everyone.

They were all from the Junior Ambassador Program, though the younger ones, who sat in the middle of the bus, had been more like students for the older CITs to teach. At the back, were pre-teens then a group of teenagers. I did a quick headcount and counted twenty, including myself, as Kelly had suggested. Matty had already taken a seat behind the driver, though a plastic screen blocked our view of him. The opposite was a girl with her back to me with another person. Sergeant Kelly boarded the bus and sat in the driver’s seat while Dad stood in the stairwell with the rifle.

“What’s happening?” Matty asked in a small voice though I could only shake my head as the bus moved off and I got a final glance of my tearful mother as she disappeared behind a hedgerow. I leaned forward and tried to listen to Dad’s conversation, but the engine was too loud, and they were talking too quietly.

“Hey, I’m talking to you,” a familiar voice interrupted my thoughts, making me turn around to see my best friend staring at me. Tobi sat next to her, looking wild-eyed. Looking at the rest of the bus, I was greeted by frightened faces.

“Mac! What’s going on?” I asked, hoping she might have more answers. Today, her blonde hair had been pulled up into a ponytail, which left her face clear.

“You tell me, we were shoved on this bus just before you with no explanation,” she answered and looked around, “I thought Kobe would be with you,”

“We were playing on the Gamebox just before dad pulled me off to get on the bus,” I replied, “We received a call on the landline,”

“Dad received a phone call and got told to get ready in ten minutes, and then he turned up with the bus,” she pointed out Sergeant Kelly.

“Well, look who’s here, if it ain’t the faggot that’s joined us,” a posh English voice sounded from the rear, making me groan in frustration. I had enough of Larry last week, let alone having to put up with him now.

“He’s got his wittle girlfriend with him,” the second voice completed the set, now I had to put up with Larry and his Number One goon. I checked dad was still talking and looked over my seat at Larry and Tom.

“Hey chaps, get lost on the way to the sheep shagging contest,” I replied in a falsely cheerful voice. I caught Ben’s eye to see he was quietly laughing at his older brother. As I took a seat, they glared at me and sat down themselves, muttering darkly.

“Any clue as to where we are going?” Mac asked. Looking out of the window, I noticed we were crossing through the main high street now. It was lunchtime, so everyone was going about their everyday lives like it was an ordinary day. No one noticed the school bus, full of twenty frightened children and two adults, one of which had an illegal weapon.

I looked up at the mountain in the distance above the high street, as if that would give me a clue, but knew it was restricted from ordinary people. Not finding anything, I looked around at the other kids instead. It confirmed what I had concluded. I was the oldest on the bus, joined by several other teens. I recognised a couple of them from the Junior Ambassador Camp. The Special Forces kid, Noah, was sat next to the other military brat Nate. I also noticed Simon, his lookalike and Izzy. Behind the young ones were the pre-teens and early teens’ children. All the younger ones looked terrified out of their minds.

“Are you OK?” I turned to ask Matty, looking out the window I saw we had passed out of town now and noticed a fence with large warning signs: Warning- Restricted access. Military Personnel only. Fences are electrified. I had heard tales from these mountains, adventurous teens and urban explorers breaking in to discover the secrets. Most were captured, but there were also the rumours of construction vehicles and strange men in biohazard suits. We were now on single track roads it seemed, winding through fields of green.

“What’s going on?” Matty drew me back, just as we stopped at a gate. Dad slipped from the bus and slid it open, allowing us to enter. He closed it back up once the bus had gone through and returned to the bus.

“I’m not sure, buddy,” I told him, meeting Mac’s eyes. She appeared as puzzled as me.

“Oi, queer bait, what’s going on?” I heard Laurence’s voice again.

“What makes you think I know anything?” I returned patiently. It wound the pair of them up if I didn’t react to their baiting. They had had it in for me since Kobe, and I put itching powder in their clothes.

“Well, that’s your father. He’s holding a gun,” Larry replied. He had a point, but what could I tell them? I knew about as much as them.

“I know about as much as you, Knight Rider,” I shrugged my shoulders, knowing he couldn’t see the gesture. I could guess he was probably going red with anger, but as I heard no more response from him, I gathered he was probably plotting with Tom.

“Why does he keep calling you names?” Mac looked at me.

“You’ve known him as long as me, why does he bully anyone?” I turned the question back on her.

“But they seem to pretty specific names,” she hinted. I could not have told her that Larry had caught me kissing another boy when I was twelve. However, I was saved from answering as the bus slammed to a halt. I took in the immediate area; we were on the driveway of a Disneyesque cottage, pleasant and welcoming until you noticed the finer details. Cameras bristled around the site; at least six, I could count and probably twice that on the driveway that allowed for several cars. Above the cottage, and looming over us was the mountain, now closer than I had ever been allowed to see it.

“Right kiddies, everybody off, grab your bags and follow Major Walker,” Sergeant Kelly boomed from years of shouting at recruits. I now noticed that Dad was already off the bus and pulled bags out onto the gravel driveway. I took Matty’s hand and led everyone off the bus. We immediately found our bags; I took the two duffel bags and immediately groaned under the weight. Matty took the two backpacks while I led him towards the cottage for a closer look. Dad was already at the door, but I realised the front looked more like a loading dock than a veranda.

“Alexander, come here,” our dad called. I managed to shuffle up the concrete stairs onto the porch. I could feel the straps of the bags biting into my shoulders.

“Yes, Dad,” I puffed.

Everything you need will be in the commander’s office. Do you remember the number I gave you?” he asked, looking at me sternly.

“Yes,” I replied automatically, knowing the number was stuck in my head. He looked relieved as I glanced around. We appeared to be in front of, which seemed to be, a regular oak door. However, there appeared to be no lock, unlike other doors, only a sleek black panel next to the door. Dad opened the panel to reveal a keypad, a swipe machine directly below that, then a hand scanner. He concentrated for a moment then keyed in a series of numbers and looked over me.

“Now, place your hand here,” he told me, his voice a bit gentler now. I dropped one of the duffel bags and placed my right hand on the cool surface. Immediately, it lit up and scanned my hand with a green light. ‘Authorised Access’ appeared on the screen; he prompted me to use the master key card. The swipe card looked similar to the old cards used on machines, often found in antique and novelty shops. I swiped the card and typed in the four-digit code dad had given me. I was beginning to wonder what would happen when the door opened with a hiss of air. Inside the door, I could see it was anything but ordinary. The oak on the outside was a mere sliver; the door was comprised of eight inches of thick metal. Even the walls were thick and sturdy. Dad slid past me and entered, while I grabbed the duffle bag and followed him inside to one large room. Matty was immediately behind me as I looked around.

There was a small kitchenette with a table and chairs; while on the other side was a comfortable living area. A large flat-screen TV had been set up with some comfortable seating in front of it. A Persian rug split the room in half, giving the impression of separate living and dining areas. On the back wall, behind the sofas were a set of bunk beds. The cabin could have been a typical hunter’s lodge, with a sense of normalcy if not for the in-built high tech computer immediately to my left.

“This is neat,” Matty murmured as our dad bought the computer online, pulled the keyboard out and began typing. The others streamed into the one-room cabin and looked around. Larry jolted me out of my stupor as he knocked past me, sneering at he went. Sergeant Kelly bought up the rear, pushing through everyone and immediately kicked away the rug that stood between the kitchen and the living area, revealing a circular metal hatch.

“Right, listen up kids,” Dad said. The room went quiet, everyone looking at him, “As soon as I set this, you will have fifteen minutes to enter, understood?”

“Yes, Sir,” the others replied, though everyone had different levels of confusion written on their faces.

“Alexander,” Dads voice bought my attention back to him, “I have set the place to be locked down for six months, you have the control to unlock it after that, but six months should give everything time to settle down,”

“OK, dad,” I answered, though I was beginning to get a clue as to what was going on, I would have to wait to confirm the idea.

“Everybody ready?” he asked rhetorically, then pressed a button named ‘Execute’. A sound could be heard and then the silver hatch split into three pieces, retracting into the floor. Dad gave me a nudge making me the first to descend the winding steps, followed closely by the other children. The stairs wound around thick central column lit by emergency lights. We followed it down, seemingly never-ending until just as my first touched the bottom the sound of gunfire could be heard, making the smaller children scream. We stood at the foot of the stairs as Dad and Sergeant Kelly barrelled down.

“How the hell are they this far north?” Kelly shouted to my father.

“Get a move on,” Dad roared, spurring us into action. I checked to make sure Matty was still beside me and began to jog down the corridor. The corridor was wide with small glass cameras set up every two to three yards. We followed the slightly declined passage, which took us further into the unknown when Izzy tripped over ahead of me. I stopped and helped her, despite the holdalls weighing me down. The other children streamed around us, but the platinum blonde smiled at me. We followed the rest of the group, now at the rear, as we kept running forever. Abruptly, we entered a cavern, where before us stood a yawning mouth of inky blackness and a mahoosive door lay open allowing us entrance to whatever lied beyond it. A red light was flashing above the door as though warning us not to enter and everyone stopped to stare.

“Go through there and get clear of the door, you have less than five minutes,” Dad panted and pushed me forward.  I took my first tentative steps toward the door and then hurried along, only to be swallowed by the inky blackness with my shadow close beside me. We passed the massive outline of the door though I just made out the silhouette of a booth, just barely lit up. I dumped the bags with a sigh of relief and turned back to see my dad, well-lit by the hall lights. However, he appeared to be anxious.

“Nearly there,” I heard Kelly say as my eyes began to adjust. I started separating the figures and counting until every one of the small group was through. I heard the smaller children’s whimpering and tried to slow my breathing to calm myself and appear somewhat in control. Suddenly, a tremendous clunking and grinding noise could be heard, someone screamed, but I could only watch as the thick door began to close. I lost sight of my dad entirely and then, with a final thunk and a hiss; the door sealed itself closed. Now, in complete darkness, I could not see anyone and felt alone except the quiet sobbing of some of the children. Others were having hushed conversations, fear lacing their voices, as someone took hold of my hand.

Seconds after the door closed, lights come on. It was emergency lighting which was nowhere near as bright as standard lights. In the gloomy haze, I could see the rest of the group looked terrified, especially the smaller children huddled together. Larry and Tom were looking around wild-eyed, I would almost say they appeared frightened. I caught Mac watching me with a curious look on her face, so looked down to find Tobi holding my hand. I gave him a questioning look, which he returned with a sheepish grin and took his hand away muttering apologies.

“What’s happening?” cried one of the girls in a huddle of three. Looking around, I knew someone had to take charge. Everyone was stood around looking like lost souls.

“Right, Matty, have you got your flashlight?” he gave me a crooked grin and slipped his backpack off, rummaging through it. Finally, he emerged with a long dark red Maglite in his hand. I smiled; it was like a comfort blanket for Matty, who was once terrified of the dark.

“You think I would forget old faithful?” Matty returned sarcastically.

“Thanks, kiddo,” I told him and took the flashlight from him, rubbing his head affectionately. “So, we need to get the electricity on. Tobi and I will go sort out that,”

“Who made you the queen of the universe? Why are you taking the shrimp with you?” Larry snapped, trying to appear calm. But I could see that he looked pale, even in the emergency lighting.

“Yeah, no way I’m taking orders from you,” Tom chipped in, also looking distinctly grey.

“Seen as you Tom, Dick or Larry feel like you should be in charge, what are you going to do?” I asked and stared at the trio, waiting for an answer. Larry muttered something incomprehensible and looked down at his shoes. At the same time, Tom just glared at me but refused to answer, “To answer your question, Tobi in a living expert on computers and electronics in general.

“Sparky is a real genius when it comes to electronics,” Mac offered.

“You promised never to use that nickname in front of Alex,” Tobi growled.

“This is something I’m going to have to hear later,” I joked and got another growl. I panned the light around, which lit up the booth. It appeared to be some kind of security booth. Above it though, there was a sign that read ‘Level Two: Operations and Administrations’.

“So what are we going to do?” asked one of the girls. I think her name was Kelly.

“Right, well we can’t all just go blundering around without the lights on, can we? While Tobi and I get the lights on, you’ll stay in the first room we come to,” I explained and got a nod of understanding from her. The booth was made of toughened glass, blocking one side of the hallway. I would guess a guard stood here, while the other side had an X-ray machine and biometric scanner. There was also a card reader set into the wall. I passed through the X-ray, half expecting it to go off but the machine was silent as the rest of this tomb. The other’s followed me quietly with the small children in the centre of our group.

Further along the corridor, we reached the first door with a sign that read ‘Administration. I pushed it open and shone my light around. The emergency lighting was working there, but there were only two at each end of the room.

“In here,” I suggested, then looked at Mac, “If we’re not back in an hour, try to find a way out,”

“OK, look after my brother,” Mac replied and checked her watch. I moved towards the door, followed closely by Tobi. I went left immediately, passing another door before we reached a junction. A corridor stretched ahead of us and another to the left.

“Operations Room. Security Control Room. Armoury. Canteen.  Stairs.” I muttered as the light traced each of the signs. The sign indicated stairs were to the left, so I tapped the boy and followed the signs down the corridor, which seemed similar to the one we had left. I shone the light forward following the hall once again until we reached another junction. The stairs were also indicated to the left, so we turned that way until we reached a doorway. I looked at Tobi, who seemed nervous in the torch-light, then opened the door and stepped through. A large column had stairs wrapped around it going up and down.  My light caught another sign opposite the entranceway with a list of all the levels:

“Arcade?” Tobi looked at me, “As in games and stuff?”

“I’m not sure, buddy, but I don’t think they would have an arcade in a secret bunker,” I replied.

“Oh,” he sighed. I followed the stairs’ curve and found another doorway, probably leading to a corridor similar to the one we left. I returned to Tobi, who was practically hugging the wall.

“Are you ready?” I asked him; I had never seen him so nervous. Usually, he’s quite outgoing, except when it comes to his intelligence. He nodded at me and followed as I took my first steps down. With only the powerful Maglite and weak emergency lights, I felt Tobi grab my jacket and then find my hand. It had been a few years since he had wanted to hold my hand continually, but his palm felt warm and comfortable in mine as if I were looking after my little brother.

“Why didn’t you choose Talia?” he asked abruptly.

“I’ve known you longer and, to be honest, I didn’t realise she was with us,” I returned, which seemed to satisfy him as we hit a flat surface. I held my torch in my left hand as Tobi’s hand stayed firmly attached to my right hand. To my left was another door, with a sign pointing out to the Mechanical Engineering Room. I noticed a swipe card machine next to the door, but the lights were dark. I opened the door; the corridor seemed darker somehow.

“Since when have you disliked the dark?” I asked him softly, squeezing his hand softly in reassurance.

“I’m not a scaredy-cat,” he replied, trying to sound tough.

“I wasn’t suggesting that, but you’ve always struck me as a kid who’s fearless,” I returned, trying to make him feel happier.

“I’m not a fan of dark underground bunkers. I played the original Resident Evil a few weeks ago. It scared the shit out of me,”

“Whoa, language kiddo!” I admonished him.

“Sorry,” he muttered, sounding sincerely apologetic. A few minutes later, we reached the Mechanical Engineering room. I took a deep breath; I was as frightened as Tobi appeared to be but could not show it. I’d seen way too many horror films and played too many horror games: underground bunkers are prime zombie ground.

I pushed the door open with a squeak and drew a breath as we entered, Tobi practically clutching onto me.  My light lit up the room as we moved further inside; my heart began to relax as nothing immediately attacked. I played the light around, realising how huge the room was as some places my torch would not even touch. I got the sense we were in an L shaped room, though as I turned to the left, my light picked up a dull grey surface, Tobi stilled my hand. I looked up at him; his face had completely lit up with excitement.

“Oh whoa, that’s an Experion XL581! It’s one of the most powerful generators globally; it can be powered by thermal energy, water, and normal electricity. However, this particular model uses Hydrogen energy to power the base. Hydrogen fuel cells can power anything for about five decades. In the beginning, they had a hard time storing Hydrogen fuel until they found a nano-composite material capable of storing it.”

“Are you a real boy or a computer?” I joked, cutting into his explanation.

“Sorry, I get kinda excited when I see stuff like this. This sort of generator has only been theoretical up until this point,” he replied.

“I don’t care if you’re cool or a nerd. Now, can you get it working?”

“Well… it shouldn’t be too hard. Can you just keep the light trained on me,” Tobi returned and immediately went over to the generator, touching it almost reverently? I just stood there and held the torch, looking at the machine. It looked like one giant panel to me, with lights, buttons and a couple of screens embedded in the panel. I was unsure what any of the levers or buttons did and was certainly glad there was someone who knew what they were doing. The torch-lit him up as he moved from panel to panel, typing a few commands in then reading something from the screen before moving to another panel.

“Ah,” he sighed, then pressed several buttons in some sort of sequence and pumped the lever twice. With almost a sigh, the generator kicked in. With several plinks, the lights began to come on. Tobi turned around with a giant grin on his face. However, I watched as the grin suddenly turned to a look of horror; his eyes widened with fear. His mouth opened and he let loose a shrill scream. 

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