This chapter includes bad language.
“Son of a bitch!” I swore, getting a look from Nate as I continued to rant, “Larry has no regard for anyone else, but him and his pleasure. I know I’m not exactly the leader here, but I’m doing the best I can to get everything organised, or we would sit there starving without beds and slowly die over the next six months,”
“You’re doing an outstanding job, being leader can’t be helped but from what I hear you were a leader back at school,” Nate suggested.
“I thought I was a loner?” I joked, the rant now out of my system.
“Some rumours had you as a loner, but I was told more than once you were involved with the Scouts as a patrol leader before you turned fourteen,” he replied.
“True, but only for a year before I joined Explorer Scouts,” I explained.
“But aren’t you helping scouts now?”
“I am,” I admitted, “I’m in the Young leader’s scheme, I currently help run a cubs section.”
“You were also a Counsellor in Training on the Junior Ambassador Program Camp,” he pointed out.
“OK, I get it, I’m a good leader,” I held up my hands and laughed, knowing that I was defeated, “If you can’t beat them, join them,”
“What?” He looked at me as though I had lost my mind.
“Let’s go get wet,” I suggested pointing at the screen, understanding dawned on him. I grabbed the radio, “Mac, are you down there?”
“Sure, having a ball with the terrible two,” Mac replied sarcastically.
“Do you want a break, then?”
“Please, get me away from the mindless lists,” she pleaded.
“Fine, we’re going swimming if you want to go grab your gear,” I laughed at her.
“Oh, thank you,” she answered, clicking off. Nate made six sets of three key cards for the different apartments and access to the VIP area.
“Did you say you had another card?” Nate asked as I got up to leave.
“Oh yeah, 0004,” I replied, completely forgetting about it. I handed it over, allowing him to swipe the card through the machine.
“OK, so this card allows access to the Research and Development department,” he concluded.
“Right, so I think that’ll have to remain locked away until we need it,” I told him then followed Nate back up to the VIP area. He moved off to his apartment as I approached Kelly’s door. She answered with a welcoming smile, having not been invited down to the pool. Kelly invited me into the front room where the four youngest, from eight-year-old George to the youngest seven-year-old little Kelly, were sitting in front of the TV engrossed in a cartoon. Sarah was at a glass table, reading a thick book.
“What are you reading?” I asked politely.
“A Biology textbook,” she replied.
“You know we don’t have class anymore?” I asked, not sure if what had happened had sunk in.
“I know, but I want to be ready. I was going to be a scientist when I get older,” she explained proudly.
“But don’t you like looking after the children?” I looked between Kelly and Sarah
“I’ve got thousands of nieces and nephews; therefore, I don’t mind looking after them. It gives me some company,” Kelly added, “I wanted to be a teacher when I’m older,”
“That’s why you were the CIT at the camp for the younger ones?” I asked curiously.
“Yeah, it gave me a taste of what teaching would be like. I loved it,” the girl replied. I turned to Sarah, considering her before taking out the 4th key card.
“Look, Sarah, this will give you access to the Research Labs, but I would like you to wait until both of us can look around before you go alone,” I handed over the Key card with 0004.
“That would be great,” She enthused then hesitated, “Not that I want to stop babysitting the kids,”
“Don’t worry; I think I can handle them,” Kelly laughed. I looked at the four and realised they would have to trail around some of the older teens. Maybe a school would be appropriate since we had an education department.
“Oh, before I forget, here are access cards for your apartment and the level,” I handed over the envelope with three keys in, to Kelly.
“Thanks, not that I don’t trust any of the others,” she assured me.
“I came up to see if you wanted to go down to the Lagoon with the kids?” I asked.
“That’ll be great,” Kelly replied, giving Sarah a look who nodded. I said goodbye and left the apartment, only to be ambushed by Tobi. He grabbed my hand, leading me to the conference room, where he wrapped me up in a hug. I felt his shoulders being to heave.
“Hey, hey, hey, what’s this? Robots don’t cry,” I joked, trying to get him to lighten up, but I was alarmed. I had not seen him like this before.
“I’m so sorry,” he answered with a sob. His crying reminded me he was still eleven-years-old despite sometimes acting in his twenties.
“Why are you sorry?”
“Because they’ve been down there nearly an hour,” he cried harder though I didn’t need to guess who he was talking about.
“It’s OK,” I soothed him lifting his head, wiping away his tears tenderly. I used to do this to my brother before he thought he was too old, “Why didn’t you radio us straight away?”
“Erm,” he chewed his lips nervously, “They asked me not to,”
“There’s something you’re not telling me,” I looked into his amber eyes, which reminded me of a wolf. He was not telling me the whole truth.
“Larry told me if I said anything he would beat me up,” Tobi replied so quietly I almost did not hear. He buried his head in my chest, crying for longer. This bit of news was interesting; I would have to keep an eye on Larry from now on.
“Come on, wipe those tears away and let’s go swimming,” he instantly panicked.
“But Larry will know I told,”
“Don’t worry about him. I’ll sort it out. Anyway, Nate and I found out from watching the cameras,” I explained taking him back out into the main area. He wiped his eyes but gave me a watery smile before disappearing into his apartment. I returned to my own to check if Matty was up here, only to find him standing naked in the middle of his room.
“Have we joined a nudist colony?” I asked.
“No, but I can’t decide between my speedo and my board shorts,” was the answer I got.
“It doesn’t matter, wear what you feel comfortable with.”
“But board shorts are cooler,”
“You were on the swim team nor did you care in scouts, so what’s going on?”
“I don’t usually care, but I don’t want Ben to think I’m a weirdo.”
“You’ve been friends since you were five and he’s been over for countless sleepovers,” I pointed out, “I don’t think he’ll care what you wear,”
“But what if he’s different around his brother,” Matty returned, pulling up a pair of board shorts. I ground my teeth, thinking how Larry intimidated everyone around him.
“If Ben makes fun of you around his brother, he’s not your friend,” I told him finally then went to get my stuff. I returned with a robe and a towel, “Are you ready to go?”
“Yep,” Matty answered, coming to his door in just his board shorts.
“Towel?” I asked. Matty held up one of his hands, with a towel in it.
Ten minutes later, I walked through the door to screaming children. Tobi, Mac, Matty and Ben were with me as we walked down the hill. I heard Izzy discussing something with Mac from behind me.
“I beat Tobi,” Talia came up beside me, but I barely heard her over the noise of the younger children playing.
“We’ll see how you fare against me,” I told the girl as we rounded the corner to find towels and robes strewn across the beach. Kelly was chatting to Sarah while they watched the smallest children in the shallows of the lagoon. Noah, Ben, Simon and Luca were playing tag together swimming in the slightly shallower waters. I looked out to see the two oldest boys’ roughhousing near the waterfall. A red mist seemed to descend over me.
“What the hell are you doing?” I shouted at the top of my voice. The yelling immediately stopped while everyone stared at me. Larry lazily swam forward until he could stand up.
“We couldn’t get into the Mech Bay so we thought we would have fun,” Larry smirked like that explained everything.
“You couldn’t radio me to get a key card that worked?” I asked, “How do you know the water is not laced with chemicals?”
“Erm, there’s a control that gives readings of the water giving pH balance and everything,” Ben replied quietly. I nodded to acknowledge him, then picked up one of the towels.
“What’s this? Just left in a heap,”
“Our towels,” Simon answered, having the decency to look ashamed
“This isn’t home or a hotel, we’re just caretakers,” I responded angrily, “We can’t just leave a mess, especially not with fresh food yards away,”
“There are no adults and no rules, you need to lighten up, relax that sphincter muscle,” Larry answered, his face going red.
“You’ve got to learn to take some responsibility,” I snapped back.
“You’re not the boss,” Larry shouted.
“Boys, leave the pissing contest elsewhere, let’s just enjoy ourselves,” Mac stepped in between the pair of us, then got closer to me, “You’re not going to win every fight; they’ll soon learn when nothing happens,”
“OK,” I sighed, trying to relax as Tobi shed his robe to reveal he was wearing black speedos from the school team.
“When did you join the team?” I asked.
“Just before we went away to camp, I was going to invite you to my first Gala next weekend,” he explained.
“What’s with the knickers? Are you a faggot, too?” Larry called out but then disappeared under the water. We looked in wonder at where he had stood for a few minutes before he bobbed back up to the surface coughing and spluttering. Next to him, Mac emerged, looking graceful.
“I’ve told you to stop using that word, especially around the children. If you ever use that word in conjunction with my brother again, I’ll surgically separate your testicles from your body,” she smiled sweetly but had a deadly glint in her eye.
“I’m s-sorry,” he stuttered slowly edging away from her, with Tom following close by. I followed Tobi into the water, which appeared crystal clear and pleasantly warm, comfortable enough to swim in.
“This isn’t chlorinated,” I commented to Mac and Tobi.
“I’m guessing they have some kind of filtration system,” I was surprised to hear Tom comment.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“I’m not sure if they intended to use it as a swimming pool, but it would not surprise me if they had a filtration system to keep it clean without the use of chemicals, probably some kind of salt-based system,”
“Actually it’s a natural plant-based filtration,” Ben said as he floated past.
“You what?” I looked at him like he had grown two heads.
“The river leads to a pool that has plants that filter out all the bad stuff, then the water is pumped back to the waterfall,” Ben explained, “Though I bet they have secondary filtration for that amount of water, it’s all-natural,”
“I’ve heard of that, they’re big on it in Florida,” Tom replied, then added as an explanation, “My Uncle is a pool man in Florida, so I help when we go visit him. Plus I’m studying Mechanical Engineering for GCSE’s.”
“Sounds interesting,” I replied, translation: Boring. However, Tobi seemed to find it fascinating and began to ask the pair of them lots of questions. The three started talking about the bio-filtration or something similar, so I left them to it. Larry gave a huff leaving the lagoon, muttering darkly to himself the whole way. Amanda, like a puppy, followed after grabbing her stuff. I swam around the lagoon finding it was large enough that you could do laps. I did a couple of dives then realised the bottom was about twenty feet below me. The lagoon sloped down naturally from the ‘beach’, which dropped off sharply to the bottom. There were rocks closer to the waterfall, where no beach ran into the water. I floated on my back for a little while when I realised I had company. I looked over to see Noah leisurely swimming towards me.
“How are you doing?” I asked him.
“Not bad. Just getting to know everyone, really,” Noah answered.
“Well, we’ve got six months to get to know each other,” I deadpanned.
“You know more than you’re telling though,” he suggested.
“I’ve got an idea of why we were chosen, but it’s just an idea,”
“You were a scout, right?” he asked, seemingly changing the subject.
“Since I was young from Beavers to Explorer scouts,” I answered, “You were in the Army Cadet Force?”
“Well, I do want to join the Special Forces!” he laughed.
“Are you fit enough?”
“Don’t let this scrawny body fool you, I’m quite fit,” he joked good-naturedly.
“So what was your favourite part of the ACF?”
“The orienteering,” he explained, and then added, “I know you!”
“Well, we were at camp together a week ago,” I looked at him like he had lost his mind.
“No! I know you from the Airsoft league. We were the Silent Ninja team, weren’t you part of the Black Death team?” he asked in earnest.
“Wow, now I remember. That was in April, didn’t you guys finish fourth?”
“We would have come second if not for one of our guys, who cheated. I had scouted out the location of the enemies base, but one of our team members was shot, then he pretended it never happened,” He told me, I winced knowing what was coming, “he was disqualified, so we lost some of his kills dropping us down to fourth,”
“Dang, that’s annoying,” I sympathised.
“The youngsters are going to prune, I’m going to take them for showers,” Kelly called out.
“I’ll head up with you,” Nate and Ben called out at the same time emerging from the water.
“Tali reckons she could beat you at Call of Duty,” I heard Tobi call out and realised he was talking to Simon. Simon, Luca and Tom pulled themselves onto the beach.
“We had better get started on lunch,” Simon called out. I realised they had been down in the lagoon for quite some time.
“Chicken,” Tobi called after them but followed closely discussing the finer points of Call of Duty with Nate.
“No problems, just give us a buzz when you’re ready,” I told them going back to swimming lazily, noting Izzy and Talia were chatting to Mac up on the beach. It was very humid in the Biodome, so it was not overly cold when you got out of the lagoon. The only thing to get used to was the eerie blue light.
I paddled around for another half hour, just relaxing, enjoying myself until Mac called out that she and the girls were going back up to the apartment, via the showers. Soon after, Matty mumbled something about being cold following the girls. I allowed myself to float on my back, looking up at the dome covering us. The lake must have been deep, but it still allowed light to reach us here. I was thinking about the last couple of days when I heard a splash; I looked over to see Noah floating on his back, staring at the ceiling too.
“I didn’t realise you were still in here,” I spoke up. He twisted around like a beached whale, coming up spluttering.
“You scared the shit out of me,” he said, “I thought I was alone,”
“So did I until you splashed about,” we shared a look laughing at one another, “Look, when Tobi and I come down here we thought we saw a cave on the other side of the waterfall, do you want to check it out?”
“Might be interesting,” he shrugged, both of us swam towards the waterfall; the noise was like thunder now that we were closer. I took one last look at Noah before taking a deep breath and dived, swimming at least six or seven-foot deep until I cleared the wash from the waterfall emerging on the other side. I looked around, finding a natural ledge with what appeared to be a natural seat, but it had all been sculpted by workers. I looked back out as Noah emerged next to me treading water.
“Wow, this is amazing,” he commented. It looked like a small cave from the outside, but it was quite deceptive as it appeared high and deep. It had the look of a cavern.
“Yeah, I agree with you on that,” I took a few a strokes pulling myself onto the seat. The water went over the seat by an inch or so. I looked out onto the thundering waterfall as Noah took a seat next to me.
“How long have you lived in town?” He asked after a few minutes of silence.
“All my life, my dad moved us there before I was born,” I could feel the warmth coming from him, because the seat was not exactly long, “How do you feel about this?”
“I don’t know, I can’t believe my dad would sign me up for something like this,” he sounded frustrated. I turned to look at him to find he was staring down into his lap, rubbing his hands together almost anxiously.
“We’re all in the same boat, can I tell you something?” I barely knew the other boy, but I somehow trusted him. He lifted his head to look at me; I noticed one eye appeared to be blue while the other seemed green.
“I’m petrified; I’m not sure if I can lead these kids,” I admitted. He hesitated for a second then took my hand in his, watching me the whole time.
“We’re all scared, I don’t know if my parents are alive or dead and I’m stuck underground with loads of people I don’t even know,”
“We just need to work together,” I whispered. But there was something in the air, maybe it was being in a hidden cavern, I don’t know, but I felt like Noah, and I were the only people in the world. His eyes met mine; my pulse began to race. However, when I leaned towards him, I noticed something out the corner of my eye. I looked and gasped, causing him to look too. There appeared to be a ladder built into the rock.
“Do you want to check it out?” I asked him. He nodded his head; I think he was still thinking about the near-kiss. I gave him a small smile diving into the water then swam over to the ladder, which was just a series of bars embedded into the rock. I climbed up, probably about fifteen feet or so where I found myself overlooking the pool behind the waterfall. However, what interested me was the bunker door entrenched in the wall. Unlike the rest of the doors, this one opened with just a handle.
“Should we try it?” Noah asked, startling me. I looked at him, in his board shorts like me and saw him shivering. It was defiantly cooler up here, behind the waterfall.
“Are you sure you want to do this in those?” I checked.
“I’ll be fine,” he replied, trying to make his voice a little deeper though not succeeding. I laughed out loud, getting a punch on the arm for my troubles.
“OK then,” I turned to the door and pulled the long lever upwards. I heard the lock release; then the door swung inwards. I stepped around it, “Don’t close the door, as we might not be able to get in,”
“OK,” We entered a tunnel hewn into naturals rocks, lit up only by small bulbs every few yards. We followed the tunnel, and the air dropped phenomenally, causing me to shiver. We walked for about ten minutes, trying to avoid any sharp rocks or pebbles. I noticed a few small stones and that we were going up an incline, then a sudden bright light blinded us. We had emerged out of the mountain and stood overlooking the lake.
“It must be some kind of escape route,” I suggested.
“That means we can get out,” Noah seemed more animated than I had ever seen him.
“We were put in the mountain for a reason; I don’t know why we were put down there, but our parents obviously thought it would be safer,”
“Don’t you want to see your parents?” Noah asked quietly, seemingly deflating a little.
“I do, but I also trust that we are holed up for a reason,” I replied, “surely if they went through that much trouble we must trust them.”
“I see your point,” he agreed grudgingly, “But are we going to tell the others?”
“I don’t think so,” I answered, looking across the valley.
“Because Larry then the others will want to leave,” I explained, “Our parents would have done this for nothing, then.”
“If we only knew the reason why,” he spoke quietly, as though talking to himself.
“We might never know,” I answered him leading the way back into the cave. We were both lost in our thoughts as we made our way back to the door. As I suspected, there was no handle on the other side so that no one could get through without the knowledge and right gear. I locked the door behind us then descended the ladder immediately diving underwater, knowing that Noah was following me. I emerged on the other side bobbing there until Noah’s head appeared. He had a frown on his face.
“Are you all right?”
“I’m just thinking about things, I can understand why you don’t want anyone to know about the exit, but I still wish we could leave,” I let out a tiny breath, glad he would not tell anyone.
“I do too, but it looks too dangerous out there.”
“Someone said you tackled a zombie?” he inquired just as noise distracted me, pulling my attention away.
“Alex, are you there?” the radio echoed out a call. I swam quickly onto the beach and dripping wet I scrambled to the radio, nearly dropping it I picked it up.
“This is Alex, are you all right?” I asked, concerned.
“I’ve been trying to reach you for the past ten minutes,” Mac’s angry voice returned.
“Noah and I have been playing diving games near the waterfall,” I answered.
“I didn’t realise Noah was still with you,” her voice softened up a bit, “Lunch is going to be pretty soon, so you better shower up and get to the canteen.”
“We’ll be there soon,” I signed off starting to dry myself with the towel, “Come on dude, let’s go shower,”
“Erg, I hate being called dude,” he groaned at me as he came out of the water and began drying himself off. I just laughed at him leading the way to the elevator; it was far too cold to walk up the stairs. I had already put some fresh towels in the locker room, but I noticed some clothes.
“Are these yours?” I asked him curiously, pointing to the clothes as I pulled my shorts down.
“Yeah, I put them down here before we went swimming so I could get changed,” he answered.
“Now, why didn’t I think of that?” I asked aloud, not expecting an answer.
“You’ve got too much going on to think about the small things,” Noah suggested, thinking I was asking a real question. He was way too serious for his own good; he seemed fifty more than fifteen.
After lunch, I was staring at my empty plate, my mind a whirl of thoughts, most of them about Noah and our near-kiss, but also about the escape route and what else needed to be done.
“Alex!” a shout drew me out of my thoughts.
“Sorry, were you talking to me?” I asked, looking up at Mac.
“Yeah, I was asking what the plans were for this afternoon,” she replied, “I can’t be with the List king and queen,”
“Driving you crazy?” I laughed.
“Sure are,” she replied, then added after a moment’s thought, “Did you know there is a detention centre on level One?”
“No, I’m sure I would have seen that on the maps earlier,” I frowned.
“It has four cells, a dorm for guards; bathroom and what looks like a small armoury,”
“I’ll have to check it out,” I considered.
“So what are you going to do this afternoon?”
“Well, I wanted to explore levels three and four for myself,” I told her my plans.
“Level three has the medical facilities?” she asked, “I would love to take a look at that,”
“Well I’m keen on level four, so if you want to take level three and have a look around,” I told her thinking about it for amount, “why don’t you take Sarah with you?”
“Sure, she’s good at science so you could check out the Research facilities,” I explained, “Also you might want to take Amanda,”
“Amanda?” she asked, sounding disgusted.
“Her dad is a top scientist for the government, works at Porton Down Research Facility,”
“So why does she live up here?”
“Mum and Dad are divorced,” I told her quietly, “But maybe we can have Sarah and Amanda working in there,”
“We can try that,” she said dubiously.
“Before I forget, I have something for you,” I drew one of the cards out, the one designated 0002 handing it to her, “This should allow access to the medical bay, Operations Room and VIP areas,”
“Brilliant,” her face lit up, similar to Tobi’s. While I was thinking about it, I handed out the manila envelopes that held each apartment’s key cards.
“Here you are, Tom. I’ve got something for you,” I walked over to the table shared by Tom, Larry and Amanda. I handed him the Key card designated 0003.
“The card allows you access to the Mech Bay, VIP areas and the Operations Room. Now you can check it out,”
“Great, we’ve finished lunch so Larry, Amanda and I can have a look,” he returned not noticing the glare he got from Larry.
“Actually, I was hoping Amanda could go check out the Research department with Sarah and Mac,”
“Brilliant!” her eyes lit up.
“Don’t forget to clean your plates,” I said automatically and heard a giggle.
“What?” I asked, turning back towards Matty and Tobi.
“You sound like dad,” Matty answered, laughing even harder.
“Right then, Bucky, what are you doing this afternoon?”
“I’m going to continue looking at the stores with Izzy,” he replied.
“I’m coming with you to Level Four,” Tobi piped up, looking at me with interest.
“Alex must be getting bored with you by now.”
“After twelve years, I was bored of him in the first ten minutes,” I joked, but he just rolled his eyes at me. I grabbed my plate up, taking it to the kitchen, washing it up, then left in on the draining board.
“How was it?” Simon asked.
“Excellent, are all meals going to be like that?” I wondered, thinking I was going to get fat.
“Eventually, we’ll be on basics unless we find proper food,”
“So, how come you’re so good?”
“Our grandma taught us,” Simon clarified, “She owns a small farm in Italy, we travel there every summer,”
“Well, I bet you didn’t need my help back at the camp,” I smirked.
“Actually, Miss thinks I’m a troublemaker in school, especially as I’m the only boy at does Home Ec,” Simon returned with a similar grin to mine.
“Well, I’m glad someone can cook,” I stated, ruffling his hair on the way out of the door. I grabbed Tobi. We were soon descending the stairs in comfortable silence.
As we emerged out of the door onto Level Four, my jaw dropped. We could have been in a shopping centre anywhere in the UK. I had not noticed last time we come through, but the ceiling was high appearing to be a skylight flooding ‘natural’ light into the open space filled with trees. As one of the others had said earlier, a stream gurgled merrily through the level. The area was laid with flagstone with seating and paths leading off to various places.
“Wow, this is amazing,” Tobi breathed spinning around.
“It’s probably for the civilians, to make sure they don’t feel like they are underground.”
“I feel like I’m in a shopping centre,” was his reply, echoing my thoughts.
“Let’s go left first,” I suggested. We followed the path around to the first ‘building’, which turned out to be a library when we entered.
“I think I’m in heaven,” Tobi said aloud, his eyes on stalks.
“You like books then?” I asked sarcastically.
“I love books, this will make life easier for me,” We split up allowing me to take a look at the seating area then a quick nose around the books. They had several different sections, like a standard library from reference books to teen books. There were also some long tables set as a study area. Eventually, about five minutes later, I came to the front and found Tobi sitting on one of the sofas reading. I laughed at him, making him look up from the book he was reading.
“Come on, Bookworm, we can come back anytime,” I commented. He sighed, putting the book on a side table as we strolled back out across a small wooden bridge checking out the gym, which had its own small locker rooms. There were treadmills, static bikes and rowing machines with a couple of weights.
“Great, Matty and I will have to come down here to keep up the fitness,”
“Well, you know he does football, right?”
“Since when?” I asked, confused.
“About six months ago, he’s really good at it, you know?” Tobi praised my little brother.
“Where the hell have I been? Usually, I know what’s been going on,” I shook my head.
“You’ve had your own thing with scouts; then you’ve not exactly been paying attention too much,”
“I have,” I protested.
“You’ve been ignoring me lately, drifted away from my sister and didn’t know about your brother,” he pointed out.
“Wow,” I have no idea the amount I had missed in the last six months, have I been up my own arse? I thought. I didn’t know how to answer him, so I checked out the barbers, they had several barber chairs and a couple of hair washing facilities, which I checked to make sure they worked. I even found a couple of massage rooms, “Well, at least we can get our hair cut,”
“We’ll have to find someone who can cut hair,” he responded and then gave me a cheeky grin, “You do look a little scruffy,”
“Little shit,” I laughed at him, my unease about ignoring my best friend dying down as we joked heading back across the bridge. I saw a sign for the games room but missed that out instead found the canteen. Similar to the VIP canteen, though there were ‘outside’ tables’ and several inside ones. It had a vending machine with a salad bar area. The kitchen was markedly larger with a storeroom for dry goods with larger fridge and freezer, both fully stocked.
“We’re not going to go hungry in the next six months,” Tobi suggested.
“Depends on how much you eat,” I poked him in the belly. He laughed as I led him into the Gamesroom. In the centre were curved chairs around a large television mounted on the wall. I also noticed at least three different consoles and a hundred games in shelving underneath the TV. We walked past a quiet seating area with coffee tables that had a few magazines on. On the opposite side were little cubicles with computers in them, probably for civilians and personnel alike to do some computer work. Up the centre of the T-shaped room were a couple of vending machines with drinks and snacks then in the centre were several games tables. I saw Air hockey, pool, table tennis and Fussball.
“Man, I bet I could totally beat you at any of those,”
“You really think you can?” I arched an eyebrow at him.
“I’m the King of Pool,” he boasted and laughed out loud. I glared at him, deciding whether to tickle him to death or not.