27 Chapter 26
Wasting no more time, he jumps through, immediately ducking beside Alex and Gillian.
"Whatever you do, do not stand up, okay?" Frank says.
Gillian was getting ready to ask him 'why', but the ominous sound that is rapidly getting louder answers her question.
"What the fuck is that sound?!" Alex exclaims.
"Fire..." Frank answers briefly.
Moments later, the blast reaches them.
"LAY ON THE GROUND!!" Frank yells over the harsh sound of the blaze as it rushed into the room, through the window above them.
It only lasted a few seconds, but to them, it felt like hours.
"Is everyone alright?" Frank asks as now smoke slowly fills the room.
"Yeah..." both Gillian and Alex answer.
They were all abruptly interrupted by cracking above them, small gradients fall from the ceiling, gradually increasing to bigger and bigger chunks of rock.
"Move... MOVE!!" Frank exclaims, lifting both Gillian and Alex by their arm and out of the way of the debris as it tumbles down and blocks the broken window.
"Fuck... thank you, Frank..." Gillian says, letting out a sigh of relief.
"You are both welcome. But now we need to find a new exit..." Frank replies. Reaching back, Frank reached for Alex's bag, grabbing a torch and turning it on to light up the dimly illuminated room. Gillian does the same, while Alex follows behind them both.
"Is there a door anywhere, a window, or something?" Frank asks.
"No," Gillian replies, illuminating all four walls of the room, but she keeps on looking.
Suddenly she stumbles across something, a broken vent. The barrier was broken, hanging from one of the sides still bolted in the metal frame of the vent.
"I found something..." Gillian says, she can't help but allow uncertainty to rule over any other emotion in her voice.
Moments pass before Frank and Alex reach Gillian.
"A vent?" Alex questions.
"Looks like it might be our only way out at this point..." Frank replies.
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"But what if it breaks?" she asks again.
"Well then..." Frank begins, trying to look for a good excuse. "... it... breaks...".
Alex immediately widens her eyes at his answer.
"I mean, it feels stable enough..." Frank says as he tries to move the vent.
"Who is going first?" he asks, pointing to the vent.
"Not me... no way..." Alex raises her hands, shaking her head.
"I just want to get out of here..." Gillian says.
"Here, can you hold this for me?" she adds, handing over the accessories she hands in her hands to Alex.
She then proceeds on walking back, right above the opening.
"I am going to lift you and you are going to pull yourself up and into the vent..." Frank says to Gillian. "Okay?".
Getting a grip of the metal frame, waiting for Frank to lift her. He does so, seconds later. She tries to do what Frank told her to do.
"Shit... Frank!". Gillian feels her body slipping back out, she desperately tries to keep herself up but to no success.
"Okay...". Frank quickly grabs her by the ankles, lowering his hands to the soles of her shoes.
"Push up on my hands, I'll try to push you further up, okay?".
"Okay..." she replies.
Trying out what Frank said, she begins to feel relief as her and her body manage to get up onto the vent.
"You in?" Frank asks.
"Yeah..." she replies.
"Okay... you are next, Alex...".
"Do I have to?..." she pouts at Frank.
"Well, if you want to be stuck here...".
With a roll of her eyes, she proceeds to the opening.
"Okay, so I am going to-" she interrupts him.
"Yeah, yeah. I heard you when you were talking to Gillian, you are going to lift me up and I am going to crawl in...".
"Pretty much..." Frank replies.
"Okay, get ready..." he adds.
Frank lifts Alex. While doing so, Gillian grabs Alex's hand, pulling her up. Within seconds, she manages to crawl into the vent.
Alex lets out an unexpected sigh of relief, but that relief was not long-lived. Sounds of crackling echoed through the vent, both Gillian and Alex could feel the metal below them quiver.
"Why are we shaking?!" Alex questions, panic ver noticeable in her voice.
"I... I..." Gillian begins, but words stop coming out of her mouth. Suddenly they all get hit by tremors, everything begins to shake, violently.
"Earthquake..." Gillian mutters under her breath. "Its another earthquake!" she adds, louder.
Moments pass before a loud bang from the vent is heard. A pop echoed through the small, hollow space, right before the metal opening dropped by a centimetre or two. Both Gillian and Alex have their eyes closed, hoping the vent itself will not collapse and fall.
The tremors once again die out. Leaving then with crackles of metal echoing through the vents that both Gillian and Alex are in.
"Are you guys okay?" Frank calls out.
"Yes..." both Gillian and Alex answer simultaneously.
"Is the vent okay?" Gillian asks moments later.
"It's fine," Frank answers. "Apparently, the vent itself has a protective frame..." he adds.
"What do you mean?" Alex asks him.
"What I mean is that there is a metal bar running along the bottom of the vent and around the vent itself. The vent did collapse, but it is being held up by its metal frame.".
Now, both Gillian and Alex sigh with relief.
Outside of the vent, Frank is getting ready the enter the opening. He reached for the roof of the vent, right before swiftly hopping into the opening, joining Gillian and Alex.
"Okay, where do we go now?" Alex asks.
"I say we go forward, towards the light," Gillian replies.
"Yeah..." Frank adds.
A moment passes before Gillian begins crawling towards the illumination, followed by Alex and Frank.
As they crawl through the vent, smoke begins accumulating, thickening ever so slightly. From time to time crackles from the vent would sound beneath them, causing the three humans to become very watchful and cautious.
Some time passes and the three fighters keep on crawling through the smoked vent. The smoke has thickened, they need to find an exit very soon.
"Ugh..." Alex begins.
"What?" Gillian asks.
"It's all so... dirty... and... just... dirty..." she replied.
"Well, this is a vent..." Frank replies.
"I guess..." Alex replied.
The three of them continue crawling, right before very ominous creaking and cracking causes them the halt and freeze.
"What was that?..." Alex whispers.
"I don't know..." Gillian whispers a reply.
They remain in their place until the creaking quitened down.
"Okay, let's continue..." Gillian whispers before she resumes crawling.
She doesn't even crawl once, the cracking and the creaking could be heard again, the vent trembles slightly.
"Crap..." Gillian begins. "The vent is going to collapse...".
"The vent has a protective frame, there is no need to-" Frank says but gets interrupted by a sudden creak right before a bolt popped out right beneath Gillian, she moves back towards Frank and Alex.
Suddenly the vent pops out of place right before completely collapsing, with a loud bang the vent hits the ground.
Moans and groans are heard before they all crawl out of the broken ventile and into the darkened, smokey and warm hallway.
"Crap... is everyone okay?" Frank asks.
"Yes..." Gillian replies, but Alex stays silent.
"Alex?" Gillian calls out.
"Fuck... my hand..." they hear her voice.
"I'm bleeding, guys... anyone has a bandage handy?" Alex asks.
Frank quickly reached for the backpack, pulling out a roll of bandage and a torch.
"Here, Alex..." Frank quickly kneels before Alex, but before wrapping her bleeding hand up with a bandage, he needs to disinfect the area.
"Gillian? Can you look for a disinfectant in the bag, there should be one, please?".
"Okay," she replied, immediately beginning to search for it. Seconds pass before she pulls out a clear bottle with a clear liquid inside.
"Is this it?" she asks. Frank turns around, shining his torch towards Gillian and the bottle she is holding up.
"Yes," he replies, taking the bottle off her. He rips a bit of the gauze off before saturating it with the clear liquid. He immediately dabs the cut on Alex's right hand, to which she replied with a hiss.
Once he cleans the wound, he gently begins wrapping it up with the bandage. Once finished, he ties a knot, securing gauze.
Alex replies with a nod.
"Okay, let's continue..." Frank says, packing up the backpack before standing up and placing the backpack onto his back.
"Where now?" Gillian questions, inspecting the surroundings with her touch.
"Look, doors right down the hallway..." Frank points his light in the direction he is talking about, he is proven correct when the light is reflected off the matte, chrome double-doors.
Frank is the first to walk towards the doors, followed by Alex and Gillian.
Once they all reach the iron door, they could feel the cold breeze rushing inside, moments pass before thunder ripped the silence into pieces.
"That's the exit!" Alex exclaims.
"Shhh..." Gillian interrupts her moment of happiness. "They might hear you!".
"Who?" Alex questions. "The monsters?".
"Yes!" Gillian replies.
"We shouldn't be scared of them, they should be scared of us... we are the ones who have weapons here..." Alex says, pulling out her gun, before trying to spin it by the trigger. The gun slips off her finger and falls to the ground, firing a bullet into a wall. Alex moves back, her hand on her mouth.
"Well shit..." she adds. She quickly picks up the gun, placing it into her trousers, where it's safe.
"None of you saw that, okay?..." She says to Gillian and Frank.
"We will pretend we didn't see that..." Gillian replied before turning back to the door. "Now, let's just get out of here.".
She takes hold of the door handle before pushing it down, opening the door.
"A garage..." Frank says. There are multiple cars scattered around the parking spaces.
"And the exit is right there..." Gillian says, as the opening - not so far away - get illuminated by the storm outside.
"Let's go..." Alex says, taking a few steps forward, she is suddenly stopped by a loud stomp.
They all turn towards where the stomp and they see a big and broad figure facing them. It looks like it's wearing a big, black coat that stretches down to its knees.
"Wa... what is that?..." Alex asks.
"I... I don't know..." Gillian replies. Her eyes worryingly scan the monster in front of them. She points her flashlight towards the monster. Her eyes widen in realisation.
"I saw him in one of the rooms in the laboratory a couple of years ago, they call him 0541..." Gillian says. "My dad used to work on him...".
She looks to both Alex and Frank who are both staring at her.
"Your father made... this monster?" Frank asks.
"It wasn't intended for him to be a monster, I don't know what happened...".
They were all interrupted when the monster began to rush towards them.
"Split up..." Frank says. "Split up!".