Night Fire Chapter 12 snippet

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Kate looked at the brightly lit corridor around her and sighed. Another building, another mission, she reminded herself with a stifled curse. Why was it that she always seemed to get stuck with the worst missions? She could understand the fact that President Damon had confidence in her, but to always get the ****ty jobs??

Licking her lips, Kate crept down the hallway, one eye looking for cameras, the other for anyone moving. With the size of the plant an issue, it was going to take her a while to find where the biological weapons, if they existed she reminded herself, were located it.
Sometimes it would be nice if the bad guys were stupid, she mused, and then things just fell into your lap!

Alas that just isn’t going to happen, she told herself as she came to a stop at a junction of a corridor.

Feeling her eyes grow wide with surprise, Kate looked down the hall. A smile like a man seeing manna for the first time crossed her face. Now if that isn’t just too convenient, she reminded herself as she crept down the hall. With a silently, graceful move, she pulled her Kimber out of her pocket, her thumb cocking the trigger.

Before her was a woman in a lab coat, her back turned as she worked a door control. Hanging from the front of her coat was an ID card that resembled the one that Voltaire had to let her in. Kate couldn’t believe the possible stroke of good luck before her. Not only could she get a possible access code into the research areas, but also someone could tell her where they were!

“Good morning,” Kate said to her as she slipped the barrel of her Kimber against the back of her neck. “Do you mind us stepping inside?”

The woman before her froze when she felt the metallic barrel on her neck. Every muscle on her body went tense as she realized someone was standing there who could kill her. What did the strange woman want, her body language said. Was there a way to get out of this without dying?

“Ok, ok,” the woman, stammered. “Just don’t kill me, please God!”

“As long as you do what I tell you to do,” Kate said. “You’ll live. But don’t get any ideas that I won’t kill you because if I have to, I will.”

“I understand,”

“Now open the door,”

The woman reached onto her coat and pulled her card off. While Kate watched her with a wary eye, she swiped the door and they both heard it unlatch. Nodding at the woman, Kate signaled she wanted her to open the door. Once it was open, they both stepped inside.

Kate felt a tight smile cross her lips as she noted it was an empty office. This was going to be perfect, she mused, to both question the other woman and to hide her in. For the first time since she entered the plant, Kate was starting to feel optimistic about the completion of her mission.

All it took was one lucky break, she thought to herself.

“Now,” Kate said with her smile frozen in place. “I’ll take your coat and badge, please.”

The other woman didn’t bother to argue with her as she shrugged off her lab coat. If everyone responded this sensibly, she mused, then she wouldn’t have had to kill as many people as she had! However, she guessed it was just part of being human that people didn’t want to follow instructions-even when their life was in the balance.

“Do you have complete computer access?” Kate asked as she looked around the room.

“Yes,” she said, shaking. “We all do.”

Finding what she was looking for, Kate smiled to herself. While the room didn’t offer much more then a desk with a computer, it did have a closet to it. That was going to be the perfect place to hide the woman in, she mused, as long as she doesn’t do something to get herself killed.

Which I’m not particularly in favor of doing, Kate thought as she led the two of them towards the closet.

“Okay,” Kate said as she opened the door. “Get inside,”

The other woman looked at the small room before looking back at her. While there was enough space for her to stand in, the closet was going to be cramped and there was no door control on the inside. The lack of a door control was actually perfect, Kate reflected, since it will keep her from escaping before she could accomplish her mission.

“I won’t say it again,” Kate told her. “Don’t mistake my desire to not kill you with a lack of willingness.”

The woman’s eye grew wider at her pronouncement and she stepped into the closet. With a swipe of her hand, Kate hit the controls for the door. Watching it swoosh shut, she smiled at the fact that she didn’t have to kill the woman. You know, she chuckled, things just work out the way you want them to be after all!

Shaking her head in amazement, Kate slipped the lab coat on over her jumpsuit. She zipped it up, and stuffed her Kimber on the pocket. Now that she had computer access, she reminded herself, it was time to see where the labs were kept! After all that Voltaire did to get her into this plant, damned if she was going to allow it to go to waste.

Given the size of the facility, she was surprised that the corridor was empty when she stepped back out into it. Holding the access card in her hand, she started to find an elevator. The key to not getting caught, she told herself with a sigh, was to move around like you belonged there. As long as you did that, no one questioned whom you were because they figured you knew where you were heading.

After spending several minutes wandering aimlessly, she found the building to be frustratingly large. At this rate, she mused, she wouldn’t find the labs before next week, much less get back out of the building when she needed to! Why couldn’t there be some people moving around when you needed them to be?

Rounding a corner, she felt a smile break out on her face as she spotted a pair of white-coated people moving along a corridor. They might be able to lead her to the elevator, she thought, so following them might be her best bet. Taking a deep breath, she fell in a little ways behind them and started to follow their entire steps.

A woman could get lost in this place for years,
she thought as she took the time to memorize where she was. They ought to have maps on the walls for their own people! Sheesh!

A chuckle of triumph rose in her throat as she rounded a corner and spotted the elevators before her. Finally, she mused as she checked her chronograph, it only took her an hour to find the damned thing! Approaching it like she belonged, she kept her card in her hand.

The researchers she was following continued on past the elevator, while she stopped. Reaching out to hit the call button, she took deep, level breaths. All she had to do now, she reflected, was to make her way to the labs. If Albright were as smart as she thought he was, then he would be keeping them on some sublevel that wouldn’t be accessible for anyone without clearance.

Let’s hope that this lady has clearance, she thought as the doors slid open for her.
When she stepped inside, she felt her spirits drop. Standing inside was a security guard, his pistol holstered to his hip. If she didn’t have clearance, she thought, then he was going to know right away! Damn it! There was nothing like getting this far and having the possibility of detection be riding the same car as her.

“Morning,” he said pleasantly.

“Good morning,” she said, keeping her attention on the door controls.

She fought the urge to raise an eyebrow when she saw the buttons for two sublevels. That had to be where the labs were, she told herself, if they even existed in the first place. The only problem was what would she do if the woman’s pass card didn’t work? With the guard in the car, it wasn’t like she had a place to go if it happened either. Taking a deep breath, she pushed the button for the lowest level.

“Please swipe your security card,” the computer said.

Pursing her lips, she barely kept from cursing at the machine. It figured that it was going to ask her for an ID card, she mused, especially with a guard in the damn car! With a sinking feeling in her stomach, she pulled her card out and swiped it.

“This card is not recognized,”

Looking at the guard, she shrugged at him to try to show that she didn’t know what was happening. Fifty million people worked in this facility, she thought, and she had to pick one that didn’t have an access card! Well, this was going to get interesting very fast if she didn’t get approved soon.

“Those scanners are junk,” the guard said as he took her card and swiped it. He then swiped it himself.

“This card is not recognized,”

“Recognize this,” he muttered as he swiped his card for her.

“Card recognized,”

“There you go…” he looked at the card, noticing the picture of a blonde haired woman on it. He then looked up at Kate, his eyes growing wider by a fraction.

Without waiting for him to make a move, she leapt into action. Taking a step faster then he had time to react for, she slammed a fist into his stomach, doubling him over. Stepping behind him, she grabbed his neck in both hands and twisted with all her strength. The rifle shot sound of his neck snapping sounded like an explosion in the small car as his lifeless form fell to the ground.

“That would’ve been a boring conversation,” she said as she wiped her bangs from her eyes.
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